25 Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid (Part 3)

Let’s continue with our list of stupid Christian arguments (Part 1 here).

Stupid Argument #9a: Argument from silence.

The Jewish leaders would’ve been eager to shut down a rogue sect. If Jesus hadn’t risen from the dead, they would’ve pointed to the dead body. Faced with this refutation of their most important claim, early Christianity would’ve collapsed. And yet they didn’t produce the body—because they couldn’t!

This is the Naysayer Fallacy (discussed in detail here). What’s hard about imagining early Christianity withstanding contradicting information? Believers in lots of other religions haven’t let disquieting facts get in their way. Look at the historical errors in the Book of Mormon; they don’t sink Mormonism.

The Jewish leaders and the empty tomb are story elements in gospels written over forty years after the events they claim to describe. To say that Jewish leaders ought to have done this or that forty years earlier is like arguing with novelists that the characters in their stories ought to have done this or that. Characters are just pawns in a story, and they do what the authors make them do.

The Bible says that the early Christians didn’t go public until fifty days after the crucifixion. Even within the story, the Jewish leaders couldn’t/wouldn’t have produced that corpse.

Stupid Argument #9b: Demand for counter-evidence.

I’ve given you evidence (for the resurrection, say). You may not be impressed, but you’ve got to admit that it’s something. If you want to rebut that, you must provide contemporary counter-evidence. Gary Habermas said, “Skeptics must provide more than alternative theories to the Resurrection; they must provide first-century evidence for those theories.”

What’s that? You say you don’t have any first-century evidence against my argument? Well then I guess I win!

Nope, I don’t have first-century evidence of people arguing that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, and I’m sure I never will. Is that what you’d expect to see if the Jesus story got embellished with supernatural elements in the retelling—people preserving first-century letters that say that the Jesus story was nonsense?

Let’s imagine that demand in the case of Merlin the magician. The story goes that he was a shape shifter. Are we obliged to accept that as history unless we can find contemporary evidence against it? I propose instead that such a remarkable claim needs far more than just an old story to support it.

Ditto the Jesus story.

I turn this conversation around and demand evidence that George Washington didn’t fly with a jet pack here. Just like these Christians demanding contemporary evidence that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, I demand contemporary evidence that Washington didn’t fly with a jet pack. (Admittedly, my argument about Washington crumbles when we bring common sense into the discussion, but in that case, so do the miraculous claims for Jesus.)

Stupid Argument #10: Appeal to objective truth.

You can’t say that something is really wrong.

Really or truly, as qualifiers for some moral word (good, bad, right, wrong, and so on), are used to imagine some sort of objective morality grounded outside of humans. Apologist William Lane Craig defined objective morality as “moral values that are valid and binding whether anybody believes in them or not.”

No, Mr. Christian, I can’t say that something is objectively wrong, but then neither can you. I’ve explored claims of objective morality from a number of apologists (Greg Koukl, William Lane Craig, J. Warner Wallace, Frank Turek, and C.S. Lewis), and they do little more than make an appeal for it. The error they make is confusing universal moral truth (for which they give no evidence) with universally held moral programming (evidence of which is all around us). We’re all the same species, and it’s easy to see how we would share moral thinking.

Moral words like good, bad, and so on don’t need either objective grounding or God. Look them up in the dictionary and see for yourself.

Stupid Argument #11: Argument from accurate place names.

The Bible mentions names that archaeology has later validated—Jericho, for example. The Bible’s accurate historical track record where it could be substantiated means that unsubstantiated claims should be assumed to be accurate as well.

The Iliad also mentions names that archaeology has later validated—Troy, for example. That the Bible has confirmation on some of its names of people and places isn’t remarkable. Accurate names is the least we’d expect of a book that claims divine inspiration. More here.

Stupid Argument #12a: The Bible makes clear that God’s existence is plain for all to see.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).

The Christian’s book says, “God exists; deal with it,” and that is supposed to mean something to an atheist? Let me respond with a quote of my own: “What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence” (Christopher Hitchens).

Stupid Argument #12b: The good in the world shows the hand of a loving god.

Think of the birth of a baby, sunsets and rainbows, or an unexpected remission of cancer. That’s the hand of God.

If desirable things point to a loving God, what do terrible things like smallpox, tsunamis, and birth defects point to?

