Does the Bible Reveal Objective Truth About Homosexuality?

Say you’ve got Christians on two sides of an issue. Maybe some say that abortion is okay and others say that it is not. Some say that capital punishment is okay and others that it’s not. Some say that same-sex marriage is okay and others that it’s not.

What do we make of this? Both sides use the same Bible. Is the Bible then ambiguous?

Before you conclude that it is, consider this exchange during an interview with Greg Koukl (Unbelievable podcast for 7/13/13). A caller asked about ambiguity in the Bible and gave as an example the then-current debate about gay Anglican clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops. (In the beginning of 2013, the church decided to allow it as long as they remained celibate, though celibacy isn’t demanded of straight priests.) There were honest, well-intentioned Christians in the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches arguing both sides of the debate using the same Bible.

Koukl’s answer

Koukl used arithmetic as a counterexample. Suppose one person argued that 2 + 2 = 4, while another said that 2 + 2 = 9. The honesty and decency of the participants is irrelevant—there are objective truths here, and these two antagonists can’t both be right.

I agree. But are there also objective truths in the gay bishop case? I see none, and I see no evidence that the Bible’s position on this matter is clear.

Koukl says that, like checking which sum is correct, we must look to the Bible to see what it says.

In this regard, there is very little ambiguity as to what the bible teaches … between the Genesis passage, the Leviticus passage, and the Romans passage, there is a very, very clear statement about homosexuality.

That so? Let’s follow up on those Bible references to see what this “clear statement” is.

Old Testament passages against homosexuality?

The Genesis passage is 19:4–9, the Sodom and Gomorrah story. But remove the presupposition that the lesson is “homosexuality is bad” and see what crime actually is. It’s rape. For the details, see my posts here and here. This informs us about the topic at hand—which, let’s remember, is a committed gay couple—not at all.

Strike one.

There are two Leviticus passages.

You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22).

If a man has sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman, the two of them have committed an abomination. They must be put to death; their blood guilt is on themselves (Lev. 20:13).

“Abomination”? Ouch—that sounds pretty harsh. But look at the other things that are labeled in Leviticus as abominations—eating forbidden food, sacrificing blemished animals, performing divination, women wearing men’s clothes, and so on. Clearly, these are ritual abominations, out of date tribal customs. These are bad by definition, not because they actually hurt anyone.

Christians don’t care about these ancient customs today. The logic is that the sacrifice of Jesus got rid of them (see, for example, Hebrews 7:11–12). All right, but let’s be consistent. Get rid of them. Don’t sift through them to keep a few that you’re nostalgic for.

I’ve also written in detail about this here.

Notice also something else that we dismiss today: the punishment for homosexuality, which is death. How can you dismiss the punishment but cling to the crime? If one is abhorrent, what does that say about the other? Without a punishment there is no crime.

Strike two.

New Testament passages against homosexuality?

Finally, here is the Romans passage.

Because of [mankind’s sinful desires], God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Rom. 1:26–7)

Notice the verbs here: God “gave them over,” women “exchanged,” men “abandoned.” Paul imagines going from the natural (men with women) to the unnatural. That is, he imagines straight people engaging in homosexual sex. Yes, that is weird. And, strike three, that has no bearing on what we’re talking about: homosexuals doing what comes naturally.

As a postscript on our analysis of the Romans passage, is Paul declaring his position or the position that he rejects? Don M Burrows argues that this passage was a common negative view held by Jews of Gentiles, and, as an apostle to the Gentiles, Paul is refuting this argument.

Koukl’s conclusion

After referring to these passages, which do not address the question at hand, Koukl wraps up:

The evidence is there to come to a clear conclusion about what the spiritual sums are with regard to homosexuality. That people who are dedicated, who pray, who are honest, who have a relationship with God don’t agree on that, does not mean that the text is unclear, and what one needs to do in those kinds of things is go back to the text. This is not a case where God has been hidden in the information.

I’m a little surprised to say this, but I agree with Koukl here. There is no ambiguity. It’s clear both what is said in the Bible and what is not said. These passages say nothing about the case of gay Anglican clergy that is the topic.

This is a case where a lot of people have changed their mind under public pressure.

Social improvement comes from society. We used to chop off hands for stealing, we used to burn witches, and we used to enslave people. It’s not thanks to the Bible (which doesn’t change) but to society (which does) that we’ve put that behind us. “Public pressure” isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and we must weigh the consensus of our community to test our own moral opinions.

The problem is as Koukl identifies it: people reading into the Bible what they want it to say. And Koukl is a great example. He takes the passages from Genesis (that argues that rape is bad), Leviticus (made irrelevant thanks to his savior’s sacrifice), and Romans (which talks about some irrelevant orgy in which straight people dabble with homosexual sex) and concludes that the Bible makes plain that loving gay relationships can’t be embraced by the church.

For people like Koukl, the Bible is a sock puppet that they can make say whatever they want.

To call homosexuality admissible as long it doesn’t include sex
is like the sound of one hand clapping.
Y.A. Warren

(I recommend a resource that has been helpful with this post: “Homosexuality and the Bible” by Rev. Walter Wink.)

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 7/22/13.)

Photo credit: Chick tracts

 

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  • busterggi

    As soon as some biblist can show me the original copy of the bible where it says these things – not some re-written, repeatedly edited, poorly translated and biasly interpreted copy then I’ll consider their position.

    • Kevin K

      I’ve heard the argument of “progressive revelation” used. That as mankind got more sophisticated, they were better able to discern the word of Doug. Which means, of course, that there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet. Either that or Xenu dropped souls into a volcano.

      • Incromulent

        Your last sentence just prompted me to realize that L Ron, while devising his new religion, could have/should have just gone full Joseph Smith, and simply added new books to the bible!
        All this last half-century or so, we could have been arguing over the meaning of 1Xenu22:16, not to mention the endless debates over whether the Book of Cruise was canonical or not. Given enough time, we might already have enjoyed some peevish schisms and a reformation or two.

        • TheNuszAbides

          especially since his whole megalomaniacal schtick didn’t amount to much more than warmed-over conservative Catholicism with a dash of white pepper. Confessional? Auditing. Dehumanization of gays? Dehumanization of gays. Psychology is the devil’s work, putting your soul in jeopardy? Psychology is pure fraud, we’ve got the *real* goods for getting right with your soulthetan. and so on. that monster was such a hot-mess product of his time it’s almost laughable. no wonder only thugs and tools make it into the upper echelons of the CoS. Miscavige can’t even pull off the demagogue routine.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Christians are quick to reject nonsensical stuff from the Old Testament. I marvel that they can’t see that they’re just picking and choosing the stuff they like. You find overt support for lifetime slavery in the Bible, while you find only inferences against same-sex marriage.

      • busterggi

        of course they can’t see they’re picking & choosing – progressive revelation doesn’t work that way.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          That’s an interesting angle on “progressive revelation.” I’m not sure I’ve noticed that before.

          I’ve seen it used to justify a second interpretation. For example, the “make man in our image” in Genesis was initially interpreted polytheistically, but now Christians reinterpret that as the Trinity talking to itself.

          But I suppose they could also say that slavery was allowed … but now it’s not. Just cuz. I just wish they’d say that homosexuality was forbidden … but now it’s not.

        • TheNuszAbides

          For example, the “make man in our image” in Genesis was initially interpreted polytheistically, but now Christians reinterpret that as the Trinity talking to itself.

          shows what i know. i used to assume it was another case (or prototype) of the “royal ‘we'”.

        • Greg G.

          If the Trinity had made us in its (their) image(s). we would be a trinity, too.

  • Kevin K

    This is just more evidence that we don’t glean our morality from some sort of sensus divinitatis, contra Plantinga. Otherwise, all religious people would have the same opinions, and no amount of “public pressure” would have any effect whatsoever.

    • Michael Neville

      Jonathan Heidt said it best: “People don’t generally engage in moral reasoning, but moral rationalization: they begin with the conclusion, coughed up by an unconscious emotion, and then work backward to a plausible justification.”

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Or perhaps Steven Pinker (here).

        Great comment, thanks.

        • Michael Neville

          I had it in my stash file as Heidt. It’s still a good comment.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, a great comment. I’ve added it to my own stash.

        • TheNuszAbides

          he definitely goes over it at length in The Righteous Mind. the emotional elephant makes the real decisions, the rational rider justifies them post hoc.

  • Jim Jones

    How come they ignore the words of Jesus? Google (centurion pais)

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker
      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        That doesn’t mean he approved of it.

      • Frank

        Yet another terrible interpretation not based in reality. It was his servant nothing more.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So you don’t reply to links with any more depth than you do to posts here? Not surprising.

          Tip: “Nuh uh!!” won’t convince many thoughtful people.

        • TheNuszAbides

          but he’s apparently been practicing his delivery. he almost makes it look like a critique!

  • Sophia Sadek

    Another aspect of the Leviticus proscriptions is that they are priestly rules, not rules for an entire population.

    • TheNuszAbides

      i suppose that should upgrade their supposed relevance for protestants, since they [occasionally/ostensibly] tried so hard to cut out those middle-men.

      • Sophia Sadek

        Protestants also fail to realize that ancient Jewish priests and their petty rules were not admired by Jesus.

  • MNb

    “straight people engaging in homosexual sex. Yes, that is weird.”
    Why exactly?
    A bit more detailed: this statement assumes – as Koukl does – a strictly binary division. That’s incorrect. Few people are either strictly gay or straight.

    • lady_black

      I’m not.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      I agree that a strict binary distinction is incorrect, but I’m just going where Koukl is going.

      Why exactly?

      100% straight people forced/coerced into doing gay sex is weird. That is, I’m interpreting the passage to mean people of a certain sexual persuasion (which implies not another sexual persuasion) being forced into acts of that other sexual persuasion. Which is not natural/normal/good.

    • Incromulent

      I like the neologism I’ve been seeing lately — “heteroflexible.”

  • Frank

    Yes no doubt.

    • lady_black

      Says the man who thinks healthcare is only healthcare if you’re dying…

      • Frank

        I know you have deflect as there is no doubt the Bible is against homosexual behavior.

        • lady_black

          Who cares what the Bible says? Healthcare is healthcare even if it’s NOT to save your life, you ridiculous creature.

        • Frank

          I was just disabusing the ignorance displayed about the Bible.

          And abortion is only healthcare in a fraction of percent of the cases as you know because you can’t answer my question.

        • Michael Neville

          Frank, why don’t you take your homophobia to an audience who might give a shit about what a bigot says? We all know that you use religion to justify your hatred of LGBTs and everyone else who isn’t a conservative Christian. So take your bullshit and vacate the premises. We ain’t buying.

        • Frank

          You are apparently. Thank you for the encouragement.

        • Michael Neville

          Tell me, Frank, does the expression fuck off and die mean anything to you? How about eat shit and bark at the moon? Or even get out of here, you bigoted asshole?

        • Frank

          I love it when people expose their true selves.

        • Michael Neville

          You mean like when you expose your anti-humanist, homophobic, misogynist hatred of everyone who isn’t a conservative, evangelical Christian? You must really love yourself then.

          I cannot express my great contempt for you, Frank. Words just can’t say how much I despise, detest and loathe you and everything you stand for. If you were on fire I wouldn’t even piss on you to put it out.

        • Frank

          Thank you for showing your true self. Love it.

        • Michael Neville

          Since you continually show your hateful, bigoted, vile self then it’s reasonable that I show my disdain and contempt for you. That you “love” someone expressing hostility towards you says a lot more about you than it does about me.

        • Frank

          Yeah you keep believing that.

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t have to believe it. You keep showing it. No faith necessary when evidence is amply provided. You are a homophobic, misogynist bigot as shown by your posts on these blogs.

          Tell me, does it give you joy to know that people think you’re whale shit, the nastiest, most slimy thing in the depths of the ocean? Are you creaming in your jeans knowing that normal people think the world would be improved by your death?

        • Frank

          Keep up the great work!

        • MNb

          He does.
          You don’t – you only keep up miserable mysoginist homophobic work.

        • Michael Neville

          Silly me, why didn’t I think of this before?

          Comment by Frank blocked.

        • Thought2Much

          Yes. Thanks, Disqus.

          Now, if only they’d incorporate the concept of shadow banning, where the banned person is still able to post, but no one can see that they’re posting except themselves.

        • Rt1583

          I can understand why you would, seeing as how Christians are masters at hiding who they truly are it must be refreshing to stand in front of such open honesty.

          When was the last time you saw your true self?

        • Frank

          Daily.

        • Rt1583

          Doubtful. Hiding behind the bible doesn’t allow your true self to be seen, even to yourself.

        • Frank

          No need to hide. I stand in the truth.

        • Rt1583

          Speaking of delusions, how often do you have to repeat that to keep believing it?

        • MNb

          Don’t worry, nobody here doubts you expose your true self – a bigoted asshole – with every single comment.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I was just disabusing the ignorance displayed about the Bible.

          By doing what? Perhaps I’ve missed your comment where you actually add something new and interesting to the conversation. Point me to it.

        • Frank

          Look above. Your every word.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          So then you have nothing? No intellectual contribution? No defense of your position? No evidence with which to attack the post?

          One wonders why you’re here, putting all of that ignorance on public display.

        • BlackMamba44

          Porn doesn’t do it for him anymore.

        • lady_black

          I don’t have to answer your question. Abortion is always healthcare, because healthcare is not limited to the saving of lives.

        • Jim Jones

          > I was just disabusing the ignorance displayed about the Bible.

          Is that how you abuse yourself?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Actually, I’ve written a post about how the Bible is in fact not against homosexual behavior.

          Oh yeah. It’s this one (among others). Instead of simply being contrary, point out the errors in the post.

        • Frank

          So you wrote a post based on faulty and debunked theology. Good for you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          A drive-by where you shot blanks. Good for you.

          Make yourself useful. Drop the recess taunts and say something interesting. Or perhaps you are exactly as you seem to be–a mindless droid who loves his imaginary friend for no good reason and has no evidence to share?

        • Frank

          Oh the irony. Your whole article is nothing but blanks. Carry on.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Make yourself useful. Drop the recess taunts and say something interesting.

        • Kodie

          Bob, I thought this dick was already banned a while ago. There was Frank who says barely anything, and then there was Frank who someone said was a sock puppet of another recently banned poster, who said barely little more but I thought they were both banned. Do you have records? The short posting history seems like a new account, but probably at least one of those Franks.

        • Greg G.

          Thought2Much is a moderator at Godless in Dixie. He says they ban people by IP address, but Frank keeps coming back. T2M says Frank is a dedicated troll who goes to a lot of trouble to resurrect himself.

          http://disq.us/p/1cfm2kf

        • Kodie

          I know about Frank who keeps coming back. He is infamous for his very short lines and not saying much. Around the last time that Frank returned, (possibly) another Frank was around for maybe a week, following the ban of some other poster. That Frank used more words and slightly more thought, but not a ton more. Another regular poster commented that that Frank was surely a sock puppet of a differently named poster who had recently been banned. I said naw, that’s Frank Frank, the regular idiot troll douchebag who comes back over and over. They overlapped by maybe a few days or weeks? and had two different accounts, but it was clear one Frank was slightly more expressive than the regular troll Frank who says almost nothing. This Frank says slightly more than nothing, but still almost nothing. The thing about Frank is he never changes his name, he is not afraid to be Frank. Any other Frank who doesn’t know is going to be recognized and targeted and probably banned as the same Frank.

          The thing I am just wondering is, why doesn’t Bob remember Frank? Why does he let him hang on like a new poster who hasn’t crossed the line yet? Creating a sock puppet to be the same old asshole, just because a few months have passed, doesn’t mean you aren’t the same old asshole you used to be. I mean, on the off-chance this is a physically different person using the same name and a lot of the same thoughts and words and types of sentences, give him about a day. Tell all the Franks of the world who are about to make a disqus account, we already have a Frank and he sucks. I’ve had to tell Bob on more than one occasion that a poster is a total repeat banned troll who is not a new person who deserves a clean slate, but they don’t always use the same fucking name either. Keep a list, check the list when someone posts who is familiar. I don’t know what the dashboard looks like or if there is a ban list there so he doesn’t have to keep this information somewhere he’d forget.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You asked why this isn’t higher priority for me. It’s memory and lack of interest that are the problem.

          But you asked about a ban list. I never thought to look … but yes indeed, it turns out that there is one. Here’s a list of every banned person (user name). I notice quite a few Franks.

          And now that I’ve gone through this exercise, I should be more aware of him, at least, when he surfaces again, like a turd in a septic tank.

          Frank; 5 hours ago
          Greg; 15 days ago
          Personal Responsibility; 23 days ago
          Frank; 2 months ago
          melonhead; 2 months ago
          frank; 2 months ago
          Darrell; 2 months ago
          Jeff Baker; 3 months ago
          whg; 5 months ago
          gw; 5 months ago
          StevenK; 5 months ago
          StevenK; 5 months ago
          StevenK; 5 months ago
          StevenK; 5 months ago
          StevenK; 5 months ago
          StevenK; 5 months ago
          John Jones; 5 months ago
          George Watson; 6 months ago
          Greg; 6 months ago
          Bobby English; 6 months ago
          Vince; 10 months ago
          hulk hogan; a year ago
          Frank; a year ago
          Frank; a year ago
          ANDREW STEPHEN GRATH; a year ago
          Rakesh; a year ago
          jhon; a year ago
          ricardo; a year ago · Spam
          HARRY; a year ago
          سوسو مومو; a year ago
          Harry; 2 years ago
          Erwin; 2 years ago
          jackoliver; 2 years ago
          John Barry; 2 years ago
          TheRealRandomFunction; 3 years ago
          John Carpenter; 3 years ago

        • Kodie

          So, there was frank and Frank, and Frank is the Frank, while frank might have been another Frank that someone said was a sock puppet of another banned poster whose name doesn’t pop out to me. I know Greg has at least two disqus accounts. I don’t see TR on the list or whatever the name was, or that really spaced out empty-headed guy right around the same time – names I would know if I saw again but not recall them, but it’s funny? about SteveK, who is StevenK? Banned 6 times in a row, but did I miss the n at SteveNK or what? Erwin was 2 years ago, the time really flies.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          StevenK was the guy who wouldn’t die. He had admirable persistence and kept recreating Disqus accounts with new IP addresses, as if he just wanted another could of interactions so he could finish his thought.

          One wonders why they don’t just come back with a completely new name. I’m sure some do, but Frank and StevenK were obnoxious exceptions.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I can ban by user name, IP address, and email address, and I do all 3.

          Remember the guy a few months back who just kept coming back after being banned? That takes a lot of dedication to keep making Disqus profiles.

        • Thought2Much

          Frank’s also popped up again on Roll To Disbelieve, where he has been quickly banned. I’m on the lookout for him to return to GiD so I can ban his ass again.

          I sort of giggle inside a little bit knowing that he spends ten times as much effort creating a new account (and a new IP address) as I spend banning it.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, I remember Ste… Oops, I almost invoked his name.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Careful! It’s like Beetlejuice. If you say his name, he appears.

        • MR

          Nooo-ooo-oo-o!!!

        • Michael Neville

          ‘Multiple exclamation marks,’ he went on, shaking his head, ‘are a sure sign of a diseased mind.’ –Terry Pratchett, Eric

        • Michael Neville

          I’m sure that this Frank was at least one of the previous Franks. As Thought2Much explained elsewhere on this thread, Frank gets banned at Godless in Dixie and then pops in again using a new proxy IP and the same mindless comments.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I usually don’t remember past commenters well enough to trust that memory, so they don’t pick up where they left off as they should.

          Disqus does have (sort of) records, but I can’t search for all the “Frank” posts unfortunately.

        • DrewTwoFish

          How Trumpian, Frank. You’re not really saying anything.

        • Myna A.

          Or perhaps you are exactly as you seem to be–a mindless droid…

          The Frank types are here only to play games. They have no information to impart, no argument to share. This is why they are so dedicated in 1 to 3 sentence script reruns. It’s a hobby with them. He or they may be armchair Christians, holding the requisite bible in hand, but likely one where the inside middle is cut out to hide the popcorn. It’s all about the attention.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Popcorn? Or bottle of moonshine? Poitín if one’s Irish.

        • TheNuszAbides

          mmm … p’cheen 😛

        • Ignorant Amos

          Orange flavour is my favourite.

        • Michael Neville

          I know which side of Springmartin Street you stay on.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya mean Springmartin Road at Highfield?

          Am a Shankill Road man maself…I lived in the same street as notorious murdering bastard the Shankill Road butcher Lenny Murphy.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shankill_Road

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenny_Murphy

        • Michael Neville

          Street, road, avenue, boulevard, bypass, cowpath, they’re all names for the same thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope…not where I live they don’t.

          Apart from the obvious differences as defined, I’ve lived in domiciles on streets, roads, avenues, a park, a terrace, a crescent, a way, a walk and am sure others that slip my mind. Many of them with streets, roads, avenues, parks, terraces, crescents, ways, walks with the same prefixed name adjoining. It can get confusing, especially if one is unfamiliar with the area. Bi-language identification signs don’t help the matter much either. Irish-English, Ulster Scots-English, English alone or Irish alone. All made worse when one or both are missing.

          http://fermanaghherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Bilingual-signage-gkfh33-460×305.jpg

          I currently live on an avenue with an adjoining way with the same pre-fixed name. Deliveries and post often get misdirected.

          I used to live on Copperwood Road…the development had a Copperwood Walk, Avenue, Close, Crescent and Drive. The difference is important to those that live there.

          The ramifications of getting it wrong can be severe in some cases too. Emergency services or terrorist attack for example.

          Even your initial humorous throw away comment inferred a risk to getting the “side of the street” correct.

          Just saying. Apologies for being a bore.

          https://www.google.com/maps/@54.7413461,-5.7939924,17.26z

        • TheNuszAbides

          do Catlicks drink that to be particularly cheeky? i’ve not had the pleasure of a flavored version.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Drinking is a non partisan cross community activity in Ireland. At least till everyone is pissed that would be.

          The orange flavour is added by piercing a large orange and balance the orange over the bottle mouth with the pierced hole pointed into the open bottle. The orange is drawn out into the poitin over a period of time by some process that I’m ignorant of, but works. Once the orange has withered, the drink is ready.

          Taken hot with demerara sugar is another nice way to take for medicinal purposes. For alleviating the symptoms colds or man flu.

          Any way, it will blow ones cap clean off.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Now learned men who use the pen,
          Have written their praises high.
          That sweet poitín from Ireland green,
          Distilled from wheat and rye.
          Throw away your pills; it will cure all ills,
          Of the pagan, the Christian or Jew
          Take off your coat and grease your throat
          With the real old mountain dew.

          http://www.wearedistilled.co.uk/single-post/2015/03/09/Poitín-From-the-Back-Alleys-to-the-Backbars

        • Rt1583

          If even a small amount of the theology is proven faulty and has been debunked it doesn’t speak well for the rest of the “truth” of the theology.

        • Frank

          Yeah because if there are lies out there truth isn’t possible. :rolleyes

        • Rt1583

          Where did I say anything about the truth not existing? I only mentioned that the rest of the “truth” is questionable and open to being proven faulty or to being debunked.
          Christians stand on the bible as The Truth even though it’s been proved time and again that it isn’t, in fact, The Truth.

        • Frank

          You are welcome to your delusions but no one has shown the Bible not to be the truth if God.

        • Rt1583

          No one except for the bible itself.

          The all powerful, all knowing god had to have a special red cross painted over doorways so he’d know which homes to pass over? That one seems to put the lie to it pretty well and there are numerous other examples which show just how god is imminently less than all powerful or all knowing.

          Hell, if it were the truth of god you’d think that there would be no mistakes at all but that isn’t the case is it? Even you said the theology was proven faulty and debunked.

          I guess the convoluted nature of your book of “truth” explains why your own responses are just as convoluted.

        • Frank

          Don’t blame anyone but yourself for your ignorance.

        • Zeta

          there are numerous other examples show just how god is imminently less than all powerful or all knowing.

          Two of my favorites are
          (1) Tower of Babel. Frank’s god had to come down from heaven to see what was happening — there goes omniscience. He was afraid of what humans could do. Omnipotence goes out of the window, at the same time showing him to be a coward.

          (2) Iron chariots. An omnipotent god could not defeat enemies riding iron chariots? The writer of this event should be sent to Hell (if there is one) for blasphemy.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          (1) And God had to send down scouts to validate the rumors he’d heard about Sodom and Gomorrah.

        • TheNuszAbides

          angels at least have something vaguely resembling internal coherence in Judaism; they have none whatsoever in any omni-boosting format of xianity.

        • TheNuszAbides

          all any Tower Project needs to fail (especially centuries+ before concrete and millennia before steel) is wind and/or gravity, not to mention plate tectonics. inventing an excuse for more than one language existing is just more bells & whistles.

          i’ve heard well-respected rabbis state unequivocally to mixed audiences that they don’t believe in omnipotence. the iron chariots bit is just a product of shite imagination and for the appropriating xtian drones to sweep under the rug; it has no other ammo value.

        • Greg G.

          The Bible says Jesus prayed that his followers would believe as one.

          John 17:20-23 (NRSV)20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

          Instead, there are 45,000 different denominations and many of the members of each denomination have differences. That makes Jesus’ prayer the biggest prayer failure of all time.

          If this passage is false, then the Bible is shown to be not the “truth if God”. If this was an actual prayer, then Jesus did not receive what he asked, so all those other verses are shown to be not the “truth if God”.

        • Frank

          You are welcome to display your ignorance. Most are one on who Jesus is . Try again.

        • Greg G.

          “Most are one” means the believers are not as one. The prayer of Jesus is a failure.

        • Frank

          Not at all. If Jesus was speaking about his followers than those that agree with who he is are together as one. Try again.

        • Greg G.

          Do you have an aversion to reading the Bible? It says, “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word“. It doesn’t say followers but those who say they believe. There are people all over the world that dedicate 10% of their income because of their faith in their version of Christianity. Your No True Scotsman gambit fails, too.

        • Frank

          Yes Jesus prayed for future believers too. Do you even read?

          A true believer will be a follower. Try again.

          And sometimes it can be said that some are true believes and others are not.

        • Greg G.

          Your No True Scotsman gambit is fallacious. That people dedicate their lives to praying and supporting their version of Christianity is proof they believe but that goes for many different denominations. Fervent belief does not show that a belief is true. But fervent beliefs in contradictory theologies is proof that Jesus’ prayer is a failure and the Bible is not “the truth if God”.

        • Frank

          No it isn’t. The fact that people use the argument without support doesn’t invalidate the argument when used properly.

          Proof of belief in something but not necessarily proof of belief in the real Jesus.

          Once again your argument fails miserably.

        • Greg G.

          Proof of belief in something but nit necessarily proof of belief in the real Jesus.

          Exactly! You have “belief in something but nit necessarily proof of belief in the real Jesus.” The same goes for every Christian.

          It is the fact that there is no unified belief in any Christian theology and that the whole world doesn’t believe because of that unified belief that makes Jesus’ prayer a failure.

        • Frank

          There is unified belief on who Jesus is among those that believe it and will believe it. Try again.

        • Greg G.

          But you are stuck in the No True Scotsman fallacy. Besides that, “so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” hasn’t happened so the prayer is a failure on that count, too.

        • Frank

          Once again the fact that people use the “no true” inappropriately doesn’t mean that it’s no valid when used properly.

          And yes it absolutley has come true as evidence by the billions overvtime who have experienced it.

          Try again.

        • Greg G.

          Once again the fact that people use the “no true” inappropriately doesn’t mean that it’s no valid when used properly.

          You haven’t shown that you are using it “properly”. You haven’t shown that you are right and the next guy is wrong. You haven’t shown that either one of you is right.

