The Design Argument (Fiction)

The Design Argument (Fiction) February 15, 2019

It’s been a while since I’ve run any excerpts from my 2012 book, Cross Examined: An Unconventional Spiritual Journey. These are a bit longer than the usual post, but I think the fiction format is an interesting way to explore apologetics arguments.

A bit of background: Jim is a wealthy, housebound, and somewhat obnoxious atheist, and Paul is the young acolyte of Rev. Samuel Hargrove, a famous pastor. Paul is doing his best to evangelize Jim, though Paul’s faith is now wavering. It’s 1906 in Los Angeles, shortly after the San Francisco earthquake, and they’re in Jim’s house.

Paul was eager to get to business. “I’d like to talk about evidence of God’s hand in the design of the world.”

“Okay, but I’ve already told you what I think of it.” A tea kettle whistled. Jim walked into the kitchen, and returned with a tea tray and set it on the center table.

“The world has some marvelous things in it,” Paul said. “Rainbows and sunsets, laughing children, spring flowers, warm beaches, love. It’s a beautiful world.”

“True. But the world also has some terrible things in it. Earthquakes, droughts, famines, parasites. Take Guinea worm—it’s a parasite that’s common in Africa. It grows in people up to three feet long, eventually living just under the skin. When the mature worm is ready to lay eggs, it burns its way through the skin. Very painful, I hear. To extract the worm, it’s wound up on a stick, which is also a painful process. It takes days. In fact, you’ve already seen this. You know the doctor symbol, the snake twisted around a pole? That symbol came from this remedy.”

Paul grimaced and pushed himself back into his chair. “How do you get infected?”

“By drinking contaminated water. Nature has many kinds of diseases—some that kill you, and some that just make you wish you were dead. For every laughing child, I could find a child who no longer laughs, dying of dysentery or smallpox or even measles. Or an old man slowly dying of cancer. Or. . . .” Jim inhaled noisily as if he were coming up for air. “Or a young mother dying in childbirth.”

Jim cleared his throat as he stood and walked to the wall opposite the window. At the bureau, he paused before a large framed portrait of a young woman. As Jim leafed through a drawer, Paul thought of the needlepoint pillows and framed samplers. The vacancy left by a woman was now obvious. He was surprised he hadn’t noticed before.

“How old are you?” Jim asked.

“I’m twenty-five.”

Jim returned to the sofa holding a newspaper clipping. “This is a list of major natural disasters from recent history. We can date them by your life. The earthquake in the Himalayas last year was much deadlier than the one we just had in San Francisco—20,000 people died. When you were twenty-one, a volcano in Martinique killed 29,000, and when you were two, Krakatau killed even more. A cyclone in Bengal killed 150,000 people when you were sixteen, and one in Vietnam killed twice that in the year you were born. When you were six, a flood in China killed as many as 2,000,000. And years of drought in India caused a famine that killed 10,000,000 when you were about twenty.”

“Yes, I’ve heard of some of those.”

“There’s a hell of a lot of pain and suffering in the world to go along with the good things.”

“Perhaps God has a reason.”

“To teach us to be humble? To count our blessings? To not get cocky? Those are some heavy-handed lessons. Let me propose this explanation: there is no reason at all. Our earth looks just as it would if there were no purpose, no design, and no wise designer.”

This was another Jim onslaught to which Paul had no rebuttal. “Well, let’s approach this from another angle,” Paul said. “You’re familiar with the Paley pocket watch example?”

Jim dismissed the notion with a wave of his hand. “That argument has been around since Cicero. What’s amusing about Paley’s watch argument is that it defeats itself. Let’s imagine his original situation. He’s walking in a field and discovers the watch. It looks out of place, different from the plants and rocks. But if it looks different from nature because it looks designed, then nature must not look designed. You can’t argue on the one hand that the watch looks remarkable and stands out from the natural background, and on the other that the watch looks similar to nature, so both must be designed.”

“But nature does look designed. I’ve seen close-up photographs of insects like fleas. If God puts this amazing detail into insects, He must care far more for humans.”

“We marvel at God’s handiwork only after we know that he exists.” Jim leaned forward. “The design argument simply takes a childish view of the world. Does the world look designed by an omniscient and benevolent god? Go to the freak show at the circus—it’s a museum of nature’s poor design. Siamese twins, two-headed pigs, bearded ladies, the Lizard Man, hermaphrodites, dwarves, giants. Monsters like the Elephant Man and unfortunates with all manner of birth defects. Deformed babies floating in formaldehyde. Is this the best that God can do?”

“Maybe birth defects are meant to test us, to teach us to be better people.”

“That’s quite a barbaric test. Isn’t it ironic to imagine God teaching us to be kind with the cruelest test imaginable? Think of the parents every day who are told that their newborn has some hideous defect and will live a short, painful life. And why are there birth defects in animals? Do they need testing too? A natural explanation works best. ‘God is testing us’ is not where the evidence points.”

Jim poured tea from the pot into two delicate white china cups on saucers and pushed one toward Paul. “And there are examples of inept designs. One of the best examples is in a whale—I saw a few whale skeletons when I lived in Boston. Many species have small bones as remnants of their nonexistent rear legs, and their flippers have all the joints of a land animal’s hand but no reason for that flexibility—very different from a fish’s fin. If the whale had been designed, it would have been tailored to life in the ocean with no wasted bones.”

Paul set his Bible on his knee and opened it to a bookmark. “When Job questions God, God replies, ‘Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding.’ Maybe it’s presumptuous of us to judge God.”

“Once again, that assumes God, the very thing we’re trying to establish. Maybe I’ll avoid judging God once I know that he exists. Let’s approach it this way: if you were God, would you design the earth with volcanoes and hurricanes, plagues and famines?”

“Maybe those are necessary features of the earth,” Paul said. “Maybe hurricanes distribute rain or heat; maybe volcanoes relieve pressure underground. We just don’t know.”

Jim reached for his tea cup. “You’re God, infinitely smarter than the smartest human, and that’s the best you can do? ‘Sorry about the volcano—I had to relieve some pressure.’ You can’t argue strong evidence for design at one moment, but plead ignorance at another when it suits you. Take your pick: does the earth look designed or not? It could indeed have been designed, but it’s not designed in a way that any human designer would have used. A loving and omniscient human designer wouldn’t have created earthquakes, plagues, legs for whales, and Guinea worm. Therefore, the design metaphor, which says the earth looks as it would if designed by a human with the ability, fails.”

“Well, maybe ‘designer’ isn’t the best metaphor,” Paul said. “Maybe God is best thought of as an artist, and we see his artistic license. This acknowledges that our human knowledge is insufficient to judge God.”

“Call him an artist then, not a designer.”

“Maybe God didn’t want a perfect design,” Paul said. “Genesis says that Creation was perfect, but it is now imperfect because of the Fall—the sin of the apple.”

“If we live in a fallen world, then don’t argue that it looks perfectly designed. You can’t argue for an imperfect fallen world and a perfectly designed world at the same time.”

Paul took stock of his position. His argument was eroding, but this didn’t feel like earlier conversations. It wasn’t really his argument, and he could view its strengths and weaknesses dispassionately. This objectivity was the new piece to the puzzle that he was trying out. “I’m trying to be open minded about this, but I still think that the earth and life on it look designed. Think of the complexity. Don’t you see that, too?”

“Many undesigned things have interesting properties. Snowflakes are complex, crystals have order, rainbows are beautiful. By contrast, many things that we know were designed don’t have these properties.”

“But a snowflake is hardly as complex as, say, a flea. When you get to a human, the complexity is overwhelming.”

“Complexity is weak evidence for design. A clumsy sock puppet or a childish clay sculpture are designed, and an intricate crystal or snowflake with trillions of precisely placed atoms is not. Which one is more complex? Mere complexity is deceiving. Atoms obey simple rules as they lock into place, one by one. From simple natural rules can come complexity.”

Jim drank from his teacup. “But the Design Argument forces you to come at this from the other direction since designers are always more complex than what they design. If a complex world must have been created by an even-more-complex God, then what created God?”

“Yes, I see that, but I think the argument makes an exception for God.”

“So ‘simple things must come from complex things . . . except for God’ is your argument.”

“Well, it’s not necessarily my argument.”

“Ah—good to see that distinction.”

And that distinction was quite plain to Paul, too. Samuel’s arguments had been a part of him like a suit of clothes, and critiquing them was like judging his appearance without a mirror. For the first time he could see this argument separate from himself, as if displayed on a mannequin. Looking at it objectively, he had lost faith that its strengths outweighed its weaknesses.

