An Underage Bride… in the Bible

There’s a wonderful, hilarious book called Illustrated Stories from the Bible (that they won’t tell you in Sunday School) by Paul Farrell, published by American Atheists Press, that’s pretty self-explanatory.

The book tells all those gruesome, despicable, disturbing stories that pastors love to gloss over lest people think the Bible isn’t really a Good Book.

Of course, that book is geared toward adults. Just as it should be.

But what if it was aimed at children? What if those horrific stories were sugar-coated and taught to kids?

That’s the gist behind Kind Little Rivka, a “beautifully illustrated account of how Abraham’s trusted servant Eliezer chose Rivka to be Isaac’s wife — all because of her kindness.”

Just one thing: When Rivka (a.k.a. Rebekah) was chosen to be Isaac’s wife, she was only three-years-old.

Eliyahu Federman can’t believe the book just glosses over that little fact:

It turns out this book was glorifying an underage marriage — and I was shocked by its content and images.

The book begins innocuously enough. “One day, when Rivka was three years old, she decided to go down to the well ….”

Next, it takes a creepy turn:

That very same day … a man named Eliezer began walking with ten camels … The camels were loaded with bags full of presents; shiny golden bracelets … and just about anything a little girl could want… Eliezer was looking for a kind and special girl to be a wife for Yitzchak… ‘When I find the right girl, she will get all of these wonderful presents,’ thought Eliezer.

When Eliezer gets to the well there is a disturbing illustration of a grown man stroking his beard glaring at several small children at the well.

He wonders, according to the dialogue, “Which one will be the right wife for Yitzchak?”

If my daughter sees a grown man with “shiny golden bracelets” staring at her by a well, she should run and scream. This is a scenario we teach our children to avoid, not one we highlight as acceptable.

Federman spoke with the book’s author, who doesn’t really see the problem with any of this:

[Dina] Rosenfeld said in an email interview that the question of age-appropriateness had never come up before — and claimed that the child was only selected for marriage at age three, and is not actually wed at that young age.

That’s… umm… not any better. We would easily demonize any old man who selected a three-year-old child for marriage… but, in the context of the Bible, it’s seen as perfectly normal.

This is just another example of how the Bible distorts the idea of morality. We shouldn’t look to it as any sort of ultimate authority on virtue because it fails at it time and time again.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Post over at Amazon: Pedophilia Glorified “A 1 star review”

    Kind Little Rivka purports to be a Biblical story; and maybe, on some level, it is. But what story does it tell? Darling three-year-old girl betrothed to a man much, much older. Thirty-seven years older. If this is the kind of tale you want to tell your three-year-old, then this book is for you.

    And now for a 5 star review: A must-have for little girls!

    I have read this book to my daughters so many times I’ve lost track. They want to hear it over and over and over again. And my daughter’s classmate even dressed up for Purim as Kind Little Rivka. This is a book that is a MUST for every little Jewish girl’s bookshelf.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      The second review… what in all the fucks.

      • The Other Weirdo

        It might be a Poe.

  • Keyra

    This is book is aimed at the New Atheists who are already drenched in misconception. For example, the ones ate by the bears, they weren’t even literal kids, but merely youths; most New atheists don’t even know Hebrew to make these assertions towards what they clearly don’t understand

    • Bert Russell

      Ah, yes, because somehow “youths” makes significantly less bad? Honestly, do you think things through?

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Yeah, and Jonah wasn’t swallowed by a whale, it was a big fish. Totally makes it more believable.

        • Lurker111

          And he didn’t have a chainsaw with which to cut himself out. ;)

      • phantomreader42

        From what I’ve seen of Keyra’s posts, I doubt she’s capable of thinking. She fails the Turing test.

    • The Other Weirdo

      The amazing thing is that when I saw that image, that was the exact same thing I thought: someone would come along and tell us that they weren’t really children, as depicted in the image, but “youths”. Keep in mind that “youth” today doesn’t mean what “youth” meant back then. Could you explain how them being youths is substantially better than them being kids?

    • phantomreader42

      So, Keyra, at precisely what age is it acceptable for young people to be torn apart by wild animals? 5? 10? 13? 17? Or are you too much of a coward to address this, just like all the other times you’ve babbled nonsense and fled in terror when called on it?

    • Art_Vandelay

      most New atheists don’t even know Hebrew to make these assertions towards what they clearly don’t understand

      I have no idea what that means.

      • phantomreader42

        It means that each individual atheist is required to spent two thousand years studying every word of every version of the bible in every language in order for Keyra to consider them worthy to disagree, but christians are under no such obligation because Keyra is a lying death cultist bigot too stupid to comprehend how dishonest her double standard is.

    • Edmond

      If the Bible can only be truly understood in Hebrew, then why does English exist? Why did God let us create such a misguided language, if Hebrew was his favorite? Did he WANT modern atheists to have a poor understanding of his loving stories of animal maulings? Is he tricking us? What does the Hebrew version say is the correct age for bears to tear people apart for teasing someone?

      • Art_Vandelay

        It’s odd that she’d pick the Hebrew version since the bible was originally written in Koine Greek.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Most of the old testament was originally in Hebrew, you may be thinking of the New Testament, which was in Greek and Aramaic.

          • Art_Vandelay

            Ah…got it. Thanks.

      • Stev84

        I thought God spoke King James English?

      • rasha22

        not sure where i heard this but i think its a medrash that originally everyone spoke hebrew but as punishment for the tower of babel god had everyone start speaking different languages

      • Anat

        The Hebrew-speaking deity had very little interest in non-Hebrew speakers. Those only exist as means to punish sinning Hebrew-speakers, and as a source of slaves for those Hebrew-speakers the deity considers deserving of owning permanent slaves.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      most Christians don’t even know Hebrew to make these assertions towards what they clearly don’t understand

    • Matt D

      Sorry, not interested in feeding your anger fetish, your bitter ignorance, or your lack of honesty.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      People at the time were considered adults at the age of thirteen. Try again, dimwit troll.

      Speaking of which, reported as usual, because Keyra is a troll, It doesn’t interact; it just does flybys to elicit reaction.

    • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

      Well so long as they were just obnoxious youths that’s okay.

      You know, if your deity is on the same moral level as the teacher from Battle Royale you should really re-examine your views.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      Another translation err is that the “youths” weren’t mauled to death, but “hugged” to death. See that makes it all better. Smiley faces for everyone!!!

    • Lurker111

      This is a great Poe. One upvote from me.

    • Psychotic Atheist

      The word is na`ar. Which can be translated as ‘young man’ or ‘newborn baby’ as context demands. The context in this case is the word ‘qatan’ which means ‘small’ or ‘young’. So its actually saying ‘young youths’ which is often translated to ‘children’.

      I note that they don’t use bachuwr which might imply a young man in his twenties, also sometimes called a ‘youth’.

      Further evidence is that in the next verse (2:Kings 2:24) they use the word yeled…. which almost always means ‘child’. (Gen 21:8, Exd 2:3 and numerous other times).

      So ‘little youth’ and ‘children’ pretty much implies these are literal kids.

      So how’s *your* Hebrew?

      • ToonForever

        Pwned. This made me shed a small tear of happiness :)

    • Artor

      This is the same argument made recently over the ongoing pedophile problem in the Church. “The priests aren’t pedophiles; they’re mostly raping teenagers, not little kids!” Ah, that makes it so much better!

  • GubbaBumpkin

    The story is from Genesis 24, but important details such as Rebekah’s age are not found there.

    • Daithi

      In the actual story, Isaac is 40 years old, and Rebekkah is referred to with the line “The girl was very fair to look upon, a virgin, whom no man had known”. But trying to bend this story into a children’s story with Rebekkah being betrothed or married off to an adult is pretty creepy!

    • icecreamassassin

      You know, even if we completely disregard the whole ‘pedo’ thing, the whole age thing…
      …there is still the whole ‘woman as property and we get to betroth people to wedlock without concern for concepts like consent or love’ thing present in this, which I still find abominable.

      I mean, yeah, the pedo-bit of this is pretty horrible, but it’s not the *only* aspect that is morally questionable.

  • pierre

    One of the stories I can’t get over is what happens to Lot after he escapes Sodom and Gomorrah and his wife gets turned into a pillar of salt. Lot was spared the fate of all the other residents because he was so righteous, and all that.

    Then, his two daughters get him drunk and rape him on more than one occasion and breed two entire races of people and I’ve never looked at the Bible the same way since. Such a fitting fate for such a righteous man.

    • Daithi

      Well, Lot is really not depicted as a righteous man in the Genesis text, and is cast as the opposite of his uncle Abraham. He was spared more because he was Abraham’s nephew than for any other reason. In the story, the children born of this strange scene are the ancestors of two of the peoples who are the main antagonists of the people of Israel in latter books of the Bible, so maybe this is a bit of propaganda to cast the enemies of the audience for the Hebrew bible in a very negative light.

      • http://www.miketheinfidel.com/ MikeTheInfidel

        Lot is really not depicted as a righteous man in the Genesis text

        Nope, but he is in the New Testament; e.g. 2 Peter 2:7.