Christians have a long history of handwaving away this Problem of Evil. The term for this discipline is theodicy. But a discipline that dates back to the early days of the church makes clear that this is no obvious matter. Apparently, this particular God is not “clearly seen,” so I have an excuse.

In a desperate move, one apologist attempted to argue that this is a two-edged sword, and evil is a problem for everyone, both the Christian and the atheist. That’s true, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about evil but the Problem of Evil, the riddle of how a good god could allow so much evil to exist. The atheist drops the god presupposition, and the problem vanishes completely. The Christian is still stuck with it. (More here.)

To be continued.

Why doesn’t God heal amputees?
Because they don’t deserve their arms, they deserve to die.
That’s what the Bible teaches.
Sorry if you don’t like that!
VenomFangX

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 10/6/14.)

Photo credit: Tony Fischer

 

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  • Ctharrot

    1. Bob, a pedantic correction: I believe the quote attributed to Greenleaf above is actually from Gary “Please Let’s All Pretend I Didn’t Make Such a Big Deal About that ‘First Century’ Mark Fragment” Habermas.

    2. But of course your commentary on the epistemological double standard inherent in that quote is solid. Habermas and other apologists would (and do) summarily dismiss–with nary a scrap of the sort of contemporaneous, countervailing evidence they demand from secular skeptics–the countless narratives of miracles, signs, and wonders sincerely believed by the Hittites, Assyrians, Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Germans, Persians, Navajo, Sioux, Aztecs, Aboriginal Australians, Hindus, Buddhists, you name it.

    • Michael Neville

      The Hindu Brahman I work with insists that his favorite guru was sitting in the lotus position, levitated several inches off the ground, and then cruised around the room still in the lotus position. Miracles are a dime a dozen among the true believers.

      • Ctharrot

        Dang it, man! Since I have no evidence to contradict your colleague’s eye-witness testimony, I must accept it as true.

        I’m already running out of room for all these miracle claims I have to believe.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Show me in person…video can be manipulated….

        Amirite?

        • Max Doubt

          “Show me in person…video can be manipulated….”

          As a bit of a video expert I’d even take a good long look at a video if there’s some reasonable provenance. Although it seems unlikely that a video would actually demonstrate the claim to be true, it could be compelling enough to spur a further investigation.

        • Cozmo the Magician

          I spent last night watching all of Captain Disillusion. Its amazing what computer effects can do these days. The skiing ostriches were awesome. Levitation is one of the oldest tricks in the book. (although even disney had an epic fail in ‘black hole’ where even a blind man could see the wires)

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wonder…. Why do so many people still believe in the Cottingley Fairies?

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/photography/what-to-see/cottingley-village-thrall-fairies-tale/

        • Greg G.

          From the link:

          People also fail to make a proper distinction between the question ‘Do fairies exist?’ and the question ‘Do people see fairies?’.

      • He got it fourth-hand from someone who is known to be reliable. That’s all I need to believe a miracle.

      • Ficino

        Hey swami, while you’re up, bring me a beer, will ya?

    • 1. Wow–how did that get there? Thanks. Correction made.

  • G.Shelley

    ““For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse”
    Even if this were the case (and atheists were all lying), why should we accept it? If I looked around the world and had some innate feeling that God did it, why should I accept that as evidence that God indeed did it? would “yes there is a god” be the best explanation for such a feeling, let alone the only one?

    • Kev Green

      Christianity says that believing in God isn’t enough. You also have to believe in Christ’s sacrifice. I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that no one in history has ever looked up in awe at the night sky and thought “Gee, God must have had His own son tortured and killed.” Even if I were to convince myself that God must exist, that still leaves me nowhere.

      • Pofarmer

        I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that no one in history has ever looked up in awe at the night sky and thought “Gee, God must have had His own son tortured and killed.”

        I wouldn’t go that far. That’s pretty much exactly happens in the book of Revelations, which is mostly astrology.

        • heleninedinburgh

          Sorry, mini-bugbear (bugbearcub?): it’s Revelation, not Revelations. Or officially, ‘The Revelation of St John the Divine after Eating the Mushrooms Growing Behind the Toilet.’

