Creationist Ken Ham Criticizes Atheists for Reading the Bible Too Critically

Creationist Ken Ham is really upset at atheists who are going to “extreme lengths” to… um… read the Bible.

It turns out we’re reading it too critically for his tastes:

A recent article from the Religion News Service reports, “Atheists use a popular Bible app to evangelize about unbelief.” The article contains interviews with a number of young atheists who have chosen to use YouVersion, one of the most popular apps around, as a way of trying to shake the faith of Christians.

Sadly, atheists like Lauren haven’t approached Scripture with the desire to have these problems resolved by believers who are equipped to answer such claims. No, instead they have come with a bias against God and His Word, and they desire to damage the faith that others have in God. These skeptics are intentionally searching for supposed problems in Scripture — so they can spread more disbelief.

Serious question: Isn’t that what everyone should be doing? If there are problems with Scripture, shouldn’t Christians be at the front of the line to point them out and try to rectify them?

Then he quotes me without mentioning my name:

… are these atheists interested in the answers to their objections? I would submit that many of them aren’t. One well-known atheist was quoted as saying that one of the “beautiful side effects” of free Bible apps is that “nothing makes you an atheist faster than reading the Bible.” But really, Romans chapter 1 teaches that they know there is a God, and that their disbelief is a willful suppression of the truth.

You guys, Ham is onto us. He knows we all secretly believe in God and we’re just suppressing the truth… (I don’t know how he found out. Who told him?!)

But how much critical analysis can you really expect from someone who thinks, “The Bible said it, so I believe it!” The Creation Museum, after all, is just an homage to reading the Bible without putting an ounce of thought into it.

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.

  • Don Gwinn

    God told him. It’s in Romans! Get your head in the game, Mehta. Yahweh’s a snitch; you can’t tell that guy nothin’.

    Seriously, though, Mr. Ham’s got a pretty big platform. If he’s really got the tools to resolve these issues, as he says, he’s free to do so at any time.
    And now . . . . we wait . . . .

  • LesterBallard

    I can’t wait until that Ark Park fails.

  • http://www.twitter.com/alansimpson jediofpool

    Who broke the first rule of Atheist Club?

    • Jay

      Is that the one about not cooking babies before you eat them, or is that number 3? I always forget.

      • Crash Override

        I think that’s Rule 6 you’re thinking of. Rule 1 is “Nobody talks about Atheist Club.” It’s also Rule 2, with extra empathesis on NOBODY.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          There IS no number 6!

        • lauryn

          ^^^ This. So much win.

      • The Starship Maxima

        If this is your first time at Atheist Club, you must question??

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

          Nono, that’s the Skeptics club. The two are auxiliary to each other, and have a lot of overlapping members, but Rule 1 of Atheist Club is Never Talk about Atheist Club. Rule 1 of Skeptics Club is Question Everything.

          • The Starship Maxima

            Gotcha.

            • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

              Don’t pay attention to her. She’s just angling for the free fondue set.

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

                Wait, we have prizes now? When did that start? Holy FSM, I could use a new fondue set!

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  I still have the toaster I got. You seriously didn’t know? Well hell. It should have been in the welcome package with the scarlet letter “A” shirt and the sarcastic Hot Topic pins. You, er, did get that, right?

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

                  Erm. Was that was that package was?

                  *Oops*

                • Easy_to_Refute_Wingnuts

                  Absinthe makes the heart grow fondue!

          • Castilliano

            Is it? Where’s you proof? ;)

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

              Hi, welcome to the club. Here’s your badge and ID tag :)

          • Timothy McLean

            What’s the rule about talking about Skeptics Club?

            • 3lemenope

              You can only do it subjunctively.

              “If Skeptics Club were to exist, you couldn’t talk about it.”

      • TCC

        No, number 3 is “Do not seethe the baby in its mother’s milk.” Come on, people.

      • Dan Weeks

        I thought number 3 was ham. Just ham. Yeah, I never understood it either, yours makes way more sense.

  • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

    True Christians™ often tell me I didn’t read the bible properly if it helped make me an atheist. Others have told me that God was working through me while I was reading it and I just didn’t know it.

    It also gets their gourd when I tell them I’m a recovering born again Christian who has been baptized.

    • Keyra

      But why would you lie about being a born-again Christian who has been baptized?

      • Keljopy

        Where does it say he is lying about it? Many atheists were once born again Christians who were baptized.

        • Keyra

          There’s no such thing as a former Christian (especially one who’s been baptized by a man-made pastor). But it is true that most New Atheists were raised in fundamentalist households

          • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

            And there it is. You are now spouting the bullshit.

            • tracy two crows

              Hey Kevin can you send a clean up crew?Keyra here has a “No true Scotsman” fallacy spilled out all over the interwebz ..;)

            • Stev84

              Only now?

          • Crash Override

            As a former Christian myself, I beg to differ.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            most New Atheists were raised in fundamentalist households

            Citation please.

            • more compost

              Ain’t no citations when you just makin sh!t up.

          • Anathema

            Just because you use a different definition of the word “Christian” than the rest of us do does not make Kevin a liar.

            Most people use the word “Christian” to mean “someone who believes in the basic principles of Christianity.” However, you seem to be using the word “Christian” to mean “a member of the elect” or “someone who has been saved.” As an atheist, Kevin doesn’t believe that anyone is among the elect, so it should have been obvious to you that he was not using the word in the same way that you are.

          • Jeff

            Really, no such thing as a former Christian? I would like to introduce myself. I was raised Catholic, baptized (by a man-made pastor, which you got wrong it was a priest), confirmed, spent many a sunday as an altar boy (including 2 funerals). My father was uninterested in religion (cut into his Sunday), my mother was a devote Catholic who maintained her belief during the terrible pain of bone cancer, and took her last rites. Nice to meet you.

            • suzi c

              Hi Jeff, nice to meet you too. I agree with you. I’m a former Christian AND a former Mormon, who grew up in a non-fundie household, (my mother was more agnostic). I was baptized and yet, here I am, a non-believer, a heathen. I renounced any ‘faith’ I had and I renounced the god I worshipped for yrs. I studied the bible for over 20yrs and had any questions I had swept away with the words ‘god will answer those when u meet him’, and contradictions I found were silenced with the words ‘that’s Satan at work, trying to confuse and lead you astray’. Needless to say, I realized from reading the bible and studying it in depth, that it was all bullshit.

          • TCC

            Listen, you seem like a nice enough person (if a bit defensive – but hey, I’ve been where you are, so I know how natural that tendency is), but when you tell people who sincerely believed in the truth of Christianity at one point that they never really were Christians, that’s kind of an asshole thing to say. If you have to define Christianity so narrowly, that doesn’t speak too highly for your regard of your own religion.

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

            Um, wouldn’t someone who used to believe Jesus was all godly and special, and got baptized, and then changed their mind and decided that Jesus wasn’t a god or anything, be an ex-Christian?

            • Nemo

              If you changed your mind, you never had the Holy Spirit and were never a true Scotschristian.

              • TCC

                What people don’t apparently realize is that when you ask Jesus into your heart, he always inaudibly mutters, “No backsies!”

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

                /facepalm

                I’d like to believe you’re just being sarcastic (I mean, I know you personally are being sarcastic!), but I’ve actually heard people use that argument. The mind boggles at the sheer stupidity of it.

                • Nemo

                  I am. The “Scots” Christian part should have been the dead giveaway, but the rest is what many Christians have argued. Some, I believe, on this very page.

          • http://somaticstrength.wordpress.com/ Tor

            Really, because I had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ for most of my life and then I told him to fuck off.

          • tracy two crows

            Keyra,does being that willfully stupid hurt your head as much as it hurts ours to read????FFS,….

          • RowanVT

            I’m a former Christian. My brother was baptized and born again (and told me I was going to hell when I first expressed doubts about christianity) and now he’s agnostic and most definitely NOT christian.

            Neither of us were raised in a fundamentalist household.

            • Pogonip

              What is this “born again”? I keep hearing it and seeing it, but nobody ever says how they actually do it. They’re obviously too big to go through a birth canal, unless it’s a mockup, maybe one of those tubes like they use for cat toys? But it would have to be pretty big…..unless that’s part of the process. Our first trip through birth was a tight squeeze, maybe this rebirth has to be, also? Are there body fluids involved?

              • RowanVT

                Creepily enough, some people actually do mock-ups like that. D: My brother did not, though. He was of the “Born again through Christ as my Lord and Saviour and God as my Father”-types.

          • tsig

            There you go, just as long as you can keep your thoughts channeled into stereotypes your faith will be safe.

          • Timothy McLean

            I’m a former Christian. Ask my mother, ask my father, ask my friends from elementary and middle school, ask the pastor at my old church (which was, incidentally, the same as my elementary/middle school). I was Lutheran, confirmed, and already doubting. My classmates asked if I was going to be “un-baptized”. And yet…I see God as the BS he is.

          • God’s Starship

            All you have to do to be Christian is identify yourself as one. All you have to do to get out is stop identifying as one. All the mumbo jumbo about pastors and baptism is in your head.

          • wabney

            As I’ve asked you before – define “New Atheist”. Also – give your evidence for the assertion you made (no such thing blah de blah blah). Or more likely you’ll continue to ignore any response that doesn’t just reaffirm your nonsense.

          • LJinFLA

            So where do the “Old” atheists come from? bwahahaha

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Mmmm…. no. Many of us are, in fact, former Christians, and there is also an entire community for Ex-Christians of all stripes.

          • Mogg

            Hi! I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Mogg, and I’m a former Christian.

          • Noelle

            Former Christian here too. Baptized, confirmed, sacraments, the works. Was not at all raised in a fundy house. I totally believed I could feel god’s presence and that he called me to the profession I trained for.

        • Sapphire Possible

          Try this. Former devout Muslim….now an Agnostic!

      • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

        I’m not lying.

        • Keyra

          “It also gets their gourd when I tell them I’m a recovering born again Christian who has been baptized.”, are you an atheist or are you really a recovering born-again Christian (when you put it like that, you make it sound current)?

          • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

            The recovering part is a play on words and nothing more. I was baptized because I was told I had to be. I was only 11 years old.

            At the age of 23 when I was in my hard core Christian phase I became born again at a Harvest Crusade hosted by Greg Laurie. I even meet him that night, was a nice guy.

            I was brought up religious so it is no surprise I went down the path I did but as I grew into my 30′s I started having my doubts and now I’m an atheist.

          • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

            Recovering is a good word. I still have some odd phobias and bouts of judgementalism that come from my upbringing as a fundamentalist Christian. I really believed for a long time. And then I started reading the Bible and thinking about what it said. The logical twisting it takes to rationalize what the Bible actually says got to be too much for me. It’s just not consistent and most of it is demonstrably not true. Recovering is a good word. Removing bad thinking that was programmed into you from birth is not an easy task. I’m not sure I’ll ever be rid of it.

            • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

              I’m still figuring stuff out from my evangelical days. It’s a process. It’s hard to unwind those old tapes, but rewarding.

            • Timothy McLean

              You have to admit, though, it can be a little confusing to people who don’t get the joke.

          • TCC

            You’re parsing the phrase wrong. It’s “recovering [from being a] born-again Christian,” not “a born-again Christian who is recovering [from something or other].”

      • Sapphire Possible

        I get it…Ha ha.

      • Paul D.

        Surely you understand that a “recovering alcoholic” is someone who is recovering from being an alcoholic, not someone who currently is an alcoholic.

        • LarryCook

          How is it that so few people have a real understanding of the disease of Alcoholism? An alcoholic is always an alcoholic even when he stops drinking because he will more than likely still be overcome by his disease if he takes a drink. Nobody is a “former alcoholic”. A person who is not an alcoholic can take a drink without fear of losing control. You used a bad example. Tens of millions of families in the U.S. alone are devastated by Alcoholism. I’m always surprised, although I shouldn’t be, when an otherwise well educated, intelligent person says or writes something that clearly shows a lack of understanding about such an insidious and pervasive disease.

          • 3lemenope

            The definition of alcoholism foisted on the world by Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t exactly a medical one. It also happens to be one very suspiciously convenient for their “business” model, in a ‘once you need us, you never won’t again’ sort of way.

            • Mogg

              I’ve always been a tad suspicious of that, myself.

              • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                A family member of mine has gotten sucked in by AA and has turned into an evangelical Christian. It’s definitely been weird. Seems like it’s just substituting one addiction for another, but it’s his life and he’s doing all right.

