Why I Deny the Virgin Birth of Jesus

The test read positive. Ayesha’s face flushed; tears formed in her eyes. She was trapped. She would be killed. She was a stain on her family’s honor. Amir, her soon-to-be husband, would turn her in as soon as he found out. She knew she deserved death. The shame was unbearable.

That night she had a vision. The brightness blinded her at first, but gradually she saw an angelic face and it said, “Ayesha! You are favored indeed by Allah! For God himself is the Father of your child. Do not be afraid. He will be great and be called the Son of the Most High.”

The next day Ayesha told her fiancé that God had impregnated her, she was still a virgin, and an angel had told her this. Would you believe Ayesha?

An ancient book says a man 2,000 years ago was born of a virgin and was sired by God himself. I once believed this, because I believed the Bible — a book I thought God himself wrote.

I was wrong. Here are five reasons why I no longer believe in the virgin birth.

1) There is no reliable evidence.

We have no eyewitness accounts, no doctor confirmations, no DNA samples…

Ordinary events require evidence, but extraordinary events require extraordinary evidence. By any classification, the virgin birth is an extraordinary event, yet there is no evidence to support it.

We have no eyewitness accounts, no doctor confirmations, no DNA samples — we have nothing except a couple references in the Bible that were written many decades after the event occurred.

2) The earliest references are late and sparse.

Why is such an important story left out of all the early sources?
Probably because it hadn’t been made up yet.

Paul, the earliest New Testament author, never mentions the virgin birth. For someone who we rely upon for much of Christian theology, it is an odd omission. Paul refers to Jesus’ birth twice (Rom 1:3; Gal 4:4) and never says he was born of a virgin or of different means than anyone else. You’d think that would be important.

The virgin birth is also not in Mark, the earliest gospel, or in John, the only other gospel not based on Mark. Why is such an important story left out of all the early sources? Probably because it hadn’t been made up yet.

Why would the story be made up? Perhaps to fulfill an old prophecy of a virgin birth, which the Gospel of Matthew cites:

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Some scholars say “virgin” was a mistranslation in the Septuagint (the Greek translation the gospel writers used), and should have been translated “young woman.” That means the story might have been based on a mistranslation!

It seems likely the virgin birth was created to boost the authority of Christianity through prophecy and compete with rival gods who were born of virgins.

3) It’s the same old myth.

The claims of Jesus’ birth are no different from any of the other virgin birth legends.

Jesus was not the first god to be born of a virgin. Mut-em-ua, the virgin Queen of Egypt, supposedly gave birth to Pharaoh Amenkept III through a god holding a cross to her mouth.

Ra, the Egyptian sun god, was said to be born of a virgin. So was Perseus, Romulus, Mithras, Genghis Khan, Krishna, Horus, Melanippe, Auge and Antiope.

In the ancient world, great men were born of divine fathers and human mothers. Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor Augustus were great men and (therefore) said to have divine fathers. Jesus was also a great man, so he too must have a divine father.

The claims of Jesus’ birth are no different from any of the other virgin birth legends. It doesn’t have any more evidence or appear to be any more likely. Why believe it over the others?

4) Is it more likely to be a lie, or to be true?

“It is therefore at least millions to one, that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.”
Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine, American revolutionary and author, said “Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course, or that a man should tell a lie? We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course, but we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time; it is therefore at least millions to one, that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.”

A betrothed teenage girl finds out she is pregnant. The father is not her soon-to-be husband, and he knows this. In her society, the penalty for this prescribed by God is death by stoning. What does she do? She claims an angel appeared to her and told her God impregnated her, and that she is now carrying the Son of God.

Now what is more likely, that she is lying or telling the truth? Even if Mary claimed this herself, we would not believe her. Now consider that the story didn’t appear until over 50 years after it supposedly happened.

The likelihood of the virgin birth being true is very, very, very low.

5) We would never, ever, believe this today.

Imagine if a teenage girl in your neighborhood claimed that her pregnancy was due to God impregnating her and that she was still a virgin. Would you believe her? Or would you think she was lying?

If she insisted on it being true, we would put her in a mental hospital.
 
Why does this change just because Jesus’ birth happened 2,000 years ago? There is no evidence in favor of it. Even if Mary herself claimed it, there would have been every incentive to lie about it since the only alternative was death. Again, why would anyone believe this?

* * *

We have seen this incredible claim has no reliable evidence and no early Christian sources. There were claims of virgin births before Jesus, and Jesus’ virgin birth was probably invented to compete with those claims. It is far more likely to be a lie than true. And we would never believe anyone who claimed such a thing today.

Because of these reasons, I have no choice but to deny the virgin birth of Jesus — and all other claims of virgin births and divine fathers.

  • VorJack

    Excellent post. Just to be pedantic -
    “Some scholars say “virgin” was a mistranslation in the Septuagint (the Greek translation the gospel writers used), and should have been translated “young woman.””

    My understanding it that the original Hebrew used the word ‘almah’, which specifically means ‘young woman,’ rather than ‘bethulah,’ which specifically means ‘virgin.’ The greek translation used a word that was more ambiguous – sort of like the word ‘maiden’ in english. Not exactly a mistranslation, just a bit confusing.

    Still, it’s pretty clear from the context what Isiah is speaking of, though. He’s speaking to Ahaz about the upcoming invasion of Judah by the Syrians and their allies. If Isiah were to say to Ahaz, “Don’t worry, in 700 years a virgin will give birth to someone who will fix everything,” Ahaz would have had him lynched. Isiah is clearly making a prediction about the near future, and most likely about his own son that he mentions in the next chapter.

    Not that any of this would have bothered Matthew. Like most of the interpreters of his time, he would have believed that verses had hidden meanings that only become apparent after the fact. Of course, this clashes with the current ‘plain sense’ interpretations of the modern era.

  • gmnotyet

    Wow, that was -VERY- well argued.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @VorJack: True, I was simplifying a bit so as not to have to go into depth on the issue. “Mistranslation” was the best way I could think to communicate it simply, but I agree it’s probably more “vague” and could be interpreted in different ways.

    Also great point about Matthew.

    @gmnotyet: Thank you!

  • http://george.callitkarma.com george

    “I am the Virgin Mary. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”

    - Bonnie, as the Virgin Mary in “A Very Special Family Guy Freakin’ Christmas”

  • yaaaay

    -Load any decent star mapping program. (I recommend stellarium)
    -Set the location to egypt
    -Set the date to christmas eve at 19:00 hours
    -Look east
    -You will see the stars of orions belt (three kings) and sirius (the star in the east)
    -Make an imaginary line from the three kings through the star in the east to the horizon – this is where the sun will rise (ra/mithrus/jesus will be born)
    -Make sure the constellation names and diagrams are visible
    -speed time up so that it’s about 01:00 hours and pause.
    -You will see the constellation Virgo
    -Now speed up time again until it’s 06:00 hours and pause.
    -the sun will have risen right at the point where the three kings followed the star in the east under the constellation of the virgin.
    -(ra/mithrus/jesus) was born of a virgin.
    -now the cool bit, look south. You will see crux aka the southern cross.

    • Karl

      Good post and info. You should also mention the stables that Jee-zus was born in.

      Animal constellations were close by too – the bull and the ram – so their stables were available. As usual this story is far older than christ-insanity.

      • http://www.the2keys.com Ephrem Hagos

        Denying the Virgin Birth of Jesus because of the associated story of the stables and the animal constellations close by, which may or may not predate Christianity, is like “throwing the baby with the dirty water” or missing the point completely!

        • Custador

          Talking of missing the point completely… Yaaay made one minor point in the loud choir of evidence against Jesus being born of a virgin – a minor point which you’ve tried to address by simply dismissing it. Well, that doesn’t address the point, and it certainly doesn’t address every other point against the story.

          • http://www.the2keys.com Ephrem Hagos

            Parallel your “loud choir of evidence against Jesus being born of a virgin”, all I tried was to explain the supernatural event in the light of its own applicable spiritual laws as they pertain to 1) us and 2) Mary.

            Did I miss something?

            • Custador

              “all I tried was to explain the supernatural event in the light of its own applicable spiritual laws”

              And that’s where it all gets a bit squiffy, you see – because there’s no such thing as “supernatural” or even “transnatural”. A thing either exists in nature or is created by a thing which exists in nature (such as human beings) – or it does not exist at all. If you can prove otherwise, you’ll not only impress the hell out of a bunch of us here, but you’ll also get a $1,000,000 reward from James Randi. In your own time, then, carry on.

            • Paul

              @Yaaaay

              Did as you asked, now I get to say this without you saying I haven’t done it, so therefore I don’t know for sure…

              (Egypt is a big place, so I used the Cairo coordinates of 31E 30N)
              Orion and Serious, yes. Virgo, yes. Sun rise didn’t happen until about 10 till 7AM local time, and Crux never came above the horizon… weird, I guess Crux, the southern cross, stays in the southern hemisphere?

              I want to reiterate the sunrise bit. I don’t know the year you did this on, but I did it for 2009. Sunrises and such do change because of precession (that is where the Earth’s tilt “wobbles” as it revolves). This wobble has shifted the constellation over the past 2000 years. At the supposed time of Jesus’ birth, Libra would have been in the place where Virgo is now…. I wouldn’t recommend telling this to astrologers… they tend to not like this fact, they are superstitious. But then again, I don’t think you’ll like this fact for much the same reason.

              I don’t know about Orion, because Orion isn’t a zodiac so making a quick calculation of precession isn’t something I feel like doing right now, but I have a feeling Orion wasn’t where it is today.

            • Andreas

              e-hem, Custador, just an aside:
              Failure to prove that something exists is not equivalent to proof that it does not exist. Example: We have no evidence for the existance of intelligent alien life forms. However, it would be a bit bold to conclude that this proves without doubt that there are none such entities. The same holds true for the “supernatural”.

            • Jabster

              @Andreas

              Not really as we have no evidence for the “supernatural” yet in general the claims made for it would suggest we would have evidence. In addition there is no particular observation that the “supernatural” is required for. For alien life forms there is no reason to suspect that they wouldn’t exist but as yet we have no evidence that they do exist.

      • Ike

        Ok so as long as something does not fit my Belief then that alone makes it UNTRUE. I therefore deny the existence of Charles Darwin. He never existed end of story. This mythology called Evolution is unproven to my satisfaction no proof exists that I will accept therefore Evolution is nothing more than “magical Thinking” and at worse delusional thinking.

        Now a question is it possible for a Lesbian who has NEVER had sexual intercourse with a man to have a child? or is this myth as well?

        • Tyler

          @Ike

          “Now a question is it possible for a Lesbian who has NEVER had sexual intercourse with a man to have a child? or is this myth as well?”

          Well you see, Ike, this scientific process we use (that’s right, the very same one that has decided conclusively across the board that evolution did happen) has enabled us to develop ways for letting such women have children. Of course you still need male sperm, but she could technically still be a virgin.

        • Francesc

          “This mythology called Evolution is unproven to my satisfaction no proof exists that I will accept therefore Evolution is nothing more than “magical Thinking” and at worse delusional thinking”
          Can I change your conclusions. It would be more or less so:
          “This mythology called Evolution is unproven to my satisfaction no proof exists that I will accept…”
          …” therefore I’m an irrational person”
          …” therefore I’m not able to understand the world around me”
          …” therefore I’m handicapped in respect to science”

          …”because I already know the Truth”
          …”because an old book says so”
          …”because my parents and my friends can’t be wrong”
          …”because it is so much easier to understand the mytical explanation”

    • brainburger

      -Load any decent star mapping program. (I recommend stellarium)
      -Set the location to egypt

      Why Egypt? Jesus was supposedly born in Bethlehem, in Palestine.

      -Set the date to christmas eve at 19:00 hours

      You know that the date of Christmas is based on a pagan festival right, and that Jesus, if real, probably wasn’t born then?

      -Look east

      Ok, but why? Just because that happens to make this trick work? Because the sun always rises toward the east?

      -You will see the stars of orions belt (three kings) and sirius (the star in the east)

      What have the stars of Orion’s belt got to do with the three kings? It’s Orion’s belt. I am not aware of any astronomical or cultural association with the bible.
      Sirius can’t have been the star of Bethlehem. Sirius is the brightest star, and existed before and after the supposed date of the nativity. The Bible states that the star appeared around this time. (it could conceivably have been a supernova, but Sirius has not gone nova, or a comet, which also wouldn’t fit your ideas).

      -Make an imaginary line from the three kings through the star in the east to the horizon – this is where the sun will rise (ra/mithrus/jesus will be born)

      What? Jesus wasn’t born on the horizon :)
      Ok that’s easily just a meaningless coincidence. the line has to point somewhere.

      -Make sure the constellation names and diagrams are visible
      -speed time up so that it’s about 01:00 hours and pause.
      -You will see the constellation Virgo

      Where? After the sun rises? So what?

      -Now speed up time again until it’s 06:00 hours and pause.
      -the sun will have risen right at the point where the three kings followed the star in the east under the constellation of the virgin.
      -(ra/mithrus/jesus) was born of a virgin.

      Hmmm.. I am not impressed at all, sorry.

      -now the cool bit, look south. You will see crux aka the southern cross.

      Why would that be cool? (even if The Southern Cross can be seen which I doubt).
      What has looking south got to do with anything? The Southern Cross has to be somewhere. Why not look at the Great Bear?

      This is the least impressive set of coincidences I have read in a long time.

    • counter-point

      The only problem with your post is that bible never mentioned the date of Jesus’s birth. That chosen date was one that was selected many years after the death of Jesus. Most scholars agree that Jesus was born in the Spring. Sorry but, I had to burst or bubble on your attempt to discredit Jesus.

      • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

        Please do point me at the evidence for Jesus’ birth that these “scholars” base their opinions on. Personally I’ve never even seen reliable evidence that Jesus even existed – Sorry to burst YOUR bubble.

    • bob

      Using the astrology of today to refute traditions of the 1st century or relate to Egyptian or Hindu beliefs is an erroneous conclusion because it assumes the naming of the constellations was the same in those cultures. They may not have even interpreted those arrangements of stars to be the same objects. Just look at Chinese astrology.

      I am Catholic, Jesuit schooled. I was taught Mary was chosen as being pure, or without sin. Virginity is assumed because she would not have engaged in sex without having been married. So the timing of her pregnancy vs how long she was married to Joseph comes into play. I would assume it a 50/50 proposition as to whether or not she was a virgin. But non of that matters to the faithful who believe her pregnancy was caused by God and not sex.

      • UrsaMinor

        Not bothering to check your facts is also an error. You might have taken at least a cursory look at Vedic astrology before suggesting that its symbolism is unlike that of the Western astrological tradition.

        If the Jesuits are teaching that Mary was chosen because she was without sin, then they are either sloppy in their wording, or heretics for contradicting the Catholic doctrine of original sin. This is precisely backwards. Mary cannot have been without sin unless she was specially created that way, because all humans since the Fall have inherited the original sin from birth (and as a side note, any random woman receiving this divine dispensation from original sin would have served the purpose just as well as Mary). Orthodox Catholic dogma maintains that she was created without sin because she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, not that she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus because she was without sin. Or has the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception been rescinded?

  • http://metroblog.blogspot.com Metro

    I always thought it was rather cruel of god to have the baby Jesus kick Mary’s hymen out of the way upon exit, rather than having her deflowered in the traditional way.

    • Jon

      Maybe there was a Caesar on hand to perform the first caesarean?

    • penguintamer

      I agree. It would suck to have a baby be the first thing in your vagina.

    • Pedro

      that is the reason for inventing an extrabiblical myth by some who call themselves christian philophers: they say christ did not go out the usual way, remember being God he can do anything, so he went out THROUGH (sorry I do no remember the exact word used) Mary’s womb. say what???

      • Yoav

        Alien style?

      • spring7wood

        So Jesus deflowered his Mom?

  • bpdlr

    @yaaaay: Don’t you have to set the date back to the year 8BC? (Or is it 4AD – depends which gospel you believe in I guess).

    If this is true though it does explain a lot! The whole Jesus story based on Astrology!

  • http://www.anatheist.net James

    Great post. And if that’s not enough, Catholics believe that not only was Mary a virgin when she was pregnant, she perpetually remained a virgin even after given birth! Now, that’s a neat trick.

    • Custador

      To misquote Dogma: “Believing in a virgin birth takes faith, but thinking that a couple stayed married their whole lives without ever getting busy? That’s just gullibility!”

      • Ike

        Where in the Bible does it say Mary & Joseph NEVER had any Children after Jesus? In fact the Bible DOES refer to them having at least four other sons & several unnamed sisters. As we both know that to have siblings Mary & Joseph HAD to have sex. so your point is what?

        • John

          The Bible refers to brothers and sisters of Jesus, but it does not say that these persons were the children of Mary. It is possible that they were the children of Joseph, and therefore stepbrothers and stepsisters of the Lord. The Biblical references to brothers and sisters of Jesus do not disprove the perpetual virginity of Mary.

          • Nate

            Nor does the Bible ever so much as suggest this perpetual virginity.

          • Bob Harris

            Nate, The Bible does not say either way. IT is the church that claims Her perpetual Virginity. If you are one of those Bible literalists, then there is nothing to discuss to appeal to your closed mind.

            If you do have the ability to reason then consider the womb of the women who gave birth to God as a sacred place. Also, Mary never “knew” a man in that carnal way thus was perpetually virgin.

            • mornincuppajava

              That’s so funny. You’re claiming a mute point that cannot appeal to the reason of a closed mind. There is no evidence that Mary is not the mother of Jesus’ siblings. Any religion can make up anything about the Bible they wish and hold onto it with all voraciousness, but it isn’t merely a closed mind that causes us to reject it. It would be the lack of anything to support the theory. Honestly. That’s like the people who claim to see statues of Jesus’ palms bleeding even though it’s been proven that his palms couldn’t have supported the weight; it would have had to be his wrists that were nailed (if indeed that event even happened at all.) Hysteria believes what it wants. We don’t have to join along for funsies.

  • http://www.primordial-blog.blogspot.com/ Brian Larnder

    I was going to say the same thing as VorJack, but he beat me to it. BTW, the Greek word used in the Septuagint was “parthenos” which specifically means virgin.

    Sorry to plug my own blog, but I have a post up about this topic which goes into the Isaiah prophecy in more detail. Some of the readers here may find it interesting. Long story short, Isaiah impregnated the young maiden himself in order to fulfil his own prophecy. Hey if you want a job done right…

    The Virgin Birth

  • VorJack

    “Mary a virgin when she was pregnant, she perpetually remained a virgin even after given birth! Now, that’s a neat trick.”

    To the point, according to some, that here hymen was never broken. Even during childbirth.

    There’s even an odd proto-orthodox gospel that has a midwife refusing to believe that a virgin had given birth. She reached out and touched the intact hymen, and then got her hand withered for her lack of faith.

    • Ike

      Sounds like more over hyping something. It’s done in Marketing all the time, Shamwow anyone?.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @James: Thanks! I thought about adding Mary’s mother’s claimed virginity into the mix, but thought that might complicate things too much. Obviously I doubt that on the same basis, except it’s even more absurd.

  • http://doubtingeventhomas.blogspot.com/ doubtingfoo

    Wow…nice post!

  • Raphael

    @VorJack: “To the point, according to some, that here hymen was never broken. Even during childbirth. ” hahahhahahaha Where did you find this stuff?

    Great post Daniel. Sad that even after these arguments the majority of christians will just refuse to understand then, or come with stupid stuff, like VorJak said.

    • Thomas

      Isn’t that what the catholics call a dogma ? And that is quite a useful tool, I’m sure. No explanation necessary, no questions allowed. “Because we say so!” — case closed.

      • Ike

        Typical comment form any faith, You Atheists use the “because we say so” all the time.

    • Karl

      I was raised RC, though I gave up church for Lent 25 years ago, and I remember hearing the “ever virgin” term used frequently. Of course, it never came with an explanation or even a babble verse to support it. During the 8 years I was sent to the parochial school I also learned that it was not a good idea to question anything being “taught” about religion. First of all it made their blood boil that you would even question the teacher, and second you would quickly be compared to “doubting Thomas”.

      • http://www.the2keys.com Ephrem Hagos

        It may be a SURPRISE and an INVITATION for follow-up investigative study to check that Jesus Christ himself, on the very first day of screening of disciples, questioned the “unreasonable faith” of Nathanael and promised, by far, a matchless ground for RATIONAL FAITH which was delivered in his perfect and transfigurative death on the cross.(John 1: 47-51; 8: 21-28; 19: 30-37)

        I have lived as a beneficiary of this priceless gift for more than 30 years. PTL!

      • Ike

        If God held a lecture attended by all the faithful and answered every question they & you had MANY of the Believers would call God a Fraud & deny him You Atheists would sit stunned & become believers Just not religious zealots. I can see it now. How was Jesus conceived?
        God: I used an advanced form of artificial insemination. Nothing magical, Nothing mystical just your basic medical procedure. This of course would be immediately denounced by the Pope & many catholic bishops declaring God as Satan here to deceive us. Many conservative churches would follow in condemning God. Only the Atheists would remain wanting more answers & they would be given.

  • VorJack

    @Raphael
    The proto-gospel I mentioned is the “Infancy Gospel of James,” AKA the “Protevangelium of James.” It’s a freaky work from the second half of the second century. There’s a point where Joesph is running for a midwife while Mary is in labor, and he suddenly realizes that time has stopped for everything around him. Bizarre. Anyway, here’s a link. The midwife scene in Chapts. 19-20.
    http://www.gospels.net/translations/infancyjamestranslation.html

    Obviously, orthodox Christians probably picked up on the same idea, but they didn’t use this non-canonical source. Supposedly the Council of Chalcedon in 451 C.E. established that, “Her virginity was as untouched in giving him birth as it was in conceiving him.” What bible verses they used to justify this – if any – I don’t know.

    Of course, since Mary was bodily assumed into heaven, her hymen must still be intact after 2000 years. Quite impressive.

  • Kevin

    Where the other 23 chromosomes in Jesus’ cells were from? 23 were from Mary, but what about the other 23? Where they devine chromosomes?

    • Ninjapino

      They were midiclorines. :)

      • Sunny Day

        I liked the midiclorines explanation in Star Wars. It got rid of the mumbo jumbo and grounded it in some science.

    • Ike

      No doubt destroyed. Lets look at a few facts. The Pagan Romans would NOT Preserve anything of Jesus. In fact it would be in their best interest to DESTROY all evidence. The Jews at the time were like the Roman Catholics & Southern Baptists of today.They saw Jesus as a threat & had him killed. You think they would have saved ANYTHING or had it destroyed? EVEN IF something survived what if it ended up being found by a devout Darwinian Atheist? Well now you think they would keep ANYTHING that proves Darwin a liar? Nope again evidence destroyed. Not the easy way out but the truth… Anything that disproves a belief is discredited called Blasphemy and is destroyed.

      • Nosey

        I Darwin was misguided. He traveled and observed nature and formed the opinion that we EVOLVED and were not created. Think about this however. The is evidence of creatures adapting to their environment … Evolution. However … even if all things were created by God …. they would still need to adapt to the surroundings that they were placed in. Thus they would evolve after divine creation.

    • Nolee

      Parthenogenesis :)

  • Kevin

    @Kevin

    Geeze, I made a lot of errors in that post. Of course at the end I meant “divine” not “devine”. My apologies all around.

  • Alex

    I will pray for all of you for using the term “hymen” when referring to the almighty Mary.

    In my expert opinion on all things relating to hymen(s), I suspect that God temporarily removed it during sex with Mary, and then put it back in (as Jesus was on the way out) to turn Mary back into a virgin. I firmly believe that my theory holds just as much Truth as all of your “crazy” theories attempting to discredit the Holy Book — a book that cannot be discredited due to it’s author actually being God.

    Just poking some fun at the craziness…

    • Ike

      Correction God did not sit down at his computer & write a holy book. If he did We would NOT be able to hod it & you would need a VERY VERY large room to hold the MANY MANY volumes. The bible we have today is nothing more than the Cliff Notes version.

      Of course if God did that it would be lie being handed a test with all the correct answers on it. What would we learn & why bother learning it?

  • http://www.myspace.com/spankmaster russell

    good read. well argued. too bad no christian will take it seriously… that’s just how they are. i’ve brought up all the same arguments with the only christian i can argue with: my mother. she won’t budge. at least she’s not traditional, it’s all about the after life for her. she finds comfort in believing that she will see my father, amongst many other dead friends/reliatives, after she dies.

    also, the “i saw an angel in my dream” story is the most convincing story to me.

    • Mark Adams

      Mothers are really fanatical about arguing with their sons over religious thoughts. I find that older people live in a non-argument era where you cannot even attempt to question the Bible or God. I question it on a daily basis but it has never failed to give me the correct advice and encouragement. Perhaps you are trying too hard to argue and should spend some time praying and asking God to truly reveal Himself to you. You know He’s quite powerful and will do that if you seek Him in sincerity. What most people don’t understand is that the word “virgin” is a Hebrew feminine noun, for a girl who has reached puberty but is still under the shielding protection of her family. She would be considered to be a young, marriageable (someone who is not married) girl. Throughout the Bible we see instances of this word used and each time it is used of girls who are not wives or concubines. The distinction is made that this type of woman is one that has been protected until marriage by their father as a father naturally does. As far as the virgin birth, if you don’t have faith, then don’t try and argue its position. It was a miracle of God. If you don’t believe in miracles it’s highly probable that you will not confess in Jesus Christ as the Lord of all and savior to mankind. Additionally, please don’t celebrate Christmas this year. Perhaps celebrate “Festivas” in true Seinfeld tradition!

      • kat

        now now, we all know christmas is actually a pagan holiday with a christian name slapped onto it. it’s very unlikely jesus was born in the winter, as shepherds rarely ever take their sheep out to pasture then, and the census wasn’t being conducted at that time, etc. etc. i think atheists should be proud to celebrate whatever mid-winter solstice holiday they choose, as the reason for doing so is not to lift high any particular deity, but to add light to the darkest time of the year. i highly recommend making up your own holiday, which is what the church has done anyway. personally, i celebrate buddzaakahdewalimasaturnalia.

        • Custador

          Filled. With. Win.

        • Nate Mark Fleer

          I happen to be a proud celebrator of the grand holiday, Giftmas. It is an annual event in which my Lord and Savior, Santa Claus delivers unto me various goods acquired from Best Buy. It is a day in which I celebrate the economic position most strongly opposed by Santa’s eternal nemesis, Jesus Christ; that of capitalism.

  • mike

    We have no eyewitness accounts, no doctor confirmations, no DNA samples

    I was just reading some weird stuff about catholic eucharistic miracles, where the the wine actually did transubstantiate into actual blood during communion (apparently a human heart too in one case). Supposedly these miracles happened 500 years ago but the stuff is still miraculously well-preserved.

    The potential for DNA tests on these remains fascinates me. If all of these different miracles from disparate times and places turn out to be from the same human organism, then I might have to wonder if Christianity is really on to something. But I guess I shouldn’t hold my breath on those DNA tests ;)

  • Chayanov

    Great post discussing Mary’s status as a virgin. Have you considered doing a cross-comparative post about the details of Jesus’ birth? When you look at the Mithraists and Zoroastrians you start to wonder if Christianity has any unique elements at all or if they borrowed everything from other religions starting on day one.

    • Bob Harris

      Mithra was borne of a Rock – or so the myth goes. Anyone who has done serious research about Mithraism knows the “borrowed elements” came 2 centuries after Christ. Let’s be clear who borrowed from whom.

  • whreuat

    Hail Mary..

  • http://jericosystems.com Eric Hamby

    great post. glad to see not everyone is stubborn

  • Mithra

    For more convincing details about this subject (and much much more) see ZeitgeistMovie.com

    • Kan82

      Then read this quarter’s Skeptic , which elaborates on and debunks many xtian myths, as well as pointing out many errors in ZeitgeistMovie. Skeptic is always outstanding and addresses so many issues and claims – can’t recommend a subscription enough.

    • Bea

      I totally agree! Zeitgeist is one of the best movies out there that argue the actual existence of “Jesus” and how catholicism was a religion composed of Pagan rituals in order to convert the masses back in the day! lol Where do you think all the witch burning originated from???
      I totally agree with mary not being a virgin. Even if Mary was a virgin and had an immaculate conception, How can she marry a man and never have any kind of relations with him afterward??? It makes absolutely no sense. It’s unheard of! What? Joseph didn’t have needs?? It’s just so illogical!

    • Bob Harris

      I got excited too the first time I saw Zeitgeist. The thing is, it is easily refutable and has been refuted by non-christians. The author just makes stuff up with no source whatsoever and gullible people believe it. Acceptance without investigation makes a fool.

      • bboyseph

        true but the small amount that could be true is quite interesting nonetheless. I was annoyed when I started to look into it and found out it was mostly bollocks

        • Custador

          If Zeitgeist had stuck to the theme of America’s government it could have been worth a damn. A small fraction of the religious discussion in it is worthwhile, but mostly not.

  • scuzzbucket

    Good post.

    My Damascus Road :) was first year varsity way back in 1988. Archaeology 101. I just could not see god anywhere. I searched the cosmos as well (popular science reads on cosmology).

    I decided there was no way round it. We made god.

    From that day on, sometime in the middle of 1988, the world started making sense. No more contradictions and forced morality.

    The irony is that Protestantism has allowed the development of rationalist western society, which has in turn questioned the very foundations of Christianity.

  • Dennis Wilson

    You are supporting some of your statements with The Bible, a book that you say that you do not believe.

    • zachw

      only insomuch as to use it to observe how it contradicts itself. As a comparison, think on this: if a man came to your door with a pamphlet and a bottle of “miracle cream” , which you’ve heard of all your life (let say, to make a good comparison, that millions of people around the world are using it) wouldn’t you feel a little obligated to say something if you saw the first ingredient was lead? That’s how most atheists i know feel about the bible (although i cant speak for all of us, as we are not an organized group). \ The thing is, we cant disprove the existence of god. We can, however, quite handily deny the existence of most or all human religions by examining the validity of their various claims. Unfortunately, most religions have been around long before any standard like science, so long that people feel they have been proven if only by there mere duration, as well as the fact that they are basically taught/programmed from birth to accept it or they will “go to hell”. Why deny something if there is a chance of you getting to heaven if you believe, or going to hell if you question? You KNOW your religion is correct because the bible and your family/parish tell you so. But then….why are there so religions? Even the branches in Christianity number in well over one hundred, yet each and every one, no matter how far after your original books were written, claim to be the sole authority on the divine.obviously, the largest number that can be right is only one religion. As atheists (or agnostics/the undecided), therefore, we look at your religions, and pick through the facts. What conflicts in each faiths book? what good have they shown they can accomplish in the real world? what evidence do they show? We do this until finally, at the end of a bitter,disappointing journey, we no longer have any believe that any “heaven” waits for us at the end of our search. But Science has always been there, with its reason, logic, and OBSERVABLE EVIDENCE. I can take a look around, even in my room, and find dozens of things science has allowed. my computer, monitor, this house, the air conditioning, my foam mattress, , the near completely clear windows, and outside, my car. All of these benefit, or rely greatly upon science in their creation. I, that is we, see what we get out of science. all I see with christianity is a funny old man telling me to hate queers, keep “evil condoms away from aids infected africans, and picking and choosing what he wants to believe out of dusty, ancient books made when people believed the earth was flat and planets were gems angels pushed around. All I see are well intentioned people, in their desperate search for some meaning in life, and some way to escape death….holding us back.

      • sleeptown

        very well said zachw…
        isn’t what you’re saying the whole damn reason this and blogs like it exist in just this post you put. the stupidity of putting faith is such nonsense as religion brings is overwhelming to me. it hurts my brain at the ignorance of the total trust in make belief that christians ect… “just have faith” in. i think that’s the reason we always come across as hard headed and angry at the religious. They’re so hard headed they refuse to give even a thought to reason/logic out of fear they feel they are questioning “god” him/herself and therefore removing the faith it takes to keep themselves out of hell. all i can do is lmfao and then scratch my head in amazement at the childishness.

  • http://willentrekin.com Will Entrekin

    There’s an even more compelling reason, actually, than the five you list, and it’s really simple. Because if Jesus is supposed to be God made human, a virgin birth would negate that possibility. Jesus could not have been fully human if he were the progeny of a “virgin” conception. There’s a great discussion of the whole idea in Donald Spoto’s The Hidden Jesus (it’s truly one of the most revelatory books I’ve ever read).

    Also, anyone who further believes Mary was always a virgin (as James discussed) is patently wrong; Jesus had at least one brother, James.

    • Martin Fallon

      Spot on, though when I mentioned that to a bunch of charismatics there was deathly silence, followed by a half-hearted (half-baked rather) ‘explanation’ that the text in question really meant ‘cousin’. Which I believed at the time, until I read that the original Greek version of the same text uses the word ‘adelphos’, which _specifically_ means ‘brother’ (see: ‘When Women were Priests’ by Karen Jo Torjesen for more on the Church’s obsession with female sexuality).
      And wasn’t Thomas Didymus also Jesus’ brother?

      • Thomas

        Since lineages were counted through males in those days, and men often had multiple wives, is it possible that Jesus’ brothers were Joseph’s sons from other wives ? Just throwing that out there since I have very little knowledge on the subject. Someone here might know.

    • Steve

      Imagine being Jesus’s brother… what a shitty life.

  • http://largerneedle.wordpress.com/ Brandon

    Just a few quick comments.

    With your beginning story about Ayesha, you’ve superimposed your own thoughts into the subject. So it’s skewed from the beginning. We all have presuppositions when viewing any subject, and I think this story reveals your presuppositions more than it reveals falsehood.

    1) This is sort of an argument by anachronism, and not a very good one. I don’t think you can take concepts, ideas, and advances in technology from our era and then debunk the past merely because they did not have said information. You would have to discount many past events with this line of thought.

    2) Sparse mention in Scripture does not necessarily entail a lack of importance. Secondly, you used John in your argument, but John is usually dated the latest of the Gospels. Thirdly, scholars are all over the map on the dating of these books, as well as which Gospel relied upon whom. So it’s a little hard to make hard-and-fast arguments based upon speculation. Even with the information you gave, you still had to insert your own hunch about what happened, yet you called it “likely”. So really what you’ve done is moved from something you claim is unknown, to an idea you’ve made up.

    3) I don’t know the intricacies of the other religions you named. But there is a difference in Jesus’ being born of God: He was born not of “a” god, but of “The” God. So it’s a monotheistic outlook as opposed to polytheistic. Also, why would Joseph stick with her? If she slept with another guy, or even if he was the father, he would have tried to discredit her. After all, his reputation would be ruined as well.

    4) Again the Joseph thing. He wouldn’t have stuck with her. Secondly, commonality does not have direct correlation to something being true. Just because something is not common or normal does not mean it is untrue. I think more presuppositions are revealed here. There are criteria you are applying based upon what you already believe. So, of course, based on your criteria it would be more unlikely.

    5) I think this was the weakest argument. It just doesn’t follow. The fact that we (and that “we” is very presumptuous) wouldn’t believe something has nothing to do with whether or not it is true in actuality. There are many things that I may not believe to be true, and yet they could be. Furthermore, the evidence of the life of Christ and the death and resurrection of Christ would actually make it more likely and reasonable that Mary was telling the truth. Her Son went on to do miracles (which you may not believe because of anti-supernatural presuppositions) and rise from the dead (there are really good arguments for that as well).

    Anyway, these arguments are age-old, so I do not flatter myself to think that my meager attempts at thinking through them are anything new either. Also, I’m not commenting just to try and be right. I think dialogue on these subjects are helpful for both sides to think through.

    • http://notsodailyfrench.com Briega

      Brandon, Joseph stayed with her because he was the so called god who had made her pregnant. It would not have been the first (or the last) case of young people finding a way to get married against the will of their families.

      • Special

        Joseph was never the ”so called god” in the bible. Joseph stayed with her because ” read matthew 1:18-21. It has te be based on some research that joseph was a so called”god”

  • davidkentie

    “Some scholars say “virgin” was a mistranslation in the Septuagint (the Greek translation the gospel writers used), and should have been translated “young woman.” That means the story might have been based on a mistranslation!”

    -Some might argue this, however, in recent times Archaeologists have uncovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which contain manuscripts of Isaiah dating from 1 Century BC. Now, the Bible as we see it today has Isaiah as preserved by the monks of Ireland and other Universities from Medieval Europe around the 10th Century AD. Those monks have in tradition transcribed from the Vatican library manuscripts, from this Septuagint you speak with dates from the Hellenistic Era. However when closely compared, the manuscripts from our Modern Biblical text of Isaiah and the sections of Isaiah found with the Dead Sea Scrolls there is very little to no loss of literary cohesion. The terminology as you say which means young woman, is in fact the Greek assumption of the term, virgin.

    As well, there is uncertainty to me as to whether you are trying discredit the divinity of Christ or a Virgin Birth. Naturally if you’re saying that there is no Virgin Birth then you debunk Christianity’s claims. That’s all fair, however even if you’re assumptions about Isaiah truly meaning “young woman” you still have approximately 98 other propechies that were fulfilled in Isaiah by the life of Jesus Christ. Historically, we know there was a Jesus. Historically there were other accusations of “Virgin Births”, but I suppose it takes just as much belief in a Virgin Birth as to believe we evolved from a puddle of goo.

    As for the three kings representing Orion’s Belt, this might be an interesting point, however biblical texts do not point there being only three magi, which were not kings, but philosophers from the East. Egypt is southwest. Surely there were three gifts given, but no mention of the number of magi…as well star charting to that date is somewhat pointless as the wisemen did no appear before Christ until sometime after (approximately 2 year) the events of Christ’s Birth.

    “Load any decent star mapping program. (I recommend stellarium)
    -Set the location to egypt
    -Set the date to christmas eve at 19:00 hours
    -Look east
    -You will see the stars of orions belt (three kings) and sirius (the star in the east)
    -Make an imaginary line from the three kings through the star in the east to the horizon – this is where the sun will rise (ra/mithrus/jesus will be born)
    -Make sure the constellation names and diagrams are visible
    -speed time up so that it’s about 01:00 hours and pause.”

    -You seem to really have a lot of historical events confused. Christmas eve is actually not the eve before Christ’s birth. December 24th and 25th were dates settled much later in 3rd Century to replace the Pagan festival of Saturnalia in Rome. This were set to commemorate the Birth of Christ, as the actually date (which was probably in spring, judging by the Census mentioned in Luke), was not known.

    -The worship of Ra had all but died out well before the birth of Christ. In fact as most of the Gospel writers were heavily influenced by the Hellenistic Era, it would seem more appropriate for them to borrow Mythology from Greece would it not? As Jews have traditionally looked at Egypt as a place of bondage and slavery, it would be highly unlikely that they should wish to emulate their cult and pagan practices.

    -This article is brilliantly executed, however as Mr. Wilson has argued, you seem to contradict yourself by using the Bible as means to argue, yet you say you do not believe in
    it?

    “good read. well argued. too bad no christian will take it seriously… that’s just how they are. i’ve brought up all the same arguments with the only christian i can argue with: my mother. she won’t budge. at least she’s not traditional, it’s all about the after life for her. she finds comfort in believing that she will see my father, amongst many other dead friends/reliatives, after she dies.

    also, the “i saw an angel in my dream” story is the most convincing story to me. ”

    -You’re probably right in assuming the first part. The primary issue is that the article hasn’t convinced me of anything. There is really no counterargument to Christ’s divinity or his Humanity. It neither proves nor disproves anything. Is it not interesting that no other faith in the world has received more skepticism because of its beliefs. What is it for me to believe that some guy died for my salvation? If it was fluff, I assure you I of all people would not believe in it. I think the difference between blindness and sight is exactly that. Its regretful that your father has died, but I’m not sure its the only reason your mother still believes. What good would it be for her to stay firm, if all she wanted to believe was that there was a heaven. Even some unbelievers in Christ believe there is a heaven.

    -These are very good arguments…however as a Student of Philosophy, both Modern and Medieval, Classical History, and a student of the languages of Antiquity, I could tell you that even the most skeptical professors I’ve come across eventually find it this article lacking of any concrete evidence against. LXX (Septuagint) is in deed a greek source during the Helenistic period, but it was not the original source, much as the Vulgate used by the Latin west was the original for the New Testament Greek Manuscripts written by the Apostles.

    -As for Paul not mentioning a virgin birth…you have misunderstood the historical and spiritual context of the letters. Paul was not writing to prove what people had already accepted, but to encourage, and reiterate the guidelines for Christian Living in a culture that was preaching counter to Christ. It’s a little like saying, oh, Lincoln didn’t mention that constitutional law about not stealing, so I guess its a myth. Or in philosophy Kant might call it a straw man.

    -As this article may not dissuade Christianity, I doubt that my counterarguments will have moved you in any particular way. My question is…what is at the root of this argument? If Christianity is wrong, then you have nothing to gain by making a statement about it. It would seem to make more sense for me to put my faith in a loving God then to nothing at all. At least then if it is all for nothing, you can say that you have lived a good life. Perhaps Christians have condemned you or something insane like that, and for that I apologize. What you know in your heart is the endless void that you can’t feel because the things of this world seem so good. Yet because of their temporary nature, fulfillment escapes. Some may not feel this because their hearts are hard, but that doesn’t mean that is a permanent problem. Sex and drunkenness are all so alluring, believe me I know…but continually I find such things do little to help me in life. Anyways enough preaching, but hopefully if nothing, this adds a little counterbalance to a seemingly “preaching to the choir” post.

    • Siberia

      Some might argue this, however, in recent times Archaeologists have uncovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which contain manuscripts of Isaiah dating from 1 Century BC. Now, the Bible as we see it today has Isaiah as preserved by the monks of Ireland and other Universities from Medieval Europe around the 10th Century AD. Those monks have in tradition transcribed from the Vatican library manuscripts, from this Septuagint you speak with dates from the Hellenistic Era. However when closely compared, the manuscripts from our Modern Biblical text of Isaiah and the sections of Isaiah found with the Dead Sea Scrolls there is very little to no loss of literary cohesion. The terminology as you say which means young woman, is in fact the Greek assumption of the term, virgin.
      Citation, please.
      As well, there is uncertainty to me as to whether you are trying discredit the divinity of Christ or a Virgin Birth. Naturally if you’re saying that there is no Virgin Birth then you debunk Christianity’s claims. That’s all fair, however even if you’re assumptions about Isaiah truly meaning “young woman” you still have approximately 98 other propechies that were fulfilled in Isaiah by the life of Jesus Christ. Historically, we know there was a Jesus. Historically there were other accusations of “Virgin Births”, but I suppose it takes just as much belief in a Virgin Birth as to believe we evolved from a puddle of goo.
      I’d like to know how evolving from a “puddle of goo” (abiogenesis doesn’t work that way, by the way) is less likely than being made out of dust from the magic pixie in the sky, but OK. Anyway:
      - prophecies: literary consistency.
      - historical Jesus: I want sources. Even if Jesus did exist, it’s interesting the rather remarkable events of his life aren’t mentioned anywhere by impartial sources.
      - virgin birth: actually does happen. Is called parthogenesis. Usually involves a female spontaneously giving birth… to female offspring. Happens a lot in some lizard species. Never documented in humans… unless you count mythological references.

    • Jon

      “Sex and drunkenness are all so alluring, believe me I know…but continually I find such things do little to help me in life.”

      The only alternative to Christianity is sex and drunkenness???

    • Laurel

      Davidkentie wrote: “Historically, we know there was a Jesus.”

      We DO? I dosagree completely. In fact, there is NO historical evidence to support anyone named Jesus or Yeshua or any other label of the like 2000 years ago who claimed to be a Messiah. Romans were meticulous with their records as were Jews. They’d have loved to have found some Jew claiming such and boy, they’d have shouted about it from the roof tops. We’d see mention of it historically in Roman and Jewish history. We don’t.

      To date there is no such evidence at all supporting any such thing.

      Perhaps you can disprove what non-biased honest historians have found to date? I’d love to see it. The biblical character “Jesus” is no more than a rehashed Pagan divine birth, death, resurrection story. Pick whichever one. There are many. Same story, different group. Which is exactly why Christians slaughtered so many Pagans. They knew the truth.

      • Joan

        The Jewish historian Josephus wrote about Jesus.

        • amy

          Yes, Jospehus did mention Jesus and there is documentation to prove his existence, but only the bible talks of a virgin birth, miracles and a resurrection. Considering the evidence is it not possible that approximately 2000 years ago there lived a Jewish man named Jesus. This man may have had a claim on the Jewish throne and a spiritual following. The Romans wanted to destroy any threat to their supremacy and had this man crucified. (Crucifixion was reserved for the enemies of Rome, therefore it had to be for crimes against Rome that Jesus was killed, if the Jews wanted him dead, they just would have stoned him.) That’s a pretty interesting life, but not miraculous. Evidence of Jesus’ existence is not evidence of his being God on Earth. The miracles, virgin birth and even resurrection had all been done before by other religions. Chrisitianity needed to compete so these stories were probably formed after his death to gain popularity.
          As for Ra worship being extinct, maybe so, but Christianity copied alot from Rome and Greece, both of whom are well known for borrowing mythology from eachother and Egypt. Ra may have been dead, but his story wasn’t and he wasn’t the only one to have supposedly had a virgin birth.

  • davidkentie

    And I concur with Brandon in all he has said. Discussion is key.

  • http://www.primordial-blog.blogspot.com/ Brian Larnder

    “even if you’re assumptions about Isaiah truly meaning “young woman” you still have approximately 98 other propechies that were fulfilled in Isaiah by the life of Jesus Christ”.

    A bit of an exaggeration there David. While many fundamentalists claim hundreds of Old Testament prophecies pointing to Christ, most are so vague as to be worthless. If you ask for any examples you only end up with a handful and most of those wither away if read in context. The wikipedia article on the topic (Claimed Messianic Prophecies) came up with a list of 17 commonly cited examples and only three of those were from Isaiah.

    And this prophecy is the perfect example of how actually reading what the bible says undermines the very doctrines that are supposed to be based on the bible. Isaiah wants to give King Ahaz a sign that his enemies would be destroyed so he tells them that the young maiden standing nearby would conceive and bring forth a child and that before the child was old enough to know right from wrong, the bad guys would be taken care of. Afterwards, Isaiah personally goes into the young prophetess and does the deed himself. He impregnates her in the usual way and she bears him a son. End of prophecy.

    Hmmm… so what exactly does this bit of scripture have to do with Jesus?

    • Nathan D. D.

      “While many fundamentalists claim hundreds of Old Testament prophecies pointing to Christ, most are so vague as to be worthless. If you ask for any examples you only end up with a handful and most of those wither away if read in context. The wikipedia article on the topic (Claimed Messianic Prophecies) came up with a list of 17 commonly cited examples and only three of those were from Isaiah.”

      Though I am not going to get into a detailed argument right here, it’s never wise to use Wikipedia as a source for legitimate research. While Wikipedia is great for finding information related to pop-culture, it is hardly a strong resource for history, etc.

      In regards to the prophecies: (1) Isaiah may have been the one prophet to speak regarding the virgin birth (Genesis 3:15 gives really the first prophecy concerning the virgin birth, but is more vague), but there are prophecies all throughout the OT, i.e. the actual books written by prophets – Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi–most of which contained prophecies concerning Messiah. While it is true that some are kind of vague, that does not mean they are completely worthless. Take, for example, one portion of the prophecy of David in Psalm 22:
      “For dogs encompass me;
      a company of evildoers encircles me;
      they have pierced my hands and feet—
      I can count all my bones—
      they stare and gloat over me;
      they divide my garments among them,
      and for my clothing they cast lots.” (Ps 22:16-18, English Standard Version)

      …which is fulfilled in all of the Gospels:
      “And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots” (Matthew 27:35, ESV).
      “And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take” (Mark 15:24, ESV).
      “And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left” (Luke 23:33, ESV).
      “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.’ This was to fulfill the Scripture which says,
      ‘They divided my garments among them,
      and for my clothing they cast lots’ ” (John 19:23-24, ESV).

      (2) Isaiah spoke the prophecy and believed that he was meant to fulfill it. Thus, he attempted to. It’s just like in Genesis 3 when God told Adam and Eve about the one who would come to crush Satan: “I will put enmity between you and the woman,
      and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head,
      and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15, ESV). Adam and Eve assumed that God was referring to their firstborn son, so they named him Cain (which means “crusher”).
      Though certainly in the understanding of men and women (even prophets), they believe that the prophecy is for an immediate result (and may have been partially for the present and partially for the future), in many Scriptural instances, what they say or hear is really meant for sometime in the future. Just because human men and women obviously misinterpreted what was being prophesied does not mean that Christ didn’t fulfill those prophecies as they were meant to be fulfilled. Think of all the times that we as men were told by women (wives, girlfriends, etc.) something that we misconstrued and ended up doing something really stupid because we misunderstood!

      While I would like to get into some of the “supposed” virgin births of mythological deities, I do not currently have the resources handy and do not wish to resort to those which are unreliable. As such is the case, I will respond to that later.

      • wanor

        The fact that the majority of the sources from the NT would have been well-versed in OT scripture adds a minor degree of understanding as to why there is a sense of coherence between both texts. Undermining jewish scripture when the prophet whose message you wish to spread is known as “king of the jews” would be a bit pointless no?

  • http://www.wazzasworthlesswitterings.blogspot.com wazza

    brandon, your argument about it being an anachronism is fallacious. The only thing different here is the substitution of one religion that values virginity for another, and the pregnancy test, which is easily replaced by, say, the onset of morning sickness.

    David…

    first off, we know that life can be formed by putting together the right chemicals, because it’s made out of chemicals. But impregnating a woman in the same way is a very different proposition. The chemicals would have to come together in exactly the right proportions, the right order, and within a space of maybe ten minutes. A miracle indeed.

    Secondly, the rest of your little piece doesn’t quite seem to be aimed at refuting the arguments here. Ra’s worship dying out has no bearing on the similarities with the myths of Mithras etc. Paul mentioned other miracles to make the point about Jesus’ divinity, why not the big one at the start?

    Finally, your last few sentences seem to be written on the assumption that all atheists have renounced religion (an assumption being that all people start out intentionally religious) only in order to be able to drink and have sex. This is not the case. We may enjoy those things, but so do an awful lot of religious people. It’s more that WE DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD. Which would make being religious a little difficult.

    Anyway, I know you won’t actually understand this, because my viewpoint is atheistic and therefore invalid, but… actually, why am I bothering with this? I could be out drinking and having sex.

    • Nathan D. D.

      The whole point he was making by using the “drinking and having sex” thing was simply pointing out common things that are done in the midst of supposed “freedom” (which is really not freedom at all, as they are essentially locked in doing things that feel good but never truly satisfy). Of course, drinking and having sex in and of themselves are not wrong, but drinking to the point of drunkenness and having sex before/outside of marriage are. He could have put in “doing drugs and looking at porn” or any number of other things.

  • yaaaay

    @bpdlr
    No, I wrote that post with stellarium in the BG and it works for this year 2008, and presumably many years into the future!

    @davidkentie
    Around dec 24 is the winter solstice, I said christmas eve to get you into the frame of mind of the birth of jesus. All the astrological origions happen on the three or four nights around that date. Yes, the worship of Ra had stopped but there is a whole sequence of gods with the same characteristics where worships succeeding in the worship of jesus. Ra, Mithras and Jesus where the ones I could remeber off the top of my head.

  • VorJack

    @Brandon:
    “I don’t think you can take concepts, ideas, and advances in technology from our era and then debunk the past merely because they did not have said information.”

    This argument baffles me. Let me give an example: Let’s say we see a first century account of a man who drops to the ground and goes through spasms. A modern physician reads the account and concludes that it is a clear case of an epileptic seizure. The ancients had concluded it was demonic possession.

    Are you suggesting that the physicians diagnoses is an anachronism? Moreover, are you suggesting that the physician is wrong, and that it is a case of demonic possession, because the ancients didn’t understand epilepsy? That, to me, seems to be absurd on it’s face.

    It would be an anachronism if we moderns chastised the ancients for not recognizing epilepsy when they saw it. They clearly lacked the knowledge to properly diagnose the fit and fell back on the best understanding they had. But to suggest that we must assume that they were correct is bizarre.

    “Sparse mention in Scripture does not necessarily entail a lack of importance.”

    Possibly true, but unfortunately scripture is all we have to go by. There are no extra-biblical sources that give us any information about the life (or birth) of Jesus. That means we have to – carefully – comb through the bible and non-canonical gospels for clues and use some standard rules for interpreting evidence.

    One of the standard rules is “multiple attestation.” A report is more likely to be accurate if we see multiple accounts of it from independent sources. That means that if we see multiple versions of the same story in different independent gospels or letters, then we can at least say the the story is more likely to be accurate.

    The virgin birth occurs in Matthew and Luke, who were likely to be drawing it from the same source – Q . Other than that, nothing in Mark, Thomas or the other potentially early sources. We have to render a provisional conclusion, based on our limited evidence, that the story is not likely to be true. More that that we cannot say, and “Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must be silent.”

    “Again the Joseph thing. He wouldn’t have stuck with her.”

    That seems a rather strong statement about someone we only know of through a few sentences in Luke and Matthew. I could point out that the stories of Joseph’s reactions come from the same sources as the virgin birth, and thus are simply part of the same story structure, but I’ll take another tack instead.

    I’d like to point out that we do not know much about the common Judean of the period and how they lived, believed or reacted to moral dilemmas. We know something about the Essenes, Sadducees, Pharisees and so forth – the elites, basically – but not the common man in the street.

    Frankly, the Judeans had a couple of generations to get used to Roman occupation. Given the recorded brutality of the Legions, I suspect that the ancient Jews had learned to deal with certain “involuntary pregnancies.” It may have simply been that Joesph was a decent human being, who would not see Mary punished for something that wasn’t her fault. Rev. Spong once drew an entire drama of compassion from this idea. After all, what could it have been that gave Jesus the idea of the “loving father” God? What model could he have used? Who else but in a father who *could* have thrown his mother into the street, but instead raised the illegitimate child as his own. It’s a very powerful idea.

    • Nathan D. D.

      “There are no extra-biblical sources that give us any information about the life (or birth) of Jesus.”

      Actually, there was a major source written by Josephus, a Jewish (not Christian) historian writing for the Romans, who did indeed write about Jesus (Antiquities 18:63-4).
      “At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following among many Jews and among many of Gentile origin. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians (named after him) had not died out.”

      “The virgin birth occurs in Matthew and Luke, who were likely to be drawing it from the same source – Q .”

      “Q” is a resource which supposedly exists but has never been found. That argument, which is unfortunately used by all too many people, (even those calling themselves “scholars”) is quite weak.

      “I’d like to point out that we do not know much about the common Judean of the period and how they lived, believed or reacted to moral dilemmas. We know something about the Essenes, Sadducees, Pharisees and so forth – the elites, basically – but not the common man in the street.”

      Actually, we know a great deal about 1st century Jews. In fact, we even know a great deal about those who lived in Abraham’s home city of Ur as well. There is a VAST amount of information regarding the customs, beliefs, politics, etc. of cultures thousands of years back. Regarding whether or not Joseph would have stayed with Mary is a very clear “no.” One particular source I have on hand explains this:
      “Marriages were arranged for individuals by parents, and contracts were negotiated. After this was accomplished, the individuals were considered married and were called husband and wife. They did not, however, begin to live together. Instead, the woman continued to live with her parents and the man with his for one year. The waiting period was to demonstrate the faithfulness of the pledge of purity given concerning the bride. If she was found to be with child in this period, she obviously was not pure, but had been involved in an unfaithful sexual relationship. Therefore the marriage could be annulled. If, however, the one-year waiting period demonstrated the purity of the bride, the husband would then go to the house of the bride’s parents and in a grand processional march lead his bride back to his home. There they would begin to live together as husband and wife and consummate their marriage physically” (Dallas Theological Seminary, The Bible Knowledge Commentary 2:20).
      If Mary had been unfaithful, it would not only have disgraced her and Joseph, but would have disgraced her entire family. Unlike in our day and age, in those days family reputation was of such high importance (for social, economic, religious reasons) that Mary would have been not only divorced, but stoned.

      We all need to make sure that we do not read our own understandings of society today onto those of nearly 2000 years ago on a different continent, with a different culture, and different political environment. Such fallacious thinking only distorts real understanding of history.

  • VorJack

    @davidkentie – “My question is…what is at the root of this argument? If Christianity is wrong, then you have nothing to gain by making a statement about it.”

    I don’t want to fill up the comment thread, but I think this needs a reaction.

    As to what is the root … well, different people will have different answers, of course. In my case I must shamefully admit that it starts with the now-famous “Someone is Wrong on the Internet” effect. I work in the field of history, and it galls me to see people accepting dogma instead of evidence for events in the past. I cannot let it go without comment, any more that I could let brandon’s apparent misuse of the important concept of anachronism pass by.

    Part of it is that I’m an obnoxious pedant. But you knew that.

    But another part of it is that I do treasure the scriptures. They are one of the most remarkable collections of ancient documents we have. Oh, the “Epic of Gilgamesh” is more ancient, and the “Illiad” is more stirring, but the scriptures are broader and much more complex. They offer insight into the minds of the ancients through time and space.

    Moreover, the scriptures have been the subject of more intense thought and investigation than any other work. They invoke all sorts of important historical questions about the differences between orality and literacy, the construction of social memory, and so forth.

    And then I run into fundamentalists who say, “If there’s one fact wrong in the bible, then it’s all worthless.”Or the comment for Dennis Wilson above, that assumes that if you don’t treat the bible as holy, then it’s worthless as a historical document. Gaaaaah. Fractally wrong. This is an insult, not only to the scriptures and their various authors, but to my profession as an archivist and to the field of history in general. It must be fought.

    • Red Dave

      Bravo Vorjack. Too few people stand up for history.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @Will: Thanks for contributing. Unfortunately I don’t find that reason compelling at all, because Christian theology has long, boring reasons on how that is possible. In fact they argue that the only way Jesus could be 100% God and 100% man is through a virgin conception. So I don’t see that argument getting very far with most Christians. It would just become a theology debate.

    @Dennis and @davidkentie: I do believe in the Bible as an ancient, changed document. I just don’t believe it is the Word of God. I can use it to argue against it because Christians do believe it to be the Word of God. Lots of biblical scholars, like Bart Ehrman, don’t “believe in the Bible,” yet they are some of the world’s top scholars.

    @VorJack: Thanks for consistently making substantial, interesting, civil, and helpful comments!

  • davidkentie

    Forgive my poor sentence structure, it was late at night. I would argue that Bart and Ehrman are not world’s top scholars. The ocassional evangelical would even call Bart heretical. In fact that very statement “believe in the bible”, is vague. I would argue and say that Bart and Ehrman have different interpretations. You would make it sound as they don’t believe in the truth of the bible. And certainly I wouldn’t expect you to believe that it is the word of God, I don’t think anyone in the counterargument was saying or expecting that a non-Christian would.

    -”I do believe in the Bible as an ancient, changed document”

    As I’ve already stated, the uncovering of the Dead Sea Scrolls in which manuscripts of non-Septuagint segments of Isaiah transliterate nearly word for word for what we have now. Also, the oral traditions of the Jewish community are unlike many others in the world. By comparison, scripts of Islam which re far younger then Christianity have been compared and understood as having evolved. Christianity’s scriptures have no “evolved”.

    -”hanks for contributing. Unfortunately I don’t find that reason compelling at all, because Christian theology has long, boring reasons on how that is possible. In fact they argue that the only way Jesus could be 100% God and 100% man is through a virgin conception.”

    Unfortunately, you’re delving into the world metaphysics. You’re concepts and precepts of what makes a person human and divine is based on a limited understanding of the physical world. As well, I’ve noticed you use a lot of terms like “lots of”, or assumption, “long, boring reasons” yet you fail to produce the actual arguments of Christian theology. You applaud those that offer you support, well dismalise or dismiss those who offer evidence it rebuttle. As a human, I can understand why you do this and of course the nature of debate, however for someone in search of truth it makes little sense.

    A virgin birth is not the only requirement for someone to be both fully human and divine. With new technologies would could easily make a virgin pregnant…but you’re missing the point. The human / divine question comes to play when you realize that the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and impregnated her, a woman who had not sex with any man. That you have not said is impossible or disproved by any argument. You remark at how ludicrous it is, yet you fail to offer any counterargument aside from saying “you’re stupid for thinking that”. To which I have replied by saying it takes less faith to believe what I believe then evolution. To which someone replied, “well we can mix chemicals and make life”. Certainly this is true, but someone is still doing the mixing are they not, human hands in the labratory mix chemicals together to make life. What I’m arguing is, that do to the complex nature of humanity, it is impossible to assume that something evolved from nothing, unless there was a being to which could have the power to do so. As well, considering we are finite, we have a beginning and a physical end, how then would we have the knowledge or at least the idea of an infinite being? A little off topic I know, but what you are doing is trying to assume a position that virginity is what makes someone both human / divine, but when in reality its the insemination of the Holy Spirit which you still fail to produce an counter argument against.