“You know of things that might look designed but aren’t,” Jim said. “The English language, for example. It’s very complex, but it wasn’t designed—it just happened. Or Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ that controls the marketplace.”

Jim set his cup on the table with a clack. “Even if I found the Design Argument compelling, this mysterious Designer is unidentified. Is it the God of Christianity? Or is it Allah or Osiris or Zeus or some other god? And it doesn’t explain anything. ‘God did it’ simply replaces a mystery with another mystery. Who is this God? Where did he come from, how did he do his designing, and what natural laws did he break? A true scientific explanation is quite different—it adds to our knowledge. No scientist, deciphering some puzzling aspect of nature, would ever say, ‘God did it, you say? Well then, nothing left for me to do here—I’ll just go home.’ ”

Paul had never been a tea drinker. Without sugar the tea was harsh, but it had a kind of intriguing charm. “I’m beginning to see your point, but science doesn’t answer everything,” he said.

“True. I don’t suppose it ever will. But adding God to the explanation doesn’t help, it just complicates. Believers tie themselves in knots trying to rationalize why God allows bad things to happen and why he doesn’t provide the relief himself. The convoluted rationalization vanishes when you simply realize that you have no need of the God hypothesis.”

“You use the word ‘rationalize’ as if it’s a bad thing.”

“Not all rationalization is bad. If you knew for a fact that God existed, then you would want to rationalize or justify any apparent contradiction with that fact—to reinterpret new clues to fit the known facts. But God’s existence is exactly what we’re trying to establish. Rationalization parries an attack, nothing more. It is very different from giving evidence to support a position.”

That made sense to Paul. “Giving evidence strengthens your position, and rationalizing avoids the weakening of your position,” Paul said. “They’re almost opposites.”

“Exactly. Rationalization starts with God’s existence: given Christianity, how can I square it with the facts? Reason starts with the facts and follows them where they lead.”

Related post: Argument from Design BUSTED!

 

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  • Lex Lata

    Let’s go ahead and assume, just for the purposes of argument, that the appearance of design justifies belief in a transcendent designer. There’s exactly as much scientific support for Yahweh being the designer as there is for Enki, Marduk, Kali Ma, Luonnotar, and countless other deities who have been part of humanity’s collective pantheon. In fact, there’s no compelling reason a trancendent designer need be on the menu of divine beings known to (or imagined by) human beings at all. It could easily be something entirely alien, unexpected, even incomprehensible.

    To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, even if you could establish the probable existence of a designer or First Cause or whatever you call it, “you’ve still got all your work ahead of you” to show that it’s the specific parochial and patriarchal warlord-god described by a minor Iron Age tribe.

    • Guestie

      When people bring up the “long” history of God (as if a few thousand years is long) as evidence, I like to point out that there must be even more ancient gods for which we’ve lost all evidence. How do we know one of those gods wasn’t the real one.

      • Lex Lata

        Yep. Or what if it’s an entirely novel god we have yet to “discover?” A transcendent designer has no obligation whatsoever to conform to any of the versions we balding, imaginative apes have developed over the millennia.

      • Yep, if antiquity is evidence, then polytheism is better supported by far, or animism.

      • Ficino

        Those gods were losers. Sad. I cannot wait to sue those gods.

    • ephemerol

      Exactly. I lump this in with the cosmological arguments because they all suffer from the same absolutely fatal flaw, even if biology is the bit of the cosmos the apologist wants to focus on in his argumentation. But with maddening regularity, the apologist makes the colossal leap to assert the identity of said “designer” without missing a beat, because he assumed it from the get-go, but disingenuously wants to pretend like he argued from facts to “inescapable” conclusion.

      • Michael Neville

        At best those arguments aret for a deist deity. It’s special pleading to name one’s favorite god as the designer/creator/whatever.

    • I’d say there is really more evidence for a designer who isn’t omnipotent, omniscient etc., and so that rules out theism of the Christian sort.

  • bullet

    The only way the design theory works is if there is more than one designer. And they don’t like each other.

    • Cozmo the Magician

      Or if god is just a really really evil prick.

      • Michael Neville

        Hanlon’s Razor should be kept in mind: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

        • Cozmo the Magician

          Nope, the diety aint stupid. If such a being exists it would HAVE to be evil, uncaring, or even outright sadistic.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Or…

          …maybe you should read the almost 2000 pages of revelation He handed us for clarity on such matters.

        • You’re saying the Bible clarifies things? That’s not been my experience. The 45,000 Christian denominations agree with me.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…The 45,000 Christian denominations agree with me…”

          Good. Then stand in confusion with the 45,000 denominations.

          Or you could just read the Bible and try paying attention to what it actually says…

          …not what hooplehead men have to say about it.

        • How lucky for us that you dropped by! I recently wrote a series of posts summarizing some Bible/Christian contradictions. You’re welcome to untangle them for us.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/

        • Albert Swearengen

          I’ll tell you what, Bob.

          You give me FIVE of these so-called contradictions from the Bible…

          …and I’ll show you how to resolve them right here.

          All this takes is a little bit of interest in what you’re doing, a little bit of effort, and a very little bit of sincerity.

          What say you, fella?

        • 1. I gave you a link with 20.

          2. If your magic trick involves finding some sort of rationalization or justification that will satisfy you, you can just declare victory and move on. I’ve seen that so often that, impressive though it is, I no longer care. Your challenge is to convince us that the contradictions don’t exist.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Bob,

          I have spent many, many hours over the past decade and more answering for these so-called contradictions. All of them are easily resolvable. If you want me to address a few of them, then pick out a reasonable number and I will do so. By reasonable, I mean as many as five. Any five you wish. I will not be addressing twenty. If I pick from your list, you will of course object to the selection I make and accuse me of the cop-out or of ducking the more difficult issues. Rationalization and game-playing is not what I’m here for. I’m not here to waste anyone’s time; not mine, not yours, not God’s.

          “…Your challenge is to convince us that the contradictions don’t exist…”

          No, Bob. My challenge is to resolve the contradictions in legitimate ways; be that through seeking recourse to the original languages or be it through proving an error in translation or through the sheer force of logical deduction. That’s my job. Whether or not your minds will concede to the resolutions offered has nothing to do with me. If you are honest and sincere men, you will be swayed or you will at least consider. But if your are obstinate, stubborn haters of God, driven by dark ulterior motives, then your minds are off-limits to reason and to truth and are beyond my meager abilities to connect with.

          I seek for honest and sincere men who have been misled by the compelling arguments of this world. There is nothing I can say to men who have been driven to deafness through their enmity with the Light of this world.

        • I have spent many, many hours over the past decade and more answering for these so-called contradictions. All of them are easily resolvable.

          Let’s be clear on what “resolvable” means. If you say that they’re resolved in your mind, I believe you. The trick is resolving them to objective outside observers.

          If you want me to address a few of them, then pick out a reasonable number and I will do so. By reasonable, I mean as many as five. Any five you wish.

          My post happened to have 20. Subset that any way you wish.

          If I pick from your list, you will of course object to the selection I make and accuse me of the cop-out or of ducking the more difficult issues.

          If you successfully convince me that any are no longer contradictions, I will make a note of that fact in the posts themselves and issue a correction. Or, set yourself the task of convincing any of the atheist commenters here.

          No, Bob. My challenge is to resolve the contradictions in legitimate ways; be that through seeking recourse to the original languages or be it through proving an error in translation or through the sheer force of logical deduction. That’s my job. Whether or not your minds will concede to the resolutions offered has nothing to do with me. If you are honest and sincere men, you will be swayed or you will at least consider.

          I will consider anything that I read. Further, I will (1) write corrections to any that you convince me are flawed and (2) never use those flawed contradictions again. That seems more than fair for my part.

          As for what counts as a successful rebuttal of a flawed contradiction claim, it’s pretty clear what will happen: you’ll write up your responses, you’ll declare victory, none of the atheists here will be convinced, and you’ll double-declare victory and say that we’re all closed-minded.

          But if your are obstinate, stubborn haters of God, driven by dark ulterior motives, then your minds are off-limits to reason and to truth and are beyond my meager abilities to connect with.

          Yeah—like that.

          If you’re still eager to give it a go, I’ll read your responses.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…The trick is resolving them to objective outside observers…”

          Objectivity is the key. But who is objective? Are you objective?

          “…you’ll write up your responses, you’ll declare victory…”

          Are you a prophet? Or do you make it your habit to declare the conclusion of a matter even before you have examined the matter? Is this you being objective?

          “…Yeah—like that…”

          Here you bristle at my indictment of the insincere. But why would you do that if you yourself are a sincere man? It was an either-or proposition I illustrated, Bob. Not a zero-sum equation.

