A Tsunami Every 10 Days

SkeptiSketch‘s video is fairly simple, but it’s very effective. It takes a soundbyte from Sam Harris about the nature of God and gives it some visual flair:



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.

  • Gail

    That’s one sobering video. :(

  • CommentMaker

    You seem to be trying to provoke God into doing something through your comment. First, children go straight to heaven when they die. That is not a bad thing. If they are atheist, the child never will suffer again in this world. The only unfortunate thing is the parent’s misery. Second, if you believe in God you would also have to believe in the Garden of Eden. It was there that God’s instruction was challenged and man fell into corruption and it has been that way ever since. Your conception of God is perverted. God has no responsibility to fallen man. However, He has provided a way out of this mess through the finished work of his Son. That is where John 3:16 comes in. God is not a genie in a bottle. Try not to create your own definition of God.

    • Brian Westley

      “First, children go straight to heaven when they die. That is not a bad thing.”

      I would disagree. This is a very dangerous bit of superstitious nonsense, as the Andrea Yates case shows.

      “Second, if you believe in God you would also have to believe in the Garden of Eden.”

      Because Hindus don’t exist. Wow, you’re ignorant.

      • CommentMaker

        Wow! You sound like you are a charter member of the Westboro Baptist Church.

        • Brian Westley

          Because I point out your ignorance?

        • # zbowman

          Hey, because pointing out where you’re wrong totally counts as saying the universe’s creator hates you.

        • Matt D

          Ah, so you think this insult is going to cover up your gross ignorance? Good luck with that.

        • Mario Strada

          How is this insult relevant to what he said? How he is “like” WBC? I don’t get it.

    • kielc

      No where in the Bible — NO WHERE — does it say people go to heaven when they die.

      • CommentMaker

        “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

        “And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:31

        “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,” Ephesians 3:14, 15

        Maybe you are not reading the right Bible.

        • kielc

          Not one of these says anyone will go to heaven WHEN THEY DIE. Read the entire Bible — the whole point of the Bible is that souls go to heaven ONLY when the Messiah returns to judge the living and the dead. Myabe you’ve never bothered to look at Revelation. This is why Catholicism came up with the hocus-pocus that is limbo and purgatory. The Protestants just ignore the details (you’re a great example) and claim people “go to heaven when they die.” (Neither does it say that people turn into angels when they die.) In both cases, most people who claim to believe these things have very little actual understanding about about it is they claim to believe. They cherry-pick some quotes (see your comment) and fit them into their own little fantasy world to make themselves feel better.

          • CommentMaker

            “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 12:8

            The Lord is in heaven. To be present with Him is to be in heaven. Twist it any way you want. Your non-belief and condemnation has no effect on the truth.

            • kielc

              So…the person who wrote this (some 300 years after Jesus supposedly died) was in heaven at the time? Wow. Talk about twisting things.

              Seriously. I’m not saying anything that isn’t completely established in Christian theology–I mean, there’s not even a debate about this stuff anymore among serious theologians. Next time, do some research before you quote a few verses and claim to know “the truth.”

              • CommentMaker

                kielc,

                The person who wrote 2 Corinthians 12:8 was the Apostle Paul who was alive when Jesus was alive. He wrote this after Jesus died and rose again, not 300 years later. Where did you get your information?

                • kielc

                  Inadvertent extra 0 notwithstanding (the letter was written at least 30 years after the crucifixion), your grasp of mainstream Christian theology is specious at best. Nothing you’ve quoted says anything about going to heaven immediately after death. But hey, if the myth makes you feel better, so be it. Nothing wrong with that. Just don’t try to downplay the suffering of children by pretending your myth makes it all better.

                • CommentMaker

                  I corrected you! Now you are accusing me of not having a grasp of mainstream Christian theology? (head shake)

                  My religious denomination puts their hands and money where the suffering is around the world. I mentioned it earlier in this post. There was no downplay on my part. My God instructs us to feed the poor, give water to the thirsty, cloth the naked, visit the prisoners, visit the sick and visit the stranger (or lonely). That we do because of the Spirit that lives in us. Don’t tell me my God doesn’t do anything. He does it through His people and you don’t seem to get it because you are looking for the hypocrites, not the genuine article. They are not here, they are in the fields helping the hurting.

                • b s

                  “My religious denomination puts their hands and money where the suffering is around the world.”

                  I’m sure there are people here who do the same things, just without adding on the useless Jesus bit. I give to charities, food banks, homeless shelters, blood banks, etc.

                  “They are not here, they are in the fields helping the hurting.”

                  Where are you?