    -”And then I run into fundamentalists who say”

    You’re understand of that term is flawed. Fundamentalists would never have a conversation with you. Fundamentalists would be so intoxicated by the bible that would forget that its the word of God not something to be worshiped. I’m not sure your perceptions are totally valid. On the contrary, it is through history that one realizes the authenticity of the Bible being a holy and sacred and living work. The Gospel of Luke for instance, is very much the written work of someone who is obsessed with history and making sure that he has tied everything up. In fact Josephus, who many take seriously in antiquity has very similar writing styles to Luke and most likely, as the scholars tell me, adopted Luke’s writing style. In the Gospel of Luke, he tirelessly gathers the information from eyewitness accounts, written records and political events. In fact he goes out of his way to establish the geo-social-political climate before major events in the gospel. We do know for a fact that Pilate was governor at the time of the crucifixion, we do know there was a census taken around 4BC, and we understand that at this time second-temple Judaism was running high with certain precepts and adherence to law. As the gospel of Luke unfolds you begin to understand that Christ is culmination of the Israel story. Not only does he fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah but in fact the entire Israeli story from exodus to exile.

    I am not in dispute about the whole Isaiah-Ahaz argument, except that while God was speaking to Ahaz through Isaiah he was also foretelling the fulfillment of Israel would come.

  • VorJack

    @davidkentie -
    There’s a lot here to repond to, but I’ll confne myself to the first few problems I see.

    “I would argue that Bart and Ehrman are not world’s top scholars.”

    First off, just to clear up any confusion, it’s just “Bart Ehrman,” one person. He’s a distinguished professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel Hill [Go Tarheels!]. He’s not the best, perhaps, but he ain’t bad.

    Further, his qualification are not important. His arguments are. He rightly points out that we have thousands of fragments of the various new testament gospels, all of which contain different variations. His work, “Misquoting Jesus,” is a good popular work on textual criticisms.

    “The ocassional evangelical would even call Bart heretical.”

    Actually, he’s an atheist. It’s a result of his studies, which undermined his belief in an inerrant text, which is one of the core “fundamentals” of his fundamentalist upbringing. And an atheist cannot be heretical, since he (we) have rejecting orthodoxy and dogma altogether.

    Regardless, what does ‘heretical’ mean in this case? I’d like to point out that evangelicals, who are by definition protestant, are heretical by the understanding of the Roman Catholic Church.

    “As I’ve already stated, the uncovering of the Dead Sea Scrolls in which manuscripts of non-Septuagint segments of Isaiah transliterate nearly word for word for what we have now.”

    The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint were both produced in the second century. It is not surprising that there is agreement. When we speak of a “changed document,” we are generally referring to the exile and post-exile period when it appears that the scrolls and stories were sewn together to produce the Pentateuch. That’s when the various sources, like the J, E, D & P sources were woven together, for example. This means that the changes happened well before the Essenes broke away to form Qumran and collect the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Always assuming that the consensus view of the scrolls is correct.)

    The provenance of the New Testament is even more complicated, since it seems that none of our gospels were produced within a generation of Jesus’ life. No one can guess how many hands touched and altered those stories.

    • Nathan D. D.

      “He rightly points out that we have thousands of fragments of the various new testament gospels, all of which contain different variations.”

      If one were to genuinely study the variations between texts, it would be easy to see that the variations do not really affect what is being said or change the message at all. As a student of the Koine Greek myself (which the NT was written in), I have seen many of these variants and most of them are something as simple as whether or not the definite article is present, what type of ending a word has (i.e. is second person/plural/present/active/indicative versus second person/singular/present/active/indicative), or a difference in word order (which makes no difference at all because in Greek, word order does not matter, just the endings).

      “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint were both produced in the second century. It is not surprising that there is agreement. When we speak of a “changed document,” we are generally referring to the exile and post-exile period when it appears that the scrolls and stories were sewn together to produce the Pentateuch. That’s when the various sources, like the J, E, D & P sources were woven together, for example.”

      The Dead Sea Scrolls date between the third century BC and first century AD. But the Scriptures were around long before that, as it is recorded in earlier portions (from Exodus onward) that the Jewish people indeed had the Law (Genesis-Deuteronomy, which was later translated with the rest of the Septuagint) in written form.
      The Septuagint was started around 280 BC and finished by about 150 BC. It was, in fact, the set of Scriptures used by most Jews during the first century AD, as the Koine Greek was spoken all throughout the Roman Empire. In fact, many times in which Jesus and the writers of the NT made reference to the OT, they were directly quoting the Septuagint.

  • Chayanov

    The whole “fulfilling of prophecy” statement has always seemed a bit odd to me. All of these prophecies are from the Jewish tradition. As has been stated already, they are either extremely vague or have particular contexts.

    Then later on early Christians, who are entirely familiar with the Jewish texts, have personal reasons for wanting to promote Christianity and are writing the scriptures decades after the fact. So they simply write down that all of these prophecies were fulfilled. Ta-dah!

    You can’t use the Bible to support itself. The “fulfilling of prophecy” argument is a loser. You’re not going to find corroborating evidence from other sources, and believing everything that’s written in the Bible just because the Bible tells you to is pointless.

  • davidkentie

    Sort of a misunderstanding on part, I thought she was referring to Karl Barth and mis-spelled the h. He was a swiss theologian with several interesting views on things.

    -”Regardless, what does ‘heretical’ mean in this case? I’d like to point out that evangelicals, who are by definition protestant, are heretical by the understanding of the Roman Catholic Church.”

    Actually it’s kind of interesting you mention that. In recent years, certain reformation qualities have been taking place with inside the Catholic Church. Certainly during the Reformation Protestants would’ve been deemed heretics, but in no way do most mainline evangelicals look at Catholic theology as being inherently heretical, but more misguided is some areas.

    “The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint were both produced in the second century. It is not surprising that there is agreement. When we speak of a “changed document,” we are generally referring to the exile and post-exile period when it appears that the scrolls and stories were sewn together to produce the Pentateuch. That’s when the various sources, like the J, E, D & P sources were woven together, for example. This means that the changes happened well before the Essenes broke away to form Qumran and collect the Dead Sea Scrolls. (Always assuming that the consensus view of the scrolls is correct.)”

    The Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus were the earliest Greek manuscripts of biblical text, even which our modern translations were derived from the 9th Century. However upon discovery of the non-greek Scrolls, which date from 2nd Century BC, included were portions of Genesis, Isaiah, Exodus, Lev., Deut. Numbers, Job, Samuel, Daniel and some of the minor prophets. Upon exmination this is significant because they agree with the Masoretic texts (greek manuscripts). I think you’re missing the point, many scholars used to use the same argument, “well you know how many hands have touched these documents up until the 9th Century”, yet this only proves that in the span of 2000 years, Christianity’s scripture has remained intact and unchanged as far as content and context.

    ‘The provenance of the New Testament is even more complicated, since it seems that none of our gospels were produced within a generation of Jesus’ life. No one can guess how many hands touched and altered those stories.’

    The date of Matthew is considered by many to have been around 70 A.D. while other will argue as early as 40-45 A.D. What you’re missing is that Christ died in 33 A.D. so the events of the last three years of his ministry, even if its 70 A.D. are still well with the minds of many of his followers. It is still even more interesting if you consider Mark to have been the first written Gospel, thus both Luke and Matthew share the information of Mark, which was written even earlier in 60 A.D., as well some have argued that portions of Mark were found in tact with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Least we forget the infamous “Q”, which is a shared source of Jesus Sayings, predating the Gospels. It seems at the fullist extent, even if scholars give the latest date of 70 A.D. to the Gospels; at least the synoptics, then you find yourself well within the generation that saw Jesus’ ministry from 30-33A.D. But meh, what do I know?

    You still have no offered any argument in favour of the original post that is satisfying evidence to prove that Mary was not a virgin and that Christ was not both fully human and divine.

    • Jon

      “You still have no offered any argument in favour of the original post that is satisfying evidence to prove that Mary was not a virgin and that Christ was not both fully human and divine.”

      Can you offer proof that Zeus is not the one true God?

  • davidkentie

    “You can’t use the Bible to support itself. The “fulfilling of prophecy” argument is a loser. You’re not going to find corroborating evidence from other sources, and believing everything that’s written in the Bible just because the Bible tells you to is pointless.”

    Well admit its a little like telling a blind man what redness is. So point taken, that was more for me just adding a little historical context. But your perceptions on early Christianity require a little more historical study. Jewish followers may have been students of the Torah and Prophets, however it still does not explain how thousands of pagan gentiles had come to understand Christ as the Messiah, when they had very little knowledge of Judaism.

  • VorJack

    @davidkentie -

    Can you point me to where you’re getting your New Testament dates from? My understanding, from the New Testament textbooks I have, is that ALL the dates you are mentioning are early.

    As far as I know, from multiple sources – including Bart Ehrman, John Crossan, my textbooks, all the way to my Catholic high school bible teacher – place Mark as the first gospel in 65-70 C.E. All the rest fall after that, with John being the last around the end of the first century.

    That means that a full generation passed between the writings of the gospels and the death of Jesus. And more radical scholars place it later than that. For example, Robert M. Price places Mark all the way into the second century. I don’t think even apologists like NT Wright would place Mark in the 40s. That might even place Mark earlier than Paul’s letters, which are universally considered to be the earliest parts of our modern gospel.

    But in many ways this is beside the point. You say, “in the span of 2000 years, Christianity’s scripture has remained intact and unchanged as far as content and context. ” This is flatly wrong. You mention the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus, but there are some important differences between these early manuscripts and the gospels we have now. Most famously, both of these lack the story of the Adulteress from the Gospel of John. Some scholars suggest that the story didn’t make it’s way into versions of the gospel until the middle ages.

  • Chayanov

    “…it still does not explain how thousands of pagan gentiles had come to understand Christ as the Messiah, when they had very little knowledge of Judaism.”

    Would you please explain this statement further? Which thousands of pagan gentiles are you talking about here? If they’re pagan gentiles, why would they even know or care about the Jewish Messiah?

  • http://www.wazzasworthlesswitterings.blogspot.com wazza

    As for Mark writing his gospel in CE 70… that’s 70 years after the event we’re actually discussing, in a world where the average person lived to about 35. Two generations. And if someone had lived longer than average, gotten his full threescore and ten, he’d be trying to remember things from his childhood. I have difficulty with that, and I’m not even 20 yet. This source is not going to be 100% reliable.

    • Bob Harris

      Well, actually it is closer to the year 50 CE and not so far from occasion because Christ started his ministry around the age of 35. So yeah, 15 years passed before Mark finished writing.

      Jesus’s “Mom” was still around, as were many of the Apostles who actually knew Jesus (ie they walked around with him).

      What was your point again?

  • Raphael

    @wazza

    Good point. The people think that if today we reach easily 60, 70 or more than 80 years, it was the same 2000 years ago. This is thanks to the science.

  • VorJack

    @Chayanov -
    “If they’re pagan gentiles, why would they even know or care about the Jewish Messiah?”

    Because he offered you eternal life, of course. And the fact that he was from an ancient foreign religion just added to the exotic appeal. The cults of Isis (Egyptian) and Mithras (Persian) were also popular around this time among the Romans.

  • RRC

    No argument here only a single word and one that’s
    sure to be shot down, whacked on etc – but I’m determined
    and this is how I see it and you would do well to have some
    of the same guys! You’re wrong period – end of discussion!

    FAITH!

    • Jon

      My FAITH! tells me that you’re wrong.

      • John C

        Faith is a unique and underrated quality. It’s an energy, a connective tissue, life force of sorts and by it much good has been accomplished, built, envisioned, etc in the world throughout the ages. If you go back in history, even scientists, explorers, etc will credit their “faith” (seeing something not yet realized). Faith is a “gift” of God, like everything else. One could argue that the great businessmen, entrepreneuers, etc have also employed its utility, vision, etc in many successful endeavors.

  • Chayanov

    That would be argument #38.

  • Joel

    Wow! Kudos to RRC for such a logical, well- thgouht out retort! Hey buddy, I have faith that one day, when I die, my spirit will soar up into the air and I’ll meet my arch- nemesis, Zorgon the destroyer where we will battle to decide king of the universe. My faith is no more or less rational than yours. When will people get a grip and just live the life we’ve got and not worry about some stupid religious bullshit.

    By the way, I didn’t read all of the comments, but here’s something. If Jesus was supposed to be decsended from the house of David (just like his father, Joseph), how could this be so if he was born of a virgin?

  • http://www.wazzasworthlesswitterings.blogspot.com wazza

    I believe it was because Mary was also of the house of David… the bible’s pretty big on incest. Though in this case they’d probably be like 5th cousins or something.

  • Joel

    Luke 2:4

    A Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, because he was of the house and lineage of David

  • VorJack

    @Joel -
    Most of the evangelicals I’ve spoken to just shrug this off. “So he was adopted, so what?”

    There’s a more radical interpretation. This could be evidence of several different threads of Christian thought meshing together. One thread, perhaps the earlier, stated that Jesus was the Son of Joesph, descent from the family of David. Another thread, this one perhaps later, began to view Jesus as at least partially divine in life (as opposed to becoming divine after death), and began to say that he had been conceived by God. These two threads were woven together in Matthew and Luke, perhaps in the initial writings or through later redactions.

    There’s an interesting bit of Mark’s gospel, 12:35-37, where Jesus says that the messiah need not be from the house of David. It’s rather defensive, and it only makes sense if Jesus was not of David’s line. Perhaps the belief that Jesus was in David’s line was a later development itself. Maybe the author of Matthew found Mark’s argument unconvincing, and so developed his metaphorical genealogy to compensate.

    • Nathan D. D.

      “There’s an interesting bit of Mark’s gospel, 12:35-37, where Jesus says that the messiah need not be from the house of David.”

      Actually, Jesus simply says that David was not referring to his son, Solomon, as Lord. He was pointing out to those who thought David was referring to his actual son (rather than descendant) that David was in fact prophesying of the Christ who was to come–someone who would be worthy to be called Lord (which, in this particular Hebrew sense referred to YHWH, God).

  • Dan L

    “You still have no offered any argument in favour of the original post that is satisfying evidence to prove that Mary was not a virgin and that Christ was not both fully human and divine.”

    Clearly; there is no “satisfying evidence” for that. There’s also no satisfying evidence that those things are true, and since at least one of them flies in the face of something that has been true 100% of the time since, that’s the side of the argument that needs evidence.

    As far as the claim that people wouldn’t believe if these stories were “fluff,” that’s silly. Almost everyone believes at least a few ridiculous things.

    As far as evolution being harder to imagine than a virgin birth, I strongly disagree. There’s a great deal of physical, observable evidence for evolution, but there have been no virgin births recorded since that of Christ. And that one’s not corroborated by any sources outside (two of four) gospels.

    I would also like to mention that you should probably read Daniel’s “About Me” page before mouthing off that he doesn’t know any fundamentalists or doesn’t know what fundamentalism is.

    I’m also fairly sure you’re wrong that the worship of Ra died out by the time of Jesus. I believe that the Kingdom of Egypt was still worshipping Ra et al while paying tribute to Julius Caesar, and continued to do so for some time after.

  • http://www.sellingmyself428.blogspot.com Selling Myself

    Great argument. All reasons I began to question the virgin birth, and other fundamentalist nightmares. I enjoy your writing. Keep it up!

  • The Lewd Pirate

    @everyone :)

    ive spent alot of time reading these arguements and only have one thing to say

    God, in whatever form it/he/she comes in, is not real

    because i KNOW it to be true….

    try arguing that point :)

    • Nathan D. D.

      “God, in whatever form it/he/she comes in, is not real

      because i KNOW it to be true….”

      What kind of argument is that? How do you KNOW it to be true? Personal subjective experiences? Were you there when the world came into existence? Do you know what is going to happen when the world is over?

      All I am trying to say here is that if you’re going to post an argument, at least try to use reason and logic to do so.

  • Infinity Boy

    I dropped the Christian faith years ago when I started to think for myself and saw how Faith in the bible as God’s True Word and an infallible literary work is a misguided, dangerous thing. I’m not a scholar of religion or the bible, so I can’t argue from that perspective. I can only argue through common logic with a large dose of humor towards the absurd. Yes, the bible and the term logic don’t go hand in hand due to the very nature of Faith, but here goes:

    If Mary were truly a virgin who became pregnant by the Spirit of God, then no human sperm was part of the equation. A miracle occured and Mary’s egg started to become a human life without a human male’s help. Maybe Mary was the most perfectly formed internal hermaphrodite the world has ever seen and impregnated herself, but that takes more Faith than I think anyone is capable of. No, if this is to be believed, Mary was impregnated by a Spirit. That would be way too freaky for me or most anyone else to deal with, but from the scriptures, Mary was cool with it. That there is a red flag to me.

    That calls into question the 100% humanity of Jesus. If only a human egg were involved with his birth, what composed the other half? Does God have a physical body and sperm? I think even the ancient prophets would say that is ludicrous and that God dwells in no fleshly vessel (until Jesus, of course. There is also the argument that the Father, the Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit have existed forever, Jesus being the eternal fleshly incarnation of God. By that train of thought, though, that would make Jesus his own human father. Ewwww.)

    No, as modern humans with a true belief in this event, we would have to accept that Jesus had half human chromosomes and… something else. What that something else was, we would never know. He was/is a God. This in its very nature means Jesus was not a full blooded human being created from the human gene pool. If the virgin birth is true, then Jesus is not wholly human. He would be the Messiah, God made Flesh, the Redeemer, an alien from planet X, but not a true human being. From reading the bible, Jesus seems to have known this from a very early age (my father’s business and all that).

    This is the main reason I believe the virgin birth to be false. To me, it contradicts the statement that Jesus was a complete man as well as God.

  • http://www.myspace.com/edibleyards Diane

    Wow, I’ve spent my whole life just trying to get rid of all the OTHER social brainwashing (must buy stuff, must be this way, that way, etc.); I’m so glad I didn’t have the burden of Christianity to deal with on top of that!

    Thanks for the interesting post and comments as well!
    DK

  • psybird

    @Brandon:

    Why would Joseph stick with a permanently virgin Mary if it meant that he had to spend his life not having sex? What kind of “family values” did this dysfunctional family practise? No wonder their child went off with a group of men and failed to have any family of his own or take any realistic responsibility for women or children.

    As for the genetics: How do you explain an entity which is half god and half human?

    According to the science of genetics, interbreeding can only occur with something from the same species. That would make the god of Abraham genetically human.

    Which of the alleles would be from “god-stock” and which would be “Mary-stock”. Which ones would be “dominant” and which would be “recessive” in any characteristic? Is the Abrahamic god right or left-handed? Right or left-brain language dominant? Does It have blue eyes or brown eyes? Is It brown skinned, black skinned or pink skinned? Does It have Jewish facial features?

    Is It as poorly designed as the modern human? Does It have a useless appendix and a set of inside-out eyes? Is It dyslexic? (Apparently Jesus could not write well or he would have written the New Testament himself. This would have put him on at least the same level as Mohammed, who reputedly wrote his stuff at the dictate of an angel. )

    Another alternative is to have two sets of “Mary-stock” chromosomes. The progeny would then be female, entirely human and sterile.

    A third alternative is that the two sets of chromosomes came from beings which were not quite separate species: like horses and donkeys. The resulting semi-divine “mule” would be sterile. I suppose this is possible. There is no record that Jesus had any offspring, in spite of a romping good story involving a lot of Italians which is currently rather popular.

    When I was studying for the Christian ministry the currently favoured theory was that Jesus resulted from the rape of Mary by a Roman soldier and that she went on to have normal sexual relations with Joseph after the illegitimate birth of her first son. At least that version didn’t require that I “unlearn” all my biology and genetics.

  • patrickdunnevant

    Hello, Daniel. I’ll first address your comment about Ayesha…There’s a central hole in your analogy. She found out she was pregnant BEFORE the angel came to her. This doesn’t make any sense, especially since you’re trying to compare it to the Biblical account, where Mary finds out she is pregnant from an angel, rather than finding out on her own (inexplicably: why would someone check for pregnancy if they were actually a virgin?)

    Let’s move on, however.

    “1) There is no reliable evidence.”
    My response shall be that the amount of evidence we do have is rather remarkable. But first, let’s look at the point you make. You mention “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” in this, but you must understand that ECREE was invented by Carl Sagan, is not a legally established standard of evidence for anything, and the terms for what constitutes “extraordinary,” whether it’s the claim or the evidence, is almost NEVER defined, and when it is, it’s disagreed upon by almost everyone. Your response fails from the outset.

    Saying we have “no DNA samples” is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Would you really believe someone who said they had Jesus’s DNA? In fact, what in the world would you compare it to, seeing as we have no samples of Jesus (or anyone else from that time, yet you must believe many things recorded did actually happen, apart from DNA evidence) to compare it to. Without comparisons, DNA evidence is 100% ineffective. Please don’t ask for evidence that you, in reality, won’t even accept anyway.

    Lacking “eyewitness testimony” or confirmation by doctors really doesn’t say much about anything. Most of what we know about history, especially in that time, comes from people who were not eyewitnesses, much less doctors. The fact that we have two independent accounts at all, written during a time where an overwhelming majority of the people were illiterate and unable to right anything down, is pretty amazing.

    “2) The earliest references are late and sparse.”
    My response shall be, “You are inaccurate, but even if you weren’t, that response doesn’t do anything to help your case.” Galatians 4:4, which you yourself mention, clearly states that he was “made of a woman.” In the original language, the word “made” is not the typical word for “born.” Instead, it is the word for “begotten.” If he was talking about a normal birth, he would have used the terminology “born of a woman,” the expression Jesus gives regarding John the Baptist in Matthew 11:11.

    But let’s ignore that entirely. If he didn’t record it, it would be rather unsurprising, since Paul wasn’t really trying to convince anybody of Jesus’s divinity. His audience would have already believed such.

    You say that the earliest Gospels don’t have it, which is again only half right if (as some have argued) John 1:12-13 alludes to a virgin birth, but this is also unsurprising. Most Greco-Roman bioi do not mention the birth at all, or if they do, they merely gloss over it. Most of them don’t start until the late teens, and many don’t even start until the twenties or thirties. This is exactly what we see in the Gospels, and isn’t a surprise, since they are Greco-Roman biography.

    Regarding the linguistics, you are also wrong there. Almah is used in contradistinction to bethulah, and is never used to describe a non-virgin (either in the OT or otherwise). The general meaning is “young woman,” but the notion of virginity is always hand in hand with the word.

    Whether an alternative “seems likely” has yet to be demonstrated, since you haven’t given any evidence in favor of the story being invented to boost Christian authority whatsoever.

    “3) It’s the same old myth.”
    My response shall be, “You are incredibly ignorant of other mythologies, and are merely parroting what you have heard, most likely on the internet, from non-scholars who are in turn ignorant.” Pharaoh Amenkept III was not born of a virgin with a “cross in her mouth,” seeing as crucifixion was not introduced as a punishment until after the time of Amenkept’s reign, in a completely different part of the world. But apart from that, there is no evidence whatsoever, in any manuscript, for that birth story. You may as well have made it up.

    You say that Ra was said to have born of a virgin. I will also accuse you of making that up, since Ra never had a mother at all (he is the creator of the gods, after all). The only sort of argument you can make is that Ra was reborn every day with the rising of the sun, and I don’t say the Earth that the sun rises on qualifies as a “virgin.” Mithra was born out of a rock via a ray of light, which is also not a “virgin.” Horus was born from Isis, who had sex with Osiris’s dead body that she put back together after he had been ripped apart by the titans, and therefore wasn’t a virgin. Melanippe? Which one? There are four, none of which are claimed to be born of virgins in any of the mythologies. Romulus’s mother was raped by Mars, therefore not a “virgin.” And then, of course, Genghis Khan was born about a thousand years after Jesus, similar to the claim that the Magna Carta was influenced by the United States Constitution. Your ignorance tempts me to just stop here, since you obviously have no regard for researching anything you say, but I won’t.

    “4) Is it more likely to be a lie, or to be true?”
    My response shall be that you are merely playing word games. You quote Thomas Paine, who reduces it (unfairly) down to some sort of Yes or No question. He asks us if it’s more probable that “nature should go out of her course,” but nobody is actually claiming this. Nobody claims that Mary naturally conceived on her own; they claim this is a supernatural event. Furthermore, he says that we’ve never seen that sort of thing, and by that he means that HE hasn’t seen it, and then fanangles it to mean that, since people lie all the time, then anyone who claims supernatural intervention is lying. This is, quite obviously, an inadequate response to the evidence at hand, since it’s quite apparent that though millions of people tell lies, things are still true.

    The rest of your response is mere conjecture. Give me hard evidence, not this rambling.

    “5) We would never, ever, believe this today.”
    My response is that this is “totally, totally irrelevant” to whether it happened or not. It’s odd that you even put it in there.

    If there is “no evidence that it occurred,” then how in the world do we know about it at all? Are the two accounts that we do have somehow *not* evidence? If they aren’t, then you must give me the standard you are using to determine what actually constitutes evidence, because it would be so far removed from what real historians use as to be meaningless.

    Your reasons for denying the virgin birth are lame at best.

    Patrick Dunnevant
    http://brainisignorant.blogspot.com – Rebuttal to GodIsImaginary.com and WhyWontGodHealAmputees.com.

    • reckonr

      Patrick,

      Beautifully written. Really.

      Ultimately, everyone falls into one of two undeniable schools of thought: one side clings to Bronze Age mythology, the other seeks to answer “we don’t know” through scientific curiosity (while I freely admit I paint the former with tongue-in-cheek derision, both are irrefutably sound statements).

      Those who repel the latter will inexorably find themselves further away from progress and truth with every demonstrable and repeatable theory; every piece of corroborated evidence; every scientific discovery.

      Your stumbling block, inevitably, is that science only moves forward; that puts people looking backward at an undeniable disadvantage.

    • Nathan D. D.

      Thank you, Patrick. You saved me the trouble of having to type all of this out myself haha. I too have read about the mythologies regarding the supposed “virgin births” and if I had my resources handy, I would have posted the same.

      It’s still hilarious to me about “the virgin birth” of Mithras, who was born from a rock. Was the rock a virgin? =)

  • psybird

    Patrick:

    Someone once said: “None are so blind as those who will not see”. I am not saying that this applies to you. Nor am I saying that it does not. I could say that this type of response sums up your arguments. Or I could not say it.

    What I will say is that I cannot see how you would convince anyone of your point of view unless they were already unconvinced – in which case what you have just said is pointless.

  • skippy

    Don’t you dummies get it? Faith with unrefutable evidence is not faith at all.

  • Prescott Johnson

    if the “secondary” fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14 was a virgin, than the primary fulfillment in Isaiah 8 must also require a virgin. no Christian believes in two virgin births. Further, the child born in Isaiah 8 was, at the very least, his second son, (the first child is mentioned Isaiah 7), meaning the child’s mother wasn’t a virgin. therefore, the proper understanding of the prophecy, wasn’t about a virgin at all.

  • Metrobus

    David Kentie’s statement just amazes me.

    “Historically, we know there was a Jesus. ”

    I could point out more of these small argumentative nuances, but it’s easy to read in any Christian apologetic forum.

    A skeptic doesn’t assume anything about Jesus, just that it is a name of the main character in the New Testament. It can never be proven that a divine being named Jesus ever existed because of course there is no body right?

    A scientist brings evidence, a priest brings cool stories. Don’t bring assumptions into an argument because you’re so used to believing in it.

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  • Mau g.g.

    Just like Dennis Wilson said, if you don’t believe in the bible and anything wrote there, why did you put fragments of it in your post? You are contradicting yourself.
    Faith is not about facts my friend.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @Mau: You are a funny man. So if I quote something to debunk it, I have to believe it, otherwise I’m contradicting myself? If you quote the Book of Mormon or the Koran to show how absurd it is, you’re contradicting yourself because you’re quoting something you don’t believe in? Scholars who cite ancient bablyon myths and study them are contradicting themselves because they don’t really believe them?

    Seems like if it were up to you, scholarship wouldn’t even exist. And hey, that would be a great thing for religion. Just believe anything anyone says! You can’t quote anything unless you believe it!

    I hope you don’t really believe what you’re saying, but alas, it sounds like you do.

    By the way, what else would I quote about the virgin birth? No other “early sources” (if you call the Bible an early source, which it only is because there is nothing else) exist. It’s not like there is a shred of historical evidence — even on paper — about it.

  • Daddio

    I guess Metrobus is right…we can’t provide evidence that any historical person existed. In fact someday I’ll be a historical person and people will think of me as just a cool, mythological story in some record book in an internet archive somewhere. It will be the only proof to my great grand children that I was alive. I think this is the making of a sci-fi series!

  • http://www.flipscript.com Mark

    Plus, if Jesus WERE the result of an immaculate conception, he would only have had Mary’s genes.

    …and Mary’s sex chromosomes are XX.

    So, IF Jesus WERE somehow an immuculate conception.

    …then he was a woman!

    Mary had no Y chromosome to give!

  • http://willentrekin.com Will Entrekin

    @Mark: you’re making a very common mistake in confusing the so-called “virgin birth” with the so-called “immaculate conception.” The “immaculate conception” refers not to the conception of Jesus but rather that of Mary, who was conceived without that taint of original sin (at least according to Catholic mythology). It was not a virgin conception, merely one supposedly without that original sin. The virgin conception of Jesus, on the other hand (again, according to Catholic/Christian mythology) refers to the divine conception of Jesus, who was, in fact, conceived with original sin (which was why, according to mythology, he was baptized by John the Baptist).

    Hope that helps clear things up.

  • http://www.wallsofjericho.info Jerry

    With the missionary activities of Paul and others, the passing of the original followers of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem, the NT soon fell into the hands of the Greeks and Latins.

    They interpreted the Hebrew Scriptures through the prism of their own culture, and gave meanings to words and phrases never intended by the NT authors.

    For example the Holy Spirit coming “upon” Mary is read as a virginal conception. However there are dozens of instances in the Bible where the Holy Spirit came “upon” individuals, usually men, but only in Mary’s case is it read as God impregnating someone.

    Also the Greeks and Latins gave a ridiculous interpretation of Mary’s question to the angel. They have her saying that she does not know how she could get pregnant in the future because currently she is a virgin!

    I could go on, but to cut a long story short, Matthew and Luke said nothing about a virgin birth. What they did say was that Joseph was not Jesus’ father. Luke 3:23, when properly translated, names Heli as the father of Jesus.

    The accounts in Matthew and Luke are analysed comprehensively in 5 articles on http://www.wallsofjericho.info

    • Nathan D. D.

      “Also the Greeks and Latins gave a ridiculous interpretation of Mary’s question to the angel. They have her saying that she does not know how she could get pregnant in the future because currently she is a virgin!”

      Mary gave that response quite simply because she was a virgin and would not lose her virginity until after she got married. Luke 2:4-5 tell us that when she and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem, Mary was already carrying her child and was nearly ready to give birth. During that time, they were still betrothed, not yet married.

  • http://sharpeningiron.wordpress.com Chris Taylor

    You realize that the virgin birth of Christ is not necessary for His ministry?

    You also realize that the virgin birth is not necessary for salvation or ministry to others?

    I think you had a lot of questions about God that didn’t get answered and you gave up.

    You allowed the world to get to you. You listened and sought after people and writers who don’t know the God we worship and expected them to be able to give you answers I think.

    There are a TON of questions that cannot be answered by scripture. There’s a TON of skeptical objections that can be raised about what is written, when it was written, the hands it passed through, editors, redactors, etc.

    What I’ve discovered is this. The message of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s word/law is the truth. What we have might not necessarily be factual, but it is the ultimate truth.

    I’m reminded by Joseph’s speech to his brothers when they are reunited in Egypt:

    Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

    I’m not being judgmental and I hope I haven’t come across that way.

    In Christ,
    Chris
    http://sharpeningiron.wordpress.com/

    • Nathan D. D.

      “You realize that the virgin birth of Christ is not necessary for His ministry?
      You also realize that the virgin birth is not necessary for salvation or ministry to others?”

      Brother in Christ,

      Without the virgin birth, Jesus was not God. If Jesus was not God, He was a sinner by nature. As a sinner by nature, He would not be able to die in our place. As Paul put it in 2 Corinthians, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (5:21, ESV). God’s wrath could only be satisfied by the spotless lamb; Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God.
      We cannot deny the virgin birth, lest we remove one of the most foundational beliefs of our faith. Without it, Christ was nothing more than a man.

      • http://dangerousintersection.org mandrellian

        I hope the fact that two brothers in Christ disagree diametrically on a fundamental tenet of Christianity goes some way to illustrate what exactly it is about Christianity that so many people find hard to swallow.

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  • http://www.arnoldvosloo.us tanith vosloo

    When Queen elizabeth the 1 was around they called her the virgin queen. Now – virgin then meant – unmarried – not that she had never had a man ytouch her, as we all know elizabeth had many lovers but never married. so why has the definition of virgin altered so much. It is only resently that it has meant an untouched woman.
    Read the books “the nazerine” and Jesus the man – they convinced me it was all a load of hokkum

  • http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/mithras Roger Pearse

    I hate to be a wet blanket here, but I noticed the statements about ‘other virgin births’. Unfortunately the raw *facts* are wrong here.

    I realise that this has been pasted from some hearsay online; but it was very, very ignorant hearsay. Consider that the originator asserted that Romulus was born from a virgin… but there is no suggestion that Rhea Silvia was a virgin when she gave birth in ancient literature.

    Consider also the crude suggestion that Mithras was born from a virgin. He was born from a ROCK! Or are we saying that the rock was a virgin…!?!

    And so on. It’s all hopeless fakery, these allegations.

    The truth is that the story about the virgin birth Jesus *is* more or less unique in ancient literature. Why should that surprise anyone? After all, Jesus wasn’t born in Greek culture, but in Jewish culture. Attempting to ignore the details in order to bring together two dissimilar things as “the same” is dishonest argument; and while I don’t accuse YOU of dishonesty, I fear that those who confected this set of statements cannot avoid that reproach.

    It does no-one any good to poison the hive-mind with wrong DATA, surely? Whether Christianity is true or not, it is not false for this reason.

    There is another issue. If in fact the virgin birth was predicted by pagan sages centuries before Jesus, as by Jewish writers in the OT, such would merely indicate that it was all the more true (so runs the medieval argument).

    In short, the whole approach is wrongly thought out, comprised of false data, would prove nothing if true, and is in fact false.

    I hope that helps.

  • Yasser Mahmood

    Brother Daniel Florien,

    I greet you with Islamic greetings Asalaam Alikum (Peace be upon you)

    I read your “about ” section and agree with you things mentioned in the Bible and its contradiction.

    I am a student and researcher of comparative religions. By now you have guessed it I am a Muslim and my religion is ISLAM.

    Francis beacon has rightly said that little knowledge of science makes you an atheist but an in-depth study of science makes you a believer in God Almighty.

    No wonder today, scientists are eliminatory the model of God but they are not eliminatory God they are eliminatory models of God.

    As we all know an Athesist donot belive in any GOD. This is first line of witness or in Arabic Shadah.

    ie. ” I bear witness there is NO GOD – except Allah and Mohammed (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah”

    Now you have completed 1/2 of the sentense, the remaining part of the sentence “Except Allah and Mohammed (PBUH) is Messenger of Allah” will not be difficult.

    Insh-Allah I will present to you some examples which I hope atleast trigger your desire in research into Koran and Islam.

    I will present to you some of the text from renowed speaker Dr.Zakir Naik.

    [Redacted by Dan — please do not paste 50 pages of quotes into a comment.]

  • Yasser Mahmood

    All the Muslims of the WORLD belive Jesus “Eissa” Peace be upon Him was Born Micraleously from Virgin Mary “Marium” Peace be upon Her.

    There is Whole Verse in the Koran by name Marrium or Mary (PBUH) and explains the story when she gave Birth to Jesus “Eissa” PBUH.

    This is how it is mentioned in the KORAN (The Book of Guidance)

    THE FOLLOWING TRANSLATION OF KORAN IS TAKE FROM THE FAMOUS TRANSLATION BY ABUDULLA YOSUF ALI.

    Chapter 19 Marrium (Mary) verse 16 to 36

    [More redaction by Dan]

  • Yasser Mahmood

    Brother Dan,

    1. I hope that you read it all, my aim was to tell you the KORAN has got the Answers to your questions.

    2. I admit my first post was very long but my second post was shorter than the posts give by Mr. davidkentie, ans patrickdunnevant.

    3. You have deleted the Main Text of the post and didnot even left small bit of it, which I belive us Unfair for the readers visiting your site.

    4. It took more than hour to typr the verse from the KORAN in English, I hope you put them back and let others read what are Muslim opinion about Virgin Mary, as that is the main subject.

    I pray to God Almighty to guide you and show you the right path and help you in your quest for finding answers.

    Feel free to email me and send me any query I am more than happy to assist you.

    Wsalam and Have a very good day

    And thank you for reading as much as you could.

    Yasser Mahmood

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @Yasser: Man, you typed all that? I’m sure you could have just copied it from another site and pasted it — no reason to type it all out.

    Now please understand, this is nothing specifically against the Koran. I’d do the same thing if someone pasted a few chapters of the Bible trying to convert people on my blog, too. All holy books are the same to me, and I don’t want people cluttering up the comment areas with them. You’re free, however, to link to specific chapters.

    But the likelihood that anyone here would ever convert to Islam is so slim that it’s not worth your time. If we believe Christianity and Judaism is wrong, which are both older and saner religions, wouldn’t we think Islam is even worse? I mean, unless we were looking for excuses to marry multiple wives, beat them, scape the genitals off our women, make them wear cover every piece of skin, have excuses to commit holy wars and hate Jews, and be in awe of a barbarian who married a 9 year old… No, Islam would be the last religion I’d ever consider.

    However, feel free to pray for my salvation! Maybe that could be a test — ask Allah to convert me if he exists, and to leave me as I am if he isn’t. Then you’ll know for certain! (And me too.)

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  • Yasser Mahmood

    Dear Daniel,

    Thank you for prompt response.

    After reading your comments following is the reply : -

    1. I only typed the KORANIC verses, as I have found incorrect or distorted versions of translation of KORAN on the NET. How ever this does not mean there isnt the right one but I dont want waste time in googling and searching for right stuff and still remain in doubt its the right one.

    2. Ok..agreed I will put alot of verse from Koran but you have to allow few lines of verse because you have allowed chapters from BIBLE and Gospels above.

    2.5. KORAN is not the Holy Book. The word “HOLY” is not present in KORAN. The meaning of Holy in Arabic is “MUQADAS”, and the menaing of “BOOK” in Arabic is “KITAB”. The word mentioned for KORAN is The Noble Quran, The Book of Guidance, The KORAN calls it self “Al FURQAN” The Criteria to Judge Right from Wrong.

    3. I am not intrested to convert any one, because Quran clearly says its not in the power of a person to convert the second person to become Muslim. Its in the power of the creator to Guide whom Allah wills. I am merely giving you information of ISLAM.
    In this age alot of Media Propaganda is present against Islam.
    The Media bring Ignorant Muslims on TV Interview (who call themselves “Experts” ) and give out distorted image of Islam.

    3.5. During the intial stage of Islam in Mecca there were many enemies of Islam. From them one of them was Umar Bin Khataab, he later became Muslim. If you need to read more about go to “www.islamweb.net”

    4. ISLAM Sane or INsane? Well brother its a big discussion and needs a whole discussion forum to discuss that. But I will clear your claims you have mentioned above : -

  • Yasser Mahmood – CLAIM 1 -MULTIPLE WIVES IN ISLAM – ANSWER

    You are claiming the following :

    Claim No. 1 ” I mean, unless we were looking for excuses to marry multiple wives, beat them..]”
    Basically your question is = Why is a man allowed to have more than one wife in Islam? i.e. why is polygamy allowed in Islam?

    Answer :

    1. Definition of Polygamy
    Polygamy means a system of marriage whereby one person has more than one
    spouse. Polygamy can be of two types. One is polygyny where a man marries
    more than one woman, and the other is polyandry, where a woman marries
    more than one man. In Islam, limited polygyny is permitted; whereas polyandry
    is completely prohibited.
    Now coming to the original question, why is a man allowed to have more than
    one wife?

    2. The Qur’an is the only religious scripture in the world that says,
    “marry only one”.
    The Qur’an is the only religious book, on the face of this earth, that contains the phrase ‘marry only one’.

    There is no other religious book that instructs men to have only one wife.

    In none of the other religious scriptures, whether it be the Vedas, the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Geeta, the Talmud or the Bible does one find a restriction on the number of wives.

    According to these scriptures one can marry as many as one wishes. It was only later, that the Hindu priests and the Christian Church restricted the number of wives to one.

    Many Hindu religious personalities, according to their scriptures, had multiple wives. King Dashrat, the father of Rama, had more than one wife. Krishna had several wives.

    In earlier times, Christian men were permitted as many wives as they wished, since the Bible puts no restriction on the number of wives. It was only a few centuries ago that the Church restricted the number of wives to one.

    Polygyny is permitted in Judaism. According to Talmudic law, Abraham had three wives, and Solomon had hundreds of wives.

    The practice of polygyny continued till Rabbi Gershom ben Yehudah (960 C.E to 1030 C.E) issued an
    edict against it. The Jewish Sephardic communities living in Muslim countries continued the practice till as late as 1950, until an Act of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel extended the ban on marrying more than one wife.

    (*Interesting Note:- As per the 1975 census of India Hindus are more polygynous than Muslims. The report of the ‘Committee of The Status of Woman in Islam’, published in 1975 mentions on page numbers 66 and 67 that
    the percentage of polygamous marriages between the years 1951 and 1961 was 5.06% among the Hindus and only 4.31% among the Muslims. According to Indian law only Muslim men are permitted to have more than one wife. It is illegal for any non-Muslim in India to have more than one wife. Despite it being illegal, Hindus have more multiple wives as compared to Muslims. Earlier, there was no restriction even on Hindu men with respect to the number of wives allowed. It was only in 1954, when the Hindu Marriage Act was passed that it became illegal for a Hindu to have more than one wife. At present it is the Indian
    Law that restricts a Hindu man from having more than one wife and not the Hindu scriptures.)

    Let us now analyse why Islam allows a man to have more than one wife.

    3. Qur’an permits limited polygamy

    As I mentioned earlier, Qur’an is the only religious book on the face of the earth that says ‘marry only one’. The context of this phrase is the following verse from
    Surah Nisa of the Glorious Qur’an:

    “Marry women of your choice, two, or three, or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one.”
    [Al-Qur’an 4:3]

    Before the Qur’an was revealed, there was no upper limit for polygyny and many men had scores of wives, some even hundreds. Islam put an upper limit of four wives.

    Islam gives a man permission to marry two, three or four women, only on the condition that he deals justly with them.

    In the same chapter i.e. Surah Nisa verse 129 says:
    “Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women….”
    [Al-Qur’an 4:129]

    Therefore polygyny is not a rule but an exception. Many people are under the misconception that it is compulsory for a Muslim man to have more than one wife.

    Broadly, Islam has five categories of Do’s and Don’ts:
    (i) ‘Fard’ i.e. compulsory or obligatory
    (ii) ‘Mustahab’ i.e. recommended or encouraged
    (iii) ‘Mubah’ i.e. permissible or allowed
    (iv) ‘Makruh’ i.e. not recommended or discouraged
    (v) ‘Haraam’ i.e. prohibited or forbidden

    Polygyny falls in the middle category of things that are permissible. It cannot be said that a Muslim who has two, three or four wives is a better Muslim as compared to a Muslim who has only one wife.

    4. Average life span of females is more than that of males
    By nature males and females are born in approximately the same ratio. A female child has more immunity than a male child. A female child can fight the germs and diseases better than the male child. For this reason, during the pediatric age itself there are more deaths among males as compared to the females.

    During wars, there are more men killed as compared to women.
    More men die due to accidents and diseases than women. The average life span of females is more than that of males, and at any given time one finds more widows in the world than widowers.

    5. India has more male population than female due to female foeticide and infanticide India is one of the few countries, along with the other neighbouring countries, in
    which the female population is less than the male population. The reason lies in the high rate of female infanticide in India, and the fact that more than one
    million female foetuses are aborted every year in this country, after they are identified as females. If this evil practice is stopped, then India too will have more females as compared to males.

    6. World female population is more than male population
    In the USA, women outnumber men by 7.8 million.

    New York alone has one million more females as compared to the number of males, and of the male population of New York one-third are gays i.e sodomites.

    The U.S.A as a whole has more than twenty-five million gays. This means that these people do not wish to marry women.

    Great Britain has four million more females as compared to males.

    Germany has five million more females as compared to males. Russia has nine million more females than males. God alone knows how many million more females there are in the whole world as compared to males.

    7. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not practical Even if every man got married to one woman, there would still be more than thirty million females in U.S.A who would not be able to get husbands (considering that America has twenty five million gays).

    There would be more than four million females in Great Britain, 5 million females in Germany and nine million females in Russia alone who would not be able to find a husband.

    Suppose my sister happens to be one of the unmarried women living in USA, or suppose your sister happens to be one of the unmarried women in USA. The only two options remaining for her are that she either marries a man who
    already has a wife or becomes ‘public property’. There is no other option. All those who are modest will opt for the first.
    Most women would nto like to share their husband with other women. But in Islam when the situation deems it really neccessary Muslim women in due faith could bear a small personal loss to prevent a greater loss of letting other Muslim sisters becoming ‘public properties’.

    8. Marring a married man preferable to becoming ‘public property’ In Western society, it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or multiple extra-marital affairs, in which case, the woman leads a disgraceful, unprotected
    life. The same society, however, cannot accept a man having more than one wife, in which women retain their honourable, dignified position in society and lead a protected life.

    Thus the only two options before a woman who cannot find a husband is to marry a married man or to become ‘public property’.
    Islam prefers giving women the honourable position by permitting the first option and disallowing the second.
    There are several other reasons, why Islam has permitted limited polygyny, but it is mainly to protect the modesty of women.

  • Yasser Mahmood – CLAIM 1 -MULTIPLE WIVES IN ISLAM – ANSWER

    “SORRY TYPO ERROR ABOVE “2. Ok..agreed I will put alot of verse from Koran but you have to allow few lines of verse because you have allowed chapters from BIBLE and Gospels above.”

    I meant I will not put alot of verses from Koran but few as you have allowed that to happen above from Gospels.

  • Yasser Mahmood – CLAIM 2 -Why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil? ANSWER

    The status of women in Islam is often the target of attacks in the secular media.

    The ‘hijab’ or the Islamic dress is cited by many as an example of the ‘subjugation’ of women under Islamic law. Before we analyze the reasoning behind the religiously mandated ‘hijab’, let us first study the status of women in
    societies before the advent of Islam

    1. In the past women were degraded and used as objects of lust

    The following examples from history amply illustrate the fact that the status of women in earlier civilizations was very low to the extent that they were denied basic human dignity:

    a. Babylonian Civilization:

    The women were degraded and were denied all rights under the Babylonian law. If a man murdered a woman, instead of him being punished, his wife was put to death.

    b. Greek Civilization:

    Greek Civilization is considered the most glorious of all ancient civilizations. Under this very ‘glorious’ system, women were deprived of all rights and were looked down upon. In Greek mythology, an ‘imaginary woman’ called
    ‘Pandora’ is the root cause of misfortune of human beings.
    The Greeks considered women to be subhuman and inferior to men. Though chastity of women was precious, and women were held in high esteem, the Greeks were later overwhelmed by ego and sexual perversions. Prostitution
    became a regular practice amongst all classes of Greek society.

    c. Roman Civilization:

    When Roman Civilization was at the zenith of its ‘glory’, a man even had the right to take the life of his wife. Prostitution and nudity were common amongst the Romans.

    d. Egyptian Civilization:

    The Egyptian considered women evil and as a sign of a devil.

    e. Pre-Islamic Arabia:
    Before Islam spread in Arabia, the Arabs looked down upon women and very often when a female child was born, she was buried alive.

    2. Islam uplifted women and gave them equality and expects them to maintain their status.
    Islam uplifted the status of women and granted them their just rights 1400 years ago. Islam expects women to maintain their status.

    Hijab for men
    People usually only discuss ‘hijab’ in the context of women. However, in the
    Glorious Qur’an, Allah (swt) first mentions ‘hijab’ for men before ‘hijab’ for the
    women.
    The Qur’an mentions in Surah Noor:
    “Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.”
    [Al-Qur’an 24:30]

    The moment a man looks at a woman and if any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he should lower his gaze.

    Hijab for women.

    The next verse of Surah Noor, says:
    “ And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their
    sons…”
    [Al-Qur’an 24:31]

    3. Six criteria for Hijab.
    According to Qur’an and Sunnah there are basically six criteria for observing
    hijab:

    1. Extent:
    The first criterion is the extent of the body that should be covered. This is different for men and women. The extent of covering obligatory on the male is to cover the body at least from the navel to the knees. For women, the extent of covering obligatory is to cover the complete body except the face and the hands upto the wrist. If they wish to, they can cover even these parts of the body. Some scholars of Islam insist that the face and the hands are part of the obligatory extent of ‘hijab’.

    All the remaining five criteria are the same for men and women.
    2. The clothes worn should be loose and should not reveal the figure.

    3. The clothes worn should not be transparent such that one can see through
    them.

    4. The clothes worn should not be so glamorous as to attract the opposite sex.

    5. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the opposite sex.

    6. The clothes worn should not resemble that of the unbelievers i.e. they should not wear clothes that are specifically identities or symbols of the unbelievers’ religions.

    4. Hijab includes conduct and behaviour among other things
    Complete ‘hijab’, besides the six criteria of clothing, also includes the moral conduct, behaviour, attitude and intention of the individual. A person only fulfilling the criteria of ‘hijab’ of the clothes is observing ‘hijab’ in a limited sense.
    ‘Hijab’ of the clothes should be accompanied by ‘hijab’ of the eyes, ‘hijab’ of the heart, ‘hijab’ of thought and ‘hijab’ of intention. It also includes the way a person walks, the way a person talks, the way he behaves, etc.

    5. Hijab prevents molestation
    The reason why Hijab is prescribed for women is mentioned in the Qur’an in the following verses of Surah Al-Ahzab:
    “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when abroad); that is most convenient, that they should be known (as such) and not molested. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
    [Al-Qur’an 33:59]

    The Qur’an says that Hijab has been prescribed for the women so that they are recognized as modest women and this will also prevent them from being molested.

    6. Example of twin sisters

    Suppose two sisters who are twins, and who are equally beautiful, walk down the street. One of them is attired in the Islamic hijab i.e. the complete body is covered, except for the face and the hands up to the wrists. The other sister is wearing western clothes, a mini skirt or shorts. Just around the corner there is a hooligan or ruffian who is waiting for a catch, to tease a girl. Whom will he tease? The girl wearing the Islamic Hijab or the girl wearing the skirt or the mini?

    Naturally he will tease the girl wearing the skirt or the mini. Such dresses are an indirect invitation to the opposite sex for teasing and molestation.
    The Qur’an rightly says that hijab prevents women from being molested.

    7. Capital punishment for the rapists

    Under the Islamic shariah, a man convicted of having raped a woman, is given capital punishment. Many are astonished at this ‘harsh’ sentence. Some even say that Islam is a ruthless, barbaric religion!

    I have asked a simple question to hundreds of non-Muslim men. Suppose, God forbid, someone rapes your wife,
    your mother or your sister.

    You are made the judge and the rapist is brought in front of you. What punishment would you give him? All of them said they would put him to death. Some went to the extent of saying they would torture him to death. To them I ask, if someone rapes your wife or your mother you want to put
    him to death. But if the same crime is committed on somebody else’s wife or daughter you say capital punishment is barbaric.
    Why should there be double standards?

    8. Western society falsely claims to have uplifted women
    Western talk of women’s liberalization is nothing but a disguised form of exploitation of her body, degradation of her soul, and deprivation of her honour.

    Western society claims to have ‘uplifted’ women. On the contrary it has actually degraded them to the status of concubines, mistresses and society butterflies who are mere tools in the hands of pleasure seekers and sex marketeers, hidden behind the colourful screen of ‘art’ and ‘culture’.

    9. USA has one of the highest rates of rape United States of America is supposed to be one of the most advanced countries of the world.

    It also has one of the highest rates of rape in any country in the world. According to a FBI report, in the year 1990, every day on an average 1756 cases of rape were committed in U.S.A alone.

    Later another report said that on an average everyday 1900 cases of rapes are committed in USA.

    The year was not mentioned. May be it was 1992 or 1993. May be the Americans got ‘bolder’ in the following years.

    Consider a scenario where the Islamic hijab is followed in America.
    Whenever a man looks at a woman and any brazen or unashamed thought comes to his mind, he lowers his gaze.
    Every woman wears the Islamic hijab, that is the complete body is covered except the face and the hands upto the wrist.
    After this if any man commits rape he is given capital punishment.

    I ask you, in such a scenario, will the rate of rape in America increase, will it remain the same, or will it decrease?

    10. Implementation of Islamic Shariah will reduce the rate of rapes Naturally as soon as Islamic Shariah is Implemented positive results will be inevitable.
    If Islamic Shariah is implemented in any part of the world, whether it is America or Europe, society will breathe easier.
    Hijab does not degrade a woman but uplifts a woman and protects her modesty and chastity.

  • esther

    I didn’t spend a lot of time here, but I feel there is a danger of circulating false information, since what is written out is only limited to the understanding and interpretation of the author. Holy books.. regardless which, cannot be interpreted through just one person’s knowledge, and it’s good to realize that it is dangerously easy to stumble others through what we say. Thanks.

  • darbea

    Yasser Mahmood – CLAIM 2 -Why does Islam degrade women by keeping them behind the veil?

    Thanks for your post, I actually learned something new, while dispersing an assumption. I don’t agree with the reasons/results of any one of the laws, but I have a better understanding. We may not agree on why’s, where’s, what’s and how’s related to our individual behaviors, but when we learn the root of the thought, well, at least it’s a starting point. I don’t know if you live here in the states or middle east. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that’s our setting. Naturally, our environments are probably the most influential forces affecting our entire life experience. In the Arctic countries, especially areas close to the Arctic circle, there is a signifigant level of depression among the residents, along with all the related disorders. The levels, from the circle then going south, are directly proprtional in occurences, related to the distance to and from the circle. It’s due to the sun cycles, where they experience up to 6 months of darkness, followed by 6 months of sun. Actually, I think there’s a dawn and dusk cycle too, for it’s not as if it becomes dark as if controlled by a switch, but I’m just getting mired in innuedo here. It’s no secret that, and I wasn’t try trying to reveal some unknown happening, I just wanted to paint an easy picture. It’s an example of envirionmental influence. Other regions have their own factors that apply to them. Environment doesn’t just apply to natural forces – Man made forces are part of the mix, too. These mixtures can vary based on a national level, or household level. Everything counts. So, as we develope our lives, something strange to you is not even noticeable to us. A woman walking down the street here, while she may be attractive, and we males may take a second look, we don’t form the “attack – rape” mentality. For better or worse, we’re used to it. It doesn’t mean we’re eunichs or gay, we just don’t think based on that image, and as a whole, cannot imagine, in any way, how the sight of a women, even nude, would compel us to violence, or any action not agreed to.
    We are responsible for our thoughts. Nobody else. Period it is that simple, and an easy concept. The images you always see of us is directly related to the image the photographer, videographer, or whatever, wanted you to see. Thru that image, he molds your perceptions. Example: Over here, the TV gods know what images work to tell the story they want. They know that negative images generate emotions and attract more viewers, as opposed to watching a farmer tending to his crops in the field. Showing images of women, all covered up, ANY image of a muslim or Middle easterner (that little fact doesn’t matter), these aLL reinforce our preconceived notions. And the same goes both ways. I could easily send you video 24 hrs a day for years, and you would only see people and communities in harmony, no crime, more modestly dressed women ( I can’t quite do a 100 % cover, but Nuns come close, The Amish, and so much more – pristine fields, forests so lush you could smell the pine, you name it, we got it.
    That stuff is all perception. As for the thought process and women: Contrary to one of your statements, there is no relationship between sexual desire and rape. Rape is an act of violence, and though in most cases there is the final sex act, the attack was triggered by rage. it could be rage against women, but it’s still rage. Age, attire, beauty, heavy, skinny, it doesn’t matter. Sexual urge does not compel these sick bastards, it doesn’t even enter their mind. Their sexual attack at the end is soley a statement of power. A healthy percentage of rape victims are elderly women asleep in their bed. The intruder breaks into her house, usually severely beats the woman, and can due the sexual act whether she’s dead or alive, it makes no difference to them. Nuns are attacked more than you’d think. They’re covered as equally or closely to a fully attired woman in ypur country. And that old lady, previously, well that’s obvious. It wasn’t based on any erotic vision.

    In your culture, your taught (my assumption), that there is some kind of shame, or sin or something close to that, that you should be ashamed, effectively, of your looks, your body, that everything needs to be covered up, so ideas aren’t planted in your mind, or to demonstrate modesty, and such. And that women were granted limited rights 1400 years ago, and be happy with that.
    This is an extremely difficult process for us to accept. We’ve been raised to have no shame (well not too much) about our appearance, (not nude, necessarily. Some go all the way, and go nude, and that’s they’re choice. No One else made that choice for them. Nudists don’t walk down the street, they have their own secluded resorts, and whether they are sinners, or what, neither sex display that “obvious” condition which would show sexual excitement. They believe that nudity in itself is not sexual; sexuality is part of something different.

    Enough of that. I really don’t know anything about that lifestyle although many of them are modest themselves, but modest in temperment or whatever. Honestly, I would betray myself hanging out with them.

    As far as women in public, at work, or whatever, Although at the work location there is a bias, that bias exists in a person’s mind – it is illegal to subject anybody to any predudice, bias, whatever. There’s still some hurdles here, either instutionally, or interpersonally, or both. It’s illegal, but getting better everyday.

    I’ve never seen this in the workplace, but it was persvasive enough to be a problem. I/we cannot comprehend any reason that would by law, restrict a woman’s right or ability to work, and at the same rates as a man. How can that be justified. It doesn’t make sense to us. I’ve never felt threatened, or superior to women. All thruout grade school, high school, post school life, marriage, girls or women, thru common friendship, i had as many female friends as male friends. I’m not sure i can explain it correctly – It was simply part of our culture and it wasn’t confusing. The platonic friendships with women offer different values than our friendships with other guys – and has nothing to do with sex. It’s just is what it is. And when we marry a woman, she is nothing less or more than equal. Marriage is about becoming one with each other. We can’t acheive that by placing her on a pedestal – the relationship becomes unbalanced, where she could lose respect for you, leading to an unpleasnt life together. If we subjicate her, thru exclusion, over-protection, physical abuse, mental abuse, or whatever, we’ve already shown our disrespect for her, and shown that we don’t deserve to be with her.

    Despite the attempts of Pres Bush, the neo-con asswipes of the republican party, or our disgust with the influence of the fundamentalist christian cabal over here, we’re still a free country. With free will.

  • http://www.free-minds.org Abu Rami

    To : 74 Yasser Mahmood

    Virgin birth has no basis in Quran. although people take it for granted but it is not.

    It is influenced by traditions and hadith and has no basis in Quran. if you read the story of Mary very carefully you will see that, but we were all told since we could speak that mary was a virgin and it is not.

    Most Muslims consider mary as vargin based on verse 19:20

    Quran
    19:20 She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?

    This verse is simply saying that Mary was told that she will have a son and he will be a prophet in the next verses, BUT all in the future and not now! so she must have got married and delivered a baby. that’s all.

    From Quranic perspective having two partners (Male and Female) is the real miracle, the beginning of creation there was only one and later male/female evolved”created”, so having a single parent is no miracle it is like going backward millions of years! The miracle is father and mother think about it, it is emphasized MOST of the time in Quran.

    Jesus is considered as just a normal human, he is like you and me. His mother lived in Essens influence they had their wierd marriage/parenting customs. They lived in some kind of Utopia.

    They were at odds with the corrupt high priests of Jerusalem so they lived in a Dead sea area far away from Jerusalem.

    They followed Torah and rejected man made Talmud and they were expecting the Messaiah and interestingly enough Jesus was one of them.

    When Catholic church was cleaning up all the real followers of Jesus and considering them as heretics the Essens knew that Rome was going to confiscate and destroy all original teachings of the great prophet Jesus, so the Essens hid their scrolls and Rome didn’t find it.

    The Scrolls were found in the dead sea area/qumran and now being studied extensively, perfectly matches Quran.

    Read more about Essens and the dead sea scrolls and you will see the real prophet Jesus. Perfectly matches Quran.

  • Chris

    Abu Rami, the talmud dates from 200 to 500 AD (CE) dependinng on the section. It wasn’t around at the time you are speaking of if I understood your post correctly.

  • jess

    Mahmood – Women either are married to a man, married to a man who is already married, or ‘public property’? Just because I’m fucking someone who isn’t my husband doesn’t make me public property… it doesn’t even make me his property.

    and… a third of all men in new york are gay? i think you made that bit up, you cheeky sausage.

  • so and so

    why do you guys make such a big deal of this all if you don’t even believe in it and keep talking about how few an instance it’s mentioned in the gospels anyway?

    why not talk about something a little more interesting like jesus rising from the dead?

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @so and so: Don’t worry, I’ll talk plenty about Jesus not rising from the dead, too.