                • Mogg

                  Well, I suppose for some it’s a healthier addiction. If he’s doing okay, why not? Maybe he’ll move on, maybe not, and “all right” is better than “unchanged” even if it isn’t awesome.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  That’s my opinion. Live and let live. Long as he’s all right.

            • Guest

              I understand what you are saying regarding AA. Regardless of their shortcomings, almost every medical and psychiatric association in the world defines Alcoholism as a disease. You are entitled to your opinion just as creationists are entitled to their opinion that evolution is “just a theory”.

              • 3lemenope

                Regardless of their shortcomings, almost every medical and psychiatric association in the world defines Alcoholism as a disease.

                Yes, they do. Find for me the part of my comment where I claimed that medical and psychiatric associations didn’t, or where I didn’t find their working definitions to be valid.

                You are entitled to your opinion just as creationists are entitled to their opinion that evolution is “just a theory”.

                While you’re working on that assignment of remedial reading skills, you might also want to work on the social duty to not be a prick while reading poorly. Had you approached this differently, I might be interested in having a conversation about the neurobiology, pharmacology, and behavioral elements of addiction. As of now, I have no such interest, due to that you-being-a-prick thing.

                • Guest

                  You wrote, “The definition of alcoholism foisted on the world by Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t exactly a medical one.” That’s where I got the idea that you think Alcoholism isn’t a disease because AA says it is. Since you wrote that in response to my comment, why would anyone think anything else? And for a guy who starts off by insulting AA by using the word “foisted” and questioning their motives (despite not having the success rate everyone would like them to have, AA has still gotten more alcoholics to stop drinking for good than any other group or method), and a person who can turn so nasty so quickly as evidenced by your last comment, you have an awfully thin skin. My comment that compared your opinion to creationist opinions about evolution was intended to say that your opinion about alcoholism according to AA has no merit because you obviously don’t know much about Alcoholism. I’m not going to provide my credentials for you here, but I’ve studied the disease for many years in terms of helping the atheist and agnostic alcoholic. I don’t care if you decide to continue your insults. I have no intention of making any additional comments or replies.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  It’s not a “disease”, it’s a lifestyle choice. An “alcoholic” can make the choice to not drink, they just don’t want to stop, and use their “disease” as an excuse.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  Dunno about alcohol and drugs, but with my issue it certainly wasn’t “you don’t want to stop”, it was learning when to exercise the control. If I’m at my emotional red line, the choice simply is not there, any more than it is for a drunk person to recite Pi backwards in Klingon. That doesn’t absolve me of any responsibility, it just means I have to know my red line and be proactive about not getting there while I do still have the self control.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Dude, nobody can recite Pi backwards in Klingon!

                  Not. Even. Sober.

                • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                  But drunk people would try.

                • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                  Hmmm….

            • LarryCook

              You know, since I may have been wrong about what you were trying to say, I’ve removed my comments. I read your comment to say that Alcoholism is not a disease and that you think that idea was made up by AA for its own purposes and then they foist that opinion on us. I can see now that perhaps that opinion is separate from what you think about the idea of disease. If that’s the case, I should not have compared your opinion to a creationist’s opinion about evolution.

              • 3lemenope

                Hey, fair enough. Sorry about the “prick” thing. (An uncalled-for analogy to a creationist is likely to get any thinking person’s dander up, but that’s still no excuse.)

                To be clear, I think that addiction is a class of diseases that share similar features, and usually implicate both neurophysiological and behavioral etiology. The neurology stuff is (heh) hard-wired, at least to the extent that brains have limited plasticity (dictated by genetics and early environment) when it comes to the strength of the reward response and downregulation of the satiety response; chronic alcohol use causing damage through excitotoxic rebound is objectively real and in principle measurable.

                The behavior stuff is rather less easily typified. And the severity of both lay easily on a continuum such that it is problematic to talk about any addiction (including alcoholism) as a status that a person either possesses or is free from, which is one of the major practical deficiencies of the disease model, whatever its technical accuracy in describing etiology. Except at extreme ends, executive function seems mostly intact (if obviously altered) even during the status of intoxication, and so while I don’t share WMDKitty’s assessment of alcoholism as a simple matter of will, I find it very difficult to ignore the fact that executive function remains basically intact during the whole drug-seeking/drug-using cycle. At a certain level, choices are certainly being made; I’ve personally seen people make very difficult choices regarding their use of substances that are very hard to square with the paradigm of powerlessness that AA is pretty guilty of foisting on the culture at large.

                I have oodles of personal experience with alcoholism and other addictions. Three grandparents, one parent, one sibling, a few significant others and a whole lot of friends have had significant life interruptions or other major harm at one time or other because of their abuse of alcohol. But, neither did they leap into the “always broken” archetype that is typical of the AA viewpoint, nor would abstention have been an effective solution in some of those cases (as it certainly was a good solution in others). Alcohol abuse can often be an adjunct to other mental health issues, and can be an attempt at self-medication (common among schizophrenics, OCD sufferers, severe ADHD, PTSD, and much of the rest of the alphabet soup) which does not indicate an endogenous problem with alcohol addiction alone.

                In the end, what I object to (and why I have little patience for the AA approach) is the one-size-fits-all model for how alcoholism should be understood. In the entire spectrum of mild to severe alcohol abuse behavior, one will find people for whom the model poorly applies. Some people do better with abstention, some with moderation; some can self-monitor and some need outside help; for some the abuse is sui generis and for some it is masking a further condition which if not addressed will frustrate any attempts to address the substance abuse; some people’s lives are utterly destroyed by use, some are three sheets to the wind standing next you and you’ll never know it, nor their loved ones, nor anyone.

                • LarryCook

                  First, the comments I deleted are still showing up under “Guest” instead of my name. I don’t think there’s anything I can do about that without making a big deal that’s out of proportion to the problem.
                  Obviously, we would have to have been subject to some sort of mind meld for me to say I agree with everything you wrote, but I do agree with much of it. You brought up far too many points for me to comment on here. I would have to write far too much to do your words or my thoughts justice.

                  I do agree though that almost everything needs to be thought of on a bell curve of some kind. You and I and my Aunt Tilly may all be alcoholics, but the impact it has on each aspect of our lives, our ability to function, the effect on us physically, the effect on our families, etc. will range all over a continuum of some kind. I read a book recently in which the authors explain alcoholism in four stages. Most people, including most drinkers, never get to stage one. Alcoholics progress from one stage to the next at different paces. It makes a lot of sense once you read it. And it explains a great deal about some of the things you wrote. One person may not seem to have the same reaction as another because he hasn’t progressed as far in his disease yet. Anyway, the book is, “UNDER THE INFLUENCE, A guide to the myths and realities of Alcoholism” by James R. Milam, Ph.D. and Katherine Ketcham. It’s a well researched book that holds nothing back and doesn’t kiss anyone’s ass, including AA’s. It’s a bit old, published in 1983, but it doesn’t seem very out of date. I think I bought it cheaply on Amazon.
                  The only other thing you wrote that I want to respond to is about making decisions. I have no doubt that the alcoholic is involved in making decisions throughout his drinking career, but I believe many of the terrible decisions alcoholics make are beyond their understanding and control. It could be argued that they make a decision every time they pick up a drink or every day when they start drinking. I don’t believe that, but pretty obviously an alcoholic has much more control over everything, including his drinking, early in his drinking life. The question I have is, why does he consistently make the same bad decisions time after time if he is truly in control. I would argue that he’s not in control even when he’s young, even when he’s sober. It is such a sneaky disease that he doesn’t know why he made one decision and not another. And after the first drink, I don’t think there’s much controlled decision making going on. How many times will he say he’s only going to have a few and fail to stop until he has a few more, then a few more and so on? At what point is it that he’s no longer really making decisions? I think it’s pretty early and I think that’s because there is something physical that makes an alcoholic react differently to alcohol. And I think that because the alcoholic makes the same bad decisions and does the same stupid things the same way almost every time he has a drink.
                  We both have a lot more to say on the subject, but this is the comments section of another person’s website and I think I’ve already gone beyond the appropriate number of words. If Hemant Mehta happens to read this, please forgive me. I won’t do it again. And if you, 3lemenope, would like to continue this conversation, you can reach me at skepticook@gmail.com. Thanks for sharing so many of your well thought out words with me.

          • Timothy McLean

            Splitting hairs. Important in a discussion about alcoholism, I’ll grant, but pretty much unimportant when discussing the etymology of terms which spring from that field.

          • Karen Milton

            I think ‘recovering’ is a valid term. Nobody says “recovered”, but “recovering” implies that work is being done and the process continues. I’m both a recovering Catholic and a recovering bipolar disordered person (or whatever the terminology). A youth spent with Jesus is hard to shake (I still like the guy, bar the divinity situation), and I will never not be bipolar. Not being Catholic was fairly easy (you just don’t be one anymore, pretty much – although to this day I could probably recite the entire mass by heart), but not being bipolar isn’t possible. That doesn’t stop me from working and taking steps to try to keep myself from “relapse”, so to speak. I work damn hard at that, as do recovering alcoholics. There is no recovered, but there is certainly a sense of recovery when one is doing everything one can to move forward and live a life free from the thing that is always lurking in the back of your mind. Sometimes it takes what seems like an almost physical effort to stay well. Sometimes it doesn’t work. There is no recovery, but recovering is a good word – it implies effort and process and progress. Recovered would imply the end of that process, but sometimes that’s just not a thing.

            • Guest

              I am an ex-Catholic, but I am a recovering alcoholic. My own experience reinforces for me what the AMA and other medical groups say about Alcoholism. I am in no danger of suddenly showing up at mass and going to confession and communion, but if I think the same thing about alcohol I am potentially in trouble. I’m surprised that people on this site are expressing opinions based on anecdotal evidence about someone they know who went to AA. I too know people who have become absurdly religious after going to AA, but those who walk into AA meetings for the first time are sick; why should we be surprised that some have what I would call sick responses to the program? And although the percentage of alcoholics who stop drinking permanently after going to AA is smaller than anyone would like, it’s much higher than any other program or therapy I’ve ever heard of. I’m not here to defend AA, but to say that calling Alcoholism a disease is “suspiciously convenient” for AA’s “business model” or that “the definition of Alcoholism foisted on us by AA isn’t exactly a medical one” is simply ignorant.

              • Karen Milton

                I didn’t say any of those things.

              • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

                AA has a “success rate” of 5%, which is identical to the rate of recovery for untreated alcoholics who just up and choose to quit on their own.

          • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

            Dude, there’s this thing called “self control”. Alcoholism is nothing more than a lack of self control, most often wilful.

            AA is a cult.

  • Mike De Fleuriot

    That is what you have when you float a wooden boat filled with wood boring beavers and insects and only have one window to chuck the water out of.

    • Timothy McLean

      Or when you pack 14 of every clean animal and two of every unclean animal into a boat less than 500×100 feet. Or when you flood the entire world to drown everyone but don’t leave the slightest mark on the archaeological record.

  • Neko

    Why is Ham coy about polygamy in the Bible? Please proceed, governor.

  • Crash Override

    Nothing ticks off a True Believer more than critical reading and critical thinking.

    • Keyra

      Open-minded reading and thinking is the way to go

      • Crash Override

        Agreed, but that is only PART of critical thinking…it’s defined by dictionary.referemce.com as “disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence.” Not something that fundies are overly fond of.

        • Keyra

          Well try to avoid the fundies if you can

          • Crash Override

            Would that not mean avoiding you?

            • Timothy McLean

              Are there other posts around here marking Keyra as a fundie, or are you basing this claim on Keyra’s statement about open-minded reading and thinking? If the latter, I can easily see that being a non-theist who isn’t so great at expressing his/her points.

              • TheBlackCat13

                “Are there other posts around here marking Keyra as a fundie”

                Try this one:

                “There’s no such thing as a former Christian (especially one who’s been baptized by a man-made pastor).”

                • Timothy McLean

                  Yeah. Amusingly, it took only a little more reading down the page for me to realize my mistake.

                  Stupid lack of mental time travel.

                • randomfactor

                  Most pastors are woman-made.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            And how exactly should we do that? We can’t just ignore them, because they’re right in our faces and trying to take over our lives and force us to live by the oppressive, bass-ackward social rules they want to live by (and frequently failed to live by, for that matter). All it takes for evil to win is for good people to say nothing, which is what it sounds like you want to see us do.

