The Bible Encourages Abortion

bibleNext time a Christian talks about abortion, consider bringing up this verse from Ecclesiastes:

Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed—with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power—with no one to comfort them.

And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3)

In other words:

  1. The dead are better off than the living, and
  2. Those who have never been born are better than the dead and living.

A morbid, depressing teaching. But it’s not my holy book.

When an abortion is performed, the child is never born. Or if you’d rather, they are dead. Either way, according to this passage, they are better off than us.

In other words, the Bible teaches abortion is better than living.

Who are they to argue with God’s Holy Word?

(For the record, I don’t think abortion is usually better than living. I’m just teachin’ the holy word of Jeebus!)

Update: It seems my point is being misunderstood. If the Bible is taken literally as the “Word of God,” you can’t only take Jesus or Leviticus literally. You have to take Ecclesiastes, too. To me it seems obvious the writer of this was just having a bad day or really overstating his case (just like I did here). But it’s just an old book. I don’t have to agree with it. The literalist, on the other hand, must care about this because they believe this is the very words of God.

And if that is so, then what does this passage teach? Is it not that those unborn and dead are better off than the living? And don’t other passages say similar things? Don’t Christians look forward to heaven, which will be better than our current sinful lives? When people die, don’t they say they have gone “to a better place”? It’s the same logic.

What happens when this logic is applied to abortion? If Ecclesiastes is right, then aborted babies are better off than if they had lived. The same logic applies if babies go to heaven — they instantly go to a place of joy and don’t run the high risk of being sent to hell forever.

  • Graham

    But “the one who has not yet been” is why the godtards talk about life beginning at conception rather than when being born. They never explain why the majority of pregnancies abort spontaneously in the first month before anyone is aware of it. Perhaps ‘god’ hasn’t got over its desire to kill young children.

    • Jesus Freak

      Have you ever experienced death.? NO! Yet you probably know of someone who has died. Yes. Now what would you’re life be like if you’re mother had been killed before you were born. YOU WOULD NOT EXIST! There is an ultimate plan for this world and you despite your beliefs. You are part of it too. You cannot comprehend the wisdom and knowledge required to rule an earth of our magnitude yet my God (Yeshua) or Jesus Christ does that without blinking. Have you ever heard of sin? Obviously not! It is our fault that children (babies) die without being born. God is love, but you will never understand that until you enter into a personal relationship with him. God has a purpose for you and he is seeking after you, all you need to do is look for him too. God loves you!

      • K

        It seems as if you’re saying that God exists because a person wasn’t aborted by his/her parents. Do you really believe that this is sufficient “evidence” of God’s existence? That statement doesn’t even make sense! Not that I would expect a reasonable argument from any religious person, but damn. You could do better than that, I’m sure!

        If you really want people to explore Christ, try explaining away all of the hatred, violence, brutality, and sheer nastiness contained within the bible. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t follow Christ/God/whatever you wanna call it even if there WERE concrete evidence supporting it. I’d rather burn in eternal hellfire than kiss the ass of some egocentric tyrant.

  • trj

    I think you’re stretching things, Daniel. These ruminations are not an endorsement of abortion.

    Instead, look to Numbers 5:11-31 which is a solicitation for abortion coming straight from God. It tells that if a man suspects his wife has lain with another and become pregnant, he shall take her to the priest who will put a curse on her and make her drink dirty water.

    If the woman is guilty she will abort and become barren, otherwise she will conceive the child (5:27-28).

    So clearly God approves of abortion. You might even argue that he’s the one effectuating it (5:21).

  • J. Allen

    wow trj, that example is much stronger. I agree that Ecclisiastes left room for ambiguity clearly the penalty for adultery is abortion(makes sense in a tribal society, bastard children muddle the hierarchy). Though xtians seems to differentiate punishment from standard actions, it is still a slap to the face of the ‘carry the child at all costs’ crowd.

    Of course, you could say that all that is needed is to contradict ‘thou shalt not kill’ (which I believe is the main trumpet of anti-abortion, though I rarely hear them quote scripture) and of course that is done easily when reciting ancient punishments.

    I guess if the one of the punishments for adultery is abortion then it’s even worse than ‘eye for an eye’, if you believe the fetus is quantifiable for murder.

    I suppose Christ was supposed to cancel out all these old testaments rules (do not say ‘eye for an eye’), but if so the blanket ‘thou shalt not kill’ is obsolete also.

  • andyb

    I think it follows logically from Christianity: a great way to get to heaven is to die before having the opportunity of sinning. Why, then do dead babies* not make Christians happy?

    *or in the case of abortions, fetuses. fetuses are not babies.

  • Miguel

    If God likes abortion so much, howcome Christians are the leading opponents of abortion?

    You guys sure have an argument for everything.

  • andyb

    Miguel, the point is that many Christian’s do not even know what is in the book that they claim to follow.

  • Jer

    Ecclesiastes is one of the few books of the Bible that really feels a lot different than the rest of the books. It’s also the one that says

    “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.” (8:15)

    Nothing is better for a man than to eat, drink and be glad. Really not what the rest of the Bible teaches at all. And Ecclesiastes is full of stuff like this.

    But yeah, I agree with others – it’s really a stretch to say that that passage is in any way a defense of abortion. It’s more of a “the world is a terrible place, full of suffering, and there’s no real explanation for why” lament.

    I love this verse from the same chapter, actually:

    “There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless— a miserable business” (4:8)

    Totally the opposite of the “Christian work ethic” – toil for the sake of wealth and denying yourself enjoyment is a meaningless, miserable business. I love Ecclesiastes.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    BTW, if you disagree, explain why. Show why this logic is wrong. It doesn’t matter one way or another to me, as it’s not my holy book. But as far as I can tell, my argument is logical.

  • Somegreencat

    Another thing the anti abortionist claim is that it is murder. I am to lazy to find the verse in the OT, but doesn’t one talk about the death pregnant women is murder. If her fetus dies from any cause it isn’t murder as long as she lives.

  • Sunny Ng

    Egg-clay…Gah, how do you pronounce Ecclesiastes?

    • http://plasticpatrick.wordpress.com plasticpatrick

      ee-clee-zee-ass-teez

  • Sunny Ng

    This is the King James Version:

    4:1 So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.

    4:2 Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

    4:3 Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.

    Which version is that up there?

  • wazza

    just be glad it’s not a soft C

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  • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

    God has no problem with killing babies.

    When the Samarians rebelled, God proclaimed “they will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords.” (Hosea 13:16)

    And let’s not forget all of the firstborn children he killed as indirect punishment to a stubborn king. (Exodus 11)

    Maybe god is pro-choice after all.

  • Blah Daddy

    You guys are missing something. . .babies have to be born so they can be baptized, otherwise they don’t go to heaven. Whether or not they go to hell or purgatory is up to your particular flavor of Christianinsanity, but they all pretty much agree they have to be baptized first. My solution: holy water douche pre-abortion (‘course it’d never really get past the cervix.)

  • Roger

    Woo, boy. This promises to be a high-comment thread. I’m predicting at least 300 posts by Tuesday. God told me.

  • http://maaark.wordpress.com maaark

    The quality of a society may be judged not by how it treats it’s strong, beautiful, superior people but by how it treats its weakest members, the lame, the blind, those still in the womb. The womb should be the safest place on earth but in some societies it is not safe.

    Do you really want to talk about abortion, social issues, things that matter, or just looking for an excuse to vent your anger?

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ Daniel

    Daniel are holy rollers (theist of any kind) allowed to send you articles to post, I’m asking out of curiosity.

    Because I would think that if they are really serious about the existence of god. They would use this forum to spread gods word and to make the case for their invisible sky daddy.

  • Donny

    I find it amazing how people will twist the word of God to try and make themselves right with their sinful ways. Murder is taking of a life and life begins long before a child is born. Abortion is taking of an innocent life.

    • Question-I-thority

      Yes, human life began long before birth — about 3 billion years. If you are going to use a continuity argument then it’s best to be consistent. There is no grounding idea that a penetrated egg is human whereas an unpenetrated egg is not.

  • http://nathanrelson.wordpress.com nathanrelson

    This argument, like the debate over abortion in general, hinges over the the when the moment is that life begins.

    If you hold that life begins at conception, then under no circumstances (from the passage originally quoted) would abortion qualify as someone never being born (as they are already alive at the moment of conception)

    If you hold that life begins at a certain developmental stage of a fetus, then only partial term abortions would count.

    If you hold that life begins at the moment of birth (successfully leaving the womb by vaginal birth or c-section) – then any abortion would count.

    Also, there is also something to keep in mind when addressing scripture – regardless if you feel that the Bible was divinely inspired there is compelling evidence for the historical placement of the text (that is there is good evidence that the Bible was a collection of texts compiled over a long period of time). That being said, there is good reason to believe that all scripture was written with a specific context.

    That is, it was written by someone, to a specific audience, for a specific purpose. I say that out of curiosity – is that something you consider in your posts?

    • Konraden

      You’re missing the point entirely! The passage says those that are not born. It says nothing about life or conception: Just birth.

    • Moment

      I think Christians are rarely concerned about anything more esoteric than trying to keep a good woman down (just my opinion). However, in Judaism, life is identified with breath. As in, Yahweh breathed life into dust to create mankind. I think that from a spiritual point of view, you have not lived until you have taken breath, and the Bible-time fetuses were not considered to gain life until they popped on out of mama. Pop pop poppity pop.

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  • jedward706

    Guys — such a sad ranting — you are missing the amazing beauty and joy of knowing Christ. All of Scripture points to Christ! An inductive study of the bible — not some rigid “literal”, legalistic, out of context, “fools” approach — would open your heart to receive God’s grace and wisdom. There are many great Christian thinkers and writers for you to read…but, you are choosing lame, culturally debased arguments to attack here. The truth will set you free (Certain that you’ll be repeating that phrase back to me ;) — Peace and blessings! I leave you with the following passage.

    I Co. 1.18-31
    18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]

    20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

    26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”[d]

    • Moment

      Wouldn’t it be awfully interesting if all of scripture DIDN’T point to Christ?
      Hey, guess what, guys! ALL of my journal points to me being HOT and AWESOME. Let’s all start worshiping me against your better judgment.

      • Khan

        It’s easy to write the NT about Jesus and have him fulfill all those prophecies when the OT. written 1500 years before, was accessibly by those writing the NT. It’s like writing a sequel to a book..

        • rodneyAnonymous

          Yes, the Bible fulfills its own prophecies. Wow!

