Bill Maher’s Mega-Blasphemy: Not Even a Little Bit Funny

Last night on Comedy Central, trash-talking atheist comedian Bill Maher spouted a blasphemy so egregious, I am dumbfounded.

God, the controversial satirist said, is a “psychotic mass murderer” who drowns babies.

Maher was talking about the new movie Noah, which stars Russell Crowe in the title role.  Maher is no fan of the movie, nor of the biblical story on which it is based.   He thinks the story is not only made up but also “immoral.”

“It’s about a psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it and his name is God,” he said.  “What kind of tyrant kills everyone just to get back at the few he’s mad at? I mean, besides Chris Christie?”

“Isn’t life hard enough,” screamed the unbeliever whose contributions to public discourse include the 2008 anti-faith documentary Religulous, “without making s*** up out of thin air to f*** with yourself?”

The small-minded, large-mouthed television personality topped it off with an assault on those who would seek to uphold the moral values which characterized our nation at its founding.  “You know, conservatives are always going on about how Americans are losing their values and their morality,” he said. “Well, maybe it’s because you worship a guy who drowns babies.”

I’m so fed up with this guy.  

You’ve gotta wonder, doesn’t God ever just get tired of it, too?

Lightning graphics

  • Kelly Thatcher

    C’mon, Kath, don’t hold back…tell us what you *really* think! :-)

    Seriously, Kathy? Breaking…we’re supposed to pray for folks like this guy. Now you take back those lightening bolts! :-)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Even if Christians can get past God drowning people, perhaps you can at least appreciate that it gives non-Christians pause. Loving beings don’t act that way.

    • Leila Miller

      God is not “a being”, as in one being among many, the biggest guy in the room, so to speak; He is Being itself. You may want to check out Fr. Barron’s videos on YouTube and get a better understanding of the Christian God, and not the caricature of God that atheists throw out there.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        You’re right that I want to share the same view of God as whoever I’m talking to. My approach is to assume that the words applied to God (“good,” “just,” “loving,” and so on) mean the same as they would if applied to you. That is, we don’t just make up new words when talking about God but use those in the dictionary.

        • Leila Miller

          If we think that something God does is unjust (God who is Justice itself, the very essence thereof), then the problem is in our thinking, not in God’s justice.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            No, the problem is in our dictionary.

            We know what “just” means, right? If what God does isn’t just, then don’t say that God is just. If God’s ways aren’t our ways, then don’t describe God’s actions with human words.

          • Leila Miller

            What words shall we use then, Bob, if not human words? Since we are human, we use words that best approach the concept that we are attempting to describe. Words are not perfect, but they allow us to communicate ideas. Just describes God. If we know Him to be just, but we see things that in our clouded minds do not appear just (a problem when we insist on calling him just another “being”), then again, the problem lies in our understanding, not in God’s justice.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Human words work just fine for me. I thought it was you who was trying to say that the words didn’t apply to God as we define them in the dictionary.

            You wouldn’t be just if you were a ruler and demanded genocide. You wouldn’t be loving if you were a creator and drowned millions of people. And so on.

            You don’t say that God is just, “just because,” and then say that any weirdness that results is our problem. No, we use the words as described in the dictionary. Say God is beyond any human label if you want, but don’t have one definition for “just” when applied to a human and another when applied to God.

          • Leila Miller

            So, Bob… speak plainly. Is God just (more clearly, is He Justice)? Is God good (more clearly, is He Goodness)? Is God merciful (more clearly, is Mercy)?

            It seems that at the same time, you want to say both 1) that God is just “the biggest guy in the room” but sort of like us, just another being, and 2) that He is so unlike us that we cannot even attempt to use human words and minds to describe the attributes that we conceive about Him.

            I am guessing you are not Christian and do not believe in the Christian God. (Christianity is a revealed religion, by the way).

            Can you speak plainly? What is your religion/faith? Thanks.

          • kathyschiffer

            Bob is an atheist, Leila. He is a really nice guy, one of my fellow bloggers at Patheos, but he has not been given the gift of faith.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Thanks, Kathy. I always feel welcome here (unlike some of the other Catholic blogs …).

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            Bob,
            The God of the Deluge is the same God who died on the cross for each of us. Christ crucified is God’s love fully revealed. Something tells me that you know this.
            So, again no surprise here, we are talking about someone who will always be beyond the horizon of human understanding. Good thing it’s a Faith, I guess, and not a philosophy.
            But, knowing this as you do, you bother to post comments just to create controversy, and then pout when people loose patience with you.
            Maybe you need a different hobby?