                • CommentMaker

                  b s,

                  Where am I? My desire is to support them financially and do what I do here at home. Some simply have a strong desire to go to foreign lands. Sometimes you don’t have to go very far to bring comfort or help to people.

                  What kind of comfort, encouragement and hope do you give to hurting people? Oh, it’s going to get better. Based on what?

                • b s

                  You said specifically “They are not here” when “here” is exactly where you are. So either you are not one of the “genuine” since you are here or those who are here (as are you) are perfectly capable of doing the same things you are.

                  Which is it?

                • CommentMaker

                  b s,

                  They are not here as in not where the critics can see them. They are alive working in the fields doing the work of God by helping the weak and hungry and sick. The only thing critics do is find some lazy hypocrite that is not doing what Christians are to be doing and say, “See there, all of Christianity is false!”

                • b s

                  And when I do those exact same good deeds, I say nothing about my beliefs or lack thereof. Nor do I tell them stories about mythological figures to try to convert them.

                • EvolutionKills

                  You can do all of that charity without god, it is not at all proof of anything supernatural or any doctrinal claims.

                  People contributed the time, effort, money, and resources. People organized the work and accomplished it.

                  Did your god magically conjure food out of nothing? Did he cause it to rain on command to end a drought? Did he send angels down to talk to the leaders of warring factions and get them to declare peace? No?

                  Ask yourself this; if your god didn’t actually exist but everyone still thought he did, would things be any different? The answer is NO. We live in a reality where gods could exist, but everything goes on as if none of them did, and we have no reason to think otherwise.

                  So please stop giving your god credit for the things people are doing without his help. Unless you’re also ready to give him credit for all of the famines, wars, genocides, and rapes that he can’t be bothered to stop. You know, because he’s too busy inspiring you to donate food or something…

                • kielc

                  And I have corrected you, repeatedly, about the actual content of the text you claim to believe in. For what it’s worth, the congregation I grew up in built housing for low-income residents of our community rather than build a church building. Glad your denomination is doing good in the world; don’t sully that record with empty, unsupportable claims about children (or anyone else) going to heaven.

                • CommentMaker

                  kielc,

                  I guess it is unsupportable if you don’t believe in God. Even if the Bible clearly stated that, “All children that die will go to heaven” you wouldn’t believe it because you don’t believe in God, the Bible or heaven anyway. So, there is no argument or acceptable evidence for you and yours.

                  Even if I believed like you, I would not tell a sibling or parent of a child that dies that there is no hope in ever seeing them again. That is heartless and hopeless and cruel.

                • 3lemenope

                  I guess it is unsupportable if you don’t believe in Allah. Even if the Qur’an clearly stated that, “All children that die will go to al-Jannah” you wouldn’t believe it because you don’t believe in Allah, the Qur’an, or al-Jannah anyway.

                  Even if I believed like you, I would not tell a sibling or parent of a child that dies that there is no hope in ever seeing them again. That is heartless and hopeless and cruel.

                  Likewise to bullshit them with blatant lies, that is also cruel. Thankfully nearly nobody engages in soliloquies on belief or heaven in front of grieving people, and instead just try to find out what they need to ease their burdens. Wait, who am I kidding. Many Christians treat it as primary witnessing time and couldn’t care less what grieving people actually need.

                • Mario Strada

                  The apostle Paul was alive when Jesus was alive? Saul was alive, but not a Christian and Paul never met Jesus.
                  Furthermore 10 to 13 are suspected to have been tacked on later.

            • EvolutionKills

              “The Lord is in heaven. To be present with Him is to be in heaven.”

              So is this why your god has no presence here on Earth, in our reality? The only place he makes his presence know is in Heaven after we die?

            • Jim

              2 Corinthians 5:8 is what you’re looking for.

              Interestingly though, while I was looking at 12:8, I noticed 12:2: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of the body I do not know—God knows. And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.”

              So apparently some dude that the author knew was caught up to heaven #3. How many heavens are there?

              • CommentMaker

                Apparently, 3. Scripture does not say anything about a 4th or 5th. So it must be 3. Scripture does say something about a new heaven and a new earth. I got my ticket, so I will just wait and see.

                • b s

                  Does scripture mention a second or does it just skip right to the third?

                  “So it must be 3″

                  Scripture doesn’t mention a lot of things. Jesus never went to the bathroom, so he “must” have had a bladder the size of a lake.

                • CommentMaker

                  b s,

                  I just don’t think scripture has to tell you about a second heaven. I’m going to find out for sure one day though.

                  Why don’t you as questions like, “How can a God love the world so much that He would send His Son to die on a cross taking away the sins of all who only trusted in his finished work?”

