TheoreticalBS responds to Pascal’s Wager.

This guy is my new hero.  Like, this guy is David Tenant levels of awesome.

What a magnificent line to describe god: “A being whose empathy is so easily trumped by his vanity.”  This guy makes me feel like I’m borrowing the English language.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • islandbrewer

    Crap! Why can’t I give answers like that on the fly?

    • SansDeus

      Don’t feel bad, the video was edited and he was actively reading some notes during it.

      That video is the result of a very well thought out process (no matter the length of time he took in making it). :)

      • islandbrewer

        Ok, fine. I’ll resign myself to just looking that good.

  • Pofarmer

    I think I have a little bit of a man crush. Wow.

  • JFields

    I’ve been watching his videos gradually over the last few days, and the dude definitely has a command over logical reasoning that is absolutely dizzying. For the best example of this, go search youtube for the “Atheist Experience” episode where Matt Dillahunty debates the transcendental argument for god’s existence (TAG) with xtian apologist Matt Slick; then, watch this guy’s 4-part series where he critiques that debate. I felt stupid after listening. Seeing a debate between Scott (I think that’s his name) and Matt Slick would be worth the price of admission and the cost of a bucket of popcorn.

  • JohnH2

    God also would know, with a perfect knowledge, everything that he has knowingly chosen wrong. A person is more then the sum of their experiences, as everyone has some knowledge of what is right and wrong and makes independent choices based on what they, themselves, know to be right or wrong. So he would stand with a perfect knowledge of his own faults (and pride) and with a perfect knowledge that God is good.

    God is not a logical conclusion but a being. I do not believe in a God that is provable by logic based on axioms outside of experience, there are good reasons that many do not think of me or my faith as Christian even though we are very much Christ centric. The world through wisdom knew not God, as Paul says. Instead to know God one must act rightly and ask of God.

    To go to hell, indefinitely, requires choices, it requires him to know that Jesus is the Christ and Savior and is there willing to take all of his faults so that he can stand unashamed before God and to reject this knowledge. Everyone is a sinner and unworthy to enter the presence of God without relying on the merits of Christ. Just as I am unable to judge him, so he is also not in a position to judge the intents and mental state of the rapists and murders nor their experience with God or why they may end up accepting Jesus as Savior prior to death (or after death). God is just and judgement is based on our actions based on what we, of ourselves, know to be right, subject to the mediation, grace, and mercy of Christ, who is also our judge as the Father judges no one, and we stand condemned of ourselves and not of God.

    • Fred

      Gobbledy Gook.

      I don’t sin.

      • JohnH2

        You are a morally perfect being then? You have never done anything in your life that you know to be wrong?

        • Gehennah

          I don’t sin either.

          I’m not morally perfect, but sin has nothing to do with morality.

          • JohnH2

            I mention the word sinner once, as I explain to DavidMHart, and the way I was using it, which I thought was clear, is tied solely to morality.

        • DavidMHart

          I think the point is that the idea of ‘morally wrong’ is a real thing, in the usual sense of ‘actions that deliberately and needlessly harm others’, but ‘sin’ is a nonsensical concept, since it means ‘actions that harm (or offend) a being that doesn’t exist’ (so far as we can tell). If you want someone to take the concept of sin seriously, all you would need to do would be to prove to them that your god does exist. Until you can do that, sins against your god are as nonsensical as sins against Huitzilopochtli.

          • JohnH2

            By sinner I only meant morally imperfect based on what we ourselves know to be right and wrong, consistent with what I said in the rest of the comment. Sorry for the confusion.

          • DavidMHart

            Fair enough. Religious apologists can often be quite slippery about equivocating between ‘wrongs done to our fellow sentient creatures’ and ‘actions that offend my favourite god or gods’, so you can understand my need to try to unpick that.

          • JohnH2

            Yes, I understand, until the existence of God is determined and our relation to God also determined then commandments from God can be no more then perhaps curious suggestions

          • phantomreader42

            JohnH2:

            By sinner I only meant morally imperfect based on what we ourselves know to be right and wrong, consistent with what I said in the rest of the comment. Sorry for the confusion.

            That is not even close to the typical meaning when the faithful use the word “sinner”. Normally, they use that word to mean “not mindlessly obedient to the invisible man in the sky”. If you do not want to cause confusion, you should not radically redefine words without notice, even if the original meaning of those words is incredibly stupid.

          • JohnH2

            Yes, sorry, I choose sinner as at the time I thought it fit better in the sentence and I thought it would be clear enough what I meant given the context then “morally imperfect”. Thinking about it “Everyone is morally imperfect” actually seems to work just as well, so I needlessly caused confusion and didn’t gain anything from using sinner.

        • phantomreader42

          Well, in comparison with a god who tortures people forever for not stroking his narcissistic ego, yeah, every human being who has ever lived qualifies as “morally perfect” measured against THAT atrocity your death cult worships. Of course, that’s not saying much.

          • JohnH2

            I wasn’t asking about in comparison, but about what you, yourself know to be right.

            You are again, smuggling in conceptions of God and the afterlife which I don’t hold to, as a straw man no less.

          • phantomreader42

            So, your conception of god does NOT maintain a torture chamber where it torments those it finds insufficiently subservient for eternity for its own depraved entertainment? You don’t believe the monstrous dogma of hell? If that is the case, congratulations, your god is no less imaginary, but is at least not the most evil being imaginable.

          • JohnH2

            You definitely didn’t read my comment that covered the Summa Theologica then.

        • Fred

          Sin has nothing to do with morals.

    • Stevarious

      The existence of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient god is incompatible with the concept of hell. If he really had all those traits, he wouldn’t NEED a hell. He would know exactly what was needed to convince (without coercion) every single human being that he was real and that he should be believed in, he would have the power to arrange it, and he would have the goodness to desire to make it happen.

      If a single human soul goes to hell, it is because god failed to know what to do, or failed to have the power or desire to do it, to save that soul.

