Atheist Monument Critique: Ten Commandments and Ten Punishments

Read part 1 of this series on an American Atheist monument installed on public property in Florida as a protest against a Ten Commandments monument. This post will conclude my response to criticism of the monument.

The right side of the monument lists Old Testament punishments for breaking any of the Ten Commandments. A law is only a law if there are consequences for breaking it—otherwise it’s just a suggestion. Let’s see what the punishments are.

The punishments

For breaking the “have no other gods before me” commandment:

Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 13:10)

For breaking the “no blasphemy” commandment:

Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. (Leviticus 24:16)

For breaking the “keep the Sabbath day holy” commandment:

Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. (Exodus 31:15)

And so on (the full list is here). Though not true for every commandment, death is the go-to punishment. Death for killing. Death for adultery. Death for sassing your parents.

The other Ten Commandments

I know what you’re thinking, because I had the same reaction. What kind of nutty list of Ten Commandments is this? Whoever heard of “no blasphemy” in the Ten Commandments? Don’t be rude to your parents? No adultery? Good rules or not, these aren’t in the Ten Commandments.

Let’s review the story. Moses gets the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 20, but the anxious Israelites make a golden calf during his long absence. When Moses sees this, he’s furious and smashes the tablets of the law. He gets a new set in Exodus 34. At the conclusion of this list, we read:

And [Moses] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:28).

This is the first time the phrase “Ten Commandments” is used in the Bible, and this version of the law was placed in the Ark of the Covenant. It couldn’t be the other set, since it was destroyed. But this law bears only a vague similarity to the set popularly portrayed as the Ten Commandments: make no covenants with the Canaanites (#1), God gets all firstborn (#5), never boil a young goat in its mother’s milk (#10). Read them yourself.

Critique of the American Atheist monument

Let’s get back to the critique of the monument by Benjamin Wiker. About American Atheists’ use of the punishments to show the brutality of Old Testament Law, he says,

Again, we have monumental ignorance, or at least confusion.

Ouch! Looks like someone is about to get disciplined.

First, these come from the Old Testament Law that is directed at the ancient Israelites themselves.

So the Old Testament is irrelevant today? I’m surprised that we’ve so quickly found a point of agreement. But dismissing unpleasant bits of the Old Testament as applying only to the ancient Israelites won’t work.

God said, “If you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Ex. 19:5–6). In other words, the Ten Commandments and the rest of the law—all of it—is directed at the Israelites. If Christians put up a monument to Ten Commandments that applied only to ancient Israelites, then it’s just as reasonable for American Atheists to put up a monument highlighting the punishments for breaking those irrelevant commandments. (h/t commenter UWIR)

Second, and related, the atheists make no allowance for the moral and theological development that took place from the Old to the New Testament. Jesus Christ transforms the Law by mercy, even while he intensifies and purifies its moral demands.

Moral development? The Law is transformed? What kind of evolving Law is this?

I’d have thought that the omniscient creator of the universe would get the law right the first time. Or does moral action change with time?

Apparently we’re to believe that the Old Testament law was actually version 0.5 because, I dunno, the ancient Israelites were too stupid or barbaric to handle the real thing. And for centuries, the priests just handed out warnings until the Israelites could mature as a culture to handle the message of Jesus.

Nope—Moses came down with the new law, and it took effect immediately. There were no warnings and no slaps on the wrist. The punishment for many transgressions was death, starting immediately. Jesus says this about the Old Testament:

Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled (Matthew 5:18)

Sounds pretty unchangeable.

Back to Wiker:

Third, while the American Atheists may disagree with the actual punishments, are they then also rejecting the moral foundation of all of the Ten Commandments? Is the prohibition against murder a bad thing? Against adultery? Against stealing? Against providing false testimony in court?

The moral foundation on which at least some of the Ten Commandments rest is good; just don’t pretend that the Ten Commandments gave those morals to society.

The Ten Commandments are religious and so are inappropriate for the state-supported public square. There, the U.S. Constitution rules, not the Bible.

And even more difficult for [atheists] to answer, in what way does atheism provide a moral foundation for these prohibitions? Atheism is almost invariably grounded on materialism, and that means that it’s not all that clear about why anyone should or shouldn’t do anything.

You don’t know where moral customs, taboos, and law come from? You can’t imagine a natural source? Take a civics class to learn where laws come from. Read an anthropology textbook to learn about morality. They don’t come from God.

To take one obvious instance, purely non-theistic evolution has one rule: nature works by the survival of the fittest, survival by any means.

It sounds like Wiker is twisting “Survival by any means” into “survival by few means: just the nasty ones.” It’s refreshing to debate a Christian who’s well-versed in what he’s attacking, but unfortunately, that’s not what we have here. “Survival of the fittest” (not a term coined by Charles Darwin, by the way) refers to how well suited an organism is to its environment. It’s the fit of a puzzle piece, not an athlete.

Sure, sometimes savagery is a good survival strategy. Grizzly bears are in the take-no-prisoners camp. And sometimes cooperation works best. Bonobos are in the make-love-not-war camp. That’s two different mammals shaped by evolution to use two different survival strategies.

Fourth, as atheists tend to do, the American Atheists are simply lumping all religions indiscriminately together. But a moment’s thought about this would be a real wake-up call for them. It’s not among present-day Jews or Christians that you’ll be seeing calls for death for idolatry or blasphemy, but among Islamists.

Thank God most Christians are not faithful to their Old Testament.

I don’t think beliefs should be hereditary.

— Gregorio Smith (director of “Truth Be Told,”
a documentary film about leaving Jehovah’s Witnesses)

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 9/18/13.)

Photo credit: Wikimedia

 

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  • MarquisDeMoo

    “It’s not among present-day Jews or Christians that you’ll be seeing calls for death for idolatry or blasphemy, but among Islamists.” – Why, did the Islamists put up a monument with their equally inappropriate rules on it?

    • guerillasurgeon

      The fundamentalist Christians tend to reserve their calls for death for something like gay sex. That’s probably only because they could never make up their mind what was blasphemy and what wasn’t from all their ridiculous sects.

  • Kevin K

    In my opinion, the “god gets all the first born” can be interpreted to be an exhortation to child sacrifice. There is some evidence that at least a subset of those people practiced such a thing until it was finally stopped by one of the later kings.

    The story of Abraham and Isaac seems to be a much-later addition to the legends/fables/myths. In fact, I could even argue (without evidence, mind you, just logically speaking) there could have been an original tale where the angel didn’t “stay” Abraham’s hand and Isaac got it in the jugular. But unless there’s another cave with old scrolls in them, we’ll never know.

    • Greg G.

      There is evidence for that within the text. The names used for God in certain books of the Old Testament vary and the nature of the writings are consistent with the same name for God than they are with each other so the writings seem to have been merged and blended. The name of God used for the angel in the Binding of Isaac story is different than the name used in the rest of the story. Note that Abraham comes down the mountain alone and rides off with his men with no further mention of Isaac. IIRC, Isaac doesn’t appear anywhere after that in the writings using that name for God.

      There are three stories about Abraham or Isaac getting rich when a king or pharaoh tries to seduce the wife, then pays them to leave. The Isaac version has a king with the same name as the king in one of Abraham’s scams, and a general has the same name in each story. It’s like one tribe who wasn’t descended from Isaac had him killed off and substituted Abraham and Sarah.

      • busterggi

        Yes but one has to actually read and pay attention to the words in the bible to know that stuff rather than just stone-out over it.

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

      In my opinion, the “god gets all the first born” can be interpreted to be an exhortation to child sacrifice.

      Agreed. The OT is quite inconsistent. Sometimes God is OK with child sacrifices, and other times it’s what those other tribes do.

      • Kevin K

        Have you read The Bible Unearthed? The authors don’t come right out and say so, but they strongly imply that child sacrifice was part-and-parcel of early Judaism. Altars to the moon and stars…

    • SparklingMoon,

      In my opinion, the “god gets all the first born” can be interpreted to be an exhortation to child sacrifice.
      ————————————————————–
      God Almighty never in His teachings asked for killing of child as a sacrifice. It needs a detailed answer to understand the meanings of this sacrifice that is described in holy scriptures about prophet Abraham. Firstly, it is important to know the son, for whom Abraham had dream, to be sacrificed in the love of God, to understand the real meanings of his sacrifice.

      The Quran and the Bible disagree as to which of his two’ sons (Ishmael and Isaac) Abraham, in pursuance of God’s command, offered for sacrifice. The Quran says that it was Ishmael, but according to the Bible, it was Isaac. The Bible, speaking of the sacrifice says: ‘And He said, ‘Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac and get there into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I tell thee of’ (Gen.22:2).

      The Quran,on the other hand, declares clearly and unequivocally,that it was Ishmael who was offered for sacrifice. The Bible, however, contradicts itself in this respect. According to it, Abraham was commanded to offer his only son for sacrifice, but Isaac was at no time his only son. Ishmael was born to Abraham first when he was 86 years old while Isaac was born to him when he had reached the very advanced age of 99. Thus for 13 years Ishmael was Abraham’s only son, and, being also his first born, was doubly dear to him. It stands to reason therefore, that Abraham must have been required by God to offer for sacrifice his nearest and dearest thing which was his only and first born son who was Ishmael.