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Yes, I’m pretty aware of the claims and history of Christianity.

            we are talking about someone who will always be beyond the horizon of human understanding

            Yeah, if we assume that those claims are accurate. I don’t see them as any more accurate than those of Hinduism, say.

            But, knowing this as you do, you bother to post comments just to create controversy, and then pout when people loose patience with you.

            Option 1: decide that I’ve got it all figured out and that anyone who disagrees with me is a moron. Why waste my time with people beneath me?

            Option 2: engage with Christians. Learn from them. Maybe they have something to teach me.

            Guess which option I chose.

            Maybe you need a different hobby?

            When Christianity is as significant in society as knitting, I’ll do just that. When it affects society as strongly as it does, it becomes hard to ignore.

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            Bob if you feel that those are truly your only two options when relating to a religion to which you do not belong then you have issues, really. It’s not hard to ignore, Bob.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            I have issues because I choose to engage with Christians and learn from them. Uh, OK.

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            “Learn from”…? I looked briefly at your blog and I cannot see one Catholic teaching that is accurately reflected in your attacks. You could try to charitably present a belief before you take it on, otherwise change the handle to “Bob Strawmansticker” or something.
            Someone who wanted to learn about Catholicism could do so easily enough, someone with issues does what you do.
            Little more reflecting and maybe less selfie…

          • Leila Miller

            Got it! Thanks, Kathy. I didn’t know where he was coming from and was trying to get my bearings. :)

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            My difficulty is usually holding my tongue, but thanks for your request for plain speaking!

            I’m simply asking that we be honest with the dictionary. I’m an atheist. I don’t say “God = Justice” or “God is Justice” or whatever.

            “God is good” is a claim, not a statement. So let’s test that claim. Freeing the Israelites from slavery? That’s pretty good. Condoning slavery on other people and demanding genocide and drowning millions of people and billions of animals? Nope—that’s not good at all. Said another way, if you were an absolute monarch and did that stuff, we wouldn’t call you “good.”

            The dictionary doesn’t give a definition of evil and then give the caveat “… unless God does it, in which case that’s OK.”

            He is so unlike us that we cannot even attempt to use human words and minds to describe the attributes that we conceive about Him.

            Just the opposite. I’m saying that you have two options: either say that he is unjudgeable and we avoid assigning labels to him or we are honest to the dictionary. Giving God a pass doesn’t work.

          • Leila Miller

            Thanks, Bob, that clears it up for me, and helps me understand why we are talking past each other. I do a lot of dialogue with atheists on my own blog (Little Catholic Bubble), and I don’t want to hog the conversation here. Blessings!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Since we both value the dictionary, I’m not sure why we’d be talking past one another.

            I’ve written more about this Word Hygiene argument here.

          • Leila Miller

            Bob, would you agree that in the mind and understanding of my child, my actions here would have appeared to be unjust and even cruel? His perspective was limited, as I am sure you can agree, but he had an innate sense of justice (even without being able to access a dictionary):

            http://littlecatholicbubble.blogspot.com/2012/03/mystery-of-suffering-and-personal-story.html

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Yes, your child might’ve misunderstood your actions or motives. So how does this apply? That if we assume God exists, we can make sense of that? That’s debatable, but even if we allow that, who thinks that way? You don’t say, “OK, let’s take my crazy assumption and then let me show you that it hasn’t been proven false.” Rather, you say, “Here is the evidence. Let’s follow where it points.” And taking the evidence as a whole, I sure don’t see it pointing to God.

            Your kid knew that you existed. And yet God’s existence is the very question we’re discussing here.

          • Leila Miller

            Well, here is where I take my leave, with apologies. I did not realize that God’s existence was the question we’ve been discussing. I thought we were discussing the question of whether or not God is just (or Justice). Many blessings to you, Bob.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Time is short. It’s your call.

            But you haven’t responded to my appeal that we use words as they’re defined in the dictionary. Why call God “just” if he does things that would be called “unjust” if you did them?

            What I hear you saying is that we can’t prove that God doesn’t have his reasons. OK, but assuming God into existence isn’t the way I prefer to follow the evidence.