      • JohnH2

        I don’t think you understood the full implication of what I said. To go to hell requires a knowledge that Jesus is the Savior and that He is able to save you and to refuse to be saved with the knowledge that one is rejecting what one knows to be right and true. If a person freely chooses to be cut off from the presence of God and refuses to become morally perfect with the assistance of God then it would be contrary to the omnibenevolence of God to force such a person to remain forever in His presence.

        If ones filthiness is held as an integral part, by free choice, of ones person then what kind of being would God be to forcibly strip that part from a person against their will and choice? Making such a being happy about being in Gods presence would require they be utterly destroyed, they would not and could not be considered to be the same being anymore and that is something that even God can’t do.

        edit:
        In other-words, eventually every knee will bow and tongue confess of their own free will that Jesus is the Christ and to go to hell at that point requires that one choose to do so.

        • Stevarious

          “I don’t think you understood the full implication of what I said.”

          Oh, I’m pretty certain it’s you that are failing to understand. In fact, you are misunderstanding my point twofold.

          1 – Is god so unpersuasive that he cannot convince every soul to abandon their ‘filthiness’ of their own free will? He is omnipotent, so he does not lack the capability, and he is omniscient, so he does not lack the knowledge of how to do so. Surely it must be POSSIBLE to convince every human not to go to hell – god would not have created humans that are incapable of being saved, would he?
          Thus hell is not necessary… except that you insist that it is, therefore god either doesn’t know how to convince these people to turn, lacks the ability to convince them, or lacks the desire to avoid torturing them for all eternity. So which omni does he not actually possess?

          2 – It requires a twisted mind to think that torturing a soul in the most agonizing manner possible for all eternity is anything but the greatest possible evil you could visit upon that soul. The very fact that god could ever choose to do this to a single soul is pretty clear evidence that he cannot be omnibenevolent. A soul destroyed can at least feel no pain – so for god to send these souls to be tortured instead of simply destroying them demonstrates that he actively chooses the course of greater evil. Or is he incapable of destroying that which he created? Then he is not omnipotent.

          “eventually every knee will bow and tongue confess of their own free will that Jesus is the Christ and to go to hell at that point requires that one choose to do so.”

          Which gets right to the point of the video. “A being whose empathy is so easily trumped by his vanity.” God’s empathy and kindness is less than humans are capable – a fireman will pull a person from a burning building by force if they refuse to cooperate, because humans value life over vanity. Does not your mind recoil at the idea of a fireman, pushed away by a confused and delirious man in a burning building, who says “Fine, you don’t wanna be rescued? You can burn!” Why does god have less empathy and kindness than his creations?

          • JohnH2

            Your idea of hell is different then mine; Hell is separation from God with a clear understanding that one could have been with God but chose freely not to.

            God did not create humans in the sense that you are thinking of, he merely framed and shaped them from preexisting material, to reference the Popal Vuh. God is incapable, primarily by choice, of stripping from a person the ability to choose Hell if they so desire it. Everyone is capable of choosing to give up their preference for morally imperfect actions and desires, or will be when the time comes that they stand before God, and to deny a person that choice would make one more miserable to be in the presence of God then if one were to be cut off from God’s presence.

            Nor is God capable of destroying a person, a core part of everyone’s existence is co-eternal with God. The inability of God to accomplish logically impossible tasks does not impede on the Omnipotence of God: it is classically established that God does not have the power to destroy Himself and that God is not able to make an unstoppable cannon ball and a unbreakable wall at the same time and that neither of those limit Omnipotence. Since an essential element of each person is co-eternal with God then God destroying us falls directly under the category of something that God can not logically do (else He would be capable of destroying Himself).

            As I stated above, God does not judge anyone, Christ does, but Christ is our advocate as we condemn and accuse ourselves. This is not a confused or delirious state, but one where one knows that Christ has the power to save and to choose not to be saved. Christ already paid the price for our poor moral choices, He willingly suffered all so that we might not suffer if we would repent, and Christ will not save us in our errors but from them. If we choose to remain in error then we have said that we don’t care that Christ already has done all necessary to save us we would rather continue in error.

            It is more the case of the Fireman already having saved the man in the burning building, taken the man out of the building, and the man wanting to run back into the building, not just at that moment but at all moments and being frustrated and angry at not being allowed to do so while also knowing that going into the burning building is not a good thing; the Fireman will not eternally torment the man by denying what will make the man happiest and so allows the man to go where he is happiest.

          • Stevarious

            So if ‘Hell’ isn’t a punishment, why should anyone be afraid of it?

            And how is it that you you have such detailed knowledge about the nature of god and souls?

          • JohnH2

            If one desires darkness over light does that make darkness to be good and desirable? Is it fear that motivates you to generally desire to do good (even if you fail to do so due to other concerns or weakness)?

            The pain of conscience and guilt of ones moral shortcomings, especially in light of having seen and known God, a morally perfect being, is great enough that Christ, the greatest of all, bled from every pore, so Hell is not a good and happy place to be, it is just happier then dwelling eternally with God given a refusal to give up ones errors.

            Fear and faith can not co-exist at the same time in a being. One should not be afraid of Hell, as Christ overcame it, and that certainly shouldn’t be ones primary motivation to do good. One can’t love ones neighbor as oneself due to fear of Hell, let alone love God.

            I believe I already explained that I am a Mormon; as such there are quite a bit more additional scripture and revelation from God. While a lot of the nature of God stuff is actually found in the Bible, and not primarily in modern revelation, modern revelation does give some key pieces of information that perhaps help one to see what is already there. D&C 93, especially 28-31 is a good place to start, in my opinion. Of course, an actual knowledge about the true nature of God needs to come from God so seeking God in prayer is also recommended to make it more then an academic exercise.

          • Stevarious

            Hmm, Mormon, huh? No, I didn’t notice that post.

            Why would I assume for a second that the book of Mormon has anything accurate in it about god? Why would I believe a book that gets so many verifiable facts about the world completely wrong?

            Honestly you lose all credibility by admitting that you fell for such an obvious scam as Mormonism.

          • JohnH2

            I completely understand why you would say that it has so many facts about the world wrong, and I disagree, they are wrong only at a superficial level. I’d rather not get into that tangent on this thread. I believe FAIR has a wiki that you are able to look up whatever, or you can look up the FARMS stuff for more scholarly approach. The answers from either do vary in quality and I disagree with everything that claims the preclassic Maya had anything to do with the Book of Mormon.