          And yes it absolutley has come true as evidence by the billions overvtime who have experienced it.

          Logic is obviously not your strong suit. The billions who have not experienced any such thing is proof that “world may know that you have sent me” is a prayer failure.

          Your religion has impaired your ability to think. A brain is a terrible thing to waste. Get out of your religion. If you fear that your friends will abandon you, they are not your friends, they are you enablers.

        • Frank

          You are welcome to your opinion about what I have or have not done.

          Knowledge of and acceptance of something wo different things.

          The only lack of thinking and logic I see here is coming from you.

        • Greg G.

          The only lack of thinking and logic I see here is coming from you.

          Yet you are the one who is defending a fallacy.

        • Greg G.

          But “world may know that you have sent me” is still not the case. The prayer was about knowledge, not acceptance. It is still a prayer failure.

        • MNb

          “The only lack of thinking and logic I see …”
          Of course – the blinkers you wear work perfectly.

        • epeeist

          And yes it absolutley has come true as evidence by the billions overvtime who have experienced it.

          Absolutely right, looking at the Wiki list of religious groups then it is obvious that Christianity is the largest and must therefore be true.

          But wait a minute, there are over 45,000 Christian denominations so we obviously have to take the largest, which is Catholicism with 1.2 billion members. The fact that it is the largest obviously makes it true.

          But wait a minute, there are over 7 billion people in the world so Catholicism is in the minority, which means that if we go by the number of members it must be false…

        • Kodie

          You have made many arguments without support. You and every other Christian believe there’s a right way and a wrong way to interpret the bible, so what – none of that means that any of you are right, and plenty of indication that all of you are just dumb followers by the power of suggestion and nothing else, not a “real Jesus”. You’re in denial, and I thought you got banned before a couple months ago. What happened to that? You got a new account to bother people with?

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          I asked omnipresent Jesus if anyone believed in him. My comment is here instead of something else because there is no Jesus to answer.

        • DrewTwoFish

          This “true believer” member of the club mentality struck me suddenly in a way it hadn’t before. What a bizarre way of relating to your beloved creation.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Together as one? No, separated as 45,000.

          Try again.

        • Frank

          Reduced to mimicry so easily. Expected.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Become useful or get banned.

        • Frank

          Oh you want this blog to be useful. Why don’t you start?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Bye.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The burden of proof is yours. You’re the one making the remarkable claim. And when you shirk your burden of proof, baby Jesus cries …

        • adam

          If God?

          God is IMAGINARY, so you demonstrate the untruth of God in your own statement.

        • Greg G.

          There are 45,000 denominations of Christianity because they don’t agree with each other enough to consolidate or to simply not split. That means at least 44,999 are wrong about one or more things and it doesn’t look good for any one of them. Then Christianity is nominally held by less than a third of the world, which means most people think Christianity is inherently wrong. “Sin” is a theological position and you can’t know that your theological position is correct.

        • Frank

          Most flavors of Christianity agree on the basics. Meanwhile God continues to exist.

        • Greg G.

          Is God some anthropomorphic deity or the ground state of being? That is as basic as it gets but there are great numbers that follow each side of the dichotomy.

        • Michael Neville

          Is God some anthropomorphic deity or the ground state of being?

          I’ve seen Christians switch from one to the other depending on which facet is necessary to support their argument.

        • Frank

          I reject the false binary. God is not limited by our descriptors.

        • Greg G.

          But some believe one and reject the other even if some might believe both, or as MN reminds me, that some switch depending on which lie they must tell in a given situation.

        • Frank

          Don’t blame the fickleness of humanity on God.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t blame God for anything, nor do I blame Santa Claus for anything for the same reason. But if God created humanity with fickleness, then God is to blame for that.

          You said that Christians agree on the basics but that is insufficient. Jesus’ prayer was that they believe as one in order to impress the rest of the world. Agreeing on the basics is enough to categorize them as nominally Christian but it is not impressive enough “so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” If it was, then the world would all be Christians. Therefore, the prayer is a failure.

        • Frank

          Once again you should understand what you speak of before you speak. Free will allows for humanity’s fickleness.

          I’d say Christians throughout history have made quite a positive impression on the world.

          The only failure here is your argument. If that’s your best God has nothing to worry about.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, if God created humans, he is responsible for every capacity of the humans, including fickleness. The free will excuse is a failure because our free will is limited. We cannot travel back in time. If free will is limited in some ways, why allow fickleness if it is bad? If this is somehow contrary to your theology, you should abandon your faulty theology. You should wait until there is a theology that is not faulty before accepting it.

        • Frank

          Free will allows for human choice. Try again.

        • Greg G.

          I will that I go back in time to correct the mistakes I have made, like not moving my retirement funds to a different fund before the market collapsed. My will is not free to do that. There for my “free will” is limited. If “free will” can be limited, then it could be limited to making only beneficial choices. Your “free will” theology is a failure.

        • Zeta

          Does your god always allow for human choice?

          Edited to correct spelling error of “your”.

        • Frank

          I don’t have a god.

        • Greg G.

          You made a true statement. Was that on purpose or by accident?

        • Zeta

          Was that on purpose or by accident?
          Inadvertently revealing what he believes subconsciously?

        • Kodie

          No, he’s one of those sensitive types who gets overly whiny whenever an atheist uses “your” in front of “god” because “there is just GOD”.

        • Zeta

          Trying to be evasive?

        • MNb

          No, Frankie goes to Hollywood is trying to be a piece of shit, just like his god.

        • adam
        • Frank

          Reduced to memes. Game over.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          The game will be over for you if you don’t make yourself more useful than bringing nothing more than schoolyard taunts to the conversation.

        • Frank

          Disabusing foolish interpretations not based in any credible scholarship is quite useful. Really these assertions have been debunked as nauseam. Amazing people still trot them out.

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          I don’t get why the airheads have such a big thing against memes. I guess it all gets too much for them to take in at one go.

          http://img.picturequotes.com/2/5/4317/a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words-quote-1.jpg.

        • adam

          “I don’t get why the airheads have such a big thing against memes.”

          Probably for the same reason they have such a big thing against facts.

          It demonstrates how dishonest they are.

        • MNb

          Your god doesn’t care at all about free will of victims. Ask any rape victim. Anyone with decent morals would side with the rape victim. Your god sides with the rapist and his precious free will. Your god is a piece of shit, not worth worshipping.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          Yes, so you choose to be a dumbass. Free will isn’t actually a thing. It’s that pretend shit you Christians pull out your ass when you can’t think of any other reason people would be however they are that’s not how you think god would think they should be. But it’s as fictional as god.

        • MNb

          “If that’s your best God has nothing to worry about.”
          If your god is anything like you prefer to describe him nothing can worry your god, so this is even more stupid than your normal utterly stupid level.

        • adam

          “Free will allows for humanity’s fickleness.”

          Nope, as demonstrated by the character God of Abraham in the bible: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/be91092d9ac15645e9b30a5c9b468106e900e54a8d9848650d155526c687b653.png

        • http://www.rejectingjesus.com Acalibre

          Aah, ‘free-will’. And where does your scripture say free-will exists? Oh, that’s right it doesn’t. How does it go again? ‘You should understand what you speak of before you speak.’

          This also applies to your pronouncements about homosexuality, which you clearly don’t understand yet feel expert enough to declare a ‘sin’.

        • Frank

          So you don’t understand it ether. Wow.

        • http://www.rejectingjesus.com Acalibre

          I don’t claim to understand ‘it’ (do you mean homosexuality? You don’t make clear what you’re referring to here) nor do I condemn ‘it’, unlike you.

          Who was it who said, ‘Judge not that you be not judged’? You keep right on exercising your ‘free will’ to disregard this particular command.

        • Kodie

          “Free will” is a retrofit excuse for why god doesn’t hand us our own asses; instead, he sends dummies like you with no evidence, and really insubstantial arguments. Your opinion isn’t worth shit. You hate gay people, so you hide behind a figment of your imagination.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I’ll blame the Creator. The buck stops with him.

        • Frank

          I am glad you accept the reality of God. Finally a step of wisdom for you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And you still have a “Creator” who creates creatures who infuriate him. What a buffoon.

        • adam

          “Don’t blame the fickleness of humanity on God..”

          Why not?

          Because it is an IMAGINARY being….. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a29efcba0ee94d4f84d4a43b6bc78a04d7180523d05f7132222fdad4c7046acd.jpg

        • Kodie

          Nobody here is blaming the fickleness of humanity literally on a figment of your imagination. Humans are animals and aren’t really that smart. We’re smart but then not. You have a superstition, an imaginary friend, and are a victim of the power of suggestion. It’s very powerful, and you might not be able to tell from your own pea-brain. You are socially influenced toward a religious belief that sticks 1) because of social support, and 2) because you have been brainwashed.

          The things you say you believe in sound stupid, classless, and inhumane. Do you think god means you to sound stupid, classless, and inhumane? If this is acceptable to your social group, go back and hang with them, they’re the only love you have on this earth. There is no god, and you will die as alone as you were born. If that is frightening to you, welcome to earth, that’s what makes people make up the stories.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          45,000 denominations and counting! Poor God–can’t even get his message out there clearly. Makes you wonder what good omniscience is.

        • Frank

          Doesn’t make me wonder. I know what it is.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Then what good is it? God is so inept that he can’t get a clear message out. Almost makes me conclude that he’s not there.

        • Frank

          The failure of understanding is on you Bob, only you.

        • adam
        • Zeta

          What are non-faulty and non-debunked theologies? Care to elaborate, give some examples and justify your claims.

        • Frank

          Homosexual behavior was, is and will always be sinful. There just isn’t any getting around that.

        • Zeta

          You are only making an assertion. Sinful in what sense? Evidence? You call that non-faulty theology?

          Also, what if there is biological basis for homosexuality? For example:

          http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/10443/20141118/homosexuality-genetic-strongest-evidence.htm

          If this is the case, the behavior of a homosexual person would be strongly dictated by biology. What do you say to that? Deny it no matter what?

        • Frank

          I am simply disabusing the foolishness above. I wouldn’t be saying anything if it weren’t for that.

          There is no clear evidence so far. Even if there was it wouldn’t make a difference. There is a biological basis for disease but no one calls it good.

        • Zeta

          There is a biological basis for disease but no one calls it good.

          This is a really idiotic statement. I think you have something loose between your ears.

        • Frank

          I understand your argument has been dismantled and you seem to have a hard time with that fact.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Frankie goes to Hollywood doesn’t understand the difference between “I am contrary like a toddler” and “I dismantle an argument.”

        • Thought2Much

          “You just contradicted me!”

          “No, I didn’t!”

          https://youtu.be/kQFKtI6gn9Y

        • Kodie

          Your mother birthed a cement block. I know you think being ridiculed is holy, but it’s really really not. You are living on another planet.

        • Greg G.

          There is a loose nut between his keyboard and his chair.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I am simply disabusing the foolishness above.

          By doing what? By giving empty arguments?

          Baby Jesus cries.

        • Kodie

          You’re just repeating your opinion, not disabusing anyone with anything. I thought you had been banned already.

        • Greg G.

          That was posted a few hours before the hammer came down.

        • MR

          Thor lives!

        • Kodie

          Am I psychic?

        • Greg G.

          What do the Tarot cards tell you?

        • Kodie

          Same thing my horoscope tells me.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCATUMIKd58

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Oh? Then point out the errors in the post.

        • adam
        • MNb

          Frankie goes to Hollywood never points anything out.

  • Erinys Trace

    Same old, same old…the bible will eventually adjust to the new reality and those miserable few verses will be as ignored(by most christians) as all the multitude of verses supporting slavery are now….

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Agreed, but it’s frustrating having to sit through the adjustment period where the old guard dies off so that their younger and more enlightened successors can take over.

      • Erinys Trace

        sigh…yes, yes it is….mine is the resignation of being told just a few too many times “you’re an abomination to god” or my favorite “if you would just obey god and give yourself to good man, you would see the error of your ways” (I do kinda like *not-like* the spluttering when I confront them with reality that what they are suggesting is rightly called “corrective rape” and/or sex-slavery)

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And do they point to examples of women you know who are much happier now that they’ve left their wild and wandering ways and submitted to a man, at the insistence of their family? I’d imagine that there’d be more counterexamples in that category.

        • Erinys Trace

          Hmm…no they haven’t tried that tack yet. Although I doubt that any they WOULD point to could live up to my standards of happiness (ie, independent and enjoying a happy/healthy sex life of their own choice and child-free and, of course, non-religious) Not that there aren’t people they could point to that would satisfy those criteria, I’m sure there are. Just that the uber religious WOULDN’T point to them because those qualifications are pretty much all against their religion, even if the “proper” sexuality is there.

  • RichardSRussell

    Ecumenism is when one church says 2 + 2 = 4576 and another says, no, no, 2 + 2 = 9922, so they split the difference, agree that 2 + 2 = 7249, and everybody lives happily ever after.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      It gets trickier when one says 2 + 2 = fairies and another says 2 + 2 = Ω. But if it pleases them to put forward a unified front, they’ll just find some compromise (until no one is looking, and then they’ll get back to pointing out the other’s inexcusable flaws).

      • Aegis

        Sadly, the compromise usually involves finding someone they’re used to hating on, and defecating on their quality of life.

  • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

    See though, the problem is people don’t see homosexuality as being “what comes naturally” at all (in those days too generally). Thus that argument won’t impress them. From what you glean in New Testament passages, sex is permitted only between married couples (and that reluctantly) while same-sex marriage was unheard of. Thus we can conclude all homosexual sex would be opposed. It does not seem reasonable to argue the contrary. Both Jesus and Paul make statements to this effect.

    Assuming we agree with the interpretation you linked, that doesn’t change it. Further, as Paul had advised that a man who slept with his mother in law be excommunicated, it’s probable the same would also be the case for any active homosexuals back then. Pro-gay Christians may tie themselves in knots arguing otherwise, but we atheists don’t have to. In fact it should be a strike against the morality and credibility of the Bible.

    Once upon a time I argued for such liberal interpretations of the Bible as a kinder, gentler view which would have positive effects. I no longer see a reason to. The fact that all Christians until very, very recently condemned homosexuality speaks well enough about how they would likely have viewed this from the beginning.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      See though, the problem is people don’t see homosexuality as “what comes naturally” at all (in those days too generally). Thus that argument won’t impress them.

      I agree that it won’t, but it should (impress moderns, I mean). Humans are animals, and lots of animals engage in homosexuality.

      From what you glean in New Testament passages, sex is permitted only between married couples

      But the Bible has plenty of patriarchs who are either polygamists or have sex outside of marriage. It’s only when a man’s woman is screwed by another man that you’ve got a problem.

      Thus we can conclude all homosexual sex would be opposed. It does not seem reasonable to argue the contrary.

      The OT says that slavery and polygamy are A-OK, and yet Christians today are happy to turn their back on it. The pro-homosexuality case is stronger still, since the authors of the New Testament simply didn’t understand about homosexuality as we see it.

      If your point is that this is all moot since they’ve made up their mind and won’t let the facts intrude, I agree.

      Pro-gay Christians may tie themselves in knots arguing otherwise , but we atheists don’t have to. In fact it should be a strike against the morality and credibility of the Bible.

      You’re saying that the fact that the omniscient guide to the New Testament got homosexuality so wrong should be a mark against its truth?

      Once upon a time I argued for liberal interpretations of the Bible as a kinder, gentler view which would have positive effects. I no longer see a reason to. The fact that all Christians until very recently condemned homosexuality speaks well enough about how they would likely have viewed this from the beginning.

      I’m not sure I’m following. You’re saying that the backwards nature of the New Testament condemns itself?

      • Frank

        People are more than welcome to act animalistic.

        So you don’t understand biblical slavery either.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Frank’s been sent to the corner wearing a dunce cap.

          Which raises in my mind the meta-question: why do people with no argument to share come and publicly declare their ignorance? What value can they imagine from that? I suppose they don’t realize that they’re publicly declaring that they know no useful and relevant arguments. Maybe they just like annoying atheists?

        • Thought2Much

          Frank is an extremely dedicated troll. We’ve banned several iterations of his user account over at Godless in Dixie; since we also block the IP address each time, that means that Frank is using a non-trivial amount of effort each time to regenerate. It’s rather pathetic, really, that he wastes time doing this when he could be contributing to humanity in some way, or even just peacefully getting stoned somewhere.

        • MNb

          “What value can they imagine from that?”
          It makes him feel superior.

        • Kodie

          Look, by my observation, none of them have much more to say than Frank does. He is convinced and thinks asserting his conviction is an argument in itself. Some will try more played-out theological arguments, some even less. He sees us as stupid, and it’s his boredom and conviction that makes him speak out and troll. He gets responses he is conditioned to believe – he is irritating us just be being Christian and we are shriveling up and crying out in pain at his existence and stuff. I mean, I don’t think trolling is necessarily the goal, but he and others seem to believe just being Christian would get them banned, speaking “the truth” at an atheist website would get them banned. He is conditioned to acknowledge any response he gets that denies faith is the wailing in grief of the god-shaped hole and the rebellion against any Christian who tries to fill it. That’s how fucking warped those stupid fucks are. The kind of people who want to plant giant crosses on public or private land just so we have to look at them and think we will either convert or be like repellent and make us die a little more inside, etc. This makes them happy, they are told they are wearing us down and it’s helping the cause. I mean, it does kill me a little inside to see a perfectly nice mountain blighted by 45 feet high of Christian arrogance, but it’s not the same as the holy spirit burning me into submission.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          He gets responses he is conditioned to believe – he is irritating us just be being Christian* and we are shriveling up and crying out in pain at his existence

          I’ve mocked many of them, pointing out how much their stupidity is hurting their cause. Never works.

          he and others seem to believe just being Christian would get them banned, speaking “the truth” at an atheist website would get them banned.

          Which is why I try to give them plenty of rope so that (regardless of what they might imagine) they get loads of second chances to make a compelling case. And any objective observer would see that.

          The kind of people who want to plant giant crosses on public or private land just so we have to look at them and think we will either convert or be like repellent and make us die a little more inside, etc.

          Think about how powerful a repellant garlic is. How much more so a cross?

        • Ficino

          the “just like annoying atheists” part fits Frank. It’s a thing with him. Esp. if man on man butt sex can be brought in.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Dunning-Kruger?

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Clearly many moderns aren’t yet impressed by it. This was speaking to historical views anyway, since we’re talking what the authors of the Bible felt.

        It’s true polygamy and adultery occur, but the New Testament clearly allows for monogamy only. Of course the double standard exists too.

        That inconsistency is their problem. I may have misunderstood you here, Bob. Do you make this argument precisely to show that people don’t take a lot of the Bible very seriously, so it’s cherry-picking to take the parts of homosexuality this way? If so I apologize and I’ve really fouled up. This is something I should have picked up on. No, my own point isn’t that it’s moot because they won’t let facts intrude (while that is true with some people).

        Yes, it flies against what we now know of biology (in many other respects too).

        Essentially yes, the Bible’s errors condemn it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you make this argument precisely to show that people don’t take a lot of the Bible very seriously, so it’s cherry-picking to take the parts of homosexuality this way?

          I’ve said lots of things, and I might argue both sides of an issue (let’s accept the Bible vs. the Bible is crap, for example), depending. What I’m saying here is that Christians are happy to drop OT ideas (slavery, etc.) in favor of modern morality. Given that, why not do the same for homosexuality?

          (1) The ancients didn’t know about homosexuality being quite normal and (2) committed same-sex couples wanting to get married wasn’t a thing back then, so the Bible’s opinion on SSM doesn’t exist and can only be inferred from a vague anti-homosexuality stance.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Fair point.

          (1) Well that depends on what you mean by normal. They didn’t think it was acceptable. It’s prevalence may have been known to some degree, I don’t know. However they didn’t have the concept of homosexuality per se.

          (2) Of course, but the same is the case for lots of issues the Bible is silent about. We can still infer the likely stance they would take based on expressed views.

    • Kodie

      Being that most people are heterosexual, it would seem rather normal to be biased against homosexuals. I mean, if you like the opposite sex just fine, you imagine (without any outside information), that anyone doing any other way must be weird somehow. I’m not saying because I think so, but as a sociological observation. It obviously seems like a choice one would make if they were desperate or depraved, etc., and not pertain to a loving committed relationship. I’m also someone who doesn’t particularly blame Christians, they didn’t invent this point of view. Christianity and all religions incorporate popular conventions of their initial era, and may or may not evolve or “reveal” any more popular takes as time goes on and people get more decent and knowledgeable and accepting of differences. I don’t see homophobia as primarily a Christian thing, although they have doubled down while more secular and close-to-secular Christian humanists have allowed for differences. There is plenty about what’s considered “normal” behavior that takes a long time for customs to sink in or pass through with time and generations of people making the rules to suit themselves. Christianity seems to be clinging as hard as they can to tradition, it’s all they have – the sacred hatred of people who don’t belong in their culture, bullying, just regular bullying as acceptable normal growing-up development, just stupid shit like saying people are too sensitive, people are too soft, if they can’t find a job or a place to live or have a legal wedding, etc., and then complain about the stupid shit they do all the damn time, like they have such a hard time existing in this world. Yes, it’s becoming uncomfortable to be a Christian, what with inclusive holiday wishes and corporations who don’t make their disposable coffee cups religious enough, or coaches and teachers can’t lead prayer and you can’t hang a banner in school with a religious motif, but shit, trying being gay at a school somewhere and see if you can hang that banner without getting the shit beat out of you, you know? It’s a piece of fabric being taken down, it’s not the shit beat out of you. They get hostile every time someone is offended who can’t be themselves without getting mocked or beaten, but then they get offended by weak-ass shit and nobody is touching their personally held beliefs. We’re just saying, why exclude people? They are becoming such assholes about it, and should be mocked over their oversensitivity.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Agreed. One small suggestion: paragraph breaks would make this easier to read.

      • TheNuszAbides

        and should be mocked over their oversensitivity.

        and mocked/shamed for their insensitivity.

        • Kodie

          I meant what I said.

        • MNb

          I suspect Nusz means what he writes as well.

        • Kodie

          I felt like he’s correcting a post I wrote over a month ago. Usually I just ignore him.

        • TheNuszAbides

          sorry if you thought i was implying that you didn’t? thought i was just adding to the ‘should’ from my perspective.

    • DrewTwoFish

      I think you’re really hit on something here.

      I think the case for the Bible being OK with homosexuality is pretty weak. At the same time, on the face of it, God seems down with misogyny, genocide, and slavery, at least sometimes.

      I think both the Franks of this world and progressive Christians work backwards to make the Bible fit their worldview.

      • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

        Thanks. I agree, it seems that God is a Rorschach test where people can see whatever they want sometimes. Conservatives do this too, ignoring how much wealth is condemned by Jesus for instance. Everyone ignores that you’re told not to swear oaths, except for the Quakers, and that you should prayer only in secret. It’s incredible how much you learn by reading the Bible, including that very few people apparently do read it.

        • DrewTwoFish

          God also seems to be sending his “beloved” on a deadly treasure hunt. Why couldn’t he have made his intentions crystal clear from the beginning…to everybody?

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          Yes, it always amazes me how easily impressed people are by a supposedly all-powerful god who uses such frankly pitiful ways of doing things. If you look at the area this took place in, it’s tiny. Assuming that Jesus only came for the Jews, okay, maybe. Even then however it would be easier to just appear for all of them at once, and make your commands clear. Yet this seems to beyond Jesus’s powers. Very odd. Then once everyone else gets included with the recipients of the “good news” it’s even worse. How on earth could twelve men “make disciples of all nations”? Even back when they didn’t know how many people were on Earth, this was an impossible task, and it still hasn’t been done. Jesus coming to one small corner of the world is really the message equivalent of a needle in a haystack.

        • Myna A.

          I agree. It’s a complete Rorschach test.

        • http://musingsfromacorneroftheuniverse.blogspot.com/ Michael

          I think that one reason Christians is so successful comes from that. The Bible offers so many different opinions that it’s just adapted easily to many views. Of course this can also explain why Christians are so diverse, probably more than any other religion I know of.

        • Warren

          Complete with the “Never compromise, even in the face of Armageddon”!

  • Scooter

    The Bible provides the opportunity for anyone to find “proof” for their particular bias or particular brand of immorality. Even the cult groups of Christianity use the Bible to attempt to prove their agendas and beliefs. After reading this post and other blogs I must add that atheists do exactly the same. Liberal trends (should we include your Walter Wink reference?) in Biblical scholarship supposedly deny the idea that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were connected to homosexuality. Read Genesis 18:16-19:29 carefully and then read the following scriptures to have a clear understanding of what the Genesis account points out: Genesis 18:16-19:29 ; Jude 7; 2 Peter 2:7-10; Note that there are 27 references outside of Genesis where Sodom is mentioned. It is emblematic of gross immorality, deepest depravity, and ultimate judgment.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      The Bible provides the opportunity for anyone to find “proof” for their particular bias or particular brand of immorality.

      Tell me about it. It’s an embarrassment to Christianity to have 45,000 denominations. Kinda hard to imagine that this is the best communication that an omniscient god could do, right?

      Even the cult groups of Christianity use the Bible to attempt to prove their agendas and beliefs. After reading this post and other blogs I must add that atheists do exactly the same.

      I deliberately make the Bible into a sock puppet to reveal how malleable it is. Not much of an unchanging rock, is it?

      supposedly deny the idea that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were connected to homosexuality.

      I’ve written about how Sodom and Gomorrah are clearly not about homosexuality but about rape. Respond.

      Note that there are 27 references outside of Genesis where Sodom is mentioned. It is emblematic of gross immorality, deepest depravity, and ultimate judgment.

      Cool. Show me the “don’t be homosexual” parts. I haven’t found any.

      • Scooter

        So what of this 45000 denominations? Actually these “denominations” are more separate organisations, not necessarily separate beliefs. This is a critical difference, not commonly noted by critics. The largest component (something like two thirds to three quarters) of these totals are “independent” churches, mostly in Africa. These are not necessarily different in doctrine, but are simply independent organisations. These estimates include national branches of the same denomination (e.g. the Lutheran Church of Germany and the Lutheran Church of Australia) as separate organisations in the count. There are many churches among the independent churches which would have effectively the same teachings, just different locations, different leaders, etc.

        It is thus incorrect to say that these figures indicate more than 45,000 different beliefs. It is impossible to tell how many differences in belief there would be, and probably impossible even to define. But it would certainly be far less than the 45,000 figure you allude to.

        Sources such as the “World Christian Encyclopedia” and The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary point out that christian denominations can be divided into “6 major ecclesiastico-cultural mega-blocs”: Independents, Protestants, “Marginals”, Orthodox, Roman Catholics and Anglicans. Wikipedia lists about 40 major divisions, each of whom might have some variation in belief. The degree of difference in belief is hard to describe. For example, most of these denominations would have similar beliefs about major christian doctrines such as God, creation, Jesus, salvation, Holy Spirit, forgiveness, etc, and the differences would mostly be on less essential matters. How much these differences matter is subjective.

        I would agree that Christians divide and give themselves denominational-type names too easily. Jesus said his followers should be “one”, and many of these separate organisations are the result of serious divisions. It is important for the believer to remember warnings such as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 16:17- “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.”

        Another thought: the freedom of personal study and reflection and application from the Biblical scriptures points to a dignity not seen in other religions that demand uniformity of thought.

        • Greg G.

          How much these differences matter is subjective.

          But that they have differences is objective. That makes Jesus’ prayer for a unified belief among believers that would make the world “that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” a big failure. Christians are supposed to believe as one.