                • DavidMHart

                  Because that question would presuppose that a god actually exists, and actually did send his son to die on a cross, and that that actually did take away the sins of the world. All of those are claims that you’re going to need to show some pretty compelling evidence of before we take them seriously.

                  At the moment, all you’ve got is a book of ancient myths and legends that can’t even agree with itself about basic claims such as the year of Jesus’ birth, his last words, and what one needs to do to attain salvation. That’s not good evidence.

                • CommentMaker

                  DavidMHart,

                  I find that evidence does not change a person’s mind 100% of the time. Even as a Christian, I have read over various passages believing one way when the verses where saying something completely opposite of what was in my mind. Where did the evidence start with me? It didn’t start in the beginning, Noah’s Ark, Sampson, David & Goliath, Birth of Christ or anything like that. It started with this:

                  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9

                  Two (2) words are key to the evidence all true believers experience. The first is “grace” the second is “faith”. We do not come to God, He comes to us and he motivates us and supplies us with what we need to believe and trust in what He prepared for the one He has chosen. Grace is the “desire and power to do God’s will” and faith is the sight we receive of His kingdom to believe in the invisible. Everyone else sees what you see and that is nothing. If God calls a person, they are compelled to respond and there is really nothing they can do about it but respond. It happened to Paul on the road to Damascus. I went from a typical Arminian to a Calvinist as that truth sunk in. At that moment, all the so called myths and legends turned into reality. The evidence you are looking for is not something you can see or feel. It is in a class all to itself so man can’t screw it up or try to sell it.

                • EvolutionKills

                  So what you are admitting is that you have no evidence except for your own personal delusions.

                  And you wonder why we are skeptical of everything you say?

                • CommentMaker

                  EvolutionKills,

                  You are making an assumption based solely upon your belief that there is no God. You do not know 100% for sure that no evidence equals delusional. I was there when it happened and I guess I ought to know. At least for me, it is crystal clear and has been for 34 years.

                • EvolutionKills

                  So you are arguing from pure ignorance. I can’t prove you 100% wrong, so therefor god. You really need to go take a community college level Logic 101 course…

                  You are right, the possibility of a god existing is not 0%. However there is a difference between what is POSSIBLE, and what is PROBABLE. Is it possible that a god exists? Yes. Is it at all likely given what we know of reality and the evidence at hand? No. It’s also possible unicorns and faeries exists and maybe were just looking in all the wrong forests. It’s it likely? Nope.

                  And even if a god did exist, what are the chances it’s your god Yahweh? If you stick to a literal interpretation of the Bible, less than none. Yahweh as described in the Bible is just too self contradictory to actually exists as described.

                  So I operate on the assumption that no god’s exists, because there is no compelling reason at all to think otherwise. The assumption is a conclusion born of evidence, not in spite of it. That is the difference between us. You have an a priori conclusion that you must cling to at all costs, and I just follow the evidence wherever it leads me. It currently leads me to no gods, but the holy book you were indoctrinated with won’t let you even contemplate that question.

                  This is why my position is intellectually honest, and yours is not. I am open to the possibility that I might be wrong, but the dogma of your faith will not even allow you to consider that possibility.

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

                  Wait wait wait. I thought your God was all about free will? What is this compelled thing and no choice thing? I call bullshit.

                • CommentMaker

                  Calm down, Feminerd,

                  Let me give you the Bible verses you missed in Sunday School.

                  “Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:30

                  “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” Romans 9:22-24

                  “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,” Ephesians 1:4,5

                  Where is your free will? It is both God’s sovereign will and man’s will that makes this come together.

                • 3lemenope

                  It is both God’s sovereign will and man’s will that makes this come together.

                  Like oil and water come together to make salad dressing.

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

                  *Giggle* I grew up Jewish, you moron. Why would I ever study those verses? Also, your previous posts suggest your god is all sorts of happy warm fuzzies. Making people his personal mind-controlled robots is so ridiculously evil I don’t even have the words for it.

                  Also, Calvinism is a shitty twist on an already morally suspect religion. God chose bad things to happen to people already, so why make them suffer? That also seems very evil.

                • 3lemenope

                  Holy shit, you’ve just been “calm down’d”.

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

                  Well, I am an excitable and hysterical female, so clearly I have nothing of actual merit to say.

                  /angry snark

                • b s

                  Or questions like “Why would an all powerful god need to send himself to be killed as a sacrifice to himself because two imaginary people offended him so much even though he already knew that’s what they were going to do instead of just forgiving them if that was his intention from the beginning?”