            I don’t know why you say Mormonism is an obvious scam, that to me implies that you aren’t very familiar with Mormonism.

    • Pofarmer

      “. A person is more then the sum of their experiences, as everyone has some knowledge of what is right and wrong and makes independent choices based on what they, themselves, know to be right or wrong. ”

      Come again?

      God is not a logical conclusion but a being. I do not believe in a God that is “provable by logic based on axioms outside of experience, ”

      So we don’t get to know right now, but, after we die, it will all become clear.

      • JohnH2

        Humans are able to make moral choices for themselves based on what they, themselves, know to be right or wrong; instead of robots who must act in a certain way due to prior factors.

        Get to know what right now? God? I say how to know God right now. I am merely pointing out that I do not believe in a deity derived from first principles of philosophy; God is not something proven by philosophy but a being known by experience.

        • Pofarmer

          Tell that to plato or thomas aquinas.

          • JohnH2

            As Paul says, the world, through wisdom, knew not God. An unmoved mover which is equivalent to existence is quite a bit different from a God which so loved the world to send His Son. If you were Catholic or something similar I’d go further but by all appearances you are an atheist.

          • Pofarmer

            Go however far you’d like. I have an interest i Catholicism.

          • JohnH2

            Through movement and causation, we discover that movement exists and that there are first causes to movement; but the assumption that all movement and causation has the same first cause is made only as “a multitude of rulers is not a good things, let there be one”, from Homer. If God causes all and moves all then all is precisely and only an effect of God, evil as well as good. Man can not then be rightly judged for his actions if he is not an independent mover as well, at least in some part.

            Through necessity we come to the conclusion that existence exists. To call existence itself as God is pantheism; to say that God is out side of existence or immaterial material in order to get out of pantheism is to have panentheism and further to regulate God to a non-existent state. Perhaps this is missed as the term Universe has been corrupted, but if there is existence outside of our local time stretching back to the Big Bang then it also is a part of existence and without reformulation of what God is then God must also be ‘outside’ of that, as supposedly He is existence but is not part of it.

            The order of all things does seem to me to testify of the existence of a God, but that moves outside of first principles and into experience, especially as it seems that many deny the necessity of the conclusion and regardless it tells us only the smallest amount about who or what God is.

            To say that good must come out of evil is to deny the existence of evil and to destroy all distinction between good and evil. God is then giving utterly arbitrary distinctions between goodness and goodness such that mass murder is just as good as loving ones neighbor (assuming of course we are independent to act for ourselves in the first place) for God and any punishment or blessing for either is arbitrary, but as our existence is from God, as He is existence, then God is arbitrarily punishing portions of Himself for acting according to His own will; meaning overall He must get great pleasure from such an enterprise. At best God is then amoral, morality doesn’t apply, which appears to be asserted as God is good axiomatically (meaning the content of actions is irrelevantly good), parallelly, God would appear to be a masochist (and sadist to the extent that we are independent of God), of course those things wouldn’t be bad (as nothing can be) because everything is good as everything has its existence and actions through God.

            Being predestined towards damnation can only mean that one was created by God to be damned, and this is somehow good. This as God not only knows us perfectly, as I believe, but also would have created us completely and have all actions predetermined and known at the time of our creation. Meaning God would have formed those damned to be damned and known it beforehand and yet created the person that way, see the previous paragraph, As Aquinas says God wishes good on all but not all good to all, so apparently being tortured for all eternity is good, just as much as salvation and neither can be rightly said to be the fault of the person, as the saved are saved because God predestined them to be saved and the damned are reprobate because God created them as such,

            If, on the other hand, there are things that act and things which are acted upon, so a multitude of independent movers, both, at least to an extent, in their existence and movement then our own actions do matter as we must own them. If God is subject to morality just as we are, having a knowledge of good and evil and being free to chose (Behold the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil), though if He chose evil He would not be God, then we can say that God is moral and supremely so.” Life and Death are then placed constantly before us, as also blessing and cursing, and it is our own free choice what we get (Deuteronomy 30), our wills are what determine how the divine will acts towards us which is utterly contrary to what Aquinas says.

            I suppose I shouldn’t get into how man is in the form, image, and likeness of God as says scripture implying quite clearly that God looks like us and has a body as we do.

            To me one of the most interesting things about Summa Theologica is that scripture is almost always used in the question, but in the answer it is nearly always Aristotle (or Augustine or some other philosopher). He, therefore, is arguing against the God that actually exists and acts in the Bible in favor of a Euclidean point outside of all existence which is also existence. Likewise with Augustine who rejects the beliefs of the common Christian at his time in favor of Plato and in his case actually says that is what he is doing. I am unclear why those that have only thought of the subject are listened to and trusted more then those that actually conversed with God as a man talks with a man, or saw God sitting on His throne with Jesus at His right hand. It is my opinion that Aquinas really did see and converse with Jesus later on and so learned the truth which was what led him to declare that what he had written was straw.

          • Pofarmer

            So, just a quick question. If we are “made in the image of God” how come we have the same structure, same organs, same bones, same reproductive systems, etc, etc, as say, the rest of the mammals on earth pretty much?

          • JohnH2

            Why wouldn’t we?

          • Pofarmer

            Why wouldn’t we what?

          • JohnH2

            Why wouldn’t we this:

            ” we have the same structure, same organs, same bones, same reproductive
            systems, etc, etc, as say, the rest of the mammals on earth pretty much?”

          • Pofarmer

            Well, if we are so unique,made in the image of God, etc, don’t you think we’d be a little more, I dunno, specially made?

          • JohnH2

            Why would I think that?

          • Pofarmer

            Well, fucked if I know.

          • JohnH2

            Let me rephrase then, why do you think that?

          • Pofarmer

            All I’m getting at, is that if we’re modeled after some divine creator, you would think we would show it in more ways than about a 1 1/2% DNA deviation from a chimp.