  • jedward706

    nathanrelson — Yes ! each book — a specific message to a particular group of people in a specific cultural context — this must be understood to sift out relative vs. absolute truths — Exegesis –> Hermeneutics

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00717831890396485515 Rachel

    When my dad was growing up int he 1950′s, his older brother’s wife had a series of miscarriages. My dad was a young boy and deeply distressed at the “death of these babies”. His evangelical and fundamentalist parents assured him that these “babies” were not really babies and they did not have a soul since they had not yet taken the “breath of life”. They then went on to quote bible passages throughout the Hebrew scriptures to prove their point that life does not begin until God’s spirit is breathed into a person.

    Interesting how the fundamentalist position has changed over the last half century. Makes me wonder if their current position is not more political than theological.

  • http://sourapplesblog.com Elliott

    There is an old joke about easing yourself into a conversation in a party. If you want to join in, all you have to do is walk up and say “yes, but where do you draw the line?” There is little in the world that is truly black and white — almost everything in our experience is a continuum phenomenon — but everyone seems to have an opinion about where one thing ends and another begins.

    Sexuality: people aren’t always ‘totally gay’ or ‘totally straight’. There is considerable overlap, but we try to shoehorn everyone into two exclusive, and therefore oppressive, categories.

    Morality: we all agree that killing is wrong, but there are certainly cases where killing is justifiable if not expected. For example, shooting a plane out of the air that would bomb an orphanage. Again, it’s not black and white.

    Biology: when does speciation happen? What line needs to be crossed? There isn’t one, which is what creationists don’t get. There isn’t a magic point at which animals can’t interbreed anymore. It’s just a matter of mounting independent changes which make interbreeding more and more difficult. We all agree that horses and donkeys, camels and llamas, lions and tigers are different species, but all of these can interbreed. Speciation isn’t black and white, it’s a grayscale.

    Language: at what point does a dialect become a language of its own? Is it a matter of mutual intelligibility? Because if that’s the case, Spanish and Italian could be considered different dialects of the same language. Hell, sometimes I can even understand German. Again, there is no strict dividing line between dialect and full-on separate language (some joke that a language is just a dialect with an army and a navy).

    Anyone who tries to give you a hard-and-fast rule for delineating things in a spectrum is a fool, and the same holds true for abortion and ‘when life begins.’ There is no ‘magic line’ to tell when a clump of cells becomes a human. If someone tells you otherwise, I promise you, they are wrong.

    • Konraden

      We consider it viablilty. Somewhere between 20-27 weeks, the fetus ranges from 20-99% viable. I would say life “begins” around here.

      One could also make the argument that life begins around the same time brain function does, which occurs roughly in the same period of time.

  • timothy mark

    The dead are better off than the living, and
    Those who have never been born are better than the dead and living.

    Taking such liberty concerning the authors intent and espousing an accurate interpretation like this is beneath you.
    As one who has formally studied scripture you know, fully well, the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.
    But, just in case you have forgotten, Hermeneutics is the discovery, understanding and use of linguistic and literary principles followed in order to to understand what an author is saying to his readers.
    Obviously your’s was not an attempt to develop anything close.
    None the less, I continue to benefit from the individuals here, how they express themselves and their ideas adds insight after creating desire for answers to difficult questions.

  • rodneyAnonymous

    “With or without [religion], you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.” — Steven Weinberg

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  • Nick DLP

    I think you are misinterpreting what the verse says. Saying that one is worse off (less fortunate) than the other, by itself, does not imply that death should follow.

    Assuming that souls are waiting to be born and that heaven exists, this verse only talks about how varying situations compare and makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, the initial assumption is where the bible and this verse fail.

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com lauradee24

    A fundamentalist would respond that those verses do not condone the taking of an unborn life anymore than they condone the taking of a born life simply because it is better to bed dead. In other words, you can use the same line of reasoning to condone the murder of any live person.

    I am not a fundamentalist (or a moderate or liberal believer), but I think that there are probably better arguments and passages for this kind of thing. :)

  • timothy mark

    It also says in Eccl:
    Do not be quick with your mouth
    Do not be hasty in your heart
    To utter anything before God.

    God is in heaven
    and you are on earth
    So let your words be few

    As a dream comes when there are many cares
    So the speech of a fool when there are many words.

    The journey of thought I believe, describes the mind of Solomon.
    The book can be viewed as the questioning skeptic who ultimately never let’s go of his faith in God.
    A man is allowed conjecture, meditation and thoughtful contemplation regarding the value and meaning of life.
    To share his doubts or skeptisism would be to deny his human nature. To draw a conclusion such as yours and avoid the concluding statement or verse denies the reality of his ultimate faith.
    Those that were burdened and without an understanding of God’s love had no one to comfort them. It is a mournful statement lamenting the absence of light or hope. It indicates not all were oppressed, the writer himself does not seemingly classify himself as such.
    The worthiness of living with God as the core of his existance; in spite of life’s turmoil, injustice, disappointment, evil, and grief, was the only thing allowing joy and contentment and a sense of purpose to abide in his heart.

  • http://google catie

    You are totally wrong about what the Bible verse means. get a real bible and really read what that verse says.
    God does not approve of abortion, in fact he hates abortion. God has made us in the image of Himself and we say that God is zombie from the sky. Dude! look at a pregnate woman she is caring a creation of God in her womb! many people are motivated by doing evil. the verse in Ecclesiastes means that it is better for a child not to be born so that the child does not see the evil things we are doing. the dead who are dead would more than likely be very glad they are not alive to see what we are doing. we have become evil and are starting to corrupt our nation. we who are still living are not happy because we are the ones who are killing each other. God is so not pleased with us. He I’m sure is very disappointed in us in fact. may be you should watch the “silent scream” on utube

  • ravenmaster451

    Any time someone looks at Ecc. they have to realize that it is written with the preface “under the sun” referring to the natural world or a world without Holy Spirit enlightenment. In EVERY case where someone dies without a saving faith in Christ it is better that they had never been born than to suffer an eternal judgment. Ecclesiastes chapter 12 verse 13 and 14 cannot be ignored.

  • ravenmaster451

    Sorry, I didn’t know I was yelling – thanks

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  • http://breathless.rediffblogs.com breathless

    I think some people (like you) get tripped up by the Bible or by a particular verse cos they fail to look at the Bible as a whole. If you read Leviticus, without reading the Gospels, it makes little sense. And the way I interpret Ecclesiastes–the ruminations of a believing man in despair and the depths to which he can descend in spite of his ‘belief’ in God. For me, it’s not a case for abortion, but a case for consolation-it’s ok for me to feel this way-God isn’t gonna condemn me for it cos hey!here it is in the Bible!

    • Konraden

      “It’s not the parts of the bible I don’t understand that scare me, it’s the parts I do understand” – Mark Twain

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    A little food for thought, although I’m not sure I can reach any conclusions about this:

    It’s interesting that Ecclesiastes says that those who have never been born are better off than those who have been. This isn’t unlike the claims of Hellenistic mysticism that matter is intrinsically evil and that it is best not to allow children to be born. (Much later, this notion ended up in many forms of Gnosticism in the Christian era and was even part of the philosophy of the medieval Cathars, their spiritual descendants.)

    However, this link may just be an appearance. Ecclesiastes is dated by textual analysis as having been written in something close to its present form around the middle of the 4th century BCE. (Many fundies and literalists believe it was written by Solomon, but generally this ideas isn’t taken seriously.) Thus, Ecclesiastes predates the Alexandrian age which opened up the Hebrews to Greek culture.

    Of course, Hellenistic mysticism had been around since around the dawn of recorded Greek history, so this idea predated Ecclesiastes, but unless Ecclesiastes was written later, around the turn of the 3rd century BCE or later, I doubt its author got this notion from the Hellenes.

  • claidheamh mor

    I have Miguel’s number.

    It’s 58.

    58. ARGUMENT FROM ARGUMENTATION
    (1) God exists.
    (2) [Atheist's counterargument]
    (3) Yes he does.
    (4) [Atheist's counterargument]
    (5) Yes he does!
    (6) [Atheist's counterargument]
    (7) YES HE DOES!!!
    (8) [Atheist gives up and goes home.]
    (9) Therefore, God exists.

    Unless it’s 73.

    73. ARGUMENT FROM EXHAUSTION (abridged)
    (1) Do you agree with the utterly trivial proposition X?
    (2) Atheist: of course.
    (3) How about the slightly modified proposition X’?
    (4) Atheist: Um, no, not really.
    (5) Good. Since we agree, how about Y? Is that true?
    (6) Atheist: No! And I didn’t agree with X’!
    (7) With the truths of these clearly established, surely you agree that Z is true as well?
    (8) Atheist: No. So far I have only agreed with X! Where is this going, anyway?
    (9) I’m glad we all agree…..
    ….
    (37) So now we have used propositions X, X’, Y, Y’, Z, Z’, P, P’, Q and Q’ to arrive at the obviously valid point R. Agreed?
    (38) Atheist: Like I said, so far I’ve only agreed with X. Where is this going?
    ….
    (81) So we now conclude from this that propositions L”, L”’ and J” are true. Agreed?
    (82) I HAVEN’T AGREED WITH ANYTHING YOU’VE SAID SINCE X! WHERE IS THIS GOING?
    ….
    (177) …and it follows that proposition HRV, SHQ” and BTU’ are all obviously valid. Agreed?
    (178) [Atheist either faints from overwork or leaves in disgust.]
    (179) Therefore, God exists.

  • Brian

    /in that time/. :/ jeez.

    He’s saying that in those times, it was so miserable that it was hardly worth it to live.

  • http://www.winextra.com Bill Vincent

    I’ve always hated listening to theists put a ‘spin’ on the words from their preferred religious text to support their own agenda. (think Landoverbaptist) It stings even worse coming from a non-theist.

    I can hope you were trying to be clever, and pointing out what most atheists have already discovered, that being that the bible, or any other ‘holy’ text, is generally written so ambiguously that it can be twisted to support damn near anything.

    I’m going with the latter, so I don’t have to stop reading your articles, mmkay?

  • John

    Shopped. I can tell by some of the pixels and by having seem quite a few shops in my day.

  • http://-- Konraden

    Don’t forget friend, Isaiah 40:8 says, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”

    Literalists can’t say “that doesn’t apply any more” either.

