25 Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid

25 Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid September 29, 2014

stupid Christian argumentsHey, gang! Get your Christian Fallacy Bingo cards ready, and cross off the bogus arguments as they’re called out! These are some of the dumb arguments apologists often use. Christians, do us all a favor—yourself especially—and make good arguments. These aren’t what you want to use.

Stupid Argument #1: the consequences of atheism are depressing. Atheism is sad or unfortunate or otherwise discouraging, or atheism declares that life is hopeless and meaningless.

This is like saying that the consequences of earthquakes and hurricanes are sad or unfortunate. Sure, the consequences of reality can be sad, but that doesn’t make them untrue. “Atheism is depressing; therefore, it’s false” is a childish way of looking at the world. A pat on the head might make us feel better, but are we not adults looking for the truth?

As for life being meaningless, I find no ultimate meaning, but then neither can the Christian. I have plenty of the ordinary kind of meaning. Look up the word in the dictionary—there is nothing about God or about ultimate or transcendental grounding. (More on objective truth here.)

Stupid Argument #2: I sense God’s presence; therefore, God exists.

The argument is more completely stated: If God existed, I would sense his presence; I sense God’s presence; therefore, God exists. This is the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent (if P then Q; Q; therefore P). I’ve discussed this in more detail here.

I can’t tell whether you’ve deluded yourself or whether you’re justified in believing in a supernatural experience. Nevertheless, your subjective personal experience may be convincing to you, but it won’t convince anyone else.

Stupid Argument #3: defending God’s immoral actions. Christians might say that genocide or slavery was simply what they did back then, and God was working within the social framework of the time. Or they might say that God might have his own reasons that we mortals can’t understand.

This is just embarrassing. You’re seriously going to handwave away God’s being okay with slavery and ordering genocide? If it’s wrong now, it was wrong then. How do you get past the fact that the Old Testament reads just like the blog of an early Iron Age tribal people rather than the actual wisdom of the omniscient creator of the universe? And if you dismiss slavery as not that big a deal, would you accept Old Testament slavery in our own society?

As for God having his own unfathomable reasons for immoral actions, this is the Hypothetical God Fallacy. No, we don’t start with God and then fit the facts to support that presupposition; we follow the facts where they lead—whether toward God or not.

Stupid Argument #4: I’ll believe the first-century eyewitnesses over modern historians. The Christian gives more weight to writings closer to the events.

The Christian wants license to dismiss unwanted ideas from modern sources. It’s fair to be concerned about the accretion of layers of dogma or tradition over time, but a good New Testament historian would try to do the opposite and strip away these layers to uncover the history of the first century.

As for the “eyewitness” claim, this is often slipped in without comment or justification. None of the gospels claim to be eyewitness accounts. That Matthew and Luke (to take two of them) borrow heavily from Mark—often copying passages word for word—make clear that they’re not eyewitness accounts. And those gospels that do make the claim (the Gospel of Peter, for example) are rejected by the church. Show compelling evidence for the remarkable eyewitness claim before confidently tossing it out.

Of course, getting closer to the events is a good policy. Problem is, this doesn’t work to Christianity’s favor. We’re separated from both Islam and Mormonism by less time than from Christianity. Mormonism in particular fares much better than Christianity in a historical analysis (more here). This is an argument the Christian wants to avoid.

What arguments should be in this list?

There will be some controversy about this list. Maybe some of these have enough merit that they deserve more space. Maybe you’d combine or divide them differently. And I’m sure there are plenty that I’ve forgotten.

At the very least, referring back to the argument number might be a shorthand way for us to respond to bogus arguments by Christian commenters. But my hope is that thoughtful Christians will understand the problems behind these arguments and minimize them in their own discourse.

Continue with Part 2.

DNA and [radioisotope] dating shows that
we evolved with all life over billions of years.
Bible says God created us from dust and ribs.
I’m torn.
— Ricky Gervais

Appendix: 25 Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid (Complete List)

Continue with Part 2.

 


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  • Pofarmer

    Keep this. It should be a sticky series and required reading with a test before posting.

    • When I’m king of the world, you can count on it.

      • Pofarmer

        You da Bob.

  • wonderer

    For #2 you say, “The argument is more completely stated: If God existed, I would sense his presence; I sense God’s presence; therefore, God exists.”

    However that is a framing of the argument that you are providing, and how do you know you aren’t erecting a straw man?

    Perhaps the Christian has in mind the following:

    1. If God does not exist, then I would not sense God’s presence.
    2. I sense God’s presence.
    3. Therefore God exists.

    That argument is in valid modus tollens form. The first premise seems to be obviously true. So the issue to be addressed is the reasonableness of believing the second premise to be true. Doing so is going to require you to provide some education on psychological reasons for the Christian to be skeptical of the way she has interpreted her own personal experience. That is not going to be trivial.

    Committing a straw man fallacy, in order to point out a fallacy in that strawman you created, will result in your own argument being seen as stupid by many Christians. That is not doing your fellow atheists any favors.

    • MNb

      BobS already addressed it:

      “your subjective personal experience may be convincing to you, but it won’t convince anyone else.”

      Reformulating the argument doesn’t help the believer out.

      • wonderer

        In the link he included he somewhat discusses the issue of educating the Christian about alternative psychological explanations. However that doesn’t address the issue of Bob attributing what is likely to be a straw argument to the Christian, and then declaring his own straw man to be fallacious.

        It tends to be more productive to charitably attribute the better form of the argument to the other, and then address the flaws of the better form. In this particular case, doing so brings to light the real issue that needs to be addressed, which is the overconfidence of the Christian in his interpretation of his subjective experience.

        • MNb

          “what is likely to be a straw argument to the Christian”
          It isn’t. BobS is presenting arguments he actually met. I have met argument #2 as well. Christians who don’t use it can safely ignore BobS’ rebuttal.
          Notice that you didn’t address the quote

          “”your subjective personal experience may be convincing to you, but it won’t convince anyone else.”
          You can discuss which formulation is the more charitable until the cows come home, that doesn’t change in the least this point. So the question if BobS strawmanned christians is simply irrelevant.

    • hector_jones

      This really just boils down to:

      1. Whatever I think I sense exists
      2. I sense something I call ‘God’
      3. Therefore God exists

      It fails because 1 is not demonstrably true, and 2 and 3 tell us nothing about the nature of the thing sensed.

      • Some guy on the internet

        “It fails because 1 is not demonstrably true, and 2 and 3 tell us nothing about the nature of the thing sensed.” And this is more jarring when a theist goes on to say that this same thing that they think they are sensing created the universe, impregnated a virgin with itself, and sent bears to kill a bunch of kids, not necessarily in that order. These specifics are what let you know that the person is not following the facts but trying to carve a non-sequitirish path to a conclusion that they believe for different (and mostly emotional) reasons.

    • Pofarmer

      I would suggest Some Thomas Paine “age of Reason” or Mark Twians “letters from earth” for an in depth treatment of your objections.

    • Greg G.

      That’s a good point. There should be an argument for either interpretation.

      1. If monsters didn’t hide under beds, children would not fear a monster under the bed.
      2. Children fear monsters under the bed.
      3. Therefore, monster do hide under beds.

      The problem is establishing Premise 1 as accurate.

      • wonderer

        That’s different though, with premise 1 being the false premise and a non sequitur.

        It’s a bad analogy.

        Edit: Sorry, I think I get your point better now, after thinking about it a bit.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, establishing Premise 1 in any formulation like that is the problem.

        • Greg G.

          I just came across this from another article. It may or may not apply.

    • Kodie

      You can’t say you sense god’s presence. You have to say I feel like I sense something that isn’t nothing, but I don’t know what it is. Maybe atheists feel it sometimes and don’t attribute it to a fictional character.

      • Kingasaurus

        Nailed it. It’s simply an unwarranted presumption to say that this feeling you have is the “presence of God”. What drives me crazy is you then get push-back on your objection that we are somehow “discounting” this feeling that Christians get. No, I’m not discounting it. I’m perfectly willing to admit that you’re experiencing something. I’m simply disputing your interpretation of where the experience comes from, and what it means, and how it is interpreted completely differently by non-believers in secular contexts.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          It’s simply an unwarranted presumption to say that this feeling you have is the “presence of God”.

          Indeed. Maybe it’s just gas.

        • Some guy on the internet

          “I’m perfectly willing to admit that you’re experiencing something. I’m simply disputing your interpretation of where the experience comes from, and what it means, and how it is interpreted completely differently by non-believers in secular contexts.” Ah, but the thing is that we can’t be sure we are experiencing the same thing as Christians, or that Christians are experiencing the same thing as each other. It’s kind of like the “Is your green the same as my green?” with the big difference is that we can both be pretty sure we are perceiving some kind of color.

          The presence of God is not actually what people feel, but rather an explanation of some possibly intense pleasurable experience. It is commonly associated with God in a religious setting because these feelings are accompanied by religious imagery, completely ignoring “correlation does not imply causation”. However, it is reasonable (but not always sure-fire) to conclude that an intelligence is behind an action, like if we were to see markings on a crime scene that are typical of a particular serial killer, even though we are not directly sensing the presence of the serial killer. The problem there is that it’s impossible to establish an event as an act of God. The most theists can say is, “Well it was grand and astonishing and a person couldn’t have done it, therefore God did it.” That’s assuming that God exists to begin with. It’s just circular to say that God exists because things like this happen and then to say that because these things happen, God exists.

        • Kingasaurus

          —The presence of God is not actually what people feel, but rather an
          explanation of some possibly intense pleasurable experience.—-

          Yep.

          —The problem there is that it’s impossible to establish an event as an act of God. —-

          Also, people are usually unaware about the shortcuts our brains use and how they can lead to misleading conclusions. They agree that these things exist when shown optical illusions or magic tricks, but try explaining to them that the same brain that works well most of the time is making a continual mistake when it concludes there’s an invisible man in the sky that makes the thunder and lightning, or gives them a warm fuzzy feeling of euphoria when they pray or sing.

          People are simply conditioned to not buy the idea that such things are generated by their brains and have an outside source instead.

    • RichardSRussell

      The first premise [If God does not exist, then I would not sense God’s presence.] seems to be obviously true.

      The mind croggles that you would say this. That isn’t even remotely true, let alone obvious. Have you never had a dream or an illusion where you sensed things that absolutely were not there?

    • No, the first premise is obviously suspect. If we’re selected by evolution to be hyper-sensitive to causes and therefore incorrectly assign conscious cause where there is one, we could easily sense God even if he didn’t exist.

  • katiehippie

    #1 reminds me that a christian really has nothing to look forward to in life. The only good stuff that happens comes in heaven, right? If you are lucky enough to get there.

  • hector_jones

    This got me thinking about the question what do I as an atheist think is the best argument for god? I think it’s only fair that we ask ourselves this question. Thoughts?

    • ZenDruid

      As far as reality is concerned, I can’t distinguish between an act of god and the consequences of blind chance (or, more rigorously, an accumulation of stochastic variables) which culminates in one effect or another. So god is good, bad and indifferent at the same time. Mostly indifferent.

    • Pofarmer

      Homestly? Possibly the argument from design.

      • The argument from design is a TERRIBLE argument.

        • Pofarmer

          Absolutely it is, which explains how bad I think the other arguments are.

    • adam

      The best argument for ‘god’ is ignorance.

      Your knowledge tells you what you see- paraphrasing James Burke.

    • Kodie

      I think some of the worst arguments for god tend to be about what he’s like as a person, which often goes great lengths to excuse the character of god for being such an asshole, so I think the best type of arguments would avoid describing what he’s like and what he wants. If he exists and is really a petty tyrant, let’s go ahead and lay it out – he exists, and he’s a petty tyrant. I tend to think it’s more accurate to think the most possible god doesn’t even know we exist or considers us pestilence of some sort, which in my opinion, we are. We’re not only pestilence, not to ourselves, but even the god of the bible thinks humans are some kind of menace upon his beautiful earth and the worst mistake he ever made. It’s us who desire love and meaning and for someone to know us deeply, so it seems more like the god is an analogy of humans. He wants love too, but he doesn’t grovel for it, he just doesn’t deserve it, and that’s how the believers feel when they make up a god who doesn’t deserve love – but he loves me! So whenever anyone talks shit about their friend, of course they have his back. The gods we hear most of are only built from one’s own personal insecurities, as well as considering some “natural” chain of command – we’re obviously (?) the highest, right? If we haven’t found a way to control kudzu, cockroaches, or rhinovirus, we’re not really in charge, much less the weather – the inanimate animate.

      The god who doesn’t care or actively considers us vermin who can’t be completely wiped out no matter what he does just makes more sense to me. He’s not the one whose love counts, and worship is a superstition trying to appeal to a more powerful being that doesn’t care and probably has made no effort to understand. I mean, we don’t worship cancer or hunger or a hurricane, we don’t worship many things that have power to devastate us, nor do we attempt to appeal for mercy to real things, because we sort of have an idea ALL THOSE THINGS are not directing themselves at us. We may be inside a snowglobe and don’t blame the confetti for pelting us, we ask the person shaking it to stop doing that. Inside a snowglobe no one can hear you scream, and the person stops shaking it when they’re done being amused. It’s pure delusion to think there’s a relationship going on here.

    • MNb

      “I have faith.”

    • Makoto

      I was thinking about this the other day due to a discussion on one of the other blogs. I suppose the “best” argument for god is basically last-thursdayism. A perfectly perfect creator could have, at any instant, snapped everything into existence with absolutely no traces, no fingerprints, and make it look exactly like it had formed via natural processes, as well as used those to finish things to the current point in time (or not, as desired). That snap could have occurred just now, as you were reading this, or 6,000 years ago, or 13.8 byo.

      That brings up a host of other questions (like if the creator is so desperate for a relationship, why wouldn’t it leave fingerprints?), but it’s basically impossible to refute. It’s unlikely, of course, since the natural explanation requires no creator being, so the handy razor leans that way, but it cannot be discounted as impossible.

      It’s also not exactly useful, since, like Pascal’s Wager, it can’t show which religion/god/creator is behind things (if any).

      • R Vogel

        This seems to be more of an argument for a literal genesis account not for the existence of G*d. There are plenty of religions, even christian one, that believe in G*d and do not believe in YEC.

        • Makoto

          That’s the beauty/annyoing part of last-thursdayism – we can’t be sure when the Thursday was that things were kicked off, and it’s why I included the 13.8 byo part. Believe in a god and the estimated age of the universe? last-thursdayism is there for you. It can work for YEC, OEC, pretty much anyone that believes in *a* creator could be a subset.

          I find it to be a terrible argument, but its flavors are somewhat popular with some people (especially the guided evolution types that I’ve encountered) until you take it to the extremes (this means the perfect creator could’ve created everything a microsecond ago), at which point they often stop talking with you.

      • That argument is indeed impossible to refute, but who would need to? It’s a ridiculous, evidence-less claim that falls on its own. The best the Christian can say is, “Well, you haven’t proved my position false,” which is true but irrelevant.

        • Makoto

          Oh, I agree completely.. but given its popularity, I wanted to mention it, since it’s about arguments they should avoid.

    • I think the most compelling argument for there being a God, at least in so far as we are concerned in our world, is the Simulation hypothesis.
      Short version, if it is possible to create simulated realities, it is more likely that any reality a sentient being finds itself in is simulated rather than than true reality.
      So whoever created the simulation we are currently in would be our God, for all practical intents and purposes.
      It also might be possible to extrapolate on parallel dimensions to form some argument of the form.
      1.) If there exists infinite parallel universes, it is plausible to assume there exists in one an Omnipotent God Like being.
      2.) An Omnipotent God Like being could exist across multiple parallel universes simultaneously
      3.) Whether a universe originally had an Omnipotent God Like being or not, it is plausible to assume that at least one Omnipotent God Like being would move into it from another universe.
      I mean I would probably have to think on it more to come up with a proper argument that’s just the general idea.

      • MNb

        A god that only has power in one universe is not Omnipotent.

        “at least one Omnipotent God”
        More than one omnipotent god is an incoherent concept.

      • adam

        ‘god’ is the simulation…

        It is simulated in the believers mind, to fill in for ignorance as to how reality REALLY works.

      • So our reality is some kid’s homework? Yes, that is a good one, but it’s not much of an argument for Christianity.

        What do you think of it as a counter-apologetic? That the likelihood that our “God” is some 14yo hacker (equivalent) and we’re in a simulation is far higher than that our reality is real. Therefore, Yahweh doesn’t exist.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe it was a homework assignment and little Yahweh got a benefit-of-the-doubt C.

        • No I wasn’t thinking an argument for Christianity, but it could represent a, to our perspective, Omnipotent Omniscient deity. Especially if it was a simulation that was run non-concurrently, so the designer could go back and adjust variables and see how things changed because of it. They could have full access to all knowledge and the ability to do literally anything.
          Though honestly, just to be snarky, a kid going through puberty might explain some of God’s activities in the old testament…

        • The simulation hypothesis might also explain the fine tuning of the universe–it’s not like some omniscient being did it, just some equivalent of a pimply 14yo kid.

          Which suggests a tangent: why do Christians say that God is omniscient anyway? Does the Bible say so? Or does their theology oblige them to do so?

        • Greg G.

          “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:4-5).

          “Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?” (Job 37:16).

          “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).

          “Whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20).

    • R Vogel

      The problem as I see it, speaking as a reluctant theist, is even if there were a compelling argument for the existence of G*d, it doesn’t really get the religious person where they want to go, yeah? So you convince someone there the could be A G*d, now how do you get to YOUR G*d? Unmoved mover, seat of being, great cosmic spirit all sound great, but none of them really inspires a religion do they? No matter what gymnastics you pull off there is no way to get reason to connect the dots all the way down to whatever your specific doctrinal beliefs might be. So what’s the point?

      • MNb

        My compliments. I always appreciate honesty like this. I was serious when I proposed “I have faith” as the best argument.

        • R Vogel

          I assumed you were from what I have gleaned from your body of work and I appreciate your saying it. I think the ultimate desire of certain forms of religion to invent a ‘rational’ basis for belief belies an insecurity among those believers. I think they also like use it as a cudgel against non-believers. Rather than acknowledge that everyone does not have or respond to experiences the same way they do, they can blame it on willful ignorance. It’s not always easy to hold beliefs acknowledging that you have no objective reason for holding it. But on the plus side it might make you much less of an a-hole. 😉

        • MNb

          ” think the ultimate desire of certain forms of religion to invent …..”
          These days I think you’re correct and the irony is that it was a devout christian (Kierkegaard) who was the first to write about it. Before say 1800 CE I think the desire was a sincere attempt to build a coherent worldview that included both science and christianity.
          As you may have guessed as well I’m not a fan of Draper and Dickson White.

        • R Vogel

          But that leap of faith is so damn scary! 🙂

          One of my favorite things I read in on of Karen Armstrong’s book is that at some point science became more comfortable living with uncertainty than religion. I hear more scientists (real ones, not their online surrogates) say ‘we don’t know’ than I do religious people. Although I see there is a move away from that in some religious circles. I am hopeful they will gain strength with time.

      • Scott_In_OH

        I think you are generally correct, but Aquinas certainly went from his unmoved mover argument to specific qualities he thought such a being would have to have. He thought he derived proof of the Christian God in his works.

        • R Vogel

          Funny, it was Aquinas who first shattered the false sense of certainty I was raised with in the fundamentalist christian worldview. I encountered him in a mid level philosophy class in college and I thought his arguments were so bad. I thought, ‘Is this the best we can come up with?’ I had to reorient my whole thinking. It wasn’t the first time!

          I guess my original point could be too strong, saying there is ‘no way’. I should have said that even if you make a compelling case for the existence of A G*d, there is still a huge hill to climb to get to your G*d. I personally view it as insurmountable because you not only have to prove that your case is both logically sound and probably, you have to prove that it is more sound or more probably than the thousands of other religions’ case. I’m not sure how on would go about doing that. Aquinas, like most apologists, had the benefit of preaching to the choir (pun intended)

    • The best argument for God is the most confusing one. With that, the errors don’t show as quickly.

  • ZenDruid

    Ray Comfort: “God created me in His own image.”

    Thus, not only is god stupid, he looks pretty stupid as well.

    • Without Malice

      And when he created us in his image was that the way we looked a million years ago, today, or the way we’ll look a million years from now?

      • ZenDruid

        Ummm,… yeah?

    • Erwin

      Blasphemy! ( Blaspheme Not! )
      ref Luke 23:34; John 3:16; 1Corinthians 6:9-11; Ephesians 2:1-10; Romans 10:9.

      • Kodie

        Superstition!

      • hector_jones

        Another moron quoting scripture. His reply will contain will contain the phrase ‘ad hominem’. That sums up all we can expect to see from this individual.

        • Erwin

          “And they picked up stones ( of Ad Hominems and Red Herrings in Ad Hoc fashion ) to stone Him.” John 8:58, 10:31.

          ref John 15:18-25. ‘…A servant is not greater than his Master…’

        • Kodie

          Because he had nothing worthwhile to say, and no credibility to substantiate his fantasy.

        • hector_jones

          Quoting scripture is a substitute for thought.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘Scripture and thought’:

          “Eat you not the bread ( ie, words) of him who has an evil eye…For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… But his heart is not with you…

          Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of your words. Proverbs 23:6-9;
          ref Matthew 7:6 re ‘pearls, dogs and swine.’

          “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Psalm 14:1

          “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God.”
          Luke 4:4; Matthew 4:4

          “For My ( Jesus’ ) flesh is true bread ( Word of truth ) and My blood is true drink ( true spiritual life ).” John 6:55,63-65.

        • adam

          Rape of Female Captives (Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB)

          “When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house. But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive’s garb. After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife. However, if later on you lose your liking for
          her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion.”

          Once again God approves of forcible rape.

          Rape and the Spoils of War (Judges 5:30 NAB)
          They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera’s spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil. (Judges 5:30 NAB)

          Sex Slaves (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

          When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will
          not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of
          these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

          God Assists Rape and Plunder (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)
          Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst. And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city. (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

        • hector_jones

          I like how you change the text – bread to words – and think you are still quoting the text.

        • ZenDruid

          “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'” Psalm 14:1

          “The lying scoundrel tells the world he speaks for god.”
          –Me

        • adam

          David’s Punishment – Polygamy, Rape, Baby Killing,
          and God’s “Forgiveness” (2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB)

          Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out
          of your own house. I will take your wives [plural] while you live to see
          it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad
          daylight. You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the
          presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.’

          Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan answered David: “The Lord on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die.” [The child dies seven days later.]

          This has got to be one of the sickest quotes of the
          Bible. God himself brings the completely innocent rape victims to the rapist. What kind of pathetic loser would do something so evil? And then he kills a child! This is sick, really sick!

        • adam

          Stones?

      • Dys

        It’s a victimless crime.

      • adam

        Blasphemy:

        • Erwin

          Noun ( the act ) vs verb ( the act of doing ); the end result is the same, if unrepented of , thus left unforgiven: eternal damnation.

          “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” ( in Jesus Christ )

          ref Matthew 23:24-26; Revelation 2:16.

        • Dys

          “the end result is the same”

          Yep – nothing happens.

        • Erwin

          Re. ‘Nothing happens’, then ( or is happening, now; take your pick!

          ref 2Peter 3:3-12,
          Lest you likewise perish, without warning or time to repent!
          ref Luke 13:2-5.

        • Dys

          You haven’t managed to demonstrate anything happens. Quoting Bible passages doesn’t make them true.

        • Erwin

          Time will tell,
          “…: and be sure your sin will find you out.”
          Numbers 32:23.

          “”…He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.”
          1Corinthians 4:5.

          “But when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible.”
          Ephesians 5:13.

          “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
          Psalm 119:105.

          “And this is the condemnation (judgement ) that light is come into the world, and men loved

          darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
          John 3:19.

          “Then Jesus again spoke to them saying,’I Am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will

          not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.'”
          John 8:12.

        • Dys

          You have no argument, no evidence, nothing. You just have Bible passages to mindlessly parrot because you believe they’re true.

          In short, you’re this person (a troll):

        • adam

          Kill Nonbelievers

          They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

  • KarlUdy

    Stupid Argument #4: I’ll believe the first-century eyewitnesses over modern historians.

    The issue is more that atheist arguments against the historicity of the New Testament tend to rely on discredited 19th century theories about their composition.

    • ZenDruid

      And who is doing the discrediting…?

    • Dys

      The actual issue is that apologists want to place all claims, both natural and supernatural, on equal evidential footing, and doing so is irrational. There’s also the problem of determining if you even have eyewitness accounts…having a story that there are 500 eyewitnesses is quite different from having multiple eyewitness accounts.

    • Pofarmer

      Randal helms operated in the 19th century? Who knew? I’d like to know these 19th century theories, and who discredited them, and their modern anologues. Because, Normally, discredited, in this context, simply means that a suitable apologetic argument was found.

    • hector_jones

      Stupid Argument #26?

    • GubbaBumpkin

      The issue is more that atheist arguments against the historicity of the
      New Testament tend to rely on discredited 19th century theories about
      their composition.

      In which KarlUdy tells the lie that the “Jesus never existed as a historical person” argument is the same as the “historical events are not accurately reported in the NT” argument.

      I suggest Stupid Argument #26 should be: Telling lies so obvious and deficient that they hurt your credibility, and that KarlUdy should be the poster boy.