      Abraham had no revelation but a dream to give that sacrifice and he considered it a message of God to sacrifice his son in the love of God as it was usually practiced by other people of his time to offer their children for their considered gods like sun, moon etc. As Abraham knew that it was forbidden by God to kill a person therefore he waited for his son to become an adult person and then talked with him about his dream. The Quran tells about it: ”So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing son – And when he was old enough to work with him, he said, ‘O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering thee. So consider, what thou thinkest of it!’ He replied, ‘O my father, do as thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please, of those who are patient.’ – And when they both submitted to the Will of God, and he had thrown him down on his forehead, – We called to him: ‘O Abraham, -‘Thou hast indeed already fulfilled the dream.’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.- That surely was a manifest trial.(108) And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.” (37:102 -108)

      The words “Thou hast indeed already fulfilled the dream” show that Abraham was not required to fulfill his dream in actual fact but that it was only a practical demonstration of his God’s order and his preparedness to obey it. God cleared to Abraham in his revelation that dream had already symbolically been fulfilled. As Ishmael having been left by Abraham in the valley of Mecca which was at that time an arid and barren waste. The leaving behind of a weak and helpless woman with a child, in a place completely devoid of all signs of life and even of water or any other means of subsistence did indeed constitute a great sacrifice on the part of the noble Patriarch. It was indeed a supreme trial for Abraham to have left his dear wife and his only son, unprovided and unprotected, in a place where, humanly speaking, they were sure to perish.

      The purpose of this great sacrifice (to leave Ishmael in the valley of Mecca) was to rebuild the holy house of Mecca from its ruins and to keep a foundation for mankind to unite them: “And We commanded Abraham and Ishmael, saying, ‘Purify My House for those who perform the circuit and those who remain therein for devotion and those who bow down and fall prostrate in Prayer.’ (Quran 2:128 ).

      So, both rebuild this holy house and also prayed to Allah for a great prophet (Mohammad) from their progeny with a specific mission: ‘And remember the time when Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundations of the House, praying, ‘Our Lord, accept this from us; for Thou art All Hearing, All-Knowing. ‘And, our Lord, raise up among them a Messenger from among themselves, who may recite to them Thy Signs and teach them the Book and Wisdom and may purify them; surely,Thou art the Mighty, the Wise.’ (2:128,130)

      Abraham’s preparedness to sacrifice Ishmael was perpetuated in the Islamic institution of “Sacrifice” which forms an integral part of the ceremonies of Hajj. Secondly the following verse: “And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice. ‘may also be to the abolition of human sacrifice which seemed to be in vogue in Abraham’s time and to the substitution for it of animal sacrifice.

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

        God Almighty never in His teachings asked for killing of child as a sacrifice.

        He does in the Christian version: “So I gave them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live; I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am Jehovah” (Ez. 20:25–6).

        More here.

      • Kevin K

        It’s fiction. You’re writing about a fictional account. You can make it say whatever you want to say when you’re writing fiction. The episode never happened.

  • Sheila Warner

    That whole objective morals and duties thing takes a hit with the gradual change of commandments unveiled over time. I wonder what WLC thinks about the dancing done by theists who say “but that was the OT!”

  • Jack Baynes

    Actually Jesus says that “Love God with all your heart…” and “Love your neighbor as yourself..” make up the whole of the law of the prophets.
    That doesn’t nullify the old laws.
    That just says that stoning children for talking back to their parents fulfills one of those laws.
    Apparently to Love God with all your heart you must give up bacon.

    • busterggi

      Sorry then god but I used to take communion when my parents forced me to go to church and if I can choose between bad flatbread and bacon, you lose.

    • TheNuszAbides

      no wonder bacon is so distracting.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    First, these come from the Old Testament Law that is directed at the ancient Israelites themselves.

    I am having a hard time understanding the point to this objection.

    Yes, the TC come from the Old Testament Law. The atheists aren’t the one insisting that we follow OT Law, it is the ones who are pushing the TC.

    How can you dismiss the response to the TC by accusing it of being OT Law? That’s what this whole discussion is about!

    • Joe

      It’s the second part of Bob’s that is important:

      that is directed at the ancient Israelites themselves.

      This was the case for all the OT. Plus the argument by Christians about the ‘new covenant’ that Jesus supposedly established invalidates the OT (when it suits them).

  • eric

    in what way does atheism provide a moral foundation for these prohibitions?

    Yeah! It’s just not possible to found a government of the people, by the people, for the people!

    It’s not among present-day Jews or Christians that you’ll be seeing calls for death for idolatry or blasphemy, but among Islamists.

    In 2012 the Catholic church in India called for blasphemy charges against Sanal Edamaruku, for the ‘crime’ of pointing out that a local weeping statue was due to bad plumbing. The church hierarchy formally sought a 3-year prison sentence using the claim that his reveal ‘hurt Catholic sensibilities,’ while informally, the many many death threats he received from Indian Catholics drove him into exile.
    So yes, it is amongst present-day Christians that we see calls for death for blasphemy….in countries where they think they can get away with it.
    ***
    Its quite crazy to me that anyone could think they could make a lucid argument that a 10C monument is legal, morally important, etc… but that putting the punishments mentioned in those same verses next to the strictures is some sort of illegal or horrible nasty trick.

  • JustinL

    I love how often nowadays people’s DEFENSE of religion and why we shouldn’t get rid of it is that it’s archaic and irrelevant. Progress, I suppose.

  • busterggi

    “atheists make no allowance for the moral and theological development that took place from the Old to the New Testament”

    You mean the bible isn’t god’s innerrant holy word? Its just the scribblings of a bunch of ancients with contradictory agendas? Then why bother with it.?

    • Joe

      “Development”. I think that’s putting it in overly flattering terms.

      • Michael Neville

        Wiker probably thinks his audience won’t recognized the word “retcon”.

        • TheNuszAbides

          unless/until the Christian Appropriation Machine

          stoops to milking the fandom convention angle — too on the nose for centuries of the Yawhwehjesus fan club? … even then, retcon is the sort of thing that seeds heresies, no matter how you slice it!

  • MNb

    “To take one obvious instance, purely non-theistic evolution has one rule: nature works by the survival of the fittest, survival by any means.”
    I get it: an apologist like Wiker simply can’t do without the is/ought fallacy.

    http://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Is-ought.html

    But Wiker even gets this one totally wrong.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080910165846.htm

    If evolution has one rule it’s not about survival by any means. It’s about getting offspring by any means.

  • Pofarmer

    Just scroll the comments in this “Pro-life” thread. We’re doomed, folks.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/suspendedinherjar/2016/12/imagine-miscarriage-sent-jail/

    I’m reminded of that Asimov quote.

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

      How do you respond to people who care only about the emotional side of the argument?

      You’d think it’d be easy, but something’s not working.

      “In The Ghetto” (made famous by Elvis Presley)

      As the snow flies
      On a cold and gray Chicago mornin’
      A poor little baby child is born
      In the ghetto

      And his mama cries
      ‘Cause if there’s one thing that she don’t need
      It’s another hungry mouth to feed
      In the ghetto

      People, don’t you understand
      The child needs a helping hand
      Or he’ll grow to be an angry young man some day
      Take a look at you and me,
      Are we too blind to see?
      Do we simply turn our heads and look the other way?

      Well, the world turns
      And a hungry little boy with a runny nose
      Plays in the street as the cold wind blows
      In the ghetto

      And his hunger burns
      So he starts to roam the streets at night
      And he learns how to steal, and he learns how to fight
      In the ghetto

      Then one night in desperation
      The young man breaks away
      He buys a gun,
      Steals a car,
      Tries to run,
      But he don’t get far
      And his mama cries

      As a crowd gathers ’round an angry young man
      Face down on the street with a gun in his hand
      In the ghetto

      And as her young man dies,
      On a cold and gray Chicago mornin’,
      Another little baby child is born
      In the ghetto

      And his mama cries

      • ryan

        For the theologically inclined anti-choicer (most of them, in my experience) I throw numbers 5 11-21 at them. When they find out that god not only condoned abortions, but set out rules for them they usually get a bit flustered. Hosea 13:16 is also good. ‘Their women with child shall be ripped up’ is pretty unambiguous.

        For a selection of other handy verses, see here:

        http://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-home-page/god-is-not-pro-life/

        • Pofarmer

          Some try to just hand wave it away. It wasn’t really abortion. Yada yada yada.

        • ryan

          I haven’t had that happen yet, which I’m a little surprised at frankly. If/when it does happen I’m thinking I’ll keep hammering it home and not letting them evade. I mean, if forcing a miscarriage isn’t abortion…

        • Pofarmer

          Wish I could link you back to that thread. It was on Patheos.

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

          The response that I’ve heard is that the Trial of Bitter Waters can make the woman infertile, not cause a miscarriage.

          That’s an odd reading of the text IMO, but that’s sometimes their interpretation.

        • ryan

          Yeah, given that the text I’ve read specifically mentions miscarriages…

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

          I could be misremembering, but again, just channeling the anti-choicers’ arguments, I believe they say that some translations do indeed use those words. Others (more correct, obviously, cuz God wouldn’t disagree with them) use something else.

          Comparative translations:
          http://biblehub.com/numbers/5-21.htm

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

          Good stuff, though I can’t imagine many pro-lifers caring a whit about such arguments. They hold their position because of emotional arguments, so intellectual rejoinders don’t work.

          In my experience, anyway.

        • Rudy R

          If God commands a thing, it’s never immoral, because right actions are right because God approves of them and wrong actions are wrong because God disapproves of them. Checkmate, atheist!

        • MNb

          And that’s totally objective.

        • Rudy R

          God’s objective, don’t ya know.

        • ryan

          So special pleading then.

        • Pofarmer

          Well sure.

        • Rudy R

          That, or subjective morality.

    • Ficino

      I went through a good deal of that thread. You and lady_black schooled them. But I don’t think they paid attention.

      The only substantive point I saw them make was to claim that modern embryology has established that an embryo is a human being. So also, a fortiori, is a fetus. One of your replies was something I hadn’t seen before, i.e. that the embryo can’t experience pain etc until the requisite parts of the brain and nervous system form by, I think you said, the 25th week on average.

      Then when challenged on words’ meaning, the anti-abortionists slid to announce that words’ meanings are arbitrary. So legislatures can define “human person with rights” to include zygotes if they can ram the bills through.