  • Some Kid

    i am a 12 grade student currently going to a catholic school. no my views are atheistic, but if it turns out there is a god, it won’t upset me. anyways… just read the article/blog whatever you wanna call and thought i’d throw my two cents in. first of all it still surprises me to find the sheer amount of bickering that goes on between atheists and “beleivers”. In my opinion, as long as your not harming other people, your a good person. doesn’t matter if you believe in god or not. now, the reason i stunbled across this article was for a religion project on abortion, lookin for a bible passage that could be used for pro-abortion. Ecclesiastes has been the only book that has come close to it. it obvious that “god” as the believers would call him is against abortion. thats fine. abortion is technically taking a life. but in some cases its necessary. its still bad, but somethings you just can’t help. i’m pretty sure if someone was coming at you with a knife, you would not hesitate to kill them to save yourself. abortion can be looked at in the same light. sometimes its necessary to save a life. but its a much more touchy issue than the self defense thing. abortion is right in certain situations. every situation is different. in my OPINION it rests to the MATURE parents of the unborn child alone. if the parents can’t make the choice, only then should others intervene. i’m sick of hearing people being anit-abortion and getting in the face of people who choose to have an abortion. everyody has there own opinion. so what if you disagree with someons opinion. leave them alone. everyones entitled to there own thoughts. intervention should only be put in place when people put there thoughts to misuse. Just Because abortions legal doesnt mean you have to get one yourself. live by your own morals and you will be happy. but be respectful of others. don’t ram your beliefs down others throats.

  • casey

    real men love jesus!

  • nateb

    Look, when we (nonbelievers) go searching through the bible looking for obscure inconsistencies like what you have done here, it undermines our claim to the rational argument. Please leave the reactive childish nit picking to those for whom it really is the only point they are able to make.
    thanks

    Nate

    • Joe B

      Disagree, it undermines their view’s internal consistency. Which separates it from the naturalistic/scientific/atheistic/whatever flavor of unbelief.

  • Free thinker

    If you think that this is bad one of the conservative blogs have porn being used as coloring books in school. http://seetheconservativetruth.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.zazzle.com/briman232* Aristotle’s Muse

    Alright you ignorant atheists… if there is no god, then HOW DOES THE SUN KEEP ORBITING THE EARTH? BAM!

    You see people, that’s how you deal with atheist skum. With LOGIC! Hit that bullseye and the rest of the dominoes will come down like a house of cards… CHECKMATE!

    And on that note…

    Dunt dun duuh DAAAAHHHH!

    !!!!!!!!!MY ATHEIST STORE!!!!!!!!!

    Aristotle’s Muse

    This is my store. Maybe wearing an atheist T-shirt won’t change the world, but enough of them just might.

    • Konraden

      Some of these designs are found elsewhere under more reputable companies. Are you infringing on production rights or any particular licenses by offering these shirts for your direct profit? Is someone else?

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Perhaps I’m stretching things. But it does say ” better than both is the one who has not yet been” — wouldn’t that apply to aborted babies? If so, then isn’t my logic sound? If not, show me why.

    I keep meaning to do a post on that Numbers passage too.

  • plasticpatrick

    I don’t know what version you are reading, but I have never understood this to mean that the woman was pregnant. When it speaks of the woman being “defiled” that does not mean “with child”. The Jews had (have) a concept of being “clean” and “unclean”. If she had committed adultery she would be “unclean” or “defiled”. Here is a modern translation with good footnotes.
    http://net.bible.org/bible.php?book=Num&chapter=5#n26

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    God doesn’t have an opinion on abortion, because he doesn’t exist.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” You guys sure have an argument for everything. ”

    Excuse me, your perfect divine invisible sky daddy who you claim Objective morality comes from makes a sick disgusting statement such as -

    ” but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) ”

    -and you make excuses for him. Daniel said he didn’t believe in this type of thinking which is more than can be said for your perfect, devine Invisible Sky Daddy.

    Why don’t you address why your perfect divine, Invisible sky daddy is inspiring scribes to write this type of foolishness?

  • Sunny Day

    “You guys sure have an argument for everything.”

    Actually its the Theists who have a argument for everything, godidit ad nasuem.

    It’s the atheist that goes, “hey where’s your evidence for that?”

  • trj

    If God likes abortion so much, howcome Christians are the leading opponents of abortion?

    Well, one explanation could be that Christians shape God in their own image and prefer to ignore obvious inconsistencies such as this one. Another explanation could be that God does exist but can’t make up his mind.

  • DarkMatter

    “If God likes abortion so much, howcome Christians are the leading opponents of abortion?”

    Hos 9:14 Give them, O LORD: what wilt thou give? give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

    - Because they are disobeying God. They should instead pray that God give them miscarriage, if their payers do not work, let the abortion clinics fulfill God’s will.

    “You guys sure have an argument for everything.”

    Daniel’s post is not difficult to argue from a christian’s perspective or faith. Why don’t you present a reasonable argument instead?

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Wow, Daniel. I’m not sure how a rational, intelligent person such as you with your background could seriously make this post. It’s stunning.

    Given your background, you must know what “prooftexting” is and how it an distort any piece of literature, including religious texts.

    Moreover, you must know that Ecclesiastes is filled with hyperbole — which has been understood for thousands of years.

    All that is needed to show that your argument doesn’t work is that word.

    From Dictionary.com:

    –noun Rhetoric.
    1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.
    2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

  • trj

    Your argument is that those who have never been born are better off than the dead and living.

    This group may include several types:
    1) Hypothetical unborn who have never been conceived
    2) Conceived unborn that have yet to be born
    3) Conceived unborn that will not be born due to provoked abortion
    4) Conceived unborn that will not be born due to other circumstances

    It’s not unfair to argue that Ecclesiastes might only refer to the first type rather than all four. In doing so the quote does not justify abortion.

  • Yoav

    Jesus (or the dudes who invented Jesus) was somewhat selective in the cancelation of OT rules. Its no longer a sin to have a BLT but homosexuality is still an abomination and gay people should not be allowed to marry (well actually they should be stoned to death). You can ease on the whole thau shell make no image but women should still be subservient to man etc.

  • http://sourapplesblog.com Elliott

    a kleezy-ASS-tease

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” Ecclesiastes is one of the few books of the Bible that really feels a lot different than the rest of the books. ”

    What do you mean by this statement. Wouldnt the Old and the New testament feel different than the old testament.

    Im not trying to be a jerk, I just asked because I only manage to get through 300 or so pages of the bible then I coulnt take it anymore.

    All of the he begat her and him and the various tribes mumbo jumbo became more than I could continue to read especially when I read one passage that said witches should be burned.

    Non of it really made any sense to me.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    So you disagree with Ecclesiastes, in that it’s better to be alive than be dead? Then I’d agree with you, too. But it’s pretty clear that the author of Ecclesiastes is being morbid here.

    BTW, notice I didn’t just quote one little part of the verse. I put some context too. If I’m prooftexting here, then it’s no different from the people who “prooftext” to show the Bible says everyone but them is going to hell, that gays should be killed, etc. And that’s the only people who this argument matters to.

    * * *

    I don’t think my point is being understood. It’s that if you take the Bible literally, you can make it say anything. You can’t just take Jesus or Leviticus literally. You have to take Ecclesiastes, too.

    The real point is that of course the author is exaggerating to make a point, though I disagree with the point he’s making. He was writing on a depressed day. It’s just a book. Who cares? But if you take this as the Word of God, then you have to care. You have to figure it out. That’s my point.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” Moreover, you must know that Ecclesiastes is filled with hyperbole — which has been understood for thousands of years. ”

    Ahhhhh so now once again we are all unable to understand GODS WORD unless we know how to interpret his word. Please explain why you are qualified to interpret the meaning of gods word and Daniel who was a Pastor for years isn’t.

    Also why is the perfect invisible Yahwew using hyperbole to describe what he wants us to do. Don’t you think it would be obvious to an all knowing God who created us that some people would not understand exactly what he meant and misinterpret his word.

    Why not just inspire his word without any exaggerations, without any metaphor that could be misunderstood.

  • J. Allen

    So every story that doesn’t fit in with your world view is ‘hyperbole’ then? Why is this story hyperbole but the virgin Mary story (talk about exaggeration) literal?

    That rationalizing excuses have been made for thousands of years doesn’t make them any less bullshit.

  • http://metroblog.blogspot.com Metro

    No disrespect, brgulker, but you gotta get a new dictionary, dude.

    I rather like Wordsmyth.

    Rhetoric is the essence of effective argument. And in the communications sense it is our intent, similar to motivation.

    Which, actually, doesn’t negate your point.

    I feel that Daniel’s making too much stew from one oyster here. Especially when, as mentioned earlier, there are other passages that can be found to say the same thing much more unequivocally.

    Although I really feel the point is that if you’re one of these “A Whole Bible, not a Bible full of holes” types, you’re stuck having to explain why you claim your interpretation is more valid (because true Biblical literalism is impossible in any half-civilized society, and probably impossible period), and why it isn’t inherently self-contradictory.

  • claidheamh mor

    @brgulker
    Wow, Daniel. I’m not sure how a rational, intelligent person such as you with your background could seriously make this post. It’s stunning.

    I found it more intelligent than your post.

    Given your background, you must know what “prooftexting” is and how it an distort any piece of literature, including religious texts.

    The way christians distort the bible to fit their meager knowledge of it and their preset beliefs?

    Moreover, you must know that Ecclesiastes is filled with hyperbole — which has been understood for thousands of years.

    So you find this one-sided. It’s a valid side, and makes more sense than your replies.

    All that is needed to show that your argument doesn’t work is that word.

    It takes a lot more than that word or any one word to invalidate his argument. That says nothing. It’s a false statement.

    That kind of “all that’s needed is that one word” stuff only works on bumper stickers or talking in smart-sounding but meaningless one-liners with xians who already agree with you.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Thanks to you, Elliot, I’ll never hear this book name the same again.

  • elflocko

    Hahaha!

  • Sunny Ng

    Heh heh, at least I can remember it easily.

  • wazza

    Ugh… sorry… that was a reply to Dan just up there…

  • wazza

    I assume a more recent translation, making use of the latest scholarship and translating into more modern english… I’d guess the NRSV, though I can’t be certain what Dan prefers

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    There is nothing recorded about Jesus calling homosexuality an abomination or encouraging the stoning of anyone. Concerning women, Jesus is actually radically liberal about them and the freedom they should have, given his historical context. If you’re going to post about Jesus or those who made him up, at least know what you’re talking about.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Here’s the logic for the other one:

    1) Christians think aborted babies are people that go to heaven or hell.
    2) Thus, aborted babies are dead.
    3) This passage says those who are dead are better off than those alive.
    4) Thus, according to the Bible, it was better they were aborted than living today, since they are better off.

    Of course this is all absurd. But people spend years studying and coming up with these kinds of arguments from the bible. This one just seems absurd because of the topic. But think about the theological formulations of the trinity — are they any less absurd?

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    From my understanding, it’s Catholics who teach that, not most Protestants.