    • Stev84

      The point behind the story was probably to insult those two other tribes by saying that they are the result of incest.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Yep, that was exactly what it was. The text is full of that sort of thing: veiled porn, insults, threats. Hell, Revelations is nothing but coded criticisms of the Roman government, made intentionally bizarre to camouflage that it’s even a code.

        • observer

          So the Bible’s just one big attack ad?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Huge chunks of it. And it’s snuck in even when it isn’t the main theme, like with the attacks on knowledge and education and other cult-tribe reinforcement.

          • Kevin R. Cross

            No, only about haldf the Old Testament. (Lies about Egyptians, Hittites, Romans…plus the occasional excuses for Hebrew war crimes).

            • trj

              Don’t forget the Bible’s 17 books of prophets. Most of them have detailed screeds condemning this or that specific city, trash-talking the inhabitants, and detailing how God will destroy them and their city (which never actually happens – how is that for prophecy).

              • Anat

                The Prophets are best read as political commentary and op-eds of their times (once the times are figured out correctly).

            • Anat

              Romans in the Hebrew Bible? Where?

              • Kevin R. Cross

                Good point. They’re in the New Testament – where, I have to say, they serve much the same purpose.

        • Artor

          Except where it just devolves into the hallucinatory ravings of a loony hermit eating too many magic mushrooms. That shit is whacked!

    • Anon

      Only in the bible would somebody be called a ‘righteous man’ after offering his daughters to be gang raped by a mob.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    About two years ago I did a series of YouTube videos called “Bible Stories for Children”, where I start each video by telling the story and showing the child-friendly illustrations, but then gradually switch to a more skeptical view.

    It’s amazing the outrage I still get from religious parents upset that their kids got exposed to the idea that the Bible might be just ancient fairy tales.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/playlist?list=PLF3BE13D35F52BC08&desktop_uri=%2Fplaylist%3Flist%3DPLF3BE13D35F52BC08

  • Itsrealfunnythat

    So essentially… it doesnt matter if this girl falls in love with someone else during the course of her life, or if shes a lesbian or if she doesnt want to get married. Shes already been sold and paid for, so she has to marry this guy because God.

    • chanceofrainne

      Yep.

      • Itsrealfunnythat

        Well… alrighty then.

    • Beth

      Women having thoughts and feelings? Don’t be silly!

      • Itsrealfunnythat

        Don’t forget opinions. We don’t get to have opinions either.

  • fred

    It would be nice if there were some books like the “… wont tell you in Sunday school” that WERE appropriate for younger readers. My ex has our son enrolled in a Xtian school. It would be pointless for me to fight this in court, as I live in bible-belt territory. But it would be nice if there was some decent literature debunking some of the nonsense he is being taught there, in a non-confrontational and not “obvious” way, that I could simply leave where he could find it. (FWIW, I *do* have a copy of “The Magic of Reality”)

    • Anna

      I don’t know of any specifically debunking Bible stories, but there are children’s books about critical thinking and skepticism.

      This one’s not limited to religion, but one of the chapters is about faith healing:

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Magic-Detectives-Solving-Mysteries/dp/0879755474/ref=pd_sim_b_1#_

      You might also try a book of different creation myths? This one has the biblical story treated the same as the others:

      http://www.amazon.com/Creation-Ann-Pilling/dp/1564028887/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374179011&sr=1-1&keywords=creation+pilling

    • phranckeaufile

      Just encourage him to read the Bible itself. That should do the trick.

      • evodevo

        Worked for me !!!

    • Buckley

      There are always local Center for Inquiry stuff if you are in a city that has an affiliate. I’ve taken my kids to lots of different things, but it all depends on where you are and how close you can get to stuff.

    • MD

      Get him some fun books about Greek and Viking mythology. Others as well, if you can find them. He can begin to compare them to the Bible and see that Genesis is no different from other myths.

      • Artor

        I grew up on Bullfinch’s and Deities & Demigods. It and a later dose of Joseph Campbell helped a lot.

        • allein

          So is that like a vaccine and then a booster shot when you’re older? =)

          • Artor

            Maybe so, though I credit actually attending Catholic school for several years with my becoming an atheist.

        • Matt

          Hamilton’s Mythology was introduced in my Freshman English class in high school (we actually did an 8 week course on the material) I had had my doubts before, but really delving into what the Greeks believed and why was a major stepping stone on my path to reason

      • islandbrewer

        I found that being well versed in different mythologies, for their folklore, literary value, Role Playing settings, whatever, really made unable to think of the old testament as nothing more than nomadic monotheistic folklore, no matter how well intentioned. And this was when I still believed in god.

        Later, when I would meet adults who talked about Adam and Eve and Noah as if they actually existed, I thought they were insane.

    • Dan

      I’ll admit I’m a believer in the Bible, but this isn’t an anti-atheist comment on any level.

      I’m simply curious – if atheism generally places great emphasis on reasoning things out, and not believing in God simply because there’s no proof – shouldn’t you – fred – be focussing on teaching your son to reason things out and let him find out the truth for himself, instead of forcing him (however slyly) towards your own atheistic beliefs?

      Just saying, don’t become the so-called evil you’re trying to stand up against.

      • Matt

        Introducing literature that analyses and studies the bible in relation to other myths is not “forcing him… towards your own atheistic beliefs” It is presenting the facts as they are in the world. The literature can be introduced as “The bible introduces the creation myth like so… these other creations myths were put to paper hundreds of years before and are very similar, isnt that interesting? How would you look at this information rationally, and what kind of conclusions could you draw from it? How would X Greek myth story relate to X bible story? How did mythology die out? Why does Christianity persist” etc. etc. Introducing literature to supplement how the bible is introduced (and in Fred’s case, most likely indoctrinated upon his children by his ex) is not forcing atheism on the child, it is presenting the ability to think rationally and shed the indoctrination that the child is forced to endure.

      • Anat

        The skill of reasoning things out isn’t taught in a vacuum. It is taught via examples and exercises.

    • Lurker111

      The _A Series of Unfortunate Events_ series is notoriously subversive. You might try buying the first three in the series (still available as a threepack?–not sure).

  • Aureliano_Buendia

    I’ve seen a few people mentioning that the age of Rivka (Rebekah) is not mentioned in the Bible passages that this story comes from. This is true. But the math is found from other parts:

    1. Sarah was 90 when Yitzchok was born.

    2. Sarah died at 127 immediately after the Akeidah, so Yitzchok was 37 at the Akeidah.

    3. Immediately after Sarah’s death Avrohom hears the news of the birth of Rivkah, so she was born when Yitzchok was 37.

    4. Yitzchok was 40 when he married Rivkah, so she must have been 3 when they married.

    Obviously, some of these other portions are also disputed, but that’s where the 3-year-old basis comes from.

    • OverlappingMagistera

      Thanks. I was trying to find the basis for the age, since the actual story just calls her a “damsel” (KJV)

      Where does Sarah’s age when Yitzchok is born come from? Gen 21 just says that Abe was 100…

      • Aureliano_Buendia

        Sarah’s age at Isaac’s birth:
        Gen 17:17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”

        Sorry if the references to the biblical text or the names change; I edited them in.

        • OverlappingMagistera

          Thanks. There it is!

    • GubbaBumpkin

      More detail please.

      1) Age of Sarah at Isaac’s birth: Gen 17:7. It also says Abraham was 100 (Gen17:7, 21:5)

      2) Sarah died at 127. Gen 23:1

      3) Abraham hears news of Rebecca’s birth: Gen 22:19-24 seems to be the relevant section, but Abraham is not hearing about Rebekah’s birth as a present event; this is a summary of past family history including the birth of Rebekah’s father as well. Also, that was just before the death of Sarah in the text, so it could have been any time between the almost-murder of Isaac and the death of Sarah. At the time of the almost-murder of Isaac, he was old enough to speak and to carry wood, but that still leaves a couple decades of wobble.

      4) Relative ages mentioned depend on points 1-3.

      • OverlappingMagistera

        Yea I was thinking the same. It’s not clear when Rebecca was born from the text. It can also be interpreted that Abe sends the servant to find Rebecca at some point before Sarah’s death (with the text being out of order.)

        But either way, the author of this children’s book, does take the view that she was 3 when shes chosen as a wife. Definitely creepy, though not uncommon, even today, with arranged marriages.

      • ben Toiroh

        The Toiroh (“Bible”) is a code meant to impress upon, exclusively, the Jewish People (culture etc), that they understand and manifest it’s message.

        For this reason, by the time I reached third or fourth grade I was being taught in four languages, two ancient, one intermediate, and of-course contemporary English. By the end of middle-school I had studied years of Law, Sociology, Philosophy, Mysticism etc in multiple languages. Included in this extensive well-rounded Jewish/secular education was after school science programs, additional language classes, bedroom shelves of secular encyclopediae etc.

        All this, to understand the Toiroh and the contemporary world in an effort to teach me to compliment each with the other, and moreso illuminate the world with Toiroh.