          John 17:20-23 (NRSV)20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

          If there are 45,000 denominations, then there are at least 45,000 disagreements. Even if two denominations have the same theological beliefs, they disagree that they have the same beliefs, else they would merge into the same denomination. However, beliefs change over time so a coherence between two denominations would be temporary. But even the beliefs within a denomination are not the same, hence the 45,000 figure is growing as they reproduce like amoebae.

        • Thought2Much

          Even if those numbers were off by three orders of magnitude, and there were only 45 denominations instead of roughly 45,000, that would still represent some incredible fracturing of one religion, and a complete failure of Jesus’ prayer.

        • Greg G.

          I confess that I stole the Prayer Failure Argument from Godless in Dixie

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Is that the argument that uses John 17:20-23 to show how Jesus failed to get a single belief in his followers?

        • Greg G.

          Yes. I linked to the article the first few times I presented it.

        • Scooter

          Hey Greg, That’s a good point about differences being objective- I would apply that thought though to differences that would separate orthodox or classic Christianity of essential doctrines to those that would be classified as aberrant or false (nonbiblical) teachings. For example, the teaching that Jesus was the archangel Michael before becoming Jesus of Nazareth and then becoming Michael again once returning to heaven. The Jehovah Witnesses in their effort to demean the deity of Jesus have corrupted their scriptures and have developed teachings contrary to sound doctrine. When it comes to the essentials of the faith Christians in fact do believe as one. Differences in the non-essentials ( such as how to hold services or forms of baptism for example) do not take away from a unified belief as you say.

        • Michael Neville

          The Jehovah Witnesses in their effort to demean the deity of Jesus have corrupted their scriptures and have developed teachings contrary to sound doctrine.

          The JWs would say exactly the same thing about your corrupt beliefs being contrary to sound doctrine.

        • Scooter

          Exactly! So how should you go about determining what the truth is?

        • Kodie

          Assume that someone somewhere along the lines has used the doctrine to sell his own church at every fracture you call a “cult” like yours isn’t. You accuse people of being corrupt if they assume there’s a better way to salvation because they see the interpretation or wish it so, either way, you are just as guilty of human “intuition” leading you to confirmation bias as any other Christian. Don’t look now, Jesus is being covertly moved out of his grave to sell his cult on his bodily ascension to an imaginary place. Keep in mind this is when they stopped the custom of burnt offerings entirely, in lieu of cash.

          Just sayin.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Don’t look now, Jesus is being covertly moved out of his grave to sell his cult on his bodily ascension to an imaginary place.

          @Bob, have you found/made an OP to close with this yet? #qotd

        • Michael Neville

          The reason why the Catholic Church kept discouraging reading the Bible is because they feared, with reason, the breakup of Christianity. There’s an argument that the Gutenberg Bible made Martin Luther inevitable (although Luther had a doctorate in theology and was a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg, which meant he was familiar with the Bible).

        • Scooter

          Perhaps the Catholic Church feared the breakup of Roman Catholicism which had a stranglehold on the consciences of the catholic faithful. If people started reading the Bible they would soon understand the false doctrines that were being perpetrated by the church such as indulgences, the idolatry of praying to the saints, the blasphemy of the teaching of Mary as a co-redemptrix, the teaching of purgatory but most serious the teaching of a works righteousness presented as the door to salvation.

        • Kodie

          Right, it is about the money. If you think any religious organization is about saving people, you’re deluded.

        • Scooter

          Looks like you’ve been tuned in to the money grubbing televangelists. Too bad if this has informed your understanding of what Christianity is all about.

        • Kodie

          None of them aren’t about money .

        • Michael Neville

          Do you honestly think televangelists are the only money-grubbing Bible thumpers? Such naivety doesn’t speak well of your knowledge of modern Christianity.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Does it frustrate you that the televangelists get to take in all that money but not say what they do with it? Then push for a repeal of the loophole that allows churches to not open their financial records (unlike all other nonprofits in the US).

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9bfb7cbb09a39ae8911c3879d7def113ab5277eb302961e16b02b2a649a0e7d6.jpg

          ” Too bad if this has informed your understanding of what Christianity is all about.”

          Yep, it is all about eternal torture for most everyone.

        • Michael Neville

          Scooter, don’t sneer at Catholicism until you know something about it. Catholic dogma does not have Mary as “co-redemptrix” and praying to saints is supposed to have them appeal to God on behalf of the person praying. Also even Protestants accept James 2:26 (As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. NIV) as canonical.

          I used to be a Catholic so I do know something about their dogma, certainly a lot more than you do. But it is telling that so far in this thread you’ve denounced both Jehovah’s Witnesses and Catholics as heretics. So we have to assume that only you are acquainted with Real True Christianity™. It certainly shows how arrogant and self-righteous you are.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Jesus fully supports them along with his virgin mother and the saints. The reliability of revelation for obtaining knowlege! Miracles! Answered prayers! Believe what we tell you Jesus is saying without any confirmation that he is saying any such things, you filthy apostate!

        • MNb

          Indeed the Gutenberg Bible may have been a necessary, albeit not a necessary condition. There had been christian reform movements before, even ones that strived for a break up. The most important ones were the Hussites.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          First, admit that you’re just doing your imperfect best to interpret the Bible. There is no single godly message in the Bible–the Bible is a mirror, and you see yourself in it.

        • Greg G.

          Follow the evidence while doing what you can to not get ahead of it. If there is insufficient evidence to make a reasonable truth claim, don’t jump to a conclusion. Just withhold judgement until there is sufficient evidence to make a fairly certain judgement. With our limited senses, it may never be possible to determine any truth to absolute certainty.

          Reacting to a gut feeling has proven to be an unreliable method for determining truth.

        • Susan

          how should you go about determining what the truth is?

          Excellent question. Greg G. has provided a pretty darned good response below.

          How would you respond to your own question?

        • Max Doubt

          “How would you respond to your own question?”

          Given Scooter’s history here, he’d likely respond with abject willful ignorance.

        • epeeist

          So how should you go about determining what the truth is?

          Aristotle gets reasonably close:

          To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.

          Of course things have moved on since he produced this proto-correspondence theory. The simplest (semantic) version of a modern correspondence theory comes from Tarski:

          ‘S’ iff p

          A statement is true if and only if it corresponds to the facts.

        • Max Doubt

          “So how should you go about determining what the truth is?”

          We’d ask that you and they demonstrate that one or the other of your positions can be objectively differentiated from a work of fiction or figment of your imagination. Since neither of you can do that, we, and anyone who is honest, would reject the notion that either of your claims is true. If you were honest, and you’ve demonstrated unwaveringly that you are not, you’d understand that and agree.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          It’s not like a god exists to give their opinion. That seems to be the last place any Christian would think to look.

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          When it comes to the essentials of the faith Christians in fact do believe as one.

          I don’t see that hedge in Jesus’ prayer. Doing nothing more than believing in enough things to classify as Christianity is obviously not enough to persuade the world “that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” since most of the world does not know that or even think that. All Christians must believe as one to be a persuasive sign. So Jesus’ prayer is a failure.

          The ways of the Trinity are mysterious even to the Trinity, too.

        • Ignorant Amos

          When it comes to the essentials of the faith Christians in fact do believe as one.

          Which you and I know is complete ballix, even if Scooter doesn’t.

        • Otto

          There’s an easy get around to that, just define ‘Christian’ narrow enough and abracadabra…he is right.

        • Michael Neville

          Scooter knows what Christian means and that the vast majority of “Christians” should not be called such.

          “There’s no one left but thee and me and I’m not sure about thee.”

        • Max Doubt

          “I would apply that thought though to differences that would separate orthodox or classic Christianity of essential doctrines to those that would be classified as aberrant or false (nonbiblical) teachings.”

          But you, if you’re honest, must admit that you don’t know which is which.

          “Differences in the non-essentials (such as how to hold services or forms of baptism for example) do not take away from a unified belief as you say.”

          Pretty much the only “unified” belief is that some sort of invisible magical being exists which can modify the state of the universe, and does. If you’re honest you’ll admit that there is no way to objectively differentiate between what you and every other Christian believes to be gods and any other figments of your imaginations. Those “non-essentials” are moot until you can demonstrate the allegedly unified beliefs to have some basis in objective reality. Let’s agree that so far you, and everyone else for that matter, has failed to do that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Pretty much the only “unified” belief is that some sort of invisible magical being exists which can modify the state of the universe, and does.

          Not even all Christians believe that nonsense either.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism

          I was reading an article on Vridar earlier today that had this comment in it…

          Thomas Brodie and Tom Harpur, both prominent writers questioning the existence of Jesus, are certainly not atheists: they are very religious and have presented arguments that enable them to reconcile their Christian faith with a figurative (parabolic) Jesus. In their publications they directly appeal to believer readers to do the same.

          http://mail.vridar.org/2016/10/01/shooting-blanks-at-mythicism-why-thats-the-necessary-point/

        • epeeist

          If there are 45,000 denominations, then there are at least 45,000 disagreements.

          Given that these denominations are contraries then this means that at most one of them can be correct, though all of them could be wrong.

        • Greg G.

          I made that argument to Frank that if 44,999 of them are wrong then it doesn’t look good for the last one either.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Actually these “denominations” are more separate organisations, not necessarily separate beliefs. This is a critical difference, not commonly noted by critics.

          I use the terminology of the Christian organization that did the study.

          “Denominations” sounds right if there are irreconcilable differences in beliefs. If the beliefs are the same, why the separation?

          I’ll stick with 45,000 as the number to use, but even if it were just 45, the problem remains—you’ve got a god-inspired book that isn’t understandable. Whoops—so much for God’s omniscience.

          Another thought: the freedom of personal study and reflection and application from the Biblical scriptures points to a dignity not seen in other religions that demand uniformity of thought.

          Nice try, but you’re trying to sweep the elephant in the room under the rug: God inspired a book that is ambiguous. How is this possible for an omniscient being? It’s almost like God doesn’t even exist.

        • Kodie

          I’ll stick with 45,000 as the number to use, but even if it were just
          45, the problem remains—you’ve got a god-inspired book that isn’t
          understandable. Whoops—so much for God’s omniscience.

          I may be prone to fallacy here, but 45 denominations in 2000 years doesn’t seem like a lot. 45,000* different breaks in interpretation over 2000 years seems like a pretty decent indicator that the doctrine is fucking nonsense and the religions created are made of whatever humans want to do as long as it gives a passing glance at the doctrine.

          Only 45 in 2000 years seems like someone must have gotten it right, but a certain percentage of people insist on being wrong, because they’re people. I mean, for such a popular religion, people seeking the truth would have found it, with some leeway for people seeking whatever they want to believe, and very few seeking to make a profit or just rejected from their church making their own new church. Then again, will there be 45,000 denominations of Scientology if it survives 2000 years? It’s curious that there aren’t any pseudo-Scientology cults so far. People who get sucked into Scientology don’t leave and form derivative cults and try to gain a following.

          *is 45,000 the total of all Christianities that have ever been, living or defunct, or is that the number of currently existing denominations?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          45,000 is the current number (and increasing rapidly). That’s from a Christian source.

          45+ is indeed what you’d expect if this were all just manmade, which is certainly my hypothesis. But if God were behind it, surely he’s smart enough to get the single, correct message down on paper and guard that communication so that it gets to all hearers in a single, unambiguous form. You could point to other simple, clear documents that people haggle over (the Constitution, for example), but that’s not protected by magic.

        • Kodie

          I am trying to understand the difference in numbers. I think 45,000 divisions of belief accounts for lack of any confirmation, and a lot of stories and gut feelings and charlatans and such. But if there were a real god and a real account and a positive confirmation, some people would still be bent on being wrong, and there would still be fools and people to take advantage of them; there would still be paranoia and people interpreting in error. I don’t know if 45 is such a high number. If we have science, are there 45 other versions of people making up their own science? Like new age, homeopathy, ID, eastern medicine, people who think gluten-free means something it doesn’t mean, GMO-fear, global warming denial, conspiracy theorists, and so on and so on.

          Now, I think we’re only talking about what god should have written in the bible so nobody could get it wrong, but plenty of people would still get it wrong and disagree, so I don’t know if 45 is a higher than expected number or not. We’re not even talking about god making his presence known to people in other ways, or answering prayers, for example, someone asks for clarification directly to god and his answer is his answer, it’s not filtered through a clergy. Even if you don’t like the answer, or try to find a loophole, which I still think people would manage to do. Not 45,000 different ways, but maybe 45 isn’t an outrageously high number.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You could be right. We’re dealing with a lot of hypotheticals–what if there actually were a god; what if that god were omniscient; and so on.

          I think that an omniscient god, conservatively a billion times smarter and more capable than any of us, could figure out how to make a transparently clear message. You’re right that a wannabe cult leader could willfully misinterpret the message for his own gain, but who would follow him? It’s clear after reading the transparently clear message that this dude is wrong. The guy would have no followers.

          Again–lots of hypotheticals, so we could imagine the “omniscient deity” in practice being something else.

        • MNb

          It’s better to think in terms of probability.
          What’s more likely, 45 denominations being the result of pigheaded people not (wanting to) recognize the one true divine message or being the result of there being no such message?
          I’d say the latter. And the more denominations the higher the probability of the latter.

        • epeeist

          What’s more likely, 45 denominations being the result of pigheaded people not (wanting to) recognize the one true divine message or being the result of there being no such message?

          Is there any way one could assign a higher probability to one denomination than another? One might go on the size of the membership, but this would be an argumentum ad populum, or one could go on how long the denomination has existed, but this would either be an argumentum ad antiquitatum or argumentum ad novitatem depending whether one was claiming the older the better or that the newer is more likely to be right.

          I would contend that ceteris paribus one should assume equal probabilities for each denomination.

        • Kodie

          Given the bible as it is written now (or retranslated, etc.), I think 45 is way too few denominations in 2000 years all over the world. Yet, I’d also guess that there are fewer than 45 major/popular/common denominations worldwide, and then thousands and thousands of variations of those. So I don’t know. Of course I think that it’s made up, but I’m not basing that on “even 45 denominations would indicate,” because I’m not sure it does indicate it, any more than science is false because a lot of people willfully or foolishly believe their alternate and mistaken versions – the documentation is there, but they ignore it and favor some scam or alternate fiction. I think as ambiguous and loosely managed text as the bible is now and since it was written, 45 would seem to be remarkably few.

          If you could instead suppose a bible with the clear message of an actual god that had no loss of translation, and you either believe it or not, and there wasn’t a lot of reason not to believe it, I’m still not sure 45 variants is too many to expect. Let’s just, for example, give a law from a bible that many people wouldn’t like, such as prohibition of premarital sex. If that was in the undeniable bible, wouldn’t people still look for loopholes and make their own rules? Christians accuse atheists of wanting to be our own god, make our own rules, live in sin against god, etc., but many more Christians want to have it both ways. They want to interpret even the most clear and distinct passages of the bible as allowing whichever they prefer to do, and god is cool with it, and they’re still saved. If the whole bible was clear and unambiguous, it stands there would still be things many people wouldn’t like, and many ways to try to get the loopholes. At least 45 ways, but I could be wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, here is ten of the more eccentric among the earliest flavours of the cult. They were even more bat shit crazy in the early days, when one would expect folk to know better as it was closer to the time when memories are fresher and people that were there, or knew people that were there, or knew people who knew people that were there, could inform.

          http://listverse.com/2014/02/07/10-bizarre-early-christian-sects/

          Or maybe people were making bat shit crazy nonsense up from the get-go and the bandwagon was there to be jumped on.

        • Zeta

          Thanks for the informative and interesting link.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Or maybe people were making bat shit crazy nonsense up from the get-go and the bandwagon was there to be jumped on.

          that’s what always seems to happen when more than one religion is permitted (by the mere mortal PTB in any particular neck of the woods) to indulge itself.

          … on second thought, it also seems to happen with cults that are driven underground, sooner or later.

        • TheNuszAbides

          of course, there’s always the cheap way out: “but Satan [also undetectably and with matchless cunning, thus unfalsifiably] leads people astray!”

        • MNb

          Same question – what’s more likely, 45 denominations being the result of pigheaded people led astray by Satan from the one true divine message or being the result of there being no such message?

        • TheNuszAbides

          oh, indeed — by ‘cheap’ i didn’t mean to suggest ‘yet valid’.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It is often suggested that there are as many Christianities as there are Christians. No two individuals has the exact same beliefs.

          One of Adams favourite memes springs to mind.

          http://silenced.co/2016/02/a-god-who-looks-like-me/jesus_mirror.jpg

        • Dys
        • Greg G.

          Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912? No wonder the guy looked like an ass!

        • TheNuszAbides

          but that’s not protected by magic.

          which (afaict) is a major incentive for the construction of Satan – the countermagic to make excuses for struggle whenever the thought-leaders don’t want to rely 100% on Original Sin guilt-tripping.

        • Greg G.

          My guess is the figure might be the number that existed when they started the study plus new ones. I don’t think they are tracking the denominations that die out and subtracting them but I doubt they would have tried to determine all the denominations of the previous centuries. IOW, just the denominations that have existed this millennium, approximately.

    • Kodie

      It’s emblematic of prejudice against a city and what they think everyone there does with their own personal genitals. By the way, whatever Christian belief system you follow is also a cult. There is no difference.

    • Michael Neville

      Ezekiel 16:49 disagrees with you:

      Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. (NIV)

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Oh yeah–that’s totally telling me, “Gaiety is bad!”

      • Scooter

        The prevailing modern view of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is that the attempted rape of Lot’s visitors violated the Mid-East’s high code of hospitality. This lack of hospitality, however, is an inference, not a specific point made in the text itself. Further, the inhospitality charge is dependent upon, and eclipsed by, the greater crime of rape, yet neither could be the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah because God planned to judge the cities long before either had been committed. So what possibility is left? Only one.

        We know the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual, “both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (Gen.19:6), to the point of disregarding available women (19:5-8). After they were struck sightless they still persisted (19:11). These men were totally given over to an overwhelming passion that did not abate even when they were supernaturally blinded by angels.

        Homosexuality fits the biblical details. It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah,the ungodly conduct that tormented Lot as he witnessed it day after day, Jude 7 in the New Testament refers to Sodom as Jude writes, “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”

        An analysis of Genesis shows that homosexuality was the principle behavior at issue in that passage. Ezekiel simply enumerates additional sins. The prophet doesn’t contradict Moses, but rather gives more detail. Stinginess and arrogance alone did not draw God’s wrath. Ezekiel concludes the list of crimes with the word “abominations.” This word takes us right back to homosexuality. The conduct Moses refers to in Genesis 18 he later describes in Leviticus as an “abomination” in God’s eyes.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          the inhospitality charge is dependent upon, and eclipsed by, the greater crime of rape, yet neither could be the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah because God planned to judge the cities long before either had been committed. So what possibility is left? Only one.

          A town where rape was possible sounds like a pretty immoral town. The crime was assault.

          We know the men of Sodom and Gomorrah were homosexual, “both young and old, all the people from every quarter” (Gen.19:6), to the point of disregarding available women (19:5-8).

          The men gathered to humiliate these newcomers with buttsex, leaving their wives, sisters, and mothers back home. If you think that this town was bizarrely inhabited by only homosexual men, you’ve got a lot to prove.

          Homosexuality fits the biblical details.

          It’s rape (or assault, if you’d prefer)—y’know, like they do in prisons?

          It was the sin that epitomized the gross wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah,the ungodly conduct that tormented Lot as he witnessed it day after day

          Why did Lot stay? Why did he offer his daughters? The good guys in this story have a lot to answer for.

          Jude 7 in the New Testament

          They can interpret it any way they want, just like you or I can. I don’t see Jude as the authoritative source to understand Sodom.

          An analysis of Genesis shows that homosexuality was the principle behavior at issue in that passage. Ezekiel simply enumerates additional sins.

          You celebrate Jude but reject Ezekiel because it doesn’t say it the way you want? You might want to double check that.

          Stinginess and arrogance alone did not draw God’s wrath.

          Perhaps you need to reread your Ezekiel.

          Ezekiel concludes the list of crimes with the word “abominations.” This word takes us right back to homosexuality.

          Abominations like in Leviticus? Which rules Christians have since rejected?

        • Michael Neville

          Okay, you’ve decided that homosexuality is the excuse that the Hebrew priests in Babylon used when they made up the Sodom and Gomorrah myth. It’s interesting how religious homophobia as endured in the Abrahamist religions for millennia.

          Just for your information no Biblical scholars, except for charlatans like Ken Ham and “Dr” Kent Hovind, think that Moses wrote any of the Pentateuch. It’s likely that Moses was as mythological as Yahweh nuking Sodom.

        • Scooter

          Michael, Hebrew priests in Babylon? I suppose your idea of Biblical scholars would be characters like those that comprise the liberal Jesus Seminar types?

        • Michael Neville

          Okay, I see you’re ignorant about how the Old Testament (actually the Torah) was assembled. Do both of us a favor, don’t talk about Biblical scholarship because you don’t know much about the subject.

        • Kevin K

          Of course, there is no homosexuality in that story. The folks wanted to “lay with” angels…angels, being noncorporeal, do not have genders. If anything, they’re pan-gender or genderqueer.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah…but the fact that them men visiting Lot were really angels was unknown to the masses in Sodom that wanted to give them a gang rogering.

          5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+19

        • adam

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e77146de177f7b12949ef2b11b5ffec7565fdcd941d64e030bcf56e08a5a3e95.jpg ” Further, the inhospitality charge is dependent upon, and eclipsed by, the greater crime of rape, ”

          Rape is just not that big a deal with the God of Abraham

        • TheNuszAbides

          homosexuality was the principle behavior at issue

          ‘principle’ is a noun, not an adjective. even better, slip a ‘d’ onto the end to get the adjective ‘principled’ and you’d end up totally failing to convey what you obviously intended.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The principled behaviour of getting tattooed or eating shrimp salad notwithstanding of course. //s

    • Rt1583

      I’ve got to ask…when, exactly, did god give free will to man?

      I can’t find any mention of it prior to Genesis 18 and only very vague interpretations of it past Genesis 18.

      The point of my question is that without free will humans were doing exactly what god wanted them to do nothing more, nothing less. This being the case why did god put it in the hearts of the men of Sodom and Gomorrah to perform homosexual acts on these strangers?

      • Scooter

        A discussion of free will would require much space. But just a couple of points: In the creation story in the first couple of chapters in Genesis we learn that man and woman were created in the likeness and image of God. A number of characteristics such as the ability to love, communicate, and make choices would be components of this image of God I would think. One of Adam’s first tasks was taxonomy-classifying the animals required choice and free will. Adam and Eve before their rebellion in the garden had the ability to sin (which they did by disobeying God) and the ability to not sin. After the Fall the concept of free will changed. We still have will of course (your will to read this post for example) but our will can choose only that in which our nature delights. If our nature is in bondage to unbelief, then our will is not free with respect to God. The apostle Paul made this very clear in Romans 1:18 which says, “By nature, we by our unrighteousness suppress the truth. It is not that we are ignorant, but that we willfully reject, distort, and deny even that which we know about God from creation.

        So it wasn’t the case that God put homosexual desires in men as robots but rather the men in Sodom loved what they wanted to do.

        • Michael Neville

          One of Adam’s first tasks was taxonomy-classifying the animals required choice and free will.

          Choice is involved but free will not at all. “I think I’ll call this cat a dog just because I feel like it” is silly.

          So it wasn’t the case that God put homosexual desires in men as robots but rather the men in Sodom loved what they wanted to do.

          This is meaningless except in the way it shows your homophobia.

        • Greg G.

          One of Adam’s first tasks was taxonomy-classifying the animals required choice and free will.

          That doesn’t require free will. Any random generator of sounds a human is capable of snorting out would do.

          Adam and Eve before their rebellion in the garden had the ability to sin (which they did by disobeying God) and the ability to not sin.

          But they didn’t have the Knowledge of Good and Evil so they had no idea what “sin” meant and what might have been sin. Without that knowledge, when God said “Do this” or “Thou shalt not do that”, how would they know that it was good or bad to obey?

          The apostle Paul made this very clear in Romans 1

          Paul wasn’t thinking clearly, or hoping his readers weren’t, when he was writing that part of Romans 1. “Invisible things are clearly seen” is completely absurd, for example.

          So it wasn’t the case that God put homosexual desires in men as robots but rather the men in Sodom loved what they wanted to do.

          If they were ating out of free will, their will would incline them to achieve their preferences. Preferences do not come from free will. Where does the preferences come from?

        • MNb

          “A discussion of free will would require much space.”
          Oh, regarding free will I have a very simple question.
          Why did your god value the free will of Josef Fritzl higher than the free will of his daughter Elisabeth?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritzl_case

          Any refusal to answer this question though I will take as “the christian concept of free will being a divine gift is bollocks”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How could Adam and Eve have sinned? They hadn’t eaten the fruit yet and so had no knowledge of good and evil. I think that’s a prerequisite.

        • TheNuszAbides

          so they sinned incidentally rather than willfully, which of course makes the punishment of all subsequent humans that much more spiteful, draconian, idiotic, etc.

          a likely rebuttal is that they were told “Do Not” … but there is of course no clear before-the-[f]act understanding that disobedience would carry profound consequences (unless of course the authors of Genesis or even oral-tradition proto-authors couldn’t be bothered to add trivial details like whether any disagreement, rebellion or dissension had previously existed (or could) in Paradise) … but they also hadn’t been told “don’t trust the snake”, so as far as they [or any audience for the simple-minded narrative] could tell, they were making a more informed decision when they ate the fruit.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          the men in Sodom loved what they wanted to do.

          And what was that? They wanted to assault the strangers to put them in their place. Since Sodom would appear to be normal demographics-wise, with mothers and sisters and wives back home, why assume that homosexuality is the issue? (Except for your predisposition, of course.)

        • Otto

          “By nature, we by our unrighteousness suppress the truth. It is not that we are ignorant, but that we willfully reject, distort, and deny even that which we know about God from creation.”

          And that shows why Paul is an asshat….

          According to him it is not possible that someone could just be wrong…the only possibility is that people know the correct answer and then knowingly take the wrong position, i.e. they are complete liars.

          That sets him up (and anyone who agrees with him) to vilify and demonize anyone who takes a contrary position. It is circular and is as intellectually dishonest as one can get.

        • Zeta

          This silly myth of Adam and Eve is so laughable and you are so dramatic and bombastic in this post. A “rebellion” for a simple act of eating that fruit?

          This story strains credulity to extreme limits. Leaving aside the free will argument here, I’ll only confine myself to your statement:

          One of Adam’s first tasks was taxonomy-classifying the animals

          Apparently, the author of this part of the bible did not realize the enormity of the task (and it seems that you don’t either). How many animals were there in Adam’s time? According to Science Daily, “About 8.7 million (give or take 1.3 million) is the new, estimated total number of species on Earth — the most precise calculation ever offered — with 6.5 million species on land and 2.2 million in oceans.
          https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110823180459.htm

          Mind you, this does not include the huge number of extinct species. How long did it take to parade before Adam these millions of currently existing species plus those extinct ones? How did these animals get to the Middle East? Your god transported them there for this purpose? Did Adam have the vocabulary to name them? This requires a superhuman effort. Even a team of modern taxonomists with an excellent knowledge of biology would have great trouble doing so. What is the point of naming them when no one (maybe excepting your god) remembers or records down these names?

          According to the same article in Science Daily, “Furthermore, the study, published by PLoS Biology, says a staggering 86% of all species on land and 91% of those in the seas have yet to be discovered, described and catalogued.

          So, Adam already had names for these millions of yet-to-be-discovered new species?

          How silly!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nonsense that should be met with ridicule and mockery as deserved…. good for you.