          But here is where I encountered you and here is where I’ll stay for now. You bring those five contradictions to me here. If you exert that effort then I know you’re willing to reciprocate expended effort and you’ll demonstrate your sincerity in the act. Copy and paste if you like. It makes no difference to me. This small token of a demonstration of your sincerity is all I ask. That, and we should always strive for concision in communication, as well as coherence, both of which are hampered by spreading our conversation across many boards.

          I’m ready to meet you right here. I’ll invest all the time necessary for the task. Five examples, please.

        • Objectivity is the key. But who is objective? Are you objective?

          I say I’m objective, but you’ll likely disagree if I don’t buy your arguments.

          To some extent, our positions are symmetrical, but I think there are some important asymmetries. This post (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/11/the-devastating-muslim-test-for-christianity ) explores that to some extent, and this one (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/10/i-used-to-be-an-atheist-just-like-you-2 ) argues that the conversion to/from our respective positions isn’t symmetrical.

          Are you a prophet? Or do you make it your habit to declare the conclusion of a matter even before you have examined the matter? Is this you being objective?

          The problem is what, exactly? I’m trying to move the conversation along. If this sounds like a crazy prediction, then say so.

          Here you bristle at my indictment of the insincere. But why would you do that if you yourself are a sincere man?

          I bristle at your dramatic overstatement. I’m sincere—is that all we need to resolve that question? If so, great. If not, then my caution was well placed.

          But here is where I encountered you and here is where I’ll stay for now. You bring those five contradictions to me here.

          We’re discussing this for the third time now. The link is above. There are 20 contradictions over four posts. I don’t care which you use. Start at #1 and continue until you get bored, if you like.

          If you exert that effort

          Done. The ball’s in your court.

          then I know you’re willing to reciprocate expended effort and you’ll demonstrate your sincerity in the act. Copy and paste if you like. It makes no difference to me. This small token of a demonstration of your sincerity is all I ask.

          I’m not sure what you’re asking. You’re saying that you refuse to follow that link and comment there? Why not go there and point out the errors there so that those commenters can see them? This seems to be a “Well, if you really loved me, you’d do [fill in pointless task here]” kind of thing.

          I don’t think I love you that much.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…I say I’m objective, but you’ll likely disagree if I don’t buy your arguments…”

          Penn Jillette is a man I would consider to qualify as an objective thinker. You probably know who that is. He classifies himself as atheist. Objectivity is not a subjective matter. Who have you been arguing with to leave you with such comical impressions? Never mind. I already know. Unfortunately.

          “…The problem is what, exactly? I’m trying to move the conversation along…”

          No. The problem is that you think you’ve heard my arguments before and you imagine that you know how the matter will conclude. That is owing to your subjectivity, incidentally. And if you were truly interested in moving the conversation along, you would have provided the five examples I’ve repeatedly asked you for. You are the one who introduced the so-called contradictions in the Bible into this discussion. Not I. This is where the discussion was begun and I will not be making your argument for you. I will not be going to any other location so that I may fish out bits of information you’ve expressed elsewhere and bring them here. If you want your objections to be dealt with, here is where I will deal with them. If you wish to import objections from elsewhere, then import them yourself. This is no unusual request I make. I’m merely asking you to abide by the rules of meaningful conversation. If I have questions or issues I want addressed by my partners in discourse, I have no compunction whatsoever tabling those questions or issues. The folks who think like you, on the other hand, always do what you’re doing now which is demanding that I go in search of topics to address. Put your big boy pants on, fella. Here I am. Ask me whatever you like as it pertains to the things of God’s Word. I’m not digging through your archives, I’m addressing you directly right here. If you have something to say, then please say it here.

          “…Why not go there and point out the errors there so that those commenters can see them?…”

          I’ve already addressed this question. Right now I am having one conversation with this board. This is where I am and this is where you found me. I’m not interested in scattering this conversation over multiple boards when one board will suffice.

          But since it appears you steadfastly refuse to table your objections here, then perhaps this conversation never moves any further.

          This isn’t an arbitrary request, Bob. I’ve been down this road with you fellas a few times before and I have reasons for doing things the way I do them.

        • Penn Jillette is a man I would consider to qualify as an objective thinker.

          Sounds good.

          Objectivity is not a subjective matter. Who have you been arguing with to leave you with such comical impressions?

          Not sure where you’re going with this. I could make a scientific claim. Is that claim correct or not? We don’t know for sure; all we have are arguments, pointing to objective facts, on both sides of the question.

          The problem is that you think you’ve heard my arguments before and you imagine that you know how the matter will conclude.

          You are correct. I’m also happy to consider your arguments afresh, whether they’re new to me or not. I’m still missing the problem.

          if you were truly interested in moving the conversation along, you would have provided the five examples I’ve repeatedly asked you for.

          And that’s the fourth time it’s come up. So, for the fourth time, I’ve provided you the link. Would it be helpful if I provided it again?

          I will not be going to any other location so that I may fish out bits of information you’ve expressed elsewhere and bring them here.

          The first post, 1050 words long, has 5 contradictions. I’m not seeing the difficulty. You can comment at that other post, or you can make your comments here. Your choice.

          If you want your objections to be dealt with, here is where I will deal with them.

          OK.

          If you wish to import objections from elsewhere, then import them yourself. This is no unusual request I make.

          I’ve been blogging for 10 years. I’ve never heard this request before. It’s so odd that it makes me think that you have some agenda, so I’m wary.

          I’m merely asking you to abide by the rules of meaningful conversation.

          Do you always make weird little demands of your discussion partners and then refuse to proceed if they don’t comply? How do they take it?

          The folks who think like you, on the other hand, always do what you’re doing now which is demanding that I go in search of topics to address.

          You’re right—I do this all the time. I’ve written over 1000 posts here, and it’s easy for me to say, “I’ve already addressed that, and here’s the link.” Not everyone follows the link (which is fine), but I’ve never heard your demand before.

          since it appears you steadfastly refuse to table your objections here, then perhaps this conversation never moves any further.

          Yes, that sounds likely.

          This isn’t an arbitrary request, Bob. I’ve been down this road with you fellas a few times before and I have reasons for doing things the way I do them.

          Dang–if I only knew those reasons why this bizarre antisocial request was made!

          Ah, well. The road not traveled, amirite?

        • Albert Swearengen

          I consider it discourteous to tell a man to go and fetch.

          If I wish to interject material into the conversation, I bring it myself. And there’s no good reason for not doing so.

          If you won’t even demonstrate this simple level of common courtesy, then there is nothing more I can say to you on the matter.

          Like you I have had these conversation hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Each time I must re-compose the material I write, even though I am addressing the same matters and same questions over and over and over. Either your heart is in what you do, or it isn’t. In the time it has taken you to repeatedly and stubbornly refuse to gather your own material for this conversation and present it here, we could have been on our third or fourth point already.

          More than that, my thoughts have already been expressed. I have nothing to hide behind (which is as it should be) and I am here dealing with multiple interlocutors. So for the final time, if you have something you would like addressed, then produce it here. Otherwise I have nothing further to add on the matter.

        • I consider it discourteous to tell a man to go and fetch.

          You must find such discourteous people daily. That’s a shame.

          If you won’t even demonstrate this simple level of common courtesy, then there is nothing more I can say to you on the matter.

          OK.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          What’s the over / under on Al sticking the flounce?

          And what’s the minimum bet?

        • He’s had much practice, I’m sure.

        • 3vil5triker .

          If he were telling you to go search for a specific item amongst an archive of over 1,000+ articles, then you might have a point. You could say the same if he were making you search an article on multiple subjects for a specific excerpt that was relevant to the discussion at hand.

          But that is not the case here. The article he linked you, titled “Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions”, is in its entirety about Bible contradictions. As a matter fact, that specific article, being the first of four, has exactly what you asked for: a list of five alleged contradictions in the Bible.

          He’s not going to copy-paste the entire article and flood the comment section with a gigantic sea of text just because you can’t be bothered to click on a link.

          That whole thing about “not importing objections from elsewhere” is not a hard rule; it depends entirely on the specific usage and context. And in this case, he’s not making you go fish, he’s actually spoon-feeding you exactly what you asked for.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…He’s not going to copy-paste the entire article…”

          And no one was fool enough to ask him to.

          That’s why I said about fifty times, give me five.

          And I’ve already answered them all far more times than Bob has plastered his noise on his board.

          And ANYONE who wants me to answer five, yet again, may bring them to me here.

          If that’s too much to ask, too bad.

        • 3vil5triker .

          “That’s why I said about fifty times, give me five”

          Did you actually read what I wrote?

