Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions (3 of 4)

Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions (3 of 4) October 24, 2018

We’re in the middle of tossing Christianity’s dirty laundry onto the lawn for everyone to examine. Here are five more Bible contradictions that call into question foundational Christian claims (part 1 is here).

11. Do people deserve punishment for their ancestors’ sins?

The Bible demands intergenerational punishment so that children must be punished for their parents’ sins.

I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me (Exodus 20:5).

[God justified a calamity to the people:] It is because your ancestors forsook me (Jeremiah 16:11).

But the opposite claim is recorded in the Bible as well.

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).

Everyone will die for their own sin; whoever eats sour grapes—their own teeth will be set on edge (Jeremiah 31:30).

The one who sins is the one who will die (Ezekiel 18:4).

Where does this leave Original Sin? This is the idea that we’re born fallen and deserve hell because of Adam’s sin, which infects us all. What foundation remains for Original Sin if it is undercut by the Bible itself?

12. What day was Jesus crucified on?

The synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) say that the Last Supper was the Passover meal and that Jesus was crucified after the Passover meal.

On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” (Matthew 26:17)

Three verses later, Jesus is at the Passover meal, the Last Supper. But in John, the order is reversed: it’s the crucifixion and then the Passover meal.

Now it was the day of Preparation [the day of preparing lambs for the Passover meal], and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies [of Jesus and the two thieves] left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. (John 19:31)

A “historical account,” as the gospels are claimed by some to be, should get the order of important events correct, and the Passover meal and the crucifixion are both important events.

13. Who should the disciples convert?

At the end of the gospel story, Jesus has risen and is giving the disciples their final instructions.

Make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).

This is the familiar Great Commission, and it’s a lot more generous than what has been called the lesser commission that appears earlier in the same gospel:

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5–6)

This was not a universal message. We see it again in his encounter with the Canaanite woman:

[Jesus rejected her plea to heal her daughter, saying] “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” (Matthew 15:24–6)

You might say that a ministry with limited resources had to prioritize, but that doesn’t apply here. Don’t forget that Jesus was omnipotent.

Going back to the Old Testament, we don’t find an all-inclusive message there, either. The Israelites were God’s “Chosen People,” and God had harsh things to say about neighboring tribes.

No Ammonite or Moabite or any of their descendants may enter the assembly of Jehovah, not even in the tenth generation (Deuteronomy 23:3).

God also forbids intermarriage with these foreign tribes (Deut. 7:3; Ezra 9:2, 10:10; Nehemiah 13).

Let’s revisit the fact that Matthew is contradictory when it says both “Make disciples of all nations” and “Do not go among the Gentiles [but only] to the lost sheep of Israel.” There are no early papyrus copies of Matthew 28 (the “Make disciples of all nations” chapter), and the earliest copies of this chapter are in the codices copied in the mid-300s. That’s almost three centuries of silence from original to our best copies, a lot of opportunity for the Great Commission to get “improved” by copyists. I’m not saying it was, of course; I’m simply offering one explanation for why the gospel in Matthew has Jesus change so fundamental a tenet as who he came to save.

14. Jesus should’ve returned already.

Jesus promised to return within the lifetimes of those listening to him. This Apocalyptic message (Apocalypticism claims that the end times are very close) is found in the three synoptic gospels. It takes a passage in Isaiah 13 that predicts calamity for Babylon—that the sun and moon will darken and the stars will fall—and repurposes it as a prediction of the end. It also predicts:

[All people on earth will] see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds. (Matthew 24:30–31)

The prediction ends saying that this will all happen soon.

This generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened (Matthew 24:34).

Let me emphasize those two points: “these things” will happen soon (within months or years, not centuries), and “these things” are obvious and world-destroyingly calamitous. The popular Christian response that this referred to the fall of the Temple won’t fly.

Earlier in the same gospel, we find other references to the imminent coming of the Son of Man:

When you are persecuted in one place [as you spread the gospel], flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. (Matthew 10:23)

Some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (Matthew 16:28).

It’s been a lot longer than one generation. Jesus made a mistake.

15. Jesus promises that prayers are answered

Jesus says a lot about prayer, and he makes big claims for it.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Matthew 7:1).

Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24).

He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do (John 14:12).

Apologists say that Jesus isn’t like a genie, but they need to reread their Bibles. Jesus really does say, “Ask, and ye shall receive”—it’s in John 16:24. He says it without caveats. That promise has been tested uncountably many times, often by desperate people, but if Jesus answers, it’s indistinguishable from chance. (More on prayer here and here.)

Concluded in part 4.

Religion is just superstition
which has been around long enough
to have become respectable.
— J. B. R. Yant

.

Image via Andrei Lazarev, CC license
.

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  • The whole imminent parousia prediction had to be cast aside for two reasons:

    1 – Well, as already stated, it’s self-evident: Jesus didn’t come back soon – nor has he come back yet.

    2 – As Paul’s later Epistles show, people had begun opting out of society, since they believed Jesus was coming back soon – they stopped working, doing their chores, etc.: and despite Paul’s ostensible contempt for rationality and common sense, it’s clear that troubled him a lot, as it got in the way of his attempts to make Christians look like “regular” people within Roman society (i.e. slaves being told to obey their masters, virgins not forbidden from marrying, etc.)

    • What do you think of the question of whether it’s Jesus who’s supposed to be coming in the future or some other guy? The Christian consensus is that it’s Jesus’s second coming that we’re awaiting, but it seems that in some passages, Jesus is predicting some other guy.

      • My guess is that Jesus is talking about himself, possibly in a more glorified form.

    • Greg G.

      Paul doesn’t have much advice for becoming parents. He seems to have thought the Messiah would arrive before the baby was due.

      • His first Epistles seem to imply so… but he looks like he later had to backpedal.

        • Greg G.

          but he looks like he later had to backpedal

          Or was it the grandchildren of Paul’s generation who had to rehabilitate his claims to account for themselves being there and Jesus not?

  • RichardSRussell

    Oh, for goodness’ sake! The 2nd coming of Christ! Really? The very people promoting this idea are apparently incapable of reading their own holy book (Matthew 24:30-34), where Jesus clearly says he’ll be returning during the lifetime of his own disciples. But guess what? He didn’t! Didn’t come back then, hasn’t come back since, isn’t back now, and won’t be coming back in the future.

    And why not? Because he’s DEAD, you fools! Dead, dead, dead! Dead and gone. Dead and buried. Dead as a doornail. Dead as a rock. Dead as a dodo. Flatlined like Kansas. Belly-up like a dynamited carp. Dead and never coming back!

    It’s been TWO THOUSAND YEARS, people. Time to get over it. I’ve heard of slow learners, but this is ridiculous. Sheesh. Grow up and face reality.

    • James A. North

      ‘e’s not dead. He’s just resting.

      Really, ‘e’s just pining for the fjords. Lovely plumage, the Norwegian Blue…

  • Brad Feaker

    Ultimately, their whole schtick is based on being punished for the sins of the father. Adam and Eve sinned and cursed the entire human race. No wonder evolution terrifies fundagelicals.

    It kicks the foundation right out from under their mythology.

    • True. Christian sects that don’t believe inerrancy treat sin in a different manner, and some don’t believe in hell at all.

    • eric

      That’s what many catholics and fundie protestants will say, yes.

      I think you’re basically right in that the OT, at least, is overwhelmingly in favor of collective punishment. Sure, there may be the occasional inconsistent verse, but at least in my mind, there’s no real question that those verses are swamped out by the almost constant use of collective punishment (by God, by his angels under orders, by his people under orders).

      While Bob can point to the inconsistencies between the pro- and con- collective punishment verses, I think it’s probably better to point out that the OT is constantly and fairly (but not 100%) consistent pro-collective punishment, and that this is horribly, horribly immoral.

    • Don’t forget the Big Bang, who is disliked by them just because the “book” does not mention it (and even extraterrestrial life for some fundies). They never can think on that story being an allegory and/or the thing having happened in a spiritual fashion, nor that in Judaism the story has a different meaning.

      But remove the Bible and they have nothing.

      • Some claim it proves the Bible is right though.

        • Yes, attempting to shoehorn Genesis into the Big Bang theory and failing quite epically in the process showing no knowledge of science.

        • Like Craig, who apparently thinks the universe beginning to exist at all proves God.

        • To be fair, that chapter is so vague that you can shoehorn whatever you want there. Results are another thing, but your sheeps will not care as they’ll usually have scientific knowledge at best at your height.

          Like “plants appeared before the Sun and were able to live even without light (no light = no photosynthesis) because the light of God replaced the daystar”.

        • True. More sophisticated ones will say it’s allegory, which gives them lots of wiggle room.

        • TinnyWhistler

          To be fair, the beginning of Genesis IS written in a markedly different style from the rest of the book, just as you’d expect it to be if it was recounting mythology and providing a context to the main event (Abraham) rather than trying to record a year by year history. Don’t take the fundies at their word when they say that everything in the Bible that uses a past tense is OBVIOUSLY supposed to be read as literal history. Jewish scholars rejected the literalness of that bit of Genesis a LONG time ago.

        • I honestly don’t know what the intent was. When did they reject it? I remember something on medieval Jews indicating some believed the world was young from Genesis.

        • TinnyWhistler

          Wasn’t it a Catholic somethingorother who either proposed or championed it?

        • A Belgian priest named Georges Lemaitre yes. He didn’t claim it proves God though.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He didn’t claim it proves God though.

          He certainly did his best to give that thesis a wide birth…

          By 1951, Pope Pius XII declared that Lemaître’s theory provided a scientific validation for Catholicism. However, Lemaître resented the Pope’s proclamation, stating that the theory was neutral and there was neither a connection nor a contradiction between his religion and his theory. Lemaître and Daniel O’Connell, the Pope’s scientific advisor, persuaded the Pope not to mention Creationism publicly, and to stop making proclamations about cosmology. While a devout Roman Catholic, he opposed mixing science with religion, although he held that the two fields were not in conflict.

        • Yes, to his credit.

        • epeeist

          A Belgian priest named Georges Lemaitre yes.

          Lemaître came up with the idea of a “primeval atom” which underwent some kind of radioactive decay to form the universe. This is a Big Bang theory and was the inspiration for the Big Bang theory produced by Gamow which is the direct precursor for today’s Λ-CDM model.

        • Ah, I see.

        • Ignorant Amos

          He championed it, but he wasn’t the first to propose it…Russian scientist Alexander Friedmann proposed it 5 years before Lemaitre in 1922. Although apparently Lemaitre came up with the idea independently in 1927.

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

      • Lark62

        I caught the tail end of a conversation between fundies on whether aliens from other planets would be saved by Jesus’s death on the cross.