    • Without Malice

      There are no eyewitnesses who wrote anything contained in the NT. No one knows who wrote the gospels,.1st and 2nd Peter as well as Jude and James and half the letters of Paul are forgeries and the rest of Paul’s (whoever Paul was, there is no mention of his anywhere outside the bible) are so interpolated that their original meaning is all but lost, and Revelation is a train wreck of insanity. It can be shown that almost everything Jesus did in the gospels is nothing but a retelling of a story from the OT and his supposed death and resurrection have conflicting accounts that cannot be reconciled. Except for the one year (three in the case of John’s gospel – why they differ so much is anyone’s guess) we know absolutely nothing about the life of your Jesus. And since his family – including his own mother – lived many decades after his “departure” this is more than strange. We have absolutely zero mention of Jesus and all his miraculous works (earthquakes, darkness over all the earth, the veil in the temple turn in half, the dead coming out of their graves and going into the city) from any historian that lived at the time, so to assume that your god/man actually existed is to do so in the absence of any evidence.

  • GubbaBumpkin

    I expect to see Pascal’s Wager somewhere in the list. You didn’t say whether this is an ordered list, but I like to place PW as number one.

    • Dys

      Especially considering our good friend John seems to be enamored of it.

  • Kodie

    #3 – I kind of think a lot of Americans are cooler with slavery than we’ve been led to believe, and we’re partway there.

  • Frank6548

    The only foolish statement humanity should avoid: there is no God.

    • Kodie

      The worst of all possible arguments? Is some schmo’s baseless assertion.

      • Frank6548

        Now , now, atheists might be fools but they deserve some respect.

        • Kodie

          Why don’t you tell us all how we’re going to hell now.

        • Dys

          Without baseless assertions, what argument do you actually have?

    • adam

      Why, bible ‘god’ is the Creator of EVIL.
      Isaiah 45 7

      And has the emotional immaturity of a spoiled 5 year old child

      We would all be better off without this MONSTER…

      • Frank6548

        Your ignorance doesn’t serve you well.

        • Kodie

          You’re just sore because you also have the emotional immaturity of a 5-year-old.

        • Frank6548

          Sore from what?

          At least I’m not a fool who says there is no God.

        • Dys

          Nope, you’re even more foolish and say there is.

        • Frank6548

          Well done on the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” retort!

        • Dys

          Since you’re just ignorantly trolling the threads, there’s no point in wasting time on you coming up with something substantive. You can’t honestly expect to receive a serious reply to your idiocy Frank – you’re not worth the effort.

          Besides, if you start an insult war, you’ll probably just wind up running away and hypocritically crying about how mean all the atheists are.

        • Frank6548

          I have nothing to fear from fools.

        • Dys

          And we have nothing to fear from you or your imaginary friend. Your delusions are your own. But I’m sure you think Jesus will appreciate all the ignorant trolling you’re doing on his behalf.

        • Frank6548

          Sad.

        • Dys

          Yes, you certainly are.

        • Frank6548

          Again? Well done. One day you might graduate from elementary school.

        • Dys

          LMAO…”why are you responding childishly to my juvenile insults?”

          Time to grow up Frank, you’re embarrassing yourself. And Jesus. You’re probably making him cry and everything.

        • Frank6548

          Yeah I’m the one who should be embarrassed…. :rolleyes.

        • Dys

          Yes, you definitely should be. That you aren’t is not a point in your favour.

        • Frank6548

          There is nothing embarrassing in not being a fool and knowing the truth. Try again.

        • Kodie

          You have any substance or are you just going to keep repeating yourself (and keep being wrong)?

        • Pofarmer

          Where is that long post I wrote on ignorant arrogance? I was, hoping this thread wouldn’t get derailed. There seems to be an unlimited supply of brain dead apologists.

        • Dys

          But you are a fool Frank, and if you can’t demonstrate your supposed ‘truth’ with anything sufficiently compelling, you’re a failure.

        • adam

          .,..

        • MNb

          One day you might enter.

        • adam

          ///

        • adam

          ……

        • MNb

          This book is for you, written by a devout christian:

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

        • adam

          …..

        • Without Malice

          Jesus Christ!!

        • Kodie

          You’re a gullible moron with no evidence or argument to demonstrate that there is. Some douchebag on the internet with an imaginary friend calls me a fool, is that supposed to mean something?

        • Dys

          Are we taking bets on getting the cowardly “it’s not me calling you a fool, it’s god” cop out?

        • Kodie

          No, he thinks he’s god.

        • Frank6548

          Obviously it does or you would simply ignore it. Pitiful.

        • RichardSRussell

          Troll alert.

        • Frank6548

          Yes I understand all you have is dismissal of me as a troll. Sad.

        • RichardSRussell

          Unlike you, however, I have ample evidence to support my own assertion.

        • Frank6548

          Ok prove God does not exist. I won’t hold my breath but I will expect some dancing around and refusing the attempt, couched in deflections.

        • RichardSRussell

          Your assertion was that it’s foolish not to believe in God. That’s what I was challenging you about, which you have chosen to ignore and evade.

          My assertion was that you are a troll. Any idiot can observe you demonstrating it repeatedly. QED.

        • Pofarmer

          Do you understand what RichardsRussels assertion was? his assertion was that he doesn’t see enough evidence to declare that there is a God. So, go ahead, blow him out of the water. SShould be child’s play.

        • Dys

          Positive assertions carry the burden of proof. Congratulations on your logic fail.

        • MNb

          Nr. 1: you don’t have a reliable methodology to separate correct claims about the immaterial/ supernatural/ transcendental from incorrect ones.

          Example: in every single comment of yours on this page I can replace “god” by “wizard” and every single comment of yours remains equally (in)valid.
          That’s a strong argument against both gods and wizards – until you answer Adam’s and RSR’s request and provide positive evidence or arguments. But you already admitted that you can’t.

        • Kodie

          Al?

        • Dys

          When you stop behaving like a troll, you won’t be dismissed as one. This isn’t difficult to understand Frank. You need to offer something other than theological assertions.

        • Frank6548

          I don’t have to offer you anything. If you want to be the fool that’s your choice.

        • Kodie

          What’s it to ya!

        • Dys

          So you’ve got nothing to offer, and you’re just here to insult. In other words, you’re admitting to being a troll. Which is why you’re being dismissed as a troll. Like I said, it’s not difficult to figure out Frank. Stop whining that you’re being dismissed as a troll when that’s all you’re doing.

        • Frank6548

          The only whining here I see is from you. Sad.

          Once again what a fool thinks of me is irrelevant.

        • Kodie

          So Jesus sent you here to do what?

        • Dys

          No one cares what you think Frank. You’re not doing anything productive – you’re just demonstrating that you’re a condescending asshole and a troll. If that’s the way you choose to represent your religion, that’s entirely your problem.

        • Kodie

          If you have no evidence to offer, your task is complete. I’d suggest you move on. Thank you very much for stopping by for our brief entertainment. It’s been informative to learn that when we all turn Christ-y, it’s a pretty shallow existence.

        • adam

          ….

        • Without Malice

          Fools aren’t the only ones who think you’re irrelevant.

        • Frank6548

          Still waiting for a non fool to respond.

        • Kodie

          To what?

        • Dys

          Still waiting for an intelligent comment from you.

        • Frank6548

          Certainly someone intelligent must be out there? I’ll stay hopeful.

        • Without Malice

          How about just staying away instead.

        • Baby Jesus cries when you don’t defend your position with anything more than schoolyard taunts.

        • Frank6548

          Still waiting for the intelligence. Plenty of immaturity and ignorance here though.

        • Kodie

          This is not for you then, so we’re fine if you want to leave.

        • Greg G.

          1 Peter 3:15-16
          15 Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and reverence.

        • MNb

          “I don’t have to offer you anything”
          but foolish trolling.

        • MNb

          Of course that’s all we have. That’s not sad though, it’s realistic, because you have provided exactly zero content.

        • Without Malice

          Well, we could dismiss you as some kind of lunatic, but we try to be polite.

        • Kodie

          Is that really the best you can do?

        • Frank6548

          You are right. I shouldn’t let you drag me down. But my statement stands.

        • Kodie

          On what?

        • Dys

          On his own inflated ego and imagination.

        • MNb

          Of course it means something. It means that you are what you call other people: a fool.

        • adam

          ….

        • MNb

          No, you’re a fool who calls other people fools without backing it up.

        • Evidence for your claim?

        • Without Malice

          No, you’re a fool who is certain that there is even though there is no evidence for one.

        • adam

          What ‘ignorance’ did you demonstrate?

          Oh, right NONE.

        • Dys

          Now now adam, that’s not true. Frank demonstrated his own quite well.

    • RichardSRussell

      What makes it foolish?
      There’s absolutely no evidence that there IS such a thing as a God.
      It seems simply common sense to point this out.
      Kind of like the story of the emperor’s new clothes.

      • Frank6548

        You are welcome to choose what you believe and what you don’t.

        • RichardSRussell

          Which, of course, doesn’t at all answer the question “What makes it foolish?”

        • Frank6548

          It would be foolish to deny gravity and jump off a building. Same with the existence of God.

          That’s what’s foolish. But once again you get to choose to be foolish or not.

        • RichardSRussell

          Evidence, Frank, evidence!

          Plenty of people have jumped off buildings. They’re all either dead or horribly maimed.

          About a hundred million times more people than that deny the existence of God, with no obvious ill effects.

          Why on Earth would you consider these to be comparable situations? (No more bald, unsupported assertions, please; actual evidence only.)

        • Frank6548

          Once again you get to choose.

        • Kodie

          Choose your delusion! You’re calling us fools because it hurts to have it pointed out you’re deluded.

        • Frank6548

          Once again fools can’t hurt me. Try again.

        • Dys

          So Frank’s not a fan of childish insults, but he’s got no problems with using “sticks and stones may break my bones” over and over again.

          So we’ve got a hypocritical and ignorant troll who can’t intelligently defend his belief in god.

        • Kodie

          I looked at his posting history, and he has 1 habit of calling people he trolls his “puppets” and taunting people, and on the other hand, considers himself a follower of Christ and thinks he’s a good person with not enough time to read nonsense.

        • Dys

          Yeah, I glanced at some of his other posts as well…he seems to be a homophobic bigot as well. Big surprise – the troll is an egomaniac with delusions of grandeur.

          Because when Christians think about Jesus, they think about what a complete asshole troll he was. At least that’s the impression Frank gives.

        • Kodie

          I expect the homophobic bigotry etc. from a typical Christian like him, but they usually use, well let’s call them coherent, arguments and avoid this sour grapes trolling and name-calling, while also calling himself a follower of Christ and a “good fruit”. When you don’t even understand why you are a Christian, I guess it’s hard to explain, but he must get called an idiot quite a bit and it angers him, even though he says it doesn’t hurt.

          Typical Christian in denial!

        • Dys

          And now Frank’s made his Disqus activity private, apparently to try and hide the fact that he’s a troll and a bigot.

        • Frank6548

          Admitting you have no power to hurt me is not sticks and stones. It’s reality.

        • Dys

          Reality is that you’re a child, and don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • MNb

          Reality is that you’re judgmental and you should contemplate Matth. 7:1. Thus far you are anti-propaganda for your own belief system.

        • Without Malice

          Frank, no one’s trying to hurt you. That van parked across the street is not the FBI. There are no listening devices in you home. And God’s not happy that you’re here on this site calling people fools. It doesn’t make him look good and he’s already got a big image problem after all those commands to slaughter children.

        • Dys

          Once again, beliefs aren’t chosen.

        • RichardSRussell

          I also get to choose between lollipops and chocolates, which is about as relevant (and goes about as far toward explaining your “it’s so foolish” attitude) as anything you’ve had to say.

        • Frank6548

          Your choice.

        • adam

          …,.

        • Without Malice

          Yep, and your God knew which choice everyone would make before he created them.

        • adam

          ./,

        • MNb

          Sure. If you make the choice of denying gravity you drop dead. If you make the choice of denying god nothing happens. Your analogy fails.

        • Kodie

          I propose the formula for god is:

          (wishful thinking + arrogance + fear + childishness + willful ignorance + gullibility + delusion) – evidence.

        • Frank6548

          Thanks for confirming your foolishness.

        • Kodie

          Your argument is “trolling”. Suspended from school today?

        • pianoman

          oh come now! you have the evidence that the whole world is waiting for and this is all you contribute?

        • adam

          Really?

        • MNb

          Something is foolish just because you say it’s foolish? How foolish.

        • Greg G.

          I would make it “+ evidence”

          where evidence = evidence for + (evidence against * 0)
          and   evidence for = 0

        • Kodie

          It’s complicated. I don’t think a religious person would get it.

        • adam

          I can demonstrate gravity.
          But YOU cant demonstrate YOUR ‘god’….

        • MNb

          In addition to Adam: “it would be foolish to deny god and …… ” indeed, and then nothing.

        • hector_jones

          I have to agree with you. It would indeed be foolish to deny the existence of god and jump off a building.

        • Dys

          Beliefs aren’t chosen. People are convinced or persuaded to beliefs, they don’t choose them.

        • yewtree

          Really? I chose my beliefs.

        • MNb

          Really. There are precious few people in christian communities who reconvert to islam, hinduism or whatever, and vice versa. But I’d be curious to know if you had read the Bible, the Quran, the Avesta, the Veda, the I Ching and the Pali-canon before you made up your mind. If no your choice at least partly was pre-determined. The same applies to atheist me of course. It wasn’t me who chose not to get baptized and not to go to christian schools.

        • Can you choose to believe in leprechauns?

        • yewtree

          hmm, yeah, I see what you mean.

        • Dys

          If you’re interested , the philosophical term for the position is doxastic involuntarism.

        • yewtree

          thanks, I will Google it.

          I think what I meant was that I choose not to believe in or place my trust in the kind of entities that might want to boss me around.

        • Kodie

          So if god were real, you wouldn’t believe he was real because he’s a petty tyrant?

        • yewtree

          Exactly. (I take it you are referring to the Christian god, rather than any other particularly deity with tyrannical tendencies.)

          I can’t remember which prominent atheist said that he refused to believe in a god with tyrannical tendencies, but I have always admired him. (Might have been Bertrand Russell.)

        • Kodie

          Believing something is real doesn’t mean you have to worship it. Theists often think god is obvious and atheists are just in denial and rebellion. That’s not why I don’t believe in god. That’s not a good reason not to believe in god. It’s only a good reason not to worship that god.

        • yewtree

          All good points.

          I am a polytheist, so I think many deities exist (but am agnostic about exactly how real they are) but I don’t worship all of them.

          And I don’t think atheists are in denial and rebellion. I think that sort of attitude comes from some in the monotheist camp who think that their god is the supreme ruler of the universe.

          I think that deities are emergent properties of our interaction with the universe (which is not quite the same as being merely products of our imagination) – in other words, that there are natural forces and places which acquire a quality of the numinous, and a degree of “personality” from our interaction with them. If this doesn’t resonate with you, or you are not attracted to the idea, then they will leave you alone. In my view, they are looking for allies, not servants or slaves.

        • Kodie

          Ah, the “my deities are better than Christian deities” argument.

        • yewtree

          Yep.

          Of course I think my deities are better than the Christian ones. If I thought the Christian ones were best, I would follow them, I suppose. But I could never be a Christian, due to the long history of Christian persecution of other religions, of so called heretics, and of atheists.

        • Kodie

          That’s not a valid argument for your deities or against other deities that you simply don’t prefer. It doesn’t matter what you prefer, it’s whatever is actual. You don’t have any more evidence than a Christian does, and you seem to actively be inventing the god of your preference rather than following the evidence, so of course you have no better evidence. It’s not an argument.

        • yewtree

          I am not trying to convince you, and certainly not to convert you to my views.

          What I am trying to convince you of is that there is more than one variety of religion; that not everyone who would describe themselves as religious subscribes to the same views of atheism and morality, or the same views of deities.

        • Kodie

          The Christians call this the “we’re not all like that” argument. Well, they don’t call it that, but that’s exactly what it sounds like.

        • yewtree

          well, not all Christians or all adherents of religion *are* like that.

          Obviously it is worth arguing with those who think that morality is dictated by God; but you will find that many people of religion also argue against that view.

          Don’t assume that all people of religion are automatically the enemy. (Maybe you weren’t assuming that, but it seems like that sometimes.)

        • Kodie

          I don’t oppose Christianity because I disagree with its doctrines, although it often seems like that. The problem is that people think they’re free to believe some fuzzy-wuzzy version because it’s not (in their perspective) as offensive. That extends to all religious beliefs because none of them are true. I care whether something is true, not whether you like it and you stick up for it because it’s nicer. I’m challenging faith without evidence, and you have that. I don’t know why being challenged is such an affront to people who expose their beliefs, but that’s all I’m doing. Religious people, you, pagans, Christians who “are not all like that”, and every other theist likes to think we don’t understand what it’s all about because we’re arguing against “something else entirely”. They like to think that their beliefs are exempt from criticism and challenge because they’re nicer or superior or truer, that everyone else is mistaken, and that we should respect your beliefs because you’re so much nicer.

          It’s not about who is nicer.

        • yewtree

          You are entirely free to argue against my beliefs, as long as you don’t assume they are the same beliefs as those of a Christian.

          Just as a hypothetical example: let’s imagine there is an atheist (A) who thinks it is OK to live unsustainably, and a person of religion (B) who thinks they should live sustainably because their deity told them to.

          Because I want to live in a world with biodiversity and undamaged ecosystems, I prefer B to A, because even though I disagree with B’s reason for thinking they should live sustainably, I do agree with their belief that they should live sustainably.

          That’s why I think values are more important than beliefs.

          And that believing it is OK to live unsustainably is a worse belief than believing in a deity who tells you to do stuff.

        • Kodie

          Why should having a superstition make a difference in what your own goals and priorities are?

        • Is there evidence for this view? I mean, besides that it makes sense to you?

        • yewtree

          Not good hard objective evidence of the sort that you would probably require. It’s all subjective.

          However, I am not going round claiming that it matters whether you believe in deities or not.

        • Kodie

          As long as you’re sharing your beliefs with us, it just sounds like you have made up a system of values and meanings that you prefer and go that extra step of deluding yourself that a system of intentional forces exists that align with your preferences for what that would be. You say they’re seeking “allies” – so they have goals and you decide what those goals are and apply them to your own goals. You are making claims, and you are deciding what the subject of those claims wants from humans (and ridiculously assure us they will “leave us alone” if we don’t find them).

        • yewtree

          Like I said, I am just trying to point out that there are multiple different forms of religion, and not all of them take the view that god or gods have an agenda.

          My views, values, and meanings are based on several different things – my experience, and reasoning about it; my interpretation of the various polytheistic religions; and my ethics, which are based on biological necessity (e.g. I am pro-choice because the needs of the mother outweigh the needs of the foetus).

          Yes, I acknowledge that my ethics come first and I wouldn’t ally myself with any deity that went against my ethics. I don’t claim to *know* that deities exist, or that they have goals which align with ours. But a reading of the myths would suggest that, for example, Bast likes cats, therefore if one wants to help cats, then Bast is a potential ally.

          My last point about the take-it-or-leave-it approach to deities was that, whereas mainstream Christianity claims that you will go to hell if you don’t believe in their god, Pagans usually take the view that your afterlife / reincarnation experience will be determined by your behaviour in this life, not your beliefs. Though most Pagans don’t have a fixed view on what happens in the afterlife / reincarnation.

        • Kodie

          As an atheist, I consider these cosmetic differences. You didn’t come to your beliefs in a superior way than a Christian came to theirs, just because you want to believe your deities are nicer and less demanding than the Christians’ deity. That’s my point. You have no evidence, they have no evidence. You reject Christianity on account that it doesn’t appeal to you personally and not because they don’t have evidence that convinces you. You reject Christianity and you’re here to stand up for “other” as a valid religious belief for the same reason Christians value theirs – wishful thinking. If you think that “other” can’t be challenged because it’s not Christianity, I guess that’s why I’m giving you the business.

        • yewtree

          My point is that I *acknowledge* that I came to my beliefs by putting my ethics first. They don’t acknowledge that.

          I am not suggesting that other religions cannot be challenged because they are not Christianity.

          I am saying that I think people’s values are more important than their beliefs. Obviously values and beliefs are connected, but I happen to think that how you behave is more important than what you believe.

          I think we are arguing at cross-purposes because you are concerned with belief and objective evidence, and I am more interested in meaning and subjective experience. Also, I am pretty agnostic and my beliefs are working hypotheses to explain my experience (which I fully acknowledge to be subjective).

          Anyway, good discussion, thanks.

        • Kodie

          I think we are arguing at cross-purposes because you are concerned with
          belief and objective evidence, and I am more interested in meaning and
          subjective experience.

          It’s not cross-purposes at all. I’m challenging you. You admit to actively inventing a fantasy to suit your preferences, and you say this is somehow different than Christians receiving their ethics and morals from the doctrine of their church, which has already been invented for them. If they didn’t prefer it, if it didn’t align with their own ethics, they wouldn’t prefer it. I am saying that you except yourself from the criticism by a different brand of bullshit, and I’m saying hold on there, it’s pretty much the same, and it comes from the same place, and none of it is true.

        • yewtree

          I did not admit to actively inventing a fantasy, so don’t put words in my mouth.

          I think it is better to think about one’s ethics than to receive them as a body of doctrine on a plate, yes.

          Why don’t you learn a bit more about my religion (Paganism) before dismissing it as the same sort of bullshit?

        • Kodie

          I think that deities are emergent properties of our interaction with the
          universe (which is not quite the same as being merely products of our
          imagination) – in other words, that there are natural forces and places
          which acquire a quality of the numinous, and a degree of “personality”
          from our interaction with them.

          I don’t know what else you’d call that, and I don’t know why you think it’s drastically different than how Christians come about their own beliefs, being there are so many different kinds of them, that all claim they’re “not all like that”. It seems a Christian is free to explore and seek what seems true to them (although often within Christianity than outside of it) more than you think they do. It’s because of their personal ethics, and their interaction with the universe that they can reject certain doctrines and accept others. It also seems like a lot of the alternate religions are a distinct rejection of a certain flavor of Christianity, the argument that your deities are nicer and you are nicer so leave us alone to believe unbelievable things and don’t challenge them. It’s also a point to make that you believe your deities will leave us alone because you want us to leave you and your beliefs alone.

          Why don’t you learn a bit more about my religion (Paganism) before dismissing it as the same sort of bullshit?

          You are writing in an article advising which arguments to avoid by making arguments one should avoid. Every religious person EVERY ONE OF THEM believes that the difference between an atheist and them is that we haven’t learned about their religion quite properly, and that the problem we’re having is that we’re arguing against the nonsense of another sect or denomination. And if we only learned more about their beliefs, we’d give them the respect they think they’re due, because they’re real and not like all those other straw man beliefs we so easily defeat.

          Try making an argument that’s not just like a Christian.

        • Pofarmer

          Kind of like a familiar old car gets named Betsy?

        • yewtree

          Yes, good analogy.

        • Pofarmer

          So, basically Pantheism.

        • Kodie

          You’re actually not responding to what I meant about believing something that was actual. If the actual god was a petty tyrant, I’m sure you’d prefer something else, but you could not say you didn’t believe that god existed.

        • yewtree

          I see what you mean – but whether I believed it existed or not, I would steadfastly ignore that deity.

          The only reason it matters to me whether tyrannical deities exist or not is that I would prefer it if the universe did not contain tyrants (human or otherwise), but since there are human tyrants, there may be tyrannical deities too.

        • Kodie

          Everyone would prefer it if the universe did not contain tyrants, but that is why Christians accuse us of denial and rebellion, and fail to understand “I just don’t believe your story.”

        • yewtree

          I found one here:

          http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-belief/#BelAimOurConOveIt

          (also long, but interesting)

        • I found a (long) article on it here.

        • Pofarmer

          Sometimes they are indoctrinated with them.

      • SparklingMoon,

        There are millions of people in the world who regard themselves as very wise philosophers and who utterly deny the existence of God. It is obvious that if they had discovered a strong reason for the existence of God, they would not have denied it.

        If they had discovered a conclusive argument in support of the existence of God, they would not have rejected it. It is obvious, therefore, that no one boarding the ark of the philosophers can find deliverance from the storm of doubts, but is bound to be drowned, and such a one would never have access to the drinking of pure Unity.

        How can there be faith in the Unity of God unless there is perfect certainty with regard to His existence? Be sure, therefore, that belief in the Unity of God can be achieved only through a Prophet, by showing them thousands of heavenly signs. The truth is that till a person observes the living powers of the Living God, Satan does not depart from his heart, nor does true Unity enter into it, nor can he believe with certainty in the existence of God.(Ruhani Khazain)

        • RichardSRussell

          Simply asserting, without evidence, that Satan exists is no more convincing than simply asserting, without evidence, that God exists.

          I’m not sure what “true Unity” is supposed to be, or even if it’s supposed to be desirable. Sounds awfully boring to me. I like variety.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Satan is not a deity but a force in human nature.

          Man is drawn by two forces that are eternal part of his nature, the force of good and the force of evil. Religious books attributes the first to Angels, and the second to Satan. This means that there are two forces acting upon man, and he at times leans towards good, and at times inclines towards evil.

          As the creation of ‘Unity’ between God and the hearts of people is a work of prophets. It would be difficult to understand it through words but the strong belief and holy lives of the followers of different prophets in their time is a proof that their hearts had a Unity with God and mostly had revelation also as a result.

        • Dys

          Strength of conviction doesn’t prove anything. Angels, demons, god and satan – they don’t exist, and there’s no good reason to suppose they do.

        • Kodie

          Strong belief and behaviors do not lead to any conclusions about the actuality of a deity. But you go ahead and stay deluded!

        • pianoman

          Religious books attribute these things without a shred of evidence.

          and if you’re referring to the biblical god, he explicitly states that he also creates evil. Satan is just a convenient scapegoat that believers use to try to wiggle around the absurdity.
          Isaiah 31:1-2 to start with, but there are a liittany of these.

        • Greg G.

          SparklingMoon comes from a sect of Islam.

        • Kodie

          Are you sure he’s not from outer space?

        • Greg G.

          Maybe. I was wandering the streets of Saigon two weeks ago and saw this.

