“Not Seeing God”: a New Nonfiction Book on Atheism from the Patheos Nonreligious Channel

“Not Seeing God”: a New Nonfiction Book on Atheism from the Patheos Nonreligious Channel December 29, 2017

Not Seeing God book

Jonathan Pearce, author of the Patheos blog Tippling Philosopher, has edited a new book with contributions from a couple of dozen of the bloggers here at Patheos Nonreligious.

I submitted my chapter over a year ago, and it’s nice to see it finally in print. My chapter is called, “Using Common Sense to Not See God,” and it has seven short pro-atheist arguments. If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog for a couple of years, you will have already seen these arguments of mine, but even then you should check out the book for essays from your favorite Patheos bloggers.

Jonathan summarizes the book and gives the table of contents here.

Why can’t God just defeat the devil?
It’s the same reason a comic book character
can’t defeat his nemesis—
then there’s no story.
If God gets rid of the devil, there’s no fear.
No reason to come to church.
— Bill Maher

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  • ThaneOfDrones

    Antingonish

    Yesterday, upon the stair,
    I met a man who wasn’t there…

    • Michael Neville

      He wasn’t there again today.
      I wish, I wish he’d stay away.

  • JP

    Wish atheists would write a book on atheism that shows how atheism has facts that shows atheism true.

    • lady_black

      There is no book to write in the rejection of gods. There is no demonstrating that atheism is “true.” And that is not the intent. In the same way that you came to realize that the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus were fictional. I reached that same conclusion about all of the supernatural. Furthermore, there is no logical need for the supernatural.
      The proving of either the existence or non-existence of the supernatural is not possible without falling into one logical error or another. That’s why it’s called “faith.”
      One can reasonably come to the conclusion that there is no evidence to support the existence of something, without being compelled to prove that disbelief as fact. See: The Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus.

    • igotbanned999

      Yeah, and those a-unicornists haven’t proved their case either!

      • JP

        Atheists certainly have not proven atheism is true with any facts. Its all about the atheist’s subjective state of mind. They never offer any facts that proves atheism is true with any facts. Why???

        • adam

          I have provided you proof that atheism is true, and the fact is that I am an atheist.
          Disbelief in Gods IS true.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f0a6b725fd5e99bda6036c7fbaa96694649c34c2281717aa954af408f2aa1ec0.jpg

        • JP

          All you are telling me is your state of mind. Your disbelief in God is not proof that God does not exist.

        • adam

          “All you are telling me is your state of mind.”
          No, I am telling you that atheism is true, I have disbelief in Gods.

          “Your disbelief in God is not proof that God does not exist.”
          Of course, just as your disbelief in Invisible Pink Flying Unicorns is not proof that they dont exist.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6597272c55aa1dd14b2602406d98ba576903e53dce5800dd7f26a6fb2ca9728c.jpg

        • JP

          Your disbelief is not a fact of the real world i.e. that no gods exist. If we accept what you believe then a person could say he doesn’t believe in black holes so therefore black holes don’t exist.

        • adam

          “Your disbelief is not a fact of the real world ”

          My disbelief is a fact.

          ” If we accept what you believe then a person could say he doesn’t believe in black holes so therefore black holes don’t exist.”

          Belief doesnt matter facts do.

          Provide facts of your God.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9370bdaaa4ce47ef14fd6ff4ae1eeedf100948a5914eb7992c570698c1cbafcf.jpg

        • JP

          Your disbelief is only a fact of your subjective state of mind. Its not proof that no gods exist.

          The Bible is a record of God’s dealings in this world.
          To be justified in your beliefs you need facts. Atheism has no facts to support it, therefore no atheist is justified in his subjective opinion that no gods exist.

        • igotbanned999

          The Bible is a collection of loosely-related ad hoc mythology originating from Caananite polytheism which was haphazardly cobbled together over a couple of millennia and arbitrarily edited and translated hundreds of times to fit with contemporary political agendas.

        • JP

          That is not what thousands of scholars believe. Don’t be so ignorant. The Bible is the most studied, the most influential book in the world.

        • I’m pretty sure that the thousands of Muslim scholars, to a man, think that you’re wrong. Have some humility.

          Or is this a majority rules kind of thing? Islam is expected to become #1 in about 50 years. Allahu Akbar.

        • JP

          No humility needed. Its a fact that the Bible is the most studied most influential book in history.

          What is the most influential, most studied book on atheism?

        • MNb

          “No humility needed.”
          Nice job rejecting Jesus’ teachings.
          Here we have evidence that your god doesn’t exist.
          You behave in exactly the opposite way your Great Hero preached.

        • Freethinker

          The gay pink unicorn who actually created and runs the world would strongly disagree with you. Blessed be his horn.

        • MNb

          Still there are thousands of denominations that contradict each other.

        • igotbanned999
        • Kodie

          There are a a lot of religions all over the world, and even just Christians do not all agree on what makes their faith. In another thread, we have a Raelian who believes a lot of the same things Christians believe, but there are spaceships involved. The bible is a record of a particular local superstition. How did you end up picking that one?

        • “No supernatural” is the default position. You need evidence to move away from this position.

        • JP

          What authority said “No supernatural” is the default position”?

        • So that’s not how you roll? You always prefer the supernatural explanation?

          I’m surprised your brain doesn’t explode when you read about miracles in the other guys’ religions.

        • MNb

          William of Ockham, you ignorant.

          “Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate.”
          Plurality should not be assumed unnecessarily.
          ‘Quodlibeta’ (c.1324) no. 5, question 1, art. 2. J. C. Way (ed.) ‘Opera Theologica’ (1980) vol. 9, p. 476.

          Given your stupidity and ignorance I’ll explain this in detail to you.
          Two is a plurality.
          Natural reality plus supernatural reality means 1 + 1 which equals 2 – hence the lable dualism (duo means 2).
          You assume a plurality.
          You claimed to give three necessities. Two of them (origin of our Universe and origin of life) are god of the gaps fallacies. The third one (Christ) begs the question (Christ refers to a supernatural Jesus).
          All three fail to be necessities.
          So pluralitas non est ponenda fully applies. We should not assume a supernatural reality, ie your god.

        • MNb

          The Bible is a record of what a bunch of literate ignorants believed 2000 – 2600 years ago.
          The facts you brought up don’t support christianity, no matter how often you repeat it.

        • Freethinker

          Really Epicurus? That’s like bringing heavy artillery to a schoolyard fight. Are you trying to have its little brain explode?

        • Kodie

          Religious airheads deny science all the time.

        • JP

          It was because of Christianity that modern science came about. Atheism had nothing to do with it. Atheism is bankrupt.

        • Kodie

          Then why do religious people deny science all the time? Their beliefs don’t align with reality, there’s your fucking clue. You don’t actually know anything at all, the way you express yourself indicates a great deal of insulation from normal people. Does your teachermom know you’re up so late on the internet?

        • JP

          Most of the early scientists were Christians who believed God created the world and it was their job to understand how. Atheism could never lead to science because atheism has no knowledge, no guidance to offer anyone.

        • Kodie

          When they figured out a lot of stuff, they discovered there were other explanations that were not god. I’m not totally concerned that ancient people leveraged religion into other facets of knowledge, because I know that, along with it, religion could also be discarded as the explanation for everything. You are confusing and conflating, you dumb shit. Belief in god is not the same thing as god. People can believe in god and get over it along the way. What a dumb fuck you are. What shitty horribly simplistic confusions you demonstrate. No wonder you are a believer, this is the fact that you are easily persuaded to believe dumb fucking shit. It doesn’t take a lot for you to drop any pretense of human intelligence and go straight into lemming mode. I wonder how much infomercial crap you have laying around your house that doesn’t work. You have zero critical thinking. If you think “early scientists were Christians feeling around” means there’s a god, you are some one motherfucking stupid gullible shit-for-brains. That’s not an argument, you total loser.

        • JP

          “To be fair, the claim that Christianity led to modern science captures something true and important. Generations of historians and sociologists have discovered many ways in which Christians, Christian beliefs, and Christian institutions played crucial roles in fashioning the tenets, methods and institutions of what in time became modern science…today almost all historians agree that Christianity (Catholicism as well as Protestantism) moved early-modern intellectuals to study nature systematically.”

          Noah J Efron “Myth 9: That Christianity Gave Birth to Modern Science” in Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion (R Numbers ed.) Harvard University Press 2009 p 80

          There is nothing in atheism that leads to science.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know why that’s supposed to be important. You have so much backward thinking, it’s like you have an ass for a head.

        • MNb

          “the claim that Christianity led to modern science captures something true and important”
          Yes – that many christians are so arrogant (and defy Jesus’s teachings) that they delude themselves thinking that everything praiseworthy depends on their particular belief system.

        • MNb

          Most of the modern physicists are atheists (almost 90%).

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Yeah, nothing scientific happened ever in India and China.
          Nothing as amusing as christian vanity – the total opposition of what Jesus actually preached.
          Actually science as we know it came about during Enlightenment (the same time atheism caught on). It’s summarized by Laplace’ probaly apocryphal “Je n’ai besoin de cette hypothese”. So yes, atheism had to do with it. However I’m not as stupid and dense as you; I won’t make your “correlation is causation” fallacy.

          Still I have two questions for you.

          1. How comes atheism, unlike christianity and any other religion, came about at least twice?

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

          2. If modern science came about because of christianity, how comes that the thoroughly christian Byzantine Empire did not contribute to science anything at all (with the exception of Greek fire) and it took christianity in western Europe at least 1200 years?
          The simple answer of course is that christianity had a lot less to do with the origin of modern science than you prefer to imagine.

        • JP

          “To be fair, the claim that Christianity led to modern science captures something true and important. Generations of historians and sociologists have discovered many ways in which Christians, Christian beliefs, and Christian institutions played crucial roles in fashioning the tenets, methods and institutions of what in time became modern science…today almost all historians agree that Christianity (Catholicism as well as Protestantism) moved early-modern intellectuals to study nature systematically.”

          Noah J Efron “Myth 9: That Christianity Gave Birth to Modern Science” in Galileo Goes to Jail and Other Myths About Science and Religion (R Numbers ed.) Harvard University Press 2009 p 80

        • MNb

          Merely repeating a foolish quote doesn’t make it any better. I already addressed this one.
          Also thanks for not addressing anything I wrote in my previous comment. It confirms the inbred dishonesty.of your views.

        • Greg G.

          Science progressed very rapidly after it became atheistic. Before, they always tried to explain things in terms of God. When they dropped God from the equations, they found they had no need for that hypothesis. Everything works out much better without gods.

        • Michael Neville

          Like a lot of theists, you’re confused about what atheism is. There are two types of atheism, strong atheism and weak atheism. Strong atheists assert that gods do not exist. Weak atheists do not believe in the existence of any deities but does not explicitly assert that there are none. Most atheists are weak.

          You’re sneering at strong atheism which shares with theism the need for evidence. However weak atheism is based on the complete and utter lack of evidence for gods (that’s any gods, not just your favorite magic sky pixie). No evidence is needed to maintain a lack of belief in gods.

        • JP

          Are you making a knowledge claim about the world or not? If you are making a knowledge claim about the world that no gods exist then you need facts. If not, then all you are asserting is your preference that you prefer God not exist. So which is it?

        • Michael Neville

          I see that I didn’t explain my position clearly enough.

          Let’s start with the difference between agnosticism and atheism. Agnosticism and its opposite, gnosticism, are about knowledge. Do I know if gods exist? No I don’t, which makes me an agnostic. Atheism and theism are about belief. Do I believe gods exist? I do not, which makes me an atheist. There is a possibility that gods exist. There is also a possibility that every proton in the galaxy will spontaneously decay into a muon, a pion and a scattering of neutrinos in the next ten minutes. I suspect the likelihood of gods existing and galactic proton decay are in the same order of magnitude.

          As I’ve told you before, the lack of evidence for gods is the reason why I don’t believe in gods. Despite what some pseudo-philosophers may claim, absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

          My preference as to the existence of gods has nothing, as in not anything, to do with my belief on their existence. It’s only ignorant theists who think belief is a choice or preference.

        • JP

          There is plenty of evidence for the existence of God. You just don’t accept it. Its not like you have refuted any of the evidence with any facts that proves its false. In a sense, your agnosticism is cop out.

        • adam

          “There is plenty of evidence for the existence of God. ”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8638fdedfe8fad3b245ca0981085794967c878d6bfba020d03d8b426a1c98936.jpg

          “Its not like you have refuted any of the evidence with any facts that proves its false.”

          You havent provided any evidence.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2f977565b79b7cc0e098662b1deb393863d988e716a6fbbccd25496402a48ab5.jpg

        • JP

          And here is proof that is true

        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          Where? You neglected to bring your “proof” out of your rosy red rectum.

        • adam

          It’s right below Michael.

          Already framed and ready for hanging above the mantle.

        • Michael Neville

          So what is this “evidence”? Like I said, bring it out. I can’t refute evidence when you’ve failed to provide any. In a sense, you’re trying to bullshit your way out of an impasse.

        • JP

          Here is some: The origin of the universe, its fine tuning and the life of Christ can only be explained if God exist.

        • igotbanned999

          So the only possible way you can think of for the universe to have begun involves a Jewish rabbi who lived and died in a small area of the Middle East 2000 years ago?

        • JP

          Genesis 1:1 that says God created the heavens and the earth (a beginning for everything). It took science to the 1900’s to finally agree with Genesis 1:1 which was written thousands of years ago.

        • Michael Neville

          Genesis is a myth, a story about something that never happened. It’s pathetic that you even pretend that obvious fiction is proof of anything. And science doesn’t agreed with Gen 1:1 any more than science agrees with Deut. 25:11-12.*

          *11 If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity. (NIV)

        • JP

          What historical facts do you have that proves Genesis is a myth?

        • Michael Neville

          Because the universe and the Earth are more than 6,000 to 10,000 years old.

          • A relativistic jet is a jet of plasma that is ejected from some quasars and galaxy centers that have powerful magnetic fields. It is conjectured that the jets are driven by the twisting of magnetic fields in an accretion disk (a plate-like cloud of matter) found encircling many celestial objects. In super-massive bodies, immensely strong magnetic fields force plasma from the accretion disk into a jet that shoots away perpendicular to the face of the disk.

          In some cases, these columns of plasma have been found to extend far enough to refute the idea of a young universe. For example, the quasar PKS 1127-145 has a relativistic jet exceeding one million light years in length. Because the speed of light cannot be exceeded, this column must be over one million years old. Moreover, this jet is four billion light years from Earth, meaning it was least a million years old four billion years ago.

          • Ice layering is a phenomenon that is almost universally observed in ice sheets and glaciers where the average temperature does not rise above freezing. Annual differences in temperature and irradiation cause ice to form differently from year to year, and this generates alternating layers of light and dark ice, much like tree rings. This method is considered a relatively accurate way to measure the age of an ice sheet, as only one layer will form per year. While there have been a few cases where several layers have formed per year, these incidents do not challenge the ability of ice layering to provide a minimum age, as these false layers can be discerned from the real thing upon close inspection. Currently, the greatest number of layers found in a single ice sheet is over 700,000, which clearly contradicts the idea of an Earth less than 10,000 years old. Even if one were to assume an absurdly high average of ten layers per year, the age demonstrated by this method would still be far greater than that suggested by young Earth creationists.

          Look, it’s obvious that you’re just an ignorant creationist. You’re playing way out of your league.

        • JP

          Genesis doesn’t tell us the age of the universe i.e. when God created it.

          Still waiting for you to explain how the universe came into existence since no laws of nature existed before it began.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m still waiting for you to give evidence the laws of nature didn’t exist before the universe began. You’re just guessing that they didn’t.

          And I apologize. You’re not a young earth creationist as I assumed before. You’re some other kind of wackaloon creationist who thinks 2500 year old myths some Hebrew priests stole from the Babylonians aren’t pure fiction.

        • JP

          Again: ““We have very good evidence that there was a Big Bang, so the universe as we know it almost certainly started some 14 billion years ago. But was that the absolute beginning, or was there something before it?” asks Alexander Vilenkin, a cosmologist at Tufts University near Boston. It seems like the kind of question that can never be truly answered because every time someone proposes a solution, someone else can keep asking the annoying question: What happened before that?

          But now Vilenkin says he has convincing evidence in hand: The universe had a distinct beginning — though he can’t pinpoint the time. After 35 years of looking backward, he says, he’s found that before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself.” http://discovermagazine.com/2013/september/13-starting-point

          Atheism is a fiction because it has no facts to back up its claim that no gods exist.

        • MNb

          That’s no evidence that the laws of nature didn’t exist before the Universe began. Also you have to define “before” in relation to the Big Bang. Once again you demonstrate your total ignorance of Augustinus of Hippo’s Confessions, chapter 11.

        • Michael Neville

          Atheism is a fiction because it has no facts to back up its claim that no gods exist.

          I see that you ignored my post on the difference between strong and weak atheists. I agree that strong atheists have the same problem you theists have, there’s no evidence to support either of your positions. But that lack of evidence is exactly why I’m an atheist. There is no, as in none, as in zip point shit, as in zero evidence for gods. And please, don’t tell me the universe is evidence for existence of gods. It isn’t, it’s just evidence for the existence of the universe. Fine tuning isn’t evidence, it’s an argument based on guesses and wishful thinking. And Jesus is as real as Harry Potter.

          So, you got any evidence for gods? That’s any gods, not just the sadistic monster you’re in love with? Of course you don’t. All you have is insults and ignorance.

        • Uh … the burden of proof rests on your broad shoulders. When you run away from it, baby Jesus cries.

        • JP

          So you don’t have any. Got it.

        • No, I don’t need any.

          You are apparently the one who hasn’t got any because you’re trying to run away from your burden of proof.

          I hear a baby crying.

        • igotbanned999

          I must have missed it when they discovered scientific evidence of God.

        • JP

          Professor Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in high energy physics (a field of science that deals with the very early universe), writing in the journal “Scientific American”, reflects on:
          how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values. ”

          Roger Penrose, the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, discovers that the likelihood of the universe having usable energy (low entropy) at the creation is even more astounding,
          namely, an accuracy of one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full, in our ordinary denary (power of ten) notation: it would be one followed by ten to the power of 123 successive zeros! (That is a million billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion zeros.)
          Penrose continues,
          Even if we were to write a zero on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe — and we could throw in all the other particles as well for good measure — we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed. The precision needed to set the universe on its course is to be in no way inferior to all that extraordinary precision that we have already become accustomed to in the superb dynamical equations (Newton’s, Maxwell’s, Einstein’s) which govern the behavior of things from moment to moment. “

        • igotbanned999
        • Freethinker

          It took science to the 1900’s to finally agree with Genesis 1:1

          Really? Source please.

        • JP

          Up to the time of Einstein and Hubble scienctists thought the universe was eternal. Einstein and Hubble proved that the universe had a beginning in the 1920’s.

