Holding God Accountable

If God existed and was “all-powerful,” what actions/events should he be held morally accountable for?

(Note: Your answers may or may not be used in a top-secret art project…)

  • http://billym.macabreink.com Billy

    How about Haiti, all the earth quakes, the women who get raped, the women who get beaten, the kid who gets picked on and shoots up a whole school. He should be held accountable for the good, sure, but all the bad things too. The bad out weighs the good these days.

    • LRA

      Harlequin ichthyosis. (warning, google it at your own risk).

      • beyonddeities

        Holy shit.

        • LRA

          Yeah… what kind of god does that to a newborn baby???

          • LRA

            ps. As a person who studied genetics extensively, I have to say that the idea of a benevolent god in the face of so many things that can go wrong seems absurd.

            • Darwin

              Damn, I find a way to quote Catch-22 every other day:
              “There were lymph glands that might do him in. There were kidneys, nerve sheathes and corpuscles. There were tumors of the brain. There was Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, amyotropic lacteral sclerosis. There were fertile meadows of epithelial tissue to catch and coddle a cancer cell. There were diseases of the skin, diseases of the bone, diseases of the lung, diseases of the stomach, diseases of the heart, blood and arteries. There were diseases of the head, diseases of the neck, diseases of the chest, diseases of the intestines, diseases of the crotch. There even were diseases of the feet. There were billions of conscientious body cells oxidating away day and night like dumb animals at their complicated job of keeping him alive and healthy, and every one was a potential traitor and foe.”

        • Aufwuch

          I believe the Old Testiment god would fit right in there….

  • JohnMWhite

    Everything. Pretty sure he says so himself.

  • dutchhobbit

    I guess the best would be sending all non-believers to hell. I mean he is the one who makes them unbelievers.

    • Steph

      That is a very valid point.
      He created the minds that made that.
      What was he thinking?

  • Matt

    The reboot and ending of Battlestar Galactica.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

      I loved the ending of BSG!

      Lost OTOH…

  • Nzo

    All the “natural” abortions, stillborns, diseases, mental disorders, and clowns.

    • Aufwuch

      clowns and mimes…

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

        *shudder*

  • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

    Nothing….it an’t his fault! Nature is nature….man is man. Earthquakes are natural, get used to it. If people want to live in flood plains, don’t be surprised if they get flooded out! Man is his own worst enemy. So much for the expression: “the devil made me do it”. “Why do bad things happen to good people”? There aren’t any “good” people. Muslims think they’re good people, Jews think they’re good people, Christian’s think they’re good people and everybody else thinks they are good people. The only problem is that each of these,and so many more, groups believe the “others” are bad people. God isn’t screwed up….man IS! Nature takes it’s course throughout the world irregardless of race, creed or nationality……so grow up humanity!

    • 6uldvnt

      Uhh, Michael? The question is, “If God existed and was…” I’m pretty sure we all realize that there isn’t a god.

      • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

        Did I indicate(in all my sarcasm) that I believed that God existed? Whether He/She?It exists or not, “Mother Nature”(non persona) does! But if there was a “spiritual God”, there is not a person alive that could not deny it’s existence(you can not disprove what you can not see…..in a “spiritual” way). Air we can not see, we breathe it…….we can not see gravity, but it holds us in place. Therefore if a person does know that God exists, it would be very hard to convince that person that God doesn’t exist. Each to their own. The problem lies with people who are convinced that they know the “word” of God and are “divinely” chosen to carry out what God says. Maybe if the temptation weren’t there to play God, we wouldn’t be commenting on their insane, laughable(sometimes….more often very scary) actions!

        • http://fantasy-clay.com Susan

          Michael-
          If you are going to argue a point, start with the conditions. It’s not if or who believes. You start with the construct of If God exists- assume that, then forward.

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            But I KNOW that “god” exists…..that knowledge helps ME! I don’t believe or like religion. In my experience man created religion in order to justify beating up his neighbour….NOTHING else! Furthermore in my spiritual travels I have discovered that “god” and religion don’t mix at all. It is man’s own inhumanity towards each other that has linked god and the devil in a religion in order to put blame on them rather that on himself. I do NOT believe in prosletizing and I don’t condone it! God, a name and that’s all it is, for me is totally spiritual and had nothing to do with creating man or the dumb laws which some people and religions have dubbed “THE Word of God”. We are totally to blame for the messes, wars and deaths that have plagued humanity from the start! It is not for me to judge my fellow man whether he believes in a god or not….I abhor the very notion. I am severly disgusted with people who say they are god’s messenger only to feed the masses with intolerance, hatred while stuffing their bank accounts with riches! Forgive me, if I offend anyone with thoughts.

            • Baconsbud

              You say you aren’t religious but know there is a god. How? Why? With out religion you have nothing to base your belief on. Do you believe in a god because you don’t have the answer to the many questions you have about life? I can understand someone within a religion believing in a god because of the many lies they are taught but without religion there is nothing to even hope to base a belief in a being not needed to live life.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              It is not my intention to confound you. What I have found is for me and only me. If you believe there is no god, then believe it indeed! If I were you I probably wouldn’t believe either. It was the insanity of religion that made me want to know something outside of our corporeal existence. Religion didn’t satisfy me, it just made me sick. I started on a “spiritual” journey and what I found was not unsimilar to Gnosticism. My mind does not believe, my spirit does. If you want to convince me that god doesn’t exist…please do, I would very much enjoy the experience!

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Wanna make a bet! You live your life and I will live mine. Just a suggestion, give up the Catholic rhetoric, it just doesn’t work on me! Think for one minute, could there be a god that has NOT been represented by any religion on earth? That is the god I know. The Jewish god and the christian god are NOT the same. This is where we have been fooled! How does this sit with your christian sensibilities?

            • Kodie

              Could you describe the god you made up? Could you describe how you know it’s the real one? Because, by process of elimination, no god is possible. I would very much like to hear about what qualities of god you imagined are real, since you seem to like to write a lot of posts, you might as well get it out.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @Kodie: Why would I want to do that? I didn’t make any god up! It was noted that the early Catholic fathers were very troubled and aggravated when dealing with the Gnostics, especially when asking the same question of them as you have asked me, the answer they got was always the same: “Look to God”. That is my answer to you also! Perhaps you should try not to be too Catholic in your thinking!

            • Kodie

              See, that’s just it. You didn’t look to god. Whatever you saw when you did fit perfectly with what you decide to do. That’s why he “spoke” to you, because you were the puppeteer. He can tell you all the right things because he’s not really there.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @Kodie: I really do respect what you are saying and I would agree with you, but what I discover in my spiritual journey can only be for me. What you do is totally up to you. I don’t expect you to understand but please realize that as a Gnostic, I don’t judge you in any way what so ever according to your thoughts and beliefs. In fact on the surface of what I sometimes fail in putting into words, if I were you I would pose the same questions and statements. I probably would also punch holes in any argument in which a god is brought up. But after 30 years on a deeply personal spiritual quest, I have discovered “something“ that exists outside of my corporeal existence. From now on let`s not call it “god“, let`s call it the “big, over-ripened banana“!

            • Kodie

              I would still like to know what qualifies the god you look to for the job of god, and what makes you believe that he’s true and all the other ones are false. I mean other than refuting the bible. I think those people look to god too and listen to what they think he says, just the same as you do.

            • Nox

              Flying spaghetti monster may be a better placeholder than big over ripened banana, since one invariably brings Ray Comfort’s magic banana to mind.

              Btw michael, are you familiar with Einstein’s definition of “god”?

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              The other gods…..what gods? There are no gods! In my case I “see” an eternal spirit(for the lack of a better term). I have seen a spiritual transformation that is not unlike what the NT says. It is my union with this “spirit” that has changed me spiritually. I’m sorry for the terminology but words fail to describe what I have discovered. How others live their religious lives isnot really my concern, but when they hold up the bible and shove their alien(nothing at all in tune with the NT) views down our throats, using every pugilistic tool at their disposal, I think they really must be put in their place! They talk of forgiveness of sins but don’t show it. The essence of the NT is love…..do they show love? The problem is not god but the people who use the term to strike out and hurt those they don’t like! Religion is the problem and all the concepts that go with it! Dump the whole thing in the garbage and then start again to discover if god actually does exists. Open your mind to the possibilities. A god that is outside of religion.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @Nox: FSM….sounds perfect! I have trouble trying to understand Einstein’s Theory of Relativity….oh, hell….I need a calculator just to count to the beat of four when playing the piano(I studied it in university with a major in Music History). So, do tell….what did he say of god? Was he talking of the jewish or christian god? Might he have said that to reach god, we must travel at the speed of light? Wouldn’t that be fun! Scotty.step on it……warp one!

            • Kodie

              @michael — No gods are possible that are worthy of the title. You may think a god has transformed you spiritually, don’t you think that’s adding an extra step? You transformed yourself… does that not make sense to you? The way I see it, you still have an imaginary friend. Your quest to bother the religious christians is great, but I’m still curious, you haven’t answered my question what qualities could such a god have. You also accused me of thinking of this in a “catholic” way. I have done nothing of the sort. I have no biblical basis or teaching whatsoever. My examination of the possibility of a supernatural figure does not even bear on the biblical god, the popular version of god. Since you act as though you are outside of all that, I am going to ask you again, what qualities does this god have that are even possible? Your god claim has to endure the test just like everyone else’s. You looked to him and he guided you on a spiritual journey, well so did my pet stuffed chicken, Cecily.

              You seem to think atheism is about, or at least, what you do here is to team up with atheists against the popular modern christian fundamentalist. What I’m trying persistently to get at is the unusually superior qualities your god has that rests beyond our scrutiny. Please.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @Kodie: I truly wish I could answer your question, but I have found that trying to put into words what I “believe” is just not possible. How can I describe how much love I feel for those around me. I can’t…no one can. Words fail, miserably and perhaps this would be my time to simply not bother to tell anyone anythiong. What could be gained by exposing what I hold very dear. I have found peace in my life and not by creating a god or boogey man to shoo away “bad” people. I do understand where you are coming from and can appreciate your questioning of what I know of the “divine”. Each of us has the right to believe in what we want, it is not our right to inflict or even infect others with our religious views. If I have done so without knowing it…..my profoundest apologies. One of my favourite composers is Gustav Mahler. Some would think him to be a god, others worship him but in the end all I have left is a collection of CD’s. Life is too short to be worried about stepping on some one else’s pet worm. So for the rest of the time we have left on this lonely planet, let there be no more talk of gods and monsters. I am in every aspect of the word an atheist, despite what I type. I loathe theology in every way possible. That will never change. I do not equate god with religion and theology. That would seem to be illogical to you but thankfully not to me. I must keep myself open to all possibilities. I also apologize for the “catholic” remark, it was typed partially out of frustraton.

              Thank-you for putting me in my place! I just wish I could tell you all that I have attained, but alas that is not possible. Perhaps my time away in Calgary(Jesusland) and my absence from this blog, will clarify my thoughts.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @Kodie. Here is the deal: You put into words exactly how much you love some one that is very close to you and I’ll tell you of what I know of god. I want to feel the strength of that love, so that I’ll feel it within me. You do this in word only and when I feel the full power of that love bursting forth within me, I’ll tell you of god. How does that sound? Deal?