  • so and so

    Oh he didn’t? I’m not worried. Hehe. So that J guy didn’t rise from the dead?

  • Her

    I am a virgin….so is my mother and grandmother!

  • Tim

    Your wrong about Paul being the first. The first mention is obviously in the Gospels, which were written within 30 years of the event. Although that “seems” like a big gap in our day with instant communication – it’s one of the only events in history where we have a record with that little of a time span before the printing press and mass communication. The reality is that if it was a lie, there were mobs of people who’d love to crucify anyone who wrote such a thing and would have destoryed it. There were thousands of witnesses to the events recorded in the Bible and ton of secular evidence – but you see what you want to see I guess. Who cares about history, records, etc, right? It’s much easier to say it’s all the greatest hoax made in the history of man and then be able to justify living life for yourself and not be accountable to any one or anything. Hope it works for you and I guess I hope your right for your sake though I know you’re wrong…

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @Tim: You must have access to some kind of data that scholars don’t. Gospels written 30 years after? Evidence please. They weren’t even written by eyewitnesses!

    Feel free to show some evidence that any of the gospels were written before the earliest Pauline epistle. Even the crazy fundie scholars I know don’t believe that!

    There were thousands of witnesses to the events recorded in the Bible and ton of secular evidence

    Wow, are you serious? Where is this ton of evidence? Where are the secular eyewitnesses accounts? Where are the records of Herord’s slaughter that never happens and only appears once in ancient literature (one gospel!). What kind of crazy pastor have you been listening to?

    Forget a ton of evidence. How about you produce one contemporary account written in Jesus’ life.

  • Carny

    Yasser, that convoluted mess you posted is why Islam is the 3rd most jacked up “religion” in existence.

    Right behind Scientology and Mormons.

    Oh, and living so close to Utah, one of my favorite phrases is “Don’t forget. You can’t spell “Mormon” without “Moron”.

  • Ken

    Tim – Please support your assertion that there is (a) ton of secular evidence.

    In another vein (and not directed at Tim) if Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, why were his immediate relatives skeptical of his ministry as the Bible asserts?

  • Sam

    Oh, thank you, thank you, all you apologetics.

    Many of your explanations and arguments were hilarious. I was most amused.

    Yasser, since I work in NY, I found your assertion the funniest — 1/3 of NYers are gay?! ROFLMAO!!!

    • http://dangerousintersection.org mandrellian

      1/3 gay in NY? LMAO! Where’d Yasser do his research? Fire Island? In freakin’ 1980?

      LMAAAAAO :D

  • Pingback: Why, Thank You Daniel! « Liar, Lunatic, or Bored

  • steelstringed

    Of course! Great post, and great content all around. I used to be pretty fundamentalist myself growing up; amazing to see how much of a house of cards it all was once I started actually probing.

  • arachnophilia

    @Brian Larnder:

    Sorry to plug my own blog, but I have a post up about this topic which goes into the Isaiah prophecy in more detail. Some of the readers here may find it interesting. Long story short, Isaiah impregnated the young maiden himself in order to fulfil his own prophecy. Hey if you want a job done right…

    nah, the verbs are in present tense, in the hebrew. she’s probably already pregnant. and is probably his wife, and probably present during the conversation. it doesn’t say almah, “a young woman” but rather ha-almah, “THE young woman.” which makes little sense if ahaz doesn’t know who isaiah’s talking about. the next chapter is probably about the same son.

    and it’s not the prophecy anyways. it’s a sign of the prophecy. the prophecy is that aram and israel, which are causing problems for ahaz in judah, will both be dealt with within about 13 years. this almost certainly refers to the assyrian invasion, which utterly destroys both countries.

    @Mithra:

    For more convincing details about this subject (and much much more) see ZeitgeistMovie.com

    yeah, no. that “movie” is nothing but paranoid conspiracy theory, and what little i’ve seen of it did not contain a single true fact. and they managed to say ALOT in what little i’ve seen of it. be sure to watch the rest, where he claims that 9/11 was faked, as was pearl harbor. it’s drivel, nothing more. and most of its claims of “virgin birth” (on topic) are ludicrously silly if you’ve even bothered to look up the mythology on wikipedia.

    @davidkentie:

    Some might argue this, however, in recent times Archaeologists have uncovered the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which contain manuscripts of Isaiah dating from 1 Century BC. Now, the Bible as we see it today has Isaiah as preserved by the monks of Ireland and other Universities from Medieval Europe around the 10th Century AD. Those monks have in tradition transcribed from the Vatican library manuscripts, from this Septuagint you speak with dates from the Hellenistic Era. However when closely compared, the manuscripts from our Modern Biblical text of Isaiah and the sections of Isaiah found with the Dead Sea Scrolls there is very little to no loss of literary cohesion. The terminology as you say which means young woman, is in fact the Greek assumption of the term, virgin.

    no, it’s a mistranslation in the septuagint, not of the septuagint. if memory serves, the LXX does indeed say “virgin” but the hebrew texts, including the DSS, do not. isaiah was almost certainly not written in greek, and the DSS is oldest version of isaiah we have, iirc. and no, there’s no loss. the modern versions don’t say “virgin” either, except in christian translations. the modern jewish texts (translations or otherwise) do not. modern academic translations don’t say it either.

    Naturally if you’re saying that there is no Virgin Birth then you debunk Christianity’s claims.

    why? it’s only in two gospels. and one uses a horribly out-of-context quotemine to support it.

    That’s all fair, however even if you’re assumptions about Isaiah truly meaning “young woman” you still have approximately 98 other propechies that were fulfilled in Isaiah by the life of Jesus Christ.

    if you actually read isaiah 7, all of it, and closely, there’s no way it could be about jesus. ditto for most of those other prophecies. matthew, in particular, is really really bad at this game. in several cases, he misattributes, and in many others, references prophecis that actually work against christ as the messiah, if you’ve read any of them in context. for instance, his genealogy. the messiah is supposed to a king in the line of david. matthew does make jesus a son of david… but through the wrong king. any legitimate claim to the throne must be through zedekiah, the last righteous king of judah, and NOT his brother jehoiachin, who was cursed by god. but apparently, not a lot of people pay attention to the books of kings, and jeremiah.

    Historically, we know there was a Jesus.

    we don’t know any such thing. it’s just not a terribly unreasonable assumption.

    As for the three kings representing Orion’s Belt, this might be an interesting point, however biblical texts do not point there being only three magi, which were not kings, but philosophers from the East. Egypt is southwest.

    indeed, the extent of astrological symbolism that you will find in the new testament is in these magi. they were probably from persia, and the number is not specified. might have been two. might have been two thousand. and the authors of the new testament were so astrologically inadept that all they could say was “star” and not describe the sign and what it meant.

    and to the person who posted that nonsense, okay, i’ll look at the stars, but on what year? the bible and history indicate that jesus was born sometime before 6 BCE and after 4 BCE. yes, you read that right, not between, but betwixt. figure that one out. and why december? you don’t sit with your flock of sheep in field at night in israel in december. it’s too bloody cold. rather, you do it during breeding season, spring.

    You seem to really have a lot of historical events confused. Christmas eve is actually not the eve before Christ’s birth. December 24th and 25th were dates settled much later in 3rd Century to replace the Pagan festival of Saturnalia in Rome.

    indeed. some have argued it goes back to the second century, but the earliest definitive record of christmas in december is from the 4th century. in any case, there’s not much evidence that the early christians would have even celebrated his birth. they were more concerned with his death and resurrection.

    @vorjack:

    The virgin birth occurs in Matthew and Luke, who were likely to be drawing it from the same source – Q

    no, probably not. Q is hypothesized to explain the high degree of overlap between quotations of christ, not so much the events of his life. luke, however, might have gotten it from matthew. it’s curious that luke does not cite isaiah 7.

    @davidkentie:

    In fact Josephus, who many take seriously in antiquity has very similar writing styles to Luke and most likely, as the scholars tell me, adopted Luke’s writing style.

    yeah, no.

    I am not in dispute about the whole Isaiah-Ahaz argument, except that while God was speaking to Ahaz through Isaiah he was also foretelling the fulfillment of Israel would come.

    judah. the prophecy was that israel would be destroyed, along with aram. and it can’t even metaphorically be about jesus. it’s just one random line, ripped out of context, and mistranslated. i don’t buy the double fulfillment thing, because the prophecy itself is utterly meaningless with regards to christ. it just does not fit.

    @Chayanov:

    You can’t use the Bible to support itself.

    theoretically, you could. it’s not like it’s one book. it’s just that because so much of shares sources, the duplication is mostly meaningless.

  • Bruce Warren

    I love it when people think they are speaking as ‘experts’ and they are not. Biased skepticism is hardly ‘reasonable.’ You begin with the postulation – if Jesus is really born from a virginal conception (no such thing as a virgin birth), then everything the Bible says about Jesus is true, meaning that He died for my sins, and I have to admit to God that I am a sinner and need salvation. I cannot let that happen, so the virginal conception of Jesus cannot be true and I will find everything I can to disprove it. Your Biblical methods of interpretation are unreasonable. You offer Paul’s omission of the virgin as ‘proof’ that it is not true. So, if Paul did not mention Mary’s name, she did not exist–if Paul did not mention Jonah, he did not exist either. Very ‘reasonable.’ You do not let the individual Gospel writers be individual writers. Mark does not mention the childhood of Jesus because it did not fit his purpose. He may have assumed his readers already knew that fact. You don’t know. Matthew and Luke have different purposes. Your modern ‘scientific methods being applied to ancient Scripture is as appropriate as the anachronisms in Princess Bride. If you want a real discussion of the facts, here is my email – mlenurse@aol.com

  • GBM

    I’ve noticed a lot of the religious commentators on this page claiming that no argument has been advanced for the conclusion. I think that is wrong (and for clarity’s sake I’ll put it formally) I think the argument goes like this:

    P1: A V B
    P2: ~A
    C: B

    A: Virgin Birth/Conception; the miraculous origin story for JC whatever you want to call it.
    B: Somebody in the long chain of people telling stories about JC lied about this point or made a mistake.

    P1: Not much to say about this premise, I think that everyone here will agree that either JC was born of a virgin or somebody lied/screwed up. Pretty uncontroversial.

    P2: This is the one that everybody is fighting over, personally I’m with Florien. Specific textual issues aside, miracles are as a matter of definition vanishingly unlikely. That is what makes them miracles and that is why they are so spectacularly impressive. Lies and mistakes on the other hand are incredibly commonplace, all of us see them basically every day.

    C: Thus B is more likely than A so we conclude B this is a valid form, but since it happens to be a probabilistic inference it can’t be called sound, but frankly it looks pretty damned close.

    That said you can certainly try to use the Bible as historical evidence that the virgin birth in fact occurred, but then you are going to have to deal with a legion of other reported miracles from both the ancient and modern world. Any criterion that would render the virgin birth historically respectable would probably do the same to the miracles described in Islam, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism not to mention those miracles described in Homer and even worse those miracles performed by Apollonius of Tyana, or in modernity by Sathya Sai Baba. In essence, the problem that a Christian faces when looking at the historical evidence is that there is no non question-begging way to keep the miracles you don’t want out while keeping the miracles you do want in. At the end of the day you can still say that you have faith that JC was born of a virgin, but when you do that I think it is important to note that you are more or less talking to yourself. Sure the faith you feel may be very real and present, but even if we counted the subjective experience you have while reading your holy book, remember that not one other person can share that experience qua experience (by which i just mean that no one else can actually feel your personal feelings, not that there are no other christians.) Thus it is more or less irrelevant when talking to someone else, especially someone whom you have good reason to believe does not share your regard for the bible.

    (also sorry for putting words in your mouth Florien, if my reconstruction of your argument is unfair or incorrect plz say so.)

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Jon

    Hebrews 11:6

    Without faith it is impossible to please God, but those who come to Him must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

    “We walk by faith and not by sight.”

    I do not fault you for your beliefs, unless you have a relationship with Jesus Christ you would not be able to understand the miraculous things that are written in the Bible. It is really just ignorance ( lack of knowledge in this area) to say it is not true when you have never established relationship with the one it was said about. I am not talking about joining a church I am talking about a relationship just like you have with your best friend or someone in your family. The awesome thing is that Jesus is still very much in love with all that has written positive or negative things about Him on this page.

    May the Lord richly bless you and reveal Himself to you.

    Jon

  • steve

    If it happened today – with current technology – we could prove it – then where would the naysayers be?

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    @steve: You’re exactly right. If there were proof, there’d be no naysayers. But since there is no proof, we naysay — there’s no reason TO believe.

    Why believe in the absence of any evidence? It doesn’t make any sense.

  • GBM

    @ steve 2 points

    (1) You are not offering anyone here who does not already believe a reason to do so
    (2) If you were to actually walk by faith rather than sight, you’d get run over.

  • Yasser Mahmood – Prove Koran Wrong – Challenge to All – Good Luck

    Asalam Alikum Friends, Brother and Sisters

    I invite you all to look in to ISLAM. KORAN is the only text on the face of the Earth that gives challenge to proof any verse wrong.

    It gives you chance for falsification tests.

    Allah (God almighty) says in Glorious Koran

    Challenge No. 1 —- 2.023 (Al-Baqara [The Cow])

    And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Sura like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (If there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true.

    002.024 But if ye cannot- and of a surety ye cannot- then fear the Fire whose fuel is men and stones,- which is prepared for those who reject Faith.

    Challenge No. 2 —- chap 10 verse 38 : (Yunus [Jonah])

    Or do they say, “He forged it”? say: “Bring then a Sura (verse) like unto it, and call (to your aid) anyone you can besides Allah, if it be ye speak the truth!”

    Challenge No. 3 —- 011.013 (Hud [Hud])
    Or they may say, “He forged it,” Say, “Bring ye then ten suras forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever ye can, other than Allah!- If ye speak the truth!

    Challenge No. 4 —- 017.088 (Al-Isra [Isra, The Night Journey, Children of Israel])

    Say: “If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.

    So here is the challenge for you all. The Koran is giving clear challenge to proove it wrong. Good Luck!!

    Also I like to add to llok at Dr. Keith Moore – Professional in Embriology and written many books on Embrology who is shocked to find the medical facts in the Glorious Koran followed by many doctors from china and other european and american doctors. Apart fom that you also have the Big Bang theory in Koran.

    There is alot inside but one has to read and research on it.

    If this book was not from Allah (GOD almighty) ten it would contained many errors and contradictions.

    I will try to give more scientific facts Insh-Allah..

    Yasser Mahmood

  • Jonesy

    The Virgin Birth is just a part of The Nativity Myth, which was a way to try to convince people that Jesus was/is the messiah. It all came AFTER he became famous and a religion developed around him. Virgin birth, wisemen, star, etc…was all made up. Anything that makes it appear that this baby was known when he was born that he’d lead a religion is made up.

    I cant say that the voyage on the Donkey, the no room at the Inn, laid in a manger… was made up though. That may be part of the story that is true, I dont know.

  • Yasser Mahmood

    Muhammad (pbuh) lived among tribes of people who were for the most part illiterate. He himself was also illiterate. These people used to live extremely simple lives. Some were traders and businessmen, others were farmers, and yet others were nomadic sheepherders who traveled from place to place depending on where they could find grass for their sheep to graze. When Muhammad (pbuh) brought them the Qur’an, the believers found in the Qur’an the command to go out, seek knowledge, and confirm the presence of their Creator by studying His creation. Muslims began to fulfill this command of the Qur’an and this resulted in one of the greatest explosions of scientific advancement mankind has ever seen. All of this was going on during a period that the West calls “The Dark Ages,” wherein the scientists of the West were being persecuted and killed as sorcerers and wizards. During this period, Muslims scholars introduced into the world such things as:

    * Mathematical evolution of spherical mirrors

    * Rectilinear motion of light and use of lenses

    * Refraction angle variations

    * Magnifying effects of the plano convex lens

    * Introduced the concept of the elliptical shape of cosmological bodies

    * Study of the center of gravity as applied to balance

    * Measurement of specific weights of bodies

    * Rule of algebraic equations

    * Solutions to quadratic and cubic equations

    * Work on square roots, squares, theory of numbers, solution of the fractional numbers

    * Solutions of equations of cubic order

    * Wrote on conic geometry elaborating the solution of algebraic equations

    * Determined the Trinomial Equation

    * Avicenna’s “Canon of Medicine.” He is know as the Prince of Physicians to the West

    * Wrote the first description of several drugs and diseases as meningitis.

    * Treatment of physiological shocks

    * Expertise in psychosomatic medicine and psychology

    * Al-Biruni mentions fifty six manuscripts on pharmacology

    * Credited for identifying small pox and its treatment

    * Use of alcohol as an antiseptic

    * Use of mercury as a purgative for the first time

    * First to describe the circulation of blood.

    * “Holy Abbas” was, after Rhazes, the most outstanding Physician. His works were authoritative till the works of ibn Sina appeared

    * Writings on Cosmology, Astrology, Science of numbers and letters

    * Proved that the earth is smaller than the sun but larger than the moon.

    * Final authorities on Chemistry for many Centuries

    * Classified metals into three classifications

    * Laid the basis of the Acid Base theory

    * Distillation, calcination, crystallization, the discovery of many acids

    * Cultivation of Gold – is a continuation of Jabir’s work

    * Theory of Oscillatory motion of equinoxes

    * Addition of ninth sphere to the eight Ptolematic astronomy

    * Discovered the increase of the suns apogee

    * Gravitational force

    * Responsible for the discovery motion of the solar apsides

    * wrote ‘ On the Science of Stars ‘

    * Determination of latitudes and longitudes

    * Determination of geodetic measurements

    * Described the motion of the planets

    * Solved the problems of spherical trigonometry

    * First to study the isometric oscillatory motion of a pendulum

    * Invented the instrument ‘ Sahifah ”

    * Responsible for the proof of the motion of the apogee of the sun with respect to the fixed stars.

    * authorities on the theory of the system of homocentric spheres

    * Prepared a calendar that was more accurate than the Gregorian one in use today.

    ……………and much, much more.

    • http://dangerousintersection.org mandrellian

      I don’t think any honest person can deny the contributions made by Islamic scholars during the golden period (Sinan, the architect from the Byzantine period who made many breathtaking structures for Suleiman, is in fact one of my favourite artists & engineers of all time).

      However, the fact that the accomplishments on your list were made by Islamic scientists is not evidence to the truth of the Koran; rather it is evidence to the value of honest scientific inquiry regardless of the religion of the scientist. Francis Collins, the scientist who administered the human genome project, is a devout Christian, Charles Darwin was a born Christian who ended up an agnostic as s result of his work and Carl Sagan the cosmologist was an atheist; however noone could reasonably claim that their specific ideas about religion were the origination of their brilliance. It takes an honest, open, inquiring mind, lots of hard work and a willingness to cast aside cherished ideas if they’re proven wrong by evidence to make discoveries and generate new ways of understanding the universe.

      It is also evidence, when you look at what was happening in Europe at the same time, toward the negative effects any religion can have on a culture and its development if it is allowed, as in the case of Catholicism, to become the dominant political force and crush any and all ideas which even come close to questioning scripture. The brutal, ignorant Christian Dark Ages you speak of should serve as a warning to all humanity about the dangers of placing dogma above knowledge; of elevating superstition beyond understanding; of demonising the very pursuit of knowledge and of attacking those who dare to ask difficult questions. Some today argue that parts of today’s Islamic world have indeed entered a new Dark Age of their own, with Islamic theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran and some African nations being dragged backwards by fundamentalist Islam into dark-aged theocracy, with stonings, beheadings, female circumcision, “Decency Police”, sharia courts, social oppression, sham elections (or none at all) and many other cultural trappings which modern, free societies detest and abhor. So while it is all well & good to cite Islamic contributions and Western failings of old; I believe it is more important to look upon the reality of the world as it is today and try to see precisely where the next Renaissance needs to occur.

  • Brian

    Aren’t most of these rebuttal comments missing the main point?

    The title of the post is: “Why I Deny The Virgin Birth of Jesus”

    These are reasons why he doesn’t believe in it. He’s not disproving it. It’s not one of those “tada” A=B | B=C | therefore A=C sort of moments. You can’t really disprove it; you can just give reasons for why you think it is unlikely.

    Furthermore, it’s framing the argument the wrong way. The question isn’t why *don’t* you believe in it; but why *do* you believe in it.

    Someone says: “My friend had a baby with her husband” Ok. I mean maybe that’s true, maybe the wife cheated and it wasn’t the husbands baby; but all in all it’s rather probable for a wife to have a baby with her husband. Seems to happen all the time and we have a lot of evidence to back that up.

    Now someone says: “My friend had a baby, but is still a virgin (oh and she had the baby with God)” This, maybe we should look into a bit more and would have a few more questions about. I think everyone could agree about that. This is why the question should be framed around “Why do you believe she is a Virgin” instead of “Why you don’t”. Sort of naturally you would question something so unrare and unlike anything you have ever seen (which doesn’t mean it’s not true; just normally in life such events seem to require a bit more questions).

    The second question to ask right after that is why you believe in this miracle, but not others. How do you draw the line? What is your criteria and is your belief falsifiable? Do you have solid justifications?

    Most of us don’t believe in miracles in religions outside of our own and most of us don’t follow religions outside of the ones our parents believed or our cultures at the time embraced. Doesn’t that seem a bit weird, that what someone so firmly feels is absolute truth is based on such geographic accidents?

    It seems a lot of disbelief comes not from a solid (I think impossible) proof, but just a lot of little… well that’s a little odd…. moments. They start to add up, then it just starts to become a bit funny.

  • http://www.khouse.org Ted

    If God created the world and put a soul in each one of us, then it is not unreasonable for him to be able to create a virgin birth. The question always goes back to whether God exists or not.

    If you believe that matter was created from nothing and that the nothingness creating things that over time created more things, then you must still explain First Cause.

    Without proof of first cause, you are in the realm of faith.

    Can you explain macroevolution? Can you explain how you have the ability to explain anything at all? Would that go back to evolution? Experiments have been done to try to create the right atmosphere to create a single cell (of course they are using existing matter and energy). The atmosphere needed to create, is a problem for the created cell. The cell cannot survive in the atmosphere in which it was created. It dies quickly.

    You have a beginning like that (again pointing out the pre-existence of matter and energy that magically appeared out of nowhere) and you expect a reasonable person to believe that the world and all that we have in it was created from this?

    The evolutionary process would have to create both male and female complex systems at the same time in order for the species to exists and survive and replicate. There is so much that is faith based in evolution that it’s silly for one that believes in it to preach to others of faith that they are superior.

    godandscience dot org has wonderful answers and discussions for those that care to research rather than chat on a blog.

  • Pingback: Was Jesus born of a virgin? « Unreasonable Faith

  • Yasser Mahmood

    I kinda agree with Ted.

    To prove wheather Virgin birth is true or not e have to proove wheather God exist or not.

    Lets start from very Baics what we have. Lets analyze the religions with scripture claiming GODS word.

    U see during the time of prophets, prophets had to perform miracle to proove he is sent from God.

    This is the Era of Science & Technology. So lets analyze the scriptures with Science & Technology.

    To prove wheather God exist or not is by analysing the sacred scriptures which claim the word of God. If they include scientfic facts

    Bible : We all agree Daniel was former Evangilist so does not agree with biblical texts.

    KORAN : Very well know Dotors, Scientists. researchers etc have verified and shpocked to find the things mentioned in Koran 100 % true with scientific proof.

    Ref : Medical Doctor Dr. Kieth Moore, French Dr. Maurice Bucaille etc…. many many more they are researching Koran and are amzed

    Their Commens ” We cannot belive a shepherd (Mohammed PBUH) of Arabia could produce such documents with such detail and scientific facts other super power as God”

    So guys do not be arrogant and get a proper Paper Back copy of Koran with arabic and translation by M.M. PicktHall or Abdulla Yousif Ali.

    Ask any Muslim to get you copy. Do research by your self……. seek for the truth and truth shall free you .. (Jesus pbuh said that) but seeking for the truth is every ones right and obligation..

  • cagold

    There are five points to the argument.
    1. No reliable evidence. A conclusion from silence proves nothing.
    2. The earliest references are late and sparse.
    So? Again, no evidence to the contrary.
    3. It’s the same old myth.
    Where did these “myths” come from? Perhaps prophecy?
    4. More likely to be a lie or to be true?
    Miracles are never easy to believe. By definition, they aren’t normal…thus hard to believe. It was hard for the people of that day to believe…but that doesn’t prove it wasn’t true.
    5. We would never believe this today.
    What does this prove? This is simply a statement with no bearing on truth or non truth. What we would or wouldn’t believe today isn’t the last word on what is true or false.

  • http://blogs.pioneerlocal.com/religion Brett

    Great article and it’s good to see a critical look at the Christmas stories. Yes, obviously Christianity borrowed a lot from other religions and writings. My only problem is that finding flaws in the writings of men leads to a decision to abandon the faith. I don’t believe in the virgin birth (http://blogs.pioneerlocal.com/religion) but still am a Christian. The myth is that Christians can’t be critical thinkers.

    • Nathan D. D.

      “I don’t believe in the virgin birth…but still am a Christian.”

      Brother in Christ,

      Without the virgin birth, Jesus was not God. If Jesus was not God, He was a sinner by nature. As a sinner by nature, He would not be able to die in our place. As Paul put it in 2 Corinthians, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (5:21, ESV). God’s wrath could only be satisfied by the spotless lamb; Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God.
      We cannot deny the virgin birth, lest we remove one of the most foundational beliefs of our faith. Without it, Christ was nothing more than a man.

      • http://dangerousintersection.org mandrellian

        I hope the fact that two brothers in Christ disagree diametrically on a fundamental tenet of Christianity goes some way to illustrate what exactly it is about Christianity that so many people find hard to swallow.

        Funny thing about the word of God: it’s always humans doing the damn talking and they can’t make opinions meet …

  • VorJack

    @Yasser – “This is the Era of Science & Technology. So lets analyze the scriptures with Science & Technology.”

    No, let’s not. The Bible is a historical document. The proper way to interpret it is with the historical method, not the scientific method. The argument that Daniel is making is a historical argument, not a scientific one. I think a lot of the comments here – like Ted, Cagold, and yourself – have lost track of that fact.

    We are not arguing over whether the Virgin Birth COULD have happened. We’re not even arguing over whether it DID happen. We’re arguing over whether or not the evidence we have allows us to reach a provisional conclusion that the Virgin Births claims in Matthew and Luke are historical. Daniel – and I – conclude that the evidence is lacking.

    It’s possible that the Virgin Birth DID occur, and we simply don’t have the evidence to conclude that it did. In history, this happens. But until we have more evidence, we have to conclude that the Virgin Birth claims are not historical. Other interpretations of the claims are more likely to be accurate. To conclude otherwise is a violation of the ethic of history.

    • Red Dave

      Thank you for that vorjack, as always you cut through the crap.

  • cagold

    I’m a little lost with Vorjack’s last statement. If it is possible that something did occur, and there is testimony that it did (historical testimony, by the way), how can you conclude that it isn’t historical? It may not be, but it very well may be also. There are no other interpretations of the claims with the same historicity. To me, to conclude that the claims are false, without evidence, is the violation of the ethic of history.

  • VorJack

    @cagold – “To me, to conclude that the claims are false, without evidence, is the violation of the ethic of history.”

    Are you prepared to be consistent with that? Are you prepared to accept every single miracle or magical claim from the ancient world? After all, how can we provide evidence, at this late date, that the Trojan Hector did not ascend from death and appear before his descendant? Can prove that Augustus was not born of the God Apollo in the form of a giant white snake?

  • Aor

    I am prepared to accept that we must sacrifice blood from our genitals to get the sun to rise in the morning. I’m not looking forward to it, but faith is faith!

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    First, there is evidence of androgynous birth in other sexual species. Second, what difference does it make? Third, they started dumping on Jesus when they claimed his title was Christos (Christ) “the anointed one”. Could it possibly been Krystolinos, the one who crystallized the law? Fourth, although the stories were probably written as they happened, there has been a lot of editing over the centuries that continues today. Example: Jesus is referred to as “Rabbi” many places in the KJV. To be called Rabbi, a man had to be married. Today, Rabbi is being replaced with “Master”. Oh well.
    Art

  • http://vidlord.com/ vidlord.com

    great argument! The danger of being stoned alive would cause anyone to lie. But I think it was made up long after the fact. It’s just a story – similar to the talking snake. Does anyone really believe there was actually a talking snake?

    You should write an article on all the different “Lady’s” out there like our lady of fatima, mejagori, guadlupe etc. Talk about complete absurdity. One other article suggestion might be Why would god have emotions? Ponder that…..

  • mthans75

    We know enough today to know that the universe is a complex machine and it works using the laws of nature that have always existed.

    The bible is a book. People write books, not God.

    The only way a virgin birth could happen is if you were a snail. They can do that.

    But humans cannot.

    The Virgin Birth myth is false because we now know that the sperm hold half the chromosomes and the egg the other half.

    If there is one thing that is consistant it is this: The creator does not mess with the laws of nature put in place to run things.

    People believed these stories because they were uneducated. There are still enough uneducated people left today who promote this stuff.

  • nickipoof

    this saddens me! you are very brilliant.. it’s hard for people like you to have faith.

  • otesha

    I sort of just skimmed through this. didn’t really read the whole thing since, I disregarded it after just reading the title. i did indeed skim through it however. and the one part i caught…. You used the bible as part of your defense and evidence. Using the bible to back you up and support your theories would be contradictory would it not? since clearly its a book you personally don’t believe in.

  • luciditty

    Just making a point.. Lord Krishna was not of virgin birth. He was the eighth born child of vasudeva and devaki.

  • Hannah

    Mary was confused about why she was pregnant and she says, “How can this be since I am a virgin?” If the word “virgin” was mistranslated and really means “young woman” then it doesn’t add up that Mary would be confused about being a pregnant young woman.

    The possibility of a mistranslation isn’t consistant with the rest of the gospel text. In order for virgin to be a mistranslation, a whole lot more would also need to be mistranslated.

  • Lisel

    My answer to this simply is God can do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants. Just because our oh so intelligent little minds can’t understand it doesn’t make it untrue. But since we want to talk biology or whatever…any medical expert can tell you…you don’t have to have your hymen intact to be a virgin.

    Not that I believe something as a small as a hymen would stop God from doing whatever he wanted.

  • Lisel

    And what is wrong with you people? God doesn’t operate on our level of chromosomes and hymens. I mean if you really think God’s power is limited by lack of sperm then you really think highly of your sperm.

    Of course it’s strange that Mary was a virgin and she was pregnant at the same time when we all know you need a man’s sperm to make baby. But that’s the point….it’s suppose to be impossible…or else it wouldn’t even be a miracle.

    Anybody can make a baby with a sperm and a egg and a test tube! What’s the hoopla about that. If God had let some man impregnate Mary…nobody would believe God did it…because we can all do that.

    I mean while your at it why don’t you ask why its impossible to turn water into wine, or why Jesus couldn’t possibly of walked on water, or why it’s impossible that he could hang on a cross attached to it only by some nails.

    You all say you want proof…yet its miraculous that the very miracles He performed to show you He is God don’t impress you.

  • http://mylifeintheblender.wordpress.com lauradee24

    Someone may have already pointed this out (I didn’t read the comments), but Luke, who wrote about the virgin birth, probably actually mistranslated the Hebrew prophecy when he wrote in Greek. The Hebrew really means “young girl”, which Luke translated to mean “virgin.” A case of fudging details to make Jesus the Messiah.

    • Nathan D. D.

      Actually, Luke 1:34 literally reads in the Greek, “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How is this, since I do not known a man?’” The concept of “know,” particularly as used in Jewish culture, in this context literally means to have had intercourse.

  • Adelphos

    This was a great article! And the responses to it were, for the most part, fabulous as well. With regard to the birth of Jesus, some ancient Church Father (it is always an ancient Church Father) stated something to the effect that, “Jesus passed through Mary’s hymen like light through glass.” And of course, Mary herself was immaculately conceived! How do I know this, some Pope said so! So it must be right, right??? LOL!

  • Yasser Mahmood

    @Lisel (And to All Religions including Muslims):

    Salam Alikum Lisel

    I have to disagree with you on GOD can do every thing.

    Even GOD has limits.

    Limit 1.
    God cannot create another God.

    Limit 2.
    He cannot throw you out o his diminion. He vaporize you in any way or form but we will be still exisiting in his Dimnion.

    Biggest Limit 3.
    He cannot be God incarnate. God cannot become one of his creation. The moment god becomes his creation he seizes to become God.

    Allah Says in Koran in Chap 112

    112.001 Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;

    112.002 Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;

    112.003 He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;

    112.004 And there is none like unto Him.

    Al-Qur’an, 112.001-004 (Al-Ikhlas [Sincerity])

  • Yasser Mahmood

    @Lisel (And to All Religions including Muslims):

    Salam Alikum Lisel

    I have to disagree with you on GOD can do every thing.

    Even GOD has limits.

    Limit 1.
    God cannot create another God.

    Limit 2.
    He cannot throw you out o his diminion. He vaporize you in any way or form but we will be still exisiting in his Dimnion.

    Biggest Limit 3.
    He cannot be God incarnate. God cannot become one of his creation. The moment god becomes his creation he seizes to become God.

    Allah Says in Koran in Chap 112

    112.001 Say: He is Allah, the One and Only;

    112.002 Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;

    112.003 He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;

    112.004 And there is none like unto Him.

    Al-Qur’an, 112.001-004 (Al-Ikhlas [Sincerity])

  • anita

    they made Mary a virgin for people to believe because they think that sex is dirty and evil so it doesn’t suit Mary’s character. She was supposed to be ‘pure’, ‘graceful’ and almost just like Britney Spears if you know what I mean..

  • http://hubpages.com/hub/Christian-Politics Synclesian

    Hi All! I am a Christian skeptic. A scientist by trade. I am an evolutionist, an old-earther, a lover of Jesus, and one who after 30 years plus of skeptical reading of the Bible, is more convinced than ever it is the word of God. Just stumbled upon this blog. Some comments:
    1) Jesus Himself is evidence for a divine birth. I have never seen or heard anyone like Him. I have never seen evidence, except for Him, of resurrection. The Habermas Flew debate on this, with the 4 natural explanations dispelled, is very convincing, for the open-minded that is.
    2) The entire NT was written in the first century AD. Whether or not Mary was a virgin is beside the point, but the story obviously makes her a virgin. The key thing was divine conception, which even Paul confirms in Romans chapter one. He confirms it every time he calls Jesus the Son of God. This implies His divine nature. The idea of the Son of God was there from the beginning of the church. Paul’s first sermon after his conversion was on the topic that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God (Acts 9)
    3) That’s one way to look at it. Another is that man has in his heart created by God a desire to know God. That is why religion is found in all cultures. If the idea of a son of god is also common, this is no surprise. As far as why you should believe this particular son of God, well, again, no one else is like Jesus. He is far above any of the mythology of old.
    4) Again, you need to consider the options more soberly. The Resurrection Debate book will help you here. I would say it would be more dangerous to tell people that you have conceived of the holy spirit (blasphemous and insane) than just admit you had sex with some man (also a sin, but at least understandable, and perhaps forgivable). Also, the probability of 500 “witnesses” of the resurrection (which proves He was the Son of God, for no mere man could do this) maintaining such a lie for their whole life, is very, very, very……..(100 more times)unlikely. Once threatened with death, most would admit they made the whole thing up. No such record exists. (Here, do not confuse an unknown lie with a known lie–if someone makes up a religion, then gets others to believe in it, they may indeed defend their “faith” unto death, for it is real to them. But in the case of Christianity, if the apostles lied about the resurrection from the start, they spread a known lie. A person will not defend such a thing unto death.) The church grew with persecution. The real myth here is that the “story”of the Son of God came much later. Please get your facts straight. It was the original teaching of the church starting in May of 33 AD. The resurrected Son of God was the message.That means He was divine. That means a divine conception.
    5) Millions, billions, believe it today, including skeptical scientists like myself. If it happened today, there would be DNA analysis to test the Son of God. I wonder what the DNA evidence would show? Knowing God, it would be ambiguous. The key evidence is the very person of Jesus and how each person personally relates to Him. He is the acid test, not some logic reason or objective evidence (even though it is logical, reasonable, and with objective evidence).

    Truth and Peace to you all!

  • Valerie Park

    How about another?

    All humans have, with variations, the same physiological structures and functions. Anything possible to any human being is possible to other human beings.

    There is learning, training, and physical limitation, but the same possibilities. (Don’t think so? Yeah, you’re right – just because other people accomplished great things, doesn’t mean your kids can. Your kids aren’t those other people, so your brats can never possibly amount to anything.)

    Therefore, it is within human possibility for people to do anything Jesus actually did, because we all have the same structure. If the only question is who the sperm came from, not whether there was one, then he and anyone else have the same human potential and possibilities!

    The church can’t have that! You wouldn’t need the church any more!

    So it’s a very neat (and very vicious and insidious) trick to say that well, he didn’t have the same structure and function as you and every human being. Then, that makes him *different* – and you have no hope of those possibilities.

    VERY nasty trick.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale Art Noble

    “It’s all about sex, power and money.” Unfortunately, what “they” forget is that Jesus said, “You shall do greater works than these.” It is through love, including sexual love, that we gain the power for these works. My novel just touches on it.

    It’s really funny! They start with the myth of Lilith to keep us away from the power (it is all due to female anatomy) then tell us to love without telling us how. Duh!

    You are right. It is a nasty trick, if you believe them.

  • Valerie

    Yeah – if he truly “became human”, a human life form starts with a single cell, which is a zygote formed from the two haploid cells: sperm and ovum.

    Weird – people say Jesus became a man, took on human form, then deny him the humanity of starting human life from a sperm and ovum.

    They say he became human – then say he wasn’t really a human. Too weird.

    If I were pure spirit who wanted to try human existence, I’d do it the way the only way human existence does it – from a sperm and ovum.

  • herald7

    Whether the birth actually happened the way the Bible says it happened is irrelevant. If you worry so much about that, you miss the whole point of the story. The idea that an all powerful God could have chosen to be born in a palace, but instead chose to be born in a stable. This God was on the side of the common people who were ignored by society. And this was also a moment of unity, with both the poor shepherds and the wealthy kings coming all that way just to see…a child. :)

    Great that you’ve figured out it’s such an unlikely story. I think that’s fairly obvious, heh. What really requires more analysis is the true meaning of the story. :)

    If you like, here’s my Blog comment on the subject, hehe:

    http://herald7.wordpress.com/2008/12/25/this-christmas-remember-the-children/

  • aqbar

    Parthenogenesis; non-sexual reproduction that is the development
    of the ovum into an individual without fertilization by a spermatozoon.
    Parthenogenesis is very common in the insect world and in fish,
    and is routine in animals such as the aphids. Among the reptiles
    there is strong evidence that parthenogenesis can be a successful
    strategy for lizards in an environment with low and unpredictable
    rainfall6. In the Lancet in 1955 it was reported that a woman had a
    daughter where parthenogenesis could not be disproved. It has
    been produced in mammals experimentally. There is, however,
    no certain record of the birth of a parthenogenetic mammal: The
    most that has been achieved is that parthenogenetic mice and
    rabbit embryos have developed normally to about halfway
    through pregnancy but have then died and been aborted.
    In humans a recent research study was carried out on ‘The development
    and systematic study of the parthenogenetic activation
    and early development of human oocyte’.7 In this study, human
    oocyte, both freshly retrieved and remaining unfertilized after
    exposure to spermatozoa, were exposed to alcohol or calcium
    ionophore and examined for evidence of activation. The outcome
    of this study was that human oocyte can be activated partheno
    6 Genetics: 1991 Sept 129(1):211–9
    7 Fertility—Sterility—1991 Nov; 56(5):904–12
    176 Christianity – A Journey from Facts to Fiction
    genetically using calcium ionophore, but at lower rates than seen
    for mouse oocyte. Human parthenotes can complete division to
    the 8-cell stage. This data raises the possibility that some early
    human pregnancy losses may involve oocyte that have been
    parthenogenetically activated spontaneously.
    An incident of partial parthenogenesis in a human was reported
    in the New Scientist of 7 October, 1995 under the heading, ‘The
    boy whose blood has no father’.8 In the case of males all cells should
    have a Y chromosome, but in this particular case study of a three
    year old boy the white blood cells were found to contain only
    XX chromosomes. The reporter also mentions that occasionally,
    chromosomal females carry one X chromosome which includes
    the maleness gene and that the researchers had at first assumed that
    their case study was an example of this syndrome. But when they
    used extremely sensitive DNA technology they were not able to
    detect any Y chromosome material in the boy’s white blood cells.
    However, the boy’s skin was discovered to be genetically different
    from his blood, having both X and Y chromosomes.
    A more detailed analysis of the X chromosomes in the boy’s skin
    and blood revealed that all his X chromosomes were identical and
    derived entirely from his mother. Similarly, both members of each of
    the 22 other chromosome pairs in his blood were identical, coming
    entirely from the mother. The explanation given by the researchers
    8 This report concerned the research of David Bonthron et al. and refers to the Oct. 1995
    issue of Nature Genetics where their report is to be found.
    Appendix II 177
    for this phenomenon is that the unfertilised ovum self-activated and
    began dividing itself into identical cells; one of these cells was then
    fertilised by a spermatozoon from the father and the resultant
    mixture of cells began to develop as a normal embryo.
    This illustrates that cells created parthenogenetically in mammals
    are not always disabled. In the case of this boy they were able
    to create a normal blood system.
    Hermaphroditism; a sex anomaly in which gonads for both
    sexes are present; the external genitalia show traits of both sexes
    and chromosomes show male female mosaicism (xx/xy).
    In a study in the Netherlands in 1990 called ‘Combined Hermaphroditism
    and Auto-fertilization in a Domestic Rabbit,’ a true
    hermaphrodite rabbit served several females and sired more than
    250 young of both sexes. In the next breeding season, the rabbit
    which was housed in isolation, became pregnant and delivered
    seven healthy young of both sexes. It was kept in isolation and
    when autopsied was again pregnant and demonstrated two functional
    ovaries and two infertile testes. A chromosome preparation
    revealed a diploid number of autosomes and two sex chromosomes
    of uncertain configuration.
    A study was carried out on a human hermaphrodite at the Department
    of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Chicago, Lying-in
    Hospital, Illinois.9 The objective of this research was to determine
    the conceptional events resulting in a 46xx, 46xy true hermaph-
    9 Journal of Fertility and Sterility— JC: evf 57(2): 346–9 1992 Feb.
    178 Christianity – A Journey from Facts to Fiction
    rodite and to report the first pregnancy in a 46xx, 46xy true
    hermaphrodite with an ovotestis.
    The design of this study involved chromosome studies performed
    on patient’s lymphocytes and fibroblasts, red cell antigens,
    human leucocytes antigens and the presence of y-chromosome
    deoxyribonucleic acid were analysed. Findings were compared
    with parental and sibling blood group data.
    The result of these studies demonstrated that our patient is a
    chimera; an organism in which there are at least two kinds of
    tissue differing in their genetic constitution, thus with dual
    maternal and paternal contributions. In addition, despite the
    presence of an ovotestis, she conceived and delivered a child.

  • Val

    Quote: “If you worry so much about that, you miss the whole point of the story. ”

    Quote: “What really requires more analysis is the true meaning of the story. :)”

    I did the analysis. If you read it enough times, you might get it.

    I can’t reply to the last post. I skip over the really long-winded ones.

  • herald7

    I wasn’t referring to your comment Val, just the Blog in general. Sorry for any confusion. :) But since you mentioned it, all I’m saying is you can’t apply science to a faith story, obviously they won’t match. Not all Christians think everything in the Bible is literal. They just recognize the importance of the message. ;)

  • Val

    That’s a good point. I took it out on a Catholic friend for thinking everyone was born evil (look at a baby – sooooo eeeeevil). He said, “I think it was a story attempting to explain all the pain in the world.”

    I don’t have to believe it, or the explanation of how that baby tooth under my pillow turned into money. But it’s a point. And one of countless stories. Virgin birth is, as pointed out earlier, an old one.

    I do think the “story” of Jesus not becoming human via intercourse, and a sperm and ovum, tells a very sinister story. It doesn’t have to be literal to make it clear that sex is bad, marriage is required, women who have sex are impure (much more do than the male that had it with them!), and that Jesus wasn’t “really” human. We’re, therefore automatically impure and born evil, and we can’t “really” be like him. I’ll pass up that one!

    I like some stories (including some of the other ones around the birth of Jesus), but not that one. It has some nasty messages.

  • herald7

    I don’t think the writers of the Bible were thinking of these things, they didn’t even know what an ovum was! They were just trying to get across that Jesus was born from an essentially kind heartened woman who had never been tempted by the world.

    Now I agree, I think men writing the Bible thought women had to be a virgin to be good, and that is sexist, heh. Still, you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater (so to speak), the story is still essentially a good one. It’s about a child being the purest good that there is and how one child united the poor and the wealthy.

  • Janet Greene

    Isn’t it funny that in year 2009, we still need an article like this to debunk a superstitious myth??? When we grow up, we realize that Santa could not possibly exist; we realize that it would be impossible for him to know who has been good and bad, and to fly over every house in the world and deliver presents to all the good boys and girls between sundown on Dec 24 and sunrise Dec 25. We grow up! Why does this not happen with these fantastic religious tales also? I remember my days as a tormented christian (full of guilt, fear, shame) and I can hardly believe that I believed in christianity. It feels like a long nightmare; constantly having to rationalize impossible things; asking questions that could never be answered. I feel so grateful that I went on a search for truth; at this point in my life, it seems quite obvious that there is no god. But if I’m wrong, and some form of god does exist, the chances of it being the christian god are nil. It simply makes no sense. But for most christians who will angrily defend the bible, the brainwashing is too complete. For now, anyway. I am gratified by the number of atheist websites though; I cannot “come out” to my family as an atheist (they will desperately try to convert me, or my elderly parents will think I will burn in hell) so my atheist community is largely online.

    Thanks so much for your wonderful contributions to the discussion!

  • herald7

    “We grow up! Why does this not happen with these fantastic religious tales also? I remember my days as a tormented christian (full of guilt, fear, shame) and I can hardly believe that I believed in christianity. It feels like a long nightmare; constantly having to rationalize impossible things; asking questions that could never be answered.”

    Again, not all Christians do take the Bible literally, they simply recognize the importance of the story’s meaning. We need stories to learn from and be inspired by. That’s why they have lasted. ;)

    I agree with you, approaching religion with fear and shame is an awful experience too many people make. I do not believe that’s what God wants.

  • aqbar

    hi all,
    God does exist.
    Neither one of us should believe that there is no God.
    Even though virgin birth is an issue right here but someday all of us will see the truth when the time comes.
    Maybe one day after the world is coming to its end, this whole of issues will be cleared to all.

    God is here with us.
    As an example we are living with the air right?and without air who can live?No one will live their life with no air.
    Have you all seen the air before?With your bare eyes?Even though you not seeing it, you still breath the air…

    So, even though you are not seeing God alive but you should realize there is GOD!

    Anyway, God is doing everyday “business” accordingly with its own law which is everyone known as law of nature. Example he makes sun rise from the east and sun will set to the west. This thing is on its law and will not change even once no matter what happens.

    SO! in order for us to understand the virgin birth of human being, time is playing a big role. When God sees that their creation(all human with a brain inside) began to forget and forsaken him and never ask for him, then the prove should be released at no moment. One of it is the virgin birth. If this thing happens, do you think that we will ignore the truth?

    let we think not twice or thrice but our whole life before we decide that GOD is not exist…..

  • aqbar

    one more thing before i forget,

    The God that we all shall believe is a God without a physical faces, bodies, or in any designs because when the time comes only one religion will stand above the rest.

    So, for an example what do you think?-
    ( let say one person is devotee of a CAT and another one is devotee of a MONKEY, and one day the truth is accepted by all devotees that nor CAT or MONKEY is a real GOD but it was a TURTLE . Do you think that the CAT and MONKEY devotee will forget the faces of their GOD. Even if they are accepting that TURTLE is their new GOD but the truth is their mind will always imagine the faces of the CAT and the MONKEY no matter how hard they fight to forget.)

    This is because our mind is a very powerful storage and the best media player and it(memory) will only removes when our brain is dead. Hmmmm…

    And for the unbeliever, dont think abot it because u dont.

  • Val

    Janet Greene,

    I agree. I believed Christianity for about three years from age 17 to 20. I remember the fear, shame and guilt. No one I know of has done good research and publishing on how the fear of hell mal-affects people.

    A Christian reads the bible verse saying,

    ‘And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come’

    and naturally thinks, ‘You mean if I think “fuck the holy spirit” I’m damned forever?’

    Then he goes around thinking everyone else is going to heaven but they are doomed to hell. Then he says to someone, “I’ll pray for you” in a desperate attempt to hide from the fact that it is he who is in pain.

    You said: “But for most christians who will angrily defend the bible, the brainwashing is too complete.”

    I am absolutely unable to comprehend being free of doubt, because doubt is part of the structure of believing. But I seem to be running into Christians who are either still pretending they don’t experience doubt, or maybe are so lobotomized they don’t feel any. I think they are pretending in a desperate attempt to hide from their own doubt. Doubt is unavoidable. A “belief” is something accepted as real. Even scientists proving something have doubt. The things “taken on faith” have doubt as part of the very structure of the action of believing them.

  • http://anexerciseinfutility.blogspot.com Tommykey

    God is here with us.
    As an example we are living with the air right?and without air who can live?No one will live their life with no air.
    Have you all seen the air before?With your bare eyes?Even though you not seeing it, you still breath the air…

    Now that has got to be one of the stupidest things I have ever read.

    No, you can’t see the air you breathe, but you can measure its chemical composition. Otherwise, how would we know that the thing we breathe that we can’t see is made mostly of nitrogen and oxygen?

    When the wind blows, you can see things move in response to it, you can feel it against your face.

    You’re going to have to come up with a better example than that.

  • herald7

    “A Christian reads the bible verse saying,

    ‘And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come’

    and naturally thinks, ‘You mean if I think “fuck the holy spirit” I’m damned forever?’”

    That’s why you take some of the Bible with a pinch of salt and instead,concentrate on the parts that focus on compassion and supporting the oppressed. ;)

  • herald7

    Science can explain HOW things happen in nature. But even scientists admit, they don’t know WHY it has all been done. Why have we been so lucky? I have trouble just accepting all that we have on Earth as mere chance personally. ;)

  • http://none Frastrada

    The Bible is both an ancient Living Mystery Test to find loving hearts; and a two edged sword of truth. God, who lives and is telepathic, uses it to cut away the heartless bastards who should be minding their own business instead of being up Mary’s skirt. So my advice to you freaks who are obsessed with it: “Don’t cast the first stone.” Because He will make you eat it; or you will become it.

    Several other things are true about God: He can change time; time means something entirely different to Him then to you; and He trravels over Event Horizons using His High Sciences. (Obviously. Look at Coral Castle in Homestead Florida, which was built by a man that the “illuminated sons made one” came unto.)

    Also, God says for the few women who genuinely care about following: “Remember, they may not touch your vergin soul.” Also, He will know who they are if they violate your body: whoa be unto them.

    Everything is about soul to God; and about reclamation of the soul because those who are despicable will have their souls shattered when they die; their souls do not remain whole. God’s Power is large and grand; you ought quake when you speak of Him.

    He has sent a prince from the Line of David; the promised prince (Daniel 9:26; Psalm 2:2) the “messah” which means “overseeing Dragon King.” And this prince carries the blue blood blue boar druidic crest of Father Abrah-m.

    He has spent years cleaning up sins of decrepit necromancy which has infiltrated the churches. He calls them “nos Feratu” and says unto me “There is junk shapeshifting DNA at a mitochondrial level which manifests itself in persons called shapeshifters, those who say they believe one thing; yet act another.” I call them hypocrites and frauds. They have not found the life.

    To hear what He says on the bride of hierogamical divine union, which gives Him “Completion in Divine Image;” she who sings the song of songs (for they are telepathic) >

    Click to hear what He says about she who sings the song of songs; tri, your lamps; He comes to marry.
    http://www.redicecreations.com/winterwonderland/meroveredragon.html .

    The reason why you were given the gift of Free Will was so that you could turn to use it to seek His Divine Will freely; and to see what you would do with that to bring His Good works to fruition. Mostly people just use the idea of Him to sing about Him hanging on a cross for them. Actually the Bible asks “Who will sink into the abyss for Christ?” St. Thomas also exhorts “Pick up your crosses and follow.” The cross is in time and space; and it has to do with finding one’s shattered “ka’ or soul; that is why when a person does not believe and act with love for Him who lives and is sent; they may be in eternal trouble because Humpty Dumpty is then missing parts; unto his generations: He has Himself cut off.

    That is why you do not want to deny the Holy Spirit; and the Holy Spirit doth move me.

  • aqbar

    Tommykey says;

    Now that has got to be one of the stupidest things I have ever read.

    No, you can’t see the air you breathe, but you can measure its chemical composition. Otherwise, how would we know that the thing we breathe that we can’t see is made mostly of nitrogen and oxygen?

    When the wind blows, you can see things move in response to it, you can feel it against your face.

    You’re going to have to come up with a better example than that.
    ……………………………………………………………………………..

    FYI, you are also knew that when the wind blows we can see the effects of the wind and so do GOD. You cannot see Him but he has his effect on us…

    Dont you believe? Try this…
    If we see leather we may say that it has come here by chance, but if we see boot made from that leather and if we see the same placed on sofa, on stairs for decorations we cannot say that all this is accidental. Its for us.Thats why he creates the system in a matter of time.

  • aqbar

    So if anybody is interested in getting the true knowledge about God, then he should pray earnestly that if there is a God with infinite powers as the people claim then may GOD manifest Himself on him. May God show him the right path. If anybody does such prayers earnestly for 40 days, then we believe, whatever his origin, religion and country is, God will show him the true path and he will have no doubt about the existence of God.

  • herald7

    “FYI, you are also knew that when the wind blows we can see the effects of the wind and so do GOD. You cannot see Him but he has his effect on us…”

    Exactly, some may admire the wind and other parts of nature. Others admire both the nature and the being who originated it. ;)

  • Val

    herald7
    “A Christian reads the bible verse saying,

    ‘And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come’

    and naturally thinks, ‘You mean if I think “fuck the holy spirit” I’m damned forever?’”

    That’s why you take some of the Bible with a pinch of salt and instead,concentrate on the parts that focus on compassion and supporting the oppressed. ;)

    I’ve long noted the self-contradiction of Christians who believe the bible with its verse commanding you not to change one jot or tittle of it, and also condemn “cafeteria Christianity” in which you pick and choose what you like, and also to pick and choose

    the parts that focus on compassion and supporting the oppressed.

    That is why this website accuses Christians of having… “Unreasonable Faith”.

  • herald7

    Val, life is not black and white. It’s not simple. The Bible was written by men, not God. To read the Bible and recognize the good from bad is not unreasonable or contradictory, it’s smart. ;)

  • Val

    life is not black and white. It’s not simple.

    DUH!

    That’s why I and many others posting are pointing out dogma and contradictions in what Christians say.

    For an example of pointing out some of the contradictions, read my posts (or almost any others’) again.

  • herald7

    Ok that’s fair. You will find contradictions within every group of people, including athiests. We’re not all carbon copies. ;)

  • herald7

    Val, plus it looks like we’re not that different. We’re both aware of the contradictiosn in Christianity. We just came to different conclusions in light of that information.

  • Jesse

    Dan, this is an interesting post, and certainly a stronger argument than what I’ve commonly heard (“virgin” could have been translated as “young woman”, therefore Mary was not a virgin).

    You seem to be arguing that Matthew and Luke are later additions, and I agree they probably do come later than Mark and Paul’s writings. According to the research you’ve done, how much later are these writings? Is this a long enough time period for a legend such as the virgin birth to creep up? What dates (or ranges of dates) would you place on each of the four Gospels and the Pauline epistles?

    I’ll have a look at these other myths you mention. The most common virgin birth story I hear of is Mithras, and your exclusion of Mithras demonstrates to me that you really are indeed careful with your facts. I appreciate that.

  • Jesse

    Oops, I read more carefully and found you did reference Mithras. Nevermind. Mithras was said to have been born from a rock, not of a virgin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithras)

    Also, I can’t find any references for Ra and Remus being born of a virgin either, nor for Mut-em-ua. Do you have any sources for these claims? I’m willing to consider them…

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    One of the stories regarding the birth of Venus is of this type.

  • Jesse

    kwml, do you have a reference for the story of Venus’ birth? Are you referring to Quetzalcoatl?

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    Jesse, I thought it was on Wiki but I was wrong. I went back to my prime source, Bullfinch, who says,
    “She was the daughter of Jupiter and Dione. According to another view(influenced by association with the Greek term aphros, “foam”) she had sprung from the foam of the sea at Cyprus.”

    The early church was very good at incorporating local mythology into church doctrine. Christmas = Winter Solstice, St Valentine and Greek love festivals, etc., making it much easier to convert pagans. I was thinking that Venus springing forth from the foam (Daughter of Neptune?) would equate with the virgin birth. Just a thought on familiarity.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    Yes. Doesn’t this story have a familiar ring to it?
    Art

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    Forget the casteration. It is a mechanism for getting the sperm into the sea, from which arises Aphrodite. No mother (touched by man or otherwise). Essentially a miraculous birth.

    I write about sex and sexual love. I have recently become interested in the ancients, but find that those who write about them adhere to the “Pleasure/Procreation” paradigm, myth of the reptilian brain in the limbic system. Yes the sex drive does originate there, but recent advances in the study of the brain show the term “limbic system” is useless. Therefore, I must take with a grain of salt their intrepretation.

    The limbic system is imbued with “cross-talk” from other sections of the brain, allowing us to withhold expected reflexes. In sexual love, with the optimal blended orgasm, a transcendental experience is possible, along with orgasmic luminescence, where the woman will literally light up the room! There follows an intuitive clarity that may be construed as spiritual power. Those who have perpetrated the myths over the centuries did not want us, the “common” man to have this power. So, I look at most of this as BS! See my last blog.

    Art

  • Jesse

    A few more here… Ghengis Khan’s was c. 1200 C.E., and could not have been an inspiration for Christianity. Anyone have a source for his ‘virgin birth’? I found something in wikipedia, but there’s no citation, and the description doesn’t sound much like a virgin birth.

    Krishna was born to Devaki, and her husband Vasudeva, with no references to a virgin birth. Again, it’s a wiki, so it may be wrong.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krishna#Birth

    Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horus)…

    As for Melanippe, are we talking about the daughter of Ares?

    Auge was the daughter of Aleus and Neaera. No virgin birth here.

    Antiope… which one are you referring to?

    Alexander the Great was “son of King Philip II of Macedon and his fourth wife Olympias, an Epirote princess.”

    I could go on, but I’m not finding any reliable evidence that the virgin birth of Jesus is “no different” from these other characters.

    Now I do acknowledge this is only one of the points that you’re making, and I’m making no effort at the moment to address the others. But am I missing something here? Are you claiming that the birth stories of all these characters you list are really that similar to the story of Jesus? Perhaps you have access to more reliable sources of information than I do, so I’m open to whatever you can dig up.

    • Siberia

      Alexander the Great claimed to be a son of Zeus, as far as I remember. Granted, his mother was no virgin but he was her firstborn son – and claimed to the progeny of a supreme God. Of course he was really the son of Philip II and Olympias, but that’s precisely the point: what one claims to be does not necessarily equal what one is.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    It’s called disinformation. Did you think it was new? The pagans who believed in Venus as a goddess could now more easily make the switch to Christianity having another “goddess” to worship of similar background. I say Venus (or Aphrodite) because of Rome. I’m sure that every culture Christianity spread to had a similar story that of which the Church could make fair wind.

  • Ty

    Wow, did this devolve into one of the dumbest arguments in history, or what?

    kwml is trying to make a point using none of the correct references, and is promoting sex magic as a rational alternative.

    And Jesse is arguing with him as if he actually was trying to make a reasonable point.

    Jesse, look up the virgin birth of Mithra if you want a good pre-Christian example of the virgin birth mythology. Mithra in fact shares many traits with the later Jesus mythology.

    And you can find a lot more. Just google for virgin birth mythology and you will find a ton of pre-Christian examples of this. It was actually quite common long before Christ showed up.

    No Venus worship or sex magic necessary.

  • Ty

    And, BTW, there are a number of miraculous birth mythologies. Jesus belongs to the ‘Born of a virgin woman impregnated by a god’ version, of which there are many prior examples.

    The Greek gods impregnated virgin women all the time. Perseus and Hercules are both examples of this.

    This was also not uncommon in Norse mythology. Frigga was impregnated by Odin while still a virgin woman, and bore Balder, the healer of mankind. It’s been theorized that this is one reason that Christianity was so easily adopted by the Nordic peoples: it was a close match to stuff they already believed.

    There are lots more, but the fact is that the Jesus myth of a god impregnating a virgin to give birth to a man/god is old stuff, long predating the first century.

  • Jesse

    Ty, I’ve looked up Mithra, and I’m not convinced his followers believed in a virgin birth; rather Mithra emerged full-grown from a rock. See pg. 173 of “Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies” by John R. Hinnells.