          • Leila Miller

            Follow the evidence in other ways, then. Start with Aquinas. (I’m assuming you already have.) I also recommend pre-ordering Jennifer Fulwiler’s new book, Something Other Than God. And my personal favorite is From Atheism to Catholicism: How Scientists and Philosophers Led Me to Truth, by Dr. Kevin Vost.

            As for your comment about things being unjust if I did them…. remember, if a street thug cut my lip (or yours) with a needle (harkening back to my son’s story) with the intent to maim and terrorize and steal, it would be unjust. It’s not the “doing things” that makes something just or unjust. It’s about who does them, what his authority to do them is, and the meaning behind it. Again, God is not just “the biggest guy in the room”. He is Author of Life (Life itself) and we are not. His interplay with life and death is not on par with ours. Not even close. You misunderstand the ontological nature of God vs. man. Again, I recommend some Fr. Barron youtube videos to start, or the above books. I can’t hash it out in the combox, especially one that is not my own. I’m behind on my own blogging as it is, ack!

            Many blessings!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            It’s not the “doing things” that makes something just or unjust. It’s about who does them, what his authority to do them is, and the meaning behind it.

            Words have meanings. When you argue things like saying God is justice (whatever that means), then I fear that you’re drifting away from using words as they’ve been defined.

            Whether God is or isn’t the author of life is irrelevant. The point is: you can’t apply the word “just” (or “loving” or “good” or whatever) to God if it isn’t applicable. It’s hard to fault my position, I hope you’ll agree. I’m simply asking that we not try to deceive ourselves.

            Suppose I pick an Old Testament story and you change the name from Yahweh to Attila the Hun (or pick some other nasty name). Then you show it to an objective observer and asked for descriptions of this Attila guy. If they wouldn’t use “just,” neither can you.

          • Leila Miller

            Sorry, Bob, you are still missing the point. Justice is giving one what is due him. No person is owed life by God. The author of Life is not being “unjust” when humans die. Just as I was not unjust when I held my child down and allowed him (in his perspective) to be stuck with needles and tortured that way.

            There is something greater on the other side of that death, for those who are themselves innocent and just.

            Anyway, we are definitely still talking past one another. You still haven’t agreed that we are talking about the Christian God who is not simply “the biggest guy in the room”. You are talking about some other concept of God (akin to the FSM?) and so therefore, we cannot communicate about this.

            I am guessing this won’t be helpful to you, but I am going to post this piece anyway, for those who are interested in the problem of a “wrathful” God:

            http://catholicexchange.com/wrathful-god

            And, I do hope you will get a chance to read the books I recommended, from former atheists who say it better than I ever could.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Justice is giving one what is due him. No person is owed life by God. The author of Life is not being “unjust” when humans die.

            This is the “God built the sand castle, so he can step on it if he feels like it” idea?

            Sand castles don’t have feelings. There’s no harm in stepping on sand. When you harm something that feels pain, that’s a different story.

            Next time you puzzle over what gets atheists so agitated, this is the kind of thinking that does it. You’re probably a smart person who loves her family, pays her taxes, and is a worthwhile member of society. And yet your Christian presuppositions make you say this? That God can just do whatever the heck he wants? Terrified people by the millions slowly drown in the Flood, and that’s just A-OK with you? Why are you apologizing for this guy? Why add “… except if God does it” to the definitions of words?

            God’s a big boy. Let’s label his actions accurately. He can take it.

            You still haven’t agreed that we are talking about the Christian God who is not simply “the biggest guy in the room”. You are talking about some other concept of God (akin to the FSM?) and so therefore, we cannot communicate about this.

            I understand that you see God as the author of all life, but I don’t. Or are you saying that we can’t communicate until I become a Christian?

            And, I do hope you will get a chance to read the books I recommended, from former atheists who say it better than I ever could.

            I’ve read Antony Flew’s There is a God and I’m familiar with the Christian apologetic arguments. I’ve critiqued many of them at my blog. Thanks for the suggestions, but I doubt that there is much new there for me.

            While we’re trading book suggestions, Bart Ehrman (head of the UNC-Chapel Hill religion department) has one called God’s Problem where he talks about his own faith journey.