        • Freethinker

          Yes these scientists blew a giant hole in the childish Biblical belief of the universe being around 10,000 years old. We know that it is in fact approximately 13.8 Billion years old. As to life origins we have evidence of fossils on earth from around 3.5 Billion years ago.No man in the sky required.

          Also just for fun and to show how embarrassingly primitive Biblical beliefs are this is what the universe looks like according to the good old Buybull.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dbaac0ab4504f5d1943870ffbd3007a973bcada9930e770d19be0ccad05e700a.jpg

        • MNb

          Gen 1:3 “And God said: ….”
          Magic – the superstitious idea that speaking words can change our natural reality. Another example is Harry Potter’s Expelliarmus.

        • Michael Neville

          Answered above.

          Next time, bring out your A game.

        • JP

          You did not refute it with any facts. Start over.

        • Michael Neville

          You pretended the Big Bang was evidence of gods. It doesn’t. The two physicists who first proposed the Big Bang, the atheist Alexander Friedmann and Catholic priest Fr. Georges Lemaître, did not mention any gods in their papers. Since then, gods have not been mentioned in any peer-reviewed cosmology papers. It’s only creationists at the DiscoTute and AIG who even try to shoehorn gods, specifically an Iron Are Middle Eastern tribal god, into the Big Bang. Real scientists ignore that nonsense.

          You really aren’t very good at Christian apologetics.

        • JP

          I agree they didn’t mention God. I’m asking you to explain how the bang came to be given that the laws of nature didn’t exist.

        • Michael Neville

          How do you know the “laws of nature” didn’t exist? That’s just a guess on your part.

        • JP

          That is what scientists are saying:
          ““We have very good evidence that there was a Big Bang, so the universe as we know it almost certainly started some 14 billion years ago. But was that the absolute beginning, or was there something before it?” asks Alexander Vilenkin, a cosmologist at Tufts University near Boston. It seems like the kind of question that can never be truly answered because every time someone proposes a solution, someone else can keep asking the annoying question: What happened before that?

          But now Vilenkin says he has convincing evidence in hand: The universe had a distinct beginning — though he can’t pinpoint the time. After 35 years of looking backward, he says, he’s found that before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself.”
          http://discovermagazine.com/2013/september/13-starting-point

        • MNb

          Vilenkin didn’t say anything about your god either. He didn’t even say anything about the laws of nature existing or not existing before the Big Bang.
          So this does nothing to back up your “goddiddid”. It only confirms that you worship a god of the gaps.

        • MNb

          Evidence by definition is taken from our natural reality.
          Your god by definition is a supernatural entity.
          “Evidence for the existence of God” is a category error.

        • adam

          “If you are making a knowledge claim about the world that no gods exist then you need facts.”

          So YOU are making a knowledge claim about the world that God does exist?

          Then you need facts.

        • JP

          The origin of the universe, its fine tuning and the life of Christ can only be explained if God exist.

        • igotbanned999

          Then lightning and the life of Hercules is proof that Zeus exists.

        • JP

          huh???

        • igotbanned999

          Same logic you’re using

        • JP

          What logic am I using that makes you think Zeus exist?

        • Kodie

          Weak-ass logic! You apply a mythical creature to explain reality, just like all myth-makers have ever done, all over the world, across cultures, throughout the ages. There is a true story, and we may not know it yet completely, but that is no reason to make up a story.

        • igotbanned999

          Claiming a natural phenomena attributed to a mythological being, and a mythological story about said being’s offspring being evidence of its existence.

        • JP

          That is not what Christianity claims.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          It’s what you claim.
          Lightning and life of Hercules hence Zeus is exactly the same logic as origin of our Universe and life of Jesus hence YHWH.
          You are even too stupid and ignorant to recognize it.

        • igotbanned999

          That’s what you just claimed a few posts ago.

        • adam

          “The origin of the universe”

          What origin?
          Demonstrate that the universe had an origin

          “its fine tuning”
          You mean the FACT that humans cant live on the sun and anywhere in the vastness of space and are limited to small land areas on a single planet.

          Where is this find tuning?

          “and the life of Christ ”

          What life of Christ?
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0ded0c20f62b9d1996f93afe9c98e20dc6bf1035eaa16eb5acf23323c3cb09f.jpg

          “explained if God exist.”

          What God?

        • JP

          The big bang is evidence that the universe had a beginning.
          Life of Christ can be found in the gospels.

          Proof for the fine tuning of the universe:
          Dr. Dennis Scania, the distinguished head of Cambridge University Observatories:
          If you change a little bit the laws of nature, or you change a little bit the constants of nature — like the charge on the electron — then the way the universe develops is so changed, it is very likely that intelligent life would not have been able to develop.

          Dr. David D. Deutsch, Institute of Mathematics, Oxford University:
          If we nudge one of these constants just a few percent in one direction, stars burn out within a million years of their formation, and there is no time for evolution. If we nudge it a few percent in the other direction, then no elements heavier than helium form. No carbon, no life. Not even any chemistry. No complexity at all.

          Dr. Paul Davies, noted author and professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University:
          “The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge, and would be total chaos if any of the natural ‘constants’ were off even slightly. You see,” Davies adds, “even if you dismiss man as a chance happening, the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life — almost contrived — you might say a ‘put-up job’.”

        • Michael Neville

          The big bang is evidence that the universe had a beginning.

          The big bang says nothing about gods, not just the magic sky pixie you favor but any gods.

          Life of Christ can be found in the gospels.

          The life of Harry Potter can be found in J.K. Rowling’s books. Is that evidence that Harry Potter exists?

          Rationalwiki has arguments against fine tuning. [LINK]

          The argument wants us to conclude that it is highly unlikely that a life-producing set of physical constants could be arrived at by chance. But, how do we ascribe probabilities to sets of possible physical constants? Are they all supposed to be equally likely? Or are some more likely than others? And it gets even worse if we reject the bifurcation of the laws of physics into constants and equations — what is the probability of a particular equation being part of the laws of physics? To speak of probabilities here seems to be just abusing the concept of probability in a situation in which it is meaningless.

          Now, if we assume some kind of multiverse theory, then speaking of probabilities of physical constants having certain values, or of certain equations being part of the laws of physics, might have some meaning — we could look to the distribution of those constant values or laws in different universes across the multiverse to define their probability. But, supporters of the argument from fine-tuning cannot turn to these considerations to make their argument coherent, since if there is such a multiverse then there is no need for the God they are seeking to prove either. It’s a Catch-22 for creationists. On the other hand, a multiverse theory could make it significantly ‘more’ likely this universe was made by pure chance, since there would be infinite other universes, the vast majority of which would not be fit for life due to different constants. However, positing a multiverse (which remains unproven) isn’t necessary, as many of the constants have much more flexibility than is commonly stated (i.e. it would require change higher than claimed to preclude life from developing), which is shown by Victor Stenger and others.

        • JP

          If God did not create and start the universe then what did? After all, there is no proof of the laws of nature existing before this. So what is your explanation?

          What evidence do you have that potter existed? Can you name some scholars who have some evidence that he does exist?

          No proof of multi-verse. Even if there was, you would have to show its relationship to ours. Its another dead end.

        • Ooh–that’s a tough one. Science has no answer, but you do: magic.

          I gotta admit, that’s hard to respond to.

        • JP

          Actually atheists must believe in magic. When I ask them some questions that they can’t answer via atheism I get cussed out. It makes me think they must believe in magic.

        • Wow–brilliant logic there. Remind me to avoid a battle of wits with you.

        • MNb

          “If God did not create and start the universe then what did?”
          Quantum Fields.

          “After all, there is no proof of the laws of nature existing before this.”
          There is no proof of god existing before the Big Bang either. Worse – you are ignorant of what a famous christian wrote about this: Augustinus of Hippo. I wish christians would read his Confessions, chapter 11 before they start spouting their nonsense.

        • MNb

          “The big bang is evidence that the universe had a beginning”
          for which no god is needed. There are naturalistic explanations.

          “the fact remains that the universe seems unreasonably suited to the existence of life”
          as we know it. The distinguished physicist, late Victor Stenger demonstrated with computer simulations that many kinds of other universes would enable life.
          And indeed it’s unreasonably suited to the existence of Earthly life; so unreasonably that except of Earth the entire Universe is either not suited or out of reach.
          Plus of course the fact remains that the White House is unreasonably suited as landing places for flies.

        • JP

          What are the naturalistic explanations for the beginning of the universe from nothing?

          A computer simulation is not proof.

        • MNb

          Spoken like a true IDiot.

          In the first place I did not write that Stenger’s computer simulations are proof.
          In the second place I did not write that they are evidence.
          In the third place I did not write that they are evidence for the beginning of the Universe.
          In the fourth place I did not write that our Universe began from nothing.

          What I did write is that they demonstrated that many other kinds of other universes would enable life. And that counters your fine tuning fallacy.
          An IDiot with comprehensive reading skills is like a square circle.

        • Michael Neville

          Cosmologists (the scientists who study the origin of the universe) have several hypotheses on the origin of the universe. None of these hypotheses have any mention of gods.

          The fine tuning argument is silly. The universe isn’t fine tuned for humans. 99.999 recurring percent of the universe is hard vacuum at 3K, which is not hospitable for live as we know it. Humans are fine tuned for Earth, actually the African savannah of half a million years ago, with some minor modifications since then.

          You need to provide evidence that Jesus existed before you can claim it’s evidence for a god. Besides, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and various other non-Christians would not accept the life of Jesus as evidence for anything.

          Try again, this time bring your A game.

        • Wrong. We don’t have the life of Christ. Instead, we have books that talk about a life of Christ.

          Color me unconvinced.

        • JP

          How else do we know about the lives of people of the ancient world except through writings which the gospels are.

        • Yes, I agree. All we have is poorly preserved writings from decades after the life of Jesus. No video, no recordings, not even any claimed books from Jesus himself.

          That’s a pathetic foundation on which to build what is probably the most remarkable claim possible–that a supernatural being created everything.

        • JP

          Huh? If videos and recordings and even writings by the person of the ancient past are required to prove they existed and did the things written of them then you might as well throw out 100% of all the people in the ancient world because not one of them has done this.

          The evidence of a supernatural being can be seen in creation itself. Give me a better explanation then we can compare and discuss.

        • You’re so cute when you’re trying to make an intellectual point.

          Historians indeed do throw out 100% of the supernatural claims made about historical figures (and such claims were indeed made about Alexander, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, and other semi-contemporaries of Jesus).

          The evidence of a supernatural being can be seen in creation itself.

          You keep doing that! That’s evidence for the FSM as much as Yahweh.

        • Mike Shehn

          Bob lost another argument. Back to coding Bob.

        • Nice! You just declare that you win and hope that no one notices that you have no reasons or evidence.

        • MNb

          “lives of people”.
          Exactly. Not lives of sons of god.

        • MNb

          The origin of the universe, its fine tuning and the life of Bobby Henderson can only be explained if the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists.

        • Kodie

          It’s a conclusion based on evidence. The conclusion can be updated if you have something better than anyone else so far. For years, it’s all the same bullshit that no grown-up should be proud to believe. We’re waiting for something actual. Do you have actual evidence, or just apologetics? Or just butthurt prejudice and lies?

        • JP

          What evidence do you have that makes you think God does not exist? I have given my proofs here a number of times and no atheist has given me any facts for her position. Can you?

        • Kodie

          My position is “your arguments are ridiculous, and you are gullible to fall for them.” Is there anything else?

        • JP

          You have nothing then. Refute my arguments with some facts and present with facts why anyone should think atheism is true.

        • Kodie

          Refute what arguments? You have nothing to offer but your obvious butthurt that atheists don’t believe you. Cry into your pillow tonight, you’re not really doing anything but making atheism even more obvious.

        • JP

          I gave 3 arguments for my views:
          1- origin of the universe
          2- origin of life
          3- the life of Christ.

        • Kodie

          Those aren’t arguments, those are your superstitious beliefs.

        • JP

          Prove I’m wrong with some facts. Otherwise you are left with your own superstitious beliefs.

        • Kodie

          The number one fact of my atheism is you’re one motherfucking dumb gullible idiot. I’m not one. You believe for the shallowest of reasons, not even those “deep” thinks that some actually literate moron Christians trot out. You are #1 fool. I’m not even here to prove you wrong. If you were secure in your beliefs, it wouldn’t bother you what anyone else thinks. Do you come here for the abuse? Do you think you’re actually one of the smart ones? Ha ha!!!! The most obvious fact of atheism is that fools exist, and fools are easily persuaded. You are a cartoon to most Christians. A lot of Christians don’t even believe anyone as dumb as you exists and uses such dramatically idiotic arguments. Why are you here, are you butthurt? If you can’t think of any way to convince anyone that you’re correct, fuck off. You are just here to harass atheists because you are livid (look it up in a book called “dictionary”) that we aren’t convinced. Are you sure your teachermom wants you interacting with atheists on the internet, or does she have no idea what an internet is?

        • JP

          Actually its dumb to be an atheist because there are no facts that proves it true. Only fools embrace it.

        • Said the guy who has no facts to prove that his supernatural beliefs are true.

        • JP

          The resurrection of Christ proves the supernatural. Its one of the best attested events of the ancient world.

        • What resurrection? We don’t have a resurrection; we have a written claim of a resurrection. And a poorly preserved claim at that.

          Tell you what: go ask Muslim scholars. They believe that Jesus existed and they’re steeped in the Abrahamic tradition and they believe in the supernatural. Ask them if Jesus resurrected.

        • JP

          Actually we have 5 written sources for the resurrection written by eyewitnesses or those who knew the eyewitnesses. We know at least 12 of them by name.

          Muslims don’t even believe He was crucified. Keep in mind that Islam did not come into existence until about 600 years later. They have no counter facts that disprove the resurrection. They are like atheists who don’t give facts for their beliefs but just assertions.

        • Actually we have 5 written sources for the resurrection written by eyewitnesses or those who knew the eyewitnesses.

          Eyewitnesses? What eyewitnesses? You’re giving me dogma, not history. You say there were eyewitnesses? Show me.

          Muslims don’t even believe He was crucified.

          Some don’t; some do.

          You handwaved about the resurrection being “one of the best attested events of the ancient world,” and yet you can’t even get your fellow Abrahamic believers to go along with you. So much for the claim.

          Keep in mind that Islam did not come into existence until about 600 years later. They have no counter facts that disprove the resurrection.

          Let me share with you on my personal hypothesis that George Washington flew with a jetpack. My contention is that we need to give that serious consideration because there are no counter facts to disprove the hypothesis. I propose we make it a part of public school curriculum. Who’s with me?!

        • Kodie

          You poor pathetic butthurt idiot. Your arguments are such weak shit, most Christians don’t even try to pass them.

        • But 1 and 2 support the claims that the Flying Spaghetti Monster did it. You sure you want to go there?

        • JP

          Go ahead and give me your facts that proves the Flying Spaghetti Monster exist.

        • There’s a real smart guy at my blog, JP. He tells me that he believes in (1) the supernatural origin of the universe and (2) the supernatural origin of life. Go ask him for supporting evidence for those claims. They prove the existence of the FSM (sauce be upon Him) as much as anyone.

        • MNb

          Your faulty list, just above.

          1. origin of our Universe (also called the Big Boil).
          2. origin of life (also happened during the Big Boil).
          3. life of Bobby Henderson.

          http://flyingspaghettimonster.wikia.com/wiki/Dwarf?file=Flying_spaghetti_monster_creating_mountain_trees_and_midget.jpg

          http://flyingspaghettimonster.wikia.com/wiki/Creation_of_the_World

          This is a thousand times as more convincing that your creation story.

        • MNb

          Point 3 is begging the question.
          Points 1 and 2 are nothing but god of the gaps fallacies.
          Arguments are no evidence.
          Such a failure.

        • MNb

          Define knowledge.

        • JP

          Knowledge is facts about the world.

        • MNb

          Then you know nothing about your god, because it’s not a fact about the world.

        • Kodie

          I want to know why you believe something that doesn’t exist exists. Unless you have something amazing to tell me, I won’t believe you because it is silly and childish and stupid. I still want to know why you think you have a winning argument here asking for proof that your fantasy best friend doesn’t exist. I haven’t been convinced that he does, and all the arguments I’ve heard so far are based in wishful thinking and fiction and myth. If you have anything else? Do you? Or are you just gullible and whiny?

        • JP

          Ok. What facts do you have that proves that God does not exist? Just me a couple then we can see how good they are.

        • Kodie

          Ok, what kind of stupid moron question is that? You make a claim that god exists, I don’t believe you, now what.

        • JP

          You said “I haven’t been convinced that he does, and all the arguments I’ve heard so far are based in wishful thinking and fiction and myth.” Now give me your facts that led you to this conclusion. What facts do you have that disproves the existence of God?

        • Kodie

          I really don’t know what the fuck you’re looking for, turd. The story you believe is a myth. The reason you believe it is because you are gullible. Mountains and mountains of theological arguments don’t support your beliefs, they are literary bull sewage. Those are the facts that led me to the conclusion that there’s probably no god. My position is “your arguments are terrible, try something credible for a fucking change, you gullible freak.” Does your teachermom know you’re on the internet?

        • JP

          You assert its a myth and yet you offer not facts that supports your assertions. That make me think you don’t know what you talking about. I expect more from you.

        • Kodie

          What kind of literate adult wouldn’t recognize it as a myth? How do you recognize other religions of the rest of the world as false? How do you account for other people who believe differently from you for their reasons to believe something other than what you believe? That’s how I know it’s a fucking myth. It follows the basic fucking pattern of a myth, you dummy.

        • JP

          Billions of people believe its true because they have the facts that prove it true. Many who are a lot smarter than you.

          atheism is not true because there are no facts that prove it true. Its a fantasy that leads nowhere.

        • Kodie

          Yeah, they don’t have facts, they have emotions and gullibility. None of them are smarter than me. You’re definitely not smarter than anyone.

        • JP

          There are plenty of facts. Thousands of books and articles have been written about the evidence. You don’t have that with atheism. Atheism is a dead end.

        • Kodie

          You mean mountains and mountains of bullshit has been poured on this myth as though grown adults were meant to take it seriously… for profit. How much money have you already given them?

        • Billions of people are Christians because they were raised that way–not much of a claim for truth.

        • JP

          Millions are raised to believe in science. Does that mean science is true?

        • Because you don’t prove atheism. You simply follow the evidence.

        • JP

          No evidence for atheism. No facts that support it. So what evidence are you following?

        • The evidence that doesn’t lead to Christianity being true.

          But perhaps you’ve got some that I haven’t seen? Show us. How could a Christian ask for more than dozens of atheists reading your comments?

        • JP

          I have given my evidence. Now its up to the atheist to give his evidence for atheism being true. Every time I ask for it they never deliver. Atheism is fantasy because it has no facts to support it. Right?