            Not that you actually addressed the point of Crash’s argument, which is that open-mindedness is only the very first part of the process of critical thinking. You’ve forgotten that there is a crucial second part involved: weighing the information heard.

            • Pogonip

              You misunderstand, Captain. They want to force *other people* to live by their rules. As evangelizers, they are exempt. That’s what they told me, anyway.

              • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                Haha, I should have guessed! Yeah, they can’t even live by their own rules, if crime and misery rates in Christian-heavy states are anything to go by. But they’re happy to force us to do it.

      • Drakk

        There is a point where open mindedness becomes credulity, and further along that path becomes gullibility.

        Don’t be so open minded that your brain falls out.

    • Keyra

      But when you encounter those who are “ticked off”, or are just plain irrational, then move on to the next

  • Keyra

    Yeah, read it, ask questions, be sincere. But for the sole purpose of trying to pull people away from their faith (which is rather pointless, truth be told), then reduce to childish ridicule and blasphemous babble when no satisfactory answers are given, isn’t the way. Ham is a bad representative, but the one thing he is right about (to an extent) is reading it critically. Instead, the Bible should be read open-mindedly. Reading it critically (and alone) means to fixate on the negative (almost always to no end). “Seek and you shall find”. If you seek negativity (in other words, seeking to criticize), rather than seek answers, then that’s what you’re gonna get.

    • paulalovescats

      You have to be open-minded to believe the crap in there. It’s just a work of fiction. Unless there’s really a forest in the wardrobe?

      • Keyra

        Try being rational. History has proven most (emphases on most) of it so far so calling it just a work of fiction is a misnomer. What you call “fiction” is what hasn’t been proven yet. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But if you like to think the contrary, then go ahead.

        • Keljopy

          Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, however direct internal contradictions, as well as contradictions with historic evidence, scientific evidence, and logic is evidence against it being true.

          • Keyra

            Not always necessarily. It’s usually personal conclusions that go against it. What is logic anyway, other than man’s perception. Naturalism alone isn’t the only conclusion

            • Crash Override

              Perhaps you need to familiarize yourself with the meanings of words you are using. Logic has absolutely NOTHING to do with perception.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            And in some cases, absence of any evidence where it should be abundant is evidence of absence. Exodus e.g.

            • Keyra

              That’s not the rational conclusion

              • Anathema

                Why not?

                • Keyra

                  Because it’s dismissing what hasn’t been disproven, only assumed to have been

                • Kingasaurus

                  If you tell me you can fly by flapping your arms, I don’t need to disprove that. It’s an extraordinary claim, outside human experience and a violation of everything we know about how the universe behaves. Therefore, the burden of proof is on YOU. You need to show me you can do it.

                  Same for all miraculous claims in the Bible and the attendant supernaturalist beliefs that Christians hold.

                  Keyra, I liked you better when you were a drive-by poster. Because your attempts to engage disbelievers on these issues is pretty terrible.

                  You’re not even speaking the same language as people who actually require strong evidence before they’ll believe something. Your standards are, frankly, awful.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  Remember, the arguments she uses on others are arguments that would work on her. She actually thinks she’s being persuasive, because at one point, these arguments were deployed on her and she fell for them–either they convinced her or made her feel more convinced. People don’t put forward arguments they know are idiotic or preposterous. They put forward arguments that they think will work. So Keyra is showing us exactly what she thinks is a working argument.

                  I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry about that.

                • Anathema

                  If the events of Exodus had actually occurred, they would have left evidence. The fact that we cannot find such evidence, despite decades of searching, suggests that the evidence does not exist. The fact that the evidence does not exist implies that the events of Exodus never happened at all.

                  Not only is the evidence we would expect to find if the events of Exodus were historical missing, but the evidence we currently have suggests that Israelite culture developed out of Canaanite culture within the Levant. This contradicts the Exodus story that the Israelites came to occupy Canaan through violent conquest after they had fled from slavery in Egypt.

                • Drakk

                  I don’t know if there’s a name for this fallacy, but it should be called something like “undue consideration”.

                  Imagine there’s a murder in a town and the cops show up to investigate. They find nothing, and one of them says “well, we’ve got no evidence in any direction, so maybe Tom Jones at number seven did it.”

                  The point being that it is not fair to bring attention to Tom if there isn’t any initial evdence to make him a suspect, likewise it isn’t fair to give any consideration to the historicity of the exodus story when no initial evidence has been found to begin with.

          • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

            It is fair that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but the person making the claim has the burden of proof. If you are going to claim that the Bible is supported by independent historical evidence, then you have to provide that evidence.

        • Crash Override

          What parts have been “proven”, please? And how have they been “proven”?

          • Keyra

            Nearly all but Eden, the Ark, and the Exodus. And by withstanding the test of time, proving most of itself though historical and archaeological facts, and foretelling future events that have been accurate (with the exception of end-times prophecies). There’s an entire section of books dedicated to history but also other sections including Prophecy, Wisdom, Poetry, the Gospels, the Letters of Paul

            • cyb pauli

              No, no, no. What claims specifically in the Bible have been demonstrated to be accurate? You listed none.

              • Keyra

                Same response I gave to Crash

                • Crash Override

                  Lazy thinking, kinda smacks of “I know you are, but what am I?”

            • Crash Override

              As Paul states above, citations needed, please. Apologetics do not count.

              • Keyra

                Try looking for various sites, some are Christian sites (not necessarily “creationist sites”), but also sites that are more mainstream and secular (if an atheist truly bothers to read alot from it), like pleaseconvinceme for example. Hope you find what you’re looking for

                • Anathema

                  Could you give us some links? Just telling us to looks at “various sites” is not much help.

                • Shiori_hime

                  YOU are the one making the claim. Why can’t you provide the links that prove your assertion yourself?

                • Crash Override

                  How can I find what i am looking for if you will not tell me where to find it? Pretend I’m from Missouri…SHOW ME.

            • Carol Lynn

              Even you admit that Eden hasn’t been proven? Good. Then there was never a Fall or anything that was the ‘original sin’ that needed to be redeemed and Jesus is unnecessary. The whole Bible is a house of cards that has come tumbling down.

            • Glasofruix

              Uh, there’s no evidence of massive flood, no evidence of jews being slaves in egypt, no evidence about jesus ever existing…. The bible is full of shit and you know it.

            • Timothy McLean

              So…pretty much everything but the most important parts.

              And you don’t provide any citations.

              Convincing.

        • http://www.processdiary.com Paul Caggegi

          Citations for historic proof needed. AFAIK No proof of an exodus, Noah’s flood, where a garden of eden is (any accounts of being warded off by Cherubim would suffice) has ever been taken seriously. The bible is what I’d expect the collected stories of iron age sheep herders and fishermen to come up with, being supressed by world powers, and hallucinating due to sleep deprevation, fasting and other ways one might bring on altered states of mind.

          • Keyra

            Well all know you didn’t come up with “Iron Age sheep herders” on your own. Try not to apply over-used terms when referring to it (if you’re rational anyway). The Bible had about over 30-some authors and only 2 of them were sheep herders (one of them was a king when he wrote it…but I’m sure you know who that is), others had various professions. “being supressed by world powers, and hallucinating due to sleep deprevation, fasting and other ways one might bring on altered states of mind.”, you have any proof that’s entirely the case? Or is it what you’d like to believe?

          • Keyra

            Same response to Crash

            • more compost

              “Same response to Crash” equals “My arguments are weak, and won’t withstand scrutiny.”

              Come on, you aren’t even trying!

          • The Starship Maxima

            Yeah, the funny thing is though, there are some outright radical ideas in a book written by bronze age goatherders.

            If you’re going to stone a woman for adultery, her accusers should share her fate. A slave should be subservient to his master, so that God can mete punishment on the enslaver. Don’t ask for money or material possessions, rather ask for peace regardless of circumstances.

            Not exactly the stuff random fisherman and shepherds would come up with.

            • Kingasaurus

              I wouldn’t call them “random.”

              I would say that society progresses by people coming up with new ideas at certain times. Doesn’t mean a god is prompting the people who come up with these new ideas or anything.

              I would also say that superstitious people come up with new ideas too. Why wouldn’t they? Again, the positive effect those ideas may have on human history don’t validate the superstitious beliefs those people hold (not that you were specifically arguing that just now).

              The ancient Greeks first came up with the principles of democracy, and I’d hardly say they were lacking in superstition or belief in the supernatural. Just because we think democracy is a good thing doesn’t mean the Greek gods are real.

              This seems obvious, but i can’t tell you how often somebody has hit me with how revolutionary the ethics of the Bible are (selectively read), as if that somehow validates the existence of the Jewish god.

              • The Starship Maxima

                But obviously.

            • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

              You haven’t read much of contemporary writing if you think the OT’s laws are “outright radical.” That’s just something apologists say, and it isn’t even halfway true. Hammurabi’s Code talks about a lot of the same things, and is even more progressive on some fronts. Maybe you should acquaint yourself with this document, which predates the Mosaic laws by centuries, so you will know that absolutely, positively nothing in the Bible is anything that the people of its time couldn’t have come up with by themselves. (You might want to touch up on the Epic of Gilgamesh too; it has some fascinating stories that sound a lot like some OT myths, and remember, it’s older. Christian apologists have had a lot of fun contorting themselves into frantic explanations for why there is a flood narrative in the Epic that sounds almost exactly like the one in the Bible.)

              http://www.harris-greenwell.com/HGS/Hammurabi

              • The Starship Maxima

                My adjectives need work clearly. “Radical” was a poor choice of words, as it implies “original”.
                I mean, if the Bible was meant to be just some musing of shepherds and fishermen getting high, then it seems….atypical….would be the better word.
                It favors fair treatment of women. It says you cannot mistreat slaves. It says one must work with one’s oppressors. Not the kind of thing I expect the typical goat herder to come up with.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  Alas, you are incorrect again. Read over that link I gave you. By the time the Old Testament was penned by the various people who wrote it and massaged by the various factions that needed to include this or that myth or claim, Hammurabi’s Code–which, again, features many of the same ideas and in some cases the exact same laws and penalty structures–had been around for *500* years. Even primitive screwheads would probably have gotten the gist of its ideas by then. You’re not giving primitive screwheads much credit if you seriously think that their leaders weren’t in contact with the great cultures of the day, like the Egyptians and whatnot, so thus aware of the general trends in philosophy and law–just as even American high school kids know some basics of the Elizabethan era. Are you absolutely positive it’s really that remarkable that the culture of the time produced a document like the Bible? Because it really isn’t at all.

                  We use the term “bronze/iron age shepherds” a little dismissively, but it’s not that inaccurate. It was a terribly backward little used-dishwater of a provincial culture that had to fight constantly to keep the little shred of land it had. It borrowed heavily from the long-established legal structures of the great cultures around it–largely because those structures worked for those cultures that used it. I think you need to go back and re-learn the history you think you know, no offense at all intended. You know the talking points of the apologists, but you’ll figure out in time that apologists know next to nothing about actual history (or else they know and are intentionally obscuring those facts from their hungry Christian audiences aching for something real and true). I recommend this as a good start:

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP5LdELd_0o

                • tsig

                  So what then? Godidit?

                • Timothy McLean

                  Even assuming you weren’t wrong…why? People today claim all sorts of crazy stuff about everything from morality to the vegetable composition of the universe. Why should the past be different?

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

              What were these radical ideas?

              We shouldn’t stone people to death? We should have slaves, and they should all be happy little slaves because it would totally get better in the afterlife? Material possessions aren’t the end-all, be-all of the world?

              If that’s the best the NT can do, color me terribly unimpressed. None of these ideas were unique even at the time, and at least the one about slavery is pretty horrific if you consider the full implications of it.

            • Timothy McLean

              Why not? Haven’t modern times shown that even normal people, with no money, status, power, or divine inspiration can change the world, for good or ill?

              You don’t need God to come up with “Stone the rapist, too.” You just need a brain and the right bit of inspiration.

        • Anathema

          . History has proven most (emphases on most) of it so far so calling it just a work of fiction is a misnomer.

          No, history has not proven most of the Bible. History has confirmed that some of the people and places mentioned within the Bible were real. But history has not confirmed that most of the stories in the Bible are depictions of actual events. Not by a long shot.