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

        The only substantive point I saw them make was to claim that modern embryology has established that an embryo is a human being

        If you say that “human being” = “Homo sapiens,” then sure. The only trick is to keep that very, very broad definition in mind whenever the term is used.

        IMO, the trick anti-choicers play is to use “human being” (and person and baby, etc.) in the conventional large sense but then switch to this broad definition (single cell all the way through to elderly person) when it suits them.

        • Kodie

          In the US, and with broad assumption, everywhere else on earth, no fetus is technically protected as a citizen until they’re born and a birth certificate is filed. By law in most states, late-term abortions are illegal except in extreme circumstances because of squeamish things like pain, but slaughtering livestock cruelly or keeping them in slavery is normal. Nobody is going to jail you for causing pain to another animal, like a bug or a mouse, but if it’s a dog or a cat, you’re a monster. If it’s a pig or a chicken, it’s ok.

          I want to make my main point before I get too sidetracked, which is, forcing pregnant women to register. I don’t know if that’s a thing in any country. After some time, it’s difficult to hide, but if abortion becomes illegal and in the current political climate… can you imagine the land of the free* keeping tabs on women who might have gained a few pounds and didn’t file with the county clerk, and forcing them to pee on a stick?

          *I am starting to think freedom to be as stupid as you want to be is not what the founding fathers intended.

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

          no fetus is technically protected as a citizen until they’re born and a birth certificate is filed

          I wonder if the Republicans want to extend that so that an illegal alien wouldn’t just come to US soil, give birth, and have a US citizen. Instead, they’d simply have to come here pregnant. A fetus is the same thing as a person; therefore, it’s a citizen.

  • Pofarmer

    This is scary as fuck.

    https://www.autostraddle.com/i-was-trained-for-the-culture-wars-in-home-school-awaiting-someone-like-mike-pence-as-a-messiah-367057/

    I Was Trained for the Culture Wars in Home School, Awaiting Someone Like Mike Pence as a Messiah

    Tell me we’re not all screwed?

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

      Whoa–how is this supposed to cheer me up?

      • Pofarmer

        It ain’t. I think I have a date with a bottle of Buffalo Trace after reading that.

    • Otto

      It all flies under the radar because being Christian couldn’t be anything but sweet and wonderful.

      • Pofarmer

        And I can’t figure out if “progressive” Christians don’t recognize the threat or don’t care.

        • Otto

          From my take they don’t recognize it, the media downplays a lot of the connections.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, I mean the U.S. is high percentage Christian, and even those that aren’t, generally come from a Christian background and are familiar with it. I mean, what could be so bad about outwardly Christian politicians? I mean, MO politicians had prayer circles broadcast on Facebook election night thanking Jesus for their victories. And what do they do with those victories? Defund planned parenthood mainly.

        • Otto

          If someone does something good mentioning that they are Christian is almost 2nd nature in this country, if someone does something horrible their faith is hardly mentioned unless it is some context like…’despite being Christian’. It is the same double standard they use with God.

        • Pofarmer

          The problem is when they gain political power, and they’ve gained a lot.

        • Greg G.

          They like to stretch the Overton window.

        • TheNuszAbides

          must … accrue more caffeine … to make proper defenestration joke …

          EDIT: just had to check … wouldn’tcha know. the coining of the word inspired by Protestants manhandling Catholics.

          http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=defenestration

        • Otto

          There is a silver lining in that these people are no longer flying under the radar, the general population is going to start seeing them for what they are. Many people who supported Trump have no love for the religious right,
          I predict this could backfire harshly on them.

        • Pofarmer

          I hope so. There is a lady who is constantly posting pro-life stuff on my facebook feed. I’ve replied to most of it with stuff just promoting birth control and sex education. But, the more ridiculous the posts get, the more I want to respond with the philosophical pro-choice arguments. So far, I’m holding myself back.

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

          That’s like saying, “Oh, look–my favorite donut!” and then not eating it.

        • Otto

          I always like it when they ask “what if your mom aborted you”…and I respond that there were times when I was a child that I had wished I hadn’t been born because of Christianity (threat of hell).

        • Pofarmer

          If my Mom aborted me I’d never know, never been alive, wouldn’t have any idea. So what? The idea of consciousness is kind of freaky, though.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know why they think all these unborn fetuses and embryos collect somewhere else and think about how sad they never got born or their parents didn’t want them. Life, at its best, is a bonus. Without you, you miss nothing. When you do live and then die, anything you might have regretted is also no longer an issue. If you never lived, you can’t feel how different it would be if you had lived.

          Only if you live, you can wonder how different it would be for everyone if you weren’t here, or if your parents were different, or if your skin color was different, or if you were born a long time ago or were just born today, what it would feel like when you reached the age you are now – and then, well, then, that’s where you can ask other people, and communicate and read and bridge the gap from who you are to who someone else is or was, the togetherness, the empathy. Some people think of other people who aren’t like them and be, like, “whew! I’m glad that’s not me” – glad they’re not a minority or disabled or born in a country that doesn’t love American football, and simply discard these situations as inferior, instead of think – that could be me, that might be me, and never really get that experience, but learn as much as they can.

          I always think there are these people, like Christians who think if there isn’t a god, they would only feel hopelessness and despair and go on a killing spree because why not, these people who think if they weren’t born how they are, they’d feel sorry for themselves, or they feel sorry for themselves now because they imagine some other life they were supposed to have, different conditions, like going to a private school, or having parents who didn’t get divorced, or simple things like not having curly hair, or whatever conditions someone might think would have made them a different person they wanted to be. Lol, serenity prayer. My friend growing up had this on a sampler in the basement/playroom, and I didn’t know it was from AA, and I don’t think they knew it was from AA, since there was a locked bar in the china cabinet in the same room, and the dad drank beer in front of us. She wasn’t Christian, and I kind of liked it from the standpoint of changing what you can change and not changing what you can’t change.

        • Michael Neville

          If your parents didn’t have any children then the chances are excellent that you won’t have any either.

        • MNb

          If I may speculate: they do recognize the threat and do care, but prefer to wear blinkers. Like a famous Dutch Prime Minister once said: “you may go sleep undisturbed”. Four years and two months later the country was occupied by the nazis.

        • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

          That was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
          ““My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time… Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.””

        • MarquisDeMoo

          Wasn’t that after they had sacrificed the Sudetenland to Hitler, bit like the Crimea was sacrificed to Putin? They both had overwhelming plebiscites to justify it too.

        • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

          Listen, you…he said GO TO BED! Stop asking questions and put the light out!~

        • MNb

          Indeed. However the Dutch Prime Minister said it after the nazis had occupied the Rhineland.

        • Michael Neville
        • MNb

          See above.

        • Michael Neville

          Many historians* claim that Chamberlain knew that Hitler lied to him but he had to gain time for Britain to be ready for a war. In September 1938, the primary RAF fighter aircraft was the Gloster Gladiator biplane. The British Army was primarily in India and the colonies. It had no armoured divisions or brigades and had less than 200,000 active duty soldiers. Only the Royal Navy was in reasonable condition but the German Kriegsmarine was not a major threat to Britain (Germany didn’t start building large numbers of submarines until after the Munich conference).

          In September 1939 the British Army had over 225,000 soldiers on active duty and another 270,000 in the Territorial Army (reserves). It had two armoured divisions and three independent armoured brigades. The RAF had hundreds of Spitfire and Hurricane fighters and the “Chain Home” radar net was in place.

          In 1938 Britain would have been hard pressed to fight a defensive war. In 1939 Britain could be defended by the British forces.

          *James Dunnigan, Albert Nofti, Correlli Barnett, Samuel Eliot Morrison and Trevor Dupuy, to name some of the more prominent ones.

        • MNb

          Nope. As a Dutchie I’m quite aware of the difference between a Dutch and a British Prime Minister.

          https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendrikus_Colijn#.27Ga_maar_rustig_slapen.27

          11 maart 1936 – March 11th 1936. Chamberlain wasn’t even Prime Minister then, let alone a Dutch one.

        • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

          Evidence of parrots in the political system?

    • Ficino

      I saw this too and posted it on Roll to Disbelieve. It is scary as fuck.

      • Pofarmer

        You may be where I got the link.

    • Paul B. Lot

      I think it’s worth investigating, for sure.

      But. She was indoctrinated as a child. I can tell you that when that happens to you, it can take years (perhaps forever) for the fear and respect you have toward the people and institutions and ideas you were molded into fearing and respecting to be shattered or eroded.

      She keeps saying that you can’t argue with these people: that’s only true in so far as they’re willing to cut themselves off from the rest of society. Once they start interacting, they can’t ignore counter arguments, lest they look weak.

    • MNb

      More scary than Hell indeed, but no, as long as such people are capable of escaping such christofascism we’re not all screwed yet.

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

      In the post-election critique, I’ve heard it said several times that the conservatives are much better at the long game. They’ll lay political seeds that they know won’t bear fruit for a decade or more.

      • Kodie

        Fear is so primal. I have said so many times, humans aren’t that intelligent. If you make up some threat, it’s going to gnaw at a lot of people, and they will make the practical decision to trade what they have for something they think is better. Religions are marketing to that human animal tendency and pretending it is an elevated cause.

        http://www.read.gov/aesop/026.html

      • Pofarmer

        Well, if you’re a moderate, and content, why run for office and expend all the energy? If youre a true beleiver in the other hand? Maybe in the U.S. Politics will always belong to the radicals?

        • TheNuszAbides

          i’d say more like: the world over, political change (in any direction) will always belong to the radicals. but naturally they’ll hardly [if ever] get due credit in the mainstream synopsis.

      • Donalbain

        If that was the case, blacks would still be eating separatly and gays would not be getting married.

  • ryan
    • MNb

      Ah, but they are No True Jews or Christians.

