25 Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid (Part 5)

25 Stupid Arguments Christians Should Avoid (Part 5) July 6, 2018

Let’s continue with our exploration of stupid arguments Christians shouldn’t use (Part 1 here).

Stupid Argument #17: Failure to acknowledge the incredibleness of the Christian claim.

So you think the Big Bang just happened? And you accept evolution saying we got here by chance and life came from nonlife? That’s crazy—I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist!

Correcting the many confidently asserted scientific errors isn’t our goal at the moment. The problem I’d like to focus on is apologists expressing doubt over a naturalistic explanation when their God hypothesis—that a supernatural being created the universe and came to earth as a human and that this was recorded in history—is perhaps the most incredible explanation imaginable.

That the conclusions of science offend their common sense is irrelevant and unsurprising. If science were nothing but common sense, no one would need to spend years getting a PhD. Unfortunately, none of these science skeptics seem motivated to end their perplexity by reading a textbook on the relevant subject.

Science has given us plenty of surprising explanations—the earth goes around the sun, germs cause disease, plate tectonics, quantum physics, and so on—that aren’t on Christians’ radar only because they don’t step on their theological toes.

And when apologists object to a natural explanation for some aspect of the Christian story (the resurrection, say) they ignore that not only is their supernatural explanation less likely than even an outlandish natural explanation, there isn’t even an accepted category of supernatural events that we can all agree to. Science has found the evidence to reject countless supernatural explanations in favor of natural ones, but the reverse has never been true, even once.

The plausible natural explanation always trumps the supernatural. (For a response to Geisler and Turek’s book I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist, click here and here.)

Stupid Argument #18: Christians are better people.

Christians give more to charity (or are nicer or have fewer divorces or have fewer abortions or are better looking or have fewer weeds in their yards or whatever).

In the first place, many of these proud claims wither under closer scrutiny.

A study by Gregory Paul compared 17 Western countries on social metrics (homicides, suicides, STDs, and so on). The U.S. came out at the bottom of this comparison of social metrics but on the top in religiosity (more). Proving a causal link is difficult, but Paul suggests that poor social conditions cause the high religiosity, and religion remains the opium of the masses, helping people deal with their pain.

I have no interest in getting into a citation war, where you show me studies that rebut any of the points above. Select any subset of the population, and you can probably find at least one thing on which they’re better than average. I’m confident we could find one or more positive traits that Christians have to a greater degree than atheists.

But so what? “Christian belief gives benefits; therefore God” is the pragmatic fallacy. This fallacy argues that if it is beneficial, it must be true.

Perhaps I’m just old fashioned, but I first want my beliefs to be true. I think I can handle the consequences of believing true things.

Stupid Argument #19a: God’s making himself plainly known would impose on your free will.

You couldn’t then make a free choice to follow him or not. As C.S. Lewis observed about God making himself known, “[God] cannot ravish; he can only woo.”

Knowing of the existence of no one else offends my free will; why should it be different for God? Satan knows about God in great detail, and he’s still free to not follow him.

The Bible record many instances of God imposing on people’s free will. “God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden” (Romans 9:18). He hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 9:12), for example, and he gave ungrateful humans over to “shameful lusts” (Rom. 1:26). “The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples” (Psalms 33:10). Following the Ten Commandments and the rest of the 613 Old Testament laws is mandatory, which was a substantial imposition on human free will.

And these Christians will be quick to say that belief is the work of the Holy Spirit, so even coming to belief is not something we do freely.

This is a pathetic attempt at avoiding the Problem of Divine Hiddenness and celebrating faith (that is, belief without sufficient evidence). Faith serves no purpose in any other part of life and is always the last resort. Defending an invisible God and celebrating faith is precisely what Christians would do if their religion were manmade (more).

More in response to this free will argument here and here.

Stupid Argument #19b: “All that are in Hell, choose it” (C.S. Lewis).

People send themselves to hell—don’t blame God. God is a gentleman, and he won’t impose himself on people. If they don’t want to be with him, he respects that. The gates of hell are locked from the inside.

Are we talking the same God who imposes genocide? Not much of a gentleman.

I understand the motivation to downplay the eternal torment that the loving God has planned for the majority of his greatest creation, as C.S. Lewis does with his quote above. There may be Bible verses by which liberal Christians imagine a kinder, gentler hell, but the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus gives the traditional view. When the rich man is sent to hell, he says, “I am in agony in this fire.”

That’s one person who wouldn’t be in hell if he could choose otherwise, and Lewis’s argument fails.

To be continued.

If Christianity is untrue, then no honest man will want to believe it,
however helpful it might be;
if it is true, every honest man will want to believe it,
even if it gives him no help at all.
— C.S. Lewis

.

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 10/13/14.)

Image via Scott McLeod, CC license

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Michael Neville

    So you think the Big Bang just happened? And you accept evolution saying we got here by chance and life came from nonlife?

    Your ignorance and incredulity aren’t evidence against the Big Bang and evolution (although the origin of life is abiogenesis), they’re just evidence of your ignorance and incredulity.

    • epicurus

      Satan’s and other angels rebelling even though they were favored and in Heaven means there’s a (good?) chance there will be more rebellions over the course of eternity, either by humans in heaven or other angels. Eternity is a long time, and being in Heaven is obviously not a guarantee of good behaviour.

      • epeeist

        Satan’s and other angels rebelling even though they were favored and in
        Heaven means there’s a (good?) chance there will be more rebellions over
        the course of eternity

        If eternity means an infinite amount of time then the probability of rebellion must surely be 1.0.

      • Jennny

        I love your idea that there could well be more rebellions over the course of eternity. I have an old half-remembered joke about someone arriving in heaven and asking why it was a group of large areas each surrounded by high walls. God pointed at one and said ‘That’s the baptist heaven, they think they’re the only ones here…and that over there’s the catholic one, they think they’re the only ones here etc etc. As there are ,what is it? 42000 denominations, unity seems highly unlikely for even 5minutes….let alone eternity.

        • Lark62

          42000 denominations. And the Jeez said the unity of his followers would be the proof that “he is of the father.”

          Awkward

        • Greg G.

          And the Jeez said the unity of his followers would be the proof that “he is of the father.”

          Actually, Jeezus prayed for that, making him the greatest prayer failure of all time. If Jesus can’t get his prayer answered, what hope does anyone.

          ETA: Maybe praying in Jesus’ name is the wrong way to go about it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          the correct name in which to pray is only accessible at OT 8+. he was only at about 6 then. i hear Ghosty just hit 237.

        • Jennny

          Yes, I always want to laugh when, here in the UK ‘The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’ announces its programme for that week. They seem proud of the fact that they have been going since 1908.

      • TheNuszAbides

        even before adding the rebellion convolution, Hell in the first place is unavoidably a Free Will(TM) gambit/rabbit-hole. there are only so many ways even the most cynical of manipulators can elicit guilt.

    • al kimeea

      Hell – born from the love of Jebus for his flock.

    • TheNuszAbides

      If he didn’t want people to go there, it would be non-existent.

      hence, Calvinist predestination.

  • Zachariah ​†

    This entire discussion is a stupid argument.

    “Christians are not more generous.
    Divorce rates for evangelicals and fundamentalists are the highest of any group.
    Teen mothers disproportionately come from red states.
    Red states consume the most antidepressants.
    Atheists have better mental health than religious people.
    Atheists know more about religion than Christians do.
    Religious belief is even inversely proportional to innovation and intelligence.”

    1. Christian Doctrine commands you to pray for those who persecute you, and that all you do should be done through love.
    2. Yeshua Ha Mashiach himself condemned divorce for any reason BUT adultery.
    3. What does this have to do with Christianity? Republican states produce higher rates in younger mothers? Why is that exactly a criticism?
    4. Usually Antidepressants are prescribed. It’s sort of a big pharma controlled thing. Don’t let your kids take anti-depressants.
    5. Arrogant claim. Atheists commit suicide and suffer from mental illness just like everyone else.
    6. Also an arrogant claim. James 4:10
    7. That must be why there are so few Jewish scientists.

    • Greg G.

      1. Prayer does nothing except to make the person doing the prayer falsely feel like they did something.
      2. Are you saying that evangmentalists and fundygelicals commit more adultery so their divorces are OK? Or did you miss the point?
      3. Red states happen to be more religious. Religious states have lower education levels. Teen mothers means more out-of-wedlock mothers which maintains the cycle of less education.
      4. But why do religious people fall for big pharma then?
      5. Yes, atheists do have mental problems and suicide but less than religious people. The claim is not that atheists are perfect. One problem is that when crazy things are said, church people think it’s a sign of faith or speaking in tongues.
      6. No, there was a survey done where people were asked questions about various religions. Christians knew one religion only and didn’t do well. Jews and atheists scored the highest.
      7. How many Jewish scientists are religious? There’s a difference between being an observant Jew and having a genetic heritage of being Jews. It has been said that very religious Jews are so smart, they are like atheists who like fairy tales.

      • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

        Thank you. I was going to do something similar, but much longer winded.

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      1. Statistically, when reduced by the amount christians give to their churches (which is NOT used for charitable purposes), christians are much LESS generous ( http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/11/28/are-religious-people-really-more-generous-than-atheists-a-new-study-puts-that-myth-to-rest/ )
      2. What your big book o’ hate, lies, and misogyny says doesn’t matter. It ALSO claims to magically make marriages better and less likely to end in divorce. That’s a testable claim. The claim is FALSE, as the more fervently religious a couple is, the GREATER the chances of divorce. Here’s a review of a study from a religious group ( http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_dira.htm ). The money quote is, “Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.” Strike ONE against your religion for lying to people.
      3. Red states are proportionately both more conservative and more fervently religious (the two are tied), and more likely to institute legal measures to prevent contraception and enforce ignorance of the mechanics and consequences of unprotected sex. Strike two against your religion for imposing needless pain on people.
      4. If you’re going to make a claim against anti-depressants, I’m going to demand your credentials, as a biochemist, psychiatrist, or statistician. Failing that, I’m going to call you a butthurt LOSER whiner who complains while accepting the benefits of something, like a child complaining about being told to eat their vegetables.
      5. Stupid riposte. We never said atheists don’t also suffer from mental illness and commit suicide. We just note that STATISTICALLY, many fewer of us do. Note: part of this is that we don’t stress ourselves trying to appease impossible standards set for the EXACT PURPOSE of convincing us to break ourselves down for not attaining a PURPOSELY impossible standard. Strike THREE against religion for lying that such an impossible standard exists and demanding your victims strive consciously to attain it.
      6. Statistics again. WHEN TESTED, atheists are found to score better on tests of general ‘bible’ knowledge than christians, particularly fervent christians. Also, why should a quote from a book that’s generally unreliable be accepted as an authority on anything good, sweet, or noble in this world?
      7. The higher one reaches in the scientific vocations, the weaker one’s religious faith is found to be, also statistically tested. I’m seeing something similar to the ‘One Drop’ rule that used to be used to determine one’s ‘racial’ makeup in your thinking. Also, if a culture prizes and elevates learning (due to CENTURIES of being forbidden on religious/racial grounds from buying land by xtians), they’re more likely to produce magnificent scholars. (BTW, that’s *evolution* of a sort, caused by xtian privation…y’all did it to YOURSELVES, disdaining the tools that are now the coin of the realm…even this forum where you spew your bile was created by people unlikely to be fervently religious)

      • Greg G.

        1. Statistically, when reduced by the amount christians give to their churches (which is NOT used for charitable purposes), christians are much LESS generous

        They count giving to the church as charity when it is mostly for the seat license for a weekly show of gospel singing and a motivational speaker who convinces them that they are better than others because they have God’s favorite religion. That is giving them the benefit of the doubt. For many, it has become a tax-free political rally.

    • Michael Neville

      1. The fundamentalist evangelical Christians who would deny GLBTQs basic rights because Gawd hates butt sechs can hardly be described as “acting though love”.
      2. So Christians are hypocrites who ignore what the Bible says. We knew that already.
      3. Red states are more religious and the religion tends to be more fundamentalist than blue states. They are also the states where sex education is “abstinence only” (which has been shown to be ineffective LINK) and access to contraception and abortion are spotty at best. These facts guarantee high teenage pregnancy rates.
      4. Religion is supposed to make you happy, filled with the love of Jesus. Happy people don’t take antidepressants. And what does “Big Pharma” have to do with anything besides showing your lack of knowledge of psychology?
      5. Atheists and agnostics have lower mental illness and suicide rates than religious, particularly fundamentalist religious, people do.
      6. As noted below, atheists tend to have a higher religious knowledge than Christians. I’ve done something that few Christians have, I’ve read the Bible cover to cover, three times, two different versions, three translations. Also what does a Biblical quote about being humble have to do with religious knowledge?
      7. Why are there so few fundamentalist scientists? Ken Ham and the stooges at the Discovery Institute do not count as scientists.

      • 7. I suspect that “Jewish scientists” are typically of the ethnic, non-religious type. Most Jews in Israel are atheists.

        • epeeist

          7. I suspect that “Jewish scientists” are typically of the ethnic, non-religious type.

          It is another example of equivocation, switching between “Jewish” as ethnic grouping and “Jewish” as following a particular religion.

          One would have to ask whether the OP is ignorant of the difference or simply dishonest.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          To your last question, I’d answer: YES. 😉

        • Greg G.

          It is another example of equivocation, switching between “Jewish” as ethnic grouping and “Jewish” as following a particular religion.

          One would have to ask whether the OP is ignorant of the difference or simply dishonest.

          Not ignorant of the difference so simply dishonest. I got an email of a reply that does not appear here at this time. Here is what he said.

          Judaism is more than a religious ideology. People of Jewish heritage are born into racial identities which include beliefs of all sorts of things. Albert Einstein was a Jew. — And he did believe in a God. He is credited with contributing to the creation of the Atomic Bomb. {bolding in his reply}

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Einstein seemed to be more Deist, though.

        • Greg G.

          Einstein said he believed in Spinoza’s God, which is basically pantheism, which is calling Nature by the name of “God”.

        • epeeist

          Not ignorant of the difference so simply dishonest.

          At one time I might have given him the benefit of the doubt. Having seen how easily many theists resort to a lie in order to defend their position I no longer see any reason to do so.

        • RichardSRussell

          True believers have for centuries engaged in child rape, torture, mayhem, murder, and genocide, all for the greater glory of the Biblical God. What on Earth makes anyone think their consciences would bother them so much that they’d draw the line at mere lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and forgery?

  • Ctharrot

    Unbeliever: “If I were to witness God demonstrating his existence in an unambiguous, indisputable, miraculous manner, then I’d believe.”
    Believer: “But that’s not how salvation works. We must come to know and love God of our own free will, and having first-hand confirmation of God’s majesty would eliminate our liberty to choose.”
    Unbeliever: “So the people who witnessed first-hand the signs and wonders ascribed to Jesus in the New Testament weren’t saved?”
    Believer: “Um, that’s different. Historical context.”
    Unbeliever: “Well, okay, I guess. So today, salvation depends on genuine free will?”
    Believer: “Absolutely.”
    Unbeliever: “You let your kids skip church, then?”
    Believer: “Um, that’s different.”

    • The apostles saw Jesus in person, and Paul saw the spirit version. I say that their free will was violated as a result; therefore, their testimony is unreliable.

      • Rick

        So first century eyewitness accounts are not considered a part of valid evidence. Yet you also criticize Christians for having blind faith and no evidence. You want it both ways.

        Christians with whom I am familiar believe based on reasonable evidence, not on blind faith. Your comment is evidence of a closed mind on the issue of evidentiary-based belief within Christianity, and seems to indicate that no evidence will ever pass your tests. The bar changes to fit the needs of a given post.

        • epeeist

          So first century eyewitness accounts

          There are actual accounts from eye-witnesses?

        • Kevin K

          I came here to say that^^.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So first century eyewitness accounts are not considered a part of valid evidence.

          Except there were no “eyewitness” accounts…you do know Bob is being facetious in that comment, right?

          Yet you also criticize Christians for having blind faith and no evidence.

          The evidence is a fictional book. If the book is evidence, then “The Scarlet Letter” is evidence of Sherlock Holmes and “The Philosophers Stone” is evidence of Harry Potter.

          You want it both ways.

          Nope…you should do your due diligence and peruse this site before firing from the hip. It’s easy when ya know how…

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined?s=eyewitness+accounts

          Christians with whom I am familiar believe based on reasonable evidence, not on blind faith.

          All religious with whom I’m familiar believe based on what they all believe is “reasonable evidence”, it’s just that they don’t think the other guy’s “reasonable evidence” is very reasonable at all. When you can work out why Christians don’t think the evidence for all other religions is reasonable, then you’ll understand why we atheists don’t find the evidence of Christians one little bit reasonable…think about it.

          Your comment is evidence of a closed mind on the issue of evidentiary-based belief within Christianity, and seems to indicate that no evidence will ever pass your tests. The bar changes to fit the needs of a given post.

          Try taking The Outsider Test for Faith.

          What is it about the “evidentiary-based” belief within Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism, Sikhism, Shintoism, Jediism, Rastafarianism, Pastafarianism, Judaism, etc., that doesn’t pass the test of Christians?

          And don’t even get me started on the “evidentiary-based” 45,000+ diverse flavours within the Christian cult.

        • Lark62

          Minor quibble – Sherlock first appeared to the world in “A Study in Scarlet” not “A Scarlet Letter.”

          Also, it is probably relevant here that according to one published article, 21% of Brits think Sherlock Holmes is a actual person, while about 20% of British teens think Winston Churchill is fictional.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…my bad. I’ve no idea where that mind fart came from. I’ve got the full set of Sherlock Holmes in my Kindle library.

          Probably the Christian theme behind The Scarlet Letter. Or maybe it was on one of my afternoon quiz shows and stuck as an ear-worm. You’ll not believe the coincidence, a question on “The Chase” this very second was “A Study in Scarlet” was the first novel by which Scottish author.

          I’ve pointed out before the number of folk that actually believe Holmes was a real person who appeared in the diaries of another person who must also have been real. Then there are the followers, Sherlockian’s and the splitters, Holmseian’s.

          Anyway, good spot.

        • Lark62

          Thanks. When looking this up to be sure, I remembered that the the NY Times published an obituary of Hercule Poirot. I always thought that would be handy for trivia questions (name the only fictional person to get a NYTimes obit), but it also trashes all the arguments that because the name “Jesus” was mentioned by this source or that, it proves proves proves that Jesus existed.

        • Greg G.

          I wonder how much overlap there is between those two groups. Probably a significant amount.

        • Ctharrot

          I’m not sure Bob’s tongue-in-check comment warrants the earnestness with which you responded to it. Or perhaps I’m misreading you.

          But let’s explore the epistemology of ancient miracle narratives a bit, if you’re game. (SPOILER ALERT: Socratic dialogue ahead.) Here are two analogous claims:

          1. Joshua’s prayers to Yahweh caused the sun to stop in the sky for a day at Gibeon.
          2. During Marcus Aurelius’ battles against the Germanic peoples, prayers to Mercury caused rains to relieve his thirsty troops and lightning and hail to strike his foes.

          Given just these statements to start with, do you think both are equally likely to be true?

        • So first century eyewitness accounts are not considered a part of valid evidence. Yet you also criticize Christians for having blind faith and no evidence. You want it both ways.

          You’re not following my point. I’m lampooning the free-will argument (if God made his existence plainly known to you, your free will would be violated).

          I can respond to your point, if you think it’s still relevant, but let’s first get on the same page about the point of my last comment.

        • Rick

          Fair enough, Bob. I was following you in a different way than you intended.

          You missed my point, however. Christians believe because of faith in a preponderance of the evidence. This has nothing to do with a free will argument, because my faith is due in part to, and also strengthened by, the evidence.

          From my perspective I have free will to make a decision to place faith in anything I choose, just as you have faith to make a different choice. If the Christian perspective is correct, then there are consequences for the choice each of us makes regarding the identity of the historic figure of Jesus. He can intervene on our behalf if we trust that He will, or He can let us go on our own if that is our choice.

          God has made plenty of things “plainly known” to people, and what each of us does with that evidence is a choice we make.

        • Lark62

          What evidence?

          No deity ever worshiped by man has ever made things “plainly known.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          He can let us go on our own if that is our choice.

          Isn’t it a pity that a lot of his feckin’ minions didn’t get that memo…cretins.

        • Michael Neville

          Christians believe because of faith in a preponderance of the evidence.

          Faith and evidence are complete opposites. Evidence is that which tends to prove or disprove something. Faith is defined in the Bible as “…confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 NIV). If you had evidence then you wouldn’t need faith. Instead of bragging about how much faith you have in your beliefs, you’d be showing your evidence to anyone who didn’t believe as you do. But instead you rely on faith because you not only don’t have evidence but you know you don’t have evidence.

          So show us your evidence. Remember that we’re atheists so we don’t consider the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible as evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          Remember that we’re atheists so we don’t consider the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible to be evidence.

          Dammit, that’s gonna be a toughie.

        • Otto

          >>>”God has made plenty of things “plainly known” to people.”

          Name one thing that God has made ‘known’ that did not have to go through another human as a reference point? I see a lot of people making claims about what God has made known, but I see nothing that God made known without a person as being the source of the claim….as such I don’t count those as ‘God’ making such information known, I count those as people attempting to speak on behalf of ‘God’ trying to pass off their information as being divine. God seems to be powerless without some human acting as a ‘go between’.

        • You missed my point, however.

          Missed it? No, I ignored it so we could first get on the same page about what I said. If you’d like to move on now, we can do so.

          Christians believe because of faith in a preponderance of the evidence. This has nothing to do with a free will argument, because my faith is due in part to, and also strengthened by, the evidence.

          I doubt most Christians believe because of a preponderance of evidence. I suspect that they believe because they were raised that way.

          From my perspective I have free will to make a decision to place faith in anything I choose, just as you have faith to make a different choice.

          I don’t think I have faith in anything, but perhaps we’re using that word differently.

          If the Christian perspective is correct, then there are consequences for the choice each of us makes regarding the identity of the historic figure of Jesus.

          And if I won the Powerball lottery, I will declare myself king. Idle speculation isn’t of much use IMO.

          God has made plenty of things “plainly known” to people, and what each of us does with that evidence is a choice we make.

          I can think of nothing supernatural that God has made plainly known, certainly not his own existence.

        • Rick

          You ignored my point, so I will ignore your redirection.

          You doubt
          You don’t think
          You share opinions (“IMO”) …
          You can think of nothing

          I don’t think any of these things can be characterized as having evidentiary value.

          I just need to chime in once in a while to demonstrate that you are not changing minds as much as you are preaching to and receiving the adulation of those who already agree with your perspective. I could respond to each of the other commenters but that has never proven helpful to them or myself.

          I will offer one book filled with evidence for anyone open to consider it:

          Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh and Sean McDowell.

          https://smile.amazon.com/Evidence-That-Demands-Verdict-Life-Changing-ebook/dp/B01MYP99J3/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1531200924&sr=8-2&keywords=new+evidence+that+demands+a+verdict

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          I read it. It presents no actual evidence.

          Apparently you’re not willfully to present any evidence either.

          Not going to be much of a conversation it appears.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There’s a nice blast from the past right there…how ta friggin’ hell are ya missus?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Once again dealing with a massive lab failure. Power overload wiped out three months of test data. It drives me to deal with the charming folks online, since they’re slightly less annoying.

        • Damien Priestly

          You realize that most atheists were previously religious…on this blog most likely ex-Christians. Josh McDowell has been heard over and over again. Mentioning him will get you mostly eye-rolling.

          How about some real evidence for any God? Actually first, just an explanation as to why God killing his son is not immoral and incoherent?…Making it evidence that the whole story was concocted.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I just need to chime in once in a while to demonstrate that you are not changing minds as much as you are preaching to and receiving the adulation of those who already agree with your perspective.

          Preaching to the choir, sure that’s always going to be the case anywhere, so a bit of a non sequitur, but so what? Did you think the forum had a different purpose?

          This is a place for like minded folk to hang out, bounce things off one another, and learn about the Christian nonsense in fine detail. Why it was nonsense when we believed it, and why it is even more of a nonsense when we get better informed.

          But to claim that minds aren’t changed, even Christian minds? See, I’m wondering how you would know this? Sure, your mind isn’t changed, but you can’t speak for everyone. That shows a certain level of arrogance.

          If this blog gets one fence sitter, lurker, or religious wingnut, to consider something they held as the truth one way, to think of it another way, then minds are changed. Even I, as a non-believer, have had my mind changed here, and at other places of a similar bent, by the content of an OP and/or comments by astute members.

          So, to that ends, the evidence just doesn’t support you conclusion that minds are not changed. Bob doesn’t have a “Convert’s Corner”, but a blog that does, confirms that these counter apologetic arguments really do change minds.

          Then there is the litany of preachers who have been convinced by the same rational arguments being presented on this blog…all it takes is some critical thinking skills…you should give it a go sometime, you’ll be amazed at the outcome.

          I could respond to each of the other commenters but that has never proven helpful to them or myself.

          Of course…when you’ve got no arrows in your quiver, hitting the target is always going to be difficult, and so far, you have demonstrated an empty quiver. Wishful thinking doesn’t cut it. Evidence, got evidence?

        • Pofarmer

          Wow, we’ve never seen that Book brought up. Oh NOES?!!!!!!

          It’s too bad stupid isn’t painful.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          We *saw* the ‘evidence’, and the verdict is that it’s hogwash, so any structure built upon it is irrelevant.

          Next?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          We ARE changing minds.

          Exhibit A: the guest on the July 8, 2018 Talk Heathen. He was formerly not just a fundamentalist but a *street preacher*…and changed his mind via Street Epistemology getting him to examine the basis of his beliefs:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNi6EMSl42I

        • Otto

          Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh and Sean McDowell…

          Is a book that attempts to validate the claims of Christianity through a Court of Law analogy. The problem is that not one piece of ‘evidence’ that it presents would ever be admissible as evidence in a court of lawnot one! Since that is the case the book title should be The Lack of Evidence that Demands the Case be Dismissed… with it subtitled “The there that wasn’t there”.

        • Rick

          Show me one piece of evidence from any first century event or person that would be accepted as legal evidence in a court of law today. Historic evidence is much different from legally acceptable contemporary forensic evidence that could be used to get a court decision today. Your challenge is a category error.

          By this reasoning we cannot accept any first century historic fact. Third and fourth century characters like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are now myth by that standard. Alexander the Great bites the dust by this standard. This is a commonly asserted issue that also gets “eye rolls” as another commenter here termed the appropriate response.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Wrong.

          All the other figures you mentioned have MULTIPLE INDEPENDENT sources that describe them, and none have an axe to grind about the very existence of the figure in question.

        • Rick

          See Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Part II, Chapter 6, “The Historical Evidence for Jesus,” pages 143-171. The book covers lots of independent sources that corroborate the New Testament narrative. The first part of the chapter covers your interest area, “sources that describe [Jesus and do not] have an axe to grind about the very existence of the figure in question.” The chapter outline is as follows:

          I. Introduction
          II. Non-Christian Sources
          –Sources of Little or No Value
          –Sources of Limited Value
          –Sources of Significant Value
          –Summary of Non-Christian Sources
          III. Christian Sources
          –NT Documents
          –Early Christian Creeds
          –Apostolic Fathers
          IV. Archaeology
          V. Concluding Remarks

          McDowell, Josh; McDowell, Sean. Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World (p. 143). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

        • Greg G.

          There is no archaeological evidence for Jesus. The accounts from outside of the Bible appears to be dependent on the gospels. The creeds appear to be based on Old Testament passages.

          The Gospel of Mark appears to be based on the literature of the day, including classic Greek literature, Hebrew literature and scripture, and Christian literature. The stories in Mark are combinations of stories from fictional and historical accounts about not-Jesus combined with OT scriptures to create completely fictional stories about Jesus. The other gospels borrow the fictional accounts from Mark. John seems to add some theology from Philo’s philosophy. Matthew bases the nativity story on Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews and rewords topics of the Epistle of James for the Sermon on the Mount and other words of Jesus. Luke relies on Antiquities of the Jews even more while the central section from Luke 10:1 to 18:14 follows Deuteronomy for the journey to Jerusalem. There doesn’t seem to be much in the gospels that isn’t made up.

          The early epistles talk about Jesus a lot. Paul uses “Jesus” and/or “Christ” about once every five or six verses but doesn’t have much to say about a historical Jesus. What the early epistles do say can be found in the Old Testament.

          So without physical evidence, the only evidence is literary evidence that has all the earmarks of being made up. The best evidence is evidence of Jesus being imagined out of a weird reading of cherry-picked Old Testament verses.

        • Rick

          Your assertions are broad and strong, but lack evidentiary basis. Take a look at the reference I provided above. Authorship of the Gospels is well established, though not without challenges like you cite. The fact that these challenges have been raised does not make them credible. See Evidence that Demands a Verdict, “Part I: Evidence for the Bible,” pages 3-140.

          Regarding textual evidence compared to archeological evidence, there is a growing mountain of evidence corroborating the Old Testament period. The relatively short three year period of Jesus’ ministry has little direct archeological evidence. Most executed criminals don’t have a lot of remembrances that remain in archeology. The response to the death, i.e., church gatherings and structures demonstrating the very early faith in the events surrounding Jesus, are well documented.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Authorship of the Gospels is well established,…

          More rot…even Christian historians know this is not the case.

        • Greg G.

          Your assertions are broad and strong, but lack evidentiary basis.

          Someone told me that once and I provided a partial list of the evidence. Then the guy complained about it being “a wall of text”.

          Authorship of the Gospels is well established, though not without challenges like you cite.

          The authorship is not established. Papias said he knew of one written by Mark and one written by Matthew. His Matthew is certainly not what we call Matthew today. The Gospel of John claims to be the testimony of John but it does not say who wrote it. Luke is pure guess work based on Acts having “we” passages. But the author may have been using the Pauline epistles as a guide to create a story around so when scholars use Acts for dating his epistles or validating them, it is purely circular.

          Regarding textual evidence compared to archeological evidence, there is a growing mountain of evidence corroborating the Old Testament period.

          Archaeology has also riddled the historicity of the OT before David.

          The relatively short three year period of Jesus’ ministry has little direct archeological evidence. Most executed criminals don’t have a lot of remembrances that remain in archeology. The response to the death, i.e., church gatherings and structures demonstrating the very early faith in the events surrounding Jesus, are well documented.

          But there were supposed to be crowds with thousands of people. If any of them wrote letters about this Jesus, they would have received top priority for preservation. It’s only supposed to have been a couple of decades before Paul’s writing.

          The response to the death, i.e., church gatherings and structures demonstrating the very early faith in the events surrounding Jesus, are well documented.

          But were they about the death of a first century preacher/teacher from Galilee that the epistles never mention? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 talks about dying for sins, being buried, and being raised from the dead according to the scriptures. Which scriptures? Certainly not the gospel versions. The dying for sins and being buried can be found in Isaiah 53 and the raised on the third day would be Hosea 6:2.

          New Testament Narrative as Old Testament Midrash [LINK] by Robert M. Price combines the work of many scholars about the sources used by the gospel authors. Almost all of Mark is accounted for. He gives his references.

          Here is a recent post where I lay out the coincidences between Mark and Josephus’ Jewish Wars: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/07/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid-part-5-2/#comment-3982063692

          Here is everything Paul says he knows about Jesus and where he would have read it in the Old Testament:

          Past
          Descended from David > Romans 1:3, Romans 15:12* > 2 Samuel 7:12, Isaiah 11:10*
          Declared Son of God > Romans 1:4 > Psalm 2:7
          Made of woman, > Galatians 4:4 > Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 49:1, Isaiah 49:5
          Made under the law > Galatians 4:4, Galatians 3:10-12* > Deuteronomy 27:26*, Habakkuk 2:4*, Leviticus 18:5*
          Was rich, became poor > 2 Corinthians 8:9 > Zechariah 9:9
          Was meek and gentle > 2 Corinthians 10:1 > Isaiah 53:7
          Did not please himself > Romans 15:3* > Psalm 69:9*
          Became a servant of the circumcised > Romans 15:8 > Isaiah 53:11
          For the Gentiles > Romans 15:9-12* > Psalm 18:49*, 2 Samuel 22:50*, Deuteronomy 32:43*, Psalm 117:1*, Isaiah 11:10*
          Became Wisdom of God > 1 Corinthians 1:30 > Isaiah 11:2

          Was betrayed > 1 Corinthians 11:23 > Psalm 41:9
          Took loaf of bread and wine > 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 > Psalm 41:9, Exodus 24:8, Leviticus 17:11, Isaiah 53:12 (“wine” = “blood of grapes” allusions in Genesis 49:11, Deuteronomy 32:14, Isaiah 49:26, Zechariah 9:15)

          Was crucified > 1 Corinthians 2:2, 2 Corinthians 13:4, Galatians 3:13* > Deuteronomy 21:23*
          Died for sins > 1 Corinthians 15:3, Galatians 2:20 > Isaiah 53:5, Isaiah 53:12
          Was buried > 1 Corinthians 15:4 > Isaiah 53:9
          Was raised > Romans 1:4, Romans 8:34, 1 Corinthians 15:4, 2 Corinthians 4:14, 2 Corinthians 13:4 > Hosea 6:2, Psalm 16:10, Psalm 41:10

          Present
          Sits next to God > Romans 8:34 > Psalm 110:1, Psalm 110:5
          Intercedes > Romans 8:34 > Isaiah 53:12

          Future
          Will come > 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 1 Corinthians 15:51-54*, Philippians 3:20-21 > Isaiah 26:19-21, Daniel 7:11, Daniel 7:13; Daniel 12:2, Isaiah 25:8*

          (* indicates that New Testament passage contains a direct quote from the Septuagint.)

          1 Corinthians 11:23-25 appears to be part of an interpolation.

        • Rick

          Thanks. You have put together a lot of great references.

          Regarding letters, there was no tradition of letter-writing that would make us expect a significant find of correspondence among the “thousands of followers” of anyone in the first century.

        • Greg G.

          But there have been people dedicated to copying and maintaining letters and literature about Jesus and commenting on them for two thousand years. If there were letters like that, they would have the best chance of any type of letter from the first century to be maintained. We have letters from Paul and James from the first century. There is the letter from Mara Bar-Serapion, a slave writing to his son, which could be from 73 AD and it was apparently copied and maintained simply because it mentioned a wise king of the Jews. All of the nameless people from a distant lands who attended a Passover celebration that Jesus attended would be at least as famous as the son of Serapion had that person wrote a letter.

          There is lots of writings about Jesus from the second-century but none from the first third of the first century when he was alive.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Regarding letters, there was no tradition of letter-writing that would make us expect a significant find of correspondence among the “thousands of followers” of anyone in the first century.

          Except there was…an example of such is those of Paul. Was Paul the only person writing letters? Of course not. The question has to be why some of Paul’s letters were preserved, while others were not?

          We know of lots of other early writings from their mention in the writings of others, even though they were not preserved, for whatever reason…usually because they were deemed heretical.

          Three possible options.

          Either…

          The supernatural things later attributed to Jesus didn’t happen. So nobody had reason to write about them.

          The stuff attributed to him were of such mundane and insignificance, that nobody worth talking about even noticed. So nobody had reason to write about them. Later embellished with the supernatural.

          Jesus is a myth and everything about him is taken from the literature of the time and woven into a new cult of Judaism.

          “Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew”

          “Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It into the New Testament”

        • Rick

          Or a fourth obvious choice: Writing materials were scarce and expensive and only for a serious reason did one use them to communicate information. And the writers of the NT were willing to engage in an expensive and, in that day, scarcely used medium to record events we have today as the New Testament.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Or a fourth obvious choice: Writing materials were scarce and expensive and only for a serious reason did one use them to communicate information.

          Whaaa? Wait a wee minute, what could possibly be a more serious a reason than to record witnessing the messiah of prophecy…wait, no, Yahweh’s son, a godman…wait, no, Yahweh himself incarnate. Are fucking shitting me or what?

          There are no doubt other options, but that is about as flaky as I’ve seen. No one could afford the writing materials to record seeing God? Bwaaahahahaha!

          And the writers of the NT were willing to engage in an expensive and, in that day, scarcely used medium to record events we have today as the New Testament.

          Well, they waited at least 40 years apparently. So you are contradicting yourself. Eyewitnesses to Jesus were unimpressed enough to record what they believed to be the greatest events…ever. Yet decades later, based on hearsay and oral tradition, no expense was too much to dole out in order to get the yarn down on papyrus?

          You want to be taken seriously here?

        • Rick

          Yes. The writers waited a while from what we can tell. They thought the return of Jesus was imminent, and when it didn’t happen in short order, they realized they misunderstood the teaching and needed to record the details of their memory of events for following generations. They wanted people like Ignorant Amos (who I’m guessing wants to be taken seriously in spite of his screen name) to be able to read it later and make his own choice about the veracity of what they wrote. You are free to choose, and you have apparently done so.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes. The writers waited a while from what we can tell. They thought the return of Jesus was imminent, and when it didn’t happen in short order, they realized they misunderstood the teaching and needed to record the details of their memory of events for following generations.

          You have evidence to support this woo-woo?

          So the high cost of writing materials had bugger all to do with it then? Make up your mind, you are all over the place like a mad woman’s shite.

          Listen soft boy. There was more than one Christianity at the time.

          They wanted people like Ignorant Amos (who I’m guessing wants to be taken seriously in spite of his screen name) to be able to read it later and make his own choice about the veracity of what they wrote.

          Ah, yes, yet another eejit that took the moniker bait, the regulars will be pishing themselves laughing.

          The writers should’ve done a better job in that case. The canon is a loada pants.

          I think you are just clutching at straws and pulling this nonsense from yer arse. There is absolutely nothing to support your bull. Marks gospel is plagiarized from the popular literature of the day. It has been demonstrated, so he wasn’t rushing to get history down for posterity. The other synoptics are copied from parts of Mark with more embellishments, so they were not eyewitnesses, or writing an account from eyewitnesses. The gJohn’s authors were writing theology well after the others.

          Actual scholars know this stuff.

          You are free to choose, and you have apparently done so.

          Yeah, I know I am, but thanks for the green light all the same…your pretzelmania contortions to get a square apologetic peg into a round rational hole are nothing short of hilarious…and I’ve been up against a lot better. You are little league Rick.

        • MR

          They wanted people… to be able to read it later and make his own choice about the veracity of what they wrote.

          As if people come to belief by reading the Bible. If that were true, priests would just hand out Bibles. No one believes because they read the Bible, they believe because people they love and trust believe, and they believed because people they loved and trusted believed…, stretching back generations. There’s nothing in the text itself that makes it inherently believable.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Rick seems to know absolutely nothing about the origins of his holy texts. His ignorance is stupefying.

        • Susan

          when it didn’t happen in short order, they realized they misunderstood the teaching

          A standard response from all doomsday cults when their predictions fail to come true.

          They wanted people like Ignorant Amos (who I’m guessing wants to be taken seriously in spite of his screen name) to be able to read it later and make his own choice about the veracity of what they wrote.

          In a world where most people were illiterate, that even for those who were literate, it was written in a language that most people in the world didn’t understand, and even if one were able to read it in its own languages, it was forbidden for the laity to do so by the church.

          You are free to choose

          As you are free to choose mormonism or islam or scientology and you have apparently done so.

          They are selling magic beans. There is nothing special about your magic beans.

          =====

          Edit to add:

          It never fails to disappoint me that people pounce on Ignorant Amos’s name without realizing that it represents that we are all ignorant about most things. Paul embraces this and works tirelessly to learn about the world. His work speaks for itself.

          Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s the human condition. Paul is much less ignorant than many people I know. Certainly not as ignorant as I am on many subjects.

          Willful ignorance is another thing. Lee Strobel is either an idiot or a liar. My money’s on the second.

        • they realized they misunderstood the teaching

          The gospels were written by people who didn’t actually know what Jesus actually said?

        • Greg G.

          Here is an article about a 2nd century letter from a homesick soldier who says he has written but has not heard back, which indicates that writing wasn’t thought to be overly expensive.

          https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/scholars-translate-ancient-guilt-trip-letter-soldier-family-180950297/

          Justus of Tiberias was a contemporary of Josephus who wrote an account of the Jewish War that blamed a lot on Josephus. He also wrote about kings of Israel from Moses to Agrippa II. His writings were preserved into the ninth century as Photios noted that the first century Galilean historian never mentioned Jesus.

          Philo of Alexandria wrote about Pilate. His niece was the daughter-in-law of Herod Agrippa. We have a lot of Philo’s writings. If he had mentioned Jesus, that surely would have been preserved.

          These are not the only literate people in Judea and Galilee. There should have been a lot written about Jesus. Yet none was preserved.

          You have the Goldilocks Jesus paradox. Big enough to be famous but so small that he wasn’t worth writing about when he was alive but still big enough to be written about by people who never saw him or met him so they could only speak of him in terms of Old Testament verses. There’s a fine-tuning argument for you.

        • Pofarmer

          One almost has to wonder. Is the whole “Paper was scarce and expensive” trope just another apologetic trope to explain away the lack of evidence for their man God?

        • Greg G.

          They have to be pretty embarrassed by the lack of evidence to an excuse that embarrassing.

        • Pofarmer

          Yep. Here’s the source.

          https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1525/aa.1890.3.4.02a00040

          and then there’s this interesting blogpost.

          The Romans were a pretty literate bunch, the sheer amount of signs and
          graffiti around Roman towns suggests the bulk of the population could
          read – and the Roman military machine ensured every soldier learnt his
          Ps and Qs. But those 100-million Romans spread across the Empire needed
          something to read, and that meant the ancient paper industry was at
          least as large as anything the world saw pre-industrialisation.
          Helpfully Pliny gives us a good run-down of paper making in 78AD, which
          at the time mostly used papyrus as feedstock.

          So it looks like the whole apologetic is, once again, pretty much trash.

        • Susan

          another apologetic trope to explain away the lack of evidence for their man God?

          There are so many, it’s hard to keep track. I forgot about this one as it only seems to come up when a christian is backed into a corner on this particular point when they raise it.

          We should keep a “lame excuses” page somewhere on the site.

          Some of them are so standard we could play Bingo with them.

          But the lack of paper is a little more fringe.

          And as usual, a little investigation shows that it’s preposterous.

        • Pofarmer

          I just wish a few of these rubes would realize that they are being lied to without coming here and having us point it out to them. But, given the numbers, I suppose there are.

        • Susan

          I just wish a few of these rubes would realize that they are being lied to

          Upvoted by an ex-rube.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ll be damned. It turns out that parchment was cheap enough and plentiful enough in ancient Rome to be used as wrapping paper.

          I’ll try to add the link later. But if you Google, “how common was paper in Ancient Rome” you’ll come upon a very interesting pdf.