          What you call “fiction” is what hasn’t been proven yet.

          Much of what I call “fiction” has not only not been proven, it has been disproven. For instance, I can prove to you that there was never a world wide flood, that the world was not created in six days, and that Jesus could not have possibly been born during both the census of Quirinius and the reign of Herod the Great.

          Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

          Unless you would expect evidence of a claim to be found if the claim were true. Then absence of evidence is indeed evidence of absence.

          • Keyra

            “But history has not confirmed that most of the stories in the Bible are depictions of actual events. Not by a long shot.”, not that long of a shot. Most historians confirm most of it. But there are events which were told in parables (but Bible literalists and New Atheists alike take it literally but with opposite conclusions obviously)

            • Anathema

              Most historians confirm most of it.

              [citation needed]

              But there are events which were told in parables (but Bible literalists and New Atheists alike take it literally but with opposite conclusions obviously)

              Are you trying to say that some of the events depicted in the Bible are not literally true but meant as parables or that some of the parables in the Bible metaphorically describe events that actually happened?

              If you meant the former, then that in no way contradicts my point about how historians have not confirmed that most of the events described in the Bible actually happened. If you meant the latter, then could you given me an example of a parable being used to describe a real, historical event? (It wouldn’t surprise me at all if such things happened, but I can’t think of any examples off of the top of my head. So it would be really helpful if you could provide an example, as that would allow me to better understand what you are talking about.)

            • wabney

              Assertions are not evidence. CI-EFFING-TATION for “most historians”. Good frakking grief.

            • Carmelita Spats

              Yeah, NO ONE is silly enough to take the resurrection or the virgin birth seriously. Oh, wait…it’s those pesky fundamentalists who believe in a Trinitarian-incarnational-atoning-resurrecting-ascending-soon-to-be-returning-god
              who sacrificed himself to himself. I’m glad that the non-fundamentalist Christians can laugh at all this nonsense. Bishop John Shelby Spong states, “If the resurrection of Jesus cannot be believed except by
              assenting to the fantastic descriptions included in the Gospels, then Christianity is doomed. For that view of resurrection is not believable, and if that is all there is, then Christianity, which depends upon the truth and authenticity of Jesus’ resurrection, also is not believable.”

              Resurrection: Myth or Reality? (San Fransisco:
              HarperCollins, 1994), p. 238.

          • Keyra

            3000-5000 B.C. that was so great that it ended up in over 50 writings throughout the ancient records and they all refer to a man or king in a boat. Its the Hebrew story and explanation of early man with many interesting lessons so whether you take it (the Jewish version) literally or figuratively does not diminish the lessons taught. The problem with many of the atheists that come on here to argue is that they equate this with Christians but side step it when it comes to the Jews. Christians derive their lessons from Jewish scripture writings so you cant have one without the other. As long as their are Jews on the earth than they must have a history and this is it. If one can find this alternative history and prove it factual than one can make a intellectual argument against the scriptures and a point about Judaism and Christianity being fairy tale fiction. So far, I’m not finding an alternative history and we have Jews, we have a Jesus with ancient followers and current followers made up of atheists who are now die hards about God and Jesus and the miracles He performs in their own lives. They believe it so much that they are able to turn from a miserable lonely state into a inspired, cleaned up individual with a sense of wholeness and joy that they began becoming a new person with a new outlook. Its the same story in country after country with overlapping themes regarding the same deity…..with those things I cant argue

            • Keyra

              A Flood of epice proportion )sorry, the first half of the last response disappeared

            • Neko

              Keyra, a book recommendation:

              The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts

              Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_Unearthed

            • Anathema

              The fact that other cultures have a flood myth does not demonstrate that the flood actually happened. There is no geological evidence of a world-wide flood, even though we would expect to find geological evidence of such a flood if it had occurred.

              If you want to take the story of Noah’s flood as a metaphor or a myth, then I don’t have a problem with that. Just know that such a reading is completely compatible with what I said about a world-wide flood being disproven.

              • Kingasaurus

                Correct. The reason flood myths are ubiquitous is because civilizations usually emerge near a water supply like a river, or on a coast. You would always experience floods periodically, and you’d definitely feature it in your local folklore.
                The most reasonable conclusion is that the Jews borrowed their flood myth from the Sumerians/Babylonians and put their own spin on it. Certainly doesn’t mean there’s actually a god that flooded the world, or even a small part of it. It’s just people living close together who are borrowing stories from each other.

            • Keljopy

              Archaeology says that Israelite culture grew out of (rather than overtaking) Caananite culture. That is the non-fiction version of Jewish history.

              • sTv0

                yeah, about those Canaanites….dint they have, like, many gods? Polytheists, I believe. And dint the early Israelites worship a council of gods? More polytheism. And dint El have a consort, named Asherah? Did monotheism just get torpedoed, here, or what? Heh.

            • Buckley

              “3000-5000 B.C.”. Sorry, that’s scientifically incorrect. That should be BCE. Thanks for playing Fundy!

              • TCC

                In fairness, BCE and CE are just alternate names for BC and AD and have nothing to do with scientific facts.

            • Nemo

              Early civilizations tended by near rivers, which are prone to flooding. Boring, but practical explanation for the flood myths in the area. Consider the fact that the fauna of earth does not even remotely resemble what you would expect if every species 4000 years ago consisted of two members in Turkey. Furthermore, the alleged flood didn’t demolish the pyramids of Egypt. Unless you think that there was enough time for the Old Kingdom of Egypt to arise and build the pyramids after the flood? Or, the fact that the Chinese civilizations records an unbroken line of emperors dating back to before the alleged flood? With each emperor being documented by contemporary historians? The first missionaries to visit China were even impressed by their records.

            • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

              The big problem is the gaping, fatal flaw in your reasoning here.

              One does not need to have an “alternative” at the ready or have an obligation to disprove the fairy tale you present in order to disbelieve it.

              The onus is upon *you* to *prove* and *demonstrate* the validity of your claims, not upon anybody else to disprove it or to come up with some other story to compete with it. That’s something Christians came up with to confuse their adherents into thinking they had some kind of plausible story and attack dissenters with. As long as you mistakenly believe the burden of proof is on those hearing your wild fantasies, you do not have to prove the fantasies real. Alas, that is not how reality works.

              You also have a rather weak and confused-sounding teleological argument going here, it sounds like. Yes, there are Jews in the world, BUT it does not automatically follow that the Old Testament/Torah is their history just because it claims such a thing. That must be demonstrated. And it has not been. Nor has any aspect of that series of oft-edited and changed documents. I’m hard-pressed to think of any reputable Jewish scholars who take their myths as seriously as evangelical Christians do. It’s the craziest thing. THEY know it’s mythic… why don’t you?

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

                Seriously, it’s a vast disappointment to most Jews when we learn that the Exodus story is totally mythic and there is absolutely zero archaeological or contemporary historical evidence to back it up.

                On the other hand, we do admit it is a mythic story … well, all except the ultra-Orthdox.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  Cool, I didn’t know you were Jewish. Yeah, I remember finding that out as a bright-eyed little fundie lass in college, that there was zilch proof for any of the OT myths my church taught were literally true. It was just crushing. I’ve talked about that “cruel dilemma” before, and that was my first taste of it: that collision between reality and dogma, that choice I was forced to make between my faith and the truth. It was a cruel choice to force someone to make, and so unnecessary. So tragically unnecessary. I’m glad it forced me to do it though, or else I might be talking like Keyra even now. (I’m so glad the internet didn’t really exist in this form when I was in her seat.)

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

                  Heh, well, I’m one of those culturally Jewish atheists that keep coming up as discussion points. Whether I say “we” or “they” when talking about Jews depends pretty heavily on my mood at the moment.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  When I hear that someone identifies as Jewish, I’ve learned not to make any big assumptions about the belief system of that person. But hot damn, cultural Jews seem to know a lot about Biblical/Torah history and archaeology. It’s downright embarrassing to watch a bright-eyed fundie get schooled by one. Considering the hard-on evangelicals have for the Old Testament (a hard-on Keyra has demonstrated in this very comment page), one would think that one of their leaders would have thought to touch base with actual Jewish scholars before triumphantly announcing that “IT’S ALL TRUE YOU GUYS, TOTALLY FOR REALSIES!”

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

                  Well, we did go through a questioning phase, most of us. And education is held up as an extremely high value in Jewish culture, so a lot of our first instinct about questions is to dig deeper.

                • Keljopy

                  As a former Christian and more or less biblical literalist that was the biggest thing that blew my mind upon losing my religion. Most of the scientific stuff and early human origins stuff (first part of Genesis) I had heard in school my whole life, so despite not previously believing it, it was an easy shift in worldview, but when I found out that the Exodus stuff was all mythical I felt like I suddenly had a huge gap in my understanding of the world.

                • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

                  I know exactly what you mean. In the Deep South, the saying goes: “Little lie, big lie.” In other words, if Exodus hadn’t really happened while my church and faith insisted it had, then what else hadn’t really happened? When I found out, it was like a leg had been knocked out from under me. I couldn’t trust any of what they said anymore.

                  This collision between reality and fantasy is not a showdown evangelical Christians should be encouraging. They’d avoid it if they had any sense at all. I seriously think that evangelicals use literalism as an in-group marker, a marker belief that differentiates them from that oh-so-scary “the world.”

                  The leaders of those flavors of Christianity are counting on the showdown being so frightening that rank-and-file pew-warmers will shy away from it in terror. But as the penalties for disbelief dwindle, more and more people are staring down the double barrel of reality and not shying away from asking those tough questions. Some members of the tribe will drill down on the stupid when confronted with reality, sure, but many more will choose reality. And the more who choose reality, the harder the remaining tribe members will need to drill down on the stupid. This ought to be an interesting next couple of decades for the right-wing end of the religion.

              • Timothy McLean

                There is spaghetti. Ergo, the Flying Spaghetti Monster must exist. QED.

            • tsig

              >”They believe it so much that they are able to turn from a miserable
              lonely state into a inspired, cleaned up individual with a sense of
              wholeness and joy that they began becoming a new person with a new
              outlook”<

              Same thing happens to anyone who joins a cult.

          • The Starship Maxima

            I’m interested in this conclusive proof there was no flood that engulfed the Earth’s surface.

            And…..am I reading it wrong or, is it not the case that if the polar caps completely melted that it would cover the Earth even to the top of Everest?

            • Kingasaurus

              There’s no evidence that the entire world flooded at the same time. Different parts of the world were underwater at different times, obviously.

              “And…..am I reading it wrong or, is it not the case that if the polar caps completely melted that it would cover the Earth even to the top of Everest?”

              No, that’s completely wrong.

              • The Starship Maxima

                Oh…..

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              There are many, but here’s one:

              With molecular genetics we can measure the genetic diversity within any group of animals. There is a wide variety in the genetic diversity of species. Cheetahs for example are very genetically homogeneous. That is, pick any two Cheetahs, and they’re very closely related. Humans also happen to be very closely related to one another. Chimps are much less so. Pick any two chimps from different groups 100 miles apart, and they are genetically more different than any two humans from anywhere on the planet.

              Other species have much wider diversity. The point being, we have conclusive proof that not all species were reduced to a population of two at the same point in history. Doesn’t matter where you put that point in history, it didn’t happen. We can also conclusively prove that the human population, although at one time very small, was most certainly not six individuals. And I know we’re mostly disagreeing with Ham’s literalness, but putting a figure of 6K years on that population of six is face-palmingly wrong. Human diversity, as little as it is, could not have occurred in just 6K years.

            • Anathema

              If a global flood had occurred, it would have left evidence in Arctic ice cores and sea bottom cores. Yet we don’t find the sort of changes that a global flood would have caused in either.

              Even if all the water in the polar ice caps melted, it still wouldn’t be enough to cover all of the land on Earth. That’s why you have creationists going on about vapor canopies, comets, and hypdroplates — they need to explain where all the rest of the water came from.

              • Timothy McLean

                And where it went afterwards.

            • cary_w

              One could argue that proving the non-existence of anything is impossible, just like proving the non-existences of God. But it still begs the question, why do we see no evidence of this great flood that may have been a mere 6000 years ago? We see evidence of many smaller floods from much longer ago. Just this evening we drove home past our local dinosaur quarry, where there is ample evidence of a great flood millions of years ago (that killed and buried thousands of dinosaurs), north of here, in southern Idaho, there is clear evidence of a great flood that occurred around 14,500 years ago when Lake Bonneville broke through a natural dam and released a thousand cubic miles of water in a matter of weeks. So why is there no evidence for a flood that was much bigger and much more recent? There should be more evidence for Noah’s flood than these others, not less!