    • Revyloution

      And I quote the great philosopher Henry Rollins:

      “And there’s these people who build their houses in the flood plains. And the rains come. And there standing there crying “Why god? Why’d you take my house away?”.

      Because your stupid! You built your house in a flood plain. Go buy a fucking canoe and call it a double wide. Go fuck your sister”

  • James G.

    He created the universe with the complete knowledge of everything that was going to happen, while having the power to change it. He knew that the Holocaust was going to happen, and the Armenian genocide, and the many hundreds of acts of brutality, murder, rape and abuse. And he didn’t lift a hand to stop any of it. He has absolutely no claim to moral superiority.

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      Once kicked out of the garden of eden, man was left up to his own devious mind. Why should God step in….man has a free mind. Do you think he minded terribly when his creations turned to incest to propogate: “Adam and his wife(sister, mother??!!)”. With that kind of inbreeding, it is no wonder that we are all idiots, 6,600 years after the creation of the world! Why should God step in and clean up the messes cause by his idiotic, thoughtless “kids”? And do you think the kids would thank Him for stepping in?…NO WAY. Like all other kids in this world, they just go ahead and make another mess…..and another…..and another……..and another………….

      • Bender

        Once kicked out of the garden of eden, man was left up to his own devious mind.

        So we are excused of worshipping him, right?

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          Who says “he/she/it” wants worship? More catholic rhetoric!

      • Robert Krampf

        Given the context that was set (God exists and is “all powerful”) then the biggest thing he should be held morally accountable for would be not putting a fence around tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If he had, we would all be living in Eden.

        • Yoav

          Or just adding a footnote to the instructions. Don’t eat from that tree. and by the way, talking snakes should not be trusted.

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

            Never mind that the snake told the TRUTH….

            • Nox

              “Never mind that the snake told the TRUTH”

              This always bothered me even when I was a christian. If you actually look at the text, god lies to Adam and Eve, and the Serpent tells them the truth. Even leaving aside the little subliminal message that god doesn’t want us to have knowledge, there is still the contradiction problem. First god tells Adam “in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die (Genesis 2:17)”. Then a little later the talking snake tells Eve “You will not surely die, for god knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like god, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4-5)”. If this were a true story, this is the part where we would say one of these characters was lying. We find out soon enough when the two humans eat the fruit and “the eyes of both of them were opened (Genesis 3:7)” and Adam does not die. In fact the 5th chapter of Genesis claims he lived another 930 years after eating the fatal fruit. And none of that is the trippy part. In Genesis 3:22 god is quoted as saying “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil”. Something which is eerily similar to what the snake is quoted as saying a little earlier.

              So, yeah, if one were to consider this a true story, then the snake did quite clearly tell the truth. So a literal reading of Genesis would suggest that the first sin in the story of original sin was committed by god.

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

              Exactly. So it makes the most sense to me to reject a “god” that lied to, and then punished, his creation, all for calling his bluff and eating the fruit. Satan, on the other hand, represents freedom. We ARE gods.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Remember, it’s just a STORY! Look at it this way: God creates man and later woman, they have children who later with their wives(?) and husbands(?) go out and populate the world. Sounds genetically frightening, doesn’t it? But wait, in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, God says sex with immediate family members is absolutely forbidden and failing this the guilty must be stoned(presumably he meant “stones” and not LSD…..which is what would be needed to fall for this crap) to death. Well, damn it, I wish he’d make up his mind! The Genesis tale is at best an allegory, because if it actually happened it would go a long way to explaining why we have so many in-bred idiots walking this world believing in a god that can save us from the boogey man!

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          In the garden of eden?….still commiting incest? “God” didn’t seem to mind then!

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          The story of genesis is at best an allegory that was read to children to put them to sleep. Try it, it really works!

          • Sunny Day

            Pass.

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      Did God ever make claim to “moral superiority”? I can’t seem to remember seeing in word or by voice that he was superior to anybody. Maybe I’m wrong!

      • Francesc

        Why should a god be superior to anyone? What a silly idea!!

  • http://since83.com Eric Hamby

    Well since he says he is everything.. and makes everything… why not hold him to everything.

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      Did he make you? Did he shape you into the person you are? Are you proud of your achievements or do you give thanks every day to “God” for doing it for you? I feel that blaming God is just a slippery excuse to put the blame on something other than ourselves. Hey….let’s blame Satan…..yup….the devil did it!

      • Jamesgetgood

        This is an atheist website. Most people are talking about the hypothetical existence of a God. God doesn’t exist.

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          I thought we were talking about some of the weird things “his” kids do! I realize there is no “his” but we’re still stuck with the damn brats!

          • Aufwuch

            Michael, please…go take a nap, or pill. or something….chill man. Then maybe try again later.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              What?! and lose track of the thoughts coming from my obviously superior mind? Mind you pain medication to relieve my arthritis might come in handy, thanks mate! “God” must have been talking through you!

            • DarkMatter

              ” I feel that blaming God is just a slippery excuse to put the blame on something other than ourselves.”
              By itself, it can be misleading, not what you are saying though.

          • DarkMatter

            “I feel that blaming God is just a slippery excuse to put the blame on something other than ourselves”
            I know those damn brats blame satan.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Blaming what we can’t see, whether it be “god” or “satan”, for our own mistakes is a slippery excuse for man to be inhuman: “I didn’t shoot that man, the devil made me do it”, “send me a million dollars, or God will kill me”, “Jesus loves you and so do I”, “god will wipe out your sins and forgive you”, “god wants you to send me $18.00 a month to do his work”…..etc. What astonishes me is that people actually fall for this crap!

              Here is the scenario that makes me sick: “I know, Judge, that I raped and killed that young girl, but now I’m saved by Jesus’ blood and I’m born again!”. The judge gives him a light sentence and everybody praises Jesus!

              Are the courts that gullible to fall for that crap? Does everybody buy this? Maybe I should rob a bank and then claim that I did it for God in order to accomplish his work in an unbelieving world……yeah ….sure!

          • DarkMatter

            Yeah.

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          Please prove that! I am not asking as a deist but as some one would like that statement proven!

  • Olaf

    NOT GUILTY!
    He had nothing to do with the creation of this universe and the further development of it.
    He has a valid alibi never to have had anything to do with this universe. And Lucy is his witness.

    • Francesc

      lol
      And Egyptians can testify that global flood never happened!

  • Christine

    If he existed, he should be accountable for throwing all of us mere mortals under the bus: he gleefuly lets US feel responsible for everything that HE has always had the power to change.

  • Revyloution

    An argument could be made that much of human suffering is caused by other humans. While he enabled us, he isn’t directly culpable for our actions.

    More than anything, I think God would be morally accountable for all the horrible parasites in the world. Bot flies that grow in the eyeballs of children, Guinea worm causing the suffering of millions, the vast number of deaths from malaria, and that nasty candirú fish that swims up the urethra of your penis and extends spines so that it can’t be removed. If life were designed, as opposed to evolved, then these horrors would be proof that God is a morally reprehensible cad.

    • Elemenope

      I think this is pretty close to where I would stand. It is pretty difficult to assign moral culpability to an entity for actions that were done by another entity, even if the first entity could predict the actions with perfect precision.

      What you could assign ethical weight to are the conditions created by that entity that set up the choices (for good or ill) that other entities make. If ambient conditions strongly favor brutality as a methodology for survival, then some culpability can be laid at the feet of the entity that created the system that favors brutality as a behavioral outcome, even if the entity itself never engages in brutality. Such an ethical claim against the moral environment might be met by a clever God (or theist) by pointing out that we have no way of knowing whether it is possible to create a better moral universe than this that *also* contains the features that God and/or entities within that universe do or could value. If this is the best possible world that meets whatever those criteria happen to be, most of the ethical weight of the claim on the moral environment would be absolved.

      My meta-ethical stance on moral realism makes the notion of a Deific morality fairly insensible, since if there were a God, a divine command theory of morality would make far more sense. But if there were a God, such a theory of ethics would indicate a meta-ethical status for God that would make assigning categories like good or evil to its actions or intentions problematic at best in any case. At best, entities like us could make claims analogous to morality insofar as that morality affects and operates on us, knowing full well that the physical and interactive relationships that subtend those moral rules (like mortality, pain, and the capacity for violence) almost certainly don’t apply with an entity as different as a God.

      • Revyloution

        Well said Elemenope. Likewise, the same god cannot accept credit for good. If the theist want’s to claim that evil is the product of free will, then all good must come from the same source. In truth, our concept of ‘good’ requires more hard work than evil. Greed and selfishness are easy, where altruism and charity require hard work

        • Elemenope

          Likewise, the same god cannot accept credit for good. If the theist want’s to claim that evil is the product of free will, then all good must come from the same source.

          Quite so. Gods are, by necessity, so alien to human concepts of morality that it is dubious to assign attributes like “goodness” to them. I think the theist’s out that this might be the best universe that meets qualifications God sets doesn’t go very far when one realizes that those God-valued qualities might well be so bizarre as to yank the discussion straight out of a moral plane.

          For example, what if God just really digs electron orbitals, and that any universe that didn’t have atoms with s, p, d, and f orbitals is, to Him, just a universe not worth creating. So He creates the physical and metaphysical conditions necessary to allow intricate atomic structures, and it just so happens that such a universe also spawns intelligent life as a tangential consequence, which ends up in the God’s-eye analysis to simply matter much less than those beautiful, valuable electron orbitals He craves. It’s certainly possible; this is the mess that the Theist’s out opens up. What is the moral grounding of a universe in which God cares more about electron clouds than He does about humans? He might still care about humans very much, but would not take any action that disturbs his precious orbitals (which he cares more about); obviously in such conditions the moral analysis gets nonsensical from a human point-of-view pretty quickly.

          • http://agnosticism2010.blogspot.com/ nomad

            An indifferent God. But what would be worse is if these incidental organisms were somehow able to interfere with his precious orbitals, or if he just wanted his orbitals clear of organic infection. A hostile God.

      • Ty

        “It is pretty difficult to assign moral culpability to an entity for actions that were done by another entity, even if the first entity could predict the actions with perfect precision.”

        We do this all the time. Many people are held accountable for the actions of others if they don’t take appropriate action first.

        If you say to your psychiatrist, “I’m going to shoot my boss” and the psychiatrist does not immediately inform the police, they lose their license. Lots of other examples of the same kind of thing.

        • Custador

          Indeed. Even as a student nurse I am legally (and ethically) obliged to stop and render first-aid / medical assistance to the best of my ability if I see a person who looks to be in need of it. I can be sued and disbarred from registration as a nurse if I don’t.

        • Elemenope

          This is only because there is a prior, accepted role wherein that duty is *expected*. I see no parallel duty claimed by a God.

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      You forgot some parasites: the tax man, the ultra rich banks, the greedy profiteering corporations(that would rather pay you a dime to make a car), the high priced doctors and especially lawyers, housing developers, funeral companies that won’t even spare you from high prices AFTER you’re dead……but what really “kills” me…..churches and tele-evangelists who rip off everything dollar that they can convince you to give for “God’s” work(and their Cayman Island/Swiss bank accounts). They do earn the CAD awards of all time!