        • Michael Neville

          The thing that was expensive about writing was that it was time-consuming. Copyists were a skilled trade and paid accordingly. The materials were cheap compared to the labor involved. But if someone wanted to write their own book and had the time to do so, the cost was not much.

        • Ctharrot

          Putting aside questions of biblical authorship, I’m curious about this statement: “there is a growing mountain of evidence corroborating the Old Testament period.” What specifically do you mean by this?

          No-one here disputes there was a a period of Hebrew history prior to that reflected in the NT, and that the ancient Hebrews fashioned temples, cities, tools, weapons, armor, jewelry, etc. that archaeologists might someday discover. But none of these items demonstrate the reliability of, say, the tale of Samson slaying 1000 soldiers with the jawbone of a donkey, any more than the ruins of Troy confirm that a clever hero named Odysseus snuck a strike force of Mycenaean warriors into the city in a giant wooden horse, and later encountered all manner of mosters, magicians, and wonders.

        • MR

          I feel like once you’re appealing to 2,000 year old texts and archaeological evidence to bolster belief in, you know, the Mother F-ing-Master-of-the-Universe who is supposedly present and active today, right now, and loves you, and more than anything wants you to know him…, well, you’re already losing the argument.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wise up!

          McDowell is a fucking loony bin.

          http://americanloons.blogspot.com/2011/11/263-joslin-josh-mcdowell.html

          A piece of apologetic crap that even has Christians squirming in embarrassment.

          https://www.davnet.org/kevin/articles/verdict.html

          The nonsense in that book has well and truly been rebutted. Go back to the little league if that book is your A game, you will get yerself a new one tore here.

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/20/a-video-takedown-of-josh-mcdowells-the-new-evidence-that-demands-a-verdict/

          http://www.islandnet.com/~luree/evidence.html

        • Rick

          Thanks for your thoughtful response. Might I suggest you try reading the section I referenced before you dismiss it with angry diatribes? They don’t really encourage dialogue, but perhaps that is not your goal. Sources such as the committed naturalists Internet Infidels put out material without references and expect folks like you to accept it as gospel (pun intended.) Apparently, in some cases they succeed. But further research would be appropriate.

        • Susan

          committed naturalists

          No. I don’t even think you know what that term means.

          Have you read their responses to McDowell?

          Can you give an example and explain where their errors are?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thanks for your thoughtful response.

          Passive aggressive much?

          Might I suggest you try reading the section I referenced before you dismiss it with angry diatribes?

          You assume I haven’t. Angry diatribes? You would be a funny guy if ya weren’t try to be so serious.

          They don’t really encourage dialogue, but perhaps that is not your goal.

          Well, you giving a reading exercise to me hardly encourages dialogue, does it?

          How’s about you picking out the points that you find so very convincing and put them in a comment and we can go from there.

          Sources such as the committed naturalists Internet Infidels put out material without references and expect folks like you to accept it as gospel (pun intended.)

          Whaaa? Now you are either lying or stupid.

          That page takes each chapter in turn and links to a scholarly critique of each. You cited chapter 6 in the book of McDowell’s. Robert Price takes that bit apart.

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/son.html

          Price…an actual New Testament scholar, makes an in depth critique of the nonsense…complete with bibliography citing references…or didn’t you bother looking?

          By the way, Robert Price has a PhD in Systematic Theology and a PhD in New Testament. He is a former Baptist Minister and was editor-in-chief at The Journal of Higher Criticism at the time he wrote that critique.

          The Journal of Higher Criticism was an academic journal covering issues “dealing with historical, literary, and history-of-religion issues from the perspective of higher criticism”, published by the Institute for Higher Critical Studies. The editor-in-chief was Robert M. Price. The periodical is held by the Library of Congress and other research libraries.

          Josh McDowell is who?

          I’ll not be lectured by someone who hasn’t a clue what they are talking about, while holding up a well refuted book of nonsense as “gospel”, while choosing to ignore respected scholarship on the subject.

          Apparently, in some cases they succeed.

          Here’s the thing. You have cited a piece of crap that even Christian scholars are embarrassed by. I have cited multiple sources, some by Christians, that tear McDowell’s woo-woo apart. Who here is the brainwashed cretin that is accepting something as “gospel”?

          But further research would be appropriate.

          How about you starting your research before ignorantly firing from the hip. I’ve been researching this stuff for more than a decade now, I’m not the one that needs the education.

        • Pofarmer

          You really don’t understand how history works, do you?

        • epicurus

          Being wrong about anything in the ancient world would not be life altering, but being wrong about Jesus and Christianity means eternity in hell. If eternity depended on getting the life of Socrates correct, or whether Pompey actually fought against Julius Ceasar in the civil wars, you’d see many or most people saying there is not enough evidence, we just can’t know, and applying the same level of skepticism that people here apply to Christian evidence.

        • MR

          What?! As Otto pointed out, it’s the Christians who are attempting to validate the claims through a court of law analogy: Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh and Sean McDowell. That’s his point! That’s where the eye rolls should be directed.

        • Greg G.

          Show me one piece of evidence from any first century event or person that would be accepted as legal evidence in a court of law today. Historic evidence is much different from legally acceptable contemporary forensic evidence that could be used to get a court decision today. Your challenge is a category error.

          Otto’s point was that none of the evidence used by Josh McDowell in the book would be valid evidence in court. Your response asking for any first century evidence that would be allowed in court misses his point. If no first century evidence would be allowed in court, then McDowell’s methodology is refuted completely.

          Your second paragraph misses the point that what might not be accepted in a court can still be considered by historians. History determines what probably happened. A court of law strives to eliminate reasonable doubt.

        • Otto

          A couple of points

          1) If none of the ‘evidence’ that they presented can be used as evidence in a court of law, don’t you think it is more than a little disingenuous, bordering on outright dishonesty, to analogize the information as if it would be evidence in a court of law to the general public that mostly have no idea how and why evidence in court is determined?

          2) If supernatural historical evidence is acceptable to determine that supernatural events did in fact take place, what other non-Christian supernatural events do you accept as being true? If you do not accept other historical claims of supernatural events, on what basis do you disregard them?

          3) People roll their eyes at your attempt at solipsism because no one is arguing that accepting Plato or Socrates as historical characters have any bearing on what was written by them or attributed to them. Conversely, according to Christians like yourself, acceptance of Jesus, not only as a Character in history, but as the almighty GOD himself is paramount to avoiding eternal punishment. Quit acting like these 2 very different claims are anywhere near similar, they are not, and anyone with half a brain can see the difference. I explained the difference to my 12 year old daughter and she gets it, so stop pretending like you just can’t figure out why one of these this is not like the other.

          4) When the miracles attributed to Alexander the Great are accepted as being historical let me know, until then equating “Jesus being God” with “Alexander the Great having existed historically”; it is extremely disingenuous and ridiculous to the point it is just asinine. Don’t.

        • Rick

          don’t you think it is more than a little disingenuous, bordering on outright dishonesty, to analogize the information as if it would be evidence in a court of law to the general public that mostly have no idea how and why evidence in court is determined?

          No. I’m not analogizing anything. I’m making a distinction between historic evidence, i.e., who killed Caesar two millennia ago, versus who killed JFK in 1963 (which still generates controversy.)

          2) If supernatural historical evidence is acceptable to determine that supernatural events did in fact take place, what other non-Christian supernatural events do you accept as being true? If you do not accept other historical claims of supernatural events, on what basis do you disregard them?

          Creation of the universe and formation of the finely tuned physical laws would be on example. I’m not aware of other historically asserted “supernatural events,” but perhaps the foundational events of the LDS church would qualify as one I doubt. This is due to the lack of corroborating evidence in archaeology or other fields. Christianity has lots of internal and external evidence, which can either all be a giant hoax or perhaps there is some truth there. I think the truth option is more credible than the hoax, or the followers getting together to form a conspiracy, etc.

          3) People roll their eyes at your attempt at solipsism because no one is arguing that accepting Plato or Socrates as historical characters have any bearing on what was written by them or attributed to them. Conversely, according to Christians like yourself, acceptance of Jesus, not only as a Character in history, but as the almighty GOD himself is paramount to avoiding eternal punishment. Quit acting like these 2 very different claims are anywhere near similar, they are not, and anyone with half a brain can see the difference. I explained the difference to my 12 year old daughter and she gets it, so stop pretending like you just can’t figure out why one of these this is not like the other.

          Actually, it was the noble death of Socrates that probably bought a lot of attention to his teachings. I agree with you that the claims of Christianity are deeper and more significant than the claims of the ancient Greeks. I’m glad that your 12 year old understands that, and that you do as well. I’m not sure what that has to do with the argument at hand however.

          4) When the miracles attributed to Alexander the Great are accepted as being historical let me know, until then equating “Jesus being God” with “Alexander the Great having existed historically”; it is extremely disingenuous and ridiculous to the point it is just asinine. Don’t.

          Fair enough. I don’t think I’m equating the claims, but be that as it may, I don’t need the supernatural claims regarding Jesus to make a strong case for his having done things concerning which the most reasonable explanation defies “normal” events. See a summary of this “minimal claims” argument here: http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/southeastern_theological_review/minimal-facts-methodology_08-02-2012.htm

        • Show me one example of the legal system accepting evidence of the supernatural. I think this is the key issue.

          As for Alexander, I agree that the Alexander Romances have minimal historical backing, but what is it that concerns you? The coins, busts, inscriptions, and cities named “Alexandria” seem like plenty of evidence to conclusively ground the claims of his military conquests.

        • No, no redirection. Maybe if you read for comprehension? I did indeed ignore your point, and I explained why. I also made clear that since your initial confusion was resolved, I was happy to move on to the point your made. I’m not sure why it’s so much fun for you to wallow in minutia … perhaps now we’re ready to move on?

          You’re right that I do give my opinions. The last thing I’d want to do is declare myself as an authority. What I want to point to is not “Bob says” but rather arguments and evidence. I offer arguments that readers can take or leave or (better) discuss. I often learn quite a bit myself from that discussion.

          I just need to chime in once in a while to demonstrate that you are not changing minds as much as you are preaching to

          I’m certain that I shall never change your mind about anything.

          and receiving the adulation of those who already agree with your perspective.

          Yep, that’s all I do it for. That whole “exploring arguments” thing is a sham, and I’m not surprised that you saw through it. This is just an ego-boosting Praise Bob club.

          I will offer one book filled with evidence for anyone open to consider it:
          Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh and Sean McDowell.

          I still have the copy you gave me years ago (1999 edition), and I refer to it occasionally. I don’t find it particularly insightful, though it is usually comprehensive, and it can be a good authority to use if I want to start a post with a clear Christian position.

          If you want to recommend an argument or two that you think the McDowells make especially well, you’re welcome to summarize it for us.

        • ildi

          I’m behind on my adulation – sorry for the delay!

        • Susan

          I’m behind on my adulation

          Fewer babies for you at the barbecue. Get to the end of the line.

        • Max Doubt

          “… and seems to indicate that no evidence will ever pass your tests.”

          God believers can’t objectively distinguish between what they imagine as gods and any other figments of their imaginations. Those gods meet all the criteria we use to define something as imaginary, and have no additional characteristics that make them objectively unique or unlike what we define as imaginary. There is no objective evidence that any gods have any power to do anything outside the imaginations of those who believe they exist. That is true as far as we know, as far as you know, too.

          Here in the real world outside other people’s imaginations, gods’ alleged existence is objectively indistinguishable from non-existence. After all, gods can’t do anything I can’t do, and I can do several things gods don’t seem able to do. Other than tickling the fancy of those who imagine they exist, gods seem altogether useless.

        • Rick

          Your worldview is one that is committed to naturalism, but from that perspective you can’t explain how the universe exhibits the finely tuned attributes it demonstrates, why there is a universe we experience instead of “nothing.” I would also reference you to the minimal facts argument and wonder what your explanation would be regarding that line of reasoning. See these references:

          http://www3.telus.net/trbrooks/garyhabermas.htm

          http://www.garyhabermas.com/articles/southeastern_theological_review/minimal-facts-methodology_08-02-2012.htm

          FYI, Bob has written about this argument (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2017/08/responding-to-the-minimal-facts-argument-for-the-resurrection/ ) but I find Habermas more convincing that Bob’s minimal refutation of the minimal facts argument.

        • Otto

          Here is the basic problem the the minimal facts argument…none of the facts actually support the conclusion.

          Stripped down it is an argument from ignorance, as in ‘we can’t explain these facts, therefore Jesus was raised from the dead by God”. You might find such arguments compelling, but they are fallacious.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yip…invent some “facts” that can’t be explained any other way than God did it, then claim God must exist.

          After a reign of thirty-seven years, Romulus is said to have disappeared in a whirlwind during a sudden and violent storm, as he was reviewing his troops on the Campus Martius. There were rumours that he had been murdered by the nobles, and that his body had been secretly dismembered and buried by them on their estates. However, a certain Proculus Julius claimed to have seen him ascending to the heavens as a god. Romulus acquired a cult following, which later became assimilated with the cult of Quirinus, perhaps originally the indigenous god of the Sabine population.

          Well of course. How could anyone possibly think otherwise?

        • MR

          Whoa. A named eye witness!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Exactly…who could argue against that, one in the eye against the veracity of Christianity.

        • Greg G.

          Ricardo Montalban played Khan in an episode of Star Trek in the first season. He reprised the role in The Wrath of Khan, a sequel in the form of a movie. Near the beginning of the movie, he said he recognized Chekov. How could that be? Chekov’s character was introduced in season 2. It’s either a miracle or a fictional story. Which is more likely?

        • epeeist

          you can’t explain how the universe exhibits the finely tuned

          “Finely tuned” for what? Why not black holes, there seems to be one at the centre of each galaxy, that would mean that there are far more of them than us, they have been around a lot longer than us and will be around long after they are gone.

          If you mean “finely tuned” for life then consider this little calculation I have presented before.

          Life on earth has been discovered in some fairly unlikely places, but let’s assume it occurs between 25Km above the earth’s surface to 25Km below. This gives a volume of some 7.65*10^19 cubic metres.

          The radius of the solar system is approximately 100 AU, from the sun to the heliopause. This gives a volume of 1.4*10^40 cubic metres.

          So the percentage of the solar system in which life is known to occur is 5.47*10^-19%. So in other words we cannot survive in 00.999999999999999999453% of the volume of the solar system. Do you want to call that fine tuned?

        • Rick

          That is a great statistic.

          Why does life exist at all? What caused the first fully functioning cell?

          Black holes turn out to be part of what stabilizes the universe as we understand it. Amazing stuff to be sure.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Otto

          >>>”Why does life exist at all?”

          ‘I don’t know’ is a perfectly good and reasonable answer to questions we don’t know the answer to.

        • epeeist

          Why does life exist at all?

          Don’t know, neither do you.

          What caused the first fully functioning cell?

          There was a single cause?

          Anyway it isn’t a sensible question, a better question would be “how did the first replicator come about?”

        • Yes, those are a couple of good questions. Science has a lot of unanswered questions–that’s how it works. And that’s not the least bit embarrassing, nor is it a sign of weakness.

          By asking these questions, I hope you’re not saying that your worldview has evidence-based answers. We’ve learned nothing about nature from Christianity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh noes…not the teleological/fine tuning argument…that’s a slam dunk…NOT!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9O5wXsgqrc

        • Ignorant Amos

          The “minimal facts” argument are not facts at all.

          …but I find Habermas more convincing that Bob’s minimal refutation of the minimal facts argument.

          Of course you do…why is that do you think?

          And you’ll find Habermas more convincing than this refutation too, no doubt…

          https://evaluatingchristianity.wordpress.com/2009/03/05/why-the-minimal-facts-model-is-unpersuasive/

          Or this one…

          http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/rev_habermas.htm

          Habermas is a fudger of facts to embellish his position…he can’t be trusted to be honest.

          https://lutherwasnotbornagaincom.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/a-review-of-gary-habermas-claim-that-75-of-scholars-believe-in-the-historicity-of-the-empty-tomb/

        • Max Doubt

          “Your worldview is one that is committed to naturalism,…”

          No. There are claims that gods exist. Nobody who makes those claims has ever been able to differentiate what they imagine as a god from any other figments of their imaginations. Quite apparently you can’t either.

          “… but from that perspective you can’t explain how the universe exhibits the finely tuned attributes it demonstrates, why there is a universe we experience instead of “nothing.””

          Even from the perspective that gods exist, you can’t explain how the universe exhibits the finely tuned attributes you imagine or why there is a universe we experience instead of “nothing.” Well, other than an unsupported declaration that the god you imagine is somehow involved. Magic, pretty much the laziest, most dishonest cop-out answer available, but that doesn’t stop you. Clearly you have nothing else.

          “I would also reference you to the minimal facts argument and wonder what your explanation would be regarding that line of reasoning.”

          Until you can objectively distinguish between the thing you imagine as a god and any other figment of your imagination, there is no good reason to describe it as something else. The minimal facts argument doesn’t address that. Here are some minimal facts, facts with which you must agree – if you’re honest…

          There is nothing your god can do, objectively, that I can’t do, and many things I can do that your god doesn’t seem able to do. Your god has no power to do anything at all outside your own head. You are unable to objectively distinguish between your god and any other figment of your imagination. There is no objective evidence that any gods exist or that any miracles or acts of magic have ever occurred. Those are facts.

          “FYI, Bob has written about this argument (http://www.patheos.com/blog…) but I find Habermas more convincing that Bob’s minimal refutation of the minimal facts argument.”

          FYI, I find your willful ignorance dishonest, but highly predictable.

        • you can’t explain how the universe exhibits the finely tuned attributes it demonstrates

          1. So what—can yours?

          2. The multiverse.

          why there is a universe we experience instead of “nothing.”

          Are you saying that this is surprising? That nothing is what we’d expect in a godless universe? Show me.

        • Greg G.

          why there is a universe we experience instead of “nothing.”

          Do you remember the way things were in the Roman Empire? How about the future Brazilian Empire? You don’t exist in those places and times. You can only experience when it and you exist, and you are contingent on the it. Nobody asks why they don’t exist or why there is no universe for them to exist.

          Even a secondary monotheistic god cannot ask why they do not exist.

          I wonder how a primary monotheistic god answer such a question if there was nothing else.

        • Grimlock

          Hey Rick,

          I was wondering about something. The majority view of scholars studying the NT seems to be that none of the authors of the gospels were actual eyewitnesses. Since the field of Bible studies probably has a huge selection bias (Christians being more interested in studying the Bible as a career) this seems to really make it hard for a non-expert to consider them eyewitnesses.

          Does this reasoning make sense to you, in terms of explaining why atheists don’t put much stock in the gospel accounts?

          I also wanted to ask you a more general question. Do you think that one should in general believe people who claim to be eyewitnesses to supernatural events?

          Grim

        • Rick

          Grim,

          Does this reasoning make sense to you, in terms of explaining why atheists don’t put much stock in the gospel accounts?

          Great question. I’m not sure what “majority view of scholars” you are citing, but if that view is what you are relying on, I can understand that “atheists don’t put much stock in the Gospel accounts.” However, there is a lot of scholarship that disagrees with that assertion. That said, the four Gospel writers were accepted as either having been among the twelve (Matthew and John) or among the larger group of followers (Luke, a physician and historian; and Mark, a disciple of Peter who was likely with the group around Jesus during his physical time on Earth) by the early church fathers.

          Do you think that one should in general believe people who claim to be eyewitnesses to supernatural events?

          Another reasonable question! In general, when I hear such a claim, I am skeptical. But I have a physician friend whom I trust implicitly and he has related several stories of what seem to be dramatic recoveries from serious illnesses after prayer occurred. I trust him but have several reasons to trust a story like his.
          1) He tends to be honest in all other areas of his life of which I am aware.
          2) He has nothing to gain by telling the story. (He’s not asking for money for his next trip, for instance.)
          3) He is not trying to impress or shock people with the stories.
          4) He only told me about these incidents when I asked if he had ever seen cases that medically appear to have the appearance of possible divine intervention.
          5) He is not spring loaded to the miraculous explanation, realizing that in some cases the body does heal in ways physicians don’t fully understand, and that some of the cases he cited could have been more natural and less supernatural.

          Are there other criteria you would suggest?

          Finally, let me thank you for your conversational tone. I don’t often get responses where I am not called an idiot, told I am not as smart as a 12-year-old (some of whom are pretty smart!), or worse.

          Rick

        • Grimlock

          Great question. I’m not sure what “majority view of scholars” you are citing, but if that view is what you are relying on, I can understand that “atheists don’t put much stock in the Gospel accounts.” However, there is a lot of scholarship that disagrees with that assertion. That said, the four Gospel writers were accepted as either having been among the twelve (Matthew and John) or among the larger group of followers (Luke, a physician and historian; and Mark, a disciple of Peter who was likely with the group around Jesus during his physical time on Earth) by the early church fathers.

          Cheers.

          My aim was simply to provide a rough sketch of a common atheist view on the topic, and it seems to me that you acknowledge some reasonableness of this view. I am quite content with that.

          As you say, there is scholarship that attempts to assert the traditional authorship of the gospels. But this is hardly surprising – as noted, there is a tremendous selection bias going on, and while this does not demonstrate the falsity of the traditional authorship position, it does make me skeptical.

          Another reasonable question! In general, when I hear such a claim, I am skeptical. But I have a physician friend whom I trust implicitly and he has related several stories of what seem to be dramatic recoveries from serious illnesses after prayer occurred. I trust him but have several reasons to trust a story like his.
          1) He tends to be honest in all other areas of his life of which I am aware.
          2) He has nothing to gain by telling the story. (He’s not asking for money for his next trip, for instance.)
          3) He is not trying to impress or shock people with the stories.
          4) He only told me about these incidents when I asked if he had ever seen cases that medically appear to have the appearance of possible divine intervention.
          5) He is not spring loaded to the miraculous explanation, realizing that in some cases the body does heal in ways physicians don’t fully understand, and that some of the cases he cited could have been more natural and less supernatural.

          Are there other criteria you would suggest?

          I’m not sure. It seems to me that your criteria are good criteria, but perhaps not sufficient. (Let me just note that I fully expect that your friend is being honest.)

          I suspect that criteria such as the ones you outline are problematic in a few ways. For instance…

          (i) Some of the criteria are hard to verify. Take (2) for instance. I expect your friend has no expectations of a material reward for those stories. But perhaps they have another benefit? I expect being a physician can be really tough at times, and belief in a higher power than can help out from time to time seems beneficial for that. As such, having such an internal narrative seems to me to be rather beneficial for one’s own peace of mind.

          (Please note that we all do stuff like that – we shape our own internal narrative, and edit in and out stuff that we prefer. And yes, this bothers me a bit, but it’s also really fascinating how our minds work. Also, I’m not an expert on the subject of psychology, so a pinch of salt is appropriate.)

          (ii) It strikes me that such criteria can be applied to all sorts of supernatural of paranormal events, such as alien abductions and homeopathy. This would to me indicate a weakness with the criteria.

          What do you think?

          Finally, let me thank you for your conversational tone. I don’t often get responses where I am not called an idiot, told I am not as smart as a 12-year-old (some of whom are pretty smart!), or worse.

          I skimmed some of the conversation going on here, but that was a few days ago, so the details are a bit fuzzy. But allow me to make a general observation about conversational tone.

          In discussions between believers and non-believers online there seems to me that there is often a difference in what one perceives as offensive. One side will phrase themselves in what they perceive to be accurate and neutral terms, while the other side perceives this as hostile or offensive, and thus responds in kind. And so it escalates, with no side ever intending to provide unprovoked hostility. Yet dialogue suffers, and the partisanship increases.

          I wonder if that has occurred in this conversation.

          Grim

        • Otto

          What evidence did the doctor present to directly tie the prayer to the recovery? How does he know that the patient would not have recovered without the prayer? I have no doubt that there are instances in the medical field where recovery had no real explanation, but having no explanation does not logically lead to “therefore God intervened”.

        • Rick

          There is no proof of what might or might not have happened in any such case. These are hypotheticals. So no, he does not know what would have happened any more than he knows exactly the outcome of any of his patients who goes without modern medical treatment. But there is a statistically significant expectation that can be applied, and these cases violate the expected norm.

        • Otto

          Ok, that really doesn’t tell us anything about the reason for the recovery.

        • Sharing an intriguing anecdote about a supposed healing miracle doesn’t do anything to support the existence of miracles. What you should do instead is work with a community of doctors or scientists to get the claims evaluated. If they say that it’s a miracle, then that’ll be something worth paying attention to. The friend-of-a-friend anecdote are common and pretty much useless.

        • Rick
        • Ignorant Amos

          More homework???

          But then all other non-Christian religious miracle and supernatural claims have to be allowed onto the table. That’s the problem you have with your line of thinking, such that it is.

          A book about so-called history written by non historians.

          An historians rebuttal….

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/indef/

          https://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/indef/2.html

          History and theology/faith do part ways in some of these areas but I tell my students often: “Good history is never the enemy of proper faith.” It is easy to hold that “God” can do anything, and thus argue for the acceptance of a male baby being born without male sperm, or reports of a corpse rising after two or three days and ascending bodily into heaven, but such claims are not the purview of historians and they run contrary to our human experience and a more rational scientific understanding of birth and death. Historians likewise deal with “beliefs” about the afterlife and the unseen world beyond, but without asserting the historical reality of these notions or realms. We can evaluate what people claimed, what they believed, what they reported, and that all becomes part of the data, but to then say, “A miracle happened” or this or that “prophet” was truly hearing from God, as opposed to another who was utterly false prophecy, goes beyond our accessible methods. I don’t want to oversimplify things here and I realize that the question of “faith” and “history” and the assumptions modern historians make in terms of a so-called “materialistic” worldview can be challenged, even philosophically. But for the most part historians are willing to leave the “mystery” in, but in terms of advocating this or that view of the so-called “supernatural,” as an explanation, they properly, in my view, remain wary. ~James D. Tabor, Christian Scholar, Professor of Religious Studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Writer, Researcher, Christian Origins, Ancient Judaism

          https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/do-historians-of-religion-exclude-the-supernatural_us_57cda5cde4b06c750ddb3815

        • Rick

          You asked for evidence that miracles have occurred, not for what people believed the source to be any particular entity. Unexplained, seemingly beyond normal things have occurred. That is why we call them miracles.

          By the standard of Dr. Tabor, (who has an axe to grind on these issues) there is no discussion to be had, so unless you are willing to do some research and check out what the sources provided say, I think this particular conversation is probably at a dead end. I have provided evidecnce, and you have chosen not to pursue it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You asked for evidence that miracles have occurred, not for what people believed the source to be any particular entity.

          Define “miracle”?

          If miracles have occurred, then all miracles have occurred. That means they are not YahwehJesus driven. That then becomes a problem for the Christian unless they invoke special pleading.

          Unexplained, seemingly beyond normal things have occurred.

          The keywords are “unexplained” and “seemingly”. Every single thing that has ever been explained, never had a supernatural explanation. Seeningly beyond normal things have always, without exception, have turned out not to have been beyond normal, but been normal.

          That is why we call them miracles.

          Nope. That’s why eejits that believe in the supernatural call them miracles. Rational, critical thinking, skeptics call them unexplained yet phenomena.

          By the standard of Dr. Tabor, (who has an axe to grind on these issues) there is no discussion to be had,…

          You mean the standards of real scholarship? What axe does Tabor have to grind? There is no discussion to be had because your source is the correct one?

          …so unless you are willing to do some research and check out what the sources provided say, I think this particular conversation is probably at a dead end.

          I have researched what proper real qualified scholars have had to say about your sources. They are scathing to say the least. All you’ve done is through apologetic books at us, pick a detail that you believe will stand up to scrutiny…just one, and let’s see how your sources hold up.

          I have provided evidecnce, and you have chosen not to pursue it.

          It isn’t evidence. It is the musings of unqualified apologists. Kf you can’t make an argument from your best source and present it here for scrutiny, fuck off. It’s not behooving to the rest of us to waste our time reading book length screeds of fuckwittery to appease your incompetence to present an argument.

        • Unexplained, seemingly beyond normal things have occurred. That is why we call them miracles.

          In the field of aviation, we call them Unidentified Flying Objects. But just because they’re unidentified doesn’t mean that they’re Martians.

        • If time were infinite, I’d comply. But it’s not, sorry.

          Does this book talk about how miracle claims are becoming the scientific consensus? If not, then it’s irrelevant to the point I was making.

        • Otto

          Funny you would say that “The bar changes to fit the needs of a given post” because I asked you point blank the other day what other non-Christian supernatural claims that you accept based on the same standards you use to accept the Christian supernatural claims, and you did not answer. The bar seems to change for you based on whether the supernatural claim is Christian or not.

        • MR

          That’s always been my test. Do protestant miracles convince catholics or vice versa? We only ever believe our own. Why is that? Can you blame an atheist when you can’t even convince a person who already believes in a God?

        • Rick

          I did answer that question, but can’t find the post in the threads below. My bar is pretty consistent.

        • Otto

          I don’t see it in my replies. But regardless, do you want to explain the difference?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Cause it ain’t there.

          Don’t hold yer breath while waiting on an answer.

        • Susan

          Hi Rick,

          I did answer that question, but can’t find the post in the threads below.

          You can search your own comment history, find the comment where you answered, right click and copy/paste your answer in response to Otto.

          People here would be happy to walk you through it if you need technical help.

          Or you could just answer again. It’s Disqus. Repeating something never hurts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s dodging the question, sure don’t ya know.

        • Susan

          don’t ya know.

          Just in case.

          Also, now he has no excuse.

        • Rick

          Thanks, Susan! I did not know that feature existed.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Rick

          Turns out my response to “what other non-Christian supernatural claims that you accept based on the same standards you use to accept the Christian supernatural claims” was sort of included in a response to Grimlock a couple of days ago. I said:

          Do you think that one should in general believe people who claim to be eyewitnesses to supernatural events?

          Another reasonable question! In general, when I hear such a claim, I am skeptical. But I have a physician friend whom I trust implicitly and he has related several stories of what seem to be dramatic recoveries from serious illnesses after prayer occurred. I trust him but have several reasons to trust a story like his.

          1) He tends to be honest in all other areas of his life of which I am aware.

          2) He has nothing to gain by telling the story. (He’s not asking for money for his next trip, for instance.)

          3) He is not trying to impress or shock people with the stories.

          4) He only told me about these incidents when I asked if he had ever seen cases that medically appear to have the appearance of possible divine intervention.

          5) He is not spring loaded to the miraculous explanation, realizing that in some cases the body does heal in ways physicians don’t fully understand, and that some of the cases he cited could have been more natural and less supernatural.

          Are there other criteria you would suggest?

          So any non-Christian supernatural claims would have to meet those qualifications. Faith traditions like LDS which lack a evidentiary basis (textual or archeological) would not earn my trust.

          I’m sure you will have a rejoinder, but I think we are at an impasse and have drifted far afield.

        • Otto

          What you are describing with the doctor example is anecdotal evidence, so what you are in essence saying is that any supernatural claim has to meet a bar of anecdotal evidence. That is a rather low bar and would open the door to all kinds of supernatural claims, many of which that I am reasonably sure you would not accept. You claim to be consistent in your analysis and yet I see no evidence that such is the case.

          >>>”Faith traditions like LDS which lack a evidentiary basis (textual or archeological) would not earn my trust.”

          There are no faith traditions that have archaeological evidence for their supernatural claims, that includes Christianity. What the LDS does have is people attesting to events, which is the same with Christianity. Worldwide there are many, many faith traditions that rely on personal attestations, what I am asking is why you accept the Christian attestations and not the others.

          It sounds to me like you are not comfortable with this line of discussion. You say we have drifted far afield and yet I am just questioning issues you have opened the door to. I am not sure what you are hoping to accomplish other than to make unsubstantiated claims and have us accept them at face value.

        • Rick

          My doctor friend is anecdotal. That lead into a set of criteria that was not. It is an important distinction.

          See, among many other sources,

          “9 archaeology finds that confirm the New Testament: Hundreds of archaeological findings are confirming the biblical record. Peter S Williams looks at some of the most interesting discoveries…” https://www.premierchristianity.com/Past-Issues/2017/March-2017/9-archaeology-finds-that-confirm-the-New-Testament

          “What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/14/what-is-the-historical-evidence-that-jesus-christ-lived-and-died

          As one of the sources points out in the second article, the archeological evidence is not as strong as the textual evidence, however.

          It is hard to find historians who regard this material as serious archaeological data, however. The documents produced by Christian, Jewish and Roman writers form the most significant evidence.

          These abundant historical references leave us with little reasonable doubt that Jesus lived and died. The more interesting question – which goes beyond history and objective fact – is whether Jesus died and lived.

          That said, there is enough archeological evidence to corroborate key actors like Paul and Pilate. That is far more direct evidence than we have for Aristotle from archeology, as a counter point.

          I’m not uncomfortable with the line of discussion. I just have a lot on my plate and don’t see this progressing beyond claims and counter claims.

        • Otto

          The conclusion is anecdotal…that is the point. It is the end point I am focusing on, the claim that it was intervention from God, that is completely anecdotal and unsubstantiated.

          Can you show me archaeological evidence that Jesus performed miracles? Or that he was supernaturally raised from the dead? That is where the rubber meets the road. I am not claiming Jesus did not exist as a person. The claim is that he was God, and that is in no way substantiated by any evidence. What has to be accepted is that certain people said he was God, and that is no different from other faith tradition claims.

          >>>”That said, there is enough archeological evidence to corroborate key actors like Paul and Pilate.”

          OK Paul lived and wrote about what he claimed to have experienced. I don’t see the significance as to why that is any different from a myriad of other people making claims of what they say they experience.

          There is evidence for Pilate, the problem is the evidence outside of the Bible for what Pilate was like as a person does not jive with what the Bible claims. Which leads to other Biblical problems…like the Census where people were asked to go to their ancestral homeland of for a census. That is ridiculous. Or Pilate releasing a known murderer and enemy of the State.

          The logic you are employing seems ostensibly to be that if some parts of the NT can be confirmed, that means the supernatural stuff happened too. That type of logic is literally not used anywhere but within religion and can be rejected out of hand due to a lack of foundation.

        • Rick

          You make some fair points, but evidence does exist. See these sources:

          https://www.amazon.com/Defense-Miracles-Comprehensive-Action-History/dp/0830815287

          https://www.amazon.com/Miracles-Credibility-New-Testament-Accounts/dp/0801039525/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=53J9QFSCQGYTT6A3PTYM&dpID=51gV3m4jxEL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=detail

          As for anecdotal evidence, it can be used, even in a courtroom. It is called an eyewitness account. My friend gave me an eyewitness account of what he saw. What I’m giving you is second hand information and is inadmissible in most cases. That does not make it irrellevent.

          If the narratives of the first century build a consistent story that is explained better by a supernatural event (Jesus predicting his death and resurrection, then pulling it off, and people seeing and recording that as a supernatural event) the evidence has to be evaluated. What better explanations are there? There are some, but they all have problems. Sean and Josh McDowell point out the problems with the conspiracy, swoon and hoax theories to name a few, as well as the legend and “just another dying and rising savior” suggestion.

        • Otto

          You friend gave an eyewitness account of what he saw, but it is not what he saw that I question, it was his conclusion of what he saw that I question. His conclusion lacks foundation and that is the point. I highly doubt his conclusion would be admissible as testimony, and even if it was he would get torn apart in cross examination.

          >>>”If the narratives of the first century build a consistent story that is explained better by a supernatural event”

          Can you demonstrate supernatural events are even possible? If you can’t how in the world are you going to be able to assign a probability that a supernatural explanation is better than any natural explanation? You can’t even get off the starting line until you do.

          There is no evidence that Jesus actually predicted anything. Jesus didn’t write down or record anything. People living much later, long after Jesus lived claimed he predicted his death and resurrection. It is hearsay and not even good hearsay in that we know nothing of the person or person’s who actually put pen to paper and wrote the account down.

          >>>”Sean and Josh McDowell point out the problems with the conspiracy, swoon and hoax theories to name a few, as well as the legend and “just another dying and rising savior” suggestion.”

          Even if I stipulate that they in fact did poke holes in those natural explanations and possibilities , none of that actually supports a supernatural explanation(and please don’t read that I am stipulating that, because I am not). Saying ‘none of these natural explanations account for the story, so therefore Jesus did in fact supernaturally rise from the dead’ is an argument from ignorance. When are you going to admit that it is not reasonable or logical to make conclusions like that? “I don’t know how else it could have happened” is not a valid argument!

          And your links go to books by Christian apologists, including Habermas who uses the tortured logic that I pointed out above. Of course he defends miracles, I have no idea why you would think I would find that compelling.

        • What better explanations are there?

          Legend.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Myth…or a mixture of both.

          Historical fiction?

        • The precise bin is, as you suggest, up for debate. I would go for legend over myth because there is a grounding in historical time and place. Myth is more “long ago and far away,” with no figures of history. The NT mentions Caesar Augustus and Herod the Great, among other people who actually lived.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not in the Pauline corpus there isn’t that stuff though. That is a gospel invention.

          Some mythicist’s propose a theses of a long ago Jesus…

          The early Wells, and Alvar Ellegård, have argued that Paul’s Jesus may have lived far earlier, in a dimly remembered remote past.

          Wells argues that Paul and the other epistle writers—the earliest Christian writers—do not provide any support for the idea that Jesus lived early in the 1st century and that—for Paul—Jesus may have existed many decades, if not centuries, before. According to Wells, the earliest strata of the New Testament literature presented Jesus as “a basically supernatural personage only obscurely on Earth as a man at some unspecified period in the past”. In The Jesus Myth, Wells argues that two Jesus narratives fused into one: Paul’s mythical Jesus and a minimally historical Jesus whose teachings were preserved in the Q document, a hypothetical common source for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

          The myth could be said to have become legend.

        • Yes, good point. I had the gospel story in mind.

          The myth could be said to have become legend.

          You’ve heard of euhemerism? That might explain the Paul-to-gospels process.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euhemerism

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes. Carrier’s thesis is euhemerism.

        • Rick

          Refuted. See McDowell’s latest version of “Evidence” and search for “legend.” Numerous refutations in various categories. This is not a credible concept.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wise up with the McDowell crap…real scholars don’t take the garbage seriously.

        • Can you summarize it for us? Or do I have to buy the book and look it up?

        • Rick

          Can I? Sure. But no, I won’t. What happens is you take pot shots at the incomplete summary of a complex topic. That is never productive. I’ve taken the time to lead you to water. You can drink or not.

        • Model that behavior for us. I’ve long ago made the legend argument. This is my response to your claim, “this is not a credible concept.”

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/08/12-reasons-why-jesus-is-a-legend/

        • I have the 1999 version but can’t find “Legend” in the table of contents or the index. If you can point me to an argument so compelling that you can summarize it simply as “Refused,” then I’ll read it. But I’m not going to buy a new copy of the book.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s not going to happen.

          He can’t make an argument, or he won’t, because it’ll get tore apart.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Steve Shives takes Rick’s particular favourite porn book for apologists apart in great detail in his series of videos refuting “Evidence That Demands A Verdict” you will recognize all of the rebuttals as repetition of your own…starting here…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IHN4RaUNKY

        • Steve Shives is admirably patient. Great videos.

        • Pofarmer

          “If any of you are masochistic enough to follow along and get your own copy” Lol.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Am up to chapter ‘s 7 & 8…Shives has a sarcastic wit about him that I’m enjoying immensely.

        • Susan

          This is not a credible concept.

          Why not?

        • Ctharrot

          Hi, Rick. I’ve tried to engage you twice, to no avail. This’ll be my last effort; three is already bordering on harrassment, by my reckoning.

          For the sake of argument, let’s posit that four somewhat inconsistent narratives appearing in copies of copies of ancient documents of debatable authorship constitute a sufficient basis on which to conclude that a miracle happened.

          What if we have only a single source? And what if its provenance is even more questionable? For instance, the parting of the Red Sea appears only in Exodus, a book of unspecified authorship likely composed several centuries after the events depicted would’ve occurred. Should we believe that Moses parted the Red Sea as described, and that the Red Sea engulfed Pharaoh and his army? Do you believe that happened?

        • Rick

          I haven’t intentionally slighted you, so don’t take it personally. Every few months, a comment on this blog incites me to write a response, which has now led to nearly 100 posts and counter-posts. I will go back underground soon as life is simply too busy to allow myself to spend as much time as I have recently responding to the barrage that always happens when a someone like me posts something here countering the narrative held by the regular contributors.

          Regarding your comments:

          For the sake of argument, let’s posit that four somewhat inconsistent narratives appearing in copies of copies of ancient documents of debatable authorship constitute a sufficient basis on which to conclude that a miracle happened.

          I do not grant your characterization, but at your request I will ignore that and go to the second point.

          Should we believe that Moses parted the Red Sea as described, and that the Red Sea engulfed Pharaoh and his army? Do you believe that happened?

          Here are a couple of articles that assess the evidence:

          https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-topics/exodus/exodus-fact-or-fiction/

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/film-news/11307733/Exodus-the-evidence-for-the-Bible-story.html

          Direct evidence is tantalizing but problematic and inconclusive, as you might expect for a 3500 year old narrative. This set of articles from the web site of Ron Wyatt is such a source:

          https://wyattmuseum.com/discovering/red-sea-crossing

          Wyatt (now deceased) has been criticized, but the reports do not sound like a raving lunatic is making stuff up. Maybe he was, but it is hard to know for sure.

          In short, I think it is likely that the basic events recorded in Exodus are essentiallly true. The fact that a nomadic people are known to have taken over land that is now centrally located where their ancestors now live, in Israel, and that they carefully preserved the history for thousands of years is a data point not easily dismissed out of hand. There is no record in antiquity that has ever posited the Jews made it up. There is no direct counter-evidence, and lots of archeology has backed up various aspects of the Old Testament with new discoveries coming along as time goes by.

          I guess you will have to make up your own mind based on the evidence, not the hype, which is what you will generally find on blog sites.

        • Ctharrot

          Hi, Rick.

          No worries. I don’t take these things personally.

          1. With regard to Wyatt, I think you’re being charitable. He claimed to have found all manner of biblical artifacts, including Noah’s Ark, the Ark of the Covenant, and blood from JC himself. Of course none of these have been confirmed by legitimate experts. Wyatt appears to have been a passionate, wishful-thinking crank at best, a fraud at worst.

          2. From my perspective, you kinda talked around my inquiry without addressing the core issue. General assertions about the OT, ancient Hebrews, and archaeology are peripheral. What I’m getting at is the epistemology of ancient miracle claims. One in particular, for discussion purposes.

          Let me me try again, and re-phrase. Our only source stating that Moses miraculously parted the Red Sea, which then closed in over the pursuing Egyptian army, is Exodus. I don’t believe that happened.

          Do you?

        • Rick

          I told you “In short, I think it is likely that the basic events recorded in Exodus are essentially true.” I would rather leave my statement as it is and ask you what you believe about it based on the preponderance of the evidence, and why.