        • Point to the comment of yours that summarizes your evidence.

          As for the atheist rebuttal, there are 1000+ posts at this blog. I’ve read a small fraction of your logorrhea, but every argument that I have seen has been responded to in detail, right here.

          Every time I ask for it they never deliver.

          Then today is your lucky day.

    • adam
      • JP

        That tells me nothing. Babies are born ignorant that 2+2=4. Does that mean that 2+2=4 is not true?

        • adam

          It tells you that babies dont believe in Gods when they are born.

          They have to be indoctrinated into believing in MAGIC.

        • JP

          You were indoctrinated to believe in the fantasy of atheism.

        • adam

          Babies dont believe in Gods when they are born, I was a baby.

          You, on the other hand are an IDiot.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3fd99e48290596c8606a13560d5c916a9da4e2541d2efbf225868e5efe55ff5.jpg

        • JP

          Babies don’t believe that 2+2=4 when they are born. According to your way of thinking that means 2+2=4 is not true.

        • Michael Neville

          Can you prove that 2+2=4? Or is it that you’ve been indoctrinated into accepting it’s true?

        • JP

          You can prove it in the sense that it works in the real world. See what happens when you try 2+2=5 in your life. It would lead to all kinds of problems.

        • adam
        • JP
        • adam
        • Michael Neville

          So you can’t prove it. It would be easier if you admitted the obvious instead of having it dragged out of you. Incidentally I can’t prove 2+2=4 either. In their book Principia Mathematica Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russel spent 370 pages proving that 1+1=2 so 2+2=4 can be proved but I’m not good enough at math to do so.

        • MNb

          Thanks – god doesn’t work in the real world. See what happens when you stop believing in your imaginary sky daddy. I would make no difference at all. Because god doesn’t explain anything.

        • JP

          Ok. Then explain the origin of the universe where no laws of nature existed before it came into being.

        • MNb

          I already asked you to define “before”.
          Quantum Fields fluctuations provide a natural explanation of the origin of our Universe.

        • adam
        • JP
        • Michael Neville

          Care to guess again? I came by atheism on my own. In fact I didn’t even know the word until I told my father I didn’t believe in gods.

          I make the suggestion that you learn something about atheism before you make stupid pronouncements about it. You’ll look less like an idiot that way.

        • adam

          Oh come on Michael, I was having so much fun with his idiocy.

        • JP

          What facts of reality led you to believe no gods exist?

        • Michael Neville

          The complete and utter lack of the slightest hint of the remotest possibility of any evidence which might perhaps suggest that maybe gods exist.

          You got any evidence? If so, trot it out.

        • JP

          The origin of the universe, its fine-tuning, origin of life and the life of Christ is the evidence for the existence of God because these things can be explained by God existing.

        • MNb

          Everything and anything can be explain by god existing. Something that explains everything and anything is actually no explanation at all.

        • JP

          How does that follow?

        • MNb

          Something that explains everything and anything is incapable of seperating the possible from the impossible.

          JP exists? God.
          JP doesn’t exist? God.
          So on the explanation “God” you can both exist and not exist.

        • adam
        • JP

          That is not what biblical faith is.

        • Michael Neville

          So tell us what YOU think Biblical faith is. Be specific.

        • JP

          Biblical faith is believing in something that you have good reasons to believe is true.

        • adam

          “Biblical faith is believing in something that you have good reasons to believe is true.”

          Then what are your good reasons for believing in MAGIC?

          BTW
          The Bible defines faith as wishful thinking.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b12fa1635e121ebbb3409640826d721ba93278771f0064bd133804faa3f01397.png

        • JP

          Actually the atheist is forced to believe in magic to explain the world.

        • Kodie

          Actually, that sounds like a knowledge claim. Where are your facts, dummy?

        • JP

          Atheists must believe in magic because they don’t believe in God and the forces cannot account for the origin of the universe or life. All you have left is magic.

        • Kodie

          You are willing to bet on a myth instead of wait for science to give you the actual answer? What a petulant child you are.

        • JP

          There is no scientific fact that proves atheism true. Not one.

        • Kodie

          You are thinking about it wrong because you are stupid.

        • JP
        • Agreed. Too bad for you that atheism doesn’t have the burden of proof.

          Actually, you do. Go.

        • JP

          Actually you do bear the burden of proof for atheism. Atheists make knowledge claims about reality that no gods exist. That requires that atheist to give some evidence and facts for that claim otherwise you are left with a preference that you prefer God not to exist and not that you have proven He doesn’t. Ball is in your court.

        • Actually you do bear the burden of proof for atheism. Atheists make knowledge claims about reality that no gods exist.

          You don’t even understand your antagonists. Sad.

          I have no god belief. That’s atheism. Others may define it differently, but no, I make no (default) knowledge claims about gods.

          Homework: read up on “burden of proof,” how it’s used in courts, and how that would apply to, say, the claim “Bigfoot exists.”

          I find it hilarious when Christians declare both that they’re obliged to spread the Good News® and that the atheist shares the burden of proof. You’ve got an audience of atheists right here. Stop tap dancing away from your obligation—you’re embarrassing yourself. You got an argument? Quit whining and show us, or admit that you got nothing and go back to the basement.

          Ball is in your court.

          I hear baby Jesus crying.

        • Greg G.

          Speaking of court, when a defendant is on trial, the prosecution is making the claim that the defendant committed a crime. The prosecution must present evidence and argument that the defendant is guilty. The defense doesn’t have to prove the defendant is innocent, it only has to show that the prosecution has not proved the defendant committed the crime.

          You are claiming the Bible is true which is accusing God of killing all but eight people with the Flood. You must first prove that the Flood happened, then you have to prove that God was the culprit, which means you have to prove the defendant exists because you must try God in absentia.

          The ball is still in your court because you can’t get it over the net.

        • JP

          Here is what happened when a world renowned jurist decided to see if he could disprove the resurrection:
          “Legal scholar, Dr. Simon Greenleaf (1783–1853), decided to put Jesus’ resurrection on trial by examining the evidence. Greenleaf helped to put the Harvard Law School on the map. He also wrote the three-volume legal masterpiece, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence, which has been called “the greatest single authority in the entire literature of legal procedure.”[1] The U.S. judicial system today still relies on rules of evidence established by Greenleaf.

          As a legal scholar, Greenleaf wondered if Jesus’ resurrection would meet his stringent tests for evidence. He wondered whether or not the evidence for it would hold up in a court of law. Focusing his brilliant legal mind on the facts of history, Greenleaf began applying his rules of evidence to the case of Jesus’ resurrection.

          Contrary to what skeptics might have expected, the more Greenleaf investigated the record of history, the more evidence he discovered supporting the claim that Jesus had indeed risen from the tomb.” http://y-jesus.com/simon-greenleaf-resurrection/

        • Kodie

          Are you Jenna Black?

        • And JP comes back with the Greenleaf argument.

          Dang–this guy just keeps coming up with new argument after new argument! It’s such a blessing that he’s dropped by to share.

        • Kodie

          Actually you dumb shit, you have it entirely wrong and you have to lie to even propose your stupid shit arguments. There are tons of claims of god all over the world, and tell me how you tell which one(s) can be correct and sort them out, and why you don’t believe most of them. The contingency is that there is no god, barring an excellent demonstration via evidence that there is one, not some idiotic homeschooled fool on the internet trying to be an asshole (that’s you). You reject a lot of god claims yourself with no fucking reason other than you already feel emotionally settled with the belief you have. I mean, I like to think you can look at a religious claim and reject it because it sounds like total fucking nonsense, and not because it contradicts Christianity. But I think you are too stupid for that, but anyway, how stupid you are is another point in favor of atheism. Keep it up! You’re an awesome atheist-maker!

        • Science does a pretty good job. Where science has unanswered questions, we say, “I don’t know.”

        • MNb

          Define magic.

        • On my planet, we have a word for that. It’s “trust.”

    • sandy

      Fact, no evidence for a god or gods hence the logical stance is atheism.

      • JP

        the origin of life, the universe and the life of Christ is the evidence for God.

        • sandy

          Sure. No evidence a god created the universe or origin of life. No evidence Jesus existed outside of the anonymous short stories in the gospels. You are arguing from ignorance or god of the gaps but I think you know that. You’re trolling.

        • JP

          If God did not create the universe then what did? Give me an explanation.

        • sandy

          Troll.

        • JP
        • Michael Neville

          Nobody knows how the universe came into being. That includes you. There’s zip point shit evidence that your god exists, let alone created anything. And no, you can’t claim that since we don’t know what the origin of the universe is that the default is an Iron Age Middle Eastern tribal god.

          I’ve already demolished fine tuning (I notice you didn’t even attempt to rebut me) and Jesus described in the Bible is as fictitious as Genesis. It’s quite possible that an itinerant preacher named Yeshua ben Yosef was wandering around Palestine in the first part of the First Century CE, it’s ridiculous to think that the miracle working, resurrected Jesus H. Christ is anything more than a story.

        • JP

          Just because you don’t know doesn’t mean I don’t. What you need to do is to show that its illogical to believe created the universe. Where did you demolish this?
          “Roger Penrose, the Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, discovers that the likelihood of the universe having usable energy (low entropy) at the creation is even more astounding,
          namely, an accuracy of one part out of ten to the power of ten to the power of 123. This is an extraordinary figure. One could not possibly even write the number down in full, in our ordinary denary (power of ten) notation: it would be one followed by ten to the power of 123 successive zeros! (That is a million billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion billion zeros.)
          Penrose continues,
          Even if we were to write a zero on each separate proton and on each separate neutron in the entire universe — and we could throw in all the other particles as well for good measure — we should fall far short of writing down the figure needed. The precision needed to set the universe on its course is to be in no way inferior to all that extraordinary precision that we have already become accustomed to in the superb dynamical equations (Newton’s, Maxwell’s, Einstein’s) which govern the behavior of things from moment to moment. “

        • Michael Neville

          You don’t know how the universe came about. If you did then you wouldn’t be posting on a blog, you’d be writing your Nobel Physics Prize acceptance speech. Don’t try to bullshit us, you’re not smart enough to do it successfully.

          I’m not impressed by the Strong Anthropic Principle as a “proof of god”. The fact that our universe is suitable for life as we know it just means that the universe is suitable for life. It doesn’t mean that an Iron Age Middle Eastern tribal god exists, let alone is the reason for the universe’s suitability for life.

          As I said before, bring your A game. So far you’re only showing that you know how to google creationist propaganda.

        • JP

          Then give me your counter theory that explains the origin of the universe. Just keep in mind that no laws of nature existed before its coming into existence.

        • Michael Neville

          So what’s your evidence that no laws of nature existed before the universe came into existence? You’re the one making that claim so you’re the one who needs to produce evidence.

        • JP

          I’m just telling you what scientists say.

        • Michael Neville

          So you don’t have any evidence. Why am I not surprised?

        • JP

          What would count as evidence before the universe came to be?

        • Michael Neville

          I don’t know. You’re the one making the claim so it’s up to you to provide the evidence. I’m not doing your homework for you.

        • epeeist

          I’m just telling you what scientists say.

          Citations required.

        • JP

          “We have very good evidence that there was a Big Bang, so the universe as we know it almost certainly started some 14 billion years ago. But was that the absolute beginning, or was there something before it?” asks Alexander Vilenkin, a cosmologist at Tufts University near Boston. It seems like the kind of question that can never be truly answered because every time someone proposes a solution, someone else can keep asking the annoying question: What happened before that?

          But now Vilenkin says he has convincing evidence in hand: The universe had a distinct beginning — though he can’t pinpoint the time. After 35 years of looking backward, he says, he’s found that before our universe there was nothing, nothing at all, not even time itself.”
          http://discovermagazine.com/2013/september/13-starting-point

        • epeeist

          I asked for a citation not a quote mine and a magazine article. But there again given the rest of your posts I doubt you know what I mean by “citation”.

          As it is Vilenkin is one scientist, he isn’t “scientists”, hence the reason I asked for citations rather than a single one. So which other scientists claim that no laws of nature existed before the universe came into existence?

          But here is one paper by Vilenkin and a second one in which he discusses the formation of a universe from nothing. These posit the formation of universes by quantum tunnelling, i.e. with existent laws of nature and no requirement for a deity of any kind.

        • Kodie

          That’s not evidence for any god – that’s what you’re looking at and an imaginary character you superstitiously believe made it because someone told you and you believed them. I thought you got banned a while ago for being a tedious moron?

        • JP

          Then explain how the universe came into existence given that the laws of nature did exist. Explain how the mindless-purposeless forces of nature created the 1st cell from scratch.

        • Kodie

          A great giant man in the sky decided to build it for YOU?????

        • MNb

          Yup. And the White House was build to provide a landing place for flies – according to those flies.

        • Freethinker

          LOL. If it wasn’t for science you wouldn’t even know what a “cell” is.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/69af2e0fa86300a90397e7b2654e2af9964e51a9780bdb255d646fd0bcc93389.png

        • JP
        • MNb

          Quantum Fields.
          Abiogenesis.

          Also you are guilty of the logical fallacy called god of the gaps. As a famous theologian said:

          “how wrong it is to use God as a stop-gap for the incompleteness of our knowledge. If in fact the frontiers of knowledge are being pushed further and further back (and that is bound to be the case), then God is being pushed back with them, and is therefore continually in retreat. We are to find God in what we know, not in what we don’t know.”

          Dietrich Bonhöffer, 1944.
          Your belief is irrational and illogical.

        • JP

          You don’t have Quantum Fields before the universe came to be because there were no laws of nature before it.
          Abiogenesis has never been demonstrated. Its a failed theory.

        • MNb

          “You don’t have Quantum Fields before the universe came to be because there were no laws of nature before it.”
          As long as you refuse to define “before” this is a meaningless statement – you are not even wrong.

          “Abiogenesis has never been demonstrated. Its a failed theory.”
          Reread the Bonhöffer quote. Merely repeating the god of the gaps fallacy does nothing to remedy it. That it has never been demonstrated doesn’t mean it will never be demonstrated. I hope to live long enough to read about lab scientists creating life from non-life in labs. Many creacrappers already smell the danger and are anticipating. Sure enough you are too dishonest to change your predetermined conclusion when a theory of abiogenesis has been successfully formulated.

      • JP

        Atheism is illogical and irrational. It denies reality and makes the atheist believe in magic.

    • Ctharrot

      Wish you had something new to write. Thousands and thousands of comments from you, and the only thing that changes is your alias.

      How many handles have you gone by, Jay? How many times have bloggers banned you?

    • Freethinker

      Do you even understand what the word Atheism means?
      No Christian, Muslim, Jew etc ever has shown ANY evidence for the existence of god. Ever. You had thousands of years and millions of volunteers to do it.
      Atheists have nothing to prove. We prefer facts to fiction. You clearly don’t.

      • JP

        The life of Christ is proof for the existence of God.

        What facts are there that shows atheism true?

        Of course atheists cop out when it comes to showing atheism true with any facts. They refuse to do it because there are no facts that prove it true. I get that and so do you.

        • Kodie

          The life of Christ, as depicted in “the bible”, is not a fact, it’s a myth.

        • JP

          New Testament scholars Bart Ehrman (who is certainly no friend of Christianity) of Christ not existing:
          “These views are so extreme (that Jesus did not exist) and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology.”

          In other words, only nutjobs think Jesus did not exist.

        • Kodie

          You illiterate dumb fuck. I didn’t say Jesus didn’t exist. I said “as depicted in the bible” you fucko. The existence of an actual person is not amazing. The life of a cult figure AS MYTHICALLY DEPICTED IN A BOOK OF MYTHS is NOT A FUCKING FACT YOU DUMB FUCK.

          Learn to read you asshole. That’s how I know atheism is true – people as dumb as you are the ones perpetuating this dumb myth. People who actually cannot read or refuse to read are obviously mistaken and easily taken in by bullshit.

        • JP

          The only records we have of Jesus’s existence is in the Bible.

        • Yeah. Embarrassing, isn’t it?

        • Kodie

          Only an idiot believes the bible is a history book. Your teachermom LIED to you.

        • MNb

          It still doesn’t follow that Jesus was divine. You are even more stupid than Kodie notices just underneath.

        • JP

          Since the records (gospels) that we have of Christ shows Him doing things (healing the sick with a word, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, power over nature, and rising from the dead) all prove He was divine i.e. God because only God could do those things.

        • Otto

          Cheap parlor tricks do not prove God

        • JP

          Raising someone from the dead for 4 days is not a “cheap parlor trick”. He did this in front of dozens of people. See John 11.

        • Otto

          I can find people and witnesses in the world today that make the same claims…are they God too?

        • JP

          Ask them to raise someone from the dead. If they can’t that, then they are not God.

        • Otto

          Why should I have to ask them to do that, they say it has already been done…Just like Jesus and his ‘witnesses’ did. Why do you accept one claim and not the other?

        • JP

          The other claims don’t have reliable eyewitness accounts.

        • Otto

          The reliability is no different, and you have said nothing to show otherwise.

        • JP

          It is different.

        • Michael Neville

          Show us the difference and give evidence that you don’t say that because it’s about your favorite pet god.

        • JP

          We have 4 gospels and one letter in the NT that mentions the resurrection. Over 500 people saw the risen Christ over the course of 40 days. We know at least 12 of the 500 who saw Him alive. That is more than enough evidence to prove it happened. Nothing like this in ancient history.

        • Michael Neville

          So? What’s your evidence that the gospels aren’t fiction. The 500 people are meaningless. You merely declaring them to be historically true means nothing. Bring on the evidence or admit you’re just talking out of your ass again.

        • JP

          Here is one of many reasons the gospels are not fictions:
          “Most scholars understand Luke’s works (Luke–Acts) in the tradition of Greek historiography.[29] The preface of The Gospel of Luke[30] drawing on historical investigation identified the work to the readers as belonging to the genre of history.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

        • Greg G.

          But a great deal of the book is copying Mark and Matthew verbatim or rejecting bits that don’t fit the Lukan theology. The book mostly follows Mark’s outline. The central section from Luke 10 through Luke 18:14 is following Deuteronomy topics. Then it returns to Mark’s outline.

        • JP

          It is true there is a lot in common with the gospels. That should be expected since they are describing or reporting on the same person.

        • Otto

          Since you are so knowledgeable about what the scholars say you should know the Gospels copy from each other…today we call that plagiarism.

        • Michael Neville

          How many of those scholars are Christians? There’s going to be some bias when Christians are talking about the historicity of the gospels. If you can show some Jewish or Muslim scholars accepting the Bible as historical then I’d be more willing to accept your obvious bullshit.

        • Otto

          No…one guy claimed there were 500…

        • JP

          And?

        • Otto

          If I say ‘500 people watched my neighbor sprout wings and fly’…that isn’t proof there were 500 witnesses.