      • Custador

        As an ex-tax inspector who was in teams that recovered hundreds of millions of pounds defrauded from the treasury and prevented billions of pounds more in potential tax-frauds, I take exception to that. Or perhaps you think that hospitals are parasitic. Or the police. Or the fire-service. Or the army. Or public libraries. How do you think these things are paid for? By the way, if you’re in the USA you already have some of the lowest taxes in the developed world.

        I will also point out that the people who stop those dishonest preachers from banking all their immoral earnings off-shore? That would be Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in Britain and the IRS in the USA.

        • Elemenope

          By the way, if you’re in the USA you already have some of the lowest taxes in the developed world.

          Income tax burden, maybe, though the apparent gap gets quite a bit smaller when other payroll taxes are included, as well as state and local levies. It’s also difficult to track the relative impact of VATs and other consumption taxes per capita since consumption of goods is not flat over all income groups; this is made worse in the US with wildly differing sales tax rates, state to state. For example, my home state has a general consumption tax rate of 7%, while my S.O.’s home state has a general consumption tax rate of 0%. Also, service goods tend to get the crap taxed out of them; in the industry I work in (hotel and lodging) in my state there is an *additional* 6% service tax on top of the consumption tax.

          Interestingly, on the other hand, the US has one of the highest *corporate* income tax rates in the world. I think we only get beat by Germany and Japan, and only there by fractions of a percent.

          • Custador

            I suspect that’s because your constitution was designed to not allow any personal tax at all and to fund government purely through corporate tax; there’s a lot of debate about whether the amendment which allows personal taxation is even legal, but I think we might have talked about that before.

            • Elemenope

              Not quite. A capitation tax (as well as property taxes) was legal under the original Constitutional order, provided that the tax was apportioned literally equally. Doing that with property is unwieldy (and probably unwise), but capitation taxes were used sparingly in early America, and also for specific policy purposes (such as the nefarious poll taxes). They would never be used here today (though IIRC, Ol’ Maggie Thatcher actually tried one in the form of a poll tax in your neck of the woods.)

              The argument that the Sixteenth Amendment (allowing federal indirect taxes) was improperly ratified is, IMO, crazy. And if I’m not mistaken, tax receipts for personal income tax in the US still exceed corporate tax receipts (last I checked, personal income tax was somewhere in the neighborhood of 6% of GDP, and corporate receipts were just shy of 2%).

            • Revyloution

              Our corporate tax rate might be high, but the amount they actually pay out is far less than they would if they were all separate entities. The shareholder system is able to differ a great deal of the tax liability to the individuals who collectively own the company. Our corporate and private tax system is so convoluted that a good team of lawyers and CPA’s can keep them from paying more than they really want to.

            • Elemenope

              Totally agree on that score.

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          I meant no harm! To tax the poor while the rich have it easy is too common both in the US and my home country of Canada(somewhere north of the US) where the tax dollar does go to help fund a national health care system. Sadly we have tax men too! Tax fraud harms us all but alas so does NAFTA, with all the greedy corporations trying to find cheap labour by moving the manufacturing sector to Mexico or China. This harms everybody in both countries! It IS parasitic for a nation to bleed all the wealth out of the poor while giving tax breaks to “god’s” “workers”. I saw this on-line: “I have nothing against God, it’s his fan club I hate”. So true, isn’t it?

    • Yoav

      We would consider a person who watch someone being mugged and didn’t bother even to call 911 to be, at least partially, morally responsible for the outcome of the mugging. Why should an all powerful entity be held to lower standards then that.

  • http://www.johnmcangry.com McAngry

    If he demands all of the credit he should accept all of the blame.

    • Roger

      For everything.

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      When did “he” claim all the credit? Do you think I would/could ever be gratetful for his beloved creation: the mosquito! Thanks God for your beloved creature?…..no damn way! It’s Evolution’s fault!

  • Gil

    If god is omniscient, omnipotent, loving, and good there should be no bad
    Simple no. Since evil exists then logically such a god cannot.

  • mikespeir

    Pat Robertson

    • 6uldvnt

      LIKE!

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      Did you mean Pat(sy) Robertson? um….you forgot to mention: Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart, James Robison, Kenneth Copeland……etc! But yes, I agree!

      • mikespeir

        Yep. All those and more.

  • 6uldvnt

    Considering that “God” is a figment of man’s imagination, God would be responsible for all man’s tragedies and triumphs, no matter how grand or miniscule. From the construction of the pyramids of Egypt and others around the world to the Jewish Holocaust of WWII and African genocides of today. God (Man) is “responsible” for everything…except he isn’t.

  • Jerdog

    Blame God for hiding so darned well.

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      I thought he lived at the 700 Club! For a while he lived at the PTL(praise the lord, people that love, pass the loot, perpetuate the lies) Club. Just ask Pat(sy) Robertson!

  • parad0x13

    I’m pissed he didn’t release the universe as open source. If I want to change the color of my wifes pubic hairs gosh darn it I should be able to!

    • Elemenope

      LOL. Reality hacking would be fun. Terrifying, but fun.

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

        As a furry, I’d like to say: FUCK YEAH!

  • Custador

    Verrucas.

  • http://sourapplesblog.com Elliott

    He should be held responsible for the poor behavior of the states that supposedly believe in him most.

    murder, teen pregnancy

    divorce

    crime rate

    domestic violence, sexually transmitted diseases

    rape

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      Shouldn’t you have included the government’s own: Internal Revenue Agency, that gives breaks to “churches” while “raping” everybody else?

      • Custador

        Yes, how dare they obey the law. The evil bastards.

      • Elemenope

        Yeah, this is a bit of a case of placing the blame in the wrong place. The IRS has little if any say in what the tax code looks like, they just execute those rules. The rules are written by Congress, so if anywhere this is where the complaint is properly addressed.

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          So, why doesn’t the IRA tax “God”? Does Congress fear that “God” might strike them down and make the US a debtor nation? The IRA is doing what is expected of the people. My original reply to comment was about parasites and I don’t think you could find a more aggravating example of parasites than the churches, which reap rewards supposedly for God, while not paying a cent in taxes! Please forgive me if I offended anyone, except the fat-cat “God-workers”!

          • Elemenope

            Well, I agree somewhat that the tax-free status of churches is peculiar, but what primarily motivates Congress to maintain it is to obey the free exercise clause of the First Amendment. Absent that, even the most devout churchgoing congresscritter could not, IMO, resist taxing it; it’s simply in their nature.

            Besides, any legislator who has thought about it for five minutes (or paid a staff to do it for them) knows what an epic crud-storm differential taxation of places of worship would incite, especially once individual states follow the lead and get even more parochially nasty (though it might be darkly amusing to watch Utah have its own private civil war over it). Nobody is eager to be first on that beach.

            • Revyloution

              Wow, thats the best reasoned logic for keeping churches tax free that I’ve ever heard. My default position has always been ‘tax the churches’. Now im going to have to think about it again.

            • Siberia

              Yeah, I was taught in law classes (not college level or anything) that churches are tax-free because taxation could impede the growth or free exercise of minor cults over the bigger ones; plus, there could be oppression by taxation, simply making it impossible for smaller sects to survive by taxing them to death.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Don’t change your position….please! Mind you, if you change maybe “God” will reward you with a special seat next to Pat(sy) Robertson in heaven!….you lucky person! Remember the line from “Amazing Grace”?: “when we’ve been there 10,000 years……”. Wow, 10,000 years sitting next to “brother” Robertson…..

            • Sunny Day

              Help me understand how taxing religious organizations hurts smaller groups than larger ones?

            • Elemenope

              In roughly the same way that the same tax rate hurts the poor person more than the rich one. The marginal value of a unit of currency to you falls the more currency you possess, and it falls faster in nearly every case than linearly.

              To wit, if you have a 10% flat tax, the guy who earns $1000 dollars loses $100, leaving him or her with the pittance of $900, whereas the guy who earns $1,000,000 loses $100,000, leaving him or her with the tidy sum of $900,000.

            • Sunny Day

              That makes sense for people and I can empathize with them. Organizations, not so much. The smaller organization has less money and gets taxed less.

            • Elemenope

              The general principle holds, mainly because many organizational costs are not scalable. If you maintain a facility, you must pay for upkeep, heat/AC, water, and property taxes, and that remains true (and the costs don’t substantially vary) whether your church manages to attract five parishioners or five hundred. Personnel costs likewise don’t directly scale to size (though they are more elastic than physical plant).

              So, say your operational costs are $9000 annually, not including taxes. If your income is $10000 a year and you’re taxed 15%, the church goes under, kaput, that’s all folks; the church is killed by the tax. If your operational costs are $9000 annually (or even higher if you factor in partial scaling of costs), and your income is $50000 a year and you’re taxed the same rate, your doors stay open.

            • Sunny Day

              If the organization cant pay taxes on their property then either they have more property than they need or it’s being under utilized. It works the same way if rich Aunt bequeaths to me a Million Dollar house for which I’m unable to pay the taxes. I had best either find a way to make it pay for itself or sell it and get something I can afford.

              Churches are nothing special, just like me.

            • Elemenope

              If the organization cant pay taxes on their property then either they have more property than they need or it’s being under utilized.

              That may be so, but property is simply not fungible the way money is. Sometimes you are stuck with more than you need, and the excess potential of the property goes to waste.

              It works the same way if rich Aunt bequeaths to me a Million Dollar house for which I’m unable to pay the taxes. I had best either find a way to make it pay for itself or sell it and get something I can afford.

              Presumably if your rich Aunt bequeaths you a million dollar estate, unless it was especially felicitous timing you already were living in something else, and so the new estate is surplus in a sense that makes it salable; this is not the situation of the church which likely only has the home that it has.

              Churches are nothing special, just like me.

              Disagree, insofar as it is exceedingly difficult to target taxes so as to harm specific individual people (you basically have to nuke them as a group, which has a great deal more backlash), and comparatively simple to target taxes against organizations, which are far less numerous and generally more financially dislocated from one another than people are.

            • Elemenope

              And to follow up, the only way to avoid this sort of consequence and tax churches “fairly” so as not to kill smaller ones disproportionately is to do a marginal progressive tax rate system (much as that which the vast majority of individual people in Western countries actually live under), which as I pointed out in the beginning would so very quickly degenerate into an insane bloodbath (political, if not actual) if someone actually tried to determine which churches should pay a higher rate than others.

            • Nox

              My understanding of the original reasoning behind not taxing churches is that taxes had often been used as a weapon to chase out whatever religion was unfavored in a particular country

            • Revyloution

              Awesome Elemenope. You’ve convinced me with that argument.

              Ive always said that the downfall of religion will be schism. The more the churches fracture into smaller and smaller pieces, the sooner the faith will disappear into the annals of mythology.

              If your’e correct, then taxing churches will make them consolidate in order to minimize tax burden. Smaller denominations will wither, while major ones thrive. Once they consolidate into or just a few major churches, they would be able to claim ‘the one true truth’.