          • Jasper

            The point (I think) he’s trying to make is that if this concept of “being made in the image of God” were true, it doesn’t fit the preponderance of evidence. When we look at the world, it just doesn’t fit with what we observe.

            The fact our internal structure is so similar to most other organisms, increasingly similar the closer we are on the evolutionary tree, is an indicator of evolution.. not that we were made to resemble a non-organic universe-creating being.

            Does God have a penis? Why does he have a penis? Does God have two legs and two arms? Does he walk? Why does he need to walk? Isn’t he omni-present? Why does he have two eyes? Does he need binocular vision? Doesn’t he just instantly know everything in the universe always? Doesn’t that render eyes to be pathetically obsolete?

            It’s simple Occam’s Razor… the models we’ve derived from investigating reality better support the observations, with as minimal assumptions or unexplained inconsistencies as possible.

            That’s typically how one knows that a model is on the right track.

          • JohnH2

            Why is God supposed to be non-organic? How do you know that being made in the image of God isn’t true or that it doesn’t fit the evidence? That implies that you know what the image of God is, I suppose? How do you know that, being an atheist and knowing the image of God seems inconsistent?

            Also, I thought I just covered that I am arguing against universe-creating: the basic materials that made up the universe always have and always will exist, God just organizes things. I don’t see a problem with God using evolution.

            Yes, God has a penis and uses it for the purpose of reproduction. It may have been helpful for you to have pinned down what faith I DO belong to first. I am Mormon, fyi, so yes, God has two arms and legs, two eyes, uses binocular vision, does know everything in universe always, I can’t speak as to whether that renders eyes obsolete but sight doesn’t appear to render touch obsolete even though an earthworm might think it would. God, the Father, is also the head of the council of the gods and we are His children, with the direct implication that there is a Mother in Heaven as well. If you want links to the King Follett discourse, the sermon on the grove, modern revelation, or such things walked through the Bible I am able to provide them.

          • Pofarmer

            “It may have been helpful for you to have pinned down what faith I DO belong to first. I am Mormon,”

            Teh crazy then. I’ll not bother you further.

          • JohnH2

            I wonder in what way is being Mormon more crazy then being Catholic from your point of view?

          • Pofarmer

            Please don’t make me decide which one is more nuts.

          • RowanVT

            Well… the catholics don’t think that *they* will become gods when they die…

          • JohnH2

            “the catholics don’t think that *they* will become gods when they die…”

            So how familiar are you with Divinization or Theosis?

          • RowanVT

            Just enough to know that if you go up to Random Catholic A on the street and ask them “Will you become a god when you die?” that they will the vast majority of the time say “no…”

            Unlike mormons. Well, the men at least. And if they’re telling the truth.

          • DavidMHart

            I will concede that the core theology of Catholicism is not significantly less silly than the core theology of Mormonism. I think the reason that Mormons get such stick (and understandably so) is because the origins of Catholicism are buried so deep in time, at a time of widespread illiteracy, and from which relatively little historical record survives, that it’s perfectly plausible that the people who invented Catholicism were sincere (which, if you’re a Catholic, makes it easy to believe that they were correct in their sincerity).

            Whereas the guy who invented Mormonism lived his life in the harsh glare of well-documented, recent history, and appears to just about every other human on the planet as a flagrant, outrageously mendacious charlatan who happened to be unlucky enough that his own lies got him into a sticky situation that he couldn’t get out of alive.

            It’s not the doctrine that’s the problem, so much as the ‘how could you possibly not see that guy for the obvious, blatant holy fraud that he was?’ factor that makes Mormonism so much harder to take seriously.

          • JohnH2

            “sticky situation that he couldn’t get out of alive.”

            That is quite the mischaracterization of what happened; he had left the state, but chose to go back and knew that in doing so he would die. To me, one of the most interesting scriptures is D&C 132:60.

            “that guy for the obvious, blatant holy fraud that he was?”

            So Moses was a murderer, and Peter as well was famously imperfect, and in terms of Popes, Patriarchs, and Bishops from orthodox Christianity…. God works with what He has and chooses whom He will.

            Joseph Smith easily passes the tests for a true prophet that are found in the Bible and I have a witness from God that the Book of Mormon is true,

          • DavidMHart

            Hey, I’m not saying that Joseph Smith was necessarily a worse person than Moses (if he existed) or Peter; I’m just saying that his honesty is in much more serious doubt. The Lucie Harris incident really tells us all we need to know – his reaction to that could have been to prove himself right by re-translating the relevant passage word-for-word. Instead, he did exactly what we would expect a quick-witted charlatan to do – come up with an excuse not to have to put his claims to the test.

            Not to mention his own insistence on not letting anyone else see the golden plates in the first place – an honest prophet would have been able and willing to show them to anyone who asked (and an honest god who wanted his prophet not to look like a conman to the rest of the world would have instructed him to be willing to show them to the world). Instead, Smith’s behaviour is entirely compatible with someone who was making stuff up, and only compatible with someone who was being honest if you are prepared to accept a bundle of ad-hoc rationalisations.

            That and the whole Book of Abraham debacle, where, once we had actually figured out how to read Ancient Egyptian, the text turned out to have nothing to do with what Smith’s translation of it was.

            I’m not saying he was definitely a con artist. I’m just saying that it looks overwhelmingly likely that he was a con artist to anyone who hasn’t been indoctrinated into Mormonism, and that’s a large part of why people have a harder time taking Mormonism as seriously as Catholicism.

            Unless your ‘witness from god’ would care to join us in this discussion thread and enlighten us?

          • JohnH2

            You are wrong on two points there:

            God commanded Joseph not to show the plates to people, But regardless there is the testimony of the three and the eight witnesses in every book of mormon of people that did see the plates; plus the accounts of a handful more of others that also saw the plates.

            The Book of Abraham is interesting, yes the text from what remaining papyrus we have doesn’t match (but it also doesn’t fit the account of the papyrus that contained the book of Abraham), but the Book of Abraham has quite a lot of similarities with gnostic texts that have since been found (ie: not available at Joseph Smiths day). I am not entirely sure what the correct understanding of the relation between the papyrus and the book of Abraham.