        • Kodie

          That’s hilarious.

        • Well, it’s about time! When the aliens come, I hope someone is able to communicate with them.

        • SparklingMoon,

          The fact is that the prophets of the Bible did not teach all that exists in this Book . It is not the fault of those prophets, as they brought a wholesome and pure teaching; rather,the ignorant followers assigned perverted meaning to their revelations and statements. The revelation of the Prophets of the Bible are amalgamate with human narration.

        • adam

          ,./

        • yewtree

          funny, but not really an accurate description of religion.

          There is more to religion than believing in other people’s hallucinations.

          Religion is a system of meaning and values. Sadly, some people insist on taking them literally and imposing them on others who do not subscribe to their system of meaning and values.

        • MNb

          Insane people are also capable of building systems of meaning and values. Paranoia is a good example: it gives meaning to everything the patient observes and the values are escape and survival.

        • yewtree

          sure, but only other people with the same delusions will buy into them….

          …oh.

        • adam

          Meaning and values are the purpose of mythology.

          But it takes religion to turn that into the delusion of believing in other people’s hallucinations.

          And religion NEEDS the authoritarian qualities for political power.

        • Kodie

          Religions take a system of meaning and values and turn it into a superstition. We can talk about whether something is right or wrong, and we can value the same things and find personal meaning in similar things, but if you say those values and meanings came to you from a spirit or deity, and that spirit or deity’s existence and threats of punishment is the only reason keeping you from doing the opposite, then you have a hallucination and expect me to adopt a lot of other aspects that the hallucination mandates.

          I find this an important distinction. Most religious people and atheists share many similar values of our culture – another system of meanings and values – but they think it came from a god, and the hallucination is the only thing holding our fragile culture together. So they want to have statues, monuments, displays, banners, slogans, and prayers everywhere, and have a freak-out when it’s taken away from them. Because one of their values is to lack trust in their fellow humans to act right if they are in danger of forgetting who is really in charge and falling away from the church with the “mistaken” idea that we can take care of ourselves just fine.

          But there is no god keeping it together, there is really just people, and those people make a church and the church teaches fear. Fear is their control. We can’t take care of ourselves without god? Even the religious figured out a way to take care of themselves without god. They just don’t realize it, and that’s the difference. That is the accurate description of religion.

        • yewtree

          I completely agree that you don’t need deities or God or religion to have morals and ethics.

          Your description of “religion” seems only to apply to the religious right, though. I realise they are a vociferous and relatively numerous group, but they are not the definitive version of religion.

        • Kodie

          A lot of what I wrote goes with the religious right, but it’s all superstitious belief. There are good behaviors in religions… like say “being kind”. Let’s just use it for an example. “Being kind” can mean a lot of things, but let’s think of it as ordinary and benign, the kind of kindness that’s generally appreciated and doesn’t hurt you or someone else in the process.

          There are mostly predictable results from being kind. Most people appreciate it and aren’t too grouchy, cynical or proud. You get people who smile and say thank you, you may see that person paying it forward, you might make a friend who is kind to you, and you see a benefit for yourself returned to you when you act in kindness, and it’s all worth it to encounter a grouch now and then.

          Religious people think this benefit comes from god. They think their kindness and the teachings of kindness come from god, they think without an existent god, they couldn’t or wouldn’t be kind, and their kindness could not or would not be met with appreciation and reciprocation. Just because they can perform a behavior that their religion prescribes to them and it does turn out positive effects, that god is real, their god, and without that god, this system of meanings and values would fall straight apart. That’s a delusion, and that’s what I’m talking about.

        • yewtree

          I am familiar with the kind of thing you are talking about, certainly. I think it is true of a lot of religions and their adherents, but not all religions, and not all adherents.

          I personally believe that ethics are entirely human in origin – they arise from our interpretation of how to behave in order to maximise benefit for as many people as possible. This varies from one culture and historical epoch to another.

          Most Pagans would agree that ethics are a human construct.

          Our ethics are also based in our biological needs and sentience. It is generally agreed that it is wrong to kill another human being (with certain exceptions, like if they are going to kill loads of other people). This is because we value our own life and assume others do too. And so on.

        • Your views seem harmless, and the main focus here is on America’s 800-pound gorilla, Christianity. Still, you do seem to have beliefs you’ve cobbled together largely because they’re pleasing, not because you’ve gotten there by following the evidence.

        • yewtree

          Actually my views are evidence based but it is impossible to have any objective evidence in the field of spirituality, so my views are provisional, and like I said, working hypotheses to explain my experience.

          Also, “800 pound gorilla” – I like that. Someone once said that Christianity was the bully in the playground. Also rather apt.

        • Pofarmer

          “Actually my views are evidence based but it is impossible to have any objective evidence in the field of spirituality”

          You just rather contradicted yourself.

        • yewtree

          I was referring to subjective evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          So you realize then, that subjective evidence to you, doesn’t constitute evidence that you should expect to persuade any one else?

        • yewtree

          That is the definition of subjective evidence, as far as I know (evidence that you should not expect to persuade any one else).

          Also, it could be interpreted differently by different people. I interpret it as evidence to support my working hypotheses; you might not.

          As I said, I am not interested in convincing people that I am right. I am interested in convincing you that not every person of religion has abandoned reason or evidence – even if the evidence wouldn’t be admitted in your court.

        • Pofarmer

          It doesn’t really matter if the evidence would be admitted in court. What you need to be certain of, is that what you think is evidence of one thing, isn’t actually evidence of something else. You need a methodolgy to do this.

        • yewtree

          What you need to be certain of, is that what you think is evidence of one thing, isn’t actually evidence of something else. You need a methodolgy to do this.

          Very true.

          My methodology is this:

          (1) examine all the facts;
          (2) amass all reasonable explanations of the phenomenon;
          (3) ask myself what is the most likely explanation;
          (4) go for that explanation.

          Which means that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I don’t go for the “woo” explanation, and settle for the obvious physical explanation.

          I can think of very few unexplained happenings in my life that could be attributed to the preternatural, and even there, I am open to materialist explanations.

        • There’s nothing wrong with being open to the supernatural explanation, but you’re saying that there are a few rare instances where the supernatural explanation isn’t simply possible but the best explanation?

        • yewtree

          Given the circumstances of the very few examples, I couldn’t think of any other explanation.

          Note I said preternatural (this world but weird) and not supernatural (somehow outside this world).

        • I’m confused. You do go for the “woo” explanation, but this isn’t supernatural?

          “Of this world but weird” is natural.

        • yewtree

          I meant “of this world but as yet unexplained by science”.

          If there is a “spirit realm”, I think it is entwined with the physical realm. In other words, I don’t accept a Cartesian dualist view of spirit and matter.

        • Right. “of this world but as yet unexplained by science” is (presumably) natural.

          You’ve had no experiences that point to the supernatural (that is, for which “supernatural” is the best explanation)? If so, why imagine that it exists?

        • yewtree

          I don’t. I said preternatural.

          To quote Michael York:

          The supernatural as we know it is largely a Christian-derived expression from the idea that its ‘God’ is over and ‘above’ nature – material/empirical reality. It is this notion that is the target of secular and naturalistic animosity alike. Instead, rather than ‘supernatural’, I turn instead to the ‘preternatural’ that expresses the non-causal otherness of nature – one that comprehends the magical, miraculous, numinous, mysterious yet non-empirical quality of the sublime. Most important, however, the preternatural does not demand belief or faith but instead encounter and experience – whether through contemplation, metaphor, spontaneous insight, ecstasy, trance, synchronicity or ritual or any combination of these. As Margot Adler expressed it, paganism is not about belief but what we do.

          Supernatural implies transcendence; preternatural implies immanence.

          The modern Christian notion of the supernatural is based on Cartesian dualism – the idea that spirit and matter are entirely separate realms.

          I do not accept that spirit is a separate realm from matter, so I don’t use the term “supernatural” to refer to things that might be attributable to spirits.

        • Kodie

          You know who else believes in that stuff? Christians.

          WE call it supernatural because it’s in the realm of magical and intentional from a conscious spirit that doesn’t exist outside of your imagination and interpretation of nature as having some kind of human-type of consciousness. YOU have no evidence that what is real has a spiritual cause, YOU are actively defining whatever you like to these spiritual causes from “resonation” and not evidence. You know who else does that? Christians. So your quest to reject Christianity on the basis that whatever you believe is different fails.

        • adam

          Why not just stick to the dictionary?
          Unless you are trying to be deceptive.

          Christianity has no hold on the word supernatural nor it meaning.
          Full Definition of SUPERNATURAL

          1: of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil

          2a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature b : attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)

          Full Definition of PRETERNATURAL

          1: existing outside of nature

          2: exceeding what is natural or regular : ( extraordinary wits trained to preternatural acuteness by the debates — G. L. Dickinson )

          3: inexplicable by ordinary means; especially : psychic (preternatural phenomena)

        • So your views are similar to mine then–no supernatural belief and an admiration for the complexity and marvelousness of nature.

        • adam

          Of course, it is a function of the physical brain.

        • adam

          So weird=god?

          Is this another god of the gaps?

        • Pofarmer

          Then, where does that leave you?

        • Kodie

          Every person who comes by their religion comes about it through subjective experience. You’re interested in convincing us that you’re not crazy like those other religious nuts, sorry.

        • MNb

          I hear a voice now and then, even if nobody is around. I never understand the words. Do you accept this subjective evidence? If not, why would I accept yours?

        • yewtree

          Lots of people do hear voices, but there may be all sorts of explanations as to why they do. They could be hallucinating, or they *might* be experiencing a genuine revelation. Most of the time I would assume it was the former – that’s the default assumption, even by the Catholic Church, which actually believes in miracles.

          If you said you heard a voice, I would have very little reason to disbelieve you, as this is a known phenomenon.

          If you said that the voice you heard was Darwin, or Jesus, or Odin, or whoever, then I would be very skeptical.

          Most spiritual experiences are not as clear-cut as hearing a voice – they are much more fuzzy and subjective.

        • MNb

          “as this is a known phenomenon”
          “then I would be very skeptical.”
          So suddenly you don’t rely on subjective evidence anymore. Like I wrote then I don’t see why I should accept yours.

        • adam

        • adam
        • Greg G.

          Religious books attribute these things without a shred of evidence.

          If the books had evidence, they wouldn’t be tarred with the epithet “religious”.

        • RichardSRussell

          I’ll buy that all people do, say, and think things that might be judged to be good, bad, or indifferent. However, there’s no evidence whatsoever that these come from “forces”, eternal or otherwise, outside of the natural influences of heredity and environment.

          Just because religious books claim they do doesn’t make it so.

          Just because some prophets have strong beliefs doesn’t make them true, either. Look at Joseph Smith, William Miller, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite, and Satha Sai Baba. Heck, look at Adolf Hitler! Ardency and sincerity are no substitute for veracity.

        • Greg G.

          Ardency and sincerity are no substitute for veracity. –Richard S. Russell

          Bob,

          Here’s a good quote for you.

        • Yep, that’s a good one. I’ve added it to the list.

        • SparklingMoon,

          In man’s nature and composition there have been included two forces and they are both opposed to each other and it is so in order for a person to be tried and tested and, with a successful outcome, to become deserving of God ‘s nearness

          Of the two forces, one pulls man towards goodness and the other invites man towards evil. The force that pulls towards goodness is called ‘malk’ or ‘angel’ and the force which invites towards evil is called ‘Satan’. In other words, you can understand it like this, that there are two forces which work on a person, one calls towards good and the other towards bad .

          Someone may not like the use of the terms ‘angel ‘ and ‘Satan’, but he wouldn’t be able to deny the existence of these two types of forces within man.(Ruhani Khazain)

        • Kodie

          It doesn’t matter how many times you repeat yourself if you’re not going to base these assertions on any solid arguments, they can be easily dismissed as nonsense. You aren’t presenting anything for a discussion, you’re just a fountain of endless bullshit and zero reason to believe it. Did you read the article and post something relevant? Just because you’re not a Christian doesn’t make your beliefs any more real or believable. But you are just repeating your beliefs as if they are facts – it’s not an argument, it’s the fantastical claims of a space cadet.

        • RichardSRussell

          Someone may not like the use of the terms ‘angel ‘ and ‘Satan’, but he wouldn’t be able to deny the existence of these two types of forces within man.

          Just watch me.

        • SparklingMoon,

          I do not consider that any one of these described people ever had a claim that they had revelation of God Almighty as Moses, Krishna Buddha Jesus or Prophet of Islam had made . We can call them just reformers who in the sympathy of other fellow beings had started some organizations to improve their conditions.

          The religions of Moses, Krishna Buddha Jesus Confucius or Mohammed have spread and firmly established in the world. These religions holding sway over a part of the world and achieving survival and long life, because it is the eternal practice of God that a false prophet who lies against God —who is not from God, but dares to forge things from himself— never prospers.

        • RichardSRussell

          Jesus did not prosper.

          Satha Sai Baba most certainly did. So did Brigham Young, who picked up where Joseph Smith left off.

          Calling Mohammed a “reformer” twists the word out of all recognition.

          Your standards of measurement fail to match reality. Basically what you’re saying is that any social movement that manages to attract a large number of followers must be not merely correct but divinely inspired. That makes Communism one of the greatest religions of all time, presumably inspired by the great Prophet Karl Marx.

        • MNb
        • SparklingMoon,

          Calling Mohammed a “reformer” twists the word out of all recognition.
          ——————————————————–
          I have not used the word reformer for Prophet of Islam Mohammad (sa).

          I have used these words:
          ” We can call them just reformers who in the sympathy of other fellow beings had started some organizations to improve their conditions” for
          ”Joseph Smith, William Miller, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite, and Satha Sai Baba.”

        • SparklingMoon,

          Communism one of the greatest religions of all time, presumably inspired by the great Prophet Karl Marx.
          ——————————————
          It is a great misunderstanding to compare Karl Marx with Prophets of God or to call his system of communism like a religion. I will no deny that many people like karl Marx or other like Napoleon Hitler rose high from humble positions but they did not set themselves against any thought-current of their time. Nor did they declare that God had promised them victory in spite of opposition. Nor did they have to confront any wide-spread opposition.The ends they set out to achieve were adored by most of their contemporaries, who perhaps proposed different methods but not different ends. If they suffered defeat, they lost nothing. They still stood high in their peoples’ esteem, and feared nothing. But it was different with Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Zoroaster or Prophet of Islam.

          True, these prophets did not fail. But if they had, they would have lost everything. They would not have been proclaimed as heroes, but would have been condemned as pretenders and intriguers. History would have taken scant notice of them and lasting disrepute would have been their reward. Between them and men like Karl Marx Napoleon, Hitler or Chingiz Khan, therefore, there is a world of difference–the same difference as there is between their respective successes.

          There are not many people who have regard or reverence for Karl Marx, Hitler or Chingiz Khan. Some regard them as heroes and are completely carried away by their deeds. But can they command true loyalty or obedience? Loyalty and obedience are given only to religious Teachers, such as Moses, Jesus, Krishna, Zoroaster and the Holy Prophet of Islam. Many millions of human beings throughout the ages have done what these Teachers bade them do. Many millions have denied themselves what these Teachers forbade. Their smallest thoughts, words, and deeds have been subject to what they were taught by their Masters. Do national heroes command even one iota of the loyalty and submission accorded to these Teachers ?

          These Prophets, therefore, were from God and what they taught was taught by God.

        • RichardSRussell

          Do national heroes command even one iota of the loyalty and submission accorded to these Teachers?

          Uh, yeah, totally!

          Are you really this completely out of touch with reality?

          All you’re saying is that successful leaders are successful and remembered, and the ones who did so on the basis of religion are true representatives of God, as evidenced by their success. The ones who did so on the basis of charisma, military might, or political persuasiveness were not. How do we know this is true? Because we have your word for it, that’s how!

          I think other commenters have effectively disposed of your credibility in this regard.

        • SparklingMoon,

          For example, Prophet Krishna had appeared( in India)about four five thousand years ago or prophet Moses about four thousand years ago but still people love them and love to practice their teachings.

        • RichardSRussell

          Yeah, yeah, we all know that. So what? Genghis Khan perfected the practice of scorched earth and killing off all his likely enemies, and there are people still doing that today, too. Whoever invented knitting has bazillions of followers. What’s your point?

        • SparklingMoon,

          That
          it is inconceivable that prophets innocent of ordinary accomplishments, as soon as they begins to lie about God, should come to have such tremendous powers that their teaching dominates all other teachings current in his time.

          They knew little or nothing of the arts or culture of their time. Yet what each taught turned out to be something in advance of his time, something pertinent and seasonable. By adopting this teaching a people attained to a great height in civilization and culture, and retained the glory for many centuries.

          A true religious Teacher makes this possible and such a development is impossible without the help of a powerful God.

        • Kodie

          Your incessant credulity is not a valid argument.

        • RichardSRussell

          Sez you. Again without a shred of evidence other than your own credibility-free word for it.

        • yewtree

          Krishna wasn’t a prophet

        • SparklingMoon,

          Krishna was also a prophet of God Almighty for the people of his area but latter had been turned by his followers into a God because of their great love for him. Man always interpolates, misconstrues or misappropriates Divine teachings after the prophets have come and gone. No wonder then that the messages of the Hindu prophets were also distorted by the future generations of those who followed. When we suggest that the Vedas must have been interpolated, we do not mean that all the Vedic teachings underwent a complete man-made transformation. This is never permitted to happen to Divine scriptures by God. There is always retained some of the original truth, untouched and unadulterated. It is in the light of this that a careful study of every religion at its source is always rewarding. A careful scrutiny of the source material of Hinduism reveals it to be no different from other Divinely revealed religions in fundamentals and Krishna was a Law bringing prophet of God Almighty and other prophets who appeared after him in India were Reformer prophets ( like Buddha etc) to bring his followers back to his real teachings .

        • MNb

          Marx did not set himself against any thought-current of his time? Wow, how deep is your ignorance?

        • SparklingMoon,

          Jesus did not prosper.
          —————————–
          Jesus also had all prosperity like other prophets of God. He completed his mission to bring the lost sheep of Israel back to real message of Mosaic Law . His all prophecies fulfilled with the time. He has millions followers throughout the time who love him and love to practice his sayings. It is not fair to judge the holy person of Jesus in the light of those false stories that had been later invented by some people.

        • RichardSRussell

          Jesus also had all prosperity like other prophets of God.

          Dude, he lived poor and died a pauper. His “chosen people”, the Jews, turned their backs on him. The Romans beat the crap out of him and nailed him to a cross. His promise to return within the lifetime of his followers was a complete and utter lie. How does this constitute “prosperity”?

          If you’re just going to go with “well, his ideas lived on”, I’ll put Jesus behind Archimedes, Socrates, Euclid, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Einstein, Fleming, and Bohr in that regard. All of their ideas are current today and of great value in modern society, whereas Jesus espoused monarchy, slavery, and 2nd-class status for women.

        • SparklingMoon,

          Jesus had said that his mission was for lost sheep of Israel. In Jerusalem there were only two tribes and ten tribes of Lost Israel were in other areas. After cross he moved to them and preached them.They all had accepted him and respected him as they had been waiting for him according to the prophecies of the prophets of Old Testament.

          Jesus had visited Jerosalam within the lifetime of his followers according to his prophecy and promise (there are references in New testament where his followers had seen him.)

          These all people (Archimedes, Socrates, Euclid, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Pasteur, Einstein, Fleming, Bohr ) you have referenced are undoubtedly respectable people of our world and we have to salute their human efforts to make our earth a better living place but to compare them to a prophet is unfair.

          Jesus was brought to cross by his first addressers only for the reason of his raising a voice against the misuse of Mosaic Law and misconduct of its followers. He went on to complete his mission and did not lost his belief in God Almighty even had been nailed on the Cross that his God would saved him according to the His promise.

        • RichardSRussell

          … to compare them to a prophet is unfair.

          We have achieved concord.

        • MNb

          “Satan is not a deity but a force in human nature.”
          Agreed. So is god.

        • Dys

          In other words, you’re asserting that there aren’t any good arguments for the existence of god (I agree), but that people need to wait for a charismatic cult leader to emotionally compel them to believe in god anyway (vehemently disagree).

        • Kodie

          That’s an excellent way to put it.

        • SparklingMoon,

          A prophet never emotionally compel to believe in god.

          A Prophet is a mirror for the observance of the Divine. God can only be seen through this mirror. When God Almighty designs to reveal Himself to the world, He raises a Prophet, who is a manifestation of Divine powers, and sends down His revelation to him and manifests His Divine powers through him. It is then that the world comes to know that God exists.

          It is the Prophets (peace be on them) who demonstrate the existence of God and teach people His Unity. If those holy ones had not appeared, it would have been impossible to discover the straight path with certainty. Though a person of sincere nature, possessing sane reason can, by reflecting on the universe and observing its perfect and well-established order, conclude that there ought to be a Creator of this well-ordered universe, however, there is a world of difference between ‘Ought to be’ and ‘Is’.

          The Prophets alone (peace be on them) established through thousands of signs and miracles that the Transcendent Being Who comprises all power does in fact exist. Indeed, the degree of comprehension that the need of a Creator may be perceived by the observation of the universe is also a reflection of the rays of Prophethood. Had there been no Prophets, no one would have achieved this degree of reason. This may be understood through the contemplation that, though there is water below the surface of the earth, the maintenance of that water depends upon the water that descends from the sky. When there is a long drought, the underground water dries up and when rain descends the underground water also begins to well up.

          In the same way, with the advent of a Prophet, reason— which is sub-surface water—is sharpened and improved; and when over a long period no Prophet is raised the sub-surface water of reason begins to decline and becomes muddied and the worship of idols and all manner of paganism and vice abound. The eye possesses the faculty of sight, yet it needs the light of the sun to be able to see. In the same way, human reason, which resembles the eye, needs the light of the sun of Prophethood. And when that sun disappears reason becomes confused and dark; just as you cannot see with the eye alone, you cannot see without the light of Prophethood.
          ( Ruhany Khazain)

        • Dys

          “He raises a Prophet, who is a manifestation of Divine powers”

          AKA, charismatic cult leader who emotionally compels people to believe. Because there’s no evidence that any prophet has ever had magical powers.

          Seriously, do you have a single thing to offer that isn’t a bunch of theological nonsense? Your copy/paste job from your favorite book is an utter waste of time. I’m glad you have a hippy liberal view of Islam, but it’s still not true.

        • Kodie

          Your cult leader is extremely charismatic for you to place such an emotional argument in favor of your god or faith in any prophets to show you anything but whatever bullshit they want to sell you. I don’t think I’ve asked you how much you pay to your mosque.

          According to the internet, it’s only 2.5%, so it’s cheaper than Christianity.

        • Without Malice

          That won’t work on this site moonbeam. Atheist have well developed bullshit detectors.

        • Without Malice

          The world would be better off if every so-called prophet had been stoned to death before he started spouting his lies about how God told him how everyone should live.

    • adam

      Of course there is a ‘god’

      It is the FOOLISH who believes it exists outside their own mind.

    • While we’re talking about foolish statements, seems pretty foolish to believe in something so remarkable as God without good evidence.

    • Greg G.

      There are at least 18 Bible verses that have been translated to say “there is no god”. It’s as if the Bible is trying to tell you something.

      • yewtree

        There was also a ninth-century theologian (Eriugena) who pointed out that God does not exist, but rather is existence. Various other theologians and philosophers have said the same: Spinoza, Tillich, Rami Shapiro, A N Whitehead, Andrew Brown (not the journalist, the Unitarian minister), and many others.

        • Greg G.

          Isn’t that more like pantheism? There’s a similar term I can’t recall at the moment that describes the idea better.

        • yewtree

          There is apophatic theology too (kind of like “The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao.”)

          But yeah, it is not the same as atheism, but it does allow people to recognise that the Divine does not determine our morality, ethics, or moral choices – we do; and that no-one knows what the Divine thinks of anything, so they decide on morality – so we might as well all acknowledge that, and move on from the ridiculous notion that the Divine or deities are the arbiters of morality.

  • Tommykey69

    Re: #2. One could ask a believer if they ever fantasized about having sex with someone, and if so, did they feel turned on by the experience. If they answer yes, inform them that it was something they created in their mind, and that it is entirely possible that when they claim to feel the presence of god, they are feeling something they created entirely in their thoughts based on what they think the presence of god would feel like.

  • RichardSRussell

    You know, that “Christian Fallacy Bingo Card” sounds like a marketable idea. Actual bingo cards come with 25 spaces (including the free one in the middle), so you’re already 1 up on what you’d need to create a commercial product.

  • Rudy R

    For me, the number one stupid argument is quoting Bible scripture to prove that the Christian god exists. No one has proven, through the scientific method, that the Bible is the word of Yahweh or directly inspired by Yahweh and that the Bible is not anything else but fiction.

    • Yes, I think that one’s on the list. My usual response is, “Uh, you do know that I’m an atheist, right?” (Naturally, it has no effect.)

      • Pofarmer

        But the bible is POWERFUL. How can you resist?

        • I must not be made of the stuff that a tractor beam works on, like a magnet with aluminum.

      • hector_jones

        They seem to think it’s like sprinkling a vampire with holy water.

        • Rudy R

          Or sprinkling faerie dust, and atheists will immediately become believers.

    • yewtree

      Also, it is a circular argument: God wrote the Bible, therefore it’s true; and the Bible says God exists (and that God wrote the Bible), therefore that’s true. There is no external source for any of these assertions.

  • Joco

    Maybe a simpler way of illustrating fallacy #2:

    If it is a horse, then it is an animal.
    It is an animal.
    Therefore, it is a horse.

    Well, no, there are plenty of animals that are not horses, just as there are plenty of explanations for “feeling God’s presence” that do not include God actually existing. More formally, “P implies Q” is not logically equivalent to its converse, “Q implies P.” (Although it is equivalent to its contrapositive, “NOT Q implies NOT P.”)