              • The Starship Maxima

                Fair point.

            • Nemo

              Creationists such as Eric Hovind often point to marine fossils in the Grand Canyon as proof of the flood, and say the flood carved the canyon itself. However, some of these fossils are coral, which only lives in warm, shallow water. The violent flood waters of the alleged Biblical flood would not have been a good habitat.
              Some other creationists have also argued that craters on the moon were formed by Noah’s Flood, when water shooting up from underground struck the moon. This would explain how the moon could be covered with well over 6000 years of craters. However, water going at this speed would have shredded all forms of marine life, and that wooden ark as well.
              Then there is the fact that the biodiversity on earth doesn’t fit with the idea that every species 4000 years ago consisted of two or seven members or pairs on a mountain in Turkey. Look at the ecosystem of Australia. Those animals have not been anywhere from Turkey or mainland Asia in the past 4000 years. Or the creatures which can only be found in the Americas. Some creationists have proposed that volcanoes could have been used to transport small animals vast distances, Conservapedia most notably. This is unproven.

            • onamission5
            • Stev84

              Not even close. Remember that the volume of a sphere increases cubically with its radius.

              You can easily calculate the additional volume if the Earth’s radius were 8km larger and then look up an estimate for how much non-ocean water there is. There is only about 24 million cubic kilometers of water in the form of ice. Compared to the over one billion cubic km of ocean water.

              • 3lemenope

                Or, in other words, Waterworld operated on nothing but artistic license. The polar caps melting completely would be a bummer for a whole lot of people, considering that people and settlements in the post-”we have invented boats” era heavily congregate on coastlines, but the actual change in available landmass would be quite small.

                • Stev84

                  I just wrote a small program and unless I screwed something up, adding 8km to the radius increases the Earth’s volume by slightly over 4 billion cubic kilometers (its total volume is a little over 1 trillion km³).

                  That means the total amount of ice on the planet is less than about 0.6% of that added volume :o

                  Adding the ice to the volume results in an increase of the radius by a whole 50m. Which tracks roughly with the 60m various Google searches show.

                  Though as you say, that’s already petty bad for many countries.

            • 3lemenope

              Everything else aside, I’m pretty annoyed that your question somehow garnered nine down-votes.

              • KMR

                Yes. It was a simple question. How do people learn if they don’t ask questions?

            • http://boldquestions.wordpress.com/ Ubi Dubium

              There was a recent article in National Geographic about what the world would look like if all the ice melted, and it included maps and everything. Large Coastal areas would go under, including all of Florida, but all the mountains were just fine. There is simply not enough water on earth at present to flood everything.

              You can look at the maps here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/if-ice-melted-map

            • Timothy McLean

              Conclusive proof? Simple. Any event that engulfed the entire world, destroying every civilization and all life as we know it except what could fit in a 450x50x30-foot boat, there would be massive devastation in the archaeological record of simultaneous massive destruction all across the world, followed by rebuilding civilization in one specific spot by a handful of people, distinct from pre-diluvian times. Not to mention that the large animal life over most of the world would become extinct.

              And no, it is not the case. Melt the polar ice caps and the sea levels rise 100 meters, tops. That is a lot less than the height of Mount Everest above sea level. It wouldn’t even reach where I’m sitting now, in the Midwest.

        • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

          Sorry no. It doesn’t even get the order of creation right. Most of the history either can’t be documented independently or is simply wrong. The flood never happened. (There would be sound geological evidence if it had.) I could go on, but there’s no point even getting out of the first few books of Genesis because it doesn’t get much better after that.

        • smrnda

          By the same logic, the book “Gravity’s Rainbow” should be taken to be a completely true and accurate account of events that happened around the end of WWII. After all, it’s got more facts, and far more accurate ones, than the Bible, so all those extra bits must have happened as well.

          Burden of proof is on the person making a claim.

        • more compost

          Belief in fairy tales isn’t rational. I find it quite hilarious for you to say that my problem in not believing nonsense written by ignorant savages is that I am the one who isn’t rational.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          Junk science and pseudo-archaeology has indeed “proven” most of the Bible. Christians in the modern age need their religion to be objectively true so desperately much that they’re easy prey for every ear-tickling huckster to come down the pike. Too bad real science and real archaeology have put the lie to every major event depicted in its pages. It’s really the weirdest thing, how none of these hucksters’ scams have made it past the peer review process of real archaeology, science, and history journals, isn’t it? And even by its own standards, the Bible falls well short of being any sort of reliable account of a god’s interactions with mankind; I’ll refer you to the blog of a friend of mine, a very learned Bible scholar who is dissecting the Old Testament:

          http://apastasea.blogspot.com/

          And here is a great jumping-off place if you want to learn why real archaeology has not in any way “proven” the Bible’s events are real (RationalWiki is another great site, as is Iron Chariots):

          http://blog.bibleplaces.com/2012/08/critiques-of-work-of-robert-cornuke.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BiblePlacesBlog+%28BiblePlaces+Blog%29

        • wabney

          Citation FFS.

    • Keljopy

      It appears you don’t understand the difference between critical thinking (and reading) and criticizing. Nice try though. The only way to believe the bible is to read it with a mind so open your brain has fallen out.

    • CanuckAmuck

      Atheists who are reading the bible are seeking answers. You just don’t like their questions.

      • Keyra

        Not when the questions are in condescending tones. But ask me a sincere question (I’ll try to help, but like you, I don’t have ALL the answers, no human does)

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I first read the bible looking for answers. What I found were rules on exactly how to kill animals to absolve one of sin. My conclusion, either god does not exist, or God is a dumb shit.

        • reasoningbeing

          Condescension does not preclude sincerity. And I doubt that you could help anyone understand anything if you do not understand the difference between critical thinking and criticizing.

        • CanuckAmuck

          A) Spare us the self-righteous faux-offended whinging of what you imagine to be the “tone” of a person you’ve never met.

          B) You’ve mistaken me for a person who cares what the bible says about…well, anything.

        • RowanVT

          Which order of creation is correct? Why did God punish Adam and Eve for the evil of disobeying him when they didn’t know that disobeying was ‘evil’? Why did God wipe out *everything* because humans were being bad, including infants, kittens, etc? How did they fit all those animals AND enough food and fresh water for them for nearly a year on a boat with those dimensions? What did the predators eat after they got off the boat? Why did God spare Lot after he offered his daughters for gang rape, but killed his wife for looking back at her town? Why did God murder babies and torture thousands of people in order to punish a single man whose free will he had taken away?

          Those are some of the *sincere* questions I asked of my religion teacher in high school when I read the bible for the first time. I was christian going in, and was pretty convinced that the god of the bible was evil by the end of exodus. Especially as my instructors had no answers for my questions.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          Oh, you’ll try to help, will you. How grand of you. You have proven yourself to be inept at critical thinking, and rely on tone trolling (which is whining about someone’s tone or questioning their motivations or feelings so you can avoid engaging with their actual arguments). You poor puddy, you think you’re being condescended at, so you refuse to answer, is that it? There are people here who have actually gone to seminary–good ones, not the huckster “Bible Colleges” dotting the Deep South–and who have even served as missionaries and ministers, and they could run circles around you with Bible verses and Biblical history, archaeology, and various fields of science. But you are arrogant enough to think you can “try to help” as long as we act like good, respectful little children, is that it? Exactly what do you think you will be helping with that we can’t find on our own? About all you have that you alone have is your subjective experience with the religion, and most of us have a subjective experience of our own that we can consult. It’s not that you have *nothing* to contribute, but most of your posts are huffily indignant posts whining about tone or pushing that peculiar, ignorance-celebrating form of persecution-fantasizing Christianity you think is best. It’s like you’ve appointed yourself to a post, but blamed if I can figure out what the post is. Perhaps it’s the Magic Christian post.

          A lot of Christians think they are the Magic Christian for
          non-believers–sort of like the Magic Black Person in movies like
          “Bagger Vance” who acts as a sort of Jiminy Cricket or mentor for the
          hero, dispensing calm wisdom and guiding the hero toward his goal. You, Keyra, are not the Magic Christian for this blog. You will not magically smooth over the Bible’s many problems, faults, errors, inconsistencies, and atrocities for the non-believing hordes of the unwashed. You will not make it magically make sense where it just didn’t before. And you have a lot to learn that you could be learning here if you weren’t busy trying to preach to people who know way more than you do. Was that enough, or was my tone off-putting enough that you could safely ignore everything I said?

          • CanuckAmuck

            [slow clap]

        • onamission5

          How does making plain coated livestock look at striped sticks change the coat patterns of their offspring?

        • Timothy McLean

          You want a sincere question? Alright.

          How did you come to the conclusion that God is good, loving, benevolent, etc?

        • Anna

          My very first question would be why you think the people who wrote the Bible should be taken seriously. What makes you think they had special supernatural knowledge? Why do you assume that the supernatural stories they wrote down have any element of truth to them whatsoever?

    • Neko

      How can you be a Biblical literalist and read critically (or open-mindedly) at the same time?

      • Keyra

        When did I ever mention literalists?

        • Neko

          Ham is a bad representative, but the one thing he is right about (to an extent) is reading it critically. Instead, the Bible should be read open-mindedly.

          Ken Ham is a Biblical literalist. Reading the Bible literally allows little critical distance to assess meaning. Keep in mind what Keljopy said about the difference between reading critically and criticism. One may lead to the other, but they aren’t the same thing.

    • Crash Override

      I think you are misunderstanding the meaning of “critical reading” and “critical thinking”…neither automatically seek to criticize.

    • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

      I’m an atheist because I read the Bible with an open mind.

      • RowanVT

        Same. By the end of Genesis I was horrified. By the end of Exodus I was no longer a christian.

    • Anthony Lund

      um

      • The Starship Maxima

        Damn you Anthony. :))) !

    • cary_w

      I have plenty of sincere questions, I just never get any reasonable answers.

      For example, since I’ve just been reading some of the other comments about Noah’s ark, why is there no geologic evidence for a great flood that covered the whole world?

      Another question I have for Christians in general is this: When I read the bible with an open mind, and try to understand it in the context of God actually existing, I still see it as a series of folk tales, myths, legends and metaphors. I can understand how the bible can be seen as inspired by God, or as some sort of rule book or collection of lessons that tell us how to lead a virtuous life, but I just can’t wrap my head around how anyone can take any parts of it literally. So that’s my question to you, Keyra, what is it that convinced you take any of the bible literally? What makes you truly believe that it is the word of God?

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

      So. Very. Christian.

      No offense. It’s just that Jews are encouraged to read the Bible critically. It’s supposed to increase your faith to read about how a bunch of really smart people wrestled with the different verses and came to different conclusions, to learn the historical context behind a lot of stuff, to come face to face with the ugly bits and keep faith anyways. To realize that the Torah is an amalgamation of different authors from different times, and a lot of the stuff in it clearly never really happened, and the rules are kind of arbitrary and actively immoral sometimes is considered a good thing.

      One should read everything critically.

      • Timothy McLean

        They’re encouraged to read critically and to challenge stuff that doesn’t make sense?
        I may have found one reason that Islam and Christianity eventually became the main religions of the Western world.

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

          That, and the major deemphasis on converting people. Jews haven’t done that in ages (since at least 500-1,000 years before the Diaspora), and today at least it’s strongly discouraged to evangelize. If someone comes to you interested in converting, it is your religious duty to try to talk them out of it three times before taking them to a rabbi. The conversion process is arduous, too.

          • Timothy McLean

            Wow. Were they always like that?
            I’m starting to wonder how they were once the dominant religion of the Middle East. No offense to the Jewish, but that is not a recipe for selective advantage.

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

              Um, well, they weren’t. The OT way plays up the importance of the Israelite kingdoms, but they were always teensy, weak kingdoms precariously perched on major trade routes. There’s a reason the Persians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans all kicked their asses (among others).

              • Timothy McLean

                Oh. I thought that the Romans and such were Jewish until Christianity and Islam took over.

                …Good to get that fixed up.

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

                  Lol. No. They were Romans, with their own rather massive pantheon of gods including (but not limited to) Jupiter, Juno, Pluto, Mars, Apollo, Diana, Venus, and many others.