        I valued my brain cells too much to stick around, but the bits of conversation I remember were heated and weird.

        • Greg G.

          If an alien humbly asks Jesus to save him, is God gonna say, “Nope”?

          I hope you weren’t planning on using those brain cells that I just assassinated.

        • Well, for some as I mention there’s no life in all the ‘Verse, only here because there’s no mention of that in the Bible. For the Catholic Church aliens could even be free of the Original Sin.

  • Maine_Skeptic

    While all of these discrepancies so far are probably valid, doctrinal and dogmatic contradictions are easily dismissed by believers. They can simply claim there are minor translation errors, or that the “seeming contradiction” is because there are contextual distinctions that are only clear in the original language. If we could read and fully understand the original text, they’ll say, the scriptures would be inerrant. As believers, people just assume they don’t understand why there appears to be a logical conflict, while trusting in Jesus to show them the truth.

    The contradictions that shook me up as a believer were the irreconcilable accounts of historical claims that went to the heart of Christian beliefs. They’re a big part of why I’m no longer a Christian. The sheer volume of irreconcilable details between the four gospel accounts of Jesus death and resurrection is staggering. You touch on that here with the question of what day he died, but as you know, that’s just one of the many details the gospel accounts disagree
    about. One can hardly claim that the early Christians didn’t really care that much about accuracy when recounting the birth of their god. This was supposed to be the most important single even in history.

    Similarly, creationists can ignore the two entirely dissimilar accounts of the world’s creation in Genesis, but they can’t explain them. Each of the two creation stories was clearly written with the intent of conveying the details of a historical event, but each story seems to have taken place in its own alternate universe.

    Believers more fervent than I can suspend disbelief no matter what evidence we show them. I once talked with a man working in a science-based, technical industry who had two masters degrees (neither in science) who had no problem ignoring the many Genesis self-contradictions. I’m lucky, in that my own pain tolerance for cognitive dissonance is limited. Even in my favorite genre, science fiction, I can only suspend disbelief so many times before the whole story starts to seem hokey.

    • Yes, we could imagine that these well nigh insurmountable contradictions aren’t found in the original, but where does that leave those Christians? What lovely ideas would be left on the copyists’ floor if we were to go back and read the originals?

      Today’s Christians might well have attached their hopes to some of the wrong turns and might be shocked at what these imaginary originals would say (and would not say). The nice thing about a contradictory Bible is that it’s like a menu, and you get to pick the options that you like.

      • Maine_Skeptic

        “…The nice thing about a contradictory Bible is that it’s like a menu, and you get to pick the options that you like.”

        But only if we can maintain the contradictory belief that it actually IS perfect. We have to maintain the illusion that Clark Kent is a different person from Superman without ever asking why they never show up in the same place at the same time.

        • Zeropoint

          But Clark Kent has appeared with Superman dozens of times!

      • Ignorant Amos

        The thing is, until the various bits got put together in one binder some centuries after, so the contradictions weren’t relevant. Not to mention all the heretical versions of the story that got shredded, or the versions that just weren’t popular enough.

        The NT…and Apocrypha books would be analogous to someone gathering together the dramatizations, screenplays, etc., of 100 years worth of Sherlock Holmes into one big book, then trying to work the contradictions.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherlock_Holmes#Adaptations_and_derived_works

        Individually, the parts of the compendium are not contradictory to the audience. The problem only appears collectively, but then it’s all too late…it’s all in the public domain, so the excuses why begin.

        • MR

          And once you realize, you can’t unsee it. For every convoluted excuse these apologists come up with, there’s always this more obvious and simpler explanation.

        • Greg G.

          Has anybody bothered to see if the apologetics used to work out “apparent contradictions” have their own inherent contradictions?

          I remember a list of refutations of evolution that said that if mountains eroded at the rate the evolutionists say, they would be worn away and, a dozen or so later, it was if the mountain ranges rose at the rate evolutionists say, they would be 20 miles high.

    • eric

      If we could read and fully understand the original text, they’ll say, the scriptures would be inerrant.

      They can say that, but it’s gnostic heresy to claim God’s actual message isn’t clear from the words we have now. It calls into question the whole concept of a religion accessible to all, if you have to go searching through dusty tomes in order to find God’s lost-to-time way to salvation.

      • Maine_Skeptic

        “…It calls into question the whole concept of a religion accessible to all, if you have to go searching through dusty tomes in order to find God’s lost-to-time way to salvation….”

        My former Evangelical self has words of wisdom for you….

        You’re thinking too much, eric. These are not the droids you’re looking for. You were never here, and you never saw these logical self-contradictions, which don’t in fact exist. Now sleeeep.

    • Otto

      I don’t disagree that a person can find any number of rationalizations to overcome issues, but even when I was a believer if someone said if “we could read and fully understand the original text, …. , the scriptures would be inerrant” … my first thought would be ‘why can God create a perfect book but can’t make sure it is perfectly transmitted over time?’

      If a person want to just come up with defense mechanisms they will always be able to, but stuff like that never sat well with me. Eventually it all added up and any faith I had died by a thousand cuts.

      • Greg G.

        ‘why can God create a perfect book but can’t make sure it is perfectly transmitted over time?’

        That’s what Bart Ehrman says happened to him.

        Edited because the page moved as I went to click in the com box and the “Post as” button was there.

        • Satan didn’t want your message to come out. That’s the kind of thing he does, y’know.

        • Jay Has

          Because he just has that much power over the omnipotent!

        • sandy

          And I believe the problem of Evil.

        • Jay Has

          Yes, he states the Problem of Evil is what caused him to become an “ex-Christian.”

      • Maine_Skeptic

        “…but even when I was a believer… my first thought would be ‘why can God create a perfect book but can’t make sure it is perfectly transmitted over time?…'”

        I was asked once by family members of active cult members what anyone could have said to me to break through the bubble I was living in… At the time, I told them I couldn’t think of a thing,because you’d almost have to have been psychic to know what would reach any certain person. But since then, I’ve thought a lot about the things that DID break through my bubble. Cognitive science has also provided some important insights about why people see things as they do.

        The “bubble” is a narrative I’d created to explain what was happening in my life. It was like a movie script I thought I was living out. Whenever something came into direct conflict with that narrative, I’d reject it. No amount of logic or evidence was going to change my mind. Cognitive science is now telling us that human beings organize their ideas into pictures and stories. Once we’ve adopted those images and storylines as the framework for understanding, we filter out all the outside influences that are inconsistent with the movie playing in our heads.

        And yet you and I still ended up leaving our authoritarian religious groups. What happened? I suspect that some ideas got through our narrative bubbles to reveal that our narratives were not self-consistent. No matter how many assumptions we were willing to “take on faith” in order to suspend our disbelief, the Evangelical storyline was unable to be consistent with its own claims.

        For example: Luke 6:43-45 offers us a commonly held truism: “A tree is known by the fruit it bears.” It makes sense at a number of levels. The fruit of the Spirit is supposed to be love. That love manifests itself through actions like feeding the starving, caring for the sick, visiting prisoners, etc. That was part of the narrative bubble I lived in. Well, it really screwed up that narrative when I realized it was the LIBERAL churches that were actually doing those things, while the conservative “Bible believing” churches were all about building larger buildings and putting more butts in the seats.

        In your case, there was a chink in your armor. Part of you was still able to see that if we postulate the existence of ONE miraculous intervention on behalf of scriptural inerrancy, we have to explain why the miracles didn’t continue forever. You recognized that your world view wasn’t self-consistent, and it screwed up your ability to maintain your narrative bubble.

        The problem is that it’s hard to say that particular inconsistency was visible to you when so many others were not. Or how another person can be helped to recognize the self-contradictions of their own world view.

        • Thanks for sharing your journey and your insights. The problem, it seems to me, is when someone gets these clues, like you, but ignores them. I suppose the act of ignoring could be deliberate or just out of apathy, but someone who’s not a little bit driven to investigate cognitive dissonance will just stay a Christian, fat ‘n sassy and ignorant.

          What we need is a reliable way to prod Christians to consider the problems within their religion.

        • Maine_Skeptic

          “…What we need is a reliable way to prod Christians to consider the problems within their religion.”

          We’re in a difficult place, just as we are with the fascists. They are the only ones who can realize that what they’re doing is hateful and destructive. Direct confrontation only entrenches them further, at least in the short term, and we’ve already seen that they see evidence and facts as mere inconveniences. On the other hand, their actions can’t be ignored or tens of millions will die; that’s the trajectory they are on.

          We have to respond to their actions without trying to match them rage for rage. We have to calmly give them things to think about in their quiet moments, because that’s when people realize their own narrative doesn’t make sense. In the heat of battle, the fever of emotion often blinds us to reason. We’ll never get them by trying to score points during arguments, because they’ll always think they win every argument. The people I’ve known who left cults and authoritarian religions have done so because they had cognitive dissonance that was like a program working constantly in the background. It builds up until there’s critical mass, after which the change can seem very sudden.

        • Humans can be so rational … or not.

          The Christian version of your approach that I’ve heard is “Put a stone in their shoe”–that is, give them an idea that will bug them in the background.

        • Otto

          I had a bit of an advantage in that I was not ever heavily invested as an adult, I was indoctrinated at a young age though. I am always impressed with people like yourself that extricated themselves even though they were deeply involved.

          >>>”I suspect that some ideas got through our narrative bubbles to reveal that our narratives were not self-consistent.”

          Yes, I have often said it wasn’t that atheism won for me, it was that Christianity lost. It is not internally consistent and those inconsistencies definitely add up over time. The idea that an all loving God will send people to hell seemingly arbitrarily was the first chink in that armor, sure I was told God had his reasons, but the reasons offered sounded a lot more like human rationalizations than reasonable justifications. I remember sitting in Church thinking about that at about 12 yrs old, but I wrote off my thoughts as just a personal failure to understand. There were many many other others to come later.

          >>>”The problem is that it’s hard to say that particular inconsistency was visible to you when so many others were not. Or how another person can be helped to recognize the self-contradictions of their own world view.”

          I think for most people they do see some of these issues, what they do with them is another thing. I know the whole “red pill, blue pill” of the Matrix has become a cliche, but there is some truth to it as well. I know as I became older I was aware that there were huge problems with how the Bible was written and assembled, and I had the ability to learn more about it, but I on some level choose not to because I knew it would lead to more doubt, and since I was already in angst I didn’t really want to add to it. We all have to decide if we really want the ugly truth or the comfortable lie, and the answer can change from day to day, and from topic to topic. I don’t expect I will ever change anyone’s mind, but I hope I can offer some things to think about, and learn from others as well.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, I have often said it wasn’t that atheism won for me, it was that Christianity lost.