              Man! I love changing my mind on something because of superior evidence! I can’t believe I woke up this morning thinking we should tax churches to death, and I’m going to bed thinking they should remain tax free. Thanks!

              P.S. I can’t wait for our next monthly atheist meeting when I get to bring up the topic ‘Why churches should remain tax exempt’.

            • Elemenope

              P.S. I can’t wait for our next monthly atheist meeting when I get to bring up the topic ‘Why churches should remain tax exempt’.

              :)

              I would hasten to add that the other side of this coin is that if churches are to maintain their tax-free status, regulation should be such that they actually have to make a showing that they are *actually* non-profit and behave like one (especially when it comes to political activity). Normally I’m not the guy for robust regulation, but the privileged insularity of churches against auditing and reporting of income and funds is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis in policy.

              While I don’t think churches in general should be taxed, that status is contingent upon them actually acting like churches, not for-profit companies or political action committees. This in turn is dicey, because I don’t support pulpit gag laws or other tangential electioneering laws (free speech and all that), but think the actual spending and contribution of monies by churches and church-affiliated entities to PACs and parties and suchlike are beyond the pale.

            • Sunny Day

              “That may be so, but property is simply not fungible the way money is. Sometimes you are stuck with more than you need, and the excess potential of the property goes to waste.”

              Yep. If that excess amount of property pushes a business on a shoestring budget over the edge they get to deal with the consequences just like every other business. I’m still not seeing how this is a bad thing.

              “Presumably if your rich Aunt bequeaths you a million dollar estate, unless it was especially felicitous timing you already were living in something else, and so the new estate is surplus in a sense that makes it salable; this is not the situation of the church which likely only has the home that it has.”

              Churches don’t spring up out of the ground like mushrooms. They gather funding and buy property just like everyone else. If their membership drops below something sustainable for their facilities its definitely time to either gather new members or cut back on the facilities.

  • Meanie

    god should be held responsible for transmitting his rules/desires/whatever via a collection of stories that leaves so much open to interpretation as to incite hatred amongst those who claim to be his true followers.

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      He should be but the problem is that he never claimed to be the author of those stories. Man wrote them down, man published the book and then did translations long after the “originals” were lost….how convenient! Consider this: there are a least 70 documents that were NOT included in the “book” by the Church when it was first canonized. What didn’t they want us to see? If God does exist and all of “christians” in the world are his “kids”, why don’t they all agree and love each other? Catholics say the Baptists are going to hell, the Pentocostals say the Mormons are going to hell, Baptists say the Episcopalians are going to hell……..etc.! This is a massive cosmic joke! Who is on God’s side, really!…..oh, yeah…I forgot….the banks that offer the best interest rate!

      • Meanie

        Exactly. If god is so powerful, why not just tell humankind all about himself in a clear, easy to understand, non-refutable way?

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          Would you like to be a zombie? Who says he doesn’t talk to mankind? The problem is that the message just doesn’t bring in the loot!

  • mirroreyes

    All those lists and no mention of disco, reality shows or fast food … really, God has ALOT to answer for.

  • Erin

    God dosen’t take the blame for things that go wrong, the devil does. Its is ever-constant scapegoat.

  • matt

    “christian rock”

  • nazani14

    Martin Luther’s fascination with bodily functions, especially the smelly ones.
    All religious wars.

  • Nox

    Religion. All religion.

    I’d be willing to give god the benefit of the doubt on things like earthquakes and volcanoes. Maybe he doesn’t like to interfere with the experiment once it’s rolling. This is why I’ve said on other threads that the deist god is a lot easier to defend than the christian god. I’d even let him off the hook on the question of evil and suffering in the world (Question: “Why does god allow his children to suffer?”, One Possible Answer : “Because god doesn’t really give a sh*t if his children suffer.”)

    But when so much of the evil and suffering in the world is a direct result of things people do for god, how far can you let it go? If you were in the position of god, how many religious atrocities could you watch before you would have to go down there and tell them if they can’t stop torturing and murdering each other, to at least leave your name out of it.

    Once the free will of humans has been compromised by the church, the question of god being limited by human free will becomes moot. If he existed, he would have a moral obligation to step in and declare to his followers that he is not affiliated with Pat Robertson or Pope Benedict.

  • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

    I’m afraid I started a tidal wave on taxing churchs. My apologies! Let’s skip the whole idea, why not tax “god”. The problems w have in this world is caused by to a large degree by religious opposition to almost everything we do in this world. It doesn’t matter what we do here in North America, to the Muslims we deserve to die. To most of the Christian fundamentalists here, what the Muslims do is a guaranteed ticket to hell. Maybe we should drag “god” before a tribunal to explain why believing in “him/her/it” has caused so much derision, back stabbing and death. Why must we be continually plagued by religion? Just to please some deity and guarantee that he/she it will take us to heaven. How the hell are we all going to get along in heaven if we can’t stand each other on Earth? The whole subject of religion and salvation is nauseating! Maybe it’s time we stood up for ourselves and put “god’s” kids in their place…..send them to their rooms(without their Hol(e)y Books), lock the door and then throw away the key. When as kids we were bad, our parents sent us to our room(without TV)…….time to do the same for people that can;t get along with each other. Obviously “the” deity doesn’t seem to give a damn!

    • Elemenope

      I’m afraid I started a tidal wave on taxing churchs. My apologies!

      Don’t apologize for starting discussions! Discussing stuff that interests me is one of the major reasons I come here. :)

      • Revyloution

        Cheers to that mate. That is one huge difference between atheists and theists. We love to have our viewpoints challenged.

        • Francesc

          Stating the obvious: you can be theist and at the same time having rational viewpoints, and liking to engage in discussions, about everything else. Human mind is “changeable”.

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          However, despite my obvious contempt with everything religious, I am a Deist. And I love to have my viewpoints challenged! God for me is something outside of our corporeal existence, perhaps one might call it a spiritual entity that fortunately doesn’t live in my mind or control my thoughts. Hence, I like tearing down preconceptions that people have about a “god” that is terribly interested in making sure that we aren’t: eating shellfish after having sex with same gender partners out of wedlock on the Sabbath. Is this what life is all about? They really believe that I’ll go to hell for eating shrimp on the Sabbath?! Hasn’t “god” got something better to do other than giving us stupid laws? Or is it possible that man was “inspired” by some deity to “publish” his demands all the while sniffing glue? Has anybody ever said that that they had the truth and you’d better follow it or else? Sounds slightly familiar? If you want to blame “god” for all our problems, perhaps you should start with his fan club!

  • objectifier

    Hmmm… Seems like a useless “what if” exercise. A more important question would be if there were a benevolent, omnipotent and omniscient being how would the world be different than it is today? (or the universe or whatever) If the world today is controlled by an omnipotent being clearly he could not be held responsible by reason of mental defect or disease and should be put away until he is no longer a danger to himself or others.

    • Elemenope

      Seems like a useless “what if” exercise. A more important question would be if there were a benevolent, omnipotent and omniscient being how would the world be different than it is today?

      I’m having a hard time understanding why the first is a useless exercise but the second is more worthy of analysis. They’re both subjective speculation about things humans can’t possibly approach knowing (but have fun thinking about just the same), no?

      • Nox

        And here’s another useless what if exercise that might be fun…

        Since the Vatican has always made such a point of letting us know that they are god’s official representative on Earth, should they be legally responsible for things which are considered acts of god?

        • Revyloution

          Ooh! Good one Nox!

          If my house gets wiped out by a volcano (I live on the side of one), then I’m suing the Pope

      • objectifier

        Admittedly it is also a what if exercise but I think it could provide a rational basis for debating believers about what they believe. As far as being unknowable, I think both are knowable. We can easily say what we think he is responsible for to answer the first and we can easily imagine a universe where a benevolent deity holds sway and pick out a utopian world/universe run by such a being.

  • objectifier

    Wow, that might hold some promise. Many years ago one of the largest KKK groups was bankrupted by a woman who sued them for lynching her son or husband. The court awarded all the property belonging to that Klan group to the woman. Perhaps a similar approach could be done against the Vatican, though they showed how well lawyered they are when fighting child molestation charges. I thought that with the more recent exposures of both similar abuses in Ireland and Germany and official cover ups that led all the way up to the current pope that a RICO suit against the Church of Rome, seizing its property world wide and placing its hierarchy in prison.

  • http://astranavigo.blogspot.com Astra

    Oh, crap….

    How about nearly 6,000 years of varying crimes-against-humanity, committed in the name of his ‘followers’?

    Of course, we’d have to sum up his many and varied names – but that’s another project. Would make the formal complaint a bit long – but we don’t want to leave any of his aliases out, would we?

    Hold him accountable for that. The rest is pocket-change….

  • nekouken

    Granting the conceit that the acts of man are the fault of man, the main thing I’d put on God is the fall of man. The story of Adam and Eve is entirely God’s fault. Their transgression involved eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Since doing so changed them and their behavior, it’s safe to say that before they ate the fruit, they had no knowledge of good and evil.

    If one views their actions in that context, they’re blameless. Eve had no reason not to trust the serpent because they lacked the capacity to suspect him. When Eve had eaten the fruit and offered some to Adam, not only did Adam have no reason not to trust Eve, but the text leaves room for the possibility that he didn’t even recognize the fruit for what it was. God knew this about them, allowed the serpent into the Garden — who, for some reason, appeared to have knowledge of good and evil. God bears moral culpability for the fall of man and every direct consequence of it (let’s say everything from the fall to the flood) because He knew all of this and what they would do if left to their own devices, but felt content to leave the three of them to their own devices. More than that, He bears responsibility because all of this could have been avoided if He’d chosen to exercise His infinite capacity for forgiveness on Adam and Eve.

    Also, natural disasters. God could easily have handwaved the Christmas Tsunami, for example, into an inconsequential ripple without violating His precious “free will.”

  • Rupert

    Religion, because all the negatives of humanity start from there.

    • DDM

      I wouldn’t say all the negatives.

      • Francesc

        But hyperbole may start from religion

        • Nox

          “All” the negatives of humanity start from there might be hyperbole, but not by much. And the only problem I see is the word “all” as it doesn’t cover secular sources of human negatives (banks, lobbyists, etc), but a lot of these could probably be traced back to religion if one wanted to make the argument.

          Religion is not the only problem facing humanity. But religion is the blindfold which prevents humans from looking at their other problems rationally and searching for real solutions.

          • objectifier

            While I too would question crediting religion for “all” the bad in the world I would say that religion and other systems of dogmatic belief – political parties, economic systems, nationalism and the like – are responsible for the lion’s share of humanities negatives. Whenever we suspend critical thinking and “go with the crowd”, it is much easier for evil things to occur. History is replete with examples – the inquisition, crusades, nazism, the cold war – where horrible things were done in the name of competing belief systems. I saw a T shirt recently “beware the power of stupid people in large groups”. I would argue that they don’t need to be stupid, just willing to suspend critical thinking to go along with the group.

  • Nick

    For making weekends at least 12 hours too short.

  • Yoav

    Spiderman had it right, with great power come great responsibility therefore with absolute power come absolute responsibility.