  • http://custador.wordpress.com/ custador

    True. I find fundamentalist Christians so painful partly because, in the NT stories, Jesus is mostly a very liberal and open-minded guy.

  • LRA

    Yes, that’s true. It was Paul that screwed up Jesus’ message.

  • Samuel

    Leviticus 20:13 states that if a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have commited an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    Leviticus 18:22 states states that you shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

  • Joe

    Well there’s no mention of the unborn in those, so we can’t say God is for abortion from that. Those passages do show that he’s for killing babies.

    Maybe God’s a member of Maddox’s Regressive Party?

    “I have a different stance on abortion: I’m against abortion, but for killing babies.”

    http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=regressive

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” I’m predicting at least 300 posts by Tuesday. God told me. ”

    And you know what, no one here could disprove that god didn’t tell you.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    I’ll take your 300 comments by Tuesday and raise you a 300 comments by Sunday.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Submissions are open to anyone, but it has to be intelligent and well-written. I have put up one post by a theist, and I’d put up more if I received good submissions from them.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    @ markbey:

    I don’t know how many theists post/read this blog, but I doubt there are all that many. That’s just a guess, please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    LOL, Donny. As I’ve said, I don’t like abortion. I’m just havin’ fun with the bible.

  • LRA

    So when God commanded the Israelites to kill pregnant women, what was that?

  • Roger

    That’s what we call “a stretch.” A fetus–particularly in the first trimester, when the vast majority of abortions occur–isn’t “alive.”

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Abortion is taking of an innocent life.

    So is eating an animal or a plant, but I’ll bet you do that on a regular basis.

  • claidheamh mor

    Hahahahahahaha! Another force-controller of women, probably not doing a thing to help provide safe, effective, inexpensive contraception and vasectomies to prevent the abortions he claims not to want, keeping women chained to forced reproduction or sexlessness under the pretense of concern for “babies”.

    They never fail to show up. Even thought they = FAIL.

  • LRA

    “Historically, men have exercised enormous power over women’s bodies through controlling their sexuality and reproduction.”

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-family/#3

  • PStryder

    “The womb should be the safest place on earth”

    Says who? And why? What makes the womb so special that it ‘should’ be safer than anywhere else?

    Last I checked, wombs were not specially protected and hardened against all forms of damage and nastyness.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    If the womb should be the safest place, why did God make it so hostile? Most pregnancies result in early miscarriages because of that.

  • claidheamh mor

    maaark
    The quality of a society may be judged not by how it treats it’s strong, beautiful, superior people but by how it treats its weakest members, blah blah

    It’s glaringly obvious you don’t care how it treats its walking incubators women.

  • Sunny Day

    “The quality of a society may be judged not by how it treats it’s strong, beautiful, superior people but by how it treats its weakest members, the lame, the blind, those still in the womb. The womb should be the safest place on earth but in some societies it is not safe.”

    A fetus is not a member of society.

    That’s where the wheels fall off your argument.

  • Roger

    ;-) But I’d have to prove that God told me. But hey, isn’t my “faith” more than enough?

  • Roger

    Psh! LRA, don’t go confusing the morally superior with such nonsense as history!

  • J. Allen

    There is no mention of baptizing babies in the scripture of course.

  • LRA

    Ha! ;)

  • claidheamh mor

    Haha!
    Xians, never let yourself be confused by the facts!

    Do you really want to talk about abortion, social issues, things that matter, or just looking for an excuse to vent your anger?

    You got a problem with all of the above?
    Justifiable anger, and *your* problem.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    That was a kindness, of course. They deserved worse those evil sinners!

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    LRA don’t you get it, after being rebutted for a few comments christians lose their ability to read English and will refuse to respond to direct questions.

    Id love for Donny to explain why his perfect Invisible friend is making such statements in the first place.

  • http://maaark.wordpress.com maaark

    Submission

    If I correctly understand the basic premise of the atheist position it is that: the physical world is the totality of our reality and that all truth is subject to the law of scientific inquiry. True? – If I understand the basic premise of the theist position (limit here to Biblical model) it is that: our physical world originated from a spiritual creator and this spiritual creator is not subject to proof by law of scientific inquiry. True? – Given the differences in these basic premises is there any grounds for discussion at all? Is not nature the only common ground that all humanity shares? – My personal conclusion is that I can never “prove” anything to an atheist but only possibly convince him to reconsider his basic premise. Of course he also would like to persuade me that my basic premise is faulty.

  • http://maaark.wordpress.com maaark

    ooops I forgot to add something inflamatory. O well boring boring

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ maaark

    ” My personal conclusion is that I can never “prove” anything to an atheist but only possibly convince him to reconsider his basic premise. ”

    The basic premise of non believers is, no proof has been shown for the existence of god.

    Isn’t it also true that you could never prove anything to non christians.

    Isn’t it also true that your perfect invisible sky daddy isn’t helping you to prove that he exist by hiding. Isn’t it true that your Invisible sky daddy is hiding in spite of the fact that some christians (and other theist) have asked him directly to reveal himself.

    Don’t get mad at non believers for not believing in god when your perfect, all knowing just and loving invisible sky daddy will not reveal himself as proof of his existence.

  • claidheamh mor

    @maaark
    If I correctly understand the basic premise of the atheist position it is that: the physical world is the totality blah blah blah blah

    NO, wrong *again*! You went even wronger starting with “the atheist position”. Get it through your head: atheism is not a religion. That’s your bit, not everyone else’s.

    “a-” = “without, no”; ‘theos” = “god”. So you could say that an atheist position is requiring evidence for a premise, and sound reasoning based upon a sound premise. If you must have a simple, easy-to-remember rule to paint millions of people with your broad brush, that’s probably the best.

    Beyond that, I think you’re pushing the limits of simpleton-ism to assume large groups of people have some monolithic “position”.

  • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

    It doesn’t qualify as abortion of an unborn child when god commands pregnant women to be “ripped open by swords”?

    There is also the loving verse where god proclaims:
    “Though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad . . . JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”
    (Romans 9:11-13)

    This god may not be pro-choice, you can’t argue that god can hate a person and condemn them before they are even born.

  • Karleigh

    That page is the lolest thing I’ve read in many days :D

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Absolute truths like… “give to those who ask”?

    jedward, please give me your house and car. In Jesus name, thank you.

    How’s that absolute morality working out for you? :)

  • trj

    I think you’re manufacturing the absurdity by insisting on being literal and all-inclusive. I see how this can be a valid comment to literalists who never the less exercise selectiveness and allegorical interpretation, but if so, it is muddled by your less than clear-cut example.

    Here’s another example: Some people might say, genuinely and sincerely, that a person suffering from a painful and incurable illness would be better off dead. That doesn’t mean they’re advocating that someone should kill that person or other persons in similar circumstances.

    Likewise, I don’t think that Ecc. is advocating active abortion.

  • Miguel

    ” but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) ”

    - Uh, markbey, weren’t you the one arguing about the “ugliness” of baby elephants being eaten by lions a few posts ago? It seems to me, this statement, in a way, makes the claim that it is better that a baby elephant, like the one you were referring to, was never born, rather than being born into a world where he sees his siblings ravaged by lions. Don’t you think?

  • Miguel

    markbey says: “Excuse me, your perfect divine invisible sky daddy who you claim Objective morality comes from makes a sick disgusting statement such as -

    ” but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) ”

    - WRONG!! My perfect divine invisible sky daddy did not say those words! Job, another bible character, said them!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    I’ve heard it suggested that Eccliastes was written by a freethinker.

  • DarkMatter

    “… you are missing the amazing beauty and joy of knowing Christ …”

    If you have an argument or a message concerning the above that you want to be debated, argued or discussed in this forum, why not email Daniel to be posted in this blog?

    It will be nice to have less out-of-topic discussions or arguments, I thought.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” Guys — such a sad ranting — you are missing the amazing beauty and joy of knowing Christ. All of Scripture points to Christ! An inductive study of the bible — not some rigid “literal”, legalistic, out of context ”

    Please enlighten us on what we are missing, share the proper context with us if you dont mind. Why is your perfect god the author of such a confusing document (the bible).

  • PStryder

    “Inductive Bible Study” That’s one I haven’t heard before. I had to Google it. Here’s one of the links that came up:

    http://www.godsquad.com/discipleship/inductive.htm

    Reading this, it turns out Inductive Bible Study is nothing more than “Advanced Self Delusion”. It really seems as thought this ‘inductive bible study’ is totally vacuous. Anyone else get the same feeling?

    Now, Inductive LOGIC on the other hand is useful:

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

  • LRA

    “20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age?”

    This anti-intellectualist stance that Christians take is sooooo problematic.

    So, you think the world’s wisdom is foolish? Well, how did those vaccines you got as a child work out for ya? How about the penicillin you took when ill? How about the technology in the car you drive?

    I mean, really? So you’re calling Einstein a fool? How about Newton? Or Kant? Or Watson and Crick? All fools while you are *really* the wise one, huh?

    That’s just silly. Even foolish, I’d say.

  • Roger

    Yay! A bunch of Bible verses (without any kind of intellectual commentary regarding them) and a saccharine paragraph about how wonderful it is to “know” some zombie/invisible sky dude! Excellent! No one has ever posted that kind of stuff on the Internet before!

  • claidheamh mor

    John C gone, jedward blathers on in….

    vacuum abhorred and *ssssuuck* –
    vacuum gone.

  • claidheamh mor

    Hi LRA!

    Let’s see now:

    Paul screwed up Jesus’ message; Jesus screwed up the old testament’s message; and the councils of Constantinople and Nicaea screwed up ALL of the messages! (The ones we weren’t supposed to change a jot or tittle of, by the way. *snerk*)

    How DO the xians ever figure out what to take literally, what to regard as a story, and justify not fucking with “god’s” holy, permanent word? (When that’s all that’s ever been done, and it isn’t in the first place.)

    Oh yeah, they don’t!

  • PStryder

    Paul invented Jesus, adapting him from the many variations on the Mithras legends, which pre-date Christianity by about 1000 years, or more.

  • LRA

    Hi CM! :)

    Exactly.

    PStryder makes a good point too. Paul (being Greek and all) turned Jesus into Dionysus or Persephone. Essentially, Christianity is an Eleusynian mystery cult.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” – Uh, markbey, weren’t you the one arguing about the “ugliness” of baby elephants being eaten by lions a few posts ago? ”

    Dude the baby elephant being eaten alive statement was in response to your claim (or implication) of seeing proof of existence of god in beautiful things.

    Also please answer my question of why your perfect invisible god would make such a statement, especially given the fact that you believe objective morality comes from god.