    • epicurus

      And unfortunately, planets don’t have big flashing neon signs above them indicating “This is what a planet looks like with only evolution and no intervention by a divine being” or “This planet was created by a god who was not quite all powerful or all knowing.” Imagine a whole galaxy sporting all the different kinds of planets resulting from different kinds of gods or no gods creating them. All flashing neon identification put there by a coordinating project manager god.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen

      Reality fail. If it’s invisible, it, by definition, can’t be seen.

      😉

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        To clarify: “See that lightning? An invisible witch did it because you juiced the zuchini/dug the cream out of the puff/gave the top pea in the pod some polishing!”

      • Cozmo the Magician

        my invisible imaginary pet dragon Fluffly would like a word with you (;

  • RichardSRussell

    You can’t say that something is really wrong.

    Watch me:

    2 + 2 = 5. Really wrong.

    If I drop this rock, it’ll float upward. Really wrong.

    William Lane Craig is honest, perceptive, and consistent. Really wrong.

    • Ignorant Amos

      2 + 2 = 5. Really wrong? WTF?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BGgjssVnuQ

      • Herald Newman

        For those who aren’t sure why this is wrong, the second last step takes [5 – [9/2]]^2 = [4-[9/2]]^2 and simply drops the square term. The video maker has assumed that A^2 == B^2 implies A == B, rather than A^2 == B^2 implies abs(A) == abs(B).

        Isn’t math fun when you start violating the constraints on your operations?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Something told me it shouldn’t make sense…hee! hee!

        • Zeta

          Just for the fun of it. Another well-known example:
          To prove that 2=1

          Start with a = b.
          Multiply both sides by a to get a*a = a*b.
          Subtract b*b from both sides to get
          a*a – b*b = a*b – b*b.
          Factorize to get (a+b)*(a-b) = b*(a-b).
          Cancel the same factor (a-b) from both sides and we get
          a+b = b.
          Since a = b (our starting assumption), 2b = b,
          so 2=1.

        • Herald Newman
        • Herald Newman
        • Zeta

          Yes, the algebra is simpler. The same idea (canceling a-b from both sides, i.e. dividing both sides by 0) is used.

        • Jeez–it’s like you need to know how to use all those math signs and stuff.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          to know “how to use those math signs and stuff” didn’t stopped guido grandi. he apparently thought that his series makes a creatio ex nihilo “perfectly plausible”:

          “By putting parentheses into the expression 1 − 1 + 1 − 1 + · · · in different ways, I can, if I want, obtain 0 or 1. But then the idea of the creation ex nihilo is perfectly plausible.” (wikipedia)

          anyway, it’s another nice example:

          0 = 0+0+… = (1+(-1))+(1+(-1))+… = 1+(-1+1)+(-1+1)+… = 1+0+0+… = 1

        • A nice example. Here’s the article for the creation ex nihilo comment:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Grandi%27s_series

          On the topic of series, you could “simplify” this series:
          1 + 2 – 3 + 4 – 5 + 6 – 7 …
          by grouping in two different ways:
          1 +( 2 – 3) + (4 – 5) + (6 – 7) … = 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 … = – infinity

          Or: (1 + 2) (– 3 + 4) (– 5 + 6) (– 7 + 8) … = 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 … = +infinity

          I can’t imagine what he would conclude from that. Maybe “math works in mysterious ways.”

        • Greg G.

          Or: (1 + 2) (– 3 + 4) (– 5 + 6) (– 7 + 8) … = 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 … = +infinity

          That turns into a multiplication problem: 3 * 1 * 1 * 1… = 3

        • Yes, that was sloppy. There should’ve been plus signs in between.

          (1 + 2) + (–3 + 4) + ( 5 + 6) + (–7 + 8) … = 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 … = +infinity

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          or you try the following:

          if s = 1+2-3+4-5+6-…, then

          2s = 1+2+(-3+4-…) + 1+2-3 + (4-5+…) = 1+2+(1-1+1-…).

          if further 1-1+1-… = 1/2, as grandi also argued, then 2s = 1+2+1/2 = 3+1/2, so s = 7/4.

          alternatively:

          f(x) = 1/(1+x)^2 = 1-2x+3x^2-…, so g(x) = 2-1/(1+x)^2 = 1+2x-3x^2-…. and g(1) = 2-1/(1+1)^2 = 2-1/4 = 7/4.

          see also the wikipedia page about the slightly different 1-2+3-4+… (for which you can give a similar argument: (1-2)+(3-4)+… = (-1)+(-1)+… = -oo and 1+(-2+3)+(-4+5)+… = 1+1+1+… = oo, while there are some reasons to think it should be equal to 1/4, for example because f(1) = 1/4.