  • Pofarmer
  • Michael Neville

    OT: This is the lunar new year and the beginning of the Year of the Surprised Oyster. You might hear it’s the Year of the Rooster but that’s so old-fashioned. It’s the Century of the Fruit Bat, we should modernize the naming of years.

    • Greg G.

      Chúc Mừng Năm Mới! I had pho rooster for lunch.

      • Kodie

        I got lucky money and already have extra $20!

      • Pofarmer

        Love me some pho.

        • Greg G.

          Me too. I was introduced to pho shortly before I took a job that requires occasional travel. I happened to pass a pho restaurant on my first trip so I turned around and went to it. Ever since, I try the pho where ever I go. I’ve only been sent to one city that was too small to have any. If you go to a place with several pho restaurants, avoid the ones that appear to compete on price. The best pho broth is not the instant kind.

        • TheNuszAbides

          the Seattle area has a not-yet-corrupted chain that continues to provide a free banh choux [custard puff] with every order. and has an Extra-Large bowl. one of which i’m now leaving the house to order.

          shameless plug! http://www.thanbrothers.com/

        • Greg G.

          Now I’m jealous.

          I visited a restaurant in Saigon and the menu had a location in Portland, OR. (I started typing thinking it was Seattle but then I had a lucid moment.)

      • Michael Neville

        I made a generic chicken stir-fry for supper.

    • Odd Jørgensen

      the year of the honeyglazed lamb.

  • RichardSRussell

    In the book Is Religion Killing Us?: Violence in the Bible and the Quran, author Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer points out that, for almost the entirety of the 4-millennium existence of God’s “chosen people”, they’ve lived in captivity, exile, persecution, slavery, oppression, segregation, etc. 10/12 of them were totally lost to history early on in the process. They were hardly ever a free, independent people, and during the few years in which they were, they spent them relentlessly persecuting and murdering their nabors. He wonders what exactly it was that God “chose” them for.

    • MarquisDeMoo

      To some extent it is a chicken and egg question. I would suggest that people who are oppressed tend to be most susceptible to religion. It also may explain why Christianity embodies a persecution complex.

      • Odd Jørgensen

        It also may explain why Christianity embodies a persecution complex.

        i think that is covered by jebus saying his followers will suffer persecution like he did. So…if you`re suddenly the majority what do you do? It says right there that you will be persecuted if you`re a really real True Christian™, better take a good look around and find yourself some persecution to hold up as evidence of, well, evidence?

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

      Hey, Rip van Winkle! Good to see you back from your long nap.

      God is pretty wimpy if this is the best he can do for his people. Maybe that’s why “atheist Jew” is a thing.

      • TheNuszAbides

        not to mention “brilliantly successful atheist Jew intelligentsia”. not to open the door to conspiracy loons or anything, but hell, the J-word alone …

  • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

    It’s funny how they reject the OT while still stuffing it in our faces when it suits them.

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

      Marcionism, an early variant of Christianity, did lose the OT, since they saw it as the book of another god. That is, Jesus’s father was a different guy than Yahweh, the Jews’ god. As a result, they had less splainin’ to do and their religion made more sense. No more evidence, of course, but fewer contradictions.

      • TheNuszAbides

        No more evidence, of course,

        but they do get the juicy absentee-evidence, since as a squished heresy they get more traction than run-of-the-mill Xians when playing the “but our extra-super-good material got lost in the purges!” card.

  • Sophia Sadek

    One of the reasons that Christians obsess over the ancient Jewish literature is that their religion was founded by Paul of Tarsus, an unrepentant Pharisee who claimed to follow Jesus as he continued to undo everything that Jesus stood for. Jesus taught his disciples elements of Pagan philosophy. Paul of Tarsus absolutely opposed such practices. The last thing Paul wanted was for Jews to escape the clutches of Yahweh.

    • sandy

      Paul never met Jesus and only talks of Jesus as a spiritual entity and all of his references to Jesus are through scripture and revelation. The human Jesus of the gospels, in Pauls time, had not yet been invented.

      • Greg G.

        Paul also says he knew Cephas and met James. He also insists that his knowledge on the subject is not inferior to that of the “super-apostles,” which implies he knows they didn’t know Jesus, either.

        • sandy

          Not sure if you have read The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty…what an excellent analysis of the epistles and historicity of Jesus….a must read!!

        • Greg G.

          I read it after Bart Ehrman’s Did Jesus Exist? convinced me that there was no good argument for the existence of Jesus.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Convinced not just you. After a lot of persuasion to read it, it convinced Richard Carrier to look at the subject a lot deeper, with the subsequent result that he changed his position on the subject because of the evidence, the lack thereof, and the stuff that was being hidden or misrepresented by the academy.

        • MNb

          If Doherty’s site is representative that “excellent analysis” consists of nothing but theology. It’s weird when atheists start to drool about theology as soon as the conclusions suit them. Greg G is also addicted to it; there is even a blog call Atheology on this site. It’s equally crappy as all other theology.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What?

          Let’s take one article….“JOSEPHUS UNBOUND
          Reopening the Josephus Question”
          …nothing but theology you think?

          http://jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/supp10.htm

          Another example is how a list of book reviews and Doherty’s counter rebuttals are nothing but theology?

          And anyway, one can’t counter a particular theology interpreted from the texts without presenting an alternative interpretation of those same texts as a counter to the meaning of said text…it is done day and daily on this very site in argument against the believers. Not least in the slavery arguments.

          How else could one argue against one of just the few ropey ambiguous examples that historicists point to in the whole Pauline corpus to support an earthly Jesus? If indeed they are original to Paul. Hand waving it off would be totally unsatisfactory, would it not?

          ““BORN OF WOMAN”? Reexamining Galatians 4:4”

          http://www.jesuspuzzle.humanists.net/supp15.htm

          Now you may find Doherty’s argument unsatisfactory, but that is a whole different ball game. Exegesis is without doubt, an important aspect in understanding what the author was actually talking about. Of course it’s getting the correct exegesis that is the difficult part.

        • MNb

          “What?”
          Pay close attention to the very fist word of my comment.
          Then read my answer to Greg G.
          Perhaps you will realize that you have posted one of the most superfluous comments in your entire career.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Pay close attention to the very fist word of my comment.

          I don’t see how your use of the word “if” negates anything in my comment. But perhaps my usage is not as you intended.

          Then read my answer to Greg G.

          Which one?

          Perhaps you will realize that you have posted one of the most superfluous comments in your entire career.

          Perhaps, in your opinion.

          Although that remark might be a bit of hyperbole, and you might even think it is the case, I can assure that I have made thousands of comments on Disqus and beyond over the past decade or so, that have been far more superfluous than that one.

          One must also keep in mind that while a comment may be leveled at a particular interlocutor, the refuting material is also for the benefit of the wider regular audience and any secret lurkers. But you know that already. We all fire comments off at those who have no interest in the subject matter, or expanding their knowledge, or no interest in listening, but still in the hope that someone in the gallery will be interested, or interested in listening or reading. Your recent engagement with Ameribear is testimony to that, as has Hermit’s with Kendall Fields.

        • TheNuszAbides

          due to sample bias, i had assumed that even using the word ‘exegesis’ seriously was merely a refuge of cognitively dissonant fundies. but then i read a book for once. even good ol’ Fred Nietzsche said exegesis was crucial to a reader’s understanding of his writing.

        • Greg G.

          Isn’t that what you said about Jesus Never Existed? The Jesus Puzzle is a completely different site. Which articles on Doherty’s site do you say are “nothing but theology?

        • MNb

          I wouldn’t know anymore. But I’ll take your word immediately if you say that The Jesus Puzzle is a completely different site and hence not representative. It’s quite some years ago that I visited that site; so long that I’m not even sure anymore what it’s name is. Alas I can’t check it right now; for some reason I have problems downloading it.

      • Sophia Sadek

        That is certainly one take on it. Another would be that Paul worked hard to deify a Jewish teacher of Pagan philosophy.

        • sandy

          No. There is no such evidence of a human Jesus in the Epistles that are attributed to Paul. If one was to believe Paul, he would have at some point referred to the human Jesus and his teachings/sayings and the legend but he never does… never. A human Jesus with a ministry, with an audience, never existed or was ever referred to. That is odd and basically impossible to have happened, considering his place and time in history. The creator of the universe, would have left his mark and message to all of us but he didn’t, which is obvious by the 45,000 sects of Christianity. So here’s my calling to God….let’s hear one more time what you want us humans to do…come on… do it… in what ever way convinces the masses!

        • Sophia Sadek

          It is nice that you are so certain of that paradigm. An alternative that you will probably reject is that the heavenly parent that Jesus is said to have spoken of was not the same as the traditional Jewish cosmic creator.

    • SparklingMoon,

      Jesus taught his disciples elements of Pagan philosophy.
      ———————————————————————-

      Jesus was sent by God Almighty as a Messiah for twelve tribes of Israel according to the prophecies of Torah. Jesus was an Israel and true believer of Moses and all other prophets of Israel who followed after Moses. Jesus remained adhere to Music Law during his whole life. Jesus had no authority, to abrogate the Mosiac law or any part of it. He clearly declared:

      ”Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I did not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, not one letter, not a dot, will disappear from the law until all that must happen has happened. Anyone therefore who sets aside even the le ast of the law’s demands and teaches others to do the same,he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of heaven:but whosoever shall do and teach them.the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.(Matt.5:17-19)

      • Ignorant Amos

        Isn’t it shocking the sort of nonsense otherwise rational folk can be suckered in by?

      • adam
        • SparklingMoon,

          God Almighty has not suggested in His revelation to a prophet or a government to punish homosexuals. Prophet Lot (as) was not told any punishment when we read about him in the Bible or in the Quran. He (as) was ordered just to leave such people.

          Actually God Almighty has kept its punishment in His own hand.