          • Leila Miller

            Bob, you don’t have to believe in the Christian concept of God for us to talk about the Christian concept of God, just as we could talk about Hindu gods as long as we talked about them as the Hindus believe them, not as we project onto them. That is the problem I find with many atheists. They want to talk about their own concept of “god” (FSM or “biggest guy in the room [like you calling him a "big boy"]), and ignore the Christian understanding of God, and therefore we will not be able to connect in this discussion.

            Take care!

          • Steve Willy

            That precisely was the question you were discussing, Leila. Bob employed the common atheist trick of “suddenly changing the subject” when the discussion took a turn he didn’t like, or when you came too close to exposing his atheism as an emotional reaction rather than the result of any reasoned inquiry. For someone who claims to champion reason and logic above all else, this intellectual slight of hand is shameful.

          • Steve Willy

            You seem to be talking past each other because what you are peddling here is not reason or logic, nor could it coherently be called philosophy if it were not atheistic (it seems anything can be called ‘philosophy’ if it ends with the conclusion ‘God doesn’t exist’). Rather, this is simply your finger-in-the-ears, “la-la-la God can’t exist” solipsistic ranting. I think you tacitly know that its time for you to stfu. Search your feelings, you know this to be true, you r/athesim inspired, GNU obsessed protoneckbeard.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            You got something besides anger? You know, like an argument?

            If I made a mistake, clearly explain why. If you have arguments that Christianity is correct, I need those carefully explained as well.

            What you’ve got here is what you used on the playground when you were 6. If you want to sit at the grownups’ table, you need to bring actual arguments.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            My kids sometimes think I am unjust, not because what I have done in relation to them is unjust but because they do not understand why I take certain actions. I can see where they can’t and so it is with God (‘understand’ is the key word here). Because something seems unjust to your thinking doesn’t make it so, holding so tenaciously to the idea that injustice was perpetrated often blinds us forever to the light. Take a deep breath.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Because something seems unjust to your thinking doesn’t make it so

            Agreed. But no seeker of the truth adopts a supernatural belief and then fits the facts to support it. You don’t start with the God belief and then give platitudes like this to support it. Follow the facts.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            The Christian takes his center from Jesus the Nazarene, a man understood to have been brutally killed and who rose without intervention, a feat apparently beyond the natural order. It is by understanding his nature that we understand this feat, it is by understanding this feat that we uncover the super-natural, an order beyond nature. You may choose to look at this as simply an adoption but in fact it is a conviction. That, an understanding for which thousands of people offered their lives in imitation of Jesus warrants at least some puzzlement satisfied only by truth. In a way one could say that God is not the start of belief but that Jesus is, through his life by the witness his disciples. The facts have been duly followed. God is discovered through Jesus, the world (and indeed scripture) understood through God.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Uh, yeah, you know that it’s just a story, right?

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Yeah, like the story or Socrates and Aristotle.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Sure, call that a story. The wisdom from those to men (or the wisdom from the story) is unchanged.

            Now let’s do that to Jesus. Just a story. Nothing supernatural. Jesus devolves into just a nutty religious kook, about whom some wisdom is written. Follow the good parts by all means, but there’s nothing here to worship.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Well, Bob, that’s what you’ve been doing all along, taking Jesus for just a story. On the other hand you consider Socrates and Aristotle to be real! ‘those men’. I really wonder why? What makes you think that the existence of Socrates and Aristotle has greater credibility than the existence of Jesus? Next you will tell me that Siddhartha Gautama, Mohammed and others are fictional characters too. Get real!

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            On the other hand you consider Socrates and Aristotle to be real! ‘those men’. I really wonder why?

            You have to wonder? I wonder how seriously you’re taking this.

            Any supernatural elements in their stories are scrubbed from history. Let’s be consistent with the story about Jesus.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            And you know better than their students. Maybe someday you will learn how ready you are to die for a lie.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            (1) So you agree then? We agree that the supernatural elements of the stories of Socrates and Aristotle (if any) are scrubbed from the historical accounts? If so, let’s be consistent and do the same with Jesus.

            (2) Die for a lie? I guess you’re referring to the claim that the disciples’ martyrdoms is evidence in favor of the Jesus story? I slap that claim silly here.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Really, don’t kid yourself. No supernatural elements in the stories of Socrates and Aristotle were attributed to them in the first place let alone scrubbed. There is therefore nothing to be consistent about. Their lives and stories were not about the supernatural but Jesus’ life and story was. There is no need to assume that one is more authentic than the other. You may not believe it but extraordinary things do happen in this world and many times one can only find them if one just pays a little attention to the experiences of those around you. Some are bogus but some cannot be ignored.