            I still don’t see how it seeming to you likely that Joseph Smith was a con-artist makes it harder to accept Mormonism then the Catholic chain that there is an unbroken infallible line of authority of Popes passing through the various schisms and anti-popes and Popes whose true actions make the worst lies and slander about Joseph Smith have him appear as completely perfect in comparison.

          • DavidMHart

            I’m not saying that that Catholic claim of an unbroken chain of authority isn’t silly; of course not. It sounds just as absurd to me as it does to you. The point is simply that Catholicism is not obviously founded by someone who appears to all the world as an obvious fraud – so it’s understandable for someone to consider themselves a Catholic because they accept the founding story of Catholicism (which, for all that we can tell, was mostly set down by people who honestly believed what they said) while ignoring the wackier bits about papal authority (and contraception and gay people and so on). Whereas Mormonism looks to the rest of the world like a fraud from the very beginning.

            To be honest, there isn’t a great deal in it – Catholicism is only a little less silly than Mormonism. But it is a bit less silly, and I was merely trying to explain why people have a harder time taking Mormonism seriously.

          • JohnH2

            That makes sense.

          • b s

            “Yes, God has a penis and uses it for the purpose of reproduction.”

            With who or what?

          • baal

            Mrs.God. Else he’s not having sex for procreation and that’s not ok.

          • JohnH2

            From the comment:

            “with the direct implication that there is a Mother in Heaven”

          • phantomreader42

            This should be obvious, but it seems you need it explained with small words.
            If we are “made in the image of god”, then we should look like god (presumably implying we should be invisible). Unless god is a mammal on Earth, then it seems highly unlikely for creatures supposedly “made in the image of god” to resemble Earth mammals in so many ways. Humans have bones, organs, muscles, cells, and other body parts that are similar if not identical to those of other Earth mammals. Why should this be the case if, as your cult claims, humans were created from dirt by magic in the image of your imaginary god and are not related to any other living thing in any way?

          • JohnH2

            I don’t believe God is invisible, I do believe god is a mammal and has bones, organs, muscles, and cells largely similar to ours.

            You probably should have read my response to Jasper before commenting.

          • Brian Anthony

            ah look we agree here

    • unbound55

      “So he would stand with a perfect knowledge of his own faults (and pride) and with a perfect knowledge that God is good.”

      And you know this how? Sorry, you are just rationalizing. In fact, your entire comment is nothing more than rationalization.

      God isn’t provable by logic? So, then the majority of the old testament is a lie according to you? There were supposedly viewable, provable events (that’s how logic actually works) that clearly demonstrated his existence. Of course, we now know that much of it was actually lies (e.g. there was no large jewish population used as slaves by the Eygptians).

      What happened to that god that was so very involved just a few thousand years ago? As we continue to understand the universe better (e.g. we know that rainbows aren’t actually a promise from anyone), he seems to have all but disappeared (except for condensation and patterns on toast). He didn’t seem to have a problem hanging around with us before, so why isn’t he hanging with us now?

      At the end of the day, your faith is based on nothing more than a very poorly written (and conflicting) book and a desire to condemn others (even if that condemnation is spoken sweetly). You believe you will go to heaven, and you equally believe (and actively point out) that those that don’t agree with you will suffer.

      You may not fully understand it, but you are actually morally bankrupt. You allow that horrible book and your own desires to motivate you to behave in ways that are actually not moral. No differently than claiming that black people are inferior, you claim the that people not in agreement with your faith are inferior to yourself based not on what they say and do, but merely because they aren’t in your church.

      I wish you all the best, and I hope you grow to understand the world around you for what it is.

      • JohnH2

        “And you know this how?”

        Under the exact same assumptions which he uses in the video,

        ” So, then the majority of the old testament is a lie according to you?”

        The Old Testament doesn’t purport to prove the existence of God by logic. The main problem facing the Israelites in the Old Testament is too many Gods, not too few. Although, there has been a significant amount of editing that has gone on in the Old Testament as well.

        “God isn’t provable by logic?”

        If you are Chirstian are you one because of logical proofs from first principles? If you are an Atheist are you one despite being convinced by the logical proofs? Either way my point is proved and the rest of the paragraph ignores the rest of the sentence:
        (” based on axioms outside of experience”),

        Wait, how does rayleigh scattering prove that rainbows are not a promise from anyone? Just because we know how a rainbow forms and in what conditions does not mean that we know the why of a rainbow forming (assuming there is one).

        Last I checked the Jews appear to be gathering to the land of their first inheritance and to have regained possession of Jerusalem (de facto). Considering as this is in agreement with prophecy from Genesis to Revelation then I feel secure in saying the Lord liveth which is gathering Israel for all the lands He had driven them. That is just the most general and obvious example I can give,

        ” so why isn’t he hanging with us now?”

        Reread the Bible, there are only a few times in there where God obviously shows His power to hundreds. Usually He shows Himself in a still small voice, a divine whisper, or light wind and calls a very few prophets to stand in council with Him and then testify of Him but to generally be ignored in doing so. God’s pattern hasn’t changed, He continues to call prophets in our day.

        I am not entirely sure which book you are referring to that I believe to be scripture, I assume the Bible due to the conflicting part? The Bible does contain a record of God’s dealings with part of His people, but is not the only record and is not a perfect record either.

        I am not sure where I condemn anyone. I quite hope that you do not have a sure knowledge of God and are denying that knowledge in discussing things with me, as those are the only people that I say go to Hell indefinitely. I certainly am not and have not been actively pointing out that those that disagree with me will suffer, all mankind may be saved if they will and no just God would limit that salvation to only those that believe in a certain way under limited knowledge. God gives to everyone that portion of His word that He sees fit in wisdom to give so that the atheist has just as much access to salvation as the Christian.

        I am not sure why you think that I believe that those not of my faith are inferior, it is only by the grace and will of God that I am in my faith and not through any merit of my own so I have nothing to boast of, myself.

        • b s

          “The Old Testament doesn’t purport to prove the existence of God by logic. ”

          Well, it certainly doesn’t do it by using facts either.

          • JohnH2

            The base assumption for most people for most of time has been that there are gods and so the question was not is there a god and how do I “prove” it? but instead what gods should be worshiped where and how?