    • Carmelita Spats

      Your exegesis of Biblegod is perversely cherry-picked. Yahweh-the-Yahoo is a sociopath. Substitutionary atonement is a GROTESQUE, vile, preachment and so immoral that it triggers the gag reflex, like watching flies feed. We are better than Yahweh-the-Yahoo. He provides a way out of the mess that He created (“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create EVIL: I the Lord do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7)? Deus ex machina? Not only is Yahweh a violent sociopath, we can analyze and insert his sorry-ass under the rubric marked “stupid criminal” next to the Big Bad Wolf, the Wicked Witch of the West and Captain Underpants.

      • CommentMaker

        You make up allot of words to try to make God respond to you, too. It’s a fairy tale to believe that kissing a frog instantly produces a Prince. It is evolution to believe kissing a frog and millions and millions of years later you have a Prince. Not much in your world either!

        • Goape

          “You make up allot of words”—HELLarious!

        • EvolutionKills

          If you think humans evolved from frogs, you are grossly mistaken and more ignorant than the ground you walk on.

    • Mick

      Mark 16:16 (KJV) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

      No special rules for children in that text.

      • CommentMaker

        Mick,

        This is classic cherry picking.

        “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:23

        Davids first child with Bathsheba died soon after birth. You can say David is going to him in death or he is going where his is in heaven. David knew the innocence of children and how God views them. Even aborted children.

        • EvolutionKills

          No, they are both cherry picked. The problem is the Bible contradicts itself constantly, so it’s almost impossible to ever get a straight answer out of the book.

          If you hate gays, you can quote Deuteronomy and Leviticus. If you think we should love gays, then you can quote the ‘love thy neighbors’ part. It’s all a push, and it’s why the Bible is USELESS as a moral guide. It can be used to defend any moral position, and thus it defends none of them.

          • CommentMaker

            EvolutionKills,

            One of the things no one can understand is eternity. Eternal things have an extreme difficulty being understood with the human mind. Sometimes you simply have to accept it and move on with it. God said He chose us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and it also says whosoever will may come. (Rev. 22:17) God’s sovereignty or man’s free will? This is a big argument in Christendom. The thing is, both must exist. If you cannot figure it out, then it is not for you to know.

            I think the 10 Commandments make for a great moral guide. It just depends on if you are looking for good or dirt. Kind of shows your heart in this matter.

            • b s

              “One of the things no one can understand is eternity.”

              If god is eternal, then there is nothing we can do (as finite beings) that can justify being sent to be tortured for all of eternity. Any finite offense against an infinite being is essentially nothing.

              “God said He chose us before the foundation of the world”

              And yet, knowing that someone was going to go to hell before the universe was even created, he chose to create that person anyway. Would not a merciful god not create that person and spare them eternal torture?

              “God’s sovereignty or man’s free will?”

              How about god’s free will? If god is all knowing, he already knows what he is going to do tomorrow and thus cannot do anything different. He is powerless to change his own mind.

            • EvolutionKills

              For now I’ll ignore the rest of your presumptuous bullshit, and limit my logical smack-down to your endorsement of the 10 Commandments as ‘a great moral guide’.

              For starters, which 10 Commandments? The set of stone tablets that Moses went up to get in Exodus 24, he then breaks in a pique upon seeing the worship of the Golden Calf in Exodus 32. We are never told what was on that particular set of tablets, they are destroyed by Moses before he can present them to anyone, and they are not specifically referred to as ‘the 10 Commandments’.

              Now later in Exodus 34, God gets around to making another set of tablets for Moses. Supposedly these contain the same information as was on the first set of tablets that Moses broke. So what are these 10 Commandments? Let’s have a look.

              I: -for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God-

              II: You shall make for yourself no molten gods

              III: You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib, for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.

              IIII: The first offspring from every womb belongs to Me, and all your male livestock, the first offspring from[o]cattle and sheep

              V: You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.

              VI: You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.

              VII: Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel. For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the Lord your God.

              VIII: You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread, nor is the sacrifice of the Feast of the Passover to be left over until morning.

              VIIII: You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God.

              X: You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

              “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.” -Exodus 34:27-28

              Now remember that this is the only set that was given from God to Moses, written on stone tablets, that have their contents known, and are referred to specifically as ‘The 10 Commandments’. This is the set that made it into the Ark of the Covenant.

              Now, do you want time to come up with an argument about the excellent moral precedence set by not boiling a goat in it’s mother’s milk? Or should I give you a break so that your head can stop spinning?

              • CommentMaker

                The 10 Commandments that Moses is displaying on the Supreme Court building. You know exactly what I am saying. You just want to muddy the water and not answer the question properly.