        The Toiroh is not meant for the uninitiated. It is meant to be the deepest of wisdom and knowledge. It is meant, not to tell “a story” but to convey an effect on those who internalize it via “initiation”. Toiroh literally means tradition or teach.

        “And therefore what?” you may ask.

        “The Hebrews have contributed more to the civilizing (moralizing) of humanity than any other people.” -John Adams, Leading Founding Father of the USA

        …this, that .02% of the world’s population consistently made the greatest contribution for the most people, despite all the hurdles… This is Toiroh.

        But you can’t make sense of it?
        So be it. Just appreciate.

        The story of Rivkoh (“Rebbeca”) conveys protection and purity and cultivation and distinction etc etc etc
        “How?” you may ask.

        The story of Avrohom (“Abraham”) and Yitzchok (“Isaac”) convey the same, protection, purity, cultivation and distinction in a more masculine (vis a vis feminine) application.
        Again “How?”?

        And yet after all is said done, I can validly proclaim that the Toiroh teaches the Supreme moral, spiritual and life code.

        The fact remains, Jews have always, culturally, been against child-sacrifice, forced sex etc, even when these were common among their neighboring ancients. This showing that the very result one would expect from the society of the book, based on some estimations, is the opposite of what materializes.

        It does not take faith or belief to recognize G-d’s purveyance in all. It takes intellect and knowledge (says the product of the after-school secular science program, for whom life-long scientific pursuits has followed).

        Lastly, I do not accept or promote any chritian ideologies, interpretations or cultural history. As far as I’m concerned they are impostors misrepresenting something I have a firm grasp of.

        Footnote: America was founded on Judeo-Masonic principles, along with France, and put an end to a millenium of Christian savagery. The revolution and the establishment of the Government was mostly funded by one Rabbinic (Pharisee) Jew, for entirely altruistic purposes, (not financial gain). Furthermore, if not for various chritian representatives of the States threatening to sabotage the entire Union, slavery would have been abolished as intended at the time of the Declaration …see the Magen Dovid on the National Seal and the One Dollar Bill which centers on the One G-d in which we trust, the Centering of John Adams on the Two, and the prominence of the Southern States on the Five (at the top of the Lincoln Memorial, signifying finally the freeing of slaves).

        That’s all for now folks.

        Remember: One! Harmony…

        “And ALL the world will fill with the knowledge of G-d like waters covers the sea.”

        • ben Toiroh

          Footnote: To understand the meaning of the tiny owl on the top right corner of the back (face-side) of the dollar bill, see Tehillim (“Psalms”) 106 (particularly verse 7-8, and its context in the chapter).
          http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16323

          Volumes of more symbolism is contained in those bills telling America’s story.

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            Dude, shove it. I grew up Jewish, and one of the very first things we learned is our God is a jealous, angry God. While I consider Judaism less inherently ridiculous than Christianity (its tenets at least make a little more sense than the whole trinitarian, tri-omni with Hell thing), it’s not like that makes Judaism a moral light for the ages. The laws are barbaric; overly harsh punishments, treating women as chattel, and rituals designed to prevent assimilation. Torah is a fascinating read, especially with an expert in Talmud, but it’s far from something to live one’s life by.

        • rasha22

          Mr Chabad; if you valued your neshomo you wouldnt be on atheist blogs

          as for your clams that Judaism has such a moral high ground, did you know that in a leviticus marriage the guy can rape his sister in law, the high priest wasn’t allowed to marry anyone except a minor (except if he was already married), a father could just marry off his daughter to whomever he wanted (even a leper), when a father married of this underage daughter he could do it through sex with the other guy (sounds like rape to me) and in spite of what may happen in current chabad no woman is allowed to hold any position of power m(mishna torah, kings, in the beginning of chapter one check it out)

          the list goes on and on but die hard judaism is not a fun (or very moral place) if followed to the letter of the law (i understand that last part was based on my western morals and is subjective)

          • ben Toiroh

            “as for your clams that Judaism has such a moral high ground, did you know that…”

            Reconcile that with this historical fact: “The Hebrews contributed more to the civilizing (moralizing) of humanity…”

            You only further point to the workings of the mysteries of the Toiroh (“OT”).

            I like how those today who’s ancestors have been raised out of savagery to some degree of civility THANKS TO THE HEBREWS, are full of righteous indignation, and think they know better.
            You think you’re law is more just?!
            It is a byproduct of the HEBREWS.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Do you also throw poo at school kids because they don’t dress they way you think they should?

            • Artor

              Umm, the Hebrews you are lauding were illiterate goatherders while the Sumerians, Egyptians, Hellenes, Chinese and Hindus were busy building civilization, law, democracy, literature, art, etc. I have no idea what the fuck you’re blathering about.

        • YourDad

          Ah, nothing like hearing from someone who thinks he’s part of a Chosen Race!

        • RobMcCune

          …this, that .02% of the world’s population consistently made the greatest contribution for the most people, despite all the hurdles… This is Toiroh.

          But you can’t make sense of it?
          So be it. Just appreciate.

          So why did it take 3000 years to kick in? You’re right I can’t make sense of it since it makes no sense.

          And yet after all is said done, I can validly proclaim that the Toiroh teaches the Supreme moral, spiritual and life code.

          Well then, that settles it.</sarcasm>

          This showing that the very result one would expect from the society of the book, based on some estimations, is the opposite of what materializes.

          Because the book forbids 1 barbaric practice, yet commands dozens?

    • rwlawoffice

      Your description conveniently skips the portion of Genesis 22:20 that says “Some time later” Abraham was told. This doesn’t say that Abraham was told this immediately after Sarah’s death nor does it say when Rebekah was born in relation to her death or when this news was delivered. So the whole premise that she was three when she was betrothed is faulty.

      • Aureliano_Buendia

        “My description,” as I stated, is from the comments section of the original linked article. I added in the biblical passages for each portion (and the commonly translated names). I make no comment on whether it is true or not – it serves only as an explanation of how the age of 3 was found.

        Biblehub, which I used to search for the passages, noted that a majority “Talmudic scholars” agreed on these ages; the impression given is that most Jews are of the same mind. The author herself obviously believes Rebekah was 3.

    • NotThatGreg

      But any calculation that starts with the age difference between people that are alleged to have lived to 127 and 90 in that era has to have a large degree of uncertainty in it (technically, the “bullshit accommodation term”), no? Easily 10 years or more?
      Except, everything in the Bible is exactly true of course. Proceed.

  • friendlyandskeptical

    They obviously don’t teach the bible to math students. Hemant obviously never studied the Bible, but would love to make everyone think he actually did.

    Hemant never stepped foot inside a seminary or a theological school such as Notre Dame, University of America in Washington D.C. or any of the famous Jesuit Universities in Rome or Salamanca, yet he would love to tell people what they never learned in the seminary

    Funny…I really think this bozo thinks that he knows (or his atheist buddies) no more about religion than the religious.

    But what I have seen instead are religious at Georgetown, Boston College, Notre Dame, Fordham, etc… teaching math. What I have never seen is a math teacher who can teach theology.

    Maybe Hemant thinks he can. But he is a part of the problem why students are failing in Chicago. He is a failed teacher in a failing school system.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Well I should sure hope religious people can teach something besides theology. Because the theology is all bullshit.

    • TheG

      Soooo… you don’t have any defense to “The Good Book” teaching 3 year olds that it is acceptable for someone four decades older to offer a child shiny gifts and then declare his intent to marry her?

      Or did you not attend any of those prestigious institutions? I’m pretty sure they teach basic reading skills and intermediate debate skills there. You know, the kind of things that are important when trying to present a topic or at least not look like a dullard dick.

      • friendlyandskeptical

        Oh, yes. and dullard dick is a good example of debating skills and avoiding defending one’s positions. Ad hominem, right? Isn’t that what this logical fallacy is called.
        To answer your question: To take a 3 year old as your bride did not mean to engage in sex with her. But if anything, it meant to be betrothed to that person.
        Now, if you want to speak morality with me, then explain to me the modern concept of morality in aborting children only because of their gender, or inconvenience, or for any reason whatsoever.
        You, as well as Hemant, attempt to highlight one immorality (which by the way it doesn’t mean to have sex with a 3 year old) and dismiss the secular, to be aborted for any reason whatsoever.
        Again, who are you to tell me that your morality shines?

        • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

          Wait, hold on a moment. Your defense does away with the problem of pedophilia by reinforcing the fact that women were to be treated as property to be used in currency exchanges between families.

          Yes, that is slightly better than pedophilia, but it’s still grotesque. It’s like pointing out that you didn’t rape somebody, you just treated them as a slave instead.

          Further, you’re essentially explaining away this problem by simply deferring the sexual assault. Instead of not getting to have some old man force himself on her at age three, it’ll instead happen when she’s in her early-to-mid teens. Again, as I said before, that’s an improvement, but not by much.

          The Bible: The only book where defenses against criticisms against it are still pretty awful.