            Rumours don’t come from nowhere, even though they may not be accurate in their details they are usually accurate in their main points. Your blog about the dying for a lie is interesting but for the uninformed. Yes, indeed, many of the apostles stories about their deaths fail in their detail they were not the only ones that died at the hands of their opponents. Many disciples who were directly associated with them also faced similar ends, ends they could accept because the apostles themselves did too like Ignatius of Antioch. Your work is not as thorough as you think. Maybe Rome was also set on fire for the fun of it.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            No supernatural elements in the stories of Socrates and Aristotle were attributed to them in the first place let alone scrubbed.

            I never said that there were, though I wouldn’t be at all surprised. What I’m surprised at is your confidence. Not a single supernatural tale attributed to them? Maybe you’re right; I don’t know. I do know, however, that Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar, and Alexander the Great all had supernatural stories told about them. And they’re scrubbed from history.

            Again, the point that you’re dancing away from, hoping that I don’t notice: if we do that for these figures of history, let’s be consistent with the historical claims of Jesus.

            Their lives and stories were not about the supernatural but Jesus’ life and story was.

            Ditto Apollonius of Tyana. Because the supernatural was key to his life, should we keep them in his story, too? And I’m sure you could think of a dozen other god-men that would fit in this bin.

            extraordinary things do happen in this world

            Extraordinary, sure. Supernatural? I’ve seen no evidence. If you’ve got compelling evidence, share.

            Rumours don’t come from nowhere, even though they may not be accurate in their details they are usually accurate in their main points.

            What about Sathya Sai Baba? He died just a few years ago, and all sorts of miracles were attributed to him—including raising the dead. Does the same thinking apply to him?

            Your blog about the dying for a lie is interesting but for the uninformed.

            Then inform me. Point out the errors and correct them.

    • Steve Willy

      Perhaps if you didn’t block and delete any dissent to your own neck bearded musings, you might have a clue what you are talking about. As it stands, you are nothing but a pseudo-intellectual, faux-analytical, Hitchens-Dawkins parroting basement dweller. Yours is a worldview so petty, so trivial, so earth bound, so unworthy of the universe.

      • kathyschiffer

        “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

        Steve, I really do try to maintain some decorum here in my combox, and I urge you to consider whether name-calling is the approach you want to use with people who believe differently from you. Please keep your comments respectful and you will be welcome to discuss particular points of disagreement. Criticize ideas, not people. Thank you.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

          :-)

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        Steve: I’m having a hard time wading through the bile to figure out your actual point. What I hear you saying is that I delete or moderate out comments at my own blog. Since that’s not the case, I have no idea what the heck you’re talking about. You want to level a charge at me? Fair enough: make it plainly.

        As to my trivial worldview, I’m happy to adopt yours, given sufficient reason. Do you have any intellectual arguments that would convince me that your view (not quite sure what that is at the moment) is correct?

      • Paul

        Hey…are you mad?

    • Joseph Essien-Obot

      It depends on how you understand the story, with thoughtfulness or with hateful bias.

      Noah desired that people be saved by having the opportunity to survive a natural disaster which by divine assistance he became aware of. Noah had always worked for the masses that they may eschew licentiousness. They, swallowed up by their self-amusement regarded Noah a nut case. God allowed a natural course to take effect but then he provided, through Noah, that people be saved, they refused. Noah saw their destruction, even though of their thoughtlessness, as God’s doing.

      A loving being will not tramp your free will, he gently and by ordinary means speak to you, but he will not act against your freedom.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

        It depends on how you understand the story, with thoughtfulness or with hateful bias.

        Our Father drowns millions, I complain, and yet I am guilty of hateful bias?

        They, swallowed up by their self-amusement regarded Noah a nut case. God allowed a natural course to take effect but then he provided, through Noah, that people be saved, they refused.

        It’s a story. Are you saying that it’s actually history?

        A loving being will not tramp your free will, he gently and by ordinary means speak to you, but he will not act against your freedom.

        Let’s not paint God as a champion of free will. When someone’s free will is violated by being raped or murdered, God doesn’t step in.