    Maybe I’m missing something. Do you have another source I could look at?

    It may be that the Norse mythology helped Nordic people accept Christianity, but in that case, is it likely the Norse myth inspired the story we find in Matthew and Luke?

  • Jesse

    Ty, my point is that when one claims all these stories are so incredibly similar, and I go look them up and find they’re not really that similar, then I’m left scratching my head wondering what did I miss here?

    Perhaps my standards of ‘similarity’ are too stringent. Do you think that’s the problem? How close does the story of Jesus’ virgin birth need to be to these mythologies in order to be dismissed as myth?

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    Yes. Your standards of similarity are too stringent. I hope you apply these same standards politically! Spin and disinformation are not new concepts, but they do work.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    With disinformation, the references don’t have to be correct and that is the point. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to have better references, however, when in Rome, do as the Romans do and stretch the point to fit the issue.

    By the way, it is not magical… it just seems that way. It is strictly a function of female sexual anatomy. The “magic” comes from ignorance.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    Most of us believe a lot of the spin and disinformation originating in DC and the various State capitols. The application of these high standards, or as they say in Missouri, “Show me”, negates the effectiveness of the spinner. It is a good thing!

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    Yes and no. Put yourself in the shoes of a Roman at the time when you ara told that Mary = Venus. With your current skeptcism, you would reply with a hearty “BS”. But, for the majority, the switch is easy, just as it is today with WMD’s etc. Or, you could use any of the cultures mentioned here wherever the Church wanted to go.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    No, and no. I have no documents. But put yourself in the role of an early Christian trying to sell this to a Roman Pagan. “The virgin birth of Jesus, was like the “virgin” birth of Venus and Mary…” etc. PT Barnum said it best. “There’s a sucker born every minute.” That’s been going on a long time too. It sounded good. It worked. So the “documentation” we have is what is written.

    But all of this is for naught. What difference does it really make? Jesus did not have to be born of a “virgin” to be a very special teacher for me. Further, I think the title “Christ” did not come from Krystos or Christos (the anointed one) but from Krystallinos (the chrystalized one) in that he crystalized the early prophecies and the law. But that is just another opinion. (“Anointed one” cheapens Him in that there were so many.)

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    oops. That should be crystallized.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale kwml

    Jesse, that is just my take on it. It is an opinion. No, I have no documentation for Krystallinos, but it you check back in this blog, some of the Gospels were written way after the death of Jesus. Plus, I think the Greeks had a sense of humor. Oh well. I didn’t win the war and winners write history.

  • http://lifeberry.wordpress.com kyokoumei

    “Imagine if a teenage girl in your neighborhood claimed that her pregnancy was due to God impregnating her and that she was still a virgin. Would you believe her? Or would you think she was lying?

    If she insisted on it being true, we would put her in a mental hospital.”

    Ha! Best lines. Great point, great argument.

  • herald7

    Faith based stories are often by their nature illogical. Pointing out that obvious fact does not invalid the message. ;)

  • Cheryl

    This all boils down to:

    Believers: I believe it therefore it’s true.

    Atheists: I don’t believe it therefore it’s not true.

    Actually neither are true. God is simply the ultimate placebo effect. If you believe, then the God effect is real. If you don’t, then there is no God effect.

  • herald7

    That is some part of being a believer. But sometimes it’s also about concentrating on a story’s message, not just on whether it’s real or not. The message is real whether the story is or not. ;)

  • boywidacoin

    Nice post for a former passionate evangelical “Christian”. Note the word passionate. You were never a Christian, no, not even once. You were just passionate. Somewhere in my old bible it talks about prophecy that there would be scoffers like you. Just like in the days of Noah. So you see, you’re one big evidence that there is such thing as the virgin birth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    ‘Til then…some day you’re going to get it and your mouth will be stopped.

    • http://dangerousintersection.org mandrellian

      Ah, threats. The last refuge of a religious scoundrel. I would’ve thought a reasonable intelligent believer could do better than “my pa’s gonna get you, hyuk hyuk hyuk,” but clearly one out of three is enough for you to get by.

      And I think it’s a bit rich to question the poster’s former faith. Who the hell are you to question the sincerity of his previous beliefs?

  • Wilson

    Do you realize how long it now takes to read through this blog? And how did I get here? I watched Religulous and set out to see if the story of Horus was truly a precurssor of the Mary story. Now, two hours later, I am facinated.

    I admit to being offended by blind faith.
    I have always felt the bible was tales to make a point, most likely with some historic fact built in but meant to be a moral guide. One can always find an appropriate contradiciton.
    I have come to conclude that the stories do not have to be factual in order to serve human kind.
    Faith does seem to serve the mind in some un measurable way and provide some sub conscious strength to the body. Even non believers are know to pray in a crisis.
    I float somewhere in between. It has alwqays seemed clear to me that even if life as we know it evolved out of nothingness or pure energy ans was then to be totally destroyed, well it could obvously create itself again. So life or its idea can be considered eternal. The finite span from Adam to Revelations is simply what the ego wants to convince itself of its self importance.
    Trying to prove or disprove something that has passed I do not believe possible. All evidence can be questioned and depends upon our agreement to accept it. Just look back at the disagreements over basic “historic” data and sources.
    The words of Jesus as reported to us seem to provide considerable guidence toward making humankind a more harmonious people but they are usually twisted to suit ones hidden agenda, much like the reading of oracles or tarot cards.
    Anyway, Thank you of a morning of great intrigue. I loved every word of it.

  • http://www.myspace.com/asacredfemale Art Noble

    Winners write history!

  • a soldier for God

    Your faith is weak. you try to get science to explain something you claim to have faith in. GOD SAYS. thats why you should belive. I will pray foryou.

  • Mark D

    The proof is in the pudding. Most Islamic countries are sh*tholes even most Muslims don’t want to live it.
    As for the virgin birth, show more like god raped Mary.

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

  • Pingback: I’m Evidence of the Virgin Birth of Jesus! « Unreasonable Faith

  • Octavius

    IN MANY QUARTERS, ecclesiastical as well as secular, belief in the Virgin Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is scouted as unworthy of twentieth-century intelligence. Biologically, it is vehemently asserted, such a birth is impossible. Science with pontifical authority has pronounced against it. Who dares to challenge the “all knowing” of such an eminent authority?

    The fact of the Virgin Birth having been declared against, the evidence and proof which established the fact must now be discredited. Let it be carefully noted that this finding against the Virgin Birth was not the result of a fresh examination of the evidence but rather the arbitrary act of science falsely so called. Having destroyed, in their opinion, the supernatural birth, these “know-alls” must of necessity demolish the evidence which supported that birth. All sorts of ingenious methods have been brought into play to destroy the records– from the mistranslation of words to the pen-knifing of whole passages of the Bible. Historical evidence is flouted without respect for any known rule of evidence. Unfounded assertions are put forward as sound conclusions and the whole basis of traditional Christian belief is subjected to the methods of a reckless infidelity.

    This assault on the doctrine of the Virgin Birth is, however, but one phase of a great battle to evacuate the supernatural from Christianity and to reduce it to the plane of natural religion. These naturalists in religion are out to destroy supernatural Christianity. They go through the Bible and tell us there is no supernatural revelation there; they go through the Birth of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural incarnation there; they go through the Person of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural deity there… they go through the Works of Christ an tell us there are no supernatural miracles there; they go through the Words of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural wisdom there; they go through the Death of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural atonement there; they go through the Blood of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural cleansing there; and they go through the Tomb of Christ and tell us there is no supernatural resurrection there.

    Having jettisoned the supernatural from the Gospel Ship they have reduced her to an old hulk of man’s manufacturing, a mere plaything for the storms of unbelief and the reefs of infidelity.

    As a fundamentalist I believe in a supernatural Christianity which presents a supernatural Christ Who had a supernatural Birth, Who lived a supernatural Life, Who died a supernatural Death, Who rose in a supernatural Resurrection, and Who is coming again in a supernatural Manner.

    Rejection, then, of the Virgin Birth is an attack on the supernaturalness of Christ. Of Christ’s wondrous birth, human incredulity questions, “How shall this be?” Divine inspiration answers, “With God all things are possible.”

    When human impotence bows to that answer of divine omnipotence the Miracle of the Virgin Birth can be whole-heartedly accepted. He who questions the Virgin Birth challenges the almightiness of God. To discredit the Virgin Birth is not only to strike at the nature of Christ but at the very power of God.

    We BELIEVE IN THE VIRGIN BIRTH BECAUSE THE SUPERNATURAL PREDICTIONS OF CHRIST ANTICIPATED HIS SUPERNATURAL BIRTH

    Isaiah 7:14

    “Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

    This verse has become the principal battleground of the whole controversy regarding the Virgin Birth. The first line of assault of the critics is upon the Hebrew word “almah,” here translated “virgin”. It is urged that the proper Hebrew word for virgin is “bethulah,” and that if a virgin was what the prophet wished to signify he would have used that word. “Almah,” it is contended, simply means “a young woman of marriageable age.”

  • Jon

    Here’s an interesting experiment. Talk to any christian pastor’s legal-age daughter, and persuade her to go and, for want of a better phrase, “get jiggy with Mr Biggy” :-)

    Then when the lady in question becomes pregnant, have them explain to the pastor that it was the Holy Spirit that did it.

    Then we’ll see how strong his faith in virgin births is…

  • Benjamin Steele

    Great blog! That sums it up pretty well.

  • KYU

    The virgin birth cannot be scientifically DISproved. You can speculate that it is highly unlikely, but one cannot say that it did not happen.

  • brgulker

    Of course, the only way this is at all damaging to Christianity is if the only way for a divine child to be born was through a virgin.

    If, in fact, almah is taken to mean “young woman,” which it can mean, that does not necessarily undermine the the doctrine of the incarnation.

    The only way it does is if the incarnation is predicated upon the need for a virgin birth. If such a predication does not exist, then arguing against the virgin birth is simply that and not an undercut to the incarnation.

    I know the point of this post is to deny the virgin birth, not the incarnation, but I thought it should at least be pointed out, for the sake of fairness.

    ================

    FWIW, the almah debate is grossly under-simplified here. There are plenty of reasons to believe it does mean virign, even though there is another Hebrew word for “virgin.”

    For example, just like any language, Hebrew morphed over time. The meaning of different words evolved as time went on.

    Moreover, it’s not at all uncommon to use several different Hebrew words to describe the exact same thing — and that’s equally true for narrative portions and poetry. It’s simply the way the language worked, and if you are able to read it, it is a beautiful thing to read.

  • DarkMatter

    Virginity by the presumption or assumption that she is a young unmarried daughter, therefore a virgin as an argument for “The Word”.

  • James

    It seems to me that a lot of people are getting the wrong message from this article. The topics (to me, at least) explain that no one would believe Mary, not that if Christian God existed, he couldn’t have done it.

  • onecae

    My take on the story of the virgin birth is that it’s a metaphor for the source of ideas. Where do new ideas come from?
    It would seem wrong to say that an old idea is the source of the new idea.
    So, we say of new ideas, they come from the creator of the ideas. They are born into the world, not as continuation of what has gone before, but as something new, and different.
    They are of course cared for by and born into what has already been established. So, the story is crafted to convey: New ideas have no antecedents (that’s the virgin birth part). They come into an established world and are cared for by those who need them (that’s the Joesph’s family part). Their source is the creator of the idea (that’s the “made by God” part.)

  • onecae

    I’m new to this website. I’ve only made a few posts here and there. I’ve always thought of myself as a Christian, but see, the problem is I don’t think any of the other so-called Christians are really Christians. They think the subject is physical. How could anyone believe a literal notion of the Bible and still be a Christian? That makes no sense to me. It’s kind of like a mathematician adding 5+2 and getting 2 because there is one “5″ and one “2″ and mathematicians are supposed to count things. Or it’s like saying Shakespeare’s Hamlet would be more true if we could find Ophelia’s dress. It wouldn’t make it more true, it would make it less true. So, after looking at this website for a while, I decided to post a few of my Christian ideas.
    Regarding some of your comments: The infinite is touches the definite. The definite is the point of touch.
    Virgin also means “having no former experience with the subject.”
    And finally: The Bible would indicate that the spirit preceded the body, not the other way around. In other words, one can the cause of things. When one is only the effect of things, he ends up kind of insane, enslaved, or dead.

  • onecae

    I meant to say, “One can cause things. When one is only the effect of things, he ends up kind of insane, enslaved, or dead. To only be the effect and to cause nothing of your own is the “sin of idolatry.”

  • Anne

    Man I love this site! Ok, lets look at this in this way. We know the story about Adam and Eve, right? What about Lilith? Point this out to any evangelical and they will have a fit. God creates Adam and Lilith first. Not Eve, Lilith. She is not a ‘good girl’ and sit around waiting for Adam to get back from his job. She wants to, umm, do something, have a thought, a conversation, read a book not just make babies and cook. Man does she get in trouble! But she is not made of Adams’ rib, she is a separate being made on her own that can think and reason herself. She is exiled from Eden and Eve is then made. Does a perfect God like that screw up? And where is that in the Christian bible? Very old versions of the bible include this story. And what did she do when she left? Who was out there? Where did Cain and Able get wives? Now, explain this and we can move onto the Virgin birth thing.

  • onecae

    When the writers of the Bible call Adam and Eve the first man and woman, they are saying that it’s always been this way for man and woman.
    However, the doctrine of the “Perfect God” needs some serious help. Try this idea: One can imagine a perfect action, or response. It helps to make this kind of attempt. One can imagine something better, and then try to establish it. So, when the Bible depicts God’s frustrations with His accomplishments, it is saying that we will also suffer frustration with our accomplishments, no matter how perfect we believe our imagination to be.
    And, oddly enough, no matter how good our circumstance, we will always imagine it can be better, then we will act on what we imagine. That we have imagined it, doesn’t mean it’s wrong or false. We often imagine and act on very good and true ideas.

  • http://www.saltshaker.us Dave Leach

    Florien’s reasons are not reasons against believing Jesus was born of a virgin. Florien is discouraged by the lack of direct evidence for this detail of the Gospel, but can’t we all agree that “the absence of evidence is not evidence”? So what if not all Bible authors mentioned it? Do we throw out a murder conviction if not all witnesses saw the murder?! So what if pagans claimed the same miracle? Shall we kill all doctors because we are too lazy to distinguish the good ones from quacks? What kind of arguments are these, that we judge what happened by what we think was likely to happen, or by what most people will probably believe happened? I’m glad Thomas Edison didn’t think like that when his mother in law said “that thing will never shine! The whole town agrees with me!” (I hope Florien was trying to be funny when he argued that we have no DNA evidence.)
    The Virgin Birth is no more directly testable than whether Jesus actually healed a paralytic let down through the roof.
    In criminal trials, we want to know whether the witness to the crime is lying. If we could directly test what the witness says about the deed, we wouldn’t need the witness. But we can test things the witness says that we may not care about, except for the opportunity to see if the witness is telling the truth about them, so we can decide if the witness is credible. Likewise we can’t directly test what the Bible says about Heaven or Hell, which is what we really care about; so we test what it says about, for example, the location of ancient cities, or about a worldwide flood.
    Belief in the Virgin Birth has been on the short list of Fundamentalist church doctrines. That was never because anyone thought the direct evidence for it was compelling, but the opposite: the direct evidence is so lacking, and the event so improbable by popular reasoning, that belief in it demonstrates the ultimate trust in the Bible.
    If the Bible is true, then the Virgin Birth occurred. No reason has been given by Florien to doubt it. Our challenge is to determine whether the Bible is true. For that, we need to investigate those of its allegations which we are capable of testing. Such as whether Jesus rose from the dead, for which the evidence is overwhelming. And which is far more important! Shall we talk about that?

    • Karleigh

      What reliable, empirical evidence is there that Jesus was resurrected?

      • Francesc

        Evidence? The tomb was empty!! It says so in the bible.
        So the bible is true.

        Oops, circular logic.

    • Custador

      “Do we throw out a murder conviction if not all witnesses saw the murder?”

      No, but if we know that the only witnesses who claim to have seen it have very good reasons for making their stories up, then their testimony is disregarded and stricken from the record.

      “If the Bible is true, then the Virgin Birth occurred.”

      Please read the bible, cover to cover, not just the New Testament. Then come back and tell me if you think it’s all true. If you do, I’ll spend some time with you discussing the places where it directly contradicts itself and… Well, we’ll go from there.

      • Siberia

        Not to mention the small matter of forensics, evidence, confession, and such.
        And there are still a lot of people convicted that never did what the witnesses claim s/he did.

    • Sunny Day

      Dog Pile! WOOOOO!

      Beating on a 9 month old poster is fun!
      or did the commenting system put in the wrong date?

  • Red Dave

    It took me over four hours to read this post and all the responses. I think Daniels initial argument was sound and well made. I think V’s responses were, as always, well thought out and pertinent. The discourse from young Michael reveals a sharp mind working diligently to prove what he believes, not a mind seeking truth itself.

    I do not claim Atheism, as I cannot prove or disprove God. No one can. It becomes for logical minds what is more probable, and in that category I think the atheists have won. I am an agnostic, and quite happy as one. My problem is with religion, religious institutions, and many religious people.

    For the Christian religion which seems to have garnered so many responses to this thread I say only this. I do not practice or look up to those who do practice blood sacrifice. The Jewish people originally practiced blood sacrifice to appease their angry old testament God Yaweh, because he might well kill you in some hideous fashion. Christ is the ultimate sacrifice for Christians, God demanding the perfect sacrifice of the perfect human lamb Jesus. They see this as a loving and generous act by Jesus (one aspect of their God) and not a chart topping cruelty by Yaweh (another aspect of their God). It kind of reminds me of the Aztecs and their human sacrifices to the Sun.

    Yet what really distresses me about the Christian religion is the hatred it breeds. It uses fear to force people to accept irrational beliefs lest they burn forever.

    @davidkentie “At least then if it is all for nothing, you can say that you have lived a good life.”
    You sir seem to me a religious bigot. You have prejudged all non believers in your statement, implying that none of them live good lives.
    “What you’re missing is that Christ died in 33 A.D. so the events of the last three years of his ministry, even if its 70 A.D. are still well with the minds of many of his followers.”
    I believe that the common interpretation of Jesus’ death is the year 0, not 33AD. The 33 years of his life are not on a calendar( which shows more than a little human influence I think) AD means (annio dominie?) or after death as I was taught, so how does Jesus die 33 years after his death?
    @Patrickdunnevant
    We would never, ever, believe this today.”
    ”My response is that this is “totally, totally irrelevant” to whether it happened or not. It’s odd that you even put it in there.”
    I suppose it is irrelevant to you that people would never believe the world is flat now either?
    @Cris taylor “What I’ve discovered is this. The message of Christ and the fulfillment of God’s word/law is the truth. What we have might not necessarily be factual, but it is the ultimate truth”
    If the ultimate truth is not factual, then it’s not a fact, and hence not truthful. So you think the ultimate truth is a lie?
    @Tim “It’s much easier to say it’s all the greatest hoax made in the history of man and then be able to justify living life for yourself and not be accountable to any one or anything. Hope it works for you and I guess I hope your right for your sake though I know you’re wrong…”
    We are all accountable, to ourselves, to our families, and to our societies. You somehow mistake reason for a callous disregard for anyone or anything else. Atheists and agnostics are not sociopaths. You look like another religious bigot who prejudges anyone not in agreement with your world view. People like this make it easy to see why religion has spawned so many wars.
    @Lisel “You all say you want proof…yet its miraculous that the very miracles He performed to show you He is God don’t impress you”
    No one living was a witness to the “miracles” in the Bible. You are trusting a 2000 year old book entrusted to religious leaders who had every interest to control the population for their own ends. Power is a corrupting influence, for centuries the highest “authority” was the Church. This is why the scriptures have “laws”. The church was the government, trying to keep control of the people.
    So, No, I do not believe in supernatural miracles told to me from hands that strove for centuries to keep us from even reading the book they based the faith on, from the same people who routinely killed and tortured people who thought differently.
    @synclesian “Another is that man has in his heart created by God a desire to know God. That is why religion is found in all cultures”
    Religion is found all around the world because we humans don’t understand everything, and someone always tried to explain it. Most people are not comfortable admitting that they don’t know, so therefore any explanation which relieved that stress of the unknown was preferable.
    “The key evidence is the very person of Jesus and how each person personally relates to Him.”
    Which Jesus would that be? The one wielding the scourge on the bankers (let me at those greedy bastards!), the one telling his mother to screw off(“what have I to do with thee woman?”), or the one who supposedly loved us so much? Sometimes I think that Jesus was the first real PETA member and sacrificed himself in an effort to save all those poor lambs and turtle doves.
    @Aqbar “Maybe one day after the world is coming to its end, this whole of issues will be cleared to all.”
    Another scary mindset, Aqbar is waiting gleefully for the end when God will save him, and burn all the rest.
    @Frastrada “God’s Power is large and grand; you ought quake when you speak of Him.”
    So I should live in Fear of my loving father-God? Sounds pretty damn dysfunctional to me. If God is loving, as you think, and all powerful, why would he not re-educate all us thinkers rather than torture us for all eternity? Why would this loving God give us minds, and then command us not to think but believe what another man tells us God wants?
    @Boywidacoin “Til then…some day you’re going to get it and your mouth will be stopped.”
    Again with the rage and hatred, wanting anyone not like them to burn, so they are justified. This is your loving God and Christian morals?
    @A soldier for god ”GOD SAYS. thats why you should belive.”
    My mothers “because I say so” argument was used when she was flabbergasted and did not have a response, I outgrew that argument by 8 or 9.God hasn’t told me a thing. A book written by men, manipulated by religion and then retold by other men 2000 years later claims to say God says this or that. If God is loving and all powerful I would think he would tell us all and end this endless “debate”, unless of course he likes watching us all suffer?
    @2preacher “Gen:22:1-13; shows us that a ram was created to take the place of Issac to be sacrificed”
    Again with the blood sacrifice, I am sure the Aztecs and Mayans had a good solid faith surrounding their sacrifices too. One which they believed in as much as you do yours.

    And NO, I don’t believe in the virgin birth.

    • Karleigh

      “I suppose it is irrelevant to you that people would never believe the world is flat now either?”

      There are still people who believe this.

      • Sunny Day

        I’ll hold him down.
        You kick him in the ‘nads.
        I’ll take his wallet.

        We’ll both have lunch!
        Mr. Fundie Rolling-On-The-Ground-Clutching-His-Balls-In-Agony is buying!

        • Sunny Day

          Correction: Mr Agnostic Rolling…Agony is buying.

  • http://www.dougwadedesign.com dwade

    The rock of offense:
    “Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.” (Jeremiah 13:16)

    The figurative representations of Christ as the foundation rock of the great spiritual house of God (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6) and also as the water-yielding rock of sustenance in the wilderness (1 Corinthians 10:4) are two of the great symbols of the Bible.

    But for those who reject Him, He becomes “a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offense. . . . And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken” (Isaiah 8:14-15).

    Not only will the stone cause such a one to stumble, but Jesus said, “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matthew 21:44). This figure is taken from the fall of the great image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet . . . and brake them to pieces” (Daniel 2:34). All the kingdoms of the world were represented in the image, but “the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Daniel 2:35).

    “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient” (1 Peter 2:7-8).

    Thus, the stone of stumbling, which is Christ, is also the Word, and it is deadly dangerous to stumble over the holy Scriptures. One should give glory to God before darkness falls and he stumbles upon the dark mountain in the shadow of death.

    • Roger

      …you do realize that spouting Bible verses on an atheist’s blog is kinda counterproductive, don’t you?

  • http://livingasatheist.blogspot.com Raed Al-Jawad

    I will look at it from different perspective. Why GOD , the powerfull wise creature choose such as dirty way to deliver his message why just say it in public, why he is using a teenager who is still vergin, get her in troubles then claim that the baby is baby of HIM !!!.

    If I have that power and all of that wisdom and I had created those people in the first place, isn’t easier that I appear (come out from my darkness place) and talk to people directly why it always behind the scene , behind prophets and by sending angles. At least the Angle appear or if he is not visible I think he can do many things to show he is there other than choosing a vergin in a bad day.

  • Jeff S

    Genetic Engineering.

  • ebber

    Well……….. Quite interresting
    First off; i like your blog a lot! you’re quite more respectfull and friendly than (allmost) all other blogs i’ve read dealing with the same subject!

    But;
    Believeing in a omnipotent god, as i do, i must nessicarily admit that he (or she or it or whatever) is just that: Omnipotent. As such he would be able to impregnate a virgin.

    - and hey. Supposing someone close to me suddenly got pregnant; i’d talk with her about it, if she told me she were impregnated by god, well, if she were sincere enough, i might just beleive her!

    Actually: One of our theoligians back here in DK has said the following: “when jesus passed thru that door, to his disicples? Impossible! Noone can do that!”
    The simple term to describe this is: “to shoot yourself in the foot”

    Recognizing a person as a god (and thus as being omnipotent), and at the same time taking that Omnipotent’ness away.. well: If you believe that there is a omnipotent being, you must nessciraliey (*meeh* good grammer.. rite?) admit that “anything is possible”

    • Francesc

      Anything is possible. You got it. That’s the problem.

      As I was saying, the problem with magic is that anything is possible. Consider that…
      1.- God created us one minute ago. All of our memories and any type of record of our past was created exactly as it is now. It’s possible? Of course, He is omnipotent
      2.- God lied to us in the Bible, so everything we believe about him is false. Is that possible? Of course, it is. Is bad lying? Nope, when he said so he was lying, because it is good to lie :p
      3.- God is bad and hatefull. He created us to have someone to torture. Again, he lied.
      4.- There is a god, or multiple gods? Anything is possible. They work together or they are fighting? We can’t know.

      So, what do we know about an almighty god? Nothing. We can’t know even if such a being exists, so… why should we believe?

      By the way, I’m a man and got impregnated me. Do you believe me? What do you mean by “sincere enough”? How can you know about the sincerity of a girl born 2000 years ago?

      If a girl, any girl, explains to me that god impregnated her i won’t believe that. Maybe even she believes so, but without more proofs i will only think she is either crazy or lying

  • http://nonpaganorigins.blog.com krissmith777

    Let’s see:

    “Some scholars say “virgin” was a mistranslation in the Septuagint (the Greek translation the gospel writers used), and should have been translated “young woman.” That means the story might have been based on a mistranslation!”

    Actually, it seems to mean both “virgin” and “young woman.:

    Link: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H5959&t=KJV

    “Jesus was not the first god to be born of a virgin. Mut-em-ua, the virgin Queen of Egypt, supposedly gave birth to Pharaoh Amenkept III through a god holding a cross to her mouth.”

    This is not true. Even skeptics of Christianity, like Richard Carrier, say that the story of Amenhotep III’s birth was pretty sexual.

    Link: http://www.frontline-apologetics.com/Luxor_Inscription.html

    “Ra, the Egyptian sun god, was said to be born of a virgin. So was Perseus, Romulus, Mithras, Genghis Khan, Krishna, Horus, Melanippe, Auge and Antiope.”

    Mithras was not born of a virgin, but from a rock, Perseus’s mother was seduced by Zeus, and Horus’ mother Isis had sex with Osiris’ corpse. Krishna’s mother Devaki had 7 children before she had Krishna meaning she had her fun at least 7 times before.

    • Siberia

      Perseus’s mother was seduced by Zeus,
      Uh, yes, and how is that different from Mary being impregnated by Yaweh? It’s still virgin girl being knocked up by deity. The only difference I see is that Greeks had a more reasonable vision of their gods, in that they actually engaged in the act rather than just magicking a fetus in the girl’s womb…

  • Rich

    There is important information not mentioned on this post this site might shed some light on this:

    http://unveiledsecretsandmessagesoflight.blogspot.com/2009/07/virgin-mary.html

  • Francesc

    …and Mohammad was only another pedophile who begins a cult.

  • http://www.mastercareprotectionandcleaning.com Don

    As one of my friends said,God is above all logic reasoning and explanation.Virgin Mary is not to be traced by DNA or History searches or anything of that sort.Just ask a priest and he would explain what that really means.Finding answers is good but we have our ‘own’ notions which might be not in confirmation with what Bible preaches in actuality.

  • solomon

    All you Atheists,
    Why don’t you all believe what Allah the almighty says.Why you all try to find other reasons just following your imagination blindly.You are all the loosers lot.

    • Custador

      Okay…. You’re a dick who’s incapable of constructing a coherent sentence or of forming a rational argument. Congrats.

  • solomon

    atheistlove,
    Pray that you will not be the 1st person to be thrown to HELL!

  • http://stupidstatus.posterous.com/ b

    Wow, excellent! Loved that article… now if I can only get my family to read it :(

  • madderz24

    lol well if we believed the world was flat at one point, what makes this any different. The only thing we know is that we don’t know (sounds weird but its true)…. We either try to prove stuff through religion or through science. Both are irrational…we should just accept the fact that we are here and let others believe in whatever they want to believe…..in science or religion…..they’re neither right or wrong

  • bob

    You are 100% correct, the early roman Church manipulated the text and added the account of the Virgin Birth, it does not occur in the Hebrew copies of Matthew.

    I would suggest that you learn about the Hebrew Yehshua, instead of this “Jesus” person. (Ever wonder why the church gives him a false name and false birthdate?)

    Yehshua is the Messiah, do not let the paganism of Churchianity whether in ignorance or not, keep you from the truth!

  • Student of the Word

    @bob:

    You try to make yourself sound intelligent by saying that (1): “the early roman Church manipulated the text and added the account of the Virgin Birth, it does not occur in the Hebrew copies of Matthew” and (2):”I would suggest that you learn about the Hebrew Yehshua, instead of this ‘Jesus’ person…” However, both statements were obviously made in ignorance, considering that you got your basic facts completely wrong.

    First of all, Matthew was not written in Hebrew. It was written in Koine Greek–that is, the Greek spread by Alexander the Great during his reign…which was kept by the Roman Empire so that they would not have to try to teach people a new language (since everyone within the empire knew the Greek).

    Secondly, the name Yeshua is simply a variant of Yoshua (from where we get Joshua). Iesous was simply the Greek spelling variant of Yeshua/Yoshua (Iesous is what appears for the title of the book of Joshua in the Greek Septuagint, which was in common usage during the first century and several centuries prior). The Latin brought the name Iesous to Iesu and from there, the German started pronouncing the I as a J (which is not so much an error as a difference in sounds of the language) and that J sound carried on into English, hence the name Jesus.

    Do your research before you go trying to pretend you’re an expert on something you know nothing about.

  • Sarah

    I just felt the need to let you know that when you say that the virgin birth was made up to fulfill a prophecy of isaiah 7:14 that is impossible. Because the word alma that was translated to mean virgin in that verse actually means young woman. So really, there was never a prophetic word about virgin birth anywhere.

    • mimi

      i felt the need to let you know that the evidence that Mary was a virgin does not depend on the meaning of the word “alma” alone. Because the Bible says that Mary “had not known no man.” And that statement has been used all throughout the Bible to indicate a woman’s virginity….rated G style! =)

  • mimi

    author of the post, you deny the virgin birth because
    1: you have no faith
    2: you want to make silly arguments between the Holy Scriptures (between Paul/Mark). If Paul mentions the virgin birth even once, its validated. You said he mentions it twice…even the more reason for you to believe, grandmaaaa. lol
    3: its not the same myth…those gods/goddesses are. Jesus is different cuz i don’t see any other god dying for YOU so that you could live life to the fullest! (Like I do!!! yayy i’m so blessed, don’t hate lol)..
    4: your teenage girl example was just horrible!! you can’t even apply that in today’s time because IT WASN’T PROPHESIZED. so stop tryin to switch things up.
    and 5: your finally right about this one…people tell lies faster than nature to go off course. Starting with all the God-haters also called boasters. People hate what or who they don’t know. The Bible says to GET WISDOM. Wisdom is worth more than rubies.

    • Daniel Florien

      I deny it because there is no evidence. That is all.

      • mimi

        But why deceive yourself? With God ALL things are possible. So a virgin birth was definitely do-able.
        God formed the earth, he flung stars into space, he painted the sky! He lit up the sun, he taught birds how to fly! But the crown of creation, he saved for the end. He made Adam and Eve, and became their best friend! awwww. i got that from a children’s book hehe =).

        Please don’t defile my Bible. It’s the ONLY truth this corrupted world has.

        • Jabster

          Now I hope you’re joking here …

        • Daniel Florien

          So Muhammad ascended into heaven on a white horse, right? With Allah all things are possible! And unicorns exist, because with God all things are possible! Why do you deceive yourself about these things, mimi?

          • Jabster

            All joking aside it is an interesting point when a certain section of believers will debate the possibilty of say Noah’s ark and a world wide flood and how it could have happened within our understanding of science but really what difference does it make … if god could create the complete universe then a global flood doesn’t seem far fetched at all.

          • mimi

            I never even mentioned muhammad, nor do i believe anything about him. To me, he’s like the first bin laden. Do you want to believe in unicorns? your so wrapped up into this mythological scheme. That is why their called “myths.” Their not supposed to be real. Stop deceiving yourself. Is the Bible called a myth? Tell me. Oh! u wanna hear something extraordinary?? this is going to blow your socks off (especially the unbelievers).

            There was also a talking donkey! (I’m speaking in miscontrued language here like people misconstrue Scripture). Yep read Numbers 22. The story’s fabulous. It really wasn’t a talking donkey…rather, he talked: aka once. Use your intelligence to discern the difference people! Oh, danny boy i have another surprise for you. Since you mention unicorns and wish they were real. The Bible even “mentions” it too! Numbers 23:22 look it up. But discern the scripture. Cuz they were never real but since God knew that people would make up fairy tales, hey, he might as well mention the darn thing. Have a fabulous day!

            • Jabster

              Now are really, really hope you’re joking here …

            • Jabster

              “Do you want to believe in unicorns?”

              Do you want to believe in god … it’s much the same thing you know.

            • Custador

              “That is why their called “myths.” Their not supposed to be real. Stop deceiving yourself. Is the Bible called a myth? Tell me.”

              Yes. Everybody in the world who doesn’t believe in Jesus being the son of God (and that’s the VAST majority of the crew of Spaceship Earth) regards the bible as being just another book of mythology. How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking? You have a certain youthful zeal and lack of perspective!

            • mimi

              Earth is a spaceship now???! LOL!!! Wow! i had no idea!!!! LOL!!!!!

            • mimi

              you still haven’t answered my question (above) LOL!….so don’t judge others unless you want to be judged. and don’t call people morons when you make comments that make you sound like one yourself. Just to letchya know~! i still luv ya doe (that’s though in ebonics) =D

            • Daniel Florien

              Oh, okay, so the Bible is full of myths. We finally agree! The virgin birth was a myth too. Glad we cleared that up.

            • mimi

              NO, I don’t agree. me me (hand raising up like back in elementary school). yes, ME ME or MI MI, hey mimi, get it?! hahaha. i don’t agree! so u can’t speak for all mr. daniel. Heyyy, your name is in the bible too! did u know that? have u read that story? just asking…i’m not trying to be all debating and stuff….have a wonderful day~!

            • Custador

              Um…. The Bible really does contain an awful lot of myths, you know! Unless you’re a biblical literalist (AKA a moron), it’s hard to defend any other position. Hell, even if you are such a moron it’s still not defensible!

            • mimi

              take a moment and breathe…(inhale/exhale). Stress is a silent killer you know custador so u should take it easy. Why are biblical literalists morons? Tell me? Is it because they are wise and you hate people with wisdom and joy? who are you to judge as a moron? “What a man thinks, so is he” Proverbs 23:7. Aka…your judgement out of your own mouth is upon your own head.

            • Custador

              So… Your whole argument rests on “I know you are, you said you are, but what am I? NYERNYERNYER!”….. Mimi, seriously: If you take the bible literally then you don’t think. That’s what makes you a moron.

        • Sunny Day

          “He made Adam and Eve, and became their best friend! awwww.”

          Later he killed 99.999% of their descendants. awwwwww.

          • mimi

            Lol! Yep. The wicked perish and the dead know nothing. If that’s not true, tell me then what dead people know? do they still think? So, tell me what will happen to you when you die? Cuz all of us will see the grave/death (no virgin/no young woman) lol…ok ok…serious.
            Yeah well, wicked people deserve the just punishment. So i guess its ok if someone killed yo mama and the judge let him go free? hmm i don’t think that’s just. And the 99% u talkin about deserved to die because they thought of nothing but doing wicked. Just like pedophiles think of nothing but molesting children, addicts-drugs, drunkies-alcohol, killers-murder, etc, etc. Stop acting simple! the list of this jacked up world goes on. But i still have MY joy amidst it all. Thank you, Jesus!

            • Custador

              “So, tell me what will happen to you when you die?”

              As your heart dies it goes into a state called fibralation (which is actually fascinating to observe because you end up with heart-beats and radial pulses which don’t match) and you suffer from an extreme state of confusion as the oxygen in your blood starts to run out. When the heart stops, you have about three minutes before hypoxia causes permanent brain damage. If you’ve ever seen the slightly bemused look on somebody’s face as their heart and breathing stops and you start CPR… Well, it has an effect on your day and you don’t forget it in a hurry. The bottom line is that when you die, that’s it. Ripples on a pond; the effect you have on the world slowly dampens to nothing, and that’s it. You’re gone. Frankly, I’m kind of glad. I imagine eternity would very boring!

            • mimi

              Um, excuse me but i asked what happens to you after you die? Meaning: COMPLETELY DEAD. Not the process of dying. Focus on the question with accuracy please. NEXT! LOL…muahz

            • Custador

              Oh, in that case: Nothing. Literally. “You” as a consciousness cease to exist. That’s it, the end, bye-bye.

            • Daniel Florien

              mimi: actually you said “when you die” not “after you die” — so Custador answered your original question with accuracy, but it was not the question you had in mind.

              If there is an afterlife, none of us knows what it is.

          • Jabster

            Look’s like you’ve got a live one here Sunny ….

        • Kodie

          You are a spazz for Jesus!

          • mimi

            uhhhh OK! hehehe =D

    • Sunny Day

      “author of the post, you deny the virgin birth because
      1: you have no faith”

      The blog is called unreasonable faith, your reading comprehension fails.

      “2: you want to make silly arguments between the Holy Scriptures (between Paul/Mark). If Paul mentions the virgin birth even once, its validated. You said he mentions it twice…even the more reason for you to believe, grandmaaaa. lol”

      The words were virgin birth. Even more evidence for your failure of reading comprehension.

      “3: its not the same myth…those gods/goddesses are. Jesus is different cuz i don’t see any other god dying for YOU so that you could live life to the fullest! (Like I do!!! yayy i’m so blessed, don’t hate lol)..”

      WOW 3 in a row of reading Comprehension failure. The topic at hand is the “virgin birth” just like all the previous mythological critters what is claimed of them later in life has no bearing on the circumstances of their birth. Unless of course you are claiming a Time Traveling God.

      “4: your teenage girl example was just horrible!! you can’t even apply that in today’s time because IT WASN’T PROPHESIZED. so stop tryin to switch things up.
      and”

      Theres no switching. Reading comprehension failure #4.

      “5: your finally right about this one…people tell lies faster than nature to go off course. Starting with all the God-haters also called boasters. People hate what or who they don’t know. The Bible says to GET WISDOM. Wisdom is worth more than rubies.”

      Hey, at least you finaly admit that the virgin birth is bullshit. Congratulations!

      • mimi

        I never admitted the virgin birth is bs? don’t put words in my mouth. you should go back and reread my fabulous post because your reading comprehension failed, hehe. Obviously your an angry person and also ignorant due to your lack of vocabulary. No cursing, ignoramous! lol…=D

    • Karleigh

      No one need be impressed by some random who probably never even existed dying and then supposedly coming back to life just 3 days later. It would be a real sacrifice if he actually stayed dead, don’t you think?

      This is to say nothing of the supreme arrogance and carelessness of one man claiming responsibility for all past and future sins with his death, without consulting either sinner nor sinned against. If I been present at this mythical execution, I would have been bound by human decency to try and stop by any means possible.

  • Larry ox

    It must be amazing to take so much effort to fight something you don’t believe in. Me I’m taking on the tooth fairy….You realy need to get a life, and stop comparing the Bible to CSI…. By the way, where will you be 100yrs from now?

    • Francesc

      Yes, it is! Allien abductions, big foots, creationism, homeophaty, atlantis and any other new age I may have forgotten. And of course, religion :-p
      It must be amazing to comment on blogs you are not interested in…

      • mimi

        To your amazement, i don’t even consider myself religious. I don’t even like the concept of religion….too much rules, regulations and cult-like. So all my fans/haters can post to this comment and I will reveal to you what it all boils down to….hehehe ttysoon! =P

        • Daniel Florien

          Right, you’re not religious, you just follow a holy book, believe in the miracles it says without any evidence, and then try to convince others to believe it. Nope, no religion there…

          • mimi

            wow u responded fast. i didn’t try to get others to believe. I just tell of my experiences. That’s all. How come you couldn’t discern that? what foolishness. Yes, and those miracles mentioned in that holy book are the same miracles i’ve seen happen to people i’ve prayed for today. So, i don’t need evidence. I have the original copy!!!! yayyy holla back~!

          • Daniel Florien

            You’ve seen virgin births, the sun stopping in the sky, ax heads floating, water into wine?! Holy crap that’s awesome! How could I see such things? Can you take a video next time, maybe provide some evidence?

            You alone could convert the entire world if you could document a miracle. If you actually see them yourself, you’re the one to do it. Come on mimi, take a little time and provide us some evidence, and we’ll believe!

            (If you don’t have any evidence and don’t plan to get any, then you might as well go away, because your claims and boasting are empty without evidence and we’ll just think you’ve been duped or are a little loopy.)

            • mimi

              little loopy? haha. you guys are so entertaining and funny with all of your foolishness. that’s all. Obviously, you didn’t understand what i was saying. Not the SAME miracles from the bible…but the SAME God. I prayed for my best friend who was HIV positive and almost died. Yet, i prayed being INSPIRED by a story where??? Can you tell me where sir? yes, the Bible! And i believed because God doesn’t lie. That’s what the whole race of (wo)man are good for.

              And to this day, he doesn’t take nor has taken any antibiotics to heal his life-threatening disease. Yet, he is cured? Doctor confirmations has said so. Explain that one to me. Yes, he triumphed death. Praise God! oh yeah, oh yeah (doing a football victory dance) =D

              if having fun is considered loopy, then yall must be booooorrrriiiiing..tah tah fans~

            • Sunny Day

              “Not the SAME miracles from the bible…but the SAME God.”

              The same guy who supposedly killed the whole world with a flood and then meticulously erased all the evidence, sent bears to maul children to death and forcibly impregnated a woman. You poor little thing, no wonder you seem so addlepated.

              “I prayed for my best friend who was HIV positive and almost died. ”

              Basically you did nothing but you felt better for it. Good for you!

              “Yes, he triumphed death. Praise God!”

              Ho Hum, boring. By those criteria every day I wake up is a triumph over death. I didn’t need some craptacularly silly mimi praying over me to do it.

            • mimi

              uhhh there’s nothing miraculous about your waking up every day now is there?

              So u think prayer is nothing? You’re telling me that prayer is all in vain? How do you explain him being healed from HIV? Just sitting there twittling my thumbs? ho, hum boring…is that what you do? where is your zeal for life? Or do you even have any? Poor thing…and stop copying off of my words. I know i’m fabulous =D, but be yourself. I’m my own unique person lady. Don’t jock my style maam!

            • Sunny Day

              By your substandard criteria it sure is!

              Prayer is nothing more than wishful thinking. I explain the miraculous healing of HIV by you being a Liar.

            • mimi

              LOL!!! What reason would i have to lie? I’m so brutally honest, that if i lied, i would tell you! lol!! I’m sorry you have no hope and you are a bitter woman. Well, TRY to have a wonderful day. hope its possible for you. Oh, i forgot you don’t believe in hope. I apologize to God for being so sarcastic to you, but You are hilarious!!!!!!!

            • Shawn Abbott

              Its ok mimi sunny calls everyone that believes in God a liar. He calls me a scumbag liar. And your right Hilarious.

            • mimi

              i know! sunny is such a hater! LOL….

    • Kodie

      I wouldn’t take on the tooth fairy. She’s a psychopath and she has a lot of teeth. Sure, they are all baby teeth, but billions of them.

      • Benjamin Steele

        Pearse – Your whole argumet is irrelevant and ignorant. You are obviously utterly clueless. Go back to your books and study some more. And who gives a frack about the irrational apologetics of medieval Christians? I hope that helps.

    • Daniel Florien

      If 2 billion people believed in the tooth fairy, you bet I’d be writing articles about why the tooth fairy doesn’t actually leave money under pillows.

    • mimi

      My life is blessed and great on a daily basis! Maybe the ONLY time your happy is when your on vacation or go out on the weekends. tsk tsk poor thing…you’re supposed to enjoy everyday life–even during those crummy days. Wow,,, hope that doesn’t sound too far fetched for ya, lol! And CSI…where did that come from? i don’t even know how i compared the Bible to that show. Please explain….=)

  • solomon

    all the Atheist out there,
    You will surely see hell & you will be thrown into it.You boastingly deny gods existence even though knowledge have come to you.You are the losers lots and there no point for regret later.

    • Francesc

      Care to bet? Oh, yes, I’ve betted my alterlife, and you have betted your real life to that unfounded belief

    • Custador

      Do you deny the existence of Odin? Then you shall never see Valhala! Idiot…

    • Siberia

      You will surely see hell & you will be thrown into it.

      At least I’ll have lots and lots of friends there.

  • Siberia

    “Is it because they are wise and you hate people with wisdom and joy?”
    Most christians I know are neither wiser or happier than I am.

    • mimi

      Sadly, i know them too. Because they focus too much on worldly, material things rather than on the promises of God.

      “In your presence is fulness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forever more” Psalm16:11.

  • Francesc

    @mimi
    Now at least we can talk, thanks!
    We are screwed up because we are not perfect. When I do a computer program, I know what computer program is going to do. If it fails, it is not his fault. When i educate a kid, part of his success and part of his failure is my responsability, isn’t it? So, when god created us, if we were not good enough for him, it was -partially, at least- his fault. But as god is perfect, he can’t do anything wrong, so he did it on purpose, so he could punish us later. Hence, he is a sadistic asshole (provided that he exists, of course)

    Adam and Eve were created with free will but innocent, they couldn’t choose between good and bad -according to the bible. So god leave them at home and satan tricked him. Good parent! By the way, Who created satan? Why?
    Do you think that the son’s of a criminal have to be in prison for their father’s crime? Is it fair? because that is what god did.

    “We take God out of our schools and our work places. And all these shootings at schools, universities, etc. happen”
    Now I can’t believe you!!! Religion was an important cause of those shootings. 9/11 terrorists where religious people. How is that responsability of secularism? Please, don’t blame me because of “your” faults.

    “WE provoke God to anger” You are converting god in a mere human. How do you know that god can feel anger? Aren’t you even a bit worried, that he could be angry again and destroy all of us? Is that the kind of god you worship?

    “he didn’t originally want to”
    Again, you don’t know that. As he is all-knowing and all-powerful,
    1.- If he didn’t want to, he could avoid it
    2.- He knew he was going to do that from the very beginning

  • Shawn Abbott

    Abiogenesis. You don’t even know what you’re arguing against!

    I didnt realize you wouldnt remember a half hour ago.

    Sunnys comment

    How you can say there is a god without any evidence is amazing to me.

  • Custador

    Mimi, YOU said: “since u don’t believe in things like hope, joy, peace, love and life”, accusing Sunny of being incapable of feeling basic human drives and emotions based on nothing more that his atheism. When I called your bullshit and pointed out your prejudice, you responded: “So foul how u can take innocent words and twist them around to be…prejudiced? tell me how?“. Are you really that stupid? Actually, you probably are. “Innocent words”? Get bent! You can come here and spout offensive crap in as pleasant a tone as you like, but it’s still offensive crap and you can still expect me to get a great deal more offensive back at you.

  • Custador

    Wtf is going on with comment nesting on this thread?!

  • Daniel Florien

    The comments are a bit broken on older posts, I haven’t been able to fix it, sorry!

  • Mad Tom

    I’m not a fundamentalist or an inerrantist. I’m unitarian. I do not take the story of Adam and Eve literally (I don’t believe in the virgin birth either). That being said, I must agree with Mimi that the Adam and Eve of Genesis DID have free will. Had they not had free will, they could not have disobeyed God’s commandment in the first place, no matter how persuasive the serpent was. Although not a literalist, I believe that to understand a story, even an allegory, it must first be taken at face value. It is a misconception to say that they had no conception of good and evil prior to eating the forbidden fruit. They knew it was good to not eat the fruit and that it was wrong to eat it. It may be a simple ethical system, but it is a system nonetheless. What I believe the story is telling us is NOT that by eating the fruit that they suddenly acquired a conception of good and bad, right and wrong, good and evil. The eating of the fruit was their act of declaring that they would rely upon themselves, rather than God, to decide what is good and what is evil. Upon eating were their “eyes opened” to all things good and evil? Hardly. They were no less confused than we in navigating through all the moral dilemmas. Their eyes were only opened their nakedness. The lesson is clear — without God, we are not clothed with a standard to decide what is right or wrong. Upon learning this, they at first acted like liberals. They put fig leaves over their privates, pretended nothing was wrong, and hoped no one would notice. When that did not work, they turned conservative. They ran for cover and hoped they could hide until the coast was clear.

    • Mad Tom

      The reference to I Timothy 3:16, rather than supporting the idea of Paul’s knowledge of the virgin birth, is actually further circumstantial evidence that Paul had never heard of the virgin birth. Likewise, in Romans 1:3-4, where Paul states, “(3)Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh; (4) And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” [King James Version]. If ever there was a context where reference to the virgin birth was not only appropriate, but, in fact, almost mandated, it was here. To not mention the virgin birth in the context of Jesus’ human origins (seed of David) or his sonship relative to God is like writing a biography of Abraham Lincoln and after reporting on Lee’s surrender on 4/9/1865, the writer merely states that Lincoln died a few days later without any reference to John Wilkes Booth, Ford’s Theater, or assassination.
      That Paul, whose writings are the earliest Christian writings, never expressly mentions the virgin birth, even within contexts that cry out for it, strongly suggest, if not necessarily implies, that Paul never heard of the virgin birth.
      Furthermore, of the three synoptic gospels, it is widely accepted that the Gospel of Mark is the earliest. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record an incident in which the mother and brothers of Jesus come to see him and Jesus snubs them. All things being equal, this looks like a violation of the 5th commandment (“Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother”). Okay, so Jesus is the Messiah. He can still give his mother the time of day. Is it really necessary to shame them in public? That is how it comes off — in Matthew and Luke. In Mark we have a reason given for the snub, which Matthew and Luke chose not to report: Mary and her other sons were told that Jesus had gone off the deep end and needed to be “taken charge of”. In that light, Jesus’ attitude seems quite understandable. So why did Matthew and Luke choose to leave that part out? Matthew and Luke are the only ones who claim the virgin birth. How could Mary doubt her son who had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, along with epiphanies, angelic visitation? It does not make any sense. Matthew and Luke saw that and left out the report that Mary doubted her son. If Matthew and Luke saw that, why didn’t Mark? Because Mark knew nothing of the virgin birth, but did, like Matthew and Luke, still wanted to discredit Jesus’ blood relatives as part of the de-judacising of Christianity.

      • http://www.the2keys.com Ephrem Hagos

        At the human level, the virgin birth is an impossibility. On the other hand, there is nothing that God cannot do if we let Him! Consistent with Scriptures, Mary did not believe in the virgin conception, without firsthand revelation by the Holy Spirit, any more than all of us (Luke 1: 34-38; John 3: 5-6; 1 Cor. 12:3).

        As far as we are concerned, we have our own parallel tree to bark in a still higher area of impossibility, viz.: the verifiable, perfect and transfigurative death of Jesus Christ on the cross, defining the “Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness”, which no one born in the flesh can know and believe unless guided by the Holy Spirit –the supernatural means of our spiritual reproduction and growth as prescribed and dispensed for firsthand experience although totally ignored by us. (John 3: 1-21; 19: 30-37)

        Judging Christ according to any human standard is dated and inappropriate (2 Cor. 5:16). The bio-Christology of Jesus begins as “firstborn in the dead”, i.e., on the cross (John 8: 21-28) but not as born in the manger (“born of the flesh”). That is why no offense was intended and none taken either in the wedding in Cana (Ibid, 2: 1-12) or in the incident in which the mother and brothers of Jesus came to see him (Matt. 12: 46-50).

        Mary majored in the divine life with “sorrow, like a sharp sword breaking her heart” at her son’s glorious death on the cross. We do not seem to have even applied to join the School of Christ.

        • Custador

          Ephrem, is it more believable to you that nature went out of its course for the first and only time in billions of years? Or that a frightened young girl in a religiously extreme culture told a lie? Or that, to be fair to Mary, the lie was told about her after her lifetime in order to make her and her son’s story more compatible with the recognised religions of the day? The source of the virgin birth myth is pretty well understood by scholars these days.

        • Custador

          the verifiable, perfect and transfigurative death of Jesus Christ on the cross

          Can you please tell me why you think that it’s “verifiable”? To my knowledge, no third-party evidence exists at all for the life of Jesus, let alone his death, so I would be fascinated to know your source on that one.

        • Custador

          One last thing before I go to work, Ephrem:

          A lot of your arguments quote chapter and verse as evidence. But since the origins of the bible are quite well understood – and entirely human – what makes you think it’s a document with any authority? Even as a historical document it is known to be flat-out wrong on so many points that you must question the bulk of what it says if you want to really understand it.

        • Francesc

          “there is nothing that God cannot do”
          And this, my friend, is the reason why the existence of God is a useless hypothesis. Everytime you want to know anything about the world through your vision of God you have to put limitations over god’s power. For example, that he didn’t lie when “he” wrote the bible. Or that he didn’t created the world a minute ago with all our memories in his place.

      • Mad Tom

        The Christ that Paul spoke of in 2 Corinthians 5:16 was the post-Resurrection Christ that he believed in. It was not this risen Christ “which sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty” that snubbed Mary. It is pretty much “Christianity 101″ that the pre-resurrection Jesus, as a flesh and blood human being, led a sinless life. What would be a most remarkable accomplishment becomes a rather meaningless one if “[J}udging Christ according to any human standard is . . . inappropriate”. If Jesus’ actions are good and sinless by definition, then it isn’t that difficult to be sinless. If that is the case, then he becomes the “New Adam” in a way that Paul would not anticipate. Just as Adam and Eve decided to make their own morality, so it would seem did Jesus also. If he is not living according to the same standard that the Bible calls upon me to live by, then one can hardly say that he is setting an example for me.
        All that being said, Ephrem, you’re missing the point. Matthew and Luke chose to edit out what Mark said in Mark 3:21, which gives a justification for Jesus’ snub of his mother that is consistent with the 5th commandment. Otherwise, Matthew and Luke are portraying a Jesus that is violating that commandment. One must ask why they would do that. They are the only ones who explicitly state that Mary was virgin when she gave birth
        AND MARY KNEW IT!! According to their gospels, She knew that God had miraculously intervened to bring his messiah into the world in a supernatural way. If that was true, how could she doubt him? How could she believe that he was mad? There is another question that also needs to be asked: how could Mark not know that Mary believing that Jesus’ might be mad was inconsistent with her knowledge of his miraculous birth? Could it be that this presented no dilemma for Mark for he, the earliest of the gospel writers, like Paul, knew nothing of the virgin birth, much less believed in it? Could it be that, with the passage of time and the growth of the legend, the virgin birth was a later, PAGAN, addition to the gospel narrative?

        • http://www.the2keys.com Ephrem Hagos

          2 Cor. 5:16 refers to the new standard of Christ personally knowable as “firstborn from the dead”(John 8: 21-32), i.e.,”a Lamb standing in the centre of the throne appearing to have been killed”, without whom no one is worthy to break the seven seals and open the Scriptures! (Rev. 5)

  • brogeo

    1. there is no reliable evidence. what if you find the bible to be reliable? i’ve read it for 35 years. i’ve always found it to be reliable.
    2. Actually Paul affirmed the virgin birth in 1 Timothy 3:16: “great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.”
    3. there is a raging difference: Mary was not a queen. she was a poor peasant girl. the Gosple writers missed the whole “dramatic effect” thing. if the story were concocted by man wouldn’t jesus have born the son of a king? everything about the story is mundane in the extreme except for one itty-bitty twist: the father was the holy spirit.
    4. things happen all the time, well documented, that we have no explanation for. we ever have a name for it: “mystery.” had thomas paine been aware of dark matter he might not have made that statement. since 96% of the universe cannot be explained there is whopping good chance anything can happen that defies logic, reason, or historical precedence. “dem’s mysteries is slippery things!”
    5. call me gullible, but i might. in fact, i have a friend who conceived as a virgin. she called it “in-vitro.” you know, if a human doctor can do that just imagine what God can do!

    • Custador

      “1. there is no reliable evidence. what if you find the bible to be reliable? i’ve read it for 35 years. i’ve always found it to be reliable.”

      Then you don’t know what the word “evidence” means. “The bible is true because the Bible says it is” isn’t any kind of evidence at all. If the things that had happened in the Bible had really happened, they would be mentioned in more places than the Bible (they’re not) and they would have left physical evidence (they didn’t).

      “2. Actually Paul affirmed the virgin birth in 1 Timothy 3:16: “great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh.””

      Again, you cannot hold the bible up as evidence of itself. That’s why arguing from scripture is invalid and does not work. You need to find evidence outside of the bible – but there is none.

      “5. call me gullible, but i might. in fact, i have a friend who conceived as a virgin. she called it “in-vitro.” you know, if a human doctor can do that just imagine what God can do!”

      I’ve met fertility doctors. I’ve seen IVF procedures take place. Nobody’s ever met, heard, seen, touched, tasted, felt or smelled God. No human female has ever become pregnant without DNA from a human male fertilising an egg. Once again, the bible may say it, but that don’t make it so.

    • http://www.dctouristsandlocals.wordpress.com DCtouristsANDlocals

      “Just imagine with God can do!”

      That’s exactly how we got these stories… people imagining what an all-powerful being could do that isn’t actually possible in real life.

    • VorJack

      “what if you find the bible to be reliable? i’ve read it for 35 years. i’ve always found it to be reliable.”

      What definition of “reliable” are you using here? We’re arguing about historical reliability, which can’t be discerned by multiple readings. Remember, a book might be theologically or morally reliable and not be historical. I think the Epic of Gilgamesh contains great insight into the human condition, but no one pretends that it’s historically reliable.

      Actually Paul affirmed the virgin birth in 1 Timothy 3:16:

      1. Titus and the Timothy letters are called the ‘pastoral epistles,” and are most likely not pauline. They were likely written after the gospels.

      2. While that creed mentions the incarnation, it does not mention the virgin birth. An adoptionist or a docetist could recite it just as easily as an orthodox christian

      if the story were concocted by man wouldn’t jesus have born the son of a king?

      He was, or at least the closest thing they had. Jesus is from the “stump of Jesse,” in the line of King David. Given that their “king” was that half-judean pseudo-jew Herod, that’s the best they could do.

      everything about the story is mundane in the extreme

      Except for the angels, the wise men, the star with distinct messianic import (Simon bar Kochba used the same star imagery a century later) and all the other details that scream, “Hey! Something big and important going on here!”

      • John C

        VORJACK…Yes, it all comes back to that one (mysterious, misunderstood and disparaged) dynamic, that connective tissue which bridges the (multi-dimensional) chasm between the seen and the unseen realms-FAITH which God Himself has given a measure of to EVERY man (Romans 12.3) if only we would receive (be impregnated with its Seed, that Holy Thing in us that we give “birth” to which is called a “Son of God” luke 1.35) graciously/humbly without offense (Christ a stumbing stone and a rock of offense).

        Lest that Child GROW UP (Is 9:7) and establish His kingdom of peace and righteousness (in us) and threaten the rule and reign of that other king, Herod (in us) who feigns interest in the newborn Child but only intends to commit infanticide (kill it before His Seed matures and overtakes his ruling influence (of unbelief and opposition).

        Beginning in Genesis 3:15 God prophesying the “Seed of the woman” that would bruise the head of Satan (post fall of man who had lost the image/nature of the heavenly/spiritual man made in the image of God). Then Abraham (father of faith) who’s seed we are (if we would believe) in the (spiritual) lineage being “called out” (a picture of ekklessia-the church which is a spiritual body not a physical building) progressing onward/upward to (the root/stem/stump) of Jesse (King David’s “Father”) and finally until the Child (Christ) is born (in us) and a “setting of the captive’s free” (captive to what?) the wrong (alien, foreign) nature we inherited/assumed, took on in “the fall” of man who was (originally created) in the “very image and likeness” of God but is now “captive” to a twisted (distorted, perverted) nature which is mankind’s quandry (JC saying for “out of the heart comes murder, envy, greed and all manners of evil, etc) which we see manifested daily in our generation and is that which plagues mankind. Getting closer to the “True Offer” now.