                  The Roman gods are all pretty much Greek gods, reskinned and renamed. The Romans venerated ancient Greek culture and philosophers, basically appropriating as much of Greek culture as they could, including the religion.

                • Timothy McLean

                  I knew that much, I just thought it had been replaced by Judaism around the time of Christ.

                  Which I got by never actually looking things up and basically guessing after hearing all those Sunday School stories…silly me. It just never occurred to me to check.

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

                  So today you learned something! That makes today a good day :)

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      It’s so tragic how Christians confuse terms like “critical thinking” for “being critical” and terms like “open-minded” with “blatantly gullible.”

      Open-minded actually means that you’re open to explanations, not that you accept with slackened jaw and blank stares anything you’re told or that you believe the first thing you hear, which is what I seriously think most Christians (and, to be fair, MLM fraud victims and the flightier sort of New Age aficianados) think it means. It does not mean you accept any old explanation. It means you at least listen, not that you don’t demand evidence or proof of a claim once you’re done listening. Open-mindedness is not the same as “accepting any old guff as true.” It’s very telling that you think it is.

      Critical thinking is the process of evaluating truth claims to find out what really is true or false. To do that, of course, you need some kind of understanding of the forms of truth–objective soundness and veracity among them, which Christians have, over time, managed to obscure entirely. Of course, Christianity–especially the more evangelical flavors of it–offers neither objective soundness nor veracity, and in fact celebrates ignorance and that peculiar form of pigheaded stubbornness that ignorant people display when drilling down on stupidity when that stupidity is highlighted or revealed. It cannot offer objective truth because it has none. It cannot offer even metaphorical truth because it is riddled with atrocities and immoralities of every single form. Hell, it can’t even offer internal consistency or cohesiveness. So of course their leaders hope you’ll never figure any of this out, and the only way to do that is to stop you from developing the skillset needed to weigh and evaluate their truth claims, which they do by making you distrust and even fear the process of questioning and doubting.

      You’re well on your way to being fleeced, scammed, and victimized your entire life–all because you have been successfully vaccinated against critical thinking by your religion. Not for nothing is it all but a joke among ex-Christians, how often Christians fall for any old scheme, Faux Noise lie, and urban legend that comes down the pike.

      A religion that requires me to check my brain at the door is a bad religion. A religion that requires me to just accept without demanding evidence is a terrible religion. A religion that demands I read its texts already at least half-believing in its claims in order to believe its claims (because otherwise I never would) is an atrociously awful religion. And you’ve been convinced that these demands are reasonable and sane. The gamer in me admires just how thoroughly the illusion spell was cast on you. But don’t worry…. we roll the dice every day, and you may yet get a critical success on the roll to disbelieve.

    • Amor DeCosmos

      I’d rather read my Star Wars book than the Bible. There are huge insights and allegories to be derived from studying the ways of the Sith and the Jedi. If I read them critically, they’re a bit silly, but if I read them with an open mind, then I really believe in “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.”

      • 3lemenope

        Narratives have power. Most of that power is squandered when effort is made to pass off the story as true events.

  • paulalovescats

    I did.

    • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Yeah! Well this is what you are getting for Christmas.

      • aaa

        Build your own diamond kit?

        • Timothy McLean

          You can’t make diamonds from coal. Don’t be silly.

          It’s for the barbeque.

  • Sherralyn Caylor

    These poor offended christians. .cognitive dissonance at it’s very best

  • Louie

    How the heck does one read the the Bible properly? Oxygen deprivation. Drugs? I guess having read so many science books that I rationalize things too darn much.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    To be properly understood, the bible must be read with the correct confirmation bias.

    • viaten

      Too often the Bible isn’t even read, but “fed” to people with the distasteful parts left out or spun the “right” way. And peoples’ “appetite” is essentially their superstition.

      • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

        They call it Sunday worship.

      • Eliot Parulidae

        I learned a version of the Jacob, Laban, Rachel, and Leah story that was bowlderized to remove references to polygamy. Did you know that when Jacob found Leah at the altar, he turned around, walked out, and remained celibate for seven years?

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

          Uh, what? But the story says they spent a week together in their tent! And Leah had many children! How exactly did Leah give birth to Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Dinah if she and Jacob were celibate?

          • Carol Lynn

            It’s a miracle!

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

              Lol

              Apparently virgin births were nothing special back then ;-P

          • b s

            Turkey basters?

        • Mush

          Were the 2 sex slaves also written out?

      • Randay

        An interesting example of that is (Dr.)David Jeremiah of the Turning Point Industries…er, I mean Ministries. He is on radio and television and my mother listens to him–dare I say–religiously.

        He has a different technique that other guys in his business. He doesn’t cite the Bible directly very often, but uses a passage to tell real or fictional stories that he has allegedly lived. They are supposed to explain or reveal some Biblical “truth”.

        He is a good story teller with a deep confident voice. His stories can be interesting and you can wonder where he’s going with them. Somehow he manages to wind his way through a circuitous path to end up with a Xian message.

        Preaching to the choir with entertaining contemporary stories seems to work, but I question whether his method is an effective outreach program. As with my mother, it seems that believers tell others like them about how good he is.

        • viaten

          “a good story teller with a deep confident voice”
          That’s all it takes, an effective method used by the good and bad alike, teachers, politicians, used car dealers, con men, preachers; that and telling people what they want to hear, even before they know what the want to hear.

  • Seth Williamson

    ‘Everything in the bible is literal truth and the word of Almighty God–except the parts I don’t like!’ (Paraphrased) ~ Ken Ham

  • wvernon1981

    I’m confused. How does one simultaneously believe in something and actively disbelieve or rather suppress something at the same time?

    • Crash Override

      Comes under the heading of “believing in six impossible things before breakfast.”

  • Jay

    Hemant – want to sue for Slander?

    “They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

    After all, that’s what Romans 1 says, and Ham says it’s talking about you. Not that he’s one to judge, however.

    • Crash Override

      Class action, anyone?

      • Jay

        I’m in. If I had invented a new way of doing evil I would have made some money on it and I’d have patented it.

        • Jay

          Crap. It just occurred to me that my new way of doing evil might be class-action lawsuits against slanderous preachers. I may have to bow out of this lawsuit now since it’s a true accusation. Damn, Ham is correct – reading and thinking critically are filled with hidden pitfalls.

          • Crash Override

            Too true. I’d best drop out as well.

        • Eric D Red

          Would that be an original sin?

  • Walter Conti

    I cordially advise “YouVersion”. Very powerful tools. 15 minutes learning curve. I created hundreds of bookmarks from my collection and from “The Skeptic Annotated Bible” and I am able to retrieve any subject in seconds, making a debate a piece of cake even with my impending Al_Zeimer. Programmatically it is a beauty. The bookmarks and notes are stored on their server though [and they congratulate you on your activity :)]. Millions of copies have been downloaded, so I don’t think they are actually reading or interfering with atheist. Cheers.

  • The Starship Maxima

    Well…..personally, I think such an app is one of the best tools a Christian can have. And I agree with you Hemant that anyone who complains that “took much examination of the Scripture is a bad thing” is in dire need of self-exmamination.

    With that said, I think Ken Ham’s gripe. People of all ideologies can be divided into those that engage those who believe differently from them with an open and honest desire to learn where the other person comes from. And then you have others who don’t ask questions to get answers, they do it as a formality; as part of their real goal to find reasons to bolster their own position and dismiss any other, while still being able to say “I asked.”

    An atheist doing it look likes this: atheist – “The Bible okays rape! It’s reprehensible!” Christian – “Um that’s not really true, the Bible was talking about provisions to allow a raped woman a way to avoid financial ruin. After all this was in a society in which men owned all the property.” Atheist – “You Christians have an excuse for all the shit in your fairy tale book!” Cue exasperated Christian.

    A Christian doing it looks like this, Christian – “You’re simply atheist because you’re trying to rebel.” Atheist – “Actually, I have fond memories of growing up in Christian household and I still attend church occasionally. My education causes me to question the more fanciful claims of the Scripture.” Christian – “See?! You went to college and were poisoned by it’s liberal indoctrination and now you want to rebel!” Cue headsmacking atheist.

    Like many things, it is an affliction that affects many.

    • http://youtu.be/fCNvZqpa-7Q Kevin_Of_Bangor

    • TCC

      You seriously don’t see the difference between “Your holy text appears to condone or minimize really egregious crimes” and “You’re a rebellious person who can’t accept the love of an Almighty God”? One says, “That book you hold in such high regard is immoral,” whereas the other says, “You’re a bad person if you don’t accept the same conclusions I do.” Not even close to an actual equivalence there.

      • The Starship Maxima

        Perfect Analogy Fallacy. Of course those two statements aren’t the same.

        What is is the thought process wherein a viewpoint is doggedly held to and absolutely no attempt is even made to even analyze the new information given.

        That is the similarity.

        • TCC

          No, that’s also not true of both. The atheist doesn’t have to accept your concocted explanation if it doesn’t pass muster, as yours most certainly doesn’t. (“Hey ladies, don’t like getting rape? Well, look on the bright side – at least your rapist will have to marry and financially support you!” Yeah, that works out great for women. Would you want that to be the law of the land now?) On the other hand, the theist is attributing a character trait without any evidence whatsoever other than an ugly stereotype. I’ll ask it again: Do you seriously not see a difference between the two?

          Also, I’m amused that you responded to my implication of a fallacy (false equivalence) with a different fallacy that you appear to have concocted out of thin air. Were you trying to draw an analogy between the two? If so, then it was a false analogy (by the way, that is an actual fallacy).

          • The Starship Maxima

            I will attempt to explain this again.

            You conflated “analyze rationally” with “accept prima facie”. There is a difference between “I’ve considered and turned over your argument, and it doesn’t pass muster” and “No, you’re wrong, and any evidence you might be right I’m just going to chalk up to something logically implausible.”

            Further, the first statement is factual, the Bible does NOT okay rape and in more than one place in Scripture the degenerate practice is condemned. A valid opinion is, “While the Bible doesn’t okay rape, I find the lack of proscribed punishment for the offender, morally reprehensible.” Semantics? Perhaps, but also the truth.

            Meanwhile in the second example, the character judgment the theist is making is irrelevant. The point is the theist is assuming motive for the atheist’s belief, and isn’t even bothering to realize that the atheist’s own explanation for their beliefs contradicts their theory.

            So….my original point stands.

            • cyb pauli

              God forgot to tell his people in Judges 21 10-24 how much he disproves of rape…

            • Svelaz

              I’d have to say that your argument still doesn’t hold water. As a previous poster noted that the very notion of rape being ok comes from God himself. Now this might be a problem is this is to be taken literally as many fundamentalists read the bible. Their take on it is that EVERYTHING in it is true and correct without any errors. If this is so the very act of God telling those to pillage and murder every single man woman and child who is not a virgin and rape the rest as a reward basically pretty much puts the kibosh on your argument. It’s a good try…..but not enough to convince.

            • TCC

              Given that God pretty much explicitly commands it (unless you can find any other plausible way to read commands to kill all but the virgins and take them for wives), yeah, I’d say that’s a factual claim that is also supported. The fact that the punishment for rape is that the rapist has to marry the woman he raped is more about the views of women at the time rather than it being a “degenerate practice.” (Oh, and don’t forget where the Bible says that a betrothed woman and her rapist can both be stoned if the rape happened within the city, since the woman is apparently responsible if she didn’t cry for help.)

              What you seem to be doing is comparing a reasonably common position (theists calling atheists “rebellious”) with the less common one of an atheist saying that the Bible condones or approves of rape with no consideration of the evidence or any possible rejoinders. It’s still a false equivalence.

        • Timothy McLean

          We do analyze the information, far more than Christians do. We look at the Bible without bias for what it “should” be, and find that hey, it seems to be saying that rape isn’t so bad. Certainly not as bad as not being circumcised (Genesis 17:14–note that the baby who isn’t circumcised is the one punished), or talking about why all of this is terrible (Leviticus 24:16).