        • decathelite

          Ah, yes, the “she was betrothed at age three but didn’t have sex until she was older” argument

          How the fark do you know that he didn’t have sex with her? That’s what pedophiles in Muslim countries do, they “betrothe” themselves to little girls, but super pinky swear they didn’t have sex until years later, when the girl consents (read: the girl claims they didn’t have sex under threat of punishment) when she is of age.

          It’s a big farking deal because the people who claim that gay marriage encourages pedophilia completely overlook the pedophilia going on in the Bible. And a great deal of pedophilia going on within the church.

        • phantomreader42

          This is the first time I’ve ever seen this incredibly stupid argument used to defend anything other than mohammed (shit be upon him) raping a nine-year-old girl.

          Your fetus fetish and utter disregard for women and children only makes you look like more of an idiot, which I guess is an accomplishment in a twisted way, since it’s hard to make you look MORE idiotic after all the ridiculous bullshit you’ve been vomiting forth.

        • TheG

          “Oh, yes. and dullard dick is a good example of debating skills and avoiding defending one’s positions. Ad hominem, right? Isn’t that what this logical fallacy is called.”

          It got you to finally address the topic, didn’t it? Therefore, I’d say it was an excellent debating skill.

          I would love to speak morality with you, but the problem is that you are coming from a position that believes in a deity that has killed millions more unborn babies. As someone who spent his life saving the lives of very ill strangers, I don’t think you have a leg to stand on.

          Then you add in the Bible being the least moral book I’ve ever read (and studied extensively), you are just a troll. Defend the Bible describing how to perform an abortion. Defend the millions killed in the Bible for absolutely nothing that they did or didn’t do. Defend… you know what? When the morals your ideal biblical society rises above the level of that of a great white shark, I will debate you on morality.

    • Buckley

      Ah, the delusional Fundies have come out. Here’s the thing…you are exhibit A why I am an atheist. Your commentary smacks of paranoia and fear. Fear that finally your BS beliefs are untrue. If you truly had faith, defenses like this would be unnecessary, and it’s obvious your lack of faith is disturbing you.

      • friendlyandskeptical

        You are exhibit AAA why I am not an atheist.
        Your commentary smacks of logical infallacy known as ad hominen.
        Tell me, when the Bible says you should forgive 7×77 times, do you think it means 539 times?

        • Buckley

          No because the bible means absolutely nothing, it’s mythology.

          • friendlyandskeptical

            Right. That’s a good solid answer. Well proven too because you just proved it.

            To be an atheist on this page means to suspend all reason and logic.

            • TheG

              Mr. Kettle, I do declare: You’re black!

            • Kevin R. Cross

              You speak of reason and logic – in defense of the Bible? I thionk you need to remind yourself what those words mean.

              • Buckley

                “That word you keep using? I do not think it means what you think it means?”

              • friendlyandskeptical

                You speak of reason and logic only, when there is none in your argument and in your defense of a morality that comes from…? Did you notice how Hemant never answered the most important question? He preaches and you sing. Wow! How enlightening.

                Aren’t we changing morality as we speak? Whose to say that everyone who has a pet today won’t be considered a barbarian tomorrow?

                You’re so ridiculous!

                • Kevin R. Cross

                  Of a morality that comes from human thought and civil discourse. Of course it can change – and be the better for it.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  and for the worse…but whose to say, right???? Are you finally understanding???

                • Kevin R. Cross

                  I understand your point, that my morality, being unbased in an ultimate source, can alter and shift, and is ultimately subjective.
                  However, since I reject as unethical and evil all of the ultimate sources so far developed by humankind, and further realize that these so-called ultimate sources are merely the inventions of humans and thus actually subjective (as is clear by the massive changes to Christian morality over the past millenium), I don’t see that you offer any better solution.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  I don’t offer any solution. But you just reminded me of someone who does: “Love conquers all things.”
                  By the way, sorry for the mean spirited debate.

                • RobMcCune

                  No you’re not, you believe being mean spirited saves your soul.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  I only wrote that to Kevin. I did not write it to you.

                  What I mean by mean spirited is not what you obviously mean and write.
                  This guy (hemant) writes that he is friendly and skeptical. He’s not. He is entrenched and belittling to those who think and believe different from him.
                  You have a strange sense of friendly and skeptical. That’s why I use this name.

                • RobMcCune

                  You have a strange sense of friendly and skeptical. That’s why I use this name.

                  I believe that about as much as your apology.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  Now we are into apologies. Well…hey, I’m “friendly and skeptical” just like Hemant is “friendly and skeptical.”

                  It’s all propaganda.
                  I’ve only met one atheist that I can say is friendly, and he lives more like a Christian than I do. And that’s a very good thing.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  What particular type of Christian? They’re all different, you know.

                • RobMcCune

                  It’s all propaganda.

                  Only from your end.

                • Matt D

                  If you’re sorry, then apologize to everyone.
                  .
                  And I have no doubts you “debate” *only* atheists, but feel free to prove me wrong. Show us where you’ve had these discussions with other faiths, or make a snappy response and continue to wallow in your pitiful trolling and dishonest self indulgences.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Actions speak louder than words. I have a hypothesis that theists who don’t come here just to stir shit get treated with respect. The number of downvortes that blacksheep consistently gets is kinda denting my hypothesis though.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  Again… I meant it to Kevin. Not to you. Don’t give me your morality. It’s all subjective, right? Like “friendly and skeptical”, right?

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Who you meant it for is relevant. This is an open forum. As for telling me what to do or not to do- you can tell me to jump off a cliff if you like. You know it ain’t going to happen :-)

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  that’s why I didn’t tell you. Duh!!! How stupid can you get?

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Don’t give me your morality.

                  I didn’t actually give you any morality. Well, ok, I suppose “actions speak louder than words” could be seen as “giving you a morality”. Kind of ironic actually, that that would be the morality that you seem to object to.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  Having no moral base, I can make up my own morality and I can enforce it if I were stronger than you.

                  Of course I believe like you: actions speak louder than words.” But behind every action is a thought, and ideas are where problems begin or end.

                  And where these ideas come from are very important.
                  I gotta go. I’m on the clock!!!

                • The Other Weirdo

                  If you were a psychopath, sure. Normal people, however, want to live in peace with their neighbours.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Well, some time ago, people let religious “leaders” decide what was moral and what wasn’t, because God and Bible, natch. That didn’t turn out quite so well, what with the Crusades and pogroms and witch burnings and the like. Then people took back from religions the power to make secular law and lo and behold, those things have pretty much disappeared.

                  So what you are really saying is that, despite the last few hundred years of progress, you as a religious Bible-fearing person want to go back to the olden days of morality when y’all stood around watched as they tortured and burned witches. Hint: they weren’t witches, there aren’t any, nor devils.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  Oh and then when we became enlightened, we built the guillotine and the bomb, the gulags and the concentration camps, the electric chairs and the lethal injections.

                  We allowed for abortion and the butchering of millions of “unwanted” babies. And let’s not forget the freedom of the Internet and porn. The legalization of drugs.

                  Wonderful! Look at how we have progressed!!! Right? This is progress? And who are you to say that it is or isn’t??? Who made you the moral authority?

                  So we replaced one for another.

                  Now if you tell me that abortion is perfectly fine, then I will tell you that the crusades are perfectly fine. And who are you to tell me otherwise? Just like who am I to tell you otherwise, right?
                  You have no idea how to think or even how to organize your thoughts.
                  That’s why Hemant appreciates people like you.

                • Purelife

                  Oh and let’s not forget that stealing state secrets is far worse than committing heresy. How funny! I get it what you’re talking about.
                  We replaced one for another. Watch out snowden. The State, not the Church, is after you!!!!!!

                • RobMcCune

                  So you prefer old style barbarism to the “horrors” of porn and pot? How telling, I thought christians felt the idea “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav’n” was a bad sentiment.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  I prefer nothing that conflicts with the greatest philosophy of all time: Love conquers all things.

                  The Crusades were not so much of an attack but of a response. Just like the Revolutionary war was not an attack but a response. You somehow think that the Revolutionary war was more permissible than the Crusades, as if a nation is more important than the defending of ideas and beliefs.

                • RobMcCune

                  The Revolutionary War defended the colonist’s beliefs and ideas with far less targeting of civilians. Also what were the Crusades a “response” to?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Technically, at least one of the Crusades was in response to Muslim aggression. The others, as well as those that were directed to parts of Europe, well, not so much.

                • Anat

                  Weren’t the Crusades mostly about finding occupation and potential land for young European men?

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  Now that is a good question. You can look it up. But let me give you a hint: Christians lived in those lands well before any Muslim. They became Islamic not by conversion but by invasion.

                • RobMcCune

                  So if this was solely about conquest of “christian” lands why did they fixate on one small area?

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  they didn’t. They went all the way up to Spain. Don’t you know?

                • RobMcCune

                  Wrong “they”. The bulk of the Crusades focused on Jerusalem and the “holy land,” 400 years after it was conquered by muslims. So if the Crusades were strictly about responding to muslim conquests of christian lands, why focus capturing religious landmarks?