          “As a matter fact, that specific article, being the first of four, has exactly what you asked for: a list of five alleged contradictions in the Bible.”

        • Albert Swearengen

          Did you not actually read what I wrote, and repeated about ninety times on this board…

          …I don’t CARE what the man has posted elsewhere. HE interjected so-called contradictions into THIS conversation.

          I cannot believe I am still repeating myself to you people. This is the worst episode of the Twilight Zone I’ve ever encountered.

          How many buckets of digital ink have we all spilled now dancing around this issue?

          You want me to answer?

          Bring me what you want me to answer. And so help me God, this is the last time I will EVER repeat this to any of you…

          …I am not your errand boy. If you want me to address material, then grow the hell up and table the material. Right here. I’m not going OVER THERE or OVER HERE or ANYWHERE so that I can fetch your argument for you.

          The next commentator who brings this matter up without actually tabling material for me to interact with, gets blocked. And every one after that.

          You guys might as well ban me from this channel, because I will not be browbeaten into playing by your rules.

        • 3vil5triker .

          Huh. I was actually trying to be helpful. Whatever. Block away if you want.

        • Albert Swearengen

          I told you what would get you blocked.

          Reasonable comments will not.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I consider it discourteous to tell a man to go and fetch.

          You’re trying to make a sale here, or even a bunch of sales.

          Are you lazy, arrogant, or too afraid of failure to do what it takes to make your sale? Or, dare I say it, you realize you WON’T make any sales and that’s why you’re refusing to do what any diligent salesperson would jump to do?

        • This “I won’t follow the link to exactly what I’ve asked for” is a new one, so I gotta give Al that. What comes to mind as something similar is the Christian attempt to shirk the burden of proof. Since the Christian is making the remarkable supernatural claim, they’re the one with the burden of proof, but it’s popular now to declare that the atheist has just as much of a burden.

          What’s surprising about this is their reluctance to make their argument. They’ve got an atheist listening, and yet they’re tap dancing about the ground rules? Who cares if it’s unfair to make the Christian shoulder a burden of proof–you’ve got a potential customer here, so make your frikkin’ case!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You’re avoiding.

          Do what you promised to do, without demanding conditions (salesdrones don’t GET to set conditions, Ally-poo), or admit to failure by lack of courage or lack of ability or lack of diligence.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Objectivity is the key. But who is objective? Are you objective?

          Protip from Ol’ Al: When losing, resort to Philosophical Naturalism.

        • Rudy R

          But if your are obstinate, stubborn haters of God,…

          Reason me this; how can one hate something that they believe does not exist? Do you hate faeries, goblins, unicorns and the flying spaghetti monster?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…how can one hate something that they believe does not exist?…”

          No one bothers to hate something they do not believe exists. But atheists only pretend God does not exist. That is, they have chosen to deny Him knowing full well that He exists. They have chosen to reject Him because they don’t like what He requires of them. Men want to satisfy themselves and slake their lusts at the many springs of desire this world has on offer. Men don’t want anyone getting in the way of that and they don’t want anyone telling them they have been born evil and sinful creatures. Men don’t like to hear that they deserve death and they sure as hell don’t like thinking about a terrible fate which might await them after they go the way of all the earth. There are many reasons for why atheists deny God and these are but a few. There are many reasons, but none of them are sufficient. And, incidentally, for proof of this claim, all we need is for the atheist to become very angry or very afraid…

          …and then his atheism disappears in a hurry. Infuriate an atheist and he’ll be more than happy to show you his naked contempt for God. Terrify him and he’ll even pray out loud. Can a man have contempt for something he doesn’t believe in? Certainly not. And no one ever prayed to a God they know for certain never existed.

        • Rudy R

          But atheists only pretend God does not exist.

          What god are your referring? Yahweh, Allah, Shiva, Isis, Zeus, Satan?

        • Albert Swearengen

          There is only one God, Rudy.

          The Living God.

          He Who IS.

          Now, the last one on your list technically doesn’t even exist yet. So how can he be god?

        • Rudy R

          So you are an atheist when it comes to Allah, Shiva, Isis, Zeus, Satan. I just believe in one less god then you do. And how to you know that you are worshipping the one, true god? The true god in the list could be testing you.

          Yahweh could actually be the liar and evil one. After all, Satan tried to give Adam and Eve knowledge in the Garden, while Yahweh want to keep them in the dark. How many people has Yahweh murdered? Hundreds of thousands. And Satan? 0. Exactly who is the evil one again?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…So you are an atheist when it comes to Allah, Shiva, Isis, Zeus, Satan…”

          Shouldn’t you have put a question mark at the end of that sentence? Don’t assume to know what I think without asking me first.

          “…how to you know that you are worshipping the one, true god?…”

          Because God has made things so that we may test Him and prove Him to see whether He is who He says He is and whether He has done the things He says He has done.

          “…Yahweh could actually be the liar and evil one…”

          Indeed. That’s why it is required of every single man, woman and child in this world to render their answer to the question. What is your answer? And that was not a rhetorical question.

          “…Satan tried to give Adam and Eve knowledge in the Garden…”

          Really? And what kind of knowledge was it that Satan beguiled Eve into partaking of? It wasn’t the Tree of Knowledge she ate from. That tree had a very specific name. But then details get in the way of a good indictment of a just God, don’t they?

          “…How many people has Yahweh murdered?…”

          Zero. Murder is against God’s Law. God does not murder. God metes justice and the penalty for certain crimes is death.

          “…And Satan?…”

          How many people has Satan murdered? I’m afraid I can’t count that high.

          “…Exactly who is the evil one again?…”

          Anyone who indicts the Living God is the evil one. And anyone who tries to usurp His authority is the evil one. Likewise, anyone who refuses to listen to things He’s said and rejects giving a fair consideration to the ways of the Most High is evil.

        • Because God has made things so that we may test Him and prove Him to see whether He is who He says He is and whether He has done the things He says He has done.

          Can you demonstrate this?

          “…Yahweh could actually be the liar and evil one…”
          Indeed. That’s why it is required of every single man, woman and child in this world to render their answer to the question. What is your answer?

          What is the question?

          It wasn’t the Tree of Knowledge she ate from. That tree had a very specific name. But then details get in the way of a good indictment of a just God, don’t they?

          What’s tricky? It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, Adam and Eve didn’t know good and evil (that is, right and wrong) before they ate. So how could they be guilty of a moral error when they didn’t understand morality yet?

          Zero. Murder is against God’s Law. God does not murder. God metes justice and the penalty for certain crimes is death.

          Nice! God doesn’t murder by definition. But if you demanded the genocide that Yahweh did, you’d be guilty of a crime. Why not God? And what’s the moral justification for the Flood?

          How many people has Satan murdered? I’m afraid I can’t count that high.

          He killed Job’s children, with God’s approval. I think that’s it.

          Anyone who indicts the Living God is the evil one.

          God pretty much indicts himself with his book.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Can you demonstrate this?…”

          (i.e., that God has made things so that we may test Him and prove Him to see whether He is who He says He is and whether He has done the things He says He has done)

          Certainly. The Scriptures are the inerrant and inspired Word of God and contain neither flaw nor contradiction. That being so, we may compare the Word of God with what we find in the Heavens and the Earth such that we may verify for ourselves both the veracity and the legitimacy of the message of Scripture. Nothing God has said anywhere in the Scriptures can be disproven. Were even a single statement of God as recorded in the Scriptures demonstrated — beyond and to the exclusion of doubt — to be untrue, then the entirety of the Scriptures could be disposed of as being useless to the task they proclaim to perform.

          But in over 3500 years, no one has ever been able to demonstrate conclusively even a single error in the written Word of God.

          “…What is the question?…”

          Is YHWH the evil one?

          “…It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, Adam and Eve didn’t know good and evil (that is, right and wrong) before they ate. So how could they be guilty of a moral error when they didn’t understand morality yet?…”

          Good and evil are mingled in the fruit of a single tree. This sort of mingling yields poison to the souls of men… it is this very mixing of the elements which is most destructive to mankind. Note well in the opening chapter of Genesis how God separates and institutes division between Day and Night, Light and Darkness… He divided the seas from the dry land and divided the waters below from the waters above. If these things are mixed, abomination ensues. Chaos and degradation ensue. The mingling of good with evil is what God warned Adam against partaking of. God never withheld knowledge of the good from Adam and He never withheld knowledge of the evil from because there was no evil until the creation was tainted, deception was brought in by the Enemy of God, mixing of God’s order began to proliferate and sin and death entered into the creation.