                • b s

                  “The 10 Commandments that Moses is displaying on the Supreme Court building. ”

                  You mean the sculpture of Moses next to Confucius and Solon, where he is holding blank tablets?

                  Or the frieze with Moses and 18 other lawgivers where he is holding a tablet with commandments 6-10, which have nothing to do with religion?

                • CommentMaker

                  The tablets represent the 10 Commandments. The moral commandments between man and man is all I was talking about.

                • EvolutionKills

                  Watch out folks, the goalpost has been shifted!

                • b s

                  and as EvolutionKills asks, WHICH 10 commandments?

                • CommentMaker

                  The one we all know and love.

                • EvolutionKills

                  No, I just enjoy the irony and catharsis in pointing out Christian ignorance. So let’s get down to the traditional 10 then…

                  I. – This one essentially is God fanning his ego, and giving light to his insecurities. Also note how this Commandment is directly contradicted by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Still, there is nothing inherently moral or immoral about this one, it’s just really pointless in the great scheme of things.

                  II. – No graven images, once again a rules that forbids something that is not inherently moral or immoral. Note that it is also punishable unto 3rd or 4th generation, and your God labels himself as expressly Jealous. Somebody need to alert the Catholics and anybody ever who has ever depicted God or Jesus in a work of art, and anybody that has ever worn a cross. Looks like you are all going to hell, sorry.

                  III. – Another one we can chalk up to your God’s vanity. 3 Commandments in and all he’s done is pull a terrible mafia boss impression by essentially demanding that we respect and never question ‘the boss’, no matter how much he may more may not deserve it. Nothing in the there so far have had anything to do with morality or ethics, it’s a waste of space really. Writing on stone is hard work after all, you God created the entire cosmos in 6 days, but it took him 40 to make a set of stone tablets. What is up with that…

                  IIII. – We’re supposed to keep the Sabbath. Okay, how many Christians work on Saturday? Imagine what would happen to the world economy if everybody stopped working on Saturday. Also what is moral or ethical about not working on a particular day of the week? Nothing, just more wasted space and energy.

                  V. – Okay, this is almost a good idea. However it doesn’t stipulate whether to do so only if they deserve honor, and how to determine if they have performed action that require them to no longer be honored. What if your parents physically or sexually abuse their children, are the children still required to honor their parents? If not, then this Commandment is worthless, but you have some empathy. If yes, then this Commandment is clearly immoral and you have no compassion.

                  VI. – Finally, SOMETHING of some worth. However this is by no means unique to Decalogue. This has been a cornerstone of every human civilization, as any group of people who thought wanton killing was okay did not survive long. It can also be distilled into a simpler and broader concept with the Ethic of Reciprocity. As of right now, this is the only one so far that is actually expressed in secular law; and that’s because this is a basic requirement for a successful civilization. It is not unique, and the ancient Hebrew would have never made it to the base of Mt. Sinai if they hadn’t already known this beforehand.

                  VII. – Okay, this is a better idea than anything else we’ve seen so far except for the last one. Once again this can be distilled into a much broader and simpler concept such as ‘don’t be unfaithful’. It’s at least a start, but it should also be noted that we do not actually enforce this one either in secular law. This idea has also been bred into us by evolution, it’s merely a social institution to enshrine our biologically instilled sexual jealously. Still, it took us how long to get to this one and what do we have to show for it?

                  VIII. – Finally we have another really good one. Once again this can be distilled into something simpler like ‘don’t be unfaithful’, but I’ll let it slide. This one is also by no means unique to the Decalogue, and made appearance in many other laws and codices which long predated the ancient Hebrew. Man manged to figure this one out without the help of Yahweh, and with quite a head start too.

                  VIIII. – A ban on perjury, another good idea. Once again, not unique and expressed in other laws and cultures long before the ancient Hebrew. We did not need Yahweh’s help to figure this one out either. Of the 9 so far, this is only the 3rd that is actually part of secular law in the United States.

                  X. – Well, there goes capitalism. Also this is essentially punishing thought crime, which is in and of itself immoral. It also speaks to Yahweh’s misogyny (or more likely, the human creators of the story) by listing woman along with the men’s other belongings and chattel. Thoughts not acted upon are not immoral, this is simply absurd. Because if thought crime is kosher, then the reciprocal is true and just thinking about helping others is the same as actually helping others. Then again is a religion that thinks intercessory prayer is helpful, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that more Christians don’t have trouble with the thought police. They think praying actually helps, go figure…

                  So of the entire set of the common 10 Commandments (not the REAL 10 Commandments), only 3 have anything to do with morality or ethics (the prohibitions on murder, theft, and perjury). Those three can be combined down to just two sentiments.