        1st Jn 3:8 saying “for this REASON was the Son of God made manifest (in you) that He might destroy the works of the Enemy”. The “works” were the usurping of his (deathly, truth-opposing) nature in God’s “son” (adam) Christ becoming the “second adam” (in us) and “re-grafting us in” to that (original) One Tree (Christ, Stump of Jesse, Tree of Life) again as it was in the beginning (Genesis).

        So adam & eve “dined with the devil”, and it says that once they partook of the “forbidden fruit” he offered them that “immediately their eyes were opened” (to the lie and so fear and shame and guilt took hold and has reigned in humanity ever since). Now see Christ (after the RESURRECTION) on the familair “road to Emmaus” story walking with Cleopus (a type of adam and us, and his wife mary, a type of eve and us) had “walked together quite a while but they were kept from recognizing Him” Christ now offers them to dine with Him, offers the bread (Himself being the “bread of heaven”) and it says after they ate it that “immediately their eyes were opened” (to the Truth which He is) and they “recognized” Him. The effect was the antithesis of the Sepants meal, the Remedy being the Bread and Tree of Life (Christ). Bethlehem means “house of bread” and a “warring” house (warring against that other, false image in us which Herod seeks to protect) so as to “set the captive free”.

        For the Jews seek a sign and Greeks wisdom but Paul declared Christ crucified (what does “Christ crucified” mean to us?). How could the cruel and unjust death of an innocent “Man” on a roman cross some 2000+ yrs ago possibly have anything to do with me today-unless we too (our adamic seed and nature) were on that cross as well (Rom 6:6, Gal 2:20), were crucified along with Him. JC’s disciples asking Him “what is the work of God that we may do it and JC replying, this is the work of God-that you BELIEVE”.

        *Jeopardy game show jingle playing in the background….”what is…FAITH?”

        Are we ever going to “unwrap” our gift, ie our FAITH? We’ll find It/Him “wrapped in swaddling clothes” ie our flesh lying in a “manger”, an animal trough since The Christ (truth of man’s identity as sons of God) is ever born amidst the animals in man (the lie that he is of the lower, beastly, animal nature and kingdom) as there is “no room at the inn” (where people prefer to “sleep” until they are awakened after eating of the bread (of life) and so “recognize” Him, His nature as their own, their “birthright”, that original “image and likeness” of the Father restored in Christ since “for this REASON was the Son of God made manifest” in us.

        Merry Christmas!

  • Sally

    Female hymen can be very elastic, and even do not produce any blood when stretched.
    If sexual intercourse does not happen after one time sex, then the hymen shrinks back again. That could fool people who witnessed her delivering a baby. If Mary’s old husband did not have sex with her before and after delivery, then she could remain looking like virgin down there. That is that simple.
    As to baby Jesus braking her hymen, if it was that stretchy and elastic, it was not a big deal, she had incomparably more pain from the contractions of her uterus.

  • D_bro

    Due to the large number of comments I may missed this point already being made, however one argument was that it would be all too easy for Mary to have made up the story about an angel coming to her and saying she was pregnant from God. In the scenario you present, Joseph her husband to be, would have had no incentive to marry her. In fact the Bible records he had mind to quietly divorce her (as he would have had to do in Jewish law, as they were betrothed), however an angel then appeared to him to confirm that what had happened was from God. He was given further instructions, and on other occassions an angel appears to give warnings.

    What motivation would Joseph had, to go through with this? I can’t see anything in his personal best interest other than a motivation to do what God told him.

  • Johnny Medina

    So why didnt God pay child support?

  • Danny Cisneros

    Just quickly, I wanted to say that Jesus in the scriptures always referred to God as being his Father like in the Lord’s prayer,” Our Father which art in Heaven” and in the Gospel of John chapter 10:29 “My Father”. So, if God is the Father of Jesus then it would make sense in a virgin birth happening because no human intercourse took place between a man and a woman. Which would mean that Joseph was not his biological “father”. Also, when you read throught the scriptures about the account of Baby Jesus, he was referred to as the “Son of Mary”not the “Son of Joseph”. If this happened, then the conception was a miraculous event!

    • Custador

      Yeah, but it didn’t. Some poor Palestinian Jewish girl got knocked-up out of wedlock and chose to lie about it rather than get stoned to death. Go figure.

  • http://www.the2keys.com Ephrem Hagos

    So much about barking the wrong tree!

    Mary did not believe the virgin conception of Jesus any more than Daniel Florien does. What makes Mary distinctly “holy”, in the 1st person account, is her brokenhearted humility and obedience to be guided by the Holy Spirit before she believed at the risk of her life that “there is nothing that God cannot do” (Luke 1: 34-38).

    The 3rd person account of “conception by the Holy Spirit”, on the other hand, is an expression taken from Joseph’s dream which should be accepted not at face value (Matt. 1: 18-25) but only in the light of Mary’s more weighty testimony!

    Finally, our own parallel lot in the Christian life is just as weighty with its requirement of guidance by the Holy Spirit prior to confessing “Jesus as LORD” over death and life: demonstrated, once and for all, in His perfect and transfigurative death on the cross! There is, indeed, nothing that the LORD Jesus cannot do!

  • Dennis

    Why do we need Jesus at all?
    John was already doing baptism for forgiveness of sin.
    Why not just follow John, since he seems to have the original power.

    So why does Jesus need to be baptised, if he was sinless, to prove he was legitimate?
    I guess a virgin birth just doesn’t go as far as it used too!
    It guess it would be easier to prove you were sinless by baptism over a virgin birth, would be my guess.

    No sense listening to scientists, since none are claiming virgin births!
    A better reason to believe them if they do not claim a virgin birth, in my opinion!

    Sure would have been nice if Jesus would have fathered some children and really lived like the rest of us, if he was serious about living like we do in order to know us.
    Seems like not doing so defeats his purpose for coming here.
    Sure would have helped his cause to be able to test his offsprings DNA and find those God Genes!

  • http://spikenard101.stumbleupon.com K

    I think that the virgin birth story was part of the anti-sex anti-personal-freedom propaganda of the controlling vatican empire at some point – that got carried on and on.

    P.S I love your blog’s title “unreasonable faith”

  • Wolfgang DelaSangre

    Meh. If it happened today, I have to say that the reaction is just as unreasonable as you claim religion to be. If you’re gonna put the girl in an insane asylum without actually testing her and the child genetically, then that’s more of an indoctrinated bias than it is “being reasonable.” Sound familiar? It should.

    If it happened today, there would be genetic tests to prove it one way or the other. Faking the test wouldn’t be easy, not without someone competent spotting it. So if it WAS real, there wouldn’t exactly be any denying it without looking foolish. It’s more likely to be faked for NOT being real since that would mean for a lot of people that nature stays on its predictable course, that you’re right, and that you can continue not believing in this mumbo-jumbo.

    Then again, that was Herod’s idea when he slaughtered the children of Bethlehem.

    Just sayin’.

  • Camille M Julien

    I believe that Jesus birth was a result of incest since Mary knew no man. It was a fine cover up to make Jesus to be so divine after being born from such circumstances. Maybe he knew & was ashamed & thats why he tried so hard to divert attention from himself to “God”. ( thats my views in a nut shell )

  • Paul Matthews

    Well i have a very good friend who was a Catholic Priest a Jesuit for over 22 yrs. he left the priesthood & The Church hes Married now. I once asked him about the Virgin Mary Belief. He said it was pure Greek Mythology. and most Priests don’t believe in it. But its the Bread & Butter of Christianity as well as Jesus Reserection. and after all if the Followers knew the truth , The catholic church & Christianity would be out of Business. He went on to say that 1500 AD Pope Pious the X . Said So great was the Fable of Jesus .it has filled the Treasury Coffers more then any other Fable in Church History. Some people need a crutch to get through life he said.

  • Ike

    Where to begin on the BS in this article. Do we start with all the Deductive Fallacy or the MANY MANY other Fallacies in this article.

    “We have no eyewitness accounts, no doctor confirmations, no DNA samples”

    Ok so according to this person NO ONE would have noticed an unmarried very pregnant woman walking around in public?

    The First Medical School was founded in 1518 therefore prior to that No “Doctor” as we understand them today existed. The First Hospital we would recognize as such was opened around 1710. Medical Records as we know them were not around until 1901 so your point other than your lack of any understanding of history is what?

    DNA was first discovered in 1869 before that NO ONE knew it existed. DNA collection as evidence is only a few years old.

    So again your point other than well your an idiot is what?

    Um you ARE aware it IS possible to get pregnant WITHOUT penetration by a male penis? So Lets see you lack ANY understanding of Human history, Medical history, Medicine, Science, Religion & YET we are to believe your many fallacies & irrational methodology is even worth considering?

    Oh one last thing I noticed NOT ONE TIME do you offer ANY Scientific Evidence what so ever
    that a Virgin Birth is not only impossible but never happened. Your enter paper is nothing more than your belief & an expression of YOUR faith. That alone makes it irrelevant & a waste of time.
    Anyone who defends this BS is as ignorant as you.

  • Bigsky007

    With respect to the virgin birth story, if true, then we have to indite God for rape because one account, M 1:18 neither Mary nor Joseph knew that she was pregnant until an angel told Joseph. In Luke, the angel delt with Mary only with the total exclusion of Joseph. Mary didn’t even bother to protest and tell the angel that she was already married (espoused). Furthermore, if Joseph was not the Father of Jesus then God lied to David. Joseph was used, abused and discarded.

  • charles

    the bible is mythology.

  • gel4948

    Where’s Jesus? We can just ask him to clear up this whole virgin birth thing. “Jesus!” “Jeeessusss!” “Jesus?” Hmmmm, he’s not answering right now; he must be busy. I’ll pray and leave a voicemail; I’m sure he’ll get back to me.

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  • http://Hamikdash.blogspot.com Judah HaKohain

    Yeshiyahu (Isaiah) never said “virgin” in this section. He used the word “almanah” which means “young woman.” “Betulah” is the Hebrew word for virgin. This was a deliberate mistranslation by Greek Christians to be in line with Paul’s Jesus/Osirus cult.

  • http://Hamikdash.blogspot.com Judah HaKohain

    The Prophet Yeshiyahu (Isaiah) never said “virgin” in this section. He used the word “almanah” which means “young woman.” “Betulah” is the Hebrew word for virgin. This was a deliberate mistranslation by Greek Christians to be in line with Paul’s Jesus/Osirus cult.

  • Tim

    You say there is no proof of a virgin birth. Let me ask you: is there scientific proof that there was such a thing as the Magna Carta or the signing of the Declaration of Independence. How do we know that the DoI was a made-up fable and that the current copy sitting in a museum isn’t some early 20th century forgery? If Biblical events are required to meet such a high burden of proof, what about the rest of human history? Historical events can’t really be proven scientifically. People default believing the historical account unless evidence is presented to the contrary. Secondly, Mary would have not gotten away with faking a virgin birth. The high priest would have examined her to see if she was being truthful.

    • James G

      “is there scientific proof that there was such a thing as the Magna Carta or the signing of the Declaration of Independence”

      Yes. Many well preserved copies of Magna Carta exist, including one whose whereabouts has been confimed since 1216. And there are dozens of copies of the Declaration of Independence all over the place. And in both cases there are many other strong pieces of evidence from other primary and secondary contemporary sources. The only two sources that mention the Virgin Birth are the Bible and the Koran and they were both written years after Jesus’s death.

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

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

    • Nox

      But that is already assuming that Mary ever actually claimed any such thing (the bible says the exact opposite). It wouldn’t apply if the virgin birth was added to the story long after Jesus and Mary were dead.

      As for scientific proof that there was such a thing as the Magna Carta:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Magna_Carta.jpg
      The original manuscript is in the British Library, and I just showed you a photo. Now about that photo of Jesus…

      • James G

        What about that famous photo of Jesus at the Last Supper? Yeah, I know. It could’ve been photoshopped.

  • John

    Very weak arguments about denying the virgin birth of Jesus.
    Ex: silence of Paul. Think a little deeper. The great “corrector” apostle didn’t bat an eye on this one. If anyone could detect false teaching, it was Paul. His silence is louder than most men today who yell for nothing–like denying the virgin birth of Jesus. If it’s not true, then the most holy faith is just any old faith like so many others, and thus couldn’t make any effect on anyone. Next.

    • Kodie

      Are you trying to say that nobody would believe it if it weren’t true, so it’s true because people believe it? Because Paul didn’t speak up? I mean, you find it credible that it couldn’t affect anyone if it weren’t true, therefore it must be true? Oh yeah, and that because the bible says it’s true, it’s true. That’s pretty weak, I’m not even a scholar, I can’t believe you believe what you say.

    • Sunny Day

      It’s true because it HAS to be True. Yeah, that’s convincing.

      “If it’s not true, then the most holy faith is just any old faith like so many others, and thus couldn’t make any effect on anyone.”

      So then you’re a Muslim?

    • http://theskippyreview.wordpress.com Skippy

      So…because Paul didn’t say anything about it not being true, therefore the “virgin birth” is true? As you say, John, “next.”

    • Yoav

      You do understand that the existence of Paul is just as questionable as the virgin birth or the existence of jeebus?

      • Michael

        No it isn’t.

        • Jabster

          Is it the panto season already … I’ll carry on with it then …

          Oh yes it is!

  • Godfriend

    The virgin birth is not naturally probable and for that you got a very good argument, but you are yet to prove at all that it is supernaturally possible. So you will need to come up with evidence that it is not possible by divine intervention which is exactly the claims of the Gospel writers. You have only argued what a fifth grader will argue.
    The real point is that the Virgin Mary herself asked, ‘How shall this be, seeing I do not know a man?’ Perhaps she knows more of fertilization and biology than you do, she knew it was naturally impossible, but then the Angel said, ‘For with God all things are possible’. I personally in my scientific mind will not see a reason why God would not be able to interrupt natural process and do that to accomplish His own purpose. Science in all its advancement has not been able to make a cell, and produce life but God is the author of life and if he could do that, why will not be able to make a virgin conceive without natural process? Like all Miracles, it is an act of God, and once you do not believe in the existence of God or in the fact that He made the Universe, then you have no business trying understand the virgin birth or any miracle at all, since your finding is known before the investigation begins. As for me, I do not have that problem, I believe every bit of it and it is sufficient for faith and reason.

    • Kodie

      I personally in my scientific mind will not see a reason why God would not be able to interrupt natural process and do that to accomplish His own purpose.

      I don’t think you would get anyone here to disagree with that – if god existed, sure, he could do that. But he doesn’t exist.

      So you will need to come up with evidence that it is not possible by divine intervention which is exactly the claims of the Gospel writers.

      Anything is possible, just like you said – with divine intervention. Bring us proof of the existence of any of that sort of thing.

      As for me, I do not have that problem, I believe every bit of it and it is sufficient for faith and reason.

      You do have other problems though, like expecting us to assume the supernatural is true without proof, and making really weird arguments, at the while, calling us only at the argument level of “5th graders”. You believe in childish, imaginary things – you bring the proof.

    • Sunny Day

      LOL WUT?

    • Michael

      Anything could happen supernaturally. How could one ever evaluate the probability of any supernatural event?

      There is a reason we generally make naturalistic assumptions when explaining events or evaluating truth claims.

  • Guess

    The reason for believing in the virgin birth of a young male child begins with first believing in the creator. You have to understand God and accept God as the original creator to understand the purpose of the virgin birth. The virgin birth ties directly into the original creation of man where as all other claims of such an event are completely ignorant of.

    Anyone can make claims, but when it comes to God, The virgin birth is the way God can dwell among us, and with that comes a chain reaction of many events like redemption that can’t be ignored by the subject which is the child. By understanding and accepting the perfection and righteousness of God, it happens and can only happen once. And, where as people before and people after are directly affected by it.

    The biblical account is godly inspired, and when understood truthfully, is simply undeniable.It is miraculous, supernatural, natural, logical/intellectual/wise, godly and creature whereas everyone and everything that has a consistency has a part in it.

    The virgin birth of a **”ONE”** legitimate male child is an intricate part and a focal point in the entire picture of creation. You won’t accept it unless you believe in the **”ONE”** perfect righteous God. Hope the Best for you all.

    • Jabster

      So basically to believe in it you have to believe it’s true in the first place … what a strange little world you must inhabit.

      p.s. You said “with first believing in the creator.” … my question is which one, as there are some many to choose from – what makes your one so special?

      • Francesc

        I think some people out there are far beyond circular reasoning. I will try to explain this.
        The Christian God is real [1] so the Bible says the truth[4] and that means the christian God is real [1] seems to be circular reasoning wich works because circular reasoning works.
        But we can split the first as you commented:
        God exists [1a] and it is the christian God [1b]. [1b] doesn’t derive from [1a] so we have
        ([1a] + [4]) implies [1b] implies [1a] and
        ([1a] + [1b]) implies [4] implies [1a] and
        ([1a] + [1b]) implies [4] -> [1b]
        Wich aren’t circular at all.

        But then we could say that [1a] and [1b] don’t imply directly [4] because, ya know, God could lie. So we add God doesn’t lie, never [2] and God wrote the Bible [3].

        Why can’t God lie? Because in the Bible says (well, more or less) that lying is bad (unless you are God doing a bet with satan but for the sake of the argument…) and being bad is not godly at all because the bible says God is the source of morality and all (hey, not my fault, it would be much easier to say that lying is not accepted by society as an evolutionary treat)
        So what do we have know?
        [1a]+[1b]+[2]+[3] means [2] + [3] wich means [4] wich means [1b],[1a],[2],[3] (hey, that one is 10 beck worst than circular reasoning)

        We could split the assumptions far beyond that, and I haven’t use the satan hypothesis yet nor the original sin.

        So, in a few words: there is people out there using some “reasonings” simpler than the circular one, and on another hand the corpus of christian beliefs put together is more like a graph, with a lot of interconnected points, than a circle.

        Note: yeah, I’m bored

        • Jabster

          “Note: yeah, I’m bored”

          LOL …

          Oh and you forgot about, sin exists [5] and only Christianity “correctly” tackles sin [1c]. Amazing set of logic I think you’ll agree!

  • greame

    Sorry, I didn’t read through ALL the comments here, so I don’t know if it was brought up but…

    If Mary really was a virgin, and was impregnated by god, then that would mean that Joseph was not Jesus’ father. But, Joseph was supposed to be of the line of King David. If Joseph is not Jesus’ father, then Jesus is not of the line of King David, and therefor is NOT the prophet that the prophesy fortells. =]

  • Rafe the Disbeliever

    Virgin schmirgin! I mean really! Get a freaking grip. We’re all adults here. It’s like kids argueing that mighty mouse could beat superman. We’re talking about characters in a very foolish and scarey work of fiction. Personally i think Spock would kick Kirks ass unless Mr. Scott intervenes at the last minute.( take a breath. say to yourself its just a story.UNSUPPORTED BY ANY OUTSIDE HISTORICAL SOURCE. OR NATURE. OR SCIENCE. OR COMMON SENSE.) Lets concentrate our efforts making the world a better place, free from oppression of anykind.

  • Rebecca Silveous

    THE PATH
    By: Rebecca Silveous/Kiernan

    Will you choose to walk the narrow pathway that leads to nowhere and everywhere. The standards to live by are based on love, respect, dignity, and honor for all things living and non-living on the path. Breathe in and breathe out the same energy that surrounds all things. Choose to walk quietly with nature embracing all its energies. Walking the path requires self-searching within to deepen your own spirituality. The path requires your body, spirit, and soul to be aligned as “One” so that it may receive and learn from experience in every given moment.

    The path allows you the ability to live in a space where you can chose to walk with no purpose and just enjoy the trip, or choose to run with a defined purpose and destination to the end of the trip.

    There is a Divine entity on the path that has both positive and negative energy. Walking the path allows you to have, do, or be anything you desire. You work and play with “One” infinite power and are guided by exactly the same Divine laws. Being obedient to the laws requires you to be true to yourself.

    You create your own universe as you walk the path. All that you have is the result of what you have thought yourself to have, do, and be in any given moment of time. Jesus said it plainly, “I am that I am”. We are that we are. Spirit encased in a fleshly body.

    Whatever you ask, whatever you believe, whatever you receive, is all a part of the great divine plan on the path, and when your physical body no longer serves a purpose, it too will become “One” with the infinite source of the “I AM”.

    The path has nothing to do with any type of religion what-so-ever. The path is the same path that Jesus walked with no regards to any religion or belief system. When you learn the secret to the path, then you will be set free. The path lies within each and every person on the face of the earth. You can search and read all the books that have ever been put into print, from the beginning of time, and still you will not discover the path, until you understand the path lies within. The kingdom of it all, lies within. Of course your path will not be the same path as mine, but ultimately we will end up at the same place at the end of our path. That is what Jesus tried to convey to his followers. Now you know the secret of “The Path”. Ask! It will be given. Seek! You will be given the answers. Knock! The door will be opened to you.

    Did Jesus belong to a religious organization? Of course not! Do I belong to a religious organization? Of course not! I know the path and where it leads, and I need not to be shown the way, because “I am” at the beginning and end of each path I take, and the path leads right back to the “I AM”.

    • Len

      What a load of twaddle.

    • Paul

      “Breathe in and breathe out the same energy that surrounds all things.”

      Yep, already do that: kinetic energy of air molecules.

  • Mohammed

    hello everybody well, Brothers and Sisters first of all i will greet you with greeting of Islam “Asalamo-alikom” which means Peace be upon you, my name is Mohammed and i’m a Muslim by the way and would seems to be weird to defend the miracles birth of Jesus (pbuh) by a Muslim because most of ppl think it’s a Christiansen case but that story was also mentioned on the book of ours (Muslims) which is the “holy Quran” we’re not agree with Christians saying that Jesus is God or begotten son of God , but we say that he was a Prophet of God and have a high position in the house of Islam, now back to our subject, there is a chapter in the Quran named “Surah: Mary” in the honor of the name of Mary the Mother of Jesus , and it talks about the birth of Jesus (pbuh) let’s first see what the “Quran” says about that (Holy Quran19:16 to 19:40 ) :
    “16 Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East.
    17 She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them; then We sent her our angel, and he appeared before her as a man in all respects.
    18 She said: “I seek refuge from thee to ((Allah)) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear Allah.”
    19 He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.
    20 She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”
    21 He said: “So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, ‘that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’:It is a matter (so) decreed.”
    22 So she conceived him, and she retired with him to a remote place.
    23 And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree: She cried (in her anguish): “Ah! would that I had died before this! would that I had been a thing forgotten and out of sight!”
    24 But (a voice) cried to her from beneath the (palm-tree): “Grieve not! for thy Lord hath provided a rivulet beneath thee;
    25 “And shake towards thyself the trunk of the palm-tree: It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon thee.
    26 “So eat and drink and cool (thine) eye. And if thou dost see any man, say, ‘I have vowed a fast to ((Allah)) Most Gracious, and this day will I enter into not talk with any human being’”
    27 At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: “O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought!
    28 “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”
    29 But she pointed to the babe. They said: “How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle?”
    30 He said: “I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet;
    31 “And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live;
    32 “(He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable;
    33 “So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)”!
    34 Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute.
    35 It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is.
    36 Verily Allah is my Lord and your Lord: Him therefore serve ye: this is a Way that is straight.
    37 But the sects differ among themselves: and woe to the unbelievers because of the (coming) Judgment of a Momentous Day!
    38 How plainly will they see and hear, the Day that they will appear before Us! but the unjust today are in error manifest!
    39 But warn them of the Day of Distress, when the matter will be determined: for (behold,) they are negligent and they do not believe!
    40 It is We Who will inherit the earth, and all beings thereon: to Us will they all be returned.”
    so here we can see something important which answers the brother who said if a girl comes to us today and said she has a baby with God so first thing we got to ask her is give us the proof , and this is what Islam is always telling us is when someone tells u something about the belief he needs proof, and as you see the proof of Mary was an other miracle which is Jesus have spoke to them while he is still a new borne boy, well there is much to say about this but i don’t want to make it so long and also my English isn’t that good, so for anyone who has any question please contact me at newgens1986@hotmail.com and we can talk more about this , sorry about my english and God guide us all to the straight path, Amen

    • Ty

      God told me not to believe in him. He says he’s just made up.

    • Sunny Day

      You’re one of those cartoon people who have a bomb for a turban right?

      • Mohammed

        what?!!!!!!!

        • Jabster

          Do you recognise this person?

          http://everyonedrawmohammed.blogspot.com/

          • Mohammed

            @Sunny day and @Jabster, that’s not even a way of talking to others well if u want to talk to me about anything on the topic you’re welcome as what Jesus told us on the bible to reason togeher the same thing the Quran tells us, well whatever you’re belief is you just come present your case and i will present mine all kindly and peacefuly so for us and for people to get more informations and to know about different point of views and the more you learn the more tolerance you become so please just keep the childish stuff away and let’s talk a lil bit seriously cuz this is about people beliefs and what about if what im saying is true and when you die you will be asked for it in the judgement day so please just keep talking kindly cuz we don’t even know each other and i think i have no personal problems between me and you, well God guide us all the the way of truth which we have to seek with all our hearth and mind, peace be with you all, Amen

            • Jabster

              “and what about if what im saying is true and when you die you will be asked for it in the judgement day”

              Oh for fucks sake Pascal’s wager this early in the thread? Please re-arrange these words into a request …

              “Fuck off you boring little twat, don’t why you go and spout shite from you book of myths someone else.”

              p.s. I’m made it relatively easy just so we don’t mis-understand each other.

              p.p.s. I was going to make comments about Mohammed (pbuh) being a pedophile but as you pointed out that would be childish, so I won’t say that Mohammed (pbuh) was a pedophile as Mohammed (pbuh) wasn’t a pedophile it was just that the rules were different then.

              Ramen …

            • Mohammed

              first of all because i respect your belief i didn’t want to say anything bad about it or about u or curse u or your religion, well you don’t talk to me respectfully as it should so i just have to ignore you cuz like this we arn’t going to get to any point sorry!

            • Jabster

              You’ve fallen at the first hurdle Mo me old boy … do you even realise what this site is about – I mean just how stupid are you?

            • Nzo

              Hey Mo,

              I’m just wondering, what’s the islamic penalty for apostasy?

            • Jabster

              A slap on the wrist?

            • http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/ Avicenna

              Same as the christian and jewish one. Being slain by rocks. (As opposed to my preferred choice of music which is being rocked by Slayer (\m/).

              The issue here is “people saying unprovable things in a book that are dubious does not count as evidence”.

              There is as much evidence for all this and that Hanuman tried to eat the sun.

            • Yoav

              well whatever you’re belief is you just come present your case and i will present mine all kindly and peacefuly so for us and for people to get more informations and to know about different point of views

              Magic jesus is a fictional character, that may or may not be based on a historic person, Mohammad (pubah) was an illiterate highwayman who together with others have produced a badly written magic book by plagiarism from older magic books and myths.
              Just a hint, my magic book say so, is not an argument that is likely to hold with people who don’t already believe in your magic book.

            • Paper Tiger

              Okay, so my question to you is this:

              Given the very large number of religions on this planet, why do you think that Islam is the most convincing or believable?

            • decoolman

              well i adopt that Christianity is the largest religion on the face of the earth, (about 33% of the world population), and Islam come second (about 23% of the world population) and then there is the Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist which comes 3rd (about 16% of the world population), but let’s talk here about Christianity and Islam . Many Muslims (and some non-Muslim) observers claim that there are more practicing Muslims than practicing Christians in the world,
              and according to Guinness Book of World Records, “Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion. In 1990, 935 million people were Muslims and this figure had escalated to around 1.2 billion by 2000, meaning that around one in five people follow Islam. Although the religion began in Arabia, by 2002 80% of all believers in Islam lived outside the Arab world. In the period 1990-2000, approximately 12.5 million more people converted to Islam than to Christianity” (Guinness World Records 2003, pg 102
              and According to an interview (in the Italian-language version) Osservatore Romano newspaper “http://www.vatican.va/news_services/or/or_quo/text.html#10 ”
              , Monsignor Formenti said “”For the first time in history we are no longer at the top: the Muslims have overtaken us,” and said that Muslims now make up around 20 percent of the population of the world as opposed to Catholicism’s approximately 17 percent. (by the way he doesn’t consider other Christian creeds as Christians) and we don’t have to forget how much of money Christians spend on preaching and training the missionaries, which they send to poor countries or to the countries who has natural disasters like earth quacks or floods, and then when they go there they pretend like they are helping the poor and giving them food and clothes but what they really do is preaching and this you can’t compare it with with few Islamic missionories and their financial lack, we have to consider the horrible way the media show the Islam to the Western-world special and to the whole world , and all this things which we can call them “obstacles” just metaphorically , but still Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world . any question other i’m here

            • Yoav

              decoolman, let me repeat my earlier comment.
              A lot of people believe this sh*t is not synonymous with this sh*t is true.
              Can you present an argument that isn’t based on prior belief in your magic book being true or that can’t be equally applied to any other religion to support your claim that islam is the one true religion.

            • Jabster

              Well done Mo … excellent not answering the question there. I’ll repeat it for you and you can explain how you answered it ….

              “Given the very large number of religions on this planet, why do you think that Islam is the most convincing or believable?”

              So there it is, now please explain how you answered it.

              p.s. I’ll take any non-reply or trying to change the subject etc. as an admittance that you have no answer.

            • PaperTiger

              As Jabster has pointed out, I didn’t ask you which was the most popular. I asked you why you think Islam is the most believable religion.

    • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

      Yeah, but the thing is, the Q’ran is a collection of fairly obvious plagiarisms and editorials. So, you know, it would say the same thing as a few earlier “holy” books.

      • Mohammed

        Brother @Custador , what makes you think that the Qu’ran is “a collection of fairly obvious plagiarisms and editorials”, you have to give me you proofs about this and then i will give you scientific and logical proofs which you can understand easily that what you think is completely the opposite of what the truth is, hope to hear from u soon

        • JohnMWhite

          Is there really any point in asking someone for evidence for their assertion that the Qu’ran is a mix of plagiarism and make-believe when you are sitting there with what you already consider concrete proof that it is entirely true? That isn’t exactly shaping up as a debate, it’s just you waiting to reaffirm your own faith no matter what someone else says to you. And if that book is entirely true, why are you even bothering to debate aspostates like us rather than simply murder us? I think people coming out with the cracks about bombs in turbans immediately was classless at best, but you have to understand that we are aware of your holy book and what it says, and like many holy books it says some pretty horrible things. If you expect it to be accepted as divine in some manner, then that means every word in it is supposed to be acceptable to you, which means we are expected to believe you don’t have a problem with killing a great many people and with marrying nine year old girls. That is not a great position to start from.

          Anyway according to the Qu’ran, salt water and fresh water do not mix anywhere on Earth. That is completely the opposite of what the truth is.

          • decoolman

            @ JohnMWhiteit never said doesn’t mix in the Quran if u think that what it says then bring verse u may just have misunderstood it. ( read my other reply i posted about this )

            • JohnMWhite

              Come on, you have got to be kidding me. You just spent several posts a couple of days ago trying to prove this, and now you’re claiming that the Qu’ran doesn’t even say that?

              25:53
              “It is He(God) who has let free the two bodies of water. One palpable and one salt and bitter; Yet has He made a barrier between them, A partition that is forbidden to past.”

        • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

          @ Mo: Please explain why, if the Q’ran is such a scientific wonder, Mohammed claimed in it that sea-water and fresh-water don’t mix. Could it be that Mohammed didn’t understand osmotic pressure and was actually wrong in that book you consider so infallible? Because it is wrong.

          • Mohammed

            The Quran on Seas and Rivers:

            Modern Science has discovered that in the places where two different seas meet, there is a barrier between them. This barrier divides the two seas so that each sea has its own temperature, salinity, and density.(1) For example, Mediterranean sea water is warm, saline, and less dense, compared to Atlantic ocean water. When Mediterranean sea water enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill, it moves several hundred kilometers into the Atlantic at a depth of about 1000 meters with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics. The Mediterranean water stabilizes at this depth(2) (see figure 13).

            (Figure 13) : http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-e-img1-big.htm
            Figure 13: The Mediterranean sea water as it enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics, because of the barrier that distinguishes between them. Temperatures are in degrees Celsius (C°). (Marine Geology, Kuenen, p. 43, with a slight enhancement.) (Click on link above to see the image )

            Although there are large waves, strong currents, and tides in these seas, they do not mix or transgress this barrier.

            The Holy Quran mentioned that there is a barrier between two seas that meet and that they do not transgress. God has said:

            “He has set free the two seas meeting together. There is a barrier between them. They do not transgress”. (Quran, 55:19-20)

            But when the Quran speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier. God has said in the Quran:

            “He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter. And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition”. (Quran, 25:53)

            One may ask, why did the Quran mention the partition when speaking about the divider between fresh and salt water, but did not mention it when speaking about the divider between the two seas?

            Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from what is found in places where two seas meet. It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a “pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity separating the two layers.”(3) This partition (zone of separation) has a different salinity from the fresh water and from the salt water4 (see figure 14).

            (Figure 14): http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-e-img2-big.htm
            Figure 14: Longitudinal section showing salinity (parts per thousand ‰) in an estuary. We can see here the partition (zone of separation) between the fresh and the salt water. (Introductory Oceanography, Thurman, p. 301, with a slight enhancement.) (Click on the link above to see the image.)

            This information has been discovered only recently, using advanced equipment to measure temperature, salinity, density, oxygen dissolubility, etc. The human eye cannot see the difference between the two seas that meet, rather the two seas appear to us as one homogeneous sea. Likewise, the human eye cannot see the division of water in estuaries into the three kinds: fresh water, salt water, and the partition (zone of separation).

            * Footnotes:

            (1) Principles of Oceanography, Davis, pp. 92-93.

            (2) Principles of Oceanography, Davis, p. 93.

            (3) Oceanography, Gross, p. 242. Also see Introductory Oceanography, Thurman, pp. 300-301.

            (4) Oceanography, Gross, p. 244, and Introductory Oceanography, Thurman, pp. 300-301.

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              Holy frak, you’ve taken apologetics for your holy book being wrong to a whole new level!

            • decoolman

              @Custador , you just asked me to explain about the sea-waters so i gave an completely clear and scientific explication, and there is lots of things which are scientific and non-scientific how can i prove to you that the Qu’ran is miracles, here is one example , imagine ‘If’ we take all religious books in the face of the earth all the documents of religions everything on the museums which can be written, notes of religions or books or whatever, and we throw all that in the sea we also delete everything on the web all holy books or religious books or any document which has a relationship with religion , the only book which you can gather the same way as it was revealed is the holy Quran and you can re-write it and print it again within few days or even more less than that period of time, it’s because millions of Muslims are memorizing it , kids, youth, old, men ,women, Arabic speaking people no-Arabic speaking people, is that making that book some special? there is an other thing, we bring 10 kids ages between 5 to 10 years or we bring 100 kids or 1000 or even 100.000 and we ask them to memorize a whole book which contain 77701 word and we give this kids a period of time about 2 years or 5 years or even 10 years they will never be able to memorize it. but they can memorize the Quran so easily, isn’t this make it more special and make u people curious,!!!
              and let’s make it harder , we bring some other kids also an other 100.000 who they speak different languages and we give them a book of a language they don’t speak which also contains about 77701 word and we give them a period of time to memorize it , by God they will never be able to do so , isn’t this makes the holy Quran special and make you people even more curius to know what this holy book is talking about, so please just be fair to yourself and never say anything unless you be all sure about what you’re saying !

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              What Yoav said.

            • Yoav

              Mohammed/decoolman

              there is an other thing, we bring 10 kids ages between 5 to 10 years or we bring 100 kids or 1000 or even 100.000 and we ask them to memorize a whole book which contain 77701 word and we give this kids a period of time about 2 years or 5 years or even 10 years they will never be able to memorize it. but they can memorize the Quran so easily, isn’t this make it more special and make u people curious,!!!

              You’re full of it, if you put the same kids through the same memorization regime using any other book you will get the exact same results. Also note that , a lot of people believe this sh*t, is not proof that said sh*t is true, up until a few centuries ago practically everyone believed the sun revolve around the earth and they were all wrong.

            • JohnMWhite

              When your response to a question about a scientific claim in the Qu’ran is to cite a website called islam-guide.com, I get the feeling you aren’t even trying.

              Why do this to yourself? So many Christians are willing to concede that certain elements of their book are wrong because it was written by mortal men who didn’t have all available information. Surely it is easier to say “ok, some mortal goofed when writing this part” than it is to torture yourself with trying to justify a completely preposterous and demonstrably (very, very easily demonstrably) false claim? I’d rather have seen some tangled tautology trying to explain that it does not really mean what it says than this.

            • decoolman

              @JohnMWhite, you don’t have to care about the website i brought the informations from, is not about “islam-guide.com” cuz i preferred to chose that one but there is many other Islamic website speaking about the scientific facts on the Quran all you have to look at and care about is the References and Footnotes if they are correct or no and if u find them not correct u can say oh that reference is not correct then u can be right but i’m trying my best to give correct references so u fell free to go to the source of it to make sure if it is correct or not, like if u want to know something about geology where do u have to go?not to the supermarket of course but u ask theologists, this just for instance, and i’m not considering any element of my book which is the Quran is wrong, but if u think that something is wrong on it you just read it and bring the verse you’re confused about and we will talk about it , and reason about it , that’s all ,

            • JohnMWhite

              “you don’t have to care about the website i brought the informations from, is not about “islam-guide.com” cuz i preferred to chose that one but there is many other Islamic website speaking about the scientific facts on the Quran”

              Like I said, it’s like you’re not even trying. Obviously invoking any other Islamic website is not going to sway me.

              “if u want to know something about geology where do u have to go?not to the supermarket of course but u ask theologists”

              If I ask a theologist about geology I’m hardly likely to get an accurate answer, which is precisely the point I am making to you! I assumed this was a typo at first but then…

              “this just for instance, and i’m not considering any element of my book which is the Quran is wrong, but if u think that something is wrong on it you just read it and bring the verse you’re confused about and we will talk about it”

              You have already made up your mind that it is impossible for your book to be wrong, and actually sound almost apologetic at possibly even inferring that such a situation could arise. I could argue about the footnotes and references but there is no point when you are already coming from a position of no matter what your book says, it is correct.

            • trj

              if u think that something is wrong on it you just read it and bring the verse you’re confused about and we will talk about it

              Okay, please explain Sura 86:5-7 to me:

              “So let man consider from what he is created.
              He is created from a gushing fluid
              That issued from between the loins and ribs.”

              Let’s disregard that the Quran is completely ignoring the necessity of an egg cell. What I’d like to know is how the statement that sperm cells originate from “between the loins and ribs” can in any way be considered correct.

            • Yoav

              What your site does is to (probably) deliberately misrepresent the way solvent gradients work. By only marking some point on the gradient you get the impression of sharp boundaries when in reality you have a relatively smooth gradient from fresh to salt water. The existence of a salinity gradient is actually a proof that salt and fresh water do mix, if the quran was correct then fresh water coming out of rivers will not create estuaries but instead stay separate on top of the more dense salt water. Over time, as more fresh water flow into the ocean, we would expect a layer of fresh water to be found on top of every sea in the world, since this doesn’t happen we can conclude that, not surprisingly, a book written by a bunch of 6th century camel traders/bandits are not the best source for scientific knowledge.

        • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

          “What makes you think that the Qu’ran is “a collection of fairly obvious plagiarisms and editorials?”

          You could start with Surah Al-Baqara (2:65-2:73), where “Allah” rips off the golden calf story from Exodus and spins it as a theological f*ck-you to “those who broke the sabbath” (ie jews).

          • decoolman

            @ Nox I don’t understand what you mean, well the verses you gave “Al-Baqara (2:65-2:73)” talks about the Jews who the broke the law of the sabbath , and you mentioned the story of the calf which is mentioned on the quran at the same “Surah” Chapter Al-Baqara but at other verses cuz the calf fact have happened some period of time after the fact of the breaking the law of the sabbath, so which one u want me to talk to u about and please be more accurate next time

            • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

              @decoolman. The verses I was referring to are these:

              2:65 And ye know of those of you who broke the Sabbath, how We said unto them: Be ye apes, despised and hated!

              2:66 And We made it an example to their own and to succeeding generations, and an admonition to the God-fearing.

              2:67 And when Moses said unto his people: Lo! Allah commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make game of us ? He answered: Allah forbid that I should be among the foolish!

              2:68 They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith, Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature; (she is) between the two conditions; so do that which ye are commanded.

              2:69 They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders.

              2:70 They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what (cow) she is. Lo! cows are much alike to us; and Lo! if Allah wills, we may be led aright.

              2:71 (Moses) answered: Lo! He saith: Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark. They said: Now thou bringest the truth. So they sacrificed her, though almost they did not.

              2:72 And (remember) when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding.

              2:73 And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand.

              Is this not what it says in your Qu’ran?

              Do you not believe that Exodus or Matthew were written before the Qu’ran?

              This is an example of one of those plagiarized editorials (I could have also gone with “He is Allah, the One! Allah, the eternally Besought of all! He begetteth not nor was begotten. And there is none comparable unto Him.”). These verses, like much of the Qu’ran were written specifically in response to pre-islamic myths that were already circulating in arabian culture.

              If you don’t credit those non-islamic myths, then why do you credit Muhammed’s retelling of these same myths?

            • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

              But lest we get on a tangent, let me clarify that my point in bringing up Al-Baqara was just to illustrate that Custador’s earlier statement was accurate. The Qu’ran is fairly obvious plagiarism and editorial. But that isn’t the real problem.

              The Qu’ran is full of bad ideas which have been elevated through 1,400 years of unquestioning acceptance.

              The Qu’ran commands theocracy and prescribes oppression and intolerance.

              The Qu’ran encourages muslims to treat their women like cattle (and to do some f*cked up sh*t to their cattle as well).

              The Qu’ran creates insular societies where people fear progress and react negatively (often violently) to competing ideas.

              The Qu’ran makes a value of blind submission (hardly the first religion to be guilty of that but the christians didn’t name their religion “submission”).

              The Qu’ran commands its readers to commit injustice against their fellow man for the sake of making some invisible tyrant happy (again, not the first religion to do this. Still it’s always a bad idea).

              If you could explain the scientific inaccuracy of your book (you haven’t), that wouldn’t make the book right.

        • Jabster

          “what makes you think that the Qu’ran is “a collection of fairly obvious plagiarisms and editorials”

          I might very well ask why you think the pope is a Catholic …

          p.s. This is a site you may find funny – http://www.jesusandmo.net

        • Yoav

          Here’s what 2 minutes on the google machine can find on the sources used to compile the quran. Enjoy.

      • decoolman

        @Jabster @ PaperTiger , “As Jabster has pointed out, I didn’t ask you which was the most popular. I asked you why you think Islam is the most believable religion.”
        well i think that because is the only religion on the face of the earth which don’t tell u that to believe u just need faith as what the most of the other religions says, but Islam can give you logical and reasonable proofs and evidences to help you believe on what it says,

        • Yoav

          well i think that because is the only religion on the face of the earth which don’t tell u that to believe u just need faith as what the most of the other religions says, but Islam can give you logical and reasonable proofs and evidences to help you believe on what it says,

          Prove it.

          • decoolman

            i can prove it to you, by the scientific miracles on the Quran and sunna (of the Prophet) while u just believe on science, but Quran have mentions a lot of scientific facts, and prophecies so as the sunna did, and well needs as to write books not only comments to talk about them , but let’s reason about that by writing comments.
            there is things we can discuss, of the scientific miracles on the Quran , which Muhammed in his conditions and 1400 years ago CAN’T know , and don’t tell me that he brought this from the older civilization’s theories like greek for instence, i can prove to u that he didn’t copy or translate that from older philosophers ideas and theories i can prove that mathematically,
            Allah says in his book quran CHAPTER 4: AN-NISA (WOMEN) Verse 82 “Do they not consider the Qur’an (with care)? Had it been from other Than Allah, they would surely have found therein Much discrepancy.” this is like a challenge to everybody if you think that the Quran is from someone else other than God (Allah) then you would certainly find much contradiction in it and bring them and show them to the ppl.
            so i will give u a list of the scientific miracles on the Quran and u pick any subject from the list so we can reason about it then we go to the next subject and so also when we finish talking about them all we can move to the scientific miracles on the Sunna (of the prophet) and the prophecies on the Quran and the Sunna.
            – THE SKIES WITH ‘WOVEN’ ORBITS
            – THE TSUNAMI EFFECT IN THE PROPHET MOSES (PBUH)’S
            PARTING OF THE SEA
            - THE SUN WILL EVENTUALLY EXPIRE
            - MODERN-DAY RADAR TECHNOLOGY
            - THE CONTRACTION MOTION THAT FACILITATES BIRTH
            - THE SOLIDITY OF THE ATOM AND ELECTRON ORBITS
            - A RED ROSE IN THE SKY: THE ROSETTE NEBULA
            - BONE LOSS IN OLD AGE
            - THE HELIO-CENTRIC SYSTEM
            - THE OZONE LAYER AT THE POLES AS THE SUN RISES
            - HEART MASSAGE
            - THE CLONING OF LIVING THINGS
            - THE SUN WILL EXPIRE AFTER SOME TIME
            - THE PULLING MOTION THAT FACILITATES BIRTH
            - THE EXPANDING EARTH
            - QUASARS AND THE GRAVITATIONAL LENS EFFECT
            - SCIENTIFIC FACTS IN THE STORY OF THE FLOOD OF NUH
            - THE EARTH’S GRAVITATIONAL FORCE
            - AERODYNAMIC FORCES AND THE FLIGHT PROGRAMMED IN BIRDS
            - THE MIRACLE OF FIRE AND WOOD, THAT CANNOT BE OBTAINED ARTIFICIALLY
            - RADIO RECEIVERS ON MOUNTAINS
            - THE WISDOM BEHIND THE PROHIBITION OF BLOOD IN THE QUR’AN
            - FOSSILIZATION AND IRON CONTENT
            - THE MOTHER’S WOMB WITH ITS SECURE PROTECTION
            - THE SUN’S HYDROGEN AND HELIUM CONTENT
            - OXIDATION IN THE BLOOD
            - THE QUIVERING AND SWELLING OF THE EARTH
            - THE COMING OF THE UNIVERSE INTO EXISTENCE
            - THE EXPANSION OF THE UNIVERSE
            - THE END OF THE UNIVERSE AND THE BIG CRUNCH
            - CREATION FROM HOT SMOKE
            - THE SPLITTING ASUNDER OF “THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH”
            - THE CREATION OF WHAT LIES BETWEEN THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH
            - THE PERFECT EQUILIBRIUM IN THE UNIVERSE
            - THE FINE TUNING IN THE UNIVERSE
            - THE STRUCTURAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SUN, THE MOON AND THE STARS
            - ORBITS AND THE ROTATING UNIVERSE
            - THE SUN’S TRAJECTORY
            - THE MOON’S ORBIT
            - CALCULATING THE LUNAR YEAR
            - THE FORCE OF GRAVITY AND ORBITAL MOVEMENTS
            - THE ROUNDNESS OF THE EARTH
            - THE EARTH’S DIRECTION OF ROTATION
            - THE EARTH’S GEOID SHAPE
            - THE DIAMETERS OF THE EARTH AND SPACE
            - THE LAYERS OF THE ATMOSPHERE
            - THE PROTECTED ROOF
            - THE SKY MADE A DOME
            - THE RETURNING SKY
            - THE LAYERS OF THE EARTH
            - THE EARTH DISGORGES ITS CHARGES
            - THE FUNCTION OF MOUNTAINS
            - THE MOVEMENT OF MOUNTAINS
            - DIFFERENT POINTS IN THE RISING AND SETTING OF THE SUN
            - LAND LOSS AT THE EXTREMITIES
            - THE SPLITTING EARTH
            - THE MIRACLE OF IRON
            - THE FORMATION OF PETROL
            - THE RELATIVITY OF TIME
            - CREATION IN SIX DAYS
            - THE TRUTH OF DESTINY
            - DUALITY IN CREATION
            - SUB-ATOMIC PARTICLES
            - BLACK HOLES
            - PULSARS: PULSATING STARS
            - THE STAR SIRIUS
            - LIGHT AND DARK
            - COMBUSTION WITHOUT FIRE
            - THE WEIGHT OF CLOUDS
            - THE PROPORTION OF RAIN
            - THE FORMATION OF RAIN
            - RAINS WHICH BRING A DEAD LAND BACK TO LIFE
            - THE FORMATION OF HAIL, THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
            - THE FECUNDATING WINDS
            - THE STAGES OF WIND FORMATION
            - HOW THE PROCESS OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS BEGINS IN THE MORNING
            - THE SEAS NOT MINGLING WITH ONE ANOTHER
            - DARKNESS IN THE SEAS AND INTERNAL WAVES
            - THE REGION THAT CONTROLS OUR MOVEMENTS
            - HEARTS FIND PEACE IN THE REMEMBRANCE OF ALLAH
            - FORGIVENESS ACCORDING TO THE MORALS OF ISLAM AND ITS BENEFITS ON HEALTH
            - HOW PRAYER ACCELERATES THE TREATMENT OF THE SICK
            - STRESS AND DEPRESSION: THE RESULTS OF NOT ABIDING BY THE RELIGION
            - THE BIRTH OF A HUMAN BEING
            - THE CREATION OF HUMAN BEINGS FROM WATER
            - CREATION FROM CLAY
            - THE PROGRAMMING IN GENES
            - THE MENSTRUAL PERIOD
            - PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
            - THE SEQUENCE IN DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN ORGANS
            - THE FORMATION OF MILK
            - MIRACULOUS MIXTURE: MOTHER’S MILK
            - THE IDENTITY IN THE FINGERPRINT
            - THE FEMALE HONEY BEE
            - THE MIRACLE OF HONEY
            - THE DATE AND ITS USES AS DESCRIBED IN THE QUR’AN
            - THE FIG: A FRUIT WHOSE PERFECTION HAS ONLY RECENTLY BEEN REVEALED
            - FISH: A VALUABLE SOURCE OF NUTRITION
            - PORK AND ITS HARMFUL EFFECTS ON HEALTH
            - THE OLIVE: A HEALTH-GIVING PLANT
            - CORONARY BY-PASS SURGERY
            - HEALTH BENEFITS OF MOVEMENT, WASHING AND DRINKING WATER
            - THE EXISTENCE OF MICROSCOPIC LIFE
            - THE EXISTENCE OF ANIMAL SOCIETIES
            - BIOMIMETICS: DRAWING INSPIRATION FROM THE DESIGN IN LIVING THINGS
            - LOCUSTS MOVING IN SWARMS
            - ANT COMMUNICATION
            - THE FOOD CYCLE
            - THE EARS ARE ACTIVE DURING SLEEP
            - THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVEMENT IN SLEEP
            - REDUCED MOVEMENT AT NIGHT
            - CHEST CONTRACTION WITH INCREASING HEIGHT
            this is the list pick any topic we can reason about it and we finish with it we go to the next step!

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              First let me ask a question: Are these miraculous proofs going to consist of taking vaguely worded sentences and playing semantic games and stretching definitions in order to claim credit for scientific discoveries? I also note you listed creation in six days as one of the topics; I’m curious how you’re going to explain that one since it didn’t actually happen.

            • decoolman

              @Custador i beg your pardon , can we just first reason about the proof of the existence of God, because actual it’s our main case then we can talk about the Creation after this and so the other things on the list.

            • Jabster

              Excellent stuff Mo … now off you go and I presume we are going to be talking about the god you believe in and not just any old god?

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              “- THE IMPORTANCE OF MOVEMENT IN SLEEP”

              The biologist in me has a wry smile. Please, do go ahead and expand upon this one.

            • decoolman

              @ Custador, what do u wnat us to reason about first bro, the creation in six days or the importance of movement in sleep?

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              Let’s start with creation.

            • Jabster

              Creation? I wanted to start with “MODERN-DAY RADAR TECHNOLOGY” …

            • decoolman

              as i can’t talk about all that things on the list at once i will start one by one depends on what u ppl chose but let’s all start with the creation cuz it happened to be that @Custador was the first to chose it , then we will start with Creation!

            • Jabster

              What do you mean you can’t talk about that list all at once … all you’ve done is copied it from a web-site. Here’s some interesting snippets for Creation in Six Days …

              “One example of the harmony between the Qur’an and modern science is the subject of the age of the universe. Cosmologists estimate the age of the universe as 16-17 billion years.”

              “When a six-day period of time is calculated according to the relativity of time, it equates to six million million (six trillion) days. That is because universal time flows a million million times faster than time on Earth.”

              “When the six days of creation, in other words the six phases, are added together in Earth terms, the resulting figure is 15 billion 750 million years. This figure displays an enormous parallel with modern-day estimations.”

            • decoolman

              @Jabster , well it doesn’t matter where i bring the informations from, using a website or a scientific book or whatever that’s not the case, the case is when i explain something, like the Creation for instance my explication has to be logical and agree with what the science says,

            • Jabster

              You’re missing the point Mo my old mucker … you said you can’t talk about that list all at once when it’s clear you’ve just copied and pasted it from a web-site so there is nothing for you to talk about; also stop using terms like your explanation as it’s nothing of the sort you’re just regurgitating what are quite frankly embarrassing “reasons” why the Qur’an and science agree. Do you actually expect anyone to take these arguments serioulsy or have you even read them or does it just should good to say that the Qur’an and science are in agreement?

              Here’s a challenge for you – read each of your “Scientific Miracles of the Qur’an” and see if you can honestly say that the Qur’an has lead to the scientific knowledge that you claim it agrees with.

            • decoolman

              @Jabster
              “What do you mean you can’t talk about that list all at once … all you’ve done is copied it from a web-site. Here’s some interesting snippets for Creation in Six Days …”
              u have to know that i’m not a scientist but it doesn’t mean i don’t read scientific books or scientific websites , and why i can’t talk about all that things at once because it’s not all about to copy and past but i also write my opinion about it and answer the after posting comments, and as i told u it doesn’t matter from where i bring the evidences but it has to be scientifivly proved.
              “Excellent stuff Mo … now off you go and I presume we are going to be talking about the god you believe in and not just any old god?” we will talk about the God i believe in and i believe he Created the whole universe
              “Logically and reasonably prove to me that an illiterate camel trader flew to heaven on a winged horse and memorised the Q’ran verbatim as God dictated it. In your own time.” this can be proven but first i have to prove to you the existence of God ,

            • Jabster

              … but you have shown no evidence for anything have you have stated as “fact” Mo. If you have evidence then post it otherwise just admit that contrary to your original statement your belief in your version of god is based on faith and faith alone.

              If you can’t manage that how about at least evidence for the six day creation or how the Qur’an talks about Radar?

            • Jabster

              Right then Mo, I’m off to bed but I’m sure you’ll have posted a wealth of evidence for your claims and also proof that your version of god exists. Surely it’s not that difficult is it?

            • Yoav

              this can be proven but first i have to prove to you the existence of God

              Now that will be a neat trick. [go and make popcorn]

            • Jabster

              Oh dear Mo you really have failed badly haven’t you. Is it that you’ve actually read the web-site you’ve been cutting and pasting from and even you (and this is a pretty low bar) find the “evidence and logic” put forward just to ridiculous?

            • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

              As far as I can tell most of the things on your list are (A) Self evident things that people already knew, (B) Not actually mentioned anywhere in the Qu’ran, or (C) Not actually true and not something you should be citing as evidence that the Qu’ran is true.

              (A)
              Locusts moving in swarms is an observation that only Allah could have made? Seems like the first person who ever saw a swarm of locusts would have figured that out long before Allah pointed it out to them. The menstrual cycle is a divine revelation? No one ever noticed it was happening at regular intervals until 600 CE? Figs are good?

              You know, Lord of the Rings doesn’t have any contradictions either.

              (B)
              Black holes? Quasars? Relativity? Genes? Radar? No. These are not mentioned in the Qu’ran. The Qu’ran has vague passages which can be interpreted as talking about something like a black hole if you already have a concept of a black hole, a concept which is not stated anywhere in the Qu’ran.

              Instead of telling us that the Qu’ran predicts these things, why not point us to the relevant passages so we can see this miracle for ourselves (unless your worried that anyone actually reading these passages will see that the concepts you allude to are completely absent in the text)?

              (C)
              A nebula is not a rose. Salt water does mix with fresh water. Prayer does not help the treatment of the sick in any way. Honey is made by bees. That the Qu’ran says things which aren’t true is not evidence that the Qu’ran is true.

              I’m not sure whether to include “creation from hot smoke” in this category.

              Anyway, from your list I pick –SUB-ATOMIC PARTICLES.

              I would very much like to see the passage from the Qu’ran that mentions “subatomic particles” or even “atoms”.

            • Jabster

              Why are they mucking around with the HLC when the answer’s already in the Qu’ran?

            • decoolman

              @Nox “(A) Self evident things that people already knew,”
              so as u say all that things i mentioned on the list and even some more things i haven’t mentioned (prophecies on Quran and Sunna and scientific miracles on the sunna of the prophet ) ppl were already know , okay i will not argue with u if this what u think, but i ask u a question we take for example and randomly 4 topics of what i mentioned on that list no matter which ones we pick, u said people already know, do you think in the conditions of that people long years BC or even long long years BC were having that things as a scientific facts which all the scientist (philosophers) agree about or there was a lot of theories , we know they had no equipments to prove what they say about the human birth for example they need a very developed microscopes which they didn’t have, so all the civilizations before or after Greek all scientists or philosophers said or wrote was just theories as u can find more than 10 theory about any topic of what i wrote on the list now the question is how can Muhammed choose only the facts which comes accurate with modern science , otherwise if you are good at Mathe( specially possibilities) or anyone of the readers can help me calculate a theorem i will put, ( we have a box contains 101 ball numbed from 0 to 100, and we randomly pick 10 numbers and write them on a paper we hide it somewhere now we bring a man (normal man) and we ask him to pick 10 balls , now the question is what’s the possibility that he pick the balls which contains the numbers we wrote on the hidden paper) plz mathematics i need ur help
              i’m sure the the possibility is very very low and close to be impossible but still the science comes accurate with scientific miracles on the Quran and is proving that that book is not wrote by a man but was revelation from the creator of the heavens and earth , how can a man like Mummed in that condition he was be so self trusted and put things about science which he is not sure about claiming it’s from God.
              “(B) Not actually mentioned anywhere in the Qu’ran,” what u had to do is just ask me where that is mentioned in the Quran or as i said pick any topic from the list and let’s reason about it then we can and ppl can know if it is mentioned or not, “C) Not actually true and not something you should be citing as evidence that the Qu’ran is true.” but if that can be proven as it is true, so why don’t we (Muslims) cites as evidence that the Quran is true?” and actual what u had to say is what i told u on the answer of the (B) let’s reason and then see if it is true or not!

            • Jabster

              @Mo

              MODERN-DAY RADAR TECHNOLOGY will do either before or after creation in six days.

            • Jabster

              Still waiting Mo, still waiting …

            • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

              “so as u say all that things i mentioned on the list and even some more things i haven’t mentioned (prophecies on Quran and Sunna and scientific miracles on the sunna of the prophet ) ppl were already know”

              I wasn’t trying to imply that everything you mentioned was already known. I was actually listing (A), (B), & (C) as separate categories. Sorry for not speaking more clearly there.

              Some of the things on your list were already widely known in the time of Muhammed.

              Some of the things on your list are now known to not be true.

              Some of the things on your list are not in the Qu’ran.

              (and this next part was my original point with the categories)Everything on your listfalls intoone of these categories.

              Radar technology was completely unknown in the time of Muhammed. If it was mentioned in the Qu’ran (as Jabster showed, it isn’t) it would be an example of the Qu’ran predicting future developments. But it isn’t. I’ve read the Qu’ran. It doesn’t mention radar or subatomic particles. It does mention mountains. Were those unknown before the Qu’ran?

              “the question is how can Muhammed choose only the facts which comes accurate with modern science?”

              If Muhammed only chose facts that coincide with modern science then that would be a perfect question. The problem is that Muhammed stated several wrong “facts”. Asking how he only chose the correct facts makes as much sense as asking why is the sky a dome.

            • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

              “what u had to do is just ask me where that is mentioned in the Quran or as i said pick any topic from the list and let’s reason about it then we can and ppl can know if it is mentioned or not”

              I did exactly that.

              I asked you where subatomic particles are mentioned in the Qu’ran.

              Is it perhaps the 61st verse of the surrah of Jonah?

              The one that says “And thou (Muhammad) art not occupied with any business and thou recitest not a Lecture from this (Scripture), and ye (mankind) perform no act, but We are Witness of you when ye are engaged therein. And not an atom’s weight in the earth or in the sky escapeth your Lord, nor what is less than that or greater than that, but it is (written) in a clear Book.”?

              I’ll be happy to reason with you about whether there is any mention of subatomic particles in this passage.

              But before we get into that I’d like to ask you a question decoolman. Have you ever actually read the Qu’ran?

            • Yoav

              What Nox said. Why don’t you start by not ignoring my explanation from a couple of day ago as to how the quran’s claim that salt and fresh water don’t mix is a load of crap.