  • http://www.katcox.com kat

    how about the enslavement and abuse of women? that’s a good one. and well-supported in “his holy books”…

  • Jordan

    I understand the premise of this, but if god really did exist and was all powerful, who’s to say he wouldn’t just kill the dissenters before they had time to formulate things to hold him morally responsible for? I mean, if I was a god, that’s how I would do it.

  • Mausy

    Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side.

    • CoffeeJedi

      George Lucas screwing up the prequels; THAT was proof to me that there truly was no god.

      • Roger

        Especially “Attack of the Clones.”

  • Mausy

    Cancer, and refusing to cure it. Thus, causing millions to suffer and/or needless emotional stress.

  • http://agnosticism2010.blogspot.com/ nomad

    “If God existed and was “all-powerful,””

    Just all-powerful? How could we hold him responsible for anything, morally or otherwise? Might makes right. Just ask Israel. It’s only when we also attribute to him goodness that we can talk about moral responsibility.

  • DarkMatter

    I don’t know what it will be all like if God/Gods exists.

    • http://agnosticism2010.blogspot.com/ nomad

      Imagine there’s a Heaven.
      It’s easy if you try…

      • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

        Sorry, don’t do drugs and I’d have to if I considered spending eternity with the likes of Pat(sy) Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Anita Bryant….etc.

  • Jus

    All this talk is fine…. “holding God accountable”…… *roll eyes*
    But what we should be more concerned about is….

    If God existed and was “all-powerful,” what actions/events will **WE** be held accountable for?!!!

    The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
    They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
    there is none who does good.

    The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man,
    to see if there are any who understand,
    who seek after God.

    They have all turned aside;
    together they have become corrupt;
    there is none who does good,
    not even one.

    • DarkMatter

      “If God existed and was “all-powerful,” what actions/events will **WE** be held accountable for?!!!”
      If God exists … go on.

      • DarkMatter

        “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.””
        It all boils down to this point in all christianity.

        • Jus

          Sort of no and yes.

          NO: the Christian gospel is not the good news of God making stupid people smart. Actually it’s kind of the opposite. Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children…” Mat 11:25-30

          And Paul said a similar thing: …God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong… 1 Cor 1:18-29

          YES: the gospel is the good news of God turning godless people into godly, God-hating people into God-loving, God-fearing. In this sense is the fool contrasted with the wise. Not in the sense of stupid vs intelligent. Some examples:

          The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Prov 1:7

          The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. Prov 12:15

          Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. Prov 26:12

          A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Prov 18:2

          …they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12

          • LRA

            “A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. Prov 18:2″

            And this doesn’t sound like fundagelicals to you? People who *refuse* to acknowledge scientific evidence that clearly dispels the Genesis myth? People who go into politics for the sole purpose of creating a theocracy and who mess with history/social studies classes because they want to subvert the Constitution and twist the meanings of the works of the Founding Fathers?

            Oh– but lets no confuse ourselves with facts. It’s more important to be ignorant so that we can be child-like.

          • Kodie

            This whole line of reasoning has always struck me as typical marketing. Rather than appealing to people’s stupidity, appeal to their virtue, and make stupidity a virtue. If you think about it too hard, it falls apart, see. People who are greedy for knowledge, they get thrown out of paradise and are responsible for dooming humanity to live outside of paradise. If you want to get back in, you have to be made to want to shut off your brain.

            If you went up to people and said, “hey, you look gullible, have you heard the good news about Jesus?” they would shove you in the gutter. But if you appeal to how much better they think they are than average, tell them how empty, lost, and vile they are without your magical deity, the eternal problem-solver. You have to start out being somewhat witless to believe that, but to stunt your rational abilities, to retain your belief, to maintain fullness, foundness, savedness, and virtue, convince them overly what evil thinkers are and what despair thinking causes – it takes them from god because it’s so fully improbable, it actually falls apart; it’s not demons at all, and it’s not so much punishment as clarity. Get people to focus on the punishment by posing the clarity as evil. They want virtue because they are afraid of punishment, they will desire to be stupid, and defend their stupidity, calling it faith. Locked in a trap, they fear thinking, and make up wilder and wilder excuses the more their beliefs are picked apart by a thinker. God told me there’d be thinkers! (er,) Someone speaking on behalf of a supernatural creator warned me there’d be thinkers! Get them to fear thinking and they won’t think.

          • Sunny Day

            “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children…”

            Right there you just said god is a deceiver.
            Protip 1: Don’t start off with telling people how much a liar your invisible friend is and then follow it up with but he likes you and would never lie to you.

            Protip 2: Don’t tell people they will understand the “real” truth because they are stupid.

          • Jus

            Thanks guys. Excellent input. Though I see there’s some misunderstanding. Sorry if I have caused any confusion/ misunderstanding. I hope this will clear it up a bit.

            The contrast is really not between stupid and intelligent, but between proud and humble:
            In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek Him; all his thoughts are, “There is no God.” Psalm 10:4

            This is like what Peter and James said,… God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Also, the proverbs… When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. I think this is how “fool” is contrasted with “wise”. It is not “stupid” vs “smart”, but “proud” vs “humble”.

            @LRA: “It’s more important to be ignorant so that we can be child-like.”
            This is not what the Bible teaches about “becoming like children”. I don’t think Jesus means for us to ignore facts and evidence, or prefer ignorance. Again, I think He means for us to be humble, as opposed to proud.

            The disciples were arguing who was the greatest one among themselves, which didn’t show humility at all, but pride. And then Jesus, knowing their pride, took a little kid and told them the way to be “the greatest”: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4

            Even in the passage from Paul above about God choosing the foolish in the world to shame the wise, it was concluded with… so that no one may boast before God. 1 Cor 1:18-29

            @Kodie: “…make stupidity a virtue… Get them to fear thinking and they won’t think.”
            This is not what the Bible teaches either. The Bible teaches that we are to love God…. with….
            all our mind:
            “…you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…” Mark 12:30

            When you become a follower of Jesus, you don’t stop being a thinking person. In fact, you think even harder. Because newer and deeper questions will now come to the surface, including doubts. And you have to face them. If you don’t face your doubts, you are just not being honest with yourself. In that case, you are not loving Him with all your mind, but you are fearing for the safety of your own system of beliefs, and in effect, loving your beliefs above God who is the Truth.

            @Sunny Day: “Right there you just said god is a deceiver.”
            God is not a deceiver. But again, He opposes the proud, and He hides things from them. And He gives grace to the humble, and reveals things to them.

            Don’t think, “AHA! :( Then God is a deceiver!”
            But think, “AHA! :) Then I need to be humble!” Or/and, “Oh God! :( Please forgive my pride!”

            Here are some proverbs about “the fear of the LORD”, which is somehow connected with humility and wisdom:

            The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor. 15:33
            The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. 9:10
            The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. 14:27
            Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. 28:14

    • Jabster

      Which god in particular?

    • vorjack

      If God existed and was “all-powerful,” what actions/events will **WE** be held accountable for?!!!

      Well, to answer that question, we’d need to know something about the character of God. If the God found in the bible is inconsistent and unjust, as many people maintain, then there’s really no well to tell.

      A God who will send a lying spirit to this prophet, but the correct message to that prophet, is not one we can rely on to correctly tell us His grading system.

      • Jus

        @vorjack: Good point. But how is he inconsistent?

        Lying spirit: are you talking about the Ahab/Jehoshaphat/Micaiah passage? (1Kings22 / 2Chronicles18)? If you are, read it again, and you’ll notice many interesting things, but certainly not inconsistency.

        Jehoshaphat is the “good king” of Judah in this story, and Ahab the “bad king” of Israel. So one day Ahab asks Jehoshaphat to go to war together with him. Jehoshaphat said OK, but let’s inquire of the LORD (YHVH) first.

        And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, “Inquire first for the word of the LORD [YHVH].” Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, “Shall I go to battle against Ramoth-gilead, or shall I refrain?” And they said, “Go up, for the Lord [Adonai] will give it into the hand of the king.”

        But then Jehoshaphat is still not satisfied with the answer. He doesn’t want just any “Lord” (Adonai), he wants “THE LORD” (YHVH). But Jehoshaphat said, “Is there not here another prophet of the LORD [YHVH] of whom we may inquire?”

        Ahab said, there’s this guy, but I hate him. He always prophecies bad things about me. But then he brings up that guy, Micaiah. And Micaiah said, sure go ahead, you will triumph. But Ahab said, come on man, tell me the truth. (it’s a pretty cool story you should read it)

        And Micaiah said, “Therefore hear the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing beside him on his right hand and on his left; and the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?’ And one said one thing, and another said another. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, saying, ‘I will entice him.’ And the LORD said to him, ‘By what means?’ And he said, ‘I will go out, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ And he said, ‘You are to entice him, and you shall succeed; go out and do so.’ Now therefore behold, the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the LORD has declared disaster for you.”

        There are *many* interesting things in this passage. E.g. it is the LORD who initiates the whole “lying” thing. Also, why doesn’t he do it himself?? And then, notice he gives freedom to the spirit on how to entice Ahab. And then, he finalizes it and decrees “you shall succeed” (was there a possibility of failure if he didn’t decree success?).

        *many more* but here’s another one: after this warning from the prophet of YHVH, Jehoshaphat the good king still went to war with Ahab the king of Israel. Why? Isn’t he afraid? Or is he as bad as Ahab and ignores Micaiah? Or is there another reason? Because he even became target.

        As soon as the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “It is the king of Israel.” So they turned to fight against him. And Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him; God drew them away from him.

        And sure enough, Ahab got killed, as was decreed by the LORD. Where’s the inconsistency? Yes for Ahab maybe, who chose to listen to the other “prophets”. But not for Jehoshaphat. He consistently seeks the LORD, and consistently receives answer from the LORD.

        Regarding unjust, this is what Paul said to God’s elect in Rome:
        You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

        Bro, if God exists, we are all sinners. We love to go our own ways. If God exists, we have broken God’s commandments. If God exists, we will be held accountable. If God exists, none of us will escape his judgment. …there is none who does good, not even one… If God exists, we will go to hell.

        But… Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?

        Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

        …as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him…

        • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

          Oh, no….not that stupid book,again??!! It’s the OLD testament, get with it……unless you are an unhappy Jew with a condemnation complex(they exist?). You might as well call this book “Mein Kampf”..It is as nauseating as seeing Kevin Costner playing “Robin Hood” with a Brooklyn accent!

          • Jasowah

            HOW DARE YOU INSULT SUCH A GREAT WORK!

            That movie was awesome.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              oh…no! Will god strike me down for saying that Kevin Costner CAN’T act? “The Belles of St Trinians” has more GREAT acting than “Robin Hood”, with the exception of Geraldine McEwan(plays a great witch!) who is excellent in everything she does! Actually, I loved the film but found Costner’s performance a little too contrite and pedestrian for medieval Britain.

        • DarkMatter

          “Bro, if God exists, we are all sinners. We love to go our own ways. If God exists, we have broken God’s commandments. If God exists, we will be held accountable. If God exists, none of us will escape his judgment. …there is none who does good, not even one… If God exists, we will go to hell.”
          I don’t know if God exists, He will become what you say He is and do what you say is He doing and also of those things He has done before. But, there is one thing I know, He is not here to defend your words that you claim are His.