          And let’s not forget that God and his holy men did some despicable things. While we’re talking about rape, remember Lot? He gave his daughters to a mob to be raped instead of letting them get what they deserved from the angels. He even lied and said they were virgins, so the mob would want them more. For all this, he was called just and righteous (2 Peter 2:7-8, 19:8) God is kinda pathetic, really. He was fooled into punishing an innocent man (Genesis 20:3-4) until said man gave the allegedly-wronged man (Abraham) sheep, oxen, slaves, silver, and land so that Abe would pray and ask for his punishment to be removed. And then there’s the slavery, treated as perfectly fine repeatedly, and even supported by God–he gives out slaves like candy (Genesis 24:35, 26:12-14).

          And I stopped looking after Genesis. Just imagine what I’d find in the rest of the Bible.

          (Helpful Source: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/inj/long.html)

          • The Starship Maxima

            We do analyze the information, far more than Christians do. We look at the Bible without bias for what it “should” be,

            I have noticed that on the whole this is true. And that’s an area we need to catch up in.

            • Timothy McLean

              Agreed. I’m glad we see eye-to-eye on this; it’s always better when we can agree on the playing field.

    • cyb pauli

      In several instances of the Old Testament, the Lord God (AG) commands his people to kill enemy men, married women and male children… and keep the virgins (read: female children) to rape. From His mouth to our ears. Amen.

      • The Starship Maxima

        I am the first to admit that there are things the “good guys” did that makes me naseous.

        I can only shrug and say “I’m sure there’s a reason for this. Damned if I know what it is though.”

        Not exactly the stuff of a convincing argument.

        • Nemo

          If the Koran ever gave the order to kill all the men, but keep the virgins for yourself (wink wink), and I’m sure it does somewhere, I wouldn’t feel any compulsion to find a verse about love and kindness to try and put it in some kind of context. Instead, I would dismiss it using the most sophisticated insults I could come up with. And I’d like to think I can come up with some good ones.
          Why should I treat the Bible with a different standard?

        • indorri

          I don’t get it.

          I honestly don’t. I’m here, making parallels in my head in how German citizens treated Jews, North Korean citizens turned over “traitors”… I’m looking at every single heinous thing done in the name of obeying a leader (including a good chunk of wars, the biggest killer of all).

          And I’m honestly horrified that we can look at all of that in the past and still think “wow, they must have had a good reason to kill everyone except the wimmins and marry them”.

          I am going to frank: I’m am afraid of you. I am afraid because that ability to go out of your way to avoid the negative conclusion and avoid condemning wretchedness is a virus that has infected far too many minds. And I’m not just saying it’s Christians.

          • LJinFLA

            I too am afraid. I am also afraid because of the MANY christians that all say the same thing! “There must be a good reason for it, we must not question gods will”.

        • Neko

          “I’m sure there’s a reason for this. Damned if I know what it is though.”

          How about this one: Militarists like to claim divine sanction for warmongering.

          Nabil Shaath, who was Palestinian foreign minister at the time, said: “President Bush said to all of us: ‘I am driven with a mission from God’. God would tell me, ‘George go and fight these terrorists in Afghanistan’. And I did. And then God would tell me ‘George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq’. And I did.”

          The Guardian, 10/06/05

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

          That’s … really kind of scary, actually.

          If they do horrible, horrible things, why call them the good guys? Why rationalize away the bad stuff by claiming they surely had good reasons for it?

          The Unabomber actually had some really good reasons for what he did. He was protesting some really bad stuff. Granted, he did it in the worst way possible and killed a bunch of people, but judged solely by intention he should be a hero. That’s why we don’t judge people by their reasons, but by their actions.

        • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

          It’s nice being out of that religion, I admit. I no longer have to reconcile atrocities with an all-benevolent god who really doesn’t look loving, wise, powerful, fatherly, or benevolent if you actually read the religion’s source material. I’ve met Christians who are downright shocked that why yes, I absolutely do judge gods. If I got handed a description of a god who once drowned the whole world in a snit, had set up elaborate rules for raping women and enslaving populations, had commanded his people to commit genocide on any number of occasions, deliberately sabotaged humanity on several occasions so they wouldn’t become too advanced, put a curse on a woman for making an ignorant mistake of judgement that has resulted in the deaths of untold billions of women and babies over the eons, who wanted his followers to disfigure infants to join his band, made bets with his adversary that resulted in the loss of a man’s entire life and family and then got pissy with that man for questioning him, fully planned to destroy the world in fire, treated women like livestock, gave us a contradiction- and error-riddled source book that we were nonetheless held responsible for following, and had set up a cosmology that demanded the literal spilled blood of innocent animals and people to assuage his bloodlust and keep people from going to a massively unpleasant, torturous afterlife that he himself had set up, I sure would not come out of it thinking that this here was a good god in any way. I’d think (rightfully) that he was actually the enemy of humankind. There just wouldn’t be any justification for these things that would magically make them okay. I’d (rightfully) regard apologists for that god and any aspect of his system of rape, slavery, and genocide as sociopathic lunatics. Let’s reiterate: you are acting as the apologist for a being who did the stuff I’ve outlined above. Are you really sure that’s the way you want to play this thing?

          Christianity’s done a great job of stopping thought in its adherents by punting to mystery, as you’ve done here. By encouraging you not to think about the tough questions, you can keep the compartments neatly separated and the cognitive dissonance at bay. I know how hard it is to get fed the party line about benevolence and love and all that, and have to reconcile it somehow with reality and the myths in the Bible that show the dead opposite. But I’m no longer under any sort of obligation to bash my brains out trying to do it. I’m thankful for that.

        • RowanVT

          You are okay with God being okay with Lot offering up his daughters for gang rape?

        • Timothy McLean

          Why are they the “good guys”? If they do bad things, what makes them good? If they’re good because they follow God…well, do you want me to get a list of all the terrible, terrible stuff God did? If you do, I’ll stick to Genesis, because that should prove my point well enough. God is…what’s the technical term? Cruel? Selfish? Bigoted? Unjust? Evil? Let’s go with that. God has performed genocide on a scale that would make Pol Pot, Stalin, and yes, Hitler blush. God created a world for His amusement, created a creature that in His omniscience He knew would lead man down the path of evil, and then He had the gall to blame it on humans. All the miracles God did were just fixing problems He had created, to punish us for His actions.

          Why are they good, again?

          • The Starship Maxima

            I admit I don’t have an answer that would meet with your approval. I struggle sometimes to find answers that meet with mine.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              It’s called Occam’s razor, not Occam’s rule, but it is a pretty good guideline. When I look at the bible as a large collection of works written and edited by men, reflecting the times in which they were written and or edited, it makes perfect sense.

              When I tried to read it as the inspired word of God, it was just nutty. And I know God is mysterious and we can’t understand him and we’re not supposed to question him. But honestly, the biblical cure for leprosy? We know it doesn’t work.

            • Timothy McLean

              I’m glad you are able to admit it. Many people aren’t.

        • LJinFLA

          Huh? You are willing to overlook this, because you are “sure” there is a reason for it? OMG.

    • Anat

      And of all the ways to provide for a woman who was raped, the Bible chose one where she would have to live with her rapist the rest of her life and be raped by him whenever he feels like it. Because YHWH so lacks imagination?

      • TCC

        Even that only happens if the girl is unbetrothed (and don’t forget that her father gets a bride price of fifty pieces of silver). If she’s betrothed and it happens in the city, then they both die, her for not crying out for help and him for depriving a man of his future bride. (And this says nothing of women being raped when captured in battle.) It’s just a fucked-up system in general.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      No matter how many times I hear someone trying to rationalize and explain away the Bible’s condoning (and outright admiration) of slavery, rape, and genocide, the contortions that result will never cease to astonish me. So this god, who had already successfully commanded his chosen people to cut off bits of their foreskins and not eat a whole bunch of animals that were the backbone of the ANE diet, couldn’t just say “Rape is bad and rapists should get the book thrown at them, and oh btw let’s not consider women to be chattel who can be devalued by sexual contact but rather as full and equal members of society,” rather than set up elaborate rules about just how long a slave-owner had to wait before raping female war captives and just how to marry off a rape victim to her attacker and just how hard one could beat slaves and just how much property and livestock a woman’s virginity and life were worth?

      No, sorry, what you just said here is reprehensible and morally indefensible. There simply is no valid rationalization for rape. It is wrong, it is always wrong, and the Bible handled it wrongly because it was only a product of its time–a time and indeed an area of the world in which women were treated like chattel and when concepts like consent and civil rights didn’t exist. I do not know if you are Christian or not, but it simply chills me every time I hear someone defending the Bible’s atrocities and figuring out how to make them acceptable, and that’s what it feels like you’ve done here. That’s why there are evangelicals out there preaching Rape Culture and pushing the idea that atheists should be legally enslaved to Christians–because once a zealot rationalizes atrocities in the Bible, it’s not hard to rationalize them in real life either.

      • LJinFLA

        “the Bible handled it wrongly because it was only a product of its
        time–a time and indeed an area of the world in which women were treated
        like chattel and when concepts like consent and civil rights didn’t
        exist.”

        More proof that it is indeed, simply a book… As the “loving” god that religious people worship simply doesn’t give a damn about “some” people.

    • Glasofruix

      Christian – “Um that’s not really true, the Bible was talking about
      provisions to allow a raped woman a way to avoid financial ruin. After
      all this was in a society in which men owned all the property.”

      Wha?…How? I don’t even… Be stoned or marry your rapist, that’s the right solution for a raped woman? You make me sick.

      • The Starship Maxima

        (Shrug) You’ll live.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Like a lot of atheists, I started reading the Bible as a believer. The problem wasn’t that I wanted to find things that were appalling and/or made no sense. They were just there. The more I read, the less I believed.

    • Alierias

      I read the bible, the Book of Mormon, the Bagavdha Gita, lots of others; traditional Native American, Norse, Greek and African creation stories/ mythologies, and quickly realized it’s all a bunch of hooey. Stories someone made up to attempt to explain why bad shit happens unfairly to good people, and a way to somehow alleviate the pain of most or all of your children dying from things you don’t understand, like viruses, bacteria, lack of sanitation, or just sheer bad luck. Acts of God need not apply…

      • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

        Some of them have better stories than others, but none of it true, at least not the supernatural parts (and often not the historical parts either). You are kinder than I am about religion though. Yes, it’s to explain why bad things happen to good people, but the usefulness of that was to convince the masses whose lives sucked that they deserved that suckage and it would be better for them in the next life. It kept the poor and downtrodden in their place because once people realize this is the only life they are going to have they aren’t going to be satisfied with starvation and abuse by people who lord over them.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      When I began seriously questioning my religion and faith, I quite literally fled into my study Bible for help. I needed answers about why prayer did not seem to work in reality the way my church believed it did. What I found there in those pages finished my faith for good.

    • Greg G.

      It was the Isaiah verse that God created evil that made me begin to question the religion. The bullshit responses to that question made me take a second look at the responses to other questions. Ham is right. You shouldn’t look at the Bible critically because it doesn’t stand to scrutiny.

  • Aspieguy

    I thought that Christians were supposed to be well-versed in the Bible. At least, that’s what they say. I discovered that I knew far more about the Bible than most Christians, even pastors.

    • Timothy McLean

      My experience is similar. Granted, I haven’t debated with many pastors.

  • ufo42

    “Supposed problems”, like the loving God condemning virtually everyone who ever lived to hell for the crime of not being born into Ken Ham’s death cult… ya, right!

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      Or for the crime of not seeing the cult and immediately realizing with astonishing clarity and insight–ahem, like that of Ken Ham and his followers–that it is the correct interpretation of the source material out of tens of thousands of competing interpretations, much less that the cult follows the one correct god out of many thousands of gods humanity has worshiped, discerning the exact nature of the truth even though the evidence for that truth is exactly as plentiful and varied as that of all the other religions and interpretations of those religions. One need not be born into Ham’s death cult; just having the amazing insight to realize it is the correct death cult is enough.

  • ufo42

    Maybe Ken Ham should actually read the books of the bible that cover the same story side by side so he can get a fuller appreciation of the “supposed problems” and in failing to come up with solutions, become an atheist himself! :)

    • http://www.youtube.com/user/OurGodlessWorld OurGodlessWorld

      Never going to happen. He makes too much money off of the flock to stop fleecing them now. I’m sure he is intimately aware of the problems, he simply ignores them (or, more insidiously, acknowledges them to himself yet continues to collect the money from the gullible). It’s how all of these people operate. Ken Ham is no different from Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, Ian Juby, or any of the rest. There are two types of creationists: the uninformed/misinformed, and the dishonest.