          I think that is very common. Especially if there is a period of diminishing deism.

          OTOH, I remember a YouTube apologist named Veritas who was very intelligent and well-spoken. He had a two-year old daughter. He used many WLC arguments. Someone asked him what he would do if God commanded him to sacrifice his daughter. I think he posted a response, then stopped posting for about a month. Then he came back as an atheist because he knew that he would not harm his little girl but that the God of the Bible might actually do that. Apparently it all very quickly fell apart for him after that.

          I had asked that question to two Christians independently when they started preaching at me. Both times, the first response was “of course not”, then they realized the correct biblical answer is “yes, of course”, then the cognitive dissonance set in and they changed the subject, never to let that thought to enter their minds ever again. It is easy for a non-parent to think about involving hypothetical children but it is disturbing when they have a young child.

        • Maine_Skeptic

          You did a good example of busting the narrative bubble for those guys. Had you pointed out the barbarity of the Isaac story, they could have dismissed you as unable to see the truth. By asking a sincere question, they had to consider one of the points at which their world view was not self-consistent.

          “….then the cognitive dissonance set in and they changed the subject, never to let that thought to enter their minds ever again….”

          Or at least that they would mention to you, probably. We don’t shed thoughts as easily as we’d like to. That kind of thing can be pushed to the back of one’s mind, but it doesn’t go away until it’s answered. You can shove quite a lot back there, but at some point (if you’re lucky), it reaches a pain threshold you can’t live with.

        • Pofarmer

          I think that is often how loss of faith happens though. Slowly, then all at once. That’s how it was for me.

        • Otto

          Me too.’

        • Jay Has

          I remember Christoper Hitchens’ response to the sacrifice question in one of the speeches he gave.

        • Otto

          >>>”It is easy for a non-parent to think about involving hypothetical children but it is disturbing when they have a young child.”

          Oh this is so true. I was never a guy who wanted, or didn’t want kids. I could have easily gone either way. Once I did have a child and he was like 2-5 I would read about how someone somewhere abused or killed a similar aged child and it affected me so much differently than before. Not that I was indifferent to children suffering before, but then it was so much more striking.

          The Abraham story is used to show that God should get unquestioned obedience…and it also shows that unquestioned obedience can lead people to do things they cannot fathom they would ever do. That is a great question that is all too often over looked.

        • So often we hear of a very gradual exit from Christianity. It’s interesting to hear of more catastrophic (relatively speaking) departures.

          Or, maybe many cases are like that so that when they get that final straw of bullshit that they just can’t tolerate, the end comes quickly.

        • Otto

          I think it is the latter and many people just finally hit the last straw and didn’t know how close they were to shedding it. I personally felt like I walked off a cliff, but then looking back I was rejecting piece by piece until it was just suddenly over.

        • Ignorant Amos

          A good read is Ken Daniels book, “Why I Believed: Reflections of a Former Missionary”.

          A slow loss of faith for sure…but torturous…then in the end, when the penny dropped, it was indeed a swift and final departure. At least that was my take.

          This is a story of a true Christian who believed for nearly three decades, having grown up the son of evangelical missionary parents, later becoming a missionary himself. Yet he slowly lost his faith and now no longer holds it. In this part-autobiography, part-exposé, Ken traces his journey from evangelical missionary to secular humanist while remaining part of a committed Christian family. He looks back at a number of reasons he remained a believer for over a decade after his initial doubts began at university, critically evaluating each one in a separate chapter. Whether or not you agree with Ken’s conclusions, you will find his journey and his reasons for taking it fascinating and informative. You will end up better understanding, if not appreciating, the mind of apostates whose desire is to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

          https://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Believed-Reflections-Former-Missionary/dp/0578003880

        • Maine_Skeptic

          “…We all have to decide if we really want the ugly truth or the
          comfortable lie, and the answer can change from day to day, and from
          topic to topic.I don’t expect I will ever change anyone’s mind, but I hope I can offer some things to think about, and learn from others as well.”

          You seem very self-aware. I’m glad you comment here.

        • Otto

          Very kind of you…and I am glad you do to. I haven’t seen you for awhile, good to see you around.

        • TinnyWhistler

          For me, the first BIG chink was when my parents started going to a Presbyterian church with Reformed theology. They taught that humans exist in two binary states, arbitrarily divided up by God: 1) Cannot believe, not one of the elect. Actually incapable of True Belief and 2) Cannot help but believe, one of the elect. Actually incapable of falling away. As a 14? year old who had been struggling with belief for a while, that just took the wind RIGHT out of my sails because THAT, more than anything else, felt true. I’d tried to believe and it hadn’t worked. I tried a bit more and it still didn’t work.

          I’ve waffled around for years after that but that’s what ultimately started the slow leak of TRYING to believe after I spent a year or two frantically upping my religion game. Last ditch efforts like trying out Pascal’s Wager in college just didn’t stick.

        • Otto

          Oh my….

          My first though would have been that even if that was true it is horribly arbitrary and immoral for a perfect God. I didn’t realize Presbyterians were Calvinists. So your are 14 and are starting to figure out that your are one of the non-elect / fucked group…nice. It is such a comforting religion

      • Susan

        any faith I had died by a thousand cuts.

        I hear ya, brother.

        That’s why it’s so infuriating when people come here and proselytize.

        Tell us Jesus died for us sinners, as though it was the first time we’d heard that sort of gibberish.

        And evade and accuse when we ask genuine questions about those claims.

      • TinnyWhistler

        It IS perfectly transmitted over time. That’s why MY interpretation is perfect. Anyone who disagrees with me is clearly not a True Christian or they’d be able to See The Truth Of The Bible.

    • Sample1

      Perhaps it’s time for atheists to claim they are Christians too, in so far as anyone has the ability to reflect on the sage stuff and flush the goofy shit. Redefine what it means to be a Christian. Hell, every Christian does it. And Christians per se, tend to be the worst Christians.

      Plus, it will sit really well with them.

      Mike, faith-free Christian when I feel like it, but also an atheist. Muhammad is next.

  • that the sun and moon will darken and the stars will fall

    Leaving aside how the Sun can darken -the Moon can be justified by it shining with reflected light, even if it’s debatable if the writer simply thought it shines with its own light-, I wonder how humongous plasma spheres much larger than this fucking planet can fall to the ground.

    • I think you’ve pointed out your own problem. Stars are just teeny little things. It’s rather obvious–if they were really big, they’d be really bright. Just think about it.

      … that is, unless you think that scientific conclusions like the one below are true, of course.
      https://preview.redd.it/4apgia6sjz811.jpg?width=800&auto=webp&s=dd2f2cae35cbaf83b9dec7519bf63b6c3a62691f

      • So much for Biblical literalism. I fact, Fundies love to talk about the countless numbers of stars and galaxies in the Universe and how large and mighty is the Sun next to this planet to show the power of God… ignoring there’s no mention at all of that stuff in the Bible. Of course, the Big Bang, not to mention evolution, is BS for them when it beats the shit out of Genesis in epicness and beauty.

        Cherry-picking and cognitive dissonance again, I guess.

        • Lark62

          I can’t figure out why the all powerful, all knowing, all loving deity didn’t bother to tell anyone he created microbes. Could have been handy information.

        • Or see also Jesus’ healing. Just casting out demons, nothing of describing what is causing, say, epileptic attacks and blaming them before said healing, etc.

          And skeptics are supposed to be the bad guys ’cause the Bible says so.

      • epeeist

        if they were really big, they’d be really bright.

        Absolutely, and the sky would always be bright, just as Heinrich Olber said.

        • Michael Neville

          Good old Olbers’ Paradox, the answer to which tells us interesting things about the universe.

        • Kevin K

          The night sky is filled with photons … but unless they hit something, we can’t see them.

        • Greg G.

          That something must be a pigment in your retina.

  • Zeropoint

    I hope a bad word won’t disqualify this post. If it does, I can remake this pic with a less offensive caption.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a6619af9a6713dc20f0c32189ee9f01e88d9a139798aed8ef50a94ace2e8060.png

    • No word saltier than “dang” may ever appear on this blog!

      • DoorknobHead

        Jeepers. Gosh dang it. Drats.

        • Zeropoint
        • Greg G.

          That’s better. You should never use “well” in public. And never, ever say “well, well, well”.

        • epicurus

          Back in the Christian days, I used to hear Hokey Dinah a lot – the Christian nonswear, swear word.

        • Greg G.

          I read about Dinah recently in Genesis 34. Her father, Jacob bought some land from a guy. One of the guy’s sons fell in love with Dinah and couldn’t resist raping her. Her brothers arranged a marriage on the condition that everyone in the village be circumcised. While all the men were still sore, the brothers attacked and killed them all.

          I suppose that swear is about her but where does the “Hokey” fit in?

        • epicurus

          I assumed “hocky” was a substitute for “holy” just as darn is for damn. The Dinah part is a mystery to me.

        • Jack Baynes, Sandwichmaker

          Is that the Dinah that someone was in the kitchen with? For some reason I always assumed there was some hanky panky going on there.

        • Otto

          The Dinah Shore show was a bit hokey.

        • al kimeea

          Burt Reynolds

        • Ignorant Amos

          The reason that the swearing on western series “Deadwood” was so bad, is because the swear words of the period it’s set would’ve made it too comical, because religion.

          From its debut, Deadwood drew attention for its extensive profanity. It is a deliberate anachronism on the part of the creator with a twofold intent. Milch explained in several interviews that the characters were originally intended to use period slang and swear words. Such words, however, were based heavily on the time’s deep religious roots and tended to be more blasphemous than scatological. Instead of being shockingly crude (in keeping with the tone of a frontier mining camp), the results sounded comical. As Geoffrey Nunberg put it “… if you put words like ‘goldarn’ into the mouths of the characters on Deadwood, they’d all wind up sounding like Yosemite Sam.”

          Instead, it was decided that the show would use current profanity in order for the words to have the same impact on modern audiences as the blasphemous ones did back in the 1870s. In early episodes, the character of Mr. Wu excessively uses “cocksucker,” his favorite derogatory term for those whom he dislikes. Wu is also fond of the Cantonese derogatory term “gweilo” which he applies to the camp’s white males.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadwood_(TV_series)#Use_of_profanity

        • epicurus

          I loved Deadwood. It was the last time I’ve ever binge watched a series, just because on the basis of my physical health – a red eyed gimped up can’t move my neck can’t stand up straight back stiff wreck of a man. I’m never doing that again.