            In the Old Testament we get lots of accounts of that second question as well as clearly biased editing and additions done in order to answer that second question. There are historical facts in the Old Testament but they are there in large part to establish the legitimacy of a certain form of worship and of government. In particular it appears that a lot of the editing and compiling of what we have as the Old Testament was done during the time of King Josiah, with the intention of limiting worship to the temple at Jerusalem, establishing Josiah as a new Joshua, establishing a particular view of God and of God’s covenant with Israel.

            Regardless of what or how much one thinks this editing happened there is one very common thing throughout the Old Testament, including in books that appear to be largely unedited, and that is that Israel does have a covenant with God under which as God’s people remember God so too will God remember His people. The promise was, and is, that they would be scattered and persecuted and be in constant fear of their lives for generations for going away from God; but that God would still stretch out His hand and gather in His people to the land of their first inheritance. So we have a promise that is at least three thousand years old and, at least in some details, quite specific: a gathering to Alaska or Eastern Siberia clearly wouldn’t have worked, for instance. It is also unique, and the scattering, persecution, and in gathering are all actually very well documented.

            So while the Old Testament doesn’t appear to prove the existence of God internally by way of facts, it does however give a very powerful witness to the existence of God when combine with the lives of generations of Jews who have consistently said: Next year in Jerusalem, even when their very lives and existence as a people were in doubt through the combined efforts of empires and religions for nearly two thousand years, including, and especially, that of Christianity, unfortunately.

            The works of God are not hidden, but are there for everyone to see that wants to, and this will, in time, be more clear so that it is no longer said “The LORD liveth that brought the Israelites out of Egypt” but instead “As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of all the countries where he had banished them.’

          • RowanVT

            The base assumption for most people for most of time has been than the sun circles the earth.

            They were wrong about that….

          • JohnH2

            The base assumption for most people for most of time has been that one needs food to live. They are right about that.

          • RowanVT

            Yes… because there’s evidence. If you don’t eat, you die.

            Now, where is that evidence for the gods, aside from “We don’t understand how this works”?

    • RowanVT

      Explain to me exactly how God is “good”? At all? In any way?

      • JohnH2

        Isn’t the existence of God a prerequisite to a challenge of the goodness of God?

        • phantomreader42

          Since neither you, nor any member of your cult, nor anyone else, has ever managed to come up with a speck of evidence that any god actually exists, then the claim that god is good is utterly meaningless, so anyone who makes it is a delusional idiot.

          • JohnH2

            Ignoring what I just gave which I feel does count as evidence, then that is exactly what my question was saying. A comment on God not being good or any other such things presupposes some knowledge of God. At the very least it presupposes a knowledge of what I know and/or believe about God. As RowanVT has knowledge of neither then answering how God is good is an utterly meaningless exercise in futility.

          • Artor

            You did not provide evidence, and if you think you did, then you have a serious problem with your understanding. All I see are unfounded assertions, and “logic” based on nothing more than pre-supposition. While this may be convincing to someone who has already drunk the kool-aid, it does nothing for the people who want to see real-world evidence and solid logic to support their beliefs.

          • JohnH2

            I am referring to my response to b s, in reference to the gathering of Israel to the land of their inheritance as prophesied in throughout the Old Testament; in particular I reference Deuteronomy 30, Jeremiah 16, and Jeremiah 23 in transparent direct fashion. Obviously this depends on the easily obtainable evidence of such things as the destruction of the temple in 70 AD http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_%2870%29 , the persecution of the Jews from then to the Holocaust : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Ghetto ,http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holocaust, http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/Inquisition.html , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pogroms_of_1096 , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Jerusalem_%281099%29 , as examples. It also depends on the Jews having since been gathered back into Israel: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Mandate_for_Palestine_%28legal_instrument%29 , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1948_Arab%E2%80%93Israeli_War for examples in case there was any doubts about that.

          • Artor

            Sorry, but Babble quotes don’t count as evidence either. Prophecy is bullshit. You’ll notice that none of the passages written before the destruction of the Temple mention anything about it? The ones that do have been proven to be later forgeries. Also, Jews returning to Israel is an act of mankind, not god. Prophecy doesn’t count as much of a prediction when people are deliberately trying to fulfill it.

          • JohnH2

            I am sure that the Nazi’s were attempting to fulfill prophecy, or the Christians from, especially, 1000 ad – 1945 ad. Or the Arabs.

          • phantomreader42

            If a god existed, it could reveal itself and SHOW people what it is like. The fact that no god has done so suggests that either no god exists, or no god has any interest in humanity. Both of those possibilities make anyone claiming to do the will of god irrelevant frauds.
            But you actually DO exist. You are communicating here, however feebly. You COULD try clearly and honestly communicating what you believe about your god. And yet you have not done so. You keep babbling nonsense and whining that people shouldn’t assume you believe what other religious nuts believe without bothering to TELL US what YOU believe. You don’t get to whine that no one understands you when you have the opportunity to make yourself understood but refuse to take it.

          • JohnH2

            I am sorry, I assumed that I was taking the opportunity to explain what I believe. I am certainly attempting to be clear and honest about it as well.

            I have been working under the assumption that those that comment should have read the previous comments on this thread and so when someone, namely mostly you, shows a clear disregard and lack of comprehension of what I had just recently stated I feel it best to point that out so that you can go back and take the time to understand what I just said.

            If I say something that doesn’t appear to make sense then it would be best to ask questions about what I mean, rather then to assume it is nonsense and thereafter ignore what I said. I attempt to be clear but I do not have your background or assumptions so there are certainly things which I take for granted in my explanations which you do not have the background to understand without further explanations, and I have no way of knowing what those things are (as I lack the background) unless people ask about them.

        • RowanVT

          Is Voldemort real? No. But if someone called the character “good” we could challenge that, couldn’t we? His ‘goodness’ does not require his actual existence to be challenged.

          So, I don’t believe God is real. I believe that God is a fictional character….

          Who supports gang rape, removal of ‘free will’, tormenting and killing thousands (including children) for the crimes of a single individual, turning women into salt, the stoning to death of children, and slavery.