  • Merari

    Any argument from teleology, presuppositionalism or ontology is blisteringly stupid.

  • Blizzard

    My favorite stupid argument is Jesus’s because I say so argument. People during his lifetime were supposed to follow and listen to him and his disciples because he says so. That probably belongs in a “25 stupid Jesus things” list instead of this list though. (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt that he actually said or did anything the Bible says he said or did.) He was wrong of course since the “kingdom” never materialized lol.

    • Erwin

      “…for the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21.
      ref John 4:24,19-24; 1Corinthians 6:19-20, 12:27; Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:23.

  • Striker

    The argument from ignorance: We don’t know 100% that X is false; thus, X is true.

    The argument from the godly’s sins: When the godly behave like the godless, it shows that humans are sinful, which shows that sin exists, which shows that God exists (or is needed).

  • texcee

    You could just as easily say: “Once I woke up in the dark and sensed a prescence in my bedroom which I perceived to be an alien. Therefore alien abduction is true.” Makes about as much sense. (BTW, I believe in alien abduction and Bigfoot more than I do in religious nonsense.)

  • curtcameron

    One of the worst:
    “The Bible has been verified to be accurate historically, therefore I can feel confident in accepting all of it.”

    You hear it all the time, but how much more wrong can it get? Even if the premise were true, and it’s so blatantly false it’s a joke, the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premise.

    • Erwin

      “…And such were some of you…” 1Corinthians 6:9-10,

      “…But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us ( ref John 3:16)…( by grace you are saved);…” Ephesians 2:1-10.

      • Kodie

        Using the bible as an argument is stupid, and you should stop doing it. I see from your posting history, you don’t have any more substantial arguments than quoting from a storybook.

        • Erwin

          Aren’t I the popular one? Not!

          “Re ‘Bible quotes’:
          “You shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.” John 8:32

          ‘Jesus answered ( Pilate ) ,’…and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.

          Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice. Pilate answered Him,’What is Truth?’ John 18:37-38.

          “Your ( God’s ) Word is Truth.”John 17:17.

          Jesus Christ: ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.’ John 1:14.

          ‘Jesus said,’I Am the Way, and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'” John 14:6.

        • Kodie

          You don’t seem to understand why that’s a weak argument.

        • adam

          Murder Rape and Pillage (Deuteronomy 20:10-14)

          As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the
          LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You
          may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.

          What kind of God approves of murder, rape, and slavery?

          Laws of Rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT)
          If a man is caught in the act of raping a young
          woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be
          allowed to divorce her.

          What kind of lunatic would make a rape victim marry her
          attacker? Answer: God.

          Death to the Rape Victim (Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)
          If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is
          betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out
          for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

          It is clear that God doesn’t give a damn about the rape
          victim. He is only concerned about the violation of another mans “property”.

        • Whaaaa … ? Using the Bible against itself? Can you really do that?

        • Dys

          “Aren’t I the popular one? Not!”

          It probably has something to do with arrogantly posting Bible passages under the false impression that they prove something, instead of actually presenting an argument.

        • adam

          Yes, indeed

        • Some of the atheists here know the Bible very well. What’s the point of the quotes?

          Suggestion: give us an argument backed by evidence instead.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘evidence’:
          “He ( Abraham ) said to him ( the rich man in Hades ), ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets,

          they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'”
          Luke 16:31.

          Jesus said to her ( Martha ),’I Am the resurrection and the life; the one who believes in Me will live, even though they die;

          and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die. Do YOU believe this?”

          ‘Yes Lord’, she replied,’I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, Who is to come into the world.'”
          John 11:25-27. ref John 1:1-18.

        • 90Lew90

          Very good. But where’s the evidence?

        • Kodie

          Fiction.

        • Pofarmer

          I wonder if Erwin knows that John is really Greek
          Theology? And was an “improvement” on the theology of Mark. Yesh, probably not.

        • Erwin

          The Symmetry of the Law, the Ten Commandments:
          #10 leads to 9 leads to 8 leads to 7 culminating in #6 ( murder/ death) : summary : Love your neighbor, by not coveting what is his ).

          As # 5 leads to 4 leads to 3 leads to 2 culminating in # 1 ( life eternal).
          :summary: Love God ( as taught by believing parents, teachers and authorities of Christianity ).

          ref Exodus 20:3-17; Deuteronomy 5:7-21 for the details of each commandment.

          ref Matthew 22:37-40 for the two great commands, which summarize the Ten Commandments: : Love God ( #1-5) , Love Neighbor ( #6-10).

          It’s a beautiful thing, indeed!

          “Oh how I love Your Law! I meditate on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97.

          ref Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4

        • I would think love God is 1-4 and love your neighbor is 5-10.

          Is there a point here? or is “the Law is fabulous!” your point?

        • Erwin

          ‘Sequence’ ( of least – #10 & #5 to most – #6 & #1 , hence 10 to 6, 5 to 1 ) : is the point.

          1. Loving God ( #1 , not having other gods before Him ) is only possible by obeying authority of parents ( # 5 ) , pastors and others who teach and minister

          His Word, the Bible, where authority begins , and progresses to # 4 which progresses to #3 then to #2 the final result being #1- knowing,loving, and obeying God now on into eternal life.

          2. Loving your neighbor ( #6, not killing/hating him ) is only possible by not coveting what he has, which begins with that

          desire in your heart ( # 10 ) which progresses to #9 then onto #8 then onto #7 the final result being #6, hating your neighbor/

          destroying his life, now in this life, the ultimate destruction being his death, punishable by ones death in this life in return.

          “We love Him ( God ) , because He first loved us ( ref John 3:16 ). If any man say, I love God, and

          hates his neighbor, he is s liar: for he that loves not his neighbor whom he has seen, how can he

          love God Whom he has not seen? And this is the commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God love his neighbor also.”
          1John 4:19-21.

        • Kodie

          Wow, you are easily impressed.

        • Erwin
        • Kodie

          You believe everything you read?

        • Erwin

          “Sing a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise His name; proclaim His salvation, day after day.

          Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is

          the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord

          made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.”
          Psalm 96:1-6.

          “Therefore if any man ( or woman) be in Christ, he ( or she ) is a new creature;

          old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2Corinthians 5:17.

        • Dys

          Erwin doesn’t have much of a point beyond mindless repetition of her favourite bible verses. Bible says it, she believes it, that’s all there is to it. Critical thinking and skepticism are beyond her, so she’s just trolling with verse.

        • Kodie

          You’re still not able to realize why this doesn’t impress me.

        • Erwin

          “The natural man ( person ) without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God

          but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only

          through the Spirit.” 1Corinthians 2:14.

          “No one can come unto Me ( Jesus Christ ) unless the Father Who sent Me draws him: and I will raise them up on the last day.” John 6:44.

          “You ( Christ’s disciples ) have not chosen Me ( Jesus Christ )
          but I have chosen you …” John 15:16.

        • Kodie

          I have no reason to believe the bible is anything but fiction, so quoting from it has no meaning.

          “Can I tell you a secret?” the busty redhead whispered loudly over the
          sounds of music playing from the jukebox and people laughing, talking,
          and playing pool in JT’s Roadhouse. The bar was exceptionally crowded,
          especially for a Wednesday night. “I’m not wearing any panties.”

          Jake wasn’t sure if he should clue her in that half the bar knew that
          little “secret.” Several times when she’d bent over the pool table to
          aim and shoot, she’d flashed a beaver shot. It would probably be the
          right thing to do to point it out.

          –from Let it Snow(The Hope Falls Series) by Melanie Shawn

        • Erwin

          ref Matthew 7:16-20, 12:34;
          1Timothy 6:20; 2Timothy 2:16;
          Colossians 3:5-8.

          You’re not alone with your thoughts, “….And such were some of you, …” 1Corinthians 6:9-11;

          “…But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us ( ref John 3:16 )…” Ephesians 2:1-10.

          ‘You are what you eat ( read ) I guess!’ Time for a change of diet, you think?

          “It is written,’Man ( and woman ) shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4. J.C.; ref Deuteronomy 8:3.

          “Then you will know the truth
          (‘God’s Word is truth’- John 17:17 )

          and the Truth
          ( Jesus, ‘the Word made flesh’- John 1:14, ‘ the Way,the Truth, the Life.’- John 14:6 )

          will set you free.” John 8:32.

        • Kodie

          I guess you are too stupid to take seriously.

        • Erwin

          Ad Hominem✔Yes✔
          For lack of a better argument ( ie, material for discussion, of any worth considering ).

        • Kodie

          Are you discussing or are you spamming biblical phrases, as if they have magical powers to convince us.

          No, sorry, you’re stupid. That’s pertinent to the conversation because you’re not smart enough to catch on – YOUR LOGICAL FALLACY IS: BEGGING THE QUESTION.

        • OMG! These words are like a magic spell, and I feel my atheism draining away, like I’m being rinsed in the blood of Jesus.

          Or not.

        • Oddly, I find your fiction much more compelling than Erwin’s. Weird.

        • Good point–how can a man love God whom he has not seen?

        • Erwin

          ” No man has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, Who is Himself God ( ‘the Word made flesh’ – 1John 1:1-14 )

          and is in closest relationship with the Father has made Him known.” John 1:18.

          (‘If you have seen Me you have seen the Father…” John 14:6-9;
          “I and the Father are one.”John 10:30 .)

          Jesus Christ, God veiled in human flesh for all to see!
          ref Exodus 33:18-23, 34:34-35; 2Corinthians 3:13-18; Hebrews 10:20; Mark 15:38-39.

        • Ah, well. I haven’t seen Jesus, so I guess I haven’t seen God. I’ll remind him on Judgment Day.

        • Erwin

          ref 1John4:1-21.
          …’for God is love.’vs 8.
          1Corinthians 12:1-13; John 3:16;
          Ephesians 2:4-5.

        • Dys

          Austin 3:16 “I just whooped your ass.”

        • Erwin

          ref Matthew 7:16-20.
          …thus by their fruit you will know them.’ Vs 20.
          “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34.

          ref 1Timothy 6:20; 2Timothy 2:16;
          Colossians 3:5-8.

        • Dys

          “Religion is man-made. Even the men who made it cannot agree on what their prophets or redeemers or gurus actually said or did.” – Hitchens

        • Kodie

          How much do you pay the man at church to tell you how to judge true Christians?

        • Erwin

          “Then Jesus said to those Jews which believed on Him,’If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed;'”
          John 8:31.

          ref 1John2:19.

        • Kodie

          Typical evasive Christian. I asked you a question!!!

        • Erwin

          ‘Take off your rose colored glasses and see Me as I really Am’ ,
          The’ Rose of Sharon ‘, Jesus Christ . ref Solomon 2:1.

          “…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.

        • Kodie

          You still didn’t answer the question. Are you illiterate?

        • Erwin

          ref Romans 1:14-32 for your answer.

          ‘….professing themselves to be wise they became fools.’ vs 22

          ‘… for this reason God gave them over to a depraved, reprobate mind…’ vs 28.

        • Kodie

          I flagged you for trolling. FYI.

        • Philmonomer

          Is there some advantage to flagging him for trolling versus simply ignoring him? He clearly has nothing to add.
          But maybe that is a reason to flag him for trolling?….Eh. I go back and forth.

        • Kodie

          Probably not. I don’t flag a lot of posts, and I usually don’t say anything about it if I do. I have asked Erwin a question 3 times and he is not open for discussion and only evangelizing, so I thought he ought to know what I think of his efforts.

        • Some guy on the internet

          This is what Erwin sounds like:

          Erwin: The Bible is true.
          Atheist: I don’t believe that.
          Erwin: The Bible says that those who disbelieve in it have had their minds corrupted, therefore what they say can be dismissed.

          I obviously object to the notion that those who reject the Bible or the existence of God as true are afflicted by some mental corruption that causes them to become depraved. That’s circular anyway, since people who don’t believe in the Bible won’t subscribe to its morality, so they may act in a way the Bible considers depraved, which causes Christians to think that the Bible is right.

          Erwin, I take it you’re familiar with Islam. The Qur’an states that Jesus was a prophet of God but he wasn’t crucified or resurrected.The Qur’an claims that it has made itself clear and an obvious truth. What do you expect Muslims will say to you if you reject that? Your mind is corrupted? You’re willfully ignorant?

        • Erwin

          Exactly! We can’t both be right, can we? Time to choose!

          ref Matthew 6:24; Deuteronomy 30:19;

          “I Am ( Jesus Christ ) the Resurrection and the Life. The one who believes in Me will live, though he dies.
          Do YOU believe this?”
          John 11:25-26.

          “…Blessed are they who believe and have not seen.” John 20:29.

        • Dys

          Exactly, we can’t both be right, and you can’t provide evidence that any of the bible’s claims of the supernatural are true. Your last verse is nothing more than an appeal to gullibility. Your position is irrational.

        • Do you have any evidence that would be convincing to an atheist? Or are you going to continue to cite verses from a book that I don’t think is authoritative?

        • Erwin

          Exactly! Your first ‘false assumption’ is what leads to all your others, which are also false.

          ‘I Am, that I Am! ‘There is no other! Isaiah 45:5-12.

          The Alpha and the Omega. The First and the Last. The Beginning and the End. The Resurrection and the Life.
          ref Revelation 1:8, 22:12-21; John11:25.

          ref Psalm 2:1-12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry; …’Blessed are they that put their trust in Him.’ vs 12.

        • Kodie

          It’s not a first assumption. If you’re not gullible, the book is fictional trash. If you are gullible, you think it speaks for you and has magical powers to convince others.

        • Ah, so I make clear that Bible verses mean no more to me than verses from the Iliad or Gilgamesh, so you respond … with more Bible verses. Clever. Or something.

        • TruthPrevails

          What false assumption was made? That Bob doesn’t think the bible is authoritative? That’s his opinion and not at all a false assumption.
          You need to educate yourself on the meanings of certain phrases and stop twisting them to fit what you want them to.

        • Erwin

          ‘Assumption/assume:
          ‘to take for granted, without proof; believe; surmise’

          sounds like ‘an opinion’ to me:
          ‘a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substatiated by positive knowledge or proof.

          As opposed to ‘Thy Word is Truth.’ John 17:17.

          ‘I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.’ John 14:6.

          “God is not a man ( fallen, born sinful ) that He should lie.” Numbers 23:19. ref John 8:44; Genesis 3:1; Ephesians 4:25,14-32; 2Peter1:19-21.

        • Kodie

          I invite the “esteemed” Karl Udy to teach us how we should take a crack at this.

          Because my instinct tells me to call Erwin a gullible moron, because his OPINION is that the bible is true, confidence in the bible not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof that the bible is true. It’s the bible’s opinion that it is also true, and Erwin’s ASSUMPTION that the veracity of the bible can be TAKEN FOR GRANTED. Erwin has shown no reason, and no interest in providing any reason, to agree with HIS OPINION.

        • Erwin

          ‘Flattery of Ad Hominems will get you no where’,
          but just leaves you, again, ‘without a leg to stand on.’

        • Kodie

          Quiz for Erwin: what part of my post was ad hominem?

          Typical ignorant Christian! If the insult is relevant, it’s not ad hominem.

        • Dys

          And yet, you don’t have a leg to stand on at all, because all you have to offer is bible verses that you can’t demonstrate have any real authority. Quoting the bible does not constitute proof that it’s true.

        • TruthPrevails

          Where is the ad hominem???
          You talk of having no leg to stand on…how very ironic coming from the one who only uses ad hominem falsely and quotes the bible as evidence…too funny and so hypocritical.

        • Dys

          Yes, your bible verses provide good examples of false assumptions made without evidence. And they’re based on the opinions of the pre-scientific men that wrote them. Good job.

          Also, you made the list – #15 is all you: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/10/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid-part-4/

        • Erwin

          ref Matthew 12:38-45, for the evidence!

          ‘…And such were some of you…’
          1Corinthians 5:9-11.

        • Kodie

          Books can say anything they want! Do you not know that by now? The bible is a book, and it says things, but none of those provide EVIDENCE of its OWN VERACITY.

          Look, God told me to tell you you’re a fucking moron. See how that’s not evidence for god? Neither is the bible.

        • Dys

          Apparently you’re unaware of what constitutes evidence. Not surprising. But when you start with bad assumptions like yours, it’s to be expected. Critical thinking and skepticism is not your forte – it’s just easier to believe everything in your favourite book is true without caring whether it’s actually true or not.

        • TruthPrevails

          Wow, you truly do not have the ability to comprehend much, do you???
          You didn’t answer WHY YOU think it is a false assumption. The definitions nor the scripture speak to your own personal thought…so could you at least attempt to act like an adult and stop evading the question?
          You once again quote the bible which you been told numerous times over proves nothing to those of us who dismiss it. In fact I have my Mother’s family bible (yes I am a recovering Christian) if I want to refer to it, I don’t need you informing me as to what it says.
          You’ve been asked for scripture that speaks of slavery and yet, in response you post the feel good stuff leading one to believe you are blinded to the reality of your bible and haven’t actually read it…very typical Christian mentality-pick the good stuff, ignore the rest…very weak.
          Are you capable of thinking for yourself?

        • Erwin

          “In all this Job did not sin by charging or blaming God (foolishly and wrongly ) with wrong doing.”
          Job 1:22

          Do Thou likewise! ref Psalm 2:1-12; just google it;

          no need to dust off your mom’s family Bible, to see the Light, these days,

          thanks to Larry and Sergey, in the ‘City of Man’ orchestrated by the ‘City of God’. ref Romans 8:28;
          1Corinthians 10:31.

        • TruthPrevails

          WOW!!!
          You truly are one of the most ignorant, clueless people I have ever had the opportunity (in this case misfortune) of conversing with!
          What part of ‘I do not accept that your bible holds any validity’, is not understood by you???
          WITHOUT using your bible (lol…now this requires you use the portion of your brain not damaged by religion), why should I accept that your imaginary friend (aka god) exists?

        • evodevo

          Wait a minute… is John completely ignorant of what Moses saw? Exodus 33:23 !!! Somebody saw his backside, at the very least…..

      • adam

        What does the Bible say about beating slaves? It says you can beat both male and female slaves with a rod so hard that as long as they don’t die right away you are cleared of any wrong doing.

        When a man strikes his male or female slave with a
        rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

        You would think that Jesus and the New Testament would
        have a different view of slavery, but slavery is still approved of in the New Testament, as the following passages show.

        Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect
        and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

        Christians who are slaves should give their masters
        full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

        In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

        The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

        • Erwin

          “Father forgive them for they know not ( ie, not given much knowledge ) what they do.”
          Luke 2:34.

          “If any of you lacks wisdom (wisdom: is knowledge applied properly to honor and glorify God)
          you should ask God , Who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
          James 1:5

          “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may consume it upon your lusts.”
          James 4:3.

          “…’The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised and blessed.’

          In all this Job did not sin by foolishly charging God with wrong doing.” Job1:20-22.

          We can all learn from Job re History past, as well as present and future:

          “I ( Job ) know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after

          my skin has been destroyed, my body eaten by worms, yet in my flesh I will see God. I myself

          will see Him with my own eyes- I and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27;

          From Job,
          the oldest book in the Bible! Prophesying the Resurrection of the dead in the presence of the Redeemer, none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

          ref 1Thessalonians 4:15-18 &
          Revelation 22:1-8.

          From Revelation, the newest book in the Bible!

          “Look, I Am ( Jesus Christ ) coming soon! My reward is with Me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.

          I Am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End… “Revelation 22:12-15.

          “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I Am coming soon.'”

          Amen. Come Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people.” Revelation 22:20-21.

        • Dys

          None of those verses address slavery at all. Good job on failing miserably.

          Leviticus 25:44-46 has god condoning the act of owning people as property.

          Exodus 21:20 has god dictating how severely you can beat a slave. As long as they don’t die after a day or two, you can do whatever you like.

        • TruthPrevails

          Again you are avoiding answering the question asked of you.
          Do you only pick and choose the parts that give you good feelings and avoid the bad parts?
          None of those verses you have listed address slavery…although without using your bible, could you answer why you think the bible includes verses such as the first one you have listed?? Did it potentially occur to you that the men who wrote the book knew a sucker when they saw one?

        • adam

          You would think that Jesus and the New Testament would have a different view of slavery, but slavery is still approved of in the New Testament, as the following passages show.

          Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect
          and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

          Christians who are slaves should give their masters
          full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

          In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of
          beating slaves even if they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

          The servant will be severely punished, for though he
          knew his duty, he refused to do it. “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

          http://www.evilbible.com/Slavery.htm

        • adam

  • Miguel de la Pena

    After reading the first set of arguments described, i can only assume a “stupid” argument is either one you disagree with or one that not even most Christians view as arguments for Christianity.

    • No, it’s just a stupid argument. If you disagree–that is, you’d not be embarrassed to make the argument–tell us why it works.

      one that not even most Christians view as arguments for Christianity.

      Could be. Tragically, the number who use it is not zero. Hence the post.

      Get it now?

      • Miguel de la Pena

        Yeah, i got it after reading the first two or three. I’m not sure why you limited it to 25; maybe it got tough to make up more ridiculous arguments after that?

        • I dunno. I didn’t try. Your peeps gave me plenty of material.

          You think these are stupid? I agree. Hence the title. And you’re right–I have more than 25.

      • Miguel de la Pena

        I’m curious, since beating up straw men is so easy, would you be willing to admit there are any strong arguments for Christianity?

        • I haven’t tried beating up straw men. That seems like a non sequitur.

          No, I haven’t seen any strong arguments for Christianity. My distinction here is stupid vs. not-stupid.

          But if you’ve got some not-stupid or strong arguments for Christianity, I welcome hearing about them.

  • archaeologist

    the stupidity comes when those critiquing Christians do not understand nor accept the rules laid out for the believer by God. There is a reason why we do not take modern historians and secular scientists over ancient eyewitnesses–they are not believers and do not have the truth

    most of your arguments are distorted as I know many people who do choose to go to hell over going to heaven and they are proud of that decision

    Then, secular science’s and secular academic rules and fallacies are not written by God and have no authority .

    I guess if you want your readership to rubber stamp your personal unbelief I guess they will buy into the irrational and illogical thinking found in those supposed stupid arguments listed above.

    • Kodie

      When will you realize your faith is in what other humans told you? None of it was written by god, but you choose to make a superstition your authority.

      • archaeologist

        how else are you going to get faith? Both God and Jesus told humans what to believe, what is right or wrong and so on then they told their followers to tell others so yeah, someone told me about the faith.

        you would have to prove that none of it was written by God and you can’t. the evidence stacks up to God writing it.

        • Kodie

          How else are you going to get faith? You mean god is powerless to communicate with each one of us directly, so dictated his wishes to corrupt and mostly illiterate humans thousands of years ago so everyone could interpret it how they felt like, and nitwits like you could belong to a cult?

        • archaeologist

          God is not that powerless but why should he humble himself to you and other unbelievers and talk to them directly?

          since they weren’t illiterate you need to update your mental file on biblical writers. how were they corrupt? what evidence do you have that they were (and I mean credible and legitimate evidence)

          Yes it had to be thousands of years ago so that everyone has a fair chance to hear the truth and the way to salvation. you do not want God being unfair do you?

          and no, everyone cannot interpret anyway they want. The instructions from Jesus are: ye shall know the truth & follow the HS to the truth.

          why insult and lie about someone on the internet? It just ruins any credibility you may have thought you had

        • Kodie

          I don’t think your reading comprehension is too good. The “HS” is whatever the fuck you want it to be, please, a perfect god would have a lot better idea. This was made up by people who wanted to scare the shit out of other people.

        • archaeologist

          #1. i asked you for evidence, you failed to present any but decided to do a lot of cursing which tells me it is time ot exit the discussion.

          #2. HS means Holy Spirit and God chose this way of doing it so his record of perfection is intact.

          #3. if it was made up, it wouldn’t have made it out of the 10th century BC

        • Kodie

          I’m sure all of your concerns are addressed somewhere. Does every new Christian think we never talked about it before?

          the stupidity comes when those critiquing Christians do not understand nor accept the rules laid out for the believer by God.

          We understand, we accept you’re brainwashed skillet-headed problems being gullible and brainwashed and all your fallacious arguments, think you’re burning atheists with this junk, and all your brilliant evasion tactics, turning the tables, and blowing farts that you think sound intellectual.

        • archaeologist

          do i care? no.

          no, your reasoning is off. the only people brainwashed are you atheists.

          how is asking for evidence an evasive tactic?

        • Kodie

          You never provided any evidence.

        • adam

        • if it was made up, it wouldn’t have made it out of the 10th century BC

          Other religions made it out of the 10th c. BCE. Hinduism, for example. Are you saying that Hinduism is correct?

        • archaeologist

          the only reason those religions made it out of the 10th cenutry bc is because the Bible is true

        • Answer my question: Since Hinduism made it out of the 10th c. BCE, are you saying that Hinduism must be correct?

        • archaeologist

          you are a demanding little person aren’t you.
          my original statement was, if the Bible was false it would not have made it out o fthe 10th century. i was not discussing hindusim but stating a fact about the Bible.
          i have decided not to answer your questiuon because of your atitude.

        • you are a demanding little person aren’t you.

          And you’re not? You just gullibly accept supernatural claims as you come across them?

          my original statement was, if the Bible was false it would not have made it out of the 10th century. i was not discussing hindusim but stating a fact about the Bible.

          Whatever your argument is, it applies to Hinduism as well. If your argument shows that Christianity (or Judaism) is correct, then Hinduism is correct as well.

          Ever argued something before? I think you need more practice.

          i have decided not to answer your questiuon because of your atitude.

          Suit yourself, buttercup. If you have good evidence and want to test it out in the big leagues, go ahead. But if demanding evidence makes you sad, then I suggest you go back to the kids’ table.