    ” ” but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) ” ”

    Is this a representation of the objective morality you were talking about.
    Yes or no.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    Also Migue I absolutely do not like abortion, I think it is unfortunate and gruesome. But I also know from the experience of growing up that some people should never have kids.

    I don’t think I have a right to tell a woman who knows she may not have her stuff together that she must go through with the pregnancy.

  • boomSLANG

    Lol. If I’m not mistaken, I don’t think animals can “choose” abstinence when their innate instincts kick-in. Thus, even if we find the natural food-chain distasteful, there’s not much we can do about it.

    On the other hand, human beings can choose such things, including, the so-called “murder” of an embrio. What’s interesting to me, is from the Christian perspective, abortion eliminates the chance of a child growing up, never having exposure to “Christianity”. For instance, being born in part of the world where the cultural norm is a religion other than Christianity, thus, in the end, avoiding a situation where the individual is tossed into “hell” for not having the right “thoughts” in their head.

  • Samuel

    (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) If you read all of chapter 4 in Ecclesiastes, you will see that these are the words of job, not God. This complete chapter consisted of Job cursing the day of his birth because of satan striking him with painful boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Job refused to turn against God and curse him because of this.

    You have to read all to have an understanding of what is going on. You can’t just read a few verses and take from it what you want.

    This passage has nothing to do with abortion.

    Read chapter 2 and chapter 3 to get a full understanding.

    Don’t try to mislead people by just reading into a few verses what you want.

  • DarkMatter

    Of cause you don’t if you are unfamiliar the the “book”.

  • Miguel

    Dude, seriously. Typing in Capital letters doesn’t mean people are yelling. Most of the time people just want to emphasize certain portions of their texts. This isn’t a comic strip.

  • trj

    Don’t forget Hosea 9:16 – “… I will slay even the beloved fruit of their womb.”

    Or the timeless classic, Hosea 13:16 – “… their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up”.

    God sure doesn’t mind killing the unborn with gusto when it somehow suits his purpose.

  • Miguel

    I completely understand what your post about the ‘baby elephants’ was about. I was arguing that you misunderstood the bible verse that you just quoted. It doesn’t seem like God was saying abortion is OK. It seems like, whoever was articulating the passage was claiming that it was better for someone to have never been born at all, than to have been born in an environment where “evil deeds” of some sort were being done “under the sun”.

  • Elemenope

    It seems like, whoever was articulating the passage was claiming that it was better for someone to have never been born at all, than to have been born in an environment where “evil deeds” of some sort were being done “under the sun”.

    And where is it not the case that evil deeds of some sort are being done?

    Ans so far as I know, Ecclesiastes is no less Holy Writ (and thus, authored and/or inspired directly by God) than any other book, so the whole “whoever this guy is who is articulating this opinion” thing is a bit disingenuous.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ miguel

    Miguel will you please address this question I asked. Thank you.

    ” but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) ” ”

    Is this a representation of gods objective morality you were talking about.
    Yes or no.

  • Miguel

    “Is this a representation of gods objective morality you were talking about. ”

    – Perhaps you could re-read our discussion at the other post. Obviously you didn’t understand what I was arguing for. I never said that we can ‘witness’ God’s objective morality in the bible.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” It seems like, whoever was articulating the passage was claiming that it was better for someone to have never been born at all, than to have been born in an environment where “evil ”

    If any particular theist are correct about how to get to heaven and how not burn in hell then as boom pointed out below couldn’t it be argued that it would be better if all children born to parents not of the correct religion (whatever religion will lead you to heaven) not be born at all.

    Because the quote from Perfect Invisible Sky Daddy that Daniel posted, says that never being born is best.

    Like Boom said if you are going to be born into a culture that follows the wrong religion how can not being born at all be a bad thing, especially if you are guaranteed to get to heaven that way.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” – Perhaps you could re-read our discussion at the other post. Obviously you didn’t understand what I was arguing for. I never said that we can ‘witness’ God’s objective morality in the bible. ”

    I read all of your comments on the previous post, then reread them. You are so dishonest, I don’t think you are doing it on purpose I think your dogma blinds you to rationality.

    Where can we witness gods objective morality then my friend. Where have you seen any proof for the existence of objective morality at all.

  • Miguel

    “And where is it not the case that evil deeds of some sort are being done? ”

    – I’m presuming the “evil deeds” that was being mentioned in the passage was not in any way of the same gravity as, say, watching porn. So, to answer your question: I believe, in most cases.

    “Ans so far as I know, Ecclesiastes is no less Holy Writ (and thus, authored and/or inspired directly by God) than any other book ”

    – I think you are taking this “authored and/or inspired by God” thing too literally. It doesn’t mean that everything in the bible is a ‘teaching’ of God. Some, mostly in the OT, were just stories of the lives of God’s people, their interactions with God or with other people.

    “whoever this guy is who is articulating this opinion” thing is a bit disingenuous.”

    – I admit, I haven’t read the whole passage. So I don’t know who, in that particular passage, was doing the narration.

  • Miguel

    “I read all of your comments on the previous post, then reread them. You are so dishonest, I don’t think you are doing it on purpose I think your dogma blinds you to rationality. ”

    - Ok, then. Please point out to me where I said that we could witness/get/derive objective morality from the bible. Just because you can’t understand, doesn’t mean people are being dishonest to you.

    “Where can we witness gods objective morality then my friend. Where have you seen any proof for the existence of objective morality at all.”

    - No, and I never argued that I have proof for God’s objective morality nor have I argued that we can get it from the bible. I would also prefer that you reread our previous arguments and UNDERSTAND them this time. I find it tedious to be repeating them over and over again.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” – I think you are taking this “authored and/or inspired by God” thing too literally. It doesn’t mean that everything in the bible is a ‘teaching’ of God. ”

    So Miguel please give me some examples of things in the bible that aren’t the teachings of god.

    I have to tell you Miguel I have thought about this for years and I cannot figure out why an all powerful and perfect god would inspire a bible that has things other than his teachings in it.

    If something is in the bible and it isn’t inspired by god shouldn’t that be considered a lie.

    Are the ten commandments gods teachings and how would you know they are his teachings if everything in the bible isn’t his teachings.

  • Miguel

    “If any particular theist are correct about how to get to heaven and how not burn in hell then as boom pointed out below couldn’t it be argued that it would be better if all children born to parents not of the correct religion (whatever religion will lead you to heaven) not be born at all. ”

    - I’ve already argued this many times at this blog. Even if you worship your foot, because for some reason you were led to believe your foot created the universe – and you sincerely believed this – you can still enter heaven as long as you act morally. God wants to create a holy and moral people. Your eternal destiny is of your own volition, not of your circumstance.

    “Because the quote from Perfect Invisible Sky Daddy that Daniel posted, says that never being born is best.”

    - If you were born into an immoral setting, thus, in a way, were led to be immoral, then you cannot enter heaven (unless you change ofcourse). Thus it would have been better if you were never born. Aren’t we glad that Hitler wasn’t able to have kids?

    “Like Boom said if you are going to be born into a culture that follows the wrong religion how can not being born at all be a bad thing, especially if you are guaranteed to get to heaven that way.”

    - Because even the right religion does not guarantee that you enter heaven. Your eternal destiny is of your own volition, not of your circumstance.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” I was arguing that you misunderstood the bible verse that you just quoted.

    Miguel I wasnt interpreting the verse I was asking you a simple question, which you seem to scared to answered.

  • Miguel

    “So Miguel please give me some examples of things in the bible that aren’t the teachings of god.”

    -King David has the husband of his mistress fight in a war he is sure to die from. (Hmm. I wonder, was God teaching me that I should come up with an elaborate scheme to have the husband of my mistress killed? Hmmm….)

    “If something is in the bible and it isn’t inspired by god shouldn’t that be considered a lie.”

    – I believe everything was inspired by God, but not every single statement is a ‘teaching’. Read my example above.

    “Are the ten commandments gods teachings and how would you know they are his teachings if everything in the bible isn’t his teachings.”

    - Lol! Please read my example above.

  • Miguel

    “Miguel I wasnt interpreting the verse I was asking you a simple question, which you seem to scared to answered.”

    -Huh!? No, you were interpreting the verse to mean that God endorses abortion. Geez markbey, whats up with you?

  • DarkMatter

    So you are saying that particular “sin” of King David recorded in the bible is not inspired by God.

    Prophet Samuel is now accused of teaching murderous scheme.

  • Miguel

    “So you are saying that particular “sin” of King David recorded in the bible is not inspired by God. ”

    - YES.

    “Prophet Samuel is now accused of teaching murderous scheme.”

    - Seriously, Darkmatter, I have no idea what your talking about.

  • boomSLANG

    Miguel: “Even if you worship your foot, because for some reason you were led to believe your foot created the universe – and you sincerely believed this – you can still enter heaven as long as you act morally.”

    Oh? You can worship “a foot”, and qualify for “heaven”? Really? To my understanding, you are to have no other gods before you, as in, worship them. Whether it be “a foot”, or maybe some other invisible friend who resides in your cardiovascular organ, I would say that that constitutes idol worship, which to my understanding, is biblically forbidden. Are “forbidden”, and “immoral” mutually exclusive?

    Continues….”God wants to create a holy and moral people.”

    Then why didn’t “He” do just that? Is it because of “free will”? If so, then why complain when his “creation” uses their “free will” to an end that biblegod finds undesirable? And BTW, astonishingly, you bring up “moral” yet one more time, when even by your own admission, human beings do not get an objective “morality” from the bible, or the Christian philosophy. So…. should we be “moral” according to what biblegod says?…or what he does? Because, clearly, they are two different things.

    Continues….”Your eternal destiny is of your own volition, not of your circumstance.”

    You’ve missed or circumvented the point. Are you suggesting that those who have never been exposed to Christianity are “defaulted” into “heaven” upon death? It is clearly of no one’s “volition” that they are born, live, and die, never having been exposed to the Christian philosophy.

    Continues….”If you were born into an immoral setting, thus, in a way, were led to be immoral, then you cannot enter heaven (unless you change ofcourse).”

    An inanimate object cannot be “moral”/”immoral”. A “setting” cannot be “immoral”.

    “Aren’t we glad that Hitler wasn’t able to have kids?”

    Are you concerned that *Christian Communists are able to have kids?

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

    Continues…“….even the right religion does not guarantee that you enter heaven. Your eternal destiny is of your own volition, not of your circumstance.”