        • Otto

          Adam and Eve’s ‘crime’ was gaining knowledge that was only for God to have. Which isn’t a lot different than Zues getting all bent out of shape when humans got fire.

          Additionally God wanted to withhold knowledge and gets pissed when we have knowledge, God punishes us for a lack of ignorance. Nice guy.

        • Scooter

          Zeta, How do you know what Adam and Eve were equipped to do when they were created to live forever? Perhaps Adam did in fact have powers and abilities that modern man doesn’t have or know about. You may recall in the Genesis story that after Adam and Eve disobeyed God they began to die as part of the curse. It is conceivable that they lost these abilities

        • Myna A.

          How do you know […] abilities.

          Now, you’re just making shite up to fit the story.

          When did Adam and Eve live? In what century B.C.E., time and place? How did their progeny sail to South America? North America? To Australia? To Easter Island? Greenland? How did they name penguins that exist on the poles?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Holy shit…ya never even mentioned the feckin’ centre of the universe….IRELAND….WTF?

        • Myna A.

          Oh, ’twas a sorry oversight, that!

          To all and sundry: What about Ireland??? How did those progeny get to Ireland???!!!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Tsk, tsk…am pisst!

          Look..it’s not my fault if ya don’t know the seat of humanity is Ireland.

          Once upon a time, there was no time and that was when there also was no gods and no man walked the surface of the land. But there was the sea, and where the sea met the land, a mare was born, white and made of sea-foam. And her name was Eiocha.

          Daft isn’t it? Never heard ballix like it in yer life?

          Creation continues on. From an oak tree that grew in the land there sprouted a plant. This is where Eiocha gave birth to the first god Cernunnos. Cernunnos mated with Eioch and begot more gods; however, the gods felt lonely because they did not have anyone to command or to worship them, so from the wood of the oak tree they created the first man and woman, as well as other animals. Giants, too, are born from the bark of a tree that Eiocha hurled into the water.

          It sounds as good as the next best. ballix … I particularly like…“Once upon a time, there was no time and that was when there also was no gods and no man walked the surface of the land.….then appeared a fuckwit…or clever bastard…and the Irish are deemed to be stupid.

        • Myna A.

          At least that one is energetic and colorful, unlike being tempted by a fruit tree on an otherwise dull afternoon in a desert oasis.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye….unfortunately Celtic Paganism was not part of the school curriculum in Ireland as I was growing up..it is much more interesting and at least as rational…that Christian fuckwittery was the order of the day … mores the pity. I was the worse off for the shite.

          Edit: ya will all have tae decipher the wineirish fer yerselves

        • TheNuszAbides

          bring it on.

        • Ignorant Amos

          If we have to have religious fuckwittery taught to our children in public schools, then more Celtic paganism is the order of the day.

          Northern Ireland Humanists has organised an open letter to Northern Ireland Education Secretary Peter Weir calling for broad reforms of the current Religious Education (RE) core syllabus. Northern Ireland differs strongly from the rest of the UK in almost exclusively teaching about Christianity until the age of 16, with little mention of any world religions or non-religious worldviews.

          https://humanism.org.uk/2016/10/27/humanists-religious-groups-and-interfaith-associations-demand-religious-education-reforms-for-northern-ireland/

          And to help with the sectarianism destroying people…

          https://humanism.org.uk/2016/04/22/northern-ireland-humanists-call-for-integrated-education-to-become-inclusive-of-all-faiths-and-none/

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          How did they name penguins that exist on the poles?

          Are penguins named?? Perhaps they’re named … penguins!?

          Checkmate, atheists!

        • Ignorant Amos

          When did Adam and Eve live? In what century B.C.E., time and place?

          When?

          Well, given that the moment of creation occurred on Sunday, 23 October 4004 BCE, at 9.00 AM apparently, one can extrapolate Adam was made on the 29 October 4004 BCE. The Sumerians should have written about it, but they were probably too busy making and drinking beer.

          James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College in Dublin was highly regarded in his day as a churchman and as a scholar. Of his many works, his treatise on chronology has proved the most durable. Based on an intricate correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and Holy writ, it was incorporated into an authorized version of the Bible printed in 1701, and thus came to be regarded with almost as much unquestioning reverence as the Bible itself. Having established the first day of creation as Sunday 23 October 4004 BC, by the arguments set forth in the passage below, Ussher calculated the dates of other biblical events, concluding, for example, that Adam and Eve were driven from Paradise on Monday 10 November 4004 BC, and that the ark touched down on Mt Ararat on 5 May 2348 BC `on a Wednesday’.

          Where?

          http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/images/EdenSouthernLocationFilledIn.jpg

        • Myna A.

          Oh my yes, I forgot momentarily about Bishop Ussher and his divine calculations! Yes, the Sumerians might have found it interesting to note what was happening in the land of Eden if they weren’t so busy making merry, squabbling, trading, writing, creating measurements. Crazy stuff like that.

        • Zeta

          From the Onion:

          “Sumerians Look On In Confusion As God Creates World”

          http://www.theonion.com/article/sumerians-look-on-in-confusion-as-god-creates-worl-2879

        • Myna A.

          That is priceless!!

        • Zeta

          Yes, it is. The author really has a good sense of humor.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ha ha…that was just the very sort of thing I had in mind when I commented….very good, thanks for the link.

        • Zeta

          I saved the page and also the link when I first encountered it because it was so interesting and funny!

        • Greg G.

          “These two people made in his image do not know how to communicate, lack skills in both mathematics and farming, and have the intellectual capacity of an infant,” one Sumerian philosopher wrote. “They must be the creation of a complete idiot.”

          They don’t even know the difference between good and evil.

        • Zeta

          Scooter disagrees. To quote him (in his reply to one of my posts here):
          Perhaps Adam did in fact have powers and abilities that modern man doesn’t have or know about.

          See, Adam was much smarter and knowledgeable than you and I even though we have access to good education, the Internet and of course, Google.

        • adam

          Well he did have the power to hide from the character God in the story.

        • busterggi

          Omniscient Yahweh hadn’t learned to look behind trees yet.

        • Zeta

          One believer/apologist once rebutted me on this point (that Yahweh did not even know where Adam was) by claiming that Yahweh was just pretending not to know, like parents playing with young kids!

        • adam

          Pretending is what Yahweh is all about.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          People underestimate what it takes to get good at hide ‘n seek.

        • Greg G.

          You only see the ones who are not good. The good ones could be anywhere.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s the problem with the perfect crime. It’s only perfect while no one knows about it. When others know about it, there is a chance to be caught. Once there is a chance of being caught, it’s no longer perfect. Some people think it’s a crime for which ya never got caught, but that’s not right.

          If ya can’t tell anyone about it, how can there even be a perfect crime? It’s a paradox.

        • TheNuszAbides

          If ya can’t tell anyone about it, how can there even be a perfect crime? It’s a paradox.

          or just a heaping helping of solipsism. only one can actually keep a secret, and so on.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          And sometimes they’re hiding in the refrigerator.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2l5Yt6LBfo

        • Michael Neville

          23 October 4004 BCE, at 9.00 AM

          Was that GMT/Zulu time?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Zulu, but only for those on manoeuvres though.

          It is a good point though.

          We all know that Jesus spoke English and had the look of a western European, so GMT isn’t much of a stretch since God must’ve been Irish. James Ussher, highly regarded bible scholar, worked it all out just down the road from where I’m sitting, so it’s obvious to me.

          Just adding this s// in case some fool thinks am being serious.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Just adding this s// in case some fool thinks am being serious.

          i realize that many manoeuvres are of most value to various hypothetical lurkers … but anyone who read this whole thread and wouldn’t consider not taking your prior paragraph seriously? probably can’t be helped [yet].

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye, but we get them all the same.

        • Max Doubt

          “Zeta, How do you know what Adam and Eve were equipped to do when they were created to live forever?”

          I’m sure you’ll agree there isn’t a speck of objective evidence to support the notion that Adam and Eve ever actually existed.

          “Perhaps Adam did in fact have powers and abilities that modern man doesn’t have or know about.”

          Perhaps I magically implanted all that nonsense directly into your head. After all, that’s exactly as well evidenced as your notion that something like an Adam and Eve tale actually occurred. And my explanation has much more plausibility in that I can objectively demonstrate that I exist and I have the power to modify the state of the universe. I’m sure you agree.

          “You may recall in the Genesis story that after Adam and Eve disobeyed God they began to die as part of the curse. It is conceivable that they lost these abilities”

          No. I made you believe that. You do realize I can do such things, don’t you?

        • Zeta

          Max: “I’m sure you’ll agree there isn’t a speck of objective evidence to support the notion that Adam and Eve ever actually existed.

          This would be too much to expect from (most?) Christians, in particular from Scooter. The consequences? No Adam and Eve sinning, there is no need for a resurrected savior to save humanity from the savior himself. Christianity collapses. They have to hang on to that silly myth, otherwise their lives become meaningless and purposeless.

        • Max Doubt

          “This would be too much to expect from (most?) Christians, in particular from Scooter.”

          Absolutely. The claim that a god exists cannot be defended with honesty, and Scooter is at least as dishonest as any believer. Note how he’ll talk all day as long if he can start from the assumption that his imaginary friend is real. Ask him a direct pointed question or point out how he’s being dishonest, evasive, engaging in fallacies, or making unsupportable assumptions, and he goes into hard core ignorance mode.

          Scooter isn’t here to have a conversation. He’s here to use these good people in his dishonest effort to validate his own fantasy. If people will engage with him, respond to his preaching, he thinks there’s some legitimacy to his belief. If this was about any other issue, something not connected to the idea of gods or religion, the consensus would be Scooter should spend some time with a competent mental health professional.

          “The consequences? No Adam and Eve sinning, there is no need for a resurrected savior to save humanity from the savior himself. Christianity collapses. They have to hang on to that silly myth, otherwise their lives become meaningless and purposeless.”

          The only honest positions for any god believer to take are to admit there is no objective evidence to support their claim and/or admit they believe just because it feels good.

        • Greg G.

          You may recall in the Genesis story that after Adam and Eve disobeyed God they began to die as part of the curse.

          No, that only happened when they got kicked out of the Garden of Eden in order to block access to the Tree of Life.

          Did the Tree of Life die in the Flood? Why isn’t the Garden of Eden seen? If God wanted it destroyed, why set angels to guard it? Why not just destroy it and get it done?

          It is conceivable that they lost these abilities

          It is conceivable that they had additional arms with hoes and shovels which God took away to make it harder to till the ground. Maybe they both had huge genitals that had to be shrink accordingly to make childbirth painful.

          Deuteronomy 4:2 (NRSV)2 You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you.

          Revelation 22:18-19 (NRSV)18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book; 19 if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

          Are you sure God isn’t going to punish you or someone you love on account of you making up super powers for Adam and Eve?

        • Zeta

          Perhaps Adam did in fact have powers and abilities that modern man doesn’t have or know about.

          You sound terribly like Ken Ham in his stupid defense of using modern heavy construction machines, steel and concrete in the construction of his Noah’s Ark theme park. Noah had access to technology more advanced than we have today!

          Yeah, Adam might also have advanced computing equipment with HDD/SSD to store the names of the millions of animal species. One never knows, he might have communicated with his god via wi-fi.

          BTW, your fairy tale holy book tells us that Adam and Eve were very naive people who were easily duped by a talking serpent.

          Please be honest and defend yourself using credible evidence or available information. Using arguments similar to Ken Ham’s “How do you know? Were you there?” is never convincing and only invites ridicule.

        • Kodie

          It is conceivable that it is a fiction, a myth, not true at all. Isn’t it?

        • BlackMamba44

          when they were created to live forever

          Bzzzt. Wrong!

          Genesis 3:21-24 (NIV)

          21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[a] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

          EDIT:

          You may recall in the Genesis story that after Adam and Eve disobeyed God they began to die as part of the curse.

          How about I just throw all of Genesis 3 out there. No where does it say they began to die.

          The Fall
          3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

          2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

          4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

          6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

          8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

          10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

          11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

          12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

          13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

          The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

          14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

          “Cursed are you above all livestock
          and all wild animals!
          You will crawl on your belly
          and you will eat dust
          all the days of your life.
          15 And I will put enmity
          between you and the woman,
          and between your offspring[a] and hers;
          he will crush[b] your head,
          and you will strike his heel.”
          16 To the woman he said,

          “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
          with painful labor you will give birth to children.
          Your desire will be for your husband,
          and he will rule over you.”
          17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

          “Cursed is the ground because of you;
          through painful toil you will eat food from it
          all the days of your life.
          18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
          and you will eat the plants of the field.
          19 By the sweat of your brow
          you will eat your food
          until you return to the ground,
          since from it you were taken;
          for dust you are
          and to dust you will return.”
          20 Adam[c] named his wife Eve,[d] because she would become the mother of all the living.

        • Susan

          A discussion of free will would require much space.

          If christians won’t address it, they shouldn’t invoke it as an ad hoc rationalization.

          in the creation story

          It’s a story. Why do you think it’s real when the story of Zeus that Otto mentions below is just a story?

          Why should anyone here think it’s anything but a story?

          What is the distinction?

          Why do you think it’s anything but a story?

          What are your criteria for separating myth from reality?

        • Scooter

          Susan, If I could direct you to C.S. Lewis’ writing on myth and reality I think your questions would be addressed.

          https://pursuingveritas.com/2014/05/07/c-s-lewis-myth-and-fact/

        • Michael Neville

          Susan asked five questions and the essay you linked to answered one of them. How about answering the other four.

        • Philmonomer

          Which question do you think the essay answered? (I merely skimmed the essay–I found it tedious.)

        • Michael Neville

          The one about myth and reality. Which isn’t surprising, Lewis’ field of expertise was medieval mythology, particularly the Roman de la Rose.

        • Susan

          I think your questions would be addresed.

          Not in the least.

          First, I asked you how you separate myth from reality.,

          Second, I’ve read that passage by Lewis and found it completely unimpressive.

          Third, it has nothing to do with the stories of Genesis.

          Please answer my question.

        • Rt1583

          The same creation story has god TELLING his creation what they can and can’t do. No matter how much you want to twist and torture “in the likeness and image of god” to mean what you want it to, one entity TELLING another what they can and can’t do does NOT amount to free will.

          Your god also falls apart in the same story (Genesis as a whole) in that, for some reason or another, god had to go see what was happening in Sodom. Seems to me that an omniscient god would actually know what was going on without having to see it. What’s your apologetic twist and torture routine for this little oversight of the authors of the “book of truth”?

        • Scooter

          “… one entity TELLING another what they can and can’t do does NOT amount to free will.” Now what you just said is a little confusing. If someone like a cop tells you not to drive 50 miles an hour in a 30 mile zone does it not imply that you have a free will to either obey or disobey that law? Otherwise why would the law exist?

        • Greg G.

          Traffic laws inhibit will, too. Limited free will does not amount to true free will.

        • adam
        • Rt1583

          You mistake the concept of law of man with what you proclaim to be the “truth”.
          At the point of Adam and Eve there was no law. They were, if the bible is truth, only told what they could or couldn’t do. They were supposedly created, in fully functional adult form, from nothing. They had absolutely no frame of reference from which to exercise free will. They came into being and were told straight away what they could and couldn’t do.

        • TheNuszAbides

          A discussion of free will would require much space.

          how pompous. almost as pompous as rebranding yourself ~Theophilus1~. don’t worry, you wouldn’t be the kid for the job even if a lengthy discussion of free will occurred.

        • MNb

          You being that mean made me choke in my morning tea …. hence the upvote.

    • macaroonie

      What else would you expect from a pile of confusion. There’s an old saying, “Keep it simple, stupid god.”

    • Zeta

      You seem so fixated on Sodom, Gomorrah, homosexuality and its immorality. Your murderous god supposedly rained fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, killing virtually everyone because of their “depravity”. Have you ever stopped to think of all the innocent children and babies who were also cruelly burned alive? Were they also homosexuals and so depraved that they deserved to be killed this way? Where is your morality and your god’s morality?

      • Ignorant Amos

        Have you ever stopped to think of all the innocent children and babies who were also cruelly burned alive? Were they also homosexuals and so depraved that they deserved to be killed this way? Where is your morality and your god’s morality?

        Careful now. Awkward questions like that will have the curtain sliding back and the old man pulling all the levers will be uncovered to be not a wizard at all.

        That’ll burst Scooter’s bubble of ignorance and gullibility. Or maybe not.

        • Joe

          I’ve had Christians answer ‘yes’ to that question (of were the babies depraved). Because God can see the future!

          As monstrous as that is on it’s own, it also completely violates the concept of free-will that they cite as a reason for them adopting these practices in the first place,

        • Ignorant Amos

          In other words, they are being daft. A bunch of dopey feckers?

        • Zeta

          Joe: “I’ve had Christians answer ‘yes’ to that question (of were the babies depraved). Because God can see the future!

          If some babies were born depraved, it must have been the handiwork of this so-called creator god. It is perverse to intentionally create a depraved baby and then kill him/her for the depravity. A very strange and unthinking way of defending their perverse god.

        • Joe

          If some babies were born depraved, it must have been the handiwork of this so-called creator god.

          Nope, it’s Adam and Eve’s fault, apparently! Again, don’t ask me to make sense of it all, because I don’t think it’s possible.

        • Kodie

          I find these examples in this strange space where, if we’re talking about abortion, i.e., the value of human life, if one me were to liken a human zygote to, say, any other fully grown animal from pest to belts, I’m a horrible monster, but if you have any biblical city whose entire citizenry it was justified in wiping out, they were evil to their genetic core, like a flea, like if you don’t obliterate every last one of their humans who live in a place completely, they could grow back. That anyone can read a story like that and just go along with “god knows best” is dehumanizing whole born humans. We still do it. We don’t know what is in the mind of other humans sometimes, we don’t know if the thoughts they think are dangerous to us, but what are they so “evil” about that killing them before they kill us – why do we think we’re not the evil ones? The ones who are about to kill all of them?

          The Japanese are our allies in a very short time, the Russians come to our country and are welcomed. We don’t have to look very far back for our own cultural villains, entire lots of human beings we recently thought all of we were better than all of they. It’s fairly easy to think of an entire group of people as a blight, but it’s also pretty quick we could get over it and recognize them as people.

      • Kevin K

        Don’t forget the unborn. Had to have been a mess of pregnant women there.

      • Scooter

        You ask about my morality and God’s morality suggesting that God had committed a horrible crime but first let’s consider a couple of questions: 1) Since you are judging God’s morality by what standard are you making this judgment? 2) Are you using your own subjective view of truth to set that standard? 3) If so, how do you determine what’s right or wrong in the first place and that God was wrong in what He did? 4) What moral law are you using (if any) and how can you impose this on God?

        • Myna A.

          You ask about my morality and God’s morality suggesting that God had
          committed a horrible crime but first let’s consider a couple of
          questions…

          You can’t just answer the questions put to you, can you? Zeta asked you specific questions. Why are you asking questions when you haven’t even answered the ones asked of you?

        • Scooter

          Asking a question(s) of a questioner is a sound teaching device intended to get to reveal the problem(s) with the initial conversation.

        • Myna A.

          B as in B and S as in S. First, you answer the question(s), then you pose your own.

        • Max Doubt

          “Asking a question(s) of a questioner is a sound teaching device intended to get to reveal the problem(s) with the initial conversation.”

          Question: Can you provide objective evidence that any gods actually exist or that any magic, miracles, or other acts of these alleged gods ever occurred? Can you objectively show that what you believe to be a god is something other than a figment of your imagination?

          You see, if you ask germane questions — and if you’re honest — you’ll come to the conclusion that it’s not reasonable to accept claims that any gods exist outside your imagination.

          Question: Why do you treat these other people in the conversation with such contempt? Don’t you think being honest would be a better way to engage in a discussion?

          Answer that and you’ll see the problem with the initial conversation is this: Your belief that a figment of your imagination actually exists outside your head is more important to you than being honest. The problem is entirely yours. Own it.

        • Michael Neville

          Asking a question(s) of a questioner is a sound teaching device

          It’s also a weasel way to keep from answering difficult questions. This is the obvious case in your refusal to answer Zeta’s questions.

        • Zeta

          This has been his standard way to avoid answering embarrassing questions.

        • Joe

          You are neither teaching nor learning anything here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which is a great pity.

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          You are playing the cunts trick.

          Google it….

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Asking a question of someone who’s already asked you a question is often used as simply a rhetorical device to change the subject from one that you find uncomfortable. Perhaps you have only idiotic answers, for example, and don’t want that uncomfortable fact to be made public.

        • Susan

          Asking a question(s) of a questioner is a sound teaching device

          You’re thinking of the Socratic method. There is nothing Socratic about your method.

          You’ve participated on and off here for a very long time. You are unable to answer any substantial question because you;

          1) Haven’t thought about these issues in any substantial way and
          2) Are afraid that some imaginary being will punish you forever if you do.

          So, no. You aren’t using a sound teaching device because learning isn’t your priority.

          You are repeating apologetics. It’s so much easier than teaching or learning anything.

          .

        • epeeist

          Why are you asking questions when you haven’t even answered the ones asked of you?

          Because he is JAQing off.

        • Greg G.

          If morality is objective, then God is subject to it. If murder is immoral then killing a person is immoral for God. If morality is subjective, then we can all have our own morality. If God is omnipotent, he can enforce his morality on everyone and everything but we can judged him for it.

          If you define morality as that which doesn’t upset God, then it is subjective.

          But we can define that morality is that which promotes thriving and happiness. An immaterial omnipotent being should be able to thrive and be happy no matter what occurs in the physical world but if God can contribute to the thriving and happiness in physical world, fine. But he has no business making things harder for sentient beings to thrive. That’s evil.

          But our reality looks like God is indifferent or non-existent. Our civilization is man-made. We have modified foods to be more nutritious. We are safer now that we are not be chased by predators.

          How do we impose morality on God. The same way we impose morality on the villains in a novel – by imagination.

        • Max Doubt

          “What moral law are you using (if any) and how can you impose this on God?”

          Anyone can pull any moral law they like out of their imaginations and impose it on your god. That’s how you do it, isn’t it?

        • Joe

          1.) My standard.
          2.) Yes
          3.) Reasoning
          4.) See 1.) I can’t impose it because god doesn’t exist.

        • Otto

          You have judged God as being the source of good.

          What standard did you use to make that judgement?

          Are you using your own subjective view of truth?

          If so, how do you determine what’s right or wrong in the first place and that God was right in what he did?

          What moral law are you using (if any) and how can you impose this on God?

          *hint* You and other Christians have the same problem in this scenario.

        • Susan

          What standard did you use to make that judgement?

          I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked this question.

          They never, ever answer it.

          They just hit the reset button.

        • Otto

          Yep….and this one is no different. Somehow they have the right to judge God, and it is OK cause they judge him positively.

        • Zeta

          If killing innocent people, especially children and babies (born or unborn) in very cruel ways (by drowning in the great flood or burning them alive in this case) is moral, you can keep this monster god to yourself. BTW, in case you are living on another planet, any civilized and normal people here on planet Earth would abhor such horrible crimes. Here (on Earth) for the crimes I mentioned here, there is no need for answering any high-sounding questions like what you posed in your reply to me.

          Why don’t you just directly and unequivocally state whether cruelly killing innocent people is morally right or wrong? Don’t use your usual tactic to evade answering embarrassing questions.

        • Scooter

          I’d be happy to answer your question Zeta but first to bring this question of burning innocent babies alive into a modern context, do you believe its cruel to burn babies alive through saline solution in the womb in our modern abortion mills?

        • Joe

          Can you answer that question?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Do you believe it’s cruel to take Plan B to prevent the fertilized egg from implanting? How does that amount of cruelty compare with the example you cite–or are they equally cruel?

          Do you believe God is cruel when he miscarries roughly half of all pregnancies?

        • MNb

          You’re lying. You are the one who think it cruel “to burn babies alive through saline solution in the womb” but refuse to call your god cruel when he burns babies alive through fire outside the womb.
          You’re not happy to answer Zeta’s question at all.

        • adam
        • Kodie

          Let’s discuss the Christian’s inability to keep up with a discussion. God isn’t cruel because he doesn’t exist. You’re the idiot who takes god seriously, believes he is not fictional, affects your life and your afterlife, and, despite what it says in the bible, judge that god to be good. Keep up. If you call abortion “murder”, presumably, you’d have a problem with the character in your fairy tale, but instead, you can’t keep up. You ask us what we think of abortion, as if that is relevant. We don’t care about what god in the bible actually does, because he didn’t do it – horrible humans decided that they were god’s chosen and decided to massacre an entire population, not giving a shit about children or babies or pregnant women – and god favors them, right? God didn’t kill anyone because he doesn’t exist. You are the deluded one who is arguing for the point that god condones the genocides in the bible AND IS GOOD.

          Can you keep up or are you slow?

          That’s the real question.

        • Myna A.

          I’d be happy to answer your question Zeta but first to bring this question of…

          Translation: I don’t like your question, Zeta, and so I’m going to revert to the tactic of responding to the question by posing another question to override your initial question.

        • Scooter

          That’s a wrong translation. Its my purpose to ask a question that could perhaps lead the discussion in a particular direction. Some atheists feel skittish about this because I suspect they feel they might be led into saying something they don’t mean. But the real purpose of asking questions first is to isolate the critical issue that’s in question and to help people see it for what it really is and by doing so perhaps see that their objection isn’t fair or valid.

          So back to Zeta’s question (which I don’t find embarrassing by the way) which asks whether I think that cruelly killing innocent people is morally wrong. I asked Zeta to answer whether she thought killing innocent babies in the womb today was wrong because it would reveal whether she was consistent in her moralizing. I don’t want to answer for Zeta but the usual response from the atheist is its morally wrong for God to kill innocent babies but not wrong for me to do it if I don’t want to have a baby, right?

          Secondly, Zeta implies that killing innocent babies is an evil. And there is this implication (from Zeta and others as well) that since the story reveals God as a monster for doing this He can’t possibly exist. Some atheist apologists argue that the presence of evil in the world is considered to be the strongest evidence against the existence of God. It actually proves just the opposite. Zeta sees the evil of this kind of killing as a “true evil”, that is, something that is objectively true “out there” in human existence. So Zeta makes a moral judgment and moral judgments make no sense outside of the context of a moral standard. Evil as a value judgment departs from that standard. That standard is also known as the natural law or the law of God.
          Let me quote Bob’s favorite Christian apologist-former atheist C.S. Lewis:
          “…in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist-In other words that the whole of reality was senseless-I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality-namely my idea of justice-was full of sense. Consequently, atheism turns out to be too simple…If there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes , we should never know it was dark. dark would be without meaning.”

          So if Zeta is trying to disprove God then she shouldn’t appeal to an objective moral law.

          Finally, yes Zeta I directly and unequivocally state that cruelly killing innocent people is morally wrong. But I qualify my answer by saying that if its a human being doing it he would definitely be a monster and morally wrong. However, if we are talking about God who is absolutely sovereign, who is morally perfect in character
          whose thoughts are above our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth, who loves righteousness but hates sin, who knows the end from the beginning and so much more then how can we as finite humans even pretend to know the mind of the infinite God and what He’s accomplishing?

        • Myna A.

          That’s a wrong translation.

          I don’t think so.

          Its my purpose to ask a question that could perhaps lead the discussion in a particular direction.

          I repeat, answer the question first. Then, ask your question. Anything else is sleight of hand.

          As for the rest of it, should you not have addressed Zeta with those concerns? I mean, after you answered the initial question.

          However, if we are talking about God who is absolutely sovereign, who is morally perfect in character whose thoughts are above our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth, who loves righteousness but hates sin, who knows the end from the beginning and so much more then how can we as finite humans even pretend to know the mind of the infinite God and what He’s accomplishing?