        • Herald Newman

          Always important to make sure that you’ve got a convergent before you try to find the value of it. deriving both +∞ and -∞ from this series isn’t all that shocking.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          yes, because a (general) associative law is still true for convergent series (a different bracketing of the infinite series effectively selects a subsequence of the sequence of partial sums and subsequences of convergent sequences converge to the same value as the whole sequence).

          something similar is not true for commutativity, see the riemann rearrangement theorem (wikipedia) and is a reason to introduce the notion of absolute convergence (and conditional convergence). the usual (counter)example is the alternating harmonic series:

          log(2) = 1-1/2+1/3-1/4+1/5-1/6+ … = (1-1/2)+(-1/4)+(1/3-1/6)+(-1/8)+… = 1/2-1/4+1/6-1/8- … = 1/2*(1-1/2+1/3-1/4+…) = 1/2*log(2) … for this rearrangement (one positive term, two negative terms).

        • Ignorant Amos

          And with that…ma head just blew a gasket.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Sure it’s all about the signs don’t ya know…if ya can’t recognize the signs, ya don’t get the chance of the Lord into yer heart.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          here he is:

          a = b
          2a = 2b
          a+2a = a+2b
          a+2a-3b = a+2b-3b
          3a-3b = a+2b-3b
          3(a-b) = a-b
          3 = 1

          if you are a trinitarian.

        • Zeta

          Shh! Don’t let apologists see this. It is a mathematical proof of the Trinity.

        • martin_exp(pi*sqrt(163))

          yes, he says that we can take the square root (which would be perfectly fine) and cancel the squares *as well*, only this is not taking the square root on the right side (sqrt(1/4) != -1/2).

          another nice false proof, actually using square roots, is

          1 = sqrt(1) = sqrt((-1)*(-1)) = sqrt(-1)*sqrt(-1) = i^2 = -1.

    • Joe

      Except when Craig says “really”, he isn’t using it in the same way you or I do. That’s one more bait and switch he uses.

  • epicurus

    Trump’s presidency adds new power to the naysayer fallacy – His lies have been documented as lies and shown to wrong and exposed in print and electronic media. The info is easily accessed by just about anyone, anywhere, at any time (unlike the ancient world). Yet what is the result among his supporters – apathy or obfuscation. They aren’t rushing to make things right, just like the early Christians wouldn’t rush to make things right, even if they somehow found out about some false info on the other end of the country or region.

    And what if you are a Trump supporter and believe the mainstream media is all fake news? The naysayer fallacy still applies, because the fake news mainstream media is not correcting it’s sad failing fake news once Trump and Fox and Breitbart and Sarah Sanders correct it. The liberal media continues on, unaffected by the truth telling Trump news.

    So either way, we can’t know if 2k years ago some people tried to correct, or even knew about, make up Christian stories or events or people.

    • Cozmo the Magician

      Also the is the little itty bitty fact that the a murderous church took pleasure in erasing any people/books/art that contradicted the ‘living word of god’ (as decided by a group of old men)

  • Tuna

    I love it when people bring up the argument from place names, because the rebuttals write themselves.

    “So, because Tokyo is a real place, Godzilla is real too?”

    • epicurus

      And the magical powers of ninja’s.

    • Cozmo the Magician

      I can look up up in the sky and SEE Mars. Therefor semi-naked martian princess.

  • Paul

    ““What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence” (Christopher Hitchens).”

    So Bob, it looks like you can dismiss the Oort Comet Cloud, Inflation theory, dark matter, and dark energy.