          Grow up

        • JP

          Of course it would be proof that there were 500 eyewitnesses who saw your neighbor fly.

        • Otto

          Now I know why the Nigerian Prince’s all have your e-mail address

          Gullibility is not a virtue

        • I’ve responded in a post to the “500 eyewitnesses” claim. It’s laughable as a claim, though I’ll admit that you do have to think about it for a moment. Is searching for that post difficult? Or just not part of your agenda?

        • JP

          Where did you mention it?

        • Seek and ye shall find. Type “500 eyewitnesses” into the “Search this blog” box above (in the right column) and you will get this post:

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/04/500-eyewitnesses-to-the-risen-christ-9-reasons-why-its-not-likely/

        • Otto

          Yeah…that’s all you got.

          Proves my point

        • JP

          Who were the eyewitnesses to these events that you claim happened?

        • Otto

          Same thing could be said about Jesus…only got first names and no one else outside of their cult ever talked about them.

        • JP

          We know that Matthew and John were disciples of Christ.

        • Otto

          From the writings of the cult…nothing more.

        • Y’know, it is so cute when you get corrected, and then you make the same infuriating error, showing that you have no interest in learning anything here. I bet that’s why you’re the most popular person at the office.

          We have stories that Matthew and John were disciples of Christ. We don’t know that. We also don’t know who wrote the gospels labeled “Matthew” and “John.”

        • JP

          We do know who wrote them. These 4 gospels have always had their names associated with them. They were never known in church as the “anonymous gospel”.

        • But you do? Show us.

        • Greg G.

          We have stories of Horus raising the dead. Those stories are from further back in time to the first century than the first century is from us. The Lazarus resurrection in John appears to be based on the Horus account.

        • JP

          Can you show me the the primary sources for Horus that shows him raising the dead? I want to see it for myself.

        • Greg G.

          Do you know who else healed the lame and blind? Vespasian, who became the Roman Emperor, the ruler of the world, just like the scriptures promised.

        • MNb

          Then the non-christians Vespasianus and App[olonius of Tyana were embodiments of your god as well.

          http://sarahveale.com/2015/11/27/ancient-miracle-workers-the-emperor-vespasian/
          http://www.livius.org/articles/person/apollonius-of-tyana/

          The only thing these records show is that back then people believed those three were miracle workers. What people believe is not evidence for anything supernatural.
          You fail.

        • JP

          They were not.

        • MNb

          Sigh. Ehrman didn’t write about Christ. He wrote about Jesus.
          A historical Jesus does not imply a divine Jesus.
          Only nutjobs make the salto mortale from Jesus to Christ.

        • JP

          Christ=Jesus. Both names are used of Him in the New Testament. Bart knows this and does not deny it.

        • Greg G.

          The New Testament is about Jesus being Christ. Ehrman wrote about Jesus being a historical person, not about Jesus being the Christ.

        • JP

          Bart is writing about the historical Jesus who is the main character of the gospels. Jesus proved He was the Christ-Messiah by His life and miracles and fulfilling OT prophecies.

        • Greg G.

          Bart did not write about the Messiah bullshit. The Messiah was expected in the first century. It didn’t happen.

          Here are verses that show that those who were saying the Messiah was coming expected it to happen soon and within their own lifetimes:

          1 Corinthians 15:51-54 (NRSV)51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:

          “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

          Philippians 3:20-21 (NRSV)20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 21 He will transform the body of our humiliation that it may be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself.

          1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 (NRSV)15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.

          Romans 13:11-12 (NRSV)11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light;

          1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NRSV)29 I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, 31 and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.

          1 Corinthians 10:11 (NRSV)11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.

          1 Thessalonians 5:2-7 (NRSV)2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! 4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; 5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. 6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober; 7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.

          2 Timothy 3:1 (NRSV)1 You must understand this, that in the last days distressing times will come.

          Hebrews 10:24-25 (NRSV)24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

          1 Peter 4:7 (NRSV)7 The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers.

          2 Peter 3:10 (NRSV)10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

          1 John 2:18 (NRSV)18 Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour.

          But the Christians didn’t come up with it on their own. The idea was rampant among the Jews as we can see from Josephus:

          Jewish War 6.5.2 §286-287Now there was then a great number of false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliverance from God; and this was in order to keep them from deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and care by such hopes. Now a man that is in adversity does easily comply with such promises; for when such a seducer makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full of hopes of such his deliverance.

          Jewish War 6.5.4 §312-313But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how, “about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth.” The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination.

          The leaders of the Jews during the siege of Jerusalem kept the Jews fighting by reminding them that God would deliver them. Josephus explains that they expected God to send the Messiah to come rule the world.

          But Josephus thought that the Messiah was Vespasian who rose to power in Judea and became the ruler of the civilized world at the time.

        • JP

          The Christians already knew that the Messiah had come. Now they await His return at the end of history.
          Many people at this time had false ideas about the Messiah. Even Christ disciples did until after His resurrection.

        • Greg G.

          These verses are epistles written after the events in the gospels and Acts are supposed to have happened. Yet they are still waiting for the Messiah. Your response makes no sense.

        • JP

          Huh?? The Messiah was Jesus. That’s what they believed. They are awaiting His return.

        • MNb

          Wrong. Jesus is the human aspect, christ the divine one.

          http://ourrabbijesus.com/articles/what-does-the-word-christ-actually-mean/

          Either you are too ignorant or you are too dishonest to recognize this basic christian terminology.

        • Greg G.

          But people who make those claims are defining “expert” and “scholar” to be someone whose job depends on them saying Jesus actually existed.

          Fifty years ago, scholars accepted the historicity of Abraham and Moses. One could have made the same claim about acceptance of those Bible characters, too. Tommy Thompson’s thesis showed that they were created from older literature. His adviser, Joseph Ratzinger, the now-retired pope, rejected his thesis. Thompson completed his thesis in the US but could not find employment so he went to Europe. By 25 years later, archaeology showed that the Exodus never happened and most scholars now accept that.

        • JP

          Skeptical New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman states on the existence of Jesus:
          “With respect to Jesus, we have numerous, independent accounts of his life in the sources lying behind the Gospels (and the writings of Paul) — sources that originated in Jesus’ native tongue Aramaic and that can be dated to within just a year or two of his life… Historical sources like that are is pretty astounding for an ancient figure of any kind.”

        • Greg G.

          (and the writings of Paul)

          Paul mentions “Jesus”, “Christ”, or either combination about once for every five verses, not counting pronouns and the ambiguous “Lord”, so he loves to talk about Jesus yet he doesn’t seem to know anything about him that doesn’t come from the Old Testament.

          sources that originated in Jesus’ native tongue Aramaic

          Those would be assumed and imaginary evidence.

          that can be dated to within just a year or two of his life

          No, they can’t. You must pretend that imaginary writings can be dated.

          Historical sources like that are is pretty astounding for an ancient figure of any kind.

          But fictional stories like that are not astounding for ancient figures.

        • JP

          What Lord do you think Paul is writing about?

          Bart and a number of other scholars don’t think these are imaginary writings.
          Craig Evans who is widely known for his writings on the subject of the historical Jesus says that:
          “No serious historian of any religious or nonreligious stripe doubts that Jesus of Nazareth really lived in the first century and was executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea and Samaria.”

        • Greg G.

          What Lord do you think Paul is writing about?

          He was writing about the Suffering Servant who the early Christians thought was a hidden mystery disguised as a metaphor. He tells us he got his knowledge from scripture, not from human sources, and he said his knowledge was not inferior to the knowledge of the “super-apostles”.

          executed under the authority of Pontius Pilate

          When you see a phrase like that with Pilate’s first name, it’s a clue they got it from Luke, directly or indirectly, because no other gospel used his first name. Luke relied heavily on Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews which gives his first name, while the other gospels relied on Mark who relied on Jospehus’ Jewish Wars, which only uses “Pilate”.

          Now, when are you going to provide some actual evidence or a compelling argument instead of people who make a living based on the assumption of a historical Jesus? You have said there is astounding evidence. It shouldn’t be that hard to provide some of it.

        • JP

          Paul is referring to Jesus as Lord as the same Lord who is God in the OT.

          No proof Luke used Josephus. Maybe Josephus used Luke.

          The existence of Jesus is not based on an assumption but on historical facts. Jesus is the best attested historical figure of the ancient world.

        • MNb

          “But people who make those claims are defining “expert” and “scholar” to be someone whose job depends on them saying Jesus actually existed.”
          And that’s why JM is quack. This is simply incorrect for at least Europe. No job of any historian of anitquity in Europe depends on this.

          “Fifty years ago, scholars accepted the historicity of Abraham and Moses.”
          More quack. Dutch theologian CP Tiele questioned it already in 1872.
          The neutral bystander knows there is something wrong if a theory needs conspiracies like yours.

          Perhaps your country is that backward; then you can congratulate yourself for keeping it that way.

        • Greg G.

          This is simply incorrect for at least Europe. No job of any historian of anitquity in Europe depends on this.

          Exactly. And there are Bible scholars in Europe that are publicly open to investigating the question of the historicity of Jesus.

          More quack. Dutch theologian CP Tiele questioned it already in 1872.
          The neutral bystander knows there is something wrong if a theory needs conspiracies like yours.

          The Jesus Myth theory was alive and well in the 19th century, too.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory#18%E2%80%9319th_centuries_proponents

          Thompson’s thesis was rejected in the 1970s in Europe, a century later than Tiele. He finished it in the US but could get employed in the US, so he went to University of Copenhagen.

        • Otto

          Nothing in the story of Jesus proves the existence of God. Not. One. Thing.

        • JP

          The miracles do. Only God could raise the dead, heal the sick with a touch and rise from the dead Himself.

        • Otto

          So your argument boils down to “I just can’t explain any way those things could happen…therefore God did it”

          Grow up

        • JP

          That’s far better than the atheist argument.

        • Otto

          There is no atheist argument…we just don’t believe your flawed argument from ignorance.

        • JP

          Great. So you have nothing to offer. That is the supreme ignorance.

        • The atheist doesn’t need to offer anything. You’re the one making the remarkable claim, so the burden of proof is yours.

          Go.

        • Otto

          I will take ignorance over someone like you selling snake oil any day.

        • Kodie

          So your evidence is you’re stupid enough to believe fictional stories in a myth book don’t make any sense unless there’s a god. Brilliant, you fucking moron! You are exactly why I don’t believe. Who could be that gullible?

        • JP

          No. I just gave you the evidence that is independent of what people think since it occured in history.
          You don’t believe because you don’t know how to evaluate evidence.

        • I saw Harry Potter do some impressive magic, too. Or are you saying that God is any more real than Harry Potter? Better show us the evidence.

        • JP

          Please give me some facts that proves there was a real historical Harry Potter that could do the things that movie shows him doing.

        • Michael Neville

          There’s as much evidence for Harry Potter as there is for Jesus. Some books and movies telling about their lives are all we have. If “Jesus” is real then so is Harry Potter.

        • JP

          Can you show where historians have found evidence of:
          Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Gryffindor House. Hufflepuff House. Ravenclaw House. Slytherin House. Headmaster’s Office. …
          The Burrow.
          Hogsmeade. The Shrieking Shack. Zonko’s Joke Shop. The Hog’s Head Inn. The Three Broomsticks. …
          Platform 9-3/4.
          Hogwarts Express.
          Number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey?

        • Michael Neville

          There’s only one book about Jesus and a whole bunch of books about Harry Potter. Looks like your Jesus is outweighed in the evidence department by Harry Potter.

        • JP

          You have not given any evidence that proves harry potter was a historical person. Since you think he is then give me the historical evidence that historians agree on that shows he existed.

        • Michael Neville

          Since you appear to be hard of thinking, I’ll explain AGAIN that there’s exactly the same evidence for Harry Potter as Jesus Christ, i.e., a bunch of fiction written about both characters.

        • JP

          Where is the historical evidence for Potter? What historical scholars claim he existed and what is the evidence?

        • Greg G.

          Are you completely brain-dead? He is not saying that Potter existed. He is saying the evidence that Potter existed is as good as the evidence for Jesus.

        • BlackMamba44

          JP is 100% troll. I’ve seen him at other blogs and this is all he does.

          He’s not here to learn anything. He’s not even here to teach us anything.

          He’s here to fling his troll shit around.

        • Greg G.

          He’s not even here to teach us anything.

          I learned something from him last night. I explained how Luke used Josephus. He gave me the first ten items of an 84 point list of historical-like statements in Acts that have been verified by other sources. Few of them mentioned the source but two of them cited Josephus. There were several others that I recognized from my recent readings of Josephus that I hadn’t thought about in Luke-Acts. I was able to verify a few other items that ended up providing more evidence for my contention.

        • Pofarmer

          I’d be interested in the references to Josephus, because that is kind of a big deal on the dating.

        • Greg G.

          Here is one of my responses in the subthread. http://disq.us/p/1oy1qii

          There is one more with some references and maybe another above that one.

        • Pofarmer

          He’s basically here to attempt to make you question yourself and gas light.

        • I gotta admit that that’s a reasonable request. Tell you what: you convince me that God exists, and then I’ll work on convincing you that Harry Potter is real.

        • JP

          How do I convince someone who refuses to be convinced by facts?

        • Greg G.

          How do I convince someone who refuses to be convinced by facts?

          You tell them godidit. That’s what preachers do.

        • JP

          No. You just become an atheist because atheists don’t need facts to be an atheist. You just have to prefer it. Simple.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, it is more logical if it is simple, rather that convoluted bullshit for emotional satisfaction.

        • JP

          That is what your atheism rests on i.e. convoluted nonsense. It has no facts.

        • Kodie

          Why would you decide that the gospels aren’t fiction and Harry Potter is? Seems kind of arbitrary that you don’t feel the need to question what facts prove there was a real historical Jesus Christ that could do the things the bible says he can do. You assume those things happened (why) and then reverse to look for an explanation for those things happening. Just like Harry Potter was fiction, that’s the explanation. You’re going to continue being a total turd about it though and ask for facts, pick and choose what you believe without proof and what you insist there must be proof enough for you to change your mind. Hell, you motherfucker, that’s almost what an atheist is – we need evidence, and in the meantime, there are some unanswered questions rather than a fairy tale.

        • JP

          The gospels are not myths. Here is what scholars say about Luke:
          “Most scholars understand Luke’s works (Luke–Acts) in the tradition of Greek historiography.[29] The preface of The Gospel of Luke[30] drawing on historical investigation identified the work to the readers as belonging to the genre of history.[31] There is some disagreement about how best to treat Luke’s writings, with some historians regarding Luke as highly accurate, and others taking a more critical approach.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_the_Evangelist

          You need to get some soap to wash your potty mouth out.

        • The gospels are not myths.

          Agreed. I would say legends, not myths. Others say that every element in the gospels can be found in prior literature; therefore, the gospels are just written out of whole cloth (perhaps built around a real teacher, perhaps not).

        • JP

          Bart Ehrman and other scholars don’t call them legends.
          “Most scholars understand Luke’s works (Luke–Acts) in the tradition of Greek historiography.[29] The preface of The Gospel of Luke[30] drawing on historical investigation identified the work to the readers as belonging to the genre of history.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_the_Evangelist

        • Greg G.

          Bart Ehrman and other scholars don’t call them legends.

          Are you sure about that? About C. S. Lewis’ “Liar, Lunatic, Lord:”

          According to Bart D. Ehrman, “there could be a fourth option — legend”.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis%27s_trilemma

        • JP

          Here is what Lewis said:
          “Now as a literary historian, I am perfectly convinced that whatever else the Gospels are, they are not legends. I have read a great deal of legend (myth) and I am quite clear that they are not the same sort of thing.”
          –C. S. Lewis (1898–1963), Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University

        • Greg G.

          He was comparing the literature of the last thousand years with the literature of a thousand years earlier and noticed a difference in style so he concluded that they were different things? Did he compare mythology with midrash and mimesis? Did he compare it with the Homeric epics? Did he compare it with Old Testament mythology?

        • JP

          Lewis who was an expert in literature knew the difference between legends and myths and said the gospels don’t that category.

        • Then you can go chat with those scholars if you want.

          My defense of the legend hypothesis is here:
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/08/12-reasons-why-jesus-is-a-legend/

          identified the work to the readers as belonging to the genre of history

          Tip: if it contains miracle claims, it’s not history.

        • Kodie

          I’m just motherfucking stunned at how shit stupid you are. The gospels are totally myths. Scholars analyze the bible as though it were true and then conjure up pseudo-intellectual explanations to profit off of idiot gullible fuckers like yourself. Theology is the art of taking fiction dead seriously and then writing a fucking book or managing a website to sell lies to silly people who want it so bad. You’re definitely at an intellectual disadvantage here because you can’t see through the bullshit and can’t tell when you’re being bullshitted.

        • Michael Neville

          Since the raising of dead, etc. are stories written long after “Jesus” disappeared from Earth, your “proof” is meaningless. Got any evidence that this supposed “Jesus” ever existed? Remember that the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible isn’t evidence.

        • JP

          Since we know the gospels were written by eyewitnesses or those who knew the eyewitnesses and the gospels have been proven to be historical (we know the places, people and events by other sources) then we are on solid grounds to know Jesus existed.

          Again skeptical New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman states:
          “With respect to Jesus, we have numerous, independent accounts of his life in the sources lying behind the Gospels (and the writings of Paul) — sources that originated in Jesus’ native tongue Aramaic and that can be dated to within just a year or two of his life… Historical sources like that are is pretty astounding for an ancient figure of any kind.”

        • Michael Neville

          The Bible wasn’t written by eyewitnesses. You quote Ehrman but you forgot to quote something else from that article:

          It is also true that our best sources about Jesus, the early Gospels, are riddled with problems. These were written decades after Jesus’ life by biased authors who are at odds with one another on details up and down the line.

          As I told you before, I’m willing to admit that a Palestinian preacher named Yeshua ben Yosef lived in the 1st Century. I can’t believe that Da Son o’Gawd™ described in the Bible is anything but a made-up story.

        • JP

          Even if the gospels have “problems” that does not mean Jesus did exist. These are not made up stories.

        • MNb

          Jesus existed – but that doesn’t mean he was the son of your god.
          It’s sad that both American christians and American unbelievers (though you can find them in Europe as well, thought not that many) are so fond of this silly non-sequitur.

        • JP

          The NT refers to Jesus as the Son of God and the Son of Man which is also a reference to God.

        • Greg G.

          Comic books say Superman was the son of Jor-El. The NT says people were healed when Peter’s shadow passed over them. The NT seems to be more far-fetched than comic books.

        • Michael Neville

          So what’s your evidence the stories weren’t made up? Are you going to tell me that the zombie infestation of Jerusalem mentioned in Matthew 27:52-53 actually happened? How come Josephus, who went into a lot of detail about events in Jerusalem never mentioned the zombies? Why didn’t Pilate tell his superiors in Rome about the zombies? Why did the other gospel writers ignore the zombies? Could it be that whoever wrote Matthew made the zombie story up?