        • Ctharrot

          Okay. You can probably understand that it’s my sense you’re avoiding the key issue, and declining to answer a simple yes/no question about Moses and the Red Sea that you’d have no problem answering at church or elsewhere. To be frank, I’m compelled to infer that you (a) likely do believe the miracle happened, even though the only historical support for it is copies of copies of the anonymous, ancient book of Exodus, and (b) simply would rather not discuss it. I won’t force the issue.

          As for your question, my education and experience have taught me that narratives from the myriad peoples of antiquity are rich with accounts of signs, wonders, miracles, spirits, omens, prophecies, etc. We see them in records from the Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and others–abundant evidence of a creative and credulous species crafting and circulating all sorts of amazing stories to persuade, entertain, explain, and sometimes propagandize. When I read about Moses parting the Red Sea, I ask myself the same question I ask when I read about Alexander being descended from the demigod Heracles, or Achilles being 99.44% bullet-proof, or Emperor Vespasian’s healing miracles: What’s more likely, that this wonderous ancient account is true, or that it’s legend rooted in the human imagination?

          The preponderance of the of the evidence is that people create and adapt and share various tales–often on the tall side. There’s as much historical evidence for Moses parting the Red Sea as there is for Pythagoras singing songs that cured disease, or Gilgamesh talking with the ghost of his friend, Enkidu.

        • Rick

          Gilgamesh didn’t have a lasting societal effect or start a major religion, nor did Enkidu. John Grisham’s characters, like the fictional Gilgamesh, aren’t in the same category as historic claims, so I don’t think that comparison works.

          Since you were willing to respond in a reasonable way, I will answer your question. I think the crossing of the Red Sea likely happened pretty much as the Exodus account says. Miracles, by their nature, do not leave archeological evidence. When such evidence is allegedly found it is difficult in some cases to validate those claims. Miracles tend to leave eyewitness accounts narrating what the witness perceived to be the case. That is what we see in the Old and New Testaments.

        • Ctharrot

          Okay. Let’s put aside that there is actually some evidence for an historical Gilgamesh of Uruk. (It’s a side issue on which I’m agnostic.)

          You believe in this ancient Red Sea miracle, the only specific evidence of which is a single account of unspecified authorship and provenance that most scholars believe was compiled into roughly the form we have now several centuries after the event would’ve occurred.

          Have I misstated anything?

        • Gilgamesh was part of a Mesopotamian religion that was a big deal for a while and then died out. Christianity has had a much larger impact on the world, though I don’t know why we should expect it to last forever. To your point, I don’t know why you bothered to mention that the Gilgamesh myth had less impact than the Jesus story. It’s true, but so what? Or are you saying popular = true?

        • Rick

          For the record,

          1) I didn’t bring up Gilgamesh. I was responding to another post.

          2) Popular does not equal true. I assume you agree?

        • 1) OK. I don’t think who raised Gilgamesh is the point.

          2) Of course.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh jaysus…not the Wyatt fuckwittery again…you really scrape the bottom of the barrel in support of the nonsense you promote.

          This from the blog of James McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA….

          The hoax is at least as old as the charlatan Ron Wyatt. There are a wide array of sites, some explicitly by Christians, focused on exposing the lies and deceptions perpetrated by this individual.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2012/06/chariot-wheels-in-the-red-sea-hoax-persists.html

        • Ctharrot

          I had to chuckle. Even Answers in Genesis has called Wyatt a “fraudster.” Now that’s saying something.

        • Rick

          That is why I couched my characterization of his “discoveries” with rather tentative terms, not unbridled support.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Wyatt (now deceased) has been criticized, but the reports do not sound like a raving lunatic is making stuff up. Maybe he was, but it is hard to know for sure.

          Yeah, they really do sound like a raving lunatic…as even Christian scholars have had to embarrassingly point out.

          Citing a raving lunatic in support of your position, even in tentative terms, on an atheist site, is going to draw ire, ridicule, and mockery out of frustration at such silliness. It was a stupid thing to do, but then most of your other sources are of a similar bent, so it is unsurprising. You will have to do much better in order to be taken in any modicum of seriousness.

        • Ignorant Amos

          As for anecdotal evidence, it can be used, even in a courtroom. It is called an eyewitness account. My friend gave me an eyewitness account of what he saw. What I’m giving you is second hand information and is inadmissible in most cases. That does not make it irrellevent.

          It depends on the particular type of anecdote and the source.

          You need to learn what an anecdote is here and it’s application in a courtroom. The claim is your friend witnessed/experienced an event, making your friend the eyewitness. You telling us, that’s called hearsay, that’s not admissible in a courtroom. Miracle claims are not admissible in a courtroom, and for very good reason.

          Where a court lacks suitable means to test and assess testimony of a particular witness, such as the absence of forms of corroboration or substantiation, it may afford that testimony limited or no “weight” when making a decision on the facts.

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

          Furthermore, eyewitness testimony in a courtroom is not acceptable if it contains supernatural claims. Unless it is evidence to demonstrate the competence of the accused, victim, or witness.

          If the narratives of the first century build a consistent story that is explained better by a supernatural event (Jesus predicting his death and resurrection, then pulling it off, and people seeing and recording that as a supernatural event) the evidence has to be evaluated.

          They don’t. Only believers think they do.

          When the evidence, such that it is, get’s evaluated by most scholar’s without a predisposed bias for the story, the result is usually the same as when a Christian scholar assesses the evidence for the supernatural claims of other faith’s, guess what that is?

          Now I’ll grant you that there are a number of self-proclaimed “non-believer’s” that assert that looking at what they call the evidence, claim they were converted by their research. Your man McDowell claiming agnosticism. But it is dubious that they were as skeptical as they claim, the evidence is sparse. While the number of Christian’s going the other direction is vast. And before you say it, you/some might assert this to be the argumentum ad populum, but it really isn’t.

          What better explanations are there?

          Any non-supernatural explanation, no matter how extraordinary, is superior. Nothing that had an explanation discovered, that was once explained as being supernatural, has been confirmed as a supernatural phenomena. Nothing, nadda, nought, zip, zero, zilch…ever. So, I have reasonable expectation based on prior probability, that that will remain the case.

          “We don’t know yet” is a far better answer than a supernatural one. If you permit the supernatural in one particular area onto the table, the flood gates are opened and all supernatural explanations are go. Rational and critical thinking people don’t, for very good reasons.

          There are some, but they all have problems. Sean and Josh McDowell point out the problems with the conspiracy, swoon and hoax theories to name a few, as well as the legend and “just another dying and rising savior” suggestion.

          Their problems, such that they are, are not as problematic as the “God-did-it” claim.

  • Max Doubt

    “At least they know what gender they are.”

    So they’re not just stupid; they’re stupid bigots. Got it.

    • Zachariah ​†

      “Hey Daniel what gender are you?”

      “I am a man.”

      “YOU BIGOT!”

      • Michael Neville

        You’re an idiot. But we knew that already.

        • Zachariah ​†

          First personal attack. That was fast.

        • Michael Neville

          Wrong, your video attacking Dawkins was the first personal attack. And you’re still an idiot and I still know that.

        • Zachariah ​†

          How was that a personal attack?

          (also #2, that was fast.)

        • Michael Neville

          The video, which had nothing to do with any topic being discussed, quoted Dawkins out of context, kept repeating the same two or three clips in a vain attempt to make Dawkins look like a idiot, and finished with the presenter showing that he didn’t understand was Dawkins was saying. I think you posted that video to say “you atheists are stupid” because the video was saying “Dawkins is stupid”. That is a personal attack.

          I notice one other thing. Several of us responded to your initial salvo beginning This entire discussion is a stupid argument. Your response has been to write a non sequitur about “Big Pharma”, ask a reasonable question about atheists’ mental health, try to blow off the fact that atheists are generally more knowledgeable about religion than Christians, give another non sequitur about Jewish scientists including a dig at Einstein, and then post an idiotic video attacking Richard Dawkins. That’s why I say you’re an idiot. And don’t whine about personal attacks. It’s not my fault that you’re an idiot.

        • Zachariah ​†

          You don’t like my video so it is a personal attack? LOL. That is quite a stretch.
          #3 personal attack

        • Michael Neville

          I didn’t like your video because it was a personal attack. But since you’re an idiot you’re too stupid to realize that. Tell me, why do you keep providing evidence that you’re an idiot and then whine when I point out you’re an idiot? Don’t you realize that everything you’ve said to me just proves you’re an idiot?

        • Zachariah ​†

          #4 #5 #6

        • I was thinking you couldn’t count, but now I see that you can. Well done! But any more and it’s just bragging.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Now now.. flattery wont stop me from counting yours.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          probably worth noting that his avatar appears to be ‘One Punch Man’ which is a parody anime about a fighter so strong that he no longer enjoys fighting as it is too easy, read into that what you will.

          Also the insult counting seems to indicate a certain agenda from the start

        • I don’t know my anime, so thanks for that insight.

          That does seem to fit his personality.

        • Michael Neville

          If you don’t want me to call you an idiot there’s an easy fix. Stop writing idiotic things and posting idiotic videos and you won’t be called an idiot. Even an idiot should be able to figure that one out, given enough hints.

        • Zachariah ​†

          #20

        • Tip: focus on making an argument, not keeping score of insults. Then perhaps you won’t get insulted so much.

        • Zachariah ​†

          From my experience, nothing will stop the insults. And it is useless to make an argument with someone who all they have are insults.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You LED with an insult.

          Explain why we should do anything besides hound your worthless ass out of here, then.

        • Michael Neville

          Instead of showing you’re a first grade graduate by counting how many times you’re an idiot, why don’t you try to answer my response to your initial comment? Or is that too hard for you?

        • Zachariah ​†

          You will get a response if you politely ask a question or make a comment.

        • Michael Neville

          I did make a polite comment which you ignored. My comment is right below the one you wrote that begins “This entire discussion is a stupid argument. That sentence itself is not polite but you’re too much of a self-centered idiot to realize that. But we both know the real reason you’re not responding to my comment. It’s because you’re too fucking stupid to reply.

        • Michael Neville

          I see that you still can’t answer my response to your initial post. Why am I not surprised?

        • Zachariah ​†

          Your first response to my initial post? You mean this:

          You’re an idiot. But we knew that already.

          ?

        • Michael Neville

          No, I meant the response to your initial post, the one where you wrote a numbered list and I responded. Damn, idiot, if you can’t keep up, take notes.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Oh yes, you mean this one?

          The video, which had nothing to do with any topic being discussed, quoted Dawkins out of context, kept repeating the same two or three clips in a vain attempt to make Dawkins look like a idiot, and finished with the presenter showing that he didn’t understand was Dawkins was saying. I think you posted that video to say “you atheists are stupid” because the video was saying “Dawkins is stupid”. That is a personal attack.

          I notice one other thing. Several of us responded to your initial salvo beginning This entire discussion is a stupid argument. Your response has been to write a non sequitur about “Big Pharma”, ask a reasonable question about atheists’ mental health, try to blow off the fact that atheists are generally more knowledgeable about religion than Christians, give another non sequitur about Jewish scientists including a dig at Einstein, and then post an idiotic video attacking Richard Dawkins. That’s why I say you’re an idiot. And don’t whine about personal attacks. It’s not my fault that you’re an idiot.

        • Michael Neville

          No, idiot, I wasn’t referring to that one (although you’ve yet to respond to it other than to whine that I called you an idiot). Your initial post at this forum began: This entire discussion is a stupid argument. I responded politely to that post. You have yet to reply to my response, even though you pretend that I haven’t posted anything polite to your dumb ass. You’re not only a idiot, you’re dishonest as well.

        • It was probably really stupid, anyway.

        • Michael Neville

          I can’t say if your reply would be really stupid or not because you haven’t made it yet. But, knowing you and what you’ve already written, I’m sure anything you way would be really stupid.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          We’re shooting for 12 figures…in *hexadecimal*

          Yer gonna get tired of counting, Zachie-poo.

        • Max Doubt

          “#4 #5 #6”

          Oh, wahhhh, ya fuckin’ cry-baby. You came in here talking shit you can’t defend, and you know you can’t defend it. When people here are harsh in their manner of calling you out, rather than refine or improve your argument, you piss and moan about being picked on. I guess if whining is all you’ve got, do it, and do it big. But you probably won’t get a “that’s a good boy” and a pat on the head in this forum. We’re adults.

        • Zachariah ​†

          #13

        • Max Doubt

          “#”

          You don’t have to keep doing that. You’ve already showed us your ass. Now how about you be a good Christian man and show us your dick.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s only a personal attack if you are not an idiot. Something you have yet to demonstrate, while the ballix you’ve spewed so far verified that you are indeed an idiot.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Man, that is #21 already.

      • Max Doubt

        “I am a man.”

        Should we not believe you until you show us your dick?

  • Max Doubt

    “… to try to discredit Christian theology where they have much better ways to be doing it.”

    God belief, whether in any of the Christian cults or any other, discredits itself with a moment of objective analysis. The most obvious criticism is that the gods people imagine can’t be objectively distinguished from any other figments of their imaginations. That’s indisputable.

    Separating what they imagine from what is real seems to be too complicated for most god believers, but this is easy. There is nothing the god you imagine can do outside your head that I can’t do, too. And there are many things I can do that your god quite obviously can’t. You have a pretty puny weakling god when a mere human can so easily kick its ass.

    “… you will be forgiven of your sins…”

    Atheists don’t sin. It’s one of the luxuries of not being beholden to the whims of a character that exists only in other people’s imaginations.

    “… and have everlasting life even if you die.”

    If? Everyone’s going to die. The notion of everlasting life is another figment of your imagination. Dream whatever makes you happy, but when you interact with other people as if stuff you imagine affects their lives, you’re being an arrogant prick.

  • Michael Neville

    I don’t see how defining “nothing” is funny. Only an ignorant, incredulous person would think it was funny.. As for the video, it is literally nothing as in nothing intelligent to say other than misunderstanding what Dawkins was saying.

  • Herald Newman

    I was thinking about the “the disciples were willing to go to their deaths for what they believe” argument. Does anybody else find it strange that they supposedly meet up with the resurrected Jesus, spend 40 days with him before he flies off to heaven, then 10 days later the Holy Spirit comes and fills them with confidence. Why didn’t the disciples preach the Jesus has been resurrected while he’s still with them? Would have been far more convincing!

    In some ways this reminds me of a fisherman who catches a huge fish that gets away, and the only evidence that he has for his fish story is his own conviction. Maybe this is a better picture of Jesus: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/48c1147dc38d9120c5d3e2fca3231a71bfae3c52e90428a7298ec88d9918d1e7.jpg

    • Greg G.

      Christianity is based on the tales of fishermen by its own account.

      • Herald Newman

        Who apparently not only have trouble catching fish, but also often cannot even catch the Jesus’ meaning in his speeches. They’re so comically inept before the resurrection you might mistake them for the Keystone Kops. Just look at how powerful that Holy Spirit is, that it turns 12 bumbling fishermen into roaring lions for Jesus!

        • IIRC, there’s a feeding of the masses in one gospel, and the apostles say, “But Jesus, how will we feed everyone?” The answer is by magic, of course. And then later in the same gospel, there’s another feeding of the masses. Guess what the apostles say: “Duuuh, but Jesus, how will we feed everyone?”

          It’s almost like there were two feeding stories that were smushed together, clumsily.

        • Greg G.

          All four gospels have the Feeding of the Five Thousand. Mark and Matthew also have the Feeding of the Four Thousand.

          Mark has the setting of the Feeding of the Five Thousand in a wilderness so he pretty much has to feed them. After that, the disciples get in a boat to go to Bethsaida while Jesus goes up the mountain to pray. He sees the disciples struggling against the wind so he walks on the water to them, the wind stops and the land at Gennasaret, travels all the way to Tyre and Sidon, then back to the “Sea” of Galilee, performs a spit miracle, does the Feeding of the Four Thousand, eventually goes to Bethsaida, heals a blind man with spit, then Jesus asks the disciples who people think he is.

          Luke has the Feeding of the Five Thousand set in Bethsaida where it would not be necessary to perform the miracle of a mass feeding. After the feeding, Jesus was praying alone, then asked the disciples who people think he is. Luke jumped from Mark 6:46 to Mark 8:27 in mid-verse, skipping the walking on water, the visit to Gennasaret, the Feeding of the Four Thousand, and two spit miracles. I think it was partly to put him in Bethsaida as they were headed there in Mark but ended up elsewhere despite a miracle and to skip the spit miracles, one of which was at Bethsaida.

        • RichardSRussell

          This is similar to the Inauguration Before the 20 Million.

        • Kevin K

          Do you think they borrowed Vespasian’s miracles? Which would date the accounts to no earlier than 69 ACE. And maybe Luke was embarrassed by such blatant plagiarism, so he left them out?

        • Greg G.

          Since Mark has Aramaicisms and Latinisms and he explains the Aramaic but never the Latin, it follows that he was writing for Romans. Vespasian seems to have used the miracles at the Serapis temple as propaganda. I think Suetonius’ account says that Vespasian didn’t have a family name to rely on so he needed some indication that he was favored by the gods. So the Mark’s readers would probably have recognized them as Vespasian miracles.

          But I think there are many indications that Mark used Josephus’ Wars of the Jews, too, so gMark seems to have been written no earlier than the mid to late 70s.

          I think Matthew and Luke dropped the spit miracles and those that took time to work because they made Jesus look less divine or less powerful. More or less for theological reasons. Then the naked boy in Gethsemane disappeared in those gospels, too. I wonder why.

        • Kevin K

          Makes sense. Instantaneous magic, and magic at a distance are way more cooler than spit.

          Why keep the fig tree, then? Didn’t that take a little while before it died? (I know, I know … powerful metaphor or something something).

        • Greg G.

          In Mark, the fig tree incident is a sandwich.
          Jesus gets mad at the tree :: Jesus gets mad at the temple
          The tree is found to have withered and dies :: (The reader fills in the blank)

          Matthew says that the fig tree began to wither right away and never comes back to it. It leaves out the subtext.

          Another of Mark’s literary sandwich devices is when Peter is in the courtyard while Jesus is on trial. Jesus is being beaten and ordered to “Prophesy!” while his earlier prophecy that Peter would deny him is being fulfilled. John recounts the scene but omits the order to prophesy which loses the irony, without hiding the fact that John was using Mark.

        • Kevin K

          So, according to Mark, the temple will never be rebuilt? So…why are the fundies so het up about Jerusalem and all that hugga mugga? This seems to dispute the contention that certain conditions must be met before we see Jesus with a light saber flaming sword.

        • Greg G.

          Vespasian built the Colosseum with the spoils from Jerusalem. His claim to fame would have been based on that war success. I think that was all that Mark was alluding to was the fact that it was destroyed.

          I am not convinced that Mark was written for Christians or as a historical account.

        • Kevin K

          I get that … I’m just wondering if textual analysis allows us to pinpoint a timeframe. After 70 for sure, but that covers a loooooong time until the canon is officially voted in at Nicea in 325.

        • Greg G.

          I think it would be after Jewish Wars was written, which puts the earliest date in the mid 70s.

          The latest date would be before the Gospel of John which I put before Matthew. There are share information that pops up there but I think the question in John about how the Messiah could be from Galilee when the scriptures say Bethlehem would have been the catalyst for Matthew’s genealogy and nativity stories. There would be no need for John to have posed the question if Matthew had solved it.

          Matthew used Jewish Antiquities so it has to be after Josephus wrote that. But the latest still comes to when they are first attested to, and I don’t think the Papias account is about this Matthew and probably not this Mark.

          I think the fact that Mark probably didn’t use Jewish Antiquities favors that it was written before that. I also think it would have been while the Vespasian propaganda was in the minds of the Romans. But that is more feeling than logic based on evidence.

        • Pofarmer

          Think about this for a minute. Let’s use my current favorite standard, “Gone with the Wind.” If you use the text to determine a date, then you would conclude that the book was written in the late 1860’s based on events that happened then. If you use the external attestation, you would conclude the book was written (or the movie produced) arond 1969. I know which method is more accurate, because dates and stuff. What those favoring textual analysis are saying is that we can date the Gospels earlier and earlier because they talk about things that happened before the fall of the Temple, and never mention it. This is like complaining that “Gone with the Wind” doesn’t mention WWI. It’s not part of the story. External attestation tells us that the Gospels were written sometime after 120 A.D, which was the General consensus leading into the 20th Century until apologists got hold of the scholarship.

        • Kevin K

          Actually, I think textual analysis can tell us a lot about when the story was written. I’ve already mentioned the big one — the destruction of the temple happened in 70 ACE, so there is no way the story was written before that date.

          70 ACE was the second year of Vespasian’s reign as emperor, and his “spit miracles” didn’t occur until after that. So, one thinks perhaps the mid- to late-70s (he died in 79) would be the absolute earliest date the story could have been written down. One suspects, however, that there could be other clues within the text itself that would get you to a date closer to your 120 ACE.

          From what I understand, the external evidence consists of dating of the fragments of manuscripts based on the putative age of the parchment, ink, and most especially the style of writing. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t then account for the potential existence of earlier manuscripts.

          I think you need both. If I were a scholar looking at such things, I would probably place a range limit of between 80 and 120. Which is before the Bar Kokhba revolt in 132. One also wonders if these documents were meant to be read and understood as revolutionary tracts that impelled the second Jewish war, in the same way that Thomas Paine’s writings were meant to foment the American revolution.

        • Pofarmer

          By External attestation I mean when that work is mentioned in other works. When are they quoted or used as evidence. This doesn’t occur until mid 2nd century.

        • Kevin K

          Which is all well and good … but that doesn’t give you anything close to when the first manuscript may have been written. Because then you’re relying on someone receiving that first manuscript, reading it, writing about it and having that “book report” survive to modern times. It’s a game of telephone.

        • Pofarmer

          I’d counter that using Internal attestation is flawed as equally or worse. The internal attestation tells you the period that is being written about, it doesn’t really tell you anything about when the document was actually written unless there are slips. Oh, and the slips that are in the Gospels, for instance, point to them being later rather than earlier. There is the slip about the Stone being “Rolled away” for instance. Well, it seems that Round Stones weren’t around untill at least the 2nd century. Before that, the stones were flat and square. Etc, Etc. Etc. The use of Nazareth, for example, when Nazareth probably wasn’t resettled until sometime in the 2nd century after the fall of Jerusalem. Add in the fact that histories of the time would normally list their references and at least give some idea of a date, who they were written two, etc, and that what you are talking about with the Gospels are indistinguishable from fictional stories, and you’re really left with an ambiguous mess. It also makes more sense, that if the Gospels are fictional, and they certainly seem to be, that they would be set a little further back in time from when they were written. When did fictional accounts of the civil war start, for instance?

        • Kevin K

          Right…that’s exactly the kind of textual analysis evidence I’m saying gives us strong clues as to when the document was written. If we can say:
          1. Temple destruction places the authorship post 70 ACE.
          2. Spit miracles places the authorship (probably) post 80 ACE. (What a bizarre bit of plagiarism, BTW.)
          3. “Rolling” tombstones places the authorship post 100 ACE (if the practice can be reliably dated, and the word “rolled” isn’t a translation glitch for a more-generic word meaning “moved aside”).

          We’re now getting closer to the dates when we have surviving (and datable) mentions of the stories. The fact that we can’t assign any existential dates for the authors presents us the biggest stumbling block in pinning down a definitive range.

        • Pofarmer

          And then we can look at the External attestation to give us the end to the range. When the work was officially noticed. The problem with internal attestation is that apologists masquerading as scholars keep coming up with new and novel ways to move the dates ever forward. That’s a serious weakness of the method, IMHO.

        • Kevin K

          Oh I get that, but you certainly can’t argue for an earlier than 70 (ish) date. Post the destruction of the temple.

          (Not without invoking the “miracle” of prophecy, natch, but let’s stay in the real world.)

        • Greg G.

          Robert M. Price cites two sources who say Mark based the tomb on Joshua 10 which has rolling stones to seal a tomb. Mark didn’t know the geography of the area and was probably never there so he wouldn’t have any knowledge of first century tombs in Jerusalem, so I don’t think that can be used to date the gospel.

        • Ficino

          In Mark 15:46 it says that Joseph of Arimathea προσεκύλισεν λίθον ἐπὶ τὴν θύραν, “rolled a stone against/to the door.” κυλίνδω means “roll,” not simply Move. We get our word cylinder from this Greek word complex. Likewise, “who will roll the stone away” in 16:3 uses the same verb with a prefix meaning “away from.”

        • Greg G.

          That aligns with what I said in this subthread about the burial in Mark coming from Joshua 10.

          Joshua 10:18 (NRSV)18 Joshua said, “Roll large stones against the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guard them;

          The word in the Septuagint for “Roll” here is “κυλίσατε”.

        • Greg G.

          There is the slip about the Stone being “Rolled away” for instance. Well, it seems that Round Stones weren’t around untill at least the 2nd century. Before that, the stones were flat and square. Etc, Etc. Etc.

          But the author of Mark didn’t know the geography of Judea, Galilee, or Samaria. He was probably never there so he wouldn’t know about graves of Jerusalem. Robert M. Price cites John Dominic Crossan, The Cross That Spoke: The Origins of the Passion Narrative and Dale Miller and Patricia Miller, The Gospel of Mark as Midrash on Earlier Jewish and New Testament Literature who suggest Joshua 10 as the likely source for the burial of Jesus and that involves sealing a tomb with rocks.

          The use of Nazareth, for example, when Nazareth probably wasn’t resettled until sometime in the 2nd century after the fall of Jerusalem.

          Mark probably didn’t use “Nazareth”. It is probably an interpolation in Mark 1:9 as the parallel passage from Matthew 3:13 is verbatim except for “Nazareth of”. It’s not like Matthew had an objection to it as a similar phrase appears in Matthew 21:11, which was probably the source of the interpolation into Mark. The other uses should be translated as “Nazarene”, possibly a transliteration of “nazirite”.

          It also makes more sense, that if the Gospels are fictional, and they certainly seem to be, that they would be set a little further back in time from when they were written.

          The gospels couldn’t go much further back than shortly before the time of the epistles.

        • Greg G.

          70 ACE was the second year of Vespasian’s reign as emperor, and his “spit miracles” didn’t occur until after that.

          Those “miracles” happened in Egypt when Vespasian first learned that Vitellius was killed and he became emperor in 69AD.

        • Michael Neville

          The novel Gone with the Wind was published in 1936. The movie came out in 1939.

        • Pofarmer

          Well, there you go. Nailed by External and Internal attestation. Lol.

        • Tommy

          Another of Mark’s literary sandwich devices is when Peter is in the
          courtyard while Jesus is on trial. Jesus is being beaten and ordered to
          “Prophesy!” while his earlier prophecy that Peter would deny him is
          being fulfilled
          . John recounts the scene but omits the order to prophesy
          which loses the irony, without hiding the fact that John was using
          Mark.

          And wasn’t it in Mark that Jesus said that “he who denies me before men I would deny him before my father who is in heaven”?

        • Greg G.

          That would be the Matthew 10:33 wording. Mark 8:38 has “ashamed of” rather than “denying”. Matthew must have thought Peter got off too easy.

        • Kevin K

          I’ve read Seutonius…”published” about 121 ACE. Any indication of earlier mentions of the Vespasian miracles that you’re aware of?

          The point being that if the miracles were widely publicized after 69 ACE, that’s one thing. But if they’re only really part of Seutonius’ account, that’s a whole other thing, at least in terms of dating the authorship of Mark.

        • Greg G.

          I think the last sentence of the Tacitus account hints that people must have been telling the story when there was something to be gained by it.

          Tacitus, Histories 4.81In the months during which Vespasian was waiting at Alexandria for the periodical return of the summer gales and settled weather at sea, many wonders occurred which seemed to point him out as the object of the favour of heaven and of the partiality of the Gods. One of the common people of Alexandria, well known for his blindness, threw himself at the Emperor’s knees, and implored him with groans to heal his infirmity. This he did by the advice of the God Serapis, whom this nation, devoted as it is to many superstitions, worships more than any other divinity. He begged Vespasian that he would deign to moisten his cheeks and eye-balls with his spittle. Another with a diseased hand, at the counsel of the same God, prayed that the limb might feet the print of a Caesar’s foot. At first Vespasian ridiculed and repulsed them. They persisted; and he, though on the one hand he feared the scandal of a fruitless attempt, yet, on the other, was induced by the entreaties of the men and by the language of his flatterers to hope for success. At last he ordered that the opinion of physicians should be taken, as to whether such blindness and infirmity were within the reach of human skill. They discussed the matter from different points of view. “In the one case,” they said, “the faculty of sight was not wholly destroyed, and might return, if the obstacies were removed; in the other case, the limb, which had fallen into a diseased condition, might be restored, if a healing influence were applied; such, perhaps, might be the pleasure of the Gods, and the Emperor might be chosen to be the minister of the divine will; at any rate, all the glory of a successful remedy would be Caesar’s, while the ridicule of failure would fall on the sufferers.” And so Vespasian, supposing that all things were possible to his good fortune, and that nothing was any longer past belief, with a joyful countenance, amid the intense expectation of the multitude of bystanders, accomplished what was required. The hand was instantly restored to its use, and the light of day again shone upon the blind. Persons actually present attest both facts, even now when nothing is to be gained by falsehood.

          Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars, Vespasian 7Having, therefore, entered on a civil war, and sent forward his generals and forces into Italy, he himself, in the meantime, passed over to Alexandria, to obtain possession of the key of Egypt. Here having entered alone, without attendants, the temple of Serapis, to take the auspices respecting the establishment of his power, and having done his utmost to propitiate the deity, upon turning round, [his freedman] Basilides appeared before him, and seemed to offer him the sacred leaves, chaplets, and cakes, according to the usage of the place, although no one had admitted him, and he had long laboured under a muscular debility, which would hardly have allowed him to walk into the temple; besides which, it was certain that at the very time he was far away. Immediately after this, arrived letters with intelligence that Vitellius’s troops had been defeated at Cremona, and he himself slain at Rome. Vespasian, the new emperor, having been raised unexpectedly from a low estate, wanted something which might clothe him with divine majesty and authority. This, likewise, was now added. A poor man who was blind, and another who was lame, came both together before him, when he was seated on the tribunal, imploring him to heal them, and saying that they were admonished in a dream by the god Serapis to seek his aid, who assured them that he would restore sight to the one by anointing his eyes with his spittle, and give strength to the leg of the other, if he vouchsafed but to touch it with his heel. At first he could scarcely believe that the thing would any how succeed, and therefore hesitated to venture on making the experiment. At length, however, by the advice of his friends, he made the attempt publicly, in the presence of the assembled multitudes, and it was crowned with success in both cases. About the same time, at Tegea in Arcadia, by the direction of some soothsayers, several vessels of ancient workmanship were dug out of a consecrated place, on which there was an effigy resembling Vespasian.

          Dio Cassius, Roman Histories 65.8.1Following Vespasian’s entry into Alexandria the Nile overflowed, having in one day risen a palm higher than usual; such an occurrence, it was said, had only taken place only once before. Vespasian himself healed two persons, one having a withered hand, the other being blind, who had come to him because of a vision seen in dreams; he cured the one by stepping on his hand and the other by spitting upon his eyes.

        • Kevin K

          So, you can date Mark to no earlier than 69, but probably with any certainty as to how much after that. Certainly post the first Jewish war, which ended in 73. And most definitely post 70, which is when the temple was destroyed.

          But can you carry it out to post the second (Bar Kokhba revolt)? Any indication that gMark was written after 136? That’s a LONG way out.

        • Greg G.

          I responded to this in depth and was on the last paragraph when the browser farted and I couldn’t retrieve it. I answered more succinctly here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/07/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid-part-5-2/#comment-3980760658

        • Pofarmer

          External attestation posits that Mark was probably written after Bar Kochba, and Luke long after that. There was a very good article on it that I can no longer find. But the first mentions that we have of any Gospels, and the first quotes of them, show up around the time of Marcion, or around 140’ish.

        • Ficino

          Very interesting about the Latinisms in Mark. Can you give a list of some or all? And have you or others catalogued the indications that Mark used BJ? Fascinating stuff.

          I like Morton Smith’s explanation of the presence of the young man in Gethsamane clad only in a loincloth (heh heh).

        • Greg G.

          Here are some phrases from Mark that align with phrases from Wars. I use combinations of bolding, italics, underlining, and all caps to illustrate the similarities.

          Mark 3:7-8 (NRSV)
          7 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8 hearing all that he was doing, they came to him IN GREAT NUMBERS FROM JUDEA, Jerusalem, IDUMEA, BEYOND THE JORDAN, and the region around TYRE AND SIDON.

          Jewish Wars 2.2.1 §14
          ARCHELAUS went down now to the sea-side, with his mother and his friends, Poplas, and Ptolemy, and Nicolaus…

          The Greek word for “sea” in Mark and “sea-side” in Jewish Wars is “θάλασσαν”.

          Jewish Wars 2.3.1 §43
          Wherefore an immense multitude ran together, out of Galilee, and IDUMEA, and JERICHO, and Perea, that was BEYOND JORDAN; but the people that naturally belonged to JUDEA itself were ABOVE THE REST, both IN NUMBER, and in the alacrity of the men.

          Mark 10:46 (NRSV)
          46 They came to JERICHO. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving JERICHO, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.

          Jewish Wars 1.18.5 §361
          Now is to these her injunctions to Antony, he complied in part; for though he esteemed it too abominable a thing to kill such good and great kings, yet was he thereby alienated from the friendship he had for them. He also took away a great deal of their country; nay, even the plantation of palm trees at JERICHO, where also grows the balsam tree, and bestowed them upon her; as also all the cities on this side the river Eleutherus, TYRE AND SIDON excepted.

          ___________________________________

          Mark 6:3 (NRSV)
          3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of JAMES and JOSES and JUDAS and SIMON, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

          Jewish Wars 6.2.6 §148
          … but on the Jewish side, and of those that were with SIMON, JUDAS the son of Merto, and SIMON the son of JOSAS; of the Idumeans, JAMES and SIMON, the latter of whom was the son of Cathlas, and JAMES was the son of Sosas;

          In the Greek, all four names of Jesus’ brothers’ are within a thirteen word span in Jewish Wars.
          _____________________________________________________

          Mark 6:8-10 (NRSV)
          8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “WHEREVER YOU ENTER A HOUSE, STAY THERE UNTIL YOU LEAVE THE PLACE.

          Jewish Wars 2.8.4 §124-127 [Josephus is describing the Essenes.]
          4. They have no one certain city, but many of them dwell in every city; and if any of their sect come from other places, what they have lies open for them, just as if it were their own; and they go in to such as they never knew before, as if they had been ever so long acquainted with them. For which reason they carry nothing at all with them when they travel into remote parts, though still they take their weapons with them, for fear of thieves. Accordingly, THERE IS, IN EVERY CITY WHERE THEY LIVE, ONE APPOINTED PARTICULARLY TO TAKE CARE OF STRANGERS, and to provide garments and other necessaries for them. But the habit and management of their bodies is such as children use who are in fear of their masters. Nor do they allow of the change of or of shoes till be first torn to pieces, or worn out by time. Nor do they either buy or sell any thing to one another; but every one of them gives what he hath to him that wanteth it, and receives from him again in lieu of it what may be convenient for himself; and although there be no requital made, they are fully allowed to take what they want of whomsoever they please.

          __________________________________________________

          Below are some rough notes I collected of gospel names that were the fathers of participants in the war by their father’s name in order to identify them.

          Jewish Wars 5.1.2 §5-10
          2. For Eleazar, the son of Simon

          Jewish Wars 5.13.2 §534-540
          2. Now when Judas, the son of Judas, who was one of Simon’s under officers

          Jewish Wars 5.13.2 §534-540
          Gorion, the son of Nicodemus

          Jewish Wars 5.20.4
          Joseph the son of Simon

          Jewish Wars 5.20.6
          John (of Gischala) the son of Levi

          Jewish Wars 6.2.2 §111-117
          who was beheaded in Cyrene, and four sons of Matthias, as also one son of the other Matthias, who ran away after his father’s death, and whose father was slain by Simon the son of Gioras

          Jewish Wars 6.2.6 §136-148
          and of the zealots, Simon the son of Jairus

          Jewish Wars 6.4.2 §229-235
          Archelaus, the son of Magadatus

          Jewish Wars 4.1.10 §70-83
          nor did any one escape except two women, who were the daughters of Philip,

          Jewish Wars 4.3.5 §143-146
          it was therefore resolved to have them slain accordingly, they sent one John, who was the most bloody-minded of them all, to do that execution: this man was also called “the son of Dorcas,” in the language of our country.

          Jewish Wars 1.2.3
          3. This Simon also had a plot laid against him, and was slain at a feast by his son-in-law Ptolemy, who put his wife and two sons into prison, and sent some persons to kill John, who was also called Hyrcanus.
          “Bartholomew” might be Aramaic for “son of Ptolemy”.

          The derivation of “Bartholomew” is an idea that popped into my head in the form of a question, not something I have verified. In Greek, the -“olomew” and “-olemy” are spelled identically, IIRC. Only the Pi-tau is changed to theta.

          Nicodemus appears in John and Dorcas is in Luke (or is it Acts?).

          ________________________________________

          I think Mark took Jesus’ three main sidekicks, Peter, James, and John, from Galatians 2. I am stumped by Andrew, Thomas, and Thaddeus but I think the rest of the disciples come from Jewish Wars.

          ________________________________________

          The Sicarii are described in Jewish Wars 2.17.6 §425-429. Judas the Galilean is described two sections after in Jewish Wars 2.17.8 §433-440 by “In the mean time, one Manahem, the son of Judas, that was called the Galilean, (who was a very cunning sophister)…” “Iscariot” is basically “Sicarii” with the first two letters transposed.

          ________________________________________

          Josephus never mentions Nazareth. The only place the city appears in Mark is Mark 1:9 and is the only place in Mark that a place is mentioned in a larger geographical context. The parallel in Matthew 3:13 would be verbatim without the “Nazareth of” though Matthew 21:11 has a very similar phrase so it seems that Mark 1:9 has an interpolation.

          Wars has nine cities that begin with “Beth-” in English and five that begin with “Βηθ-” in Greek. Mark has three “Beth-” cities that begin with “Βηθ-” but none are common to both. Antiquities does mention Bethsaida though.

          Dalmanutha is mentioned in Mark 8:10. I wondered if it might be a portmanteau. Since they didn’t use spaces between words and I noticed from looking at ancient manuscripts that line breaks were often in the middle of a word, so I did a search on the Greek text of Wars with the spaces removed. I discovered that the Greek letters for “nutha” in four places. Jewish Wars 2.16.4 §345-401 is rather long. Dalmatia is mentioned in Jewish Wars 2.369, the Dalmatians are mentioned in Jewish Wars 2.370, and one of the instances of “nutha” is down around Jewish Wars 2.383 (that last number is not in the notes in front of me but I feel confident that my memory is correct on that). That allows the speculation that “Dalma” ended at a line break and aMark picked up on the wrong line accidentally.

          Every other city in Mark can be found in Jewish Wars. ETA: There are 17 other cities and countries mentioned in Mark that are found in Jewish Wars..

          ________________________________________

          For the Aramaicisms and Latinisms, see Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D., The Gospel according to Mark: Literary Features & Thematic Emphases http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Mark-Literary.htm Note that the Roman coin mentioned in Mark 12:42 is to give the value of a Palestinian coin. I don’t think Just mentions that.

          Mark explains the meaning of the name “Bartimaeus” to teach his readers that “bar” means “son of”. He has Jesus open his Gethsemane prayer with “Abba, Father”, probably borrowed from Paul’s use of the phrase in Galatians and Romans. When Barabbas is introduced, his readers should realize that there are two prisoners called “Son of the Father”. One is released into the wilderness and one is killed for sins, just like the Atonement ritual in Leviticus 16:5-22. The trouble is that Yom Kippur is five months after Passover and Passover is not an atonement sacrifice.

        • epicurus

          Great stuff, thanks!

        • Ficino

          wow, this is amazing. Many thanks.

        • Greg G.

          I think the idea behind the last paragraph comes from Robert M. Price. I also recall reading somewhere long ago that “Iscariot” might have something to do with “Sicarii” (Ehrman, maybe?) but I think that was speculation that Judas actually was part of the Sicarii. I thought of that when I read about the Sicarii in Wars but was stunned to be reading about a Judas who was “cunning” a minute later.

          The rest is from my own reading of Jewish Wars. Maybe I should copyright it.

        • Tommy

          Son of Ptolemy = Bartholomew… I haven’t made that connection before. Interesting!

        • Phil

          As there were no mention of fires and cooking, we can take it that Jesus invented Sushi.

    • According to Luke, Jesus hung out with his buddies for 1 day, and according to Mark, 0 days. But forget that–you make a great point. You’d think that the apostles would be spreading the word right away. Better: you’d expect Jesus to be spreading the word.

      • epicurus

        I think Herald was referring to Acts 1:3 (supposedly also by the same Luke as the Gospel Luke) where Jesus hung out with or appeared for 40 days to the disciples before going/returning to Heaven.

    • Otto

      Why didn’t Jesus march down to the Palace of Pilate to show he overcame death and allow for a report of his resurrection from someone other than his fan club?

      • Hamma Berger

        Worse yet if the man congress death as they claim and is still alive, why isn’t he walking around preaching his message right now? Why is he in heaven where all the dead people supposedly go? Talk about redefining words! In my day to day life, people who are alive have bodies that are functioning. Anyone up in heaven is dead. By definition, jebus is dead. (Ive been lurking forever just had to put in my two cents)

        • Otto

          And there is the rub…if Jesus actually cared one way or another whether people like you and me believe he could change our minds. The fact that this has not happened can only point to 2 options; either Jesus does not care or Christianity is false. The bs about our ‘free will’ being compromised is just a post hoc rationalization.

        • Pofarmer

          Why not appear to the Pharisees and the Saducees and lay it all out? It’s no like there wasn’t an official structure. Why not appear to those who protected the Temple? This could go on all day. They needed some plausible reason for why he had never been seen by ANYBODY ever. Because he’s Rhett Butler.

        • al kimeea

          no wonder I don’t give a damn aboot him

        • Tommy

          Worse yet, if the man conquered death as they claim and is still alive,
          why isn’t he walking around preaching his message right now? Why is he
          in heaven where all the dead people supposedly go?
          Talk about redefining
          words! In my day to day life, people who are alive have bodies that are
          functioning. Anyone up in heaven is dead. By definition, jebus is dead
          .
          (Ive been lurking forever just had to put in my two cents because this
          whole “Jesus lives” thing bugs the heck out of me)

          You know what, I’ve never thought about that before. It makes perfect sense.

  • Greg G.