    Again, you miss the point, which is…. why. take. the. chance? Not being born at all eliminates *any* chance of an eternity in “hell”.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” -Huh!? No, you were interpreting the verse to mean that God endorses abortion. Geez markbey, whats up with you? ”

    No you fool, I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe the bible is inspired by god. I believe the bible was written (made up not inspired by god) by the men who wanted to control women and everyone else who wasn’t like them.

    You are the fool who claims that some parts of the bible are gods teachings/his word and some parts aren’t.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” Even if you worship your foot, because for some reason you were led to believe your foot created the universe – and you sincerely believed this – you can still enter heaven as long as you act morally. ”

    I cant believe some of the things you say, they are so easy to refute and poke holes in.

    What exactly do you mean by acting morally.
    Where do you get this belief from, what do you base this belief that it doesnt matter if you worship the christian god (or any specific god).
    Why is it that you believe in a path to heaven that is not indicated in the bible.

    Where does this insight come from.

  • Miguel

    Oh? You can worship “a foot”, and qualify for “heaven”? Really?

    - No need to build strawmen here, I was making a point about our eternal destiny not being a result of our circumstance(people born into other religions), which was the reason why I was careful to point out that, in my hypothetical situation, the person, due to circumstance, truly believed his foot was the creator of the universe.

    “To my understanding, you are to have no other gods before you, as in, worship them. ”

    - When God told this to his people, His people knew, objectively, that He was the one true God. So I believe that their worshiping other Gods would NOT be of their circumstance but of their own volition. If You were born into a Muslim family – then your religion is a result of YOUR circumstance. 2 very different situations, 1 was a result of volition, other was a result of circumstance -BIG difference there buddy.

    “Then why didn’t “He” do just that? Is it because of “free will”? If so, then why complain when his “creation” uses their “free will” to an end that biblegod finds undesirable? ”

    - I don’t see the logic here. Free-will gives us the power to choose. If we choose to go against God then we go away from Him. Our separation from God is, again, of our own volition. If we choose to be immoral, that again is of our own volition. I don’t see how you are able to put the blame on God, it seems reaching.

    “And BTW, astonishingly, you bring up “moral” yet one more time, ”

    - If you read the thread further upward, It wasn’t my intention to bring this subject up “yet one more time”.

    “when even by your own admission, human beings do not get an objective “morality” from the bible, or the Christian philosophy. ”

    - Yes.

    “So…. should we be “moral” according to what biblegod says?…or what he does? Because, clearly, they are two different things.”

    - Another attempt to bring up what you think are ‘immoral acts’ in the Bible. Again, perhaps specific quotes would allow me to refute them better (quoted in context). How do you expect me to answer such a question without quoting anything? Should I just say “No, your wrong! “? I don’t think you would be satisfied with such an answer.

    “You’ve missed or circumvented the point. Are you suggesting that those who have never been exposed to Christianity are “defaulted” into “heaven” upon death?”It is clearly of no one’s “volition” that they are born, live, and die, never having been exposed to the Christian philosophy. ”

    - Yes, so what is your point? It is their circumstance that they were not exposed to Christianity – which I argued their eternal destiny isn’t based on.

    “An inanimate object cannot be “moral”/”immoral”. A “setting” cannot be “immoral”.”

    - I didn’t mean an ‘immoral inanimate object’, I meant a sinful environment.

    “Are you concerned that *Christian Communists are able to have kids?”

    - I wasn’t talking about ‘Christian Communists’. Completely irrelevant retort.

    “Again, you miss the point, which is…. why. take. the. chance? Not being born at all eliminates *any* chance of an eternity in “hell”. ”

    - Are you referring to unborn babies? Or, hypothetically speaking, the person wasn’t ever conceived at all?

  • Miguel

    I said: -Huh!? No, you were interpreting the verse to mean that God endorses abortion. Geez markbey, whats up with you? ”

    You said: ” No you fool, I don’t believe in god. I don’t believe the bible is inspired by god. I believe the bible was written (made up not inspired by god) by the men who wanted to control women and everyone else who wasn’t like them.”

    - Wow, you are so “#$@%. So why did you quote Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) Under the assumption that it showed God’s endorsement of abortion? THAT WAS YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THAT PASSAGE! Can’t you get anything!? Your answer was just downright nonsensical.

    “You are the fool who claims that some parts of the bible are gods teachings/his word and some parts aren’t.”

    – Yes I claimed that some parts of the bible are stories of the people of God, their situations with other people, their relationship with God etc. So are you claiming that when King David initiated a plan to kill the husband of his mistress, which was a story in the bible, this is God teaching us how to kill husbands of our mistresses?!?! Are you claiming that everything n the bible is God’s ‘teaching!? And you call me a fool? So stupid..

  • Miguel

    “I cant believe some of the things you say, they are so easy to refute and poke holes in.”

    - Yes, but unfortunately you haven’t poked holes in them. I’m getting tired of debating you because you keep repeating the same questions over and over again unable to comprehend previously made arguments. This is getting unbelievably tedious.

    “What exactly do you mean by acting morally.
    Where do you get this belief from, what do you base this belief that it doesnt matter if you worship the christian god (or any specific god).
    Why is it that you believe in a path to heaven that is not indicated in the bible.”

    - Why are you suddenly questioning this particular belief? Is it because it makes sense? Many theologists argue this belief, happy now?

    “Where does this insight come from.”

    – Theologists who study the bible!

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” – Yes I claimed that some parts of the bible are stories of the people of God, their situations with other people, their relationship with God etc ”

    ” – Wow, you are so “#$@%. So why did you quote Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) Under the assumption that it showed God’s endorsement of abortion? THAT WAS YOUR INTERPRETATION OF THAT PASSAGE! Can’t you get anything!? Your answer was just downright nonsensical. ”

    This is my qoute I said nothing about abortion.

    ” Mark: Also please answer my question of why your perfect invisible god would make such a statement, especially given the fact that you believe objective morality comes from god.

    ” but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 4:1-3) ” ”

    Is this a representation of the objective morality you were talking about.
    Yes or no. ”

    I said nothing about abortion, I asked why your perfect god makes statements and by the way you didnt answer my question.

    I quoted it to show how crazy it is to believe in a perfect invisible sky daddy who claims to be moral and just and loving but then will make immoral statements and do immoral things such as this post is about.

    If my answer is nonsensical then so are a lot of other non believers here. Because the fucked up shit that your invisible sky daddy who is supposed to be perfect, just and loving does in my opinion makes a very strong case against the existence of your invisible sky daddy.

    Just because I don’t believe in the christian god does not mean I cant believe that things such as -

    1) Selling your daughter into slavery :Exodus 21:7
    2) Drowning thousands of innocent babies during the flood of Noah GE 6:11-17, 7:11-24
    3) Making the sun stand still so an army can kill more people Joshua 10:1-15

    - would be totally immoral if your invisible sky daddy commanded people to do them. Or if he did them himself.

  • Miguel

    “this is my qoute I said nothing about abortion. ”

    - You are being disingenuous! Are you telling me you did not interpret that passage to mean that God endorses abortion? Weren’t you asking if it showed Gods morality? Well if you didn’t interpret it as such, why would you ask whether it showed God’s morality or not? Wasn’t that a “gotcha” question?

    “I said nothing about abortion, I asked why your perfect god makes statements and by the way you didnt answer my question.”

    -I already answered it and said that IT DOESN’T SHOW GODS OBJECTIVE MORALITY BECAUSE I DON’T THINK WE CAN PROVE GOD’S OBJECTIVE MORALITY FROM THE BIBLE! And yeah, why should I answer your questions, when I don’t even know what they actually mean!? If you didn’t interpret this passage as implying God endorses abortion, then what is it I should answer in your question? You seriously need to learn how to debate, you logic is all over the place.

    “I quoted it to show how crazy it is to believe in a perfect invisible sky daddy who claims to be moral and just and loving but then will make immoral statements and do immoral things such as this post is about.”

    - What is so immoral about the passage you just quoted? Is it BECAUSE YOU INTERPRETED IT TO MEAN GOD ENDORSES ABORTION!? SO ARE YOU REFUTING WHAT YOU JUST SAID ABOUT “DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ABORTION” DISINGENUOUS MUCH?

    “If my answer is nonsensical then so are a lot of other non believers here. Because the fucked up shit that your invisible sky daddy who is supposed to be perfect, just and loving does in my opinion makes a very strong case against the existence of your invisible sky daddy.”

    - Uh, yeah. Thanks for your opinion.

  • Elemenope

    Dude, seriously. With the yelling.

  • Joe

    I mostly just wanted to put that reference/link in. But abortion is about choice. I don’t think the women are choosing to be ripped open by swords there, like they choose an abortion.

    God, against abortion, for killing babies (and fetuses)

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    You should take the time to study the Hebrew word that is translated there as “hated.”

    Not that you will, and not that I’ll bother to explain it to you, because it won’t matter, and I’m not here to try to persuade you.

    But, “hated’ is a really unfortunate translation of the word.

  • http://sourapplesblog.com Elliott

    Clarification:

    ‘but all of these can interbreed’ –> ‘each of these pairs can interbreed’

    :)

  • LRA

    Elliot- Great point! (as usual)

    It has been my experience that religious people aren’t looking to rationally explore these issues. They want a simple, easy answer so that they can get on with their lives.

    Too, bad. Socrates said that the unexamined life isn’t worth living.

  • Question-I-thority

    Thanks Elliot, that was a well articulated comment. Much of my frustration with fundamentalism and authoritarianism is this precise tendency to ignore gradation (in so many areas too).

    …language is just a dialect with an army and a navy….

    lol

  • http://www.elliottcallahan.com/blog Elliott

    @ LRA and Question-I-thority

    Thanks for the complements :)

  • PStryder

    “This argument, like the debate over abortion in general, hinges over when the moment is that life begins.”

    Life began 3.5 billion years ago.

    The conception, and development to eventual birth of a fetus is just the continuation of a very interesting and complex self-sustaining chemical reaction, exhibiting the properties of inheritance and variation, which began 3.5 billion years ago.

  • Devysciple

    This argument, like the debate over abortion in general, hinges over the the when the moment is that life begins.

    No, it does not. Because the question of abortion is a question of morality. Some people argue that killing an embryo/fetus is murder (i.e. fundamentally immoral), as it already posesses human qualities.
    Others, including myself, argue that we cannot say for certain when that lump of cells finally turns into a human being, but are pretty sure that it cannot be said of a embryo/fetus up to the first trimester to be a human being. Thus abortion is morally acceptable under certain circumstances.

    So, the debate over abortion in general hinges over the question at which point a lump of cells turns into a human being.