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Interesting implications for the Americas.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  they’re not much into dialogue these days.

                • decathelite

                  The Crusades were a response to Muslim infiltration of Jerusalem. Just like the Jews had infiltrated the Fatherland, which the final solution was a response to.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  I beg your pardon?

                • RobMcCune

                  decathelite forgot sarcasm tags.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  One can hope.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  All you really have are stock phrases you were taught, and you complain that I don’t know how to think. I know well enough to know that we are human beings, we are not perfect and we don’t always succeed at the things we try, even the most important things. That said, if the very worst things about this world are abortions, freedom of the Internet(I find it tell you don’t like that despite currently using it and knowing that if you were under the thumb of another version of Christianity than yours your feet would be tasting fire for what you’ve said) and porn, as well as the legalization of drugs(what legalization?), then I’ll take this fucked up but learning world over anything you and those like you would build.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  We are animals. We call ourselves humans. What makes you think that you are better than they are? We compete against each other all the time. We try to dominate one another all the time. No one has a standard for what is right or wrong. If this world is screwed up, it’s because of people like you that try to make yourself out to be better than people like me.

                  That’s the problem. what makes you think you’re better than me?

                  You see the problem? Probably not.
                  No wonder why that little parrot, Hemant, never got to that point, after bashing something he doesn’t understand AT ALL!

                • The Other Weirdo

                  I don’t think I am better than you. I leave that delusion to religious people.

                  Yes, we compete with each other. Yes, we try to dominate one another, and there is push-back when it happens.We learn, we progress, and we develop standards that say “this is bad.” These standards evolve. For a long time, humans didn’t realize slavery is wrong. This is why few if any religious texts condemn the practice. We learned. This is what we do.

                  But religions, with their hidebound morals stuck in a time people thought wizards actually existed, don’t learn, don’t progress and don’t teach. They preach, they give pretend their message is from on-high but really it’s just coming from dude in a funny hat sitting on a gold throne.

                  I’ll take this world.

                • Artor

                  Tu quoque works so well as a rebuttal. Keep it up. You’ll convince someone I’m sure. Someday.

                • phantomreader42

                  Maybe if it babbles the same nonsense for five or six decades, it might just manage to convince itself. But it’s probably too fucking stupid to even pull THAT off.

                • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

                  Because before the enlightenment, everything was smiley faces.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  I don’t offer any better solution, but someone else does. “Love conquers all things.”

                • Matt D

                  HAH!

            • Octoberfurst

              I literally did a facepalm when I read your comment: “To be an atheist on this page means to suspend all reason and logic.” Seriously? So as a fundie you think that reason and logic are on your side? No doubt you believe in talking snakes, a 6,000 yr old earth, a flood that covered the entire world—even covering Mt Everest. I could go on but you get the point. But yet you’re the LOGICAL one here? I have only one response to that: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!
              Idiot.

              • friendlyandskeptical

                Sugar is sweet and so are you? REALLY???? REALLY????

                You see, if you don’t know how to read the genre of a certain book, then the book will appear foolish. But in reality, it is you who are the idiot.

                So…is forgiving 7×77 times mean 539 times??

                • Matt D

                  LOL!

                • GubbaBumpkin

                  So…is forgiving 7×77 times mean 539 times??

                  Why do you ask, since Matt 18:22 says “seventy times seven“? Why should we care about 77 anything, except to demonstrate that you don’t know the Bible?

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  I do. I was actually testing you. And now that you know how to google something. Can you find a quick understanding of it as well?
                  After all snakes talk, right? Or is it that liars have quick tongues and easily maneuver themselves around tight corners…
                  But I’m not hear to teach you the Bible. I’m here to expose your ignorance.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  “here”

                • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                  Funny how a troll calls himself ‘friendlyandskeptical’. You aren’t accomplishing anything here other than making yourself look foolish.

                • baal

                  edmond = goddess = friendlyandskeptical = Matt D = sockpuppet

                  It’s having a trolling spree and keeps changing it’s name without realizing Disqus subs it out all over.

                • Matt D

                  Why on earth are you lumping me in with that crackpot?

                • RobMcCune

                  If the shoe fits…

                • Matt D

                  Ok, let’s put it this way. What are either of you viewing that has turned you against me so readily? I need to see this proof before I understand how to fix it, since I’m fond of this site.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Um, ya, WTF is Matt D doing in that list? Personally I’m guessing clerical error.

                • Matt D

                  Thanks Rich, I appreciate it……..I can’t blame them anyway, since a troll storming our discussions almost daily with their usual fake nose and glasses disguises, and barrage of rhetoric and zingers, is more than slightly irritating.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Maybe they mistook your laughing at the sock puppet with laughing with.

                • Matt D

                  True, I didn’t even think of that. I was thinking that laughing spitefully at the trolls every post would annoy them, but I couldn’t keep up while I’m at work! Serves me right for stooping to their level. :P

                • baal

                  Ok, scratch Matt D off the sockpuppet list. For the rest, I actually watched the names update and change. Matt D was added for the multiple LOL! and HHAHAHA! worthless post tagging of the sockpuppet trolls comments. i.e. looked like the troll support itself. I assume Matt D does not share the same IP address as the troll else Matt D might get banned regardless.

                • baal

                  You seem to act like the troll and your substantive posts aren’t much better than its.

                • GubbaBumpkin

                  After all snakes talk, right?

                  When they do talk, they tell the truth (Gen 3:4-5), whereas God lied to Adam (Gen 2:16-17).

                  But I’m not hear to teach you the Bible. I’m here to expose your ignorance.

                  What you are exposing so far is your own ignorance of the Bible.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  Perfect GubbaBumpkin. So snakes talk??? Really? I mean literally??? Not poetically? Not symbolically? Is that what you mean? Is that what you know?

                  Really. I want to know. I want to know if your an idiot or not.

                  Is that what the Jews taught?

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Don’t bring my people into your delusions. There are millions of Christians across the U.S. today who believe wholeheartedly believe in the literal truth of Genesis.

                • RobMcCune

                  So snakes talk??? Really? I mean literally??? Not poetically? Not symbolically?

                  That’s how religious people mean it, if it were symbolic or poetic there wouldn’t be much of problem.

                • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

                  You’re*

                  If one wishes to accuse somebody of stupidity, they might wish to get the contraction of “you are” correct.

                • evodevo

                  That’s a sure sign of homeskoolin’.

                • decathelite

                  Snakes literally talk in the Bible. Not poetically, not symbolically. Because that’s what some believers say. If we’re getting that part wrong, it’s because other believers are adamant about that being true. Police your own people, then you will have earned my respect.

                • Anat

                  The Jews indeed do not teach this literally, and thus they do not have a concept of Original Sin. But any version of Christianity that believes in original Sin must believe in a literal reading of Genesis 2-3.

                • Artor

                  You’ve certainly managed to expose someone’s ignorance, but I don’t think it’s in the person you intended.

                • Hat Stealer

                  “I was actually testing you”? Oh thank God, I thought this guy was actually serious for a second.

                • islandbrewer

                  Yeah, and it’s funny! Like, “Hey, go kill and burn your own son!”

                  It’s a laugh riot.

                • Octoberfurst

                  I noticed that you didn’t deny that you believe in talking snakes and such. Figures. So what is it about the “genre” of the book that I am missing O Wise One?
                  You know, people like you make me laugh because when discrepancies in the Bible are pointed out or some horrible story about what God did is brought up your side always, and I mean ALWAYS, says crap like, “Well you have to understand the DEEPER meaning of the text” or “You really need to know the original Hebrew for it to make sense to you” or “You don’t understand the genre of the book.” Uh-huh. So if that is true then why is it that your all powerful God makes his book so fricken hard to understand? As others have pointed out saying that we need to spend years studying the culture and language of the Bible before we can critique it is just plain stupid.
                  I know that your question of “is forgiving 7 times 77 mean 539 times?” is your way of showing that the Bible need not be taken literally. Jesus just meant an uncountable number of times. But then how do you know what to take literally and what not to? Convenience?

                • evodevo

                  The trouble with going “back” to the original Hebrew (which is hard because there are VERY few manuscripts in Hebrew that predate the Septuagint Greek) is that the “original” meaning usually confounds the Xtian New Testament passages in a BIG way. Like the whole “born of a virgin” prophesy thing, and the real meaning of some of the terms in Genesis. Beware, fundies.

                  Just sayin’.

                • Hat Stealer

                  To be a Christian is to believe that an all powerful all knowing and all loving god created a failable race, then made the punishment for failure torture forever. To get around this problem, he created an instruction manual written by Hebrew scribes 6000 years ago, the meaning of which no one can seem to agree on. To be a Christian is to belive that you were just so lucky to have the right interpriatation of the Bible, while everyone else got it wrong, and that this distinction has nothing to do with how your parents raised you.

                  You cannot be a thinking person and believe this.

            • Matt D

              Hahahaha!

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Tell me, when the Bible says you should forgive 7×77 times

          Where does it do that, O theologically superior being? In Matt 22:18, it says “seventy times seven.” No mention of 77 in the New Testament.