            • Jabster

              Oh I think it would be far more fun seeing him cut and past from other web-sites. Here’s what I found for MODERN-DAY RADAR TECHNOLOGY:

              “We gave Dawud great favor from Us: ‘O mountains and birds! echo with him in his praise!’ And We made iron malleable for him: (Surah Saba’, 10)

              We gave Sulayman understanding of it. We gave each of them judgment and knowledge. We subjected the mountains to Dawud, glorifying, and the birds as well. This is something We are well able to do. (Surat al-Anbiya’, 79)

              So We subjected the wind to him to blow at his command, softly, wherever he directed. (Surah Sâd, 36)”

              I mean really, it’s a surprise that radar wasn’t invented much, much earlier with such clear instructions.

            • Jabster

              Just found out the the first verse also covers RADIO RECEIVERS ON MOUNTAINS …

              http://miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_index.html

              Have a read as it’s a laugh a minute of how gullible you’d have to be to believe any of it.

            • decoolman

              i said that on my other comments , i said where did the Quran said it doesn’t mix you just bring the verse to me where it says they don’t mix , and we can talk about it, u may have understood the meaning of the verse wrong , that’s what i think,

            • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

              You do know that “THE SEAS NOT MINGLING WITH ONE ANOTHER” was one of the items on your list right?

              25:53
              “And He it is Who hath given independence to the two seas (though they meet); one palatable, sweet, and the other saltish, bitter; and hath set a bar and a forbidding ban between them.”

            • Yoav

              From your may 23rd 9:30am comment.

              Although there are large waves, strong currents, and tides in these seas, they do not mix or transgress this barrier.

              The Holy Quran mentioned that there is a barrier between two seas that meet and that they do not transgress. God has said:

              “He has set free the two seas meeting together. There is a barrier between them. They do not transgress”. (Quran, 55:19-20)

              Yes they do mix.

              But when the Quran speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier. God has said in the Quran:

              “He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter. And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition”. (Quran, 25:53)

              One may ask, why did the Quran mention the partition when speaking about the divider between fresh and salt water, but did not mention it when speaking about the divider between the two seas?

              Modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from what is found in places where two seas meet. It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a “pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity separating the two layers.”(3) This partition (zone of separation) has a different salinity from the fresh water and from the salt water4 (see figure 14).

              You will get the exact same type of gradient between fresh and salt water and between salt water of two different concentration, the only difference is that the difference between salt and fresh is more obvious to an ignorant goat herder.

              “He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter. And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition”. (Quran, 25:53)

              You know that there is only one kind of water, just with different amounts of salt dissolved in it.

            • decoolman

              @Nox “you do know that “THE SEAS NOT MINGLING WITH ONE ANOTHER” was one of the items on your list right?”
              yes i know it was on the list, now let’s explain this but please open your mind with me , i knew you had a misunderstanding about this, well this topic (on the list i posted) is talking about 2 salt-seas meeting but they are not mingling , and this the science have proven it of course recently . The Quran mentioned that there is a barrier between two seas that meet and that they do not transgress. God has said:
              (Qur’an, 55:19-20): “He has let loose the two seas, converging together, with a barrier between them they do not break through.”
              and as i said on my old comment
              there is no mention of salt-water and fresh-water on this verse as you can see. there is an other verse mentions the fresh and salt water and it is (25:53)

              “25:53
              “And He it is Who hath given independence to the two seas (though they meet); one palatable, sweet, and the other saltish, bitter; and hath set a bar and a forbidding ban between them.” ” this is the verse talks about fresh-sea and salt-sea as i told you, but you can see that when the Quran speaks about the divider between fresh and salt water, it mentions the existence of “a forbidding partition” with the barrier. God has said in the Quran:
              “He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter. And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding partition.” (Quran 25:53)
              one may ask, why did the Quran mention the partition when speaking about the divider between fresh and salt water, but did not mention it when speaking about the divider between the two seas? and that’s what i’m trying to explain to you ,
              i have give all the explanations about all this on my old comment talking about rivers and seas , but i will bring the evidence to u again ,
              modern science has discovered that in estuaries, where fresh (sweet) and salt water meet, the situation is somewhat different from what is found in places where two seas meet. It has been discovered that what distinguishes fresh water from salt water in estuaries is a pycnocline zone with a marked density discontinuity separating the two layers. This partition (zone of separation) has a different salinity from the fresh water and from the salt water http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/images/The_Quran_on_Seas_and_Rivers_003.jpg this image shows longitudinal section showing salinity (parts per thousand ‰) in an estuary. We can see here the partition (zone of separation) between the fresh and the salt water. (Introductory Oceanography, Thurman, p. 301, with a slight enhancement.)

              This information has been discovered only recently, using advanced equipment to measure temperature, salinity, density, oxygen dissolubility, etc. The human eye cannot see the difference between the two seas that meet, rather the two seas appear to us as one homogeneous sea. Likewise, the human eye cannot see the division of water in estuaries into the three kinds: fresh water, salt water, and the partition (zone of separation).

            • Paul

              decoolman,

              First of all that is not a pycnocline zone. A pycnocline is a separation of waters due to density (vertical boundary, that creates horizontal regions), this may be due to temperature (thermocline) or due to salinity (halocline).

              This is not what your diagram shows. Your diagram shows vertical regions and a gradual dilution of fresh water with salt. Your zone of separation is nothing more than a defined region where it would be unreasonable to call the water “fresh water” or “salt water.” The simple fact that the salinity changes means that the two water bodies are mixing and mingling.

              Try wikipedia for a brief introduction to how saline and non-saline water mixes in an estuary. Spoiler, water does mix; simply, it’s called diffusion.

              Also, please site a pear reviewed article. If your claim is something that science supports, you should be able to produce a scientific article that supports your claim.

              http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/484518/pycnocline

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estuary#Salt_wedge

            • Jabster

              Can the article also be revewed by other fruits, for example I’m sure a banana would more than suffice?

              ;-)

            • decoolman

              @Paul i understand what u mean, but just to let u know that i posted the same topic in my older comment u can see it it talks about it in details but the one u comment about was just arguing with a guy he already saw the original comment where i putted all the references and footnotes ,
              and thx for ur advice.

            • Paul

              Decoolman,

              I saw that comment as well. What I said about the pycnocline and estuaries applies just as much to what you said in that previous comment (the comment at May 23, 9:30 AM) as it did in the recent one. Again, what you’ve sited about estuaries does not support the Qur’an.

              As per the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean:

              The inflow and outflow through the strait do mix. The boundary between the two flows is highly turbulent. This turbulence is a necessary result of the two objects moving past each other while in contact. The turbulence causes internal waves that cause mixing across this boundary. The rate at which this mixing occurs depends on the relative starting pressures, temperatures, and flow rate.

              Due to these variables, it does take a while for the mixing to fully occur, which is why we may observe the mediterranean flow so far out into the Atlantic Ocean. You should also note that 100 km may seem to be a long distance by human standards, but in terms of the actual fluid dynamics occurring (you know, entire oceans), 100 km is rather small.

              Again, this does not support the Qur’an. Also, fluid dynamics is not a trivial field of study, so I can understand how you have been able to swallow these explanations; unfortunately, these explanations are in contention with reality. (I also would like to point out that I’m not taking argue so much against Islam as I am arguing against the attempted science you are using).

            • http://fugodeus.com/ Nox

              The Torah contains facts which only yhvh could have known. Moses would not have had any way to verify that man is made from dust or that bats are birds. Moses would not have had the technology to fly to the upper atmosphere and see that every star in the galaxy is contained there. And how could Moses know that sunlight was older than the sun if god did not tell him of the order of creation? The people of Moses’ time simply would have had no way to know that the Earth is flat or that homosexuals are an abomination. Surely this proves that Allah, I mean Yhvh, delivered the Torah to Moses.

            • decoolman

              @Nox “The Torah contains facts which only yhvh could have known. Moses would not have had any way to verify that man is made from dust or that bats are birds. Moses would not have had the technology to fly to the upper atmosphere and see that every star in the galaxy is contained there. And how could Moses…”
              you have to know that Judaism, Christianity and Islam are 3 religions from the same source , and three of them are called the “Abrahamic religions” that’s what the Quran and our prophet told us (we Muslims)
              here is a link to Wikipedia for more informations about “Abrahamic religion” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic religions
              , we (Muslims) believe that the “Zabor” which was given to Dawood (David) and ‘Torah’ (old-testament) which was given to Moses and the “injeel” (new-testament) which was giving to Jesus , are all from Allah, all from same God , but we Muslims we told by the Quran and the prophet not to believe on what is on this books anymore since the Islam came told us not to believe on that books , because people of that books have changed on them for their own desires, i know this subject can open for us a new big door of an other subject but i’m ready to discuss it and reason about it!

            • Paper Tiger

              I’m not really interested in the science of the Quran and it seems you aren’t either, since you don’t give your own responses but just cut and past them off from another site.

              I have a question for you, one which I would like you to actually answer this time. It’s a very simple question and only requires an answer of one word. Please answer with your own opinion and not one from a Muslim web page.

              Is slavery acceptable?

            • decoolman

              @ Paper Tiger, “I’m not really interested in the science of the Quran and it seems you aren’t either, since you don’t give your own responses but just cut and past them off from another site.”
              again as i said before it’s not important from where i bring my informations from a scientific book or a webpage or whatever the important is that be true and be a proved scientific fact , and to be interested in the science of the Quran or not that stills your matter not anyones else.
              ” Please answer with your own opinion and not one from a Muslim web page.

              Is slavery acceptable?”

              it’s not acceptable to anyone or anything of the creation but it’s acceptable for the Creator, being a serf of the one and only God not a shame but it puts you in a powerful position cuz u will not have to worry about anything because everything are in the hands of your creator and won’t have to be a slave of any of the creation nor worship anything but your creator .

            • Jabster

              “… the important is that be true and be a proved scientific fact …”

              … yes and you keep repeating this but still fail to post any evidence that the Qur’an has any scientific insight in it let alone the list of “scientific miracles” that you copied and pasted from a web-site that makes Answers In Genesis look like a hot bed of scientific research.

              Do you actually have any thoughts of your own or has religion brain washed you this much – you do realise there’s one hell of a difference between saying X is true over and over again and presenting evidence for X being true, don’t you?

            • Yoav

              again as i said before it’s not important from where i bring my informations from a scientific book or a webpage or whatever the important is that be true and be a proved scientific fact

              But what you keep ignoring is the replies that explain to you that your site doesn’t contain scientific facts, only generalities that need massive amount of creative reading to reconcile them with reality see Jabster’s post on the radar thing), things that it’s not surprising that they were known to the authors of the quran (DIFFERENT POINTS IN THE RISING AND SETTING OF THE SUN, really, did you hear of stonehenge, Aztec pyramids or any of the thousends of other, pre-quranic, indications that people knew about such things. Do you really claim that they couldn’t learn that by simple observation without big Al’s help), or claims that are demonstratively wrong (six day creation, the flood, you’re not even trying).

            • trj

              It’s funny how the “scientific facts” in the Quran are only apparent after actual science has discovered them. For instance, the Quran makes no mention of the cosmological phenomena of dark energy or dark matter, which were only discovered recently. Though I’m sure it’ll turn out that the Quran knew about them all along. No doubt there’s some sufficiently vague mention of a divine force or something like that.

              Likewise, we’re told the Quran knows about the Big Crunch which will end the universe in a cosmic collapse. The only problem is that we now know this won’t happen. Once this becomes mainstream knowledge, expect to see how the Quran amazingly tells us that the universe will keep expanding.

              Overall, the cosmological “science” in the Quran is atrociously bad. We’re told the universe was created in six days, heaven is a dome, and the planets (and the Sun and Moon) are assigned to shells. Muhammed obviously subscribed to the flawed Ptolemaic model of the universe that was prevalent at the time. Yet, wouldn’t you know it, when the Quran says the Sun follows an orbit it actually, in some round-about way, means that the Sun does not orbit the Earth. We should probably just ignore that for five hundred years Islamic astronomers maintained that the Sun orbits the Earth, which seems strange when the Quran obviously states that in fact it’s the other way round.

            • Yoav

              If we happen to be on the topic of scientific facts I have a quick question, where do you (and the quran) stand on evolution?

        • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

          Logically and reasonably prove to me that an illiterate camel trader flew to heaven on a winged horse and memorised the Q’ran verbatim as God dictated it. In your own time.

    • decoolman

      @trj, there is different explanations of that verses of the Quran , but all of explinations agree about the main meaning of this verses .
      well the verses says: “Now let man but think From what he is created! He is created from A drop emitted – Proceeding from between The back bone and the ribs.” [Al-Qur’aan 86:5-7]
      In embryonic stages, the reproductive organs of the male and female, i.e. the testicles and the ovaries, begin their development near the kidney between the spinal column and the eleventh and twelfth ribs. Later they descend; the female gonads (ovaries) stop in the pelvis while the male gonads (testicles) continue their descent before birth to reach the scrotum through the inguinal canal. Even in the adult after the descent of the reproductive organ, these organs receive their nerve supply and blood supply from the Abdominal Aorta, which is in the area between the backbone (spinal column) and the ribs. Even the lymphatic drainage and the venous return goes to the same area.

      • Yoav

        That’s some massive twisting and turning needed to reconcile the quran with reality, you would think that an all knowing deity will be able to do a better job at explaining himself.

      • Sunny Day

        HAHAHAHA.

        The same kind of reasoning can be used if it was said it came from a fluid in the heart.

        • decoolman

          we have to know that the Quran is a book of religion not a book of science that’s why when it mentions a scientific fact it doesn’t talk about it in all detail as what scientific books do, but Quran have indicated lots of scientific things but in brevity most of the time and always accurate , it has talked about facts which haven’t discovered until few years ago and the people who have discovered them says that is impossible for a man 1500 years ago in Mohammed’s (pbuh) conditions can discover them . i have never said that Quran must be the source of science , but i can be a source of science the poof is what happened to the Arabs they were nothing on the face of the earth and the Romes were considering Arabs like “rubbish” before Islam the after the message of Mohammed (pbuh) which is Islam and within few years Arabs have become the 1st in the scientific discoveries and leading everything on the world ,
          i will take for instance what the Quran says on “Human Embryonic Development”
          In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:

          ((We created man from an extract of clay. Then We made him as a drop in a place of settlement, firmly fixed. Then We made the drop into an alaqah (leech, suspended thing, and blood clot), then We made the alaqah into a mudghah (chewed substance)… ))’1′ (Quran, 23:12-14)

          Literally, the Arabic word alaqah has three meanings: (1) leech, (2) suspended thing, and (3) blood clot.

          In comparing a leech to an embryo in the alaqah stage, we find similarity between the two’2′ as we can see in figure 1. Also, the embryo at this stage obtains nourishment from the blood of the mother, similar to the leech, which feeds on the blood of others.’3′

          Figure 1: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a-img1.jpg Drawings illustrating the similarities in appearance between a leech and a human embryo at the alaqah stage. (Leech drawing from Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 37, modified from Integrated Principles of Zoology, Hickman and others. Embryo drawing from The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 73.) (Click on the link above to see the image.)

          The second meaning of the word alaqah is “suspended thing.” This is what we can see in figures 2 and 3, the suspension of the embryo, during the alaqah stage, in the womb of the mother.

          Figure 2: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a-img2-big.jpg We can see in this diagram the suspension of an embryo during the alaqah stage in the womb (uterus) of the mother. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 66.) (Click on the link above to see the image.)

          Figure 3: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a-img3.jpg In this photomicrograph, we can see the suspension of an embryo (marked B) during the alaqah stage (about 15 days old) in the womb of the mother. The actual size of the embryo is about 0.6 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore, 3rd ed., p. 66, from Histology, Leeson and Leeson.) (Click on the link above to see the image.)

          The third meaning of the word alaqah is “blood clot.” We find that the external appearance of the embryo and its sacs during the alaqah stage is similar to that of a blood clot. This is due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo during this stage’4′ (see figure 4). Also during this stage, the blood in the embryo does not circulate until the end of the third week.’5′ Thus, the embryo at this stage is like a clot of blood.

          Figure 4: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a-img4-big.htm Diagram of the primitive cardiovascular system in an embryo during the alaqah stage. The external appearance of the embryo and its sacs is similar to that of a blood clot, due to the presence of relatively large amounts of blood present in the embryo. (The Developing Human, Moore, 5th ed., p. 65.) (Click on the link above to see the image.)

          So the three meanings of the word alaqah correspond accurately to the descriptions of the embryo at the alaqah stage.

          The next stage mentioned in the verse is the mudghah stage. The Arabic word mudghah means “chewed substance.” If one were to take a piece of gum and chew it in his or her mouth and then compare it with an embryo at the mudghah stage, we would conclude that the embryo at the mudghah stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance. This is because of the somites at the back of the embryo that “somewhat resemble teethmarks in a chewed substance.” ’6′ (see figures 5 and 6).

          Figure 5: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a-img5.jpg Photograph of an embryo at the mudghah stage (28 days old). The embryo at this stage acquires the appearance of a chewed substance, because the somites at the back of the embryo somewhat resemble teeth marks in a chewed substance. The actual size of the embryo is 4 mm. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 82, from Professor Hideo Nishimura, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.)
          (Click on the link above to see the image.)

          Figure 6: http://www.islam-guide.com/ch1-1-a-img6-big.htm When comparing the appearance of an embryo at the mudghah stage with a piece of gum that has been chewed, we find similarity between the two.
          A) Drawing of an embryo at the mudghah stage. We can see here the somites at the back of the embryo that look like teeth marks. (The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 79.)
          B) Photograph of a piece of gum that has been chewed.
          (Click on the link above to see the image.)

          How could Muhammad have possibly known all this 1400 years ago, when scientists have only recently discovered this using advanced equipment and powerful microscopes which did not exist at that time? Hamm and Leeuwenhoek were the first scientists to observe human sperm cells (spermatozoa) using an improved microscope in 1677 (more than 1000 years after Muhammad ). They mistakenly thought that the sperm cell contained a miniature preformed human being that grew when it was deposited in the female genital tract.’7′

          Professor Emeritus Keith L. Moore’8′ is one of the world’s most prominent scientists in the fields of anatomy and embryology and is the author of the book entitled The Developing Human, which has been translated into eight languages. This book is a scientific reference work and was chosen by a special committee in the United States as the best book authored by one person. Dr. Keith Moore is Professor Emeritus of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. There, he was Associate Dean of Basic Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine and for 8 years was the Chairman of the Department of Anatomy. In 1984, he received the most distinguished award presented in the field of anatomy in Canada, the J.C.B. Grant Award from the Canadian Association of Anatomists. He has directed many international associations, such as the Canadian and American Association of Anatomists and the Council of the Union of Biological Sciences.

          In 1981, during the Seventh Medical Conference in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, Professor Moore said: “It has been a great pleasure for me to help clarify statements in the Quran about human development. It is clear to me that these statements must have come to Muhammad from God, because almost all of this knowledge was not discovered until many centuries later. This proves to me that Muhammad must have been a messenger of God.” ’9′ (To view the RealPlayer video of this comment click this link http://www.islam-guide.com/video/moore-1.ram ).

          Consequently, Professor Moore was asked the following question: “Does this mean that you believe that the Quran is the word of God?” He replied: “I find no difficulty in accepting this.” ’10′

          During one conference, Professor Moore stated: “….Because the staging of human embryos is complex, owing to the continuous process of change during development, it is proposed that a new system of classification could be developed using the terms mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah (what Muhammad said, did, or approved of). The proposed system is simple, comprehensive, and conforms with present embryological knowledge. The intensive studies of the Quran and hadeeth (reliably transmitted reports by the Prophet Muhammad’s companions of what he said, did, or approved of) in the last four years have revealed a system for classifying human embryos that is amazing since it was recorded in the seventh century A.D. Although Aristotle, the founder of the science of embryology, realized that chick embryos developed in stages from his studies of hen’s eggs in the fourth century B.C., he did not give any details about these stages. As far as it is known from the history of embryology, little was known about the staging and classification of human embryos until the twentieth century. For this reason, the descriptions of the human embryo in the Quran cannot be based on scientific knowledge in the seventh century. The only reasonable conclusion is: these descriptions were revealed to Muhammad from God. He could not have known such details because he was an illiterate man with absolutely no scientific training.” ’11′ (To view the RealPlayer video of this comment click this link http://www.islam-guide.com/video/moore-2.ram)

          ** Footnotes:

          ’1′ Please note that what is between these double bows (( ..)). in this web site is only a translation of the meaning of the Quran. It is not the Quran itself, which is in Arabic.

          ’2′ The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 8.

          ’3′ Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, p. 36.

          ’4′ Human Development as Described in the Quran and Sunnah, Moore and others, pp. 37-38.

          ’5′ The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 65.

          ’6′ The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 8.

          ’7′ The Developing Human, Moore and Persaud, 5th ed., p. 9.

          ’8′ Note: The occupations of all the scientists mentioned in this web site were last updated in 1997.

          ’9′ The reference for this saying is This is the Truth (videotape). For a copy of this videotape, please visit this page.

          ’10′ This is the Truth (videotape).

          ’11′ This is the Truth (videotape). For a copy, see footnote no. 9.

          • Yoav

            we have to know that the Quran is a book of religion not a book of science

            And then

            i will take for instance what the Quran says on “Human Embryonic Development”
            In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:

            Can you spot the problem in including these two statements in the same reply?

            How could Muhammad have possibly known all this 1400 years ago

            By reading Galen.

            • Yoav

              Link broke.

            • Yoav

              The claim is not that Galen is perfect, its that the quran is using him as a source (including his mistakes). The point is once again that the writers of the quran didn’t posses a scientific knowledge that is in anyway superior to their contemporaries.

            • decooman

              @Yoav
              Sry took me so long to reply but was busy with my own engagments ,

              “Can you spot the problem in including these two statements in the same reply?” i said on that reply (we have to know that the Quran is a book of religion not a book of science)
              “and then”
              (i will take for instance what the Quran says on “Human Embryonic Development”
              In the Holy Quran, God speaks about the stages of man’s embryonic development:)
              “Can you spot the problem in including these two statements in the same reply?”
              yes i’m sorry i just had to add: and The Holy Quran (It is not the Book Science But The Book of Signs) which i forgot to add on that comment but u can see from the ever first comments of mines that’s what i was claiming .
              “How could Muhammad have possibly known all this 1400 years ago”

              By reading Galen.

              what makes u believe that galen’s writing and views about that is a scientific fact? in other hand there was no equipments as we have now so galen can see the microscopic things as we can do now ,
              second the galen theory now can proven wrong and it doesn’t match what it came in Quran 100%,
              the way the Quran described “Human Embryonic Development” accurate with what science discovered and claimed as a scientific fact. ok i won’t t argue about this.
              as we know old theories was different about how we were consist some theories say we were all complite in our father’s sperm as a “dwarf” but we need the mother womb where we grow like the earth for the plants , and some other theories said that we are all full on our mothers womb but we need fathers sperms (water) to grow, well u can look on the web to know about this different theories but Quran was clear at this, the tranlation of the meaning of the quran says: ” Verily, We have created man from Nutfah (drops) of mixed semen (sexual discharge of man and woman), in order to try him: so We made him hearer and seer.” Quran (76:2)
              The interpretation of this verse to mean mixing of male and female gametes to form the Zygote. Al-Nutfah Al-Amhsaj is a peculiar combination of Nutfah, which is a noun referring to a single drop and AI-Amshaj an adjective, which is used in plural form. The grammatical rules of the language permit singular nouns or pronouns to be described by a singular adjective. Al-Amhsaj is a plural adjective used with the singular noun Al-Nutfah. After mixture of the male and female gametes, the Zygote still remains “Nutfah” and in this context the word “Al-Nutfah Al-Amhsaj” will mean a combination of many things mixed in a single drop (Nutfah) i.e., the maternal and paternal chromosomes with their genetic material and other contents of the Cell. “Amshaj” is a plural adjective capable of agreeing with the concept of Nutfah being a multi-faceted single entity.
              And the quran says “…He created you in the wombs of your mothers from one stage to another and all along three veils of darkness surrounded you…”. (39:6)

              It is known that the embryo develops within three covers which have been expressed by the Quran as “Three veils of darkness”. These are taken to mean the following:
              a) The abdominal wall,
              b) Uterine Wall,
              c) The placenta with its choriono-amniotic membranes.
              And so on and on there is so much more evidences to give , well hope to hear from you soon.

            • Jabster

              @Mo

              Look you’re getting even more boring now …

              p.s. Can you tell your mother I’ll give her the £5 when I visit next week?

            • decooman

              [Moronic, thinly veiled threat redacted] – Custador

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              You don’t get to do that here, Mo.

            • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

              “These are TAKEN TO MEAN the following:

              Yes, just like all the other obscure passages that you claim as evidence for advanced scientific knowledge, they’re TAKEN TO MEAN something by fucking idiots who want to stretch ancient texts to fit modern knowledge. It’s BULLSHIT. That’s not what the Q’ranic authors meant, it’s the religious equivalent of a kid in the playground who, when presented with fact that prove his argument wrong, yells “Yeah! That’s what I said! It’s just you didn’t understand me!”

              Honestly, how do you believe the absolute crap you’re spouting?!

            • trj

              …Quran was clear at this, the tranlation of the meaning of the quran says: ” Verily, We have created man from Nutfah (drops) of mixed semen (sexual discharge of man and woman), in order to try him: so We made him hearer and seer.” Quran (76:2)

              There’s just one problem with that: The fluids a woman discharges during sex don’t mix with the semen to produce a zygote. They don’t have anything to do with an egg cell.

              Seems the Quran is wrong yet again.

            • Yoav

              The comment above was suppose to go here.

            • Paul

              ” After mixture of the male and female gametes, the Zygote still remains ‘Nutfah’ and in this context the word ‘Al-Nutfah Al-Amhsaj’ will mean a combination of many things mixed in a single drop (Nutfah) i.e., the maternal and paternal chromosomes with their genetic material and other contents of the Cell. ”

              That was a huge and unsupported leap to make. Just because one very specific thing can be describe with the same tense/declension/conjugation etc as something else that is highly vague, doesn’t imply that they are the same thing at all. You haven’t presented why the vagueness of plural yet “singular drops” suddenly defines the overly specific concepts of organelles and chromosomes. This jump in logic and reasoning continues to disintegrate when you consider that chromosomes are not the same as organelles; they are very different biological components. (I’m a physics major and even I can spot that mistake).

              ” ‘Amshaj’ is a plural adjective capable of agreeing with the concept of Nutfah being a multi-faceted single entity.”

              Yep, capable of agreeing… grammatically. Just because they can be used in the same sentence without messing up the grammar and syntax, doesn’t mean that they are the same things. We can have “dogs” and “cats” in the same sentence without messing up grammar. So I guess dogs are the same as cats? It’s a miracle of the english textbook! We must all follow the holy literature majors!

            • trj

              It seems words have highly ambiguous and/or vague meanings in Arabic. Or maybe it’s just that the interpretations decooman is repeating verbatim from various fundie Islamic websites use a lot of artistic license to make the Quran match reality.

              decooman, I thought your Quran was supposed to be perfect. Obviously “perfect” is not the same as “accurate” since, in order to make sense of your holy book, you have to twist its words to the point where they can encompass practically any meaning. And even then you have to make huge unsupported leaps of “logic”. Example: when the Quran says semen comes from a man’s abdomen it is really refering to how the testicles were positioned back when the man was a fetus. Wow! Quite a leap! I mean, really? That explanation is simply ridiculous, not to mention disingenuous.

          • Sunny Day

            Gee that was sure smart of Muhammad, that illiterate child molester, to write about leeches and blood clots so 1500 years later you could stretch those words into vague generalities and stuff it into something you call science.

            • http://a-million-gods.blogspot.com/ Avicenna

              Sunny… Pretty much everyone back then was “an illiterate child molester”. Most people (male and female) got married aged 12 to 14… We really cannot judge people back then by our standards because even really nice people seem backwards and vile. Hell by our standards Gandhi was kind of a racist and Jesus was an industrial grade dick. But back then these people would have seen (by society as a whole) as really liberal and progressive.

      • trj

        Man, that’s a desperate explanation if I ever saw one. I was going to ask you if you really, honestly, are satisfied with it, but seeing all your answers consist of mindless copying of content from Muslim creationist websites I won’t bother. All your opinions on the Quran are obviously pre-digested and pre-approved, never to be questioned.

        You’d think the Quran would show off Allah’s amazing inside scientific knowledge by, say, describing how a sperm cell and an egg cell fuse and the embryo grows through cell division. That would’ve been impressive. In stead we get vague, ambiguous references to blood clots, chewn substances, and sperm that originates from a fetus. Oh, and no mention of egg cells whatsoever. One has to wonder why Allah had to rely on such vague explanations that require lots of interpretive sidestepping rather than just telling things as they are. Allah works in mysterious ways, I guess.

      • Paper Tiger

        This is a reply to your slavery comment, but there doesn’t seem to be a reply button.

        You say that slavery is “not acceptable to anyone or anything of the creation”. But the Quran is very clear that owning slaves is an acceptable practice. Wikipedia says that, “[t]he Qur’an”accepts the institution of slavery”. It also says that “[t]he purchase of female slaves for sex was lawful from the perspective of Islamic law.”

        So which one is wrong? You or the Quran?

        • decoolman

          no one is allowed from the creation to take an other one from the creation as a slave that’s clear in the teaching of Islam except in a case of the war between Muslims and non-Muslims that’s an other conditions, but in a normal condition , people to take other people as slaves is forbidden, and Omar ibn alkhattab once said, “How can you enslave people, when there mothers gave birth to them as free people”
          but to worship the one who created u and thank him for everything he gave you, is an other thing!

          • Paper Tiger

            “…except in a case of the war between Muslims and non-Muslims that’s an other conditions”. So you admit that there ARE conditions in which slavery is acceptable. Fair enough, if that’s what you think. I’m not the one who has to live with all the cognitive dissonance as you try to reconcile your book with acts that you know are truly revolting.

  • truth?

    “Stop wanting to be right, and start wanting the truth.” it’s so reasonable!!
    what you guys think about this debate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YI9owlpOQl0
    let’s everyone says his opinion about it .

    • Sunny Day

      Its a rickroll.

  • Ellie

    All legitimate virgin births are always females. I haven’t looked it up to see if human females can actually give a virgin birth. If they could, the baby would be a female, not a male baby. Females only carry the XX chromosomes, males..XY. For a baby to be a boy, there has to be a Y involved.
    In the animal kingdom it is possible for the females to give a virgin births, but the babies are always females.
    So in Mary’s case and giving birth to a baby boy, a Y was definitely involved.!!!!!

  • http://reasonwithfaith.com joe lewis

    some interesting points were made. I would like to play devil’s advocate for a moment – what better place to do that than in a blog called ‘unreasonablefaith’! :-0)

    1) There is no reliable evidence (of a virgin birth)
    Well there is no reliable evidence that God exists and that human beings have souls, so if we dismiss religious claims on the absence of evidence then Christianity has a whole lot more to worry about than the manner of Jesus’s birth!

    At some point we are going to have to come to terms with the fact that even if religious claims are true we aren’t going to be able to prove them as such (at least not any time soon) – so the lack of ‘evidence’ is hardly a logically sound argument one way or another.

    2) The earliest references are late and sparse.
    I don’t see how any ‘reference’ short of a video recording of Mary not having sex before Jesus was born would be of any relevance here.

    3) It’s the same old myth.
    To say something isn’t true because “it’s the same old myth ” is like a true believer saying it’s true because it’s the same old miracle. It’s also circular reasoning…like saying “I know it’s a lie, because its a myth!”

    4) Is it more likely to be a lie, or to be true?
    I’m sure that we would agree that if Jesus were born of a Virgin birth, then it would be an absolute miracle. Well let’s look at the definition of a miracle: “A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment” My point is that BY DEFINITION a miracle is highly improbable, and thus more likely to be a lie – even if it actually occurred!

    5) We would never, ever, believe this today. Again, any miracle is going to sound improbable – they probably didn’t believe it much back then either. I’m not saying that I know that Jesus was born of a virgin birth – or that I know he wasn’t. I was not alive back then, and I didn’t follow Mary around 24/7 to see if she had sex or not. I’d venture a guess that none of us were!

    As an aside, science abounds with physical evidence of natural phenomena that is both highly improbable AND unbelievable – except that such phenomena actually exists! So logically speaking (since this blog deals with logic trumping belief, right?) improbability cannot be given as proof of existence and\or occurrence.

    • Len

      I think that you’re missing the point. Without evidence (reliable, falsifiable) there’s no reason to believe in any god or other fairy story.

  • ninodelrosario

    If one favors a purely naturalist view of existence, then all the arguments presented above are valid. However, there are some arguments that cannot be considered valid even if naturalism is true.

    1) There is no reliable evidence.
    2) The earliest references are late and sparse.

    It seems that DNA evidence is being demanded here as the most reliable evidence. That is silly because DNA testing did not exist back then. There’s no DNA evidence for Cleopatra either.

    For ancient figures, we need to rely on historical and anthropological evidence. This argument is based on the presumption that he gospels and the rest of the New Testament are not reliable historical accounts. But there are serious historians who do think at least some New Testament accounts are historical. So I would not think the issue is settled in favor of dismissing NT’s historical accuracy.

    The absence of early records about the Virgin Birth and the sparseness of late accounts could also mean that the account of the virgin birth was not considered important enough to be discussed at length in the two of the Gospels. That does not mean that there was no early belief in Christ’s virgin birth.

    The Christian doctrine on the importance of the Virgin Birth was indeed a later development in theological thinking, though.

    So I don’t see how (2) supports the writers argument for his lack of belief in Christ’s virgin birth.

    3) It’s the same old myth.

    Again, this is not a settled issue. There are modern scholars who contest the ancientness of the pagan beliefs regarding virgin births of demigods. Some scholars even say that these virgin birth myths began to exist AFTER Christianity.

    There are modern scholars who no longer hold to the view that non-Jewish mythological influences are woven into the account of Christ’s life. And if you look into some of these pagan myths, there are significant differences in the quality of these myths to the virgin birth account in the Gospels.

    Also, there is the presupposition that the virgin birth of Christ is mythological. The argument presumes the virgin birth account of Christ is mythological and seeks to “prove” this through similarities with mythological accounts. Mere similarity does not constitute proof of the claim. *Of course* the virgin birth of Christ will be just as mythological as the other accounts *if your premise* is: “Christ’s virgin birth is mythological.”

    4) Is it more likely to be a lie, or to be true?
    5) We would never, ever, believe this today.

    ““Is it more probable that nature should go out of her course, or that a man should tell a lie?” This actually disproves that Mary, if she did get pregnant out of wedlock, would not use an immaculate conception as her defense. If she did that, she would immediately be considered a liar.

    It also does not make sense for any woman, even under pain of death, to make up a story of immaculate conception or a divine miracle as the cause of her pregnancy. Precisely because no one would believe it. No one would believe it today and nobody would have believed it even in the ancient world.

    Both (4) and (5) also presume that:

    1) Women, especially desperate women, are stupid. Of all the lies and excuses a woman could make to explain an illicit pregnancy, why choose a miraculous explanation? Such a miraculous explanation would not save her from death, if death be the punishment for her illicit pregnancy.

    It’s much simpler to claim to the authorities that a) She was raped and got pregnant against her will. b) She and her husband-to-be had sex before marriage. These two lies or excuses are much more convincing compared to the miraculous explanation.

    2) People of the ancient world were ignorant of the reproductive process. This is not true. People knew and have always known that a woman only becomes pregnant after sex with a man. So if Mary claimed that she got pregnant because of God, nobody would have believed her anyway, and she would have been put to death for adultery.

    So it’s more plausible that Mary did not herself claim the virgin birth (because it’s absurd and no one would believe her anyway) and she and Joseph concocted a convincing enough story for the authorities, who then allowed her to live.

    And contrary to (5), we would believe such a story today if we are told that science is responsible for a virgin birth. We have the technology to create embryos from a female ovum without fertilization from the man. Just give a virgin the right hormonal treatments to get her uterus ready, and place the embryo inside. Nine months later, a virgin birth.

    That’s interesting, because it shows that *under the right conditions* a virgin birth is possible. But if you are a naturalist, you can only believe this is possible through science.

    A Christian, on the other hand, believes the same thing but from a supernatural cause.

    The point of all this is: if these arguments are the basis for not believing in the virgin birth of Christ, then they are not enough.

    The only real basis for unbelief against the Virgin Birth the premise that we exist in a purely natural universe. The five arguments above, by themselves, are not so crucial to this view.

    • Nzo

      @ninodelrosario

      That’s a lot of BS to gift-wrap in the guise of scholarly thought, but as with all BS, it takes a simple tug of the metaphorical bow to show the true nature of what’s presented.

      The scholars you are referring to are called “apologists”. No serious researcher/scholar, you know, one looking for the TRUTH, would say anything you’ve claimed ‘scholars’ say.

      The bible has not been proved, through any real research, that it’s anything other than a group of fairy tales. There’s no reason to believe in gods, or miracles – not for any reason. You’re welcome to take this to the forums, and I’ll personally demolish any argument you care to take there.

      I even started to do so before remembering that this thread is bugged, and not worth having a discussion on.

  • Pingback: Faith and miracles | Reasoning With Faith

  • Vincent Hayden

    If God can create the universe, also form my body… It would be reasonable to conclude he could use a woman to make a body for himself and live in it, for
    God is Spirit, he put a spirit in me.
    People who don’t believe spend an inordinate amount of time and effort attacking these issue. I wonder why no one attacks the idea of the fat corpse in a red suit who allegedly delivers gifts on December 24.

    • Nzo

      People that believe in silly things like omnipotent gods spend a lot of time trying to force their morality and gods on others, hence those that do not believe in such things taking the time to defend themselves from the attacks of the bigoted, stupid, and/or ignorant religious.

    • Sunny Day

      “I wonder why no one attacks the idea of the fat corpse in a red suit who allegedly delivers gifts on December 24.”

      When people start trying to pass laws based on the teaching of those particular faerie tales then you should expect to see similar reactions.

  • http://coffee-with-jesus.com NRIGirl

    Just because we humans cannot possibly reason something we cannot confirm it is not true.

    Why is it still so hard to accept the virgin birth of Christ at this modern age when through IVF virgins are giving birth today?!

    Arguments aside, anyone interested in some Coffee with Jesus?

    • http://fugodeus.com Nox

      We cannot confirm that Mary was or was not a virgin, since among other reasons we cannot confirm that Mary did or did not exist.

      However we can confirm that the story of the virgin birth is based off a demonstrably wrong reading of Isaiah.

      We can also confirm that a virgin conceiving is an extraordinary claim with no evidence whatsoever.

    • Sunny Day

      Just because we humans cannot possibly reason something we cannot confirm it is not true.

      Because that opens the door to believing in whatever damn foolishness that rolls down the pike.

    • http://themikewrites.blogspot.com JohnMWhite

      “Why is it still so hard to accept the virgin birth of Christ at this modern age when through IVF virgins are giving birth today?!”

      Because they didn’t have IVF in 4BC. And there’s no evidence it happened, or any of the players existed.

      Honestly, that’s a terrible argument. I hate to be rude but you clearly have not even attempted to think that one through. Had you not tacked on a link to your blog, demonstrating this post is likely just link-baiting, I would be insulted.

  • Valten

    The argument is almost moot.

    There is no evidence to prove or disprove that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus.
    There is no evidence to prove or disprove that Mary gave birth to Jesus.
    There is no evidence to prove or disprove that Mary even existed.

    There is conjecture based on several old texts, but no real definable PROOF.

    Since there is no proof EITHER WAY, we look at liklihoods. There are some facts of which we have a strong assurance that they happened. For example, we did know that there was a Roman Emporer. We did know that he asked for a census around the time in question.

    It is LIKELY that the story has some truth to it. It is LIKELY that Mary and Joseph existed and that Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem to take part in the census.

    It is LIKELY that the woman he was travelling with was Mary, and that she could have been pregnant.

    It is suggested that the pregancy could be one of several options:
    1. The result of a raping by a roman officer (or other roman male)
    2. The result of sexual intercourse with Joseph
    3. The result of sexual intercourse with another male
    4. The result of impregnation by a deific being (referred to as ‘God’)
    5. The result of impregnation by a vaguely defined spirit loosely related to the above mentioned deific being (referred to as ‘the Holy Spirit’)
    6. The result of sexual ‘foreplay’ with Joseph that could have led to semen entering her uterus and impregnating her, even though they had not actually had intercourse. (IE, if he ejaculated on her vaginal area after recieving some ‘attention’)
    7. As #6, but with someone who is not Joseph. (Also note that this could be done without her notice. Some pervert could have jacked off on her while she slept).
    8. Impregnation by some other deific being (referred to as ‘Pagan God’)

    Looking at these 8 possibilities, we can use logic to decide which is more and less probable than others.
    According to the bible, the correct answer is 5.

    In MY personal opinion, it is most likely #6. Intercourse was strictly prohibited, however, Joseph and Mary may have ‘fooled around’. If sperm actually lands on the vaginal cavity, there is a chance that a sperm can find its way to the ovary and impregnate it. Even though she may ‘not have known a man’ in that way. Believe it or not, it happens even to this day. Girls are still suprised when they end up pregnant after a night of foreplay.

    That said, HYPOTHETICALLY any of the 8 COULD be correct, since NONE of them can actually be DISPROVEN. I will personally admit that #4, #5, or #8 are the least likely, and that #8 is probably the least likely of all of them.

    As for a Virgin Birth, what exactly is that? A woman giving birth while still a virgin? This happens still today (as I mentioned above) and through other methods (scientific impregnation). Having a Hymen intact after birth of the baby? Assuming it was intact when giving birth in the first place, this is highly unlikely, but it is POSSIBLE. It should also be noted, that, especially if the woman is young enough, some have been known to have regrown a breached Hymen (again, RARE, but NOT UNHEARD OF). But in all cases, it is with a woman usually younger than 16.

    Of course, no one really knows how old Joseph or Mary were. Our modern sensibilities suggest they were in their early twenties or possibly even late teens 18-19), but the more realistic outlook was that Joseph was probably abou 16 and Mary about 13 or 14. That was the ages that people married back then, and they were allegedly betrothed. No one actually mentioned if her Hymen was checked at birth (You know, by the stablehands who knew so much about said things), before birth (you know, by Joseph, same knowledge) or someone else (who would have suggested stoning the woman to death for being pregnant in the first place).

    They hid the pregnancy until they were away from the people who would know they were only betrothed and not married (or possibly didn’t even know about it until later), and who in Bethlehem would have known.

    They could have lied about the age of the baby later when they returned.

    I find it likely that the pregnancy as a result of either foreplay or direct intercourse between Mary and Joseph. If she WAS a virgin at the time of birth, than I think it likely the result of Foreplay, if she WAS NOT a virgin at the time of birth, it was likely that it was the result of sexual intercourse bewtween the two.

    The biggest part of the story that people seem to miss most of the time, is that the people who would have known about the infedelity were most likely NOT AROUND when it happened, or that Mary and Joseph were gone and well on their way to Bethlehem before she showed enough for people to guess.

    There is no proof that an Angel spoke to Mary, Joseph, a Sheep or a Barbarian. How the heck does Matthew, John or anyone else know either. Did they ask Mary about it later?

    Mary and Joseph obviously kept the Mesiah thing under wraps for Jesus’s childhood. Otherwise there would probably be reports from the Romans about a supposed Messiah child. The Roman temples at the time would have LOVED that.

    None of this came out until after Jesus proclaimed hismelf Messiah, and how did whoever wrote it (Matthew, John, Peter, whoever) know what Mary and Joseph said 30-40 years AFTER JESUS DIED.

    There are just TOO MANY inconsistencies to plausably confirm a Virgin Birth by divine inception.

    VERY UNLIKELY. I will concede that it IS possible, but….

    Occam’s Razor.

    • Custador

      Um…

      “For example, we did know that there was a Roman Emporer. We did know that he asked for a census around the time in question.”

      Except, of course, there wasn’t a census around the time of Jesus’ alleged birth, the Emperor who called the census that the Bible is allegedly referring to died several years before the alleged birth, and no census in the history of the world has ever involved people having to leave their home towns and travel to a completely different town, in order to be counted as part of the population of that second town, where they don’t even live.

      On balance of probabilities, the entire story is such demonstrable garbage that even if there ever was a seed of truth in it, it’s long since lost.

  • Charles Johnston

    The most accepted definition of God is that God is omnicient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Being omnipresent results in time (for God) being irrelavent. For God, there is no time. Therefore God knows the past, present and future. If God knows the future, how come God’s Book (and God’s son) don’t mention planes, trains, automobiles, cell phones, TVs, etc.? The arguement could be that, if those things had been mentioned, credibility would be out the window. BUT what incredible credibility it would have TODAY! Jesus does not mention any of these things nor do any of his apostles — some of whom had the gift of prophesy. Why not? It is reasonable to conclude that no mention was made because either God’s book was not God’s, but ours, or that Jesus was NOT the “Son of God” but rather a leader, teacher, and someone who stood out sorta like Martin Luther King. Which leads me to wonder what is going to be written and said about MLK in three or four hundred years.

  • Andreas Kjernald

    I don’t have the energy to read 768 comments so forgive me if this is repeatative.
    Seriously, you expect DNA sample from Jesus and Mary and Joseph? This must be hyperbole. Also, your comment that “extraordinary events require extraordinary evidence” is not true and you now it from real life. There is no correlation between the magnitude of an event and its weight of evidence. The opposite could also be true, e.g. how many Americans disbelieve the moon-landing. Thus, an extraordinary event could have only one eyewitness and it would still hold true. Does an event become real because many people and a science lab can verify it?

    Secondly, you must know that silence is a very weak argument for something being not true. We simply can’t know the reasons why some authors didn’t include everything in their accounts. Do we assume that all authors tell us everything at all times simply based on our understanding of “common sense”?

    Third, have a look at those other stories. Ask yourself how many people hold them to be actual historical events today. Also, there are distinct differences that make up all the difference.

    Lastly, if you only believe likely and probable things you will believe very little. Of course the virgin birth is unlikely. That’s the point. It happened once in all of history. Go ahead and believe what you find likely and reasonable and see how that works out for you…and by the way, don’t expect to fall in love anytime soon.

    • Custador

      The moon landings were extraordinary events, and there is extraordinary evidence of them. For a start, if you have a decent telescope you can actually see the landing module and lunar rover on the moon’s surface. I’d say that’s quite convincing evidence, wouldn’t you?

      To flip to the converse (as you did), the claim that the moon landing is a hoax is an extraordinary claim – and there’s no evidence for it.

      So…. What’s your point again?

      • Sunny Day

        Dunno, seems really garbled. I think he was trying to say that things are true if enough people believe in them and science cant prove anything.

        Basically the last desperate argument just before they stick their fingers in their ears and start shouting.

        • Custador

          I actually have no idea what he’s trying to get at. There’s a little voice in my head that’s telling me he’s a fool and I should fine him twelve internets for foolishness, but I can’t do that when I don’t know what in the hell he’s driving at :-/

          • UrsaMinor

            On the face of it, his argument appears to be that if one person reports experiencing an extraordinary event and has no evidence to back it up, we should seriously entertain the idea that that event happened.

            I’d have to respond that it is not out of the question that something might be true even if we have little or no evidence for it. But you can’t assess it without evidence, so the reasonable position to take is that it is not proven. Note that this is NOT the same thing as claiming that it couldn’t possibly be true.

            The comment about falling in love being unlikely is sheer unvarnished idiocy. People fall in love all the time. It’s not unlikely at all.

            And surely he must know that silence is an even worse argument for something being true than it is for something not being true.

  • http://www.wallsofjericho.info T Crosthwaite

    ANOTHER NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF THE VIRGIN BIRTH STORY
    The claim that the Bible records a virgin birth supposes that the OT contains a virgin birth prophecy, and the NT says this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus’ birth.
    Your article touches on some of the many weaknesses in the virgin birth story. In fact the virgin birth is not in the bible at all, but depends on theologians giving unique interpretations of words when they are applied to Jesus.

    The following comments are to do with the prophecy in the Old Testament.

    Until 1949 at least, virtually all Bibles translated Isa 7:14 the same or similar to theKJV:
    “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

    However, for various reasons not least of which was the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, many new bible translations from 1949 translated the pertinent word in Isaiah not as “virgin”, but as “young woman” (or similar). After so long, this shift by church scholars was a major concession. Effectively it means that Isaiah said nothing about a virgin birth. In other words, there was no virgin birth prophecy.

    The Catholic New American Bible (NAB) was one of the post-1949 translations that retained the word “virgin” in its translation of Isa 7:14. It rendered this verse in words similar to KJV.

    In 2011 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops announced that the Revised Edition of the New American Bible (NABRE) would be published. Its translation of Isa 7:14 differed significantly from the text that it was revising. It reads:
    “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.”

    This rendering is significant for two reasons. First, it joins the growing list of Bibles that correctly translate the word in Isaiah as “young woman”. Secondly, it makes clear that the “young woman” Isaiah was talking about was already pregnant. If Isaiah said “virgin”, as some church people still try to argue, then they are arguing for a virgin birth in Isaiah’s time – that is over 700 years before Jesus’ was born!!

    As the verses subsequent to Isa 7:14 make clear, the “prophecy” was not about the conception of the child (who was to be called Emmanuel) – it was about the living child who would act as a timepiece for events that would shortly come to pass: “for before the child learns to reject evil and choose good, the land of those two kings whom you dread shall be deserted.”

    Isaiah never prophesied a virgin birth. The NABRE translation of Isa 7:14 is just one more nail in the coffin full of tricks that have been used to conjure up the virgin birth story.

    Your readers will find the alleged virgin birth is addressed comprehensively in articles on the website – http://www.wallsofjericho.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14&Itemid=26

    • UrsaMinor

      You make it sound as if figuring out the correct translation for Isaiah 7:14 was a complicated process for scholars. The word in dispute is “alma” (or “almah”, depending on your transliteration preferences). It means, in all other contexts, ‘a young woman’, and there is no reason to suspect that it means anything different here. There was a distinct, separate word available for ‘virgin’- it’s “betula” (or “betulah”), which, notably, was not used by the author of the Isaiah verse.

      The translation of “young woman” as “virgin” has never been justifiable on linguistic grounds in any era, and certainly did not require the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls to set the record straight. It looks suspiciously like an attempt by early Christian translators to retrofit the Isaiah prophecy to support the notion of Jesus.

  • laura

    it is all a beautiful tale that i learned from childhood, much like peter rabbit…who cares if she was a virgin, married or a prostitute…she gave birth to a remarkable man, albeit, prob mentally challenged…but did we not have a lovely story?

  • Anonymous

    Good beginning, but historical background lacking
    Try not to argue a point in anticipation just work on true historical context of the Essenes community. More source material on Q could be cited try Sermon on the Mount by Danish author
    Q source for both Mathew & Luke Q was an original document existed in early times and was lost.

  • Johan

    Come quickly Lord Jesus, so much heresy – how long will You wait??

    • Jesse Cooper

      He’s waited 2,000 years – what’s a few more? Especially considering his followers expected him back in their lifetime… and they still do, and he never comes. Ever.

      • B.A. Worldchanger

        “This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing,following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

        But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”

        • Jesse Cooper

          I don’t accept your stupid book as true. What makes you think I give a flying pig shit about what it says?

          For 2,000 years Christians have been convinced tomorrow will be the last day. How many tomorrows will have to come and go before you give up?

          • Len

            Before they wake up…

          • B.A. Worldchanger

            Jesse, I am keenly aware you don’t accept God’s book as true (it isn’t my book, I didn’t write it). I know you don’t care what it says, but I do. My post simply reflects my own viewpoint, you’re welcome to yours.

            But to answer your question, the number of tomorrow’s it will take is simply until I taste death, or the return of Christ. Only the Father knows the day and the hour. While I believe it to be soon, I will live my days as if each day could be that day.

            • Jesse Cooper

              How soon? Paul thought it would be soon. That was two thousand years ago.

              And no, you didn’t write it, but you pick the parts you like out of it and ignore the rest. If the Bible is wholly inspired by God, what makes any part of it less valuable than any other part? But I’d be willing to bet you don’t forgive all your debts every 49 years, or stone children to death if they have sex out of wedlock. And if you don’t hold up the validity of those parts, why should I place any value on the parts whose validity you DO choose to attest to?

            • B.A. Worldchanger

              Jesse, we all pick and choose what we “hear” in any text. There isn’t enough room in this thread to entertain the error in your biblical interpretations of the law or the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, or His teachings on these things. Also, those who don’t believe in Christ also are without the Holy Spirit, who also leads us into truth. However, if you wanted to discuss this in more detail in a private messaging context, I’d be more than willing to address your questions.

              But you’re right, Paul thought it would be 2000 years ago, as did most Christians because they saw the tumultuous times in the days before the destruction of the temple by Rom and the godlessness of society. Peter had much to say on this as well (as I previously quoted). More importantly, however, are Jesus own words regarding his return. He also addresses the issue that there is only one who knows the day, but he gives us some helpful signs to watch for. I would encourage you to read the Bible through a different lens as you have already read it through the same old arguments of all atheists who don’t want to regard it as truth. Our perspective and approach will always affect how we read into things. But, without the Holy Spirit, I know that will be difficult for you to do because you will never read it as the inspired Word of Truth.

            • Jesse Cooper

              I was a Christian for three years. I read the Bible back to front many times. Including the bits where Solomon has seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, and the only reason God has a problem with that is because they trick Solomon into setting up altars to other gods. Including the bit where David, a “man after God’s own heart”, MURDERS 100 or 200 Philistines, depending on whether you read 1 or 2 Samuel, and delivers their foreskins to Saul as a wedding present.Including the bit where Paul of Tarsis NEVER ONCE mentions that Jesus was born of a virgin, which you’d think might be kind of important.Including ALL THE BITS, both Old and New Testament, that don’t line up with what Christian hypocrites like you claim to believe today.

              I read the Bible, and I’m an atheist and will continue to be an atheist. If you read the Bible and truly understood it, you would be too.

            • B.A. Worldchanger

              Jesse, Christ says that “This gospel will be preached as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” That day is approaching. Most people aren’t fully aware that Christianity, up until the late 1800′s, was centralize in Europe. Now, not a single continent on earth can lay claim to that title, as the gospel has literally spread to all nations in some form or another. Even closed nations. This year alone, the Gospel was preached in Iran on television in Farsi because of a man in prison there named Saeed Abedini. In China, it is estimated there are more Christians than in the USA and that nearly 10,000 people per day there find Jesus Christ. In 100 short years we have seen the world evangelized like never before, we’ve seen Israel re-established in the Middle East, and we’ve seen many other signals that time is short, much like the believers 2000 years ago. In 100 short years, the world has changed. For Christians, this is an exciting time to be alive as the world cries out for a savior in the midst of all the chaos and hopelessness of mankind. The Bible talks of all these things in quite a bit of detail (both Old and New Testament). I encourage you to read it again, or perhaps, really, for the first time.

            • Jesse Cooper

              What about the fact that there are also more atheists today than ever before, and the fact that, as Hemant, Vorjack, and possibly also JT, I can’t really remember, have posted about, millennial Christians are leaving the church in droves? People are starting to see the church for the backwards, restrictive, hateful organization it is. Even if you defend Christianity, surely you can’t defend the sorry state of the modern church.

              I apologize for swearing at you and calling you a hypocrite, though. You’ve been very respectful, and it doesn’t reflect well on me or atheists in general if I don’t do the same, aside from it being the right thing to do. If the discussion continues, I hope I can maintain a more respectful tone.

  • Jesse Cooper

    Christianity doesn’t promote love and forgiveness. If your boyfriend (assuming from your name you’re a girl) told you to do exactly what he said or he’d torture you for as long as you lived, would you consider that love? Would that be forgiveness? I sure as hell don’t think so.

  • Taryn

    The ancestor lineage of Mary and Joseph came together directly from hundreds of generations leading up to the birth of Christ…Satan is alive and well and is confusing masses of people by saying things have happened before or not at all…Just because someone says they had a virgin birth doesn’t mean they are telling the truth. Every sight and archeological find HAS been proven in the bible…places and events. THE virgin birth is called a miracle…scientists don’t really believe in miracles. Miracles happen everyday. The whole relationship depends on FAITH…it is very hard to have faith in something you can’t feel or see. The Spirit of God dwells in His followers and we are touched by then physically and mentally everyday. Faith is believing . I myself believe that there is the Trinity…God the Father, God the son, and God the Holy Spirit. Not because someone told me to but because of my own relationship with God. Not religion…relationship. There is a difference. I have felt the arms of the Lord when I am in a desperate state of despair. I know He is listening to me when I pray. He lightens my burdens and calms my fear. This done by my Faith in Him. How can you look at a newborn baby that was a tiny egg that came together with a tiny sperm. Look at the eyeball alone, for example, and how intricate it is. Look at the beauty of nature and animals and your own abilities… His creation is nothing short of spectacular and we, His children, are His greatest creation…that is why He sent His Son to die for our sins…so that we may be saved by faith in our belief. We couldn’t do it on our own so He used His own Son’s blood to take away our sins. Could you sacrifice your child for your neighbor or lets say Jeffery Dahmer. Christ died for EVERYONE…no exceptions. It is up to us to have faith and follow the Lord. We will sin and screw up every single day if not each minute. That is why we are called sheep and Christ is the Shepherd. Sheep (people) are stupid and follow any thing tempting or because Joe Blow does…The Shepherd(Christ) leads us away from the Wolf(Satan)…but we have free will to follow whomever we want. I chose to follow the Lord. I sin ALOT…but because of my relationship with God, I am saved by the blood of the Lamb (Christ). And no, just because your saved doesn’t mean you can sin like it’s 1999…we have to really try to walk a good walk with the Lord…Don’t let Satan fool you. Find someone that knows the bible. Don’t pick a certain religion because most religions believe that only they are saved and everyone else is not. Find a strong Christian that has a relationship with God and not a set religion…you might be surprised by what you learn…I hope I haven’t made things worse for you…take care

  • Mick

    God couldn’t decide where to go for a holiday.

    The angels suggested the the planet Venus.
    “Too hot,” said god.

    Then they suggested Pluto?
    “Too cold,” said god.

    What about planet Earth they wondered.
    “Hell no,” said god. I was down there about 2,000 years ago. Slept with some woman named Mary – and they’re still talking about it!”

  • Peter

    In that era what proper Jewish woman would tell stranger men (those who passed the legends about Jesus to the gospel writers) about her sexuality as a virgin or otherwise. Would never happen.

  • Edward Sutherland

    I’ll pick out just one of your ‘facts’. Krishna was the EIGHTH son of Devaki, which doesn’t fit my definition of a virgin birth!!!

    There is no evidence for or against which has not been presented before. Ultimately, you either have faith that the Bible story is right (I do), or you don’t have such faith.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1679490111 Bert Loehrer

    Father forgive them for they know not what they do……Father why have thou forsaken me? Why have I forsaken myself? VIrgin birth and death of virtuous leader and eaten by followers often repeated with 12 disciples. These stories predate Christ thousands of years. Christ had great PR with the help of Emperor Constantine who saw the advantage of swaying the many Christians in his lands to come under his dominion.

  • w2elp

    Have yall ever heard of artificial insemination? OR maybe God’s just quick from the hip if you know what I mean. Premature evangelation :P

  • http://freewebs.com/califsoul 2preacher

    Dear Daniel Florien;

    I find it hard to believe that you don’t believe in miracles! After all, you and everybody that exist in this world are a miracle! You can’t believe in evolution, and Darwin knew that he was telling a lie, when he wrote his ant-God, anti-Christ thesis.
    He gave up his belief in god to become famous; knowing that it would cause many to disbelieve in god! I have read two biographies on Darwin, so I know that the scientist who claim to believe in evolution, are nothing but liars also! So we will deal with your belief in the Bible. Adam was created without the help of a woman. And Eloheem (Hebrew for God) created within his body, the potiential for him to pro-create, before Eve was created! And If you accept John:1:1-14; Then He was Eloheem robed within flesh, just-like you and I; but, He didn’t need a man to produce the sperm that would fertilize one of the eggs within Miriam’s body to produce the body that He as the spirit that would dwell within, would come into existance! Geology which defeats evolution theory for intelligent minds, which Darwin hated; shows that there are no transitional life forms found as the remains of animals etc; to support anything but the Biblical Truth! Gen:22:1-13; shows us that a ram was created to take the place of Issac to be sacrificed, which would support the sudden appearance of new animal life forms found in geology. So, if Eloheem could create all that is within this world, then what’s so hard about believing in the virgin birth?

    The Preacher

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I’m not sure what to make of this. Joseph Campbell is a great authority on myths, and he says Mirthras was born of a virgin. The citation on wikipedia that saying Mithras was not a virgin birth comes from a Daniel Wallace book — who is a very conservative Christian scholar. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but it means it is coming from a very biased source, so I’m careful to accept it without agreement from non-conservative scholars.

    I’d need to look into this more.

  • Benjamin Steele

    I’ve never studied the Mithras mythology that much, but here is an article that covers the virgin mother motif:

    http://www.truthbeknown.com/mithra_3.htm

    Mithras mother was Anahita and she was supposedly considered a virgin according to an ancient inscription. Mithras originated from the Indian Mitras. Aditi, the virgin or inviolable dawn, was the mother of Mitras.