    Usually by the school system. Which is wrong. Parents ignorantly go for it.

    Are red state schools so much worse than blue state schools? You are not addressing the difference.

    At least they know what gender they are.

    Some people are born with a Y-chromosome and their gonads produce testosterone but the receptors do not respond to it so they develop into females without ovaries. Do they know what gender they are? Do you?

    But that is not the only way a person can have gender issues. The brain could develop differently than the rest of the body.

    Yes, atheists do have mental problems and suicide but less than religious people.

    I am sure you have unbiased evidence to back this up?

    Sorry, my mistake. I mis-worded that. The last clause should have been “but no more than religious people.” You copied the phrase that was a link to another article that linked to a study done in England that concluded that “spiritual people” did worse than religious people and atheists.

    This is probably because Jews and Atheists(And agnostics) spend all day trying to research theology,

    Either that or it is common cultural knowledge available to everybody that religious people simply don’t pick up.

    Judaism is more than a religious ideology. People of Jewish heritage are born into racial identities which include beliefs of all sorts of things.

    Exactly so, which is why your attempt at a rhetorical question about Jewish scientists did not address the issue.

    Albert Einstein was a Jew. — And he did believe in a God.

    Einstein said he believed in Spinoza’s God, which is pantheism or Nature itself.

    Then you go off on a non sequitur with Dawkins talking about what a Jewish scientist says.

    May you should put Alan Guth’s Inflationary Theory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Guth#Inflationary_theory on a loop, if that is what it takes to get through to you, until you understand it. Its development began 40 years ago, it has solved many of the questions in physics, and nobody has refuted it.

    • Zachariah ​†

      Some people are born with a Y-chromosome and their gonads produce testosterone but the receptors do not respond to it so they develop into females without ovaries. Do they know what gender they are? Do you?

      If they are not male or female; They are intersex.

      I believe in Spinoza’s God, who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind…

      Not ‘Nature,’ but a intelligent force behind nature.

      • Greg G.

        If they are not male or female; They are intersex.

        They often find out when they go to the doctor to find out why they are not getting pregnant.

        But you are deflecting from your previous statement. Do you actually have a position or do you say anything with no connection to the conversation?

        Not ‘Nature,’ but a intelligent force behind nature.

        I typed “Nature”, no “nature” to make that distinction. Why not just say that Einstein “believed in a god” instead of “believed in a God”?

        • Zachariah ​†

          Yes, I have a position about the gender issue. I’m a male. My mother is female. 2 Genders.

        • Greg G.

          What about “intersex”?

        • MR
        • Zachariah ​†

          Intersex is not a sex. It is exactly what it sounds like. Inter-/-between the two sexes.

        • Otto

          Did you know that many various human cultures historically have recognized more than 2 genders?

          This isn’t new.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Did you know that since someone says something it doesn’t make it true? And did you know that the vast majority 99%-> of humanity is either male or female therefore the two genders man and woman.

        • Otto

          You’re right, when I took that sexual anthropology class in college I am sure they just made it all up and were lying.

          Ethnocentrism for the win.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Yes, if they claimed there was more than 2 genders, they probably were.

        • Otto

          Reading comprehension just isn’t your thing apparently.

        • Pofarmer

          You went to that evil place of higher larnin’. That’s what did you in.

          Oh. His. God.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          So? Being a statistical majority DOES NOT mean that those who don’t meet the typical criteria don’t exist.

        • epeeist

          And did you know that the vast majority 99%-> of humanity is either male or female therefore the two genders man and woman.

          Argument from popularity, sweeping generalisation and false dichotomy all in single sentence.

        • Zachariah ​†

          We are talking about human society and biology. Of course we are going to use arguments from popularity. Intersex is not common at all. And even if it was, they probably wont even be able to breed.

        • epeeist

          Of course we are going to use arguments from popularity.

          Nope, what we should be using is induction from an evidence base. This is vastly different than an argument from popularity.

          Intersex is not common at all.

          Nice bate and switch, moving from “gender” in one post to “intersex” in the follow up.

        • Greg G.

          Many people are not able to breed.

          Everybody begins with a female body. Some have genes that makes the body become male. Bodies develop differently. So do brains. The brain may not develop the same way the body does.

        • Michael Neville

          So you admit that you’re knowingly using a logical fallacy. That’s yet another example that I’m right when I say you’re an idiot.

        • Pofarmer

          I’d guess one of his main problems is teachermom.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          North American indigenous people recognized 5 genders: https://www.elitereaders.com/native-americans-five-genders/

        • Greg G.

          ISTM that I have heard that Thailand or India has that many, too.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          gender is a social construct, sex is a biological term, confusing the two appears to be the source of nearly all the trans rights issues, so are you talking biology or society?

        • Zachariah ​†

          Gender is not a social construct, it is biology.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Try checking out the definition of the word before commenting…idiot.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Sorry, you are just plain wrong, you really need to educate yourself on a topic before you try to argue about it, even the most strident of anti trans academics would accept that sex and gender are not the same thing. Our biology and how we express or sexuality and personalities are probably linked in some way but not to the degree you are suggesting. it is way more complicated than that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s an idiot.

        • Pofarmer

          But teachermom says different, so there you go.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          teachermom needs to go back to school and do some learnin

        • Ignorant Amos

          Gender: Either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

          https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/gender

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “The plural of anecdote is NOT data”

          Read it. Know it. Love it.

  • I love this argument because it puts the accusation of belief back onto the Atheist.

    I believe lots of things, but that’s based on evidence. What I don’t have is faith.

    • Zachariah ​†

      I believe that Jesus was crucified and risen from the dead based on historical evidence.

      • im-skeptical

        The ONLY evidence there is consists of stories in the bible. Not one single shred of evidence anywhere else, either physical or testimonial. That’s pretty slim, if you ask me.

        • Greg G.

          There are no writings outside of Xtianity that mention crucifixion during that period in Judea. Josephus tells about crucifixions following the death of Herod the Great and crucifixions in the 40s but none in between.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Actually, the evidence here goes back to ancient manuscripts. And since the books recorded spread so rapidly you can tell if anything was added or taken away.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          just because something was written a long time ago does not make it true, you are aware of the fact the humans are story telling apes right? there are plenty of things written millennia before the bible that you discount on the grounds that they couldn’t happen, what about the legend of Gilgamesh? or all the stories of the Egyptian gods?

        • Zachariah ​†

          “just because something was written a long time ago does not make it true”
          Yes, I know this logic. “We can’t know it’s true.” Extreme skepticism doesn’t make anything false. It just means you are refusing to think.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It just means you are refusing to think.

          Spoiiing….goes a bag of irony meters.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          nope, i am refusing to accept that something that contravenes the known laws of physics happened because an ancient book said it did, ancient stories contain all kinds of supernatural claims, all of which i refuse to accept without a ton of other supporting evidence. It is not extreme skepticism, it is rational skepticism, i refuse to grant the existence of something that cannot be substantiated, i am not denying it i am just not giving you the ‘benefit of the doubt’ on your claims. i am simply putting it in the same bucket as all the other unsubstantiated claims, like the existence of Zeus or invisible dragons.

          Please explain what you think i am refusing to think about?

        • Zachariah ​†

          The Supernatural.

        • epeeist

          The Supernatural.

          Something for which there is no substantive evidence.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Please define supernatural, as you would use it, so we can make sure we are talking about the same thing.

        • Zachariah ​†

          A force, or a system responsible for things that do not conform to the laws of nature.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          how can something not conform with the laws of nature? either something can be done, therefore is subject to the laws of nature or it can’t Are you defining supernatural as a group of things that can’t be done?

        • Zachariah ​†

          Something that cannot be done: A man cannot come back from the dead.

          This does not naturally happen to men, especially men that are crucified. Roman Crucifixion was not something you come back to life from.

          In my opinion if someone comes back from the dead after being crucified, (beaten with a flog until your entire back is blood red or your intestines spill out, nailed to a cross and then taken down and killed by shoving a sword in your heart or being given to wild animals to be torn apart) There had to be a supernatural force behind it for that to happen. To define this supernatural force is not exactly easy either. Something that doesn’t conform with the laws of nature, first you have to define nature and then you can talk about the supernatural.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          Nature is the total of all things that can be proved, we have a pretty good track record for taking things that actually happen, but are considered supernatural, and demonstrating how they occur within our current framework of understanding, or at least giving a possible answer that is at least as possible as ‘a wizard did it’.

          Now if you can demonstrate that some one actually died, in the manner you described, and came back to life that would cause us to potentially question what we understand about chemistry, biology and physics, however there is a pretty big if in that statement. without real evidence it happened there is no need to come up with a ‘natural’ method for it happening as the reasonable assertion that it just didn’t will answer the dilemma. I don’t go around proving how invisible dragons fly, i don’t need to as without evidence that they exist, and if they do exist they actually can fly i don’t need to waste my time. it might be a fun mental exercise but that is all it would be.

        • epeeist

          There had to be a supernatural force behind it for that to happen.

          If someone dies then I can provide a pretty good description of what happens to them both causally and mechanically (decay of tissue, outgassing, increase in entropy etc.).

          Please provide a description, both causal and mechanical, of how someone is resurrected.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          SHOW ME!

          Or I won’t waste time believing in it.

        • al kimeea

          The Inuit have over 200 words for snow, while science only knows snow. Therefore psychics. QED.

        • Michael Neville

          I’ve always found this argument annoying. The Inuit, a group of people who range from Greenland to Alaska, speak some 20 dialects.. Some of the dialects are linguistically so far apart as to be separate languages, like the differences between Spanish, Portuguese and Latin.

        • al kimeea

          Yes and the fact that Inuktitut is a polysynthetic language where root words are added to, creating another single word for something that would take several words in English – packing or powder snow.

          I first encountered this argument from someone claiming their seeming political astuteness was due to being psychic. I was told LSD would help me understand the concept.

        • Tommy

          What are things that are confirmed to be supernatural in origin? (Not just believed to be supernatural in origin)

        • Tommy

          That’s not what it is. That’s what it isn’t. What are the features of supernature? What are the laws of supernature?

        • Greg G.

          The supernatural was invented to protect evidenceless claims from scrutiny. However, it makes it impossible to distingush such claims from being purely imagined.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          SHOW me this ‘supernatural’ you speak of.

        • Greg G.

          I would settle for an explanation of how we could distinguish a real supernatural entity or force from an imaginary supernatural entity or force.

        • Greg G.

          We can recognize the source material that the stories are based on to see that the stories are fiction.

        • Greg G.

          Historians discount the miracle stories in ancient manuscripts right off the bat. We can also dismiss the miracles because they appear to be based on miracles from older literature. But if we omit material from the Gospel of Mark because it appears to be based on older literature, we are left with a few sayings and travel from place to place to do nothing. When the other gospels have the same made up stories as Mark, we should examine their sources, too. It makes the gospels appear to be complete fiction.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “We can’t know it’s true.”

          Strawmanning the position again.

          “We *withhold belief* until sufficient evidence is presented”

          is the actual position.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Nope…you don’t know what you are talking about.

          Actually, the evidence here goes back to ancient manuscripts.

          Which ancient manuscripts?

          Which of those ancient manuscripts should be trusted, which should be discarded as untrustworthy, and why?

          And since the books recorded spread so rapidly you can tell if anything was added or taken away.

          Except they didn’t. And that’s part of your problem.

        • TheNuszAbides

          Which of those ancient manuscripts should be trusted, which should be discarded as untrustworthy, and why?

          and how do we know the intervening copyists et al. chose wisely/honestly/fairly which manuscripts were[n’t] worth preserving? color me unconvinced if Origen, Irenaeus, Eusebius etc. are to be held up as especially reliable in this context.

        • Greg G.

          Irenaeus: There are four winds and four corners to the earth so there should be exactly four gospels.

          So why do we have more than four epistles?

        • TheNuszAbides

          hummina hummina ZODIAC

        • Ignorant Amos

          Every Tom, Dick, and Harry, jumping on the bandwagon? The epistles are fillers for a book of nonsense. But they are not gospels, so that’s all okay.

        • epeeist

          Actually, the evidence here goes back to ancient manuscripts.

          So we should accept ancient manuscripts as true? Hesiod’s Cosmogony for example, or the Vedas are as true as the bible?

        • Zachariah ​†

          You can prudently verify the authenticity of the manuscripts themselves, and see if they verify eachother in certain aspects.

        • epeeist

          You can prudently verify the authenticity of the manuscripts themselves, and see if they verify eachother in certain aspects.

          Which doesn’t answer the questions I raised.

          As it is what you seem to be saying is that if documents are consistent with each other then they must be true. This is of course essentially a paraphrase of the coherence theory of truth, of which Bertrand Russell pointed out that it is perfectly possible to have a completely consistent fairy tale.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I am not saying they must be true. I am saying to have historical certainty you usually need eye witnesses. We have eyewitnesses.

        • epeeist

          We have eyewitnesses.

          You do? You can of course provide names and details of their statements.

        • Greg G.

          You do not have eye witnesses. Luke mistook fictional accounts as eye witness accounts.

        • Greg G.

          P52 is a scrap of a manuscript that corresponds to the Gospel of John. Many consider it to be the oldest piece of a manuscript we have. But the parchment is not whole and the missing part of the page could not possibly have had the whole passage from John. There seems to have been a phrase missing from that particular manuscript. Does that mean the a phrase was added to the other manuscripts or that it was deleted when this manuscript was written?

          The ancient manuscripts could theoretically get you back to a manuscript but you still wouldn’t know how may copies down the line it was from the original so you wouldn’t be able to tell what was added or subtracted.

          The epistles do not support the gospel narrative of a preacher/teacher from Galilee who recruited fishermen.

          Scholars have identified the sources used by Mark which shows that the story is a fictional account. The fact that the other gospels use the same stories show they are fictional accounts, too.

          The early epistles say very little about the historical Jesus and the little they have appears to have come from the already centuries old Old Testament. They don’t tell about a first century Jesus.

        • epeeist

          P52 is a scrap of a manuscript that corresponds to the Gospel of John.

          Just to emphasise this.

          For the benefit of Zachariah, I live in Manchester (UK) where P52 is part of the “special collection” in the John Ryland’s library. Below is the verso of the fragment:

          https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/P52_verso.jpg

          The caption for the fragment says it is second or third century, so not contemporary with Jesus and not by any means an eye witness account.

        • al kimeea

          I’ve seen bigger paint chips for colour matching.

        • im-skeptical

          Bible stories (for which there is ample evidence of numerous changes being made many times over the years), and NOTHING more than that. No real historian would take take that as reliable historical evidence. Even the stories in the bible don’t agree with one another.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Even the stories in the bible don’t agree with one another.

          Are you talking about contradictions or something else?

        • im-skeptical

          I’m talking about the evolving stories of the gospels, as can be clearly seen if you look at them in chronological order. I’m talking about the existence of manuscripts containing different versions of the same story. I’m talking about the later emergence of church doctrine (such as trinitarian doctrine), which then had to be reconciled with existing scriptures by changing, adding, or removing various passages (or even whole books – like The Shepherd of Hermas). The evidence is there, if you care to look at it objectively.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Here’s the contradictions for you, so far:

          http://bibviz.com/

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The ancient manuscripts are not complete, they’re mere fragments, if you’re being honest with yourself.

      • I believe I’ve responded to all the major Christian arguments–evidence for the resurrection, lots of manuscripts, short time from events to documentation, short time from autographs to our oldest manuscripts, etc. In short, all of them crumble under investigation like an ancient papyrus. Search for them if you’d like.

        • Zachariah ​†

          In short, you refute all of the evidence because you think it is unreliable simply because you don’t want to believe it happened.

        • Oh, I get it–I start with an invented conclusion (God doesn’t exist) and then I handwave a bullshit argument to support that conclusion!

          Now that you mention it, I’ve seen quite a lot of that error, though I don’t think it exists much in my writing. Point it out to me.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I’d have to see your criticisms first. And if it is ‘Basically, this just cant happen’ or ‘It was all corrupted, because this just can’t happen’ then we will know I was right. Where do I find your responses to major arguments for Christianity?

        • Zachariah ​†

          I read 7 of them. Here’s what I got just from a few minutes:

          “How do we know that they made it through that Dark Ages period—during much of which those books were considered by Christians to be merely important works, not sacred or inspired scripture—without detectable change?”

          We don’t know anything, remember? ‘Supernatural things by definition can’t happen therefore jesus is fake.’

          Nice argument you got there.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/04/a-simple-thought-experiment-defeats-claim-that-bible-is-accurate/

          This played exactly what I said, Bob Seidensticker. “The story says that Jesus claimed to be God. The story says that the tomb was empty. The story says that Merlin could change his shape. The story says that Grendel was a big, scary monster. We must go beyond the stories to figure out the actual history.” You are dismissing the evidence because of your bias. At least be honest. You can’t just be satisfied with calling Jesus a liar,(Because it doesn’t really the rest of it.) You have to say that the entire recorded history is fabricated by some unknown means, which is unregulated skepticism and not an argument. More examples: “No—the plausible natural explanation always trumps the supernatural.” — “The Christian has the burden of proof, and it’s an enormous burden given this enormous claim.”

          “29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen me and yet have believed.””
          John 20:29

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/04/a-simple-thought-experiment-defeats-claim-that-bible-is-accurate/

          (response to who would die for a lie)

          “While people have died for lies—the 9/11 hijackers, for example, or the Heaven’s Gate cult—they didn’t know it was a lie. That the apostles were in a position to know and still died defending it is strong evidence that the Jesus story is accurate.”

          The 9/11 hijackers are not the same as the original apostles of Yeshua. For they have no clue of anything, but the originals lived to see his death and resurrection. But I know what your response to this will be. “It’s all fake.” Which is a hilariously funny argument not worth a rebuttal. It makes you adopt too far of an extreme form of skepticism. Which I mean go ahead and preach that unregulated skepticism if you want. But it doesn’t work to compel the Christian argument.

          Still got more to read.

        • This played exactly what I said, Bob Seidensticker.

          Spooky. It’s like you can look into everyone’s soul.

          “The story says that Jesus claimed to be God. The story says that the tomb was empty. The story says that Merlin could change his shape. The story says that Grendel was a big, scary monster. We must go beyond the stories to figure out the actual history.” You are dismissing the evidence because of your bias.

          Nope, just stating facts.

          At least be honest. You can’t just be satisfied with calling Jesus a liar

          I never said that.

          You have to say that t he entire recorded history is fabricated by some unknown means, which is unregulated skepticism and not an argument.

          I never said that, either.

          Here’s a post that may clarify my position. Search for “Alexander.”
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/04/jesus-just-one-more-dying-and-rising-savior-easter/

          More examples: “No—the plausible natural explanation always trumps the supernatural.” — “The Christian has the burden of proof, and it’s an enormous burden given this enormous claim.”

          Yes, these are axioms that I hold.

          The 9/11 hijackers are not the same as the original apostles of Yeshua.

          Bring forward the original apostles of Yeshua so we can head their story. You can’t do that? OK, then bring forward writings we can be certain they wrote. Can’t do that, either? Then I wonder what we’re talking about.

          But I know what your response to this will be. “It’s all fake.” Which is a hilariously funny argument not worth a rebuttal.

          Your soul-reading superpower must be failing you. I say that it’s legend.
          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/08/12-reasons-why-jesus-is-a-legend-2-of-3/

        • Zachariah ​†

          At least be honest. You (or anyone) can’t just be satisfied with calling Jesus a liar.

          I never said that.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2015/08/12-reasons-why-jesus-is-a-legend-2-of-3/

          “Apologist C. S. Lewis said that Jesus must be a liar (he knew that his claims of deity were false), a lunatic (his nutty claims are explained by his being crazy), or he was who he said he was, the Lord. But we can’t forget Legend. (You may want to read the introductory post and part 1 of this list.)”

          You, nor any atheist can be satisfied with calling him a liar. You have to disbelieve his entire existence because the material available simply doesn’t make sense if he was a liar. — And the material available gives accounts you can’t accept as reliable because of an inherent bias you have.

          The 9/11 hijackers are not the same as the original apostles of Yeshua.

          Bring forward the original apostles of Yeshua so we can head their story. You can’t do that? OK, then bring forward writings we can be certain they wrote. Can’t do that, either? Then I wonder what we’re talking about.

          I find that pretty unsettling. You’re fine with comparing people like Paul to the 9/11 hijackers and telling me it doesn’t mean his testimony is reliable because they were martyred in the same way. Paul would posses enough information to know if Christianity was true or not. And yet he was beheaded. These 9/11 hijackers were groomed for decades by Imams being told multiple lies and propaganda to make them kill(by suicide) for Muhammad. It is very disingenuous to even call them martyrs.

        • Greg G.

          At least be honest. You (or anyone) can’t just be satisfied with calling Jesus a liar.

          I never said that.

          “Apologist C. S. Lewis said that Jesus must be a liar (he knew that his claims of deity were false), a lunatic (his nutty claims are explained by his being crazy), or he was who he said he was, the Lord. But we can’t forget Legend. (You may want to read the introductory post and part 1 of this list.)”

          You, nor any atheist can be satisfied with calling him a liar. You have to disbelieve his entire existence because the material available simply doesn’t make sense if he was a liar. — And the material available gives accounts you can’t accept as reliable because of an inherent bias you have.

          Now that is pathetic. Bob was quoting a Christian apologist who was giving three options for an alliterative trilemma but Lewis left out “legend”.

        • Zachariah ​†

          How is that pathetic?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Because you don’t understand the argument, because you are an idiot, so you set about attacking a straw man.

        • Greg G.

          You accused Bob of saying Jesus was a liar with “You can’t just be satisfied with calling Jesus a liar” but your example is where he was quoting a Christian apologist who used those words, but even the apologist wasn’t actually making the claim as he was giving hypothetical options. Your level of reading comprehension is pathetic. Take your time and read it. Maybe you should read it aloud. Maybe you should hire a fifth grader to explain it to you. Or are you just trying to make Christians look stupid?

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s an idiot. Only an idiot can so stupid.

        • Greg G.

          If he is trying to make Christians look stupid, then he is the master at it.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I did not.

        • Michael Neville

          You’ve quote-mined Lewis, who was a Christian writer (the passage you referred to came from his book Mere Christianity), and Bob. Honesty isn’t one of your attributes.

        • Right, I don’t say he was a liar. I say he was a legend. Are you having a hard time with these concepts, or are you just being a liar yourself?

          Paul would posses enough information to know if Christianity was true or not.

          Why? Paul never even met Jesus. All we have is a fanciful story. If I tell an equally fanciful one, would you believe it?

        • MR

          If I tell an equally fanciful one, would you believe it?

          I’ve pondered, what if some manuscripts were discovered that predated the gospels, but were basically the gospels with minor changes. Instead of some guy named Jesus, it was some guy named Emmanuel. Imagine the stories were identical in essence, and only varied in minor points, maybe even resolved some apparent contradictions, like a consistent story for the death of Judas (who would, of course, be named something else) and other minor cleaning up of the story. Simple changes that don’t change the overall gist of the story, but include things like the 500 witnesses, the resurrection, etc. Would Christians suddenly drop their belief in Jesus and start worshipping Emmanuel? I mean, what exactly is inherent in the story of Jesus that makes it believable? Nothing that I can see. I don’t think anyone would just adopt another similar story based on what’s in the story because there’s nothing in the story that is believable in and of itself. We believe the Jesus story because we’re taught to believe the Jesus story–not because the story is believable.

        • Greg G.

          They have one story where a man faces similar encounters but his name is Odysseus.

        • And, seeing the story from the flip side, suppose we found Jesus’s bones. Would that upend Christianity? Would Christians just pack up and become atheists?

          Of course not. Today, they’ll give “Show me the bones of Jesus” as an example of something that would dissuade them from Christianity. Y’know, to show that they only care about the evidence. But it would take about 2 seconds to say, “OK, then Jesus went back to heaven with a spirit body. Yeah, that’s what happened–it was a spirit body. Y’know, like in John where he just materialized in a room.”

          It’d be like in Orwell’s 1984, where the orator gets a message during the “10 minutes of hate” (or whatever it was called), and he just continues with his fomenting, with the names of the ally and enemy swapped.

        • Greg G.

          Paul would posses enough information to know if Christianity was true or not.

          Paul seems to have got all of his information about Jesus from the Old Testament. He was reading things out of context and creating a narrative around it. He believed it but he was certainly wrong. He thought he would be alive when the Messiah came, just like lots of Jews who died defending Jerusalem under the assumption that a Messiah would arrive at any time and defeat Rome.

        • Pofarmer

          Paul was pushing a religion, it doesn’t matter what is “true”. By your thinking Mormonism is equally true. Try not to be a credulous moron

        • Zachariah ​†

          I would love to refute your claim but I don’t know enough about Mormonism to do so.

        • Susan

          I would love to refute your claim

          Then, go listen to Mormon apologists. Your arguments are no better, so far.

          I don’t know enought about Mormonism to do so.

          The rest of us know enough about it to notice that their crappy arguments are no better or worse than yours.

          “The supernatural” can be anything anyone makes up.

          And christianity and mormonism are indistinguishable from all the other made-up human claims.

        • Pofarmer

          Look at scientology. Or look at my favorite Sathya Sae Baba. Just because people believe things, even in very large numbers, doesn’t make those things “true”. The examples are endless. You know what else is interesting? We don’t have any kind of innate mechanism to determine if something is true or not. Do weather systems or God’s make it rain? There’s no way that we can know by the way an answer makes us feel. In reality, if it feels like an answer, and gets us on to the next question, and doesn’t have a severe negative consequence (believing something is non-poisonous when it isn’t, for example) then one answer is just as good as the next. You’re problem is that you’ve fallen on answer that seems true to you, and you can’t fathom that it might just not be.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Your agnosticism doesn’t compel me.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, I’m a believer. I believe in Invisible Pink Unicorns. I know they are invisible because I’ve never seen one. I know they are Pink because of Faith.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I am sure you have heard of Romans chapter 1 verse 22.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why should we worry about snarky pathetic attempts at insults from your book?

          After all, there’s nothing to distinguish it from fiction…

        • Pofarmer

          Mathew 5:22

        • Zachariah ​†

          What makes you think you are my brother?

        • Pofarmer

          We’re all brothers maaaannnnn..

        • Paul B. Lot
        • Greg G.

          Fool, he is pointing to the second half of the verse.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Why do you always come in the discussion, misread everything, and then accuse me of making an error?

        • Greg G.

          Why do you always come in the discussion, misread everything, and then accuse me of making an error?

          I think this question can be best answered if we break it into four parts.

          1. Why?
          Because.

          2. Do you always come in the discussion?
          Not always.

          3. Do you always misread everything?
          Not always.

          4. Do you always accuse me of making an error?
          Only when you make an error, which is always.

        • MR

          No appreciation for trying to steer him from a wrong path. Sheesh. Kids these days.

        • TheNuszAbides

          ah … my apologies. i retract “appallingly bad faith” since you’ve established that it’s merely garden-variety Dunning-Kruger delusion.

        • TheNuszAbides

          You, nor any atheist can be satisfied with calling him a liar. You have to disbelieve his entire existence

          your hilarious lack of knowledge as to what monolithic atheists have/want to believe is noted.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “We don’t know anything, remember? ‘Supernatural things by definition can’t happen therefore jesus is fake.'”

          You’re strawmanning again.

          The ACTUAL position is “We have no evidence of supernatural things…and if we DID have evidence, then we could analyze it and figure it out, so it would no longer be considered supernatural.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          The 9/11 hijackers are not the same as the original apostles of Yeshua.

          Who were the original apostles of Yeshua and how do you know? Aren’t they like the Knights of the Round Table, or the Fellowship of the Ring, or the Merry Men of Nottingham Forest?

          For they have no clue of anything, but the originals lived to see his death and resurrection.

          Nope…that’s just a literary device in a work of fiction.

          But I know what your response to this will be. “It’s all fake.”

          You sound like you are referring to that dopey cunt Trump. What do you mean by “fake”? All made up…a fabrication? Well yes, absolutely, I just call it myth…but fake works too.

          Which is a hilariously funny argument not worth a rebuttal.

          What is hilariously funny is that the best scholars can’t rebut the hypothesis…but I don’t expect you to know anything about the topic because you are an idiot.

          It makes you adopt too far of an extreme form of skepticism.

          What is a not “too far of an extreme form of skepticism” to adopt? How does that even work?

          Which I mean go ahead and preach that unregulated skepticism if you want. But it doesn’t work to compel the Christian argument.

          Here’s the problem though, if what you mean by preaching that unregulated skepticism is Bob actually providing the counter arguments to religious woo-woo, and the Christian version of the gibberish in particular, doesn’t compel Christians, then you are talking bubbles. See, we have the evidence that it actually does work to compel the Christian to reassess their position, if that is what you meant, because the evidence is abundant that it does.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          have you considered that possibility that the people you are arguing with are already aware of the common evidence offered for the resurrection and are aware of the many problems with it? if you have something new and novel they may find it interesting. just bare in mind that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and claims that break know rules of physics are shooting at a very high bar.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Where do I find your responses to major arguments for Christianity?

          So you are here in ignorance just blowing it out of yer arse…why does that come as no surprise?

          On the right of this page alongside the article, there is a search engine with the words “search this blog” in the search field. Type in a/some words relevant to the subject you want a rebuttal to the major arguments and hit “Go”…let me know if ya need a hand…idiot.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You seem to have already drawn conclusions.

          NOW you’re saying you haven’t read it yet?

          You’re a HACK.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then go read Bob’s writings before throwing bullshit assertions around.

          We’ll wait.

        • al kimeea

          I don’t think there’s enough popcorn in this or any universe

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          You’re either too lazy or too stupid to find them?

          Took me ten seconds.

          But then, you don’t care about the truth, do you?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why do you refute ignore all of the “evidence” for every other religion?

          You’re an idiot.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Because I have not done enough independent study on all other religions to know what I am talking about of their authenticity.

        • Greg G.

          Study one religion, and you’ll be hooked for life. Study two religions, and you’re done in an hour. – Anonymous Quote.

          That is because you begin to see other religions make logical errors to support themselves, and then you realize that your first religion does the same thing.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I have studied more than one religion. The other one is Islam.

        • Greg G.

          The anonymous quote must work only work for the insightful.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Actually, from studying Islam my faith got even stronger. You can really learn what evil is when you study it.

        • epeeist

          You can really learn what evil is when you study it.

          Which says nothing about whether it is true or false.

          Similarly, even if Christianity was all sweetness and light (which it isn’t), this also says nothing about whether it is true or not.

        • Greg G.

          So you didn’t actually study Islam from the Muslim perspective. You assumed it was evil. You were more focused on the differences while ignoring the similarities.

        • MR

          Judging from his general comprehension here on this site, I’d pretty much question anything he claims to have “studied,” and “You can trust me because I’ve studied this,” is the refuge of charlatans.

          From his comments it sounds like what he really means is, “I read some Christian propaganda about Islam.” People who actually study things don’t make statements like, “You can really learn what evil is when you study it.”

        • Greg G.

          I suspected that he only studied Xtian propaganda on Islam from the first claim of studying it and the mention of “evil” confirmed it.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I did study it from a Muslim perspective. It told me to kill people and that it was okay to have sex with children.

        • epeeist

          It told me to kill people and that it was okay to have sex with children.

          Presumably you can give us the chapters and verses in the Qu’ran or Hadiths that say this.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Surah 9:5

          Bukhari 9.84.57

          You can also find Muhammad inside the Hadiths trying to persuade people to fondle young girls.

        • epeeist

          Ah, you mean this:

          9:5 And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for themat every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

          Which is immediately followed by:

          9:6 And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah . Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

          Bukhari 9.84.57

          Ah the killing of apostates, always nasty.

          If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul, entice you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’ (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, of the gods of the peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end), you shall not yield to him or listen to him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal him. But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

          and contrary to my command has worshipped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death..

          Stones and glass houses are the words that come to mind.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I hope you aren’t defending the religion nor saying what I said was incorrect. Because you are wrong if so.

        • epeeist

          I hope you aren’t defending the religion

          Nope, I find Islam misogynistic, homophobic, supremacist in outlook when it comes to in-group/out-group membership and far too socially conservative for my outlook.

          But there again, I can say the same thing about the right wing Christianity in the US, the only difference is in the degree of sanction against those it despises.

          Two things, firstly you seem to have missed my comment of yesterday in which I point out that the niceness or nastiness of a religion says nothing about whether it is true or not.

          Secondly, I have to ask you whether you would agree that the two quotations I give at the end of my previous post are just as nasty as Bukhari 9.84.57.

        • Zachariah ​†

          There is absolutely no comparison of Islam or Christianity in any serious aspect. It is by far the absolute worst, it does not and never has allowed for any sort of religious freedom. It is completely one hundred percent totalitarian in its nature. Christianity is NOT like that. It is extremely disingenuous to use Islam to criticize other religions or ideologies.

        • Damien Priestly

          After spending much of my life as a Christian…I know that Christianity is exactly like that…a complete totalitarian God…who will send people to eternal punishment for not obeying the dictator’s rules.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I did not say that the ideological view of God was not totalitarian. Of course it is. He is God. But my point is that Christianity is not a totalitarian ideology, nor does it give you a system of political advocacy as Islam does. It is completely different. Would you rather live in Pakistan or the U.S.? The U.S. is 70% Christian and we have been largely represented inside the political arena for 200 years. Tell me, do you think you would be able to even speak as an atheist if the west was Muslim? Of course I know you probably would enjoy that. Most people here like to use Islam to discredit Christianity. Which is dumb.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          xtianity is not totalitarian ONLY because the Protestant Reformation got xtianity arguing with itself, allowing Enlightenment ideas to spread and creating the world of technology we live in today.

        • Damien Priestly

          Many places in the US are dangerous for Atheists to be in the
          open. I would rather say I was an Atheist in Istanbul, — than in many towns in
          Alabama, Texas or Oklahoma.

        • epeeist

          There is absolutely no comparison of Islam or Christianity in any serious aspect.

          There isn’t? Christianity has never regarded women as second class citizens, never condemned homosexuals, never taken a reactionary line against social change?

          It is by far the absolute worst, it does not and never has allowed for any sort of religious freedom.

          And Christianity has always allowed this, it has never instituted crusades against other religions, never tortured or executed heretics, never had internecine conflicts over dogma?

          It is extremely disingenuous to use Islam to criticize other religions or ideologies.

          Criticising? All I am doing is pointing out that Islam and the kind of Christianity prevalent in the US have many properties in common.

          But you still seem to be having problems with the fact that the properties of religion say nothing about whether it is true or not.

          Now I think that Bukhari 9.84.57 is despicable, but for some reason you don’t seem to be able to tell me what you think of the two quotations I gave at the end of this post.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Yeah, this convo is over.

        • epeeist

          Yeah, this convo is over.

          Why am I not surprised.

          It would seem that while you are (rightly) willing to condemn Islam for its transgressions you are unwilling to do so when it comes to Christianity.

          So no response to Christianity’s treatment of women, treatment of homosexuals, the various crusades it instituted, the treatment of Jews, Cathars, Protestants by Catholics and Catholics by Protestants or the religious wars in Europe.

          No condemnation of the bible’s words on apostasy though they are little different to the verse in the Qu’ran you referenced.

          But the abandonment of a conversation when it doesn’t suit is a common theme when it comes to you. No response to questions as to how one knows Christianity is true, who the eye-witnesses were to the events in the gospels and where their testimony is to be found, what constitutes “the supernatural” and the evidence for it, or the mechanism by which “the resurrection” worked. And this is only in your conversations with me.

        • Zachariah ​†

          a little different, huh? Do you say ‘peace be upon him’ when you reference muhammad too?

        • epeeist

          Is this really the best you have got, a playground taunt?

        • Pofarmer

          This poster doesn’t seem to have anything at all, frankly.

        • epeeist

          One has to wonder whether theists who come here have ever been exposed to ideas outside their Christian bubble. In this case even a knowledge of his “holy book” seems to be defective.

        • Pofarmer

          Such exposure would make them “worldly” and they can’t have that.

        • Zachariah ​†

          You’re the one comparing Christians to jihadists.

        • epeeist

          You’re the one comparing Christians to jihadists.

          All Muslims are jihadists?

          As it is I was comparing some of the attributes of Islam with the equivalents in Christianity, which is rather different to comparing people.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Jihadism is a real ideology inside Islam. All Muslims are commanded to partake in Jihad.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then explain away the xtians who bomb abortion clinics or assasinate doctors who offer abortion in the door of the doctor’s own church.

        • epeeist

          Jihadism is a real ideology inside Islam.

          So given your extensive study of Islam perhaps you could enlighten us on the meaning of “jihad”.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Holy war

        • epeeist

          Holy war

          So you choose a particular characterisation of the lesser jihad while ignoring the greater jihad.

          I thought you had an extensive knowledge of Islam?

        • Zachariah ​†

          I never said I had extensive knowledge, and what I said was true. There are different kinds of Jihad. But the term doesn’t change, Jihad is a praiseworthy struggle based on the conservation of Islam.

        • Greg G.

          You said you studied it from a Muslim perspective and all you got was to kill people and have sex with children.

          You don’t seem to have extensive knowledge of anything. You don’t seem to understand that much of the bad parts of Islam can be found in the Old Testament.

          Since you don’t have extensive knowledge of either religion, we are back to the anonymous quote. Study both religions until you have extensive knowledge of both, then see how different they really are. All you know about either is what the preacher and your mom tell you.

        • Zachariah ​†

          You said you studied it from a Muslim perspective and all you got was to kill people and have sex with children.

          No, no I did not. You are very good at misreading my comments.

        • Greg G.

          You said you studied it from a Muslim perspective and all you got was to kill people and have sex with children.

          No, no I did not. You are very good at misreading my comments.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/07/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid-part-5-2/#comment-3980496581
          Zachariah ​†: I have studied more than one religion. The other one is Islam.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/07/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid-part-5-2/#comment-3981496624
          Zachariah ​†: I did study it from a Muslim perspective. It told me to kill people and that it was okay to have sex with children.

          I didn’t misread your comments.

        • You have misread my comments three seperate times.

          Firstly, you accuse me of falsely accusing bob of saying something, which I did not do.

          Secondly, you accused me of misreading a bible verse.

          Thirdly, you accused me of saying that ‘all I got from studying Islam’ was that it told me to ‘kill people and have sex with children.’

        • Greg G.

          You have misread my comments three seperate times.

          Firstly, you accuse me of falsely accusing bob of saying something, which I did not do.

          The words you used were quoted back at you.

          Secondly, you accused me of misreading a bible verse.

          I don’t recall this. Can you cite it, please?

          Thirdly, you accused me of saying that ‘all I got from studying Islam’ was that it told me to ‘kill people and have sex with children.’

          I quoted where you said those things and provided links.

          Maybe you should say what you mean.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re a lying idiot at this point.

        • Another useless comment and personal attack. Why am I not surprised?

        • Ignorant Amos

          True though.

        • TheNuszAbides

          You are very good at misreading my comments.

          IRONY METER EMERGENCY

        • Please do not reply to my month(s) old comments.

        • Greg G.

          Why not?

        • Because I do not have the memory to remember every detail of my conversations months ago. And I do not want to re-read them.

        • Greg G.

          Why can’t he reply if he wants to do so while you ignore him if you don’t care to reply?

        • I didn’t ever suggest he could not reply to my comments.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your memory is worse than ya think…13 hours ago that’s exactly what you suggested ya dopey fuckwit…

          Please do not reply to my month(s) old comments.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/07/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid-part-5-2/#comment-4147150746

        • Greg G.

          I didn’t ever suggest he could not reply to my comments.

          You requested that he not reply rather than ignoring the reply. That is some fine hair-splitting between “suggest” and “request”.

        • Please do not reply to my month(s) old comments.

          because

          I do not have the memory to remember every detail of my conversations months ago. And I do not want to re-read them.

          Would you stop acting like a teenage girl? Good Lord.

        • Greg G.

          Nusz replies to many old posts. Most people ignore it instead of posting like a drama queen lin response.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whaaa? Then fuck off ya dopey bastard. It’s as easy as that ffs.

        • An easy solution leaps to mind.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ha ha…that would involve engaging the brain and thinking…hard to do when there is a vacuous space between the ears.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why?

        • TheNuszAbides

          why, how precious is your Earthly time?

        • Even if I was a homeless man, indulging you would be a waste of my time.

        • Greg G.

          But you indulged him. What does that tell us about the worth of your time?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thick as pig shite and half as useful.

        • Ignorant Amos

          What a dopey fuckwit you are….I doubt ya can blame religion for all of it.

        • TheNuszAbides

          small wonder. you keep telling yourself that.

        • Greg G.

          Zach appears to disdain homeless people. Perhaps he considers them to be a waste of his time, too.

        • epeeist

          what I said was true.

          No, it was a selection from the full meaning of the term in order to fit your bias.

          There are different kinds of Jihad.

          So not just “holy war”.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Are you serious? The literal definition of Jihad is ‘Honorable struggle worthy of praise.’ Struggle implies either actual fighting or non violent Jihad. Fit my biases? Are you actually defending Islamic Jihad?

        • epeeist

          The literal definition of Jihad is ‘Honorable struggle worthy of praise.’

          So once again, not “holy war”.

          Are you actually defending Islamic Jihad?

          Nope, what I am doing is pointing out your mendacious use of the term.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Holy war is definitely under the umbrella of Jihad. Do you often defend religion?

        • epeeist

          Holy war is definitely under the umbrella of Jihad.

          Never said it wasn’t, just that it is only one part of full description of the term.

          Do you often defend religion?

          But I’m not defending the religion, as I said above what I am doing is pointing out your mendacity.

          As I have said before (in a response to you) I find Islam abhorrent.

          However the fact that Islam is abhorrent and that some of the many versions of Christianity have the same properties is irrelevant (as again I have said before). What really matter is that there is no substantive evidence to show that either of these religions is true, something (amongst many others) that you seem anxious to avoid tackling.

        • So given your extensive study of Islam perhaps you could enlighten us on the meaning of “jihad”.

          Holy war

          So you choose a particular characterisation of the lesser jihad while ignoring the greater jihad.

          I thought you had an extensive knowledge of Islam?(Still waiting for you to quote me saying that I had ‘extensive knowledge of Islam’)

          I never said I had extensive knowledge, and what I said was true. There are different kinds of Jihad. But the term doesn’t change, Jihad is a praiseworthy struggle based on the conservation of Islam.

          (quoting me “what I said was true”) No, it was a selection from the full meaning of the term in order to fit your bias.

          Are you serious? The literal definition of Jihad is ‘Honorable struggle worthy of praise.’ Struggle implies either actual fighting or non violent Jihad. Fit my biases? Are you actually defending Islamic Jihad?

          So once again, not “holy war”.

          Holy war is definitely under the umbrella of Jihad. Do you often defend religion?