        • Greg G.

          Do you think Matthew was in the habit of pretending that Old Testament verses were prophecies that he should write something to make it look fulfilled? You think he would have written that to fulfill the following?

          Isaiah 26:19 (NRSV)19 Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise.    O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!For your dew is a radiant dew,    and the earth will give birth to those long dead.

          </snark>

        • JP

          How do you know that all of ancient history is not made up stories?

        • Greg G.

          You forgot to address any of his questions.

          Are you trying to say you believe even that story in Matthew? It says they came out of the grave when Jesus died. They had been dead but instead of doing things live people would do, they hung out in the graveyard until the resurrection, then went into town. What happened to them after that? Are they still wandering the earth like zombies or vampires?

        • JP

          Didn’t need to address it specifically given that its written down. So, how do you know that all of ancient history is not made up stories?

        • Greg G.

          Written history is either plausible or implausible. It is also supported by evidence or not. The implausible is seldom supported by evidence. I accept history according to the strength of the evidence and plausibility that it is correct. I reject it when it appears to have been made up.

          We can reject the miracle stories of the gospels for the same reason we reject miracle stories in every other historical text. We can also reject the miracle stories of the gospels because they appear to be based on the miracles of the literature available in the first and second century. So we can also reject the more plausible parts of the gospels because they also seem to be based on other writings of the day.

        • JP

          The only reason to reject miracles is if God does not exist. Prove with facts God does not exist then you will have disproven all miracle claims. If you can’t do that, then you have no grounds to reject miracles if the reports about them are reliable.

        • Greg G.

          If we accept miracle claims, then we cannot be monotheists because there are miracle claims from many religions. But when we start investigating the evidence for the miracle, the claims evaporate. You only believe in miracles because you are desperate from fear of being dead. They lie to you about hell so you will give them money. They promise you that there is a heaven and it is a nice place. They have no evidence for any of it, but they suck the money out of your pocket in the here and now.

        • And are the reports reliable? Looks like the burden of proof is where it belongs–on you.

        • JP

          The gospels are reliable. Many of the places, events and people have been confirm by historians.

          Now how about some facts that shows atheism is true or just tell me there are none.

        • Michael Neville

          The gospels are a collection of myths, fables and lies. They’re even less reliable than Harry Potter because we know that Rowling was writing fiction. The gospel writers weren’t honest enough to admit that.

        • JP

          Why would Luke say that when he says he writing about the truth?
          “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” Luke 1

          This is how ancient historians wrote.

        • Greg G.

          Ancient historians named their sources and rated how trustworthy the sources were. Luke doesn’t.

        • JP

          No they didn’t.

        • Michael Neville

          A liar says he’s telling the truth and, because you want to believe him, you do believe him. Since I have no reason to believe him, I don’t believe he’s telling the truth no matter how hard you whine.

        • Greg G.

          It’s like when a person ends nearly every assertion with “Believe me.” it’s like begging. Believing someone for saying that is the last thing you should do.

        • The gospels are reliable. Many of the places, events and people have been confirm by historians.

          You mean they include places in their stories that actually exist? Like “Kansas” in Wizard of Oz?

          Sorry. You haven’t proven your case (unless your case is, “I’m an idiot”).

          Now how about some facts that shows atheism is true or just tell me there are none.

          You lose. I love the burden shifting! Why not just come out and say, “Uncle! Can we please have you defend something, since I can’t?”

          As I’ve told you, I have 1000+ posts here. Many explain why Christian claims are bullshit, and others make pro-atheism claims. Have at it.

        • Mike Shehn

          You can’t provie the singular cause of the Big Bang. It was proven there was 1 singular event. We have evidence that dates back thousands of years in the Bible.

        • Michael Neville

          You can’t show that the Bible is anything more than a collection of myths, fables and lies. Both Genesis creation stories were written 2500 years ago by Hebrew priests who didn’t know where the Sun went at night. Are you willing to show those priests were right and real scientists are wrong?

        • Mike Shehn

          Scientists proved the Bible is right when they said the Big Bang came from a singular event. It didn’t always exist. It was created by a singular event. How do you suppose the energy it took to cause that even occurred? By magic?

          PS. I thought you moved out of country.

        • Greg G.

          How do you suppose the energy it took to cause that even occurred? By magic?

          Alan Guth proposed the theory that the sum of energy and space is zero nearly 40 years ago. The theory has been enhanced but never overturned since then.

        • Mike Shehn

          I have lots of theories. Doesn’t mean they are correct. This singular event of Big Bang fact.

        • Greg G.

          Do you have evidence to support your theories? Do your theories provide any tests that can distinguish them from imagination? Have any of your theories survived 40 years of scrutiny by the top scientists in the world?

        • MNb

          totally doesn’t need any god to be explained.

        • Otto

          So the Bible got the Big Bang correct but knew fuck all when it came to the entire world being flooded…yeah that makes sense

        • Mike Shehn

          When you celebrate New Years this week you are celebrating Jesus. NY is a Christian feast day. Thanks for believing.

        • Otto

          New Years has as much to do with Jesus as your reply does to what I wrote

        • Mike Shehn

          You should check your history and the origin of NY in the Georgian calendar.

        • Otto

          I guess that makes you a Catholic then since the Gregorian calendar was created by the Catholic Church.

        • Greg G.

          The beginning of the year was set at this time of year when the Julian calendar went into effect in 45 BC. It is older than Christianity itself.

          Christmas is a ripoff of the Saturnalia and winter solstice celebrations. Luke says Jesus birth was announced to shepherds as they watched their flocks by night, which would be in the spring.

          Easter is a ripoff of the Passover and Spring fertility celebrations.

          You must be jealous because Christianity has no actual holidays.

        • Michael Neville

          That isn’t the most stupid thing you’ve said so far but it is in contention. Genesis tells two different stories about creation, making it a singular event. Big fucking deal. Almost all creation myths have singular events at the beginning. The only major creation myths I know of that don’t have singular events are the Hindu and Aztec myths, which are cyclical.

          We don’t know what caused the universe. “We” includes you. You don’t know what caused the universe but you’re too arrogant and stupid to admit it. Plus you’re the one claiming the universe was caused by magic from your magic sky pixie. You need to think about your arguments a little more carefully.

          BTW, are you willing to admit that Matthew lied about the zombies? Or are you too arrogant and stupid to do that either?

        • Mike Shehn

          Leave the country Michael. You and your misfits will be better suited in a country that shares your beliefs. Your service means nothing. We believe in God here. USA. MAGA!

        • MNb

          Ah, nice, cozy, warm, tolerant christian love.

        • epeeist

          From the supporter of a sociopathic, narcissistic pussy-grabber by the look of it.

        • Michael Neville

          Why should I leave MY country? Just because the majority of the populace are at least nominal Christians doesn’t make this any less of MY country. Your denigration of my military service tells me that you didn’t serve (why am I not surprised that a Trumpista was a military slacker?).

          MAGA

          When did America stop being great? Was that when Trump managed to bamboozle enough voters in showing their hatred of the country to vote for him?

        • Mike Shehn

          You all should reside in the sewers of the earth. But the beautiful thing about my god is he will always love you and wait for you.

          Trump is great! MAGA! Merry Christmas!

        • Kodie

          I think you’re a butthurt ignorant deluded piece of shit, but I wouldn’t make you leave the country or live in a sewer. I guess I just have more Christian love than you do.

        • BlackMamba44

          Why do you hate this country? I think my country is great already.

          You are supporting someone who says the US sucks. Why do you think the US sucks?

          Your god can go fuck himself.

          Happy holidays!

        • Michael Neville

          No, asshole, you need to learn to get along with other people even if they disagree with you. That’s what’s called “being an adult”.

          Also Christmas is over. It’s New Year’s Eve, which you’d know if you weren’t a stupid asshole.

        • Mike Shehn

          Christmas season is not over until Jan 7th.

          I also agree that the ALT Left need to be labeled terrorist. They are the biggest threat to society today, Trump is 100 percent correct. MAGA.

          PS. Your service means nothing. The US fights under God, with liberty and justice for all. Shame on you. Imposter.

        • Michael Neville

          Comment by Mike Shehn blocked.

          The obvious response to trolls.

        • Kodie

          You’re totally un-American. We fight under the Constitution of the United States, you illiterate, ignorant moron. That you have the liberty to say these awful things in public is testament to the freedoms Michael Neville fought for you to be able to do, as well as to practice your version of your religion. You want to take away my freedoms? Fuck you, you ignorant pile of shit. You don’t want to live in America, you want to live in a theocracy where you can kill infidels like a militant Muslim. You don’t fucking appreciate America. You think it’s something else, then you should live somewhere else, because you don’t like America, you like something else. You like a dictatorship.

        • MR
        • Mike Shehn

          Typical liberal atheist. MAGA.

        • Kodie

          You want to live in a dictatorship and hate America. Typical uneducated threatened Christian. What’s wrong with America, you dummy? You want to genocide like Hitler.

        • MR

          The politicization of religion is one of the things that broke my faith. For years my church was leery of all government. Government was going going to facilitate the end times–mark of the beast, one world order, all that. I remember the day I realized how politicized my church had become and thinking, “For want of a conspiracy, they became a conspiracy.” Jesus, I can think of no better candidate for the Antichrist than Donald Trump.

        • Kodie

          Yanno, it’s one thing to be a total bastard, but the motherfucker is so fake about everything. I mean, people think he’s more honest because he has no filter, in the way that people thought the character Gregory House would be their friend if he were real. No filter, shit, I want that. Everyone secretly wants to say whatever they want to say without the lines in the script backfiring against them like they tend to do in real life. All these pent-up racists, sexists, bigots, haters in general, like Trump because he’s freeing them up to hate, so they don’t actually care what else he says and how he’s stabbing a knife in all their backs. Trump is not a “good ol’ boy”… I mean, think of W., he was their chance at a good ol’ boy. Trump being some kind of white supremacist, sure, I can figure that too. He’s a salesman, that’s all he is. If you listen to him talk any time, he’s blowing smoke, and these rubes eat it up because all they really want is to “maga” and get rid of people they don’t like, fucking Nazis.

        • Mike Shehn

          I actually have a BA and MA from two top 30 university’s in the country. I make well over 200 k per year. I am more educated then you will ever be. All you liberals want everything handed to you. Free education; entitlements; affordable housing. Here’s an idea. Work hard, pay off your student loans, and get a degree in something useful. I hear many philosophy degrees on this page. USELESS.

          You misfits are just angry at us because we are successful and have meaning in our life. SAD! MAGA!

        • Kodie

          All I hear from you is some poor butthurt Christian who is whining that other people live in the United States than he prefers. That makes you a fucking bigot, and tough shit. Who is the fucking snowflake, if you’re telling us to live in the sewers of the earth? Not too secure in your success or your religious beliefs! What the fuck could you even be worried about if you make that much money? You can buy your neighbors and insulate yourself from people you hate, can’t you? But instead you are threatened and whining about how poor you are, when you have to live in the same country as other people, and would prefer a dictatorship., What kind of crybaby you are!!!

        • Kodie

          I think you might actually be Trump. You sound like a total loser with no meaning in your life.

        • MR

          He’s a walking cliche. 😉

        • Kodie

          Trump would totally troll some atheist message board on the internet on a holiday weekend when he’s so “successful”, this is just how he talks, and we know he’s got nothing.

        • Otto

          Ignorant assholes graduate from big schools every year…nothing to see here

        • BlackMamba44

          Asshole is the 1st word that came to mind when reading that comment, too.

        • Greg G.

          I am more educated then than you will ever be.

          FTFY

        • MNb

          All your grades and all your money and all your education doesn’t prevent you from writing stupid comments.

        • Mike Shehn

          BA from Duke and MA from Northwestern says I can. And my money makes nice pillows in my 800K house. My lake house is where I free my mind and live a simple life.

        • Kodie

          Why are you so angry and afraid?

        • Mike Shehn

          It’s the opposite. You are angry God doesn’t reveal himself even though he has to prove nothing to anyone. You are afraid that you have to answer for your life one day. Father forgive them.

        • Greg G.

          Why would a rational omnipotence favor gullible people who believe in him without evidence? Perhaps there is no evidence to weed out those who believe despite the lack of evidence. A rational God would prefer rational people. Good luck being stuck with an irrational omnipotence for eternity if you are right.

        • Kodie

          I have no anger against your fictional friend. You exist, and you are an asshole. A lot of Christians are bullies and assholes, hateful, prejudiced, telling other people they ought to leave the country, or live in the sewers of the earth? God doesn’t exist and you don’t have evidence, so you think you aren’t a pushy bastard who would rather live in a dictatorship and genocide people who don’t agree with you than appreciate American values (your “maga” is a distraction – you don’t know what America is). You are threatened, you are weak, you feel fear and disgust because all the alleged money and education you have hasn’t bought you security. You are angry and afraid of atheists, why should our disagreements bother you so much you had to post the lies your church taught you.

          Good thing you are banned and can’t answer, you small-dick brainless head-up-your-ass empty-inside piece of turd.

        • MNb

          They lied to you – or more likely, you are lying yourself. Actually you just have confirmed my previous comment. Thanks.

        • BlackMamba44
        • Mike Shehn

          BA from Duke and MA from Northwestern. They give out diplomas not ribbons.

        • Bragging about how big your dick is? Sad.

          Your credibility is zero. And no, I don’t want to see the evidence for either your diplomas or your dick.

        • BlackMamba44

          But do they give Perfect Asshole diplomas? A PA. No? Well, then a blue ribbon for you.

          BA = Beginner Asshole
          MA = Mediocre Asshole
          PA = Perfect Asshole

        • I actually have a BA and MA from two top 30 university’s in the country

          Hilarious example of a self-refuting sentence.

          Sad. Make America Grammar-aware Again!

        • epeeist

          Hilarious example of a self-refuting sentence.

          Not that the complete inability to speak in anything but slogans or form anything that looked like an argument didn’t give it away of course.

        • BlackMamba44

          http://www.businessinsider.com/red-states-are-welfare-queens-2011-8

          “As it turns out, it is red states that are overwhelmingly the Welfare Queen States. Yes, that’s right. Red States – the ones governed by folks who think government is too big and spending needs to be cut – are a net drain on the economy, taking in more federal spending than they pay out in federal taxes. They talk a good game, but stick Blue States with the bill.“

          And 80% of of Americans enrolled in the ACA come from red states.

          http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20171226/NEWS/171229952

        • epeeist

          You all should reside in the sewers of the earth.

          Well you got to the threats much quicker than many of the theists who have posted here, but abuse from people like you is par for the course. All it shows is that you are incapable of producing anything that looks like an argument.

          Trump is great!

          So I presume you have paid your $750 for the New Year party at Mar-a-Lago. How much do you stand to gain from the finance bill that has just been past? I presume it covers the increase in your health insurance.

          Merry Christmas!

          Diwali ki Shubhkamnayein

        • Otto

          I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy…either your religion has poisoned your mind, or more likely you are just an asshole regardless of your faith.

        • I’m puzzled by the “Again” part. What year do you want to turn the clock back to? Back to a time when the women, blacks, and gays knew their place?

        • MNb

          And unbelievers! You forget the unbelievers! Let’s see how they were treated in the most liberal country of the 17th Century.

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

          “He died a few months later in 1669 in the Rasphuis due to the pressures of prison life”
          Of course with his degrees, education and income Mike is totally authorized to treat you dirty, lazy. liberal, communist, nazist, athiest evilutionists like that with his christian love. So now you know what MAGA stands for.

        • Great point. An example that comes to mind from our own day was George Bush I saying that atheists didn’t deserve to be citizens.

        • MNb

          The Big Bang didn’t need any net energy.

        • Greg G.

          We have archaeological evidence that goes back to about 3,000 years ago that shows everything in the Bible from that time is wrong.

        • MNb

          The Big Bang wasn’t caused. It was a probabilistic event.

        • epeeist

          We have evidence that dates back thousands of years in the Bible.

          A pity then that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old while the universe is 13.7 billion years old.

        • Science doesn’t prove anything, so it’s not surprising that the Big Bang isn’t proven. It’s simply reliably backed up with evidence.

          And, no, we’ve gotten no science from the Bible.

        • Mike Shehn

          Let there be light. A reference to the Big Bang. He made earth for us to live on. Exactly how many other planets have humans or animals been found on, I forgot…. oh yeah, the Bible hasn’t proven science.

          Actually archeologists have proven and reenforced many facts about Christianity this year alone. Google it bob, you are a Microsoft guy.

        • Greg G.

          Let there be light. A reference to the Big Bang.

          That’s goofy.

          He made earth for us to live on. Exactly how many other planets have humans or animals been found on,

          One planet, one moon, and several spacecraft. Thanks, science.

          Actually archeologists archaeologists have proven and reenforced reinforced many facts about Christianity this year alone. Google it bob, you are a Microsoft guy.

          But archaeology has completely refuted everything in the Bible from before 1200 BC.

        • Greg G.

          What about how to breed animals with stripes by stripping bark off sticks so the parent animals see them while they are feeding? Take that, Athiest!

        • Kodie

          What difference would it even make if they had stripes? Does stripes taste better?

        • Greg G.

          According to the story, Jacob fell in love with his cousin so he agree to work for his uncle for 6 or 7 years and he would get his daughter. But his Uncle Laban substituted his older daughter and made him work for another 6 or 7 years. He also told him that when he fulfilled his indenture, he could have all the striped and spotted animals. So Jacob started feeding the best animals in front of branches with the bark stripped off in stripes, so the best animals would produce offspring that had stripes so he could take them.

          Jacob ended up with two cousin-wives and stock with good blood lines.

          That’s why Jacob’s descendants have stripes to this day, or something.

        • Kodie

          So, in the bible, this trick worked? Furthermore, I know part of this already but forgot most of it, because I was involved in a play once. Didn’t he also pick up these sisters’ maids? So his next to last son wasn’t his favorite for some reason, he was like meh about him but not Joseph. That whole story is fucked up.

          Going back to the stripes – it sounds like something the storyteller thought or that just Jacob thought, but he was also trying to scam his father-in-law out of his best animals, but the father-in-law said he could have all the ones with spots or stripes because he knew none of them would have spots or stripes. Classic screw job.

        • Greg G.

          Mike Shehn has the mannerisms of a recently banned troll. The account was newly created but his posts show a lot of familiarity with the regulars. I upvoted his first post because I thought he was joking. (I rescinded it.) His other four upvotes are from himself, which shows he is a joke.

        • Michael Neville

          Shehn sneered at my military service even though I haven’t mentioned it on this thread. Definitely a troll and probably a sockpuppet.

        • Greg G.