  • Miguel

    “Lol. If I’m not mistaken, I don’t think animals can “choose” abstinence when their innate instincts kick-in. Thus, even if we find the natural food-chain distasteful, there’s not much we can do about it. ”

    – I agree, but thats beside the point. You can replace the word ‘elephant’ with ‘humans’ to understand what I was saying.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I don’t think my point is being understood. It’s that if you take the Bible literally, you can make it say anything. You can’t just take Jesus or Leviticus literally. You have to take Ecclesiastes, too.

    I get your point, and I agree. But surely the point of Ecclesiastes is to be hyperbolic, to demonstrate so much of the “vanity” and “meaningless” of so many of the things human beings pursue, right?

    One can take the point literally and still understand the hyperbolic nature of the text, I think.


    The real point is that of course the author is exaggerating to make a point, though I disagree with the point he’s making. He was writing on a depressed day. It’s just a book. Who cares? But if you take this as the Word of God, then you have to care. You have to figure it out. That’s my point.

    I don’t disagree at all. The fundamentalist reading of the text is not the only reading, but unfortunately, it’s the only one you seem to be allowing as an option.

    For example, I could take Ecclesiastes to be a fully human work of literature and understand it simply as wisdom that’s been passed on through the generations. If I choose to understand it that way, I can accept the hyperbole of this statement (and of the entire piece of literature as a whole) and glean some meaning from it.

    But you’re right. If you simply take such statements completely literally at face value and ignore the genre of literature, historical context, authorship, etc., then you have a mountain of problems. But let’s not pretend that’s the only way to go about it, because we both know that’s not the case.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    One more follow-up.
    “And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun

    I think it’s fair to conclude that the point of this short passage is not what you emphasized but rather the point that I emphasized.

    The recurring theme of Ecclesiastes is that the world is full of vanity and meaninglessness, and human beings spend far too much time chasing those meaningless things (obviously, from the perspective of the author).

    When this passage is set within that larger thematic context, I think the emphasis falls on the last sentence, which is exaggerated by the hyperbole that comes before it.

    For those reasons, I don’t think your interpretation is a fair one, even if we were assuming sort of literal understanding — because a literal understanding of the text doesn’t necessarily mean one takes the words at face value and stops there. Some people would take “literal” to mean a literal understanding of the point of the text, as best as that can be understood.

    From my perspective, then, the point the text is making is not that it’s better to be dead than alive; rather, that image is used hyperbolically to highlight the evil and meaninglessness that permeates so much of human existence.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I never said it was God’s Word. You’re simply assuming that I accept that. My own hermeneutics aren’t that simple.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I’m not making excuses. Ecclesiastes is part of an ancient literary genre (as is Psalms, Song of Songs, and others). It’s called wisdom literature, and it’s not unique to the ancient Hebrews. That’s been understood in Jewish and Christian circles for a long time.

    There is a mountain of academic research and literature about such genres.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Not completely accurate. There are implicit references, not explicit references.

    And yes, Catholics baptize babies. A lot of Protestants do as well (Lutherans, PResbyterians, etc.). However, only Catholics teach that such baptism washes away original sin.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ brgulker

    ” I never said it was God’s Word. You’re simply assuming that I accept that. My own hermeneutics aren’t that simple. ”

    This is your statement I responded to.

    “Moreover, you must know that Ecclesiastes is filled with hyperbole — which has been understood for thousands of years. ”

    If you don’t believe this statement is gods word, then doesn’t it bother you that a book claiming to be the word of god has things in it that aren’t his word. Why would a perfect all knowing god allow this knowing the confusion it would cost.

    Please give me a few examples of things in the bible that aren’t his word and things that are his word.

    I’m trying to see exactly where you are coming from.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I didn’t say that the entire Bible (not just that phrase) is God’s Word.

    I don’t have any problems admitting the humanness of Scripture — but its humanness doesn’t mean it’s not important to me.

    So, my point is not to try to defend God’s word but rather to provide an alternative way to understand the text posted by Daniel, because frankly, I think he knows he presented a very insufficient, one-sided interpretation of what that text might mean from the perspective of the author.

    I’m not simply basing it on my best guess, however, because I spent seven years in school studying religion. I know ancient Hebrew and have studied Old Testament genres extensively. That doesn’t make me the authority on the issue, but I think it does allow me to present some alternatives.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    So how do you figure out which parts are from the Almighty, and which parts are from lowly humans? Seems like a pretty tricky thing to sort out to me.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    This is going to be incredibly oversimplified: I understand Scripture to be the human witness to Jesus, in whom I believe. In a previous comment I admitted that I understand my belief to be just that, and I understand the epistemological limits that come with accepting it as belief.

    I said before that I remain a part of the Christian fold because it’s the most convincing explanation of human existence I’ve found — Creation – Sin – Redemption is the model that gives purpose to human existence and motivates me to seek good and justice in the world.

    I’m not a fundamentalist. I don’t really bother trying to evangelize, and I have no problem admitting that my epistemology has problems.

    To your question: I don’t bother trying to sort what is God’s Word and what is not, because I don’t see that to be the point of Scripture. Because I understand Scripture to be a witness to Jesus, in whom I find the ultimate meaning for my own human experience, I don’t tend to get involved in those debates.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t value Scripture in my own life, and that doesn’t mean it doesn’t irritate me when people present such one-sided presentations as this.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ brgulker

    “I din’t say that the entire Bible (not just that phrase) is God’s Word.

    I don’t have any problems admitting the humanness of Scripture — but its humanness doesn’t mean it’s not important to me. ”

    Why would a perfect all knowing god allow this knowing the confusion it would cause.

    If you know that the bible isn’t completely inspired by god, if you know the bible isn’t totally gods word, then why refer to the bible as gods word.

    Do you consider the bible to be gods word. Yes or no.

    Please give me a few examples of things in the bible that aren’t his word and things that are his word.

    I’m still trying to see exactly where you are coming from.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ brgulker

    ” So, my point is not to try to defend God’s word but rather to provide an alternative way to understand the text posted by Daniel, ”

    This sounds like you are defending gods word to me.

    I’m still confused by you however Id love to know exactly how you distinguish between what parts of the bible are gods words or not.

    Also if the entire bible isn’t gods word/teachings then how to you explain this lovely quote.

    ” Timothy 3:16 All scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work “

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    @ all christians especially Miguel and Brgulker

    If the entire bible is not the word of god then how do you explain this qoute.

    ” Timothy 3:16 All scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work “

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    So explain to us the original author’s intention. (And who is the original author, BTW? It is an anonymous work.)

  • DarkMatter

    “Taking such liberty concerning the authors intent and espousing an accurate interpretation like this is beneath you.
    As one who has formally studied scripture you know, fully well, the difference between exegesis and eisegesis.”

    But what are those restrains that The Good Lord says of your arguments that are above us in this post?

  • Question-I-thority

    Christian literalist positions are always changing as a response to cultural pressures. You’re right, we rarely hear the ‘breath of life’ arguments any more. Other areas shifting during my life time are divorce and re-marriage, paternalism, female leaders, believers role in politics and homosexuality. With the rapid rate of change any sect that didn’t adapt would look like the Amish in a few generations.

    When I was on the inside, True Belief seemed so static. I’m reminded of Einstein’s thought experiment where he ‘rode’ a marble looking at another moving marble in coming to an understanding of relativity.

  • Elemenope

    Yes, but don’t forget that Socrates was a heathen atheist freethinker bastard, and he got what was coming to him. ;)

  • Alex Guggenheim

    Ah yes, you want to argue merits but then in the end dismiss it all as fiction. You stand as a monument of confusion and contradiction.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    I’ve been trying to do that, at least in terms of its literary genre and thematic elements.

  • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

    The debate of abortion is about choice. The act of abortion is the destroying of a fetus. That act can be done by force or by choice. God was ordering it by force.

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Okay, new dictionary point taken, but I don’t think there’s going to be a whole lot of meaningful difference about the definition of hyperbole, is there?

    Although I really feel the point is that if you’re one of these “A Whole Bible, not a Bible full of holes” types, you’re stuck having to explain why you claim your interpretation is more valid (because true Biblical literalism is impossible in any half-civilized society, and probably impossible period), and why it isn’t inherently self-contradictory.

    Well, that’s not really my point of view. My point is that Ecclesiastes is a work of literature from a particular genre — and let’s just forget that it’s part of a religious book for a minute.

    When one takes that entire piece of literature as whole — again, even as extracted from a bigger religious work — several thematic elements come to the fore.

    One of them is that human beings spend far too much of their lives chasing vanity and meaninglessness — and sometimes even evil. This particular passage fits into that broader thematic element, and when taken as such, the hyperbole becomes quite clear.

  • Elemenope

    I think the point of Ecclesiastes is that human wisdom is powerless to provide *meaning* to life. Not that it doesn’t produce other fine things.

  • trj

    LRA, for the true believer “wisdom” is redefined to mean “belief in God”. If you doubt God, you are not wise, simple as that.

    This also explains the fundies’ common anti-intellectual stance, since people with higher leves of education tend to be less religious. So of course intellectualism must be a bad thing.

    To most people intellect and wisdom are correlated positively, but to fundies they’re correlated negatively, due to them having their own definitions.

    In summary:
    Wisdom = belief in God
    Intellect = blind pride

  • DarkMatter

    “So you are saying that particular “sin” of King David recorded in the bible is not inspired by God. ”

    - YES.

    “Prophet Samuel is now accused of teaching murderous scheme.”

    - Seriously, Darkmatter, I have no idea what your talking about.


    My mistake, sorry.

    So you are saying the recording of that particular “sin” of King David in the bible is not inspired by God.

    Prophet Samuel is now accused of teaching murderous scheme.

  • http://progressatallcost.blogspot.com/ markbey

    ” One of them is that human beings spend far too much of their lives chasing vanity and meaninglessness — and sometimes even evil. ”

    Why wouldn’t god just give actual non exaggerated examples of this vanity you are referring to.

    Why use metaphor when there are real life examples that would cover this, such as Solomon and his thousands wives.

    You gotta be extremely vain to even consider marrying 1000 women.

  • Devysciple

    Daniel, I don’t want to shatter your hopes for a new car and house, but I think Mr. J. Edward has written Poe all over. It’s just a gut feeling.

  • J. Allen

    The story of Job of course is an ancient Babylonian story, rewritten by Jewish priests to fit their religion.

    http://www.piney.com/BabTabuBel.html

  • Karleigh

    “Don’t try to mislead people by just reading into a few verses what you want.”

    Yeah, because religious leaders trying to influence people NEVER try to do that, do they??

  • rodneyAnonymous

    erm… wrong thread… oh well

  • Elemenope

    Which I’ve always though was crap. Good people (i.e. well-intentioned people) manage to do evil all the damn time, and need no assistance from religion to do so. The whole save-people-from-themselves mentality has deeper psychological roots than religion, and has justified all manner of evil.