          I had an interesting experience growing up with uncles who didn’t swear in front of women or children outside of the occasional damn or hell. When I finally was into my 20’s I was helping out with farm work one day and several uncles were there. After my aunt brought out food for lunch break then left, and we were all sitting around eating, I guess they figured I was old enough because the amount of curse words would have made you think you were on the set of Deadwood.

        • Ficino

          I’m going to start using “cretino” a lot, though it’s not really a curse word. It’s just the truth ’bout lots of cocksuckers.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, being Irish, profanity is in my DNA…it’s just how we talk. I know what ya mean though, back in the day, women were segregated in the pub. Men stood in the public bar where anything goes, while a woman’s place was in the snug. Not these days though. Women are worse/better at it, than men. Couple my working class background with a lengthy spell in the military and hey presto…a colourful language I’m neither gonna hide or deny…and am in good company too.

          Your coming of age moment sounds really neat…a chin dropping experience a bet…brilliant.

        • Otto

          Best scene ever…almost a “who’s on first” skit.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QbEzCoTafU

        • Lark62

          Grammar coach: “There are two words one should never use. One is swell, and the other is lousy.”

          Lucy Ricardo “I want to hear the swell one first.”

          From I Love Lucy. (For those younger than 150, that was a sitcom from the days when black and white tv was cutting edge, and people thought misogyny needed a laugh track.) ☺

        • islandbrewer

          That reminds me, I need to get a new pump for our artesian … uh … water pit place out back.

        • Kevin K

          Because Beetlejuice will appear?

        • Greg G.

          Moby Dick. It is what “w*ll” sounds like underwater.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Candyman.

        • That’s just species-ist. I’m offended.

      • Lark62

        Now he tells us….

      • islandbrewer

        The fuck?! Well … fucking fucker fucks on fucktoast!

        I mean … uh … golly!

      • Ignorant Amos

        That’s me well and truly fucked then…and a few years ago too.

        • You’ve got a few years in naughty-word purgatory in your future, my friend.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Least a will know what a did to deserve it…guilty as charged m’laud.

    • Maine_Skeptic

      There MAY be ten people (or so) in the world who are familiar enough with both North American geology AND the Old Testament to appreciate the keen humor and context behind your excellent joke. As one of the other nine, I salute you and your oddly specific nerdiness.

      :::::: Wiggles fingers in Vulcan Ammonite hand sign :::::::

      Live deep and prosper, Zeropoint.

      • Otto

        I took Rocks for Jocks in college…and I know a enough about the OT…so +1

    • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

      AAAAaaand here’s Lily Allen!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rl8avTLMK_Y

    • Kevin K

      As an 11th generation Ammonite, I say “well, it’s about time!” /s

      • Greg G.

        How many people have ever been able to trace their ancestry back 10 generations for all 1,024 potential great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents? How do we determine that there was no cuckolding in each and every line of generations?

        • Kevin K

          Heh. I’m not even sure about who my maternal grandfather is. There’s a “story”, but I’m not sure it will stand up even to ancestry.com kind of scrutiny.

        • MR

          I was speaking with a genealogist last night and she was going on about how people will often say, “Oh, no, that’s not my family!” when presented with evidence of a child born a little too soon or some other impropriety. Apparently people can contract religious-grade cognitive dissonance when dealing with family trees, too.

        • Greg G.

          Genealogy is tracing us all back to the same brother and sister.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Adam & Eve. Without a belly button.

        • MR

          I had an awkward moment one day when the early-teen daughter of a guy I volunteer with proudly announced that she had traced her genealogy all the way back to Adam and Eve. I politely smiled and said, “Wow, cool.” I wanted to say, “Give it another five years, hon, and you won’t be buying any of this bullshit anymore.” She’s pretty sharp. We’ll she if she continues to cling to the Old Stories.

        • Greg G.

          If she worked out that she was a close cousin of Jesus, Luke has about 4000 years all the way back to God.

        • MR

          Easy-peasy!

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s no biggie. British Olympic Gold Medalist Matthew Pinsent traced his ancestry back to God on the TV show, “Who Do You Think You Are”

          However, at least one of the documents that Matthew views takes things a little too far: a beautiful medieval roll, created at a time when kings claimed to have the divine right to govern, purports to shows the relationship of British monarchy to Jesus, King David, Adam and Eve and even the Supreme Being himself. “At the top of your pedigree,” Matthew is told, “there is God.”

          http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/episode/matthew-pinsent

        • Carol Lynn

          I don’t have it for *all* iterations of ancestry, but, thanks to Napoleon insisting that parish registers in conquered territory keep records, the fact that these people were share-cropping peasants marrying around in a circle in the same village, and a cousin brought enough money to bribe the current parish priest into searching the records when she went to check them out, I can go back farther than 10 generations in my mother’s father’s line. There is *nothing* interesting there, but it is there.

        • Greg G.

          A cousin on my father’s side traced the family tree back to the brother of an Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1500s.

          I checked Ancestry.com several years ago for Mom’s side. They had my grandmother dying on the wrong date and in a part of the country she never went to but her children and siblings were correct. That line went back to some royalty I had heard of from the 1300s. I would have to dig through some old software backups to remind myself of who it was.

        • MR

          If you’re lucky enough to get some cousins marrying, you can duplicate some lines and prune some of those branches.

        • Greg G.

          In college, a guy who lived next door to me saw my hometown and asked if I knew his uncle. It’s a small town so of course I knew him. He told his mother and we worked out that she was a cousin of my grandfather. I brought this up to my grandmother and she said that my great-grandfather and my newly-found cousin’s grandfather were brothers and their wives were sisters to one another. So we were actually double cousins.

          But that isn’t my only set of double cousins. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were cousins marrying.

    • Greg G.

      Jumping Jehosaphat!

  • The Bible can’t even get out of the second chapter without a contradiction. Were humans created before or after the animals? Were man and woman made simultaneously or was woman made out of man? Were plants created before or after humans? Did stars come after the Earth (as per Genesis) or before the Earth (as per Job)? Were animals made out of the waters or out of the ground?

    • The supposedly all-knowing deity who inspired this book has nothing but Middle East Bronze Age knowledge. He does not mention anything that was discovered when we had something better than our senses to poke at the Universe, nor when people went beyond that small patch of land.

      Everything else is either just Fundie PIDOOMAing or simply BS.

    • Greg G.

      Were night and day created before the sun? That must have been a real miracle.

      ETA: That’s not even getting out of chapter 1.

      • Eh, wouldn’t necessarily call that a contradiction, more just a bizarre story thing that makes no actual sense.

  • Pofarmer

    Way OT but some here might be interested.

    https://aeon.co/essays/if-elephants-arent-persons-yet-could-they-be-one-day

    “Could elephants be Persons.”

  • Jim Jones

    > 14. Jesus should’ve returned already.

    Jesus should have been faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! And able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!

    But no. And no X-Ray vision either.

    • Greg G.

      The Romans used Kryptonite nails.

  • Markus R

    I’m disappointed. After 2000 years of scholarship one would think your “contradictions” would have befuddled Christians. Yet none you provide are not readily understood in context of the whole Bible. Apparently Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Luther and Edwards must have been blind simpletons when compared to the weighty exegesis if Dr. Seidensticker. Well we can hope for the 4th installment as possibly more exciting.dr. Seidensticker, failure to comprehend exegesis, context and biblical theology dues not a “contradiction make”. Invest in decent commentaries and solve your mysteries.

    • Zeta

      You could be more convincing if you take some (or all) of these contradictions and rebut them one by one with actual arguments. Why not start with the last two in the OP?

      14. Jesus should’ve returned already.
      15. Jesus promises that prayers are answered,

      • Markus R

        Zeta. Both of those are easily explained. Let’s focus on Matthew 24. Keep in mind that Jesus is speaking to Jews and he is speaking of the future and the end of the age. More importantly this is done 40 years prior to what will be the most horrific event these Jewish listeners will experience—the culmination of the Jewish-Roman Wars in which Jerusalem and the temple will be razed. From secular historical accounts we know that It was horrific. Jerusalem was placed under seige. The defenders watched as daily the Romans surrounded the city with crucifixions of Jews to weaken the resolve of the defenders. Eventually it was the competing groups of zealot defenders who caused the fall. A fire ensued enabling a breach In the wall which allowed the Romans to sack the city. It was a horrific bloodbath and the Temple was utterly destroyed. The number of Jews put to the sword/crucified is estimated i the hundreds of thousands by the end. This is what Jesus was referring to in part.

        The 24th chapter clearly contains many other events that point to times beyond the destruction of Jersulalem and the Temple. In the 34th verse Jesus is clearly saying that this very generation will see the truth of what he is prophesying.

        • Like I said, I’m unimpressed with the cartwheels apologists will turn to cobble together something and then walk away smugly thinking that they’ve resolved the issue. Just because you have an interpretation that allows you to maintain your conclusion doesn’t mean that it’s a good one.

          this is done 40 years prior to what will be the most horrific event these Jewish listeners will experience—the culmination of the Jewish-Roman Wars in which Jerusalem and the temple will be razed.

          Culmination? This is just the first of three Jewish-Roman wars. And if Jesus is talking about something new, why would he constrain himself to the past by focusing on the Jewish temple? If you’re saying that Christianity is actually just a sect of Judaism, your argument would make sense; if that’s your position, then say so. If Jesus was ushering in a completely new interpretation (Trinity, salvation, heaven and hell, and all that), then he wouldn’t be looking backwards.

          It was a horrific bloodbath and the Temple was utterly destroyed.

          Wikipedia says that the Bar Kokhba Revolt was a genocide and more significant in damaging Judaism in Judea than the first war.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kokhba_revolt

          Anyway, Jesus talks about the sun darkening and the stars falling. No, that’s not about the siege of Jerusalem.

        • Markus R

          Bob, you have no desire to understand scripture. Augustune, Luther and Calvin could carefully exposit it all and you would shoot it down in your own arrogance. You hate the God of the Bible because you live your sin.

          We can talk about forms of language, e,g., apocalyptic, but you will poo-poo it with you many degrees in biblical studies that exist only in your mind. No matter what response I give you will throw out flares and chaff to deflect the missiles. You love your sin and admitting to the existence of God means bowing your k we and turning to him. And you aren’t about to give up the sins that you cherish.

          We have learned that you consider Wikipedia equivalent to scholarly study. Nothing more.

        • That must be it! It must be you who’s right, all because I lu-u-u-uv sinnin’. And because I’m too proud to bend the knee.

          That problem of no good evidence can’t be the reason.

        • Markus R

          Bob, if I could give you sufficient evidence that the God of the Bible is real and the Bible is truth, would you repent of your ways and worship him?

        • epeeist

          Worship an entity that drowned the world in a hissy fit, fuck that for a game of soldiers.