    “Many scientific papers are written each year about the Oort cloud: its properties, its origin, its evolution. Yet there is not yet a shred of direct observational evidence for its existence.”
    Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, Comets, 1997, p. 230

    “Big bang theory relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities – things that we have never observed. Inflation, dark matter, and dark energy are the most prominent. Without them, there would be fatal contradictions between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences. Whereas Richard Feynman could say that ‘science is the culture of doubt,’ in cosmology today doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have
    something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.”
    Eric Lerner, “Bucking the Big Bang,” New Scientist, 182:2448 (22 May 2004), p. 20

    • Kevin K

      The evidence for the Oort cloud is observational in the form of long-period comets.
      Inflationary theory is a mathematical model that isn’t even accepted by the physics community. It’s currently being argued over. So, the correct position with respect to it is skepticism.
      Dark matter has been directly observed by looking at the gravitational effects of colliding galaxies.
      Dark energy was directly observed by looking at Type Ia supernova.

      Edited to add: The inflation of the universe (all galaxies are moving away from each other and accelerating) has been directly observed. In fact, that direct observation led Einstein to declare that his “cosmological constant”, which he used in service of the then-popular “static universe” model to be his biggest mistake.

      • Cozmo the Magician

        And unlike some people, Einstein was willing to admit he was wrong. IIRC the quote was along the lines of of Could not remember the exact wording and some brief google-fu revealed it was likely NOT something he actually said. Amazing how just a LITTLE honest research can stop you from making a mistake in public.

    • Ctharrot

      Bob’s a lost cause, I’m afraid. Get this: he doesn’t believe Joshua’s prayers froze the sun in the sky for a day, just because the event is utterly inconsistent with orbital mechanics, there’s no confirmation of such an astounding occurrence in the contemporary chronicles of other peoples of antiquity, and stopping the earth from spinning for a day would have catastrophic inertial consequences.

      You just can’t reason with the guy. Of course he totally ignores the conclusive data we have in the form of the single story appearing in copies of copies of an ancient account composed during humanity’s credulous adolescence by unknown authors who thought plants existed before the sun. Rock. Freakin’. Solid.

    • Ignorant Amos

      Ah, yes…the fuck of to Croydon and hit the reset button of the lying for Jesus Christian. Ya disingenuous tit.

    • Greg G.

      So Bob, it looks like you can dismiss the Oort Comet Cloud, Inflation theory, dark matter, and dark energy.

      You should really consider checking out creationist quotemines before you repeat them.

      Long period comets are direct evidence of the Oort Cloud. Sagan and his wife accepted that the Oort Cloud existed and predicted that there would be direct evidence for it. And they were correct about that: https://www.gemini.edu/node/12292 . Objects were observed four years ago. You are way behind.

      The observed red-shift of far away objects is evidence for inflation of the universe.

      We don’t know what dark matter or dark energy is, we only have evidence that needs to be explained.

      The scientific theories you oppose are not made up to oppose your religion. They are explanations of observed evidence.

      Why do you keep citing Lerner? Is that all you have?

      • Max Doubt

        “We don’t know what dark matter or dark energy is, we only have evidence that needs to be explained.”

        No shit. Dark matter and dark energy are names we’ve applied to the evidence. Which exists. Observably, objectively, demonstrably.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Paul is an epitomizing poster boy for the typical knuckle-dragging religitard arsehole…I think it is great to have him here. He demonstrates how really fucked-up-in-the-head religion can make people.

    • Herald Newman

      You keep posting this nonsense and you never listen, or respond, to any of the objections we raise. You’re a troll in my mind, and not even a particularly good one.

      Piss off, and join the rest of the crowd in my blocked list!

    • Max Doubt

      “So Bob, it looks like you can dismiss the Oort Comet Cloud, Inflation theory, dark matter, and dark energy.”

      There is evidence for the existence of the Oort cloud, inflation, dark matter, and dark energy. We observe the effects of them in repeatably measurable ways. We gave them names after we obtained the evidence. For you to continue to claim they are without evidence after it’s been pointed out to you otherwise makes you a liar. Or at least willfully ignorant, which is also dishonest. Or, to give you the fullest benefit of the doubt, it could be that you’re just too fucking stupid to understand.

    • Michael Neville

      The Oort Cloud has not been observed by any telescope. It’s made up of small, dim objects a considerable distance away. However comets come through the inner solar system considerably frequently. If you don’t like the Oort Cloud can you give another source for comets?

      There is considerable evidence for inflation. Just because AIG doesn’t like it is no reason to dismiss inflation.

      Eric Lerner, who holds a minority view in cosmology, ignored dark matter because it conflicted with his plasma theory. In 1991, when he wrote his book, dark matter had already been established, the debate was about the nature of dark matter, not whether or not it existed. Likewise dark energy’s effects have been observed.