        • adam

          “God Almighty has not suggested in His revelation to a prophet or a government to punish homosexuals.”

          The God of Abraham certainly says they should die.

        • SparklingMoon,

          God Almighty has confirmed in His revelation of the Quran that He had given permission to raise a sword against only for two reasons:

          ”We prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder ( by making a war to kill ) in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. And Our Messengers came to them with clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses in the land”.

          This verse clearly negates all existing punishments of death in Old Testament for other sins and crimes.

        • adam

          “He had given permission to raise a sword against only for two reasons:”

          Yes, I understand that stoning to death is what Jehovah prefers.

        • Ignorant Amos

          First, you need to grasp a small detail that you are struggling with when you post on this forum. The people who you are engaging don’t believe the texts you are referencing have any more veracity than the the Lord of the Rings trilogy or Dr. Watson’s accounts of the exploits of Sherlock Holmes. That is, we all believe they are made up stories, or plagiarised from other cultures. They are works of fiction.

          Now, with that said, you need to go back and read the story of Lot, it seems that you are somewhat confused as to what happened….in the story.

      • Sophia Sadek

        It is just that kind of thing that the Pauline faction used as an excuse to ignore the more important stuff.

  • Ignorant Amos

    So the Jackal, Carl Frampton, is up shortly folks….claim to fame…he went to school with my two kids, Currie Primary…the lad comes from a sectarian background, but he married a Catholic bringing a divided community a wee bit closer….

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

      I see that he’s a title-holding boxer, but what’s he “up” for? Is there a new fight happening soon?

      • Ignorant Amos

        aye…it was a re-match in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Got beaten on points ffs. I think there is going to have to be a third meeting.

  • jbhodges7

    In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus says:
    17 “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I
    have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to
    you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass
    from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Whoever then relaxes one of
    the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called
    least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them
    shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you,
    unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you
    will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
    In Luke chapter 16 he says:
    16 “The law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news
    of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it violently. 17
    But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one dot of
    the law to become void.

    • Joe

      You know Christians interpret or ignore those words depending on their whims, right?

  • SparklingMoon,

    Though not true for every commandment, death is the go-to punishment. Death for killing. Death for adultery. Death for sassing your parents.
    ——————————————————————————————

    The revelation of prophet Moses ”Torah” as it exist today, is not the Torah which was revealed to Moses. The external and internal evidence no longer support the view, that the record of the Old Testament as we possess it today constitutes the word of God as it was first revealed.The existing Old Testament is an amalgamation of the revelation of Israel Prophet and human narrations and explanations of later coming followers of Moses.

    God Almighty says about Torah : ”Surely, We sent down the Torah wherein was guidance and light. By it did the Prophets, who were obedient to Us, judge for the Jews, as did the godly people and those learned in the Law; for they were required to preserve the Book of Allah, and because they were guardians over it…. [5:45]

    And Jesus was appointed to bring people back to the real teachings of Mosaic Law (as) that had been revealed to him: ”And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, fulfilling that which was revealed before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel which contained guidance and light, fulfilling that which was revealed before it in the Torah, and a guidance and an admonition for the God-fearing. [5:47]

    In Gospels we do not find these punishment of killing for certain sins in the sayings of Jesus. These descriptions in the Bible to kill others for certain sins is added by latter coming followers of Mosaic Law who appeared in the time of political power to grind their own Israelite opponents by using their religion. Otherwise God Almighty has confirmed in His revelation of the Quran that He had given permission only for two reasons:

    ”We prescribed for the children of Israel that whosoever killed a person — unless it be for killing a person or for creating disorder ( by making a war to kill ) in the land — it shall be as if he had killed all mankind; and whoso gave life to one, it shall be as if he had given life to all mankind. And Our Messengers came to them with clear Signs, yet even after that, many of them commit excesses in the land”.

    This verse clearly negate all existing punishments of death in Old Testament for other sins and crimes. The followers of the Bible should consult the Holy Quran to find out the true teachings of their prophets as God Almighty has mentioned all true teachings of His previous revelations to guide the followers of Moses and Jesus.

    • Ignorant Amos

      The followers of the Bible should consult the Holy Quran to find out the true teachings of their prophets as God Almighty has mentioned all true teachings of His previous revelations to guide the followers of Moses and Jesus.

      Why not the Book of Mormon in that case?

      Aren’t you a heretic to the majority Muslim position?

      According to mainstream Islam, you lot don’t count either.

      • SparklingMoon,

        Why not the Book of Mormon in that case?
        ———————————————–
        Firstly, God Almighty has told about the revelation of the Quran to perfect His Law as prophet Moses was told in his revelation (Deuteronomy 33:2): ”And he said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

        In this verse Moses is promised three manifestations of the glory ofGod. The first of these appeared from Sinai, to which a reference is made in Exodus (19:20) ”And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up”. This manifestation of divine glory appeared in the time of Moses. The world witnessed the blessings which came with it.

        Time passed. The second manifestation promised in the prophecy was to take place from Seir. Seir is that part of the world round about which the miracles of Jesus took place. “Rising up from Seir”, therefore, points to the advent of Jesus. Seir stands for the second manifestation of divine glory. The advent of Jesus which took place right in Canaan, and through which, as it were, God showed His face for a second time.

        The third manifestation of divine glory was to take its rise from Paran, and Paran (Arabic Fārān) is the name of the hills which lie between Mecca and Medina (prophet of Islam(saw) born in Mecca and died in Madinah and he received the revelation of the Quran here).

        Secondly, Jesus was sent as a Messiah according to the prophecies of Old Testament for the people of Israel of his time to bring them back to the original teachings of Mosaic Law.

        The teachings of Mormonism are against the teachings of Moses
        as its beliefs are based on the principles of Trinity. The founder Joseph Smith, wrote, “The fundamental principles of our religion are … concerning Jesus Christ that He died was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” In addition to the above, follower of Mormon believe unequivocally that: (1)Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of our loving Heavenly Father. (2) Christ’s Atonement allows mankind to be saved from their sins and return to live with God and their families forever. (3) Christ’s original Church as described in the New Testament has been restored in modern times.

        God Almighty 1400 years ago had rejected these false conceptions in His revelation of the Quran: (Quran 4:172-173) ”People Of the Book! exceed not the bounds in the matter of your religion, and say not of God anything but the truth. Indeed, the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was but a Messenger Of God and the fulfillment of glad tidings which he conveyed to Mary and a mercy for Him. So believe in God and His Messengers and say not: There are three gods. Desist, it will be the better for you. Indeed, God is only One God. His Holiness brooks not that He should have a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Sufficient is God as a Guardian. Surely, the Messiah would never disdain to be accounted a servant of God, nor would the angels who are close to God. Those who disdain to worship Him and consider themselves above it will He gather all together before Himself”. (Quran5:73-75)”Those certainly are disbelievers who say: God is none but the Messiah, son of Mary: whereas the Messiah himself taught: Children of Israel, worship God Who is my Lord and your Lord”.

        It is a divine tradition of God Almighty to reveal in his next revelation the true teachings of his previous prophets to guide their followers. It is absurd to think that the God Almighty Who in His revelation of the Quran had already rejected the notion of Trinity (and told many times that Jesus was just a messenger who called the people of Israel towards One God Almighty) and the same God Almighty in these days makes a revelation to Joseph Smith to translate golden plates and again spread the false notion of Trinity among his people to misguide them again?

        • Greg G.

          God came down near Lake Ontario and said the Quran, Deuteronomy, and the other religious texts were written by religious nuts and that we should not heed religious nuts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Firstly, God Almighty has told about the revelation of the Quran to perfect His Law as prophet Moses was told in his revelation (Deuteronomy 33:2): ”And he said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

          Blah, blah, blah, blah….

          I don’t believe you. Billions of others don’t believe you. Show me the evidence. Made up ancient texts that are demonstrably nonsense for most part, don’t count as evidence. You will have to do better than that around here.

          The story of Moses and the Exodus is made up…haven’t you heard.

        • Odd Jørgensen

          In this verse Moses is promised three manifestations of the glory ofGod. The first of these appeared from Sinai, to which a reference is made in Exodus (19:20) ”And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up”.

          You do know that Moses was not a literal person right? But a literary one, as in made up, like king Arthur, or Robin Hood.
          Jewish scholars could tell you this. When you build your fanfic on other fanfic, you get bad storytelling, not historical facts.

      • SparklingMoon,

        Aren’t you a heretic to the majority Muslim position?
        —————————————————————-
        The followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are considered heretic by other Muslims as the followers of Jesus had been considered heretic by other Jews. God Almighty has appointed Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a Messiah for this time. The question naturally arises as to why the Promised Messiah was to appear from among the Muslims. The answer is that Allah the Almighty has promised in the Holy Quran that prophet-hood of Holy Prophet (sa) shall bear a close resemblance to the era of Moses(as), both with regard to its beginning and its end. It states in the Quran: Verily, We have sent to you a Messenger, who is a witness over you,even as We sent a Messenger to Pharaoh.(73:16)

        The similarity relating to the latter days is that God Almighty sent a Prophet in the last days of the Mosaic dispensation, who had nothing to do with religious warfare, and preached forgiveness and mercy. And Jesus(as) had appeared at a time when the moral condition of Israelites had badly deteriorated and their character and conduct were thoroughly corrupted. They had also lost their kingdom and lived under the dominion of the Roman Empire. Jesus(as) had appeared at the turn of the fourteenth century after Moses(as), and him, he was as such the last link in the Israelite Prophet-hood

        It is explained by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad further: In the same manner, God has sent me in the spirit and character of Jesus son of Mary(as), in these latter days of the dispensation of the Holy Prophet ( about 1400 years after him), and has held in abeyance the practice of war just as it was prophesied that it would be suspended at the time of the Promised Messiah. since the chain of Israelite Prophets came to an end with him, he was as such the last link in the Israelite Prophet-hood. In the same manner, God has sent me in the spirit and character of Jesus son of Mary(as), in these latter days of the dispensation of the Holy Prophet of Islam(sa), and has held in abeyance the practice of war just as it was prophesied that it would be suspended at the time of the Promised Messiah.