          Do you know why?

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            Even if god exists, just because I like Kosher Dills, that doesn’t make me Jewish. The OLD testament was written by some joker to keep the children of Israel in place. Sin is an OLD testament concept meant for the Jews…..I am NOT Jewish….ergo, even if god existed, I am not a sinner. Furthermore, in the NEW testament(which christians don’t read), to paraphrase Paul in Galatians: Every one who lives by the LAW and doesn’t follow it to the last letter, is cursed. Pity… the fundies can’t read! Jesus did speak of love and I’ve always said(you may quote me): “people that can’t love their fellow man, read books(always the OLD testament)!” and hence I call Christians(all of them): BOOKIES.

        • Jus

          @DarkMatter:
          “But, there is one thing I know, He is not here to defend your words that you claim are His. Do you know why?”

          Because he doesn’t exist?? VERY possible!

          But if he exists, there is one possible answer given by Paul, which I had already quoted earlier…
          What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— ” (from Paul’s letter to disciples in Rome)

          And yet this God…. “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (from Paul’s letter to Timothy)
          And he also…. “is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (from Peter’s letter)

        • Jus

          @michael: Very good paraphrase! You’re probably talking about Galatians 3:10-14

          For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.” But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

          If you noticed though, in these 5 verses, Paul quoted the Old Testament 3 times…

          And probably you were thinking about James’s letter when you mentioned “to the last letter”:
          For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. James 2:10
          But if you continue reading a little bit more, he says this:
          What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? James 2:14

          Bro, did you think Jesus erased the Law? Or did he “lower the bar” at least?
          Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them….. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment;…. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart…. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you….. Matthew 5

          Dude, seems to me that he didn’t lower the bar at all, but he just raised it even higher! What was already impossible to follow, he made it even MORE impossible! How can anybody be saved then???

          Here I quote again to you from above, in the same context of the passage you paraphrased, (cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree), and (a serpent was a symbol of evil and sin),
          …as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him… John 3:14-17

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            Umm….perhaps you can answer the question posed to Jesus by a teacher of the law: “what is the greatest commandment?”. Answer that one and realize the so called “bar” has been dispensed with entirely! According to Elaine Pagel and especially in my own opinion, the New Testament was written by Gnostics for Gnostics(first century christians) and NOT for literalist christianity, which is what and who we are plagued with now! Proof of this is evident in how ALL christians today do NOT follow anything(!) Jesus taught…..especially Matthew 7:1-2, in which jesus said: “do NOT judge, or you will be judged….etc.”. Should modern day christians actually incorporate this “command” into their doctrine, they would NOT be able to say: “you are a sinner and if you don’t believe in jesus, you will go to hell”. This is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that modern christians don’t follow jesus…..they are unable as they simply are NOT “christians”(as it was meant to be and hasn’t been for over 1,800 years)!

          • Jus

            @michael:
            Paul Washer said: “Your best friend…. the person who loves you the most…. will tell you the most truth”.

            Bro, I’m not here to judge you. I’m just saying “Hey guys! I think there’s a God. And he has revealed himself in the words of the Bible. And here are his words. Please correct me if I’m wrong”. I am just relaying to you the words I found in the Bible, in the hope that you will listen, or someone will correct me when I am wrong. Because even Jesus said he doesn’t judge:

            If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” John 8:47-48 (emphasis mine)

            Regarding the greatest commandment: “…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself…“, you know that Jesus was quoting the Old Testament here too, right? (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18) But this is exactly the thing that we are unable to do!!

            Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love, but a faithful man who can find?” Proverbs 20:6

            How can we ever love God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind? How?? Unless…….. he gives us a brand new heart to love him with.
            …I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26

            Only then can we truly start loving God as he commanded. Otherwise, we are hopeless. We can only “try” to follow the second commandment.
            In fact, I am here because I am trying to follow the second commandment. Because somebody else had loved me as he loved himself, and told me about Jesus. Like what Penn Jillette said, “How much do you have to hate somebody..to believe that everlasting life is possible, and not tell them that?”

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

              Except that they ARE correcting you, repeatedly, and you’re sitting there going, “LALALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

              Now please, STFU and GTFO.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Unless you follow the First commandment to love God with all your heart, you can NOT do the second!!!…which is to love your felllow man! This is the entire problem with ALL of Christianity today….they talk of love but it is not LOVE at all! DO the first commandment and the second WILL fall into place naturally! If you can not love your fellow man, it is definite proof that none of christianity has ever followed the first commandment! If they don’t love god, what the hell do they love or can they love at all!! Try to follow the second commandment and you will fail miserably! If you can not follow either of these commandments then the so called promises of god are not extended to you….EVER! Be very careful using the so called “word of god” to beat up those who disagree with you……because it is NOT the “word of god”! If you can find some sneaky reason to use it to beat up your neighbour then NO love is within you!!!

            • objectifier

              Really? You can only love people if you love the invisible sky daddy? Sorry, I find it quite easy to love my fellow people while rejecting the christian god just like I reject all the other gods people have invented over the centuries and for the same reason – all the gods were made up to give credence to their book of rules and explanations of things unknowable by the technology of their day. We see now what has always caused the downfall of other religions – science is disproving many of the fairy tales they are based on. We see the backlash against evolution just as we saw Galileo silenced for saying that earth is not the center of the universe.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              To Objectifier: I was refering only to those who read the book and believe that what it says is the “truth”. Jesus dropped the bomb on those who could justify their beliefs on simply obeying “laws”. Those two commandments sum up all that is required. The fact that modern day christians don’t tolerate their fellow man is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt that they do NOT love god! If they don’t or won’t love their fellow man, it means that they never followed the first commandment! If they don’t obey these commandments, then what is their “faith” based on? But the commandments are directed towards those that hold some belief in an eternal god or being. If christianity is summed up in these two commandments, why are christians today obviously NOT following and obeying them? Next time you are confronted by some one trying to lead you to salvation, ask them how they can determine that you need salvation. If they bring up the matter of sin, remind them that Jesus also said: “Do not judge”. People that judge do not love, which breaks the second commandment and in turn means that they never did the first commandment! This alone damns them and unfortunately makes them terribly angry! GREAT FUN!!

              On the surface, these two simple commandments are entirely spiritual. Love is a spiritual act we are all capable of! Jesus said that these two commandments sum up all the law and the prophets. Nothing else is needed to be done. Once you have these two requests, what does anybody need of a bible, a religion, a church or even doctrine? What we are constantly faced with are people who refuse to obey what their saviour said and prefer to look back to the old testament to find something to “stick-it” to anybody they can find who won’t agree with their position!

              I do agree with everything you say and respect your views, as I AM a deist and do follow those two commandments!

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            NO! Read Galatians 5! All of it! But before you do , please accept the simple fact that man wrote the bible and NOT god! Sin, according to Paul in chapter 5, is no longer an issue if the spirit is guiding you! So why does all of christianity say that they can still sin??!! The answer is simple….the new testament(not the word of god) was written by Gnostic christians for Gnostic christians and NOT for literalist christians, which is what all of christianity is known of today. Christianity as we know it today is a GROSS LIE and has no foundation for any and all it’s beliefs!!! Jesus did NOT die on the cross to save us from our sins! Try and find a passage that will support the assumption that Jesus died to save humanity form his/her sins…..there isn’t one! Tread carefully when quoting from the Gnostic testament!!

    • Custador

      Stop feeding the troll, people…

      • Nox

        But that sign says feed the…oh do not feed the trolls. Gotcha.

    • Nox

      “If God existed and was “all-powerful,” what actions/events will **WE** be held accountable for?”

      If god exists you may very well be held accountable for not professing monotheism in the name of god’s messenger Muhammed, not praying to Mecca, not giving zakat to the poor, not fasting, and not making a pilgrimage to walk in a big circle around a big stupid cube.

      But then depending which god you believe in, the 5 pillars may not be enough. He might condemn you for being catholic instead of protestant or protestant in stead of catholic. He might simply chide you for failing to shed desire before sending you back into the loop. But what if you don’t get into heaven because you didn’t get sealed at the lds temple in Utah? And what about that time you didn’t sacrifice that virgin to the volcano god? Surely you will not get into Valhallah if you did not die gloriously in battle. But then yhwh might just disqualify you right off the bat for not being descended from Abraham.

  • Baconsbud

    I always find it odd that christians give their god full credit when a life is saved but never sue anyone but doctors for malpractice when someone dies.

  • KimchiGUN

    If God existed and was “all-powerful,” what actions/events should he be held morally accountable for?

    This is the exact reason I became an Atheist over a year ago… How can a loving god make such horrors, put people through horrors, and let Danielle Staub sex tape public!

    All jokes aside, I love being an Atheist, I don’t have to hate anymore!

  • Jus

    Actually he shows himself to be accountable for not only the “good” things, but also for the “bad” things.

    There is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. – Deut 32:39

    The LORD afflicted the child that Uriahs wife bore to David, and he became sick. On the seventh day the child died. – 2Samuel 12:15,18

    Who has made mans mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? – Exodus 4:11

    He summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread… – Psalm 105:16

    …the LORD sent lions among them, which killed some of them. – 2Kings 17:25

    I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the LORD, who does all these. – Isaiah 45:7

    Does disaster come to a city, unless the LORD has done it? – Amos 3:6

    …he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” – Daniel 4:35

    We usually call those “bad” things. But God’s people even held him accountable for not only “bad” things, but “THE WORST” thing, when they prayed:
    …truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

    But why did he do THE WORST thing??

    • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

      That is presuming that God bothered to sit and write the book! Man wrote it and it was NOT inspired by God…..they’re just fairy tales, to be read to children. One of the craziest things in the book, states that Elijah went straight to heaven(without first dying?!) while Jesus had to die and go to hell(for 3 days) after which he was risen form the dead. What’s also funny is that the jesus story seems to mirror the tale of the god “Mithrus” right down to the last detail except Mithrus lived about 600 years earlier. Interesting…..ehh?

    • Jus

      @michael: Yes I am familiar with Mithras and the similarities between stories about him and about Jesus. But who is he? Did he reveal himself to us? What’s his story? Where is his word? Did he also claim responsibility for things?

      Did he claim as Jesus claimed?
      Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

      Which is what Isaiah said about God’s Word?
      …All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass.
      The grass withers, the flower fades,
      but the word of our God will stand forever…
      ” Isaiah 40:6-8

      • Custador

        What part of “scripture is not evidence” do you not grasp?

        • Jabster

          All of it, so it seems …

          Maybe someone should quote something out of a different relgion’s holy text to see if Jus gets it?

          • Nox

            “Maybe someone should quote something out of a different relgion’s holy text to see if Jus gets it.”

            Thought I tried that with that whole allah-will-hold-you-accountable thing. But there is something in one particular ‘holy’ book that I would like to quote to Jus.

            “Too long the dead hand has been permitted to sterilize living thought.”
            -The Satanic Bible

        • Jus

          @Custador, @Jabster:
          Actually, there is one way that Scripture could be evidence:

          The Old Testament books, written by many authors across many centuries, became “finished product” hundreds of years before Jesus. And then, they were “canonized” probably 200 years before Jesus or more (at least for the Law and the Prophets). Even the Septuagint/Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible was finished more than 100 years before Jesus.