        • archaeologist

          #1. how can I be gullible? You know nothing about me or my life. You assume way too much which demonstrates your inability to be honest and forthright

          #2. No it doesn’t for hinduism has no historical nature about it while the Bible is very historical and true. no one knows when the false belief of hinduism originated what its original writings were, how they developed or who wrote them

          http://www.patheos.com/Library/Hinduism.html

          #3. as fo rth einsults, I won’t be responding anymore.

        • Pofarmer

          “no one knows when the false belief of hinduism originated what its original writings were, how they developed or who wrote them”

          Psst, the exact same things are true about the Bible.

        • archaeologist

          no

        • Greg G.

          #1 You believe the Bible, therefore you are gullible.

          #2 The Bible shows that Judaism came from polytheism. The Epistles do not support the Gospels about a teacher from Galilee. That doesn’t make it reliable, it shows that it is unreliable.

          #3 You started by threatening everybody with eternal torture. Insults are a rather tame reply to that.

        • archaeologist

          #1. how is that being gullible? I am free to believe whatever I want, that very freedom you demand for yourself. Your hypocrisy is showing

          #2. Wrong on both accounts. The gospels are about a teacher from heaven which the epistles support.

          #3. I have made no such threats but answered a question about hell from one of your own. my initial posts say nothing about you all going to hell. your dishonesty is showing

        • MNb

          #1. Yes, you’re free to be as gullible as you like.

        • Greg G.

          #1 You don’t even know what “gullible” means. You have the freedom to believe what you want to believe, you can express your beliefs, and I have the freedom to question or criticize those beliefs. You believe credulous ly – that’s gullibility.

          #2 Have you read the Epistles? They say nothing about Jesus being a teacher or a preacher.

          #3 The following link is a tacit threat that Christians make all the time.
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/09/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid/#comment-2081471238

        • archaeologist

          #1. you would have to prove i was deceived or tricked to make that claim.

          #2.The epistles do not have to mention that Jesus was a teacher or preacher. the gospels already took care of that. why should God have to be redundant to please you?

          #3. i see no threat.

        • Kodie

          You seem to take this really seriously, but you also sound out of touch with reality. So there that is proof you’ve been tricked. You wouldn’t agree, because you are tricked into disagreeing that you were tricked.

        • archaeologist

          dumb and irrational

        • Kodie

          Yeah, you’re tricked. It’s obvious to everyone but you. Ha ha!!! You dummy.

        • Greg G.

          #1 You have already shown that you accept the Bible myths uncritically. You have swallowed it hook, line, and sinker. That’s gullibility.

          #2 Now you admit I was right. Thank you. You display gullibility by saying God had something to do with it.

          #3 You said in the context of a conversation about supernatural claims, “because you care about what happens to you.” That is implies something supernatural might happen to him. From a Christian who believes in hell, that is a hell threat whether they admit it or not.

        • archaeologist

          #1. who says your way of thinking is correct or the way I must do things?

          #2. no, i admit that you know nothing about the epistles and the gospels.

          #3. it wasn’t a threat but you will distort things to fit your purpose.

        • Greg G.

          #1 I have found that evidence is important in determining the most reliable approach to the world I am aware of. My beliefs are proportional to the strength of the evidence.

          #2 I said the epistles don’t support the gospels about a teacher from Galilee. You said they did. I reiterated my statement and you replied with excuses for why the epistles don’t talk about Jesus being a teacher or a preacher. I was correct from the beginning and corrected you.

          #3 Not everybody is as gullible as you are. You would do well to realize that. Implying that something might happen to a person has a lot of baggage coming from a Christian.

        • archaeologist

          #1. you would be wrong as the supposed evidence you use is very limited and partial. You are not getting the truth but someone’s assumptions, speculation, conjecture and wishful thinking all influenced by their unbelief.

          #2. I didn’t make excuses I told the truth. The epistles BUILT upon the Gospels and there was no need to do what you ask.

          #3. Stop saying that about me as you lie and misrepresent me. I should sue you for the slander

        • MNb

          #1. Yep – you make yourself look stupid again. Exactly because the evidence is so scarce it’s so highly important. Unintentionally you just confirmed what Greg G wrote.

          #3. Hey, why don’t you sue me? I would enjoy it, because it would make you look even more stupid, gullible bigot.

        • Greg G.

          #3 Oooh, another threat! First you have to show you are not gullible when #1 and #2 show that you are. Second, you are anonymous so nobody knows who you are except those you reveal yourself to so you are not harmed. Revealing your actual identity would make you look even more gullible.

        • MR

          Stop saying that about me.

          If you stopped to realize that you are in fact gullible, you would be thanking him for pointing it out.

        • archaeologist

          you people are no longer allowed to call me a liar for you lie about me all the time.

        • Kodie

          May god strike us dead!

        • archaeologist

          don’t tempt God.

        • Kodie

          May god strike you smart!

        • archaeologist

          he beat you to it. I graduated from my masters with straight A’s save for only one B+ and from my doctorate with the highest grade point obtainable

          You are not as smart as you think

        • Then we have high expectations for you.

          What’s on your mind? Your favorite apologetic arguments?

        • archaeologist

          i do not jump to high expectations.

          I find your list insulting, uneducated, unresearched and just down right out to lunch.

          i also see, as in argument #3, that you impose your own standards upon God’s actions and then condemn God for not meeting your ideas. That is just wrong as God doe snot meet your standards, you must meet his.

          Your idea that believers impose a God of the gaps when science can’t explain everything and that is just a fallacy of the highest order. There is no divine or ultimate authority saying that science must explain anything; science has placed itself in that position.

          We have the explanation for our origins, it is found in Genesis 1, we do not need science to say one thing at all.

          Your list is just an exercise in futility on your part as you seek to reinforce your own unbelief and attack others who think differently from you. They are allowed to do so and they are not stupid for doing so.

        • i do not jump to high expectations.

          Nor do you meet them.

          I find your list insulting, uneducated, unresearched and just down right out to lunch.

          Thanks for sharing. With that out of the way, perhaps you’d deign to do something actually useful, showing us where the points are flawed. Anything else is just bragging about how big your dick is. And looking at the Escalade with spinning rims you just drove up in, it looks like you’re compensating.

          you impose your own standards upon God’s actions and then condemn God for not meeting your ideas.

          Precisely. I don’t know that God exists and I have no option but to evaluate the evidence for God to see if it makes sense. I evaluate the evidence on my terms—that’s just how it works.

          You do it differently? Show us. Demonstrate your improved way by evaluating Xenu or Quetzalcoatl or Vishnu. Or do you begin by declaring that they don’t meet your standards; you meet theirs?

          There is no divine or ultimate authority saying that science must explain anything; science has placed itself in that position.

          Or not. Science simply has the better track record. The score for explaining things in reality, last time I checked was: Science, 10,657,533; Religion 0.

          Science ain’t perfect; it’s just better.

          We have the explanation for our origins, it is found in Genesis 1

          Are you a biblical literalist w/r Genesis 1?

        • archaeologist

          i do show where some were flawed but you seem to ignore those.

          your standard is not authoritative, objective, just, or better than any other human’s.

          They do not meet God’s.

          yet secular science is not dealing with reality, it is inventing its own and it is lacking. oh and it hasn’t explained one thing better than the Bible.

          of course. The Bible is inerrant.

        • MNb

          “secular science is not dealing with reality, it is inventing its own”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Secular science produced your computer so according to you belongs to its invented reality. Why do you still use it?

          “The Bible is inerrant.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Then the ratio between the diameter and the circumference of a circle is 3 according to you. The Bible says so in 1 Kings 7:23 and 2 Chro 4:2.
          Also bats are birds, Lev. 11:13-19 says so.

        • Gee, for someone with a doctorate, you sure seem like an idiot. Maybe you got yours from a Cracker Jacks box.

          Don’t waste our time with the empty assertions–God exists, the Bible is inerrant, etc. We’re doing you a favor here: we’re giving you the chance to show that these claims are true.

          Either show us, with evidence and argument, or stop wasting everyone’s time.

        • adam

          “of course. The Bible is inerrant.”

          Of course you are a LIAR..

        • Kodie

          You seem determined to hit every stupid argument on this list. Your arguments in defense are all “stop saying that, it’s not true, stop being mean and saying mean things!!!”

        • Kodie

          From a bible college – worthless.

        • MR

          I believe I said you were gullible. As Greg pointed out, you accept the Bible myths uncritically. Accepting things uncritically is a pretty good definition of gullibility.

        • archaeologist

          So? That doesn’t make me gullible it makes me a believer in God and his word.

          your ideas of critical thinking are wrong and not the standard one needs to use

          and you are not the judge of what type of thinking is gullible or not.

        • MR

          Accepting things uncritically is not a sign of gullibility? I have some ocean front property in Arizona I can sell you cheap.

        • archaeologist

          but I do not have faith in you so why would I accept such an offer?

          you really do not understand how faith works do you?

        • MR

          Your right. There’s a difference between faith in a person and faith in a non-existent being. I’m curious, who told you the bible is true?

        • MNb

          #1. You say it – without words of course, but you say it every time you drive your car or turn on your computer. Every time you do such thing you accept the superiority of secular scientific thinking – and that’s the way we on this blog try to think as well.

          #3. Oh yes, this ” choose to go to hell over going to heaven” is a threat. You meant to say “make the wrong choice” (ie accept unconditionally what I write) “or you’ll be punished eternally after you die.”

        • adam

          “#3. it wasn’t a threat but you will distort things to fit your purpose.”

        • how can I be gullible? You know nothing about me or my life. You assume way too much

          You begin with an assumption that the Bible is correct! You’ve told me so yourself.

          I’m asking you: do you gullibly accept every supernatural claim you come across? If not, then you’re just presupposing what you want to be true—not what someone who seeks the truth does.

          No it doesn’t for hinduism has no historical nature about it while the Bible is very historical and true

          Do you truly not know how the game is played? Around here, you don’t just assert stuff. You provide evidence for it.

          You don’t evaluate two religions and discard one by simply asserting that your favorite is the winner.

          as fo rth einsults, I won’t be responding anymore.

          There is a god!

        • MNb

          If that’s a fact it applies to hinduism as well ….
          If it doesn’t apply to hinduism it’s not a fact.

        • MR

          i have decided not to answer your questiuon because of your atitude.

          Bob isn’t the only one who is curious to hear your answer. Please don’t hold it back. The rest of us would like to know, too. Doesn’t your logic imply that Hinduism is also true?

        • archaeologist

          no. because hinduism can only exist if God and the Bible is true. If the Bible were false, hinduism would not exist.

          it is a false religion designed to lead people away from the truth.

        • MR

          no. because hinduism can only exist if God and the Bible is true. If the Bible were false, hinduism would not exist

          That sounds like upside down world to me. Are you saying Hinduism is based on the Bible or is there something I’m missing?

        • archaeologist

          no it isn’t because you have to have something that is true before you can have something that is false. if the Bible isn’t true then NO religious belief would exist

        • MR

          What? That’s quite an assertion. If I say, “If Hinduism isn’t true, then NO religious belief would exist,” you would balk.

          You’re going to have to do better than make a baseless assertion. Show me that either statement is true or false.

        • archaeologist

          it is a fact not an assertion.

        • Kodie

          Are you typing to us from an asylum?

        • archaeologist

          and you think an atheistic world would be better than a Christian one. judging from your posts, you need to change as you demonstrate that atheism has nothing to offer anyone

        • Kodie

          Being detached from reality so far as you are is not one of Christianity’s greatest features.

        • archaeologist

          i am not the one who is detached from reality, you can’t even digest and honestly consider what i wrote

        • Kodie

          I honestly consider what you wrote to be false. There’s nothing there to argue about.

        • archaeologist

          your choice. a bad one but you are free to do that

        • Kodie

          You poor sheltered thing, you have no idea how crazy you sound to normal people.

        • adam

          “your choice. a bad one but you are free to do that”

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          What you write about secular scientist is totally detached from reality.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Actually Kodie doesn’t think an atheistic world would be better. Neither do I.

        • adam

          “and you think an atheistic world would be better than a Christian one.”

        • MR

          That is also an assertion.

          You have to show your work. There is no reason to believe either the Bible or Hinduism is true.

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You don’t even have any idea what a fact is.

        • Rudy R

          “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.” – Christopher Hitchens.

          You haven’t demonstrated that the Bible is true.

        • archaeologist

          no one said hitchens was ever correct

          i am not going to perform a dog and pony show for you. if you haven’t seen enough evidence by now then what can i do to influence your thinking?

          remember, the key is faith

        • remember, the key is faith

          Amazing. The worst means of learning and discovery possible. That’s worse even than a guess, because with a guess, you’re open to new evidence and can change to a better guess. Not so with faith.

        • archaeologist

          do you really think that faith is absent of intellectual reasoning, rational thought and logical investigations?

          how do you think people choose to believe? by flipping a coin?

        • do you really think that faith is absent of intellectual reasoning, rational thought and logical investigations?

          You’re the one who said, “remember, the key is faith.” Perhaps I just misunderstood–what does that mean?

          My guess is that’s not synonymous with: “Remember, they key thing is evidence. Be honest and follow the evidence where it leads, regardless of whether that’s where you expected you’d go or not.”

        • archaeologist

          of course I did and yes you did as you do not really know what is entailed by the word faith.

          You place your own ideas and definition upon the word and whether willfully or not, you seem to think that faith is some brainless activity meant for the dumb and uneducated.

          it takes a lot of rational and logical thought to come to faith in Jesus and the bib le. Arguments need to be analyzed, thought through, the cost of a decision must be analyzed and on it goes.

          you and others really do not know what faith is or what is involved. faith is a decision to believe something after investigation is done. it is a decision to make when God places a burden upon one’s heart to be saved.

          it is not brainwashing or simply believing what one is told. there is far more to faith than you realize.

        • Despite your fears, I’ve read many times this variant of “faith.”

          If you meant what I offered (“Remember, they key thing is evidence. Be honest and follow the evidence where it leads, regardless of whether that’s where you expected you’d go or not.”), you would’ve said that. You didn’t. Instead, you gave me a dissertation.

          You initially said, “Remember, the key is faith.” If that were synonymous with following the evidence where it leads, you’d have said that instead.

          Following the evidence I have respect for. Anything else–not so much.

        • archaeologist

          well not much can be said then because you will not get all the physical evidence you desire. even the physical evidence takes faith to accept as evidence.

          faith is always the key

        • MNb

          “the physical evidence takes faith to accept as evidence.”
          See that you’re not capable of logic? I already refuted this and will refute it again.
          I can hear, see, taste, feel and if it produces odour, even smell my computer.
          I can formulate a logical, consistent and coherent hypothesis why the thing I observe is a computer.
          No faith involved.
          You’re not capable of learning. “Cuz god and his Bubble.

        • And what is “faith”? If it’s a belief firmly and honestly based on evidence and argument, then call it “trust.” I like trust.

          Any other definition for “faith” makes it useless for finding out about reality.

        • adam

          “faith is always the key”

        • MNb

          “it takes a lot of rational and logical thought to come to faith in Jesus and the bib le. ”
          Thus far you have produced exactly zero of such thoughts. But you remain invited.

        • MNb

          “intellectual reasoning, rational thought and logical investigations”
          Well, you have shown exactly zero signs of stuff like this.
          Hey – this is exactly what science does. So suddenly you claim to do the same as those secular scientists you scorned. Unsurprisingly consistency is not your forte.

        • Kodie

          The key to believe in whatever you’re selling (poorly) is the ability to ignore reality, which is another way to say faith. For no given reason, you have chosen to detach yourself from the real world on the supposition that there’s a good reason the stories don’t match what’s about you, and believe the stories anyway.

        • archaeologist

          I am not selling anything {but donations are appreciated. Just leave something in the offering basket by the door}

          I am not the one who is detached, stop speaking for me or about me, you are off and wrong every time.

          Your belief is that secular science is actually dealing with reality but it isn’t as it has rejected reality and sought an alternative idea.

        • Rudy R

          There are some people who agree with Hitchens, so another claim by you that is patently wrong. And I’m not asking you to put on a show, just show a little evidence to back up your assertions. If you can presuppose the Bible is the word of God, I can presuppose that it’s not, so that argument gets you no where, ergo my reference to Hitchins. If you want to debate an atheist on the veracity of your god, quoting scripture won’t sway an atheists position one iota. I do agree with you that faith is the key to believing in a god, for which atheists are void of. We base our understanding of how the universe works by reason, logic, and empirical evidence. Anything short of that will usually result in condemnation, which I’m sure you’re tired of, which incidentally, no one else is immune to, even atheists.

        • adam

          //

        • Greg G.

          Are you using circular logic now?

        • Rudy R

          If you apply your logic, that you have to have something that is true before you can have something false, why is the Bible the default true? To follow your logic, Hinduism could be true and the Bible false.

        • archaeologist

          hinduism could not be true for we know nothing about it, its founder, its original writings, we also do not know if those writings have been edited over time.

          then we see no cult or false religion copying from hinduism. We see them appropriate biblical teaching and mixing that in with their own.

        • Rudy R

          The same reasoning you apply to the writings of Hinduism should be applied to the Bible. We do not know who wrote most of the Bible, especially the Pentateuch and Gospels. It’s been generally regarded by scholars that Moses was not the author of the Torah and that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are not the actual authors. In addition, the original Bible does not exist. At best, we have copies of copies and most scholars agree that they are not perfect images of the originals. So we don’t know what the original authors wrote word by word.
          And your just plain wrong that cults or religions didn’t copy from Hinduism. In fact, many of the tales that are found in the Maha-Bharata, which predates Judaism, are found in the Torah. Adamis and Hevas (Adam and Eve) is one such example.

        • adam

          ” if the Bible isn’t true then NO religious belief would exist”

          And OBVIOUSLY the bible isnt true

        • MNb

          Hinduism is older than christianity …..

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Vedic_religion

          You don’t make any sense anymore.

          “it is a false religion designed to lead people away from the truth”

          How sad that your god didn’t deem it necessary to send another son of his to India as well.

        • archaeologist

          why should he? one was enough

          hinduism is not older than Christianity since we use the OT as well so that means we go back to the beginning of time while hinduism only enjoys about a 3000 years run or so

        • Rudy R

          Since you don’t like Bob’s attitude, I’m going to ask very kindly. Since, in your assessment, the Bible is not made up because it made it out of the 10th century BC, then it would follow logic and reason that Hinduism is not made up, because it made it out of the 10th century BC, correct?

        • MNb

          Eh …. your god doesn’t exist. Non existing being usually produce exactly zero evidence. That’s why you are the one who has to provide evidence.

        • why should he humble himself to you and other unbelievers and talk to them directly?

          Because he created us and loves us deeply? Or is this a trick question?

        • archaeologist

          but he did speak to you directly, you just do not accept the form he used. read the Bible and see his words to you

        • Why should I read the Bible? Why not other holy books?

          How about you–have you read lots of other holy books to see if they’re correct? Or did you just stop with the religion of your culture?

        • archaeologist

          it is the most popular book of all time, people’s lives have changed because they read it, it gives you the truth and on it goes.
          the other books are not holy their gods do not exist

          i had a comparative religions class in middle school which i took on with my own choice.

        • A similar argument could be made for the Koran and Islam. Maybe I should go in that direction instead … ?

        • adam

          “it is the most popular book of all time, ”

          Yeah, CRAP is VERY popular

        • adam

          “read the Bible and see his words to you”

        • MNb

          “God is not that powerless but why should he humble himself to you and other unbelievers and talk to them directly?”
          Ah, so he is arrogant. In that case he won’t bother if I believe in him.

          “so that everyone has a fair chance to hear the truth”
          Like the people living in the interior of the Amazon or New Guinea, you mean?
          If your god had wanted to give them a fair chance he would have send himself disguised as his son at least twice.

        • archaeologist

          he loves you so yes it bothers him when you reject him and his offer of salvation

        • adam

          “he loves you so yes it bothers him when you reject him and his offer of salvation”

        • archaeologist

          p.s. http://blogs.christianpost.com/faith/rip-elisabeth-elliot-1926-2015-25813/

          “Among their many accomplishments, Bert and Colleen planted more than 100
          churches in the Amazon jungles, Andes mountains, and coastal desert
          regions of Peru. On many occasions, they risked their lives.”

          it might be wise on your part to do some studying first before speaking

        • Kodie

          That means they have no faith in god.

        • MNb

          Yeah, why do you insult and lie about BobS on the internet? You totally did in your first comment above.

        • archaeologist

          yet i didn’t do that so stop twistng and distorting

        • MNb

          Unsurprisingly we have another christian who neglects the best part of Jesus’ teachings – this time Matth. 7:3 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

          What did our fake archaeologist write again?

          “the stupidity comes …..”
          That’s an insult.

          “I guess if you want your readership to rubber stamp your personal unbelief”
          And that’s a lie.
          Christian bigots like you will never admit the error of their ways. They claim that everyone is a sinner, but never apply this concept to themselves. You’re no exception.
          And I think that funny, because you effectively undermine your own belief system this way.

        • adam

          “God is not that powerless”

          Of course it is…

        • What good is faith? I’ll trust based on good evidence, but I have no use for poorly evidenced faith.

          You have the burden of proof wrong. If you claim that God exists, you need to provide evidence of that remarkable claim.

        • archaeologist

          what good is faith? It is God’s requirement.
          I have no burden of proof as the Bible already exists and states his existence as does the universe and everything in it.
          you are making the wild claim he doesn’t exist so the burden of proof lies with you

        • God made faith a requirement? Sounds like a made-up god. No real god would need faith. I don’t need faith to know that the sun exists, for example.

          You most certainly do have the burden of proof. You’re making the remarkable claim. Show us.

          For this argument, I’m making no claim at all. I’m simply willing to consider your evidence with an open mind. Now provide some.

        • archaeologist

          what evidence are you looking for?
          are you going to consider it with an open and honest mind?

          i told you of the requirement and you basically laughed it off so why should i do anything else?

        • I’m looking for interesting new argument. If you want to see the kinds of arguments that I’ve already considered, click on the All Posts tab and scan the posts. Or use the Search box. I’ve responded to many Christian apologetics.

          To state the obvious, I won’t be impressed with one that I’ve already heard and responded to.

          i told you of the requirement and you basically laughed it off

          You gave me theology. I’m already familiar with the theology. Anyway, why imagine that it’ll be compelling to me when you aren’t impressed with the theology from the other religions?

        • archaeologist

          then why respond to me? I am only going to give you the truth. it starts with faith

        • adam

          ” I am only going to give you the truth. it starts with faith”

        • adam’s image is pretty devastating (though your statement by itself is self-lampooning). I can add nothing.

        • MNb

          How exactly does faith establish what’s true and what’s false?

        • MNb

          “what evidence are you looking for?”
          Whatever evidence you will bring up for you god. Logical arguments will also do.

          “you basically laughed it off”
          Yes. We don’t discriminate and laugh all faith-based claims off. That’s what we are atheists for.

        • archaeologist

          well then, you won’t be getting any evidence for that takes faith as well. no evidence says Moses was here or David slept here.

        • adam

          “well then, you won’t be getting any evidence for that takes faith as well.”

        • MNb

          Nope. Empirical evidence doesn’t require faith. It requires senses: the capability to see, hear, taste, feel and smell. Arguments do not require faith either. They require the capability to think logically.

        • adam

          “It is God’s requirement.”

        • Kodie

          The burden of proof is for you to demonstrate. I can leap to conclusions from looking at the universe too, I can leap to conclusions from reading the bible as well. They tell me right away, there is no god. They are just as well evidence of no god.

        • archaeologist

          how do they tell you that there is no God? they exist and you cannot find any alternative mechanism that is powerful enough to produce them so your argument is from silence not evidence

          anything secular science claims is from wishful thinking nor from scientific fact that has been observed or replicated.

        • Kodie

          What you have is a circular argument, and anyone can make them to conclude whatever they wish. That’s not why I’m an atheist, but you seem to have your prejudices and lies in place about that.

        • archaeologist

          how is it circular? if we talk about Ford inventing the Model T we say Ford invented the Model T. there is nothing circular about it it is stating a fact

        • Kodie

          You assume the universe was invented by a conscious being from looking at the universe with a presupposition of a creator. You assume the bible is correct because the bible says it is. These are circular arguments.

        • archaeologist

          i do not assume, i know. your mind reading ability needs a tune up

        • Kodie

          I don’t trust you to know anything but what the inside of your butt looks like, you are just bizarre.

        • archaeologist

          of course you wouldn’t. you do not want to hear the truth

        • Kodie

          You’ve been wrong about everything so far.

        • MNb

          “anything secular science claims is from wishful thinking”
          With the exception of internet of course, for which those same secular science must praise your god.

          “how do they tell you that there is no God?”
          As for your favourite Holy Book: because it’s badly outdated compared with our 21st Century knowledge. Internet enables me to communicate with someone thousands kilometers away. Your god nor his son could pull it off – the people living in the America’s and Papua Guinea had to wait many, many centuries to learn about your great hero Jesus.

        • archaeologist

          how can it be outdated when nothing has trumped it or brought a better way. 21st knowledge does nothing to solve crime, family problems nor does it stop sin or save people from it.

          you have nothing over the Bible

        • adam

          ” you have nothing over the Bible”

        • adam

          “what good is faith?”

        • adam

          “I have no burden of proof as the Bible already exists and states his existence as does the universe and everything in it.”

        • MNb

          I don’t have faith. Not your god nor Jesus told me what is right or wrong. My parents did, plus my loved ones.

          “the evidence stacks up to God writing it”
          Nice double standard. For your own position you are satisfied with faith. It’s good enough for you. To contradict you you suddenly demand evidence.