        It is related in some authentic Hadith that, in the latter days, most of the Muslims would come to resemble the Jews. Chapter Fatihah also refers to this fact, because it teaches us to pray, O’ God, save us from becoming like the Jews who lived in the time of Jesus (as), who were his enemies, and upon whom the wrath of God Almighty fell in this very world. It is the way of God Almighty, that whenever He gives a command to a people or teaches them a prayer, it implies that some among them would commit the sin they have been warned against. Since the verse, (Those who have not incurred Thy displeasure.(Quran1:7) refers to the Jews who, in the latter days of the Mosaic dispensation, incurred Divine wrath on account of their rejection of the Messiah (as), therefore, in keeping with the above Divine practice, this verse contains a prophecy that in the latter days of the followers of Holy Prophet of Islam, the Promised Messiah would appear from his followers, and that, by opposing him, some Muslims would take after the Jews who lived in the time of Jesus(as)

        • adam

          “The followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are considered heretic by other
          Muslims as the followers of Jesus had been considered heretic by other
          Jews.”

          Well since Jews arent christian, let see how ‘other’ christians view heretical jews

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/78d2605305eadcda78155977377e79721c970efc02c864dedd893cd1d7e34a5d.jpg

        • SparklingMoon,

          Jesus and his followers (people of Israel) had been considered heretical and persecuted by Sadducees and Pharisees of Israel who did not accepted Jesus as a Messiah.

          These followers of Jesus ( who believed Jesus just a messenger of God Almighty and followed Mosaic Law) latter had been persecuted by the followers of Paul (who preached Jesus as a part of God).

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jesus and his followers (people of Israel) had been considered heretical and persecuted by Sadducees and Pharisees of Israel who did not accepted Jesus as a Messiah.

          It didn’t matter in the end, because it wasn’t the people of Israel who forged Christianity into a world wide religion. There is no evidence that the cult of Christianity were persecuted by the Sadducee’s and Pharisee’s of Israel. You are buying into Christian propaganda. The Christian cult of Judaism was just one of many tiny groups of Jews, not even on the radar of the more prominent larger gangs. So insignificant were they that nobody knew about them well enough to write a single word anywhere in reference.

          These followers of Jesus ( who believed Jesus just a messenger of God Almighty and followed Mosaic Law) latter had been persecuted by the followers of Paul (who preached Jesus as a part of God).

          You’ve really been drinking from the Kool-Aid teat. How do you know such shit? You really can’t use the NT to prove the stuff in the NT because we know much of it is not historically accurate. So pulled from your arse? Paul talks about all this persecution, yet no one else does. Do you not think it could be a literary device in order to give Paul’s story credibility?

          You still haven’t explained why your man should be granted a position of messiah over all other pretenders and why it is that most Muslims don’t support your claim?

        • MNb

          The latter is easy to answer – I’m pretty sure SM also denies Jesus’ divine nature. Understood that way all muslims do support his claim. Their beef is: “who exactly is the last, definite, ultimate one?”

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m pretty sure the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community don’t deny Jesus’ divine nature per se. Just a different kind of divine as per Christian claims. At least that’s if my understanding is anyway accurate. Though I could be way off. It is somewhat confusing when drilled down into.

          Ahmad(as) claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus(as) of Nazareth and the divine guide, whose advent was foretold by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad(sa). The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes that God sent Ahmad(as), like Jesus(as), to end religious wars, condemn bloodshed and reinstitute morality, justice and peace. Ahmad’s(as) advent has brought about an unprecedented era of Islamic revival.

          https://www.alislam.org/introduction/

          I will of course bow to your superior knowledge on this issue, given your close proximity to the people whose religion is at the centre of the issue.

          SM hasn’t explained why anyone other than Muslims should accept his claims. And why anyone outside his Ahmadiyya Muslim Community should accept his particular guys claim of messiah-ship?

          Two pretenders in Judaism subsequent to Ahmad…

          Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (r. 1920–1950)
          Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994)

          The list of Christian claimants is quite lengthy and there has been at least three Muslims claiming the mantle of messiah since SM’s man threw his hat into the ring.

          Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan (1864–1920)
          Rashad Khalifa (1935–1990)
          Juhayman al-Otaybi (1936–1980)

          Then we have an extensive lit of messiahs that are not Abrahamic.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_messiah_claimants#Other.2Fcombination_messiah_claimants

          If there is no definitive method to show who is the last definite, ultimate one, then how can anyone know, or be confident that the last has occurred?

        • MNb

          Maybe SM will tell us whether he thinks any prophet/messias was divine iso “just” send by god. I could be totally wrong as well.

          “SM hasn’t explained why anyone other than Muslims should accept his claims.”
          No, that stands. He hasn’t explained why any muslim should accept his additional claims either. – especially “Ahmad(as) claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus(as) of Nazareth”. That’s heretical for sunnis and shiites.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Maybe SM will tell us whether he thinks any prophet/messias was divine iso “just” send by god.

          Well at least it would be good to get his personal view for the sake of curiosity. I don’t think I could be bothered to wade through his commenting history to see if it has already been mentioned. I’ve read the Ahamdi’s don’t take the crucifixion death line…they think he died of natural causes sometime and somewhere in India…iirc. But like all these things, there seems to be some diversity in thinking even with this idea.

        • TheNuszAbides

          it’s almost like we each make our own mind up! oh wait … i forgot the Inescapable Truthiness of Calvinism. drat.

        • SparklingMoon,

          why any muslim should accept his additional claims either. – especially “Ahmad(as) claimed to be the metaphorical second coming of Jesus(as) of Nazareth”. That’s heretical for sunnis and shiites.
          ——————————————————–

          A sign of the time of the Promised Messiah recorded in the Holy Quran is ( 22:48) ”A day in the sight of God is like a thousand years according to your reckoning.”

          Since the days are seven, we infer from this verse that this world is also meant to last seven thousand years, counting from the particular Adam whose descendants we are.We learn from the Holy Quran that other worlds have existed before us, though we do not know what kind of people inhabited them. But it seems that an era of the world lasts for seven thousand years—as a symbol of which the days have been fixed at seven, each standing for a thousand years.

          According to the Holy Quran and other Divine scriptures, the seven millenniums have been divided as follows: First millennium: for the spread of guidance and virtue. Second millennium: for dominance of Satan. Third millennium: for the spread of guidance and virtue (.this was the millennium in which prophet Moses appeared in Middle East and prophet krishna in India and other prophets in their areas for the reformation of their people) Fourth millennium: for the dominance of Satan. Fifth millennium: for the spread of virtue (this was the millennium in which Holy Prophet(saw) appeared for the reformation of mankind ). Sixth millennium: for the release and dominance of Satan (this millennium extends from the end of the third century of the Islamic era to the beginning of the fourteenth). Seventh millennium: for the supremacy of God and His Messiah, spread of virtue and faith and righteousness, establishment of the Unity of God and Divine worship, and dominance of every virtue.

          We are now at the head of the
          seventh millennium and there is no room for any other Messiah to come after this, because there are only seven millennia that have all been divided into good and evil. All Prophets have spoken of this division whether in passing or in detail. But the Holy Quran has mentioned it very clearly, and from this we deduce the prophecy about the Promised Messiah. It is indeed remarkable that all Prophets, in one way or the other, have foretold about the time of the Messiah and the mischief of the Antichrist. (Ruhanikhazain)

        • Kodie

          I just noticed your name now has a comma after it, and it didn’t always.

        • SparklingMoon,

          I have other accounts like SparklingMoon, SparklingMoon. SparklingMoon- Cometofacts also to work on other blogs or newspapers. I always used one for this blog. May be I had used anytime other one also here.

        • Odd Jørgensen

          If there is no definitive method to show who is the last definite, ultimate one, then how can anyone know, or be confident that the last has occurred?

          arm wrestling contests?

        • SparklingMoon,

          If there is no definitive method to show who is the last definite, ultimate one, then how can anyone know, or be confident that the last has occurred?
          ———————————————————–

          Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has explained in his writings: God has informed us that the present human race originated from Adam, our common ancestor who came after the previous ‘races’, and this human race has an age of seven thousand years, and that these seven thousand years are to God just as seven days are to man.

          It has been decreed by the Divine law that every ‘race’ has a life span of seven thousand years, and it is to highlight this fact that the seven days have been ordained for man. Thus, the time ordained for the children of Adam is seven thousand years.

          By now six thousand years of this era have gone and a thousand years remain. It has been prophesied, not only by the Holy Quran but by many earlier scriptures, that the last Messenger who will appear in the likeness of Adam, and will be named the Messiah, will appear at the end of the sixth millennium, just as Adam was born towards the end of the sixth day. All these signs should suffice for a man of understanding.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Circular argument. I’m the Lord of the Universe because I wrote it in a book and that should be all the evidence anyone should need.

          And btw, everything in that comment of yours is a parcel of crap and you should be embarrassed as an adult to post it on theis forum.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Circular argument. I’m the Lord of the Universe because I wrote it in a book and that should be all the evidence anyone should need.
          ——————————————————

          Revelation of God Almighty is not just words like human beings but a promise, a prophecy that is fulfilled by Him. A true revelation proves its truth by the stamp of time. For example in the revelation of Moses we have a promise of God Almighty that He made with Abraham:

          ”For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”

          The time God Almighty made this promise Abraham had no child and he was enough old but God Almighty fulfilled His promise and bestowed him two sons and from the progeny of Isaac and Ismael spread in the whole area.