          • friendlyandskeptical

            You mean Matt 18:22 brilliant one? You’re probably dyslexic.
            That’s funny.

            • RobMcCune

              You find learning disabilities funny? How christian.

              But then again you probably believe if god didn’t want those people to be demeaned by people like you, he would have made them that way in the first place.

              • http://nomadwarriormonk.blogspot.com/ Cyrus Palmer

                Yeah, seriously. Fuck this guy.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  Now that is very moral. And I’m sure that many would agree. So, there you go…we now know what it means to be moral
                  thanks!

                • RobMcCune

                  Good, it will be nice to see your behaviour improve.

                • Artor

                  Oh, but I’m sure he meant it in the nicest possible way. You just haven’t had the years of special education to understand his words properly.

              • friendlyandskeptical

                Who said I was Christian? I might be a skeptic! You know, like Hemant.

                “You find learning disabilities funny”
                Oh, give me a break! You find mocking Christians funny? This must be your sense of right and wrong; of morality.
                Don’t give me that…

                • RobMcCune

                  Theres a big difference between making fun something that makes life harder for people and making fun of beliefs and stories. You obviously value the latter over the former.

                • friendlyandskeptical

                  So, this is your sense of morality, right? A blog dedicated to tearing a billion people down and you expect me to buy your utilitarian use of compassion in order to avoid a serious point?

                  You are more a believer than an atheist, for you’re arguing is pathetic and disappointingly sentimental, instead of logical and systematic.

                • RobMcCune

                  A blog dedicated to tearing a billion people down and you expect me to buy your utilitarian use of compassion in order to avoid a serious point?

                  Only you would see compassion as utilitarian, since your god would disapprove. What is the “serious point” in insulting the dyslexic?

                • phantomreader42

                  You’re a lying sack of shit, therefore you’re most likely a christian. You keep regurgitating piss-poor christian apologetics, therefore you’re almost certainly a christian. You’re such a coward you can’t bring yourself to admit what you’re really arguing, and you can’t find anyone to back you up without transparently idiotic sockpuppetry, therefore with that and all the rest you are most definitely a christian!

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Thanks for admitting that you equate your beliefs to being mentally handicapped, crybaby.

      • baal

        I think it’s just 1 person doing a sockpuppet routine.

    • Stev84

      It’s not really a good book if you have to study 4 years at special schools to be able to understand it.

    • baal

      I would send you Edmond to go read Dan Finke’s blog* but it requires quite a bit of reading skill and actual familiarity with christian philosophy and learning that you don’t seem to have.

      *camelswithhammers, check the side link.

      • friendlyandskeptical

        logical fallacy ad hominem. It’s a common one used by atheists.

        • Matt D

          *chuckle*

          • baal

            sockpuppet fail

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          It’s common for atheists and theists to misunderstand ad hominem. Hint, it’s not simply insulting your opponent by insinuating that they lack reading skill or familiarity with any particular topic.

          • Artor

            …particularly when they’ve already demonstrated difficulty with the subject and skillset.

      • Mario Strada

        He is going to take the same attitude and claim that no one is at his level if education and understanding. Are you familiar with the Dunning-Kruger effect? I have a feeling that if this guy had an avatar it would be right next to the wikipedia entry for it.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      “The emperor can not be naked as he buys the most expensive cloths. Look he has a racks of the finest shoes and robes of the softest silk, so how can he be naked?”

      The emperor is naked, because we can all see is junk. The bible is just a book. It doesn’t take 4 years to understand it, no more that it takes four years to understand Harry Potter.

      • friendlyandskeptical

        No, it takes a lifetime to understand it. Just like it takes a lifetime to understand just about anything, except math.

        That’s why. He should stick with math and leave the thinking (philosophy and theology) to others.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Sure, for some esoterically irrelevant topics–like the Trinity or the value of Revelation–but for most things, no it doesn’t take a life time. You can understand things in quite short order. It may take time to master them, but it certainly won’t take a life time. Well, may be for you it would, but not for most people.

          • friendlyandskeptical

            Right. ;) Only for those who know, like you.
            Do you remember what made Socrates the most famous philosopher ever? That he admitted that he didn’t know and those who said they knew, knew nothing. That’s profound. But I guess you already know.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Really? So Socrates didn’t know how to write? He didn’t know how to compose a thought? He didn’t know how to do any number of things that men of his position and social status were required to know how to do?

              • friendlyandskeptical

                Techniques are different than knowledge. Even a monkey can be taught how to type and dolphin how to jump in the air and touch a balloon.
                Oh my goodness…I’m really disappointed here.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Those things you’re describing, typing monkeys and balloon-jumping dolphins, that’s purposeless activity. A monkey may learn how to type, but it won’t produce anything but noise. Likewise the dolphin, even though that’s questionable since it’s doing that for a treat.

                  Just because you have no knowledge doesn’t mean that others are equally ignorant.

                • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

                  Although, even these apperantly useless activity have uses. Teaching a monkey to type, (which I am not sure has ever happened), can give us insight on how creatures learn.
                  While, learning how to train dolphins has had a much more tangible result. US navy uses dolphins as mine detectors.

                  Strict theology hasn’t given us much. The best I can think of is when you study the actual followers of a religion, but that’s not so much theology as it is anthropology.

                • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

                  But biblical knowledge is no more useful than knowing Greek mythology. Theology is among the most useless subjects. Theology neither builds a better mouse trap, or feed the hungry. Math on the other hand put a rover the size of a car on Mars using a rocket-powered sky hook. Match point, Math.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  I prefer calling it a rocket parachute. Sounds more Metal. And space exploration is nothing if not Metal.

            • Glasofruix

              Well you know nothing about your imaginary friend, and i don’t see you coming clear about it.

        • RobMcCune

          That’s why. He should stick with math and leave the thinking (philosophy and theology) to others.

          Why? Holytape’s clearly doing a better job than you.

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

          Math is by far and away more complicated than the bible and philosophy. The bible is easy to understand. It’s a series of myths that started out as oral tradition. It’s as easy as Roman mythology. Theology is simple too. God doesn’t exist. Done. Next question.

          Here are two simple question to see how well you know math. Are there more whole numbers than there are even numbers? Are there more real numbers between 1 and 3 than there are rational numbers?

          • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

            You are going to break the poor troll, asking him to understand 1) infinity and 2) there are different sizes of infinity, all of them infinite.

        • phantomreader42

          So, the moron who can’t count or read numbers expresses its disdain for math while whining about how superior it is to everyone else because of a poorly-written book of mythology.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      Funny…I really think this bozo thinks that he knows (or his atheist buddies) no more about religion than the religious.

      This is backed up by surveys.

      • friendlyandskeptical

        In some cases. Just like atheists who can’t give the title of Darwin’s famous book on the origins of species (hint: Richard Dawkins!)

        • Mario Strada

          Do you really think someone like Richard Dawkins doesn’t know the title of Darwin book? All that proves is that just like everyone else he can have a brain fart.

          But that’s beside the point. Don’t you get tired of coming here and act the way you do? Have you read your posts? You are a despicable individual complete;y lacking in courtesy and absolutely ignorant of fair play and honest debating techniques. You come here not for information or for getting to know people different from you, but just to establish (in your mind exclusively) your superiority and that of your holy book.

          You disrespect (and I hate that word but it fits in your case) everyone that doesn’t think exactly like you. You are the most obtuse and despicable type of person there is. Ignorant yet seeing him/herself as having a superior mind.

          You own book that you love so much has several passages for people like you and your own jesus thinks you are a despicable person.

          How’s that sin of pride working for you?

          You are a sociopath. We really don’t give a shit about you and where you come from, but I am saddened that there must be people out there that have to deal with you and your attitude in real life. It makes me puke a bit in my mouth thinking of someone like you interacting with children and those below you in rank. It must be hell.

          Well, you don’t have any claim to superiority here. Aside from the ones you imagine in the self delusion you suffer with.

          You have said your piece and we declared it wanting, now bug off. The next post I’ll see with a personal offence to anyone that had not intentionally offended or called you names him/herself, will get you flagged and I hope others are going to do it as well. But you’ll get no response from me. No matter what vile things you are going to say in response.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Citation needed.

        • DavidMHart

          You are referring to the incident when Dawkins was challenged to remember the full long form of the title (“On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”) of a book that everyone knows by its short form title, “The origin of Species”, as if this were a fair comparison to the fact that many self-identified Christians could not remember even the short form title (“Matthew”) of the first book of the new testament.

          This is an absurd comparison because

          a) the title of the gospel is so much shorter and more memorable, and

          b) the gospels are supposedly part of Christian holy writ – God’s eternal and unalterable message to humanity, whose relevance to Christians can never diminish, whereas Darwin’s book, while of enormous importance in kick-starting the science of evolutionary biology, is merely the first published account of the theory of natural selection, vast swathes of which have been improved or corrected by later discoveries.