        • Markus R

          We’ve got your answer. Thank you.

        • Meaning what? That this is news to you? That atheists care about evidence?

          That’s not a dark secret but rather something we shout from the rooftops.

        • Zeta

          Markus R: “Bob, if I could give you sufficient evidence that the God of the Bible is real and the Bible is truth, …

          I can’t speak for Bob but I am very interested in seeing such evidence.

        • Markus R

          And would worship him?

        • Greg G.

          It depends on the evidence. Evidence that a god thingy exists is not evidence that your version of God exists.

        • Markus R

          We got your answer. Thank you.

        • Greg G.

          We don’t got your evidence.

        • Zeta

          “And worship him?”
          Why should that be a requirement in a discussion?

        • Markus R

          There’s the rub, isn’t it? It’s not about evidence. The thought of bowing in repentance before the holy God repulses atheists. They love their sin. Yet their conscience drives them to continually strive to assure themselves that he doesn’t exist and they won’t be held accountable.

        • It’s not about evidence.

          And you may have put your finger on the issue. Evidence isn’t the issue for you, because you don’t believe due to evidence. Emotion drives your belief. Most atheists, however, belief stuff because of evidence (y’know, just like you in every walk of life besides religion).

        • Markus R

          Sure, Bob.

        • Zeta

          This is nothing more than an excuse not to present your case or maybe you don’t really have a good case to convince skeptics.

        • Zeta

          “They love their sin.”

          I have seen this word ‘sin’ used to describe different things. Please explain what sin is.

        • Greg G.

          There’s the rub, isn’t it? It’s not about evidence.

          Put up or shut up. All kinds of Christians say they have evidence but it turns out that they never present it.

          The thought of bowing in repentance before the holy God repulses atheists.

          Worshiping a jackass repulses atheists.

          They love their sin.

          What are you accusing atheists of? What sins do you think atheists do that would be worth eternal punishment. Most of us are law abiding citizens who are pretty good neighbors. What is the worst thing we do that you don’t do? Go to church to get preached at to not kill people or steal? We don’t need that.

          Yet their conscience drives them to continually strive to assure themselves that he doesn’t exist and they won’t be held accountable.

          Right. That is your way of backing out of not presenting the evidence you don’t have.

        • Markus R

          Well I guess I’m not like other Christians, Greg. There is ample evidence in nature, as God has said. The Bible says that unbelievers suppress the truth in their unrighteousness. In other words, we love our sin so much that we refuse to acknowledge the truth of God all around us.

          I’m also not going to make a human the judge of God by putting my Lord on trial and you in the judges seat.

          And by what standards shall you judge God? Without God you can not have any knowledge of truth. All you have is your subjective interpretation of reality.

          Finally, it’s a bit silly that an atheist that thinks we are just the result of chance and time acting on matter, whose thoughts are no more than neurochemical reactions in his brain, can judge transcendent truth, don’t you think?

        • I’m also not going to make a human the judge of God by putting my Lord on trial and you in the judges seat.

          But that’s the way it works. You must first judge the claims of “God”; otherwise, you’re just accepting the claims of this religion with no good reason. Only if the evidence is there should one follow the dictates of the religion.

          Try to avoid circular reasoning.

        • Greg G.

          Well I guess I’m not like other Christians, Greg. There is ample evidence in nature, as God has said.

          Do you know who else claims ample evidence in nature? Other Christians. But they never specify it. A beautiful sunset is light refraction. It might be beautiful because people are dying in a hurricane over the horizon.

          In other words, we love our sin so much that we refuse to acknowledge the truth of God all around us.

          Again, bring the unambiguous evidence.

          Finally, it’s a bit silly that an atheist that thinks we are just the result of chance and time acting on matter, whose thoughts are no more than neurochemical reactions in his brain, can judge transcendent truth, don’t you think?

          I think it is amazing but not silly.

          Where’s your evidence for your god thingy? I am not judging transcental truth or god thingies. Just the complete lack of evidence presented for them.

        • Markus R

          With what standard of truth do you judge evidence, Greg? Your thoughts are nothing but the effervescent fizzing of your neurons, after all. How can you even rely on them?

        • Greg G.

          I judge evidence by how it coheres with other evidence. I am not judging it in a vacuum.

          We all make mistakes which means are brains are not the product of a perfect designer. But our brains are not completely unreliable.

          Why are you asking these questions? Don’t you know how to use a brain?

        • MR

          Again, this latest batch of apologists talks like cults. “You can’t trust anything!” Well, then so much more I can’t trust you. How else do we all live our daily lives? Except in this one area? I’m fine with an additional way to know God if he existed, but it’s a little suspect when you have to replace one way with knowing with another that is completely unreliable in any other context.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Why are you asking these questions?

          Obfuscation.

          you know how to use a brain?

          When it comes to religious mindwankery, obviously not.

        • epeeist

          Your thoughts are nothing but the effervescent fizzing of your neurons, after all.

          So are yours, including thoughts about your god. How can you even rely on them?

          EDIT: grammar

        • Markus R

          In the Christian worldview I am not the end result of chance and time acting on matter. I am the creation of God, made in his image.

        • epeeist

          In the Christian worldview I am not the end result of chance and time acting on matter.

          But the Christian worldview is a result of nothing but the effervescent fizzing of neurons, after all. How can you even rely on it?

        • Greg G.

          Ah, you beat me to it.

        • epeeist

          It is the crass stupidity of him not realising that the argument can be used both ways that amused me. BrotherTC is trying the same thing with his attempt to undermine arguments by asking how I know that the “laws of logic” are true. The problem with him is that he is incapable of making an argument, logical or otherwise.

          If either of them had a brain they would be dangerous.

        • Pofarmer

          Brother TC is a pressupositionalist, he doesn’t think he needs an argument.

        • Greg G.

          The Christian worldview comes from the effervescent fizzing of neurons of people who didn’t know what the brain did.

        • Pofarmer

          I am the creation of God, made in his image.

          You’re made in the image of the immaterial, eternal, ground of all being who isn’t knowable by man?

        • I’d love to see the evidence. If you showed me that he existed then I’d obviously have no option but to admit that he existed.

          But why would I worship him? And why is that relevant? The guy’s an asshole–read the Old Testament. If being a lying, sycophantic ass-kisser would keep me out of hell, though, I probably would, though the guy’d have to be stupid to not to see through that.

        • Markus R

          Now we get to the heart of the matter—a holy and just God versus Bob. A rebellious and sinful creature (just like me). So, all the continual striving to find fault with the Bible. Anything to assure that we’re not going to be held to account.

        • No, the heart of the matter is that God is make-believe. I don’t care about being “held to account” by Zeus, Quetzalcoatl, or Yahweh.

          But I’ll tell you what: here’s your chance to show that it’s otherwise. Here’s your chance to show that I will look at solid, incontrovertible evidence that would convince any open-minded, objective third party and reject it.

          Go. Give me the evidence.

        • Markus R

          You don’t have any claim to absolute truth, Bob, which means you have no claim to knowledge. Your reality is a subjective collection of the “evidence” you find agreeable with your desired outcome. Not unique to you—we all are subject to that if we have no source of absolute truth. But you can’t escape your troubled conscience. You know that there is a definition of absolute goodness and you don’t measure up.

        • Zeta

          “there is a definition of absolute goodness”

          Please define.

        • Markus R

          Transcendentally, only God is good. For his creatures absolute goodness would be living in complete obedience to the 10 Commandments, which were given by him. You can do a quick check of your own goodness by asking,

          “Have I ever stolen anything?”

          “Have I ever told a lie?”

          “Have I ever taken God’s name in vain?”

          “Have I ever had sex outside of marriage or lusted after a woman/man in my heart?”

          Those are just 4 of the 10. How did you do? I failed all four. Which makes me a thieving, lying, blaspheming adulterer. In other words I am evil in God’s eyes and in need of a savior if I’m going to avoid an eternity in hell.

          Because God is absolutely good he is perfectly just and hates evil. Out of his goodness he is also merciful and is not willing that all men should perish. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to receive the punishment for those who would trust in him. Jesus willingly took their sins upon himself and received God’s wrath upon a cross, dying a cruel death. Three days later he rise from the grave, proving that his sacrifice was effective.

          And that is the very demonstration of God’s absolute goodness. Not only does he hate sin, he was willing to die for sinners.

        • Your Ray Comfort challenge makes good sense, assuming you’re already a Christian. For atheists, it makes no sense.

          Try again.

        • Zeta

          Markus R: “How did you do? I failed all four.

          I believe that I do considerably better than you even though I have been an atheist all my life.

          “Have I ever stolen anything?”
          Not anything of significant value. When I was a young kid, I have committed small infractions such as plucking some fruits from a neighbor’s fruit tree without permission. From my teens onwards, I believe that I have never stolen anything.

          “Have I ever told a lie?”
          Little white lies, yes. Not anything that affects other people significantly. I do not know whether you think all lies are evil. Consider the following scenario. A murderer is on the trail of a family hiding in a secure basement. You know all the facts. Would you tell this murderer the truth about the whereabout of the family when he ask you about it? Would you lie in this case?

          “Have I ever taken God’s name in vain?”
          I don’t even believe that a god or gods exist, so this is totally irrelevant. This is true of other god-related commandments too.

          “Have I ever had sex outside of marriage or lusted after a woman/man in my heart?”
          I have never had sex outside of marriage.
          Lusted after a woman? Not after marriage. Since you have admitted that you did have such lusts, I presume that you are blind now because your god Jesus, in Matthew 9:47, told you:

          “And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,”

          Are you typing using Braille Code now?

          “Those are just 4 of the 10”
          So? Some of 10 are only relevant to god believers like you; they are irrelevant to me and I believe, most of the readers here. Do you keep to the Sabbath commandment? If you don’t, the penalty is eternal torture in Hell! How many believers adhere to it?

        • MR

          Stealing: Oh my gosh. I still remember swiping a piece of candy from a bin when i was a little kid. You know, those little red and white swirled peppermints…. I totally deserve eternal torment.

        • Markus R
        • Zeta

          Markus R: “But you still failed. God’s Standard is perfection.

          Sure, I still fail because I don’t even believe in your god. Since “God’s Standard is perfection” and “Only one man has done it—Jesus Christ.”, the Christian Heaven is a totally deserted place with exactly zero inhabitants other than your god! This means all your effort to live perfectly will eventually also be futile. I wonder how many Christians are aware of this!

          I asked you several questions in the comment you replied to. Why are you evading all of them?

        • Markus R

          I’m not evading your questions about the Bible. I love nothing more than discussing the Bible, but it would serve no purpose to discuss truths with you when you have no foundation for absolute truth. This is why you can make no sense of what I have already shared.