          “…if you demanded the genocide that Yahweh did, you’d be guilty of a crime…”

          If I demanded the extermination of either a single man or a large group of men, then yes, I would indeed be guilty of a heinous crime. God is not guilty. Nothing God does is unjust. Every breath God affords either you or me is a mercy. Death is justice. But you and I are not to disburse justice because we are not the Judge.

          “…He [Satan] killed Job’s children, with God’s approval. I think that’s it…”

          There is not a man, woman or child who has ever died, who would have died were it not for the influence of Satan. Every single person who ever died, died because of Satan. Moreover, Satan will yet terminate many billions of earthly lives before the end of this age. Why you would spend a breath of your air or a nano-second of your time defending that wicked one utterly bewilders me.

          “…God pretty much indicts himself with his book…”

          This would be a pretty good time for a chapter-and-verse citation, no?

        • Zeta

          Albert Swearengen: “Nothing God has said anywhere in the Scriptures can be disproven.

          Genesis 1.2: “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

          This claims that the earth and water were created before anything else in the Universe. This is patently false.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Funny how error creeps in when your Bible is missing the first verse:

          In The Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.

          There. Now your Bible is complete and we see it is merely your witness about the Bible which is patently false.

        • Zeta

          If the Universe was already created in Genesis 1.1, why was it created again in subsequent verses?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…If the Universe was already created in Genesis 1.1, why was it created again in subsequent verses?…”

          ‘Universe’ is not a biblically-valid term. Heavens and Earth are the terms used in the Scriptures. With that minor course-correction, your question is most valid.

          A literal translation of the Hebrew from Genesis verse 2 would be as follows:

          And the Earth came to be formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the abyss, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

          came to be = היתה (ha-yetah), which is a Qualitative Perfect verb form

          Therefore, something happened between Genesis verse 1 and verse 2. This is a major hint and we are required to seek for the answer elsewhere in Scripture. There answer is difficult to find, but it can be found.

          “…You should think carefully about what you claim…”

          I always do.

        • Zeta

          Albert Swearengen: ‘Universe’ is not a biblically-valid term. Heavens and Earth are the terms used in the Scriptures. With that minor course-correction, your question is most valid.

          What a silly excuse! You are just trying to do weaseling and obfuscation to avoid answering my question. Whether the term “Universe” is in your holy book is irrelevant. Let me rephrase and narrow the scope of my question:

          “Was the earth created before the Sun and all other celestial objects were created?”

          Simple and clear question, right? Yes or no.

          Therefore, something happened between Genesis verse 1 and verse 2. This is a major hint and we are required to seek for the answer elsewhere in Scripture. There answer is difficult to find, but it can be found.

          Why do you see a hint of something happening between verse 1.1 and 1.2? What is the answer you referred to? Spell it out here for all to see.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Whether the term “Universe” is in your holy book is irrelevant…”

          I corrected your terminology and then proceeded to answer your question using the correct terminology.

          Your objection has been addressed, fully, and disposed of.

          Black and white. Anyone with an honest disposition will recognize the facts, but it’s obvious most of you become increasingly irrational as you draw nearer to the material you hate so much.

          “…Why do you see a hint of something happening between verse 1.1 and 1.2? What is the answer you referred to? Spell it out here for all to see…”

          It’s none of your business. This sort of thing is only answered after years of intense study. I’m not going to hand you something as valuable as the answer to that question, when you’ve done nothing to earn it, and then watch you make a dog toy of what I’ve handed you.

          Want to learn? Get busy studying. All of the answers are available to you just like they’re available to everyone else.

        • Zeta

          You have answered NOTHING. You only gave silly excuses to avoid answering embarrassing questions then followed that by unwarranted insults. You are full of nothing but hot air, lots of them. You are an empty vessel (except for the hot air inside).

        • Albert Swearengen

          If one of you buffoons could actually figure out how to ask a question…

          …you’d have an argument.

          But you’re all clearly too thick even to figure out how to ASK anything.

          There’s nothing on this board I haven’t addressed, soggy noodles that you’ve managed to produce.

          Once more and I block you:

          IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION YOU WANT ANSWERED…

          …ASK YOUR QUESTION.

          (I’ve blocked about ten of you by now, so there might be a few lingering questions I haven’t answered on account of I’ll never see them. But you’re not blocked. Not yet. So ask. But bother me once more for not answering, and you’ll be invisible to my eyes as well. I’ve had an easier time getting four-year-olds to behave like adults than you lot.)

        • Zeta

          Albert Swearengen: “Once more and I block you:

          IF YOU HAVE A QUESTION YOU WANT ANSWERED…

          …ASK YOUR QUESTION.”

          I have asked you a simple Yes/No question:

          Was the earth created before the Sun and all other celestial objects were created?

          Simple and clear question, right? Yes or no.

          You do not have an answer so you resorted to weaseling and insults. Shame on you! You are the latest exhibit of what I have claimed before: There is a disproportionately large number of hypocritical and dishonest Christians.

          Go on, block me, you are full of hot air, nothing more.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Was the earth created before the Sun and all other celestial objects were created?…”

          Yes.

        • Zeta

          Good! At least you give a definite answer.
          I posed the question to you in good faith and what did I get from you? Insults.

          So the earth is OLDER than the Sun? Is that a fact or an alternative fact?
          Please explain where the 94 naturally occurring chemical elements on the earth came from?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…I posed the question to you in good faith and what did I get from you? Insults…”

          Pack it in, madam. You got pissy with me right out of the gate. And take a friggin look at the venom I’ve have vomited into my face by this entire board. Did I come in here behaving in such ways? No. Am I still here dealing with you children? Yes.

          Victim? Please. Buck up for the suds, lady. You want to throw dirt and then make victim noises when you get dirty?

          Take your hostility elsewhere.

          Or address me equitably.

          Your question goes unanswered because I find it irritating and mixed with bile. If you want me to answer your questions, then ask them without behaving like a rabid chihuahua.

        • Zeta

          Your question goes unanswered because I find it irritating and mixed with bile. If you want me to answer your questions, then ask them without behaving like a rabid chihuahua.

          Once again, I asked you two clear questions:

          1. So the earth is OLDER than the Sun? Is that a fact or an alternative fact?

          2. Please explain where the 94 naturally occurring chemical elements on the earth came from?

          Your response? Venom and insults.

          Take your hostility elsewhere.
          I only answer hostility with hostility, insult with insult. I do not initiate them.

          Are you trying to usurp Bob’s place? In case you have forgotten, this is NOT your blog. You and I are both visitors here. I have been posting here, on and off, for several years and sadly, I have seen obnoxious characters like you here before.

        • Albert Swearengen

          I do not scruple from counter-punching, madam.

          And I don’t care if that offends your fragile sensibilities.

          I’m in my own notification box answering anyone who posts to me. I have nothing more to do with Bob or his channel.

          Any other questions or concerns you might have…

          …bring them to your echo-chamber and bask in all the glory of stale air.

        • Zeta

          You have been making bold assertions about your holy book being inerrant. I posed questions that, at least to my mind, contradict your claim. Instead of producing good arguments supporting your assertion, you used evasion and inane comments with insults.

          Again, you gave excuses not to answer my two direct questions above. It is crystal clear that you are not able to answer them. Be honest.

        • Albert Swearengen

          I gave you the parameters for conversation with me. And there’s nothing unusual about what I stipulated.

          If you have questions you want answered, ask them absent any vitriol, bile, passive-aggressive shenanigans or invective of any kind.

          Do so, and I will engage you with reciprocated cordiality into the foreseeable future with no hesitation and with no limitation.

          I am very happy to give of my time to anyone who comes to the table with clean hands and a sincere spirit.

        • Care to explain why the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, or that the Milky Way is composed of a whole lot of stars even if it can be discovered with a very simple telescope are not mentioned there?. I’ll save you to talk about galaxies and cosmology.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Is there meant to be something here inconsistent with the biblical model of the Heavens? There isn’t.

          Explain to me how the first star formed in your version of events. Gas expands to fill a space. It does not condense of its own volition or develop a center of gravity. Primary stellar ignition. You have the floor.

        • Rudy R

          Keep in mind, Albert also believes in talking animals too, because the Bible tells him so. Trying to engage with him in a rational, logical argument will not convince him otherwise, because he did not come to his belief through empirical evidence and logic.

        • Greg G.

          Blocking people doesn’t make their questions go away. You are the only person who doesn’t see their followup questions.

        • Albert Swearengen

          I don’t give a damn what their follow up questions are.

          If I block someone, it is because I have no interest in further interaction with them on the grounds that they have behaved like obnoxious, venomous, petulant boors.

          I’m not at the beck-and-call of every demon to infest this board. I will address even-handed, honest and sincere interlocutors and I will treat them fairly and respectfully in turn.