                  1 – Don’t kill.

                  2 – Don’t be unfaithful.

                  Now this leaves us with 8 other slots we could use to say some important things that Yahweh forgot. How about not pretending to know things you do not know? How about prohibiting causing harm or raping children? How about something about forgiveness? What about equality under the law? There has to be something better to put there than fanning your god’s ego and vanity for half of them. Surely the all-knowing and all-powerful creator of the universe can do better; and in all honesty, why don’t you expect better from your god?

        • onamission5

          His first child with Bathsheba? That would be the woman whose husband he murdered so he could take her for himself. Nice hero you have there, very moral.

          • CommentMaker

            David’s second son with Bathsheba was Solomon. Christ’s linage came through David and several other misfits along the way. The plan is Gods, not yours or mine. Christ sacrifice was not for time and space, it was for all eternity. That covered every sin from Adam to the end of time. Our responsibility is simply to believe on the finished work of Christ in order to pass on to a perfect life with Him in eternity.

            • Edmond

              There’s that crazy, mis-used “S” word, sacrifice. What exactly did Jesus sacrifice? Most people that I’ve know who’ve died, have done so permanently. They didn’t take a 3-day visitors pass, and then COME BACK. They also didn’t take a promotion upon their return, to Creator of the Universe. A “sacrifice” like the one Jesus allegedly made sounds like a pretty sweet deal. It doesn’t sound like a sacrifice at all.

              • CommentMaker

                Edmond,

                I’m sure you have convinced yourself that this is a fairy tale. So, providing you the answer really is a waste of time here.

                • EvolutionKills

                  No, it’s that you are too brainwashed to realize that a 3-day torture session followed by promotion to 2nd in command to the Ruler of Universe is NOT A SACRIFICE.

                  Had Jesus been banished to Hell for all of eternity, that would at least be a sacrifice. It’s one I’d reject for many of the same moral and ethical reasons that I reject the current models of vicarious redemption, but at least if Jesus was supposedly still in Hell the whole ‘sacrifice’ bit would make a bit more sense. Eternity in Hell to purchase redemption of all of humanity forever after? Now that’s a sacrifice. A long bad weekend followed by a promotion? Once again, not a sacrifice.

                  Jesus lost nothing, God lost nothing; ergo no real sacrifice happened. Just a pointless tortured death for no good reason.

                • CommentMaker

                  EvolutionKills,

                  I’m sure you have heard this before. One correction, it was only half a day of torture, then the cross. He died in one day.

                  Jesus became man. He was both God and man when he walked upon the earth. The punishment for mankind was eternal damnation. That is what was placed upon Christ at His death, the eternal punishment we all deserve. If He went to hell for eternity and didn’t rise again there would be no satisfaction on God’s part. Keep in mind that we were created for God the Father and were created in His image. He loves us and set up the only sacrifice He would accept. Jesus did do pretty good after accomplishing the impossible. Then again, He is in that kind of business.

                • b s

                  He is an infinite, eternal being. He was human for ~33 years. 33 divided by infinity = 0. He gave up exactly zero of his time.If eternal damnation was placed upon him, why is he still not there?

                  “pretty good after accomplishing the impossible.”

                  When you’re god and nothing is impossible, how is him doing what he did any different from doing the possible?

                • EvolutionKills

                  The 3 days of torture was referring to his supposed 3 day trip in Hell between his death and resurrection, for fuck’s sake…

                  This ‘reasoning’ only speaks to the Olympic level of mental gymnastic required by indoctrinated Christians to justify their faith.

                  Your god supposedly created the universe and is is all knowing and all powerful. He could have created a universe that allowed free-will but prevented us from sinning. He is all powerful and all knowing, just because you can’t fathom how such a universe would work, doesn’t mean your god couldn’t do it. In fact by his very definition he has to be able to, yet he didn’t.

                  This is why Yahweh will always be remembered as the god that could have made PokeMon real, but instead was like ‘nope, here’s Malaria!’

                  Why did your god allow for the creation of a universe, and a species, that would be capable of eternal damnation? If eternal damnation is to be avoided, why build it into the system? If you god not powerful enough to make a universe without eternal damnation?

                  Why does your god need a sacrifice to fix problems with his own rules that he created? Can’t he just change the rules? Is he not powerful enough to do that?

                  We were created in your god’s image? Why does your god have two forward focused eyes with a fixed optical focus (especially when he’s omniscient)? Why does he have lungs if he need not breathe? Why would he have teeth if he need not eat? Why would your god be a male and have a penis, if he need not mate with a female? Why would he have a body if he’s omnipresent, as being confined to a singular body in space time would be a bit limiting?