          Never said it wasn’t, just that it is only one part of full description of the term.

          So does Jihad = Holy war?

          Yes.. it does.

          So what the hell is your problem?

        • epeeist

          So does Jihad = Holy war?

          I take the “=” as an identity relationship, so no “Jihad” and “Holy war” are not synonymous.

          So what the hell is your problem?

          Your complete lack of intellectual integrity, as evidenced by your use of that classic piece of creationist dishonesty, the quote mine.

        • Greg G.

          Are you saying that “under the umbrella” means “equal to”? That doesn’t make sense. There seems to be a problem between your reading and the narrative playing in your mind.

        • How does this not make sense? Something can hold multiple attributes at one time.

        • Greg G.

          But if one attribute is different, then they are not equal. “Under the umbrella” implies similarities but not equality.

        • This one little detail (which is not wrong btw) and you will almost die defending Islam, yet if I tell you true things about Christianity you get all flabbergasted and try to contradict me. Why is that?

        • Greg G.

          Both religions are myth and superstition. I defend neither. You are ridiculed for saying ridiculous things.

        • MR

          You haven’t shown they are true, remember? You run away from every point you can’t defend.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He’s a weaseling idiot with some sort of hardon for Islam vis a vis Christianity.

        • Ignorant Amos

          No one has defended Islam here…not once ya Dime Bar.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Something else you are a stupid idiot about.

          Never heard of Christian Just War Theory and Catholic Just War Doctrine?

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

          Do you not know what Divine Command Theory?

          Lots of Christians have been every bit as guilty of violence in the name of God, as lots of Muslims have. People in glass houses shouldn’t through stones.

          Christianity has a 600 year head start on Islam. Wind the clock back 600 years to see what Christians were just coming out of to see an equivalence.

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

          You are a Muppet.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Here you are defending Islam once again. No, the time the religion came to be does not change the actual ideology. Why don’t we find Buddhists killing infidels? Why aren’t Mormons going and enslaving women? Certain aspects of Ideologies don’t reform after time. They are stagnant. It is not possible to even reform any of Islam to be peaceful. The best commands in Islam is just actually Muhammad simply referencing old testaments in Hadithic scriptures. Such as “If you kill one man, you kill all of mankind.”

          SAHIH INTERNATIONAL Surah 5 Verse 32
          “Because of that, We(God) decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          You really are this dense, aren’t you?

          Here you are defending Islam once again.

          No, I’m not. And the fact that you can’t grasp this detail just demonstrates what a fucking idiot you really are.

          No, the time the religion came to be does not change the actual ideology.

          Not something I argued, but while it might not change the ideology, it certainly changes how it is implemented. Jewish and Christian ideology promoted the killing of infidels. There are Christians in the US who just can’t wait to kill infidels and they are using the ideology of their holy texts to back it up. Are you really so naive and ignorant?

          Why don’t we find Buddhists killing infidels?

          Well, strictly speaking, Budddhism ain’t a religion, though some variants are, but where in the Buddhist texts does it advocate killing infidels?

          Btw, Buddhists are not squeaky clean either…

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

          Why aren’t Mormons going and enslaving women?

          The same reason everyone else shouldn’t be…it’s against the law ya dumb fucker. That said, like some Christians and Muslims, some Mormons most likely are.

          The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) broke from the LDS Church in the early 20th century. Although it emerged well after slavery was made illegal in the United States, there have been several accusations of slavery. On April 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor assessed fines totaling $1.96 million against a group of FLDS Church members, including Lyle Jeffs, a brother of the church’s controversial leader, Warren Jeffs, for alleged child slave labor violations during the church’s 2012 pecan harvest at an orchard near Hurricane, Utah. The church has been suspected of trafficking underage women across state lines, as well as across the US–Canada and US–Mexico borders, for the purpose of sometimes involuntary plural marriage and sexual slavery. The FLDS is suspected by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police of having trafficked more than 30 under-age girls from Canada to the United States between the late 1990s and 2006 to be entered into polygamous marriages. RCMP spokesman Dan Moskaluk said of the FLDS’s activities: “In essence, it’s human trafficking in connection with illicit sexual activity.” According to the Vancouver Sun, it’s unclear whether or not Canada’s anti-human trafficking statute can be effectively applied against the FLDS’s pre-2005 activities, because the statute may not be able to be applied retroactively. An earlier three-year-long investigation by local authorities in British Columbia into allegations of sexual abuse, human trafficking, and forced marriages by the FLDS resulted in no charges, but did result in legislative change.

          You really, really don’t know much. And are just too stupid to find out.

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

          Certain aspects of Ideologies don’t reform after time. They are stagnant.

          So what? Go tell that to fundamental Christians like those Westbro fuckwits and see how far ya get.

          Ever hear of the Magdalene Laundries operated by the RCC in Ireland until fairly recently?

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

          It is not possible to even reform any of Islam to be peaceful.

          More ignorant dross. Not all Muslims are Jihadists, like not all Christians are homophobic gay bashers.

          And you are still wrong, because you are stupid idiot.

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

          The best commands in Islam is just actually Muhammad simply referencing old testaments in Hadithic scriptures. Such as “If you kill one man, you kill all of mankind.”

          I give zero fucks what commands who to do what. I only care about those fuckwits following those commands…including those bigoted fuckwits that walk alongside you in Christianity.

          Remove the tree trunk from your own eye, ya Coco.

          http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=21

        • Budddhism ain’t a religion,

          Lol, what? Yes it is.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh fer fecks sake…what an idiot.

          I’ll take the word from Buddhists on the matter, rather than a know nothing idiot.

          It is neither a religion in the sense in which that word is commonly understood, for it is not “a system of faith and worship owing any allegiance to a supernatural being.”

          http://www.buddhanet.net/nutshell03.htm

          Understanding Buddhism: 10 Reasons It’s NOT A Religion

          https://blog.sivanaspirit.com/understanding-buddhism-10-reasons-not-religion/

          And that is all irrelevant to the silly point you were trying to make and my refutation of your nonsense.

        • I’ll go with reality on the matter. Bhuddism is an ideology, (As synonymous this means a) system of thought, and it is a philosophy,(worldview) and it is a religion.(A personal or institutionalized system grounded in belief and worship.) Worship is basically regarding something as supremely important. Saying “Bhuddism is not an ideology/religion” doesn’t make it true. Probably why Atheists get all attracted to Buddhism because it claims such stupid things. As Atheism is actually not an ideology, nor a philosophy, nor a worldview. So you try to find something as similar to this, but sadly this is just a case of a misunderstood bhuddist and a fool whom writes on this ‘blog.sivanaspirit.com’

          I can’t spend all day explaining what a philosophy or an ideology, or what a religion is. That is extremely boring and lame.

          Therefore, if you are satisfied with my understanding: I don’t really care.

          A religion:
          A personal or institutionalized system grounded in belief and worship.
          A Belief:
          Holding something an (idea) to be the truth.
          Worship:
          Supreme reverence toward something (an idea, or an object.)
          A philosophy:
          A worldview that pursues wisdom
          Wisdom:
          Knowledge.
          Knowledge:
          Having the certainty of Familiarity or awareness of something
          Ideology:
          A system or study of thought
          System:
          A group of interrelated elements(such as ideas) forming a complex whole
          A worldview:
          The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Call it a religion if ya want ya moron, I couldn’t really give a fuck either way. It does nothing to improve your stupid nonsense

        • I will, because it is the truth. And truth doesn’t conform to your opinion.

        • Greg G.

          Wisdom:
          Knowledge.

          Knowledge is understanding that a tomato is a fruit.
          Wisdom is understanding that a tomato is out of place in a fruit salad.

        • epeeist

          You really are this dense, aren’t you?

          Not sure about that, though his dishonesty is apparent. I rather think we are seeing a case of the backfire effect kicking in.

        • Pofarmer

          I really don’t know how you would interact with someone like this without the backfire effect.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The thing is, the idiot somehow thinks that we are defending Islam.

          The irony there, is that I got banned from RDFRS for my position on Islam. Indirectly of course. I complained about having my comments attacking Islam taken down by the Moderators and they banhammered my arse for it.

        • epeeist

          It is not possible to even reform any of Islam to be peaceful.

          Ah, despite your supposed study of Islam you have never come across the Ahmadiyya.

        • I have actually. The Ahmadis are muslims. They basically over all adhere to Suuni Islam which includes the beliefs in the Bukhari and Muslim.

        • epeeist

          The Ahmadis are muslims.

          No shit Sherlock.

          They basically over all adhere to Suuni Islam which includes the beliefs in the Bukhari and Muslim.

          They are a reformed version of Islam, You might care to read this:

          As far as Islam is concerned, it categorically rejects and condemns every form of terrorism. It does not provide any cover or justification for any act of violence, be it committed by an individual, group or government…. I most strongly condemn all acts and forms of terrorism because it is my deeply rooted belief that not only Islam but also no true religion, whatever its name, can sanction violence and bloodshed of innocent men, women and children in the name of God.’

          Hadhrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, fourth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya. Murder in the Name of Allah, pp.116, 119

        • Actually, the modern Ahamdis still believe in Bukhari and Muslims as authentic Hadiths. These are sacred books in Suuni Islam. They don’t honestly condemn terrorism. It’s the same religion. The only difference is that one is waiting for the Islamic Mahdi.

        • epeeist

          They don’t honestly condemn terrorism.

          So you are saying that the passage I quoted is a lie. You can of course substantiate this.

        • You realize that lying is permitted inside of Islam, right? These Ahmadiyya believe the same hadith scriptures that suuni muslims do. Therefore everything I have said so far applies to them too.

        • epeeist

          You realize that lying is permitted inside of Islam, right?

          I am familiar with the idea of taqiyya. Are you saying that my quotation is an example of this? You can of course substantiate this?

        • Ignorant Amos

          And Christian patriarch’s allowed lying in defence of the Faith.

        • Pofarmer

          Encouraged it.

        • Always trying to defend Islam. Christianity does not permit lying.

        • MR

          That doesn’t stop Christians from lying. You haven’t shown yourself to be particularly honest.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Always trying to defend Islam.

          Idiot.

          Christianity does not permit lying.

          You really need to learn how to read for comprehension, idiot.

          Christianity is built on lies. At least 11 of the 27 books of the NT are forged [lies] and the others are littered with plagiarism, interpolation, bastardization, lies, misinterpretation, mistranslation, etc.,…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forged_(book)

          Lying for Jesus and pious fraud is a real thing.

          Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” Why not say — as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say — “Let us do evil that good may result?” Their condemnation is deserved. ~Romans 3:7–8

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pious_fraud

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Liars_for_Jesus

          “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived.” Jerome

          “Not all true things are the truth, nor should that truth which merely seems true according to human opinions be preferred to the true truth, that according to the faith.” ~Clement of Alexandria

          “Do you see the advantage of deceit? …

          For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind …

          And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived.” ~John Christendom

          “Many things have been inserted by our ancestors in the speeches of our Lord which, though put forth under his name, agree not with his faith; especially since – as already it has been often proved – these things were written not by Christ, nor [by] his apostles, but a long while after their assumption, by I know not what sort of half Jews, not even agreeing with themselves, who made up their tale out of reports and opinions merely, and yet, fathering the whole upon the names of the apostles of the Lord or on those who were supposed to follow the apostles, they maliciously pretended that they had written their lies and conceits according to them.” ~Manichean Bishop Faustus

          “What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.” ~Martin Luther

          Why don’t you pull your head out of your arse and learn something?

        • I agree with romans 3:1-8. It says that it is wrong to lie even for God.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whoooosh!

          Another one goes right over your head.

        • Pofarmer

          Just for shits and giggles I googled “What does the bible say about lying for Jesus”, which took me to a link from Answers in Genesis(yeah, those guys) and this is their take.

          In light of such passages, does a “righteous lie” really exist? The
          most common example sent to me was envisioning the Holocaust and being
          placed in the position of lying to potentially protect someone’s life. Like most, if placed in such a difficult situation, it would be very difficult. In fact, I could never be sure what I would do, especially if it were a loved one.

          But consider for a moment that we are all already sentenced to die because we are sinners (Romans 5:12). It is going to happen regardless. If
          a lie helps keep someone alive for a matter of moments compared to
          eternity, was the lie, which is high treason against the Creator, worth it?

          Holy fuck. I mean holy, holy fuck.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I seen that.

          Bug nutty, bat shit crazy, barking at the moon lunatics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There are examples of lying throughout the Bible…even YahwehJesus lied in both personas.

          Jeremiah says God deceived him in 20:7.

          God lied to Adam when he told him what he’d do to him for eating the fruit, but didn’t.

          Jesus lied through his eye teeth.

          http://www.evilbible.com/evil-bible-home-page/jesus-lied/

          (John 7:8) -“Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.”

          (John 7:10) – “But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as it were, in secret.”

        • Greg G.

          But those are noble lies…. or something.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s what they all say though.

        • MR

          That’s a simplistic and naive answer for someone who claims to have studied Islam!

        • Zachariah ​†

          But it is true, so that criticism is pretty inane itself.

        • MR

          It shows you haven’t studied Islam like you claimed. You shot your own credibility.

        • And how did I do that?

        • MR

          People who really study things don’t give simplistic, naive answers.

        • What I said about Jihad was completely correct.

        • MR

          Naive and simplistic. You really should get out in the world.

          How long have you been a Christian?

        • 2014

        • MR

          What were you before you were Christian?

        • a deist

        • MR

          Since?

        • I never had atheistic thoughts. I always have had this innate feeling as far back as I can remember that the rejection of a God was synonymous with despair. I was a deist who went to baptists churches, Assemblies of God, basically a nondenominational nonreligious deist. I didn’t understand the story of Jesus, and then I became a Christian after I read the gospel and interpreted it myself. Also, seeing the persecution of my Middle Eastern Coptic friends enticed me to the religion. I am a JudeoChristian, favorite Apostle is Saul. Favorite book is John’s Gospel. Favorite verse is Chapter 3:16.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I never had atheistic thoughts. I always have had this innate feeling as far back as I can remember that the rejection of a God was synonymous with despair.

          Ah, so you’re a “religious” person out of fear of your own psychology, and you treat the “atheistic thoughts” which have vaguely managed to penetrate to your conscious mind as somehow “other”, a thing to be pushed aside and denied and repressed.

          Gotcha.

        • MR

          So always indoctrinated in Christianity. That’s as I thought.

        • No. Didn’t you see what I said? I didn’t become a christian until I saw persecution of the Coptics and read the gospel myself.

        • MR

          I was a deist who went to baptists churches, Assemblies of God, basically a nondenominational nonreligious deist.

          Didn’t you read what you wrote ^^^. You’ve been indoctrinating yourself in Christianity. It’s as I thought. Is it any surprise that you became a Christian?

        • How do you “indoctrinate yourself” in Christianity? I went to those churches to have fellowship with my neighbors. I told you, I read the bible myself.. never trusted what I was told by other people.

        • MR

          Lots of ways to have “fellowship” (a Christian term) with your neighbors. You indoctrinate yourself by going to Christian churches. It’s no surprise, really.

          I told you, I read the bible myself.

          Sure, having indoctrinated yourself for years. That’s fine.

          never trusted what I was told by other people.

          Uh-huh. What argument did the Bible make that so convinced you?

        • “You indoctrinate yourself by going to Christian churches.”
          No, I did not. I went to local community churches and friends and family associations.

          “What argument did the Bible make that so convinced you?”
          The resurrection. The fact that after he predicted that he would die, and then he died as it even said in psalms, and the fact that people experienced the tomb being empty convinced me that what he preached was true.

        • MR

          So, indoctrinated by friends and family, too. Hey, there’s no shame in that. Most of us are.

          I see, so you’re buying a story that was written over 2,000 years ago and assuming it actually happened that way. If I were to say that about any other religion, you’d call me gullible.

        • Paul B. Lot

          The fact that after he predicted that he would die, and then he died as it even said in psalms

          When you grow up and read about Nostradamus, your mind is going to get fucking blown.

        • MR

          Er, no it wasn’t. Do you even know any Muslims?

        • LOL… yes. A lot.

        • MR

          And how many of them are jihadists?

        • Are you joking? A lot of them tell me they love Osama Bin Ladin. Some even claim that ISIS is doing God’s work.

        • MR

          How many of them are jihadists?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are doing that thing you’ve ticked me off for doing more than once, while quoting GBS…Z is an idiot.

        • Pofarmer

          You didn’t even recognize these quotes, did you?

          If your brother, your mother’s son, or your son or
          daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own
          soul, entice you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods’
          (whom neither you nor your fathers have known, of the gods of the
          peoples who are around you, near you or far from you, from one end of
          the earth to the other end), you shall not yield to him or listen to
          him; and your eye shall not pity him, nor shall you spare or conceal
          him. But you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him
          to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

          and
          contrary to my command has worshipped other gods, bowing down to them
          or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been
          brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If
          it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been
          done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to
          your city gate and stone that person to death..

          Christians are nothing if not reliably ignorant. Ever heard of Magdalene Laundries? Ever heard of the Albigensian Crusade? Ever hear of the 30 years war? C’mon man.

        • Zachariah ​†

          My religion says man without sin cast the first stone and judge not lest ye be judged the same.

        • Pofarmer

          That’s great. You’re religion also says to cast out demons and ostracize yourself from family.

        • Zachariah ​†

          I can’t help but think why any of that compares to chasing down apostates and killing them, or marrying 6 year old children. I don’t think you understand how dumb you look when you say Christianity = Islam. The Organized Church caused the dark ages, for they did not allow the people to judge with the gospel. That is what causes bad things, totalitarian states. Not my religious ideology. It is common knowledge that a lot of the old testament is contradicted by Jesus, and this is acknowledged inside the bible as well. It is VERY disingenuous to say that Christians are commanded to kill people in any way. We are commanded the opposite.

        • Pofarmer

          Fundamentalist Christianity is scarcely better than fundamentalist Islam. Christians have been killing themselves and others (especially Jews) for thousands of years. We’re in a time of relative peace because of the secularization of Christianity, not because it’s inherently somehow more peaceful. Historically, it has very much been spread by the sword. Violent conversions were a thing and violence was used to keep believers in the fold.

          The Organized Church caused the dark ages, for they did not allow the people to judge with the gospel.

          I don’t think I’d talk about looking stupid with crap like that.

          It is VERY disingenuous to say that Christians are commanded to kill people in any way. We are commanded the opposite.

          I’m looking at results.

        • Zachariah ​†

          “I don’t think I’d talk about looking stupid with crap like that.”
          ….What?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Scott Roeder, a fundamentalist xtian, chased down and killed Dr. Anthony Tiller in Tiller’s own church.

          So xtianity is no better…I could find more.

        • Greg G.

          I can’t help but think why any of that compares to chasing down apostates and killing them

          Catholics and Protestants were killing each other in the last 25 years in Northern Ireland and more recently in Africa. Do you follow the Ten Commandments. The penalty for failing Commandments 3 through 7 is death. The penalty for failing Commandments 1 and 2 is genocide for whole cities.

          or marrying 6 year old children.

          At least they are married. Here is what the Bible says:

          Numbers 31:17-18 (NRSV)17 Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves.

          Judges 21:11 says the same thing. That is an improvement over Deuteronomy 7:2 and Deuteronomy 20:16-18 which say kill everything that breathes.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Have you never read the new testament?

        • Greg G.

          I have read the New Testament many times in different translations. I often check the Greek when the translations differ or seem strange. I compare the NT quotations of OT passages to see when they are quoting from Hebrew or from the Septuagint. I compare passages between books to see which author was reading the other. I compare the New Testament writings with the literature of the day to see what else they were reading which provides clues about who they were, and more importantly, what they were incorporating into the texts. I read it carefully to distinguish what has been added or if something has been removed. I am way beyond reading it at face value. I don’t see why adults still take it seriously.

        • MR

          I don’t think we’re necessarily dealing with an adult. At least, not one who hasn’t been home schooled.

        • Pofarmer

          I’d say there is a teachermom involved.

        • MR

          Yeah, I can’t decide between teacher mom and the IRA. I understand they’re still trolling. I’m almost certain that was them a while back when we had some white supremacists on the site a while back. They kind of swept in like a hit job for a while there. His follows a similar pattern of fear-mongering.

          The problem isn’t the people. People are just people. The problem is religion, both Islam and Christianity. Christianity is the theme of this blog. I’m not nearly as worried about Muslims as I am what the influence of Christianity is doing. We need to hold his feet to the Christianity fire.

        • Pofarmer

          And the claims that it isn’t a theocracy unless it “Compels belief”, whatever that is, are kinda bizarre. But not unexpected for a dominionist, I’d guess.

        • MR

          Ah, dominionism, that’s one I hadn’t considered.

          I love when they come in here proposing religious extremism to combat religious extremism.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s also nice when you advocate for secular govt as a means to combat religious extremism, which they see as bad when it isn’t theirs, and they start quoting theology and scripture.

        • epeeist

          I’d say there is a teachermom involved.

          Well that’s the problem with autodidactism isn’t it, the teachers are so poor.

        • MR

          Well, the sources, anyway.

        • Ignorant Amos

          autodidactism

          A had to look that one up…every day is a learning day in this place.

        • Then perhaps you can give me an actual Christian interpretation of the bible and not quote old testament verses which are abrogated by the messiah.

        • Pofarmer

          There are literally thousands of Christian interpretations which have changed over time. What we’re pointing out are Christian actions.

        • Only Christs actions are Christian actions.

        • Pofarmer

          The Church is the body of Christ.

        • Greg G.

          Then perhaps you can give me an actual Christian interpretation of the bible and not quote old testament verses which are abrogated by the messiah.

          It is amazing that many Christians assume their version of Christianity is correct and only the fringe believers disagree with them. But there are thousands of denominations.

          Many Christians fall into the group that essentially believes, in stark terms, that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

          Unitarians disagree that Jesus was his own father.

          Some groups put less emphasis on the symbolic cannibalism and stress taking a bath with magic words while some believe just splashing or dribbling water with magic words is enough. Some think the telepathy is sufficient.

          A large portion of Christians disagree than the cannibalism is symbolic. The believe the wine and crackers actually turn into blood and Jesus meat. [This paragraph added by suggestion of Pofarmer.]

          Some believe the rib, talking snake, and magic fruit are a metaphor but those who believe that story actually happened point out that the believers who do not accept the Garden of Eden story then must believe that Jesus died for a metaphor.

          Some disagree with the “zombie” description and point out that Jesus was more like a lich, or some other undead.

          Then there are some who don’t believe that God is a separate entity but is “the root of all being.” This is essentially pantheism.

          Christians try to mask the silliness of their religion by using more solemn terminology.

          Then they believe in answered prayer but give lots of excuses why it is not actually answered while pointing to the occasional happenstance that sort of answered some prayer. Sometimes a person gets a cold that turns into pneumonia and sometimes they die but if you pray for them, sometimes they don’t die and sometimes they don’t even get pneumonia. Hallelujah!

          Let’s think about “abrogated by the messiah.” That implies that the Old Testament is wrong. So either it doesn’t come from God, God was wrong in giving it, God is evil, or that it is wrong to abrogate it. Either God was wrong or Jesus was wrong with the abrogation.

        • Pofarmer

          Don’t leave out the rather large group who believes the cannibalism is actual, and not symbolic.

        • Greg G.

          Thanks! I added that.

        • No, the Old Testament law is still very relevant. But parts of it are not necessary given the wisdom we have now because of the new testament.

          Matthew 5:17-20
          17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

        • Greg G.

          I take it you accept those assessments of Christianity.

          No, the Old Testament law is still very relevant. But parts of it are not necessary given the wisdom we have now because of the new testament.

          That passage says that the Old Testament is not abrogated until all is fulfilled. We are still waiting for the Messiah to come with trumpets and the bodies of the living changed and the dead raised. Oh, wait, that was supposed to happen while Paul was still alive. Maybe that bug will be fix in the next version. We may as well make the best of our existence until the reboot.

        • You can devolve into hedonism and amorality, I wont. And your assessment, like other things, is incorrect.

        • Greg G.

          You can devolve into hedonism and amorality, I wont.

          See, you are as bad as James 2:8-11. James didn’t understand that a person can love others and not descend into hedonism and amorality. That kind of thinking must be a brain malfunction caused by too much religion.

          And your assessment, like other things, is incorrect.

          What part of my assessment is incorrect? Each one of them applies to at least one large faction of Christianity.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          You already appear to be wallowing.

        • Greg G.

          Nobody is saying Christianity = Islam. You are trying to compare the worst of Islam with the best of Christianity. The worst of Christianity is no better than the worst of Islam and the best of Christianity is no better than the best of Islam. It is just that both err for the same reason in thinking that one can know that a god exists and can know what the god thingy thinks.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Yeah, that is bullshit.

        • Greg G.

          What is bullshit about my comment? Is the worst of Islam worse than the Inquisition or the Crusades? Is the best of Christianity any better than Islam? Or does either religion have valid evidence for the basis of their religion?

          If you mean that all religion is bullshit, we agree.

        • MR

          I’ve been doing my family history and both the Protestants and the Catholics persecuted (in the real sense, not his, “Oh, you’re criticizing me, Waaa!” sense) my family at various times and places: repression of religious practice, ostracization, banishment, confiscation of property, imprisonment, death threats, hanging, etc…, all based on religious grounds. And that’s just the ones I know about not to mention the terrible things that happened to neighbors and others in the same community. Christianity has its own beam.

        • Greg G.

          One of my great^x grandfathers was kicked out of the Quakers for “sundry disorders” and they reported it to the Revolutionary Army that he was no longer a conscientious objector. It didn’t work because he survived the war.

          My great^y grandfather was a Colonel in the Virginia Militia and my great^(y-1) grandfather participated in Bacon’s Rebellion. Great^y grandfather was able to keep great^(y-1) grandfather from being hanged at age 18 but he was still written out of the will.

        • Pofarmer

          This is the reason I say that I think there is a certain evolutionary component to religion. When you kill and ostracize non beleivers you are picking a community of beleivers so there is an actual survival benefit to belief. As we get further from that, beleif should wane.

        • MR
        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your religious figure also cursed fig trees for not bearing out of season, and introduced the concepts of hell and thoughtcrime, if we’re to believe the book.

        • Greg G.

          judge not lest ye be judged the same

          You judge other religions but don’t like to be judged the same when your holy book has the same crap.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Yes. I judge other religions. I say it is wrong to command people to kill anyone for any reason, better to love them and pray for them to do what is right. Islam does not do this. Christianity does. Judaism does not do this. Christianity does. Therefore, which is the best in this aspect?

        • Greg G.

          …better to love them… …Judaism does not do this.

          What? One of the most quoted Old Testament passages found in the New Testament is:

          Leviticus 19:18 (NRSV)18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

          Have you ever tried to understand the New Testament and where it came from?

        • Leviticus 19:18 excludes gentiles.

        • Greg G.

          Why is it repeated so many times in the Epistles and the Gospels?

        • Because it is the God’s law spoken about in the new testament.

        • Greg G.

          So Leviticus 19:18 doesn’t exclude Gentiles?

        • It does exclude Gentiles. Notice the front of the verse. “You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people, but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

        • Greg G.

          There are two questions that you are trying to answer. Every time you answer one, you refute your answer to the other.

          So we are back to:

          Why is it repeated so many times in the Epistles and the Gospels?

          Paul quotes it as fulfilling the whole law. James says it is a good start but you must follow the whole law or you will be murdering and committing adultery. Paul retorts to James that if you love, you won’t murder or commit adultery or steal or covet. The gospels have it coming directly out of Jesus’ mouth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Christianity condemns individuals to an eternity of torment for mundane finite “sins”.

          Christianity puts the Decalogue on a pedestal. A set of rules that condemns people to death for thought crime. And not content with their death, condemns them to eternal punishment forever after.

          Now nobody but an idiot takes the most of the Decalogue seriously anymore, but that is not the point, they are supposed to or they’re doomed. The zealotry in your woo-woo is shitty too. You seem to think it’s fine just because today it is not as shitty as the others. But we don’t give a fuck about your game of obfuscation, smoke & mirrors, and look over there, squirrels. The nasty bastards in Christianity are just as nasty a bunch of bastards as the nasty bastards in other religions, and they use scripture to defend themselves for being nasty bastards. If the rabid fundigelicals get overall power in the US, Gilead will be a real possibility. Then the world will see the Christian perspective.

          We can see your loving Christian attitude in action already…Africa…

          For years now, evangelical activists from the United States have been speaking out against homosexuality and cheering on antigay legislation all over Africa.

          https://www.thenation.com/article/its-not-just-uganda-behind-christian-rights-onslaught-africa/

          Therefore, which is the best in this aspect?

          Like asking which variety of terminal cancer to have.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Idiot…

          You do know that the Pericope Adulterae is a forged interpolation…a.k.a. a lie…right?

        • epeeist

          You didn’t even recognize these quotes, did you?

          Either that or he didn’t want to acknowledge that the bible contains passages just as foul as the one from the Qu’ran that he referenced.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why would I ever want to do that?

        • MR

          In other words, epeeist has made an important point. What you experienced was cognitive dissonance. You’d rather run than consider the implications of the point he has made.

        • Ctharrot

          No, no, those passages are completely different. One involves a religious leader conveying divine instructions to put certain unbelievers to the sword, while the other involves a religious leader conveying divine instructions to kill certain unbelievers by stoning–one of the most traumatic and excruciating forms of capital punishment ever devised.

          See? No comparison.

        • Zachariah ​†

          You realize that Daesh has crucified Christians in the past few years, right?

        • MR

          Why did you just mention the Christians? They’ve done worse to Muslims. That doesn’t change his point. You condemn the atrocities of their religion, but refuse to acknowledge the similar atrocities that Christianity has commited. What you are experiencing is cognitive dissonance. You’d rather run and point at the other guy than consider the implications of the point he made.

        • Zachariah ​†

          My religion is not responsible for atrocities. My religion worships a man whom said that the man without sin casts the first stone, that all you judge will be your own standard, that you should love everyone as yourself, that you should do everything you do through love. There are no commands for Christians to kill anyone in the new testament in our lives. You can either acknowledge that or just be quiet.

          And no, Christians have not waged any holy war against Muslims. Every single battle ever fought against Islam was against Islam invading Europe. Islam deliberately uses radicalized dumbed down populations as barbarians to conquer neighboring communities. You are despicable, or you are painfully ignorant.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Wrong. Pogroms, Crusades, and the Inquisition, for 3.

        • MR

          My religion is not responsible for atrocities.

          It is. You simply choose to close your eyes at the atrocities and only see what you consider positive attributes of your religion. The Bible isn’t just composed of the New Testament and there are plenty of references to killing people in the Old, and Jesus himself in the New Testament said, “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Not to mention all the other points raised by other posters that you ignore. Just because you ignore them doesn’t mean we can’t see them. What you are experiencing is cognitive dissonance. Until you can respond to the questions of Susan and epeeist and the rest, you’re just showing your own ignorance.

          Every single battle ever fought against Islam was against Islam invading Europe.

          Not true. You need to brush up on your history. Who’s the ignorant one again? And that’s not to mention the other holy wars started by Christians and against Christians and against others. Just because Islam commits atrocities doesn’t mean that Christians haven’t. Are you homeschooled or something?

        • Zachariah ​†

          I am not going to respond to people who are equating Christianity to Islam. If you think that is true, pick the worst Christian country to live in (as an apostate) and compare it to the worst Muslim country to live in.

        • MR

          Not equating them. Showing they both support atrocities. It’s not an either or if they’re both wrong.

        • Paul B. Lot

          equating Christianity to Islam. If you think that is true, pick the worst Christian country to live in (as an apostate) and compare it to the worst Muslim country to live in

          vs.

          equating noticing similarities whilst comparing Christianity to Islam. If you think that is true, pick the worst Christian country to live in (as an apostate) at any previous moment in history and compare it to the worst Muslim country to live in at our present moment of history

        • epeeist

          I am not going to respond to people who are equating Christianity to Islam.

          But I wasn’t equating Islam and Christianity, what I was doing was “pointing out that Islam and the kind of Christianity prevalent in the US have many properties in common”. You need to improve your reading comprehension, or at least read for comprehension and not emotion.

        • Greg G.

          There are refugees escaping from Muslim countries that are at war. There are refugees escaping from El Salvador that is a Christian country that is not at war.

          The United States is a majority Christian country that is trying to deter the El Salvadorians from trekking through the Mexican desert by making the United States less appealing than El Salvador by taking their children from them with no intention of returning them. The party in power of the US was put in power with about 80% support from Evangelical Christians. The elected government is trying to make the US so bad that refugees won’t want to come here. Thanks, Christians.

        • Zachariah ​†

          That has nothing to do with Christianity.

        • Greg G.

          The challenge was to pick the worst Christian country. It has a significant fraction of the population becoming refugees because the Christianity isn’t working there to make it a decent place to live. Doesn’t your god thingy like Salvadorans?

          The present Administration is doing everything it can to make life even harder on those refugees because that is what his Christian base wants.

        • epeeist

          Every single battle ever fought against Islam was against Islam invading Europe.

          Even if this were true (it isn’t, I’d try reading something like A History of the Crusades by Steven Runciman if you want to expand your knowledge) you are still ignoring things like the actions of Christians against other Christians (the Albigensian crusade, the religious persecution of both Catholics and Protestants in Tudor England, the persecution of the Huguenots after the Edict of Fontainebleau, the thirty-years war etc. You might also want to look at the crusades against pagans in the Baltic, the Swedish crusades.

          EDIT: Missing word

        • MR

          Of course, that might require actual study….

        • Greg G.

          He says he studied Islam. I think you nailed it. He studied Islam in his home-schooling.

        • Pofarmer

          Teachermom knows all about mooslims.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Christians are always held to a higher standard than that of Muslims. Why is that?

        • Ignorant Amos

          By whom, and who says?

        • Zachariah ​†

          Do you really know nothing about the history of the middle east? You realize that they still practice slavery, right? Rashidun, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, Almohad, Ottoman, Sokoto, do these name mean anything to you?

        • Greg G.

          The United States abolished slavery barely 150 years ago.

          See George D. Armstrong’s 1857 The Christian Doctrine of Slavery
          http://www.unz.org/Pub/ArmstrongGeorge-1857

        • Zachariah ​†

          The entire world abolished slavery barely 150 years ago. Why are you trying to criticize my country now as well as my faith?

        • Greg G.

          Most of the rest of the world had abolished slavery before the US did. Christians defended slavery on Bible principles. Why are you defending Christianity that prolonged slavery?

        • Ignorant Amos

          And you think that answers my question how, ya idiot?

          But anyway, in what countries around the world is slavery legal?

          If it is about illegal modern slavery you want to infer, you need to wise ta fuck up, this is another subject upon which you are a knuckle dragging idiot fer fuck sake.

          https://www.antislavery.org/slavery-today/slavery-uk/

          Historically, Christians are far from squeaky clean when it comes to slavery…nowhere in your dopey book is owning people frowned upon. And many have used scripture to support owning other people as property.

          Ever hear of the Southern Baptist Pastor going by the name of Richard Fuller?

          Christian views that in no short measure was influential in creating the atmosphere that allowed for the violence of the American civil war.

          You need to be careful about which drum you choose to bang ya idiot…

          https://www.thefreelibrary.com/%22Calm+yet+earnest+attention%22–the+Richard+Fuller-Francis+Wayland…-a0345277231

        • Zachariah ​†

          Christianity delivered prudent reform upon slavery. Islam actually encourages people to get slaves and sex slaves. Again, you are deflecting from the horror of Islam to criticize my religion. That is a double failing argument. You are arguing that Islam is not as bad as it seems, which is wrong, and you are arguing that Christianity is not as good as it seems, which is wrong.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Christianity delivered prudent reform upon slavery.

          Nope…people who were Christians did, while others who were Christian campaigned against those reforms. The Christians in the US went to war over the issue…did ya miss that bit?

          Islam actually encourages people to get slaves and sex slaves.

          As does the Christian Bible…both Islam and Christianity used the same source as holy scripture. The OT encourages slavery and sex slaves. So what? The Qu’ran can be cherry-picked to show Allah dislikes slavery.

          Again, you are deflecting from the horror of Islam to criticize my religion.

          The deflection is wholly on your part, because you are either too ignorant, too stupid, or both, to realize that your religion is not without similar criticism.

          That is a double failing argument.

          You’re an idiot.

          You are arguing that Islam is not as bad as it seems, which is wrong, and you are arguing that Christianity is not as good as it seems, which is wrong.

          Nope…that is the fantasy you have created in that vacuous space between your ears. No one here has done any such thing. We are just pointing out that your obfuscation tactic of “look, over there, squirrels” and “whataboutery” won’t cut the mustard in this forum.

          You are comparing the worst Muslims with the best Christians. That’s a false equivalence and fallacious.

          Muslims are/have been bad, and Christians are/have been bad, and both use their holy scriptures to justify being bad. It’s as simple as that.

          https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/06/14/if-islam-is-a-religion-of-violence-so-is-christianity/

          Today where I live, it is the beginning of the biggest celebration of the year. It is the commemoration of Christian bigoted sectarianism over other Christian bigoted sectarians for centuries. Tonight Protestants will be lighting bonfires up and down the country, while singing and dancing and jeering over the violent victory and oppression of other Christians. Effigies of the Pope will adorn the top of the bonfires and much merriment will be enjoyed at the sight of the Pope’s image going up in flames. Not a particular Pope mind, just the institution of papacy.

          Tomorrow, parades will take place all over the country. Marching bands in their hundreds, followed by Orangemen in their thousands will celebrate their Christian bigotry. The country closes down for two days Bank Holiday.

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

          If you think Christians can’t be as vile as Muslims because of their beliefs, think again. This guy lived on the same street as I did when I was a child…

          His [Murphy] character was marked by a hatred of Catholics which he brought into all of his conversations, often referring to them as “scum and animals”.

          The gang shot dead four Catholics (two men and two women) during a robbery at a warehouse in October 1975. Over the next few months, the gang began abducting, torturing and murdering random Catholic men they dragged off the streets late at night. Murphy regarded the use of a blade as the “ultimate way to kill”, ending the torture by hacking each victim’s throat open with a butcher’s knife. By February 1976 the gang had killed three Catholic men in this manner.

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

          So don’t try to teach your granny to suck eggs, I have first hand experience with how vicious Christians can be through their religious extremism…I took up arms and spent a number of years in an attempt to keep the fuckwits from ripping each other apart and felt the brunt of it from both sides in the process.

        • Inside of the old testament, the Torah said that you could not treat Hebrew slaves wrongly. Inside of the new testament, it tells you that you should obey your master like he is the messiah, and the master should treat the slave like he is the messiah, and it went on to justify it by saying this “For in heaven your God does not play favorites.”

          Have you ever heard of Exodus?

          Exodus 9:1

          “And Jehovah saith unto Moses, ‘Go in unto Pharaoh, and thou hast spoken unto him, Thus said Jehovah, God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, and so they worship me.”

          I have experienced Gnostic atheist extremeism. They are just as bad as any KKK member or Taliban member.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Inside of the old testament, the Torah said that you could not treat Hebrew slaves wrongly.

          Weren’t the Hebrew slaves lucky? Non Hebrew slaves, what about them? How were they treated?

          But at least you admit God’s chosen had slaves.

          Inside of the new testament, it tells you that you should obey your master like he is the messiah, and the master should treat the slave like he is the messiah, and it went on to justify it by saying this “For in heaven your God does not play favorites.”

          Yeah, what it should say is that owning people as property is bad.

          What it does say is that slaves should be beaten…

          And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. ~Luke 12:47

          …or even killed…

          And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ~Matthew 24:51

          It also says that a slave’s wife and family should be sold along with him.

          Have you ever heard of Exodus?

          Exodus 9:1

          Oh dear. Why do you think that passage has any relevance?

          I have experienced Gnostic atheist extremeism. They are just as bad as any KKK member or Taliban member.

          WTF is Gnostic atheist extremism? And why is that even relevant to Christians being arseholes too?

        • The Hebrews did not care about the gentiles.. “Yeah, what it should say is that owning people as property is bad.” Just as our law did not immediately prohibit slavery, same so did the law of ancient Judah and Israel. This law is recorded in the text. The bible does not command you to take others as slaves. It does command you to treat slaves better.

          Luke 12:47 is not talking about a worldly slave and worldly master. When he says ‘The Lord’ is he talking about The Holy Father or God. Has nothing to do with actual slavery, it is a parable.

          https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+12%3A42-50&version=KJV

          “Oh dear. Why do you think that passage has any relevance?”

          Because it is God telling people to free slaves.

          Agnosticism is the antonym of Gnosticism. Atheism is the disbelief of God. Gnostic Atheism would be a belief that there is No God. Extremeism is just fanatical radicalization that refuses reason.

        • MR

          Ah, so you’re an extremist then.

        • I am not an extremist.

        • MR

          That’s what an extremist would say.

          I find you to be something of an extremist for other reasons, but certainly by your own definition you are.

        • No. An extremist would say he was an extremist.

        • MR

          a) You yourself pointed out that extremists can lie
          b) You are one by your own definition
          c) Extremists often don’t consider themselves to be extremists
          d) From what you’ve said, you certainly seem to be one to me

        • Do you know what Taq’iya is?

        • MR

          You don’t need Taq’iya to lie. Others have pointed out your own intellectual dishonesty which I’ve seen on display myself. Yours is just typical fear-mongering. In my country I have more to fear from the damage that Christians are doing with their fairy tale beliefs than I fear Muslims. Why do you believe a 2,000 year old manuscript?

        • This is a very lame deflection. Taq’iya is the Islamic justification for lying.

        • MR

          You don’t need Taq’iya to lie. Even Christians lie. You continue to lie here.

          Your sole, silly purpose here seems to be to denigrate Muslims, but Muslims are just people like everyone else. I’m not worried about them. I know and work with many of them. I visited two Muslim countries a couple years ago. They’re ordinary people like everyone else in the world.

          They’ve been around since the founding of this country and if they were going to do something with your silly, sneaking Taq’iya, they would have done so by now. I’m really not worried about them. I’m in much more danger of being harmed by a Christian than I am a Muslim, and it’s Christianity that is causing the disruption in my country right now. Well, Christians influenced by politicians and Russian trolls (which I’m beginning to suspect you of).

          Sure the Muslim religion sucks, but all religions do. The biggest one that sucks in my life right now is the Christian religion. This blog is principally about the Christian religion. So, presuming you’re really a Christian, why do you believe a 2,000 year old manuscript?

        • Greg G.

          Like Christians don’t lie? Jesus lied in gJohn when his brothers invited him to go to the Festival of Booths. Jesus said he wasn’t going, then snuck off to go there.

        • Christians… don’t have doctrine of lying.

        • Greg G.