          That is what solidified my opinion. Trolls aren’t as bad as creeps. Mike Shehn is a creep.

        • Pofarmer

          Unfortunately there are many like him.

        • MR

          I know where my money would be….

        • Yes, probably irredeemable. Thanks for the prodding.

          Now that I’ve had the chance to read a few of his comments, I’ve given him my tough love speech. Maybe he’ll surprise us, but bets may now be placed on how long until he’s banned.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe he will make some meaningful resolutions for 2018.

        • Michael Neville

          No, the ball’s in your court. If you claim that gods exist then you have to provide the evidence. We can just say “we don’t believe any gods exist because of the lack of evidence for them”. If you want us to change our minds then you have to provide reasonable, reliable evidence for whatever fairy tale you want us to accept. And remember, we do not accept the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible as evidence. We also don’t accept the Quran, the Sutras, the Book of the Dead, the Tripitaka and the Book of Mormon as evidence either. We’re equal opportunity disbelievers in “holy” books.

        • JP

          Creation, the origin of life and the life of Christ is evidence for the existence of God.

          Its not up to me to change your mind. Its up to you to give me some facts and evidences for atheism being true.

        • Michael Neville

          Creation doesn’t need gods. None of the scientific hypotheses for the creation of the universe, Earth or life on Earth have any mention of gods. The life of Christ is a fable written long after his supposed disappearance from Earth. Stop bringing up that nonsense and just admit that you don’t have any evidence for any gods, let alone the magic sky pixie you’ve been indoctrinated about.

        • Kodie

          Why is that important to you? Aren’t you secure in your beliefs?

        • MNb

          “Creation, the origin of life and the life of Christ is evidence for the existence of God.”
          Yawn. Already refuted. By me.
          You are just another creacrapper who is incapable of learning anything new.
          Nothing was ever created. Everything is the result of natural processes. “Je n’ai pas besoin de cette hypothese.”
          The word “create” demonstrates that you are begging the question.
          Your “origin of life” shows that you believe in a god of the gaps. I refer to Dietrich Bonhöffer again.
          Christ refers to a divine nature, so you are begging the quesion again. The life of Jesus is evidence for the life of Jesus and of what people 2000 years ago believed, nothing more.
          Evidence by definition is found in our natural reality. Your god by definition is supernatural. “Evidence for the existence of God” is a category error.
          Not that you will ever learn. Rather you will repeat your bloopers ad nauseam.

          “Its up to you to give me some facts and evidences for atheism being true.”
          Nope. You postulate, you prove. Thus far you have totally failed.
          Worse, you are a liar. I have given you a source for such facts and evidences. Being the creacrapper you are you prefer to neglect it.

          https://www.bol.com/nl/p/god-in-the-age-of-science/9200000018222133/

        • JP

          You have not refuted anything I said with facts.
          Evidence for God can be seen and known by what I have written i.e. creation, origin of the universe and the life of Christ are examples.

          Now prove atheism with some facts. I’m waiting.

        • epeeist

          You have not refuted anything I said with facts.

          Oh he has, as have several others here. It is just that you are too fucking stupid to realise this.

          Now prove atheism with some facts.

          You have been given several references to books and papers that support atheism but like all creotards you pretend that nobody said anything.

        • JP

          You tell me your facts for atheism. Then we can test your facts with reality and see if atheism can be proven or rejected.

        • Greg G.

          There is no evidence for gods. There is no evidence for super-naturalism. Theists and woo-woo merchants cannot distinguish their claims from imagination. That is all that is required for atheism and skepticism.

          You could change all of that by presenting unambiguous evidence. That’s all atheists have ever asked but it never comes.

          We do get lots of excuses for why theism cannot be separated from imagination. That’s why we suspect theism actually is imagination.

        • JP

          Of course there is plenty of evidence for God and none for atheism. The problem for the atheist is not the evidence for God but his unwillingness to accept the facts that proves God exist. This makes me think there are mental issues involved with the atheist refusal to accept the facts. I can’t do much about that.

        • Kodie

          Of course you are just an idiot as there are no facts that god exists, only gullible fools like you. If you were actually secure in your beliefs, what could possibly bother you about atheists? I mean, if you think we’re wrong, why can’t we just be left alone to be wrong? Why does it bother you so much?

        • Greg G.

          You have no evidence that can distinguish a real god from an imaginary god. Yet you believe anyway. You haven’t presented any facts to be considered.

        • Michael Neville

          Tthere’s lots of evidence for atheism. It’s the complete and total lack of evidence for gods. If you want to refute atheism then you need to show evidence for gods. The origin of the universe, the strong anthropic principle and fiction about some imaginary guy called Jesus aren’t evidence.

        • JP

          Don’t need to refute atheism. It has no facts. Thus its a fantasy.

        • MNb

          Atheism has facts. I told you where to find them. You just don’t want to know.

        • Greg G.

          Atheism is the starting point. It is no beliefs. Beliefs should have a connection to facts, not imagination. The only way to dispel atheism is to present unambiguous evidence. Until then, you lose.

        • JP

          Atheism is a dead end. Its not a starting point for anything but nonsense.

        • Michael Neville

          Okay, asshole, refute my lack of belief in gods. Tell me how I really do believe in gods. Also tell me what gods I believe in. I’ll make it easy on you, I don’t believe in the sadistic, narcissistic bully you worship.

        • JP

          There is not one fact of reality that supports atheism.

        • Greg G.

          The fact that there is no fact that supports theism is all the fact one needs for atheism.

        • JP

          Plenty of evidence for Christianity. None for atheism. Atheism fail.

        • Michael Neville

          Sure there is. The complete and total lack of evidence for gods. The absence of evidence is evidence of absence. You’d realize this if you weren’t so stupid and ignorant.

        • MNb

          “Of course there is plenty of evidence for God”
          The more often you repeat this the more you demonstrate that you have lost your learning skills.

          “and none for atheism.”
          And the more often you repeat this the more you demonstrate your intrinsic dishonesty. I told you several times where you can find it.

          “mental issues”
          And we have yet another christian who wipes his sorry ass with Matth. 7:1-5.

        • JP

          Give me one fact that proves atheism true.

        • MNb

          A waste of effort. Your intrinsic dishonesty prevents you from accepting anything that may threaten your predetermined conclusions.
          I already told you where you can find them.

        • JP

          You don’t have any facts for atheism being true. Its just your preference. Just be honest and admit that.

        • Kodie

          Until you or any other theist have credible evidence and not just total horseshit only a gullible fool would believe, I have no choice but to remain an atheist. It’s not a preference, it’s just that the claims theists make are not credible nor evidenced. Just admit you’re a gullible butthurt loser.

        • MNb

          JP dictionary:
          DEFINITION OF HONEST
          1. Full of fraud and deception – illegitimate, lacking truth;
          2. Unrespectable * just be honest = start lying.
          I already told you where you can find the facts for atheism being true. You just don’t want to know.

        • Greg G.

          Give me one fact that proves atheism true.

          1. JP cannot produce unambiguous evidence for theism.
          Bonus fact for you:
          2. No theist can produce unambiguous evidence for theism.

        • JP

          Fail again.

        • Kodie

          You are out of touch with reality.

        • JP

          Fail 2.

        • Greg G.

          Theotards don’t understand atheism. They think atheism is the belief that God doesn’t exist. Some atheists say that but that is not the claim of atheism. Atheism is the claim that theism hasn’t presented sufficient evidence for the existence of god(s). Until you (or somebody else) present such evidence, then atheism is true.

          This is quite easy yet you cannot comprehend it. It is evidence that theism is correlated with brain damage.

        • JP

          You have failed every attempt to give me just one fact that proves atheism is true. Only I asked for is one fact and you could not produce one. This is why atheism is such a failure. Why do you believe this nonsense? Its insane.

        • Kodie

          It is not Greg G.’s or anyone else’s fault that you don’t fucking understand the burden of proof. You’re not going to get another answer, you’re going to stay frustrated, so you might as well go jack off in your bedroom.

        • Greg G.

          It is going out OK at this end. You must be having the problem at that end. You don’t seem to understand the burden of proof or the claims of atheism. Atheism claims that theists have not provided sufficient evidence for their claims of a deity. Until you, or anyone, provides sufficient evidence, then atheism is correct.

        • Otto

          I gave you one…you ignored it.

        • JP

          You didn’t give me one. No facts to give.

        • JP

          No you didn’t. You gave me no facts for atheism.

        • Otto

          Atheism is a rejection of the claims of theism…so yeah I gave you one. The fact that you lack an understanding of what atheism means is your problem, not ours.

        • JP

          That is not a fact. That’s just your opinion that is not supported by any facts.

        • Otto

          No, the fact that atheism is a rejection of theistic claims IS a fact. You claim your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died for your sins…the atheistic response to that is ‘we don’t believe you’.

        • JP

          Atheism is more than that. Atheism is a knowledge claim about reality that asserts no gods exist. You are arguing from your subjective dislike of God and Christianity. I get that.

          When I say I believe that Christ is my Lord and Savior and died for my sins I am making a knowledge claim about reality. Its not based on how I feel about it. Now if someone wants to say they don’t believe it, then so be it. However, that person is not making a knowledge claim until they can present some facts or reasons why its false. Until then, I am justified in believing it to be true.

        • Greg G.

          Atheism is a knowledge claim about reality that asserts no gods exist.

          No, it isn’t. That is a lie from the pulpit.

          If you believe in an omnipotent being that is also omnibenevolent, then why is there suffering? Suffering is incompatible with the existence of a being with those properties. If suffering is necessary, then do something that is necessary. Whatever that something is, it is possible to achieve. But an omnipotence could do that something instead of the suffering, so the suffering cannot be necessary if there is an omnipotence. All suffering would be unnecessary. If an omnipotence allows unnecessary suffering, then it is sadistic and not omnibenevolent. Yet, suffering exists.

          Therefore, no being that is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent exists.

          Why would you call anything that is not both omnipotent and omnibenevolent God?

        • Otto

          >>>”Atheism is more than that. Atheism is a knowledge claim about reality that asserts no gods exist.”

          No it’s not, but it seems really important that you believe it is. You should explore why that is so important to you.

          >>>”Until then, I am justified in believing it to be true.”

          You can believe what you want, no one is stopping you, but coming onto this blog and beating the same drum over and over makes you look rather insecure about the whole thing.

        • MNb

          “makes you look rather insecure”
          2018 Has just begun and you are already applying for “Understatement of the Year?!”

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          He’s ambitious, that’s for sure.

        • Otto

          Fact, none of the religious claims have ever met their burden of proof

        • epeeist

          Not that I think you will accept this (or even read or understand it):

          1. Your god is defined as both omnipotent and omniscient;

          2. Omnipotence means the ability to do anything that is logically possible;

          3. Omniscience means to know everything that is logically possible;

          4. Consider a point at which it is possible to make one of two decisions;

          5. If your god is able to freely choose either decision then it cannot know what decisions will be made, therefore it is not omniscient;

          6. If your god knows what decision will be made then it cannot freely choose which decision, therefore it is not omnipotent;

          7. An entity that has the properties of omniscience and omnipotence is therefore logically incoherent and hence cannot exist;

          8. This validates the atheist position of a lack of belief in such a god

        • MNb

          I just did. That you refuse to accept it, let alone address it only demonstrates your ignorance, stupidy and incapability to learn.
          Plus I already told you where you can find the facts that support atheism. I gave a link in my previous comment. Again. You just don’t want to know because of your intrinsic dishonesty.

          Thanks for making my prediction come true: you just repeat your bloopers ad nauseam. I’m better at prophecies than your Great Hero Jesus.

        • JP

          No links. Just give me one fact that proves atheism is true.

        • MNb

          “No links.”
          Jawohl, Mein Führer.
          JP thinks he’s the dictator of this blog.

          But hey, it’s 2018, a new fresh year, a new fresh start.
          Your comments prove atheism is true. Did your god actually exist he wouldn’t have allowed you to give christianity and hence him a bad name. Instead he would have shown up himself.
          Fact: you repeat the same bloopers over and over again. Your god though remains silent. That proves there is no god – atheism is true.

        • Michael Neville

          Answer my question about the zombies investing Jerusalem first. If you can give a satisfactory answer then I’ll consider answering your question.

        • JP

          Those are not zombies. Rather, Matthew is making a point of the power of the death and resurrection of Christ. When Christ died there was darkness over the land, an earthquake and the temple veil was ripped. So also there were some resurrections reported. Make sense given that Jesus raised the dead while alive. Why not when He died?

        • Michael Neville

          zombie, n. A dead body reanimated by supernatural means.

          Sorry, ignorant theist, but the zombies in Matthew meet the definition of zombies, which means they were zombies. Except they weren’t, they were figments of the writer of Matthew’s imagination, i.e., make believe, fictitious, didn’t exist, mythical critters.

        • JP

          What scholar who studies Matthew calls them zombies? You watch to much TV.

        • Greg G.

          Religious scholars might not call a spade a spade. Mike Licona lost two jobs because he mentioned that the zombies might not be literal. They don’t like it when their scholars display honesty.

        • JP

          Did Licona call them zombies?
          That was Licona’s opinion.

        • Greg G.

          No, he just mentioned that it was probably an invention by Matthew, as I recall. The Faith Statement he signed didn’t allow such honesty.

        • JP

          They allowed him to express his opinion but he suffered the consequences. Nothing wrong with that given that he did prove his opinion.

        • Greg G.

          He was not allowed to express his opinion and keep his job however. That puts the kibosh on everybody else at that college, plus every other similar colleges with faith statements. They can’t express their actual opinions unless they are ready for retirement. Are they going to pay the difference between their salary and unemployment benefits just to tell the truth about the Bible?

        • JP

          what job did he lose?

        • Having a hard time correctly using the word in a sentence? Shouldn’t be hard. Michael Neville gave you the definition.

        • Mike Shehn

          I also thought it was agreed upon that Michael would wanted to leave the country because he’s useless? Did I miss something in the last few weeks. I was making rather Merry.

        • Michael adds to the conversation. What are you good for? Just being an asshole for Christ?

        • Michael Neville

          Actually I watch very little TV. I gave you a definition of zombie which fits Matthew’s fable. If you don’t like me calling them zombies that’s your problem, not mine.

        • JP

          Scholars don’t use the word zombies when discussing historical materials. I don’t put any weight on zombie talk.

        • Michael Neville

          Who gives a rat’s ass about what you do or don’t put weight on? Matthew talks about zombies and it’s up to you to answer why Pilate, Josephus or the other gospel writers didn’t mention zombies. So far you’ve failed to do that and we both know that means you can’t show that Matthew wasn’t lying about the zombies.

        • Greg G.

          Since we know the gospels were written by eyewitnesses

          We know that three of the gospels are based on Mark. Mark was not an eyewitness nor did he report what eyewitnesses said. We can identify most of his sources and they are literary sources that have nothing to do with Jesus.

          Most scholars rely on the consensus of scholars but never question it. Why don’t you stop relying on the consensus and present the evidence and argument that the consensus is based on. Good luck with that. Ehrman said he tried to find the arguments and found that the argument had never been presented before his effort. But he relies on imaginary evidence to support his conclusion.

        • JP

          Mark wrote down what Peter told him. Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus. They have their own insights that don’t rely on Mark. Luke interviewed the eyewitnesses and was an accurate historian of the first rank.

        • Greg G.

          Mark wrote down what Peter told him.

          Where does Mark say that? Somebody guessed that decades later.

          Matthew and John were disciples of Jesus.

          The epistles never mention disciples. That was made up by Mark. Mark used Matthew and John in his list of disciples. Paul named John as a bigwig of the circumcision faction. Matthew seems to be a named borrowed from Josephus’ Jewish Wars to fill out the list. The Gospel of John actually never mentions the name “John” except for John the Baptist and the father of Simon.

          Papias said that Mark and Matthew wrote gospels, but Matthew was difficult for them to read. But the Gospel of Mark was written in Greek and Matthew copies from it verbatim. That shows that the book we call Matthew was not written by an eyewitness. Since it was written in Greek, Papias and his people would not have had difficulty in reading it, so the book we call Matthew is not the gospel Papias was referring to. Mark and Matthew got their names from the Papias quote. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and allow that the author of the Gospel of Mark may have been somebody named “Mark”.

          Luke interviewed the eyewitnesses and was an accurate historian of the first rank.

          Luke didn’t know what he was talking about when he said he used eyewitness sources. He used Mark, Matthew, Deuteronomy, and Josephus’ writings. He is only called a great historian because his writings agree with Josephus fairly well, but he was copying from Josephus.

          You have a Sunday School understanding. If you are putting money into the collection plate, you are paying people to lie to you.

        • JP

          “On Mark, Papias cites John the Elder:

          The Elder used to say: Mark, in his capacity as Peter’s interpreter, wrote down accurately as many things as he recalled from memory—though not in an ordered form—of the things either said or done by the Lord. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied him, but later, as I said, Peter, who used to give his teachings in the form of chreiai,[Notes 1] but had no intention of providing an ordered arrangement of the logia of the Lord. Consequently Mark did nothing wrong when he wrote down some individual items just as he related them from memory. For he made it his one concern not to omit anything he had heard or to falsify anything.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papias_of_Hierapolis

          Papias lived in the 2nd century.

          As for Luke as a historian:
          “Based on his accurate description of towns, cities and islands, as well as correctly naming various official titles, archaeologist Sir William Ramsay wrote that “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy… [he] should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”[32] Professor of Classics at Auckland University, E.M. Blaiklock, wrote: “For accuracy of detail, and for evocation of atmosphere, Luke stands, in fact, with Thucydides. The Acts of the Apostles is not shoddy product of pious imagining, but a trustworthy record… it was the spadework of archaeology which first revealed the truth.”[33] New Testament scholar Colin Hemer has made a number of advancements in understanding the historical nature and accuracy of Luke’s writings.”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luke_the_Evangelist

          No proof Luke copied from Josephus.

        • Papias is your authority? You should read up on what he says happened to Judas.

        • JP

          Papias is not the only one who tells us who wrote the gospels.

        • Greg G.

          The others appear to have relied on Papias, though, so they are no more reliable than their source.

        • And where someone else quotes Papias (Eusebius, for example), that’s not an independent source.

          But this avoids your embarrassing problem. Don’t tell me that Papias is a reliable authority if you laugh as hard as I do when you read his whopper about Judas and his really big head. (Dibs on the children’s book title.)

        • Mike Shehn

          I know the angle that a few retired “atheist” are playing here. Kuddos, you are playing these people for fools. You are pretending to be an atheist to sell books. That’s so clever!! Well played friend. Well played. You saw a slight increase in non believers and you struck while the iron was hot just to sell books. You are still a believer! Nice!

        • Greg G.

          I think the best opportunity in literature today is writing a book about visiting heaven in a Near Death Experience.