                  You give nothing but an unsupported line of religious presuppositional drivel. You never ask any questions, you never present any evidence. Just empty assertion stacked upon empty assertion, that’s all you have. You have nothing to offer a skeptic to convince us that your position is at all reasonable or plausible.

                • 3lemenope

                  Yeah, the Harrowing of Hell is one of those super special *optional* beliefs that seems to be indicated in the Bible if you hold it at an angle and squint. If the light changes, it’s suddenly substitutional atonement time and forget about all that business with Jesus going to Hell.

                • Edmond

                  The story itself is what convinced me it was a fairy tale. I’m open to believe almost anything, if there’s evidence to support it. In my experience, people don’t come back to life, animals don’t talk, virgins don’t give birth, satyrs don’t exist, etc. It isn’t MY fault if the narrative is less than convincing. Yet I still wonder how a 3-day death can be considered a “sacrifice” when all the sacrifices I’ve seen anyone make (death or otherwise) have been permanent. This is what MAKES a sacrifice, the knowledge that you are STUCK with it, that it will not be lifted after a weekend.

                  Can’t I also say that YOU have convinced yourself that this is NOT a fairy tale? What part of the magic was the most convincing? Am I so wrong to conclude that magic isn’t possible? This book tells us NOTHING about the rest of the world, beyond the Middle-Eastern region that was populated by the authors. Meanwhile, hundreds of OTHER portions of the world have produced their OWN “scriptures” which insist on their own versions of magic and divinity. Is it so unreasonable for me to conclude that writing scriptures and claiming they’re divine is simply a common human practice?

                  Do I really need an innocent man to be punished, in order to “absolve” me of this “crime” of disbelief? Is that justice? Is it justice for me to be punished with eternal fire, just because I raise an eyebrow at a book which includes dragons and unicorns?

                  Yes, I’m convinced the Bible is a fairy tale. I was convinced by the Bible itself. Blame its authors for casting off reality, and for telling us it is the source of all morality because it says “Thou shalt not kill”, about 5 minutes before telling us about killing witches, gay people, disobedient children, and Amalekites.

            • Mario Strada

              Here is one of my pet peeves with Jesus genealogy. If Jesus lineage came through David, how do you reconcile that Matthew and (luke?) genealogies are so different and both go through Joseph , when Joseph was Jesus adoptive father?

              Some try to shift the descendancy from Mary, very conveniently, but what I find most hilarious is that between the two Genealogies the disagreement apparently starts with Joseph father. Makes you wonder how accurate they are going further back.

              Besides, human nature being what it is, a young palestinian woman is pregnant before marriage and the best excuse they come up with his “god impregnated her”.
              I wonder how well that would work in your congregation if one of the young women became pregnant out of wedlock.

            • SeniorSkeptik

              I’m no biblical scholar but one question. What is this noise about Christ’s lineage when it was supposedly god’s seed that impregnated Mary?

    • b s

      “First, children go straight to heaven when they die. That is not a bad thing”

      So let’s kill all the children, straight to heaven, yay!

      “If they are atheist, the child never will suffer again in this world”

      Neither would any other child.

      “The only unfortunate thing is the parent’s misery”

      Oh, is that all? No big deal then.

      • CommentMaker

        b s,

        You have just proven that reasoning is faulty. Never would anyone reason out to kill children from my statement.

        This video is about famines, disease and other terrible things that kill children. What organization do you give to that assist with keeping these kids alive?

        • b s

          “You have just proven that reasoning is faulty”

          How exactly did I prove that all reasoning is faulty?

          “Never would anyone reason out to kill children from my statement”

          Let’s see, children going to heaven is not a bad thing, then that would make it good? Also children won’t have to suffer in this world. I think a pretty strong case could be made for you claiming killing children would be in their best interest.

          • CommentMaker

            The statistics are about kids that have already died and will continue to die. My comments merely present calm in the storm. Reason around that.

            • b s

              But what if my reasoning leads me to believe children will go straight to Valhalla when they die?

              Oh, but reasoning is faulty, right? How exactly did you come up with YOUR conclusion then?

              • CommentMaker

                b s,

                My conclusion is based upon my faith in God. Yours is based upon your faith in nothing.

                • b s

                  No, my conclusion is based upon faith in Zeus, et al.

                • CommentMaker

                  Naw, you come across like more of a Baal person.

                • b s

                  He’s cool too.

                • EvolutionKills

                  You should really place your faith in Thor. He promised to rid the world of Frost Giants. Have you ever seen a Frost Giant? I rest my case!