          The reason I posted on this channel was because I saw the banner stating that this is a place for civil discourse. But that is a bald-faced lie. The vast majority of this board’s commentators are hostile and unruly children who cannot stand to occupy the same digital space with a man who is capable of dealing with the nonsense charges leveled against God and His Word.

          My very presence on this board has inspired out-and-out hatred. And so what. I don’t care. But don’t think for a second that I’m required to keep interacting with that sort of thing. I have no use for people who cannot contain their hatred for God and then lie about not hating Him.

        • Greg G.

          The reason I posted on this channel was because I saw the banner stating that this is a place for civil discourse.

          Many have come here and participated in civil discourse and it went both ways.

          You are posting to a public forum even when responding to an individual. If one or more persons are uncivil, ignore them. If you respond uncivilly with someone who is trying to converse civilly, then don’t be surprised when you get the same in return.

        • Lex Lata

          Well, I do think he got dogpiled, at least from a numbers perspective, which always kinda bugs me about these fora.

          But to be clear, his opening salvos here were basically variations on, “You should actually read the Bible.” If I went to an evangelical site and told three or four people, “You should actually read a science book,” I’d expect an analogous escalation of the sort that occurred here. “Read a book” isn’t engagement so much as provocation.

          And he came here for honest, reasoned discussion? With people he’s already decided are all liars who secretly believe in a God they actually hate? Not sure how to square that. More likely he came here, in the grand tradition of online commentary, to stir shit up. Mission accomplished. [Lex shrugs.]

        • Albert Swearengen

          I am civil with those who are civil. More, I am even civil with those who are not civil. But not for very long.

          I don’t owe anyone here respect. Respect, when it’s deserved, will be given. All who behave like furious babies will be dealt with as they are dealt with.

          I am one man in a large group of hostile atheists. And my own council I will keep on how I am to respond to each of you.

        • Rudy R

          In The Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.

          Since this is your truth statement where all creation starts, what is the evidence?

        • Albert Swearengen

          Show me evidence that I owe you any explanation for anything. I want to examine your credentials and determine whether your request has any validity.

          Demonstrate to me also what a ‘truth statement’ is. But before that, prove to me what ‘truth’ is. Then explain why it is you claim I have made a so-called truth statement at any time on this board.

          Do that. Then I’ll answer your question because you’ll have shown yourself to be a person who engages others on an even field.

        • Certainly. The Scriptures are the inerrant and inspired Word of God and contain neither flaw nor contradiction. That being so

          Is it so? We haven’t established that.

          we may compare the Word of God with what we find in the Heavens and the Earth such that we may verify for ourselves both the veracity and the legitimacy of the message of Scripture. Nothing God has said anywhere in the Scriptures can be disproven.

          Nothing God has said anywhere in the Scriptures is news. It’s Bronze Age superstition (like Jacob and the wands), but there’s never any new science mankind learned first from the bible.

          Were even a single statement of God as recorded in the Scriptures demonstrated — beyond and to the exclusion of doubt — to be untrue, then the entirety of the Scriptures could be disposed of as being useless to the task they proclaim to perform.

          Sounds good.

          But in over 3500 years, no one has ever been able to demonstrate conclusively even a single error in the written Word of God.

          And we’re back to objectivity. I see loads of errors. You don’t. It’s not easy getting past this.

          “…What is the question?…”
          Is YHWH the evil one?

          That argument could be made. This so-so world has good and bad in it, hardly the obvious creation of an all-good god.

          it is this very mixing of the elements which is most destructive to mankind.

          Sorry—I’m allergic to mumbo-jumbo.

          Note well in the opening chapter of Genesis how God separates and institutes division between Day and Night, Light and Darkness…

          You act as if it’s more than just mythology. Looks like mythology to me.

          God is not guilty. Nothing God does is unjust.

          By definition. But if you must rig the definition (you’ll have a hard time justifying your position with a conventional English dictionary), you’ve already lost.

          Every breath God affords either you or me is a mercy. Death is justice.

          Because I’m imperfect? Yeah, speak to my Maker about that. Don’t blame me.

          There is not a man, woman or child who has ever died, who would have died were it not for the influence of Satan.

          That’s your theology. It’s useless for our conversation.

          Every single person who ever died, died because of Satan. Moreover, Satan will yet terminate many billions of earthly lives before the end of this age.

          The idea of “ages” (as in “the end of this age”) is an Apocalyptic one. The New Testament has lots of influences, and that’s one of them.

          Why you would spend a breath of your air or a nano-second of your time defending that wicked one utterly bewilders me.

          Who am I defending?

          “…God pretty much indicts himself with his book…”
          This would be a pretty good time for a chapter-and-verse citation, no?

          “So Joshua subdued the whole region. He left no survivors. He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the LORD had commanded” (see Joshua 10:28–40).

          God commanded that the Hebrews “utterly destroy” the tribes they would find in Canaan (Deuteronomy 7:1–5). Within the tribes that must be destroyed, “you shall not leave alive anything that breathes” (Deut. 20:16–18). For the Amalekites, Israel should “put to death men and women, children and infants” (1 Samuel 15:2–3).

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Nothing God has said anywhere in the Scriptures is news…”

          No? So then tell me…

          Who is Jacob, prophetically speaking? Who is Esau? And tell me, if nothing is news to we who inhabit the earth in this hour…

          …what is Satan?

          The answers to these questions, when they come, come as news to those who study the Word of God.

          “…there’s never any new science mankind learned first from the bible…”

          False. The creation was spoken into existence by God. What, then, has modern quantum physics taught us about the properties of matter? Matter, if it’s anything, is vibration. Same as sound.

          “…I see loads of errors [in the Bible]…”

          Prove one and you’ll have cut the rug out from under the Word and will have accomplished what enemies of God have labored — and failed — to do for thousands of years. It would be a pretty remarkable thing if you were able to accomplish it. Objectively.

          “…That argument [that YHWH is the evil one] could be made. This so-so world has good and bad in it, hardly the obvious creation of an all-good god…”

          So make your argument. So far you seem to have a serious problem committing to a position and defending it. But first you need to define your terms, if you’re going to impugn the Living God. And you’re going to have your work cut out for you, since you’ll be relying on His terms to besmirch Him. Do you think you’re equal to the task?

          “…Sorry—I’m allergic to mumbo-jumbo…”

          You do understand that God establishes boundaries, yes? You do understand that God establishes borders, yes? There are boundaries and borders between the nations, between languages, between the sea and the land, between the sexes, between the species. God established division between Day and Night… you did read Genesis chapter 1, yes? Therefore, it is not mumbo-jumbo to point out the fact that the Enemy of God does the exact opposite, and comes fast behind in order that he might confuse the boundaries, erase the borders and eliminate the distinctions God established in His created order. Say, it almost sounds like someone has been busy at work in these days, doesn’t it? Who wants to erase all borders between nations? Who wants to eliminate the distinctions between the sexes? Who wants to turn the patriarchy (read God’s established order) onto its head and invert everything?

          Careful who you serve, Bob.

          “…Looks like mythology to me…”

          That’s because you’re something of a lazy thinker. And no, I don’t say that to insult you gratuitously or to slime you with a greasy attack. I like that you’ve taken the time to build your website, I like your amicable demeanor and I like the evidence of years of study I see in your words. Even so, I maintain your predicament is owing to lazy thinking. More on that as we move along.

          If you care to charge me with rigging definitions, then make your case.

          “…Because I’m imperfect? Yeah, speak to my Maker about that. Don’t blame me…”

          We’re supposed to be imperfect. That’s why we’re brought into this world in an imperfect state. Even Christ, when He entered into this world, was imperfect. He was perfected through suffering!!! Now there’s an uncomfortable truth, considering we must go the same way before we are perfected!!!

          “…That’s your theology. It’s useless for our conversation…”

          Add to lazy thinker, inconsistent thinker. What’s the title of your website/channel again? And what is it we’re meant to be doing here? If my theology derives directly from the Scriptures (it does), then how is my theology useless for the purposes of any conversation which might transpire on your boards?

          “…The New Testament has lots of influences, and that’s one of them…”

          Last time I checked Bob, the New Testament is part of the Bible.

          “…Who am I defending?…”

          Satan. You defend Satan and you serve him every time you impugn the Word of God.

          “…see Joshua 10:28–40…”

          Yes? And? Which are the bits to, as you say, indict God? Use your words. Why is it unjust for God to give an order of extermination? Why can’t He dispose of His creation as He sees fit? And why have you chosen to seek for the injustice in God’s actions and not the justice?