          No comment. Read Max’s: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/09/does-the-bible-reveal-objective-truth-about-homosexuality/#comment-2932649481

        • MR

          Objective moral law => Not okay to kill children
          Objective moral law => Okay to kill children

        • adam

          “Its my purpose to ask a question that could perhaps lead the discussion in a particular direction.”

          You mean AWAY from the question you were asked.

          “how can we as finite humans even pretend to know the mind of the infinite God and what He’s accomplishing?”

          The very same way you justify it cruelly killing innocent people and pretending that is is morally perfect. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/20c863db09d8287a0e0b2e6854210f137bcfb9a4e8eefe50093b040ec4cab052.jpg

        • Zeta

          Many of my friends (Christians included) are not aware of this perfect moral command. I wonder how they checked whether the girls had known men or not? Scooter, please enlighten me.

        • Michael Neville
        • Zeta

          To answer my own question, I certainly know that they could check the girls’ hymen. When posing the question, I was thinking that this is not a foolproof way. But after posting, I thought that since these people were so morally depraved, foolproof or not was not really an issue. What is the difference to these people if some more innocent ones were killed when there was already so much killing?

        • TheNuszAbides

          To answer my own question, I certainly know that they could check the girls’ hymen.

          of course, neither visible damage nor absence of visible damage are definitive evidence of anything. but most insular cultures with zero-to-insignificant medical records wouldn’t know that either. and the chance that Scoot is familiar with such nuance (or any nuance of serious importance) seems rather slim.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Perhaps they used the Aylesbury duck method.

          “Years of practise and experience my dear,i’m a bit of an expert.” says the butcher.

          https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090326162307AALKkCL

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I asked Zeta to answer whether she thought killing innocent babies in the womb today was wrong because it would reveal whether she was consistent in her moralizing.

          (1) They’re not “innocent babies.”

          (2) Let’s see how consistent you are. Are you a vegan? Have you ever eaten any animal that was raised to be food? Which is more valuable: one human life or ten dog lives?

        • Max Doubt

          “That’s a wrong translation. Its my purpose to ask a question that could perhaps lead the discussion in a particular direction.”

          Then you’re being kind of a control freak. Do you think that’s a reasonable way to interact with people who are here to engage in an honest discussion?

          “Some atheists feel skittish about this because I suspect they feel they might be led into saying something they don’t mean.”

          Here’s what I mean. I have powers far greater than those of your god. My authority is higher. And I authorize anyone who chooses to have an abortion that option. Again, do you care to refute my claim to that power?

          “But the real purpose of asking questions first is to isolate the critical issue that’s in question and to help people see it for what it really is and by doing so perhaps see that their objection isn’t fair or valid.”

          My objection to your attempt to divert the discussion is you’re being a dick when you do it. People here have asked you many question which you have willfully and abjectly ignored. You’re being extremely impolite as well as dishonest. Do you feel there’s some reasonable justification for treating all these good people like shit, or is that just, as we so often see, the Christian way?

          “So if Zeta is trying to disprove God then she shouldn’t appeal to an objective moral law.”

          I disprove any god by my demonstrable claim to having more power than any supposed god. Got a problem with that? Seriously. Is it a problem for you that I have such immense power and your god is an utterly impotent weak gutless wuss?

        • Michael Neville

          So Zeta makes a moral judgment and moral judgments make no sense outside of the context of a moral standard. Evil as a value judgment departs from that standard. That standard is also known as the natural law or the law of God.

          Bullshit! So-called “natural law” means “I have an opinion that I can’t support so I’ll pretend it comes from gawd and is ‘natural law’.”

          Humans are social animals. We evolved morality to help us live in groups. Moral behaviors have been observed in other social animals like chimpanzees, gorillas and wolves. Also morality cannot be absolute because different groups of people have different opinions about what is or is not moral. Evangelical Christians like you claim that homosexuality is immoral because gawd thinks it’s icky. Most atheists see it as moral, being an expression of love between people. Pacifists see all killing as immoral, soldiers have a different opinion. Rational, intelligent, well-meaning people have wildly differing views on the morality of abortion. Ergo there is no absolute, objective morality. We all have opinions on what is or is not moral and those opinions often don’t agree.

        • Zeta

          Your last paragraph claims that your god is

          morally perfect in character whose thoughts are above our thoughts…who loves righteousness but hates sin.., how can we as finite humans even pretend to know the mind of the infinite God and what He’s accomplishing.

          This is the only stupid defense apologists have in this case, retreating to an embellished version of god with empty unsupportable claims about their “perfect god” who is beyond all reproach even if he commits heinous crimes.

          Your god started as a tribal war god of the ancient Israelites, fighting alongside his “chosen people”. It seems that the bible writers, influenced by their own wishful thinking, forgot that he was supposed to be the creator of all humans including the so-called enemies of the Israelites. Then, over a long period of time, theologians and apologists slowly evolve him to what you think he is like now. Instead of a creator god, he is a created god. How did these theologians and apologists know that these embellishments were true? Did they have a direct line to their god?

          If you are a true Christian, I think you should follow and believe everything that your holey book says, right? It is very obvious that he originally had all the human emotions (including very bad ones and they are documented clearly in your bible) that his creators had. Now you have an embellished and sanitized version and you are so proud of it. Incredible!

        • Kodie

          Please TRY to keep up. When we ask you why you judge god as good, it’s not we who are moralizing god, but we are asking you to examine your own inconsistency. You are the believer, not us. You are not consistent.

          You skip to the part where god knows better than you, is it possible that other people also know better than you do? If god can do whatever he wants and you can’t say shit against it, how do you judge it as good? Why do you want to be with him? Why do you call him love? Do these questions make you want to ignore them and make up your own questions so you don’t have to answer them and pretend you are in control of the direction of this discussion?

        • MNb

          “Some atheists feel skittish about this because I suspect they feel they might be led into saying something they don’t mean.”
          More lying. As soon as BobS writes about abortion some christian – you for instance – shows up and asks that very question of yours: “do you believe its cruel to burn babies alive through saline solution in the womb in our modern abortion mills.”
          No atheist here “feels skittish about this”, which is demonstrated by the fact that we have provided extensive answer.
          You’re the one who was skittish.

          “I directly and unequivocally state that cruelly killing innocent people is morally wrong.”
          Except when the killer is called God, then it’s suddenly

          “who is absolutely sovereign, who is morally perfect in character”
          and hence it’s forbidden to say that “cruelly killing innocent people is morally wrong.”
          That’s a double standard – your standard depends on the subject who does the killing. That means your morals are subjective.

          “moral judgments make no sense outside of the context of a moral standard. Evil as a value judgment departs from that standard. That standard is also known as the natural law or the law of God”
          which you forbid us to apply to that same god.

          “something that is objectively true “out there” in human existence”
          but not in divine existence, even if it affects human existence. Gone are your objective morals.
          No, I don’t think this disproves god. However apparently the combination of objective morality and the christian god results in an inconsistency that no christian apologist (hindus and pastafarians don’t have any problem with it) can resolve. If you are honest (which I don’t think) and indeed value consistency there is something very wrong with your belief system.

        • susan faccone

          I’m atheist but not the least bit skittish about any of the questions here. I do believe you have a point though. Providing there were a god and we were judging him, you would actually be correct in what you are saying. Judging god as a murderer because he kills innocent babies, would make the next logical conclusion that abortion would also be murder. However, abortion deals with fetuses, but okay, I would give you this one. However, to those who do not believe in any kind of god, it makes the entire conversation invalid. And that is the point indeed. Because, women who have abortions make that decision according to THEIR beliefs, not yours or anyone else. So, everyone else needs to keep out of it. After all the discussion here about abortions, and homosexuality, and who should marry who, there is one thing that should ring out, choice. In this country we have choice, choice to believe whatever we want or don’t want. Another persons beliefs should not stop me from living how I want to. Of course, there has to be some societal rules and laws, but ones that are based on common sense and not religious doctrine.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In this country we have choice, choice to believe whatever we want or don’t want. Another persons beliefs should not stop me from living how I want to. Of course, there has to be some societal rules and laws, but ones that are based on common sense and not religious doctrine.

          Lucky you. Not everywhere enjoys that luxury, even here where I am in the so-called western societies of Europe.

          Even an opt out of the bullshit isn’t properly recognised.

          By coincidence, my 7 year old grandson came in from junior school today and past a remark about his “Coaching for Christ” class earlier in the day. Now, “Coaching for Christ” is a group of young proselytisers who go around primary schools under the auspice of playing sport, in this case football, but as part of this lesson, there is also a teaching on Jesus/Christianity.

          http://www.coaching4christ.co.uk/

          Now, prior to these “lessons”, my daughter received a memo in order to allow her to indicate her willingness or not for her son to take part in the woo-woo part of these classes. She chose the opt out option. Good for her. But the sneaky religious bastards, I’ve found out today, are just segregating my grandson within the gym, i.e. making him sit a short distance apart, but not out of earshot. That’s the sort of weaseling that Christians have to get up to is it? Shame on them, shame on their belief system too.

        • susan faccone

          Where are you from?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Northern Ireland

        • Scooter

          Thanks for your thoughts Susan. I’m seeing that your main point is “choice.” I understand your concern when it seems at times that there are those who are pushing their agendas on others whether Christian or atheist. Now you’ve mentioned that there has to be societal rules and laws. I’m wondering though-do you believe there are absolute rules and laws? If there is absolute moral law or moral truth would you concede that there might be a problem in your line of thinking?

        • adam

          “I’m seeing that your main point is “choice.””

          It actually seems that her point is just what she wrote:

          “Providing there were a god and we were judging him, you would actually be correct in what you are saying.”

          Providing – see you havent demonstrated that this “God” of yours is anything but IMAGINARY.

          “However, to those who do not believe in any kind of god, it makes the entire conversation invalid. ”

          See, it is all about YOUR FAILING in demonstrating YOUR CLAIMS of a non-IMAGINARY “God”

          “If there is absolute moral law or moral truth would you concede that there might be a problem in your line of thinking?”

          IF –

          Demonstrate that YOUR “God” and your ‘absolute moral law’ is anything but IMAGINARY…

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b85c139d187be51d3fe0c0c77bcc2e185955505da1a61a389655083966df2057.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          What is the atheist agenda getting pushed that you refer to in that comment Scooter?

          Who is pushing it?

        • Thought2Much

          Uh-oh. I wonder if Scooter found someone’s copy of the Atheist Agenda. I thought we were supposed to keep those secret.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do ya think some one of us has been sloppy and left their copy at their arse where theists were about?

          Still, even at that, how could he possibly understand what is written in there without the gibberish translator and a pair of these bad boys…

          http://oneclimbs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/nephite-interpreters.png

        • TheNuszAbides

          simple solution:
          1) find the leak
          2) diabolical ritual to transform the leak into a baby
          3) eat baby

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Dys

          “Objective” and “Absolute” are not interchangeable terms, although many Christians trying to discuss morality mistakenly believe they are.

        • Max Doubt

          “Now you’ve mentioned that there has to be societal rules and laws. I’m wondering though-do you believe there are absolute rules and laws?”

          There is not.

          “If there is absolute moral law or moral truth would you concede that there might be a problem in your line of thinking?”

          Since there is not, your hypothetical concern is moot. Your line of thinking, on the other hand, is a problem, because you are clearly unable to make a distinction between figments of your imagination and objective reality.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          If there is absolute moral law or moral truth would you concede that there might be a problem in your line of thinking?

          I see no evidence for absolute moral truths. Show me some.

        • MR

          If there is absolute moral law or moral truth would you concede that there might be a problem in your line of thinking?

          For the Christian, yes, as Scooter consistently demonstrates.

        • Michael Neville

          If there is absolute moral law or moral truth would you concede that there might be a problem in your line of thinking?

          Absolute morality claims to be unchanging. It’s popular with religions because their holy books are used to determine what is or is not moral. Absolute morality claims to be based on “natural law” which supposed is universally accepted by all people and springs from the mind of God.

          The flaw with the above argument for absolute morality and natural law is that such morality and law comes from an absolute authority. Humans cannot agree on who or what this absolute authority is. Christians claim that Yahweh is that authority. Muslims say it’s Allah (an Abrahamist god but not identical with Yahweh). Hindus hold the authority to be the Vishnu aspect of Brahman (Hindu theology is extremely complicated because of the different traditions of Hinduism, all accepted as equally valid by Hindus). Buddhists have law coming from the concept of dharma but different Buddhist schools have different concepts of dharma. Sikhs and Jains also accept dharma but again have their own versions of it.

          In short, having a multitude of absolute authorities means that there is no absolute authority. No absolute authority means no absolute morality.

        • MNb

          Richard Dawkins:

          “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

          Thought experiment:

          “Attila the Hun is arguably the most unpleasant character in all history: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

          You’d be the first to concur with the second version. Still Attila has done nothing you can’t find your god doing in the OT. Your god does everything that he has – according to you – forbidden with his absolute moral law or truth.

          If there is absolute moral law or moral truth (I’m less hostile to the statement than BobS) and there is a god who is the source of that moral law or truth I am very sure it’s not your particular christian version exactly because of the double standard apologists like you use to judge their god (all good and perfect) and Attila the Hun (evil incarnated).

        • Kodie

          There shouldn’t be any laws in any society against hurting a fictional character’s feelings, and you should feel stupid for defending him, and if he did exist, he should feel stupid for sending you to defend him instead of contact all of us himself. If your faith is not in crisis, why do you spend so much time fighting against people who don’t share your faith? Leave us alone.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Echoing Kodie’s point, what does it say to you that you have to be here to defend God’s honor? Why can’t he do it? Why does he never do it?

          You don’t think he doesn’t exist, do you?

        • Jay Btr

          Dude, You want proof God does not exist? Just take a walk through any hospital … start with a childrens hospital first … that’ll be all the proof you need that God is just in your imagination !

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There’s no supernatural in my imagination.

        • Jay Btr

          The supernatural is natural fantasy. As long as you recognize it as such, then, there is nothing wrong with it. Just like any other fantasy or myth. It’s just make believe. It’s pretending something is true that is not true

        • Scooter

          Now to think that the author of life Himself needs someone like me to defend His honor is rather far-fetched isn’t it. God does His will in His own good time and I could throw out a few Biblical passages which speak to that but it would be ill-received of course. This is the age of grace -when the door shuts forever like the door of the Ark, judgment will come. Further I don’t think He exists-I know he exists.

        • Susan

          I know he exists.

          No. You don’t. You’ve never in all your participation at these forums done a single thing to demonstrate that you have knowledge of anything of the sort.

        • busterggi

          How about you and he come over to my place for supper tonight? Surely he knows who I am, where I live and what I’m making – he is omniscient, right? And being omnipotent he should be able to teleport the two of you over before evrything gets cold.

        • Myna
        • Ignorant Amos

          Precisely why my moniker.

        • adam

          “Now to think that the author of life Himself needs someone like me to defend His honor is rather far-fetched isn’t it”

          UNBELIEVABLY so.
          Given your incompetence.

          “His will in His own good time and I could throw out a few Biblical passages which speak to that but it would be ill-received of course.”

          Nope, bible “God” actually does NOTHING, it is it’s believers who do all of “God’s work”.

          God doesnt exist without believers.

          “This is the age of grace -when the door shuts forever like the door of the Ark”

          Yep, another STORY from the human IMAGINATION.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8b14f61120d8b436f1b1faec35d6ef437487f87c2ec9d5ce11485850565e0745.jpg

          “Further I don’t think He exists-I know he exists.”

          If you did, you would be able to demonstrate such, as such isnt the case, you are being deceptive.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/90a6aeced5e556ad6fcec3ba42057269b937079dfe55eb5ac142a8425ed18adb.jpg

        • Greg G.

          I don’t think He exist

          Me neither.

          I know he exists.

          You have a false sense of certainty. You can’t rule out that you are a brain in a vat. To “know” should bave some justification besides wishful thinking and confirmation bias.

        • Scooter

          Greg, your comment about the possibility that I am a brain in a vat or further, perhaps connected to some cosmic computer like the Matrix, actually points to a profound problem for the atheist. If one doesn’t believe in God, then one’s mind is just a chemical reaction: there’s no soul, no mind, no “ghost in the machine”. The reason you believe what you do is because your brain is fizzing in a particular way. I think Daniel Dennett concurs as he he writes:

          “There is only one sort of stuff, namely matter-the physical stuff of physics, chemistry, and physiology- and the mind is somehow nothing but a physical phenomenon. In short, the mind is the brain…we can (in principle) account for every mental phenomenon using the same basic principles, laws, and raw materials that suffice to explain radioactivity, continental drift, photosynthesis, reproduction, nutrition, and growth.”

          Incredibly what he’s saying is that all that you are-your hopes and dreams, your beliefs and your values and above all your thinking and reasoning-are nothing more than the movement of atoms bumping together, chemicals fizzing, neurons buzzing. Apparently physics can explain your beliefs with the same ease as it can explain earthquakes or plant growth.

          But, here’s the problem. If Dennett is right what on earth would lead you to think that one particular chemical and physical reaction (your brain) gives you “truth” when other processes such as gravitation or the fizzing of a can of soda don’t. Also if you believe that our brains have simply evolved then evolution is supposed to select for survival, not for truth. It seems to me that evolution doesn’t care what you believe, so long as you breed and produce descendants.

          So Greg, here’s the dilemma as I see it. If you believe that a rational God lies behind the whole of reality and created us as thinking beings, that we are not merely chemistry and biology or even brains in a vat, then you have perfectly good reason to trust your thinking. If on the other hand you believe that there is no God-then you have no good reason to trust your mind, nor I add, your belief in atheism that your mind produces.

          This will complete my communication on this blog.

        • Kodie

          So Greg, here’s the dilemma as I see it. If you believe that a rational God lies behind the whole of reality and created us as thinking beings, that we are not merely chemistry and biology or even brains in a vat, then you have perfectly good reason to trust your thinking. If on the other hand you believe that there is no God-then you have no good reason to trust your mind, nor I add, your belief in atheism that your mind produces.

          This is the most arrogant part of your beliefs. You don’t know shit, and yet you think you can trust your own brain. You are the illustration of how wrong brains can be. You know nothing about the biology or chemistry you’re talking about, nor the philosophy, you are just a bot for god. All you want is to be sure, and you are sure, but you’re not right.

        • MR

          This will complete my communication on this blog.

          I understand. It sucks when you can’t answer the hard questions about your belief and everyone keeps pointing out that fact. I’d run, too.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Michael Neville

          If one doesn’t believe in God, then one’s mind is just a chemical reaction: there’s no soul, no mind, no “ghost in the machine”.

          This is just plain silly. As an atheist I don’t believe in souls. However I have a mind. You may not use yours but I certainly use mine.

          If Dennett is right what on earth would lead you to think that one particular chemical and physical reaction (your brain) gives you “truth” when other processes such as gravitation or the fizzing of a can of soda don’t.

          Define “truth”. Is it anything like TRUTH or truth or even TrUtH? Or are you just trying to be philosophical while falling into sophistry?

          Also if you believe that our brains have simply evolved then evolution is supposed to select for survival, not for truth. It seems to me that evolution doesn’t care what you believe, so long as you breed and produce descendants.

          What does this word salad actually mean? Are you claiming that evolution is a driving force in the world? If so, then you don’t understand how evolution works. If you’re suggesting that atheists worship evolution rather than gods then you don’t understand atheism. But somehow I suspect that you don’t even know yourself what you’re trying to convey.

          If you believe that a rational God lies behind the whole of reality and created us as thinking beings

          No, atheists do not believe in gods, rational or otherwise. If you had the slightest clue about atheism you’d know this.

          If on the other hand you believe that there is no God-then you have no good reason to trust your mind

          This is utter bullshit with a capital SHIT! I trust my mind because experience has shown me that it works pretty well. It’s not flawless but I can live with that. If you need a god to allow you to trust your thinking then why bother to think at all? Perhaps if you started to use your mind instead of worshiping a figment of the imagination you’d realize that you don’t actually need a god.

        • Susan

          This will complete my communication on this blog.

          You’ve never communicated on this or any other blog I’ve seen you on.

          You recite long echoes of crappy apologetics arguments and never engage with their litany of problems.

          You’re ending with the fricking fizzing argument for goodness’ sake which is as scientfically ignorant as it is long-winded. Also, it never explains how adding an ill-defined “God” makes everything better.

          I won’t miss you Scooter. I’m not asking you to leave but I’m not going to beg you to stay, either.

          Someone just like you will be along soon.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Someone just like you will be along soon.

          They’re already here…Will Crump?

          One fruitcake comes in, one fruitcake goes out, and always there’s a miscommunication.

        • Greg G.

          You can’t explain that.

        • Myna
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          This will complete my communication on this blog.

          I notice you didn’t bother responding to my comments. But then perhaps there’s a silver lining.

        • epeeist

          This will complete my communication on this blog.

          Croydon is so appealing at this time of year.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Come hail, rain, or snow…Croydon becomes appealing at anytime of year when one is completely flummoxed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          This will complete my communication on this blog.

          Thank fuck…after reading that parcel of pish, I’m starting to lose the will to live.

        • Thought2Much

          He’s lying. They always come back. Always.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, Scooter will most likely go and be a nuisance on a few other blogs, before coming back with the same tired nonsense he thinks we will have forgot about already pulling him up on.

          Ave been at this Malarkey long enough to recognise his types modus operandi , it’s par for the course.

        • MNb

          “It seems to me that evolution doesn’t care what you believe, so long as you breed and produce descendants.”
          There is lots of evidence for this – evolution didn’t care what dinosauri believed. Still they dominated the Earth for much longer than Homo Sapiens roams that planet.

          “If on the other hand you believe that there is no God-then you have no good reason to trust your mind.”
          This is an ill-understood combination of Plantinga’s famous and debunked EAAN and the argument from logic.
          The answer to your particular version is incredibly simple – it’s not a dilemma at all. The scientific method is build on the premise that we cannot trust our minds indeed. That’s why science puts so much effort in methodology – in finding out which approaches work and which don’t.

          Example: why do we trust

          http://blogs.umass.edu/p139ell/files/2012/12/newton-universal-gravitation.png
          ??
          Because no experiment and no observation thus far has been able to refute it.
          So science uses the human minds in two ways that sometimes yield conflicting results and sometimes don’t: thinking and observing.
          Given the fact that the two us are capable of communicating via internet it seems to me that it is reliable exactly thanks to the skepticism that the scientific method has build in.
          However when you say that you don’t think but know there is a god you abandon all skepticism towards yourself.

        • Kodie

          But why does it seem like Christians are so insecure in their faith that they have to plant themselves on an atheist blog and keep up the chatter? If YOU already believe it, why do you need to talk about it?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Now to think that the author of life Himself needs someone like me to defend His honor is rather far-fetched isn’t it.

          Quite farfetched … if he exists. But it makes perfect sense if he doesn’t.

          when the door shuts forever like the door of the Ark, judgment will come.

          Translation: “When you’re standing in judgment, then you’ll be sorry you were mean to me!”

          Further I don’t think He exists-I know he exists.

          Such a dilemma—absolute certainty with absolutely no evidence.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ha ha ha…you crack me up Scooter.

          You’d know all about “far-fetched” now, wouldn’t ya?

          This is the age of grace -when the door shuts forever like the door of the Ark, judgment will come. Further I don’t think He exists-I know he exists.

          Like I said, you know all about the meaning of far-fetched.

          https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/03/bf/fa/03bffae0fa8c326caf2e7de4b9917d42.jpg

        • MNb

          “This is the age of grace ….”
          This is what christians have kept on telling for 2000 years now.

        • MNb

          Only the prejudiced know without thinking.

        • Max Doubt

          “Now to think that the author of life Himself needs someone like me to defend His honor is rather far-fetched isn’t it.”

          It’s not far fetched that you’d try. There are a lot of people as deluded as you are. There are a lot of people as scared of losing their imaginary childhood friends as you are.

          “God does His will in His own good time and I could throw out a few Biblical passages which speak to that but it would be ill-received of course.”

          It would be ill received because your fairy tales aren’t meaningful to our lives. We reject them because there is no objective evidence to support your claims that they’re true.

          “This is the age of grace -when the door shuts forever like the door of the Ark, judgment will come.”

          Yet here I am, far and away more powerful than your god buddy. There is nothing your god pal can do that I can’t do. And you’re so scared of that you won’t even address it.

          And as far as your invisible friend and all that judgement stuff? Fuck you, too. It’s you, not your friend, doing the judging. You’re just too much of a wuss to do your own threatening and too dishonest to admit it.

          “Further I don’t think He exists-I know he exists.”

          No, you don’t. You accept claims that some things exist and reject claims that others exist all based on the exact same justification. That, by definition, makes your belief unreasonable. Here’s what you do know: There is no objective evidence to support any claim that any gods are something other than figments of individuals’ imaginations.

        • Philmonomer

          Every conservative (“bible believing”) Christian that I’ve met believes that aborted babies go to heaven.

          Also, every conservative (“bible believing”) Christian that I’ve met believes that not everyone who is born is going to heaven.

          Assuming that aborted babies go to heaven, and that not everyone who is born goes to heaven, it always struck me that the abortion doctor is more Jesus-like, than, well, Jesus.

          This is because the abortion doctor is providing heaven to everyone he or she aborts, and the abortion doctor will pay for his or her actions with an eternity of Hell. Jesus provided heaven for only some (the elect), and didn’t have to pay very much for it (a few bad hours on the cross, or maybe 3 bad days, if you believe that). Christians should celebrate the abortion doctor, rather than demonize him.

          Also, if aborted babies go to heaven, and atheists don’t, I can honestly say I wish I had been aborted.

        • busterggi

          And spend eternity singing & worshipping the god who never allowed you to have a life?

        • Zeta

          As you may already know, Valerie Tarico has an interesting article on this:

          https://valerietarico.com/2015/01/29/10-reasons-popular-versions-of-christian-heaven-would-be-hell/

        • Kodie

          I don’t know how you’d even do that.

        • Philmonomer

          My guess is that I wouldn’t care about that. To the extent there is an “I.”

          It’s all nonsense anyway.

        • busterggi

          Nonsense? Then I suppose you consider the question, “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” nonsense too. Obviously the answer depends on the size of the pin and the kind of dance.

        • Kodie

          Don’t forget to factor in the costumes.

        • busterggi

          Dammit they’re angels, not trick-or-treaters!

        • Kodie

          They’re performing the art of dance on the head of a pin, I expect costumes.

        • Susan

          They’re performing the art of dance on the head of a pin, I expect costumes.

          Extremely tiny costumes but they’d better be breathtaking.

        • Michael Neville

          If they’re extremely tiny they would be breathtaking. Or are you claiming that angels are extremely tiny?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not to Who’s they’re not…just ask Horton.

        • Michael Neville

          Next on Fox Entertainment: Dancing With the Angels.

        • adam

          Sorry that I can’t upvote more than once.

        • Zeta

          Just wondering whether, according to these Christians, naturally aborted zygotes (or the embryos that form soon after) go to heaven?

        • Kodie

          It would be super-efficient if god only aborted the zygotes that were going to be evil anyway, each and every one, and not let even one get through. Why doesn’t it work like that? I also wonder if parents would take comfort in that! Phew, dodged a bullet there, instead of grieving over the loss. Many parents would probably rather raise a child with differences, even if those differences were being full of the evil, than lose a child, but if it were a consistent system of god? Well, we know he doesn’t do it that way, and grieving would-be parents are left with the shitty comfort that god has a plan for everyone, and that includes their would-be child, and god needed them sooner in heaven. There was a problem, a genetic or biological problem, and that’s that. But it would be efficient to keep those evil ones from getting out and unleashing evil on the world, and only them, and everyone else’s “plan” is to live their lives and probably get to heaven.