          Romans 3:1-8 (NRSV)1 Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much, in every way. For in the first place the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Although everyone is a liar, let God be proved true, as it is written,“So that you may be justified in your words,    and prevail in your judging.”5 But if our injustice serves to confirm the justice of God, what should we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my falsehood God’s truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not say (as some people slander us by saying that we say), “Let us do evil so that good may come”? Their condemnation is deserved!

          That is the Christian Doctrine for Lying. If it furthers the religion (God’s “truthfulness”) it is fine.

        • No, it literally says that the condemnation of these people who suggest lying is deserved.

        • Greg G.

          You are lying. Paul is saying that he should not be criticized for lying if it makes God sound good. Paul says that those who criticize him for lying are the ones who deserve condemnation.

        • NIV
          7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

          YTL(Youngs Literal Translation)
          7 for if the truth of God in my falsehood did more abound to His glory, why yet am I also as a sinner judged? 8 and not, as we are evil spoken of, and as certain affirm us to say — `We may do the evil things, that the good ones may come?’ whose judgment is righteous.

          KJV
          7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

          TLB(The Living Bible)
          7 For he could not judge and condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty brought him glory by pointing up his honesty in contrast to my lies. 8 If you follow through with that idea you come to this: the worse we are, the better God likes it! But the damnation of those who say such things is just. Yet some claim that this is what I preach!

        • Greg G.

          NIV
          7 Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?” 8 Why not say—as some slanderously claim that we say—“Let us do evil that good may result”? Their condemnation is just!

          YTL(Youngs Literal Translation)
          7 for if the truth of God in my falsehood more abound to His glory, why yet am I also as a sinner judged? 8 and not, as we are evil spoken of, and as certain affirm us to say — `We may do the evil things, that the good ones may come?’ whose judgment is righteous.

          KJV
          7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

          TLB(The Living Bible)
          7 For he could not judge and condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty brought him glory by pointing up his honesty in contrast to my lies. 8 If you follow through with that idea you come to this: the worse we are, the better God likes it! But the damnation of those who say such things is just. Yet some claim that this is what I preach!

        • MR

          Great point. The Christian Taq’iya.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And this was recognized and propagated by influential Christians, such as “Golden Mouth” John Chrysostom, throughout the ages…

          Do you see the advantage of deceit? …

          For great is the value of deceit, provided it be not introduced with a mischievous intention. In fact action of this kind ought not to be called deceit, but rather a kind of good management, cleverness and skill, capable of finding out ways where resources fail, and making up for the defects of the mind …

          And often it is necessary to deceive, and to do the greatest benefits by means of this device, whereas he who has gone by a straight course has done great mischief to the person whom he has not deceived.”

          – Chrysostom, Treatise On The Priesthood, Book 1.

          But soft boy Zach ignores this because it doesn’t fit in with his bigoted sectarian narrative.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Which Christians?

          The thing about the buybull is that Christians can scour the pages for passages to condemn and justify all sorts of shenanigans in equal measure…and they do.

          Perplexing Passages: Do Exodus 1 and Joshua 2 Permit Christians to Lie?

          https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/perplexing-passages-do-exodus-1-and-joshua-2-permit-christians-to-lie/

          Christians lie as much as anyone else. They also point to scripture to justify those lies. Again, pious fraud in Christianity is every bit in evidence in Christianity as it is in Islam. Taqiyya is not a blank cheque that permits Muslims to lie about everything and anything.

          Try learning about something before commenting a lot of ballix.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pious_fraud

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are being a disingenuous shithead. The most of us know exactly what taqiya and kitman are, what they are not is permission to lie indiscriminately.

          It is only permissible to use taqiya when under duress…and quite rightly so…and don’t pretend you are so righteous a Christian you wouldn’t do the same.

          Lying for Jesus has been part of Christianity from the get-go. And not even when under duress either. You shitty holy book is one big lie ya idiot.

        • No, that is the truth. It is the absolute justification of lying to non-muslims. It is allowed to defend your faith and yourself. I don’t have to pretend. Christianity is better than Islam on this account, because Christianity does not permit lying.

        • MR

          And yet Christians lie. Shrug. Look at your own intellectual dishonesty. Epeeist has pointed out numerous cases.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It is allowed to defend your faith and yourself.

          It has different definitions depending on which flavour of Islam and which scholar one reads. But who cares?

          Your problem is that you think all lying is wrong. Because you think that is the message in your shitty holy book.

          Lying to save oneself or others, from harm, is not always wrong.

          So in this respect, Islam is way better than Christianity.

          If Christianity does not permit lying, why do all Christian’s, including the central figure, lie?

          As for defending one’s faith, every time a Christian opens their mouth to preach Christianity they are lying to defend their faith. Whether the book condones it or not is academic…Christians are doing it regardless. Lying is part of human nature, we all to it to some degree of other. Anyone who says they don’t, are liars.

        • Greg G.

          Christianity does not permit lying.

          Bullshit. You are lying. Romans 3:1-8

        • Romans 3:1-8 does not permit lying.

        • Greg G.

          Paul says he lies and said it’s good if it is glory to God.

        • epeeist

          Do you know what Taq’iya is?

          I do, I asked you whether you had any evidence that the Ahmadiyya passage I quoted was an instance of Taq’iya. Given that you never came back to me I am assuming you haven’t.

          Yet another subject you ran away from when asked to justify your claims.

        • It is Taq’iya or ignorance. Most Muslims have resistance to the teachings inside Islam. This just means that they are blasphemous against Islam.

        • epeeist

          This is just hand-waving.

          Let’s ask for a simple yes/no answer, do you have any evidence that the passage that I quoted is an instance of Taq’iya?

        • Of course not. Nor did I ever say it was an instance of Taq’iya.

        • epeeist

          Of course not.

          Finally, a straight answer.

          Nor did I ever say it was an instance of Taq’iya.

          No, what you said was “They don’t honestly condemn terrorism” when I quoted a passage from one of the Caliphs of the Ahmadiyya, in other words you implied that the he was lying. When I pressed you on this you followed up with “You realize that lying is permitted inside of Islam, right?”, again implying dishonesty in the quotation. Only now are you admitting that you have no evidence that the passage is indeed false.

          In other words, a constant presumption of guilt by association and attempts to poison the well.

        • Pofarmer

          And a doofus. And consistently, stubbornly wrong.

        • MR

          His rhetoric is shaping up to be just about bashing Muslims. Watch him turn everything to that and run from anything that isn’t part of his agenda. [Edit: to add the negation]

        • Greg G.

          Off topic but you have a nice Comment Number Poker hand – “3985222999”.

        • MR

          I didn’t realize my comment number was showing, but thank you.

        • BlackMamba44

          The bible does not command you take others as slaves

          Leviticus 25:44-46
          44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

        • I have already seen this, this is not a command to take slaves. This is a command to not take slaves of fellow Israelites, or “you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

        • BlackMamba44

          Godd FSM you’re stupid.

        • Greg G.

          Luke 12:47 is not talking about a worldly slave and worldly master. When he says ‘The Lord’ is he talking about The Holy Father or God. Has nothing to do with actual slavery, it is a parable.

          The parable can only work if it is considered acceptable to beat slaves. The passage implicitly endorses slavery and the beating of slaves as a teaching method.

        • If you want to interpret that as an endorsement of slavery, go ahead. But it does not endorse slavery. This is easy to understand. Christianity is a religion as well as Judaism is of rewards and punishments. The concept of justice requires punishments. In this parable, it is speaking of a slave who fails to obey his master, knowingly and unknowingly. Therefore Christ said:

          “The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.”

          On Slaves: (Colossians first, Ephesians second.)
          “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no such favoritism with Christ.

          “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.”

          On Masters: (Colossians first, Ephesians second.)
          “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

          “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

        • Greg G.

          If you want to interpret that as an endorsement of slavery, go ahead. But it does not endorse slavery.

          If a parable used a bad quality of slavery to make a negative point, it would not be an endorsement. Using a horrible aspect of slavery as if it is necessary and good thing to do to make a parallel to God, is an endorsement.

          Every one of the verses you quote endorse slavery. None of them suggest that slave owners free their slaves. Everybody lies now and then but their is a commandment that says, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” but almost everybody does fine without ever owning a slave but I do not see any verses that say “Thou shalt not own people”.

          A Roman pagan writer who thinks of slaves as friends who should be treated well.

          “‘They are slaves,’ people declare. NO, rather they are men.
          ‘Slaves! NO, comrades.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are unpretentious friends.
          ‘Slaves! NO, they are our fellow-slaves, if one reflects that Fortune has equal rights over slaves and free men alike. That is why I smile at those who think it degrading for a man to dine with his slave.

          But why should they think it degrading? It is only purse-proud etiquette… All night long they must stand about hungry and dumb… They are not enemies when we acquire them; we make them enemies… This is the kernel of my advice: Treat your inferiors as you would be treated by your betters.

          ‘He is a slave.’ His soul, however, may be that of a free man.”
              — Seneca the Younger (4 BC – 65 AD), Epistulae Morales, 47.

          Jesus doesn’t think slaves should even be thanked for their service.

          7 “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’” –Jesus, Luke 17:7-10

          Why were pagans so far ahead of Jesus on slavery?

        • This Seneca The Younger guy didn’t even exist.

        • Greg G.

          Ha ha ha. Why were the people who invented Seneca the Younger so far ahead of the people who invented Jesus on slavery?

        • I don’t know, but they definitely invented him.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Hebrews did not care about the gentiles…

          I know, that’s the point. These people were supposedly the chosen of YahwehJesus. Their morals should have been god informed. That they were every bit as bad as every other nasty bastard at the time gives the game away and that’s the point.

          “Yeah, what it should say is that owning people as property is bad.” Just as our law did not immediately prohibit slavery, same so did the law of ancient Judah and Israel.

          That’s all very well if you are comparing man made laws, but the tradition states that the Law of Moses was God given. Murdering people is wrong, YahwehJesus thought it necessary to let Moses know this. Owning people as property is wrong, YahwehJesus thought it wasn’t necessary to let Moses know this, but thought it prudent that this wrong thing required rules until the idiots worked out for themselves it was wrong and those rules propagated owning people as property for millennia, ya idiot.

          This law is recorded in the text.

          I know. It is God given. Owning people as property is wrong under any circumstances if morals have always been objective. I don’t need a God to tell me that. Yet God didn’t tell them that, but give instructions on treatment. Rules that you deem was better treatment than before, but weren’t what normal people think were all that.

          The bible does not command you to take others as slaves.

          Typical idiot Christian apologist who is ignorant of his scripture.

          “The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.” ~Christopher Hitchens

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Slavery_in_the_Bible

          It does command you to treat slaves better.

          But in a godly world where YahwehJesus supposedly thought it was necessary to let people know that a whole plethora of things were wrong, the command should’ve been owning people is wrong and shouldn’t be permitted under any circumstances. Even an idiot like you should know that.

          Luke 12:47 is not talking about a worldly slave and worldly master. When he says ‘The Lord’ is he talking about The Holy Father or God. Has nothing to do with actual slavery, it is a parable.

          The whole thing is fiction ya doughnut, but again you miss the point.

          It is a parable that uses a common and accepted theme as an analogy to make the point. So yes, to that point, it is a wordily slave and worldly master as a literary device. And the author hasn’t got a problem using slavery as an analogous example by putting it into the mouth of Jesus…because it was part and parcel of accepted living in early Christianity…idiot.

          Verse 47

          47. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

          [Shall be beaten with many stripes.] There was a stated number of stripes, and that twas forty, beyond which no malefactor, condemned by the judges to that punishment, ought to receive. Whence that passage seems a little strange: “He that kills a heifer, and afterward two of that heifer’s calves, let him be beaten with fourscore stripes.” How so? fourscore, when they ought not to exceed above forty? They might not exceed that number for one single crime: but if the crime was doubled, they might double the punishment. And it may be a question, whether they did not double their accusations upon St. Paul, when they multiplied their stripes, he himself telling us, that five times he had received forty stripes save one.

          But did every one that was adjudged by the court to stripes, did they always receive that number exactly, of thirty-nine? no doubt the number was more or less, according to the nature of the crime. Which seems to be hinted in Pesachin; He that eateth the ‘potitha’ [some creeping thing of the sea], “let him be beaten with four stripes: He that eateth a pismire, let him be beaten with five: He that eateth a hornet, let him have six.” If this be the sense of the words, then here may arise a question, with what kind of scourge they were beaten? If with that scourge of three cords that was used when they gave nine-and-thirty stripes, repeating their strokes by a scourge of three cords thirteen times, how then could they inflict four or five stripes with such a scourge as that was?

          But as to the number of stripes which the master might inflict upon his slave, that was not stated, but left to the pleasure of the master, according to the nature of the crime: which seems hinted at in these words of our Saviour, and in the following rule amongst the Jews, some kind of measure still being attended to:

          “It is allowed to deal with a Canaanite [that is, a Gentile] slave with severity. But though this is de jure, yet there is a law of mercy, and rule of wisdom, that a man should be gentle, pursuing righteousness, not making the yoke heavy upon his servant, lest he afflict him.”

          https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-12.html#47

          Because it is God telling people to free slaves.

          What an idiot. The authors of Exodus were writing a story about the past of the Hebrew people. It is a fictional story trying to explain how the Hebrews became the Israelite’s. Scholars know it is a made up yarn. The people in that passage are not so much slaves generally, but particular slaves. God didn’t tell Moses that slaves should be freed…in fact, he gave him a loophole in how to keep certain slaves that were to be released on how they could be kept indefinitely.

          Agnosticism is the antonym of Gnosticism. Atheism is the disbelief of God. Gnostic Atheism would be a belief that there is No God. Extremeism is just fanatical radicalization that refuses reason.

          Who uses such fuckwit language as “gnostic atheist” other than an idiot?

          Who are these extremists you talk about? Where are they? Provide evidence of them and that you experienced their persecution or you are telling lies for YahwehJesus.

        • Greg G.

          Inside of the old testament, the Torah said that you could not treat Hebrew slaves wrongly.

          That passage excludes Hebrews from being treated harshly but specifically allows slaves to be treated harshly as slaves.

          Have you ever heard of Exodus?

          Yes, it is fiction. Egyptian archaeology shows that there were never a lot of Hebrew slaves in Egypt. Christian and Israeli archaeology of the Sinai shows that there was never a large population wandering about for decades. Israeli archaeology shows that Canaanite culture didn’t suddenly change as if they were annihilated by another culture. It shows that there was one major difference in the culture: some sites had pig bones and some did not, which is an indication that the Hebrews were just Canaanites with a different dietary restriction.

          Exodus 9:1

          Gone with the Wind 9:1
          Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

          There was no Moses and he didn’t talk to a Pharaoh.

        • Greg G.

          There are Baptists and Southern Baptists. They split over the issue of slavery. Christians were on both sides. If the South had won the Civil War, you would be touting that Christianity preserved slavery.

        • No I would not. I am anti slavery and I would be anti slavery in 1861 too.

        • Pofarmer

          Dude. Christianity has been nuetered by secular forces. Much if the “good” comes from simply ignoring a shit load if bad, that still manages to bubble up. The Catholic Church held women as virtual slaves until 199 fucking 6. Wise up, indeed.

        • How was Christianity neutered? When we came to the Americas we were finally allowed to freely practice our religion. Now we have a living standard unparalleled in history.

        • Pofarmer

          Now we have a living standard unparalleled in history.

          Which has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity, and everything to do with property rights and everyone being equal under the law, which was unheard of at the time. It also didn’t hurt that we were able to conquer an entire continent, and benefit from the basic destruction of the entire world resources and manufacturing capacity following WWII.

        • Property rights, and the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, and the freedom to petition government for grievances, the freedom to peacefully protest, the right to bare arms, the right to deny search and seizure, and more.

        • Pofarmer

          None or which are Christian precepts.

        • You don’t think the bible talks about freedom?

        • Pofarmer

          We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more
          perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,
          provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare,
          and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
          do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States
          of America.

          There’s yer freedom.

          The U.S. was throwing off a religious monarchy.

        • Greg G.

          The first two commandments are against freedom of religion. The penalty for breaking either of those two could be genocide of a whole city. The first commandment without a death penalty implication would be the tenth commandment: Thou shalt not covet, which implicitly sanctions slavery by forbidding coveting your neighbor’s slave. There is another 600 restrictions on freedom, some with death penalties but mostly taking grain and meat to the priests to buy forgiveness, even for having a wet dream or menstruating.

          The Old Testament gives explicit instructions on how to turn a Hebrew indentured servant into a permanent slave by using family values against him.

          The New Testament goes after thought crimes. Jesus made anger equivalent to murder and lust equivalent to adultery. Christians don’t pay much attention to that. I have never met one who plucked out an eye or chopped off a hand for those reasons.

          If the Bible is about freedom, why did it take 17 centuries until Deists came up with the Bill of Rights? And then several more decades and a bloody war to get Christians to give up their slaves?

        • MR

          When they do pluck out their eyes, even Christians would assume they were crazy or that they’ve been taking drugs:

          http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/25/mother-woman-20-who-gouged-out-eyes-speaks-on-hazards-illegal-drugs.html

        • Why do you keep bringing up the law of moses when you criticize christianity. You seem to know that Christ said: “If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to depart into hell.”

          But you don’t know what he said about the other things regarding the law of moses. Why is that?

        • Greg G.

          But you don’t know what he said about the other things regarding the law of moses. Why is that?

          I do know what the New Testament says. I don’t believe it either.

          You didn’t answer my question: If the Bible is about freedom, why did it take 17 centuries until Deists came up with the Bill of Rights? And then several more decades and a bloody war to get Christians to give up their slaves?

        • Do you know how many Christians died to free the slaves?

        • Greg G.

          No, but I would guess it is less than the number of Christians who died defending slavery.

        • You’re not saying that God is particularly concerned about slaves, are you? The Bible certainly says otherwise.

        • The Bible certainly tells you to treat slaves in a better manner than you otherwise would.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          But nothing about freeing them. So Christians who advocated emancipation were being anti-Christian?

          Appalling.

        • Nope. It looks to me that it’s just the conventional wisdom from a tribe of the time.

          More to the point, the fact that “God” sets rules about how slavery should work shows that he’s A-OK with it. And this isn’t just indentured servitude; this is good ol’ fashioned American chattel slavery. Read Lev. 25:44-46 to see for yourself.

        • Was Abraham Lincoln Okay with slavery? No… did he set rules about how slavery should work? Yes…

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          No. Ignorant idiot. He eliminated it. That’s a rule about how slavery should work. Are you actually so unable to reason? Really?

        • Well, yeah. Lincoln was a real person who could make changes (in a limited manner) in the real world.

          Yahweh is pretend.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          I’m more disappointed in Zach’s ignorance of history than his utter failure with analogies.

        • epeeist

          I’m more disappointed in Zach’s ignorance of history

          We haven’t touched on many other subjects with Zach, but he seems to be ignorant in the ones we have.

        • I’m a little surprised that I need to walk you through this, but let’s have a go.

          Lincoln was just a man. He didn’t have magic. God, by contrast, has magic and likes to issue sweeping declarations that everyone has to follow. Lincoln had limited capabilities. God’s are unlimited. Do I really need to go on to explain why Lincoln vs. God is a poor comparison? (And why is it that an atheist has to sit the Christian down to explain what the Christian’s own religion claims about God?)

          God makes clear that he’s OK with slavery. Jesus never says a word against slavery. The Bible itself is a great apologetic for slavery, as the Southern Baptist Convention noted when they broke away as an independent denomination shortly before the Civil War.

          Is 3 strikes enough? God could’ve put “no slavery” in the 10 Commandments. That he didn’t makes it obvious that he has no problem with slavery. How about you–do you have a problem with slavery? If so, I wonder how you deal with the fact that your god is an asshole.

        • Ctharrot

          I dunno, Bob. Is there really that much of a difference?

          Lincoln: All slaves are henceforth free.

          Yahweh: Gentile slaves are yours and your offspring’s in perpetuity. And you’ll receive no punishment when you beat your slave to not-quite-immediate death. Whoopin’ is an imprecise art, amirite?

        • Greg G.

          Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. He freed the slaves. God never did that.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Hey Bob, can you take a look at chucklefuck’s IP address? With the profile’s start-date, commenting history, links to political troll videos, and overall style, it seems to me not improbable that we’re dealing with a professional troll here:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/46a7b4350d8fae1a5f6682635dbc7b616f86404a30878d53946a2ee436992138.png

        • I see his IP address. Are you asking where he’s coming from? I used https://community.spiceworks.com/tools/ip-lookup/ and it says he’s from WA state. Are there better tools?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Are you asking where he’s coming from? I used https://community.spicework… and it says he’s from WA state

          That was the gist of my question, thought it was a long shot. If I were trying to astroturf/trollfarm, step 1 would be getting a decent VPN to mask my location.

          Ah well, always best to reach for the low hanging fruit first.

          Are there better tools?

          Undoubtedly. Unfortunately, I have no idea what they are/might be.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Well, not “no idea”, this one seems to give more information about registrar etc.

          https://www.whois.com.au/whois/ip.html

          I dunno how VPNs work at a deep level, but I suspect that instead of showing a well-known ISP’s name, like the result for mine does:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a299d48e6ca4ea72eb178154eb36a67d99705f4ba5fe78c819f782803e28ba00.png

          The result would be some unknown/non-ISP 3rd party entity.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Also, the report from my self-search has this section:

          IP Information
          COUNTRY——ASN———————————BAD IP?
          United States—AS7018 AT&T Services, Inc.–Not Listed

          The “BAD IP?” designation smells to me like a database of known IPs used by malicious actors.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          He doesn’t seem smart enough to be a troll.

        • Susan

          He doesn’t seem smart enough to be a troll.

          It doesn’t require much intelligence to be a troll.

          Still, I think you’re right.

        • I tried that whois.com.au one before, and it gives me “Invalid input.” My first thought was that Zach was deliberately spoofing his IP address, but perhaps the .au country domain (Australia) means that it can’t handle worldwide addresses. So then I went with the other site, which says that he’s a couple of hours east of where I live in Seattle.

          We could always ask him.

        • Paul B. Lot
        • Paul B. Lot

          but perhaps the .au country domain (Australia) means that it can’t handle worldwide addresses

          I’m from the States, and it worked on my IP?

        • Weird. whois.com.au didn’t work for me (again, invalid input) but the other one was correct.

          Anyway, spiceworks says that he’s in central WA state.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Apologies for the self-indulgence, but I can’t shake the feeling that something’s off with his account.

          Dude started posting this morning at 5.51am CDT, which would put it at 3.51am PDT – that’s an odd time to start posting political comments on social media boards, methinks.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0394283cb7332554d50bb3e92cb50a2883e3a2195e4cbe9a74a8e930eecdfeb5.png

          He or she had posted over 32 times in four hours as of 10:00am CDT. What person in central WA state is getting up at 3:30am and posting consistently for four hours?:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7aed6a7db65ad94e0b6945b1163815b3f3b0654b4ee7df9be52cf30c7a225889.png

          Given my vague understanding of the US job market/typical student life, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. On the other hand, it lines up pretty nicely with Moscow time – an early afternoon work spurt:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/072df51471e8e8d268003acfef5f5ca21b177010d5d7ed4ecb7fd9d03c03d983.png

          I dunno, it’s all conjecture – nothing solid to go on. As an avid player of the popular-with-Russians video game “World of Tanks”, I have a hard time imagining a staunch christian conservative in central Washington state posting videos featuring the IS tank and captioned in Cyrillic at 4 in the morning though..

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9638adda30cc42ad0c0976988147b189af9e5501ff4f16ec600422d9094bf489.png

          (shrug emoji)

        • Ignorant Amos

          All seems to be a bit suspect indeed….but the fact remains Zach is a stupid idiot, so I can’t work out to what purpose you believe he is achieving. Can you outline what you think he is trying to achieve?

        • Paul B. Lot

          the fact remains Zach is a stupid idiot

          I will grant that Zach often [says things similar to what stupid idiots say].

          He also seems savvy in redirection/trolling techniques.

          I can’t work out to what purpose you believe he is achieving. Can you outline what you think he is trying to achieve?

          Trolling, basically. It sounds so silly/innocuous when you say it like that, but when coordinated and industrialized, Trollery is a great asymmetric tactic.

          If you can get your [objectively superior on ________ metric] opponents (or their support base) to doubt/reject the nature of truth/reality, then the fact that your opponent is [objectively superior on _______ metric] becomes irrelevant. Viz. Hillary contra Trump.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KVJvFfmzL2o

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fny99f8amM

          Yes, I understand how tin-foil-y this might sound. Again: I might be indulging my pattern-recognition software over-much. OTOH, we now have extensive documentation of these tactics being used.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I see what you are getting at now. I suppose if I was in the US too, I’d be a lot more suspicious. Ta for clarifying.

        • Paul B. Lot

          I suppose if I was in the US too, I’d be a lot more suspicious.

          Why just the US, though?

          The bear has been pulling this shit in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, etc…

          We’re not the lone victim here. In order to compete one can try to improve oneself, or sabotage others. RUS has chosen the latter, in spades.

          Ta for clarifying.

          You’re welcome. Admitting to thinking one sees a conspiracy is unpleasant, it leaves one open to charges of unseriousness/instability. Those are scary charges, and not just for the reputation damage they might do to the target.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why just the US, though?

          We just don’t seem to get as worked up about it as much. The impact in the US has been so severe though that I can see why it is such a threat. I watch Bill Maher’s “Real Time” so at least I’ve an inkling of the problem. I guess it’ll take something as dramatic here to waken us up.

          Trump is over here with some Putin tactics trying to undermine May at the moment.

        • Paul B. Lot

          We just don’t seem to get as worked up about it as much. The impact in the US has been so severe though that I can see why it is such a threat.

          I wonder if the EU’s heretofore sang-froid has been maturity, or a depressed immune system.

          Somewhere close to the [worst case scenario] end of my worry-spectrum is the dissolution of NATO (or the US’s withdrawal from it)…I wonder if the UK is now waking up to the fact that Trump’s both an ignorant, gross, disgusting, laughably stupid human AND a danger to world peace. :-/

          PS. Please don’t judge all of [liberal America] based on Maher.

        • Ignorant Amos

          PS. Please don’t judge all of [liberal America] based on Maher.

          I don’t. I know Maher has plenty of flaws, but he gets right into Trump and I find him entertaining regardless of his foibles and faults.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Rgr.

        • Paul B. Lot
        • Paul B. Lot
        • A friend of mine is a translator and said that the Chinese roughly colloquially to “You reap what you sow.” Or, more literally, “Let each man face his own life and death, and let each man spend his own earnings.”

          And that makes me think of “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16). Which, of course, is the Bible’s own rebuttal to the idea of Original Sin®.

          So there you go–hell as Man’s ultimate destination doesn’t exist because original sin doesn’t exist.

          You’re welcome.

        • MR

          You’ll have to wait for the morning. I think it’s past his bedtime in Moscow.

        • Susan

          Do you know how many Christians died to free the slaves?

          How many?

        • MR

          🙂

        • At least 2 million of them in the civil war fought the war to sustain the union which led to the abolishing of the slave trade.

        • Ctharrot

          Sure. And it was other Christians who initiated and then fought for secesson, principally in order to preserve a politically-threatened system of human chattel labor, at least partly justified (in their minds) by a holy book in which Yahweh expressly permitted slavery, and JC never made an effort to condemn it. Both North and South lost hundreds of thousands of lives (the North losing slightly more total, and the South losing much more as a percentage of population), and yet their troops read the same Bible and prayed to the same God.

        • Yeah but they were democrats. You can’t blame them. Democrats are not very smart people.

        • Ctharrot

          Non sequitur and gratuitous insult of Democrats duly noted.

          Let’s try something. What specific NT manuscripts do you believe have been dated to within a year or two of JC’s death?

        • Well, it’s true. Democrats are mindless. You don’t ever want to give them any common sense because if they had any self realization of what they’re doing they might kill themselves.

        • Ctharrot

          Deflection, second gratuitous insult of Democrats, and avoidance of the question duly noted.

          One more try, for shiggles. (A third would border on harassment, so rest assured I won’t repeat this question yet again.) What specific NT manuscripts do you believe have been dated to within a couple of years of JC’s death?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The know nothing idiot doesn’t know the answer. Hence his deflecting fuckwittery about Democrats.

          He is also talking more pish, stuff, and nonsense in his deflection of course.

          War Democrats in American politics of the 1860s were members of the Democratic Party who supported the Union and rejected the policies of the Copperheads (or Peace Democrats). The War Democrats demanded a more aggressive policy toward the Confederacy and supported the policies of Republican President Abraham Lincoln when the American Civil War broke out a few months after his win in the 1860 presidential election.

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

        • Ctharrot

          Well, he’s not wildly off-base about the alignment of the parties in the 1800s. But of course the parties have evolved significantly since then, and it’s a complicated history that’s a bit beside the point of Christian attitudes toward slavery at the time.

          [Corrected for typo.]

        • Ignorant Amos

          It depends what ya mean by “wildly off-base” of course.

          His generalization that…Yeah but they were democrats. You can’t blame them. Democrats are not very smart people.…is wildly off base.

          But you are right, it is a complete non sequitur and red herring deflection, but that is how this idiot Zach operates.

        • epeeist

          Democrats are mindless.

          And your evidence for this would be?

          As it is, it would seem that the level of education is correlated with political views, the more educated you are the more likely you are to hold liberal views while conversely the less educated the fewer liberal views are held (Source).

          As for a religiosity/intelligence correlation you might want to read this article.

        • Pofarmer

          Evidence? You are giving him evidence? Scientific research? Pah!

        • epeeist

          Well, it’s true.

          Just as a follow-up, and ignoring the fact that you don’t seem to know the meaning of “true”.

          If you look at the statistics scientists are much less likely to be religious believers than the general population. Furthermore the higher up the ladder you go the worse it gets for religion, on 7% of the American National Academy of Sciences are believers while here in the UK only 3% of the Royal Society are believers.

          But there again there are more people in the UK who report themselves are having “no religion” than report themselves to be Christian (Source). “Report” is the critical word, in that while just under 44% report themselves to be Christian less than 6% of the population attend church each week.

        • Jim Dailey

          Argumentum ad populum?
          I am surprised at you epeeist. You usually bring better game than that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Except what epeeist stated isn’t the argumentum ad populum fallacy.

        • Susan

          Argumentum ad populum?

          No.

          Did you read the comment to which epeeist is responding?

        • epeeist

          Argumentum ad populum?

          But it isn’t is it. Where in my post am I making any claims to truth based upon numbers?

          All my post demonstrates is that there is an inverse correlation between scientific qualifications and religiosity and that the correlation is greater at the extreme of qualification.

          As for my last paragraph, again all I am showing are the facts of the matter. The numbers are drawn from the British Social Attitudes survey and the annual census of attendance at churches in the UK.

        • Jim Dailey

          As far as I can tell, you are asserting that Democrats are not idiots because the majority of scientists (and oddly – English people) are not religious.
          I am late to this, and really don’t care very much. Just saying I have seen you make better arguments.

        • Greg G.

          Zach made the same claim in this thread: http://disq.us/p/1txnxqq

          epeeist responded with statistics that showed that higher education correlated with liberal views.

          In this thread, epeeist is following up to show that there is also a correlation of religious belief declining with religious belief as well.

        • Susan

          I am late to this

          Yes, you are. As usual,. you haven’t bothered to engage in the substance of the discussion.

          and don’t really care very much

          Again. As usual.

          I have seen you make better arguments.

          As you seem to be someone who has never (in my experience) made any attempt at a good argument, but who just likes to drop by occasionally, make loaded statements, dodge honest efforts from other people when you’ve made them, and who only finally responds with fallacious arguments when pressed…

          I wonder why you think it’s useful to try to tell epeeist he’s missed a spot when he’s responding to an obvious lying troll.

          But, hey. Not your problem. You’re late to this and you don’t really care very much.

        • epeeist

          I am late to this, and really don’t care very much.

          Then you ought to have read the complete sub-thread.

          As it is the OP is fond of characterising whole groups ([All] Democrats are mindless, [All] Muslims are jihadis). Since he implicitly uses universal quantification then his “arguments” are defeasible with a single counter-example. The post you are criticising here was a follow up to this post made because Zach has a habit of not responding when his position is undermined.

          It doesn’t stopping him repeating his unsubstantiated assertions elsewhere though, even when they have been refuted here.

        • Jim Dailey

          Ok. Disqus does some weird thing when you link from “recent comments”. It left out parts of the string, but left some parts in.

        • Pofarmer

          That doesn’t make sense in or out of context. You really should stop.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There’s that fucked up reading for comprehension kicking in again.

          How many died is the question.

          How do you know all those that died were Christians?

        • I actually rounded down from the 2.5M killed to account for likely population numbers I believe that 80% is pretty generous.

        • Ctharrot

          Sorry, where do you get 2 million Union troops killed? Modern estimates of which I’m aware put total Civil War deaths (North and South) at around 750,000, with Union deaths being about 400,000. You’re off by a factor of five.

          Are we maybe not talking about the same thing?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh we’re talking about the same thing all right.

          At least 2 million of them in the civil war fought the war to sustain the union which led to the abolishing of the slave trade.

          The “them” is the number of Christians that died to free slaves when asked how many by Susan after opening his mouth with the question.

          Do you know how many Christians died to free the slaves?

          What do they say in the US about asking a question in a courtroom to which one doesn’t know the answer?

          “Never, never, never, on cross-examination ask a witness a question you don’t already know the answer to, was a tenet I absorbed with my baby-food.” ~Harper Lee

        • Ah, my bad. That was the total amount of troops. The Republic of The U.S. had 2.1m Troops and the Democratic Confederate States had 1.08m.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Where did ya pull the figure of 2.5 million killed from?

          It really isn’t that number.

          Approximately 620,000 soldiers died from combat, accident, starvation, and disease during the Civil War. This number comes from an 1889 study of the war performed by William F. Fox and Thomas Leonard Livermore. Both men fought for the Union. Their estimate is derived from an exhaustive study of the combat and casualty records generated by the armies over five years of fighting. A recent study puts the number of dead as high as 850,000.

          There hasn’t been 2 million US soldiers killed in the nations total conflicts ya idiot.

          Roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation’s wars–620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts. It was only as recently as the Vietnam War that the amount of American deaths in foreign wars eclipsed the number who died in the Civil War.

          https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/civil-war-facts

          And how do you know how many that fought against slavery were Christians?

        • Greg G.

          Let’s not forget the civilian deaths.

          https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/death.html

          The distinguished Civil War historian James McPherson has estimated that there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, and has concluded that the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course, but Dime Bar Zach specified combatants.

          Even allowing him to factor in civy’s, he still can’t get to a figure of 2 million deaths on the abolitionist side of the argument.

        • Greg G.

          Of course, but Dime Bar Zach specified combatants.

          Not in the comment that started this subthread: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/07/25-stupid-arguments-christians-should-avoid-part-5-2/#comment-3984342062

          Do you know how many Christians died to free the slaves?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed, but my interest was only peaked when I spotted him make another erroneous assertion which I knew he must’ve pulled from his arse.

          It’s party time here in Ulster and I’ve 750 Disqus notifications that I’m wading through at a pace of one step forward, two steps back, while still enjoying the sectarian Christian cultural festivities. I’m not getting to them in chronological order, so if I’m outta sync, that’s the excuse.

        • Greg G.

          Enjoy the party. We’ve had a Disqus dry spell of late. Zach has enlivened things.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well ya know me…any excuse to imbibe.

          The party started on Wednesday night. It officially runs for two days of holiday. But given the weekend, it will run for an extra two days.

          Zach is still at the amusing stage of course. Enjoy.

        • MR

          At this point, it’s pretty obvious he’s nothing but a troll. I wouldn’t consider that enlivening.

        • Greg G.

          Within the past few weeks, there have been times where there were five or six hours between posts. Now it is practically impossible to keep up, especially if you try to comment sometimes.

        • MR

          Well, in terms of activity, yes. But I question the value of giving trolls a platform. Once the facade is taken away, why deal with someone we know is here to be dishonest? Trolls are just strawmen.

        • Greg G.

          Once the facade is taken away, why deal with someone we know is here to be dishonest?

          Refinement of arguments. Clement Agonistes, a sock of Mark S, kept falling back to the same arguments with slight variations for a few months. I responded with the same argument with slight variations. He didn’t use natural selection to weed out the poorer variations while I did. I ended up with a more concise, yet stronger wording of my argument against an omnipotent, omnibenevolent being in the presence of suffering. Better than mowing the yard during a heat wave.

        • MR

          True. But this one’s agenda seems to be to bash Muslims as a people, similar to the time we had the white supremacists here. Arguments for and against Christianity or even Islam is one thing, but providing a platform for someone to espouse bigotry and racism is another to my mind.

        • Susan

          At least 2 million of them in the civil war fought ..

          You were talking about how many died.

          Also, you implied that their personal motivation to fight was to free the slaves. Which is nonsense.

          You have no idea how many of them were christian.

          And ignoring the fact that there were christians fighting for the South.

          .

        • Yes, I know. I made an error conflating with the total soldiers and death toll.

          Also, you implied that their personal motivation to fight was to free the slaves.

          Yes, the abolitionist movement sought to conserve the union firstly to limit the slave trade.

          And ignoring the fact that there were christians fighting for the South.

          While this is true, they were far less in number.

        • Susan

          the abolitionist movement

          You were talking about soldiers who died. Not abolitionists. What percentage of northerners were abolitionists?

          they were far less in number

          Another argumentum ab rectum.

        • I was talking about the soldiers who died under the command of a president who himself held very radical views against slavery at the time. They went to war to conserve slavery (The southern democrat party.) The northern Conservative Republican party headed by Lincoln fought a war to sustain the union and to abolish slavery. The amount of Christians whom fought for the eventual abolition of slavery is definitely noteworthy. Also, slavery is still practice inside the muslim world.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Also, slavery is still practice inside the muslim world.

          More idiocy.

          Slavery is practised everywhere. But it isn’t legal.

          In a 2014 survey, of the top 5 nations with the most slavery, only 3rd place Pakistan is an Islamic state.

          Uzbekistan in 4th place has more Muslims than any other religion, but it is not a Islamic state.

          Top spot goes to India, with China in second place…Russia is 5th.

          The US still practices slavery too btw.

        • “The US still practices slavery too btw.”

          …. no … we do not.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Ignorant Amos
        • “Modern day slavery” is not slavery. [Nor is “wage slavery” actually slavery. Nor can any institution of human trafficking be considered legitimate cases of slavery. For it is illegal.]

          Edit in []

        • Ignorant Amos

          There is nowhere in the world where any slavery is legal, Dime Bar.

          Modern day slavery incorporates into it’s definition that of slavery in general.

          Why don’t you educate yerself before writing the stupid shite of an idiot?

          Here, a link to the US Department of State on what is defined modern slavery, read it, learn something, and weep at your own idiocy…

          https://www.state.gov/j/tip/what/

          You are really not very good at this at all.

        • I did not find one sensible refutation of what I said.

        • Greg G.

          Are you OK with sex slavery? That is permitted in the Bible.

        • I am not okay with any form of slavery, and you cannot argue that it is permitted in the bible. I am not required to believe that all the actions in the bible were okay, for there are many accounts of sin in the bible as well. There is no command to take any sort of slaves in the bible.

        • Greg G.

          There is no command to take any sort of slaves in the bible.

          There is no commandment to not buy slaves. The Bible is an assumption that anyone would own slaves if they could. Leviticus does command that impoverished Hebrews be taken in as hired hands or indentured servants but not as slaves, yet Exodus give explicit instructions on how to use family values to compel an indentured servant to “voluntarily” become a permanent slave.

          You really should read the Old Testament with the eye you read about Islam.

        • You are correct, there is no commandment to forbid slavery. But there are commandments forbidding stealing. Slavery is forceful extraction of other peoples labor. This is obviously Theft. Therefore I can conclude with that commandment that slavery should be outlawed.

        • Ctharrot

          That’s not how Moses understood the law, though, is it?

        • Moses was obviously wrong if he thought slavery was okay.

        • Ctharrot

          If? No-where does Moses criticize slavery, and of course he’s credited with passing along Yahweh’s words permitting and regulating slavery.

          In fact, here’s Moses instructing the Hebrews how to subjugate people in cities outside the Promised Land. “10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.” From Deuteronomy 20.

          Of course we see Moses, the Law Giver, being okay with slavery. It was a fact of life among the Hebrews (and other peoples of antiquity). There’s no reason to believe he considered it a commandment-breaking practice.

          It’s great that Christendom eventually got around to ending slavery after a mere eighteen centuries or so, but to construe the Mosaic Laws as anti-slavery is inconsistent with the views of the ancients to whom they’re attributed.

        • I have no problem with admitting that Mosaic laws were wrong on several points.

        • Ctharrot

          Cool. You’re morally superior to Yahweh and Moses.

        • Jesus is Yahweh.

        • Ctharrot

          Okeedoke. You’re morally superior to Jesus, too. In the NT, he didn’t express any objections to slavery, unlike you.

        • I don’t think we will ever agree on that.

        • Ctharrot

          Don’t sell yourself short, man. In Exodus, Yahweh/Jesus explicitly said that beating one’s slave so badly he or she died a few days later warranted no punishment. You’re better than that.

        • This is actually a restriction on slavery. Why are you arguing that it is a bad thing? If you killed your slave, you were held accountable given this rule.

        • Ctharrot

          It’s more of a half-restriction. If you killed the slave on the spot, there would be punishment. (Yay!) If the slave lingered for a day or two, there would be no punishment. (Boo!)

          Maybe I’m mistaken about you. Are you saying that a law code that permits chattel slavery, and that imposes no punishment on a master who beats a slave so badly he or she eventually dies after a day or two in agony, is a morally acceptable system?

          [Edited for clarity.]

        • I’m saying that the even moses law, which was incredibly strict and brutal for failure of adherence, restricted what you could do to your slaves. It also forbid ruthless cruelty over Israelites. The issue with this is that it did not apply the love they had for themselves and God over everything included fellow people. I’ll reply with another comment as I get some sources from Paul.

        • Ctharrot

          You’re raising a related but separate subject. I don’t dispute that the Mosaic Law attributed to Yahweh/Jesus regulated slavery and the treatment of slaves. (Other codes of the ancient Near East also did so.)

          Let’s focus, perhaps by rewording the question and making no it yes/no. A Hebrew master who beat his slave to a lingering death was to receive no punishment, according the rule dictated by Yahweh/Jesus to Moses. I think that’s a morally abhorrent rule. Do you?

        • I think if you compare it to the alternative it is relatively better. I can’t really answer that question with a Yes or a No because it is more complex than that. I think it is immoral to have slaves at all, and it is immoral to beat someone near death for any reason. There is mosaic law forbidding the eating of swine and other things. Jesus contradicted this with a parable in

          Mark 7:14-23. Read:
          “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.”