        • http://batman-news.com Michael

          Bob,
          You obviously spend time at this because it gratifies you to take shots at the Catholic Faith. God only knows what or who hurt you to make you this way, but you should know that if you really want to “learn from christians” as you euphamistically posted above, that you are going about harming the Faith in entirely the wrong way (in fact you may well be strengthening it in those whom you ridicule).
          The essence of the Faith is the encounter with Christ. No one has sustainably been a christian without this happening to them, and all the arguments, apologetics, etc, are nothing more than an effort to set that encounter into a rational context.
          The paradoxical nature of that rationality (and in fact its seeming absurdities) should be no surprise to anyone who contemplates the life of the Saviour: our salvation is Christ crucified.
          Little wonder that man’s wisdom is foolishness to God, and so we don’t seek it out except in so far as it leads us to more perfect union with Him.
          A person of some intellectual honesty would approach the subject of “learning” from grasping what faith in Christ is: it is desiring perfect union with Him through transforming grace, and not at all about forming the perfect argument for why you want this. This is why children and the mentally challenged are as good at it or better than philosophers.
          Why we want this is because we have met the person of Christ. We can no more reject Him because of someone like yourselve’s nattering than we can reject our own mothers.
          I don’t think this will matter to you because you have a motive of your own which is not based in some idealistic quest, as you pretend, but is misplaced lashing out. You should examine your heart, Bob

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            You obviously spend time at this because it gratifies you to take shots at the Catholic Faith.

            Golly—you know me better than I know myself.

            God only knows what or who hurt you to make you this way

            But you’re getting a little presumptuous now.

            I’m motivated because of the damage Christianity does within society.

            The essence of the Faith is the encounter with Christ.

            Some say that. Others say that there is evidence and arguments that make God’s existence clear. That’s where my focus is.

            our salvation is Christ crucified.

            I apologize for being offensive, but Jesus dying really isn’t that big a deal. All the rest of us die.

            Little wonder that man’s wisdom is foolishness to God

            Our wisdom is all that we have to work with, fallible though it is. How do we know that this Christianity religion is true? Or that all the others are false? We must evaluate them. That’s all I’m doing. If God exists, I think he’d be pleased that I’m using his gift of the human brain to its fullest.

            … so we don’t seek it out except in so far as it leads us to more perfect union with Him.

            But I doubt that he’ll have much sympathy for those who put their brains in Park.

            A person of some intellectual honesty would approach the subject of “learning” from grasping what faith in Christ is

            My interest is only in hearing convincing apologetic arguments. How else am I going to get past this “Does God exist?” question?

            not at all about forming the perfect argument for why you want this.

            Then I guess God bungled this one. It’s obvious to me that we should use our intellect to evaluate the various claims about the supernatural. Perhaps my brain is a lemon.

            I don’t think this will matter to you because you have a motive of your own which is not based in some idealistic quest, as you pretend, but is misplaced lashing out. You should examine your heart, Bob

            Ah, the old “You’re not really an atheist, but you know that God does exist” argument. Still stinks, I’m afraid.

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            Do you love because of “apologetics”?
            …neither do I
            One of the best and most faithful catholics I know is a mentally challenged man who is capable of little more than coming to mass every week. He doesn’t need an argument but he brings the presence of Christ with him.
            “How am I going to get past this ‘does God exist’ question?”
            again you argue past the point that is right in front of you.
            You’re not interested in the question or you would be interested in how it is others know Christ! Your approach ensures that you will never settle anything, because what would satisfy your desires?
            You have rejected, outright, the answer because you need the argument more.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Do you love because of “apologetics”?

            Nope. But I believe religious claims (or don’t) exclusively because of evidence and arguments.

            One of the best and most faithful catholics I know is a mentally challenged man who is capable of little more than coming to mass every week. He doesn’t need an argument but he brings the presence of Christ with him.

            If that works for him, great. It don’t work for me.

            You’re not interested in the question or you would be interested in how it is others know Christ!

            I’ll type slower in the hope that you’ll understand this time.

            Hearing about how people believe for non-intellectual reasons is interesting for me to understand where they’re coming from. However, that will convince me personally not in the least. Intellectual arguments only, please.