  • trj

    Hemlock FTW!!!

  • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

    So it should have read, “before he was born, ESAU I EXTREMELY DISLIKED”?

    What is the difference? God was casting angry judgement on an unborn child regardless of the translation.

  • J. Allen

    Okay, so let’s say these books should be read like poetry, and not literal literature.

    Are these all God inspired poems? Written by priests or others? Who wrote them and what meaning should we ascribe?

    -It seems at this point the bible is not ‘the word of god’ but a ‘book about god’, and there is a difference to believers there.

    If their meaning is not clear, then what purpose to they serve to our generation, since my interpretation is as valid as yours, when it comes to how these books relate to ‘living christian’.

    Why may the bible hold up against literary research which critiques the flow of the language, but not sociological research, which easily explains the disciples behaviors to rationalize the death of their messiah with denial and deification.

  • LRA

    And yet, human wisdom has a long and distinguished history… from the Vedas to David Chalmers…

  • claidheamh mor

    Good answers. And they want to control women.

  • rodneyAnonymous

    I think the point was not exactly to make a sound argument, but to illustrate that the Bible can be interpreted in almost any way to justify almost anything. The logic is extremely (identically?) similar to many Christian justifications of dogmatic morality.

  • http://unreasonablefaith.com Daniel Florien

    Well I’m glad someone is getting the point! ;)

  • Sunny Day

    “Says who? And why? What makes the womb so special that it ’should’ be safer than anywhere else?”

    Well it is the safest place on earth for a fetus.
    The problem occurs when you try to equate fetus with a person.

  • http://custador.wordpress.com/ custador

    And that means precisely nothing. The bible also says you should beat your children to death if they disobey you, but I don’t hear you harping on that one.

    Get it straight: Scripture is NOT, repeat NOT, evidence.

  • tablet

    Leviticus was written for the times. Don’t eat pork, we don’t know how to cook it. Don’t lay with your own gender, we need kids to grow in number. Don’t touch dead things! They may have died of disease that you can catch!

    It’s really very logical when you think of it. But these things are really needed now, as we are no longer tribes, but a united front.

    Additionally, if you don’t follow all of those, why just follow those few? Dont eat any animal that cheweth the cud.

  • tablet

    s’cuse me, i typoed up there. I meant “aren’t”. These things really aren’t needed.

    abominable: 1 : worthy of or causing disgust or hatred : detestable 2 : quite disagreeable or unpleasant

    And so one can conclude by Leviticus 20:13 that things that are disagreeable, unpleasant, disgusting or hated should be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.

    So I dislike McDonalds. I can put it to death, right?

  • http://custador.wordpress.com/ custador

    Yuhu. And the only thing that could set Frodo free from Sauron was to cast the One Ring into Mount Doom. It’s a work of fiction, it’s not something to base your whole life upon.

  • http://custador.wordpress.com/ custador

    Good grief, you’re back… How had Daniel contradicted himself, exactly? He doesn’t seem particularly confused, either.

    Still waiting on your evidence in the other thread, by the way, lest you forget. I haven’t.

  • trj

    I came to realize that was what you were doing, and the tortured logic you apply may even emphasize your point, but at the same time it distracts because it’s so over the top.

    Why must subtlety be so HARD!!!

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com lauradee24

    I see! Thanks for clarifying.

  • rodneyAnonymous

    The reason it’s obvious / not subtle is that an atheist using the Bible to make an actual argument is absurd.

  • http://custador.wordpress.com/ custador

    God didn’t do squat. God does not exist. The bible is evidence of precisely nothing. It is a collection of fairy tales with no more basis in fact than Aesop’s Fables. The sooner you come to terms with this, the sooner you can stop blaming God for everything and become a grown up.

  • Somegreencat

    Which bible is the real one? If he hates abortions then why is it his will that they happen? Last time I checked a pregnant woman is carrying a child created most times by a man and woman. I’m nit evil nor am I unhappy. What I find funny is you say we are corrupting our nation but most of the ones that have ruined areas of this nation call themselves christians. I am glad I don’t believe in any of the gods so many think exist.

  • LRA

    Please ignore him. He won’t answer you with any sort of substance– only empty rhetoric.

  • http://redheadedskeptic.com lauradee24

    I am not very good at picking up on subtlety in written language. In person, yes, but I see written things as concrete. It is rather terrible, really. I think it is probably related to the fact that I am an auditory learner as opposed to a visual one, but I could just be really stupid, too, haha.

  • boomSLANG

    “Which I’ve always though was crap. Good people (i.e. well-intentioned people) manage to do evil all the damn time, and need no assistance from religion to do so.”

    Hello again,

    If “well-intentioned people” intentionally did things that they knew were not “good”(for sake of argument, let’s say, things that they know from the on-set will cause unnecessary harm to others), then couldn’t we agree that they cannot qualify as “well-intentioned”? Moreover, couldn’t it be that since “evil” and “sin”, etc., are, to the best of my knowledge, religious concepts, and thus – intentional, or not – that doing “wrong” is simply part of our innate predisposition to use less-than-perfect judgement? In other words, every human being uses poor judgement and has acted unethically at times, but to label those poor judgments “evil”, then in concept, doesn’t that require “religion”….. as in, borrowing from its philosophy(ies)? After all, what is “evil” to a Naturalist/Secularlist, in your opinon?

  • claidheamh mor

    @trj
    LRA, for the true believer “wisdom” is redefined to mean “belief in God”.

    You are not talking to “true believers” who share your private delusion. You will have to come up with something better than that.

    trj Reasoning

    @trj
    If you doubt God, you are not wise, simple as that.

    Support this BELIEF with evidence and reason. Produce something to show that it is more than your imagination, fancy, belief. You are spouting unsupported nonsense, simple as that.

  • Elemenope

    After all, what is “evil” to a Naturalist/Secularlist, in your opinion?

    It depends on which secularist you’re talking too, but in general many secular systems of ethics maintain a concept of “bad” or “evil”. What that is depends on the system; consequentialists would associate evil with harm, deontologists with a breach of duty. Only moral nihilists would lack a relevant interpretation of “evil”.

    The case of virtue ethicists like myself is a bit more complicated (insofar as delineating ‘good’ and ‘evil’ is not the focus of the system), but what proceeds from a base character such that it diminishes the flourishing of the self and other would easily be termed “evil”.

  • LRA

    Actually, anyone using the bible to make an argument is absurd.

  • rodneyAnonymous

    zing!

  • rodneyAnonymous

    Although I meant the posing of the argument, not the argument itself :)

  • timothy mark

    Any other definitve truths you care to share?

    To say with absolute, all knowing authority, God doesn’t exist? Would imply extension of your realm far beyond the confines of a web site.

    You consitently use examples of evil being evidence that God doesn’t or can not exist? Do you offer this as the ultimate proof?

    Or should free thinkers just accept your word as undisputed fact.

    Rational people can come to doubt any aspect of a Religion. With steadfast conviction deny the possibility of a Supreme Being. Convince others with their fervor and intensity. But produce conclusive evidence?

  • trj

    If you re-read my comment while realizing that I was in fact describing the fundie mindset, rather than my own, it will make more sense to you.

    Subtlety is HARD!

  • Elemenope

    It was my understanding that Catholics use paedobaptism for similar doctrinal reasons to most protestant denominations, as a symbol of the unearned grace of God (somewhat similar to the symbolic interpretation of circumcision), and not having to do with commutation of original sin.

  • Elemenope

    Never said I agreed with the author of Ecclesiastes. :)

  • Elemenope

    I have never understood this to mean that the woman was pregnant.

    FWIW, neither have I.

  • trj

    I completely agree that the woman would be considered unclean (defiled) if she had commited adultery (or, as the Bible says directly, had sex with another man).

    However, she would be unclean no matter if this got her pregnant or not. Since the ritual makes her barren it means that should she be pregnant as a result of her adultery, that child will not be brought to term.

    That pretty much describes an abortion to me.

  • Elemenope

    Hate to point this out, but at the time this was written, the people reading it would have been Jews, not Christians, who obviously would not have read Jesus into the passage. Without that little nugget, your whole analysis makes little sense.

    Try an exegesis that makes sense from the Jewish perspective, and we can talk.

  • ravenmaster451

    Thanks Miguel. But Ecclesiastes does NOT talk about abortion – it talks about NOT EVER BEING conceived. And regarding Elemenope, Christ is evident throughout scriptures even if in a pre-incarnate form. Although, neither he nor the Spirit are present in Ecclesiastes. It was written from a frustration perspective from someone that gained all there was to gain secularly and realized that to achieve everything and miss a true relationship with God was worse than vanity. an exegesis would not benefit here since a jewish perspective would be like walking out of a movie without understanding why there were bloody shoes in the closet. But thanks anyway

  • Elemenope

    God gave the book to the Jews. So, no, you fail it. Try again, and actually face the problem I posed to you.

  • Elemenope

    Generally, emphasis is properly done online with italics, or occasionally bold if it’s something you really want to draw attention to. If you want to draw attention to individual words but don’t want to bother with HTML tags, *asterisks* also work.

    But even if you didn’t know that, when you follow your capitalized sentences with exclamation points, you’re definitely yelling.

  • Miguel

    Ok, I’v been trying to figure out how I could italicize some portion of my comments for some time now.

    Nevertheless, sorry I gave that impression. I didn’t know that when people typed with capital letters while adding exclamation points at the end, it was ‘generally’ perceived that they were simultaneously ‘yelling’.

  • Elemenope

    To italicize, use…

    [i]text you want italicized[/i]

    …except instead of square brackets, use carats (the “greater than” and “less than” signs, usually above the period and comma on a standard keyboard.

    For bold, same thing, but instead of an “i”, use a “b”

  • LRA

    like this?

    or this?

  • LRA

    Ha! Thanks ‘Nope!!!

  • Sehro

    But, according to the story, God has already condemned you. “Original Sin” and whatnot.

  • Somegreencat

    LOL I have to say these are some of the best I have seen. The sad part is have known a few people like this.

  • Kristina

    Godtards is the funniest thing I’ve heard all day.
    Thank you.

  • http://plasticpatrick.wordpress.com plasticpatrick

    Just read Ecclesiastes and you will understand why it’s not like the other books in the Bible. It barely mentions God. It is world weary poetry. It also contains one of my favorite verses that’s fun to throw at fundies. Ecclesiastes 10:19 (New International Version)

    A feast is made for laughter,
    and wine makes life merry,
    but money is the answer for everything.


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