        • Zeta

          Markus R: “I’m not evading your questions about the Bible.

          You are evading the following questions:

          1. About the murderer: Would you tell this murderer the truth about the whereabout of the family when he asks you about it? Would you lie in this case?

          2. Did you gouge out your eyes since you lusted after women?

          3. Do you keep to the Sabbath commandment?

          These are questions about what your own action would be, not about the bible per se.
          Unwilling or unable to answer?

          it would serve no purpose to discuss truths with you when you have no foundation for absolute truth.

          Again, the same lame excuse to evade issues. Do you have absolute truth? What is it? How do you know that this truth is “absolute”?

          You seem to be saying that you would only discuss “truths” with those who already have “foundation for absolute truth”, i.e., believers. This makes me wonder why you choose to appear here, an atheist website, and confidently declare that you have evidence that your god exists and your bible is true. When asked to produce the evidence (this is very natural for atheists to do), you are not willing to share the evidence and simply gave excuses. What an anticlimax!

        • Markus R

          God has clearly stated in Romans 1 that you have all the evidence you need but you are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. That is, you live your sins and will suppress the truth to keep them. I never claimed to offer evidence, nor will I subject the holy God to be judged by his creation.

          If you are curious as to my personal observance of the Sabbath, no, I don’t observe it. You can refer to the book of Hebrews for the reason that Christians don’t observe the Sabbath. Would I lie to save a life? Yes.

          Do I have absolute truth and all knowledge? No, but I know the God that is all truth and who possesses all knowledge. And he has revealed himself in nature and in the Bible.

          I have commented on this site for two reasons. First, I was once an atheist. Second, I have been commanded to love my neighbor and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Hell is very real and I do not desire you to spend eternity there.

        • Zeta

          Markus R: “God has clearly stated in Romans 1 that you have all the evidence you need but you are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness.

          I have been a skeptic since my teens. I don’t simply accept what others assert without evidence that I find convincing or satisfactory. It is pointless for you to quote bible verses when I do not believe that your holy book is always “true” and is the word of your god. Your holy book can assert that “you have all the evidence you need” but I am not convinced. Where is the evidence?

          An honest skeptic does not “suppress the truth”. My own training is in STEM areas where skepticism is a basic necessity. When a hypothesis or theory is proposed, any scientist worth his salt will ask to see the evidence and also the proposed tests for validity (or falsifiability) together with new predictions, if available. In this case. you are simply making an assertion and you expect me to accept it without a shred of evidence?

          but you are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. That is, you live your sins and will suppress the truth to keep them.
          This is an arrogance that frequently comes from apologists. To be frank, it is also insulting.

          I never claimed to offer evidence
          ??? Didn’t you say to Bob: “Bob, if I could give you sufficient evidence that the God of the Bible is real and the Bible is truth, …”?
          Weird, maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me?

          If you are curious as to my personal observance of the Sabbath, no, I don’t observe it. You can refer to the book of Hebrews for the reason that Christians don’t observe the Sabbath.

          Then why do you give so much emphasis to the 10 Commandments?
          You said, “For his creatures absolute goodness would be living in complete obedience to the 10 Commandments [Emphasis mine], which were given by him.

          Do you believe in what Jesus allegedly said in Matthew 5:18?
          “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

          Observing the Sabbath is usually listed as #3. Are you now saying that only 9 of the 10 need to be obeyed? Perhaps it is time to change it to “The 9 Commandments”. You are confused and you are contradicting what you said very recently.

          Do I have absolute truth and all knowledge? No,
          Just to remind you that you have been using this term “absolute truth” to defend your god belief and to criticize nonbelievers. Now you are confessing that you do not have absolute truth. By this I take it to mean that you really do not know what it is.

          First, I was once an atheist.
          I would appreciate seeing some evidence of that. Do you have any articles or writing on beliefs from your atheist days? It would be interesting to see those views. I am always curious about such conversions.

        • Markus R

          We have some common interests—I spent my career in a STEM field.

          My suggestion concerning “If I gave you evidence…” to Bob was rhetorical. The point was I knew that he would not agree to worship the God of the Bible even if I were to provide convincing evidence. Nor would you. You’ve judged God and found him unattractive.

          If you wish to comment on issues such as the Sabbath, do yourself a favor and first study hermeneutics and systematic theology. Start my understanding that the Bible is a gradual revelation over the course of history. The New Testament interprets the Old.

          Again, read Hebrews to understand that Christ is the Sabbath fulfilled.

          Next, realize that context is important. With enough study you might actually present s better argument although much meaning will still evade you without illumination by the Holy Spirit. Which requires regeneration…which requires repentance. Jesus stayed clearly that he Truth. To know Jesus is to know Truth.

          Is it arrogant to quote God when he states that you are suppressing the truth? They are his words.

          It’s interesting that you have a standard for atheism. Apparently I would need to be published in a peer reviewed journal to qualify? Now that is arrogance. Or is it a religion?

          But I think we’ve gone long enough. My desire was to present enough of the truth to be obedient to Christ and to do so in love and concern for you. But unless and until you can make a claim of knowledge and not merely scepticism, it serves no purpose, though interesting. I thank you for the conversation. I’ll leave you with the last word.

        • Zeta

          “Apparently I would need to be published in a peer reviewed journal to qualify? Now that is arrogance. ”

          You are getting desperate. I did not say that. I only asked for “articles or writings.” Please do not put words into my mouth. That is dishonesty.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Again, read Hebrews to understand that Christ is the Sabbath fulfilled.

          Why? What authority does it have?

        • Zeta

          “The point was I knew that he would not agree to worship the God of the Bible even if I were to provide convincing evidence. Nor would you. ”

          As I said before, this is just a stupid excuse, a way out. I suspect you have nothing new except regurgitated standard apologetics that readers here have heard countless times. In other words, you are little more than a parrot or an empty vessel.

        • epeeist

          In other words, you are little more than a parrot or an empty vessel.

          A Norwegian Blue?

          http://memecrunch.com/meme/KLJ9/norwegian-blue-beautiful-plumage/image.jpg

        • Greg G.

          We have some common interests—I spent my career in a STEM field.

          Lemme guess. Engineer? that’s just according to the Salem Hypothesis. Instead of a bold statement of a science background, it’s a vague reference to a science-related field, usually done by engineers to inflate their relationship with scientific study.

          Again, read Hebrews to understand that Christ is the Sabbath fulfilled.

          But Hebrews reasons that being a descendant of Abraham means that the descendant was present when Abraham met Melchizedek and therefore has a legitimate connection to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Why should we trust Hebrews?

        • MR

          That’s so funny. How many times have we seen this!? Never, “I’m a such-and-such somethingologist who specializes in somethingolgy.” You walk away whispering, “I think the guy’s a janitor at JPL….”

        • Carol Lynn

          Exactly what I was thinking – except I was going to say he scheduled the use of some high-tech machinery without understanding exactly how it worked.

        • Greg G.

          Yeah, but he prayed before he flipped the switch and it usually worked.

        • Greg G.

          Apparently, whatever it was, it has less cachet than “I spent my career in a STEM field.”

        • My suggestion concerning “If I gave you evidence…” to Bob was rhetorical.

          Right–because you have no such evidence!

        • God’s existence is what remains to be shown. You don’t just assume it before you start.

          How can you not understand this?

        • Ignorant Amos

          God’s existence is what remains to be shown. You don’t just assume it before you start.

          Otherwise all gods are on the table by default.

          How can you not understand this?

          Hmmmm…let me ponder for a wee moment….Dime Bar?

        • epeeist

          Hell is very real and I do not desire you to spend eternity there.

          Why would an omibenevolent entity send anyone to hell, regardless of whether they believed in it or not or what they had done?

        • you have no foundation for absolute truth

          But you do?? Support your remarkable claim that objective moral truth exists or withdraw it!

        • Zeta

          Markus R: “Because God is absolutely good he is perfectly just and hates evil.

          I assume that this god of yours is the god of the bible. Is he absolutely good when he killed 2,476,636 people as documented in your very own holy book. Anyone who intentionally kills children and babies is evil.

          Assuming that you are reading the same bible as others, your god is far from what you claim he is.

          I can’t put it better than Richard Dawkins in his book The God Delusion:

          The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

          Dan Barker, former evangelical preacher and current co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, wrote a 320-page book based on the above quote:
          God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction (2016)

          How about rebutting Dawkins and Barker?

          It is funny that reading the same book can lead to radically different views.

        • Markus R

          By what standard of truth do you judge God? Even Dawkins admits there is no basis for absolute morality in his world view but than judges God. Go figure.

          If we are just the products of chance and time acting on matter, why does it matter is someone kills s gazillion people?

        • Zeta

          “By what standard of truth do you judge God? ”

          Since I do not believe there are gods, I judge claims about god using society standards which have evolved through the ages and have been found to work fairly well even though there are contentious issues. There are generally accepted values (such as not murdering, raping, stealing, etc.) that have appeared in societies that have never heard of your bible and were not aware of the Christian god. In fact, some even preceded Christianity which is a relatively new comer on the world scene.

          Christians love to use “absolute morality” as a feeble attempt to defend their god whenever the immoral actions of their god are mentioned. Can you explain this term and give some examples of “absolute morality” that can only be found in Christianity?

          Please also state unequivocally whether a god that kills children and babies is good or he is immoral and evil.

          If we are just the products of chance and time acting on matter, why does it matter is someone kills s gazillion people?

          Standard and stupid apologetics that atheists have heard countless times. Indiscriminate killings cause great sufferings and strife. Such societies would find it difficult to survive. Aren’t these sufficient reasons to be concerned about killings and murders? You don’t need god(s) to arrive at such values. Is this so difficult for Christians like you to grasp?

        • Markus R

          By definition the supreme being of God defines morality. Think about the absurdity of the pot judging the potter that formed it.

          Reality consists of two things—God and his creation. Nothing more. Now imagine the man that he created judging him. Silly, isn’t it?

          What men never wish to admit is that they hate God and want to be gods, themselves. Remember the lie that the serpent told the first woman? She ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil because she desired to be like God.

          We all still have remnants of God’s nature in our conscience. It’s why you are so desperate to disprove God that you spend your life demanding Christians to provide evidence (which you will refuse to accept 100% of the time). If you really thought that the existence of God was nonsensical, why exert such effort to continue disproving the claims?

          Of course most atheists are passive atheists—they just don’t give it any thought. But some are deeply troubled or even angered by any claims of God. I was an active atheist who delighted in destroying any Christian argument. In truth, because they have no transcendent source of truth and knowledge, they have to borrow from the Christian worldview to even incorporate logic or discuss ethics.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Remember the lie that the serpent told the first woman?