        • Mike Shehn

          YouTube and 20/20 handles that. The typical atheist considers themselves educated… come in now. Sell a few thousand copies you have a nice little vacation house.

        • Yeah, since I’ve made so much money on my books, I can probably admit to the scam. I’ve just been pointing out that the whole Jesus/God thing is bullshit, helping a few Christians un-delude themselves and making tens of millions of dollars for myself.

          Drop by sometime. My house is the one built with stacks of benjamins.

        • Greg G.

          “On Mark, Papias cites John the Elder:

          Mark took passages from one source, added a couple of Old Testament seasoning, then wrote it in the form of chaismus. The technique is called mimesis in Greek literature and midrash in Jewish literature so it was essentially a combination of both. For example, The Feeding of the 5000 and the Feeding of the 4000 are based on 2 Kings 4:42-44, where Elisha feeds 100 with a few fish and loaves and The Odyssey, where Telemauchus, Odysseus’ son attends two feasts, arriving at one by boat and one on foot, like Jesus does. One of the feast he attended specifies that there were 4500 soldiers in attendance so Mark rounded up once and down once.

          Mark used Latin words and Aramaic words. He explained some of the Aramaic, but never the Latin, which shows his intended audience knew Latin but not much Aramaic. He introduced Bartimaeus to explain that “bar” means “son of”. Then he has Jesus open his Gethsemane prayer with “Abba, Father” to associate those words. When he introduces Barabbas, his intelligent readers will recognize that his name means “Son of the Father”, making two of them. This implies the scapegoat scenario of Leviticus 16:5-22 where one goat is killed for the sins of the nation and the other is released into the wilderness. However, this ritual is performed on Yom Kippur which is later in the year, not for Passover, which is not even a sin offering.

          That story is followed by The Mocking of Jesus, which parallels the Mocking of Carabbas, in Philo’s Flaccus. Mark used that story and probably derived Barabbas from Carabbas. The spelling of each differs only in the first letter. The coincidences are telling.

          That shows that it is fictional story telling.

          IIRC, Papias enjoyed having dinner with and listening to stories of travelers telling Jesus stories. The hoboes of the era may have passed this knowledge amongst each other that you could get a good meal if you told a good story. It’s not like Papias would have been checking IDs.

          No proof Luke copied from Josephus.

          You are wrong yet again. You should change shampoos, your current one seems to be giving you brain damage. the coincidences that those scholars are judging Luke on are too numerous to be simple coincidence. They form a pattern that must be explained. The cases some coincidental facts shared with Josephus are significant enough to suspect copying, since he says he used “eyewitness testimony” where he copied from Mark and Matthew. But the cases where he has information presented together in anachronisms where Josephus just happened to mention the facts in nearby places in the text proves that Luke used Josephus as a source.

          For example, in Acts 5:34-37, Gamaliel argues against killing the apostles by bringing up some false prophets who met their fates without the council taking action. He gives two examples, Theudas, who is known from Antiquities of the Jews 20.5.1, and Judas the Galilean, who is mentioned in Antiquities of the Jews 20.5.2, but only to identify who his sons were. So Gamaliel gives his two examples, one from forty years earlier, and one from 10 years in the future! What kind of brilliant historian would make that kind of mistake?

          In Acts 21:38, the Roman commander thought Paul was the Egyptian, who before these days stirred up to sedition and led out into the wilderness the four thousand men of the Sicarii? Josephus describes the Egyptian in Antiquities of the Jews 20.8.6, as a prophet who led a bunch of common people to the Mount of Olives, where four hundred were killed, so Luke must have exaggerated. Two sentences earlier, he says anonymous imposters and deceivers led people into the wilderness. The Sicarii are described in AJ 20.8.10.

          There are 34 historically verified characters in the New Testament. Twenty of those are only mentioned in Luke and Acts and seventeen of those twenty are only verified by Josephus’ writings. The rest of the New Testament has two people verified by only one source.

        • JP

          Here is how good a historian Luke was:
          ” 84 Confirmed Facts in the Last 16 Chapters of the Book of Acts
          Scholar and historian Colin Hemer has identified 84 facts in the last 16 chapters of the Book of Acts that have been confirmed by historical and/or archaeological research.

          Here are 10 of the 84 confirmed historical facts that he got right:

          1. the natural crossing between correctly named ports [Acts 13:4-5]
          2. the proper port [Perga] along the direct destination of a ship crossing from Cyprus [13:13]
          3. the proper location of Lycaonia [14:6]
          4. the unusual but correct declension of the name Lystra [14:6]
          5. the correct language spoken in Lystra-Lycaonian [14:11]
          6. two gods known to be so associated-Zeus and Hermes [14:12]
          7. the proper port, Attalia, which returning travelers would use [14:25]
          8. the correct order of approach to Derbe and then Lystra from the Cilician Gates [16:1; cf. 15:41]
          9. the proper form of the name Troas [16:8]
          10. the place of a conspicuous sailors’ landmark, Samothrace [12:14]”

        • He correctly identified place names?? Whaaa … ? That’s incredible. Every word must therefore be accurate.

          And that goes for the Wizard of Oz as well. I’ve been to Kansas, so when I saw “Kansas” in that book, I knew it was history.

        • Greg G.

          I can spell “Adriatic”. That is one of the 84 things Luke gets credit for. Does that make me a great historian?

        • Michael Neville

          But can you spell Mediterranean? How about Saskatoon, Saskatchewan?

        • Greg G.

          Sure, I can spell them. That’s when my creativity is best expressed.

        • JP

          Fictions don’t bother to much with historical accuracy. On what road in Kansas led to the wizard? How about the address of the house? What street was it on?

        • Greg G.

          What street was it on?

          Everybody knows that. The Yellow Brick Road.

          I apologize for the earworm.

        • JP

          Where is this street called the yellow brick road that leads up into the sky?

        • Greg G.

          It doesn’t lead up into the sky. It is somewhere over the rainbow.

        • JP

          So you believe that this imaginary road leads to a rainbow? You do believe in magic after all.

        • Greg G.

          Have you never seen the movie? You just got played.

        • JP

          I sure have. I thought it was a fiction but you think it was real.

        • Greg G.

          You should be less gullible. You are starting to believe your own stories as soon as you make them up.

        • JP

          Since you brought up a fiction in a discussion of history that means you believe the wizard of oz was something that happened in history. Thus you must believe in magic.

        • Kodie

          How can you tell? You don’t seem to have a good sense of what’s real or what’s not real.

        • Greg G.

          No, the song says it is somewhere over the rainbow. Cultural references are way over your head. Just play with your toys while the adults have an amusing conversation at your expense.

        • Philmonomer

          Is any of this information in the Gospels?

        • JP

          what information?

        • Greg G.

          Jesus rode a donkey down a street lined with people. What was the name of the street?

        • JP

          Don’t know. Was that something magic like you believe the yellow brick road leading to a rainbow?

        • Greg G.

          I know that both are fiction.

          Don’t your parents ever let you watch old classic movies?

        • MNb

          “Fictions don’t bother to much with historical accuracy.”
          Which tells us that the Gospels contains quite some fiction. Like the infanticide as told by Mattheus. Fasting fourty days and nights. Jesus seeing all the kingdoms in the world on a spherical Earth. Jonas spending three days in the belly of a whale. The mustard seed is the smallest seed. The Moon giving light. Noah’s flood being a historical event. Epilepsy being caused by demons. Judas dying two mutually contradicting deaths. Etc. etc.

        • JP

          Huh??? How are these fictions?
          BTW- the Bible doesn’t say “Epilepsy being caused by demons. Judas dying two mutually contradicting deaths.”

        • Greg G.

          Mark 9:14-29 (NRSV)14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19 He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26 After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”

          The boy has the symptoms of epilepsy but it has been diagnosed as a demon. Jesus doesn’t correct them.

          Matthew 27:3–10 says Judas returned the money and committed suicide, showing regret. Acts 1:18-20 says Judas bought land with the money but he tripped and fell so that his guts fell out, which is like Karma. Acts says the field was called “the field of blood” because of that. In Matthew, the counsel didn’t think they could put the tainted money back in treasury, so they bought a plot to bury Judas, so the field was called “the field of blood” because it was bought with blood money. But Jeremiah 19:5-6 says it had been called “the field of slaughter” for centuries.

        • JP

          That is not epilepsy. Epilepsy is not caused by demons. The boy was possessed by a demon.

          “The chief priests bought the potter’s field in Judas’s name with the thirty silver coins belonging to him, and the local Jerusalemites (particularly Christians) nicknamed it “Field of Blood” because they felt it had been purchased with “blood money.” Expositors Bible Commentary

        • Greg G.

          Epilepsy is not caused by demons.

          Correct.

          The boy was possessed by a demon.

          Incorrect. Demons are figments of religious imaginations. The story is fiction.

          “The chief priests bought the potter’s field in Judas’s name with the thirty silver coins belonging to him, and the local Jerusalemites (particularly Christians) nicknamed it “Field of Blood” because they felt it had been purchased with “blood money.” Expositors Bible Commentary

          That is what I told you that Matthew says. Acts disagrees with that story. Jeremiah disagrees with both. Other clues in each of the texts is that it was a potter’s field. Potters use clay to manufacture pots. Clay has iron oxide (rust) which gives it a red color. It was probably called “field of blood” because it looked red, then people came up with gory explanations for it.

          Did you notice the references to potters in Matthew? In Zechariah 11:12-13, the Hebrew word translated as “treasury” it the word for “pottery”. The passage is about thirty pieces of silver being thrown into the pottery/treasury. Matthew also mined Jeremiah 19:1-2, 4, 6-7 for his story with lots of parallels. The hanging is the death of Ahithophel in 2 Samuel 17:23.

          Luke based the idea of Judas’ death on Matthew’s account but thought a suicide was too good for him. He had Judas buy the field as in Jeremiah 32:8-9. His death was like the death of Amasa, which involved a treacherous kiss, before he was disemboweled and dragged into a field to die, as in 2 Samuel 20:9-10, 12. Luke finished off with quotes from Psalm 68:25 and Psalm 108:8.

          Both are fictional accounts because they didn’t like Mark’s and John’s accounts that had Judas living happily ever after.

        • JP

          What scientific law rules out demons?

        • Greg G.

          We can account for all the forces acting on particles from the subatomic scale to the galactic scale. Any forces smaller than subatomic would be too weak to affect molecular sizes. Any force larger than the galactic scale cannot affect individual planets let alone people.

          Demons cannot be detected so there is no way for the ancient authors to know about them. We only consider them because someone imagined them long ago. If you have unambiguous evidence for them, why haven’t you shared it. Show how real demons are different than imaginary demons.

        • Michael Neville

          There’s no evidence that demons exist so the boy could not have been possessed by one. If you think that demons exist then you need to show EVIDENCE for their existence. Remember that the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible isn’t evidence.

        • JP

          There is quite a bit of demon possession not only in the NT but in history.
          Certainly the accounts of demon possessions in the gospels is proof even though it happened 2000 years ago. Its also my understanding there are also modern day cases.
          Some signs are that a person is possessed: has knowledge of something there is no way they could know, speaks in a foreign language they never learned and super human strength. The movie the Exorcist was based on a true story. I didn’t turn the lights off for a couple of weeks after I saw it.

        • Otto

          I feel sorry for you. I know what it is like to be afraid of demons…truly sorry that you have to live with that. It really isn’t fair that you have been saddled with that. I also feel sorry for your kids if you have any.

        • JP

          Have you watched the Exorcist? After that you will be afraid of demons. You won’t turn the lights off when go to bed again.

        • Greg G.

          I saw it when I was in high school. It was exciting. I never needed a night light. Grow up. Don’t let people scare you with fantasy on TV, movies, or church services.

        • MR

          I watched it for the first time about a year ago. I was laughing my ass off.

        • JP

          I forgot. You’re a big brave person.

        • Otto

          Yeah I watched it in 6th grade all by myself, when at the time I was in Catholic School with a Nun who talked a lot about demon possession and such. I was terrified. It was awful.
          I saw it again as an adult and it really didn’t do anything, I wasn’t scared at all, it’s not real. Like I said I truly feel sorry for you.

        • Michael Neville

          You’re claiming a movie is evidence for demons? Do you also think Lord of the Rings is evidence of giant spiders and Nazgul?

        • Kodie

          Grown-ups know that’s just a scary movie and not real.

        • Greg G.

          Certainly the accounts of demon possessions in the gospels is proof even though it happened 2000 years ago.

          The gospels are 2000 yo comic books. Mark 12:18-27 has the Sadducees asking Jesus about the marital status of a woman who had seven brothers as husbands. That would be the woman from Tobit 3 in the OT Apocrypha. Here’s a sample.

          Tobit 3:7-8 (NRSV)
          7 On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it also happened that Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was reproached by one of her father’s maids. 8 For she had been married to seven husbands, and the wicked demon Asmodeus had killed each of them before they had been with her as is customary for wives. So the maid said to her, “You are the one who kills your husbands! See, you have already been married to seven husbands and have not borne the name of a single one of them.

          But that demon isn’t like gospel possession. Asmodeus gets chased down in the desert and tied up. Perhaps The Bacchae where the women were frenzied, but it is still not like gospel possession.

          Do you know of any records older than the gospels that describe gospel-style demon possession?

          Mark seems to have invented the idea of demon possession because the ancients didn’t understand mental disease, or disease at all. Did Mark invent it as fiction or did Jesus invent it in reality?

          The movie the Exorcist was based on a true story. I didn’t turn the lights off for a couple of weeks after I saw it.

          You’re an idiot. The Exorcist was not a documentary.

        • BlackMamba44

          Bwahahahaha!!

          You are pathetic.

        • MNb

          Matth. 27:5 tells us that Judas died because he hanged himself. Acts 1:18 tells us that he died because he stumbled.
          As for Fasting fourty days and night: try it yourself and see if you will survive.
          Climb the Mount Everest and tell us if you can see all the kingdoms of the world.
          Try to get inside the belly of a whale and see if you will survive.
          Ask a botanist which seed is the smallest (spoiler: not mustard).
          Etc. etc.

          Then come back and tell us about the accuracy of your favourite Holy Book.

          But of course instead you will prefer to remain stupid and ignorant. You confirmed that nicely with your “huh” – you aren’t capable anymore of grasping the simplest things.

        • Hmm, that’s a good point. What I hear you saying is that the book is a mixture of the historical (Kansas) and the fantastic (witches and wizards).

          And—small world!—we find the same problems in the Bible. You’ve got historical (Ephesus, Jerusalem) and the fantastic (magic and miracles).

          Oh, dear. You’ve shot yourself in the foot again.

        • Greg G.

          Superman is from Kansas, too.

        • Kodie

          Superman is from somewhere over the rainbow (planet Krypton), and landed in Kansas.

        • Greg G.

          His spacecraft landed on Lex Luthor’s wicked witch aunt.

        • Greg G.

          That is very interesting. I checked out the whole list. It doesn’t give too many sources that verified that Acts was correct but two of them that do give a source (#49 and #59) cite Josephus. I noticed that #50 is verified by Antiquities of the Jews 20.5.3. #54 and #55 are also known from Josephus. #56 has Antipatris as a natural shopping [sic] point on the way to Caesarea but Jewish War 4.8.1 says Vespasian marched from Caesarea to Antipatris.

          Much of the story of the shipwreck shares details with Josephus’ account of his shipwreck in his autobiography but it appears that Luke embellished the account with another source. If Luke was telling an actual first person account, it wouldn’t be embellished with the Josephus story, so it is more likely that Luke was combining at least two accounts.

          Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It has some Acts-Josephus coincidences I didn’t know about.

          I checked out Hemer’s book on Amazon. It was published in 1990. Amazon has a used paperback offered for $3,214.79. New and used hardcovers are $123.36.

          https://www.amazon.com/Book-Acts-Setting-Hellenistic-History/dp/1575063964/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1326683691&sr=1-2

        • JP

          That is one expensive book.
          Where is the evidence that Luke borrowed from Josephus and knew of his work?
          When did Josephus write his work?

        • Greg G.

          Where is the evidence that Luke borrowed from Josephus and knew of his work?

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html
          http://www.josephus.org/ntparallels.htm

          I think Steve Mason has a book that goes into the details. Most of the online sources I have seen cite him but when I checked, the book was rather expensive, too. He has a nice website for the study of Josephus:

          https://pace.webhosting.rug.nl/york/york/index.htm

          When did Josephus write his work?

          Josephus wrote Antiquities of the Jews about 94 AD.

          Matthew seems to have invented the birth narrative on Antiquities 2, 6, and 17. Luke used Matthew, Antiquities and Josephus’ autobiography, which is thought to have been after Antiquities, so Luke is probably a second century document.

        • Greg G.

          I looked at #1 (Acts 13:4-5) and found that the apostles traveled to Cyprus where they met a sorcerer who was a Jew in verse 6. Antiquities of the Jews 20.7.2 §141-144 tells about a Jew who was born on Cyprus and fancied himself as a magician. These “coincidences” are so plentiful that the present a pattern that should have an explanation.

        • Greg G.

          6. two gods known to be so associated-Zeus and Hermes [14:12]

          How many people who were educated in Greek composition would not know about Zeus and Hermes? They didn’t have reading primers about Jack and Jill. They learned to read their classic stories.

          9. the proper form of the name Troas [16:8]

          Come on. That is stretching for coincidences. He uses “Τρῳάδα” there and in Acts 20:6, exactly the same way it is spelled in 2 Corinthians 2:12. Acts 16:11 has “Τρῳάδος” and Acts 20:5 has “Τρῳάδι”.

        • Max Doubt

          “The miracles do. Only God could raise the dead, heal the sick with a touch and rise from the dead Himself.”

          There is nothing the god you imagine can do that I can’t do, too. And there are several things I can do that your god pretty obviously can’t. I mention this from time to time, but have yet to encounter anyone willing to put that to an objective test. I accept their fear of a test as their admission of failure support the god claims. I predict you’ll acknowledge your failure, too, by refusing to perform an objective experiment to find the differences between my powers and the powers you imagine your god has.

        • Otto

          Oooh…

          (gets out the popcorn)

        • Greg G.

          My challenge is the 1 Kings 18:20-40 challenge between Elijah and the priests of Baal, but instead of bonfires and wood, it would be hibachis with charcoal and a couple of steaks instead of whole steers. Most importantly, the loser doesn’t receive death. They can pour all the water on the charcoal they like, just like Elijah, and pray all they want, just like Elijah, to call down fire from heaven. I will use products of science and technology, such as lighter fluid and a butane lighter with a long nozzle. I would expect to allow the lighter fluid to burn off so as not to affect the flavor of the steak. The first one with a medium rare steak wins. If I won, I would offer my coals to the loser.

    • MNb

      At your service:

      https://www.bol.com/nl/p/god-in-the-age-of-science/9200000018222133/

      Wish christians would read it before spouting their nonsense and falsehoods.