        • archaeologist

          they had to get it from somewhere.

          oh and right and wrong and morality come from God no one or thing else,

        • adam

          “oh and right and wrong and morality come from God”

        • adam

          “oh and right and wrong and morality come from God no one or thing else,”

        • Greg G.

          Faith is the problem. You need faith in order to believe information came from God and Jesus. All religion insist that faith is required for their beliefs and they are as fervent in their beliefs as you are. Since all the religions are incompatible, they cannot all be true, so most people who use faith are wrong. Therefore, faith is unreliable.

        • adam

          ..

        • archaeologist

          all that says is that science doesn’t have the truth and never will have the truth.

          faith helps us to see the difference between what is true and what is false. science cannot do that

        • MNb

          Correct. Science is not as arrogant as faithful you.

          “faith helps us to see the difference between what is true and what is false.”
          Yeah. That’s why religious folks have slammed each others heads for several millennia now – they claim to hold the truth ’cause faith but somehow are not capable of agreeing in any other way than by using violence.
          That’s one reason I don’t have faith and don’t claim the truth. I have some better things – knowledge and understanding. You seriously lack those two things and hence make your self look stupid over and over again.

        • Greg G.

          faith helps us to pretend to see the difference between what is true and what is false.

          Fixed it for you.

        • archaeologist

          no you didn’t. you just lied about what I said.

          do me a favor and do not touch my words.

        • Kodie

          Demonstrate exactly how faith determines for you what is true and what is false…. I don’t think you’re a liar, I don’t think you pretend. I think you’re sheltered and have been lied to, abusively. You sound sick and in need of exposure to reality.

        • archaeologist

          you have a problem and when you are ready to deal with it let me know

        • Kodie

          There’s no reason to listen to you at all. Your entire case for faith rests on how detached from reality you don’t realize you sound, and nothing else. Why would anyone be convinced this is the way to go?

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t lie. I clearly emphasized the changes I made and stated that I made changes.

          If you don’t want your words touched, then shut up.

        • adam

          All that says is that FAITH is self delusion

          And that explains why NONE of you completely agree on what the ‘truth’ really is..

        • Greg G.

          how else are you going to get faith?

          You should be asking how to get rid of faith. Faith is gullibility. Those who tell you that faith is good want you to give them money without asking too many questions.

        • archaeologist

          only to you. no one said those who use faith will be perfect or use it as God intended but then atheists are known to throw the baby out with the bath water

        • MNb

          There is no baby. There is only bath water.
          Faith has resulted in religious wars. I’m happy to throw them away. Perhaps you aren’t?

        • Greg G.

          There have been thousands of religions. Most contradict other religions so we know that most religions are wrong. One thing all religions had was people who believed as fervently as you believe yours. Another thing all religions have in common is a requirement of faith as there is no way to get their belief systems through reason. If faith has led people down so many wrong paths, then it is unreliable for discerning truth. You should reject faith and accept its enemy – reason.

          EDIT: removed SpellCheck’s apostrophe in “its”.

        • archaeologist

          you do not know what you are talking about

        • Kodie

          Greg G. knows more of what he’s talking about than almost anyone, and you are just in denial. Your poor faith cannot stand up to reality.

        • Greg G.

          Do you deny that there are thousands of religions? If they were the same, there would be one religion. Therefore most are wrong. How many religions do not require faith for beliefs?

          What I said is quite obvious. You are butthurt because you know I’m right.

        • archaeologist

          there is only one true belief and it requires faith.

          you do not grasp the full picture of why there are so many false religions in the world and I doubt you are open to hearing about it.

        • MNb

          :Faith is not capable of determining what’s true and what’s not true.
          A muslim, hindu and buddhist could have written your comment as easily as you do, all based on faith.

        • Greg G.

          There are so many false religions because faith is a poor way to determine truth. You haven’t demonstrated that there is even one religion that is not false.

          You don’t understand the power of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias.

          I am curious about your explanation for the many false religions, though. I am always open to a reasonable explanation of most anything.

        • MNb

          As long as you use faith to reject science you don’t know anything.

        • archaeologist

          secular science has nothing to offer anyone.

        • Said the guy who spends hours on his computer using the internet. And electricity. And lights. And cell phones.

          Who knows? You might be alive today thanks to the eradication of smallpox. It killed half a billion people in the 20th century.

        • archaeologist

          that is a tired old argument an done that ignores reality. those things would not exist if it were not for the God given intelligence and raw materials.

          no, smallpox was a big deal when i was born and for the next 22 years approx. you just do not get it. you credit science when science had nothing to do with anything

        • Yet more fun, groundless assertions.

          Yes, God exists. As does Zeus and Xenu and the Wicked Witch of the West.

        • archaeologist

          not groundless assertions because you cannot provide any source for the intelligence a person possesses. I can point to the Bible and show you where the intelligence came from but you cannot do so with any textbook or other work that supports your position.

          Again with your stupidity I see. Why attack people who advocate morality, right and wrong, educating people, taking care of the poor and who believe in a God who instructs them to do those things?

          Sure there are people claiming to be Christian who do not obey the Bible but then you are lumping them all together and that i snot right, intelligent, smart, or even journalistic.

        • Until you show us strong evidence otherwise, the Bible is just one more book of mythology, like all the rest. Fascinating from a historical standpoint, I’ll admit, but pathetic in that its fundamental claims are just myth.

          Once we agree that the Bible is a history book, then we can look to it for important evidence.

        • archaeologist

          in your opinion as you ignore the example of the hittites, the civilizations and cities in their correct time and place in history, numerous kings and pharaohs in their cdorrect time and place in history and on it goes.

          it isn’t that the bible is not credible as a historical document, it is the fact that you do not want to believe it which is the problem.

          oh and i do not care if you agree or not. The Bible’s standing as accurate and true doesn’t depend upon your agreement

        • MR

          If those are things you actually believe, you probably don’t want to tell people that if you want to win them over to your religion.

        • adam

          “secular science has nothing to offer anyone.”

        • MR

          And you complained about being called a liar?

        • MNb

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You disprove yourself by using your computer and internet.

    • God? Why should I believe he exists? Christianity’s supernatural claims look about as bogus as all the others.

      • archaeologist

        because you care about what happens to you.

        • Yes, I care. But why worry about the Christian hell to the exclusion of other hells? Maybe I should be a Buddhist to avoid their hell.

        • archaeologist

          since budda was a man, why would you worry about his hell for?

        • Since Buddhist hell is terrible, why wouldn’t you worry about it?

          http://www.lizaphoenix.com/demons/images/buddhisthell.jpg

        • archaeologist

          as i said, budda was a man, what he says doesn’t matter

        • Face up to uncomfortable challenges to your arguments like a man. No one cares about the particular differences between the various religions; if Christian hell should be feared, Buddhist hell should be as well. But if Buddhist hell is just made up, then what does that say about the Christian hell?

          You got no response? Then admit it. You’ll find that we’re not so harsh when you’re honest with us.

        • archaeologist

          you need to wait till i read your post before drawing your conclusions.

          you would be wrong and very illogical with that point as there is a thing called true and false teaching thus any teaching on hell outside of the Bible is false and not to be feared.

        • Kodie

          Logic is not your strong suit. Just sayin’.

        • Greg G.

          Islamic hell is worse and Muhammed got his information from an angelic messenger from the god of Abraham.

        • archaeologist

          no he didn’t and we know that by the angelic visitor’s and muhammad’s treatment of Christ

        • Greg G.

          Your way of knowing is just as absurd as the Islamic claim.

        • archaeologist

          how is faith absurd especially when secular scientists use it as well?

        • Greg G.

          That argument is taking equivocation to the level of complete dishonesty. Scientists use nothing like religious faith. Have you ever seen the work of real scientists?

          You are repeating what you have heard other Christians say. You shouldn’t be so gullible.

        • archaeologist

          then you haven’t read any of their works.

          don’t tell me what i am or am not doing. it just makes you look stupid

        • Greg G.

          Everything in science is provisional. Scientists back up their claims with evidence and expect it to be overturned by better evidence or to lead to better explanations that build on their work.

          Bible thumpers are not like that.

          There is no need for me to make you look stupid. That is your core proficiency.

        • archaeologist

          #1. that tells everyone that secular scientists do not have the truth and do not care about it.

          #2. if it isn’t true and it will be overturned, then it is not evidence.

          #3. more lies added to old lies. secular science has nothing

          #4. We do not have to follow secular science rules or even any secular rules. We have God’s rules to abide by and that means faith is the key not evidence.

          #5. I am not the one looking stupid as I am the one who knows the rules and you do not.

        • MNb

          #1. No. Truth is for religious bigots like you. We will pay attention as soon as all the religious bigots in the world have developed a method to settle their issues. Last few millennia they couldn’t think of anything better than war and we happen to think that an unconvincing method.

          #2. Showing you don’t understand science. Let me guess – according to you the Universe is about 6000 years old?
          As long a theory or hypothesis is not overturned we can accept it. Empirical evidence that contradicts a theory or hypothesis makes that theory or hypothesis wrong.

          #3. “secular science has nothing”

          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          Internet. Medicine. Planes. Nuclear bombs.

          #4. BWAHAHAHAHA. The only scientific rules that are also moral (like honesty) are the ones you claim to accept as well …..
          We don’t have to follow the rules of your god, because there is no god. Of course you will start babbling about heaven and hell again and subsequently deny it’s a threat …

          #5. You again did an excellent job looking stupid with this comment.

        • Greg G.

          Science, being provisional, doesn’t pretend to have ultimate truth, it can only eliminate false claims. That’s why so many religions hate science. Their claims are scientifically testable.

          Evidence is what it is. It is neither true or false. The inferences made can be true or false. Science came help to eliminate the false inferences by testing the further implications of the inference.

          Did you know we didn’t have cell phones or personal computers a few decades ago? Thanks science. Have you ever seen the technology in an ICU of a modern hospital? Thanks science. When I was young, if i wanted to change the channel on the TV, I had to stand up and walk nine feet to do it. Thanks science. Science has changed our lives a great deal over a few centuries using the scientific method. The greatest technological advance of the Christian world for the previous thousand years was the flying buttress so they could build bigger churches to milk superstitious people of their meager earnings. Thanks religion.

          Science doesn’t give rules to live by. Religion enforces some wicked rules, especially many of those in the Bible.

          Do you follow the tithing rule of giving 10% of your income so you have a place to sit during a song and dance routine you call a church service? How dumb is that?

        • adam

          ” Religion enforces some wicked rules, especially many of those in the Bible.”

        • archaeologist

          Then science is of no good if it cannot produce answers or the truth.

          I am so tired of that worn out argument that science is the great benefactor to mankind when it could do nothing without God given intelligence and raw materials.

          so you are saying that science is immoral and advocates immorality unethical behavior and so on. Dr. Mengeles wotk for the NAZIs then cannot be construed as wrong or evil by your logic.

          If that was any of your business I would answer you but your insulting nature means this discussion is over

        • Kodie

          Science learns actual things about actual reality. Religion just makes up stories that do not match reality, and you seem to know it. You stand by on your faith that there’s a good reason you’re being told things that don’t match reality. That’s why you sound detached from reality. You’re tired of hearing how science is reality-based. You do nothing to support your delusions. I’m surprised your mom even lets you near a computer.

        • archaeologist

          sadly for you the other poster on your side disagrees with you. he said that science can only prove things false and can do nothing else.

          which is probably news to the inventors of modern technology

          oh and secular science is not reality based. hate to burst your bubble but secular science is subjective theory based only.

          oh and I doubt if i will be answering any more replies for awhile. you all have proven that you know nothing and are not interested in learning the truth

        • Kodie

          That’s not an accurate assessment of what he said. You don’t say true things, just delusional things. Why are you so stubborn and bitchy? You have no relationship with reality and that’s the truth! I can say things and you just deny them, then you say things, and I deny them, where are we going here? Did you have a plan or just spitting nonsense?

        • archaeologist

          you really have a mental problem don’t you. you do not even know the difference between lying, paraphrasing, recalling from memory and so on. I would suggest that you put down your hate and get a little understanding

        • Kodie

          You didn’t paraphrase it accurately. I highly doubt you have an advanced degree, from elementary homeschool maybe. Your way of expressing yourself in assertions and logical fallacies gives away your lack of understanding, and the things you say are factually incorrect. You’re seriously just whining to us.

        • [science] could do nothing without God given intelligence and raw materials.

          An empty assertion. Show that God exists first.

        • archaeologist

          why are you writing a blog on Christian topics then if God doe snot exist. Christians should not bother if he really did not exist

        • why are you writing a blog on Christian topics then if God does not exist

          Perhaps you don’t live in the U.S., because if you did, you’d know.

          Here, Christianity is the 800-pound gorilla. Conservative politicians crawl over each other to show how religious they are. An atheist can’t get elected to dog catcher. Christians try to get prayer in school and Creationism in the science classroom. They try to make abortion illegal or, failing that, to make it inconvenient.

          And so on and so on. You’d hardly know that the Constitution was boldly secular.

          That’s why.

        • archaeologist

          nice way to avoid my question. Again I will ask, why does Christianity bother you if God does not exist?

          Why write on it if it is a false religion? You do not write on Mormonism as extensively or the children of God or some other cult so something makes you attack Christianity.

          You do realize that all conservative politicians are not Christian right?

        • nice way to avoid my question

          Nope, it was my best effort at answering your question. If reminding you of the impact that Christianity (even without a god) has on society didn’t do it, then I’m unable to answer it.

        • archaeologist

          if God does not exist, according to you, then what Christians do should not bother you and you would be writing about issues providing a better solution wihtout mentioning Christians, God, Jesus and so on.

          you reminded me of nothing but your own failure to understand the issue. people have free choice thus you cannot hold Christianity accountable for those people who chose not to believe.

          one would have to ask why you chose not to believe?

        • MNb

          “if God does not exist, according to you, then what Christians do should not bother you”
          See that you’re not capable of logic? What christians do bothers us because what we do bothers them, as you confirm over and over again.

        • what Christians do should not bother you

          It depends on what Christians are doing, doesn’t it? The God belief—true or false—doesn’t enter into it.

          Christians are causing harm within society, driven by a false belief. See the connection?

          you cannot hold Christianity accountable for those people who chose not to believe.

          Stay on topic, please. No one is saying this.

        • archaeologist

          “Christians are causing harm within society, driven by a false belief. See the connection?”

          so only Christians are causing harm to society? I guess the abortion providers are not, the homosexuals are not and on it goes. Your views are very limited as are your accusations.

          “Stay on topic, please. No one is saying this.”

          I am on topic. Just because you choose to ignore all those people who disobey the law and who are not Christians is part of the problem and shows you will look the other way when it is people you agree with or like.

          Your attack on Christianity is not honest

        • No, lots of people cause harm in society. But the abortion providers and homosexuals aren’t, at least not due to those roles.

          There are lots of things wrong with society, not just Christianity, but that’s what I’m focused on.

        • archaeologist

          so you turn a blind eye and become dishonest about Christians even though you believe their God does not exist.

          again, I have to ask, why are they bothering you so much especially since we know you ignore all the other people who cause worse problems in society than the Christian?

          Do you not think that abortion is worse than name calling from the picket line? I do not see any Christian teaching advocating that a mother can kill her child via a surgical procedure.

          I think you are biased and hate-filled making you worse than the Christians you write about and guess what, you are one of the people you write about as you make trouble for others in society

        • Dishonest? Defend that charge.

        • adam

          “if God does not exist, according to you, then what Christians do should not bother you”

          Obviously it doesnt bother YOU…

        • Kodie

          It’s the people.

        • Greg G.

          Science is a tool. A hammer can be used to drive a nail or smash a finger. Any tool can be used for good or bad.

          In the middle of the 19th century, the Bible was used to justify slavery and to argue against it. It was used as a tool.

          Science is the best method we have for eliminating bad ideas and for developing and evaluating implications of the remaining ideas which can eliminate more wrong ideas. Ideas built on the stuff not proven wrong might be right. It is unlikely that wrong ideas will bring any usable ideas but those that can lead to new knowledge are probably right.

          That shows that the scientific method is the best method for determining wrong ideas from good ideas. If your religion has a problem with science, the problem is your religion. Just change your religion. People are doing it in droves. It doesn’t matter. Nothing bad happens to them when they do.

        • archaeologist

          do you have anything other than tired and worn out arguments to use???>

          science is not the best method we have. it can’t even weed out its own bad ideas but allows them to stay around just in case.

          since science is not immune from the sin and corruption that entered the world at adam’s sin, it cannot do as you think. it doesn’t have the qualities needed to make such determinations and you only have subjective human consensus not any truth when all is said and done.

          no, you need to change.

        • “science is not the best method we have”

          What’s better?

        • archaeologist

          knowing the truth

        • Kodie

          You haven’t said a correct thing in the time you’ve been here, nor have you said anything smart about how you think you know any of those things. You don’t have a masters degree, you write like you’re 12.

        • MR

          Yeah, I’m thinking home-schooled middle schooler.

        • Greg G.

          I guess a sophomore as he is very sophomoric.

        • … with a lax approach to spelling.

        • adam

          “knowing the truth”

        • MNb

          That’s not a method.

        • Which is useless. How do we know the truth? Show me a better route to the truth–a route that someone else could follow–than science.

        • archaeologist

          The Bible.

        • Kodie

          The bible tells me it’s not true. Where the bible claims its truth, is like a liar saying “trust me”. In the rest of the bible, it does not conform to reality.

        • MNb

          Aha! The ultimate authority on math, saying that the ratio circumference and diameter of a circle is 3. The Bubble says so, so according to “archaeologist” it is true. Period.

        • The Bible? Get with the program, man! Dianetics has the actual truth! (Or is it the Book of Mormon? Or the Gitas? I forget, but it’s one of those holy books …)

        • archaeologist

          ahhh i see that you are dumber than you accuse me of being.

        • Kodie

          Nobody else sees that.

        • MNb

          “science is not the best method we have”
          I’ll accept this as soon as you can produce something comparable to internet, planes, submarines, nuclear bombs and gaschambers with a non-scientific method. If you can’t I will laugh in your face.

        • Greg G.

          do you have anything other than tired and worn out arguments to use???

          I limit myself to reality-based explanations.

          science is not the best method we have. it can’t even weed out its own bad ideas but allows them to stay around just in case.

          Such as? You are projecting.

          since science is not immune from the sin and corruption that entered the world at adam’s sin, it cannot do as you think. it doesn’t have the qualities needed to make such determinations and you only have subjective human consensus not any truth when all is said and done.

          no, you need to change.

          Except for your belief system, everything is immune to Adam’s sin because it is an imaginary tale.

          If one serpent beguiled A&E, why were all snakes punished? Some say that serpents are not snakes, then why did all snakes except for sea snakes get the same punishment as serpents? If sea snakes are not punished, why are terrestrial poisonous snakes punished? Some say that the serpent was Satan, but why were serpents punished at all in that case? Should you be punished for what Satan does while he is disguised as you?

        • Pofarmer

          “science is not the best method we have. ”

          Eh?

        • adam

          “since science is not immune from the sin and corruption that entered the world at adam’s sin,”

        • MR

          I am not the one looking stupid as I am the one who knows the rules and you do not.

          I’m pretty sure you’re the one looking stupid. Your basic logic skills are hugely flawed.

        • archaeologist

          wrong again… your ignorance of the truth displays your lack

        • MR

          Oh, look, another baseless assertion.

          And yet, you’re the one with the flawed logic of, “the Bible is true because it came out of the 10th century bc,” then hand wave rather than admit your logic is flawed when it is shown you that Hinduism also came out of the 10th century bc.

          A religion coming out of the 10th century bc has nothing to do with it’s truth. Flawed logic on your part. My statement stands.

        • Kodie

          #5. It looks like you’re determined to make every stupid argument on this list series of stupid arguments. You didn’t read to find out what’s stupid about them, nor seem to have any interest in or ability to make stronger, more intelligent arguments.

        • adam

          “#5. I am not the one looking stupid as I am the one who knows the rules and you do not.”

          So are YOU following the rules?

        • MNb

          “then you haven’t read any of their works”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          You’re a champ producing non-sequiturs.

          “don’t tell me what i am or am not doing. it just makes you look stupid”

          Not necessary. You yourself already do an excellent job making yourself look stupid.

        • adam

        • adam

          ..

        • So we start with the premise that the Bible is correct. Gee … I wonder where that will lead us. And I wonder where we’d end up with the premise that the Koran or Gitas or some other holy book were true … ?

          Probably with the conclusion, “Christianity is true!”

        • adam

          ..

        • MNb

          You need to read his post before you start commenting here.

          “there is a thing called true and false teaching”
          Hey, we agree! And here we have a false teaching:

          Matthew 5:39 “Resist not evil, but whoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
          In Luke 22:36-37 Jesus did not turn the other cheek. Hence his teaching was false.

          Luke 21:7 “they asked him ….. when shall these things be?”
          Luke 21:32 “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.”

          Two thousand years later many generations have passed away and we’re still waiting ….
          Hence his prophecy was false.
          Jesus was not a god.

        • adam

        • MNb

          Jesus was also a man and so are you. What you two say doesn’t matter according to you.

        • archaeologist

          illogical argument. Jesus wasn’t a man he was also God.

        • Greg G.

          If Jesus was a man who said he was God, what he says doesn’t matter.

        • adam

          “Jesus wasn’t a man he was also God.”

          illogical argument

        • archaeologist

          your meme is wrong. he did not create people with original sin and he did not make himself a sacrifice for himself.

          i was under the impression you were already aware of the trinity and felt i did not need to mention it.

        • adam

          Come on mention it, mention it…

        • MNb

          Because you and your favourite Holy Book say so I must accept that Jesus was also god?
          Sorry, I’m not as gullible as you.

        • That’s all I need–you’re say-so.

          I’m now a believer–praise the Lord!

        • MNb

          Since Jesus was a man, why would I worry about his hell for?

        • TCG

          Lol

    • MNb

      “There is a reason why we do not take modern historians and secular scientists over ancient eyewitnesses–they are not believers and do not have the truth.”
      Excellent circularity! So you have to be a believer to believe the truth.
      Hey, let me tell you a little secret. Internet is also developed by secular scientists. Many of them are not believers. Don’t use it – it will distract you from the truth!

      • archaeologist

        talk about an old and tired argument. GUESS WHAT— they used God given intelligence, curiosity and raw materials to develop the internet and computers (among other things) science owes everything it has to God.

        • AlissaA

          If science owes everything it has to God than why did you state that “secular science’s and secular academic rules and fallacies are not written by God and have no authority”? Do you think science works until your particular religion is examined?

        • archaeologist

          owing something to someone does not infer or mean that everything they do or say is of God.

          you owe your house to the loan company or bank yet do they influence your rules on how to raise your family?

        • MNb

          Ah, yes, of course, you are totally in love with your circularity ….
          When secular scientists conclude and/or develop something you like (like internet) they owe it to your god.
          When they arrive at a conclusion you don’t like with the very same method you prefer ancient witnesses.
          And you top it off with a false analogy.
          Parents and bankers do not use the same method. Secular scientists who develop internet but dismiss when you don’t like the results totally do.

        • archaeologist

          we prefer the truth which the secular world, scientists etc. does not have.

          i see you decided to miss the point being made

        • Greg G.

          Yet our knowledge has grown exponentially by scientific investigation that stopped trying to explain reality in terms of God.

        • MNb

          GUESS WHAT – modern historians and secular scientists who you don’t take over ancient witnesses ALSO use “God given intelligence, curiosity and raw materials” to arrive at their conclusions. In your own logic they own them to your god as well.
          Even within your quite silly framework you’re wrong.

        • archaeologist

          they owe their thinking, their intelligence, their investigative thought and so on to God. what they do with it is up to them

          i am just simply trumping your tired and worn out argument

        • adam

          “they owe their thinking, their intelligence, their investigative thought and so on to God. ”

          And yet YOUR claim is that Adam and Eve dont owe original sin to the same ‘god’

          And what does Haggard OWE his hypocrisy on?

    • adam

      “the stupidity comes when those critiquing Christians do not understand nor accept the rules laid out for the believer by God.”

  • TCG

    Ummm… #3 if it is wrong now, it was wrong then. I know this is going to be stupid but was it wrong when Europeans took the Africans to the U.S. to work on plantations? No they thought it was smart they got money. I am NOT trying to start an arguement at all. But yea. But it wasn’t the kind of slavery that we knew though they were maids not plantation workers or farmers nor were they herders. Just maids they worked in the households like delivering babies I guess I’m not dismissing the fact that God left them there as SLAVES but they were usually Gentiles he never said in the exodus that women were subjected to be slaves. Just focusing on that part of the question and arguement

    • Greg G.

      Exodus 21:20a When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod…

      Exodus does recognize female slaves.

    • I”m asking about our evaluation. We say that slavery was wrong now, and it was wrong in 1861 at the start of the U.S. Civil War. Therefore, it was wrong in Old Testament times.

      I’ve written a lot about how American slavery and Old Testament slavery were the same. Let me know if you can’t find those posts.

      • TCG

        Okay so let’s bring African slavery into it, they were owned as workers had no rights, beaten brutally and were never freed, Old Testament slavery they were freed after 7 years they had rights they wee not brutally beaten at all

        • Kodie

          Were they owned?

        • MR

          Or beaten?

          Exodus 21:20-21: How to beat your maid and get away with it.

        • Kodie

          Of course they were beaten, because it’s productive to beat your labor animals to get them to work, to train them to obey, etc. If you beat them too much and disable or kill them, you’ve only fucked over yourself, because slaves cost money to replace. This wasn’t a method to be more humane to your slaves than you might be inclined to be, any more than you’d plan to be humane to your washing machine. Biblical slaves also had rights, like go free and leave your family with us, or remain with your family, a slave. I don’t think OSHA was involved at all.