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            I can’t imagine that any Faith, being faith-based, would have evidence to offer that would satisfy a hardened sceptic. What would be the point of faith then? Remember the story of St Peter walking on the water, no amount of evidence was sufficient to sustain him. Likewise, it seems obvious that no amount of evidence would change your mind. Which means that giving you what you demand is futile.
            What that leaves me with in this foolishness that you call wisdom is your inability to discern the log in your own eye while you attempt to remove the speck from other’s. Your need to expunge Christianity from the culture becomes its own demon, and because that need is so monomaniacal in nature it makes you entirely immune to achieving that higher ground of ideological purity you claim to have staked as your own. Yours is an ideology first and foremost, and a rational discipline second, while you pretend otherwise.
            I would also suggest that at the heart of this ideology of yours is a hatred of purity. It is really purity, holiness, which is the object whose non-existence you wish to assert, because your “salvation” requires it: your sins are ransomed precisely by having their reality (and holiness itself) expunged from the culture. If you can get rid of those who call a sin a sin, then the sinful act, in your twisted ideology, will cease to be sinful, and that is how your “salvation” from sin is achieved.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            I can’t imagine that any Faith, being faith-based, would have evidence to offer that would satisfy a hardened sceptic.

            I’m not sure what “hardened skeptic” means. If it’s someone whose mind is closed to new information, that’s not me. However, I am someone who’s heard many arguments, studied them in depth, not found them worthwhile, and would be surprised to hear any new argument that is compelling.

            What would be the point of faith then?

            Are you saying that believing on faith has value? I’m missing that. I don’t do that. I trust based on evidence.

            Remember the story of St Peter walking on the water, no amount of evidence was sufficient to sustain him.

            Miracle stories are pretty unbelievable. And for a good reason.

            Likewise, it seems obvious that no amount of evidence would change your mind.

            Try me. (How else will I be convinced but through evidence and reason?)

            Which means that giving you what you demand is futile.

            No, I think it means that you don’t have a compelling argument.

            your inability to discern the log in your own eye while you attempt to remove the speck from other’s.

            Well, you could, I dunno, give me evidence that I’m missing something important here. So far, you’ve just thrown in the towel.

            Your need to expunge Christianity from the culture becomes its own demon

            It’s probably best not to try to be a mind reader. The harm of religion within society is what drives me. If there were no harm—if Christianity were just a set of cultural practices that didn’t affect anyone besides the Christians themselves—I’d find a new hobby.

            Yours is an ideology first and foremost, and a rational discipline second, while you pretend otherwise.

            Uh, whatever. You have no evidence to show me, so you haven’t given me the chance to evaluate with an open mind. And, without evidence, I won’t become a Christian (I mean, seriously, who would??).

            I would also suggest that at the heart of this ideology of yours is a hatred of purity.

            Busted! Yep, Satan himself is pulling my strings.

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            The python-esque “I came in here for an argument” aside, what do you want? Arguments for the existence of God? Google William Lane Craig and the Kalaam cosmological argument. He does an admirable and very scholarly job of making the case that it is reasonable to believe in God.
            But you are probably aware of Dr Craig…
            Aside from that I have no idea what you want.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Yes, I want intellectual arguments for God.

            I’m aware of WLC and his Kalam argument. I have little respect for either, I’m afraid. But thanks for the suggestion.

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            Lol, as I was saying…

          • http://batman-news.com Michael

            oh and QED

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            Not quite sure what your point is. If you’re saying that I simply dismiss WLC just because he doesn’t say what I want him to say, you’re mistaken. I’ve been listening to his podcast and reading his comments for more than 5 years now.

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          You prove my point exactly! No attempt has been made on your part to try to understand, you have chosen to hold on to the complain part. It goes this way, ‘Someone killed my friend, I am not interested in why my friend was killed, I complain bitterly. Incidentally, my friend was killed in self-defense, I don’t know that but I don’t want to know.’ I don’t believe you can see any bias in the narrative.

          Our present argument is not whether the Noah story is history or not, we are actually discussing the morale of it.

          What actually makes man like God is his freedom to determine his end. No to animals and other creatures who don’t have this. That’s the Christian position. God does not have to step in when those who do wrong are as well exercising their freewill. God doesn’t even if man does.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            I have no choice but to evaluate God’s actions against the standards of morality that all of us use. And God loses.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Well Bob, if my moral standard, going by the ‘my friend’ narrative above, is that he was killed alone, then I have no moral standard at all because there is more than the killing going on, it occurred in context. God doesn’t loose.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            In your book, God doesn’t lose by definition. He can’t can’t do wrong.