          So, tell me. How is this “God” character… good?

          • JohnH2

            I am confused about gang rape. The removal of free will is impossible, so I am not sure what you are referring to, perhaps Pharaoh?. I am pretty sure you are referring to some instance in the Old Testament but I don’t know which one in terms of killing thousands: Pharaoh, possibly? Are you referring to Deuteronomy 21 in regards to stoning children?

          • RowanVT

            Gang rape: Lot offering his virgin daughters to the crowd.

            Removing free will by “hardening” Pharaoh’s heart. So it’s entirely possible per the bible. It’s been done.

            Killing thousands for a single man’s crimes, also pharaoh. But there’s plenty of other instances of destroying entire towns, and saving only the virgin girls to wed and rape.

            The stoning children is indeed in Deuteronomy.

            That is the moral character of your deity. If you try to claim that all that OT stuff is totally wrong, I will laugh in your face, repeatedly, because you will have made the biggest cherry pick of them all. You can’t claim to follow God, and claim that he is good, and then ignore every instance in your holy book of him being a terrible (might I even say…. god awful?) being.

          • JohnH2

            So are you saying that I can’t use the JST of those verses nor can I use critical analysis? That doesn’t make a lot of sense but whatever.

            Lot offering his virgin daughters doesn’t seem to be something which God had anything to do with one way or the other. The story does prove that Lot had an interesting sense of propriety and morality but doesn’t tell us anything about God doing that.

            God did not remove free with with Pharaoh. I suggest reading Catholic or Jewish sources on the subject because I would rather just use the JST of those verses. I believe the Catholic explanation is that God removed the grace of providing Pharaoh with the impulse towards what was right while still allowing Pharaoh to freely choose what to do.

            Society was different at that time, but it is very clear that it is not children that are being stoned but young adults who refuse to work.

            So everyone dies, which seems like a very obvious fact. God should be just a blameworthy for slaying the first born of Egypt as for the Black Death as for everyone that died yesterday. God is the omniscient ruler of the universe so even in the simple case it seems very odd to me to ascribe to him less moral latitude then one does to a flawed earthly government in their efforts to not only prosecute wars but also to keep the peace. I think the rest of this answer has to go to the part on Job.

          • RowanVT

            God still considered Lot to be worth saving after he would offer up his daughters for gang rape. He didn’t punish Lot for that at all.

            But he did punish Lot’s wife… for looking back on her town.

            God considers glancing at your home to be worthy of death, but offering your daughters for rape to be okay.

            If you REMOVE the impulse to do right… you have altered that person’s will, against their will! If I remove your ability to turn towards your right, I have altered something about you, and against your will.

            Re: young adults, not children…. a person was considered an adult at 13 years of age in that culture. So you are okay with a 13 year old being stoned to death. Because that’s SOOOO much better than a 12 year old being stoned to death. You’ve got some god-like morality going on there.

            Re: killing the first born of Egypt. Which God did *directly*. He pointed the cosmic finger and said to infants, children, adults, and even animals “You die, because that guy over there didn’t make the right choice, after I made it so he couldn’t make the right choice.” But you think this is fine.

            Nope. Proving more and more that your God is actually rather evil.

          • JohnH2

            That suggests that God is merciful and that the cities destroyed were much worse then that.

            Showing a desire to return to a city where the rape of visiting strangers is considered acceptable seems to suggest that she, herself, was a part of that culture which God was destroying. Obviously, I am not in a position to be able to judge God for destroying her or her.

            Talk to a Catholic, as I said I prefer the JST.

            A 13 year old is capable of making moral choices. Depending on the circumstances and what the 13 year old had done, and if we lived in a different society, then I can conceive of reasons where executing a 13 year old is morally acceptable.

            Think it is fine? Everyone that died that day would, by this point in time, be dead anyways. All the children that died that day who were below the age of accountability are saved, and all the rest require repentance for what they have done wrong, as with anyone else.

            On the 6th of August 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb of Heroshima, in all probability killing more people then died in Egypt during the passover (which I will get back to), The bomb was dropped under the assumption that doing so would save more lives, of both Japanese and Americans (and Russians) then it destroyed. It might not have been necessary, and a demonstration on an unpopulated area would have been much more moral. Was Truman more of a moral monster for that decision then God in His efforts to remove the people of Israel from slavery? The calculus of morality for governments is quite different then what it is in individual settings, and not admitting that difference seems dishonest.

            Back to the passover though, to avoid being killed that day the firstborn, or their parents, needed only do exactly as was publicized. Having already experienced the other wonders then the act of not listening to those instructions that are given with the warning that death will follow was a moral choice. It would be like refusing a vaccine for a deadly illness when told that the illness is out-breaking in your area. This isn’t “You die, because that guy over there didn’t make the right choice.” (as Pharoah did have moral agency per my scriptures) but instead: “You die, because you didn’t follow the simple procedure to not die after multiple demonstrations of the effectiveness of the agency providing the procedure”, which is quite the different thing.

          • RowanVT

            1- You have a fucked up idea of mercy. You will kindly stay far away from me in case I am ever in need of actual mercy because you would probably light me on fire or something.

            2- Turning to look at your old home is not a sign of being okay with what goes on there. She probably had some good memories there; the birth of her daughters, watching them grow up, etc. Even in horrible places one can find moments of light that can bring fond memories.

            And because of that, she was turned into a condiment. Delightful.

            3- Truman was human… and therefore fallible. No, I do NOT think Hiroshima was really worth it because taking out civilizians is an act of evil even beyond those normally found in war.

            4- The instructions were not handed out the to the egyptians. They were handed to the hebrews only. And what the hell did the animals do to deserve being smited?

            A more apt analogy would be to have a doctor say to his family “Here, I have some of this vaccine so I’m going to give it to you, but not anyone else.” And then when all sorts of people are dying say “Wow, that really sucks. You must have pissed someone off.”

            Basically, asshole territory.