          You do know that most normal folk think that is a fairy tale? Used to be an atheist, my arse!

          She ate the fruit of the tree of good and evil because she desired to be like God.

          What do ya mean by “like” God?

          By definition the supreme being of God defines morality.

          Which one? Let me go out on a limb here and guess, it’s your own personal one?

          Think about the absurdity of the pot judging the potter that formed it.

          Think about the absurdity of that stupid analogy ya dickhead. Typical Christian mindwankery.

          Children judge their parents all the feckin’ time.

        • Markus R

          Wow. I see how you came by your name.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ta-daa… you’ve just given the regulars a blast.

        • epeeist

          Wow. I see how you came by your name.

          I think you just fell into a heffalump trap

          https://simonleather.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/pitfall-trap-heffalump.jpg

        • Greg G.

          “Wow. I see how you came by your name,” says the guy who cannot admit his own ignorance.

        • Remember the lie that the serpent told the first woman?

          You mean the one where he says that you actually won’t die? That one turned out to be true. Whoops.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In the fairy tale, nothing the serpent said was a lie…God on the other hand, well that shite-bag lied through his immaterial eye-teeth…

        • Carol Lynn

          What men never wish to admit is that they … want to be gods

          So… you’ve never met a Mormon?

        • Greg G.

          By definition the supreme being of God defines morality.

          Morality is based on the vulnerabilities of those involved. It is not immoral to kill an immortal being because it cannot be killed. Maybe traveling faster than light speed is immoral and that is why we can’t do it. If so, masturbation must be OK but tickling yourself is not.

          Think about the absurdity of the pot judging the potter that formed it.

          But think of the absurdity of the potter blaming the pot for how the pot was made.

        • Pofarmer

          By definition the supreme being of God defines morality.

          Yeah. Not really. There are lot’s of definition for “God”. My favorite one is the good ole “Ground of all being”. Immaterial, eternal, all powerful. Unknowable. Etc, etc. How does that God define morality?

        • Markus R

          Perjaps this video will help diffuse the stiff interaction of blog comments:
          https://youtu.be/GCLOFf9bk6c

        • Greg G.

          That is nothing but fallacious apologetics. He is making the same claims you made that have been shot down repeatedly. They are PRATTs – Points Refuted A Thousand Times.

          I bet that he is not even correctly reporting the claim that set the dude off. The argument is not that “science has proven everything therefore no god”. It is “that science has explained everything that people used to take as evidence for gods” so the original reasons for belief are gone. But people have a jack-of-all-trades belief that eases the fear of death so they look for other things to explain with it without evidence.

          The Problem of Suffering proves that there is no entity that is both omnipotent and omnibenevolent. There is no entity that is both sufficiently potent enough to prevent suffering and sufficiently caring enough to act.

        • Markus R

          God ordained but is not the author of evil. Indeed how would we know him to be good and just if he did not punish evil? All goodness is found in God. As is justice and wrath. Our essential problem with evil is that we ourselves are evil and unable to know and do good by nature. The good that we can do falls short of God’s goodness and, even so, is only possible by God’s common grace and mercy as he restrains the fullness of evil.

          We deeply want to not be held accountable for our evil. This, we do just as Adam and Eve did— find fault with God. The philosophical problem of suffering and evil is only that- philosophical. We simply cannot comptehend a good God permitting evil. Yet this is because we do not comprehend the essence of perfection which is glory. God seeks to glorify himself for he is worthy of glory. His ultimate glorification is found in the punishment of evil and it’s degrat through Jesus Christ.

          Our greatest limit is our own minds. As God richly explains, his thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. Not only because he is infinitely greater than his creatures, but because our fall into sin marred our understanding and moral nature. It is only when we come to see our own evil nature that we can begin to grasp a modicum if God’s goodness.

          The final and most powerful understanding is in the cross of Jesus Christ. On the cross we see the true glory of a good and loving God who willingly subjects himself to punishment and wrath. Love, mercy, goodness and justice come into full light in his amazing death upon the cross. There is no greater display of omnibenevolrnce than the innocent God-man giving himself for our sins.

        • Greg G.

          God ordained but is not the author of evil. Indeed how would we know him to be good and just if he did not punish evil?

          If there was any type of being that was both omnipotent and good, there would be no evil.

          All goodness is found in God. As is justice and wrath.

          Wrath is a lack of goodness.

          But the issue I raised is “The Problem of Suffering”. The weakest definition of “omnipotent” is the ability to do anything that is logically possible. There are some things that are impossible. If a being can create a bachelor and can create a married man, it still cannot create a married bachelor. If you think otherwise, the following proof becomes easier.

          Suffering is either necessary or it is unnecessary. If it is unnecessary and there is an omnipotent being, then the being is either sadistic or simply indifferent. Either case is incompatible with the adjective “omnibenevolent”.

          “Omnibenevolence” means “all good and caring”. One instant of not caring means almost omnibenevolent. Almost always good and caring is not omnibenevolent as it must be benevolent all the time.

          If suffering is necessary, then it must accomplish something that is logically possible to do. If suffering can do something that is logically possible to do but an entity cannot do it, then that entity is not omnipotent simply because it cannot do something that is logically possible. So an omnipotent being could accomplish whatever the suffering can do with or without the suffering, then the suffering is unnecessary.

          If the suffering is unnecessary, then the omnipotence is not omnibenevolent.

          Suffering exists. You even make excuses for it. But it really means there is no entity that is both omnibenevolent and omnipotent. It also means there is no entity that is both sufficiently powerful to make suffering unnecessary and sufficiently caring enough to do it.

          Then you claim that your god thingy is just and merciful. Those are contradictory terms. When it is just, it is not merciful. When it is merciful, it is not just. You might say that it is sometimes just and sometimes merciful but then you give up absolutes.

          You have not provided sufficient evidence for any supernatural being. The claims you make about your imaginary god are contradictory.

          We don’t know that no gods exist but we can rule out yours.

          Edited to replace a pronoun with a noun for clarity.

        • Markus R

          Greg, as impressive as your writing and logic can sometimes be you stumble over the fallacy of defining God as man. Goodness is not the absence of just wrath. Indeed one is not good who allows evil to go unpunished. If your own response to heinous evil is to passively abstain from any reaction, that is hardly good.

          Just a suggestion. You betray disrespect when you refer to a “god thingy”. That is an intentional choice on your part to ridicule me and it is beneath you. I really cannot respect your communications in light of it. Nuff said. I’ve said my piece and will move along.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Just a suggestion. You betray disrespect when you refer to a “god thingy”. That is an intentional choice on your part to ridicule me and it is beneath you. I really cannot respect your communications in light of it. Nuff said. I’ve said my piece and will move along.

          Bwaaahahaha….pwnd, so you’ve bottled. No credibilty left ya fuckwit…slink away off to Croydon ya Dime Bar.

        • Greg G.

          you stumble over the fallacy of defining God as man. Goodness is not the absence of just wrath.

          “Good” is a word made by man, and so are similar words in other languages. If it doesn’t apply as defined to your god thingy, then it is a lie to call your god thingy by that word.

          Just a suggestion. You betray disrespect when you refer to a “god thingy”.

          I give imaginary god thingies all the respect they deserve.

        • epeeist

          You betray disrespect when you refer to a “god thingy”.

          Respect has to be earned. Your god, even assuming it existed, is not worthy of respect.

        • epeeist

          I came across this paper by J.L. Mackie the other day. I didn’t realise it was available online.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The link isn’t working for me…the pointer can’t recognize it as a link…could be just my laptop…could ya check it for me please? I’d be very interested to read that paper.

        • epeeist

          When I am posting on The Guardian it gives me a box with four buttons underneath, bold, italic, blockquote and link. You would think that Disqus would be able to produce something similar and save us typing in HTML.

          Anyway I have fixed the link.

        • In short, “You haven’t proven there is no God.”

          Agreed. And irrelevant.

          He puzzles over how atheists can trust their conclusions when they’re the result of natural selection. (It’s because natural selection selected for minds that understood reality.) What he didn’t touch on is how Christians can trust their minds, which I’m sure they’ll agree are imperfect, when they make the most outlandish conclusion, that God exists.

        • Ignorant Amos

          By what standard of truth do you judge God?

          The same standard everyone judges everything…subjectively. When a group of folk agree on that subjectivity, we call it intersubjectivity.

          Even Dawkins admits there is no basis for absolute morality in his world view but than judges God. Go figure.

          Go figure? It really isn’t all that hard to figure…thought you claimed to have been atheist? Ya don’t know much considering.

          I judge things to be right or wrong by my own subjective moral standards. When a group of folk have the same subject moral standards, we call this intersubjectivity. When in a society the majority have the same intersubjective moral standards, that is the norm. Rules are made incorporating those standards. That’s why slavery once once the norm, but it is no longer. That’s why persecution of homosexuality was once the norm, but is no longer. In a society where cannibalism is the norm, it isn’t a bad thing, even though outsiders looking in wouldn’t agree. In a society where polygamy is the norm, it isn’t a bad thing, even though outsiders looking in wouldn’t agree.

          You are fucked on this dilemma.

          Let’s use an example. The enslavement of of young virgins for the purpose of rape. You and I would consider that a bad thing to do, right? That is our subjective morality joining to become intersubjective morality. But that wasn’t considered bad at all times and places. So can’t be objectively bad. In fact, where ISIS ruled, it wasn’t bad for them to do it at all, it was a God given right. But you won’t find it condemned in the OT, because God commands it. So, is it good when God commands it, but bad to us to even consider it? Well then it ain’t objective. Was it okay back in the day, but bad know? Well then it ain’t objective. Was it a fit punishment at one place and time, but not in another place and time, then it ain’t objective.

          Other examples available on request. Lying, murder, stealing…all the same.

        • Markus R

          That’s creative. Get a bunch of subjective opinions in the same room and take a vote! Truth derived by counting heads. Considering your thoughts are no mire than neurons bouncing around between your ears that ought to be productive.

          Truth? Hardly. Scary? You betcha. But it works for Marxists so, hey.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You seem to be confusing truth with the difference between good and bad.

          What makes abortion legal, a good thing, when many Christians believe it is murder, while lots of others don’t?

          That’s right, a bunch of subjective opinions in the same room and they took a vote.

          Are you naturally this stupid, or do you practice hard to get so good at it?