          Again we read: ”And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will
          bless thee, and make thy name great; and in thee shall all families of theearth be blessed ”(Genesis 12:2-3).

          All three dominate nations of earth Jews, Christians and Muslims respect and love Abraham and the prophet Mohammad with complete and universal Law to bless all nations is sent from the progeny of Abraham. This is the revelation of All Knowing and All powerful God Who fulfill His promises

        • Ignorant Amos

          Revelation of God Almighty is not just words like human beings but a promise, a prophecy that is fulfilled by Him.

          You don’t seem to understand what the fallacy of a circular argument means…or you just choose to ignore it…which is worse.

          http://www.rantingnewyorker.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/2010-12-24.png

          A true revelation proves its truth by the stamp of time. For example in the revelation of Moses we have a promise of God Almighty that He made with Abraham:

          They are fictional characters in a made up story found in the archaic religious texts of a bunch of Iron Age tribes about their older Bronze Age ancestors. You keep quoting nonsense that no one here takes seriously, precisely because it is nonsense.

          ”For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”

          And that never happened. That alone should raise a red flag to any person with a noodle of critical thinking capability. Unless God was lying…again….in the story anyway. It was is a failed promise.

          The time God Almighty made this promise Abraham had no child and he was enough old but God Almighty fulfilled His promise and bestowed him two sons and from the progeny of Isaac and Ismael spread in the whole area.

          And how do you know this demonstrably false bullshit? That’s right more circular reasoning.

          http://rationalwiki.org/w/images/thumb/7/78/Bible_cycle.jpg/400px-Bible_cycle.jpg

          Again we read: ”And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed ”(Genesis 12:2-3).

          Which never happened…fuck me, you are one gullible clown.

          All three dominate nations of earth Jews, Christians and Muslims respect and love Abraham and the prophet Mohammad with complete and universal Law to bless all nations is sent from the progeny of Abraham. This is the revelation of All Knowing and All powerful God Who fulfill His promises.

          What a loada ballix. Would you like to buy some magic beans…or a second-hand tinfoil hat…you need the protection with your level of feeble mindedness.

        • SparklingMoon,

          I’m pretty sure SM also denies Jesus’ divine nature.
          ———————————————————-
          Muslims do no deny the divine nature of Jesus(as) They believe that all prophets of God Almighty have divine nature.

          They do not confine divine nature to prophet Jesus only as the followers of Trinity do.

        • MNb

          My loved one is a muslima, several of my colleagues are muslim. They all maintain that the prophets were human.
          You must misunderstand what I mean with divine.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…but your missus and pals aren’t following the teachings of the last true prophet and messiah. As certified in the teachings of the last definitive true messiah of Islam himself…so there. Circular, I know, but much of these sorts of things are.

          I’m just preempting a “One True Scotsman” coming from SM btw.

        • SparklingMoon,

          The word divine is not something supernatural in its meaning. God Almighty is Divine and human’s nature is shadow of God’s Divine attributes. Prophets have been called sometimes gods or sometimes son of God or divine in scriptures because of their natures and practices that represent exactly the attributes of God Almighty.

        • MNb

          You’re not the arbiter of what words mean, so you don’t get to decide what I mean with divine – which is not accidentally the same as what most westerners mean with it. And yes, the word divine usually means something supernatural (though in The Netherlands, a rather godless country, it can used as a metaphor for something excellent). If you object it’s your problem, not mine.
          The muslims I know maintain that there is one God and his name is Allah. Hence they never will call Jesus or any other prophet a god. Apparently you do, so I was wrong about that one.

        • SparklingMoon,

          There is no evidence that the cult of Christianity were persecuted by the Sadducee’s and Pharisee’s of Israel.
          ———————————————————
          Firstly, Christianity is not a cult but a religion and Jesus was prophet of God Almighty. It is an other matter that the followers of Jesus in the very beginning divided in to two groups. The main stem of Christianity, was of Jewish stock. The disciples of Jesus who learnt and understood Christianity directly from Jesus belonged to this stock.

          Secondly, Jesus and his followers had been persecuted by the people of Israel of that time. There are enough proofs, if you read Bible, that it was Sadducees and Pharisees of Israel at the time of Jesus who had planned to persecute Jesus. It states in the Gospel Matthew 22:

          (15)Then the Pharisees went and plotted together how they might trap Him in what He said. (16)And they sent their disciples to Him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any .…(17) “Tell us then, what do You think? Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” (18)But Jesus perceived their malice, and said, “Why are you testing Me, you hypocrites? (19)”Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax. “And they brought Him a denarius .…(20)And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” (21)They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” Then He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” (22)And hearing this, they were amazed, and leaving Him, they went away.

        • adam

          “There are enough proofs, if you read Bible,”

          The bible says serpents and donkeys talk, there are enough proofs,……..

          .
          if you read the bible.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Ok then we take a reference from the revelation of the Quran. God Almighty has confirmed that it was Jews in the time of Jesus who planned to kill him. Almighty God says in the verses (4:157-158) that the Jews neither murdered Jesus, not did they kill him on the Cross; no, they only suspected that Jesus had died on the Cross; they did not have proof which could have convinced and satisfied them that Jesus (on whom be peace) had really died on the Cross.

          In these verses Almighty God states that although it is true that Jesus was apparently placed on the Cross, and that they were determined to kill him; yet, it is wrong for Jews and Christians to suppose that Jesus did really die on the Cross. No, God created circumstances which saved Jesus from death on the Cross.

        • Kodie

          It’s hard to have conversation with you since you don’t seem to care to respond to comments about how your favorite books are fictional. You can keep telling us what it says in the books, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is your lack of engagement.

        • adam
        • SparklingMoon,

          why your man should be granted a position of messiah over all other pretenders.
          ———————————————
          It is explained by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself in his writings: ”The earth has been enveloped by darkness and the time has now come when God will either bring light into the world or destroy it altogether. But the world still has a thousand years to survive, and all the new innovations that have been made for worldly comfort and well-being clearly show that God desires to bring about a spiritual reformation parallel to the physical revolution. The truth is that man’s spiritual condition has deteriorated far more than his physical one, and mankind is in danger of coming under Divine wrath. Every sin is at its peak, spiritual powers are growing weaker and weaker, and the light of faith is fading out. Reason, therefore,demands that a light must come from heaven to overcome this darkness.Just as physical darkness is only dispelled by heavenly light

          The light that illuminates the hearts also descends from heaven. Ever since God created man, He has ordained that, to unite mankind, He shall bestow the light of His awareness upon one of them at every time of need, and shall speak to him, and make him drink the cup of His love, and show him His chosen path, and grant him the eagerness to invite others towards the light, love and insight that has been given to him, so that they, too, may become part of him, and guard themselves against sin, and share his awareness, and attain the heights of piety and purity.

          In accordance with this time-honored law, God has already foretold through His Prophets that, at the end of the sixth millennium after Adam when a great darkness would envelope the earth, and the deluge of sin would inundate the land,and hearts would become devoid of love for God-He will breathe into a man the spirit of truth and love and awareness, just like in the case of Adam, without resorting to any physical means. And this man will also be called the Messiah because God shall Himself anoint his soul with His love.This Messiah,whom the scriptures also call the Promised Messiah, shall be made to stand up against Satan, and the final battle between the legions of Satan and the Messiah shall ensue. (What is Satan: Man is drawn by two forces, the force of good and the force of evil. The book of God attributes the first to Angels, and the second to Satan. This means that there are two forces acting upon man, and he at times leans towards good, and at times inclines towards evil)

          For this spiritual battle, Satan will come prepared with all his powers and all his progeny and all his resources.Never will the world have seen such a fierce clash between good and evil, for on that day the Satanic schemes and devices shall be at their deadliest, and all possible means for misleading mankind shall be at Satan’s disposal. Then, after a great fight —which, you must remember,will be a spiritual one— God’s Messiah shall emerge victorious,and Satanic forces shall be annihilated.

          Thereafter, for a thousand years, which have been described as the ‘seventh day’, God’s majesty, glory, holiness and oneness shall prevail upon the earth. And this shall be followed by the end of the world. Let it be known that I am that Messiah. Let him who will, accept me

        • adam
        • Ignorant Amos

          So the short answer is “yes”? The rest is just wishful thinking and a lot of flannel.

        • SparklingMoon,

          So the short answer is “yes”? The rest is just wishful thinking and a lot of flannel.
          ——————————————————–
          The history of prophets verifies that every true prophet and his followers had been considered heretical and persecuted by other people of their society. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has written : The truth of a Prophet might be known in three ways:

          First, through reason. It needs to be considered whether
          reason affirms that a Prophet or reformer should appear
          at the time when a Prophet or a Messenger claims to have
          come, and whether the condition of mankind demands
          such a reformer.

          Secondly, the prophecies of previous Prophets should be
          studied whether any of them had prophesied concerning
          his appearance or concerning the appearance of a
          Prophet at the time of his advent.

          Thirdly, it should be considered whether there is Divine
          help or heavenly support for his claim.

          These three conditions have been laid down from ancient
          times for testing the claim of a true commissioned one of
          God. God has had mercy upon you and has established all
          three conditions in my support and it is up to you to accept
          me or not.

        • Paul B. Lot

          …The truth of a Prophet might be known in three ways:First, through reason….Secondly, the prophecies of previous Prophets…Thirdly it should be considered whether there is Divine
          help

          In truth, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has listed only one way: reason.

          A. The first way was, itself, [reason].

          B. The “third” way, the consideration of “divine” help, is per se a form of reasoning: people should use their best understanding to consider whether or not there is evidence for “divine help.”

          So the third way is, itself, [reason].

          C. The “second” way, [“prophecies” of previous “prophets”], also relies on [reason] for in order to know whether or not [the “prophecies” of a previous “prophet”] were genuine, one needs to reasonably apply the same “three ways”.