    However, the author goes into detail about the difficulty of determining the virgin birth within Mithraism. Even though the Mithraic initiates would’ve been aware of the common motif of virgin birth in other solar mythologies, she points out that it’s possible that such a warrior cult rejected a female progenitor. She suspects it might be similar to the “Gnostic” concept of female/matter as “evil”.

    Nonetheless, the born of a rock still may show some connection as virgin matter. She mentions that in Roman Catholicism the Mother of God is called Creative Matter. Mithras was born in a cave which is an ancient symbol of the womb.

    Mithraism still shows some other parallels to Christianity. In particular, the rock symbolism is relevant. She connects Mithras and Peter. Vatican hill is considered sacred to Peter and also was a site of Mithraic ritual.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I wish I had time to argue specifics. Take a look at “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Ehrman for some good arguments for this.

    But if my memory serves correct, Mark is the first and was written sometime after 75AD (that’s the earliest). Matthew is based on Mark and written later. Luke uses both as sources and admits to being a compilation — Luke wasn’t an eyewitness (though neither were the others — the names were gives to the gospels long after they were written, as they are actually anonymous).

    So we’re talking at least 55 years before the first gospel appeared after Jesus died — and that gospel said nothing about the virgin birth. So absolutely that’s enough time to begin assimilating myths and creating legends. That was everyday life back then.

  • VorJack

    Mark: 65-80 AD (The “little apocalypse” seems to have been written around the time of the First Jewish Revolt.)

    Matthew: 80-100 AD (Matthew reproduces 90% of Mark, meaning Mark was in circulation for a time.)

    Luke: 90-130 AD (Luke reproduces ~60% of Mark. Luke may be using Josephus as well, making him later that 93 AD)

    John: 90-120 AD (Tricky. Theologically advanced. Presupposes the destruction of the temple. Seems to point to increased hostility between Jews & Christians. Probably fairly late.)

    Pedantically yours,
    VorJack

  • Brandon

    A tad too ignorant: Venus is Latin (Roman) and Quetzalcoatl is Central American. More history study on my part (or anyone else’s) would place him more exactly than that, but even if there were cultural exchange, it is two different continents.

  • Jesse

    Venus was inspired by Aphrodite, right? At wiki (I know, you can’t always trust ‘em…)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphrodite
    “According to Greek oral poet Hesiod, she was born when Uranus was castrated by his son Cronus. Cronus threw his severed genitals into the sea, and from the aphros (sea foam) arose Aphrodite.”

    Is this what Bullfinch is referring to?

  • Jesse

    I agree Wallace is not the best reference; he’s a prof. of New Testament studies, specializing in Greek grammar and textual criticism.

    But I did find mention of the birth from a rock on pg. 173 of “Mithraic Studies: Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mithraic Studies” by John R. Hinnells.

    Campbell is concerned with comparative mythology, so it may be that he’s looking for similarities. That doesn’t make him wrong though. I’d be curious to see Campbell’s citation.

  • Jesse

    kwml,
    No, the idea of a god being castrated by his son, throwing his genitals into the sea to give birth to a daughter of sorts doesn’t sound familiar to me, but maybe I’m missing something.

    There must be something to it if so many people think it’s a clear parallel to the virgin birth of Jesus. So help me out please: what, specifically are the parallels here?

  • Jesse

    So are you telling me the _only_ similarity is the presence of some miraculous element involved in the birth? Is that sufficient evidence to convince you that the virgin birth of Christ was inspired by the story of Aphrodite?

  • Jesse

    What do you mean by saying you hope I apply these standards to politics?

  • Jesse

    So are you saying it’s a good thing I don’t buy it when someone tells me all these myths are essentially the same thing as the virgin birth of Jesus?

  • Jesse

    Do you mean to say the early Christians would walk up to someone who believed in Venus and tell them that Mary is really Venus?

    If so, do you have any evidence that anyone claimed within the 1st or 2nd century that Mary is Venus? Is this just speculation, or are there ancient documents you could point me to that support this claim?

  • Jesse

    Putting myself in an early Christian’s shoes, I would have said something like,
    “The birth of Jesus is nothing at all like the birth of Venus.”
    and I would have proceeded to tell the rest of the story. But maybe that’s just me. So this is just speculation on your part?

    Where do you get that idea on the name of Christ? Do the early manuscripts read Kristallinos instead of Kristos?

  • Karleigh

    Actually, according to a wonderful television program I have seen, it IS based on Astrology! Look out for ‘Zeitgeist’.

  • Karleigh

    How late at night did you post this??

  • Karleigh

    Lol I’m pretty sure I don’t even need to point out that you can’t just tell us we’re wrong and then arrogantly decide the discussion is over without even providing some evidence… You just said ‘this is how I see it’… well, we don’t see it the same way as you! If we were truly wrong and religious people weren’t so terrified that they were going to be found out for the being what they are, they wouldn’t feel so threatened by us and try to censor atheists and rational thinkers.
    I don’t need faith. I have evidence.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Actually, it boils down to this:

    Believers: I believe it even though there is no evidence, but I know it’s true.

    Atheists: There is no evidence so I don’t believe it, and it is unlikely to be true.

  • Melissa

    Brandon, I think you should start your own blog! Great argument!

  • knewtondesign

    “Again the Joseph thing. He wouldn’t have stuck with her. ”

    People believe crazy things when they are in love. and do crazy things. Think of all the people who are abused by their spouses and stay with them. so the “joseph thing” doesn’t count as a counter-argument.

  • Melissa

    but I suppose it takes just as much belief in a Virgin Birth as to believe we evolved from a puddle of goo.

    Awesome! Very Very well written! Thank you! I needed that between reading all of this nonsense..

  • knewtondesign

    you seem to really have a lot of historical events confused. Christmas eve is actually not the eve before Christ’s birth. December 24th and 25th were dates settled much later in 3rd Century to replace the Pagan festival of Saturnalia in Rome. This were set to commemorate the Birth of Christ, as the actually date (which was probably in spring, judging by the Census mentioned in Luke), was not known.

    - this is also true of Yule which is December 21.

    Pretty sure it was to get the pagans to convert to Christianity. (but dont quote me on that)

  • Gra

    There is lots of evidence of the latter but not of the former.

  • Sock

    Yeah, you’re right. He was no true Scottsman.

  • Roger

    Wow. What a stellar example of the phrase “fractally wrong.”

  • knewtondesign

    But another part of it is that I do treasure the scriptures.

    Even if you don’t believe in what they say the scriptures are a very important piece of Literature ( can you even call it that?) Almost all other important works fiction and nonfiction alike were based off of the scriptures, and they helped to shape the world we live in today. Not knowing even a small fraction of what the Bible says can lead to alot of ignorance in my opinion.

    BUT you also have to have an open mind about everything else you see and should most definately question the authority of the church(es), God and any other religion. There is no point in having a belief system if everything you believe in is being spoon fed to you.

  • Frank

    “Gen:22:1-13; shows us that a ram was created to take the place of Issac to be sacrificed, which would support the sudden appearance of new animal life forms found in geology. So, if Eloheem could create all that is within this world, then what’s so hard about believing in the virgin birth?”

    You are justifing a mith with another mith.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Yeah, the Muslim god says so, too. So do the Hindu gods. Is that good enough for you?

  • Ty

    “Your faith is weak.”

    Your intellect is weak. Sadly, prayer won’t fix that.

  • Roger

    Until you produce some reasonable, empirical evidence and proof of the existence of your “god,” I shall consider your “faith” a bit of foolishness held by an unintelligent person whose prayers are about as effective (and logical) as sacrificing a goat to a stone deity.

  • Michael

    However, the fact that a man named Jesus in this time period is considered historical, no scholar will refute this claim. Taking the virgin birth alone… Yes, it seems very highly UNLIKELY that it would have been true. However, given his life, his claims, the reaction to him, an his death along with the empty tomb, it makes it much more plausible that something else, in the Christian view God, was at work here. That also doesn’t take into consideration the supposed miracles that he performed in which his “enemies,” the Jews, questioned where his power came from rather tan the miracle itself points that it is highly likely that miracles did occur. Again increasin the apparent likelihood of God in the mix.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    What claims? What reaction?

    People who wrote second and third hand accounts long after his death?

    I don’t know whether Jesus or someone like him was around or not — my gut says that there probably was a Jesus-like character, although I can’t substantiate this.

  • Ty

    “However, the fact that a man named Jesus in this time period is considered historical, no scholar will refute this claim. ”

    This is a false assertion right off the bat. Many historians do, in fact, argue that this character could have been a fiction.

    But the reality of the time period is that a number of apocalypse preachers were wandering the countryside (the Roman occupation having led to many apocalypse cults), and Yeshua is an extremely common Hebrew name.

    The fact that a preacher named Yeshua was wandering around at this time doesn’t buy you much.

    As too the rest of your claim about the impact of his life, Teleprompter beat me to it. Fuzzy 3rd party writings two generations later? Really? That holds up in court?

  • Michael

    First off, Christian “faith” is not faith as we know it now. It is not blindly hoping something is true. It is honestly believeing in something you can’t see but have evidence or believving in. There are very strong arguments for Fod such as the teleological argument, the cosmological argument, the argument from morality, just to name a few. I have been raised a Christian, but I began to question the claims when I was 16. I am now 18 and have researched the past two years the historicity of Christianity. I am now a stronger Christian due to this. I would suggest listening or reading to some of William Lane Craig. He is a Christian apologist who is a well known debator and there are many debates available with him vs. Atheists and I found them very beneficial because you are presented with both sides of the argument from scholars who know their facts.

  • Michael

    Actually, the dead sea scrolls date to around 100 B.c…. Yes, around 100 years before Jesus. This was big because many skeptics said that Isaiah was written after Christ and this showed that it did indeed predate Christ.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Dr. Craig is an amazing debater. However, that hasn’t really convinced me that Christianity is valid.

    I know you meant to say God instead of Fod, but it’s an interesting thought.

    Maybe Fod = Faith plus God? Maybe faith is God?

    Maybe that is why people don’t want to lose it?

  • Michael

    Can you name any elements that Christianity shares with these “mystery cults”?

  • Michael

    Let’s just say that Jesus was the true Son of God who created the universe as we know it… The Christian God is omnipotent, all powerful, among many other attributes. Looking at it from that perspective, this doesn’t seem to implausible, does it? He already created Adam from dirt, how hard could it be for him to make a virgin pregnant. Also, let’s not forget about John the Baptists miraculous birth as well to a very ederly woman who would have already gone through menopause and unable to bear a child, but that happened according to the Bible as well. When one takes just a snippet of the information, yes, it seems unlikely. But looking at everything collectively, it seems more plausible. So then it comes down to whether the Christian God exists. And I believe there is good evidence for it. For some of this evidence, check out William Lane Craig’s debates with leading atheists like Ray Bradley and Bart Ehrman and many others.

  • Michael

    First of all, the hymen does not prove or disprove one’s virginity. So talk of the hymen is really off base and irrelevant. Secondly, the perpetual virginity that Catholics claim is one of the major differences between many Protestant denominations. Really, the opinions of Mary are very different, so one cannot argue that Catholic doctrine represents all Christian beliefs, making such a statement is like saying that since a square is a rectangle, then a rectangle is a square, which no one supports. So it is not a just argument to support a claim with a fallacy. Also, this isnot a matter of opinion. One cannot argue that since something seems cruel to them then it must not have happened. Nobody would support a claim that since one may think it is cruel for the birthing process to be painful, then it must not be, which is similar to the statement that one thinks it cruel to not deflower Mary in the traditional way, therefore the claim ofthe virgin birth is not true. I always have to laugh at some of the comments people make regarding Christianity. They say it is illogical to believe in an intelligent designer, while basing their own opinion on pure chance. One of my favorite analogies to the creation of a universe is this:
    Your walking along a beautiful beach and stumble upon a rolex watch buried in the sand. According to atheistic ideas, one should believe that it was made by the elements BY CHANCE. So the sand and water and currents, etc. cMe together randomly to make this amazing watch with many intricacies that show intent of it keeping accurate time. Would one be considered rational if he believed this? No! Not at all. It would make much more sense for one to believe that somebody or something had designed and made it with the intent and purpose of keeping time. To extend this even further, it is actually MORE likely for one to find this watch and it actually being made by chance than for the universe to have randomly formed as we know it to be.
    My point is, many non-theistic arguments are based on similar logic. Therefor making non-theism actually more difficult to believe and requiring BLIND faith rather than the theistic faith based on evidence. Making the “faith” challenge pointless to argue from and a major reason why it is no longer considered a valid argument against the existence of God.

  • vorjack

    “Your walking along a beautiful beach and stumble upon a rolex watch buried in the sand. ”

    We’re all fortunate that William Paley is dead, else the entire Christian apologetic community would be sued into submission for copyright violations. Can’t you at least cite the poor man before doing violence to his metaphor?

    What makes you think that a watch makes for a suitable analogy for the universe/multiverse/metaverse?

    Or to put it another way, how much experience do you have with universe creation?

  • Andrew

    Many Christians like this watchmaker argument, and apply it to life and the entire universe we see. “Such intricate design–must have been designed!”

    The same argument would go to prove that the designer had a designer, if one were being logical and consistent. Surely something so powerful and intelligent as to create the universe is exceptionally intricately designed. But here most Christians will mention something about God being self-existent. Isn’t self-existence even less intuitively plausible than being put together by chance? I mean looking at all the options, and their distinctions, we have

    a) The watch formed by chance, randomly.

    b) The watch was designed and built by a creator.

    c) The watch resulted from a natural process, over hundreds of millions of years, which favors successful complexity in design.

    d) The watch existed before any causes or time itself.

    Reasonable people go for b or c, depending on the item found. I mean, we know that humans are not built from the hands of creators, but that humans are so fine tuned they can reproduce themselves. Whether you go with b or c, either seems reasonable compared to d, which is what the Christians say about God.

    It seems if you insist that b is always true, given the “watch” is any intricate system, then every God has a God.

  • Michael

    I like you. You are accepting and not confrontational. And my appeal to the city was basically only that you don’t need to have a cause for a cause. And to your surpise possibly, I am a Christian. But I think theism is the first step to Christianity. My main goal is not necessarily to convince people of the Christian faith, but rather have them be open to the idea of it and a god. Most atheists I have met have an emotional problem with a god at the heart of the issue, not a lack of evidence. And I would consider myself evangelical as well, but I don’t want to push or force my beliefsnon others, rather, I want them to have the facts and evidences and approach then openly for what they are so that they can formulate their own opinions. As you may have read, I was raised a Christian, nondenominational, and still am currently. My reasoning for this is the historicity of the Bible. I am not a fundamentalist and do not take it all literally. But I do believe in the major points like Jesus being the son of God and my Saviour. The historicity is amazing to me. By this I mean not the Christian “facts” but the secular people in it. Luke was a historian himself, and speaks of the time of Herod, who existed, Pontious Pilate, who existed, a well as other people and certain landmarks that have been identified. Same with much of the Old Testament and the rest of the New Testament. Cities and people groups have been found in areas where the Bible said they could be found. So if those parts are historical, why not the rest? Also, much of the Old Testament would be considered as the Jewish people’s history. If we don’t deny other groups writings like the Romans and Greeks even though they believed in gods, why do people deny this history as being accurate? Just a question I have posed to myself and have not been able to find a legitimate answer. But like I said, I don’t push my beliefs on others, which is how many interpret the NT. But I think that one can “make disciples of all nations” in many ways, such as how I go about it. I look at my beliefs like the birth of a son. I am elated because of it, because I have a God who loves me and offers me eternal life in a perfect place with Him. So why wouldn’t I want everbody else to know that as well!? It is good news, fantastic news, the best news in the history of the world! (if true at least) That this life filled with suffering and pain is only temporary and there is life so much better waiting for me. Sounds pretty good to me. One of my friends, who is in between agnosticism and atheism, says his stance is actually depressing. He doesn’t believe in that hope. This life is all that we have and humans don’t have any special significance according to atheism, since we are merely animals like all other animals. But God gives us significance. So from my standpoint, Christianity would make one’s life better than atheism. Just something interesting I have found. Also, I believe that if a God were to exist, the Christian God seems to fit the qualifications best. He is beyond nature, timeless(which is necessary if there was a creation), omnipotent, and much more(although the rest is not necessary). However, this “rest” would seem to make sense given how the world is and if the death and resurrection is true.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    The point of Paley’s watchmaker analogy is that we know that watches are made in factories by humans, therefore rabbits must also be made in factories by humans.

    Somehow, they always seem to forget that we actually know how rabbits get made, and it ain’t in a factory…

  • Michael

    I apologize for not citing Paley. I had heard the analogy used by quite a few people before and never knew of it’s origin. So for that I am sorry. And you make a great point that this analogy isn’t suitable to relate it to the universe, but that actually emphasizes my point. Because the probality is actually much greater that this watch would be made by chance by nature than for the universe to be made by chance. This is supported by the evidence and probabilities presented by Hugh Ross. This is really the teleological argument for an intelligent designer. And the current non-theist argument is the multiverse or fluctuating universe models in which there are many universes, therefore increasing the chances of our universe being the way it is as a life permitting universe. The analogy simply points out that while it is irrational to think that the watch was made by chance, it should be even more irrational to think that the universe, which is exponentially more complicated than a watch, was created by chance. For some great debates regarding this, I would suggest some of William Lane Craig’s debates with Quentin Smith, Kai Nielson, Michael Tooley, and a few others.

    And to your question about my experience with universe creation, I am in the process of some research and study of the teleological and cosmological arguments, looking at what both non-thesits as well as theists say about them. So far I have found overwhelming evidence to support the case of intelligent design

  • Octavius

    don’t read catholic articles , many are lies and were just made and created by priests who want to make their own doctrine.

  • Octavius

    you’ re right. Mary is not a virgin anymore as many catholics believe. There’s no more virgin mary after she has given birth to a man named Jesus , the saviour of all men.

  • vorjack

    You know, Octavius, cut-n-paste argument is considered bad form on the internet. As an academic, I’m tempted to accuse you of plagiarism. At least have the decency to cite Dr. Paisley instead of just copying his words.

  • claidheamh mor

    You others actually read Octavius? Or, as the case may be, his plagiarism? Too long-winded!

    Christian Circular reasoning is bad enough, without slogging through a long-winded tirade.

    On a second scroll-past, I did catch:

    Rejection, then, of the Virgin Birth is an attack on the supernaturalness of Christ.

    No shit? Gee, ya think?

  • octavius

    Oh that’s right.I was busy putting this to refute the darkened minds from the wisdom of this modern world , and i forgot the word” ATTRIBUTED TO: DR. PAISLEY” . Thanks vorjack.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Dr The Rt. Hon the Revd Ian Paisley? The man who thought that Pope John Paul II was the Antichrist? The man who thinks that Satan has a seat on the European Council?

    I always thought his theology was a bit on the nutty side, myself….

  • Sock

    Actually, that’s more wisdom from the ancient world, not modern.

    But that’s okay! You can keep wishing that we lived in a fairy tale land where magic and monsters exist, but the rest of us?

    Yeah. We grew up, and discarded such childish beliefs.

  • vorjack

    “refute the darkened minds from the wisdom of this modern world”

    Then it might have been helpful if you had given us something like, y’know, an actual ARGUMENT. He supposedly has 7 of them in that essay. Instead, you gave us his introduction, which is nakedly sectarian.

  • vorjack

    Oh my, I missed that part.

    But yes, octavius’ post comes from Ian R.K. Paisley’s “Seven Reasons Why I Believe in the Virgin Birth of Christ”, right down to the first three words in all caps.

    That’s the same Ian Paisley who denounced the pope as the anitchrist.

  • blotonthelandscape

    I never thought of it that way…

  • Michael

    Sorry about the mispelling. And Craig is a great debator, one of the best. What are you still questioning or having a hard time believing?

  • Benjamin Steele

    I listened to a debate between William Lane Craig and Robert M. Price. Craig is a good debater but it seemed mostly to be rhetoric. Price cut Craig’s arguments at the root, but Craig like a good debater constantly redirected the debate away from the real points of contention.

    A debater like Craig demonstrates what is wrong with much of New Testament studies. Apologetics is fine when one is preaching, but it is simply anti-intellectual sophistry when used in a debate.

    Here is an essay by Price about Craig:

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/stinketh.html

  • Michael

    Here is another page to check out.

    http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=392

    Author says Craig has never lost a debate although he uses “incorrect” logic and arguments… Quite astounding if you ask me. Name an atheist who has never lost a debate with “correct” logic and arguments. There is none. If Craig’s ideas are indeed false, how come nobody has been able to prove so over the past 20 years? He uses the same exact arguments every time, so you would think one should be well prepared to refute his claims. But they can’t. The author of this article admits this, and says he has great respect for Craig for this reason. I find the last paragraph humorous because he says that maybe it’s not just his rheoric and speaking ability… But maybe he is right after all! It appears to me that of he has never been refuted and has only been on the side of disproving and refuting atheistis logic and arguments that maybe he has he correct information and not vice versa.

    I liked this site because it gave a run down of many of craig’s debates and why craig “won”. Also, it is biased toward athesim but still shows respect and gives fairly impartial opinions.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    Debate is not a method for distinguishing a true position from a false one; it’s all about how good you are at convincing your audience, and frequently, the best way to do that is with bad logic and outright false claims that your opponent doesn’t have time to correct.

    Being unbeaten in debate does not mean that your position is scientifically correct. it simply means that you’re a good debater.

  • vorjack

    Exactly as wintermute said. Craig is fond of debating tactics like “dumping” (AKA “The Gish Gallup”), which involves launching so many assertions and arguments that your opponent can’t possibly respond to them. This is a perfectly legitimate debating tactic, but it does not necessarily lead one to truth.

    He also debates with academics: Hector Avalos, Richard Carrier, Robert Price, etc. As an academic, I can tell you that if you give us a podium, our conditioned response is to lecture. We do not make for good debaters. I think academics should stop trying to debate Craig as stick to writing: try Internet Infidels’ WL Craig Page for some examples. I particularly like Chris Hallquist, a little over halfway down.

  • Michael

    While I understand that debate is not the best way at all to find truths, it is a great resource because you can see the arguments together at the same time against each other. As for the best way of winning a debate, I only partially agree with you. I don’t think you can win by throwing out incorrect information with just good rhetoric unless it is a one time thing. But Craig has been using the EXACT same arguments for 20 years. When one debates him, he knows what he is going to say. In fact, he often exchanges opening statements so each knows EXACTLY what the other will way. Therefore, it is no excuse to say that didn’t have time to refute his claims. Also, he has been up against other great debaters and users of rhetoric like he… Still he appears to come out on top. All I’m saying is how is it that he “wins” with completely false information and claims that the other knows verbatim what he will say and still nobody has been able to disprove them over the 20 or so years he has been using them. Nobody is that a good a debater that not a single adversary can’t disprove them and their claims over such a period of time and never altering his arguments. If anything, even if it doesn’t attest to the truth or not of Christianity, atheistic claims become more and more ad hoc and less and less believable as they change to fit new information rather than new information fitting into them and they violate occam’s razor as they become more and more complex. Christianity has never changed it’s belief, both creationism and evolution as well as the big bang or a multiverse fit into Christian beliefs wihout gem having to be altered. That is why we can say all right, maybe that is how it happened. They don’t prove Christainity false by an means. So on one side we have atheism ad hoc, and the other Christianity unchanged due to science… Interesting huh? Not to mention the early scientist say it this way as well. Newton, Leibniz, Kepler, Kelvin, Maxwell, all integrated God into science. Hehe even concludes that evolution supports intelligent design because there are irreducibly complex structures that require multiple parts to function and without even one of these parts the others are useless. This said, Darwinian evolution is incapable of explaining these structures.

  • LRA

    Michael,

    Listening to a debate may be fun and exciting, but you can’t really dig into the meat of the concepts until you read the scholarly literature. I hope that you will do this while in college (as you are 18 now, right?) I hope you will take philosophy classes (and some science classes, too) and ask really, really HARD questions! Don’t be satisfied until you understand! Dig as deep as you can into the material!

    :)

  • Michael

    Thank you for the encouragement, I definitely will. While I do like debates, I have been reading scholarly articles as well via search engines but limiting the search to .edu as to keep sources like wikipedia out.

  • http://wmute.livejournal.com wintermute

    And you make a great point that this analogy isn’t suitable to relate it to the universe, but that actually emphasizes my point. Because the probality is actually much greater that this watch would be made by chance by nature than for the universe to be made by chance.

    I’ll wager that you can’t calculate either of those probabilities with any degree of accuracy, which means your claim that one is much greater than the other is meaningless.

    If you’re going to make a mathematical argument like that, you actually have to provide numbers.

    And the current non-theist argument is the multiverse or fluctuating universe models in which there are many universes, therefore increasing the chances of our universe being the way it is as a life permitting universe.

    This is one set of possibilities, yes. But it’s not a “non-theist” argument; it says nothing about whether or not god exists.

    I am in the process of some research and study of the teleological and cosmological arguments, looking at what both non-thesits as well as theists say about them.

    Into which category do you put Georges Lemaître?

  • Michael

    Hugh Ross is the one who came up with many of the mathematical probabiities of the universe which is where I got that information. Also, based on the complexity of a watch in comparison to the universe, it is safe to say the universe it more intricate, so a logical conclusion would be that the probability of it ending up exactly as we see it is much less than that if the watch.
    Secondly, I agree that the multiverse theory does not prove or disprove intelligent design but it increases the probalbility of our universe being life permitting without intelligent design. Although one could say that God created the multiverse, which would really lead into the cosmological argument, which is where Lemaitre would fit in with his big bang theory since the big ban theory shows a need of a cause since it would show that he universe has a beginning which would have to have a cause. Lemaitre was a Catholic priest and used some of Einstein’s ideas to form the big bang theory which was supported by Hubble because if his ideas on expansion. So he was a theist arguing for intelligent design, which is why it is humorous to hear people say the big bang theory disproved God, which is just as false as evolution disproving God. So all in all it is a difficult task to come up with an argument that completely ousts God since he would be able to create however he desired, whether big bang or multiverse or some other way just like he could have created each species or had them evolve, necessarily proving or disproving God.

  • LRA

    “So far I have found overwhelming evidence to support the case of intelligent design”

    Could you please point me to that overwhelming evidence? I’d like to read it for myself.

  • LRA

    “it is humorous to hear people say the big bang theory disproved God, which is just as false as evolution disproving God”

    Science neither proves nor disproves a metaphysical being called God. Anything metaphysical (which literally means beyond the physical) is beyond the scope of science. The realm of science is the natural world only.

  • Michael

    LRA, my evidence comes mainly from the teleological and cosmological arguments. Dr. William Lane Craig is very good at explaining and debating these arguments for the existence of God. So I would suggest to check out reasonablefaith.org and checking out some of his major debates with some leading atheists. Second, I completely agree that since God is metaphysical that science cannot prove or disprove Him, which is why I find it humorous that people believe they can. However, we can use science to increase or decrease the probability of the existence of a God. Which is where the cosmological and teleological arguments come into play.
    One personal example I find fascinating is why only humans are able to speak in an organized way via language and can comprehend morality, math, science, and really anything pertaining to knowledge. Why are we the only species able to do so? The complexity of the brain, yet alone the human body even in comparison to the primates that evolution, if true, would trace us back to is, to me at least, amazing in itself. I have never heard of any animal writing a book or a play, designing a car or a bomb. Why humans? How did we develop so radically different from every other species? Evolution can’t explain that, because according to evolution, we evolve based on survival traits, so if intelligence is a survival trait, all species should develop it… But haven’t. The only logical explanation to me is that we were itemded to be this way and it wasn’t random chance. The human genome is amazing, and it seems vastly inprobable that evolution would be the cause of it being the way it is. So that’s a bit of m personal story.
    I’m not going to lie, I have questioned God. I was raised in a Christian family going to church and just accepted it. But while taking a macroeconomics
    course, we were to read Asking the Right Questions by M. Neil Browne. Great book about critical thinking and not just accepting things that you are told but rather researching then yourself to form your own opinion. So I did and my findings have only strengthened my beliefs.

  • LRA

    Michael,

    I’m sure you’re well meaning, and you are definitely intelligent, but I must disagree with you:

    “my evidence comes mainly from the teleological and cosmological arguments”

    Here is a great source to read up on the teleological argument from a scholarly perspective:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/teleological-arguments/

    And for the cosmological argument:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/

    The fact is that there are arguments on both sides for and against these arguments.

    Also, when I used to be a Christian, I saw William Lane Craig speak at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas– he was debating an atheist and no one in “my side” of the argument (ie the Christian side) even remotely considered the atheist’s argument. They were too invested in the Christian side.

    As far as humans being the only species on the planet with language– well that’s just false. Plenty of species on the planet have “basic” language– take whales and dolphins for example– but there is another humanoid species that lived recently– the Neanderthals (of whom we have now mapped the entire genome). So the fact is that humans are NOT unique on this planet for that.

    Finally, whatever anthropocentric take you may have on the matter here is a response:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-environmental/

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/atheism-agnosticism/

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/value-intrinsic-extrinsic/

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/biodiversity/

    Ok- I’ve given you enough reading material for now!

    Finally, I would like to suggest that your “evidence” is not, in fact, evidence. Religion lies under the umbrella of philosophy, and is in NO way scientific. Therefore, you have arguments, but not evidence of your claims. Evidence requires the minimum condition that it is verifiable. Philosophical arguments are hardly verifiable. Food for thought…

  • doesntworkthatway

    How did we develop so radically different from every other species? Evolution can’t explain that, because according to evolution, we evolve based on survival traits, so if intelligence is a survival trait, all species should develop it… But haven’t.

    This is just another permutation of “if we evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?”

    Michael, chameleons have color-changing skin. It’s a survival trait. So why don’t all species develop color-changing skin?

    When you answer that for yourself, apply the same answer to humans and intelligence.

    You can believe in God, Michael, and evolution is not an argument against God. But you need to understand evolution properly. You could not have made such a basic mistake if you understood the concept.

    I recommend a book by Daniel Dennett, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”. It will help you understand “evolutionary arms races” which answer your specific question here, and plenty more. It won’t challenge your belief in God, but it will help you look less foolish in future discussions.

  • Michael

    LRA, thank you for the references, I will be sure to check them out. And I do realize that the science cannot study religion. However, I see the very being of varying speciies both plant and animal, the properties of the universe, the earth’s properties that allow it to maintain life as being extremely unlikely to be caused by chance. I actually see that as a blind leap of faith. That scientific evidence I find to support the chances of there being a God. I know it’s foolish to quote the bible when discussing the existence if God, but it does say that we can find Him in nature. I’m not at all saying it proves anything, but I do believe it can be used as supportive evidence. To relate it back to the watch and the watchmaker. Based on the wath alone, we cannot necessarily confirm or deny that it’s creation was due to either nature ir a watchmaker. However, the physical evidence of the watch, it hands and numbers and the bits of machinery that allow it to kelp perfect time, support that a watchmaker most likely made it since you would hard pressed to support that nature made it even with all it’s introcacies. That could be seen as physical supporting metaphysical, and the same way with my previous examples of nature supporting intelligent design.
    And I apologize for the bad evoltuionary argument. I never really thought of why chameleons change color but other animals don’t. However, that does seem necessary for at least their survival. So do evolutionists say that human intelligence is necessary for our survival? Just an honest question I hope someone can answer because from my perspective it’s not necessary.

  • LRA

    Michael-

    You have an inquiring mind and I applaud that!

    You said,

    “However, the physical evidence of the watch, it hands and numbers and the bits of machinery that allow it to kelp perfect time, support that a watchmaker most likely made it since you would hard pressed to support that nature made it even with all it’s intricacies”

    The assumption of a watchmaker is simply a human interpretation of the natural environment. Let me give you an analogy. A stone sits in a river, and over time it is smoothed. Then a person comes along and pulls it out of the river. The person then skips the rock on the water and says “wow! that must be the purpose of the stone being smooth!”

    The fact is that the watchmaker argument is fundamentally flawed, and here is a discussion on that:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/teleology-biology/

    And also, here is a discussion on science and religion in general:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/religion-science/

    These entries (as well as the ones I posted above) are from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. It is a very well respected source.

    As far as intelligence being necessary for survival, at one time it had to have been. Think about how puny humans are. We don’t have claws, fangs, spikes, changing skin color, etc. We are practically defenseless– except for our brains! :)

    Hope that is helpful, and keep asking questions!

  • Michael

    I read a couple of those sources and found them interesting. However, the one about how science cannot be used to prove or disprove religion seems odd to me. I agree you may not be able to prove something completely, but neither can you necessarilly prove many scientific theories, which is why they are theories and not laws. Yet scientific evidence obviously supports those otherwise they wouldn’t be claimed. What if theism and a belief in God, not a particular religion but belief in a God in general, was just one of these theories that we couldn’t necessarilly prove but can support with scientific evidence. The author of the article seemed, to me at least, it could be a simple misunderstandment, that he contradicted himself in a way when discussing the court case. Trials are similar to science and religion in that there is physical evidence for an event and then it must be decided if the claim is true or false. Again, even presented with this evidence, you aren’t going to be able to necessarily prove that the claim is true or not, but based on the evidence provided we can make a solid theory of what must have happened and therfore believing the claim or not. That is how I see a court system working, and I see the God belief as similar to this in that we can’t necessarily prove it, but can support it enough or have enough evidence against it to believe it or not. So in this respect, I believe his court analogy would support it “belief” that you can support or raise evidence against the God theory.
    Still working on the other readings.
    I also wanted to mention that I do my best to review information in a nonbiased manner and without any predispositions so that I can make my own opinions rather than just listening to what others tell me.

  • vorjack

    “What if theism and a belief in God, not a particular religion but belief in a God in general, was just one of these theories that we couldn’t necessarilly prove but can support with scientific evidence.”

    Just to be clear, I don’t think that modern scientists hold much faith in “proof” anymore. No theory can ever be absolutely proven. We end up looking for the theory that best explains the evidence at hand. Talk of scientific “laws” is usually a throwback to the newtonian era.

    So, yes, one could imagine that God might become a theory that best describes the evidence at hand. But there are some other problems. The first to come to mind is Occam’s razor: all other things being equal, the theory that requires the fewest new entities or assumptions is more likely to be correct. So why should we posit an entirely new entity (God) and an entirely new set of causes and forces (spiritual, supernatural)? Why should we do that, when naturalistic answers seem to do the job with far fewer new assumptions?

    One other problem is that theory have to be testable, and further they need to make testable predictions. One of the usual complaints about the God theory is that it’s really just assigning a new name to our ignorance. How did the Universe begin? Goddit. How can we test that? What predictions does it make? None, as far as I can see. The God theory does no work for us.

  • LRA

    Michael-

    Again, I appreciate your openness to new ideas. I think it is very admirable.

    The problem with a hypothesis about God (in addition to Vorjack’s comment) is that the realm of science is limited to the physical. The being called God is metaphysical– it is (literally as meta=beyond)) beyond the physical world. For that very compelling reason, science cannot make claims about God.

    Creation “science” is pseudoscience for this reason:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pseudo-science/

  • Michael

    First, you misinterpret Occam’s razor. It says that entities should no be multiplied unnecessarily. That basically means the simplest explanation is more accurate than a complicated one. William Lane Craig actually uses Occam’s razor to support belief in God because a God theory is simpler than a multiverse or any type of universe of that type. It never says anything about “new entities” because any entity used to describe something is new. The theory says don’t add them beyond what is necessary. Saying there is a God that created the universe is vastly simpler than saying there is a multiverse and that an infinite number of big bangs occur so that this universe would necessarily happen since every possibility would happen an infinite amount of times. So the God theory is simpler than it’s alternative. And Occam’s razor is meant to compare competing hypothesis, not a guideline to making them because an hypothesis has “new” entities because the hypothesis itself is new.
    Secondly, the verification and falsification principles are no really in current use because they were basically disproved in the early 20th century. They are in themselves self-refuting because the statement that a statement or belief must be verifiable/falsifiable is unverifiable/falsifiable. So you can’t say that if something can’t be verfied then it must not be true.
    I’m still not sure why science can’t be used to support metalhysical ideas. I understand that science by definition only studies nature and can’t study anything beyond that. But why can’t it be used as support for metaphysical ideas? Even after reading the articles from Stanford, none of them address directly why science can’t be supportive of the metaphysical and vice versa.

  • LRA

    Michael-

    It is because the God hypothesis is not falsifiable:

    Please see 4.2 on falsificationism on the pseudoscience article I just posted for you.

    Hope that is helpful!

    :)

  • LRA

    oh- and something else just caught my eye–

    You asked why science can’t be used to support metaphysical ideas. Well, it can, but not the other way around. What I’m saying is that people sometimes do use science as evidence to support their philosophical notions. So, if you want to debate a person on God’s existence using science, that’s fine because you are in the realm of philosophy there. But science is about the empirical investigation of the natural world, so there is no place for metaphysical/universal/absolute concepts in science.

  • Michael

    However, just because something is not fasifiable does not make it not true though. Correct? Just trying I make sure we’re on the same page here term wise and principle wise.

  • LRA

    Science’s job is not to find truths (that is philosophy’s job– if it can even be done). Science’s job is to establish facts. We do this with paradigms. And paradigms change as new evidence comes to light. For instance, Newton’s laws are a paradigm for how the universe works for people in the same space/time point of reference. The paradigm shifted when Einstein came a long with his theory of special relativity.

    The God hypothesis can’t be tested or verified. It can’t make predictions, and if it were established as a paradigm, would you really want this paradigm to shift after new evidence comes to light (seeing as how most people want their god to be universal and all!)? You’re better off believing in God on faith.

    The creation “science” movement is not doing any favors for Christianity. When you pit science against religion on matters physical, science will win every time. Remember Galileo? So what I’m suggesting to you is that you keep searching and working out your worldview. It takes time and a lot of hard work. But it sounds like you’re on the right track!

  • Michael

    I agree science is not to find truths, but you can use scientific evidence, like you said, to help claims even if metaphysical. All I’m saying is that so far, evidence has supported and never been contradictory to my Christian faith. If it had, then I would have more issues on my hands and much more to study. And with the new “science” movement in Christianity, I will have to respectfully disagree. I personally know 10 people that have become Christians based on these evidences. Also, I would never pit science against religion, because science would win. However, I see science as being on the same side as religion, that is, searching for the best possible explanation or theory for “natural” events. And as for a theory having to be verifiable to be meaningful and even possibly true is inherently false as I said because the statement in and of itself is contradictory because it is unverifiable or falsifiable. And on top of that, there are some scientific theories that would be ousted using such logic such as the theory that the rest of the galaxies and the rest of our universe have the same physical laws and constants. It is neither verifiable nor falsifiable but is still considered true. And that is what I call scientific faith. Also, when doing my current search for a belief of my own, I have found much more evidence supporting theism than it’s alternative in atheism since I will not settle for agnosticism LOL. I have found very very little evidence supporting that there is no God, especially since there is no historical works for it like the Bible in Christianity. Also, I have found the Bible historically accurate as well, at least the true historical parts such as the reign of Herod and the cities and their geographical locations and the people groups and the evidence of their existence. So if all of that is accurate, why is the rest considered inaccurate? It doesn’t seem to make sense to me because the new testament especially meets all of the criteria of historicity. But I will try toeave scripture out of it, although I do believe it to be accurate for a number of reasons.
    Also, figured I would let you know a little about me. I am 18 years old, a senior in high school but taking college courses a the University of Cincinnati. I love knowledge and pursue it with every chance I get. I read almost anything I can get my hands on. I was raised in a Christian home and have gone to church my entire life. But when I became a high school student, things changed. My youth minister was one of the first youth ministers to begin teaching apologetics to teens. His name is Ben Walker. He suggested that we support our faith with facts, rather then believing on faith alone. This would help us when using apologetics for evengelistic purposes. He suggested reading and listening to William Lane Craig and his debates. However, I started with the leading atheistic arguments. They were often complicated and difficult to understand. Then I did listen to Craig. He amazed me that for the past 20 or so years, he has used the same arguments and has done very well in every single debate, and never having one of his arguments shown necessarily false or even discredited, while doing so to many of those of his counterparts. You would think that after all these years, if craig’s were indeed false or untrue, that someone would be able to refute them by now. But it hasn’t been done. And now, atheism is becoming more and more ad hoc. Molding and modifying it’s theories continuously to support their beliefs. Christianity has never done so, at least not to the degree of atheism. Which is why I have so far sided with theism, non-denominational Christianity to be exact. I am one to question everything that I am told. I am definitely a critical thinker. I can explain entropy and the laws of thermodynamics while most seniors in high school are studying simple chemistry. I make witty jokes that no one gets because of how “smart” they are, and then I laugh at them myself. I have read about nearly every world religion, from theism to atheism to eastern panthestic monism to agnosticsm. Only Christianity has answered all of my questions accurately and consistently. I now find myself deeper in my faith than ever before, and on websites like this discussing my beliefs with others. When I look at nature and the world, I am in awe. It is too coincidental that we breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and that plants “inhale” our waste and release oxygen. It’s almost as if it was meant to be that way… Almost, right? The earth is the only known planet to have an atmosphere so suitable for life… It’s almost as if it were meant to be that way… Almost, right? The earth is the perfect distance from the sun to be most supportive of life. Any closer and we would burn, any further away we would freeze. Almost as if were meant to be that way… Almost, right. There are too many coincidences like those for me to honestly believe that they weren’t desingned with those intentions in mind. For those who can honestly believe in so many coincidences being all purely that way by chance, I have the upmost respect for because they have a blind faith so much greater than my evidentially based faith. If I had faith like that in God, how much greater would I be? That is my testimony and why I am where I am today.

  • Francesc

    Wow!! That was a pretty long post! I’ll try to answer it with a shorter one.

    1.- Evidence supporting God’s existence. There isn’t. All the examples you said, are based on a missinterpretation of probability.
    You are doing this: the series formed with the telephon numbers of the last 1000 lottery winners is very improbable! So there must be someone choosing the winners.

    Humanity is here, so you suppose all the things we need to be here were put here for us (antrophic principle).

    2.- Evolution. In your firsts posts it seemed to me that you think evolution is chance. No, it isn’t. Chance is involved in any particular mutation, but evolution is guided by natural selection. It’s so easy that we can do computational algorythms based on this idea: it’s only numbers. Of course it was more difficult to understand in Darwin’s time.

    3.- God and falsability. Wich God? I mean, given that we could have some evidence of the existence of a god, why the catholic one? Why not the Flying spaghetti monsters?

    As for the falsabilty, you may understand the problem with that common example: given an almighty god, how do we know that he did not created the earth yesterday, and all our memories and writings were put by him?

    4.- God and the beginning of all. Usually creationist state that something can’t come from nothing, so somebody created the universe. Who created God? If God wasn’t created, why should the universe? If it is necessary an intelligent god to create a person, what kind of god do we need to explain our god? And to explain the god who created God?

    5.- Ockham’s razor or “God is a simpler explanation”.
    No it isn’t. Appart from the falsability, god is not an easy explanation. Take as an example the ST of evolution. We know information goes from parents to children with the DNA. We know that DNA can mutate randomly every generation. We know that an “strong” child will have more descendants than a faible one. So thinking that’s the way for a new species to be born is simple. We are similiar to the apes, so thinking we could come from the apes is quite simple.

    When in the hell becomes simpler thinking that it is an almitghty being -wich existence is not proven- , invisible, with a moral similar to the human, who planned this in order that an animal “like” him could evolve? Why for? Was he lonely? Why did he created all the universe and not only our solar system? How does he change our DNA? There is any proof of that? Have you previously seen an almighty being, so you can think it’s common in the nature?

    Yeah, i could said that it is simpler the explanation of a magical santa who puts the gifts below out tree than the explanation of my parents knowing what i could want and buying it -without me noticing it- every year.

    Good luck with your research!

  • Francesc

    Sorry, it wasn’t long enough :)

    last thing: saying that you know there is God because he planned evolution, and then using that as a support for the existence of God is circular reasoning

  • Michael

    First, you misinterpret the teleological argument. It is due to specified improbabilty, or probability I something random to appear ordered. So your analogy to the lottery is weak because that is unordered. A correct analogy to what you re saying would be if the the telephone numbers in order of the people winning, he last thousand winners, was ordered. Such as all of the numbers being sequential, starting with 1 an proceeding to however many total numbers. Then one would be right to believe that it was fixed. Another example, say your playing poker with a friend, and the set of hands he has when he deals is such, say full house, straight flush, 4 aces, royal straight, and a royal flush. While the chances of him dealing a royal flush are technically just as good as him having a 2, 3, K, 7, 9 hand, the order of the cards would make you believe that he indeed was fixing it. It is the same for the universe. It is definitely ordered since it is life permitting, otherwise we wouldn’t be here. And while it is just as improbable that this universe should exist as any other universe, it is the fact that it is so fit to our survival, ordered in that manner.
    Second, you say if we can say God is infinite, why can’t the universe be infinite? Well, the big bang really proved that not to be the case. If the big bang is true, and it is the current accepted model, then there would be a starting point and therefore a beginning. And this universe would have been created ex nihilo, out of nothingness. There was mo matter or energy because those are only natural to the universe which didn’t exist. So there must have been a cause. The watch is not created ex nihilo, it is simply an example if the complexity and how no one would rationally think nature made it, so why should we think nature, which didn’t exist, made the universe. So this cause is outside of nature. Leaving very very few possibilites other than God or a multiverse, and of those two possibilites, the God hypothesis is the simpler of the two since the other requires an infinite number of big bangs and an infinite number of universes, both just as impossible to actually prove as God, since neither can be scientifically studies.
    As for who created God, we don’t need to worry about that. He could be inifinite, or have a creator Himself, but it doesn’t matter. Imagine you find a city of gold in Africa somewhere that no one knew existed. We would be correct to assume that a group of people lived there and made it. We don’t need to know who these people were or where they came from to conclude this. And you are right, it could be any god. But he must be outside of space and time and apart from nature. The point of this argument is not to support any god an particular, only an intelligent designer. I believe that counters all of your points except evolution which I will skip because it does not deal with God. But look into irreduceably complex structures and you will find natural selection isn’t enough, more evidence of intelligent design? Possibly. P

  • Michael

    Also, the falsibility principle is really ironic as well for two reasons. One, it is self-refuting, in itself it is unfalsifiable. Second, Antony Flew, the philsopher who really pushed it in the case if a god, became a theist in 2004 because “the argument to intelligent design is enormously stronger than when I first met it. For more on this, check out http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/flew.html

  • vorjack

    The Flew controversy is an ugly one. Richard Carrier corresponded with Flew and came to some conclusions, some of which ended up in an NYT Magazine article “The Turning of an Atheist”. He found that much of the book disagreed with Flew’s own words.

    It looks like Varghese, the supposed co-author, wrote the majority of the book, along with Bob Hostetler who was never even mentioned. In scholarly circles, this is considered very seedy. When interviewed about it, Flew seemed more confused than faithful.

    Carrier accused Hostetler and Varghese of manipulating an aging Antony Flew in a series of blog posts, and makes a very strong case. At the very least, Varghese has been deceptive about who wrote what and when.

    Bottom line: ’tis best not to drag Flew into the argument until this mess is settled.

  • Francesc

    Michael, i Know what you mean by an specific improbability. But as I said when I spoke about the antrophic principle,
    saying that “It is the same for the universe. It is definitely ordered since it is life permitting” is a very strong assumption.
    You are saying that it is an specific improbability. How do you know?

    With that sentence you are assuming…
    1.- Permitting life is the objective of an universe and not only a “collateral damage” or a random succes.
    2.- There is a relevant difference between a universe whith life and a possible universe without life
    3.- There was, before the universe was created, a preferred values of this constants for a universe in order to permit live.

    Coming back to the example of the telephone numbers, you know after the series of wins that this is a particular number, with something special -whatever you want, we can always play with numbers. But that’s AFTER the series is decided. Is after that we know it’s a life permiting universe, and we know that because we are here…
    I know I haven’t explained myself very well, so I’ll beg you -and any reader- to think twice before answering because is a subtle difference and it’s not easy to understand.

    2.- The big bang doesn’t prove that the universe it’s time-finite. There could be an infinite series of big bangs and big crunches before that big bang in particular. Moreover, there may not be possible to define time before the big bang, so there would be no time before the big bang. And matter DO exists -”collapsed”- before the big bang.

    3.- As you say, multiverse and the existence of god are both unfalsifiable with two differences:
    A.- We know that a particular universe exists, so existing an awful lot or an infinite number of them it’s a pretty easy explanation. We don’t know if any god exists, we haven’t seen that in nature so far
    B.- It may be possible in the future for us to look for those other universes (maybe not). But the hypotheses of an almighty god, who can do whatever he wants, it’s not going to be ever falsifiable because he is not bound to any law.

    4.- You are “mixing” (sorry, i don’t know the word in english) two different meanings for nature here. Nature did not the universe, “a naturalistic way” here means simply “without a magical assumption” or “no-god involved”

    5.- “As for who created god…” Well, i would like to know something about the culture who build this city. For example, there is more gold where they got it?
    I know humans exists and they build cities, and they like gold; but you don’t have any proof for the existence of god, you don’t know how a god could exists, you don’t know about any other god… it’s not a simpler explanation.

    6.- “irreduceably complex structures “. That would be a point if there were well defined (by know, “irreduceably complex” only means “I can’t imagine how”) and, moreover, all the examples given are been well explained by biologysts.

    7.- The argument about Flew is an appealing to authority’s fallacy.

  • Michael

    “Well, i would like to know something about the culture who build this city. For example, there is more gold where they got it?”
    But the question is, does it matter about their culture? Their resources and how it and they got there? Where they were before? Why they came to this point? No, none of those matter when it comes to the conclusion that yes, they were there and did build this city. Yes, we would like to know this stuff that you may ask out of curiousity, but it is not NECESSARY information to know that stuff to explain that a people group did indeed build the city. Same goes for a god. We may want to know everything about him. But we may not be able to find out. But one can’t argue that since we don’t know more about the god that the god can’t exist.

    The anthropic principle is indeed difficult to understand. But it is flawed when put into practice. It simply states that “The observed values of all physical and cosmological quantities are not equally probable, but they take on values restricted by the requirement that there exist sites where carbon-based life can evolve and by the requirement that the Universe be old enough for it to have already done so.” Also, “The basic features of the Universe, including such properties as its shape, size, age, and laws of change must be observed to be of a type that allows the evolution of the observers, for if intelligent life did not evolve in an otherwise possible universe, it is obvious that no one would be asking the reason for the observed shape, size, age, and so forth of the universe.”(Barrow and Tipler, Anthropic Principle, p. 15)
    So it says that we should not be surprised to NOT observe a life prohibiting universe because we would not exist in such a universe. However, it does not logically follow that we should not be surprised that we DO observe that we live in a life permitting universe. But this is where many people go. This is known as the Anthropic Philosophy, that scientists say can explain away the basic traits of the universe. However, it doesn’t explain them at all. Here is the analogy John Leslie gives,
    “suppose you are dragged before a firing squad of 100 trained marksmen, all of them with rifles aimed at your heart, to be executed. The command is given; you hear the deafening sound of the guns. And you observe that you are still alive, that all of the 100 marksmen missed! Now while it is true that

    5. You should not be surprised that you do not observe that you are dead,
    nonetheless it is equally true that

    6. You should be surprised that you do observe that you are alive.
    Since the firing squad’s missing you altogether is extremely improbable, the surprise expressed in (6) is wholly appropriate, though you are not surprised that you do not observe that you are dead, since if you were dead you could not observe it. Similarly, while we should not be surprised that we do not observe features of the universe which are incompatible with our existence, it is nevertheless true that

    7. We should be surprised that we do observe features of the universe which are compatible with our existence,
    in view of the enormous improbability that the universe should possess such features.” -(http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/teleo.html#text9)

    Basically, it is illogical to say that since we should not be surprised to not find ourselves observing a univese that we couldn’t exist in, that it follows that we shouldn’t be surprised to be in one that we do exist in. It makes no logical sense.

    “With that sentence you are assuming…(the universe is a specific improbability)
    1.- Permitting life is the objective of an universe and not only a “collateral damage” or a random succes.
    2.- There is a relevant difference between a universe whith life and a possible universe without life
    3.- There was, before the universe was created, a preferred values of this constants for a universe in order to permit live.

    I would say that 1. is not an assumption, but rather a result. It is something that appears to be true, just as if the telephone numbers did proceed from 1 to 2 and so on. Both can only be seen after the evidence is presented. I would partially agree with 2. The chances of a life permitting universe are much less than the chances of a life prohibiting universe. As in the poker analogy, it is because of the specific improbablity of the combination of cards being “good,” or in the case of the universe the combination of laws and quantities being life permitting, that we see it as a specific improbability. As for 3., it has been found that if changing the gravitational pull in one part of 10 to the 40 power, all stars would be red dwarfs and the universe life prohibiting. (For more examples check out http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billcraig/docs/teleo.html#text9)
    So I would not say that there was a preferred set of values, but of all of the possible sets, very very few would be life permitting. So based on the entire collection of sets, the chances of a life permitting set is much less than the chances of a life prohibiting set. Therefore, it is not necessarily a “preferred” set, unless preferred refers to preferred for life, then in that case it would be true. So it is not that for life that our particluar set of values be here, but rather any set of values that are life permitting, otherwise, like the anthropic principle says, we would not be here to observe it anyway.

    As for the big bang theory, the model that has a continuous expansion and collapse has been widely discarded because there is no reason to believe that after it collapsed that it would reexpand. Which is why the multiverse theory is used. I agree that there was no time before the big bang, which is why if a god exists, he must be non-time and non-natural(dealing with nature). As for the the falsibility, I discard the entire principle since it is unfalsifiable itself, making itself “meaningless” according to it’s own definition. It is self-refuting, again, and therefore illogical and can’t be philosophically. And a “naturalistic way” without “magical”, or to use a scientific term, supernatural, is confusing in itself. What is naturalistic then if not based in nature? The definition of naturalistic according to The American Heritage Dictionary is “Imitating or producing the effect or appearance of nature.” Or “Of or in accordance with the doctrines of naturalism.” Your pick. So it is nature, which by definition is “The existing system of things; the world of matter, or of matter and mind; the creation; the universe.”(Webster’s revised) So nature is within the universe and therefore can’t be the cause of the universe since it is a product of the universe. To say natural laws made the universe(nature) is to say that the laws of nature made nature. Which is self-refuting since an effect can’t be it’s own cause. So whatever made the universe must be outside of nature. The creation of the universe must be beyond nature, so literal supernatural but not necessarily supernatural as in god. A good word to substitute, in my opinion, is metaphysical. That is why the no theory of the beginning of the universe can truly be proven. Because it is beyond testing. So we will never come to a time where we can prove a theory of such phenomena. So if the universe is truly finite, and not infinite, or even if the multiverse is finite, there must be a creator of some sort. And due to the evidence, the complexities of the universe, the earth, organisms, I believe it shows that a god hypothesis is indeed possible, and even likely. Also, since a nontheist must believe that our existence is by chance entirely, and the chances of the combination of our universe with our galaxy, with our sun, with our placement in the galaxy, with our planet size and conditions, with evolution, it is a much greater leap of faith to believe in the chance of all of these things than to have an evidential faith, based on all of the above mentioned things, in a creator, even if it not the Christian God, but a god of any kind. So you can site the anthropic principle as much as you want. But the anthropic philosophy is really an intellectuals way of saying I don’t want to know. So truly investigate with an open mind, unbiased or predispositioned, and you may have a different idea of the evidence.

  • Francesc

    “but it is not NECESSARY information to know that stuff to explain that a people group did indeed build the city”
    Well, it’s not necessary because you know people exists and do build cities. What if someone claims that the city was build by some little fairies with his magical powers (or by people from another dimension and then the city traveled to our dimension)?
    The first hypothesis would still be -humans, building normal way. But the city seems to be build by very developed tools. Second hypothesis: humans, building normal way, i explain how to build so well with rudimentary tools (so far, it’s more or less what happened with the pyramids). But we date the city before humans exists. Third hypothesis: humans, building normal way, wrong datation. And we confirm that the datation is correct. Fourth hypothesis: humans building normal way, we should test our data about human evolution, maybe there were humans before we know.

    If you want the little fairy hypothesis to be taken seriously, you need some proofs -other than this city, because the city proving the existence of fairies and this proving that they build the city is kinda circular reasoning- about their existance. Because so far the only species we know who build cities are humans.

    Same goes for a god, if you can’t proof his existence in another way that “because there is not any other explanation for us to be here” I’ll keep seeking that alternative explanation without a god. And any honest scientific will do the same.

    The antrophic principle. I was not defending that principle, i don’t like him. Because a general consequence of him -in an extended sense, I think that was the first sense when that principle arised- is that the so little probabilities for us to exists means that the universe is done for us (or for life, whatever you prefer). [Then some authors explained why that conclusion doesn't follow necessarily the principle]

    And after that, came the multiverse theory. I don’t like that explanation because, as you, I think it’s pretty infalsifiable (but maybe not in the future, science progress very fast). I too think that we haven’t any proof of the existence of other universes. But we should admit that it does more plausible our existence.

    Given the John Leslie analogy you quoted, if N squads where aiming at N persons (with N a very large number) the few ones who survived shouldn’t be surprised, as it’s only a probability law, and all the other men has died, so they can’t be surprised.

    Should I be surprised if the series of numbers finish in 137?The chances of my series of numbers finishing in 137 are less than the chances of my series of numbers finishing in any other number. I should only be a little surprised if i had predicted that BEFORE seeing the series of numbers. So assuming that life is a distinguishing condition for a universe is a very big assumption -i don’t mean it’s an irrational assumption- and it’s also assuming that someone’s outside the universe matters if the universe is life-permitting or it’s not. So the conclusion of this assumption is that someone is outside the universe and matters? But that too is an assumption… Let’s say, in the cards game you have some rules than decide wich is the preferred set; who decide wich is the preferred set for an universe?

    “I discard the entire principle since it is unfalsifiable itself, making itself “meaningless” according to it’s own definition”
    That hurts. Ok, here we all are being pragmatic. We know knowing the True is not possible (at least since Gödel) but scientific method is our only way to predict and so it gives us a plausible aproximation for a useful “true”. The alternative is radical skepticism (i only know that i don’t know anything). Even if we don’t know anything for real, we have some clues to do predictions. Revelated trues or supernatural assumptions are useless to understand or predict anything around us. An almighty god can change the rules whenever he wants to.
    (I wouldn’t be saying that to a fundi because i wouldn’t expect him understanding it, but you have proven me a high capacity of reasoning)

    Nature. I picked “in accordance with the doctrines of naturalism” for “which type of explanation about the universe are we looking for” (simply, a non-magical explanation) and “the universe” for “what’s the thing to explain”.
    But yes, basically I expect the universe to explain itself. Why am I saying “explain” and not “begin”? Because I’m not so sure there is a “beginning” for the universe, not even a cause for it to begin. Before the big bang, was any universe? Was it time to go backwards? Why can’t universe’s matter have existed always? Why can god?
    I don’t need a creator if there is not a creation.

    “greater leap of faith”
    Simply put, it’s not, because:
    1.- There exists (althought we can know it for true, of course, as science can’t be sure of nothing) at least 1 universe, so thinking that there might be more it’s not so difficult.
    2.- We don’t have any evidence of an existing god. We only can use that assumption in the holes our knowledge lets

    [from now on, only opinion]

    Anyway, I don’t deny the possiblity of the existence of god, as I don’t deny the possibility of elves existing. I’m only saying that beeing in a book it’s not a reason for both of them to be taken seriously as an hypothesis.

    Besides, the way you are speaking you seem to be a “theist” in no-god in particular -may I propose FSM?. You seems too to be intelligent, so I’m not worried about you. I think the main problem with religions are their “needs” to impose their morals and their universal truth upon the others and you don’t seem that kind of people.

    Be aware of IDiots, thought. Not only they are lying about evolution but about their agenda. The need of a creator is not generic as the people who need a religion usually needs too a particular god

  • Michael

    I like your openness. Most nontheists I run into have emotional problems with the existence of a god, not really the lack of evidence. However, the difference between a city and the universe is that we know how and who builds cities. But if indeed the universe were created or began at some point, we have no prior knowledge of how or who would build a universe. So I don’t find it quite on the same level. Since we know that people build cities, then saying that fairies that we have no proof of built a city is a stretch. But since we don’t know how a universe would come into being, or what is even capable, it is not so much at all a stretch to say it is supernatural, aka, a god. Also, to your surprise, I am a Christian. But I don’t want to impose my beliefs on others, although I would like others to become Christians as well. But I try to do so by letting others decide for themselves. I present the facts and evidences and allow them to formulate an opinion base on that. This, in my experience, has led to the person becoming a theist. The next step, which is why I am a Christian and nor just a theist or deist, is the historicity of the Bible. It is historically accurate in a sense that we can get time frames from reigning kings, Herod, other major figures, Pilate, as well as the existence of cities and people groups, Sodom and the philliatines for example. So if those are accurate, why not the rest? Is a question I ask myself. Also, the Old Testament is the history of the Jewish people, just like there is a history of Greeks and Romans. Denying it’s legitimacy is denying their past. Harsh. I find it hard to believe that an entire people group has been confused and corrupted from it’s beginning into believing such “nonsense.” So based on that I am an evangelical Christian. When approaching nonbelievers though, I approach them scientifically and philosophically first since those areas are in many ways parallel to Christianity in that they support and never contradict it’s doctrine. I have found that this is very convincing so far.