          It’s obviously make up as “god is good” because who are we to judge, as it is to assert that all unborns go straight to heaven, just because you want to think so. It is so much propaganda and no reality.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why doesn’t it work like that?

          Why, Free Will of course. Without evil, what is good? God has a plan. We are not worthy of knowing the plan, but everything happens for a godly reason. So the Godbots tell me anyway. I’m often amazed how so much of the unknown mystery that is God, is so well known and understood by the same folk that make that claim.

          Or it’s all just a loada ballix.

        • Kodie

          While it looks like random chance ™, it’s actually a very specific and perfect plan.

        • epeeist

          Just wondering whether, according to these Christians, naturally aborted zygotes (or the embryos that form soon after) go to heaven?

          If they do then they must be in the large majority given the number of conceptions which never implant.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No matter how many times I’ve seen this point made, I’ve yet to see a reply from the other side of the debate. Not just an even half-hearted attempt at a reply, but nothing, nadda, nought, zip, zilch, zero…and it is a fundamental of the debate.

        • Philmonomer

          Good question. My guess is that most haven’t thought about it. If they were to think about it, I guess they would say “Yes, they go to heaven.” (Another thought: I’m sure the Catholic church has a position on it.)

        • Ignorant Amos

          Until quite recently, Catholic’s believed all the non-baptised, from conception to when a baby was due to be baptised, that died, went to a place called Limbo.

          An article I posted on the old RDFRS forum, which has is no longer, but cited at …

          http://darwiniana.com/2011/02/03/limbo-babies/

          …explained a bit about it. The concept is one of the nastiest piece of theology I’ve come across.

          Of course the nonsense has fallen out of favour with the RCC because it is so upsetting and mothers in these modern times want to be heard and not just seen.

          My article at RDFRS was inspired by the BBC Northern Ireland documentary of the same name.

          http://docuwiki.net/index.php?title=Limbo_Babies

        • Zeta

          A catholic on another forum claimed not longer ago that the RCC is infallible in their dogma because they are always guided by their holy spirit in such matters.

        • Ignorant Amos

          They are careful not to call it an official doctrine. No consolation to the millions of mothers who believe that bullshit and honestly believed that they would not be reunited in Heaven with the soul of their lost we’en.

          So much for Heaven being the end all and be all for eternity.

          The term Limbo doesn’t appear in the bible. Made up nonsense to oppress and fuck up the heads of the ignorant masses. The idea was to get parents to waste no time in getting their babies Christened and enrolled into the Faith.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo#Limbo_of_Infants

        • MR

          What a coincidence. The term “abortion” doesn’t appear in the Bible either! Pretty amazing considering its all-importance….

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed. But there’s quite a bit of that sort of stuff going on though is there not?

        • Michael Neville

          The pope is infallible because Pope Pius II said that popes were infallible. The First Vatican Council concurred in Pius’ statement and also said that ecumenical councils (like 1st Vatican) were also infallible.

          Can you say begging the question, boys and girls? I knew you could.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I found a discussion with a lot on Limbo that’s still available here:
          https://richarddawkins.net/2013/01/hell-into-everlasting-fire/

          Anything useful there?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye…a was involved in that discussion.

          https://richarddawkins.net/2013/01/hell-into-everlasting-fire/#li-comment-49659

          There’s not really much in that thread worth any ones effort.

          For those that have a stomach strong enough for it, a lot of Limbo fuckwittery here…

          Do Not Close the Doors on Limbo Yet

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qchsGxsB53c

          Horrible, nasty, oxygen thieving, shitebags. Seems like Roman Catholic Cunts still yearn for Limbo to be recognised as a reality. Thank fuck this pile a stinking evil is going into the rubbish tip.

        • Myna A.

          I can hear the controlled yearning for the Church to have been able to burn both Henri de Lubac and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin at the stake in the cleric’s voice. I think he misrepresents both men, and de Lubac did become more conservative in his dotage. Thank the powers that be the Catholic Church fell from political grace with the dawn of the Enlightenment.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What? Religious scumbags misrepresenting others to make an argument? Well I never…who’d have even considered such nefarious activity coming from the (not very) good and godly? s//

        • Myna A.

          Well, there is that, of course. The righteous contempt was just so striking…so studied.

        • susan faccone

          I don’t understand? So, limbo was, according to priest, a place that certain people go, and others had to pray for them so they would finally get released and go to heaven. Right? And now, it is no longer a thing? Does that mean it didn’t exist in the first place? How can one believe in something and then be told it isn’t real and then believe it is a credible religion to believe in? Just saying.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So, limbo was, according to priest, a place that certain people go, and others had to pray for them so they would finally get released and go to heaven. Right?

          No, that’s Purgatory.

          There is only Heaven and Hell. Hell has four parks.

          Purgatory is like Hell’s triage waiting area at A & E where the less sinful are next in line to get out. The souls that need less indulgences to get into Heaven are next in line, unless some heavy duty praying is done along with some offerings to the Church, then the queue jumping commences.

          In Purgatory there is always the chance the soul can get to Heaven. With the right money behind those loved ones left behind.

          There are two Limbo’s. Limbo is also a region of Hell. It is an outer region of Hell where there is no fiery brimstone and gnashing of teeth, but Hell all the same. Once in baby Limbo that’s it, you’re fucked. If you were an OT patriarch, you went into an old now defunct and obsolete Limbo.

          Now, after The Fall and before the Redemption of Christ, everyone went to Hell. Hell of the Damned, which was just about everyone and that’s where the Devil sticks a red hot poker up yer arse, or at least it used to be in the olden days. Then there is Limbo of the Patriarch’s, that’s empty now. The righteous sat in Patriarch’s Limbo, a special part of Hell, in order to wait on Jesus, whereupon they got retcon saved and passed into Heaven.

          Limbo of the infants was different.

          Wiki has a reasonable explanation.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbo

          And now, it is no longer a thing?

          It is a theological concept. Which makes it handy because it can be inferred or ignored as and when it suits, or who it suits.

          Does that mean it didn’t exist in the first place?

          Of course it never existed in the first place, none of the nonsense did. It is all made up mumbo jumbo, but that doesn’t detract from the impact the nasty insidious idea has had on real people. Or the mega suffering and grief it has caused.

          How can one believe in something and then be told it isn’t real and then believe it is a credible religion to believe in?

          What? Like make shit up as they go along ya mean? That’s what we atheist’s decided was untenable and what we now ask of the followers of such bullshit.

          Just saying.

          And it is a fair observation.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Purgatory and the Churches corrupt selling of indulgences nearly destroyed the RCC, so it had to pull it’s horns in on that issue.

          Limbo and the Churches insistence that infant souls go to Hell and their bodies cannot be buried in consecrated ground also has the potential to put a nail in the coffin of the modern RCC, so it has had to pull it’s horns in on that issue too.

        • Max Doubt

          “I’d be happy to answer your question Zeta but first to bring this question of burning innocent babies alive into a modern context, do you believe its cruel to burn babies alive through saline solution in the womb in our modern abortion mills?”

          Remember, I have powers far and away greater than any alleged powers of your god. I really truly do. And I, by my authority derived from those powers, allow abortion as an acceptable practice for any woman who chooses that option. I really do. I have the power. Your god doesn’t. Care to refute that, or will you pull your head back in that little thin fragile shell and ignore it?

          Oh, I may at my whim heap suffering and pain on all those in the world who would second guess me and suggest they have a god who doesn’t approve of abortion. Are you one of those who would take a chance on me fucking up your life and afterlife? Do you doubt my power?

        • Scooter

          Max, I’m quite concerned for you-have you seen your Dr. lately?

        • adam

          Why would you be concerned?

          Max demonstrates more power right here on this blog, than YOUR ‘God’

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f142f77c52e865076a01b3a3efee03253df1fedf08474a3e33c625d3a5aea940.jpg

        • Max Doubt

          “Max, I’m quite concerned for you-have you seen your Dr. lately?”

          Yet you’re the one who believes invisible magical beings exist and have some power to modify the state of the universe. You can’t objectively differentiate your god from any other figment of your imagination, yet you insist — as rude and dishonest as it is — that your invisible pal is real. I can demonstrate most of my powers, objectively, unequivocally. Do you doubt my power? Would you like to put my powers and your god’s powers to a contest?

        • adam

          “Would you like to put my powers and your god’s powers to a contest?”

          Funny thing is that you wont even need a can of whoop-ass.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/45dd842d504bf41dc40188a391c8bf8b689376b72eb646fb8e2420b851e668e7.jpg

        • Myna A.

          Max, I’m quite concerned for you-have you seen your Dr. lately?

          You don’t get it. I mean, you really, really don’t.

          On a side note: It’s getting more and more difficult to even comment on these types of fixed fables and fancies.

        • Susan

          Max, I’m quite concerned for you-have you seen your Dr. lately?

          Scooter, irony metres don’t grow on trees, you know.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Because of Scooter’s delusion’s he doesn’t even realise the irony there, but then I fear Scooter is beyond medical help anyway.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I have the power. Your god doesn’t.

          I suspect that if we had a Max Doubt vs. Baal contest, you would win. Or a Max Doubt vs. Yahweh contest.

          And you know what happens to the partisans of the losing side …

        • Susan

          I’d be happy to answer your question

          Yet, it’s been two days and you still haven’t answered it.

        • Scooter

          Even though Zeta refused to respond to my question I in fact did answer somewhere on this blog.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No ya didn’t…what ya did was a fudge.

          Zeta asked…

          Why don’t you just directly and unequivocally state whether cruelly killing innocent people is morally right or wrong?

          You replied…

          Finally, yes Zeta I directly and unequivocally state that cruelly killing innocent people is morally wrong. But I qualify my answer by saying that if its a human being doing it he would definitely be a monster and morally wrong. However, if we are talking about God who is absolutely sovereign, who is morally perfect in character whose thoughts are above our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth, who loves righteousness but hates sin, who knows the end from the beginning and so much more then how can we as finite humans even pretend to know the mind of the infinite God and what He’s acccomplishing?

          The bit underlined is an equivocation ya fool.

          Merriam-Webster…

          Equivocate: to avoid committing oneself in what one says.

        • Scooter

          You should take this to heart. (Psalm 14:1) – “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good”

        • busterggi

          And you should take Psalm 372:1 to heart – “He who smelt it dealt it”.

          Ancient wisdom only divine relevation could teach.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Only a real fool would quote buybull scripture at an atheist…too stupid by half.

          Or maybe Scooter just doesn’t know his scripture all that well and the ramifications of such ignorance, still a fool.

        • susan faccone

          Of course a bible that is supposed to be written by god would say that! It is the All About Me, God, book! He definitely loves himself all though out the whole dang thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why should I take that wankery to heart Scooter?

          Do you take this similar wankery to heart?

          “And when it is said to them: Believe as the people believe, they say: Shall we believe as the fools believe? Now surely they themselves are the fools, but they do not know.”

          Of course ya don’t.

          What sort of Christian are you anyway?

          “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” (Matthew 5:22)

          Ya dopey fool.

        • TheNuszAbides

          apropos of wankery, i was very recently introduced to this lovely piece while watching The Fall:

          There was a man of double deed,
          Who sowed his garden full of seed;
          When the seed began to grow,
          ‘Twas like a garden full of snow;
          When the snow began to melt,
          ‘Twas like a ship without a belt;
          When the ship began to sail,
          ‘Twas like a bird without a tail;
          When the bird bega to fly,
          ‘Twas like an eagle in the sky;
          When the sky began to roar,
          ‘Twas like a lion at my door;
          When my door began to crack,
          ‘Twas like a stick across my back;
          When my back began to smart,
          ‘Twas like a penknife in my heart;
          And when my heart began to bleed,
          ‘Twas death, and death, and death indeed.

          –Anon.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A seen the show. Very entertaining and filmed locally including one of the locations being in an army barracks in which I was stationed.

          Jamie Dornan was excellent. He is also great in “The Siege of Jadotville”, which is based on a “true” story.

          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3922798/

        • TheNuszAbides

          aye, it seemed well-cast across the board. thanks for the tip!

        • dorcheat

          Lame ass preaching. Scooter even very likely copy and pasted the bible passage and not bothered manually typing it.

        • adam

          You should take this to heart.(Matthew 5:22) – ” But whoever says, 7‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dce00e1b0c43782bfbcf1ba8e1da4341b9da950f351d709a11c00a4c1f7e54d8.jpg

        • Scooter

          Your typical misunderstanding of spiritual matters. Read the following carefully:

          When Jesus said in Matthew 5:22 that you should not call anyone a fool, contextually He was speaking of those who were unrighteously angry. That is why Jesus mentions anger in this verse. There is a righteous anger which is not sinful (Eph. 4:26 – “Be angry and do not sin . . .” ), as well as unrighteous anger that is sinful (James 1:20 – “for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God”). When God is angry with someone, He is always righteous in His anger. Jesus, being God in flesh (John 1:1,14; 20:28; Col. 2:9), can righteously be angry with people and pronounce upon them the foolishness of their deeds–which He did (Matt. 23:17). Also, undoubtedly, Jesus knew Psalm 14:1 which says, “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’ . . .” Jesus didn’t forget the well known verse, and God is not wrong for calling someone a fool, especially when it is true.

        • busterggi

          Jesus was no B. A. Baracus.

        • adam

          “When God is angry with someone, He is always righteous

          “God is not wrong for calling someone a fool, especially when it is true.”

          Of course, my point exactly…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4e3bbea2d1e4d81dbd3798980be2ee8b39f893fee5d1d2b81b76b5e7ba184e1.jpg

        • Kodie

          You are just a parrot for “spiritual matters”. The bible says something, you believe it is relevant. You think god printed that saying, and it’s not a character trying to convince another character by making them feel insecure – LIKE PRACTICALLY EVERY COMMERCIAL ON TV.

          You have an imaginary friend. Analyzing the bible is a fun hobby for some people, but it’s still fiction.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So says…

          Matt Slick, the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

          But what ta fuck makes that rhubarb an authority? Why should anyone take his interpretation as…well…gospel?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Be careful…Smiffy will be on yer arse for “copy & paste” without making your audience aware that it is indeed a quote…by using such things as italicising, blockquoting, using parenthesis, underlining, bolding…or citation.

          You could be accused of plagiarism.

          So, just in case Smiffy pops in… https://carm.org/bible-difficulties/job-song-solomon/can-we-call-someone-fool-or-not

        • Max Doubt

          “Your typical misunderstanding of spiritual matters. Read the following carefully:

          When Jesus said [preach. preach… preach…]”

          We are not playing your imaginary friend game. We do not accept your fairy tale as true. You’ve been told this many, many times, yet you still have the audacity to come here and preach as if we might accept it as something other than a fairy tale. You are one of the rudest, most inconsiderate, most dishonest dicks to come to this forum. You’ve been treating all these good people like shit. Tell me, are your parents proud or embarrassed to have raised a contemptible asshole like you?

        • Zeta

          Quoting verses from your bible in such a situation is only useful if you are talking to people who live in the same bubble as you. It is pure stupidity and also insulting to non-believers unless you are pointing out factual errors.

        • MNb

          “and God is not wrong for calling someone a fool, especially when it is true.”
          Apparently you don’t have any idea how silly this is.

        • TheNuszAbides
          especially when it is true.

          you yourself could turn a thousand new and coherent phrases in English before Scoot could muster 1, and i’d wager it’s his native language.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Jesus: “And since my goodness can never be disqualified because of absolute morality bullshit I came up with: Go kill somepregnant women, forcefully abort their children, and have all the virgin girls for yourselves! I want to see just how much I can stretch people’s rationalizations that I am good!”

        • adam

          “They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds;”

          “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, ”

          “For the devious person is an abomination to the Lord,”

          “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished. ”

          “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,”

          “here are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. ”

          “Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the Lord. ”

          “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

          “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord”

          “Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me”

          https://www.openbible.info/topics/abomination

        • Ignorant Amos

          Hee hee!

          Like I said, “Only a real fool would quote buybull scripture at an atheist…too stupid by half”, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel., isn’t it?

        • adam

          At times I feel pity and sorrow towards their stupidity.

          Not this time, though. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4ce7e09670b2a800354ebdf46d8e6f9a4290dc6a0dd098b0012d0feae5725f54.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          He looks a bit like God … he hasn’t smited anyone lately, and he actually exists.

          Perhaps Randi is more worthy of worship than God.

          http://www-tc.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/files/2012/11/post07-sistine-chapel.jpg

        • Max Doubt

          “You should take this to heart. (Psalm 14:1) – “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good””

          You should take this to heart: Your god is a flimsy little piece of your imagination, utterly powerless, and has no authority over anyone who doesn’t want to accept its authority. That I say from my authority. Now if you believe there’s some god thing with more authority or more power than mine, bring it on. Have that supposed god of yours agree to a contest. I expect as hard as you might try it’ll concede. I more fully expect you’ll maintain your steadfast willful ignorance — because you’re scared to death of your own imagination — and you won’t even let your god thing know I’m here for the challenge. Got the stuff, or will you completely wussy out?

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          A book pushing a particular belief says that those who don’t believe are fools. Like that’s supposed to be a compelling argument for the non-believer.

          I wouldn’t mind Psalm 14 if the believers kept it for home consumption. But every time it gets thrown at me I think of Matt 5:22: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (NIV); (Raca is an Aramaic word meaning
          vain, empty, worthless. The Jews used it as a word of contempt.) When some Christian tosses Psalm 14:1 at me I’m often tempted to respond: “And fuck you too.”

        • Greg G.

          There are 18 verses in the Protestant Bible that have translated to English to say “there is no god.” That is probably the truest phrase in the whole Bible.

        • The Notorious R.G.I.

          You should stop pretending that you’re making any sort of argument by quoting rubbish from anonymous ancient texts.

        • Otto

          Yes…your holy book basically calls anyone that doesn’t buy its claims an ‘asshole’…. Oh my isn’t that convincing…

        • adam
        • MNb

          And are too wretched to provide a link or repeat it.
          That or you’re just lying, know it, but can’t admit it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Scooter buried his fudged answer in a reply to someone else, so easily missed.

        • adam

          Really?
          Where?

        • Zeta

          Even though Zeta refused to respond to my question I in fact did answer somewhere on this blog.

          Be honest or is it too much to expect from you? Did you answer my questions? You dishonest weasel. Here are my questions again:

          1. If you think that they (i.e., bestiality and incest) are also abominations (or worse) please explain why your god paraded all the animals before Adam so that Adam can find a “help meet”.

          2. Who was Cain’s wife?

          These are found in your holy book and you have been trying your best to defend it. Why are you evading them here? Please be reminded that I do not have a holy book to defend. To help you along in case you have a short memory or have a comprehension problem, your perfect god tried to make Adam practise bestiality. It is surprising that an omniscient god did not know that Adam would not be able to find an animal suitable for him! Lucky for him. As for incest in your holy book, there is no escape from the fact that it was practised. Your god made it so.

          You tried to defend an immoral god by claiming that because he is god, any atrocity committed by him is good and perfect. Your god is the “source of morality” for you. Even if this source is foul-smelling and obnoxious, you are claiming that it is fragrant and perfect. Any right-thinking persons (be they atheists or even many Christians) would reject such a claim. Try it on believers of other religions and see whether they agree with you.

        • Zeta

          This comment is somewhat off-topic but it is still relevant to the fact that you like to throw garbage around and refuse to take responsibilty by clearing them out.

          I happened to read my past postings yesterday. I was surprised to find that I had in fact posed questions to you before but no answers.

          In comments to the article “When Christians Treat God Like a Baby” on Cross Examined about 6 months ago, you quoted Charlie H. Campbell to support your argument:

          … hundreds of fulfilled prophecies…thousands of archaeological discoveries…numerous details in the Bible that have been corroborated by extrabiblical historical sources, and so on.

          I asked you to “Please provide actual examples of what you consider as fulfilled prophesies, archaeological discoveries, etc. No use making empty and grandiose claims.”

          No answers from you.

          BobS recently wrote a series of articles (“Bible Prophecies: Fulfilled or Fail?”) refuting Hugh Ross’ claim that

          “Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2,000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter—no errors….”

          Bob has blown Ross’ nonsense to smithereens. Ross’ position is in line with yours. I think you should go over there and argue your case.

          Apologies to fellow commenters if you find this irrelevant to this thread.

        • Myna A.

          It’s totally relevant. Scooter has shown a familiar pattern of ignoring questions he either cannot answer or is too uncomfortable in doing so. His fellow religionists, in general, do the same.

        • epeeist

          His fellow religionists, in general, have done and continue to do the same.

          Agreed, elsewhere I have been in long discussions with both a YEC and a flat earther (seriously). In each case I have presented evidence that completely undermines their position. However it is as though the papers had a tag on saying “Do not respond to this. Avoid at all costs”. I am certain though that they will both be back making the same claims as though nothing had been said.

          The thing that they have in common, besides the dishonesty and lack of intellectual integrity, is a total ignorance of the positions they are criticising coupled with a complete certainty that their understanding is full and free of error.

          Oh, and I am thoroughly fed up with “argumentum ad YouTube”.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          At skeptoid.com, the last 3 podcasts have been about moon landing deniers. He mentioned lots of evidence I didn’t know or think about but acknowledged that if you’re determined to deny something, you’ll find some way to resolve the discord in your own head.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Shine the light when and wherever it needs shone. Don’t be put off no matter what. Leave them no stone to hide under, or dark hole to hide in. You do well to hold them accountable for their asinine claims. Make them support their assertions with something more than conjecture and wishful thinking.

        • Giauz Ragnarock

          Does the pregnant person want to continue the pregnancy or perhaps it would be right if Jesus ordered his followers to rip them right out of the wombs of people who did intend to give birth?

        • Katherine Socha

          Is it more or less cruel than for a pregnant woman to be forced to shove a wire coat hanger into her uterus to rid herself of an unwanted parasitic growth that was violently forced on her or is severely threatening her life or health?

        • Scooter

          Katharine, I won’t be continuing discussions on this blog any longer but I will address your question as it often comes up in the abortion debate. First point, if a woman’s pregnancy is life threatening and the unborn baby would die as well then the Dr’s decision to abort the baby would be justified I believe. I note however that there are instances where pregnant mom’s refused to take chemo for their cancer treatment for the health and life of their child.

          So you’re basically saying that if a woman was brutally raped and would be emotionally traumatized by carrying to term, would you allow her to have an abortion, or would you force her to have the child?

          My question though is why should this revolting crime against a woman be answered by taking the child’s life? Oh, I understand that might ease the mother’s pain, it might make the mother feel better (though, it may make things more difficult, too). But even if it did, even if she felt great afterwards, is that a good reason to take the life of an innocent human being, because it removes the reminder of the terrible violation she experienced? Further, should we allow the mother to summarily kill the guilty rapist if he was caught, so she would feel better? Then why should she be allowed to kill the innocent child to feel better?

          But what is the real issue in abortion? What kind of living thing is resting in its mother’s womb? If the unborn child is not a living person, then no excuse for abortion is necessary. If it is, then no excuse for abortion is adequate.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Scooter…fuck off and take this ignorant fuckwittery away with you if you aren’t prepared to engage in further discussion. You are nothing but an arsewipe for Jesus.

        • Michael Neville

          You couldn’t stick the landing on your flounce.

          Protip: If you announce that you’re leaving then leave. Otherwise you look like an equivocating phony. If you might come back, don’t announce your flounce.

        • Myna

          I won’t be continuing discussions on this blog any longer

          Thou didst declare the same yesterday, Scooter-of-the-Flaming-Pants!

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/72e6eabf362f08f519cd24a007b8952aa379f9ca348d433648f2bb15e04eabb2.jpg

        • MNb

          The zygote is not a living person – not a child either – and indeed no excuse for abortion is necessary.

        • Max Doubt

          “Katharine, I won’t be continuing discussions on this blog any longer…”

          LOL! Yeah, you’ve had your ass handed to you several times on this blog. You got called out for your dishonesty, for preaching, for playing your juvenile imaginary friend game here where nobody else wants to play, for making claims you can’t support, and for your willful ignorance of the many relevant questions you’ve been asked. And when everyone finally got tired of your inconsiderate assholiness, you whimpered and stomped off like a seven year old. Last time. The time before…

          I even predicted you’d be back and start right in as if nobody knew you’re just another inconsiderate dishonest Jesus peddler. And you did come back. You’ll be back again, lying, acting like a spoiled brat expecting everyone to indulge you and your imaginary pal game. So wipe off those crocodile tears little fellow. You don’t get a pat on the head on your way out the door.

          “… but I will address your question as it often comes up in the abortion debate.”

          … unless those questions require an honest answer, of course.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          My question though is why should this revolting crime against a woman be answered by taking the child’s life?

          Because it’s not a child.

          Tip: if it requires a microscope to see, it’s not a child.

          But what is the real issue in abortion?

          The real issue is that Christian and political leaders are able to lead Christians around by the nose with bullshit arguments like “It’s not a single cell, it’s a baby!!” and “Same-sex marriage makes Jesus cry!!”

          Or was that not the question you were asking?

          What kind of living thing is resting in its mother’s womb? If the unborn child is not a living person, then no excuse for abortion is necessary. If it is, then no excuse for abortion is adequate.

          You really need to get better arguments. Cute one-liners don’t work if your opponent thinks about them.

          The fetus is not a person–it’s a fetus. Simple. I’m glad we were able to clear this up so easily.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          You act like Christians and atheists make moral evaluations differently.

          I see no evidence of objective moral truth, particularly objective moral truth that is reliably accessible by humans. If you do, show it to us.

          Our moral evaluations are imperfect, but we must judge God’s actions as best we can–and they suck. The God of the Old Testament is a barbaric asshole. Is it possible that he actually had good reasons that we simply don’t/can’t understand? Sure, but (1) there is no evidence for that and (2) that’s irrelevant because we evaluate and make our moral conclusions as best we can. We never say, “Well, I’ll just have to reserve judgment here because maybe I’m wrong.”

        • Scooter

          Bob please-you’re starting to sound much like old Dawkins in his demeaning and blasphemous rhetoric. Let’s keep our discussion on a higher level. Now what makes you qualified to “judge God’s actions?” You and other atheist critics of the Hebrew God are treating God, and judging the God of the Bible, as though He were just a human being. This is certainly true of Dawkins’s famous rant about the Old Testament God. If this is the case, are you not reading your own assumptions into the text? This raises a couple of interesting questions:
          1) How does the moral requirements on a being change when we regard it as being just another human being or as being God?
          2) Are there moral requirements on God and, if so, can we know them?

          My thinking is that yes the moral requirements do change if we’re talking about God rather than a man
          If a human being does all the things that God does in the Old Testament I would definitely agree that this individual is tyrannical, murderous and capricious. However, if the being doing these things is the Creator, ultimate moral judge and absolutely sovereign, then the matter changes entirely. A human being who determines when and how people die and who tries to mete out punishment for sins, would be a tyrannical, evil person. However, if the being doing it is God, then He is simply performing a function of his absolute sovereignty. The Bible itself would agree with this line of argument. Original Sin, the primal evil that caused both the fall of man and Lucifer, is when humans and angels strive to be “like God” or to take God’s place; to usurp God’s throne. So if you assume that the Old Testament God is a human character, which atheists inevitably do, (because, to them, there is no moral agent above a human being) then you are correct in saying that this character is evil.