          However it says in the old testament:

          Deuteronomy 14:8
          “And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor even touch their dead carcase.”

        • Ctharrot

          I (and you, if you cared to) can easily come up with better alternatives. “You shall not own human beings as property.” Or “You shall never strike your slave.” Or “If you cause a slave to die through beating, the punishment will be great, even though the slave linger for a day or two.” Etc. All more just and moral options that Yahweh/Jesus eschewed.

          I don’t know, man. You wrote earlier that you had no problem pointing out the moral errors in the Mosaic Laws, but here you’re equivocating about one of the most odious provisions–a rule that allows one man to beat another human being to eventual death with no consequences because the victim is his property.

          Well, whatever. You still condemn slavery as a depraved, inhumane, exploitative system, reflecting better ethics than any character in the Bible. Good on ya.

          Cheers.

        • Have a Good day.

        • Ignorant Amos

          *Crickets*

        • Ctharrot

          He did kinda respond, but the cognitive dissonance is strong with this one. And I get the sense he hasn’t read through the Torah very carefully.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A missed it…was it a yes or a no?

        • Ctharrot

          Hand-waving about it not being a simple yes/no matter, followed by an exceptionally irrelevant non sequitur about Jesus somehow overruling an OT dietary restriction. [Ctharrot shrugs.]

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Not much it wasn’t. The only restriction I saw was forbidding beating a slave so badly that person dies immediately.

        • Greg G.

          There are restrictions that if you knock a tooth or an eye out, you had to release the slave. So if you knocked both eyes out, you could release the slave to fend for himself instead of being forced to care for the slave.

        • “The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

          On Slaves: Letter to Colossians
          Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord(Christ). Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no such favoritism with Christ.

          Letter to Ephesians
          Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

          On Masters: Letter to Colossians
          Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”

          Letter to Ephesians
          “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

          Matthew 5
          17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

          Galatians 3
          26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

        • Ctharrot

          This seems like a bit of a distraction, but I’d agree that Paul was better about the treatment of slaves than Yahweh/Jesus, although he of course was no abolitionist and never advised Christians not to own slaves.

        • Where are you going with this? I don’t see a conclusion.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The idiot thinks that owning people was okay as long as the rules are obeyed. The rules being an improvement on the slaves lot from what there was before the rules were invented. Something the idiot can’t know to be the case of course.

          He doesn’t get it that by setting standards on slavery, it demonstrates that owning people is being condone. The idiots pretzelmanic contortions to excuse the practice is hilarious.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          And you think any of that is GOOD?

          I fear your mind is twisted by your shared delusion that you call a religion.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Slavery shouldn’t be ‘restricted’, IT SHOULD FUCKING WELL BE **FORBIDDEN**.

          Any ‘god’ who doesn’t get that is unworthy of worship.

        • Greg G.

          You were punished only if the slave didn’t suffer long enough. If the slave suffered a day or two, and the next day started at sundown, the loss of the slave was considered to be punishment enough. But even the punishment for the slave dying without suffering long enough is not specified. If you were responsible for the death of someone else’s slave, the penalty was the price of a new slave.

        • What if we simply swapped names. Suppose I said about slavery what Jesus did in the Bible. Would I be a loving person? And if your evaluation is different whether Jesus says it or I do, what explains that?

        • Because he is my God.

        • So he just gets a pass no matter what he does? And “Jesus is moral” is a meaningless statement, because Jesus can do whatever he wants, and you will call that “moral.” Or do you just call him amoral or unjudgeable?

          This religion sounds strange. You sure you don’t want to upgrade to a more sensible one?

        • Pfft? Are you accusing my savior of sin now? What did Jesus do?

        • Greg G.

          Your savior is imaginary. It’s like accusing Superman of destruction of property for walking through a wall.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Jesus lied.

        • I guess it depends. If the rule is that “Jesus’s actions are good by definition,” then I guess it’s impossible for Jesus to sin. But if you’re asking about a real guy, then yeah. Duh.

          If you were clairvoyant and didn’t take the opportunity to correct some of the nutty stuff in the OT (slavery, genocide, rape and sex slaves are OK) then you’d be immoral. Obviously.

        • “He was not good enough” is not an argument. Also, aren’t you a mod? Is there any way to read the rules to post on this site?

        • The claim is that he was perfect. Was he? No, that’s not what the evidence says.

          You can argue that he actually did have the correct moral viewpoint, but the structure of this argument is fine.

          I’m the mod, if that helps. The rules, such as they are, are at the top of the comments.

        • I got banned on another part of this site. The rules aren’t in the same place. Your Moderation is far better. Have a good day.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh you’ll get banned here too eventually, if your interactions don’t buck up. Bob has great patience, but even his run out from time to time…especially when dealing with idiots.

        • I think I’m going to block you

        • Greg G.

          Blocking someone means that you don’t see their posts, even when they reply to your posts.

        • It actually does.

        • Ignorant Amos

          His point is that everyone else still sees my posts in reply to you dross…only you don’t. Blocking me doesn’t stop me seeing or replying to your comments. Idiot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Knock yerself out. I could give zero fucks and won’t lose a wink of sleep over it. I’m responding to your asinine idiocy for the benefit of not you, because you are an idiot and beyond any capability of thinking straight from what I’ve seen. Others read these threads too ya know.

        • Otto

          Jesus was only good if one ascribes to the religion, judged on his own, and outside of the religion, he was woefully short on ethics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Is there any way to read the rules to post on this site?

          Idiot.

          Reading for comprehension skills again a see….

          Cross Examined Comment Policy

          Christians and atheists welcome. Please stay on topic. Civility is preferred, though frank comments are allowed.

          That banner is at the top of every comment thread.

        • Civility is preferred

        • Ignorant Amos

          Civility is subjective.

          You think being disingenuous and lying is being civil?

          You scurry away when found out to be wanting. Then you pop up elsewhere having hit the reset button and start spewing the same shite all over again…you think that’s being civil?

          Frank comments are allowed is also subjective.

          Bob’s house, so it is his subjectivity that gets to decide, lucky for you, because that’s why you get banned elsewhere and not here.

        • Yes, the pure Irony of being banned on a side that is called ‘friendly atheist.’ No so friendly, huh? At least Bob doesn’t curse at me endlessly and ban me. That is more civil of him. And Civility, politeness, respect, none of these things are built upon subjectivity. These things are built upon truly good ways to act verses deceitful and wrong ways.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes, the pure Irony of being banned on a side that is called ‘friendly atheist.’ No so friendly, huh?

          If ya walk into my house and start pishing and shiteing all over the place, it wouldn’t be too long before I kicked yer ballix in and fired you out onto the street.

          Your attitude was just reciprocated at FA.

          At least Bob doesn’t curse at me endlessly and ban me.

          Yet. When Bob starts cursing at you, prepare for the axe to fall, he doesn’t do endlessly.

          That is more civil of him.

          Yeah, Bob’s a nice guy.

          And Civility, politeness, respect, none of these things are built upon subjectivity.

          More dumb idiotic fuckwittery. You just said, “That is more civil of him” more civil than what?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7G_zSos8w_I&app=desktop

          These things are built upon truly good ways to act verses deceitful and wrong ways.

          Fucking idiot. There comes a point when ridicule and mockery is all that can be done.

          Now, if all I was doing was firing epithets at you wantonly. Or name calling as ad hominem, then you would have a case of sorts. But since I am supporting my assertions, I’m not, so quit whining and buck up and you just might earn a modicum of respect and the ridding could stop.

          The use of ridicule can be justified pragmatically. It works well under the right circumstances, depending on the issue and the potential effectiveness of using it. It is best used when the arguments are there to back it up, and when more people agree against the ideas that are being ridiculed. This is what Stephen Law, Richard Carrier and I are saying about the use of ridicule, and we have earned the right to use it because we have produced the arguments. That is, because we know Christianity is a delusion, and since deluded people cannot usually be argued out of their faith because they were never argued into it in the first place, the use of persuasion techniques like ridicule are rationally justifiable. So satire, ridicule and mockery are weapons that should be in our arsenal in this important cultural war of ideas.

          http://www.debunking-christianity.com/2013/01/on-justifying-use-of-ridicule-and.html

          And you are lucky that Kodie is on a sabbatical or you’d really know some flak.

        • MR

          Your faux civility has already been noted.

        • I’m not the one literally saying ‘idiot’ every comment.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m not the one literally saying ‘idiot’ every comment.

          A lie and idiotic.

          Stop acting like an idiot and there will be no reason for anyone to label you as such.

          When you repeat the same nonsense ad nauseam after being corrected, you move from being ignorant to idiot.

        • MR

          You have no grounds to complain. You bring it on yourself.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Maybe yours.

          Why should anyone else believe that nonsense?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Of course not, you’d have to capitulate your position and your faith would suffer.

        • epeeist

          This being so then all the actions credited to Yahweh in the OT must also be credited to Jesus.

        • Mark 7:5-10

        • epeeist

          Mark 7:5-10

          I fail to see the relevance.

          Don’t blame me because you don’t like the consequences of your claim of an identity relationship between Yahweh and Jesus.

        • It is Jesus criticizing the Jews for misunderstanding the law of Moses and teaching strictly humanly doctrine and not the doctrine of God.

        • epeeist

          It is Jesus criticizing the Jews for misunderstanding the law of Moses

          Irrelevant, your claim (to put it more technically) is that the names “Jesus” and “Yahweh” rigidly designate the same entity.This being so then all actions credited to this entity must also be credited to both Yahweh and Jesus.

          So, for example, when Yahweh kills 70,000 by pestilence (2 Samuel 24:15) then it is also the case that this must be credited to Jesus.

        • I see nothing wrong with this logic.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          And, see…..THAT is the problem, *right* *there*

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Who cares? It’s a book that’s indiscernible from fiction.

        • Greg G.

          What a silly passage! Did you see Mark 7:15? I wonder how many people died from eating contaminated food because of that.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then who is ‘father’ yahweh?

        • Greg G.

          Moses didn’t exist. Exodus never happened. The Old Testament was written by priests who wanted to favor the richer people who happened to own slaves. The Older Testament that said, “No Slaves” didn’t last long after the priests starved.

        • LOL’d

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          He’s correct, though. Exodus is a myth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You really don’t know any of this stuff, do ya? What an idiot.

        • Greg G.

          The nation of Israel claimed that Abraham acquired the land a long time ago because that’s what it says in the Genesis. They wanted to validate that so the had archaeologists searching for scientific support. However, what they found shows that the proto-Israelites were just Canaanites with a different diet – they didn’t eat pork but their culture was otherwise identical. There was no sudden disruption of the culture as if they were invaded by a culture that came out of Egypt. There is a little bit of evidence that there was a David but no evidence that he was a great king or that Jerusalem was a major city at the time.

          For more than a century, Christian and Israeli archaeologists have searched the Sinai for evidence of the exodus of a large group of people. If the Exodus account was remotely true, it would be hard to not trip over the evidence for it. But they do not find any.

          Egypt has been studied for over a century, too. No evidence of a large culture of Hebrews. No evidence that a large portion of the population of Egypt suddenly exited, either.

          The evidence shows that the Exodus story never happened. Therefore, there was no leader who led the Exodus. There was no genocide of the Canaanites, either.

          The study of the ancient literature shows that Abraham was invented from the texts of other religions. This was determined before the archaeological evidence was found that showed the Hebrews were just Canaanites with another Canaanite religion.

        • I don’t believe you exist.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t exist. I am just a pigment of your colorful imagination.

          Maybe that is what happens when you start praying to imaginary entities. Before you know it, you are replying online to entities you don’t believe exist.

        • In Christianity, you don’t pray to multiple entities. You pray to Jesus. Jesus said he is the Father, and the son, and the spirit.

        • Greg G.

          You should have told Jesus that. In Matthew 6:9, Jesus said, “Pray like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy…'” Who are you going to believe: Jesus or your Sunday School teacher?

        • I never went to sunday school.

          John 14:
          The Way, the Truth, and the Life
          …10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I say to you, I do not speak on My own. Instead, it is the Father dwelling in Me, performing His works. 11Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me — or at least believe on account of the works themselves. 12Truly, truly, I tell you, whoever believes in Me will also do the works that I am doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.…

        • Greg G.
        • Good rebuttal.

        • Ignorant Amos

          There’s that fucked up reading comprehension again.

          And there ya go generalizing again too.

          Not all Christians believe in that illogical nonsense, nor was it a universal Christian doctrine from the get-go.

          So…let me ftfy…

          In some Christianity, you don’t pray to multiple entities. You pray to Jesus. Jesus said he is the Father, and the son, and the spirit.

          Btw…Roman Catholic Christians pray to multiple entities.

        • I know they do. They pray to Mary and Saints.

        • Greg G.

          And their prayers are answered at the same rate as every other religion’s prayers, depending on how vague the prayer is, how likely the thing would be without a prayer, and how much interpretation one gives to make it seem like a prayer was answered,

        • Ignorant Amos

          Interacting with the non-existent is religious thing…so why am I not surprised at that?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Ok, now that’s hubris. “Moses was wrong”. Arrogant ass, aren’t you?

        • epeeist

          Arrogant ass, aren’t you?

          Well they certainly seem to think so on the Friendly Atheist.

          It is difficult to tell given that he is being moderated but he seems to be making the same points there that he tried here as though they hadn’t been refuted.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ahem…psst…Moses didn’t exist…it’s just a story.

        • Greg G.

          Oh, please. The Bible explicitly allows slavery. It was not seen as a form of theft. A person could sell himself into slavery… which means he sold his children into slavery, too. The Bible assumes that anyone who had a use for slaves would have as many slaves as he required. He could bequeath his slaves, too.

          Have you ever read the Old Testament for comprehension? Have you even tried? If it is the Word of God, do you not care what he says?

        • The Law of God was never fulfilled inside the bible. The only one who fulfilled it was Jesus.

        • Greg G.

          Where? When? Who?

          The Messiah was supposed to come while Paul was alive. That was 2000 years ago. If Paul is still alive, why hasn’t he written any more epistles?

        • Why do you think the messiah was supposed to come during Paul’s life? This seems like this could be a misreading of the Eternal life talked in the bible. Paul will be there during the return of Jesus. So will everyone else, including Abraham.

        • Greg G.

          Paul talked about the coming of the Messiah. He said the dead would rise and the living would be changed. He always used the first person plural for the living and the third person plural for the dead.

          See 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.

          But maybe Paul was wrong. He was just reading OT verses and convinced himself they were prophecies.

          The Messiah idea was held by many Jews in Judea. The believed it so thoroughly, they picked a fight with the Romans and held out in Jerusalem until the end, according to Josephus in Jewish Wars.

        • This is hardly evidence Paul thought the messiah was going to come in his lifetime. Paul knew whether he died or not, he would live again to witness Christ.

        • Greg G.

          If he thought that he would be dead, he would have just said the living. He had apparently been preaching that the Messiah was coming to that generation but when they had fellow Paulinite Christians dying, they were alarmed. Paul used “we” to assure the people of the church he was writing that Jesus was coming any minute.

          Why didn’t Paul ever write about how to raise children? Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-16. Paul thought not having any sex was best but he realized some people were “aflame with passion”, so husbands and wives should screw so they wouldn’t be tempted. (1 Cor 7:5) Paul says that the only reason anyone should get married is to legitimize sex if they can’t resist. (1 Cor 7:9) Paul didn’t think that anyone would have time to raise a family… he didn’t seem to think there was time for a woman to get pregnant and give birth.

          Ephesians 3:5
          5 In former generations this mystery was not made known to humankind, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:

          Christians seem to have thought that since it was their generation that came up with idea that the Messiah would come, which they thought was a revelation, and that no previous generation had thought of it, that it would happen during their generation.

          Even the Jews had this belief, too, as they picked a fight with the Romans expecting the Messiah to come and kick butt.

          Somebody must have overslept. Or maybe Paul and most of Judea were religiously deluded.

        • This is nonsense. Matthew 24 comes to mind. They did not expect Jesus until after tribulation.

        • Greg G.

          Paul wrote in the mid-first century. Matthew’s nativity tale is based on Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews which was written in the mid-90s, putting Matthew no earlier than the end of the first century. 2 Peter 1:17-18 is based on Matthew’s version of the Transfiguration story, so it is even later and has yet more excuses for there being no Messiah yet. Every generation had to come up with new excuses for why the Messiah didn’t come and why they were even born.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That’s pretty stupid, considering that ALL you know of this ‘jesus’ IS INSIDE the ‘bible’ you say didn’t ‘fulfill the law of ‘god”

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          You really don’t understand the Bible or Biblical exegesis, do you?

        • Otto

          Slavery is owning ‘people’ as property…you can’t steal from property. A slave in biblical times was the same as owning a cow…how does one “steal” labor from a cow? That line of bs you just spewed there is called a rationalization.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Fucking idiot.

        • derp

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That’s pettifogging, and you know it.

          ‘god’ could forbid wearing clothes of mixed fibers, demand cutting off babies’ foreskins, and forbid speaking to menstruating women, but NO SLAVERY was too difficult to command?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh it’s permitted in the Bible okay…

          And if a man sells his daughter to be a female slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has betrothed her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. And if he has betrothed her to his son, he shall deal with her according to the custom of daughters. If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights. And if he does not do these three for her, then she shall go out free, without paying money.

          Women captured by Israelite armies could be adopted as wives, but first they had to have their heads shaved and undergo a period of mourning. (Deuteronomy 21:10-14) However, “If you are not pleased with her, then you must let her go where she pleases. You cannot in any case sell her; you must not take advantage of her, since you have already humiliated her.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_slavery#Sexual_and_conjugal_slavery

        • These quotations explicitly limit slavery.

        • Ignorant Amos

          They limit sexual slavery with obligations. There shouldn’t be any sexual slavery to be dishing out rules about. You don’t get it yet ya idiot. God shouldn’t be handing out limitations so much as saying owning people is bad, don’t do it.

          You seem to know it’s bad, I know it’s bad, all right minded folk know it’s bad. A multi-omni deity should know it is bad and declare it so, like it allegedly did with regards to lesser bads.

          It’s as if the people of the book who had no qualms with slavery, put these words in the mouth of their god to give an air of authority.

          Sensible people know this already.

        • Greg G.

          Those virgins are allowed to mourn for a month. Then after the Bible follower who murdered every person she ever knew has his way with her, he can decide whether to keep her or kick her out. She has nothing but a month’s growth of hair on her head, and no longer has her virginity. She might even be pregnant. Where does she go?

          Read Leviticus 25:44-46 every time you start trying to think about Bible slavery.

          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.

          Only fellow Israelites are exempt from being treated harshly, like slaves.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          It is ABSOLUTELY permitted by the Bible. I hadn’t realized how profoundly ignorant of your own sacred text you really are.

        • Greg G.

          The Bible condemns what it calls sin. But it never, ever condemns slavery, unless it was the Egyptians enslaving the Hebrews.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Genesis 21 says you’re full of shit. So does Exodus 21

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s because you are an idiot.

          Define the slavery you believe is going on in Muslim countries and explain to me how it differs from the slavery going on in the US and how both are not the same as what went on in the Southern US and Biblical Palestine.

        • Muslim gangs go south, capture slaves, sell them into the slave market.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Evidence.

          It’s a thing.

          Present some.

        • Greg G.

          But that is illegal. It is completely different than slave traders legally going south into Africa, legally capturing slaves, and legally selling them into the slave market to be legally purchased by Christians in the colonies who were legally practicing slavery according to the principles laid out in the Old Testament.

        • Ignorant Amos
        • Susan

          He’s a dumb arse idiot.

          True.

          Even worse, he’s a lying troll.

          I have to agree with Paul B. Lot and MR.

        • MR

          From today’s news on increasing attacks from Russia and others:

          [Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen noted on Saturday during a conference in Philadelphia that the intelligence community has observed “persistent Russian efforts using social media.”

          Coats said Friday that intelligence officials have seen “aggressive attempts to manipulate social media and to spread propaganda focused on hot-button issues that are intended to exacerbate social, political divisions.”

          Something we should consider when we allow giving a platform to people who would denigrate whole groups of people. Even for us, it’s important to remember that we should be fighting against corrupt ideas and ideologies like those that Z espouses. We should avoid denigrating “Christians” as a group. Christianity may have no basis in reality, but Christians are real people, as are Muslims and Democrats and Republicans. When we play their game, when we play by their rules, they win.

        • Susan

          We should denigrating “Christians” as a group. Christianity may have no basis in reality, but Christians are real people, as are Muslims and Democrats and Republicans.

          I agree completely.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The thing is, Zach is pish poor at that Malarkey if that is his game.

          He is at the wrong place with shite arguments as far as I can see. If he”s the best the Russkies have to offer to engage rational critical thinkers, they need to up their game plan and stop recruiting idiots.

        • MR

          I don’t think the Russians are trying to “engage rational critical thinkers.” That’s the last thing they want. I don’t know if Z is one or not, but he’s clearly influenced by and taking a page from their playbook. Denigrate, sow discord and turn people against each other. Notice his hammering on Muslims and Democrats. Far from pish-poor, he’s on game. Divide et impera.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah, but his type of hammering of Muslims and Democrats is typical of his kind. I’ve seen it from some Christians elsewhere over the years.

          Nobody is saying his criticism of Islam is unjust. But his using it as a cosh to batter atheists into some acceptance of his own nonsense just isn’t going to cut it here.

          His criticism of Democrats as all being stupid is more nonsense too. If I’m a Labour voter I’m not going to view the Conservative party favourably.

          He isn’t going to turn each other against one another here by such tactics. We see right through his nonsense and attempts to generalize groups with the qualities of the few to the lot.

          It has been pointed out to him by more than one of us that he is banging a drum whose mantra we are not going to buy. But he keeps repeating the same crap like someone will buy it at some point…never gonna happen. To that end, his tactic is pish-poor and has now become jaded.

          That’s all I meant.

          Now the fact that we are somewhat divided on his purpose for being here, is an argument separate. We have those about holy rollers pitching up here on a regular basis.

        • epeeist

          Yeah, but his type of hammering of Muslims and Democrats is typical of his kind. I’ve seen it from some Christians elsewhere over the years.

          I would suggest another group, namely the far right. I wouldn’t be sure of the groups in the US, but is definitely something I have seen from the likes of the EDL . I note in passing that Steve Bannon is calling for Tommy Robinson to be released from jail.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I would suggest another group, namely the far right.

          Oh he’s definitely over there on the right, all right. The two aren’t mutually exclusive and I’d go as far as to say that in the US those in the far right are Christians by nature.

          I wouldn’t be sure of the groups in the US, but is definitely something I have seen from the likes of the EDL.

          There are plenty to choose from. Though he did defend Trump against the accusation that Trump thought the KKK were “good people”.

          I note in passing that Steve Bannon is calling for Tommy Robinson to be released from jail.

          A seen that on the news last night…bloody ridiculous, though hardly surprising. Given the Muppets that Trump has/had surrounded himself with, even though he sacks them with the regularity he fired people in The Apprentice.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Labor trafficking is defined by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act as The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery and is most frequently reported in domestic work, restaurants, peddling rings, and sales crews. With the influx of foreign nationals into the USA in the past decade, labor trafficking has become a central issue for human rights groups.

          The fancy name for slavery in the US is human trafficking. It is still the practicing of slavery and it is done in the US like everywhere else.

        • Everything you said is correct, but I don’t think you understand what ‘practicing slavery’ means. Slavery, as practiced, is an institution supported by a government. There are real places in the world where the government recognizes captured peoples as property of other individuals. That is practiced slavery. Human trafficking is not really much to do with labor, more to do with sex.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Everything you said is correct, but I don’t think you understand what ‘practicing slavery’ means. Slavery, as practiced, is an institution supported by a government. There are real places in the world where the government recognizes captured peoples as property of other individuals.

          Well when you name these Muslim places where institutionalized slavery is legal and officially supported by the government, I’ll concede my position accordingly. Why you haven’t so far screams to me that you are talking bubbles.

          Human trafficking is not really much to do with labor, more to do with sex.

          Stop talking shite.

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

          I have supported my argument with evidence…something you don’t think is necessary on your part. You should try it sometime.

        • In Saudi Arabia you need a permit from the government to be employed, and your employment is controlled by your master, whom you need permission to get a new job, get a car, everything. Obviously, Women in Saudi are officially (By the government) recognized as property with less human rights. They still practice feudalism in Saudi as well as monarchy. There is still quite a large African slave trade going into Saudi. After the collapse of Libya (Thanks Obama/Hillary) The vacuum caused by the anarchy reinvigorated the slave trade which had previously settled down. These slaves, just like in ancient times, are taken north to their Arabian masters.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In Saudi Arabia you need a permit from the government to be employed, and your employment is controlled by your master, whom you need permission to get a new job, get a car, everything.

          When I lived in the US I needed a permit to work. If you came to the UK you’d need a permit to work. If we both went to Australia we’d both need a permit to work. What has that got to do with slavery.

          http://workpermit.com/immigration/usa/employees-guide-us-immigration

          And what’s with the “master” hyperbole. If someone is employed, they are not slaves you idiot. I think you meant to say “sponsor”. When I went to the US, I had to have a sponsor to get a permit to work.

          What has the rule on expats providing documentation from a sponsor in order to buy a car got to do with slavery?

          Obviously, Women in Saudi are officially (By the government) recognized as property with less human rights.

          Obviously? Fuck all obvious about it. When you provide evidence to support your asinine ballix, then we’ll see how obvious it is, but since you don’t seem to be able to do that, it’s more idiotic ranting. The human rights of certain groups in Saudi Arabia is appalling, including equality rights for women., but your property recognized by the government trope is idiotic.

          They still practice feudalism in Saudi as well as monarchy.

          A non sequitur.

          There is still quite a large African slave trade going into Saudi.

          Illegally.

          After the collapse of Libya (Thanks Obama/Hillary) The vacuum caused by the anarchy reinvigorated the slave trade which had previously settled down. These slaves, just like in ancient times, are taken north to their Arabian masters.

          Like in the USA and the UK…illegally.

          Your Islamophobic rantings are making you a complete idiot.

          I never said anywhere that there was no slavery in the Muslim world. Slavery exists just about everywhere, including the USA as I’ve demonstrated.

          Slavery in Saudi Arabia was outlawed in 1962. While it can be argued that the Saudi government is lax in enforcing its laws on human trafficking and modern slavery, the fact is, slavery is officially illegal in Saudi Arabia. Human Rights in the KSA are appalling, but that is a different argument.

          Saudi Arabia has a score of 38 out of 167 rating on the prevalence scale of the Global Slavery Index. That’s better than Mexico, most folk would categorize Mexico as a Christian country. And its a lot better than South Africa at 27…guess what religion most South Africans are?

          The USA has a score of 52 on the same index.

          https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/saudi-arabia/

          I don’t know where you source your data, you never cite it, but it is absolute pants.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m wondering why you are not very vocal at criticizing the Hindu’s if your metric for the worst religion is a countries prevalence to slavery and human rights violations vis a vis its populace religious observance?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I don’t believe you. Show me official government publications demonstrating any of that.

          I could see it being true for non-citizens in SA, but we do the same in the US, so you’ve got nothing special to condemn there.

        • Greg G.

          Are you condemning Saudi Arabia for having green cards or are you complaining that the green cards are some other color there?

        • Ignorant Amos

          The burbling idiot knows fuck all.

        • epeeist

          The US also has a child marriage problem, something that Chris Christie doesn’t want to do anything about.

        • Susan

          I was talking about the soldiers who died under the command of a president who himself held very radical views against slavery at the time

          You were trying to pretend that christian soldiers went to war because they were against slavery. Which is bullshit.

          You were (once again) evading the substance of the original comment and making stuff up.

          A lot of people died in the U.S. Civil War. Many on both sides were christian. Your attempt to suggest that abolition was a due to the efforts of “christians” against the bad guys is a disaster. Give up.

        • It was the efforts of Christians that did end slavery. You want to play this game accusing my religion of supporting slavery. This is the disastrous argument.

        • Paul B. Lot

          This is the disastrous argument.

          Your dictionary isn’t working correctly, “disastrous” means “highly unsuccessful”, whereas Susan’s argument was high successful

          It was the efforts of Christians that did end slavery.

          Also the efforts of Christians that fought to save slavery.

          You want to play this game accusing my religion of supporting slavery.

          You’re losing the game.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, Christians played a major role in ending slavery. But your religion did support slavery. The colonists based their slavery on Old Testament principles because they were Christians. They bought foreign slaves from foreigners. They could own them and bequeath them. They even had indentured servants.

          The history of Christianity is not goodness and light. Stop pretending it is.

        • epeeist

          Yes, Christians played a major role in ending slavery.

          But did they do so in the cause of Christianity?

        • MR

          One doesn’t have to be Christian, after all, to have empathy for a fellow human being.

        • epeeist

          One doesn’t have to be Christian, after all, to have empathy for a fellow human being.

          Indeed, ethical behaviour does not require religion. And as we frequently see, human beings frequently have a better moral sense than Yahweh/Jesus.

        • During the American Civil War, the southern (pro-slavery) pastors had the better argument.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          It was efforts of *progressive Enlightenment thinkers* that ended slavery.

          At the time, ‘christian’ was a default position for anybody who didn’t want to suffer social and official abuse.

          Xtians also wrote near-innumerable tracts about how slavery was biblical, and right, using the curse of Ham as justification, among other stories.

        • epeeist

          It was efforts of *progressive Enlightenment thinkers* that ended slavery.

          Here in the UK the initial impetus came from a group that many would not consider to be Christians, namely the Quakers.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The Republican party was NOT conservative, they were the progressive, liberal party of their day.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Virtually nothing in that statement is correct. Nothing. Lincoln did not go to war to eliminate slavery. He went to war to preset the american Union.

          In hindsight, he should probably have left well enough alone.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, the abolitionist movement sought to conserve the union firstly to limit the slave trade.

          The abolition movement was about abolishing something. do you know what that was? They sought to abolish slavery. The secession and the war to preserve the union were never in the plans of the abolition movement. The secession was from those who opposed abolition of slavery.

        • They did not predict the southern democrat party’s attempt to destroy the U.S. The radical republican re-constructionists or (the abolitionist movement) were opposed to Lincolns Moderate conservatism and after the war advocated the 13th 14th and 15th amendments. This abrogated previous clauses in the constitution which angered the northern and southern democrats.

        • Greg G.

          Have you noticed that the parties have swapped their stances in the last 150 years? Ending slavery was a liberal idea. Conserving slavery was a conservative ideology.

        • Was Lincoln a Liberal?

        • Greg G.

          Was Lincoln a Liberal?

          An Honest Appraisal of Abe Lincoln by a Conservative
          https://www.rollcall.com/news/an_honest_appraisal_of_abe_lincoln_by_a_conservative-226161-1.html

          Writers who wish to use Lincoln (or the Founders or Theodore Roosevelt or William McKinley, for that matter) to justify their own inclinations, too often choose “getting right with Lincoln” over getting Lincoln right.

          Then there is
          ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS A LIBERAL, JEFFERSON DAVIS WAS A CONSERVATIVE
          THE MISSING KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR
          by Lochlainn Seabrook.

          You can probably Google it. I am reluctant to link to the page because Disqus might think it is spam.

        • Conservatism really depends on what you are conserving. If you listened to Lincolns speeches, his resemblance to today’s conservatives is uncanny. In fact, I bet today’s Socialist democrats would call him a racist.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          In Lincoln’s day, women and black people couldn’t vote.

          So we’ve evolved to a more inclusive morality.

          YOUR KIND want desperately to hang on to your unearned, undeserved privilege, and it shows.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Pretty much every american Back then was a racist. So?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yes. Lincoln was, in fact, a PROGRESSIVE liberal.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          It wasn’t that they were Democrats, it’s that they were reactionaries, even far beyond conservatives.

        • Greg G.

          And ignoring the fact that there were christians fighting for the South.

          While this is true, they were far less in number.

          But not that much less in the number that died. When the civillians deaths are included, it comes out to about the same.

        • civilians from the south and the north?

        • Greg G.

          The battles were mostly fought in the South.

          https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/death.html

          The distinguished Civil War historian James McPherson has estimated that there were 50,000 civilian deaths during the war, and has concluded that the overall mortality rate for the South exceeded that of any country in World War I and all but the region between the Rhine and the Volga in World War II.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Civilians who were treasonous (south) or loyal (North)

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          False. Xtians in the Old South believed slavery was ‘god’-ordained, based on innumerable monographs written on the subject by southerners who had a financial stake in slavery. The Curse of Ham was often invoked, and the southern whites BELIEVED it was ‘gods will’.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Just how ignorant are you? Virtually everyone, on both sides, were Christian. And the abolitionists didn’t make up a majority of the northern soldiers.

          Learn before you make a fool of yourself.

        • Greg G.

          Learn before you make a fool of yourself.

          Now you tell him.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Cool.

          How many fought, how many died to keep the slaves?

        • Now now, everyone knows that democrats aren’t held accountable for their actions.

        • Paul B. Lot

          How many fought, how many died to keep the slaves?

        • I don’t know how many died but at least 1m soldiers served on the democratic confederate states of america.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Out of around 2.2 million Union soldiers,110,000 Union soldiers were killed in action or died of wounds. About 230,000 of disease.

          Of the 1 million Confederates, 95,000 were killed in action or died of wounds. About 200,000 from disease.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Cool.

          So, how many christians fought to keep the slaves?

        • Greg G.

          How many were not Christiians?

        • If I was going to guess it would probably be at most 20%.

        • Greg G.

          Why aren’t you holding yourself accountable for your actions and claims?

        • What actions have I done?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          That’s Repugs you’re thinking of there.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          So you can’t answer the question. Noted.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Unbelievable stupidity. You really don’t know ANYTHING about the American civil war, do you? The preservation of the Union, as Lincoln pointed out, had NOTHING to do with the abolition of the slave trade.

          Astounding ignorance.

        • Susan

          You didn’t answer my question.

          He still hasn’t answered your question.

          But then, he didn’t come here to answer questions. He came here to spew unsupported bile. .

        • MR

          It seems to me that his political leanings tend to color his religious views. This list is more about me, me, me, where Jesus was more of a love-thy-neighbor type.

        • Pofarmer

          They all claim to be “love thy neighbor” types until they get power.

        • MR

          Well, love thy neighbor as long as he’s like me.

        • Pofarmer

          Or doesn’t complain too much when you f**** him over.

        • MR

          Don’t forget slavery, technology and cheap immigrant labor.

        • Greg G.

          When we came to the Americas we were finally allowed to freely practice our religion.

          It was other Christianities that inhibited other Christians from practicing their own sects. The letter of Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Church that mention the separation of church and state was an assurance that Catholics would not be running the Federal government.

          Now we have a living standard unparalleled in history.

          Our standard of living is a result of advances in science and technology, which advanced exponentially when humans stopped trying to figure out how God did things and began to understand how things actually work. We entered a post-Christian society with that. Science and technology works the same for any religion or lack of religion.

        • We have never entered a post-Christian society. The majority of society is still massively Christian.

        • Greg G.

          But the majority of Christians haven’t even read the Bible. They are nominally Christian.

        • epeeist

          Christians are always held to a higher standard than that of Muslims.

          Well Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world, at least that’s what Christians tell us.

          But this is just another piece of deflection from you, a poor attempt at hiding the fact that you have no response to the fact that both Islam and Christianity have had atrocities committed in their name.

        • Zachariah ​†

          This is not fair. Every single ideology will one day have one who holds it and simultaneously does something wrong perhaps even in the name of it. Ones own actions is unrelated to the actual ideology, but in Islam it literally tells you to commit atrocities and permits them as well. This is so biased and downright Amoral to even think that it it credible to criticize all ideology and all religion based on Islam. The most persecuted religion in the world is Christianity. Even in our own countries we are persecuted. Why does that happen? Under the false presumption that the “Separation of Church And State” justifies the oppression of the freedom of religion. The Johnson Amendment is anti first amendment nonsense.

        • MR

          Personally, I don’t criticize Christianity based on Islam, I criticize Christianity based on Christianity. If you think you’re being persecuted, you don’t know what it means to be persecuted. Criticism is not persecution. I shouldn’t have to live by someone else’s fairy tale, and it’s not persecution to point that out.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Do you know how many times I have been personally attacked for being a Christian just on this page alone? You can criticize all you want, but don’t compare my religion to Islam.

        • MR

          That is not persecution, snowflake.

        • Greg G.

          We say that there is no valid reason to think theology is true but all you can argue is that Islam’s atrocities are worse than Christianity’s atrocities. The Muslim can make the same case against Christianity. So what? Neither of you can show that their religion is right.

          But the typical god thingy of Christianity is easier to refute than the typical god thingy of Islam because they don’t try to make their god thingy out to be omnibenevolent, as far as I know.

        • Zachariah ​†

          “The Muslim can make the same case against Christianity.”

          This is your motive behind Christianity. It is so evil and twisted. “Islam exists as a religion, therefore Christianity is bad.” I don’t think you realize how idiotic that sounds. Christians don’t go around crucifying Muslims for their religion. Christianity does not tell you to partake in offensive jihad. It tells you to peacefully preach the gospel to the world. Islam tells you to chase people down and subjugate them. “Islam” means “submission” for Christs sake. You have absolutely no compelling argument if all it is use using Islam to discredit other ideologies and religions. Muslims cannot make the argument that Christianities atrocities are worse than Islams. Like I said, every ideology will have those who do bad things for that ideology regardless of what that ideology says, terrorism is part of islam. If you wont admit that, then this will be my last comment to you.

        • Greg G.

          Neither religion can support its claims. Christianity has a history that is bad, too. We still see Christianity doing bad things today. The RCC has told people in Africa that condoms cause AIDS, which is a lie that has helped spread AIDS in Africa. Christians in Africa kill children because they think they are witches because that’s what it says in the Bible.

          When Muslims come here and make stupid claims, we do not take it easy on them either.

          When Catholics try to defend their religion, we don’t take easy on them.

          You are trying to tell us that Christianity is all goodness and light but we know that is bullshit. And you should know it, too.

        • epeeist

          Ones own actions is unrelated to the actual ideology, but in Islam it literally tells you to commit atrocities and permits them as well.

          And as you are unwilling to acknowledge, so does the bible.

          Even in our own countries we are persecuted.

          Tell me, how many members of Trump’s cabinet are evangelical Christians. There are no less than 75 churches within 5 miles of where I live in a small town in the UK, given the size of the UK then one probably needs to widen that out a little, so how how many churches are there within 25m of your location?

          Under the false presumption that the “Separation of Church And State” justifies the oppression of the freedom of religion.

          So who is trying to close your churches down, who is forcing you to wear yellow armbands in order to ostracise you as a Christian?

          Or is the problem that you are becoming less able to claim that atheists should not be considered as citizens, or that gays are intrinsically disordered without getting pushback.

          The Johnson Amendment is anti first amendment nonsense.

          Fine, then get your legislature to repeal it. But at the same time get them to apply the same reporting criteria to all non-profit organisations.

          One of the organisations I support is Médecins Sans Frontières, they do a limited amount of lobbying and their accounts show the amount they spend on this and their other activities. Why should non-religious and religious organisations be any different in this?

        • Zachariah ​†

          People should not be taxed for their political opinion. End of the story.

        • epeeist

          People should not be taxed for their political opinion.

          And once again you ignore all the points I make.

          End of the story.

          So no change in the reporting requirements, you are perfectly happy that religious organisations are treated differently to other non-profits.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Religious exemption from taxation is under the first amendment. Bitch about it all you want.

        • epeeist

          Religious exemption from taxation is under the first amendment.

          I’m not American, perhaps you could point out the passage in the first amendment where it says that religions are exempt from taxation.

        • Amendment I
          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

          Find it yourself Sherlock

        • epeeist

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
          prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
          speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
          assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

          And nowhere in that passage does it say that religions should be exempt from taxation.In fact nowhere in that passage is the word “tax” used at all.

        • What branch of government establishes taxation?

        • epeeist

          What branch of government establishes taxation?

          Seriously? This is your best attempt to cover the fact that the first amendment nowhere mentions taxing (or not taxing) religion?

        • It’s the legislative branch of government that establishes taxation. Tax is a law. Let’s review the first amendment.

          1st Amendment

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

          What is CONGRESS?
          In international law. An assembly of envoys, commissioners, deputies, etc., from different sovereignties who meet to concert measures for their common good, or to adjust their mutual concerns. In American law. The name of the legislative assembly of the United States, composed of the senate and house of representatives, (q. v.) https://thelawdictionary.org/congress/

          So, you’re wrong. Are you going to admit it and concede, or are you going to double down and say that “taxing a church for political speech is not prohibiting the free exercise of religion.”

          Which is it?

        • epeeist

          So, you’re wrong. Are you going to admit it and concede, or are you going to double down and say that “taxing a church for political speech is not prohibiting the free exercise of religion.”

          Ah, another piece of Humpty-Dumptying from you.

          You really ought to consult a decent dictionary for the various definitions of the word free.

          As it is the Free Exercise clause guarantees a person the right to practice a religion and propagate it without government interference. This right is a liberty interest that cannot be deprived without due process of law.

          Try something like Employment Div. v. Smith., 494 U.S. 872 for a particular example of this.

        • I used an actual law dictionary.

        • epeeist

          I used an actual law dictionary.

          And yet you didn’t think to provide a link.

        • …I’m pretty sure I did provide a link. It’s from BLACKS LAW DICTIONARY.

          (you know, the most widely used dictionary for law in the u.s.)

        • epeeist

          It’s from BLACKS LAW DICTIONARY.

          So if I did a search for free exercise in the above dictionary it would tell me that this refers to the government not taxing churches?

        • That is a very poorly constructed strawman.

        • epeeist

          That is a very poorly constructed strawman.

          You said you looked it up in Black’s dictionary. I have attempted to do the same, why is this a straw man?

        • “So if I did a search for free exercise in the above dictionary it would tell me that this refers to the government not taxing churches?”

          I did not say that, and even if it did.. taxation is the lack of freedom. This is painfully obvious. Any taxation of any church IS an abridgment of the freedom of that church. I understand the grievance of unfair taxation, but.. all taxation is unfair. During the founders lifetimes, the Union was completely funded by tariffs and other invisible means of taxation. It is possible. But never once until the 60s was it made legal to tax churches. And unprecedented abridgment of religious freedom. The IRS has already admitted to using the federal tax service to limit the participation of political groups. This is also an abridgment of the first amendment. This needs to be repealed. No one who claims to be a liberal can support these things.

        • epeeist

          I did not say that, and even if it did.. taxation is the lack of freedom.

          So you don’t have anything that says “free exercise” has anything to do with taxation.

          Any taxation of any church IS an abridgment of the freedom of that church.

          And taxing non-profits is an abridgement of the freedom of that non-profit. Your point is? As I keep asking, why should religious organisations be treated differently to other non-profits?