          Although many will read The Origin of Species out of interest, no serious biologist treats Darwin as canonical – they learn from whatever the best contemporary sources happen to be at the time. Thus the importance of The Origin of Species to biologists is merely historic, whereas the importance of the Gospels to Christians is astronomically high by comparison, and it ought to be much more embarrassing for a Christian to forget the short form name of the first Gospel than for a biologist to forget the full name of the first book on natural selection.

    • suzeb1964

      Please explain what your ad hominem attack on Mr. Mehta has to do with the fact that there are numerous episodes within the Bible that are morally offensive in the 21st century CE, but were perfectly acceptable at the beginning of the current era. Acceptable codes of conduct have evolved over the last 2000 years, whereas the text of your book has not (at least not since the King James version from the middle ages). Slavery, genocide, child molestation, etc are all anathema to our current society. Using such as book as a moral compass is completely absurd.

    • Artor

      Ah, the courtier’s reply. But Hemant doesn’t need to have a degree in theology to show that it’s bullshit. In actuality, mathematics is the language of logic, so I’d say Hemant has a pretty good grounding in the relevant subject. You; not so much.

    • smrnda

      Could you tell me what he got wrong then? I’m assuming you know of some sources at a seminary who have a better explanation.

      The ‘seminary’ remark is just an argument from authority without even a different interpretation of the story. “Hemant never went to seminary” but without telling us what the seminarians know about this story that he doesn’t, it’s a totally empty assertion.

    • Psychotic Atheist

      What I have never seen is a math teacher who can teach theology.

      Isaac Newton. That was easy.

  • goddess

    “This is just another example of how the Bible distorts the idea of morality.”

    Really? If anything, this is just another example of how an atheist distorts the bible and the idea of morality.

    “We shouldn’t look to it as any sort of ultimate authority on virtue because it fails at it time and time again.”

    And so we should look to…? Each other? Our votes? Our money that pays for votes? Our culture? Wow…thanks for keeping us in suspense.

    • Buckley

      What’s there to distort, it’s all there for everyone to read and it’s all mythology.

    • Kevin R. Cross

      We should realize that there is no “ultimate authority” and continue doing what everyone ACTUALLY does – the best they can.

      • goddess

        that makes a lot of sense. Yes. So, we should be greedy, liars, and cheats…because that’s what everyone actually does and they are the best at it.
        Wow! That was a really tough one to answer.

        • Kevin R. Cross

          If you can’t be a good person without an “ultimate authority”, you have real problems. I don’t.

          • Mario Strada

            Goddess is a troll. There is no reasoning with him/her. s/he also has another account (at least she responded to a thread with both, unless that was Disqus screwing up) but the worse thing is that she will monopolize the discussion and have you defend every little aspect of your worldview.

            The only positive thing is that any impartial reader should be able to see the rudeness and madness of this person from the first few posts. Might as well be the American Taliban for all the progress anyone here may make with this troll.

            I suggest ignoring it/him/her.

        • WingedBeast

          What Kevin R. Cross said and what you responded to are two different things.

          • goddess

            explain, please. If you have the courage.

            • WingedBeast

              Absent an “ultimate authority” we have to seek out our own sense of what is moral, normally based upon such things as compassion and empathy (things that, by the way, in order to read the bible and view God as good, you have to turn off).

              Giving up on an ultimate authority isn’t the same as giving up on trying to be good at all. It’s getting rid of an effort that one realizes (or comes to the conclusion that) is actually at odds with the effort of being good.

              • goddess

                So where do you see compassion and empathy? Where? From nature? Like in storms and tornadoes? What makes you think that compassion and empathy are not the cries of the weak?
                Give me a break! You must be a weak man. I admire Nietzche, not you. At least he was intellectually honest. He knew what it meant to be an atheist: to go beyond good and evil. Ever read the book?

                • Kevin R. Cross

                  I have, as a matter of fact. But as to where compassion and empathy come from – the human mind. We choose to exercise these higher functions, not because we are told to, but because we recognize the good that comes from them. No instruction necessary.

                • WingedBeast

                  No I haven’t read Nietzche, neither am I that interested in being beyond good or evil (even as I believe them to be subjective and not absolute).

                  As for where to see compassion and empathy… why do I have to look outside of myself for that? I have an instinct for compassion and for empathy. Do I need to find it elsewhere? Do I need to care if that makes me weak by some views? Not at all.

                  No matter what your moral code is, it has an arbitrary starting point. That starting point could be compassion and empathy, social norms, or even the obedience to God. But, there’s no metaphysical grounding or philosophical justification to show that to be a “true absolute morality”.

                  You seem to choose obedience to God. I choose compassion. I feel no need to be right to your wrong. It’s my choice and my compassion.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Have you ever seen a dog ask a human to help another dog? Have you ever see a dolphin ask humans for help and then after enduring the accidental pain caused by their help, run laps around them to show its gratitude? I am very sorry for you that you haven’t. It might have given you a more mature outlook on life in general. There is more to life than storms and tornadoes which, incidentally, aren’t even alive.

                  P.S. I think maybe you need to stop reading Nietzsche and get out there and enjoy life with actual, living people.

                • Stev84

                  Dolphin asks human divers for help to remove hook and moves his body to give them easy access:
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wL9I4BxuryY

                  Plenty of animals show empathy and selflessness. Especially social animals, which includes primates like humans.

                  There also many cases where dolphins helped out humans or other animals in distress.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson
                • RobMcCune

                  What makes you think that compassion and empathy are not the cries of the weak?

                  Give me a break! You must be a weak man.

                  Probably because WingedBeast has better character naturally than you do under the yolk yoke of chistianity.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Yoke. Yolk of Christianity. LOL*1000!

                • RobMcCune

                  No, godless was clearly christianized sunny side up.

                • Artor

                  That’s a particularly foul-smelling 2000-year-old egg!

                • Matt D

                  Friendlyandskeptical = edmond = goddess, I’m amused that you can’t even decided who you are on a daily basis! Is that some fetish?

                • baal

                  And now, you’re sock puppeting yourself?

                • Kelemvor

                  I’m not sure why Disqus convinces you I’m this person when I usually use “Matt D” to chat here, but I’m not registered and I’m at work, so mabye that’s it. Regardless, here’s a new moniker I’ve chosen for you, just to give your assumptions some breathing room.

                • baal

                  Interesting, my “sock puppeting yourself” comment was to one of the chain of trolls so that tells me you are him. Else Disqus really hates you. It has to do with a timing differential between the substantive post updates and the name of the poster changing on page reloads. My RL job deals with similar problems. Regardless, I’d love the sockpuppet to be banned to see if it erases you as well since the system should know you by a consistent internal ID regardless of what name is displayed.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  If “Matt D” is a sock puppet, then it’s someone else impersonating the ‘original’ “Matt D” who has posted many times in the past on this blog.

                • baal

                  Or the original “Matt D” is normal / reasonable most of the time and went on a trolling bender under pseudonyms for the shits and giggles.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Occam my friend, Occam.

                  (Edit: or you could be making this all up to malign Matt for shits and giggles. Or maybe I’m part of the sock puppet empire. Or maybe Hemat is playing a big joke on us or…)

                • baal

                  A single guy with marginal posts trolls for amusement vs a new troll uses an established marginal poster name for trolling. I don’t see one of those as a zebra and the other as a space alien dressed as a zebra. Occam doesn’t help here.

                  I don’t understand why you have a dog in the fight rich but I’m not going to speculate.

                  Please note there is 1. behavioral evidence of timing 2. consistent renaming between the various fake name (i admit, that’s based on my saying what I empirically observed and I didn’t capture screens) 3. It’s a little paranoid of you suggest i’m the sock-puppeteer (it could be you rich!) but I’m more than happy for the sockpuppet to be banned and see what happens.

                  It’s irrationally paranoid to suggest it’s a giant hoax by Hemant.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  You know I’m not honestly suggesting Hemat or you. I’m simply saying that Matt D being included isn’t far from the same thing. That ID has never shown any indication in the past of doing anything like that. It just seems so out of character that I think it much more likely that in the confusion you (maybe compounded by Disqus bugs) just made a mistake.

                  My only dog in the fight is not liking to see anyone falsely accused. Sometimes it can be hard for the ‘accused’ to not come off as protesting too much.

                  Based on my recollection of previous posts attributed to “Matt D” it is completely and absolutely out of character for that person to pull off a stunt like that. That’s all. Time for me to move on.

                • baal

                  Oh, i should also mention it didn’t happen with anyone else who was replying to the sockpuppet troll even though several of us were replying very quickly.

                • phantomreader42

                  As hard as it is for you to imagine, not everyone is a sociopath like you.

        • baal

          Edmon, that is not what Kevin said. We are all human and do the best we can. I don’t see how “muddle through” means to “lie cheat and steal.”

          • goddess

            what is the best that we can do? And who said it was the best?

            • Kevin R. Cross

              You know what the best you can do is. I know what the best I can do is. It’s subjective, and the only real judge, is yourself.

            • RobMcCune

              Sad that you can’t decide on anything without someone telling you exactly what to do.