        • you seem to have a serious problem committing to a position and defending it

          How do you know? You never read my posts.

          Add to lazy thinker, inconsistent thinker. What’s the title of your website/channel again?

          The currency here is evidence and argument. You have no use for either. And I have no use for theology. If that’s all you have to offer, you have little value around here. As several atheist commenters have tried to inform you, many of us were serious Christians in our earlier years. We know the theology, thanks. Remind us if you need to, but you’re probably not educating us.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Bob, I’m guessing you know this already, but Ol’ Al here is projecting his own self-perceived faults onto you.

          IMHO, YMMV, etc.

        • Interesting interpretation. That makes it all the more frustrating.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…How do you know? You never read my posts…”

          I already told you I have read your posts. I just said I’m not doing your job for you.

          “…The currency here is evidence and argument. You have no use for either…”

          Yeah, you keep saying that, but you have no evidence to support your claim and your ability to argue is poor and insufficient.

          And from now on, I will simply pass right over any portions of your commentary which are pointless, puerile, repetitive or otherwise worthy to be disposed of. I guess you enjoy this sort of fruitless banter. That makes one of us.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The Scriptures are the inerrant and inspired Word of God and contain neither flaw nor contradiction.

          That’s the assertion.

          Now bring the EVIDENCE.

        • Ignorant Amos

          How many has YahwehJesus killed according to the buybull versus Satan?

          A conservative figure is 227,037% more than Satan, by one estimation. Satan takes the wrap for 10 in the yarn about Job, but even then YahwehJesus is complicit as he gives Satan permission to off that ten innocents.

          We have a head count of 2,821,364 to 10…which as I say, is a conservative number for YahwehJesus.

          Steve Wells book goes into detail on this issue.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VN8xXYDPnk

          The audio book is particularly entertaining.

          I’ve read a creationist that is proud that it is vastly greater than these figures. Go figure.

        • Rudy R

          I stand corrected on the number of kills from Satan. Hopefully, we’re not wasting our time on Albert. There seems to be three types of Christians who debate in this forum: Christians carrying out the Great Commision, testing how effective their Christian debate topics work with atheists or doubting their faith. Unfortunately for us atheists, Albert seems to be mindlessly following Jesus’ instructions. They don’t call’em sheep for nothin’!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Indeed.

          I like to think of it another way too though. The religious eejits that drop by are for the most part, lost causes. The mind-virus has taken well hold, though I will never say never, there is mountains of evidence to demonstrate even the most fanatical can be cured, but they usually start on the road by coming to terms by themselves and then go on the quest for further evidence.

          What we do here, and what Bob S has facilitated, is a platform for skill honing and learning even more about the bag of spanners that is Christianity. A place for fence-sitting, or evidence seeking lurkers, to see the complete vacuousness of the religious other sides nonsense. How they flap and flounder when up against those that know there is fuck all in their bullshit but naval gazing fluff. Most are too heavily invested emotionally, and dare I say, financially, to extricate themselves…or they are just gullible and brainwashed…so will battle tooth and nail to prop up their house made of jello.

          I’m surrounded here in the community I’m in by sectarian Protestant bigots. They haven’t the first clue what’s in their holy texts, not one have ever read the buybull, bar one as part of an education course in sociology. Very few, if any, attend church service other than hatch, match, and dispatch rituals…yet their bullshit nonsense has a hold on every part of life from teaching children crap in school, to shop opening regulations, anti-abortion laws to same sex marriage still being illegal. Religious bigotry is everywhere. So when arseholes like Al come along and ask stupid questions like what are we atheists wasting our time criticizing poor innocent Christianity, it makes my blood boil.

          Pardon the rant, but when creationist politicians lobby for their bat shit crazy Christian based alternative to be taught in schools, museums, and world heritage site, I need a place to vent. Doing it in meat world could be detrimental to my health.

          And for anyone reading this who thinks I’m exaggerating.

          The National Trust’s inclusion of creationism in the new visitors’ centre at the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland has been called a “grave error of judgement”.

          Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Richard Dawkins said it was regrettable that the trust had “paid lip service to the ignorant bigotry”.

          https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/news/11072012-controversy-over-creationism-at-giants-causeway

          Then there’s this creationist fuckwit…

          https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2010/may/26/northern-ireland-ulster-museum-creationism

          They walk among us.

        • Pofarmer

          Not only do they walk among us, they vote.

        • Creationism has spread to Northern Ireland? Wow–sorry about that. Nuttiness from the good ol’ U. S. of A may have encouraged that.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bob, you’re of the hook on that score.

          Unfortunately the good ol’ U.S. of A got the insane bullshit from us eejits am afraid to say. Something I’m deeply embarrassed about.

          One Archbishop James Ussher was the guy…although not Northern Ireland at the time, Armagh is now one of the six counties.

          James Ussher (or Usher; 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar and church leader, who today is most famous for his identification of the genuine letters of the church father, Ignatius, and for his chronology that sought to establish the time and date of the creation as “the entrance of the night preceding the 23rd day of October… the year before Christ 4004”; that is, around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 bc according to the proleptic Julian calendar.

          Ussher’s work is now used to support Young Earth Creationism, which holds that the universe was created thousands of years ago (rather than billions).

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

          Apologies everyone.

        • Well, if he can nail it down to the actual date, he’s gotta be onto something. Or smoking something.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not just the actual date, but the actual time of the day. GMT of course. A proverbial genius was auld Ussher.

        • Rudy R

          Agree with everything you’ve said. I myself am here to change one theist one mind at a time. If there really is a god, I hope his cosmic joke to Christians, Muslims, and Jews alike is that they will be scoffed for not using logic and reason and be turned back from the gates of Heaven while us reasoning, thinking, logical atheists are rewarded for not falling for all that religious dogma horse shit and welcomed with open arms, One can only dream, right?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I DON’T BELIEVE YOU.

          Demonstrate it or accept the mockery you so richly deserve.

        • But atheists only pretend God does not exist. That is, they have chosen to deny Him knowing full well that He exists.

          Do Hindus and Buddhists also know that he exists?

          They have chosen to reject Him because they don’t like what He requires of them.

          Too proud to bend the knee, eh? That must be it. I’m surprised you didn’t bring up the “atheists just had bad fathers” argument.

          Men don’t like to hear that they deserve death and they sure as hell don’t like thinking about a terrible fate which might await them after they go the way of all the earth.

          And Christians love to wallow in how fabulous God/Jesus were to invent hell. Now that’s some scorching-hot love!

          for proof this claim, all we need is for the atheist to become very angry or very afraid…
          …and then his atheism disappears in a hurry. Infuriate an atheist and he’ll be more than happy to show you his naked contempt for God. Terrify him and he’ll even pray out loud.

          And this is true how?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Do Hindus and Buddhists also know that he exists?…”

          Of course. All men made in the image and likeness of the Living God are aware of His existence. What happens after that is deception might overtake the man, to varying degree and to various effect.

          “…I’m surprised you didn’t bring up the “atheists just had bad fathers” argument…”

          In a world with no God, there might be plenty of atheists who are ‘good’ fathers. But ‘good’ is a subjective term in this case and this is not the sort of argument I generally interact with. Whereas, when we consider that ‘good’ is not a subjective but an absolute term, then the argument becomes poignant and useful. However, there can be no such thing as a ‘good’ atheist because atheists have no business believing in the concept of ‘good’ to begin with, neither, therefore, can there be such a thing as an atheist who is a ‘good’ father. An atheist might be a fun father or a decent father or a providential father (all subjective and relative terms), but he can never be good until he stops being an atheist, repents, dies and is remade and resurrected in the image of Christ.

          “…And Christians love to wallow in how fabulous God/Jesus were to invent hell. Now that’s some scorching-hot love!…”

          All injustice must be recompensed. Justice demands as much. But I perceive that your objection to the concept of Hell is really an objection to the fatuous notion of eternal punishment. Eternal punishment is a ruse and a slander against God invented by men who want to control other men. There is nothing about eternal punishment in either the Hebrew or the Greek Scriptures. Punishment, on the other hand, is not a notion any sensible man would object to. All criminality must be punished and all injustice must be recompensed. Otherwise, the universe we live in would be cartoonishly unjust, which is a contradiction of the observable facts.

          “…And this is true how?…”

          Do you dispute the truth of my statement?

        • All injustice must be recompensed.

          Why? It certainly doesn’t work in human society. What, besides your own desire, argues that all injustice will be addressed eventually?

          There is nothing about eternal punishment in either the Hebrew or the Greek Scriptures.

          Why is it Christian doctrine?

          One passage about hell is the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. It makes clear that hell sucks, though I don’t think it mentions perpetuity.