        • All of the non-profits should be treated differently. Why does the IRS think they can tax you for political advocacy?

        • Greg G.

          So that political groups can’t claim to be a non-profit organization.

        • epeeist

          All of the non-profits should be treated differently.

          Why? If, say, Christian Aid, Red Crescent and Médecins Sans Frontières are all providing medical assistance to those in need why should they be treated differently.

          Why should Amnesty Internation be treated differently to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops?

        • Ctharrot

          Have you looked up actual case law regarding taxation of churches and the First Amendment? I’m not aware of any court rulings that have stated the First Amendment itself prohibits the government from taxing churches, and I can think of at least one case that explicitly rejected your reasoning, Branch Ministries v. Rossotti (DC Circuit Court of Appeals, 2000). It was a unanimous decision of three judges appointed by Reagan and Bush.

        • Court rulings do not change what the constitution says.

        • Ctharrot

          No, but of course courts interpret the Constitution. And I think it’s safe to infer that you’ve done no serious legal research on this topic, unlike the judges who rejected this line of argument.

          If I understand your position, you’re saying that no federal law passed by Congress can apply to churches because of the First Amendment. Am I mistaken?

        • I did not elect any judge to become the religious class above my constitution. The government serves me and the people have the right to control the courts. You are partially correct with your assessment.

        • epeeist

          You are correct with your assessment.

          So you are a theocrat, you put religion above and beyond the civil law. Now I don’t often quote C.S. Lewis, but this is apposite:

          I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the more dangerous I think it both to rulers and to the subjects. Hence Theocracy is the worst of all governments. If we must have a tyrant a robber baron is far better than an inquisitor. The baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity at some point may be sated; and since he dimly knows he is doing wrong he may possibly repent. But the inquisitor who mistakes his own cruelty and lust of power and fear for the voice of Heaven will torment us infinitely more because he torments us with the approval of his own conscience and his better impulses appear to him as temptations.

          And since Theocracy is the worst, the nearer any government approaches to Theocracy the worse it will be. A metaphysic held by the rulers with the force of a religion, is a bad sign. It forbids them, like the inquisitor, to admit any grain of truth or good in their opponents, it abrogates the ordinary rules of morality, and it gives a
          seemingly high, super-personal sanction to all the very ordinary human passions by which, like other men, the rulers will frequently be actuated. In a word, it forbids wholesome doubt. A political programme can never in reality be more than probably right. We never know all the facts about the present and we can only guess the future. To attach to a party programme — whose highest claim is to reasonable prudence — the sort of assent which we should reserve for demonstrable theorems, is a kind of intoxication.

        • I do not advocate a theocracy. Quit butting in where you are obviously not needed.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Quit butting in where you are obviously not needed.

          Yeah…about that…piss off ya idiot…this is an open forum and you don’t get to decide.

        • epeeist

          Quit butting in where you are obviously not needed.

          Who made you moderator?

        • Greg G.

          If a church is permitted to espouse politics, it can take power in a democracy, thus forming a theocracy. Most persecution of Christians has been at the hand of other Christians. If churches become political parties, it will be problems for us all.

        • Religious people partaking in political advocacy does not mean that it is a theocracy. Are you serious? If the people worship Jesus Christ as their God and they wish to advocate a certain candidate, they are constitutionally allowed to do so. And they are allow to organize for elections too. That is not a theocracy. That is a democracy. A theocracy is completely different. What do you think a theocracy is? I believe in the Separation of Church and State. that’s why I don’t want THE STATE telling A CHURCH what they can and can’t do.

        • Greg G.

          Religious people partaking in political advocacy does not mean that it is a theocracy.

          Religious people governing according to their superstitions is a theocracy. The religious party putting creationists in charge of committees that require scientific understanding is theocracy. It’s pathetic.

        • A bit of an issue there. There is no religious party, and religious people partaking in political advocacy doesn’t constitute a theocracy. And actually it is unconstitutional to have a religious test to enter office.

        • Greg G.

          One party panders to the religious wrong.

        • It’s probably the one that ran the KKK for 170 years.

        • Greg G.

          No, the one that panders to the KKK now.

        • KKK is universally condemned now.

        • Greg G.

          POTUS calls them fine people. They are part of his base.

          The KKK insists that a member must be a Christian but they don’t like Catholics.

        • Not liking catholicism is not secluded to the KKK. Not liking catholics doesn’t automatically make you a KKK member. The President did not call the KKK fine people. Nor are the KKK part of Donald Trumps base. Donald Trump has disavowed the KKK numerous times, including one time about 18 years ago he condemned David Duke.

        • Greg G.

          Trump was very inclusive in his “fine people” comment. He was intentionally including white-supremacists and the KKK was in that group in Charlottesville.

        • Isn’t inclusion suppose to be a liberal concept?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Isn’t inclusion suppose to be a liberal concept?

          Dude, are you serious?

          No, “inclusion” does not require that we tolerate those who *literally* try to kill us.

          You stupid, disingenuous fucker.

        • Inclusion is a liberal concept. You are not required to tolerate those who try to kill you. But you are required to be tolerant of all views, even fascist ones.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You are not required to tolerate those who try to kill you.

          Precisely. Given that @disqus_a9H6kflDom:disqus had been discussing the Nazis at Charlottesville who were murderously violent, your subsequent innane bleating about “inclusion” was, as I said earlier, disingenuous. You stupid fucker.

          But you are required to be tolerant of all views, even fascist ones.

          Lol, look at you go, trying to explain my own philosophy back to me.

          Depends what you mean by “tolerant of” and “views”, doesn’t it dear?

          But that’s beside the point, Trump wasn’t just “tolerant”, he praised Nazis.

          Did your mother huff paint while you were in-utero? Maybe you ate paint chips as a youngster?

        • No, what Trump said was completely liberal. It’s obviously not your ideology if I have to explain it to you.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You really can’t read for shit you dumb fucking idiot.

        • You are very fucking annoying.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Spoiiiinnng!

          And you think somehow you are not?

        • Yes. I do. I think you are legitimately retarded.

        • Paul B. Lot

          When you leave middle school, you will learn that “retarded” is neither an effective nor clever insult.

        • I did not say that as an insult.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Of course not, dear.

          Oi, quick question: where abouts are you from, Zach?

        • Do you have no common courtesy?

        • Paul B. Lot

          Where are you from, friend?

          What part of the USA?

        • Nice touch. I’m sure he’ll answer now.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Courtesy requires that you also be polite. You’re not.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Yes, you did. “Retarded” is not a technical or clinical term. It’s a term of disapprobation.

          You’re lying. I thought that was frowned on for Christian types?

        • The most annoying thing about this page is the unrelenting retardation that comes from its users. No matter what I can expect 20+ replies to each of my comments that make vast accusations, assumptions, false claims and personal insults.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          So far, no one has made any false accusations or unreasonable accusations.

          You are being insulted because you began by and continue to insult us.

          It seemed that you like playground trash talk.

        • Greg G.

          Jesus’ warning about calling people “Raca” would apply to the way you call people “retarded”, if he had existed.

        • Susan

          No matter what I can expect 20+ replies to each of my comments that make vast accusations, assumptions, false claims and personal insults.

          You have made ridiculously ignorant and obnoxious assertions on countless loaded subjects (e.g. science,morality, politics,islam, history, atheism, the U.S. constitution,the supernatural, slavery… to name a few).

          You have supported none of those assertions, only dodging with more low quality assertions.

          So, of course you can expect 20 plus negative replies to your vacuous comments.

        • No, I really haven’t. I have at least 5 of you actually responding to every one of my comments unorderly. They contain each their own special fallacies and insults.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yet you fail to respond to, or actually refute any of the meat in any of your interlocutors comments, preferring to reply with silly shite about irrelevancies. Because that’s all ya have of course. Thus demonstrating to one and all that you really are an idiot.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          It’s good that you admit that your comments contain special fallacies and insults. That’s the first step on the road to adulthood.

        • I don’t need another militant atheist belligerently attacking me endlessly.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You don’t need another, you need many.

          Where are you from, dear? What part of the States?

        • None of your business.

        • Paul B. Lot

          None of your business.

          Ah, but it might well be “my business” if you’re a professional troll, no?

          I would rather not interact with dedicated bad-faith-actors, eh?

          So, from whence do you hail? I’m not asking for a municipality, still less an address.

        • Greg G.

          You are posting in a public forum and inviting refutations with your postings. If you have to create your own “persecution” and the best you can get is dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire, maybe the Bible was wrong about that, too.

        • While what you say is true, I don’t need the “Idiot, Liar,” and other insults I have gotten unwarranted.

        • Paul B. Lot

          For few posters is it more warranted, Mr. “christians fought to end slavery”.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          They are not unwarranted insults. They are statements of fact. You lie, you are profoundly ignorant, you’re too stupid to construct a valid argument.

          Facts, my child, facts.

        • Greg G.

          It is not like you came to this forum showing a lot of respect. If you had started with interesting and intelligent conversation, the insults would have been fewer. Funny how that works. When you are asked to support that your religion is true, your response has been equivalent to “it’s better than smallpox”, which is not quite a positive response. Your attraction to the religion seems to be that it supports your prejudices so you don’t care whether the religions is true or that your prejudices are valid. Those are poor reasons to stop seeking truth.

        • Man, just shut up. You know damn well I came here being as respectful as possible and then I was bombarded with insults. I even counted them. There was at least 20 personal attacks from atheists before I ever made one.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          I’m sorry, but this is a lie, pure and simple.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          I’m hardly belligerent. And I’m not attacking you. Like that time you called someone a retard.

          I’m just stating facts.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Then stop being stupid.

        • Pofarmer

          Beat me to it.

        • Pofarmer

          Eventually, you would think, these posters would get something right. I mean, at least something where you could go “Yes, but………..”. But it seems we never get there.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          It cannot be read in any other way. Stop lying.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ll accept that label when you can demonstrate where I’ve been retarded…I won’t hold my breath though on the supporting evidence though.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          You honestly don’t think you’re annoying, despite your reading comprehension issues, your inability to construct a valid argument, your appalling ignorance of science and scripture, etc?
          You really don’t think you’re annoying?

          mirum dictu inops

        • You are also very annoying.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Answer my question: do you know that you are annoying? That you come across as ignorant, angry, and not very bright?

        • Pofarmer

          Cant think for shit, you mean.

        • Paul B. Lot

          No, what Trump said was completely liberal.

          Nope.

          It’s obviously not your ideology if I have to explain it to you.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Pigeon_chess

        • You can have the last word, child.

        • Paul B. Lot
        • MR

          You seem to struggle with English.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The idiot just struggles period. It’s an IQ thing I think.

        • epeeist

          But you are required to be tolerant of all views, even fascist ones.

          Really?

          http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/sites/774/2018/07/nazis.jpg

        • Yes. Memes do not change facts. — If you are intolerant of cascading views, you’re not actually a liberal.

        • Paul B. Lot

          “Tolerance” != “civility”

        • I think we should round up Communists and Socialists and put them in camps and kill them. I think we should kick them out of restaurants and punch them in the street.

          Does that sound liberal to you?

        • Paul B. Lot

          I think we should round up Communists and Socialists and put them in camps and kill them.

          No, those would be illiberal behaviors. You dolt.

          I think we should …punch them in the street.

          No, that would be an illiberal behavior. You moral degenerate.

          I think we should kick them out of restaurants

          What do you mean by “kick”: a) forcibly eject them, or b) politely ask them to leave/refuse service?

          If a) No, that would be an illiberal behavior. You weeping pustule.

          If b) Of course that would comport with the tenants of liberalism, you inveterate taint sniffer. https://xkcd.com/1357/

        • epeeist

          If you are intolerant of cascading views, you’re not actually a liberal.

          There is enough straw in that single sentence to contain an infinite number of Edward Woodwards.

          The point is that I, unlike you, have a well thought out system of ethics. This being so I have no problem condemning behaviours that harm others or condemn people based on characteristics such as gender, sexuality or colour.

          Whereas the ideology that you follow has no problems in this regard.

        • What ideology do I follow besides my Christianity?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Institutional Ignorance.

        • That is not an ideology, smartass.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          It is for you. It seems to be your worldview.

        • epeeist

          What ideology do I follow besides my Christianity?

          Oh, I think “Christian ideologue” fits you pretty well. But I would go further than that.

          As I have said before I find Islam abhorrent for a number of reasons, I have no problems with savage criticism of it.

          Likewise I have no problems attacking the barbarity of groups like Daesh and Boko Haram both because of their actions against people, such as those in Manchester and their treatment of their captive populations.

          However, only a bigot characterises a whole population en masse based on the actions of a minority within that population.

        • Pofarmer

          Surely, surely this person is smarter than this?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          No evidence of high intelligence or depth of knowledge.

        • epeeist

          Surely, surely this person is smarter than this?

          If we characterised him as an ignorant ideologue who doesn’t his views being challenged I don’t think we would be far wrong.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Such appalling ignorance. You don’t know much about political philosophy or actual liberals, do you?

        • Classical liberalism

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          A philosophy you know nothing about. Noted.

        • And how do you know what I know?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          You demonstrate your profound ignorance with almost every post.

          If you’re a troll, you’re not very good at this; if you’re a Christian… you’re not very good at this.

        • Greg G.

          Trying to at least sound intelligent is too hard for you.

        • You are one to talk.

        • Greg G.

          Thank you! That is the mildest insult anyone has ever given me.

        • Paul B. Lot

          (You have the right to self defense, not the right to squash out any ideological dissent)

          [Incivility] != [squashing out any ideological dissent]….

          …you spineless, gormless, talent-less cretin.

        • You are spineless, you wont even admit you disdain civil rights.

          http://blacksportsonline.com/home/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/richard-spencer-punched.jpg

          You have the right to self defense. You can not squash out any ideological dissent with violence. As much as I disagree with Richard Spencer because of his views of the first amendment and his racial ethnonationalism, I would never punch him. First of all, it makes him a martyr, second of all, it is anti-liberalism.

          Please do not make any retarded arguments. I don’t have much faith in you but this is your chance to prove you are not a complete fool.

        • Paul B. Lot

          You are spineless, you wont even admit you disdain civil rights.

          Lol, what? You dumb bastard, I *condemn* the punching of pussies like Richard. Imbecile.

          You can not squash out any ideological dissent with violence.

          Who the fuck is arguing *for* offensive violence, dear?

          Is it just the other dumbfuck voices stuck in your head? You know why those voices are stupid, Zach? It’s because they are you.

          Please do not make any retarded arguments.

          Time-out. Serious question for you: have you ever considered the possibility that you might be a very stupid person?

          Has that idea ever wafted over the surface of your smooth cortex?

          I don’t have much faith in you but this is your chance to prove you are not a complete fool.

          Irony is a word which has adorned every chapter of your life.

        • Now if only you could agree with me without making a total ass of yourself.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Now if only you could agree with me

          1) You assumed that I disagreed with you based on…nothing.

          2) Dude, your dick-punching yourself constantly in this sub-thread has only served as a distraction from the fact that you got this wrong:

          Isn’t inclusion suppose to be a liberal concept?

          3) You didn’t answer my question: have you ever considered the possibility that *you might be a very stupid person*?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Imbecile?

          Again, you give him too much credit, he’s an idiot.

          Time-out. Serious question for you: have you ever considered the possibility that you might be a very stupid person?

          Might be? I think we are well beyond the possibility that he just might be a very stupid person. Dunning-Kruger just won’t let him recognize it in himself.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Cretin?

          You give him too much credit, he’s an idiot.

        • Ignorant Amos

          (You have the right to self defense, not the right to squash out any ideological dissent) But you are required to be tolerant of all views, even fascist ones.

          Tolerant of all views? Absolute nonsense.

          Berkeley University didn’t get the memo.

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-40710165

          Court ruling makes intolerance of all views in the US easy.

          Store Owner Posts ‘No Gays Allowed’ Sign After Cake Decision

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2018/06/store-owner-posts-no-gays-allowed-sign-after-cake-decision/

          Do you know what a proscribed organisation is?

          Even the US doesn’t hold to tolerance of all free speech to everyone, ya idiot.

          https://www.theguardian.com/law/2010/jun/21/nonviolent-aid-banned-groups-terrorism

          At least here in the UK we aren’t complete idiots like you. Though the government is more tolerant on hate crimes in some avenues than it should be, but that’s a different argument.

          Curbing hate speech isn’t censorship – it’s the law

          https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23731662-900-curbing-hate-speech-isnt-censorship-its-the-law/

        • Amendment I
          Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, …

        • Ignorant Amos

          There’s that fucked up ability to read for comprehension again. Idiot.

        • Greg G.

          Isn’t inclusion supposed to be a Jesus concept that Christians don’t seem to like?

        • Jesus is the true scotsman. I agree.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Liberalism (in America, at least) seems concerned with maximizing freedom. Conservatism seems concerned with eliminating freedom and maximizing the control of citizens’s lives.

          But then, that seems to be a consistent position of the religious: that true freedom consists of my right to do only what I’m told and nothing more.

        • Conservatism actually varies. It depends on what you are attempting to conserve.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Of course it varies. Idiot. But the nominally Conservative party in America appears solely concerned with restricting freedom, and oppressing the poor. Not Conservative at all.

        • Which party is anti free speech?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Republicans. Or don’t you listen to Trump?

        • Greg G.

          The same party that is trying to squelch the vote in states controlled by that party. The have attempted to disenfranchise as many voters as possible.

        • No, it is the party that has a paramilitary organization called AntiFascist, and has fat women going around and metaphorically spraying people with fire hoses. Which like most of that particular parties platforms is peak irony.

        • Greg G.

          You are one of those chickenshits who fear metaphor and wants artillery to protect yourself from your own shadow.

        • How did you know?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yeah…because Christianity and all Christians is/are all about inclusion and liberalism…NOT!

        • This has literally nothing to do with my comment.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes it has…but the hilarious thing is that since you are such an idiot, you don’t realize why.

          I’ll let you stew for a while on it…maybe someone else will put ya out of your misery and explain why.

        • MR

          And they’re very much a part of his base. The GOP is struggling with these kinds of associations.

        • MR

          Secluded to? You still seem to be struggling with English.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          No, he did. The fine people on both sides included KKK.

        • KKK has less than 5,000 members nation wide. I think the ‘fine people on both sides’ was overly generous… to the left.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          He called KKK members fine people. He’s a virulent racist, along with his other loathsome qualities.

          What’s most appalling is his sheer incompetence.

        • He also called Antifa Members fine people. He’s definitely not a racist, but he shouldn’t have called Antifa fine people. He should have condemned them.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          He is a 100 percent racist asshole. He called KKK folks fine people.

          So you’re a racist, too? Good to know.

        • Paul B. Lot

          He is a 100 percent racist asshole.

          -Central Park 5

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Just looked that up. Stercor!

          What a cowardly snowflake Trump is.

        • Do you really expect that argument to hold any water?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Not an argument. Simple statement of fact.

          You’re the one with invalid arguments, remember?

        • Greg G.

          A recent poll found that 49% of those questioned said Trump was a racist while 47% said he was not racist… enough.

        • epeeist

          I note that his visit to the UK is designed to avoid the place where there will be the biggest demonstrations against him, namely London (my daughter has taken a day off work to join the demonstrations). To use a dialect word, he is obviously frit.

          However they are going to fly this blimp in a number of places, apparently even over the golf course that he is going to visit.

          http://www.viportal.co/news/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/trump-baby-blimp-to-go-on-world-tour.png

        • Greg G.
        • Greg G.

          Trump will like how large they made his hands.

        • MR

          A good American friend of mine who has been living in the UK for the past 20 years got a message from the embassy saying to stay home and, if she had to go out, not to talk to anyone who might take offense at her accent, etc. She said it was an obvious attempt to get people not to participate, and so that pushed her over the edge to go. She had a lovely time and said it wasn’t anti-American at all and everyone commiserated with her when they did find out she was American.

        • epeeist

          I tend to listen to the news on the radio (the pictures are better). On this morning’s Today programme they interviewed a number of Americans, all of them seemed to have had a similar experience to your friend.

          Amusingly they also interviewed some American Trump supporters (the required BBC balance), there seemed to be about 3 of them and their “counter-demonstration” was taking place in a bar.

        • Pofarmer

          I’d be drinking too if I were a Trump supporter about now.

        • epeeist

          Another report of interest, it would seem that Trump’s “ambassador for international religious freedom” may have been lobbying the UK with regard to “Tommy Robinson”. Robinson is the founder of the far right English Defence League. Some of their rhetoric on Muslims sounds eerily familiar…

        • On the topic of Trump’s rampage across Europe, I came across this UK video today where a crop circle was made to say “Stumps against Trump” in the flight path that Trump would take. As I understand it, “stumps” in this case means “amputees.”

          (Scroll to 1:40 to see the crop circle)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDKCXWzlS1w

        • Greg G.

          “Generally trying not to be dicks.” Good motto.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yep…two of the presenters, Adam Hills, an Aussie comedian has the lower part of his right leg amputated. And Alex Brooker, also wears a prothetic right lower leg. He has also serious deformities to both arms.

          I never miss a show, it is very funny.

          A couple of years ago they followed arseholes with a sousaphone…guess what arsehole they pranked too…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QosyPyUTag

          Edit to remove erroneous remark.

        • I don’t believe there’s any US equivalent show where people with visible deformities are part of the cast. Bravo to the network that supports them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The show started off to run alongside the 2012 Paralympics, so presenters with disabilities were the obvious to cast.

          It takes a review look of the previous weeks news articles and pokes fun at them, while having a lighthearted approach to disability and not as a taboo subject.

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

        • epeeist

          You may like this article.

        • A not so recent poll said that Hillary Clinton had a 99.9% chance of winning in 2016.

        • Greg G.

          Hillary did win the popular vote, however the pollsters didn’t get a good sample of Russians nor did it expect the FBI director to announce they had an open investigation of Hillary without mentioning that they also had an open investigation of Trump and Russia colluding.

        • The pollsters didn’t over-sample democrats enough. Obviously 99.9% was too low. This our only chance to stop Trump. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/84afab2a96a3a5fdfa8f0d3387971c17e490300b9db391f662e31b703a941ced.jpg

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Did you regress, or are you *actually* 13 years old with the appropriate emotional level?

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          A lie. Or prove it. Which poll?

        • Paul B. Lot

          None of those links support your claim.

          Provide evidence of “a poll” which comports with your assertion.

          Or admit that you’re a lying piece of human detritus.

          Edit to remove “recent”.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Lie. Or prove it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Idiot Zach doesn’t do evidence apparently.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are an idiot.

          Donald Trump’s Racism: The Definitive List

          https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/01/15/opinion/leonhardt-trump-racist.html

        • No, you’re my idiot.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Lord but you’re ignorant of reality.

        • Pofarmer

          Those who do not understand history, etc, etc.

        • Ctharrot

          So a Rastafarian church could not be pursued under federal law for trafficking or possessing marijuana, then, correct? Nor could any church be charged with federal wire fraud, mail fraud, violations of export/import laws, etc.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Oh cool.

          Hold on guys, I’m just reorganizing my local KKK chapter as a new Christian denomination.

          Oh, btw: anyone have a good line on a rope whole-seller? We’ve got a Constitutionally-protected….ceremony tonight.

        • This is why I said ‘partially correct.’ Because these laws made by congress, such as a 501c3 status, should not apply to the churches. They are made specifically for them for tax exemption. I did not say that “law doesn’t apply to churches.” This is an idiotic strawman that I saw coming. I am saying the deliberate taxation which infringes on religious freedom does not constitutionally apply to churches.

        • Ctharrot

          Hm. Weird. I thought you wrote “correct,” not “partially correct.” I must be getting old.

          In any event, now you’re drawing distinctions between types of law that the First Amendment doesn’t. It says Congress shall make “no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There’s nothing limiting the application to tax law. If smoking marijuana is part of my religious belief system, current federal law is unconstitutionally infringing on my free exercise rights, no?

        • Tax law is still law. The federal revenue service uses this law to oppress political dissent. The law is specifically aimed at churches and other nonprofit organizations that do not tow the political line.

          “If smoking marijuana is part of my religious belief system, current federal law is unconstitutionally infringing of on my free exercise rights, no?”

          Yes.

        • Ctharrot

          Okay. That’s never been how the judiciary has approached the question, but I understand you don’t care.

          And the current federal travel rules that prevent US persons from traveling to North Korea to engage in missionary work are also unconstitutional, correct?

          (Edited to add: To be clear, those rules apply not only to missionaries, but to anyone who wants to travel to North Korea on a US passport.)

        • I would say if it was for the express purpose to limit the freedom of religion then yes. The Government is not a tool to control religion or any ideology. If the executive branch would use that to deliberately try to stop the spread of a religious sect that is unconstitutional.

        • Ctharrot

          If a general ban on travel to North Korea that has incidental effects on the free exercise of religion (specifically, fulfillment of the Great Commission) is constitutional as applied to believers, I’m not sure why a general ban on marijuana that also has incidental effects on the free exercise of religion is unconstitutional as applied to believers.

          In any event, feel free to have the last word. Cheers.

        • It is actually part of my theology that it is a God given right to use Marijuana as you see fit.

          11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

          29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

          Edit: added 29-30

        • MR

          An extremist, stoner-Christian to boot!

        • I don’t smoke.

        • MR

          Me either, nasty habit.

          So, how many of your Muslim friends did you say are jihadists?

        • At least two of them have told me they support Osama, the other ones are sort of agnostic.

        • MR

          So your generalizations are as much bullshit as “all Christians support stoning gays.” A Christian group took out an ad in the local paper here once that quoted that verse. Plenty of Christians are despicable, too, but I don’t paint all Christians with that same broad brush. [You’re] just spouting fear-mongering at its best. You’re a victim of propaganda.

          [edits]

        • What propaganda am I a victim of?

        • MR

          Alt-right , Russian trolls, Fundamentalist Christians, conservative politicians, nationalistic propaganda, Fox News, talk radio, there’s plenty to choose from. In fact, the more you keep going back to harping that we need to be all scaredy-cat of the Muslims, the more I see that you are the propaganda.

        • I am a victim of the Alt-Right and Russia? Are you serious?

        • MR

          Absolutely. Your message is their message. I don’t see any distinction.

        • Who is they?

        • MR

          Your message is the same message of the alt-right , Russian trolls, Fundamentalist Christians, conservative politicians, nationalists, Fox News, talk radio, InfoWars, etc.

        • MR

          Tell that to the alt-right , Russian trolls, Fundamentalist Christians, conservative politicians, nationalists, Fox News, talk radio, InfoWars, etc.

          They’re right on board with your message about Muslims.

        • My message about Islam is that it is worse than Christianity is a fact that is acknowledge by most people who are not muslims.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Of course it is.

          *Now.

          The thirty years war would like a word with you.

        • epeeist

          As would the Huguenots, the Swedes who were the target of the Swedish crusades and the Cathars.

          But I am repeating myself, I have raised this with him before. He simply refuses to acknowledge anything that runs counter to his rose-tinted view of Christianity.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Da, tovarisch.

        • MR

          I know you’re a scaredy cat when it comes to Muslims, but not all of us are. [Edit to add]: Both religions are flawed. Why do you believe a 2,000 year old story?

        • Ignorant Amos

          And we don’t care about your bigoted sectarian message.

          In it’s heyday, Christianity was every bit as barbaric as Islam and today there are elements within Christianity that yearn for those “golden years”.

          Our response is that the very worst Christians within Christianity are cunts, in the same way the very worst of Muslims within Islam are cunts. And if Christianity ever gets the power it had a number of centuries ago, those cunts in Christianity will outnumber the cunts in Islam once again.

        • you are so retarded

        • Greg G.

          Wow! An insult with a three syllable word. You are sharp today.

        • Paul B. Lot

          Firing on all cylinder.

        • Greg G.

          Translation: Come to Jesus. It’s slightly better than Islam.

          We are waiting for evidence that Christianity is true. Christians keep saying there is good evidence. But all they show us is stuff only the gullible would accept as evidence.

        • No, my point is you should not be such a pessimistic little cunt about the christian religion when you actually benefit from it.

        • Greg G.

          No, delusion doesn’t help anybody but the person collecting the tithes.

        • M. Solange O’Brien

          Another demonstration of why you are need common courtesy.

        • epeeist

          Another demonstration of why you are need common courtesy.

          But if his president doesn’t do common courtesy why should Zach?

        • Greg G.

          That is hardly an endorsement of Christianity. It’s like an airline bragging that they fly farther than the Wright Brothers.

        • Greg G.

          Who is they?

          It’s right there in the previous post. You partially quoted from it. See “Alt-right , Russian trolls, Fundamentalist Christians, conservative politicians, nationalistic propaganda, Fox News, talk radio, there’s plenty to choose from. “

        • Ignorant Amos

          Heroin and cocaine are God’s work too then…and the litany of poisonous plants that kill also…that YahwehJesus is a proper slimy turd.

        • Go ahead, do heroin and cocaine.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wasn’t asking for your permission…idiot.

        • Greg G.

          I give every green plant for food.

          Have some poison ivy salad with ptomaine dressing.

        • You are totally free to do so.

        • Greg G.

          Are you being compelled to reply? You don’t seem to have any energy left to respond with thought or creativity.

        • I think you just hit peak irony.

        • MR

          Someone dial 9-1 and keep your finger on the 1 in case he gives the code word.

        • Greg G.

          Could we institute an ancient Aztec religion with human sacrifice?

        • epeeist

          You are partially correct with your assessment.

          I note that you altered your post without noting that you had done so. Given that it significantly changes your position then this is gross piece of dishonesty.

        • I had altered it before anyone had replied to it, I re-read his comment and realized the straw-man he was setting up for me, as clarified in my comment to him. It is sort of lame to accuse me of dishonesty for clarifying my position by editing my comment before anyone even had replied to it.

        • Greg G.

          When you hit “Post as”, that version will be sent to those who have requested emails and if someone has a window open with the post you replied to, there will be a notification of your reply and your original posting will be what comes up. Somebody might be replying to your post at any time.

          It is one thing to correct a typo or an HTML tag. But if you alter the meaning of your post, it is a common courtesy to note that you did change it. The person who is replying to your original posting won’t see it until they open a new refreshed page. But, later on, lurkers will see that the person who quoted something wasn’t misquoting you.

        • In the future then, I will be sure to make note of the edit.

        • Ctharrot

          Ah. So it wasn’t my imagination. Thanks.

        • Pofarmer

          The government serves me and the people have the right to control the courts.

          That is a dangerous fucking attitude right there. Explain again how you don’t want a theocracy?

        • Because a theocracy compels people to believe that the elected officials have the writ of God.

        • Pofarmer

          Have you even been paying attention to what the evangelicals in the US are saying right now?

        • If they are not saying: “We will take over the government and compel people to believe that the elected officials have the writ of God” then they are not theocrats.

        • Pofarmer

          You sir, really are, a moron.

          If they have power, they don’t have to compel you to believe anything. Might be better for them if they don’t.

        • This is utter nonsense.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, no. In a theocracy the govt claims to rule with the will of God be matter what the people think.

        • MR

          Pfft. How do you compel someone to believe something? You might compel them to tell you that they believe something, but you’re likely not going to be able to compel them to believe anything. Convince, maybe. Compel? Sometimes I think he’s not the sharpest cheddar on the cracker.

        • That is plainly incorrect. Most of the time theocracies are supported by a majority. This is called the Tyranny by the majority. Theocracies actually compel people to believe that elected officals have the writ of God. This is synonymous with ‘ruling with the will of god.’ Why did you say ‘Uhm, no.’ and cease to explain your point? Seems like opposition with no ambition.

        • MR

          Could someone compel you to believe Islam is true? What are you, 12?

        • That is all Isis does is compel people to believe that Islam is true.

        • MR

          Lol, you can’t compel someone to believe someone, idiot, you can only compel them to say they do. You can convince them of something, something you’re not very good at. This is just more of your Muslim bashing. Muslims are just people just like you. They believe in a silly religion just like Christians.

        • Then what is persuasion? What is propaganda? Where do you get this idiocy? ‘You can’t compel someone to believe someone.’

        • MR

          Unless you have some form of Vulcan mind control, you can’t compel someone to believe anything. You can force them to follow belief, but you can’t compel someone to believe something. Maybe you struggle with English?

        • You can force them to follow belief, but you can’t compel someone to believe something. ?

          No, I do not ‘struggle with English.’ Your personal attacks are pathetic. And this is a very pitiful attempt to explain away the compelled thought dictates of a theocracy.

        • MR

          You don’t seem to understand the meaning of compel. Tell me, if I wanted you to believe in Santa Claus, how would I compel you to do so? You really should learn English better.

        • Greg G.

          Do you mean “compel” as in brain-washing” and “gas-lighting”?

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm. If the Bible belt states all vote in theocratic Senators, then it’s not that hard for them to overwhelm the moderate States. Which is essentially what has happened in the U.S. When a Theocracy takes over, especially in a U.S. system, it can easily do so with a minority, and, in fact, it appears that it has.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Idiot….

          The term theocracy was coined by Flavius Josephus in the 1st century CE. The historian used it to describe the Judaean regime, as opposed to the Roman secular regime.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Theocracy

          It matters not whether the theocracy is supported by the majority, that is a non sequitur. What matters in a theocracy is who controls the power and very often that is the minority.

        • Paul B. Lot

          So, you’re wrong. Are you going to admit it and concede

          Protip: You should probably get in the habit of being more careful before crowing “victory!”. Else, you’re going to find yourself in the unenviable position of having to clean the egg yolks of both ignorance and laughably undeserved arrogance off of your mug.

          are you going to …say that “taxing a church for political speech is not prohibiting the free exercise of religion.”

          Are political organizations which are not tax-exempt being prohibited from exercising free speech?

        • “Are political organizations which are not tax-exempt being prohibited from exercising free speech?”
          They are from a more broad amount of freedoms. Taxation is a tool that a tyranny can use to suppress political dissent.
          https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/26/tea-party-groups-targeted-irs-get-35-million-settl/

        • Paul B. Lot

          Are political organizations which are not tax-exempt being prohibited from exercising free speech?

          They are from a more broad amount of freedoms.

          Which?

          Taxation is a tool that a tyranny can use to suppress political dissent.

          All tools can “be use[d] to suppress political dissent.”

        • Such as the right to petition their government in a fair election, the right to organize for their political advocacy, there already have been huge settlements of the federal government misusing the power of tax to stifle political advocacy.

          https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/26/tea-party-groups-targeted-irs-get-35-million-settl/

        • Paul B. Lot

          there already have been huge settlements of the federal government misusing the power of tax to stifle political advocacy

          Yes, and I’m sure that these…ah…”huge” settlements reflect an unbiased, objective state of affairs.

          But even if, wonder of wonders, they don’t…you’ve badly misunderstood my point and so responded with irrelevant information.

          The question was not “Are political organizations which are not tax-exempt and also being targeted inappropriately being prohibited from exercising free speech?”

          The information I am trying to elicit from you is this: do you believe that [the fact that a given political organization is taxed] is, per se, somehow an abridgment of free speech or “a … broad amount of freedoms”?

        • It’s a plain fact that you lose freedom when you are taxed. And it is also a fact that the federal government used it (taxation) to stifle political advocacy.

        • Paul B. Lot

          It’s a plain fact that you lose freedom when you are taxed.

          No it’s not. If you want to make that claim, defend it, or it’s worthless.

          And it is also a fact that the federal government used it (taxation) to stifle political advocacy.

          Again: irrelevant. It won’t become relevant no matter how many times you try repeating it.

        • A mandated financial extraction of your labor is losing freedom. What is freedom? The self determination of ones destiny. If you are having your ability to control your own resources,(Taken from you) you don’t have freedom. In the U.S. there was a time when there was no income tax. Or estate tax. A lot of taxes have been added over the years, used to fund self destructive social welfare programs increasing the lack of freedom. Actually, the American revolution was founded on opposition to unjust taxes.

          Edit: Added text in ()

        • Paul B. Lot

          A mandated financial extraction of your labor is losing freedom. What is freedom? The self determination of ones destiny. If you are having your ability to control your own resources,(Taken from you) you don’t have freedom. I

          This is a) libertarian drek of the lowest caliber, and more importantly b) bad definition of “freedom” for our purposes.

          IF we were to accept your, shit, definition of “freedom”, then EVERYONE’s “freedom” is being restricted except those who are tax-exempt. So in our current system, the gov’t is *actively aiding* religious groups, which seems like a situation one could argue resembles the “establishment of religion”.

          In the U.S. there was a time when there was no income tax. Or estate tax. A lot of taxes have been added over the years, used to fund self destructive social welfare programs increasing the lack of freedom. Actually, the American revolution was founded on opposition to unjust taxes.

          You need to learn how to focus your scattered mind on the topic at hand. You’re in danger of boring your interlocutors to death with your predictable, rambling discursions.

          Also the key word in your mind-numbing “actually” red herring is “unjust”. They didn’t object to taxation, they objected to injustice. You absolute knob.

        • Greg G.

          Taxation of the press does not abridge freedom of the press. Christian churches should be willing to “render unto Caesar.”

          If the church doesn’t pay its fair share, then having the fire department respond to a fire on church property (or any other government service funded by taxation) is effectively providing an “establishment of religion.”

        • If complete self government is required to be free then I will gladly take the offer.

        • Greg G.

          What if it is a Catholic or a Muslim theocracy?

        • Greg G.

          People are not taxed for their political opinion. Political parties should not operate tax-free disguised as a church.

        • People are taxed for their political opinion. The Johnson amendment limits religious freedom to participate in politics. It is directly antithetical to the first amendment. It is equal to legislating a religious writ of federal office.

        • Paul B. Lot

          The most persecuted religion in the world is Christianity. Even in our own countries we are persecuted.

          lololol

          How are you persecuted, Zach?

        • Greg G.

          Because Christians tell us that their religion is better than Islam. When a Muslim tells us that Islam is better than Christianity, we argue the other point of view. Both have the exact same evidence for the validity of their religion: Nothing.

        • Pofarmer

          Remember. Darfur was at least partially a religious war. A Catholic Bishop and several priests were convicted of war crimes.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope. All I saw was beheadings, stonings, and tossing people off buildings.

          SHOW ME!

          Link time!!

        • Pofarmer

          You realize Christian’s are killing Witches in Africa, right? I’snt this a fun game?

        • Greg G.

          And some of the witches are children.

        • Zachariah ​†

          Have you ever heard of the new testament?

        • Pofarmer

          Ever heard of No True Scotsman? Or jots and tittles?

        • yes ive

        • Otto

          Rainbow Daesh has done no such thing!

        • Hahaha it’s so funny to joke about genocide

        • Otto

          Oh grow up you fucking wet towel.

          ….Oh I forgot, you worship a god that can order genocide but doesn’t allow jokes about it. Sorry.

        • Hmm, what would be your reaction if I joked about the genocide of Muslims, or Africans?

        • Otto

          The joke I made had nothing to do with genocide, it was a word joke.

          If your fee fees can handle it, no one is making you stick around.

        • “Daesh (ISIS) crucifies christians all day.”

          “heh heh rainbow daesh LOL *incel snort*”

          You are not funny.

        • Otto

          Go grab yourself a tissue…maybe eat some ice cream until the sad is over.

        • The irony. You tell me to grow up but your humor and your grammar is akin to that of a four year old. Go watch your stupid child cartoons.

        • Otto

          Sounds like someone is bitter.

        • epeeist

          You realize that Daesh has crucified Christians in the past few years, right?

          Dealt with this post.

          Whataboutery seems to be all you have. As MR notes (and is obvious to everyone else here) you would rather drop a conversation rather than tackle anything that shows Christianity in a poor light. As we have seen, you have done this with a number of topics.

        • Actually, I bring up a point to show you the pure difference in Christianity and Islam. Most of the time people accuse Christians of racism when they criticize Islam. Or ‘Islamophobia.’ It’s not to simply not talk about an Issue in an attempt to shy away from Christianity. it is to compare the two religions so you can see what makes Christianity better. Western civilization is a combination of Judaism with Christology and Greek philosophy. Too often do Atheists use Islam as a religion to criticize other religions. This is obviously a more vain attempt than simply refusing to talk about an issue. There are always good and bad people who hold ideologies, the real thing is here you have to find out what the ideology teaches. Islam teaches you to take nonmuslim women as slaves. It also teaches you that you can rape your wife and have 4 wives. We all know why these things are bad and how they effect society. It is completely disingenuous and downright evil to compare Islam to Christianity to criticize Christianity.

        • epeeist

          It is my wedding anniversary today and I am on my way out, so you aren’t going to get a long answer.

          I will say two things, none of the above mean that:

          1. Christianity is an unalloyed good;

          2. Christianity is true.

          All of your blather and hand waving are simply poor attempts to avoid the above.

        • Have a good anniversary and congratulations

        • MR

          Congratulations, epeeist!

        • Greg G.

          Cheers to your anniversary!

        • Greg G.

          Too often do Atheists use Islam as a religion to criticize other religions.

          That isn’t so. Atheists criticize any religion based on its own demerits. If you take a “holier than that other religion” approach, the argument is that your religion is not holier. If a Muslim argues that Islam is superior than Christianity, then the same arguments you get are turned around.

          Islam teaches you to take nonmuslim women as slaves.

          And the Bible teaches you to take Gentile women as slaves.

          It also teaches you that you can rape your wife and have 4 wives.

          The story of Lot has him raping his daughters and blaming them for it. David had four wives and Solomon had 700.

          We all know why these things are bad and how they effect society.

          Because it is based on the Old Testament and a form of Christianity?

          It is completely disingenuous and downright evil to compare Islam to Christianity to criticize Christianity.

          It is disingenuous to not notice the similarities. Both are false religions. That is reason enough to abandon either.

        • Ctharrot

          Okay, but it isn’t fair to just point out the similarities between certain odious verses in the Koran and odious verses in the Bible. When you evaluate actual social results, you’ll see that Christianity is unquestionably a better source of morality.

          Look, Islam has been around for nearly a millennium and a half. Yet in many Muslim-majority countries, women don’t have equal rights; gays can be executed; and religious dissenters can be punished with imprisonment, flogging, or even beheading.

          When Christianity was that old, the situation was totally different. Women didn’t have equal rights; gays could be executed; and religious dissenters could be punished with imprisonment, flogging, or even hanging or incineration.

          See? There’s simply no comparison.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Zach doesn’t get it. The same nastiness can be found in both sets of scripture.

          Because most Christians choose to ignore their instruction book today, while more Muslims choose to act out their’s, says more about individual Christians and Muslims, than it does about their respective faiths and scriptures. The evidence is in the history.

          Both are nonsense, by pretending one is not as bad a nonsense as the other, makes it no less a nonsense.

        • Greg G.

          Christianity was just as bad at age 1500ish as Islam is at age 1500ish. It wasn’t Christianity or scripture that made C