          If you think you can judge God’s morality you’re totally out of line. Why? Because you can’t morally judge the origin of moral judgment for one thing and secondly, you cannot morally judge the source of goodness. Thus, by judging God, you automatically assume that God is something less than God. Or, to put it another way, “judging God” is a contradiction in terms; a logical impossibility. So, in other words, it is impossible to approach this question without circular argumentation. There is no common ground on which to decide the question. This point clearly has relevance to each of the events in the Hebrew Bible, which are considered problematic. Whether we think the character who initiates these biblical events that trouble us is the Almighty Sovereign, or just another human-like character in a literary work, will determine how we perceive the event. A function of divine sovereignty is to determine when and how people will die. In terms of the Deluge or Biblical “genocide” we are explicitly told that God determines the death of certain people. Yet, the sovereignty of God implies that God does this with everyone. God has determined when and how each of us will die and does not only do this to Noah’s contemporaries or Moses but to you, me, Susan, Zeta, Max, Ignorant Amos, Michael Neville, Adam and the rest. We best be prepared no?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          you’re starting to sound much like old Dawkins in his demeaning and blasphemous rhetoric.

          Oh? You ought to see me when I’m irked.

          what makes you qualified to “judge God’s actions?”

          A meaningless question. Claims for God’s existence come to me, and I must evaluate them. I don’t need a warrant to do so; it’s simply what one does to see if a claim makes sense. (And when I heard claims of omnibenevolence made about the SOB in the Old Testament, the judgment is pretty easy to make.)

          You and other atheist critics of the Hebrew God are treating God, and judging the God of the Bible, as though He were just a human being.

          No, I’m holding him to a much, much higher standard—the standard of a perfect god. (And guess how he stands up when evaluated.)

          are you not reading your own assumptions into the text?

          You mean: am I making my evaluation with Bob’s assumptions and limitations? Yep. Give me another platform from which I can speak. I’m pretty sure I only have one.

          1) How does the moral requirements on a being change when we regard it as being just another human being or as being God?

          We will likely give the human a break—he’s only human, after all. God is judged against the standard of perfection.

          2) Are there moral requirements on God and, if so, can we know them?

          I’ve always thought that if God gives moral requirements to humans, they must be reasonable ones for him to follow as well. If instead God has a different set of moral rules that he follows, tell me what they are.

          If a human being does all the things that God does in the Old Testament I would definitely agree that this individual is tyrannical, murderous and capricious.

          We agree.

          However, if the being doing these things is the Creator, ultimate moral judge and absolutely sovereign, then the matter changes entirely.

          It would … if we could know that that’s who we’re judging. But that’s just the problem, isn’t it? We are assaulted with myriad supernatural claims. Which, if any, are correct? We must consider each one and judge as best we can whether that being actually exists, since most don’t. In the case of God, the evaluation is easy—he’s perfectly good and wise … and yet he commands genocide and allows slavery. Fail.

          A human being who determines when and how people die and who tries to mete out punishment for sins, would be a tyrannical, evil person. However, if the being doing it is God, then He is simply performing a function of his absolute sovereignty.

          And you’ve concluded that he must be the Creator. I can’t imagine that you have compelling evidence for that conclusion, and that’s the problem with your position.

          The Bible itself would agree with this line of argument.

          You want to use the Bible? I think Greg G recently raised the Elijah vs. prophets of Baal example as the biblical standard to follow. Set up a public test to prove God’s existence, and if he doesn’t show, those people who said that he would should all be killed.

          Sound good?

          if you assume that the Old Testament God is a human character

          Walked in the Garden of Eden, had to send scouts to Sodom to check out the rumors he’d heard, wished he’d never created mankind in the first place before the Flood? Yep, sounds like a human character.

          If you think you can judge God’s morality you’re totally out of line.

          Oh, please. How hard is this? We’re not judging God’s morality! You have claims that you must evaluate. You obviously don’t start with the conclusion that this is God we’re talking about.

          We best be prepared no?

          Is this an appeal to Pascal? Don’t get me started.

        • Greg G.

          You want to use the Bible? I think Greg G recently raised the Elijah vs. prophets of Baal example as the biblical standard to follow. Set up a public test to prove God’s existence, and if he doesn’t show, those people who said that he would should all be killed.

          Sound good?

          I wouldn’t want to make that challenge to a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line. My challenge is to light the charcoal in a Hibachi in order to cook a steak, the Christian using the means Elijah used to light the bonfire while I would use the products of science to light my Hibachi. The loser has steak tartare.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          There’s your problem. You’re just too wimpy to use the godly methods described in the Good Book.

        • Greg G.

          You’re just too wimpy

          I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          What’s the deal with Tuesday? Was Tuesday when Wimpy got his allowance from his wife?

        • Kodie

          Maybe you’ll forget by Tuesday.

        • Zeta

          Since BobS has already written a very good rebuttal to your points, I do not intend to repeat his points. I’ll just present my 2 cents worth of experience with religions. I started with a clean slate as far as religions were concerned, never been indoctrinated into any religious beliefs.

          In high school, several Christian friends tried to proselytize to me by telling me about Adam & Eve, sinning, why we need Jesus to save us, get eternal life in heaven if I accept him (if not hell was for me!), and also Pascal’s wager (I didn’t know this name at that time). I really laughed at them for being so credulous. Adam & Eve was nothing more than myth, as believable as numerous other Western and Eastern myths that I was familiar with. I was also disgusted by the binary nature of Christian punishment: heaven for you if you believe, eternal hell if you don’t. Nothing in between? What happens to punishment that is commensurate with the crime? This did not square with my sense of justice.

          When I started reading your bible much later in life, I was dismayed and shocked by the ludicrously wrong view of the physical world, contradictions, inconsistencies, fabrications, incredibly unbelievable myths, racist concept of a “chosen people”, hypocrisy, violence, genocides, indiscrimate and capricious killings by your god. Jesus had a few unoriginal things to say but no big deal. He is also supposed to be the same god as the OT god, so his credibility is very much in doubt.

          You can see that from my point of view, you have got things backwards. You started by believing in god first and then look for justifications and made-up concepts to support your belief. I started with no belief and found that Christianity is false when I looked into it. I do not see evidence of an omniscient, omnipotent, and omni-benevolent god. I do not see any evidence that I need to be saved, especially when I am supposed to be saved by a god from the same god himself. What I see is a make-believe world, and within it, a god whose attribues were embellished by theologians and who evolved through the ages showing clearly that god is a made-up concept by man.

        • Dys

          Now what makes you qualified to “judge God’s actions?” You and other atheist critics of the Hebrew God are treating God, and judging the God of the Bible, as though He were just a human being

          And you judge God as good, yet by your own admission are completely unable to do so. So you have absolutely no business calling God good.

          Christians repeatedly make the complaint that atheists are judging God, while hypocritically doing the same thing themselves. They just give themselves a pass on it, because they’re judging him in a positive light.

        • Kodie

          Christians judge god good out of fear.

        • Myna A.

          Christians judge god good out of fear.

          And that’s just it. The virus is internalized and set in motion through fear. God will smite curiosity and exploration. He is unseen, but can see…and he’s watching. Waiting. By way of the inevitability of death, he will find you and surely you will tremble for being human, for not measuring up to a standard where you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

          The bible, the qu’ran are the blue prints for the most extreme of dictatorships…because it is all in the mind. One is fighting for and against phantoms.

          Scooter is a prime example of one who defends the god residing in his own head. How dare you judge what I have judged, is the twirling hoop he argues with.

        • MNb

          “treating God, and judging the God of the Bible, as though He were just a human being”
          Ah, the good old “christian morality is objective because it’s different when the subject is called God” argument.
          1) Only makes sense if your morality depends on the subject – is subjective.
          2) There are no moral requirements on any god because there aren’t any gods.
          However if we accept for the sake of argument that there is a god the question “why is God ordering the killing of babies a good thing but Scoot doing it an evil thing” a relevant question. And the only answer christian apologists have been able to give is “God is a god and hence morality for him is different” – which means that morality is subjective.

        • Michael Neville

          Now what makes you qualified to “judge God’s actions?”

          Because I’m an intelligent, rational person with a concept of right and wrong. I believe that killing is wrong. According to your propaganda Yahweh kills people just because he can. That’s wrong. You Christians claim “but God is the ultimate authority.” That tells me you excuse Yahweh’s killing because might makes right.

          According to your propaganda your god is a sadistic, narcissistic bully with the emotional maturity of a spoiled six year old. That does not make his actions moral, no matter how much you whine.

        • Max Doubt

          “Bob please-you’re starting to sound much like old Dawkins in his demeaning and blasphemous rhetoric. Let’s keep our discussion on a higher level.”

          Higher level? You refuse to participate in the discussion with any honesty, and you’re asking other people to participate at a higher level? Seriously? Do you wonder why some of these good people think you’re an arrogant prick?

          “Now what makes you qualified to “judge God’s actions?””

          I’m qualified to judge the actions of any fictional character or imaginary being. Can you objectively demonstrate that your god is something other than a figment of your imagination?

          “You and other atheist critics of the Hebrew God are treating God, and judging the God of the Bible, as though He were just a human being.”

          No. We judge your gods as if they’re storybook characters, mythological beings, figments of your imagination. After all, you can’t objectively demonstrate that they’re not, can you?

          “This is certainly true of Dawkins’s famous rant about the Old Testament God. If this is the case, are you not reading your own assumptions into the text?”

          You read your own assumptions into the text. It’s pretty fucking arrogant for you to imply it might not be equally acceptable for other people to do that, too.

          “This raises a couple of interesting questions: 1) How does the moral requirements on a being change when we regard it as being just another human being or as being God?”

          The moral requirements of a fictional character are whatever you choose to give it. When we discuss the morality of a character that allegedly interacts with humanity, we consider the morality within the context of that interaction.

          “2) Are there moral requirements on God and, if so, can we know them?”

          How can you know them other than creating them in your imagination?

          “If a human being does all the things that God does in the Old Testament I would definitely agree that this individual is tyrannical, murderous and capricious. However, if the being doing these things is the Creator, ultimate moral judge and absolutely sovereign, then the matter changes entirely.”

          That’s a pretty big “if”. Provide some objective support for the notion that any such being exists. Unless you can do that your preaching is irrelevant to objective reality.

          “A human being who determines when and how people die and who tries to mete out punishment for sins, would be a tyrannical, evil person. However, if the being doing it is God, then He is simply performing a function of his absolute sovereignty.”

          You’re making excuses for what would, in real life, be considered behavior that presents a danger to the lives and safety of other people. You’re being exactly like the mother of the convicted rapist murderer who simply cannot wrap her head around the fact that her son committed those crimes. Your steadfast wilful ignorance and denial of reality cannot make that sort of behavior an acceptable mode of human interaction.

          “The Bible itself would agree with this line of argument.”

          You’re talking about a work of fiction. We’re talking about how those characters would be assessed if they were involved in reality. But they’re not. You keep trying to shove elements of fiction, and how you’ve assembled them in your imagination, into the conversation as if they’re actually components of reality. They’re not. You’re being dishonest.

          “Original Sin, the primal evil that caused both the fall of man and Lucifer, is when humans and angels strive to be “like God” or to take God’s place; to usurp God’s throne. So if you assume that the Old Testament God is a human character, which atheists inevitably do, (because, to them, there is no moral agent above a human being) then you are correct in saying that this character is evil.”

          This character is evil. I am correct. As far as being like a god? There is nothing your supposed god can do that I can’t do. Nothing. I have all the powers you attribute to your god, and more. I am the judge of your god, and I authorize the rest of humanity to also make those judgements. Except you. I don’t authorize you to make those judgements. If you keep doing it I might arrange for you to suffer, maybe forever.

          “If you think you can judge God’s morality you’re totally out of line. Why? Because you can’t morally judge the origin of moral judgment for one thing and secondly, you cannot morally judge the source of goodness.”

          You’re dishonestly making the assumption that your god exists and is the source of goodness. Since you are just assuming, all your talk is hypothetical. It’s dishonest for to not admit that.

          “Thus, by judging God, you automatically assume that God is something less than God.”

          Your god is less than me. My powers far exceed those of your god. There is nothing your god can do that I can’t do and several things I can do that your god simply can not.

          “God has determined when and how each of us will die and does not only do this to Noah’s contemporaries or Moses but to you, me, Susan, Zeta, Max, Ignorant Amos, Michael Neville, Adam and the rest. We best be prepared no?”

          No. Your preaching is sorta cute, but it is, after all, just preaching. Everything you believe about gods’ interactions with reality is based on assumptions that you cannot show are true. I, on the other hand, actually exist, and my powers are undeniable. Don’t believe me? Better watch out. I might send some lesser gods to fuck you up bad.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Nice rebuttal!

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          “If a human being does all the things that God does in the Old Testament I would definitely agree that this individual is tyrannical, murderous and capricious. However, if the being doing these things is the Creator, ultimate moral judge and absolutely sovereign, then the matter changes entirely.”

          Might makes right is not a basis for morality. You’re admitting that your god is a bully who does whatever he wants because he can get away with it. Sounds pretty immoral to me.

        • Kodie

          You know, you don’t have to believe that stuff. It’s clear you accept the abuse of an imaginary fictional character you heard about from other fucking people. You think we want to hear it, or need to hear about it. You have an imaginary friend/abuser, and you accept a lot of shit in that framework, but it isn’t even true. You accept that he’s a monster who could smite you immediately if it pleases him, so you whimper and call him “good” because he has the power over you. That’s not love, honey, that’s sick abuse and not even true. Atheists live outside of that. We’re not forced to call bad things good because we’re in no position to judge it. You know it’s bad, but you call it good. That’s plain fucked up, and no one who loves you would expect it.

          It’s a myth made up from primitive humans who had no idea how to interpret their reality, and invented a superstition, how to behave if you want the good luck, how to avoid getting the bad luck. All you’re doing is being influenced by shitty ideas people can have, and had a long time before they could know any better. If god had any powers, we’d all know it, and we’d all at least acknowledge it. He wouldn’t send you to argue on his behalf. You are made to believe if you don’t defend god, he’ll get mad at you. That’s fucking untrue. Why are you so scared? I’m not scared. There is nothing to be scared of.

        • adam

          “1) Since you are judging God’s morality by what standard are you making this judgment? ”

          The fact that God brags about creating EVIL…for one. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9fef3e09d4fced201880c6048e47897bc3461d04f1c5de54936408c4560c105b.jpg

        • Scooter

          Again its very important to understand proper Biblical exegesis. In the context of this passage which you take delight in quoting, the Lord asserts His power over 2 fundamental poles of reality, as described in Gen. 1:3-4. The parallel terms “well-being” and “calamity” include the political realities that the Assyrian ruler Cyrus who was coming against Israel was going to impact fulfilling the counsel of God. So if your understanding of evil in this passage is “Moral evil” then you’re wrong. The better word is calamity which a Sovereign God has every right to initiate.

        • adam

          “So if your understanding of evil in this passage is “Moral evil” then you’re wrong. ”

          No just EVIL
          The character ‘God of Abraham’ in the stories’ demonstrates his ‘morality’ by punishing innocent and ignorant Adam and Eve for their innocence.

          Creating ‘sin’ that everyone else gets punished for

          Creating Hell and eternal punishment for very, very, very short temporal ‘sins’

          So there is no debate about the perverted ‘morality’ of the character “God” in the bible.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c3d7dd2c03fcc948ba5d1ff877e546205f0bf464af9229e15212fe9f571e7a53.jpg

          It is more important to understand the proper meaning of words….

          Full Definition of calamity Merriam Webster.

          1 : a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss

          2 : a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering

          Full Definition of evil

          3 a : causing harm : pernicious b : marked by misfortune : unlucky

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/60865103a336b5d68f96eb3254e706491af8f8a5dbd80dafef9edf2beab0319d.jpg

        • adam

          “The better word is calamity which a Sovereign God has every right to initiate.”

          Simple Definition of calamity
          : an event that causes great harm and suffering
          Source: Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a18a3237d360e002dbdd901e4a3f5688a3463b7d939dbc595090ceadb5ae4faa.png

        • Ignorant Amos

          Again its very important to understand proper Biblical exegesis.

          You crack me up Scooter. By “proper exegesis” you mean your preferred exegesis. Or even the exegesis of Christians. Yeah, we get it, but you don’t get to decide which is the “proper exegesis” for everyone else.

          Believers claim God created everything. So what is it?

          Now, when scripture is used to show God claims to have created evil, the scurrying apologetics begin.

          Calamity is synonymous with evil. OT God was a nasty piece of work. The evil/calamities that tyranical humans have visted on the world pale in comparison to OT God. It had no problem doing evil shit, or calamities if you prefer, and that God revelled in everyone knowing about just how evil/calamitous it could be. The example of the evil/calamities God visited on the world in the OT are not disputed.

          Stop playing semantics about what the word evil means…no one here bar a few holy rollers care much for the evil that is sinning bullshit.

          Calamity:-

          evil
          noun. badness, immorality; disaster

          affliction
          baseness
          blow
          calamity
          catastrophe
          corruption
          crime
          criminality
          curse
          debauchery
          depravity
          devilry
          diablerie
          diabolism
          harm
          hatred
          heinousness
          hurt
          ill
          impiety
          indecency
          infamy
          iniquity
          injury
          knavery
          lewdness
          licentiousness
          looseness
          malevolence
          malignity
          meanness
          mischief
          misery
          misfortune
          obscenity
          outrage
          pain
          perversity
          ruin
          sin
          sinfulness
          sorrow
          suffering

          http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/calamity/2

          Grow a set of balls and own the fuckin’ thing, warts’n’all, will ya?

        • susan faccone

          Ignorant Amos, you are not so ignorant.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why thank you…*blush*..But I know my place and around here, I’m more ignorant than most, just not all. But then we are all ignorant about a lot of stuff, it’s just recognising it that is the problem for some of the visitors we get pitching up at Bob’s house.

        • MNb

          Any being who deliberately imposes a calamity on other beings does something morally evil. That includes your sovereign god.

        • Max Doubt

          “Again its very important to understand proper Biblical exegesis.”

          Really? Again it is very important for you to understand that you’ve got your head stuffed so far into your fantasy you’ve lost all contact with what it’s like to be an honest, decent human being.

        • Michael Neville

          What gives a “sovereign god” any right to initiate calamities?

          If I publicly abuse or kill an animal there are legal and social consequences. I can face prison time for wantonly killing a non-sentient animal. Yet you have no problem with your god killing sentient human beings just because he can. Not only is your fictional god immoral for his love of killing people because he feels like it, you are immoral for excusing that kind of behavior.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          its very important to understand proper Biblical exegesis.

          Which means starting with the assumption that the Bible is correct and then selecting the evidence so that that assumption remains valid.

          Did I get it right?

      • Joe

        Not to mention those places (Sodom and Gomorrah) don’t seem to have ever existed.

    • Zeta

      You are so against homosexuality. How about bestiality and incest?

      1. If you think that they are also abominations (or worse) please explain why your god paraded all the animals before Adam so that Adam could try to find a “help meet”.

      2. Who was Cain’s wife?

      • Scooter

        Zeta, do you think bestiality and incest are wrong? If so why?

        • Michael Neville

          Bestiality is wrong because the animal cannot consent. Incest is wrong because of possible genetic problems (however the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt practiced it extensively).

        • Myna A.

          Bestiality is wrong because the animal cannot consent.

          Not only that, it might be one’s legacy for the cemetery wanderer to laugh at:

          https://journals.worldnomads.com/dan_and_stef/photo/14322/401378/Romania

          Here’s a bit about the cemetery, itself:

          http://romaniatourism.com/press-the-merry-cemetery.html

        • Michael Neville

          A traveler stops at a bar for a drink. The only other person at the bar is an older man staring at his drink. After a few moments of silence the man turns to the traveler and says: “You see this bar? I built this bar with my own hands. I cut down the trees and cut the lumber myself. I toiled away through the wind and cold, but do they call me McGregor the bar builder? No.”

          He continued “Do you see that stone wall out there? I built that wall with my hands. I found every stone and placed them just right through the rain and the mud, but do they call me McGregor the wall builder? No.”

          “Do you see that pier out there on the lake? I built that pier with my own hands, driving each piling deep into the lake bottom so that it would last a lifetime. Do they call me McGregor the pier builder? No.”

          “But you fuck one sheep….”

        • Myna A.

          LoL!

        • Ignorant Amos

          …3.00 a.m….too much red wine…but a feckin’ grin you’d be proud of…life is sweet.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Surely that’s just a farmer milking the ewe. Whoever heard of a farmer sexing his livestock?

          https://s3.amazonaws.com/aphs.worldnomads.com/dan_and_stef/14322/PA150192.jpg

        • Michael Neville

          In college he majored in Animal Husbandry until they caught him at it.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I would think that incest is wrong because our biological programming says so and for no more profound reason.

          That’s where our other moral principles come from.

        • Kodie

          I think besides the genetic problems, there’s the potential for abuse or imbalance of power. It’s the same reason society judges romances with a large enough age difference that one could be the other partner’s parent, even if both are of the age to consent and have indeed consented. It’s not pedophilia, but complexes are assumed.

          But anyway, I was thinking how the bible doesn’t (to my knowledge) have issues with pedophilia, and even to now, girls who are old enough to procreate are often seen as responsible for luring older married men, like their teachers, coaches, or friends’ fathers. At least according to everything I know about what the bible says who can have sex, it’s married people only. State laws in the current USA allow for children as young as 13 or so to marry with parental consent. Rape laws in the bible say the rapist is punished by having to marry his victim, who is now ruined for other men. Although adolescents are curious and may want to have sex, predatory sexual advances from an older person are of course, frowned upon. The point I am getting to is, biblically, it’s not important if you are too young to have sex, it’s important that you are married ONLY. And they love when women don’t do anything but breed, as early and as often as possible, and don’t have a career other than submitting to a man.

          So back to incest, it’s not incest if you fill in for your dead brother with his wife, right? Incest is wrong because, biblically, a woman’s only obligation is to provide children for her husband’s family line, and maybe we’re genetically predisposed to be sexually repulsed by our family members to avert genetic defect issues, but we’re not genetically averse to other people who might have genetic defects if those defects don’t show, and we can’t recognize people we’re related to if we never met them, and maybe grossly attracted to people who look like our fathers or mothers or sisters or brothers, even if not related. It’s the actual emotional power a father or mother may have over a daughter or son, just like a professor or boss would.

        • Joe

          Bestiality, yes, because an animal cannot give sexual consent. Incest, I can’t see why that’s wrong if children aren’t produced from the union.

          Why do you think they’re wrong?

        • Zeta

          Do you practice bestiality and incest? If not, why?

        • Ignorant Amos

          By Christian standards today those things are very much wrong, that’s the point. why is it wrong today and pukka in the yesteryear of the buybull?

          What is wrong? Define.?

          So, Imbecile….can you think of a scenario when both incest and bestiality are the much better option, aka not as wrong, aka better? Today, in real life I mean. in the here and now…ya dufus?

        • Susan

          Zeta, do you think bestiality and incest are wrong? If so, why?

          Scooter, do you think bestiality and incest are wrong? If so, why?

        • susan faccone

          I don’t know about anyone else but I think it’s wrong because it is rape of an animal. Animals can not consent to it, therefor e making it rape.

        • adam
        • busterggi

          I wonder if I can charge that to my debit card?

        • adam

          Probably in the old days, now christians are putting out a new card that should work.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5386be03b488dc35c3a0c84ba54778e7fc4b5dbe09faa577f2229ed0bd7d8642.png

    • susan faccone

      Atheist try to persuade people who hold such unwavering faith in what the bible says, to get them to think logically. As an atheist, I personally don’t care what the bible says or the rules and regulations of religion. The issue that is important usually gets swept away with biblical semantics. The issue being this: Christians, or any religious person, can believe what ever they want, it is a freedom we all enjoy, however, people who are not religious should also be allowed to enjoy a life not influenced by religious belief. Meaning, that things that regard ALL people of the USA such as laws, public affairs, courts and such, should be free of any religious influence. That is simply fair ground. Not everyone is a devout Christian, there are hundreds of other religion and thousands of non religious people. Public arenas include ALL people. So, not catering to any religion is the only fair ways to run a country that is suppose to be free.

    • adam

      “The Bible provides the opportunity for anyone to find “proof” for their particular bias or particular brand of immorality.”

      Of course, that is its best marketing tool.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c4e3bbea2d1e4d81dbd3798980be2ee8b39f893fee5d1d2b81b76b5e7ba184e1.jpg

  • JBSchmidt

    Another post of little intellectual effort, simply cut and paste from every other atheist voice on the internet. Your false assumption is that there is no overarching theme about relationships in the Bible.

    In the Bible, sex is reserved as a gift of marriage and anything outside that is considered sinful. Marriage, throughout the bible is between man and woman. Now from that starting point, where would you fit homosexuality? It seems if you have that as a basis, the passages you list fall into place.

    • adam

      ” Marriage, throughout the bible is between man and woman. ”

      Not necessarily

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b1420c6652b353bf50eff7954e5fba825f575ac4e97675c6864df6ee1b5fc967.jpg

    • Joe

      Man and woman/women, you mean? Who married Adam and Eve? Who married their children?

      • Myna A.

        Did Adam have to divorce Lilith before he married Eve?

        • Joe

          It’s really falling into place now, isn’t it?

      • Kodie

        Not even really woman/women/girls, etc. Chattel. Not exactly animals, but not exactly people. Sperm receptacles that can clean the house and pop out progeny, preferably the kind that don’t complain about that.

    • Myna A.

      Some make the argument that homosexuality was pretty much accepted in antiquity: http://www.homosexualeunuchsandthebible.com/

    • Ignorant Amos

      Marriage, throughout the bible is between man and woman.

      Smiffy, is that one woman…ya dopey prick?

      Lamech, Abraham, Jacob, David and Solomon didn’t get the memo.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      simply cut and paste from every other atheist voice on the internet

      That’s a bold charge. Prove it.

      In the Bible, sex is reserved as a gift of marriage and anything outside that is considered sinful.

      How cute. It’s like I’m talking to a child rather than a serious student of the Bible who’s actually read it.

      If you had, you’d remember the curious kinds of couplings that I detail here.

      Marriage, throughout the bible is between man and woman.

      Wrong again. Read that post I linked to.

      Now from that starting point, where would you fit homosexuality?

      Homosexuality is something they didn’t much understand. The fact that it’s quite natural, for example, would be news to them. (Homosexuality has been observed in 500 animal species.) So Old Testament rules on homosexuality would be like rules on slavery, polygamy, or genocide—just one more category that they got terribly wrong. We don’t feel constrained leaving the Bible behind on these matters. Homosexuality is just one more.

      • JBSchmidt

        “That’s a bold charge. Prove it.”

        Atheists have been using those charges long before your wrote them. Your jtry your best to use your own words. You do better at some than others. Here are few quotes I found without really trying:

        1) “remove the presupposition” -To test this proposition, let’s ask a simple question. Suppose the two angels in the story had been women, but the story otherwise unfolded exactly the same: The men of Sodom clamored to have sex with the two female angels and God destroyed the city. Do you think anyone would conclude this story was a blanket condemnation of heterosexuality? Of course not! Instead, we all would conclude (correctly) that the wickedness of Sodom was shown by their desire to sexually violate two strangers in their midst.- (2002)

        2) ““Abomination”? Ouch—that sounds pretty harsh.” -Now that is harsh. But what Bible quoters won’t tell you up front is what else was considered an abomination.- (2009)

        3) “That is, he imagines straight people engaging in homosexual sex.” – homosexual acts committed by heterosexual persons – (1980)

        “If you had, you’d remember the curious kinds of couplings that I detail”

        You don’t list a passage that contradicts my statement. You get close with Samuel, but you failed to read the context.

        “Wrong again. Read that post I linked to.”

        Didn’t see anywhere you listing a Biblical relationship between a anything other than man and women.