  • LRA

    Michael-

    You seem like a great guy. I hope your parents appreciate you! Man, if I had a kid, I’d want him to be as smart as you!

    Anyhow, I want to tell you that the bible is not a good source of history. But don’t take my word!

    Check out the what the scholars think:

    http://oyc.yale.edu/religious-studies/introduction-to-the-old-testament-hebrew-bible/

    This is an open course from Yale that introduces the old testament.

  • Michael

    I will definitely check that out. It looks intriguing. But I have to ask, what is your story about your beliefs?

  • LRA

    Michael-

    I am a deconverted christian. It is a very long story and it took years to undo and work through all of the programming and apologetics. I tried conservative and liberal churches (mainly in Texas, but one in NYC when I lived there for graduate school), and I couldn’t get past the major problems with illogical claims, judgmental church acquaintances, and hypocritical defenses of normalized societal behavior despite the claim to be different. Further, I find faith to be anti-thetical to reason. I just can’t live that way. I need evidence for most all of the aspects of my life. Having said that, I think that there could be a god (In fact I hope there is for philosophical reasons), but I realize that my belief/hope here is not founded on any kind of certainty.

    Thanks for letting me share! :)

  • Michael

    I know how you feel when it comes to hypocricy and people claiming to be disciples of Christ yet don’t live in such a manner. I have been extremely blessed with a Church family that is always acceptin of everybody and is very caring. Also, we don’t accept how society behaves but rather do our best to act Christ-like and hopefully catch peoples attention. I went to a Catholic high school for three years, and was simply amazed that I knew so much more about these people’s faiths than they did themselves. It’s sad. And they didn’t act like Christians either in any apparent way whatsoever. But my Church is very critical of so called “Christians” like this, and it is sad because they give everybody a bad name. And I also know how it feels to wonder whether you can be certain that a god exists. And scientifically you can’t, although one could argue that you could support such an idea. But I have personally witnesses “miracles” around me. My friend’s father was diagnosed with a rare cancer in his spinal column. It was inoperable because and operation would paralyze him and likely kill him. Chemo and radiation were futile. He was given 2 weeks to live. I was devastated. I could not even begin to imagine how my friend felt, knowing he had only two weeks left with his dad. But a week later, one final test… It was completely gone. No sign of it whatsoever. It had vanished. The doctors couldn’t understand it, but we did. We had been praying for him, his family, the doctors. And God had answered our prayers. There was no medical or scientific reasons that the cancer disappeared, but it had. God seemed to be the only explanation, because if only nature had occured, my friend would have lost his father the next week, but rather, he can play catch with him to this day. That was when I first realized that God affected our lives, and was present, at least appearing in mine. If it wasn’t for that, I may have left my faith behind by now. It is otiose to try to prove or disprove God obviously, but that is where “faith” comes in. And by faith I mean evidential faith and not wishful thinking. One can have faith that based on the evidences, we can believe in God. Just like it would take faith to beileve in any other theory of creation or evolution, since they can’t be proven. But the difference, at least for me, is that I believe that I see God’s work in my life and around me.

  • LRA

    Michael,

    Thanks for sharing your story, but I am very very skeptical of the spinal chord story. I’d have to talk to the dad’s doctor myself and see the test results myself. In fact I rather suspect that a mistake occurred at the hospital in which files were mixed up or something.

    Also, your statement that evolution has no evidence is wrong. I thought we had talked about this already. The scientific evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that evolution is a fundamental theory in all of the modern biological and ecological sciences.

    Check this out:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

    I encourage you to take a few biology classes in college. You’ll learn a great deal from that!

  • Michael

    I apologize for the misunderstanding. I only meant that it can’t be truly proven, so it still takes some degree of faith to believe it, although since there is good evidence it is not much. And I don’t blame you at all for the skepticism. But they supposedly checked all of the documents and xrays but could not figure out what happened. Although it is possible that they made a mistake with the original diagosis, it is not at all likely since he went through the chemotherapy of some sort and there was very little change in the cancer. It was a year of testing and chemo, so for them to have not realized that it was never there is highly unlikely.
    And to be honest, biology is not my forte. It is really the only class I have really struggled to do well in. Nothing really seemed to catch on. However, it is required in most colleges so I will be takin it again. Hopefully now I will have a new respect for it.

  • Michael

    I apologize for the misunderstanding. I only meant that it can’t be truly proven, so it still takes some degree of faith to believe it, although since there is good evidence it is not much. And I don’t blame you at all for the skepticism. But they supposedly checked all of the documents and xrays but could not figure out what happened. Although it is possible that they made a mistake with the original diagosis, it is not at all likely since he went through the chemotherapy of some sort and there was very little change in the cancer. It was a year of testing and chemo, so for them to have not realized that it was never there is highly unlikely.
    And to be honest, biology is not my forte. It is really the only class I have really struggled to do well in. Nothing really seemed to catch on. However, it is required in most colleges so I will be takin it again. Hopefully now I will have a new respect for it.

  • Francesc

    Hi Michael
    and hey! Don’t go so far :-)

    I only agree that we can’t disprove God, and that “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”, but we disagree in what are we considering as evidence. Of course, if you could find an evidence, wich was acceptable for me, i would believe -but that wouldn’t be faith.

    I think you have understanded my points, and i have understanded yours, so I have nothing more to say in that matter. I look at the world and I see physical laws in action, without will, and you are seeing a designer’s work. It’s a pity that we both can’t be right -if anyone of us

    BTW, I was raised in a catholic family, like most of the families in Spain, but like most of the families here it was more a social habit than a real religion (appart from the old men and women it’s strange than a person goes to the curch often when it’s older than 16 yo)
    And some of the parent’s of my friends where atheists themselves, so it was pretty easy to me “getting out” of this. I’ve read here some comments and it’s like most of the US people doesn’t really know an atheist, if they had ever seen one (without the horns).

    I understand that it’s christian’s mission to persuade the others, and besides i think we all want to persuade the people around us if we think we are right. And so far that that doesn’t implies trying to impose me their morals or their beliefs, and so far they let me speak back my opinions, i doesn’t mind.

    I have some problems with the litheralists and fundamentalists though. I think it’s dangerous to believe that a book -ANY book- should direct our lives; and it’s dangerous to have blind faith in another person -even your pastor, now i’m thinking in some fundi muslims; and that suspending crytical opinion in some areas is never a good idea (i’m not speaking about you as you seem to have a rational ability that most -theist and atheists- lack)

    Too long… see you and good luck in your life!

  • Michael

    That is actually a Catholic belief and you are quoting from a writing thatwas deemed apocryphal as early as the early third century, probably soon after it was becoming circulated. It is claimed to be written by James the Just, Jesus step-brother, yet knows very little about the Jewish faith and traditions, therefore it is believed that James was not the actual author. So if that claim is false, how can any of the work be trusted? And I love the point that there is no scripture supporting Mary’s perpetual virginity, it is actually argued that James the Just was her and Joseph’s son. Also, for her to not have children with Joseph would have been a reason for him to divorce her and she would have been seen as cursed by God. I believe there is no way she stayed a virgin her entire life. And Mary is actually a major issue between Catholcism and Protestantism.
    The Catholics really are a terrible example of Christianity. Think about the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition. Brutality justified by “it’s God’s will” is a bunch of baloney. Many Catholics give other Christians a bad name. Not only are their actions flawed but their doctrine as well. Much of it is only loosely based if not a all from scriptures, rather it is determined by a council and a pope who supposedly speaks infallibly. That alone should give one the clue that they aren’t the best example of Christians.

  • vorjack

    “So if that claim is false, how can any of the work be trusted? ”

    As I stated clearly, the church likely did not rely on this non-canonical work. The gospel is a record of a tradition that was alive at the time.

    “The Catholics really are a terrible example of Christianity. Think about the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition.”

    Since Catholicism WAS Christianity at that point – except for a few minor offshoots – this is an anachronism.

    “That alone should give one the clue that they aren’t the best example of Christians.”

    Sheesh. Christianity existed for centuries before the Bible, so I guess those early generations must have been really sucky Christians. You’re protestant biases are showing, and you don’t even seem to be aware that they’re biases.

    And Protestants will impress me with their “sola scriptura” when they drop the trinity and substitutionary atonement, then go back to living in communes like the disciples in Acts.

  • vorjack

    “100 B.c”

    A range of 150BC-70BC, which is why I said “second century”.

    “skeptics said that Isaiah was written after Christ”

    ? Can you cite a skeptic who suggested that?

  • Michael

    The term “Catholic Church” was not used explicitly until the fourth century and even then it was not the Cathoic Church we have today. The early Church followed the words and actions of Jesus since for many of them it was still in their minds. So I would like to see evidence that the early Church was the Catholic Church especially since most of the early Christians still considered themseleves Jews and many of the Gentile Christians followed Paul’s letters to them which are now in the Bible. So they really did follow what the current scriptures say today through tradition as well as Paul’s epistles. Also, even Peter, who the Catholics claim as the first pope, never mentioned being pope or anything close. So that was entirely the Catholic Church claiming him as that for personal reasons and not whatsoever scripture based. Catholics today even admit that they believe scripture is not enough.
    And the Trinity is scripture based. Jesus says in matthew that we are to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Also, the Old Testament makes reference to God being a trinity when it uses the plural noun Elohim is used in genesis, Isaiah, as well as Matthew and 2 Corinthians. This plural is important because in the Hebrew language, there is singular, dual, and plural. So God must be more than two persons if the plural is used. Also, Jesus makes constant reference to The Father and the Holy Spirit as being apart from Him but also Him. So the trinity is based in scripture. And what are you referring to as substitutionary atonement?

  • Michael

    Here is a website to check out for many trinity references and the different words used for God.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/339275/Scriptural-Reference-for-the-Trinity
    Hope this is helpful

  • DarkMatter

    I think you need to provide direct scriptural references in your argument of the personhood of “Trinity God”.

  • Michael

    I was speaking more of skeptics before the dead sea scrolls were found since many questioned that Isaiah may have been written after Jesus, explaining how he would have fulfilled so many prophesies.

  • DarkMatter

    It would be helpful if iti is not in ” adobe flash”.

  • Michael

    Check out http://www.rationalchristianity.net/trinity.html

    And
    http://www.caftucson.com/trinity.htm

    And http://www.dtl.org/trinity/study/scriptural.htm
    This one gives only the scriptural references though without then written out.

  • DarkMatter

    I still need to know your argument of the personhood of “Trinity God” in your references.

  • Michael

    God is three persons in one essence and in one being. God is the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit always and equally, but only combined are they together God. How this is possible is obviously beyond human comprehension, just like Jesus being fully God and fully man. This is where a faith comes into play because there could be other theistic views that assert a god as an intelligent designer but without the Christian God’s qualities and attributes which are solely from the Bible and obviously there is no way scientifically or even philosophically to necessarily prove them. God in the Christian viewpoint cannot be grasped entirely and that not even the angels are in the full presence of God.

  • Michael

    Don’t quote scripture if youre going to butcher it. You have to read stuff in context. Mark 12:35-40 says, “And Jesus began to say, as He was taught in the temple, ‘how is it that the scribes say the Christ is the son of David? David himself said in the Holy Spirit,’the Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I put you enemies beneath your feet.”
    David himself calls Him Lord, so in what sense is He his son?” And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.
    In His teaching He was saying,”Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the markets, and chief seats in the synagogue and places of honor at banquets, who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance sake offer long prayers; they will receive greater condemnation.”(NASB)
    He was telling them how the scribes could not be trusted and followed because they were corrupt, but rather read yourself and listen to the Lord. He says that David is only human and recognizes Christ as Lord and while He may come from his bloodline, He is the Saviour and God in the flesh and too great to be called his son. Christ was not saying he wasn’t of the line of David, He was confirming it but saying He was the Son of God, not to be called the son of David since His true Father is in heaven.

  • Michael

    Also firgured I’d point out that in luke chapter 3, he traces Christ’s genealogy all the way back to David. Both this and mathhew’s genealogy would have been discarded openly by Jewish leaders who knew of this connection to be untrue… But they didn’t. People would have known this, especially those from the line of David because that was where the Messiah was to come from. Any good Jew would have been able to trace their roots back to the time of David or even before, possibly all the way to Noah or even Adam! It would have been part of their schooling, along with memorizing the entire Septuagint since that was where all their laws were. I was part of their culture and religion. So it would not have been made up, and if it had been, it would have been refuted immediately.

  • vorjack

    “Both this and mathhew’s genealogy would have been discarded openly by Jewish leaders who knew of this connection to be untrue…”

    1) Matthew & Luke were both written after the fall of the temple, well into the post-Pauline period where Christianity was more gentile than Jewish. I’m not sure that the Rabbis – struggling to pull Judaism together after the Roman assault on Jerusalem – would or could do anything about Christian scripture.

    2) We know that Judaism had numerous political & mystical sects during this period, yet I don’t believe we have any refutations or polemics attacking them. For example, if all we had were the Rabbinical writings, we’d never know about the Essenes. For whatever reason, attacking their opponents is just not something the Rabbis did. So I’m not sure that the fact that there are no existing counterarguments from the Jewish establishment really means anything.

    3) Finally, remember that literal interpretation is a modern fixation. Matthew’s genealogy may be “true” yet not factual. Notice how Matthew draws in four women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth & Bathsheba. Mentioning women in this fashion is not traditional, and all four women were “bad girls”. God used these dubious women to achieve his own ends. Perhaps Matthew is commenting on Mary’s perceived infidelity.

    Regardless, it’s quite possible that these were intended to be creative retellings, intending to get at the meaning of Jesus rather than his actual genetics. If so, they would presumably have been recognized as such at the time, and there would have been no atempts to “debunk” them.

  • cello

    Michael,

    I didn’t think you were a YEC but if you ascribe to a literal reading of the genealogy’s, that must mean the first man was created roughly 6,000 years ago. That contradicts the historical record that finds humans living upwards of 10,000 plus years ago. A literal reading of the NT genealogy’s contradicts science.

  • Michael

    I would say I am undecided about the age of the earth, indeed even apathetic in a way. I never took the time to see where age wise that would put society. Good point.

  • Francesc

    I can’t believe you are serious about your “reasoning”. How can be more pausible the creation of a person from the mud than a “virgin birth”? Are you both really saying that you believe in the virgin birth because you believe an other far more irrational myth?

    “I believe my car is blue -yet I can see it is green- because I believe all the cars are blue”
    How does it sound? Does it makes any sense?

  • Michael

    Note that I said it is plausible if the Christian god exists. If he truly created the universe oout of absolute nothingness, violating all natural law, Him creating man out of mud and a virgin birth would be simple for Him. You have to think about it like that. Of course man will never be able to do these things because we are limited by natural was and principles. But one who is outside of those, even created those, could do those things with ease. Like I said, the Christian God is all-powerful. He can do anything plausible and logically possible, which is very different than physically possible. An example of this is He could not create an unstoppable force and an immovable object in the same world because it is logically impossible. But it is logically possible to create man from mud, because that is not in itself impossible logically. God is not limited to our world and laws, which is what you are assuming. So your foundation for your argument is vastly different than my foundation which is why I made sure to say that for the sake of argument, let us say that God did create the universeand this is the Christian God. That way anybody who steps on this playing field will have the dame foundations of their argument. So nobody can logically deny this argument without accepting that first premise. Otherwise that person’s counter in null and void.

  • Michael

    Note that I said it is plausible if the Christian god exists. If he truly created the universe oout of absolute nothingness, violating all natural law, Him creating man out of mud and a virgin birth would be simple for Him. You have to think about it like that. Of course man will never be able to do these things because we are limited by natural was and principles. But one who is outside of those, even created those, could do those things with ease. Like I said, the Christian God is all-powerful. He can do anything plausible and logically possible, which is very different than physically possible. An example of this is He could not create an unstoppable force and an immovable object in the same world because it is logically impossible. But it is logically possible to create man from mud, because that is not in itself impossible logically. God is not limited to our world and laws, which is what you are assuming. So your foundation for your argument is vastly different than my foundation which is why I made sure to say that for the sake of argument, let us say that God did create the universeand this is the Christian God. That way anybody who steps on this playing field will have the dame foundations of their argument. So nobody can logically deny this argument without accepting that first premise. Otherwise that person’s counter would be entirely invalid.

  • Francesc

    I understand you, and I’m not saying that it’s impossible for the “One ring of power” to make you invisble.

    I’m saying that it’s very unplausible the existence of such a ring.

    I like the explanation about the “logical possiblities” and how you deal with the contradictions of the “unstoppable force” type. The only problem is… so God is binded to laws? (not physical but logical laws, then) Why? Could god create the physical laws but the logical ones where BEFORE him? Before the creation? Who decided such laws? oh.. maybe “who” is not the correct question…

    - Ok, WE humans created the laws of logic. They are part of our try to understand the world around us. They are not empirical laws of nature. So it’s very improbable that God would be binded to them.

    - So if an almighty god had to exist, he could be too outside our logical laws. He could, in fact, create an “unstoppable force” and be able to stop it at His will, and the force remaining unstoppable.

    - It’s tricky. To accept that, you should “only” renounce to the logical laws, the ones that we’ve used to any advance in our knowledge, in reference to anything referring to God. Our only way to search the truth… surrender all that to your faith.

    P.S.: sorry, i lost the thread some days ago and I’ve just found it

  • Michael

    I do think that logic applies to God. An example of this is “Can God create a rock so heavy that He can’t lift it?” Assuming that:
    1. God is omnipotent/all-powerful
    2. God can lift/move physical/natural things
    (both I agree with)
    It is logically impossible for Him to do so, since He could lift any rock he created no matter that weight, but He can’t do this, making Him not omnipotent?
    This is a logical fallacy. It is a silly way of trying to prove that such a God does not exist. I think logic is different than physical laws in this sense. Logical laws are about strictly absolute possibilites. One example used by William Lane Craig is through the act of free will. Peter denies Christ three times in the Bible, just as Jesus said he would. The question is, could God put Peter in those exact circumstances and Peter not deny Christ? If He is truly omnipotent, then He could, right?Here, the assumptions are:
    1. God is omnipotent
    2. God cannot inhibit free will
    (again, both I agree with)
    However, because of 2, the answer is no. Does this mean he is not omnipotent? No, clearly not. Because God could have put him, say in a different world, with a different set of circumstances and he could accept Christ, but not deny him! So here it is “possible” that God could make him say yes, without inhibiting free will, just not in exact circumstances.
    He still abides by the logical. How could there possibly or plausibly be an immovable object and an unstoppable force in the same world?Could God do this? This falls into the same category as the rock and Peter analogies. No, He can’t. Because by definition, they can’t exist together. However, it is possible that He make both, but in different worlds, correct? This is why I believe that He is restrained by logic, because logic talks about sheer possibility rather than natural possibilites. It is possible to create a world with a different nature and operate outside of it. It can even be imagined. We could theoretically change some of the natural constants to create a theoretical world. But can we change logic to mean that your car is blue, but it is green? No. Because your car is blue. A logical possiblity is possible anywhere in any world with any nature. No matter what world was created/formed, a blue car would be blue. Just like 2+2=4 is true in any world. If something is logically impossible, like an all-powerful God creating a rock so heavy He can’t lift it, it is not possible in any possible world. So no matter what world God created, He could not make things that are logically impossible here, possible there.

  • LRA

    Well, the possibility of people being born without any sex chromosomes can’t be DISproved, even though it is a lethal condition in all medical cases to DATE.

  • bolderdash

    http://www.animalplanet.ca/reports/article.aspx?aid=1232

    This is one instance of virgin birth in the animal kingdom. I understand there have been others.

  • bolderdash

    There are many things Daniel you believe without any evidence. We have confidence. We have reasonable belief. We trust.

    Surely you are not looking for a guarantee. There is none. There will never be enough evidence to proove anything, at least not in reality. With math proofs, perhaps. But that is in the mind, where anything we want goes.

    I have not read nor investigated the evidence you have against, or for the alternative worldview beliefs you hold to Daniel, but I am more than confident that if I search deep enough, diligently enough, at your thinking and all the reasons, the evidence, and all the quotes, I will find a hole somewhere. And what then?

    What will you and I believe if there is a hole in that in which we believe? Can we believe in skepticism then? For only skepticism can allow for holes, for that is its mandate. I suppose we can believe not to believe, ever.
    I am not sure how comforting that is.

    I will read more of your claims.

    gilles turnsite.wordpress.com

  • bolderdash

    Daniel,

    The dead sea scrolls have shown that our contemporary texts of Isaiah are accurate, and that after approximately 2000 years. I am confident that the early Church kept up that scripting tradition. Don’t you think?

  • http://billpost.blogspot.com/ Bill

    “There are many things Daniel you believe without any evidence. We have confidence. We have reasonable belief. We trust.”

    Bull!

    Confidence – we have it based on the evaluation of EVIDENCE.

    Reasonable Belief – Consistency with EVIDENCE is is what makes belief reasonable.

    Trust – If well place, is similarly based on historical EVIDENCE.

    Beyond which, none of the tools you described are used to evaluate the existence of something like god. Do you have confidence that flying unicorns exist? Do you have a resonable belief that the flying spaghettin monster created life on earth? Do you trust that the invisible pirates live in your basement?

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Bill please don’t joke about the invisible pirates in my basement. They have tormented me for years. I don’t need evidence to believe in them, I have confidence, reasonable belief, and trust.

  • bolderdash

    Tell me Bill, can I deny belief in something even if all the evidence is there before me? That would seem unreasonable on the evidence, but reasonable given other factors.

    I choose to believe nevertheless. I may be qualifiably insane to deny 1 + 1 = 2. Bt perhaps not. In reality, I may count two stones, which are distinct in number, but not in constitution. It makes me believe that although some things are separate, and when put together to add up to two things, perceptively speaking, say in terms of size, they are dramatically different, and putting them together seems unjustified due to that characteristic. It seems to me that we add things together not only based on distinction, but due to characteristic similarities.

    The point is this. Evidence brings into light many factors. For I can deny it on the basis of other factors. As evident and as undeniable as it is that adding distinct things to give me two things, it is not necessarily reasonable to me given that as distinct things they are so different. I could say they add up to 2 and 1/2 things due to their difference in size.

    When we talk about ‘consistency’ and the ‘evaluation’ of evidence, we are talking about the sufficiency, or preponderance and not necessity of evidence. This is what I mean by reasonable belief and confidence.

    Bill, take a walk outside of scientific investigation for a moment. Belief does encompass inquiries like, ”WHY’ are caterpillars subjected to metamorphosis’, without giving some reductive explanation such as, ‘so that it can become a butterfly’. Why is there metamorphosis at all, and not some other method of transformation. ‘Because God made it so’, is just as reasonable an answer to the question as is, ‘because of the random evolutionary acts of nature’. You could believe in both, neither, or either. Any one position is reasonable given the factors that come into play outside of the realm of stringent scientific inquiry, which on its own fails to give a sufficient answer to the question. We are emotive beings after all.

    turnsite.wordpress.com gilles

  • Benjamin Steele

    onecae – I’m not sure, but I think you might be the first person to bring up the possibility of symbolic interpretation. Something can be true without being literally factual. The theme of virgin birth in myths points towards a deeper truth.

    The question is how the earliest Christians perceived it: pysical or spiritual truth? The basic sense of what you’re saying is that the source of the mind is a mystery. I’d add that the mystery is virginal because it is infinite and can’t be touched upon. That which begins as just a possibility within this infinite mystery becomes manifest in definite form.

    In terms of Greek influence, Joseph Campbell interprets this theme as the virgin birth of the spiritual man out of the animal man. D.M. Murdock writes much about the virgin motif in Christ In Egypt. She mentions Philo who some consider a major source of Christian ideas. She quotes Philo as saying that mystical union with God purifies a woman and restores her virginity. So, the understanding of virginity as a non-physical truth is pre-Christian and isn’t the unique quality of Mary.

    Considering the allegorical meanings is much more interesting than arguing about anti-scientific claims of biological virgin birth of an ancient historical man.

  • Benjamin Steele

    onecae – Have you read any Joseph Campbell? He wasn’t a Christian, but he wrote much about Christianity. Tom Harpur is an author you might like. He is a Christian who interprets the Bible as allegorical truth. I don’t know why fundamentalist Christians should be so unaware of allegorical interpretation as early Christians use it often.

  • onecae

    I have read some of Joseph Campbell’s work. Didn’t he offer something called “the hero cycle”??
    Fundamentalism is fairly new to Christianity. I think it’s an American invention (regrettably). Some people confuse it with Puritanism. But Puritans were fairly radical in their belief that one should rely on the Bible “purely”.
    I think we should call the literalist “Krishtans” because that’s literally how the word should be spelled. They have no businesses moving the subject from spiritual to physical without giving it an appropriate name.

  • onecae

    Oh, my! That should be “Krishtanz”. My bad.

  • Benjamin Steele

    Yeah, Campbell is most well known for his hero’s journey that Star Wars was based on. Alan Dundes did a similar comparison between hero myths including that of Jesus.

    I’ve read of the theory that fundamentalism is a response to modernism. It makes sense to me. Fundamentalism is inseparable from modernism and has nothing to do with what Christians originally believed. But I doubt it is just an American invention or even a Christian invention.

  • onecae

    “Krishtinz”

  • onecae

    You of course realize the stories are not true, (in the sense of historical fact) right? The stories were written to communicate a certain meaning.
    The trick is to find the meaning of the story, or to find a story that has meaning for you.
    If it appears the meaning is non-sense, then you have to ask the age old question, “Have I missed something, or has the writer missed something?”

  • Michael

    I would not say God is frustrated with His accomplishments, but rather man’s failures. You can’t say that He is not perfect because we aren’t. Imagine a man who is extremely successful and becomes wealthy. He gets married and has a son. His son is the polar opposite of the father. While the father is diligent and hard working, the son is lazy and ignorant. The son drops out of school and is not able to ever maintain a steady job. Does the fact that the son is not successful like the father detract any from the father’s character? No, because his son has free will, just like we do. So for that reason, the father can’t be blamed for his son’s actions just like God can’t be held responsible for ours. When it is said God is perfect, it is meant that He is all good, all loving, all caring, all powerful, all knowing, etc. While He did see that what He created was good, people have ruined that with their own choices. God does not intervene because that would take away free will.
    Another flaw in your argument is the “perfect” circumstances or scenario that we can imagine. For a non-Christian, this is seen in materialsm. People accumulate wealth, but it’s never enough. This supports your point. But for a Christian, they know that this world is not perfect because of free will and that people around them will make choices that make it less than perfect. Christians live for life in heaven, a truly perfect place. A Christian also understands that we can’t even imagine what perfect is because you can’t imagine something that is impossible and implausible.
    So on earth, people could always imagine something better, because the earth can’t be perfect and nobody in it can be either, although we should at least try to be the best possible. Because of this, there will always be a better… on earth. But the Christian believes in a truly perfect heaven, which is what a Christian imagines to be perfect, and there is absolutely nothing better than this. So from an earthly perspective, that is, if there is no after life, then yes, there will always be something “better,” as that better is subjective. But if there is a heaven, like a Christian believes, what happens here is only temporary, a finite moment compared to eternity in happiness and perfection. So perfect in a Christian’s view is different than that of a non-Christian. And a non-Christian’s search for perfection is really in vain.

  • onecae

    Are you familiar with the idea of words having multiple meanings?
    What one adopts becomes expressive and even shapes ones understanding. Authors tune words so the same words express varied subjects. You know, poetry and literature roughly accomplishes this ideal. Two people read the same words and come away with different meanings (Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left).
    Using the same wording to express varied subjects, and to target people for specific understanding has been cultured by the Church for a very long time (what they understand, they will do). Christians understand how this works.
    We all know you will use ideas as you wish. You picked them up and started using them, because it felt pretty good. However, a few of us tell this story: If their usefulness fails, there is more to know. And count yourself blessed where you discover you are impoverished. Are you free to do this? If you have an inkling that a deeper, other subject can exist, as expressed by the same words we both read (it first appears like a distant star, or ghost-like intuition, something you’ve never before imagined), then consider paying homage or respect to something unknown, but anticipated (of course, I’m just paraphrasing the story). Entertain the possibility that what you know can be added upon in a deliberate manner by consciously inducing the process just outlined that is: controlled, deliberate failure, in order to pick up the new ideas as they occur. Just as seeds grow into trees, if you do this, then for each tomorrow you will be different and more powerful. It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God applies to you and your wealth of comfort, security and knowledge. Because, you are indeed, very, very rich.
    Using the word “heaven” the way you do indicates you resist your most immediate situation. Possibly, you do not know you have an immediate situation. You’re way of saying “on Earth” instead of “in earth” confirms this. Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is at hand. You’re doctrine puts it elsewhere and therefore keeps you from entering. If you want to keep someone complacent with who they are and what they have, then use your doctrine. It works for that. But some of us see that we can search for where ideas fail, and there is where we may gain the new perfected ones, here and now. Happy Easter.

  • onecae

    “In criminal trials, we want to know whether the witness to the crime is lying.”

    Wow! How many people have you condemned using your sense of judgment and witness?
    Telling the truth is different from not lying, because a witness can be false, yet not lying.
    Therefore, we want to know if the witness is telling the truth.
    Judgment of truth requires a context for subject and testimony.
    If a judge asked, “Does a stitch in time save nine?”
    And the witness, who knows crisis prevention, but not sewing said, “Yes.”
    Would the witness be lying? Even if he/she were wearing nicked panty hose, where stitches would create immediate ruin?

  • rodneyAnonymous

    I disagree that there is no evidence that Jesus’ virgin birth was made up. Lots of it. The three strongest pieces, in my opinion, are:

    1. “Virgin birth” is a common feature of many Messiah/god-man myths; the probability that Jesus’ virgin birth is also a myth is therefore higher than the probability that Jesus’ birth is a unique factual exception.

    2. The Hebrew word for “virgin” is very similar to the Hebrew word for “young girl” (consider: maid vs maiden), which adds a considerable amount of plausibility to the suggestion that the doctrine of the virgin birth is based on a mistranslation.

    3. Virgin births are effectively impossible.

  • Michael

    I agree that words can have different meanings. So to clear this up, let’s define perfect. Perfect is unflawed, unimprovable, faultless, unblemished. Perfect is the absolute best, there is no improving. So if there is room for something to improve, it us by definition not perfect. So in that sense, our knowledge will never be perfect and neither will this earth as there will alwaysbe room for improvement. But according to the Bible, heaven is perfect and so is God. There is nothing better, they are by definition perfect. Secondly, I feel you acuse me of being biased in my search of knowledge. On the contrary, I began truly searching for the truth when I questioned God. So I did non construe evidence to support a previously developed theory, but rather found evidence to develop a theory. Also, I find yur interpretion of the rich man and heaven to be incorrect. That applies to people who are preoccupied and have placed some earthly possession such as material wealth or fame before God. But the search for knowledge is not such a preoccupation. It is actually the opposite. We are called to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, and with all of your mind.” How does one love something with all of their mind? By searching to more knowledge of it. Being rich in knowledge of God and his creation does not make one’s path to heaven more difficult, but easier! Because he is loving the Lord with his mind! That is what I do. This is what He has called everyone to do. We are not to be complacent and content with our knowledge but to be ever seeking. Finally, “the kingdom of God/Heaven” is usually interpreted as the presence of God. You have to remember that before Jesus, God was not making his appearnce very obvious through kings or prophets like the time of the judges and kings and prophets. He had been pretty silent. Jesus message was “here I am, your Lord!” He never preached that we would experinece heaven here and now, though we were to look forward to that time and try to make this world as close to it as possible by spreading the Word. Colossians 2:8 says that we should not accept the deceitful philosophies of this world but to those of Christ (paraphrased). We are not of this world. We are of God, who is beyond this world. We are to trust in Himand in our future with Him. God is here today! Amen! The kingdom of God is apon us! But this earth is not my final destination and was not intended to be. This is not just my idea of facts, but rather the “facts” presented in the Bible. It is clear in the Bible that we are not perfect and God is. It is clear this world is not and will not be perfect, but heaven is. There is no misconstruing this to believe that this earth and the people it can be perfect, yet we should try to do so for Him. His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. There is a clear distinction, they are not the same. This distinction is a physical and spiritual one and a distinction between the perfect and imperfect. I am aware of my current surroundings and recognize my existence here, but I am an alien this world, different, set apart. My true home is in heaven.

  • rodneyAnonymous

    *There is lots of it.

    Also, “Such as whether Jesus rose from the dead, for which the evidence is overwhelming.” Really? Wow. I wasn’t aware there was any evidence for even the existence of Jesus. What is the evidence that he rose from the dead?

  • Michael

    Actually, there are many writings confirming that Jesus of Nazareth existed. So please, look into this stuff before posting. It is considered a given that such a man by that name in that area existed.
    Josephus writes about a Jesus in Antiquities, saying, “At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of amazing deeds, a teacher of persons who recieve the truth with pleasure. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. And when Pilate condemned him to the cross, the leading men among us having accused him, whose who loved him form the first did not ceast to do so.” Also, “He(Ananus) convened the council of judges and brought beofre it the brother of Jesus-the one called “Christ”-…”
    Also, Tacitus references Jesus and his execution by authority of Pontius Pilate(Annals 15.44)
    Pliny the Younger speaks interrogating Christians who sang to a “Christus as to a God” (christos being Greek for Christ)(Epsitles 10.96).
    Suetonius, in Divus Claudius 25.4, speaks of a “Chrestus” who caused inrest amonh the Jews.
    Many rabbinic writings also speak of a “Yeshu ha-Nosri[Jesus the Nazarene].
    So there are mentions of him in Jewish writings, who deny the divinity of Christ and see him as just a regular person and in some cases a false teacher, as well as secular sources that discuss the turmoil he was causing in Palestine.
    Also in these writings are references to his crucifixion.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Sigh. It’s like attending Sunday School again.

    Michael, you forgot the dates on those writings. How about you put the dates in there, and then explain how that’s evidence for Jesus’ existence?

  • rodneyAnonymous

    Um, anything written during Jesus’ alleged lifetime? The sources you cite are basically hearsay.

    Please do not suggest I haven’t seen it because I haven’t looked.

    The Romans were really big on writing things down, this was arguably the most well-documented period in human history. There is no record of Pontius Pilate ordering the execution of a man named Jesus, or Yesu, or Yejhovah, or Christ, or similar. Literacy was widespread, there were dozens of still-famous historians living at the time (Ptolemy, for instance), people wrote letters, etc. Jesus is supposed to be famous, known to kings and slaves and rich and poor, but not a single person even mentioned his name during his lifetime? Imagine looking for evidence of the existence of Abraham Lincoln and not finding a single occurrance of the name until the 20th century.

    The sad part, though, is that it doesn’t really matter whether he existed or not. I realize it doesn’t matter. I bring it up less and less.

    But that wasn’t my question; my question was, what is the “overwhelming evidence” that Jesus rose from the dead?

  • rodneyAnonymous

    By the way, the earliest known mention of Jesus, the synoptic gospels themselves, were written 50-100 years after Jesus’ alleged lifetime. For sure.

  • Rand()

    I came across this site quite recently. I think it makes a good point. I am sorta confused about where i stand though. Although I am leaning towards atheism. I think I’m more of an apatheistic person.

    Anyway, the only reason I’m posting(I usually prefer to be a spectator) a comment is that from what I’ve heard Krishna wasn’t born of a virgin.

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

    Although as with almost everything religious, there seem to be some people who think that he was born without sexual union (This sort of births are fairly common in Hindu mythology).

  • onecae

    Regarding: “He [Jesus] never preached that we would experience heaven here and now,..”

    What do you mean Jesus never preached we would experience heaven here and now? It was one of His most important messages. Remember the most famous prayer in Christendom, known as “The Lord’s Prayer”? Jesus teaches to pray in this fashion:
    “…Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in Earth as it is in Heaven….”
    He says elsewhere, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,” and “The Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away.”
    It is the same now, with us. What we experience in earth, we have made in heaven – what we think about and love is what becomes us.

  • Red Dave

    Thanks Dan! I wondered where those damn Pirates went. Send them back cause to me cause they have all my damn rum!

  • atheistlove

    simple
    these things we call heaven and hell, its just earth, the bible was a old school self help book twisted to put fear in under-minions of kings.
    follow the (majority) of the testament,OR THE LAW, and we will be living in heaven(on earth)
    but break the law and you will live in hell. nothing heavenly about this book, just a high court law book from 2000 yrs ago… just do onto others as you would have them do on to you! lmao, ONLY other truth in there is DONT BUILD YOUR HOUSE ON SAND… thats just logical, BUT some people need someone to think for them…..:-)

  • atheistlove

    P.S watch out for global warming!!!

  • http://nonpaganorigins.blog.com krissmith777

    Rand()

    Every single god he mentions was born of sexuality, except for Mithras who came from a rock.

    This guy is ust uncrittically spouting misinformation.

    It is okay if he us skeptical of my religion, but he shouldn’t be spouting misinformation.

  • solomon

    In a way youre right Michael,
    But pity you cited the wrong God.Let me tell you the truth & nothing but the truth.The only true God & the only God who creates everything is Allah almighty the muslim God.You can see the uniqueness of this one true God.Its out of anything the human can imagine of.Its not an idol,not a God who have a son,no God does not need to have a son.This one God is totally different from the other Gods that humans can think of.

  • Sunny Day

    Beep Beep, Vroooooooom from the drive by fundy post?

  • frank

    Abraham? Jesus? Mohamed? THE SEEDS OF OUR DEMISE. Wake up! If I could spell in Aramaic.I would. Open your minds and open your eyes… or vc verca.

  • mimi

    Thank you, Preacher! I always tell people that the people who don’t believe in God and make up (evolutionary, big bang, etc.) theories just want PUBLICITY to be exactly what you just said, “famous” aka rich. They deceive others to get their money. Oh, I read that Darwin renounced his theories before he died.

  • Custador

    Wow, you’re just batshit crazy, aren’t you? I mean, do you really believe that shit you’re shovelling?!

  • Roger

    “Eloheem”? Is he the ne’er do well cousin or twin brother of Elohim?

  • Sunny Day

    I heard for a good time you can call 867-5309

  • Custador

    “Oh, I read that Darwin renounced his theories before he died.”

    You read wrong. That’s been completely debunked. The woman who invented that story was not even present when she claimed it happened.

    “I always tell people that the people who don’t believe in God and make up (evolutionary, big bang, etc.) theories just want PUBLICITY to be exactly what you just said, “famous” aka rich.”

    Um…. Darwinian evoltion is proven fact. The God hypothesis is a myth with no evidence to support it whatsoever – so who’s “making things up”? It’s not atheists.

  • mimi

    No solicitations, Sunny. The blog is called unreasonable faith, your reading comprehension fails. LOL =P

  • Sunny Day

    You fail at culture. Sorry.

  • Siberia

    God does not intervene because that would take away free will.

    If God is all-powerful, he can find a way to intervene without taking free will.

    That he doesn’t means (if he existed, of course) that he either doesn’t want to or isn’t all-powerful.

  • mimi

    Something traumatizing must’ve happened to you in your early years which causes you to be so obnoxiously belligerent. And YES, i believe the truth, hope, love, life, joy and faith I’m shoveling. And WHAT?! (bucking at you). hehehe. Bet you’ve never heard THOSE words all in one sentence before. Stop being mediocre, mister!

  • mimi

    No, your jokes are hideously LAME! lol!!!!!!!!! awwww its ok (wiping away a laughing tear)….i still love ya~ smooches!

  • Daniel Florien

    You said you’ve seen miracles like in the Bible. That’s a huge claim. You could be on TV and seriously — you’d convert us all if you could prove it. I’m only half joking about that.

    I just don’t really believe you. People claim to see miracles all the time and not once has anyone produced a shred of evidence. As Thomas Paine once said: We know there are millions of liars. Is it more likely for a person to lie, or for nature to go our of her course?

    Not saying your a liar, mimi. I don’t think that. But I do think you’ve been duped. Or if you haven’t, then you need to start talking our language — which is logic and evidence. If you have none of that, then we’re not interested in your claims, because there are billions of contrary ones with just the same amount of evidence (namely, none).

    If you really saw miracles and were in communication with God, I think you’d be a lot more impressive and wouldn’t be hanging around here with empty words.

    Alright, I’ve got to get to work. Someone else can take over. :)

  • Kodie

    Or if you haven’t, then you need to start talking our language — which is logic and evidence.

    I’d settle for English above a 4th grade level to start with.

  • mimi

    Why not stand for yourself? Let me just ask you a question. If your child(ren) wanted something (toys or whatever no matter how expensive), wouldn’t you do everything in your power to get it for them? Whatever would make them happy, wouldn’t you do it?

    Forgive me for asking but…would you even love your kids? or do you not believe in that word ‘forgiveness’ either? or ‘love’ for that matter. Because dem words right durr (southern country ghetto slur) are mentioned numerously in the Bible and in fact is a trait humanity should posses, but sadly they don’t.

  • Daniel Florien

    Now you’re just asking for too much, Kodie! It can’t be done!

  • mimi

    kodie, is that your highest level completed? LOL!!!!

  • Sunny Day

    Insulting 4th graders, are we?

  • wazza

    Oddly, you pose an excellent question which should be directed at God. Shouldn’t a loving, omnipotent being use all that power to protect those that being loves from, say, droughts? Most droughts aren’t caused by anything but the vagaries of nature, and yet they often strike the least fortunate. Any loving, omnipotent being would send a little rain. Why doesn’t God do that?

  • Francesc

    [posting it twice, because the other one was lost in the middle of the comments]

    I do, mimi. I understand the word “forgiveness”. Do you understand it? Because we have heard the “parent analogy” about god and it is a really bad one. I mean, do you think that forgiveness is sending your son to hell forever? Can you imagine any crime, comitted by any person, the worst crime you can think of -like disagreeing with you, but far worst- that would deserve an eternal punishment? How is that forgiving?

    Would a responsible parent let his innocent kids with a candy at hand and then expect them not to eat it? That’s an analogy of Adam’s and Eve myth.

    Would a parent choose one of his childs and help him to kill the others? The jews, his choosen people against the world.

    Would you kill most of you sons, because they aren’t good enough? Noah’s flood

  • http://www.dctouristsandlocals.wordpress.com DCtouristsANDlocals

    Actually, if you love your children, you will teach them to be independent and work for the things they want. If you give them everything, you’re just teaching them to be spoiled, lazy, and a burden to society.

  • mimi

    um, God does forgive us for any heinous crime/act/thought/word we ever done. That’s why he sent Jesus. duhh, do you even know the whole story and understand the concept of WHY Jesus was sent? Ultimately so we could go to heaven, because without Him, we deserve eternal damnation you and I. simply because holy cannot have communion with the unholy. So God does forgive. But we also have to learn to forgive others who have hurt us, betrayed/lied/etc to us. The wicked during Noah’s time were not under the covenant of the cross. gotta go but do some research…maybe you’ll learn something on this ‘spaceship’ earth. LOL….tah tah

  • Francesc

    “simply because holy cannot have communion with the unholy”
    That’s a void sentence if you don’t develop any further argument

    “so God forgive”
    Nop. So god forgives sometimes. Because according to a lot of your correligionaries, if I don’t accept jesus as my lord he won’t forgive me no matter how I am

    “do you even know the whole story and understand the concept of WHY Jesus was sent?”
    More or less… God send himself to the earth in order he could forgive us for a crime we did because he screwed it up when he created us, so that he is not compelled by himself to punish us for all the eternity in a place he created with that purpose. Isn’t it? Forgive me if it doesn’t seem all that clear. What a crazy way to avoid a “I changed my mind”

    “The wicked during Noah’s time were not under the covenant of the cross”
    I know. Why?
    Do you never asks why?
    So… he couldn’t be forgiven because god did not have the time to come down to earth?
    Why god reacted to a similar problem -humans not being holy enough- in two very different ways? He could have sent Jesus instead of the flood, or he could have sent another flood instead of Jesus. He, an all-knowing god, did change his mind?
    Anyway… under the covenant or not, all that people wasn’t forgiven. All those “sons” were killed by a “loving” father. Can you see now why god=father is a bad analogy?

  • mimi

    no, just at your hideously lame comments. LOL!!!! (ok let me catch my breath) ok i’m done =)

  • Francesc

    Those are your arguments?
    Probably it was my fault, expecting too much from you

  • Shawn Abbott

    Why doesnt he sent rain, really? Why doesnt he kill you in your sleep because of the wretch you were yesterday?

  • mimi

    God send himself to the earth in order he could forgive us for a crime we did because he screwed it up when he created us,

    So, we’re a “screw-up” for being in existence? God gives us free-will. We can believe or not. Its entirely up to you or the next person. I’m entitled to my own as you are yours. All i can do is share the blessings that i’ve experienced today. I don’t jam religion down ppl’s throats, i think that’s the wrong approach.

    Continuing: Adam and Eve were created with free-will and they jacked up and cursed the human race with their disobedience. And through one man, the whole human race is cursed; so through One man (Jesus), all people (no matter what background, ethnicity, status, group, etc.) can receive salvation and be a blessing. There’s not enough people in this world that are blessings to others. Too many of us just think about ourselves and what we can get out of other people…plain selfishness. There’s no support anymore for our fellow man.

    We take God out of our schools and our work places. And all these shootings at schools, universities, etc. happen. What goes through the minds of people that terrorize, attack, and kill here in our country? In our America? Obviously, they are angry and see life as nothing. Because they don’t know (or don’t believe) in the love God has for us. When we reject God, we reject to have protection over our loved ones. Why do you all want that?

    When he flooded the earth long ago because people only thought wickedly, he didn’t originally want to do it (but noooo, nobody adds that in–you guys just look at the negative). WE provoke God to anger. When you and i are provoked, we ultimately explode. Remember, every emotion/feeling we experience, God knows. We are created in His amazing image. Don’t you think YOU are amazing? I know I do. Maybe not in your eyes…but i tend not to care what people think. I know in God’s eyes and my eyes, i’m pretty darn amazing.

  • Shawn Abbott

    All Gods creation is amazing. But they will tell you it evolved to be amazing.

  • Sunny Day

    “he screwed it up when he created us, ”
    And you want to worship that?

    “I don’t jam religion down ppl’s throats, i think that’s the wrong approach. ”
    Because babbling incredible nonsense at people works so much better?

    “We take God out of our schools and our work places.”
    Violent crime in the USA has been decreasing for years.

  • Shawn Abbott

    How you can look at the human body and say there is no God is amazing to me.

  • Sunny Day

    How you can say there is a god without any evidence is amazing to me.

  • Siberia

    I look at the human body and remember the past twenty-four years of constant pain because of an incurable autoimmune disease. (fact: I’m 25.)
    Yup. Nothing special whatsoever.

  • Roger

    Yeah, because the imaginary sky friend really got it right when he put the plumbing an inch away from our genitalia, designed a digestive system that is horribly inefficient, and “created” human eyes and other sensory organs which are less efficient than those of the animals which are allegedly less perfect than humans. Yes, when I look at the human body (preferably the body of a football player or bodybuilder), I can’t help but notice how such arguments utterly and completely fail; besides, appeals to emotion aren’t logically persuasive.

  • mimi

    “he screwed up when he created us” was written by someone else.
    I said that WE screwed up. we’re not perfect. screw-ups happen everyday…and your the product of one of them! HAAAAA! ok, i’ll stop. but i was saying that we have free will and so did Adam and Eve and they screwed it up for the rest of us. And yes, i do worship my God…the earth is his footstool. and who are you again?

    Ultimately, your reading comprehension fails!…again!

    My babbling nonsense? My beautiful words of truth are way better than your mediocre and hopeless lifestyle…since u don’t believe in things like hope, joy, peace, love and life!
    What a shame tsk tsk….

    Violent crime has decreased??? What statistics are YOu looking at? There was just a shooting in Ft. Hood by a Muslim Military Officer. Not to mention…Virginia Tech which was recent, 9/ll that we’re still fighting from, and a whole bunch of others that i don’t cloud my mind with. Anyway, i have gymnastics practice in a little bit.
    So whattaya do for Christmas? I hope u don’t believe in Santa Claus? lol!

    “Avoid profane and vain babblings and oppositions of science falsely so called: which some professing have erred concerning the faith” I Timothy 6:20-21.

  • Custador

    “since u don’t believe in things like hope, joy, peace, love and life!”

    Thank you for exposing your own blanket ignorance and prejudice.

    “Violent crime has decreased??? What statistics are YOu looking at?”

    Violent crimes have been decreasing for years, however media coverage of violent crimes has been steadily increasing. You’re a Faux News propoganda sponge – don’t be such a sheep.

  • Bender

    but i was saying that we have free will and so did Adam and Eve and they screwed it up for the rest of us.

    Have you even read your bible, lady? Adam and Eve did not have free will. Your god never intended them to know the difference between good and evil, remember? It was actually the snake who gave them free will by telling them the truth about the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Your god LIED Adam about it: (Gen 2.17) “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” That’s a lie. Everything the snake says, in the other hand, is 100% true: (Gen 3.4-5) “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil”

  • Shawn Abbott

    Oh thats right biogenisis I forgot your still working on that.

  • mimi

    And how lame you are is even MORE amazing to ME! its ok…i used to be lame and believe all that science stuff too…untill i learned what the definition of “theory” was!

  • Custador

    Abiogenesis. You don’t even know what you’re arguing against!

  • JohnMWhite

    We’ve come a lot closer to explaining abiogenesis in 200 years than you have come to explaining god in 2000 years.

  • mimi

    So foul how u can take innocent words and twist them around to be…prejudiced? tell me how?

    Anyway, i’m through with you. u said we live on spaceship earth! LOL!!!!! …i guess non-believers believe in lies because we live on a space craft. Your done

  • Custador

    Mimi, you’re a dick and a troll. Daniel, I don’t think I’ve ever asked this before, but can you ban this arsehole please?

  • Roger

    mimi, darling, let me explain to you the difference between “you’re” and “your.”

    Your–pronoun
    1. (a form of the possessive case of you used as an attributive adjective): Your jacket is in that closet. I like your idea. Compare yours.
    2. one’s (used to indicate that one belonging to oneself or to any person): The consulate is your best source of information. As you go down the hill, the library is on your left.
    3. (used informally to indicate all members of a group, occupation, etc., or things of a particular type): Take your factory worker, for instance. Your power brakes don’t need that much servicing.

    You’re–contraction of you are: You’re certain that’s right?

    So. When you say “your done,” what you, in fact, mean is “you’re done.”

    Further, since you’ve invoked Santa Claus, I must ask you this question: if you believe in the existence of a benevolent, beneficent, omniscient deity, why do you NOT believe in the existence of Santa Claus.

  • mimi

    actually, i’m a girl =P.

  • Shawn Abbott

    you want her baned because she has a Christian world view and you dont like what she is saying. We dont ask for your ban because of your constant cursing if you are going to curse than why dont you spell it right.

  • Custador

    I’m ENGLISH you arsehole! I did spell it right.

  • mimi

    Thank you, Shawn! i was thinking the same thing….the vulgarity! let’s act civilized people, not like barbarians.

    Well, the Bible does say to beware, lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
    –Colossians 2:8.

    So, the unbelief from unbelievers doesn’t surprise me. In fact, i welcome to hear your rebuttle..

  • Kodie

    Want her banned because she is an idiot. She comes off as a screeching child, JESUS JESUS ME ME ME JESUS AND ME! LOL!!!!!!! =)

    What has she contributed to a discussion? Nothing. She is a pest and a troll. If you want to discuss stuff, please to be coherent. I’m begging.

  • Custador

    You’ve got a damned cheek, mimi. At least my agression is up front and honest – the passive-agressive crap from you is disgusting – and then you have the gall to lecture me for being offensive! You’re pathetic and dishonest.

  • Francesc

    “he screwed up when he created us” I wrote that sentence. Could you justify why a perfect god created imperfect beings?
    In the Adam and Eve tale, the serpent is the good character, like when Prometheus stole the fire from Gods to give it to us (pun intended, we have the same evidence for Prometheus’s tale and for Adam’s tale).
    Spaceship earth was metaphoric. Of course it must be difficult for you, being pretty much a literalist, to understand what a “metaphore” is.
    .
    “So foul how u can take innocent words and twist them around to be…prejudiced? tell me how?”
    That’s how, you wrote “since u don’t believe in things like hope, joy, peace, love and life!”. Of course we believe in all those feelings, you were showing your prejudice that we don’t.

    Your quote from Timothy only shows that your blind faith and actual knowledge have been in conflict since your religion was born. Of course most of the past scientists were christians. In fact, that silly theory -in your words- of Big Bang was greatly contributed by a priest (Lemaitre) who probably had not the usual interest in chor boys and dedicated his time to do science.

    You can deny science if you want, of course, even when you don’t have neither the skills to understand nor the interest to learn about it. We -our society- will simply ignore you and leave you behind.

  • http://www.dctouristsandlocals.wordpress.com DCtouristsANDlocals

    Gravity is also a theory. Do you “believe” in gravity? I think you are confusing the words theory and hypothesis.

  • Custador

    And how lame you are is even MORE amazing to ME! its ok…i used to be lame and believe all that science stuff too…untill i learned what the definition of “theory” was!

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! I love it! You argue against evolution by claiming to know what the word theory means – the problem is, dufus, you DON’T know the deffinition of a scientific theory. The fact that you’ve tried that tired old bullshit just proves what an isiot you are. Here, educate yourself before you come out with some crap like that again:

    Scientific Theory: an explanation of concept/idea that is supported by evidence and/or many experiments/trials and is widely accepted by the scientific community; a well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations.

  • Roger

    But Custador, she’s PRAYING for you! Don’t you realize what an awful burden it is to drop to one’s knees and mumble heartfelt pleas to an entity whose existence is, at best doubtful? Also, she’s had to flip through the pages of her KJV Bible to support her paper-thin arguments with random passages (from the NEW Testament, thankyewverymuch)! And she’s had to engage as many logical fallacies as one argument could possibly hold! Don’t you know what kind of sacrifice she’s making FOR YOU? Oh, the shame of it all.

  • claidheamh mor

    I’ve long noticed that a huge number of christians are illiterate.

    Sure there were intelligent people who couldn’t read before public schooling, but now I’m convinced of some correlation between illiteracy, which now is incompetence or refusal to read and master a language, and the lack of intelligence.

    Ignorance of a single fact is not stupidity, but continued willful ignorance is stupidity.

    I’m also convinced of some correlation between low intelligence and the ability to swallow, and continue to believe, christian beliefs in the face of today’s available facts and reasoning.

  • claidheamh mor

    Roger, I meant this reply on Mimi’s illiteracy to go after your comment.

  • Roger

    claid, when I read your reply, I figured it was meant to follow my comment.

  • Siberia

    like when Prometheus stole the fire from Gods to give it to us (pun intended, we have the same evidence for Prometheus’s tale and for Adam’s tale).

    And Promotheus was sorely punished, too. And he didn’t get three days on a cross and whoopee, Heaven – oh no, not Prometheus. He gets tied to a rock and have eagles feast on his liver. Forever.

  • Shawn Abbott

    Gravity is a reality or we would be floating around in space right now. The theory is a proposed explenation its not a law. Just like evolution, variation is a reality, but macroevolution is not a reality its still just a theory. One that you use to explain away the existance of God.

  • Custador

    Shawn… You’re just…. SUCH a dick. The theory of gravity is the theory which models and predicts why mass is atracted to other mass. The theory of evolution is the theory which models and predicts how living being change over the generations. Now, you may not like it, and I’m damned sure that you’re too stupid to grasp it, but they BOTH explain things that observable do happen.

  • Dennis

    Shawn
    Ever heard the term THEORY of gravity?
    In my opinion there is much more evidence for evolution than gravity as understood by Newton. (My big grip with bible thumper’s they never complain about gravity just evolution)
    What we used to call gravity does not exist per say, there is no attractive force that pulls us to earth.
    It is a warping of the space time continuum.
    Something like a one way road.
    Otherwise planetary bodies would have to have feedback instantaneously (if it involves matter to do so) and this would violate the speed of light.
    Imagine gravity shutting down for even a split second?
    Yikes! The universe would be in Chaos!
    Do some research, You will find that many scientists have serious doubts about the present theory of gravity.
    There is no unified field theory at this time.
    Dark matter? Dark Energy? Losing Time?
    The theory of gravity is in big trouble.
    I think the space time continuum is made of infinite velocity particles, this would be harder to prove than God not existing!
    Evolution has disagreements about details in the process, not the theory itself.

  • ??!!!

    Gravity is a reality or we would be floating around in space right now

  • Shawn Abbott

    yes variation does happen no argument

  • Shawn Abbott

    mmmmmm liver.

  • Custador

    “but I suppose it takes just as much belief in a Virgin Birth as to believe we evolved from a puddle of goo.”

    Nope. There’s actual proof that we did that. Any evidence at all for the virgin birth? Um, no. None.

  • Danny Cisneros

    Being created from the dirt of the earth might qualify as evolving from a puddle of goo?

  • Chris

    A Virgin birth in mammals will result in all female offspring because of the chromosomes . All the messiahs that I knew were mammals . Perhaps there was another reason why 12 guys followed Jesus around :)

  • Sunny Day

    All you have to do now is find the 4 corners of the earth and the pillars that support heaven.

  • decoolman

    I may add,
    Muslims: I may believe you/it but show me your evidence! :)
    cuz in Islam the religion is not just about faith like what the other religions says , but it needs belief and evidences !!

  • Yoav

    Evidence that so far you have completely failed to provide.

  • Jabster

    … and evidence that he will not provide on the grounds that there isn’t any. Just another believer trying to rationalise why thier faith is the one true faith while at the same time knowing that it has no evidence to support it.

  • Yoav

    Oh well, it was entertaining while it lasted.

  • Sunny Day

    The milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

  • http://ohmatron.wordpress.com/ Custador

    Why don’t you show me some third-party evidence a) that Jesus existed, b) that the disciples existed, and c) that the stories of Jesus in the Bible are accurate. Then we’ll talk.

  • Special

    Just a brief comment:
    “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

    The ”die” did not literally means die in the flesh as most might perceive it.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2007/05/02/dying-you-shall-die

    and ”never intended them to know the difference between good and evil, remember?” There was actually a >>freedom of choice<>
    it knew when they ”die” as in the link above they would be more easily deceived due to their ”choice”.

  • CoffeeJedi

    Waiter? Yes, I’ll have the word salad please, thanks.

  • Sunny Day

    So if you don’t like what words mean in the bible, you just pick a new meaning for it.
    Cool!
    What other parts of the bible are metaphor?

  • Special

    if you have really read the bible then you would know that not only once but quite a number of metaphors are used.. even when Jesus used parables to teach the crowd.
    it is not because we do not like the meaning of the words thus change the meaning but if we take it literally this is exactly how the devil uses the bible literally
    as in the event of Jesus’s temptation (read luke 4:1-13)

    therefore we cannot take word for word but instead read more and understand the meaning behind each verse.

  • Nzo

    Basically you want to be able to pick and choose what you take literally and what you choose to twist/forget in order to pretend your beliefs make any sense whatsoever.

  • Special

    if so then why do even normal people use metaphors Nzo? How are metaphors formed?
    are we also suppose to take metaphors literally rather than understand the meaning?
    do you mean that all metaphors**human made** the meaning **human made** are twisted and how can you justify that they are actually twisted or not when you were not beside the person who said/recorded/made it?? how can you prove when you were not in that time frame?? please enlighten me.. all of my latest comments were referring to the *genesis part of the comment where adam and eve ate the fruit**

  • Nzo

    Wow, I wouldn’t have seen your post had I not been browsing around.

    Metaphors are a communicative tool. There’s no contemporary documentation, whatsoever, that says the bible was meant metaphorically.

    I’d suggest paying a little more attention to your prose, as grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and logical flow tend to make a huge difference between someone understanding exactly what you say, and someone thinking you’re an imbecile.

  • John C

    He’s correct, Jesus said ‘My words are Spirit and life’ and Spirit is more metaphorical (pointing to a deeper/higher truth) than literal or academic in nature but of course the fundies don’t like this, its threatening to them but ‘the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God, 2 Cor 2:10′.

    All the best

  • Valten

    While indeed the author was mistaken about the mythical figures he mentioned (though there are some texts that may claim this I am unaware of),

    There is the Story of Perseus, who definitely Predates the story of Jesus. Perseus’s mother, Danae, was locked away to prevent her from concieving a child. Zeus came to her as a SHOWER OF GOLD and impregnated her. She later gave birth to Perseus.

    So, no it is NOT a new story. And while some suggest the “SHOWER OF GOLD” or “GOLDEN SHOWER” was a bribe to the guards guarding the room. It could also refer to the (rather disgusting) act of urinating on a person – possibly before or after ejaculation. However, neither is specifically stated, and the story was certainly around at the turn of the 1st century. And, as Josef and Mary were citizens of the Roman Empire, as was Jesus and his followers after, it is not so rediculous to think that they have not heard of that story. Likely they had heard it several times.


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