            But of course, when you throw out the dictionary (God has impunity to do whatever he wants and you will call it “good”) then the word has no meaning.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Obviously you have a hurdle to overcome. So, if I kill a person it is bad but when one discovers that I had to kill in order to protect an innocent it is still bad. Well, I leave you with your dictionary, maybe it would make you a better person, who knows.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            When we’re part of the same society and so define words the same way, let me know and we can pick up this conversation again.

            If you want to pretend that you and I have different definitions for common words, then we don’t have a common language.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Wish you had something more to say.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            You’re avoiding the issue. In fact, I have plenty to say about how Christians like to play games with words.

          • Joseph Essien-Obot

            Avoiding what issue? You can’t answer the simple questions I have posed to you in the course of this discuss, your single problem is the dictionary. If the literal meaning of a word is more important than the value of the action it indicates in context please don’t pretend the issue is being avoided, you simply have a bias you wish to prove.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

            You seem to be a waste of time, but I’m happy to be convinced otherwise. I don’t remember any simple questions that were too difficult or too damaging to my worldview that I failed to answer. Perhaps you could remind me.

            My demand is that we use good to mean good. When God does what would be called “bad” if you did it, we can’t call God “good.” Do you agree?

  • fightingforfit

    Let us all pray for his conversion! Can you imagine the power of that conversion? Can you imagine how many souls that lead to Christ? He definitely appears to be passionate and outspoken about those things he sees as truth. Imagine that passion and outspokenness working for God’s Will! Let us all pray for him!

  • StevesWeb

    God would have to exist as a prerequisite before it could react to Bill Maher.

    • Steve Willy

      And you would have to have a point as a prerequisite to getting a reaction to this specious, sophomoric soundbite, you pseudo-intellectual, faux-analytical, Hitchens-Dawkins parroting basement dwelling neck bearded megadouche.

      • StevesWeb

        While on the other hand the Ad Hominem logical fallacy proves the existence of Sky Monsters?

        • Joseph Essien-Obot

          God is not a monster, that would be projecting our deformity to him. It is our love of self that leads us thus.

    • Joseph Essien-Obot

      Assuming his attitude is human. What father would rather condemn his child to destruction than bear him patiently. What God would suffer to the point of death that his children should see truth. The God of love. Do not mind human frustration, that’s why exercise our souls in prayer, meditation and good works that we may become like God, his children.

  • http://www.scottericalt.com Scott Eric Alt

    Bill Maher has not read Genesis, apparently. The entire world had become corrupt before God except for Noah. God wasn’t mad at “a few.”

  • RaymondNicholas

    You get what you pay for in more ways than one.

  • Cousin Ricky

    You’ve gotta wonder, doesn’t God ever just get tired of it, too?

    Just think about that one. Take as long as you like.

  • Dan B.

    I’m amazed at the number of people who claimed to have read the bible that have no clue as to the reason the one true God was forced to wipe out virtually all life on earth and start over. Is He actually a malevolent being who enjoys killing – as Bill Maher and other atheist claim? If not why do we read accounts all through the old testament of God requiring complete destruction of certain tribes and humanoid beings?

    Read Genesis 6 then followup with supplement readings in The book of Enoch – no rants on why this book wasn’t canonized but it is authoritative as the early apostle’s and Jesus himself quoted from this book as well as early Christians and Jews up until the 3rd century and only was banned after the Council of Laodicea.

    Clearly hard to believe that angelic beings messed with the human genome and polluted mankind with a species known as the Nephilim. Some biblical scholars feel parts of this story were purposely removed from the bible since inter-species breeding was considered too unbelievable, but Enoch makes no apologies for what he writes down. This would also make sense with the records of ancient mythology of gods interbreeding with humans to make demigods.

    Scroll down to Genesis 6:9 where it is written “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.” AKJV

    Was Noah a perfect person, no, as accounts of his life show other wise. However, his genealogy was untainted and that is the primary reason why God saved him and his family to repopulate the world.

    Is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, really a horrible God that viciously kills people or is He so loving of His creation that He would vehemently protect it by destroying the Nephilim from off the face of the earth and then giving His only begotten Son in love for all humanity?

    I challenge all the atheists in the world to do this one thing if never to do anything else. In sincerity speak boldly, confidently and out loud, “Jesus of Nazareth, if you are who you claim to be, then prove to me that you are the one true God and convince me as to why I should believe in you?”

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Bill Maher is a complete idiot and not worth taking seriously.


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