    • Mike Shehn

      Most of the people on this page are true believers of God and his son Jesus. They write and pretend to make money off the misfits.

      • epeeist

        Most of the people on this page are true believers of God and his son Jesus.

        And your evidence for this would be?

      • Michael Neville

        Two points:

        1. We’re not pretending to disbelieve in your favorite gods. We really, truly do not believe they exist.

        2. Not only don’t we not believe in your pet gods, we don’t believe in Allah, Vishnu, Wotan, Huitzilopotchli or any of the myriad of other gods invented by human imagination.

      • Tommy

        So you’ve made an account today just to troll here?

    • epeeist

      Wish atheists would write a book on atheism that shows how atheism has facts that shows atheism true.

      You might try this one, though I suspect you might have problems with the long words.

  • Tommy

    Block JP. He/She’s just not worth it.

    • sandy

      Agreed. Obvious troll and not very good at it.

      • Mike Shehn

        So let me get this straight. Anyone that disagrees with you and your island of misfits you just block? So you can go back to your in-depth discussions about a topic you don’t believe in? Some people have over 20K posts trying to discredit religion. I also love how it’s only Christianaity you pick on. Nice lives guys.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Awww… sounds like someone’s upset that no one wants to listen to him preach his religion at them or practice his shitty apologetics arguments on them.

          Don’t bother answering, I’ve already blocked you.

        • Michael Neville

          First of all, the troll JP was being blocked. He is a known shit-stirrer who plays the same game time after time on atheist blogs. He managed to get banned at “Godless in Dixie” and you have to work hard to get Neil to ban you.

          Next, not everyone blocked JP. I haven’t because I want to see if I can get him to admit that Matthew lied about the zombie infestation of Jerusalem (see Matt 27:51-53). I don’t have much hope for that, because JP is too proud and arrogant to admit a mere atheist might have a point.

          Lastly, look at the banner on this blog. It says “Cross Examined: Clear Thinking about Christianity”. So why are you whining about a blog which says it’s looking at Christianity actually looking at Christianity? There’s the further point that it isn’t Jains and Animists who try to impose their beliefs on the rest of us. Christian creationists want to replace science education with teaching religious mythology. Catholic hospitals will not give contraceptive services to their patients because a bunch of celibate male bachelors think that’s icky. Christian evangelicals and Catholics are trying to outlaw abortion but refuse to admit that sex education and the availability of contraceptives do more to lower abortion rates than telling lies about Planned Parenthood. If Christians left us alone then we’d be happy to return the favor. But Christians won’t leave us alone. So we talk about Christians.

        • Greg G.

          So let me get this straight. Anyone that disagrees with you and your island of misfits you just block?

          No, you’ve got it all crooked. We like people who disagree with us who can present interesting arguments. JP has done that once but it ended up supporting my contention that he was trying to refute.

          I also love how it’s only Christianaity you pick on.

          It is the over-whelming majority religion in the country with the most military might. The world can’t afford to have people making decisions based on misunderstood ancient writings. Everybody should listen to the claims of religious people and try to talk sense to them.

          Do you have any unambiguous evidence to support your religious beliefs? Do you have any good arguments for your religious beliefs? Bring them if you got them. Guys like JP are making your whole religion look like idiots.

        • Mike: first impressions can be faulty, but, for your amusement, let me toss out my first impression of you: you’re a dick.

          But then maybe I’m wrong. Maybe you have useful information–argument, evidence–to add to the conversation. Maybe we just got off on the wrong foot. Tell you what: you become useful, and we’ll get along here. You don’t, and I’ll ban your ass.

          How’s that sound?

        • MR

          You don’t, and I’ll ban your ass.

          Again?

        • Mike Shehn

          I’m shaking in my boots Bob. You think your God with the authority to ban people? Typical. I knew you were still one of us!! Nice cover story! You are milieu get these people. Great job!

        • Greg G.

          You think your you’re God

          FTFY.

          You are Your milieu get gets these people.

          I think I FTFY.

        • Mike Shehn

          Phone mistakes. Sorry, I’m about to pop some bottles with some great people. A few might even be an atheist. But they don’t sit behind a computer and constantly debate a subject they don’t believe in. That would make them losers. And I’m always telling them Hesus loves them and it’s never too late. Up until your last breathe. Remember that in 2018.

          MAGA!

        • Greg G.

          Happy New Year!

        • BlackMamba44

          I couldn’t figure out that last one.

          But I’m just a college dropout with one modestly priced home, making a modest salary. What do I know?

        • Greg G.

          He replied to me that he was using his phone. It’s easy to mistype and Spellcheck can be evil. But plenty of them look like incorrect grammar.

        • Pofarmer

          Phone or no phone, the asshole comes through.

        • Greg G.

          You heard of butt dialing? He has mastered butt typing.

        • Kodie

          Spellcheck or no, you can look at your damn phone and make sure it has the words you meant. He’s a butthurt fool for Jesus who is somehow threatened by the existence of atheists or feels like making fun of people because they argue about god that we must admit god exists? I just don’t know what we’re taking away from his lifestyle if he has a good one that he pretends to have.

        • Freethinker

          It’s funny how basic communication skills can uncover lack of education and thus increased ignorance and subsequently an increased propensity for gullibility.

        • Joe

          You don’t need to be a god to have the authority to ban people. Just a mere internet moderator.

        • B’bye. This is the adult table. You need to be at least a little bit useful, and you’re just an asshole.

          That’s about as quick from warning to banning as I can remember. OK–who bet 3 hours?

        • BlackMamba44

          *you’re

        • epeeist

          and what the fuck does “You are milieu get these people” mean?

          Now we all make mistakes in these comboxes, but multiple mistakes in multiple posts? Rather undermines his claim to have both BA and MA degrees.

        • Freethinker

          Trolls consistently have a need to declare they are more edumenicated than they actually are. This douche goes as step further and proclaims the dollar value of his real estate in another post. That is code for the near certainty that he still lives in his parents basement.

        • Kodie

          I tend to take them at face value, and then ask them why they are so threatened by atheism, or purposely needs to seek out an atheist blog just to maliciously crap on people. We just bug him so much, I don’t know what our existence could possibly take away from a guy so successful, right?

        • Freethinker

          The louder trolls advertise their”status” the more likely they live in their mother’s basements, too fat to make it up the stairs.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/346ab86860cc3cf24707d7c06a8f5a3ab0f6737a5e71231e86a2465d3e6bae96.jpg

        • Joe

          No, you didn’t get that straight. You were miles off target.

        • about a topic you don’t believe in

          “A topic I don’t believe in” would be Bigfoot, for example, but Bigfoot believers aren’t fucking up the country. Christians, on the other hand …

        • Freethinker

          We actually treat all religious fairlytales with and equal amount of pity and disdain so don’t feel overtly “persecuted”.

    • Joe

      Way ahead of you there.

    • Greg G.

      He gave me a list of 10 out of “84 Confirmed Facts in the Last 16 Chapters of the Book of Acts” as he was trying to prove Luke didn’t use Josephus as a source. I looked up the whole 84. I found two that actually cite Josephus as the source and I recognized others as being from Josephus that I had never thought of as being in Acts. So he ended up supporting my position and gave me more evidence. He was worth it for that.

      • JP

        You have no proof that Luke copied from Josephus. Rather it looks like Josephus copied from Luke since Luke wrote before Josephus. Luke-Acts was finished most likely in the mid-60’s.

        • Greg G.

          I told you about the anachronism in Acts 5. Gamaliel could not have said that. A writer in the 60s would be unlikely to confuse someone from about a decade ago with someone from more than 60 years earlier unless the author was a piss-poor historian or the two were associated in the source material used by the author. The writings that have them in consecutive paragraphs was written in the mid-90s.

          If you are going to claim Luke was a good historian, you cannot put his writings near the middle of the first century.

        • JP

          Luke finished Acts before Paul died in the mid 60’s. His gospel was written before Acts which means it was earlier.

        • Greg G.

          Luke finished Acts before Christians started competing by imagining the most gruesome noble deaths for their imaginary apostolic succession. Some apostles wound up with different types of death in different places.

        • JP

          stupid.

        • MNb
        • Freethinker

          Pearls for a swine.

        • Chuck Johnson

          You have little proof that Miraculous Jesus ever existed.
          Just a lot of political shenanigans from that group who eventually became the Catholic Church.

        • JP

          We have more about Jesus than we do of anyone else in the ancient world.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, you have more political shenanigans about Jesus than about anyone else in the ancient world. But none of it is contemporaneous from the time when Jesus is supposed to have existed.

        • JP

          Who else in the ancient world has 4 eyewitness accounts of them?

        • Greg G.

          Jesus doesn’t have 4 eyewitness accounts. He has zero.

        • Kodie

          You are making a mistake. There is a lot of regurgitation about Jesus because Christianity is so popular, but none of it really makes any new information. In other words, don’t mistake a lot of books for a lot of information. Most of it is reruns.

        • Chuck Johnson

          More miraculous stories.
          The historical proof is almost nothing.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m constantly amazed by people’s gullibility.

        • Freethinker

          The only “proof” we have is that all key myths in the Bible have been plagiarized from earlier mythologies so it makes no difference which one of the plagiarists copied who. Everything else is just an idle pissing contest.

      • Pofarmer

        I’m gonna have to look for the end of that thread.

  • skl

    From Amazon’s blurb for the book:

    “Atheism is an evolving worldview – not the single
    proposition that God does not exist, but everything else that might or might
    not go with it. With only a single sentence about the existence of single
    entity, there is huge scope – necessity, even – for having to reasonably work
    everything else out.”

    I’ve often read complaints from atheists that atheism is simply
    non-belief in a god or gods, nothing more and nothing less. The first sentence
    above implies otherwise.

    Also, the second sentence appears to need some work.

    https://www.amazon.com/Not-Seeing-God-Atheism-Century/dp/0993510221

    • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

      Yes, because an Amazon blurb is a doctrinal statement for all atheists, everywhere.

      They even told us in the 2018 edition of The Atheist Agenda™ (which you can only get when you pay your Atheist tithes to the Atheist Temple) that this would be coming out, and we’d all have to abide by what this blurb on Amazon told us.

      • But being part of the Atheist Temple opens doors. Your tithes are returned 30-, 60-, 100-fold.

        (Or have I said too much?)

        • epeeist

          (Or have I said too much?)

          Just so long as you don’t mention the secret volcano base…

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          DAMMIT! You weren’t supposed to mention that!

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          I didn’t want to bring this up, but…

          I haven’t been getting my checks from the Atheist Temple for being an atheist shill. Do you know who I can talk to about that?

        • Michael Neville

          We take complaints in the order in which they were received. You are number 892. We are now serving number 47.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          Okay, I’ll hold…

        • Hold on, how do I know you’re the real Clint W.? Give me the secret handshake.

        • Clint W. (Thought2Much)

          I’ll send you an e-mail so that everyone here doesn’t see it.

        • Otto

          Hmm…usually they just scan my implant

        • Kodie

          Like most atheists, you’ve been fooled that there is an Atheist Temple. True atheists get their checks via tithes to a major Christian church network (yes, they are actually all the same denomination). I get paid to be nasty to Christians so they will confirm their biases about atheists and keep going to church. Also, I don’t have to join an atheist religious order to get to murder and eat all the babies I want to.

        • Greg G.

          My whole life I thought freelance atheists were just a myth.

        • Kevin K

          Those checks were all distributed at the last baby roast. Didn’t you get yours? Mine was double what it was the last time!

  • Wow–who is this JP guy? And how long should I wait before editing his comments for humorous effect?

    • Otto

      You mean you are not already doing that….?

      • Yes, his petard is already hoisting him. He seems good at that.

        • Otto

          Must be me but I can’t tell the difference between your humorous edits and the non-edits…hmm

    • Ctharrot

      He’s the latest incarnation of a prolific, repeatedly-banned commenter I first encountered when he called himself Jay.

      The bland, tedious style is a dead giveaway. It’s always the same repetitive script, the same bag o’ cherry-picked quotes, the same inability to take in, process, or produce new information.

      • Ah, yes, but at least he’s adaptable. He brings new insights, and he’s quick to drop foolish arguments once he realizes that they’re crap.

        … right?

        • Max Doubt

          “He brings new insights, and he’s quick to drop foolish arguments once he realizes that they’re crap…. right?”

          Hate to burst your optimism bubble there, Bob, but you’ll likely be sorely disappointed if you proceed as if that was true.

        • Yep. That seems clear.

          I was recently driven away from another blog (not banned, just disgusted by the confrontational attitude of a self-assigned guardian of the site), and it occurred to me that I’d love to have a Christian who is reasonably polite, adaptive, eager to discard arguments that don’t work as well as accept new data, and so on. While that kind of antagonist wasn’t welcome at that Christian site, it’s what this blog was built for. Alas, we rarely seem to get them.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I’d love to have a Christian who is reasonably polite, adaptive, eager
          to discard arguments that don’t work as well as accept new data, and so
          on.

          Good luck finding one. People like that don’t stay Christian very long.

          It’s like looking for an old child.

        • Good point.

          In my early days as an angry atheist, I assumed that thoughtful Christians might be like me (or at least what I strive to be)–educated on the issues, wanting the truth, eager to discard arguments that don’t work, and so on. Unfortunately, I now tend to see them as liars/shills or self-deluded, or (in the majority of cases) happy in their ignorance and uninterested in discussing the matter because it stirs up suppressed feelings that their worldview doesn’t hold up. In other words, Christians seem to be fundamentally different than a well-educated atheist (and not learned colleagues from across the aisle).

        • Ctharrot

          Um . . . .

          Anyways, Happy New Year!

        • If the weather cooperates, I’m going to the glacier-fed Skykomish River to watch some nutty people do the polar bear thing on New Year’s Day. My job is to build the fire. I don’t think I’ll be going in.

        • Ctharrot

          We’re expecting a high of -5 in Minneapolis tomorrow, so no outdoorsy adventures here. Maybe a fire for the missus, a Godfather marathon for the boys, and the last of the egg nog for me.

        • MR

          Dude, you can’t use the word ‘high’ and ‘-5’ together. It just isn’t done.

        • Kodie

          High -5 is when you leave someone hanging.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft41g48Kp-0

        • Ctharrot

          Well, tomorrow we’ll get up to 2. But it’s a dry heat.

        • Kodie

          Not only is this a funny joke, but our friends on the metric system don’t understand the simple Fahrenheit. Out of a scale of roughly 0-100, 0 is fucking cold as fuck, approx. one third up is frozen. 2/3 up is optional for a light jacket, and 100 is hot as motherfucking fuck. It can be less than zero or more than 100 but that makes human sense.

        • TheNuszAbides
        • Max Doubt

          “It can be less than zero or more than 100 but that makes human sense.”

          Notice the National Weather Service uses the term “fair” here. Sorry to disagree, but no, -16°F is not fair.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1f7a65fc37621f43956f0ded7a52346fcaa828b34c01865bfac84f72c2c80f0b.jpg

        • Kodie

          Isn’t fair like, how sunny it is and how slow the wind is moving? As opposed to windy or cloudy. What adjective would you use when the weather is kind of standing still and no clouds?

        • Max Doubt

          “Isn’t fair like, how sunny it is and how slow the wind is moving?”

          It’s clear and sunny here with a light breeze of 5mph, and it’s still -15°F with a wind chill of -29°F. Fair or not, I think I’ll stay inside today and drink some coffee and smoke a couple hits. Come on over! 😉

        • Kodie

          Thanks for the invitation but it’s way too cold out. I don’t even know where you live, it’s much colder than here!

        • epeeist

          Fair has a specific technical meaning – http://glossary.ametsoc.org/wiki/Fair

        • MR

          Yeah…, due regard to whatever, -16 is not a “pleasant weather condition.”

        • Kodie

          Right, if someone said the weather was fair, I would not guess it was below freezing temperatures, but at the time, the sky was blue through my window, and I couldn’t think what else you would call it, meteorologically. MD came up with “clear” which I guess is fair enough. All I really remember is being up for a while in bed, then getting up to make coffee past 8am and the sun was up… you can’t see from my apartment, but all my windows face east, and the sun was about a quarter up my window and far to the right, which means it’s going to be where I can’t see it out my window by maybe 10am or so. Depressing, as I find the sunlight inspiring to clean because I get time off, and there goes the day. So, the sky was blue out my window when I wrote, and I hadn’t been outside, and what if it’s calm and not cloudy at night, is it still “fair”? No, I just couldn’t think of a word that the weather woman would use if the weather looks nice even if it’s fucking cold. I don’t watch any news that has a weather man, just happens to be the case, not on purpose. Now, do you have a page for the specific technical meaning of “disgusting” or is that just my idiosyncratic term when it’s disgusting out?

          I think most weather people call it “raw”. I went outside today in the clear filtered sun with the windchill it felt “raw” but not “disgusting”. I have a high of 10F here today, but it feels almost fair when the wind isn’t blowing. I also notice that since it is well into New Year’s Day, facebook conversations turn to how motherfucking cold it is wherever you are, because there’s really nothing left to talk about but the 10ish weeks of bleakness ahead. Happy Valentine’s Day.

        • Michael Neville

          And have a safe 4th of July!

        • Mike Shehn

          New Years. Another holiday in honor of our lord and savior Jesus. Thanks for believing.

        • Ctharrot

          Eh? You’ve got me all wrong. My family’s very conservative, so we celebrate January 1 as originally intended, by honoring Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, and gateways. Laus et gratias Jano!

          But we’re not offended if progressives like you want to continue repurposing the holiday to remember your messiah’s circumcision. Strikes me as a peculiar thing to celebrate, but whatever.

        • Kodie

          You’re deluded.

      • Freethinker

        Consider the possibility that the believers are inevitably working on Ai bots to promote their bullshit. They just need to translate the tech from Cyrillic.

    • epicurus

      I wonder if it’s J P Holding. I used to see vicious mocking comments years ago from J P Holding but don’t see comments from him anymore, maybe he’s moved on or changed his handle.

  • Damien Priestly

    On this, like many Patheos nonreligious blogs and elsewhere…this JP guy (or girl) continues to hijack threads, mindlessly asking for “proof” of atheism’s truth — obviously not understanding where the burden lies. Can this be fixed? It is hard to see through to the reasonable commentary on these threads…I have no problem doing discourse with believers…but endless repetition of ignorance reduces the value of the commentary.

    • yes, that’s a problem. I find a little of this a good thing–it gives us practice slapping down stupid arguments, and there’s the chance that the newcomer might have a new angle or new datum that is worth understanding.

      What usually happens is someone/someones complain (sometimes after a day, sometimes after months), which is a clue that the thoughtful people are getting tired of the shenanigans. Then I write one or two comments to the offender saying, Get useful or get lost. Then they ignore me or dare me to. And then they’re banned.

      • Damien Priestly

        Understand 🙂