                  ALL HAIL THOR!

                • b s

                  “Have you ever seen a Frost Giant?”

                  But what about the Titans and the Hundred-Handed ones?

                  Ball is in your court.

                • DavidMHart

                  You have no more good evidence that Heaven exists than the Norse polytheists has that Valhalla actualy exists. Please don’t pretend to be unable to understand that.

                • Mario Strada

                  Speaking of faith. It is answers like this that betray your arrogance and pride.
                  True, we do not consider “faith” to be a positive sentiment, in the religious sense, but for you to say “I have faith and you don’t” in a context dripping with disdain, arrogance, pride and condescension, is really not very Christ like.

                  Gandhi famously say “I like your Christ, I don’t like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ”.

                  Is the sentiment about this short sentence of yours that is certainly not worthy of your Christ.

        • cary_w

          “First, children go straight to heaven when they die. That is not a bad thing.”

          So you are saying that it’s OK to let children die of starvation and preventable diseases because they will end up in heaven? That really doesn’t seem much better than killing them, I mean, if you kill them it can be done quickly and painlessly, rather than letting them suffer.

          And yes, I have given money and occasionally my time and other resources to organizations that help children in at least most of the situations listed in the video, wouldn’t you agree that that does a lot more than praying for them? Praying is clearly worthless, since even if God exists he doesn’t waste his time saving children because he’d rather just send them to heaven, because, you know, that’s a good thing to go to heaven.

          • CommentMaker

            cary_w,

            I am part of a religious organization that goes out to these areas and helps these people. I have assisted on a local basis but not overseas. We are third in size to the Red Cross and Salvation Army in our world wide efforts. We give these kids and families food, clothes, water and the love of Jesus every day 24/7/365. You may know our group, we are Southern Baptist. We even do this in atheistic countries, too.

            • Edmond

              So instead of allowing God to do his work with famine, disease and tsunamis, which would send these kids directly to Heaven, you instead undo God’s efforts and give them the risk of growing up and NOT becoming followers of Jesus, thereby going to Hell instead.
              Religious logic is hard.

              • cary_w

                Damn good point. You notice that when CommentMaker replied to me he never denied that it’s OK to let children die since they will go straight to heaven. I suppose that as a true Christian, his first priority has to be saving their souls and secondary is food and water. Otherwise you’re right, what’s to point of helping someone if they’re just going to burn in Hell anyway? It would be kinder to let them die as children so they will at least go to heaven.

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

              Oh, Southern Baptists. The kids who constantly preached at me in high school were that denomination. The ones who denied science and tried to get their religion prayed at morning announcements and graduation were that denomination. The ones who spend almost none on charity but built gigantic freaking churches everywhere were that denomination.

              I’ve met your ilk. Persons who are Southern Baptist can be perfectly lovely persons, but Southern Baptists as a group are holier-than-thou, hypocritical assholes in my experience.

    • Dave
    • Jim

      “You seem to be trying to provoke God into doing something through your comment.”

      The point is that a loving, all knowing, all powerful god as described by Christianity does not exist. There’s nothing to provoke.

    • ShoeUnited

      No, at least a genie grants three wishes. God can’t even be fucked to do that much. But at least we can agree both are mythical creatures. Good analogy.

      As it is, if God isn’t doing anything for us and takes no responsibility; then what use is worshiping it? If your prayers fall of deaf ears, yet god still claims power, then why should I care what he/she/it says? An impotent omnipotence is as useless as having cops who refuse to respond to an emergency call.

      If your god washed his hands of humans, then why shouldn’t we wash our hands of him?

      Also, there’s no evidence that children go to heaven. Even if you believe only baptized children go to heaven (which can be an argument made from the bible if you believe in it), you still have children who will die without a baptism. So those children, according to the bible, are going to hell.

      • CommentMaker

        ShoeUnited,

        Baptism does not save. You are misguided and have some problems with Christianity. Read John 3 to know what I am talking about.

  • A3Kr0n

    Sam Harris is good for video narration. Even crummy videos look better with him speaking his wisdom.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YjjnmoSZaQ

  • EvolutionKills

    I always remember that as one of the best parts of Sam Harris’ debate with William Lane Craig at Notre Dame. It’s during his first rebuttal, and it’s an almost continuous ~11 minute long logical smack-down from Harris.

  • observer

    I am curious if there’s a correlation between religious extremists who pray to their god to cure their ill children – and if they die it’s just “god’s will” and they’ll go to heaven, or something like that – and whether these same people who’d pray to god for their children, will actually take action and effort, and use politics – man-made politics – to stop abortion because it’s murder “in god’s eyes”.


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