  • Rain

    It’s amazing how Ham thinks (or pretends to think) quoting a Bible verse justifies the Bible verse. “Fascinating”, as one science officer would say. I guess the secular corollary would be how quoting a law justifies the law. (For example quoting a constitutional amendment, and then being shocked and horrored that anyone would question a constitutional amendment.)

    EDIT: Added “(or pretends to think)”, plus various spelling and grammar corrections.

  • more compost

    Ah, bible apologists. The bible MUST be taken literally, unless doing so highlights the inconsistencies and logical flaws. At that point, you are doing it wrong.

  • Sapphire Possible

    As an Agnostic, I’ve read all scriptures that are translated. Doing so has swayed me further away from religion permanently.

    • Matt D

      Well, claiming you’ve been swayed from religion “permanently” is not accurate while you identify as Agnostic.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/OurGodlessWorld OurGodlessWorld

    Oh boy. He even throws the presup argument in for good measure. I wish it was difficult for me to believe the fact that people actually pay for this man’s snake oil.

    • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

      He tells them what they want to hear and what they secretly (or not-so-secretly) believe about non-Christians. Of course he’s going to make money. The Christian apologist who concedes that the Bible is filled top to bottom with problems and riddled with errors, who tells them that non-believers are decent folks who care about morality and doing the right things, who tells them that the problems non-believers have with their religion are actually very valid problems with no easy answers (if one is in fact in that religion, anyway), who admits that people leave the religion for very good reasons rather than the childishly shallow ones pushed here, that apologist is certainly not going to be sending his/her kids to college on book royalties.

      • https://twitter.com/atheist_in_nc Heisenberg

        Theists frequently employ the old “Us vs Them” argument to keep the faithful in line. “You don’t want to be like THEM! Trust me, I know! God hates THEM, so you should, too!”

  • RedneckCryonicist

    We have to presuppose the existence of mermaids, otherwise we can’t explain why people drown in the ocean.

  • https://twitter.com/atheist_in_nc Heisenberg

    “Read your Bible and you’ll believe in God!”

    “Ok, I read it… now, I’m even more certain that there is no God.”

    “You’re doing it wrong!”

  • RedneckCryonicist

    The Protestants set themselves up for this 500 years ago by publishing translations of the bible in vernaculars, setting up schools to teach their children to read, and then encouraging them to read the bible on their own. The people who ran the Catholic church, by contrast, realized that making the bible accessible to the masses would make the more astute commoners skeptical and willing to ignore the church’s authority.

    • 3lemenope

      To be fair, 500 years ago they couldn’t have known they were setting themselves up for failure, as the things that show the Bible narratives to be factually fatuous wouldn’t be discovered for a while after that.

      • TCC

        “Factually fatuous” is a lovely turn of phrase.

  • stop2wonder

    “No, instead they have come with a bias against God and His Word, and they desire to damage the faith that others have in God.”

    Supposing for a moment the above criticism is valid, then when in search of the truth, how is that worse than the pro bias they give for faith in God and the Bible?

    • Timothy McLean

      Simple. It’s not the one they agree with.

    • LJinFLA

      There is no “bias against god” since there is no god. The bias is against the blind arrogant faith of some people in a book of myths.

  • tm17

    Well, hopefully no one has shown him the secret atheist hand shake. He’ll unravel our movement in a heartbeat if he ever gets hold of it!

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

    According to Romans 1:20-21, Paul’s god is one that everyone on the planet knows that it exists. I have no knowledge that any gods exist, therefore, Paul’s god doesn’t exist.

    • Timothy McLean

      Even if the logic doesn’t quite fit the verses, it’s amusing.

      • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

        I’ll put it another way:

        Ken Ham’s god is one that everyone knows that it exists.

        If Ken’s god exists, then everyone would have knowledge of its existence.
        Not everyone has knowledge of its existence.
        Therefore, Ken’s god doesn’t exist.

        If Ken’s god is nonexistent, then there would be at least one person who has no knowledge of its existence.
        There’s at least one person who has no knowledge of its existence.
        Therefore, Ken’s god is nonexistent.

        • Timothy McLean

          Fair.

  • Georgina

    Watching Atheist Experience #471 – seems the only bad things the bible reports Lucifer doing was when he obeyed Jahova and murdered Job’s family.
    Dangerous to read this book, people might start actually asking which of the two really deserve the title D’evil.

  • Don

    Even though Ken Ham is from Australia and not Norwegian, He always reminds me of the creepy “Swede” character from Hell on Wheels. Say and do anything that will yield him power….

  • Nick Wride

    Ken Ham is a sham. His Creation museum is packed with lies, including featuring a saddled dinosaur with humans.

  • mchasewalker

    I’ve often compared Dr. Richard Carrier’s use of the Bible to disprove the Bible as a lot like citing passages from “The Lord of the Rings’ to refute the existence of Hobbits. Although, there is lots of fodder for ammunition, it’s almost too ‘easy pickings’ for atheists to base their sole attack from this strategy alone. While it is worthwhile to hammer away at specific ridiculous passages rather than waste time debating the larger, but futile god v no god debate, it is also vital that atheists learn the true historical, anthropological and chronological facts behind the development of Christianity. While the New Testament is a hodgepodge of confirmation bias, fabrication, plagiarism, sciolism, pseudo-history, antisemitism and outright lies there is ultimately no way to convince a devout follower of it. However, the actual historical, mythological and theological records, facts, letters from manifold civilizations along with untampered excavations, carbon dating and rich archaeological findings are all out there and present an excellent and far more scientific and unprejudiced historical veracity certain to defeat even the most die hard and parochial-minded true believer.

    • Neko

      I’m no fan of Richard Carrier, but to be fair citing the Bible itself to debunk Christianity is inevitable, and he does of course use credible sources outside the Bible.

      certain to defeat even the most die hard and parochial-minded true believer.

      There are plenty of Christians who are very well educated and informed about Biblical scholarship yet remain believers.

      • mchasewalker

        I am a fan of Carrier’s work and he IS very good at what he does. However there is a significant flaw in Western Academic standards and so-called “Biblical scholarship” which allows sciolists and charlatans like Dr. Keith Hamm to go on espousing their Christian nonsense with PH.Ds , This is because much of the evidence, historical record and facts that would totally refute the New Testament accounts are in areas outside Western Academic jurisdiction and discipline. For thousands of years, the Catholic Church engaged in rampant cultural religious genocide and egregiously tampered with the historical record. At some point relying on Western Academic conclusions is a lot like a snake eating its own tail for sustenance.

        • Neko

          I wasn’t referring to hucksters like Ham, but thoughtful, well-educated individuals who are perfectly aware of science and the legendary and literary nature of the Bible yet remain affiliated with Christianity.

          This is because much of the evidence, historical record and facts that would totally refute the New Testament accounts are in areas outside Western Academic jurisdiction and discipline.

          Western scholarship has subjected Biblical and Judeo-Christian history to exhaustive scrutiny. What are you talking about?

          • mchasewalker

            I’m not limiting this to hucksters like Hamm either, but many of the so-called “thoughtful well-educated individuals” you vouch for like the head of the NIH, Dr. Francis Collins, who recently told Bill Maher “proof of Jesus’ existence is in the New Testament”. A mind-blowing statement of profound ignorance and abject bias. Other examples are Dr. Paul Broun MD a physician in the House of Representatives and a fierce propounder of Creationism, also Drs. Kent Hovind, Carl Baugh, Don Patton, Harold Slusher, Kelly Seagraves and others far too numerous to mention. Your statement that “Western scholarship has subjected Biblical and Judeo-Christian history to exhaustive scrutiny’ is quite frankly, bullshit. It hasn’t, and if you wish to know the difference I suggest reading the exhaustive works of Campbell, Spengler, Huizinga, Frobenius, Zimmer, and hundreds of other real historians who dared to go beyond entrenched Western biases.

            • Neko

              I’m not “vouching” for anybody, but stating the obvious. Neither am I referring to politicians who pander to their constituencies.

              “Campbell, Spengler, Huizinga, Frobenius, Zimmer” aren’t “Westerners”?

              Your statement that “Western scholarship has subjected Biblical and Judeo-Christian history to exhaustive scrutiny’ is quite frankly, bullshit.

              Hilarious. We will have to disagree.

              • mchasewalker

                WHAT? Campbell, Spengler, Huizinga, Frobenius, Zimmer” aren’t “Westerners”? Seriously, You’ve crossed into the Baby Jesus Zone. No disagreement, here, you’re just full of it!

                • Neko

                  We clearly don’t mean the same thing by “Western.”

                  But if you wish to consign me to the Baby Jesus Zone, I’ll take pleasure in the irony.

          • TheBlackCat13

            “Western scholarship has subjected Biblical and Judeo-Christian history to exhaustive scrutiny”

            Recently, perhaps, but they can only base that on the records that still exist. A lot of the decisions regarding what records should and should not be kept fell into the hands of the Church. But the very records we would want to see are the ones that had the potential to be most damaging to the Church, the ones they might be very inclined to lose or fail to maintain.

            • Neko

              What specific issue do you have in mind about which the Church (the Vatican, I’m assuming) may be suppressing valuable information?

              • TheBlackCat13

                I am not saying they are suppressing it, I am saying it no longer exists at all.

                • Neko

                  OK, I’m just trying to get a handle on what you’re referring to in particular. You mean like the destruction of Gnostic and other non-orthodox gospels and texts in the early centuries of Christianity?

                • TheBlackCat13

                  Yes, as well as destruction of records regarding the early church itself and events surrounding its formation.

                • Neko

                  Right. Historians are well aware of that problem. Apologists are another matter.

  • Greg G.

    Don’t read the Bible critically. Read it gullibly. Then you can be just like Ken Ham.

  • God’s Starship

    So he’s saying…. and correct me if I’m wrong…. that I must really believe in god…. because it says in the bible that I really believe in god.

    • TheBlackCat13

      Not exactly. What they really mean is that you must really believe in the Bible because the Bible says so. When they say “God” they mean “God and Jesus as described in the Bible”, not just some generic deity.

  • Shirley H Brown

    Ken Ham is a “snob” Christian who believes he alone KNOWs what a “real” Christian is. His idea that everyone actually “knows” there is a god and just suppresses the truth is so ridiculous that it doesn’t even warrant discussion. Let him keep “preaching”…he’ll likely drive more of the “not-real Christians” into atheism than anything else.

  • David B.

    But really, Romans chapter 1 teaches that they know there is a
    God, and that their disbelief is a willful suppression of the truth.

    Yup, that is exactly the sort of thing in the bible that turns people into atheists. Well spotted, Ken.

  • eponym

    But the Bible told us to! 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21:

    20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all;

  • John Gills

    Funny, he can parse Darwin and evolutionary theory to his heart’s content, but we shouldn’t turn the tables.

    I also like the circular logic of Roman’s I 19 “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”

  • Timothy McLean

    Dear Google Play Store,
    Thank you for recognizing “Youversion” as the name of a Bible app. How you did so without having Youversion available is beyond me.
    Sincerely,
    Annoyed Atheist

  • MegaSolipsist

    So it’s OK for him to attack evolution without understanding or researching the theory, but it’s not OK for atheists to dispute the bible with its own words?

  • http://thespiritualmaterialist.wordpress.com/ Matthew Dickinson

    Actually I often ask Christian friends and family questions about scripture “with the desire to have these problems resolved by believers who are equipped to answer such claims”, I always hope they will avoid the embarrassment of failing to give a satisfactory answer, one that doesn’t depend of extra-textual interpretations that they have no logical reason to make, but my hopes are always dashed.

  • Gehennah

    I love the part about I Romans that we all “know” god exists. And I love the argument that we just don’t want to be responsible for our actions, even though Christianity has the biggest cop out ever, you just ask god to save you and you can still do whatever you want. Yet if we “knew” a god existed, why would we just pretend he didn’t exist.

    Then again, I once read a book that says wizards and witches exist, it must be true.

  • SeekerLancer

    So Ham is admitting that he realizes the bible is stupid and crazy and you shouldn’t think too hard about that even though Ham also claims the message of the bible is meant to be taken 100% literally.

    Complicated (or confused) guy.

  • paul

    But really, I Corinthians chapter 14 teaches that christians should pray to prophesy rather than just speaking gibberish. “…if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” Fundamentalists know that God is not with them, and their assertion of belief is just a willful suppression of the truth.


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