        • MR

          “Let’s see, bruises…, lacerations…, hmm…, can’t seem to find a pulse…, oh, nope, still breathing; you’re good to go! Here’s you’re certificate of slave ownership. Just sign here and I’ll be on my way.”

        • Incorrect. Only male Hebrew slaves were freed after 7 years. Foreign slaves were not freed. And owners could beat theirs slave so long as they didn’t die.

        • Beau Quilter correctly observed that Hebrew slaves were released after 7 years, pretty much like indentured servants in America. And foreign slaves were kept for life, pretty much like chattel slavery in America.

          The OT and American systems were pretty much identical.

          I’ve written more here.

        • Kodie

          I like that idea that there’s a worse slavery so the gentlest most rationalized description of slavery in the bible wasn’t too bad. For life is a big difference from seven years, but seven years vs. freedom and autonomy, which one is wronger? What do the religious come up with?

        • The argument often asked is, “So you’d be OK with Old Testament slavery being law in this country then? And how would you feel about being a slave yourself?”

          They never seem to respond to the question head-on. Weird.

        • Greg G.

          You don’t hear this from Christian sources much. They always get it wrong.

          This passage shows the distinction between three types of workers:

          Exodus 12:43-45 (NRSV)43 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: This is the ordinance for the passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, 44 but any slave who has been purchased may eat of it after he has been circumcised; 45 no bound or hired servant may eat of it.

          Indentured (bound) servants were freed after 6 years. In the US, they were freed after 6 years. Here are two passages that describe this:

          Deuteronomy 15:12-17 (NRSV)12 If a member of your community, whether a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you and works for you six years, in the seventh year you shall set that person free. 13 And when you send a male slave out from you a free person, you shall not send him out empty-handed. 14 Provide liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your wine press, thus giving to him some of the bounty with which the Lord your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; for this reason I lay this command upon you today. 16 But if he says to you, “I will not go out from you,” because he loves you and your household, since he is well off with you, 17 then you shall take an awl and thrust it through his earlobe into the door, and he shall be your slave forever.You shall do the same with regard to your female slave.

          Exodus 21:2-6 (NRSV)2 When you buy a male Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, but in the seventh he shall go out a free person, without debt. 3 If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s and he shall go out alone. 5 But if the slave declares, “I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out a free person,” 6 then his master shall bring him before God. He shall be brought to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.

          Notice how a Hebrew could be tricked into becoming a permanent slave using family values? The Bible spells it out clearly for the slave owner exactly how to do it.

          Women did not get the indentured servant option.

          US slavery laws did not allow indentured servants to become permanent slaves. I have read that when there was dangerous work to be done, it was the indentured servants who were forced to do it, especially as they neared their release date. The slaves were a long-term investment to the owner. He wouldn’t want to risk them blasting out stumps with nitroglycerin. It probably wasn’t much different 2500 years ago, except for the high explosives.

          Exodus 21:7-11 (NRSV)7 When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. 8 If she does not please her master, who designated her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed; he shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt unfairly with her. 9 If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish the food, clothing, or marital rights of the first wife. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out without debt, without payment of money.

          Here is a passage on buying permanent slaves who could be passed on in a will:

          Leviticus 25:44-46 (NRSV)44 As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves. 45 You may also acquire them from among the aliens residing with you, and from their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. 46 You may keep them as a possession for your children after you, for them to inherit as property. These you may treat as slaves, but as for your fellow Israelites, no one shall rule over the other with harshness.

          Notice that fellow Israelites were not to be treated with harshness, which implicitly allows non-Israelites to be treated harshly. How harshly?

          Exodus 21:20-21 (NRSV)20 When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

          A foreign slave could be beaten to death without penalty if they suffered at least a day before expiring. The punishments were harsh in surrounding verses but was unspecified here. That would allow for a slap on the wrist.

          There are some laws about Jubilee where slaves were released every fifty years. There is no record of that ever happening. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time but it got canceled before it was implemented.

          The slavery laws of the US were originally following the Bible slavery laws. The laws became more severe over the years.

        • James

          Why would Christians concern themselves with Hebrew history and paganism of the old wine bag other than learn as anyone else about society of that time? Get it wrong? What purpose is there to negate the info?..It is what it is..can’t do anything about historical references to seemingly injustice towards others..we try to right wrongs today….why blame Christians?..If they quote scripture..how do they ”get it wrong”and you get it right??

        • Greg G.

          Are you saying that slavery is right or wrong? Many Christians defend slavery and genocide because it is in the Bible. It is wrong now and it was wrong then. The archaeological evidence shows those genocides never happened anyway yet some Christians argue that it did happen and it was OK.

          Why ask me why they would do that? You should ask them. Or are you defending those Christians? Are you one of those?

      • James

        Do you know why women in Africa pierced their mouths,noses and ears and stretched their skin so badly to make then unattractive?..Islam ..To distract Arab men seeking women and forced into Islam or being their whores..which Muhammad allowed…same as today….except anywhere Islamist go..so goes the culture and civility…why?? The law of Moses..the Law demanded perfection and retribution was merciless….Jesus said..He fulfilled the Law for those who believe..so be it..Thanks Bob…

        • I’m trying to get a mental image of these African women. Sounds fine to me. I must just have taste.

          If you’re making a point about Islam, make it.

  • apollo99

    1. The consequences of atheism are depressing. This doesn’t make atheism false, but we should admit the truth. Atheism, as Bill Maher and others have said, atheism is a luxury. If you’re in prison for life, or if you are very sick, atheism offers nothing positive at all. Also, it’s just wrong to say the christian doesn’t have an ultimate meaning for his/her life.

    2. I agree that this is a bad argument for God’s existence.

    3. In judging God’s actions as an atheist what moral standard are you referring to?

    4. There are good arguments that Matthew and John are eyewitness accounts. Even if they are not, you have to cherry-pick which scholars to use to get the result you want.

    • Kodie

      It’s wrong for the Christian to claim ultimate anything, meaning or morality. You have subjective meaning and subjective morality, you are just dishonest. Whenever I am imprisoned, I will derive comfort from knowing I was not dishonest and seek no dishonest comfort from false righteousness. That’s all bullshit.

      • James

        Jesus is the ultimate standard bearer of morality….to us He was perfect..not us…..why would you think you’re honest and the other guy is not?

        • Greg G.

          Severely beating a slave for doing wrong is moral? How about lightly beating a slave that didn’t know what to do? That’s your standard bearer of morality? Why not “Don’t Own People!”

          The Old Testament could have forbidden slavery. Instead it forbid eating shellfish and picking up sticks on one day of the week. We are way beyond Judeo-Christian morality.

        • MNb

          “Jesus is the ultimate standard bearer of morality
          Like when he drowned innocent pigs? (Marcus 5)

        • Kodie

          All Christians selectively interpret what they wish the bible to say, you included. You get your morality from other people. It is not ultimate, it is subjective. So you are dishonest while claiming an ultimate authority. Who? You??? I’m supposed to take whatever you babble and assume it comes straight from gawd? You’re a person and in no way capable of producing evidence of any god, or demonstrating any objective morality. I am honest because I understand that morality is subjective, either way.

          DO YOU UNDERSTAND? SHOULD I TALK SLOWER?

    • Greg G.

      #1 We have heard accounts of lifelong Christians on their deathbeds who fear hell tremendously because they still fear they missed something.

      Atheism allows one to celebrate every day of life because of the realization that there is a limited number of tomorrows.

      A Christian might have a meaning for life but it would be stretch to say that a valid meaning comes from religion, unless they are into false and indeterminate hope.

      #3 Any standard that says slavery is wrong, genocide is wrong, drowning every living thing but one boat load is wrong, messing with Job over a bet is wrong, seeing how far a man would go with killing his son is wrong…

      #4 Matthew copied almost all of Mark and half of that was verbatim while John also used Mark. Matthew supplemented the story with OT passages. John 3 has a conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus. When Nicodemus misunderstood the “born again”/ “born from above” statement, it is a clue that the conversation was in Greek as the two phrases sound similar. But Josephus says in Antiquities of the Jews 20.11.2, “..I have also taken a great deal of pains to obtain the learning of the Greeks, and understand the elements of the Greek language, although I have so long accustomed myself to speak our own tongue, that I cannot pronounce Greek with sufficient exactness; for our nation does not encourage those that learn the languages of many nations…” so it is unlikely that Jesus and a Pharisee would be speaking Greek in Jerusalem during the Passover celebration. It wouldn’t be kosher. The author was making up a story that only worked in Greek. None of the rest of John should be considered reliable.

      • Kodie

        Sidetrack – stupid question about Noah’s ark but I need to know.

        So god told Noah he had to build an ark, which is not just a big boat, or is it just a big boat? It is often depicted like a weird ship with a literal cabin on top. Well, he’s going to need to stash a lot of animals, I get there needs to be enough room, even if literally taken, there wasn’t enough room for all the animals, but you bring a black horse and a white horse and some sticks, you’re covered for zebras. Often the animals on Noah’s Ark depicted are exotic and large “game” animals of Africa and some flamingos. Maybe had something to do with the location of the ark when the rain started to come down, but you never seen dogs, chickens, or buffalos getting on that ark.

        Anyway, that’s not my question. I don’t think it’s explicit in Genesis, but it took a damn long time to drown everyone on earth – or did it? Some people must have had boats and got in them when the waters started to rise (taking the story as if it were true). Didn’t we have some speculative apologist in the past few months making extra-biblical assumptions? Such as everyone on earth was given something like a year to apply to board Noah’s boat.

        It rained for a long time, and then Team Noah was floating around for even longer before the flood receded and they could land. This excessive amount of time implies some people being too damn hard to kill. They found higher ground, they had boats of their own, they remembered to bring food. A long enough time passes where those with their own boats must have starved to death? Even if they were fishermen? I guess it’s hard to make a campfire on a rickety wooden boat. For that matter, Noah’s Ark floated aimlessly for half a year? A year? With no means of steering or sailing, and it stayed relatively close to where it started. Meanwhile, the focus of the story remains how long the rain lasted and how long the flood lasted, and how Noah and his family came through! Nobody ever talks about why it rained or flooded so long, to kill those last few aggravating bastards who managed not to drown or starve.

        Is Ararat a particularly high mountain either? We know there are higher altitudes on earth, and yet nothing indicated a place to land until a tree. The earth was flooded to kill all the humans and the unfortunate animals, but the olive tree was fine and in leaf, even after living underwater. Such was their understanding of botany – no plants were preserved on the ark, since plants are just fine, like living versions of rocks.

        • Greg G.

          If you think the story itself is absurd you should see the apologetic explanations. The Ice Canopy in space collapsed to explain where the water came from, for example. Genesis says it rained for 40 days and 40 nights but 40 just seems to mean “dozens”. It’s like in Greek, “myriad” means “ten thousand” but it was often used to mean “a gajillion”.

          The Flood lasted a year. They have no idea which mountain is Ararat. The Ark had no known steering mechanisms but there was no destination, either. It wasn’t big enough to hold all the species of life, even if they were all babies. The apologists say Noah took “kinds”: the horse kind, the dog kind, the cattle kind, two cat kinds. Then they went through hyperevolution when the Ark landed, then stopped evolving after about two hundred years. It is amusing to try to get them to define “kind” in a sensible way. It sounds good in church until you try to explain it.

          They never get around to explaining how salt-water fish survived if it was fresh water or how fresh water fish survived if it was salt water.

          Also consider that there would have to be a year’s supply of food. Subtract what the amount of food that went into growth and the rest would have to be hauled to the top to be dumped. One creationist believed they had a moon pool in the hull of the Ark to dump out the crap, not understanding that the Ark would have to be pressurized to keep it from being a huge leak.

        • Ken “the Hamster” referred to only 1000 or so kinds on the ark, which makes it the same as a family or order, I think.

          Yeah, that’s hyper-evolution all right.

        • Greg G.

          There was the ape kind but humans weren’t part of it. How come chimpanzees are genetically more like humans than gorillas and orangutans?

        • You’ll just have to ask that when you get to heaven, brother.

        • It didn’t take that long because (at least one of the two interleaved versions) has water coming, not as mere rain, but through doors in heaven (the sky is blue because of all the water behind the shell, y’know) and bursting up from the underwater sea.

          Good point about other people with boats. What about the people who happened to be on boats at the time?

          Noah’s ark was so immense that it would’ve been very fragile in stormy seas. A toy sailboat will get tossed about but never broken, while to build an enormous ship like an oil tanker, you must use steel because of the forces acting on all that length.

          I think Ararat is a range of mountains, not a single peak. That’s why the hope of finding the ark is kept alive in some of the nuts.

          Yeah–what sense does it make that you can douse the land in salt water, but a tree will sprout and grow in just months afterwards. Salt as a fertilizer–who knew?

          I’ve written a couple of posts. You can search “Noah.”

      • Fascinating bit about Josephus, thanks.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe it was left over from the Maccabees era.

          PS: I came across that recently while studying the Testimonium Flavianum, comparing Gary Goldberg’s paper that shows a relationship with Luke’s Emmaus Road pericope and Ken Olson’s paper showing that TF has several phrases used by Eusebius. I thought it would be useful combined with the John 3 conversation and was glad to use it before I forgot where it was.

        • I hear that a near civil war broke out in the Antiochus Epiphanes (sp?) period, where some Jews were Hellenized and others remained more traditional. The first were seen as traitors by the second.

          The first became the Sadducees and the second the Pharisees. Is that how you’ve heard the story?

        • Greg G.

          No, I hadn’t. I saw something about the way Hellenized Jews were treated during that time but I couldn’t verify it in Josephus. I saw where one of them was killed for trying to sacrifice swine on the altar.

        • Greg G.

          I was working on the TF thing so I only looked at Antiquities. I should look at Jewish Wars if my wife doesn’t have plans when I get home.

        • Greg G.

          I got halfway through Jewish War 1 but my eyelids got heavy. Antiochus favored the Hellenized Jews and banned Judaism.

          2 Maccabees 6:1–11 has an account of two women being paraded around and tossed of a wall for having their sons circumcized.

          Wikipedia says that Antiochus stepped in after the civil war started:

          The First and Second Book of Maccabees painted the Maccabean Revolt as a national resistance to a foreign political and cultural oppression. Modern scholars argue that the king was intervening in a civil war between the traditionalist Jews in the country and the Hellenized Jews in Jerusalem.[8][9][10] According to Joseph P. Schultz, “Modern scholarship on the other hand considers the Maccabean revolt less as an uprising against foreign oppression than as a civil war between the orthodox and reformist parties in the Jewish camp.”[11]

          It seems that the traditionalists, with Hebrew/Aramaic names like Onias, contested with the Hellenizers with Greek names likeJason and Menelaus over who would be the High Priest.[12] Other authors point to possible socio/economic motives in addition to the religious motives behind the civil war.[13]

          What began in many respects as a civil war escalated when the Hellenistic kingdom of Syria sided with the Hellenizing Jews in their conflict with the traditionalists.[14] As the conflict escalated, Antiochus took the side of the Hellenizers by prohibiting the religious practices that the traditionalists had rallied around. This may explain why the king, in a total departure from Seleucid practice in all other places and times, banned the traditional religion of a whole people.[15]

          I’m still curious about the origins of the Sadducees and Pharisees but the need to sleep is winning that civil war.

        • Pofarmer

          A short exchange I had with Mathew Ferguson,

          “Isn’t it around Eusebius time that the Testimonium Flavianum shows up in Josephus? It seems early Christians weren’t shy about manufacturing evidence.
          Reply
          adversusapologetica says:
          July 6, 2015 at 3:11 pm
          The arguments for full forgery place it at that time. Peter Kirby (Early Christian Writings) has been discussing a lot of the issues recently relating to the Testimonium Flavianum on his blog:

          http://peterkirby.com/2015/05

          Interestingly enough, I learned from TAing a fall of the Roman Empire class last quarter that Eusebius had interest in Josephus for more reasons than just 1st century Palestine. He also had interest because Constantine was modeling himself as a second Vespasian. So, there is a lot of stuff going on with Eusebius’ use of Josephus. It has both religious and political elements (Eusebius was a sneaky kind of shyster that way).”

      • apollo99

        1. My friend has a son who has an IQ lower than the average chimpanzee’s. Christianity offers him hope. The idea that he can rejoice in every day as an atheist is ludicrous.

        This is something atheists say all the time–that they can celebrate every day because death is breathing down their necks. Whoops! Did my changing the wording make the idea seem ludacrous again?

        Assuming the evidence is accepted and someone then follows it and becomes a christian then all the joy, ecstacy, bliss, happiness, friendship, love, hope, and meaning of this life is the WORSE they will ever have to experience. As an atheist, all the pain, hassles, frustrations, sicknesses, aggravations, and unhappiness is the BEST they will ever experience.

        3. Answer the question! As usual, atheists avoid this question.

        4. Matthew uses 91% of Mark. Why wouldn’t he if he agreed with it? To say he copied it is to display ignorance since Matthew often compressed what he borrowed from Mark. But there is no Sermon on the Mount in Mark and of course much else that Matthew has is not in mark as well.

        John used Mark? Please provide evidence or show where valid evidence can be found.

        The rest is conjecture and really kind of pointless.

        Have a good night!

        • Greg G.

          1. Religion gives your friend false hope and empty promises.

          Christians have the same problems and the same joys but with the nagging doubts roiling in their cognitive dissonances.

          3. I answered the question. If you want me to say God’s standard, it would be God’s arbitrary and subjective standard. If a standard is to be called objective, it would have to be absolute and it would hold no matter what God said. If God is interpreting it for us, we cannot legitimately trust him. We would have to be able to know it apart from God. Otherwise, the best we can do is our own judgements based on empathy and logic. The Bible account of God’s morality reveals a monster.

          The Bible has so much horrible morality in it, one must have a good sense of morality to know the good from the bad, but if you already have a good sense of morality, you don’t need the Bible.

          4. Look at what Matthew dropped out of Mark. It appears to be totally for theological reasons. Mark is an allegory with allusions to the Old Testament. Matthew interpreted the allusions as prophecies and added more of his own.

          The Sermon on the Mount Site: James and the Sermon on the Mount by Robert I. Kirby shows a strong correlation between the Epistle of James and Jesus’ words in Matthew. Kirby doesn’t make the connection but that much correlation smacks of Matthew rewording James’ ideas into red letter text for Jesus.

          Here are a few that I think Kirby missed:

          James 2:6-7, Matthew 5:25-26
          James 2:10, Matthew 5:19
          James 2:18, Matthew 5:16

          James never quotes Jesus, even when a “Jesus said” would have made his argument much better. The knowledge in the epistle is from someone who knew the Old Testament very well. Notice that in James 5:10-11, James talks about the suffering endured by “prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord”, not the suffering of the Lord himself, as 1 Peter 2:20-25 does, though 1 Peter does it in terms of Isaiah 53 instead of from a recent memory.

          So if you want to use the over-used habit of making up a common source, it couldn’t be a list of Jesus quotes, or James would have quoted Jesus. If it was not a list of Jesus quotes, Matthew was lying about Jesus saying those things.

          That means there was no Q and Luke copied Mark and Matthew. I suspect he knew John but disagreed with the Lazarus story and blew it apart.

          Here are some of the stories that John got from Mark:

          John the Baptist
          Travel to Capernaum
          The Cleansing of the Temple
          Destroying the Temple and Raising It up in Three Days
          Bridegroom and the Bride
          Feeding of the Five Thousand
          Walking on Water
          Visit to Gennasaret
          Woman Anoints Jesus in Bethany
          Prediction of Peter’s Denial
          Garden of Gethsemane
          Peter in the Courtyard intercalated with the Trial Before Annas
          The Mocking of Jesus
          The Crucifixion
          The Burial of Jesus

          The intercalation is a whole method of showing simultaneous action borrowed from Mark. Jesus had prophesied that Peter would betray Jesus so while Jesus was being slapped around and ordered to “Prophesy!”, his prophesy was coming true. Nobody could be in two places at once to know the two things were going on at the same time. It is the story telling technique of the Omniscient Narrator.

          Compare notes on the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Common elements align in order except John 6:10b mentions the number 5000 where Mark 6:40 mentions their seating arrangements by number and mentions the number 5000 in Mark 6:44. John follows Mark all the way to Gennasaret.

          Mark made the story up by combining 2 Kings 4:42-44 about a smaller feeding by Elisha with one of the feasts attended by Telemachus in the Odyssey. Mark used Homer a lot but it is typical for him to combine a Greek text with some verses from the OT.

          Mark wrote a fiction. The other Gospels copied the fictional stories.

        • Pofarmer

          1. This is just so unbelievably fuckin stupid. I have a child with Hurlers syndrome. Google it. All the false hope in the world won’t change his prognosis or disgnosis one bit. You inow what did? Science. He is 12. 20 years ago he would have died an agonizing death before he was 2. Why don’t you give up on this moronic bullshit?

        • Susan

          .3. Answer the question! As usual, atheists avoid this question

          It’s a separate question.

          What you seem to be implying is that you’re getting it from an immaterial agent with ultimate moral clarity and without it, our standards are as meaningful as our choice of favourite ice cream.

          By what internal standard do you judge your agent good?

          I’ve found that theists never answer this question.

        • Jay Johnson Jr.

          It’s not necessarily that we believe that our morals come from a different place than yours do. All we are simply stating is that, as far as Darwinian evolution is concerned, morals mean nothing in survival of the fittest. For example: if you wanted a house, (mine, for instance) there should be no reason to pay for it. In survival of the fittest, if I’m too weak to stop you from taking my house, then you should have my house. You would be doing something on your own volition in order to provide yourself with safety and security. I certainly hope this makes some kind of sense.

        • Dys

          Survival of the fittest doesn’t describe how evolution works (at least not the way you’ve chosen to interpret it). Morality positively affects the fitness of the species, allowing social animals to interact more peacefully, thus allowing the species to have a much larger population.

          Darwinian evolution doesn’t imply what you think it does.

        • I certainly hope this makes some kind of sense.

          No, this makes no sense at all. As Dys made clear, “survival of the fittest” doesn’t mean “survival of the strongest and most savage.” We’re talking about fit in an environmental niche.

          Did it never occur to you that a tribe that had traits we would find wholesome (trust, empathy, honesty, generosity) might survive better than another tribe in which you always had to watch your stuff to make sure it didn’t get stolen?

          Humans are social animals.

        • MNb

          Which has been known since shortly after Darwin published his book. See Piotr Kropotkin.

        • MNb

          “In survival of the fittest, if I’m too weak to stop you from taking my house, then you should have my house.”
          Evolution Theory says nothing like that – in fact it explains why exactly the opposite happens as well.

          http://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/watching-the-detectives/peter_kropotkin_and_the_evolution

          http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/human_evolution/2012/10/evolution_of_cooperation_russian_anarchist_prince_peter_kropotkin_and_the.html

        • Kodie

          1. Hope that what? He was made that way on purpose? That his next life will be better?

          Stop saying there is evidence to be accepted. There are lies to be accepted. There are fallacies to make you comfortable because reality is too uncomfortable for you and your friend. The best I will experience is knowing that I didn’t fall for that weak shit.

          3. I answered it. But listen – you know slavery is wrong and you know genocide is wrong, don’t you? Your god apparently finds these to be good, and the only reason you know this is people working together for one another. Your lie of a religion has warped you to believe that without god, we wouldn’t work for each other, but the truth is you know slavery is wrong and genocide is wrong, and you know god is wrong for instructing it – knowing it is wrong is why you work so hard to try to make it seem like god was not that bad. The slavery was only “indentured servitude”! Excuse. See? “Those people were wicked”! Excuse. See? You know morality from outside the bible so that you can rewrite the bible because you know it makes god look like a terrible tyrannical piece of shit. You’re absolutely not comfortable with the biblical description of your god so you apply morality from outside of it to take the horrific edge off it, for yourself, it doesn’t work on us.

        • James

          clean up your responses..act like you have a brain..you sound like a ten year old child…I apologize to any child on this site for crediting him with a mentality equal to yours!

        • Dys

          act like you have a brain..you sound like a ten year old child

          Unfortunately, it appears that you lack a certain degree of self-reflection.

        • James

          I reflect quite often..just walked by the mirror..Read you own post Dys..please..read them..get back with me about flection stuff..

        • Dys

          I reflect quite often..just walked by the mirror

          And based on your comments, that’s about the only self-reflection you’re capable of. Which leaves you blind to the issues with your own posts.

          Reading my own posts will just result in me pointing out that you don’t know what you’re talking about. And since you’ve yet to demonstrate that you do (in fact, you insist on making incredibly dumb mistakes on a fairly regular basis), I don’t see the point.

        • Kodie

          You’re in no position to be so bossy. Your posts sound like they came from an overflowing toilet.

        • James

          Hi Kodie…..If the post seemed Bossy..I apologize..It was simply an attempt to hopefully make him aware of his word use in responding to others..don;t need to curse at others…no one is forcing anyone to BELIEVE in Evolution or Jesus..proclamations is all it is…sorry if it seemed BOSSY..not intended…

        • James

          Read about curses from the Old Testament..has nothing to do with the boy..but it does have many things to do with sin before Jesus……the boy was BORN that way..we/he are not created by God..we are created in the womb of a woman…by man…..you’r trying to make the guy seem illiterate..won;t work when you play with words to justify yourself…..Reality?..You portend reality is in the now and the grave is your home of the future… as far as you’re concerned….By your attitude it’s easy to tell you’re unteachable…you know what you know and all you know is assumed to be right…as far as you’re concerned…Morality is REQUIRED by God..that is why Jesus came…because you and me are SINFUL>>It is called the LAW OF MOSES!…Jesus fulfilled the Law so we may be saved.for those who Believe ..free will for all who has it..for those with mental disabilities incapable of understanding..shall pass through as blameless..it’s called GRACE..and Mercy..and you think we’re uncomfortable? No..you are…

        • Ron

          3. Answer the question! [Where did you get that standard?] As usual, atheists avoid this question.

          My standards are informed by several factors: empathy, compassion, social interaction, upbringing, logic and reason.