          • RowanVT

            Oh! I also forgot the entire book of Job, where God decides to afflict suffering upon an individual on what is essentially a bet with the devil. God kills his children, and then at the end offers to give him more. As if new kids will make up for the fact that god killed the first set. Real nice guy. “Oops, ran over your 5 year old with my truck, let me go get you a new child and everything will be right as rain!”

          • JohnH2

            I love the book of Job. Job passes through all the tests and enters again into the presence of God, seeing God with his eyes and being justified in all. He also recieves back double of everything that he had lost; except for the interesting note that he only had the same number of children as before. Meaning he didn’t lose his children. Sure they were dead, but they were also saved and are eternally his children, as families can be together forever.

            And that is an important point to realize. You are attempting to judge God from a limited position of knowledge, especially when it comes to the afterlife. At best you see it through a glass darkly, at worst you deny its entire existence. Obviously, it is already the case that death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person. From Gods point of view more so, as death is not the cessation of existence. So while we are not in a position to know who should live or die when, God is. And as everyone dies sometimes then one can hardly blame God for the ordering of death

          • DavidMHart

            “You are attempting to judge God from a limited position of knowledge, especially when it comes to the afterlife.”

            So are you, and so is everyone who claims to know what happens after we die. You are no better placed to claim that after we die we go to [celestial/telestial/terrestrial] Heaven or whatever, than a Hindu is placed to claim that we can attain Nirvana, or be resurrected. Until you have some good evidence that such an afterlife actually exists – for instance, some contact with beings who could take us on a guided tour of these places, where we could actually meet with people we know to have died on Earth – the only reasonable assumption is that the religious are making stuff up, and that they do not have any way of knowing what they claim to know … and also to note that absolutely everything we have so far discovered about the human mind has turned out to be utterly contingent on the physical structure of the brain, so the most likely scenario is that after the brain has gone, our personalities simply cease to exist.

            This view makes your God a moral monster for his treatment of Job’s family (not to mention the fact that in the Jewish tradition that the story comes from, it’s wasn’t at all obvious that they expected there to be an afterlife).

          • JohnH2

            Your objection doesn’t make any sense. If you deny a metaphysical view in which God and souls exist how are you justified in judging God’s morality from within that worldview?

          • RowanVT

            So, you are telling me that you would not be devastated if your children were killed? Crushed to death?

            Look, if God is Good, and the basis for our morality, then what he declares anathema for us (murder, for example) should be anathema to him. But he murders constantly in the bible.

            Honestly, you are trying to insist that Voldemort is good. Your contortions to keep from acknowledging that the God of the bible is a horrendous and evil character is very very telling. And a sign of incredible desperation.

          • JohnH2

            Sure i would be devastated, don’t see how that relates.

            God is not the basis for our morality, I thought I covered that, extensively.

            Did you miss the part where I stated that you are providing less moral latitude to God, the supreme ruler and governor of the universe with perfect knowledge then you are for human governments?

            Also, everyone dies and God is Omnipotent and Omniscient ergo all deaths happen according to the will of God; so why limit yourself to the Bible? Everyone that died today is just as much attributable to God as any other death through out all of history.

          • RowanVT

            1- If you are devastated to lose a child, explain to me how God “replacing” Job’s children makes up for him *directly* causing their death. Killing them just to test him.

            2- If you are devastated to lose a child… why? You just said earlier that you wouldn’t lose them. They’d be in heaven. Why would you be devastated at all?

            3- You’re right. I do give him less moral latitude because he’s supposed to be the ultimate in all that is good.

            And murdering children is NOT good.

            Who would you blame if I murdered someone? Me, or my parents, keeping in mind that they raised me to be a moral, compassionate person. But say I decide to go on a murderous rampage anyway.

            Clearly *I* am at fault, not my parents. Your attempt to shift the blame away from very specific incidents of God directly, actively squishing out someone’s life is very very telling.

            Omniscience and omnipotence don’t make any difference in that.

            Ooo.. another fun question. Just how can we have free will… if God is omniscient? And if God was omniscient why did he have to remove pharaoh’s ability to choose right?

          • JohnH2

            RowanVT,

            You are not actually reading what I wrote but instead appear to be skimming it in order to find something to attack. I can tell this because despite me saying that the explanation given was that of Catholic due to me having a different translation of that event you have ignored that repeatedly.

            #3 also shows that you are not debating in any sort of good faith. You are bound and determined, having already made up your mind, to show God as a moral monster, irregardless of whatever I say or if it even makes any sense.

            For 2, They would be in heaven and I on earth and I would not be able to see them, hold them, play with them, or see them grow up. This would make me sad, even knowing that I would see them again.

            Since you are not debating in good faith and have no interest in actually attempting to understand my position and then to debate from that position but instead have shown only a desire to insult me then there is no point in me continuing this response or any other.

          • RowanVT

            That’s because the reason I left christianity was that I found the deity of the bible repulsive. I read the bible, and decided that the God therein was a thing of evil and not worthy of worship.

            I’m watching you twist into a mobius strip to try to explain away acts of evil. This was never a ‘debate’. I said earlier that calling God ‘good’ was like trying to call Voldemort ‘good’. It completely negates all meaning of ‘good’.

          • JohnH2

            Yes, it is clear that you hate God, whether or not He exists.

          • RowanVT

            Only in the same sense that I hate Voldemort, Emperor Palpatine, and Sauron. Hating evil is no bad thing.

            If the christian God does exist, and really is all-loving, he would understand why I find the tales regarding him morally repugnant, and no harm would be done.

            If the christian God does exist, and is like how he is in the bible… then I was right, and I refuse to worship evil.

            If the christian God does not exist, his characterization as a fictional character is one of a villain.

  • neXus

    I’ve been subbed to TBS’s channel for years. His video ‘Treatise on Morality’ and the 3 follow-up videos essentially changed my definition of philosophy from: “A bunch of guys speaking gibberish to try and prove something that cannot be observed” into “how to think properly and genuinely seek the truth.”

    I’d recommend his videos to anyone interested in religion, philosophy, critical thinking, and the truth in general.

    • otrame

      I agree. He is the most articulate of those on Youtube who try to deal with religion. He works through problems of morality and logic with a clear, concise reasoning that is almost mathematical.

      And he’s cute, too.


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