          It was a finished. It might have contained errors and human failings in it, but it was finished. As if God said, “Yes, that’s my final answer”.

          And then, afterwards, more than 100 years later, Jesus came into the scene, fulfilling the prophecies written in the finished Jewish Bible.

          This is why the Christians quoted from the Jewish Bible extensively, because it was their “Bible” (there’s no “New Testament”). And because they wanted to say, “Look guys, it has been written here! Look for yourself!”

          I typed up some of the prophecies here:
          http://unreasonablefaith.com/2010/04/06/the-nature-of-god-by-h-p-lovecraft/#comment-93605

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

            Evidence, please.

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            Self fulfilling prophecies…..all of it! You can read into prophecies all you want but there is no absolute proof of anything! There is no proof Jesus was crucified and especially no text in the new testament that establishes that he died to save us from our sins. Get your head out that poisonous book of fairy tales, myths, allegories and lies! The bible was canonized by the early church that was determined to hold a weakened Roman empire together. Over 70 other documents were NOT canonized including “The Gospel of Jesus Christ” and “The Gospel of Thomas”. Why were they excluded? What do they contain that we shouldn’t see? Censorship, plain and simple!

          • Custador

            The wranglings and twistings that you have to go through to make Jesus fit some of the OT prophecies are absolutely absurd. If you can’t see that then you really are wilfully deluded.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Yes….YES! There is not one shred of evidence in the OT that establishes that Jesus of Nazareth was the messiah. Unless of course the documents were written AFTER the death of Jesus. Then it would be a possibility……of FRAUD and DECEPTION!

          • Jus

            @Custador: Would you please show me 3 of the texts that you see as “wranglings and twistings”?

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              What….don’t you already know? I’m sure that you could even find more than 3 texts to try and make the story of Jesus fit into prophecy. Why don’t you give us folks references in the OT, that you think predict the story of Jesus. But be careful, we’ll tear everyone of them to shreds! GOOD LUCK!

            • Jus

              @michael: please find some references here to answer some of your questions.
              http://unreasonablefaith.com/2010/04/06/the-nature-of-god-by-h-p-lovecraft/#comment-93605

            • Custador
            • Custador

              And just to add to that, I’ll reply to some of your HP Lovecraft post:

              1) Even the BIBLE has two different versions of Jesus’ genealogy – and the Davidic connection is not helped by the fact that the “Davidic Empire” (and David himself) are widely considered to have been inventions – they didn’t really exist.

              2) The “virgin birth” story wasn’t added to the bible until centuries after the “time of Jesus” – it’s quite a well known religious fraud. It. Is. Not. True.

              3) Why, exactly, would anybody believe that Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem? Want to know how many censuses in the entire history of mankind have required people to leave the place they live and instead get counted at their birthplace? ZERO! NONE! NOT ONE! Want to know why? Because it would render the census totally pointless!

              4 – 9,999) The rest of what you listed there is easily accounted for by the New Testament authors LYING. There isn’t any actual *evidence* for any of it.

            • Jus

              @Custador: thanks for your reply and the link :)
              Frankly, I have myself examined the Judaism perspective on Messianic prophecies. To me, it could mean 2 things: either they are right (though I haven’t found a good answer regarding the Suffering Servant prophecy), or it might confirm even more prophecies in the NT regarding “end time” events. That there will come a person who will appear to fulfill these prophecies and rescue the Jews, but then after a designated time will show his true colors, that he is no worshiper of Adonai. At that time, all the true Jews will realize their mistake, and will turn back to their true Messiah Yeshua haNatzeri.

              …a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved…

              Regarding Nazareth/Bethlehem discrepancy, I found that the gospel according to John is very interesting. He didn’t say at all that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He’s always “Jesus of Nazareth”. In fact, the only place he mentioned Bethlehem is in the mouth of the people who were doubting him.

              Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” — John 7:41-42

              Why did he mention this? Doesn’t it weaken his point regarding Jesus as the Christ? And since he mentioned it, why didn’t he give any explanation to defend Jesus?

            • Jus

              1) Genealogy mismatch. Yes I am still searching for the answer to this one. Is one of them wrong? Are both of them wrong? Is one of them really talking about Mary’s ancestors, like some people say? Yet as you’ve noticed, they both point to David as ancestor.

              2) Virgin birth story added centuries later. Wow. I didn’t know this. Could you please refer me to the publication(s) that concludes this?

              3) Census in ancient times. I don’t know much about archaeology, but I heard about other examples of this kind of census in Roman times when people were told to go back to the place they were born. One example was Vibius Maximus. Another one was a registration statement of a citizen. Both showed people were going back to their home.

              From these points I realize what you meant by “the wranglings and twistings”: the NT authors were lying. I have thought about this too. And the question I could not figure out was: Why?

              The archer shooting the arrow first and then drawing the bulls-eye later is a fine illustration, until you seriously consider the presence of the witnesses. To me, the illustration is more like this:

              A master archer was going into retirement so he gathered all his students to teach a “most valuable” final lesson. “You see those trees that we use for practice with bulls-eyes on them? Well, on most trees, they’re drawn on the wrong spot.”

              The confused people asked, “What do you mean they’re on the wrong spot?”

              “You’ll understand when you look deeper than just the surface.” Then he shoots lots and lots of arrows in rapid succession, as if randomly, and most of them missed the bulls-eyes. But then he said, “There! All of them perfect shots!”

              The students became restless, “He’s gone mad!”

              “Looks are deceiving,” the master said, “You got to look beneath the surface.” Then he left.

              And after the commotion was over, most people had left, saying, “He’s gone hopelessly crazy!” But there were a handful of students who were still trying to figure out what he was trying to teach. Then one of them said, “Hey what if he meant for us to peel the bark?” Then they started peeling the bark off. And there it was, beneath the surface, tree rings formed perfectly around the arrows.

              …as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up…” — John 3:14

              …When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me…” — John 8:28

              …’And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die…” — John 12:32-33

              …Behold, my servant shall prosper; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted…” — Isaiah 52:13-53:12

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Thank-you, Very illuminating! I will bookmark this site and return to it.

            • vorjack

              1. Is one of them really talking about Mary’s ancestors, like some people say?

              That would be odd, since the Jews at that period did not trace the ancestry back through the mother’s side. Your family was presumed to come down through your father.

              Though later it was your mother’s Jewishness that made you Jewish, though her ancestry was still not important. I don’t think that had developed yet.

              Of course, the whole thing is odd, since Jesus was supposedly the son of God, not Joesph, so Joesph’s lineage is meaningless.

              2. Virgin birth story added centuries later

              News to me too.

              3. . I don’t know much about archaeology, but I heard about other examples of this kind of census in Roman times when people were told to go back to the place they were born.

              I’ve never heard of such a thing, and it would make little sense. Why exactly would the Romans give a flip about what family you come from? Going back to your home – your place of residence – that makes more sense. That gives the Romans an accurate count of how many people are living in a given area so they know how much to charge the tax farmers.

              Plus there are tricky issues of politics. If Joesph and Mary lived in Galilee, they they were under the rule of a client king, and the Romans would not have subjected them to a census.

              the NT authors were lying

              Too simplistic. Was Herodotus lying when he gave us the story of Solon and Croesus? Was Plutarch lying when he left out large portions of the lives of his subjects? Was Josephus lying when he told the story of miraculous omens before the fall of Jerusalem?

              Don’t judge ancient authors by modern standards. There were no neat lines between literature and history back then.

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            Ummm, may I ask….where are the original documents to establish this fancifull theory?! I don’t suppose they are buried in a box in your basement, are they? Why not call the Vatican and have them release the documents so we can see what they really say, if they have them!

      • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

        Well…according to legend, Mithras was born of a virgin on Dec 25th, was considered the son of “god” and lived a holy life, was put to death, on the third day he was raised from the dead and now sits with god in heaven. Sounds familiar? There have been too many “sons of god” throughout history. Perhaps a reading of Tom Harpur’s excellent book “The Pagan Christ” might shine some light on this. Also take a look at books by the authors ‘Freke and Gandy’, they have written some truly fascinating books on the subject of the so-called biblical authority on Jesus and christianity. The bible is NOT the last and only word on Jesus and christianity.

      • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

        ummm…sorry to burst your bubble but it has been determined that the book of Isaiah was written AFTER the supposed death of Jesus. Do be careful quoting it as self fulfilling prophecy is never a beautiful thing!

        • Jus

          @michael: “it has been determined that the book of Isaiah was written AFTER the supposed death of Jesus”. Would you please kindly refer me to the article/publication that determined this conclusion? Thanks!

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            I’m not exactly sure which publication I read about that in. Some scholars think this way, but nothing is definte, What can NOT be proven is when Isaiah was actually written. I had an Israeli(Jewish) boss once who informed me that the prophetic books of the Old Testament are NOT recognized as being part of their religion and bible! If over 70 Gnostic documents were not canonized by the early Catholic Church, why do you suppose that they would include documents that had no part in the Jewish bible? Where do you suppose they got the prophetic books from? Perhaps written by Constantine’s wife’s cousin’s uncle? It would make a lot of sense. The Jews do not hold these documents as holy, so why do we? I still think they are all self fulfilling prophecies and should be regarded as products of a drug-addicted Jesus nut!

            Feel free to prove me wrong. Should you be able to travel back in time, please provide pictures!

            • vorjack

              Sorry, no.

              A copy of the book of Isiah was found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, now called Great Isaiah Scroll, and it has been dated to at least a century before Jesus.

              I had an Israeli(Jewish) boss once who informed me that the prophetic books of the Old Testament are NOT recognized as being part of their religion and bible!

              That … is odd. One word for the Jewish scriptures is the Tanakh, which is a contraction of the three sections of the book: Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim. Nevi’im literally translates to “prophets,” which means that the Prophets are a third of the Jewish canon.

            • Yoav

              It’s a matter of semantics. The first 5 books of the bible (Torah) are considered the most important and the scrolls used for ceremonial reading during prayer contain only them. However during Saturday prayer after that week section of the Torah a related story from the prophets is read as well (Known as haftara) so saying that the prophets are not part of the Jewish scripture is a bit of a stretch.

      • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

        “My words will not pass away”? Well…..follow them then! Matthew 7: 1-2….”Do not judge….etc”. What part can chrisitians not understand? Will you explain to me how christians can judge while thinking they’ll go to heaven and rest of humanity goes to hell? Go ahead, give it a try….I dare you!!

        Two thousand years of endless hell and damnation from people that had NO right to judge!!! If we hold Jesus to his “word”, the next christian that opens his/her mouth to pass judgement, will NOT enter the kingdom of GOD! Hell must be awfully crowded!!

        • Jus

          @michael: Once again, I am not here to judge you. Because I myself am included in all the Scriptures that I have quoted. I am NOT exempted!

          I do NOT think simply I will “go to heaven and the rest of humanity goes to hell”. Because I myself am part of “the rest of humanity”, I am included.

          As I exhort you to listen to the Scriptures, the Word of God, I myself am listening to it and applying it to myself. I follow constantly what Paul says,
          Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves.
          …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…

          So would you please kindly tell me which words did I use that puts me as judge over you?

          • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

            How about my telling you that I am without sin as I am guided by the christ-spirit! I am totally unable to sin! Do you receive this as the “truth”? Do you have the faith to believe that this is true? I am being very sincere!

            I am sorry but the New Testament is NOT the “word of god”! When Paul talked of scripture, he was talking about the Torah! And unless you are guided by the christ-spirit, nothing in the book will be of any use to you. It is NOT a self help book! It was written by Gnostics FOR Gnostics. My suggestion for the ultimate in help, call upon God the Father and he will teach you, in your spirit, of all things as he has taught me! Put down the book, unless of course that you don’t want god to teach you.

            • Kodie

              My take on “sin” is that everyone found it so difficult to live up to the perfection god expected of them that they made up an excuse to accept that they are humans after all. But NOT animals. Not so far. That’s why they say they are all sinners, because “pobody’s nerfect” and all that, and symbolically accept Jesus Christ as a symbol to fill in that “hole,” that’s like getting your card punched, see. Some may say that taking Jesus like that magically transforms them from @sshoIes into kind beings or give them strength to refrain from behaviors they deem to be the more obvious sinful (like drinking, dancing, homosexuality, etc.), some may say that since Christ is in them, it gives them a pass to say anything they want to on his behalf, as they interpret his wording and the wording he used to compile his further works on the subject of “how to be.”

              REALITY: it’s all a game they made up to judge others by. Everyone has a standard they themselves can live up to and a god that says whatever they like to do is ok, and whatever “the others” like to do is troubling to him.

              Now, you’ve both asked god for guidance and listened to the answer, and I believe you when you say that you heard something and followed it, but you came out with different answers: doesn’t that give you A CLUE???

              I also think michael’s approached or perhaps crossed the line of evangelizing… all you christians are doing it wrong because he’s gnostic, he has special insight, stop being the wrong kind of christian, etc. Annoying!

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              Thank-you, from the depths of my heart! But to tell the truth, I detest the evangelization of anything related to religon. All I want to do is tear down the lies and deceptions foisted on us by self-justifing, hate mongers. Frustrating anyone who stands by christian doctrine, as we know it today, is very quickly becoming my favourite hobby. The “true” christianity that was so ruthlessly wiped out by the Catholics, is dead today on account of stupid people who believe even more stupid ideals and believe that god is behind them. Well…it’s my turn to wipe out their stupid and fraudulent jesus crapola! I’m tired of my relatives damning me because I don’t believe in the death of jesus. But I am not so much angry as utterly determined to tear down their doctrinal edifaces at every chance I have! Thank-you for being open hearted in what you said!!

            • trj

              @Michael:
              > “All I want to do is tear down the lies and deceptions foisted on us…”

              If that is your mission then you should take extra care to check your facts. It doesn’t help you at all when you serve up definitive statements that turn out to be erroneous or just as unsubstantiated as the religious claims you argue against – as you have done at least twice now.

              Be careful that in your fervor to dismantle modern Christianity you don’t simply buy into any critical claim that tells you something you want to hear. Many gnostic sources will have an agenda that may bias them.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @trj: I don’t support or align myself with any Gnostic groups that exist today. I have no facts at all….what makes you think that? What is amazing is the criticisms I have registered in my attempts to expose that deep faults within christian doctrine. Would it be possible that every one actually supports the ridiculous claims made by christians? You see, my problem stems from people who hold up a book they call “god’s word” and use it to beat others up while ingnoring everything it says. Now I find some commentators on an atheist blog, picking my argument apart. What gives? Become a Gnostic, then you can comment! I do not simply but into any “critical claim” what so ever. Modern christianity IS a whopping big joke and it would seem that most people have bought into it without question. Would it hurt to question the reason behind why people have fallen for this gross deception? My “statements” are not definitive but it is my hope that they will get people thinking as to why christian doctrine today is getting more ridiculous than ever before……”oil spill, a sign of end times”…..just one example. You believe what you want to believe and I’ll think the way I do.

            • trj

              “it has been determined that the book of Isaiah was written AFTER the supposed death of Jesus”.

              That right there seems a pretty definitive (and erroneous) statement to me.

              Also, you make some categorical claims as to what Christianity says about sin which I think most Christians would find hard to recognize. Christians don’t think Jesus eradicated sin. Instead, he supposedly absolved us of it so we could be saved regardless of our sins. If you want to deconstruct Christianity you should take care not to misrepresent it, otherwise you’re just building a strawman.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @trj; Even if the book was written before the time of jesus, It does not establish that jesus is the messiah. Man can read into it what ever he feels like. What sin are you talking about? There is no sin and never was, unless you are a person of the Jewish faith. He absolved us??!! Prove it!! There isn’t a shred of evidence to establish that conclusion based on what jesus said! That kind of thinking was created by the early Catholic Church to enslave humanity in it’s web of lies and deceipt! This kind of salvation is built completely of straw!

            • trj

              Like you say, one can read into the scriptures whatever he likes. Which is what I see you doing. Although I agree that modern Christianity is very far from whatever Jesus allegedly preached I really see no reason to trust that your version should be more true to its origin, or that this origin, whatever it is, should be anything but fiction and myth in the first place. You seem convinced that you, unlike all those other poor bewildered fools who have been lead astray from the true message, know what Christianity is really about. In that, you differ not at all from any other Christian who claims the same thing.

              Since I’m an atheist I won’t be trying to defend or prove any of the tenets of mainstream Christianity. I was merely pointing out that the version of Christianity that you rail against is an inaccurate representation, which – to me, at least – makes it hard to take your campaign against it seriously. Feel free to regard my advice as invalid or arrogant or whatever you like, that’s entirely up to you. I’m just relating the situation as I see it.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @trj: If people are going to hold up a book they call the absolute “word of god” and beat up other people for not following it, then they too should live by it. They DON”T. I have no version and absolutely no campaign! I just want to know how they establish their christian ideals when those ideals have no basis in the NT, what so ever! Are you really satisfied with christian theology that damns you because you don’t believe and live by the very concepts that don’t follow, when those concepts don’t even exist in the NT?! Just for once, instead of just making them out to be fools, try to expose them for the hypocrates they are! Jesus spoke of love and they hate! What the hell gives? I demand an answer from those hypocrates, but I know they are too stuborn and brain dead to give me one. But just perhaps we can show them how wrong they are! I don’t claim any version is right, all I do know is that one can not hold up an ideal, call it holy and then totally ignore it!

            • Kodie

              I got into an argument with someone on another forum a long time ago, it was a general discussion forum, not an atheist or religious forum, with someone who happened to be a very proud Christian, and I guess I had the mistaken idea that, because they believed in the salvation of the lord, that Christians ought to at least act better than everyone else, even at the ultimate least, care about trying to, when clearly they don’t. I don’t remember exactly what she said to clear up my misperception, but it satisfied me at the time. I’m going to try to put the pieces together why I no longer expect nor demand that Christians uphold or adhere to their own beliefs or standards of behavior for you.

              (And these are my words as to how I understood her words, not an attempt to recreate her own logic):
              A — Christians are just people, due to there being no god and no moral law. AKA, sinners, “only human,” not really special.
              B — Christians accept that they are sinners really well.
              B1 — Christians take advantage of recognizing that they can’t help it.

              Now, here, where I thought that the devout thumpers and lord-jizzers at least cared a great deal more about being better than everyone else and tried to, they totally skip that part, and I understand perfectly well. They are drilled to identify themselves as sinners and forgive themselves a lot because: Jesus died. That makes it ok. They don’t have to read the book to know that Jesus died and why that makes it ok. He said, take me into your heart, so they are normal lazy humans who don’t bother to do more than that, and as being they are sinners, they are ok with it. As long as you understand that part, you can move onto their other boring, idiotic, and/or dangerous ideas.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              If I can live up to what is written in the NT, not judge and not condemn those who don’t agree with the “way”, not hate others or even dream up stupid reasons for natural disasters…..so could the fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are, by and large, determined to take over the world and exert their power against all those they don’t like. The list is endless: gays, liberals, free thinkers…..etc. Why must they force us to believe as they do? The cornerstone upon which christianity rests, is the concept of sin. If there were to be no sin, the christian ediface would come crashing down. Sin prevents evolution from happening, If every day you have to ask forgiveness from a god for every little mistake you do, you will never evolve beyond the little person you are! As sin is essentially part of the Jewish faith, I’m happy to announce that since I am NOT Jewish and therfore sin should not even enter the realm of a spiritual journey. Unless you are Jewish, you can NOT sin and therefore the sacrifice on the cross was only for the Jews. If all jesus talked about was love, why then do the fundamentalists do everything but actually love? They may be OK with being sinners, that’s their right, but I do not need to be reminded that if I don’t confess my sins, I’ll burn in hell for all eternity! This is NOT love!! Their entire theology is not only wrong, it is illogical! How can we take them seriously?

            • John C

              “If I can live up to what is written in the NT”…

              No, ‘we’ can’t live up to it (that’s the law), only Christ can live the Christian life in and through us, that’s the liberating secret, there is no performance expectations on our part, only a new nature. Less of me, more of Him as John said. When asked by his disciples ‘tell us what the work of God is that we might do it’? Jesus answered ‘this is the work of God, that you believe…’. Being, not doing. The Church has been focused on the wrong (performance) aspect for far too long, this is what keeps the Life Himself from the ‘coming forth’, from experiencing the Lazarus effect.

              “The cornerstone upon which Christianity rests, is the concept of sin”

              No, the (chief) Cornerstone upon which Christ (and we) rest, is His finished work on the cross, ie ‘it is finished’. Christ is Christianity and sin is an inherited (self-focused as opposed to God and others-focused) nature, not so much an act since a man will always behave like the person he ‘thinks’ he is, thinking culminates is corresponding behavior.The only thing that Christ has to do with sin (that inherited, selfish, truth-opposing, adamic nature) is the eradication of it. ‘For this purpose (the eradication of it) was the Son of God made manifest, the He might destroy the works of the enemy’ 1st Jn 3:8. Sin, that nature IS the enemy.

            • http://www.thathurtsmyears.blogspot.com/ michael

              @John C: I do live the “christian” life as christ is in me. With living by the LAW comes sin. If I choose not to live by the law but by the christ-spirit, then there can be no sin. This puts into question the crucifixion. If god does not judge me then who is man to do that? I am not saved by the eradication of sin through the crucifixion, but by sacrificing myself to god and wanting Him to live his life within me. The question now I put before you is: How can you sin against god? Some believe that sinning against god, is not obeying what he says. It is kind of hard when there are those who believe that god’s word is the bible, when in fact it is NOT god’s word! You can not disobey god when you won’t allow him to speak to you and make requests of you. It has been said that we don’t know the will of god in our individual lives. For thirty years I have talked to god and he has talked to me…..I do know the will of god! He does not judge me as man does, not even as pertains my sexual orientation. All he wants of me is to think with my spirit! I shall continue in the peace, joy and love of the eternal spirit. You must choose your own path and which ever “way” you choose is between you and the eternal! Best wishes, always!

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