        • Rudy R

          Why is it so hard for you to comprehend that morality could have originated through shared expectations and rules? Is it so hard to believe that two people can promise not to kill each other or steal from each other? If you believe in the literal story of Adam and Eve, then there is no point in debating atheists. But if you do believe that Homo sapiens sapiens originated from the African savanna, then it’s not hard to conceive that the earliest thinking humans agreed on a shared pact that would encourage a flourishing and safe life, which would include, I won’t kill you and your family, if you don’t kill me and my family, and I won’t steal from you and your family, if you don’t steal from me and my family.

        • Carol Lynn

          I passed all four and I’m still an atheist. Actually, I’ve passed all 10. What’s your point?

        • Greg G.

          I think I have checked off eight out of ten of the 10 Commandments. I have already murdered everybody I want to, which is nobody, so that remains on my bucket list. I have no gods before Yahweh, so I haven’t really broken that one either.

        • Greg G.

          You don’t have any claim to absolute truth, Bob, which means you have no claim to knowledge.

          Claiming to have absolute truth disqualifies your claim to knowledge. We have justified belief because it is based on evidence.

          Your reality is a subjective collection of the “evidence” you find agreeable with your desired outcome.

          We accept the evidence whether it agrees with our desired outcome. I don’t have evidence of a bank account matching some televangelist so I don’t buy jets.

          But you can’t escape your troubled conscience.

          I have escaped my troubled conscience. I don’t do things that would trouble my conscience.

          You know that there is a definition of absolute goodness and you don’t measure up.

          At least I am more honest with myself and others than you are with yourself and others.

        • You don’t have any claim to absolute truth, Bob

          I never said I did (at least in the moral category).

          How about you? Do you claim absolute truth? If so, give me some examples and justify why this is absolute truth.

          . . . which means you have no claim to knowledge.

          How does that follow?

          Your reality is a subjective collection of the “evidence” you find agreeable with your desired outcome.

          Agreeableness isn’t the issue, though it’s amusing that you think that charge fits me better than you.

          You know that there is a definition of absolute goodness and you don’t measure up.

          Wrong again. But thanks for the laugh.

        • Markus, if I could give you sufficient evidence that the God of the Bible is no more real than any other god of the Ancient Near East, would you stop worshipping him?

        • Zeta

          Hardly convincing to skeptics!
          You talk about the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. The most you can claim is that Jesus prophesied the event but this is not about his Second Coming. If you believe that it is, how do you explain Matthew 24:29 to 24:31?

          29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

          Did all these happen?

          Moreover, there are plenty of Christians who disagree with you.

    • What Zeta said.

      If you’re marveling at how Christian apologists will be able to rationalize and tap dance away from any conceivable contradiction in their beliefs, I share that feeling. But Christians’ determination to hold their conclusion no matter what the evidence is a little off topic. Here, we’re talking about the contradictions themselves. You got rebuttals? Go.

      • Markus R

        What I said to Zeta.

    • Greg G.

      Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us that Jesus ate the passover meal before he was arrested. John tells us that Jesus was arrested, tried, convicted, crucified, died, and buried before the passover. Christians have had 2000 years to explain this but only give silly excuses. What is your solution?

      • Markus R

        You need to read John 13 again in light of the other Gospels. Keep in mind that we have four accounts, not one. Like any author, the writers intend to convey the details they found important. Likewise the accounts were all written at different tones and with specific audiences in mind, as with any writing. In some cases it can be assumed they were aware of what was already own by the readers. This they would include information they felt was important to include. Keep in mind that John wrote in a very different fashion with a clear intent to point to the divinity of Christ to Jewish readers.

        This is not a situation in which all four writers were sat down in a police station and asked to write their accounts, so that the accounts could be compared for consistency. The beauty of having 4 seoeraye accounts written contemporaneously is that history rarely affords us such a luxury. God is amazing, isn’t he?

        • Greg G.

          I put the other three gospels at the top of the post. I said they clearly say that they say Jesus ate the passover.

          The problem is that John says Jesus did not. John 13:1 says it was before the time of the passover. The next five chapters is a continuous conversation with Jesus doing most of the talking. So, in John 18:1, when it says that when Jesus stopped talking, he crossed the brook and went to the garden. In John 18:2-12, is the arrest sequence and it was still before the time of the passover, per John 13:1, so nobody in Jerusalem had eaten the passover. In subsequent verses, John says it was still the Preparation Day for the Passover.

          John apparently changed the day for religious reasons. Paul called Jesus the Passover lamb in 1 Corinthians and the Passover lamb is killed before sunset on the day of preparation.

          But that doesn’t really work because the passover is not a sin offering.

          Mark has the scapegoat scenario of Leviticus 16:5-22 where one is killed for the sins of the people and one is released into yhe wilderness. Mark teaches his readers that in Aramaic, “bar” means “son of” when he explained the name of Bartimaeus. He also used cAbba, Father” for the opening of Jesusx Gethsemane prayer.

          Astute readers then realize there are two men called “Son of the Father” like matched goats, one is released and the other is killed for the sins of the people.

          But the problem is that Yom Kippur, Atonement Day, is 5 months after Passover, when that ritual is performed.

          John should changed it to that day instead of preparation day.

        • Markus R

          Greg, you are erring by assuming that John was written to be an exact record of events. It is clear in all the gospels that order varies. And it is clear that John’s intent is clearly to address the Jewish reader and to present Jesus as divine. You are seeking what you will only find in the synoptic gosoel accounts.

          In understanding the gospels we have to interpret them by the other accounts. If 4 people all wrote about “what I saw and experienced at school today, do you think there would not be varied content and style? John dues not skip the Passover.

          Do you not think that authors of the gospels wrote their accounts at different times? Those who write later than the others were familiar with the preceding accounts. They would naturally choose to focus on areas they felt we’re important.
          Mi might suggest that rather than looking for discrepancies, consider them together. The Bible has been subjected to 2000 years of debate and criticism. You aren’t discovering things missed or hidden.

        • epeeist

          Greg, you are erring by assuming that John was written to be an exact record of events. It is clear in all the gospels that order varies. And it is clear that John’s intent is clearly to address the Jewish reader and to present Jesus as divine.

          There is a word for this kind of thing, it is “propaganda”.

        • Markus R

          Sure, whatever you say. Then again you are the fellow with no basis fir knowledge or truth. How would you be able to judge what is propaganda?

        • epeeist

          Then again you are the fellow with no basis fir knowledge or truth.

          Oh I do have a basis for knowledge, as I indicated in this post. It is just that you lack the requisite background to realise what I was talking about. You might want to read this article. You might also care to read up on externalism and epistemology.

          How would you be able to judge what is propaganda?

          You were implying that John was written to present Jesus as divine to Jewish readers and not to be an actual record of events. This being so it marks John both as fictive and intending to persuade people to accept a particular point of view. Sounds like propaganda to me, though if you want to call it sophistry then I would accept that.

        • Greg G.

          Greg, you are erring by assuming that John was written to be an exact record of events.

          It is hilarious that you are assuming that I assume that because I make no such assumption about any gospel story. My third paragraph in the post you are replying to begins with “John apparently changed the day for religious reasons.” I just gave you one of the contradictions Bob listed.

          You chided bob for pointing out the contradictions, but many Christians insist that there are no contradictions, but they are only apparent contradictions. Brother TC is another Christian posting in this forum now. I challenged him with the passover problem. He said that the Preparation Day in John 18 was a different meal. I pointed out the sequence from John 13:1 to 18:12 and now he doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. He won’t even admit he was wrong.

          You said “You need to read John 13 again in light of the other Gospels.” That was my point. When compared to the other gospels, it is a contradiction. If the churches are not going to point out theses contradictions while denying that they exist, then somebody should.

          John dues not skip the Passover.

          He has Jesus dead and buried before the Passover meal.

          Do you not think that authors of the gospels wrote their accounts at different times? Those who write later than the others were familiar with the preceding accounts. They would naturally choose to focus on areas they felt we’re important.

          I think Mark was the first. John wrote next and rearranged it because some of the traveling is disjointed. Matthew wrote next and had copies of Mark and John in front of him. The genealogy and the nativity seems to be a response to the paradox of John 7:40-42 about the prophecy that the Messiah was to come from Bethlehem and be a descendant of David when Jesus was from Galilee. Luke knew all three of them but rejected parts of each such as Mark’s spit miracles, John’s resurrection of Lazarus, and Matthew’s genealogy and nativity stories.

          Mi might suggest that rather than looking for discrepancies, consider them together. The Bible has been subjected to 2000 years of debate and criticism. You aren’t discovering things missed or hidden.

          People have been reading the New Testament as if it is not myth and fiction for 2000 years. It is a pity.

        • John apparently changed the day for religious reasons.

          Or literary reasons. The perfect lambs are prepared for slaughter on the Day of Preparation, in parallel with the Lamb of God going through his ordeal before his sacrifice.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Keep in mind that we have four accounts, not one.

          Wrong….there was/is a lot more than one. Those four are just the ones that past muster 300 years after the alleged events they depict.

          Like any author, the writers intend to convey the details they found important.

          As did all the other authors of Christian writing that were treated as scripture until they weren’t…that doesn’t make any of it true. It just meant that there was gullible people willing to believe all sorts of fantastical shite and the ones that gained the upper hand, put the rest of those Christians down.

          Likewise the accounts were all written at different tones and with specific audiences in mind, as with any writing.

          Indeed they were, as was all the rest of those holy scriptures that were later deemed heretical. Heresy is subjective. Why don’t you Christians go learn about this kind of stuff.

          In some cases it can be assumed they were aware of what was already own by the readers. This they would include information they felt was important to include.

          When something is read in one book verbatim that can be read in an earlier book, scholars call that plagiarism and it is frond upon.

          Keep in mind that John wrote in a very different fashion with a clear intent to point to the divinity of Christ to Jewish readers.

          Yeah…your point?

          This is not a situation in which all four writers were sat down in a police station and asked to write their accounts, so that the accounts could be compared for consistency.

          We know. The first writer cobbled together a fiction from the literature of the day. Then it’s like the first writers work was picked up later by the second writer, who didn’t think much of it and thought a better version could be produced. So, copied some bits, added other bits, and left out other bits, to suit his/her purpose. Then the third writer read the work of the first writer and the second writer, and thought I could sort this out better, so did the same as the second writer. Those writers could hardly have had the foresight to know that centuries later their work would be getting scrutinized for inconsistencies and contradictions. Why would they? And why would they care?

          The beauty of having 4 seoeraye accounts written contemporaneously is that history rarely affords us such a luxury.

          Yea, about that too…never happened that way. That you think it did, just shows your ignorance on the subject.

          God is amazing, isn’t he?

          Not from where I’m sitting, no. There are far better stories of fiction to be read with a lot less plot holes. Not at all impressive for the work of a so-called perfect being with all that omni shite going on.