        “Homosexuality has been observed in 500 animal species.”

        Anthropomorphism

        “Homosexuality is something they didn’t much understand.”

        Do you have any evidence for that statement?

        • adam
        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Atheists have been using those charges long before your wrote them.

          You said, “simply cut and paste from every other atheist voice on the internet.” Since I didn’t cut and paste and indeed spent many hours working on this post, I was looking for proof that I copied others’ work without attribution. Do you have this evidence? Let’s be clear: you didn’t charge me with a lack of imagination; you charged me with an ethical violation. Prove it or retract the accusation.

          The example you gave, about swapping male angels for females, is an excellent one. Thanks—I’ll try to remember that example next time I write about Sodom. But since my reaction was “Gee, I wish I’d said that,” this doesn’t support your cut-and-paste hypothesis.

          “If you had, you’d remember the curious kinds of couplings that I detail”
          You don’t list a passage that contradicts my statement. You get close with Samuel, but you failed to read the context.

          You said, “In the Bible, sex is reserved as a gift of marriage and anything outside that is considered sinful.” Was Abraham married to Sarah’s slave Hagar? Was Solomon married to his concubines? I don’t recall them getting punished.

          And your definition of “marriage” is awfully broad if you count sex with virgins captured in battle, even after a forced marriage.

          Didn’t see anywhere you listing a Biblical relationship between a anything other than man and women.

          It was subtle. Perhaps you didn’t know about polygamy, marriage between a man and women. Solomon famously had 700 such wives. You could respond that that’s simply a man/woman marriage … multiplied many times. Yes, you could go there, though I don’t see how that hair splitting changes things. Tell me that you support polygamy today and I’ll agree that you’re at least consistent and, in your mind, polygamy is negligibly different from marriage.

          “Homosexuality has been observed in 500 animal species.”
          Anthropomorphism

          Uh, yeah. Just because other animals are getting’ it on with homosexual sex doesn’t mean that that has anything at all to do with human homosexuality or indeed that that’s why humans can be homosexual–because it’s a trait we inherited from our nonhuman ancestors.

          “Homosexuality is something they didn’t much understand.”
          Do you have any evidence for that statement?

          I see no evidence in the Old Testament that they saw homosexual partnerships as loving unions identical to conventional man/woman relationships … except homosexual. Or that homosexuality is natural.

          Are you saying that, despite the unsurprising “God hates fags” feeling you get from the OT, that they still understood this?

        • JBSchmidt

          # 3 was a direct cut and paste from Wikipedia (who by the way gave proper credit to the original author).

          I wouldn’t call it lack of imagination, just evidence that your work is simply based on the work of others. If you “spent many hours working” rewriting the works of others, don’t get mad at me for that.

          “Do you have this evidence? ”

          Curiously when you make unfounded accusations that the Bible wasn’t written when and by whom it claims, you don’t need evidence, only conjecture. Now when I do the same with your work, suddenly it demands a retraction. Are you unable to to be held to the same standard you hold other works?

          “Was Abraham married to Sarah’s slave Hagar? Was Solomon married to his concubines? I don’t recall them getting punished.”

          It was sinful and called out as such in the Bible, both resulted in broken families. Regardless you have yet to prove my point wrong.

          “It was subtle. Perhaps you didn’t know about polygamy”

          Maybe it is a distraction to the topic? Show me one man/man ‘loving union’. Name one polygamous relationship in the Bible that wasn’t self destructing. They came with that punishment.

          “because it’s a trait we inherited from our nonhuman ancestors.”

          Or we aren’t from non-humans.

          “I see no evidence”

          That is a logical fallacy. Simply because it wasn’t stated does not make your assertion true.

          “Are you saying that”

          It doesn’t matter what I am saying, you have no evidence to contradict. You acknowledge that OT condemns homosexuality, it is on you to prove your assumption they didn’t understand it. Further, your assertion comes with the assumption that no other culture in the area allowed homosexuality as a “loving union” (or Israel would have known) which is odd considering we would have carried that trait/behavior forward from our ‘non-human ancestors’. Maybe we evolved out of it and then back into it, but I fail to see what needed to be ‘understood’. Our ‘ancestors’ would have just done it.

        • adam

          “Curiously when you make unfounded accusations that the Bible wasn’t
          written when and by whom it claims, you don’t need evidence, only
          conjecture. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e6c2686bb41ccacecfbfa1974323846f57f590fe27eb860520deae910a353eac.jpg

        • adam

          “you acknowledge that OT condemns homosexuality, it is on you to prove your assumption they didn’t understand it.”

          And yet the OT condones SLAVERY… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/86effa5e2bc761ae95f687bf44f1632c13ebd40a54b07502d779f242a887cc3e.jpg

        • adam
        • Dys

          Curiously when you make unfounded accusations that the Bible wasn’t written when and by whom it claims, you don’t need evidence, only conjecture.

          It’s kind of funny that you casually dismiss actual bible scholarship as “unfounded accusations”. The truth is that the identities of those who wrote the majority of the bible are unknown. That’s not conjecture, that’s reality. One you apparently don’t want to face.

        • Myna A.

          …casually dismiss actual bible scholarship as “unfounded accusations”.The truth is that the identities of those who wrote the majority of the bible are unknown. That’s not conjecture, that’s reality. One you apparently don’t want to face.

          I don’t know if JBSchmidt’s eyes glaze over at any comment other than one offered by Bob S., but you bring up a critical point he would do well not to ignore…even if only in the privacy of his own study.

        • Dys

          Eh, he’s been ignoring me ever since I pointed out he was being a hypocrite in his rather bad argument trying to support the idea that a fertilized egg is a person.

        • Ignorant Amos

          # 3 was a direct cut and paste from Wikipedia (who by the way gave proper credit to the original author).

          Link to your source.

        • Myna A.

          I wouldn’t call it lack of imagination, just evidence that your work is simply based on the work of others.

          In contrast, though, I’d say you demonstrate a sore lack of imagination. Imagination is the momentum of innovation, after all. Your entire Christian belief system is based on the belief and work of others. Not an original thought in the argument.

        • MR

          Sometimes they leave me just scratching my head. =D

        • Ignorant Amos

          Show me one man/man ‘loving union’.

          David and Jonathan.

          I am distressed for thee my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.

          That is a logical fallacy. Simply because it wasn’t stated does not make your assertion true.

          Smacks of irony that bit.

          Name one polygamous relationship in the Bible that wasn’t self destructing.

          What do you mean by “self destructing”?

        • Greg G.
          Show me one man/man ‘loving union’.

          David and Jonathan.

          Jonathan was King Saul’s son. In that story, King Saul wanted to kill David because he feared David’s popularity. In Mark 2:23-28, Jesus talks about David eating bread from the temple. Saul had everyone in the village killed because of that incident, so it doesn’t seem that Saul was all that worried about what the people thought of him. But can we read into the story that Saul was mad about the relationship between his son and David?

        • Ignorant Amos

          But can we read into the story that Saul was mad about the relationship between his son and David?

          If modern day homophobic parental attitudes by some to their Gay offspring are anything to go by, sure. Especially if it was understood to be generally frowned upon by the big I Am. Eating bread from the Temple would’ve been wee bun’s in comparison.

        • MR

          It was sinful and called out as such in the Bible

          Can you point out where Abraham and Hagar and Solomon and his concubines were called out as sinful in the Bible, please. I see no reference to these being sinful.

        • Kodie

          1) Can you link TO SOMETHING? If you’re accusing Bob of copy/paste, you should link to other articles on the internet that reveal his plagiarism, or else you’re fucking lying or making a big deal out of nothing.

          2) Pretty sure you have no other argument than to whine about plagiarism. Everything else in your post is an ignorant assertion, and besides, your whole “worldview” is copy/paste from other human beings, frail in the brain over Jesus, a fictional character.

          We understand homosexuality now. You do not. If it was forbidden in the bible, it was marginalized and stigmatized like you do now. It means they did not have a grasp, and it means you do not have a grasp. You are clinging to an ancient text of ignorant people making rules about things they don’t like to see. If they understood it, they wouldn’t have a problem. However, let’s talk about how much they loved slavery.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          # 3 was a direct cut and paste from Wikipedia

          So in other words, I didn’t cut and paste from anyone/anything, despite your charge, “Another post of little intellectual effort, simply cut and paste from every other atheist voice on the internet.”

          OK. You might want to avoid saying stuff you don’t mean.

          I wouldn’t call it lack of imagination, just evidence that your work is simply based on the work of others.

          Others have made good atheist arguments? Wow. Thanks for letting me know. I thought it was just me.

          If you “spent many hours working” rewriting the works of others

          I didn’t, and I gave you no reason to say this.

          Curiously when you make unfounded accusations that the Bible wasn’t written when and by whom it claims, you don’t need evidence, only conjecture.

          Wrong again. I cite my sources.

          Now when I do the same with your work, suddenly it demands a retraction.

          Yeah … slander does that to a guy. Or maybe that’s just me.

          “Was Abraham married to Sarah’s slave Hagar? Was Solomon married to his concubines? I don’t recall them getting punished.”
          It was sinful and called out as such in the Bible, both resulted in broken families.

          Sinful? I missed those verses. Point them out to me.

          Regardless you have yet to prove my point wrong.

          You said, “In the Bible, sex is reserved as a gift of marriage and anything outside that is considered sinful.” And I proved your point wrong.

          Name one polygamous relationship in the Bible that wasn’t self destructing. They came with that punishment.

          Huh? David had Uriah killed. He was punished for that. Solomon, Abraham, Jacob, and others had multiple wives, and God never said that was a problem. Indeed, in the case of David, he said that he’d have happily given David more wives.

          “because it’s a trait we inherited from our nonhuman ancestors.”
          Or we aren’t from non-humans.

          Evolution says we are. You lose.

          That is a logical fallacy. Simply because it wasn’t stated does not make your assertion true.

          Uh huh. Yet again, you respond to something I didn’t say.

          Check those demons in your head, dude.

          You acknowledge that OT condemns homosexuality

          Does it? I think I’ve put that condemnation in perspective. Since I’ve had my turn, give us your take. Don’t be shy. What does the Bible say about homosexuality, why is that binding on Christians today, and what is the biblical response to same-sex marriage?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sinful? I missed those verses. Point them out to me.

          It wasn’t the having 700 wives and 300 concubines that was sinful for Solomon, it was the taking on the worship of a number of their gods that was the dirty deed.

          6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

          Multiple wives and concubines couldn’t have been the issue because…

          And David took him more CONCUBINES and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David. ( 2 Samuel 1:1 Acts 5:13 )

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          God tells David: “I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more” (2 Sam. 12:8).

          God has no problem with polygamy. It’s just that when he’s used as a sock puppet by JB, he’ll say all sorts of things that he didn’t say.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And he just doesn’t get it that there has never been a standard definition of marriage. It is not an institution that is owned by the God of the OT and by extension, erroneously therefore by Christians.

          Even when OT God has been shown through his own scripture to have no issue with other forms of marriage than that of the one man, one woman narrowly defined by the likes of Smiffy, he won’t give it up.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Does it?

          It doesn’t in the way Smiffy imagines it does, but that doesn’t even matter if Smiffy is to be consistent.

          What does the Bible say about homosexuality, why is that binding on Christians today, and what is the biblical response to same-sex marriage?

          All things being equal, it doesn’t say very much. It is no more binding on anyone today than it is binding on eating a crab cocktail, shaving ones face, wearing a suit of a mixture of wool and polyester…or getting tattoo’s or piercings.

          https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/db/6d/e1/db6de1ff014bb8b624aa34d7b35476c9.jpg

          Just like concubinage was practised by the high and mighty amongst YahwehJesus’ favourites and fell out of favour, with laws created to criminalise it. The opposite is true of homosexuality. It might have not been all that popular back in the days of the OT, not sure that is even true, but for the sake of argument let’s grant it. Homosexuality is most certainly a part of our way of life today and the laws have been changed to decriminalise it and give those folk that are Gay the equal rights they are entitled. This probably really irks the double-standards of hypocritical homophobic’s like Smiffy, but tough shit.

          The immediate cause of concubinage might be gathered from the conjugal histories of Abraham and Jacob ( Genesis 1630 ;30). But in process of time the custom of concubinage degenerated, and laws were made to restrain and regulate it ( Exodus 21:7-9 ).

        • JBSchmidt

          ” I didn’t cut and paste”

          Yes, direct words and phrases were taken from other works regarding the same subject published years before yours. So obviously I didn’t mean you cut and paste direct words and phrases from other works.

          “I didn’t, and I gave you no reason to say this.”

          True, it was simply intellectual redistribution. Taking from those authors with intellectual arguments and having them used by authors who don’t. How perfectly progressive you are in your writing.

          “I cite my sources.”

          When you choose to cite a source, doesn’t change the fact that the topic is conjecture.

          “Sinful? I missed those verses. Point them out to me.”

          The first instance of polygamy was done by a man openly rejecting God. In Leviticus 18, it bans a man from marrying a second wife and in Deuteronomy 17 requires that king not take multiple wives lest he stray from God.

          “He was punished for that.”

          I will assume you don’t know the corruption in David’s family. The death of multiple children. Solomon’s punishment for following the ways of the world (as listed in Deuteronomy 17) was that his reign would result in the splitting if Israel. Jacob dealt with constant jealousy within his family, etc. Polygamy in the Bible only lead to the punishment of broken families.

          “Evolution says we are.”

          Of course, that great story of how genetic information was accidental created and humanity is the current product of a system with no designer. Yet, every time that is tested in the lab, it requires the intentional addition of information and the help of a designer. I’ll go with we aren’t animals.

          “Yet again, you respond to something I didn’t say.”

          You said, “I see no evidence in the Old Testament that they saw homosexual partnerships as loving unions identical to conventional man/woman relationships … except homosexual. Or that homosexuality is natural.” This was a response to your claim that, “Homosexuality is something they didn’t much understand.” To which I demanded proof of that statement.

          Are you not trying to build your case from a lack of evidence? Maybe you cut and pasted that and forgot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes, direct words and phrases were taken from other works regarding the same subject published years before yours.

          About you providing the evidence to support your accusation.

          So obviously I didn’t mean you cut and paste direct words and phrases from other works.

          What ta fuck are you on about?

          First, you say “Yes, direct words and phrases were taken from other works…”, followed in the same paragraph by, “So obviously I didn’t mean you cut and paste direct words and phrases from other works”…WTF?

          Your head is away with the fairies Smiffy, get a grip and sort it out.

          “Copy & paste”, which is what you initially said, is another way of saying, “direct words and phrases taken from other works”…both are accusations of plagiarism. Something you have yet to establish.

          Cite your sources or shut ta fuck up and piss off.

        • Kodie

          He’s basically trying to stall on the minor point that Bob and some other atheist on the internet choose similar terms to describe similar things. Bob, you’re not 100% original, you didn’t just think of this stuff on your own. Ok, J, BS. Next time some Christian comes in here using their very own words, we’ll hand them a trophy for being the first one.

        • adam

          Waowhe, lwsso sd aswopo slehjsh wone pookie myn

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s original.

        • adam

          Youldish famolico woldy

        • Ignorant Amos

          Looks like a dialect of Unwinese.

          Go to time stamp 1 min 12 secs…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVpJzGeM2p4

        • adam

          It just demonstrates the error of JBS calling out for using other peoples words.

          He cant get by without it.

          And yet he thinks he makes a point.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d0d0298251c444a7ed04da50dce984d9062e4ab3cd35d48cb69c11eabfe078e2.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…the fucking halfwit has no idea what it is he is rambling on about. I think he is very nearly about to disappear up his own arsehole.

        • Kodie

          Shit, you guessed my password.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Well, I am partly guilty. The words I use are in the dictionary.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whadaya meen partlee thein? Youse othur wurds thein ya eedjit!

        • adam

          ” In Leviticus 18, it bans a man from marrying a second wife and in Deuteronomy 17 requires that king not take multiple wives lest he stray from God.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

          And in Leviticus 20, it says to kill gays.

          How is that working out for you?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          JB said: “In Leviticus 18, it bans a man from marrying a second wife.”

          I just read Lev. 18. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Did ya have a pair of the magic god spectacles on at the time of reading though?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          I knew that rule #1 is that the Bible is always right. I think I forgot that JB is also always right.

          My bad.

        • adam
        • adam

          ” I’ll go with we aren’t animals.”

          Even DNA says we are animals:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eb7af0208b73de26c05247bb3ba5188d1206c83719062d15e6b9bba67a10cda6.jpg

        • adam

          “Of course, that great story of how genetic information was accidental created and humanity is the current product of a system with no designer.”

          Tell us about YOUR Magic Sky Daddy and who designed it. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9b6e9c7edc0424ae229731b657e578c29099206ffd21075dd3a5cdeef56da60d.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Did ya copy & paste that meme or is it an original Adam?

        • Michael Neville

          Of course, that great story of how genetic information was accidental created and humanity is the current product of a system with no designer. Yet, every time that is tested in the lab, it requires the intentional addition of information and the help of a designer.

          I see evolution and genetics are subjects you’re completely ignorant about. Why am I not surprised?

          Incidentally, ignorant Smitty, define “information.” It’s a favorite term of you creationists like to use but I’ve never seen one of you ignorant twits ever define it.

        • Myna

          When you choose to cite a source, doesn’t change the fact that the topic is conjecture.

          And then you proceed to cite antiquated biblical sources as though they were beyond dispute, were an actual historical event and have any relevance in the 21st century.

          You bypass essential arguments on this thread (ie: the comment by Dys here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/09/does-the-bible-reveal-objective-truth-about-homosexuality/#comment-2934875051 ) and go about merrily bleating like an addled sheep focusing on trying to trip up Bob S., while at the same moment embracing your willful ignorance as though it were a badge of honor.

          Your world, you mind, your god are each so small that it is a wonder you can ever take a deep breath of air.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c29d353640f05536a4b70cde133e42e7fb7fd6bfd80966ad84131a75d0bb629f.jpg

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          Yes, direct words and phrases were taken from other works regarding the same subject published years before yours.

          I’m done.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Was Solomon married to his concubines?

          Reading for comprehension not your forte Smiffy?

          Where did Bob mention Solomon’s concubines?

          Solomon had 700 wives if the buybull is to believed.

          11 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2 They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. 4 As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. 5 He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites.

          So what we have here is the wisest man on the planet at the time, apparently, thumbing his nose at God, who according to the bullshit, he knew was supposed to be THEE one and only big kahuna…with cheese. Or maybe there was other gods? How stupid was the wisest man ever? What chance di d the thicket man on the street? God must’ve been one real fuck-up back in the day.

          6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.

          Hang on a wee minute. David followed the Lord completely? Get ta fuck outta here! David is the only wanker in the buybull to break every one of the big ten in the God rule book. I smell a rat. Someone has been telling porkies…or YahwehJesus has a poor continuity adviser…or it’s a lotta ballix.

          Name one polygamous relationship in the Bible that wasn’t self destructing.

          Ahem…have you actually read the buybull Smiffy? It appears not by the fuckwittery you are displaying here.

          Here, I’ll highlight the relevant words for you.

          9 The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

          Big fucking deal…that is not <b<self-destructing. Getting smote for burning the incense, that’s self-destructing. Getting turned into a pillar of salt for looking back over ones shoulder, that’s self-destructing. Getting zapped for touching the Ark of the Covenant, even to steady a fall, that’s self-destructing. Your head is up your arsehole Smiffy if you have comprehension problems in understanding your own buybullshit.

          Solomon and David got away with blue murder, literally, and worse if one is a buybull abiding religious nutcase. Kids mocking a baldy guy, not so much. YahwehJesus has some fucked-up priorities…or maybe these are all just a bunch of stories in a lot of different books.

          Your holy book is a bag of tits, if you had read it you might just be aware of that fact.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And btw, with regards to this silliness…

          “Was Abraham married to Sarah’s slave Hagar? Was Solomon married to his concubines? I don’t recall them getting punished.”

          It was sinful and called out as such in the Bible, both resulted in broken families. Regardless you have yet to prove my point wrong.

          Whoopie-do! It was sinful. Everyone in the OT was sinful, it’s what God did about it.

          What’s the broken families nonsense all about?

          Oh…ya mean…

          This relational aspect of God’s image in marriage has analogues portrayed in Yahweh’s relation with Israel ( Isa 54:5 ; Jer 31:32 ; Ezek 16:8-14 ; Hosea 2:14-20 ) as well as in Christ’s relation with the church ( Eph 5:21-33 ; cf. 1 Cor 11:1-3 ; 2 Cor 11:2 ; Rev 19:7-9 ). Israel is portrayed as Yahweh’s wife ( Isa 54:5 ; Jer 31:32 ; Ezek 16:8-14 ; Hosea 2:14-20 ). Her idolatrous unfaithfulness and disobedience to Yahweh are frequently depicted as spiritual “adultery” ( Num 25:1-4 ; Judges 2:17 ; Jer 3:20 ; Ezek 16:15-59 ; 23:1-48 ; Hosea 1:2 ; 2:2-13 ; 3:3 ) for which she was punished by captivity. Yahweh “divorced” his “unfaithful wife” ( Isa 50:1 ; Jer 3:8 ; Hosea 2:2 ), but ultimately will have compassion and delightfully restore her to faithfulness and holiness ( Isa 54 ; 62:4-5 ; Ezek 16:53-63 ; Hosea 2:14-3:1 ).

          Omniscient, omnipotent, my arse.

          FYI.

          Concubine [E] [S]

          Female slave who functioned as a secondary wife and surrogate mother. The Hebrew word for concubine (pileges [v,g,lyiP]) is a non-Semitic loanword borrowed to refer to a phenomenon not indigenous to Israel. Babylonian and Assyrian law codes regulate primary and secondary marriages more specifically than do the Old Testament laws. Exodus 21:7-10 has been appealed to as regulative of some aspects of concubinage, but that only implicitly.

          http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/concubine/

          Which flies in the face of…

          God’s design for marital relationship is heterosexual, not homosexual, and monogamous, not polygamous.

          http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/marriage.html

        • adam

          ” You acknowledge that OT condemns homosexuality, ”

          And you ignore what “God” said to do about it.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dc554b74af68425056b8a4228b7f09490a1e80f6c6bf14f85bbce2e8015a0bfb.jpg

        • uncle_greezy

          Have you ever read any serious, scholarly research on the Bible? What Bob discussed is no mere conjecture. There are people, believe it or not, who have spent their entire lives studying the Bible from a scholarly, critical perspective. We know, based on the works of those who have done this research, that the Bible’s dates/dating, authors, and historicity are all in question. You suggesting otherwise isn’t even conjecture. It’s willful ignorance.

          Just because you can’t balance your faith with fact does not make Bob’s assertions inaccurate. You’ve only proven your faith to be weak. I won’t even go into your suggestion that “…we aren’t from non-humans,” because it’s just more evidence of your willful ignorance.

          Christians of your ilk live in such fragile bubbles. It’s like any amount of critical thinking might pop that thin bubble of yours, so you go on the defensive and make yourself look like a tool. Your arguments are just as tired as any apologetics, and yet you wonder why you keep reading the same arguments from atheists. Have you ever wondered if it’s because they’re right and you might not be?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Atheists have been using those charges long before your wrote them. Your jtry your best to use your own words. You do better at some than others. Here are few quotes I found without really trying:

          Do ya have to train to be that dense?

          There are only so many ways to counter address the same age old apologetics before everything is just a re-hash of the same. But what you’ve done in your comment is a charge of plagiarism which you have subsequently failed to support. Will you shame your Devil and now apologise?

          2) ““Abomination”? Ouch—that sounds pretty harsh.” –

          Now that is harsh. But what Bible quoters won’t tell you up front is what else was considered an abomination.- (2009)

          So BobS cut and pasted two words from another blog? First, the word abomination is the one used in the buybull, so anyone writing about the subject is bound to use the word. So we are down to just the word “harsh” only. Are you fucking serious.

          I also did a Google search just out of interest. using the phrase, “Abomination”? Ouch—that sounds pretty harsh.” Guess what? About 73,500 results (0.82 seconds).

          Here’s just one from 7 years ago and you wouldn’t believe it, the comment is from a Christian apologetic…

          Homosexuality is indeed a sin,there’s no gettin around that.The bible mentions it a couple times.One verse says in Lev.18:22 “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female: it is an abomination.” Ouch,that’s pretty harsh God.But anyways, the bible also says that we are all sinners in god’s eyes.So what i don’t understand is, why are some christians so hateful towards homosexuality than any other sin? the bible condemns all sin not just homosexuality just in case y’all didn’t know.The bible also tells us that all sin is equal and no one among us is righteous,hear that? NO ONE

          https://on-off-answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090707010705AAMmTbX

          Or perhaps BobS did his “copy & paste” from the work of this Christian author.

          https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=xmyoDwV40T0C&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&dq=%E2%80%9CAbomination%E2%80%9D%3F+Ouch%E2%80%94that+sounds+pretty+harsh.%22&source=bl&ots=098JJw5kRV&sig=zIvxBKv9tyUeYQxCa7rqHSbm5M0&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%E2%80%9CAbomination%E2%80%9D%3F%20Ouch%E2%80%94that%20sounds%20pretty%20harsh.%22&f=false

          By this point you should be realising what a complete and utter tit you are being on this issue Smiffy.

    • MNb

      Yeah, let’s find out what that overarching theme is.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFkeKKszXTw

      • Ignorant Amos

        Pretty much sums it up.

    • adam

      “Another post of little intellectual effort, ”

      From someone who believes that MAGIC is real…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/66a160199586083737e3545d423dd5a367cb4d7ececffba31ddd17f6c8b255cb.jpg

    • DrewTwoFish

      Um, what do you do with those who don’t fall clearly into the category of male and female? They do exist.

  • susan faccone

    All of this may be true, all of these “rules” are perfectly fine, for people of faith. There, that is the part, right there. If people of religion want to believe that homosexuality is wrong for people of religion, that is all well and good. Those people either believe that or leave the church, no? Some Jewish people don’t eat pork, do they expect the entire planet not to eat pork? No, why, because it is THEIR belief. The problem isn’t about belief, it isn’t about what to believe, it isn’t about picking and choosing what is and what isn’t followed in the bible. It’s about Christians trying to FORCE everyone to believe as they believe and to make laws and conditions, the way of life in the secular world. All the rest, what the bible says, what it means, who cares? To those who do not believe, it is irrelevant.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      Christians say that the sacrifice of Jesus meant that they didn’t have to follow the ceremonial laws (of which Leviticus’s anti-gay rules are a part).

      Further, they pick the anti-gay bit but they don’t take the punishment that goes along with it. They instinctively realize that death as punishment is wrong … so why don’t they realize that labeling gaiety as a crime is wrong, too?

  • DrewTwoFish

    Nicely done, as always, sir.

    But I’d back up another step. What if the Bible WAS crystal clear in prohibiting gay sex? Christians for millennia have mostly operated on this assumption. What has been the result? Heartache, and hell for millions upon millions of queer people. How do gay relationships (all else being equal) harm straight relationships, or society at large? They don’t.

    How many more centuries of evidence do Christians require before they re-evaluate how they approach their “holy” book?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

      What if the Bible WAS crystal clear in prohibiting gay sex?

      Then it just serves to embarrass them. The Bible is crystal clear that slavery and genocide are appropriate (at least when used on the other guy), and modern Christians have to live with that. In a few decades, the homophobes within Christianity will be gone or silenced, and the Bible’s anti-gay stance will be another embarrassment.

      • DrewTwoFish

        And even while doing so, they’ll still claim Biblical inerrancy, with another dazzling display of intellectual gymnastics.

    • adam

      Considering that most christians are barely getting over Bible approved slavery…….