              • goddess

                It’s a question for clarification. Not for advice or direction.

                Keep dreaming.
                And stop trying to change the topic.

                • RobMcCune

                  So you’ve gone from being completely dependent on authority to The Great Decider of Topics. Thats a quick turnaround.

                • goddess

                  Are you debating me? Or someone else? If someone else, then I have no right. But if it’s me, well, then… you’re responding to my assertion. I’m not responding to your distractions.
                  But this is already a distraction, right?

                • RobMcCune

                  Are you debating me?

                  No, since you have no interest in debate. If you did, you would try to make the case the bible is the source of morality. All you’re doing now is demanding people answer your questions so you can deny their answers to prove your faith in Jesus.

                  But if it’s me, well, then… you’re responding to my assertion.

                  The only asserting I see you doing is asserting everyone else is wrong without explanation.

            • baal

              Imginary friends and supernaturalist mediums (you call them priests and pastors (pastries?)) are not the best source for good advice. The bible might be really helpful If i wind up in the mid east in year 250 and want to get in good with a mystery cult but not muc else.

              • goddess

                Oh, okay Baal… thanks for the nonsense.
                Boy, try to get someone who has a brain on this page is like looking for God in a microscope. It ain’t gonna happen!!! :)

                • Kevin R. Cross

                  Disagreement on the value of a book is no cause for considering another’s intelligence lacking.
                  Following a book to the exclusion of other ideas and concepts, now…

              • The Other Weirdo

                Dude………. Pastries? OMFG!

                • baal

                  5 letter words starting with P. (before the plurals and i can’t count)

            • baal

              pick a name and stick with it Edmon/goddess/skepticalandfriendly

              • phantomreader42

                But that would involve honesty, and it’s quite obvious this lying death cultist sack of shit would sooner gouge out its own eyes and eat them than be honest about anything.

        • The Other Weirdo

          Please don’t project onto others your own personality failings. We are not all greedy, liars or cheats. Well, I must confess, I am greedy where Turkish Delight is concerned. That said, nor do we all think that that’s how everybody behaves.

          • goddess

            now if I didn’t hear the biggest myth in my life. You have never cheated. you have never said a lie? George Washington here!!!
            But that was not the point. The point is what we do well and what most of us do. I gave three examples. I could give more.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Sure, when I was a kid, as have most of us. That was because when I was a child, I thought like a child. I put childish things behind me when I grew up. Now I am a man and I think like man.

              I have no idea what your last sentence means.

        • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

          You should meet more people. I worry about you, if all the people you know are inherently greedy, lying cheats.

          Yes, people have there flaws. But truth be told, most people are good most of the time.

    • RobMcCune

      Most of those are better than book advocating child marriage, slavery, barbaric punishments and genocide.

    • baal

      Looking to reality works great. The umbrella concept is ‘science.’ the final arbiter of what works or doesn’t is called reality. You ask it questions through a process called, “empiricism”.

    • Itsrealfunnythat

      I dont know how you can ignore large parts of the bible but still cling to certain ideals like theyre a life raft.

    • Itsrealfunnythat

      Why would you give yourself a name like Goddess? Doesnt that completely go against your religion?

    • suzeb1964

      True morality and ethics are an evolved and evolving response to social grouping. While religion claims to be the source of morality, it is actually biologically based. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168159106001080

      “Complex animal societies are most successful if members minimise harms caused to one another and if collaboration occurs. In order to promote this, a moral structure inevitably develops. Hence, morality has evolved in humans and in many other species. The attitudes which people have towards other humans and individuals of other species are greatly affected by this biologically based morality.”

  • observer

    I’ve always wanted to do an experiment – print out some of the more controversial passages of the Bible out, put them up in public areas (legally), and see what the reactions would be, and from whom.

    • Kevin R. Cross

      That would actually be quite interesting.

      • baal

        Observer = goddess = matt D = edmon = skepticalandfriendly = person who might want to take a break from posting and reconsider how they live their life.

    • The Other Weirdo

      They would most likely be torn down within 15 minutes, unless you encased them in transparent aluminum.

      • Matt D

        Transparent aluminum? Aye, that’s the ticket laddy!

    • Artor

      I expect Xians would have a tizzy fit over the obscenity, while the rest of us, who actually know what’s in the Bible, would look at them and think, “Yep. That’s pretty horrible. What’s new?”

    • UWIR

      We need to come up with some oblique name for the Bible, so we can complain about all the inappropriate material in it and get it banned from schools. Sort of like how people have campaigned against dihydrogen monoxide.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Just don’t call it by its name. Say you found a horrible book, full of obscenities and cursing and sex, and you want to ban it. Call it the Obscene Book or something, and then put some quotes on the poster.

        Then in little letters on the bottom tell people what book you’re talking about.

      • Artor

        Refer to is as the holy book of a Middle-Eastern death cult, which it is.

  • IDP

    They were also first cousins once removed, if I recall correctly. This was/is actually pretty common in some pastoral societies, not just Biblical ones (the first cousins and the very early betrothals.) I once saw a documentary where a tribal Himba woman was bragging that she knew her friend’s baby in the womb would be a girl, so she arranged a marriage with her son right then before the baby was born. “Luckily”, the baby was a girl, but one who had another boyfriend by the time she was a teen, so not exactly happy about being in an arranged marriage. And again, what people do in a hunter-gatherer/pastoral society is not necessarily something we want to imitate in our own society. We don’t have to worry about women having to bear a dozen kids starting at age 14 so four or five of them will see adulthood, if she doesn’t die in the process. One thing that drives me nuts about a lot of Biblical history as presented by Christians is the COMPLETE lack of cultural context.

    • IDP

      “One thing that drives me nuts about a lot of Biblical history as
      presented by Christians is the COMPLETE lack of cultural context.” I mostly say this coming from my own upbringing with Christianity, just to clarify.

  • islandbrewer

    Is friendlyandskeptical the same as Bill from the Rachael Slick post? They’re both about as … *hmm what’s a good adjective*… calm? …cogent? …rational?

  • Robster

    The overt horribleness of the bible is to be applauded as it reflects the religious belief system based upon it. The real truth of the absurd nonsense.

  • rasha22

    hey i remember that book from when i was little, guess you dont think about those kinds of things as a kid its the same as all the sexual jokes in kids movies they just dont realize theyre there

  • Frank

    If only critics of the bible would actually take the time to understand it before spouting off their ignorance.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      If only God would make such an important text more accessible to people of all languages and backgrounds. Heck, if people like Richard Carrier and Bart Ehrman can’t get it right, then what hope is there for the masses?

      • Frank

        Scripture can be found in almost every language.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          So we don’t need to study the Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic. We can just read it in the language of our choice. And there will never be any argument about translation since they’re all perfect like God wants them to be.

          Easy for anyone with an open heart, which is why all True Christians agree on all matters of faith.

    • The Other Weirdo

      Why don’t you explain it to us? Show us where and why we are wrong, and present the evidence that backs up your assertions.”

    • Artor

      If only supporters of the Bible would actually take the time to understand it before spouting off their ignorance. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve had to quote chapter & verse to Xians who don’t even know what their own book says.

      • Frank

        Its true thats even Christians can be biblically illiterate but that’s not the point is it? The point is that to effectively criticize something you should have a good understanding of it first instead of simply putting ignorance on display.

        • Artor

          That is true, but you don’t have to be a professional tailor to see that the Emperor wears no clothes. The Babble is a poorly written collection of old myths, mostly recycled from older myths. Except where it’s just forgeries and historical revisionism. It’s clear to anyone with an education and an ability to see past their cultural biases that it’s not the word of any god, or even a halfway decent guide to being a good person.

  • john doe

    You people are crazy. if you take every word of the old testiment and applied it today, then we would still be killing millions of animals for sacrifice and couldn’t eat some meat. the Bible does not lie nor is immoral. people themselves (just as in this day and age) were immoral. I know you would question why I’m here. I found this by accident. I was raised Pentecostal. I just don’t understand atheist. if you don’t believe in God and Jesus Christ, then your life must be horrible. I literally would not be alive today if it wasn’t for my caring God.well I could go on but then is never stop. so I’m done now.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I literally cannot understand being scared of Hell, either. I never have been. It wasn’t anything I was ever raised with, because I’m Jewish (well, atheist now, but was Jewish).

      There is so much more out there than your personal experience. My life is wonderful- I love people and am loved. I have friends, I want a cat, I game and cook and enjoy flowers and trees and grass (I mean, plants eat sunlight! That is just the coolest thing ever when you think about it), I argue with my husband about gaming rules, we learn about physics together. I give money to charity and am about to start volunteering. I write, I’m learning HTML, I’m brushing up on my Spanish and want to also learn Portuguese. The world is vast, the universe even vaster. Why do I need a deity overhead when I can just enjoy my life?

      What is there to atheists to understand? We’re people just like any other. “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?”* We just don’t happen to think there’s any gods out there, that’s all.

      *Shakespeare, from Shylock’s monologue in The Merchant of Venice


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X