      “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” –Philip K. Dick

    • Joe

      Your posts would be more convincing if you took the time to understand the topics on which you post.

    • eric

      Bob, add a 26th to the list. “Christians disputing mainstream science with nothing but hackneyed citations and bible quotes.”
      Or maybe this should be the 0th stupid argument, given that Augustine warned his fellow Christians not to do this 1,600 years ago.

      • Ignorant Amos

        Ya could even strike out “Christians” as being a wee bit specific and insert “religidiot airheads” for a more general observation that would work too.

      • Or maybe blundering into a conversation about science without knowing the basics of science. Or entering a conversation about science armed only with BS arguments from Answers in Genesis.

      • Pofarmer

        Apparently Paul really is that stupid.

    • Alan Mill

      Hi Paul

      The rather important difference between the Ort cloud, dark matter and dark energy and cosmic inflation on the one hand and Abrahamic monotheism on the other hand, is that monotheism is a socio-political ordering principle (and an appallingly bad one at that) and cosmology is not.

      The Ort cloud does not tell us what food to eat. Dark matter does not demand that we obey it or face its eternal wrath, dark energy does not persecute heretics and big bang inflation does not cause social chaos and disaster when it gets practical control of the political levers in our society.

      Cosmology is not a totalitarian ordering principle. Christianity is.

      Authoritarian ordering principles governing via totalitarianism are obnoxious, to say the least. You are proselytising for theocracy, a discredited totalitarian political system that has always been a failure, is now a failure and always will be a failure.

      One day we will have visited the Ort cloud and know the exact nature of dark matter and dark energy while monotheism will never be a worthwhile ordering principle.

      PS I am still seeking an answer to the question I asked you last time – Can you give me a non optional reason, that I can’t dismiss or deny, for grounding moral obligation in your god’s alleged commands?

      The secular grounding of moral obligation is in the necessity of society. Everyone who has ever lived in society has used this grounding. Society is not optional so we ought to follow the rules of social living, aka moral behaviour. Society cannot be dismissed or denied. One small proof of that is your use of social media. The large proof is that you survived and prospered and now use social media (amongst many other benefits of society).

    • Bald Humanist

      “Inflation theory, dark matter, and dark energy.”

      All of these have provided evidence….they are not assertions but more like hypotheses…a springboard to further investigation.

      Religion is dogma and allows no new investigation.

  • Greg G.

    Christians who keep predicting the end of the world keep skipping the Ten Commandments. Right there in Commandment II, it says that God will show love to a thousand generations who mind the commandments given in the time of Moses. That would be twenty or twenty-five thousand years. (Twenty seconds in God years.)

    Exodus 20:4-6 (NRSV)4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    OTOH, if somebody isn’t obeying the commandments, there will have to be three or four more generations in perpetuity. What incentive would the great-grandchildren have to follow the commandments if they are going to be punished either way?

  • Ignorant Amos
    • “Victory! Court of Appeal in Belfast rules humanist marriage must be legally recognised”

      Nice!

    • ildi

      At least there’s good news somewhere! With Kennedy retiring I’m reduced to drinking, etc. and these: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/898dcb4a5485fd1e722084e5c02b822b09111500268dd5b5c48eb7a57af655bd.jpg

      • Ignorant Amos

        Aye, while some of the people in Northern Ireland is kicking back against the establishment and dragging itself outta the Dark Ages, that clown Trump and Coco’s that follow him, are determined to throw the US back into them.

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, we’re in a bit of a pickle right now.

        • epicurus

          2.5 years to go, unless he gets re-elected. Impossible? That’s what many thought about George W, until his second term.

        • And that’s what almost everyone thought about Donald the First before his first term.

          We live in strange times.

        • Pennybird

          And so far as we know, Bush didn’t have a Russian troll farm watching his back on election day.

  • heleninedinburgh

    And you just know that if you did show him video surveillance of all of Israel from whenever Jesus was supposed to have lived (there are at least three dates claimed) he would just say that Jesus was the one working the camera.

    • Steve Williams

      That’s even funnier than the original comment 😀

  • Greg G.

    I believe 12.5% of the Bible. That makes me an eighth theist.