        • James

          Atheist are blinded by self righteousness…Remember what Jesus said and taught?…I feel for you friends dilemma..God bless you

      • James

        Death is a very personal thing that families experience. You can say anything about what you heard others say…you say atheism allows ?? No..you allow yourself that notion of celebration…atheism allows nothing….material world with no consequences after earthly life equals nothing…sinned or not..evil or good…forgiven or not….Redeemer or no Redeemer…same consequences…NOTHING. Valid reasons does not come from religion…nor your realization…look at your statement..”.A Christian might have a meaning for life but it would be stretch to say that a valid meaning comes from religion, unless they are into false and indeterminate hope.”..then look at your own reasoning….”Atheism allows one to celebrate every day of life because of the realization that there is a limited number of tomorrows.”…you defined our feeling..then justified yours…that’s atheism…arrogance to a fault…Dear sir..you have faith in your ”reasoning” without any thought of anyone elses….All religions cannot be true..a..all philosophies cannot be true…atheism is a philosophical view permeated with atheist scientist who have deceived so many gullible people into trusting them for lifes answers….Look at Jesus…He made it clear..He was the TRUTH and the Light…not just words..but action..talk about genius?…. …He did things that NO man ever has done and NOT ONE article exist in His day to repudiate His works or miracles or DEEDS…Not one exist from that time..you would think the Scribes…Sadducee s…Pharisees…someone would claim he never lived and it’s all a fabrication..Never happen until many years after His Earthly Life was ended did the nay Sayers come out with absurdities to denounce the Lord Jesus,,,just like today..atheist treat Jesus as just another guy with a motive..or He never existed….evidence? You better believe there’s enough justification to Believe the TRUTH>>Jesus..There is one valid reason you forgot about our faith!..Not the religion..the God Of our religion..The Word was made flesh so God could be seen and heard for a brief time as a witness to His existence through His SON!..That is OUR reasoning……about those standards you rattled off….I see what you’re saying..think we’re not aware of what God did? The scriptures make it clear..ALMIGHTY! not Mighty..ALMIGHTY…great difference…we are talking about a Creator that wanted perfection…Jesus was the Answer and because of His life and sacrifice…we are justified and forgiven..as Believers..Jesus is a choice..freewill is your choice…as believers we desire all be saved..love thine enemy!…..

        • Greg G.

          Atheism is not a religion. It is the position that there is insufficient evidence for a god or gods. It lacks the restrictions religion puts on the enjoyment of life. It doesn’t force you to believe stupid things so others will like you and not disfellowship you.

        • James

          Any organized religion requires a doctrine/or..dogmatism..it requires a source for empowerment….and it demands a code of ethics..atheism is a religion….it is based on scientific explanations that YOU must trust..your evidence is dependent on your trusting your sources…and those sources are dogmatic and arrogant..and they LIE and/or assume many things to adjust OUR thinking to a paradigm of evolution…….we must partake of your dogmatic/doctrine in order to go to University or public school… approached without questioning your sources…your definition would fit a weak atheist thought..not a strong atheist thought…there is a difference….your definition could easily be . regarded as an agnostic viewpoint… it depends…….the source of empowerment in evolution is a scientist/or group of scientist of like mind..atheist required .. who maintains the rhetoric..which is VERY subjective,,,,and somewhat laughable…if not downright disgusting….militant attitudes are becoming the norm from the Evangelist of evolution..those who proclaim all knowledge…Tyson..Dawkins….Sagan..Gould..Meyers..they’re your teachers and disciples of Darwin….Wallace..Linnaeus….etc…ethics?..you do not cross the line with these guys if you want a job in University..public schools…..anywhere were science is taught..they will be parroted as the truth bearer…no one else..that sir is a RELIGION>>you can claim all you want about evidence..and we say what we want about those assertions from those characters I mentioned..you call them scientist and we call them atheist first..then scientist..that creates a real problem..Its called INTEGRITY…it did in Russia..look at Marxism..and your religion….scientist..not all..resent questions about what they know..and they believe…

        • MNb

          “Any organized religion requires a doctrine/or..dogmatism..it requires a source for empowerment….and it demands a code of ethics..”

          Atheism doesn’t do any of those things. Hence

          “atheism is a religion….”
          is wrong.

          “it is based on scientific explanations”
          Nope, it isn’t.

          “those sources are dogmatic and arrogant..and they LIE and/or assume many things to adjust OUR thinking to a paradigm of evolution”
          You are the liar – you wrote that you are willing to discuss Evolution Theory based on evidence. You have shown exactly zilch such willingness.

          “the source of empowerment in evolution is a scientist/or group of scientist of like mind..atheist required”
          And another lie. Ah well, all creationists start lying sooner of later – usually sooner.
          Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller are prominent evolutionary biologists. They also are christians. They show that atheism is not required.

          “Tyson..Dawkins….Sagan..Gould..Meyers..they’re your teachers and disciples of Darwin”
          Third lie in a row. None of them are my teacher; neither am I a disciple of Darwin. Other people – you probably never have heard of, so ignorant are you – influenced my atheism. None of them are/were scientists.

          “Its called INTEGRITY”

          Something you totally lack, as your comment convinclingly shows.

        • James

          I don’t lie..I read Lee’s comments..#1..see the paradigm he uses to frame a debate? If he used his own conditions..which is what Atheist demand..he couldn’t possibly support the Big Bang..as a cause…He would have to ASSUME the conditions for the imploding universe that created singularity..as an effect…..Study Hoyle..he included mankind for goodness sake..thats science you guys BELIEVE..FAITH..like it or NOT!
          Quantum Equations Suggest Big Bang Never Happened

          …how do you debate assumptions that are not science but treated as facts by you ilk? Just because some scientist claims it..you buy it…Can’t debate assumptions and claim their facts…you stated I do..and you don’t?? Sir..with all DUE respect…What I said in my last comment is a FACT and provable,,,you don’t like the word..RELIGION….you have one…just don’t like to admit it..

        • Greg G.

          Atheism is nothing but recognition of the lack of evidence for God.

          Theists accept their dogma in spite of the lack of evidence and even in spite of evidence to the contrary. Many believe in an omnipotent and benevolent God but try to justify suffering that should not occur if their belief was true.

          Then there are Process Theologians who try to imagine a God who isn’t a personal being to get around those problems. There is no evidence to indicate their belief is true but they believe it anyway because they want to believe.

          Non-Christian religions are no different. It is all illogical.

        • James

          Claiming a lack of evidence is strange coming from atheist thought.You think because man evolved that proves no god exists, or a Creator wasn’t necessary?….Illogical? You think evolution is logical?.The more I read the comments from the atheist the more I see the Spock syndrome….Bean me up Scotty…..LOL

        • Kodie

          The more comments I read from Christians, the more I see evolution didn’t get to you yet.

        • James

          You’re right..we are children of God..not monkeys like you!

        • Kodie

          I haven’t seen your evidence that you’re not an ape, just blather, paranoia, and other uneducated nonsense coming from you.

        • James

          Kodie..apparently I bother you. Why? Is it my Blather..or is it your inability to express yourself without condemning others?..You have a sharp tongue…dull it

        • Kodie

          Is my intelligent use of language annoying to you?

          Is it hard to read? Is it difficult to understand?

        • Roder51

          No. You are a child of moron parents and the evidence is in every word you write. You know nothing of Science and evolution but yet you argue with people who do. I suspect your IQ and shoe size have a difference of 2.

        • Greg G.

          It is illogical to assume a creator without evidence of a creator. It is even more illogical to assume a creator in spite of the evidence that a creator is not a necessary explanation.
          Please, Scotty, please, beam this guy up.

        • James

          It is irrational to observe your own surroundings..and not see the OBVIOUS..CREATION….you deny what you see and hear and allow atheist scientist to tell you what you think you know..
          1912, Charles Dawson claimed to discover the first of two skulls in Sussex,
          England, that was believed to be a hominid. They named it Piltdown Man. He was
          supposed to be evidence of the ‘missing link’ in the the ‘evolution of man from
          apes’ line. Almost fifty years later, Dawson admitted it was a hoax, when the
          scientific community had almost entirely accepted the hypothesis of
          evolution. [………….deny it?..Now read Talk Origins explanation….another attempt to explain away a LIE….they are great at distortions…and yet…almost two generations BELIEVED the FACT……….by a SCIENTIST!

        • Dys

          James gets his information from creationist websites that have little interest in intellectual honesty. And he doesn’t understand how science works. In his bizarre notion, a single hoax should somehow completely destroy a scientific theory, even though the theory doesn’t rely on the hoax being perpetrated.

        • James

          1912, Charles Dawson claimed to discover the first of two skulls in Sussex,
          England, that was believed to be a hominid. They named it Piltdown Man. He was
          supposed to be evidence of the ‘missing link’ in the the ‘evolution of man from
          apes’ line. Almost fifty years later, Dawson admitted it was a hoax, when the
          scientific community had almost entirely accepted the hypothesis of
          evolution. [2].YOU WOULD HAD BOUGHT THIS HOOK LINE AND SINKER..and you still do!

        • Dys

          Nice copy/paste job. Unfortunately, neither you nor your source know what you’re talking about. Piltdown man was a hoax, but it was never unequivocally accepted by the scientific community. And the theory of evolution doesn’t rely on it.

          Stop getting your information from silly creationists sites.

        • Greg G.

          Piltdown Man would have caused problems for the understanding of human evolution had it been authentic. Even then it was not thought to be real. A couple of world wars happened and it took a while before the scientists could get back to it.

          Now as to your claims, how could Dawson admit to the hoax “almost fifty years later” when he died four years later? The hoax was exposed 41 years later. the dates are well-known. Why go with an exaggerated date of 50 years? You seem to be the person who has swallowed the creationist ignorance hook, lie, and stinker.

        • Roder51

          I think you mean Darwin Dumbo! You can’t even get his name right and you come here trying to convince others
          (smarter than you) of his achievements? Go away! You wreak of ignorance!

        • MNb

          “same consequences…NOTHING.”
          Consequences are nothing?

          “Look at Jesus…He made it clear..He was the TRUTH and the Light.”
          People say silly things all the time. Jesus was no exception. I wait, Jesus was god and you don’t need to prove god. You don’t care. Except that you care enough to write long rambling comments that don’t make any sense.

          “we are talking about a Creator that wanted perfection”
          and is imaginary.

          “Jesus was the Answer”
          to a question I never asked.

          “as believers we desire all be saved”

          I desire to be save too – from religious fools like you.

        • James

          I made sense..The problem you have is having the ability to comment without attacking me. I may be a religious fool to you, but not to most people. I think, based on your attitude, you’re confused and shooting the messenger

        • Kodie

          You might ask why such an omnipotent being would deprive himself of the glory he seeks by sending an uneducated blathering agent to shut us down. And you seem to think you sound coherent and sensible – let’s say most Christians manage to put together better sentences and paragraphs so we can at least read them without going blind. If you think we’re confused already, why are you trying to make Christianity sound like the religion of the illiterate and paranoid lunatic?

          Why would an omnipotent god send a messenger to make his message sound like total shit?

        • James

          I suppose God knew the audience I would address..and as always ..He was right!…When in Rome..do as Romans do..with 2 exceptions..never curse at you enemy and attack him personally…It’s called maturity….look up the word..and grow into it..

        • Kodie

          You, the blathering idiot, suppose, and then immediately conclude that god was “right”? Sounds like you believe whatever you want to believe. Take a hint – you can’t communicate effectively, and you represent your religion poorly.

        • Dys

          James, you’re not mature. You’re just another ignorant creationist.

        • MNb

          “The problem you have is having the ability to comment without attacking me.”
          Indeed. Because you don’t offer much content to attack.

          “I may be a religious fool to you, but not to most people.”
          I am not most people and thus this is irrelevant for what your wrote:

          “as believers we desire all be saved”

          “you’re confused and shooting the messenger”

          How can I be confused if messenger James doesn’t hardly has a message? Yeah, your message is that I can be saved. I already told you how I feel about that one. Your message is that I can share eternity in your company in heaven. Sounds like hell to me.
          So you start whining that I attack you because I express my honest feelings about your message. Ah well, all the more reason to shoot both messenger and what he thinks his message.
          Hey – how about your discussion of Evolution Theory based on evidence, as you promised? I haven’t seen anything by you. Makes you look untrustworthy as a messenger, you know.

    • 1. I guess. Seems to me that the Christian message is great only at first glance.

      “Christianity is great because you’ll go to heaven and see all your loved ones! Unless you roast in hell forever. Or one of your loved ones does, and then you’ll be in anguish in heaven forever.”

      atheism is a luxury

      Is this a First World/Third World problem kind of thing? Like people in the West can muse over heaven while impoverished people have actual problems to think about?

      3. I judge things by my own internal moral standard (which I suspect is pretty similar to yours).

      4. The claims that Matthew and John are eyewitness accounts are quite thin. Could be, but then the argument devolves into, “And the gospels might have been written by eyewitnesses! Or maybe not.”

      • apollo99

        1. Eternal life seems good only at first glance? Okay…lol.

        We don’t know whether we will see “our loved ones” in heaven. The NT doesn’t say.

        Hell in the NT is spoken of in terms of perishing, destruction, and the second death. After justice is done, those who have rejected God will cease to exist.

        3. Where did you get that standard?

        4. If you want to overlook the evidence we have that’s your perogative.

        • 1. Eternal life seems good only at first glance? Okay…lol.

          Yeah, lol. Turning over a spit for eternity doesn’t sound so good.

          Hell in the NT is spoken of in terms of perishing, destruction, and the second death.

          For starters. You can cobble together lots of different views of hell.

          I guess it was still just an idea that Jesus hadn’t gotten around to finalizing yet. Maybe he was just spitballing in the New Testament.

          3. Where did you get that standard?

          My moral sense comes from the same place yours does—evolution and society.

          4. If you want to overlook the evidence we have that’s your perogative.

          Gee, thanks, but that’s not what I do. This blog is dedicated to little else.

          You got evidence? I’ll consider it.

        • James

          I lost the other page for some reason. Bob. what was the page I was on? I checked my history and it vanished and now I’m on this page…Did you remove the first article? I know you probably would like to see me go. I will if that is what you want..

        • James

          It was my computer than deleted the history and blanked out most sites I’d visited..Thanks

        • Ron

          It was a sign from God telling you to get off the Internet. Why are you ignoring his warning?

        • Roder51

          It would be terrible if he learned something. That’s not in God’s plan!

        • Zeratul

          I’ve read through most of James comments, and the blinding stupidity of his arguments is killing me. He goes around making stupid claims, backing them up with circular arguments, quotes people incorrectly, then calls people stupid because he has no better argument. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

        • Gokudomatic

          > 1. Eternal life seems good only at first glance? Okay…lol.

          Never read a fiction about immortality, have you? Eternity might not be as you imagined. But you can taste it pretty easily. Just lay on a bed and do absolutely nothing for 24 hours, except thinking. Boring as hell, isn’t it? Now, imagine it’s not only 24 hours but forever, as in endless. So, still want to be immortal? Still thinking that eternal life is good at second glance?

        • “Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”

        • Greg G.

          A more accurate taste of heaven would be to stand for 24 hours, not laying in bed, and instead of thinking your own thoughts, you should continuously tell God how good of a job he is doing.

          Nehemiah 9:5-6 (NIV)5 And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up and praise the Lord your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting.”

          “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.

        • MNb

          It suddenly looks like if Bon Scott was right: Hell ain’t such a bad place to be, especially if Hell is defined as being disconnected from “the Lord your God”.

    • Pofarmer

      Just because the consequences of atheism are depressing to you doesn’t make them false. It’s also true that because Christians think they have an ultimate meaning in their life doesn’t make it true. We believe true things and false things with the same vigor. It feels the same, we can’t tell whether something we believe is true or false just by how it feels to us. In fact, even when a belief is shown false, the need to be right may be so strong we simply ignore all contrary evidence.

  • MASNBG

    Most of these arguments are made up by Bob Seidensticker. I do not understand this need for atheists to make up arguments (and claim that they are from theists) and then refute them. Theists never do this. Perhaps atheists are liars.

    • Dys

      If you think Bob created most of these arguments, then you haven’t bothered investigating apologetics very much, because apologists use them rather frequently. Atheists didn’t make them up.

      Theists never do this. Perhaps atheists are liars.

      Theists routinely make claims to knowledge they don’t have…like you just did. So the only person you demonstrated was actually lying was…yourself. Congratulations.

      • MASNBG

        “because apologists use them rather frequently.” Who? Give me one example.

        • Dys

          Because you can’t be bothered to read the hyperlinks in the article that give them?

          WLC, along with other apologists, routinely defends divine command theory, which is summed up in stupid argument #3.

          And I’ve personally lost count of the numbers of apologists, professional and otherwise, who resort to “we should want God to exist because the alternative should make us sad” in some manner or another; aka. stupid argument #1.

        • MNb

          Nr. 28.

          http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Atheism_is_based_on_faith

          http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/06/17/i-get-email-19/

          Nr. 8 – “Atheism is a faith in that which has not been proved. The disbelievers have not witnessed anything to not believe in, whereas the believers believe because they have witnessed.”

          That’s two examples – Norman Geisler and Debra Rufini.

    • If you think these are bad arguments, then agree with me! Pat me on the back for helping to clear away arguments that (you agree) Christians shouldn’t use.

      • MASNBG

        I agree that they are bad arguments but you suggesting that theists make them.

        • Dys

          Because theists do, in fact, make them. That you’ve lived in a cave and managed to avoid the multitudes of times they’ve been offered up in online discussions of religion doesn’t make it not true.

      • James

        Bob..write an article about Muhammad so we can really do some ”religious” bashing..OK ?..I would love it…Let’s leave Jesus alone, for now..He said…Love thine enemy….lets go after the fellow who said kill your enemy if he does not submit..now the atheist have us in the corner with them..and guess what?..WE’ll just read what everyone says..and let the atheist take them on…OK?.I assure you..we will almost totally agree with you folks about Islam..and it’s SOURCE!.Thanks Bob…

        • Kodie

          You’re practically a Muslim.

        • James

          I believe in LIFE..silly child..Islamist claim..WE LOVE DEATH MORE THAN YOU LOVE LIFE!!!! ….You are Muslim-like by default.. How?? Jesus said…I have come to fulfill the law..not change the Law..for those who Believe in Me…You are under the Law just like Muslims….no Redeemer…The Jews first then Gentiles….what did He mean by first.?.they were first to hear and see Him and the first Followers..and they were under the LAW OF MOSES!..Harsh and demanded PERFECTION!…I use FREE WILL in many post..Islam does NOT allow free will..atheist do NOT allow free will in Schools..universities..without retribution towards those who QUESTION the science and the CLAIMANT,…less it be from THEIR OWN ILK!…Free will….Atheism//Marxism…No differences………..Karl Marx..Engels..read Communist manifesto..you should LOVE IT!……..

        • Kodie

          Mmmm, sounds like something Mohammed also said. Why should anyone believe you instead of a Muslim?

        • Ron

          In case you missed it, this blog is called Cross Examined, not Crescent Examined.

          And your pal Jesus reportedly said, “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me.” and “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

          So Jesus and Mo belong to the same “submit or die” club.

          Just sayin’

        • James

          Parable of the ten minas..that was what Jesus was REFERRING ..He never said kill anyone…….Peace on the Earth??? Oh me..He was talking to Jews.. peace shall not exist until they come from UNDER the Law of Moses…Jesus said..I came to FULFILL the Law NOT change the Law so that ye may be SAVED. .if you follow Me!! It was the grace he offered to reconcile the Jews to the Father,,,,,,they could not atone for their own sins..He could..and did….the sword is the DIVIDER of Mother and Daughter…Father from son..He knew that the Jew would disown their child, who left the Jewish rituals and teachings of the Old faith Judaism….You PROVED you only click quotes from internet atheist who are inept in understanding the SIMPLE Gospel of Jesus….in other words..lazy trolls

        • Ron

          Yes, Ten Minas is a parable about the coming kingdom of God. So tell me: according to Christian theology, what will ultimately become of those who reject Jesus?

        • James

          I know that..sir..but the word God is the preference here..Not the Son of God..so the cross means nothing to atheist….Judaism and Islam ..both claim just ONE GOD….not the three persons of God….I know the answer about Islam…FEAR…

        • I’ve written about Islam, though not much. Seek and ye shall find.

          I live in the U.S. Islam isn’t bashing into things in this country–you’re thinking of Christianity.

        • adam

          “He said…Love thine enemy….lets go after the fellow who said kill your enemy if he does not submit.”

          If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not
          yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God,
          who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst. (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

    • MNb

      ….. and could you be so kind to give an example of a made up argument? I’ll be happy to find a believer for you that actually made it, hence disproving

      “Theists never do this.”

    • James

      Um….good point..

      • Dys

        Except for the fact that you disproved his point.

    • Roder51

      Pot meet kettle

  • James

    Bob..thanks for allowing me.in your space. I don’t agree with your positions, but I do understand you folks better. We all can learn something from each other.Thanks again and good bye.

    • Susan

      I don’t agree with your positions, but I do understand you folks better.

      You’ve shown no indication that you understand anyone’s position. You came here to unleash an incoherent stream of unoriginal ideas about subjects you seem to know nothing about.

      We all can learn something from each other.

      What did you learn? What can I learn from you?

      Thanks again and good bye.

      Wow.

      • Dys

        James started taking his meds again.

    • Dys

      but I do understand you folks better.

      You’ve spent your entire time here demonstrating how little you understand, and arrogantly telling us what our positions are. There’s not much more to say here other than that you’re a liar.

      Thanks again and good bye.

      Good riddance.

  • JackFrost

    Due to changes in teachings which started in the universities in the 1930s and effecting mainstream media in the 1960s as those brainwashed people grew up
    what people believe to be *Christian* is actually knot what they think at all causing non Christians who know a little about their belief but not fully grasping it to be confused and use words interchangeably without even knowing it.

    Like a lot of people use the words *republic* and *democracy* interchangeably but they mean way 2 different things and cannot even meet but often people confuse the issue and what they mean by “democracy* sometimes they mean republic or what they mean by *republic* the word is democracy* they are looking for.

    Both Christians and non Christians are guilty as sin about this. As a result you have a lot of pseudo Christians who are loyal to going to Church and think “their saved” automatically like it’s some kind of emulator where you can save state at any time just by praying.

    In emulators you can save state your game so you can try experiments and not royally mess up your progress or do speed runs. Some claimed to do Super Mario Bros 3 in 12 minutes which I guess is possible using lots of save states and almost no mistakes impossible on a console where real life gets in the way.

  • JackFrost

    Also churches are tax exempt if they sign certain forms but the catch 22 is that they cannot politically get active which in a way hurts them if the government does things that suppresses churches as a whole.

    I’m not talking about an individual church getting shut down because of fraud but rather actual witch hunts shutting churches down for the slightest excuse and looking for trouble where non exists often making things up as they go.

    In the 2nd half of the Clinton era churches were being shut down a lot by the IRS going on a witch hunt and it made a lot of religious people even among different faiths nervous as the news got into church newsletters nationwide.

    • Greg G.

      Churches can be political if they want to be, they just have to be like any other political entity and not be tax-exempt. Or they can be tax-exempt and stay out of politics. Partisan politics should not be tax-exempt.

      There is an active discussion about this under a different article. Here is one part of it:

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/03/attack-of-the-angry-atheists-2/#comment-2574965129

      If churches are cheating on their tax-exempt, non-profit status, they should pay the price. It’s not a witch hunt.

    • No churches are being shut down now, and I know of no “witch hunt” period. Tell me more about these churches shut down by the IRS. You’re saying that this was without justification?

      • Glad2BGodless

        The federal government bends over backwards to avoid forcing churches to comply with tax laws.

        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-tax-churches-irs/as-churches-get-political-u-s-irs-stays-quiet-idUSBRE85K1EP20120621

        • I attended a Pulpit Freedom Sunday event at a church one year.

          Poor US Christian churches, eh? They get loads of handouts, but they deserve so much more.

          If I were the boss, I’d first remove the caveat that every nonprofit has to open its books … except for churches. It’s hilarious that churches, who declare that God looks over their shoulders to make sure they spend their money wisely, are afraid to show the rest of us (who pick up the slack) how they spend their money.

          How much does the typical country club spend on good works? Some spend 0%, I’m sure, but others might spend a percent or two of their income. I wonder if churches as a whole spend more. They’re far more like country clubs than conventional nonprofits who spend their money to, y’know, help people.

        • Glad2BGodless

          Isn’t it peculiar how they hide this particular light under a basket?

  • tgbx

    “I sense God’s presence; therefore, God exists.” This is also explained by mental illness. Just because a paranoid schizophrenic senses there are ninja rabbits hiding in their powder-room doesn’t mean there are. Where do we draw the line? “My feelings are reality.” No, you’re just both wrong and deluded.

    • epeeist

      But, but, but, what about the Sensus divinitatis?

      • tgbx

        Which definition? You would think a god who endowed its creations with a perception of its presence or wishes would at least use that very same perception to have them agree how that perception works (who has it, whose works, whose doesn’t, etc).
        “Hey, Trainspotting. Can you dial that modulator down a skosh?”

        • epeeist

          Which definition?

          The one that is firmly embedded in my cheek, along with my tongue.

    • adam

      “Just because a paranoid schizophrenic senses there are ninja rabbits
      hiding in their powder-room doesn’t mean there are. Where do we draw the
      line? ”

      At ninja gerbils?

      • Greg G.

        Forrest Gump always told me that if you see a line you might as well go stand in it. Won’t hurt nothin’. I want to get in that ninja gerbil line.