          So the second way is, itself, [reason].

          1) [reason]
          2) [previous genuine “prophecies”] [reason]
          3) consideration of evidence for “divine” help [reason].

          Since, in truth, the only way Mirza Ghulam Ahmad advanced for us to be able to know whether or not a prophet is genuine is [reason].

          But since Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not reasonable enough to realize that truth – we can safely know that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not, in fact, a “prophet”.

          *Edits for word-choice and order* 31/1/2017 16:01pm CST

        • SparklingMoon,

          B. The “third” way, the consideration of “divine” help, is per se a form of reasoning: people should use their best understanding to consider whether or not there is evidence for “divine help.”
          ————————————————-
          You are right that people should use their best understanding to consider whether or not there is evidence for “divine help.”Religions well established in the world reveal some distinguishing features and confirm that it was Divine help that was working to behind their the claims of their prophets.

          According to all ordinary standards the Founders of religion were men of slender means.They had no power or prestige. Yet in due course they and their followers rose from a humble to a high position in the world. This proves that they were sustained and supported by a great Power.

          When we consider what these Founders of religions taught, we find that it has always been contrary to all contemporary trends. If this teaching had been in line with the tendencies of their times, it could be said that these Teachers only gave expression to those tendencies. Instead, what they taught was very different from anything they found current. A terrible controversy ensued and it seemed as though the country had been set ablaze. Yet those who chose to deny and controvert the teaching were ultimately themselves compelled to submit to it. This also proves that these Teachers were not a product of their times, but were Teachers, Reformers and Prophets in the sense in which they claimed to be.

          The Founders of religions did not possess those powers and accomplishments which ordinarily make lor successful leadership. They knew little or nothing of the arts or culture of their time. Yet what each taught turned out to be something in advance of his time, something pertinent and seasonable. By adopting this teaching a people attained to a great height in civilization and culture, and retained the glory for many centuries. A true religious Teacher makes this possible. Yet it is inconceivable that a person innocent of ordinary accomplishments, as soon as he begins to lie about God, should come to have such tremendous powers that his teaching dominates all other teachings current in his time. Such a development is impossible without the help of a powerful God.

          The Founders of religions have all shown Signs and miracles. Every one of them announced at the outset that his teaching would prevail and that those who might seek to destroy it would themselves be destroyed. They were without means and ill-equipped. Their teachings were contrary to firmly established beliefs and habits of thinking and provoked the fiercest opposition of their people. Yet they succeeded, and what they had foretold came to pass. Why were their prophecies and their promises fulfilled ?

        • Paul B. Lot

          This proves that they were sustained and supported by a great Power.

          It does not. All “it” proves is that they went from [humble] to [high].

          This also proves that these Teachers were not a product of their times, but were Teachers, Reformers and Prophets in the sense in which they claimed to be.

          It does not. All “this” proves is that the people in question went against the grain.

          The Founders of religions did not possess those powers and accomplishments which ordinarily make successful leadership. They knew little or nothing of the arts or culture of their time.

          The two statements are unconnected by logic. [Leadership] is not connected to [art] or [culture]. In fact, artists are usually among the least apt leaders there are.

          Yet what each taught turned out to be something in advance of his time, something pertinent and seasonable.

          “Seasonable” is the opposite of “in advance of [its] time”.

          Such a development is impossible without the help of a powerful God.

          Aha! You know that “a god” or many “gods” exist? Excellent! I’ve been waiting to talk to people like you for a while.

          How do you know that “a god” or many “gods” exist?

        • SparklingMoon,

          How do you know that “a god” or many “gods” exist?
          ————————————————————————

          There are many ways to know that God Almighty exists . I would like like to give the example of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the advent of a prophet and his miraculous life is a best source to recognize that Almighty God.

          Mirza Ghulam Ahmad born in Quadian India. At the time of the revelation, he was not widely known even in his own hometown and he lacked altogether all normal means of publicity and propaganda. At that time, Qadian had not yet found a place on the maps and did not even possess a telegraph office, was not connected with the railway system of the province, and could not be reached by a metalled road. The nearest railway station
          and telegraph office were at a distance of 11 miles, a journey to which occupied the better part of three hours.

          He had published a book; the first volume of Brahin-eAhmadiyya
          that was acclaimed by the Muslims as an outstanding and matchless performance, and leading Muslim divines, newspapers, and journals acclaimed the publication of the great work in laudatory terms. In consequence of the publication of the successive parts of Brahin-eAhmadiyya, its revered author had become the most renowned and honored personage in the contemporary world of Islam.

          With the announcement of his claim that he had been appointed the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, a storm of bitter and abusive opposition was let loose against him from all directions. He was condemned as an apostate from Islam, who had put himself outside the pale of Islam and all sorts of opprobrious epithets were applied to him. He was called Antichrist and it was declared that his life was forfeit. In the estimation of the Muslim divines, he fell utterly from grace and no protestation or explanation on his part served to soften the bitterness of their hostility towards him. This continued all through the rest of his life, and though over ninety years have passed since his demise, he and his daily expanding Community continue to be the sharpest thorn in the sides of the Muslim divines. Bitter persecution breaks out from time to time against the members of his Community, but this only serves to furnish greater publicity to the Community, in consequence of which increasing numbers of reasonable and reflecting people continue to identify themselves with the Community.

          One of the earliest revelations vouchsafed to Hadrat
          Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was:

          [Urdu]:I shall carry thy message to the ends of the earth.

          Despite all this lack of normal facilities, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has, during the last hundred years, spread to the farthest corners of the earth and the prophecy just mentioned has been, and continues to be, fulfilled in an astonishing manner. As of 2016 the community has been established in 209 countries and territories of the world.

          It was All Knowing God Almighty who told Mirza Ghulam Ahmad about the spread of message in His revelation.

        • adam

          “How do YOU know that “a god” or many “gods” exist?”

          “It was All Knowing God Almighty who told Mirza Ghulam Ahmad about the spread of message in His revelation.”

          Sure it was, just like it was All Knowing God Almighty who told Dena to cut off the arms of her child.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/576b5354eb99d2993f45ae1c298d7ea1beb6be63a081a92e69a99632f9b856b3.jpg

          “How do YOU know that “a god” or many “gods” exist?

        • Paul B. Lot

          I would like to give you the example of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the advent of a prophet and his miraculous life is a best source to recognize the existence of Almighty God.

          This is going to be tough, since I just pointed out a few minutes ago why Mirza Ghulam Ahmad can’t be a prophet. :-(


          With the announcement of his claim that he had been appointed the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, a storm of bitter and abusive opposition was let loose against him from all directions. He was condemned as an apostate from Islam, who had put himself outside the pale of Islam and all sorts of opprobrious epithets were applied to him. He was called Antichrist and it was declared that his life was forfeit.

          That’s a shame. I mean, the guy sounds like a bit of a wanker, but that’s no reason to be kilt dead. :-/


          Despite all this lack of normal facilities, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has, during the last hundred years, spread to the farthest corners of the earth and the prophecy just mentioned has been, and continues to be, fulfilled in an astonishing manner.

          Well, I don’t know. I’ve lived in several different states and in Europe for a bit – I currently live in one of the largest as most metropolitan cities on the planet and I’ve….never heard of this group before, let alone it’s dead founder dude.

          FWIW, humans have a more-and-more well understood love of memes, they love belonging, and they like feeling like a good story: it’s getting less and less “astonishing” to see these fads whip around the world, the more it happens! :)

        • SparklingMoon,

          I’ve….never heard of this group before,
          ————————————————
          http://www.loveforallhatredfornone.org/

          https://www.ahmadiyya.us/

        • Paul B. Lot

          I’ve….never heard of this group before,

          This was not a request for more information, but rather a commentary on just how few people know or care about your organization.

        • Kevin K

          You are wasting your time with that one. I actually think it’s a bot.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I mean, the guy sounds like a bit of a wanker, but that’s no reason to be kilt dead.

          i suspect that his pacifism was just as on-point as his messiah claim in the effectiveness of his executioners’ judgment.

        • adam

          “It was All Knowing God Almighty who told Mirza Ghulam Ahmad about the spread of message in His revelation.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1a147603f3f8ddd5bac7404ea18a3b3d893f7c6ad238d9482d931013803dff1d.jpg

        • adam

          “You are right that people should use their best understanding to consider whether or not there is evidence for “divine help.”

          And whether snakes and donkeys can talk and winged horses can fly….

          You know, whether MAGIC is real or not.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53ec94e8083d59120089cc69072da442139819ed8f409d30ac86093d1acf7ba9.jpg

        • TheNuszAbides

          reminded me what a shame it is that Mu’tazila was quashed so early.

        • Odd Jørgensen

          ” God Almighty has appointed Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a Messiah for this time. ”

          How do you know this? Did God tell you? Or did Mirza?

        • SparklingMoon,

          The true criteria for judging the claim of a Prophet is to see whether he has come at the time of need, whether he has made his appearance at the time foretold by the Prophets, whether he has been accompanied by Divine help. Only he who meets all these criteria can be considered truthful in his claim.

          As far as the need of the time is concerned, this age is practically crying out for a heavenly reformer who will re-establish the long lost spirituality, strengthen the faith by granting certainty, save people from sin and transgression, and draw hearts towards piety and virtue. This shows that he has come at the time of need, and only the most prejudiced will deny this.

          The second condition,that the claimant should appear at the time foretold by the Prophets, has also been fulfilled with his coming.The Prophets had prophesied that the Promised Messiah would appear at the end of the sixth millennium after Adam.

          The third condition,that of Divine support,has also been fulfilled with his coming.People from every religion rose to destroy him,sparing no efforts and doing everything in their power to bring this about, but they were totally frustrated in their designs. God honored him and millions to follow him.