          Punishment, on the other hand, is not a notion any sensible man would object to. Al l criminality must be punished and all injustice must be recompensed. Otherwise, the universe we live in would be cartoonishly unjust, which is a contradiction of the observable facts.

          “Cartoonishly”? We’re life forms on a dust speck. Why imagine that humans’ needs will have cosmic resolution?

          “…And this is true how?…”
          Do you dispute the truth of my statement?

          Uh, yeah. It’s not true in my case. You’re telling atheists what they believe? Prove it.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…What, besides your own desire, argues that all injustice will be addressed eventually?…”

          The written Word of God.

          “…Why is it [eternal punishment] Christian doctrine?…”

          Because the scribes who are responsible for translating God’s Word from the original languages into English are liars. They are liars who defend the traditions of men before they defend the truth of God’s Word. After that, it becomes a matter of doctrine being tainted by tradition… the very same outcome Christ repeatedly and vociferously decried all throughout the Gospels. How many times did He rail against the lying scribes?

          “…hell sucks, though I don’t think it mentions perpetuity…”

          Staying the hell out of Hell is a very good idea. Don’t go there if you are able. It would suck (muchly) indeed. But fortunately for us, we are given detailed instructions on how to avoid that outcome. But if we’re careful to listen to God’s instructions, we learn that those who go there don’t stay there forever. Infinite punishment for finite crimes would not be justice… it would be injustice.

          “…We’re life forms on a dust speck…”

          If you truly believed that, you would be somewhere else right now doing anything but this. Rather, you do what you do because you do not believe this. Be that as it may, our needs are nothing close to the highest consideration in all of this, but it is interesting that you indicate recognition for mankind’s longing for justice. What you recognize is very real… something which makes no sense from the secular humanist’s perspective.

          “…You’re telling atheists what they believe? Prove it…”

          What do you think I’m doing here, Bob? Kind of hard to put a clock to this sort of thing.

        • “What, besides your own desire, argues that all injustice will be addressed eventually?…”
          The written Word of God.

          That’s your argument? One wonders why all the words. Just say, “Because I said so” and you’ve provided just as convincing an argument and you’ve saved us from much blather.

          “…Why is it [eternal punishment] Christian doctrine?…”
          Because the scribes who are responsible for translating God’s Word from the original languages into English are liars.

          Yes, the Gospel according to Albert. Other Christians have other views.

          fortunately for us, we are given detailed instructions on how to avoid that outcome.

          Your loving god apparently sees fit to put me there. And you apparently agree with him. Kinda makes you both assholes.

          Infinite punishment for finite crimes would not be justice… it would be injustice.

          Yup. Point to Jesus’s clear definition of hell, and show me that the entire Bible supports this (and only this) view of hell.

          “…We’re life forms on a dust speck…”
          If you truly believed that, you would be somewhere else right now doing anything but this.

          And yet here I am. Wrong again, eh?

          it is interesting that you indicate recognition for mankind’s longing for justice. What you recognize is very real… something which makes no sense from the secular humanist’s perspective.

          And yet it does.

          “…You’re telling atheists what they believe? Prove it…”
          What do you think I’m doing here, Bob? Kind of hard to put a clock to this sort of thing.

          Words are coming out of your mouth. They’re bullshit. This is your proof?

          When you pretend that you can help me understand my own worldview, you’ve kinda crossed the line.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Just say, “Because I said so”…”

          I’m not the author of Scripture, fella. And it makes no difference to me whether you like your assertions better than mine. You don’t just get to write off a body of instruction between 2000 and 3500 years old which has withstood the test of time… without consequences. So again, you can continue to play your game or you can get serious.

        • Or you’ll sic your big brother on me. Uh huh.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The written Word of God.

          substitute ‘The Iron-Man Compendium’ in there and you’ll realize how foolish it sounds to the rest of us.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Hmmm, then YOUR KIND believe in
          – Brahma
          – Odin
          – Apollo
          – Zeus
          – Amun-Ra

          etc?

          After all, THEY ‘knew’ their ‘god’s were just as real as YOUR KIND claim your’s is.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I hate what xtians try to do, claiming ‘divine’ sanction.

          If YOUR KIND just kept to yourselves and stopped trying to violate our freedoms and consent, we’d let you fall into the irrelevance you so richly deserve.

          You’re just too mentally / emotionally twisted to accept equality, and demand your (unearned, unDESERVED) privilege back.

          Ain’t happenin’, bucko.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I have spent many, many hours over the past decade and more answering for these so-called contradictions.

          Then stop bragging….DOOOOOOOOOO EEEEEEEEEETTT…

          Oh, you CAN’T, now can you?

          ETA: And attempting to tell other people what they’re thinking is weak, poor manners, and a craven admission of intellectual cowardice, flung over the shoulder while metaphorically fleeing the field.

        • WCB

          Genesis 1. God creates animals (5th day). Then more animals (6th day). Then Adam and Eve.
          Genesis 2. God creates man. There are no animals. Then God creates animals. Then Eve.

          Luke. On the same day as he was resurrected, Jesus accompanied by his apostles at the village of Bethany, ascends to heaven.
          Matthew. No he does not. He sends messages to his apostles to meet him in Galilee 80 miles away, a three day walk. No ascension is mentioned. And then on to acts, John and Mark.

          The 2 irreconcilable infant narratives of Luke and Matthew.

          How many women went to the tomb? 1, 2. More?

          John mentions no soldiers at the tomb, neither does Mark. Luke has Jesus wandering around and meeting two followers not at the tomb. Matthew has soldiers and a dramatic scene with angels.

          Why should I believe a word of this nonsense?

        • Genesis 1. God creates animals (5th day). Then more animals (6th day). Then Adam and Eve.
          Genesis 2. God creates man. There are no animals. Then God creates animals. Then Eve.

          You’ve done what Albert assured us has never been done in the 2000-year history of Christianity–show a contradiction in the Bible.

          I’m certain that once he gets over his shock, he will admit his admiration.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I’m quivering like raspberry jello in anticipation…

          😉

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Bob just DID give you 5 contradictions.

          You’re just too damned lazy / frightened to go and look at them.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          The existence of the Bible is a big contradiction. Omnipresent immortal persons have no use for written language at all. Making a book is the equivalent of shooting themself in the foot communication wise. The existence of religious texts has ensured that I don’t believe anything “supernatural” exists.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…The existence of the Bible is a big contradiction…”

          Bold words. Just what they mean I have no idea.

          “…Omnipresent immortal persons have no use for written language at all…”

          Are you speaking from experience, or inventing noise as you go?

          “…Making a book is the equivalent of shooting themself (sic) in the foot communication wise…”

          That’s not even a sentence, fella.

          “…The existence of religious texts has ensured that I don’t believe anything “supernatural” exists…”

          I would ask you to explain why this is so, but I don’t want you to pass out and fall out of your chair. Maybe have a sandwich instead.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Oh, you lying pieces of shit and your “holy” tabloids…

        • Mayhem

          Great argument, Adam, really winning hearts and minds.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          He couldn’t care less about “winning hearts and minds”.
          He’s a liberal progressive knuckle dragging pro-baby killing snowflake.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          The other commenter made the case that they were being dishonest. They did not engage, and I at that time had little patience for it.

        • Mayhem

          Excuses – the easiest thing man knows how to make.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Plenty of excuses supposedly from Jesus God, too.

        • Dr_Grabowski

          Of course one of the purposes of writing down things in a book is to communicate content to others

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Written language makes little sense if one is omnipresent and immortal. Written language communicates so much less than what I can do in person.

        • Greg G.

          Or you could just read the Bible and try paying attention to what it actually says…

          Reading the Bible and closely paying attention to what it says is the recipe for atheism.

        • al kimeea

          yep, “closely paying attention” really means cherry pick in religionese, often only from the latter parts of the holey book…

        • Rudy R

          “Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.” — Isaac Asimov

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          For ‘properly read’, substitute ‘Read without supernatural presuppositions’?

        • Albert Swearengen

          What ails you, Greg? Is it macular degeneration? Is it a third grade reading level? Is it a rigid assertion that nothing exists in this world save what can be see with our own God-given eyes?

          How many times have you read the Bible cover-to-cover?

        • Greg G.

          How many times have you read the Bible cover-to-cover?

          I did it when I was a Christian. As it turns out, that method keeps you stupid.

          You should read the parallel passages simultaneously. Also, you should pay attention to the literature available to those who read Greek back then in order to understand it in the literary context.

          Read Mark (and the other Synoptics) and John carefully to see that they do not agree on whether the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial happened before or after the Passover meal. Mark clearly says it all went down after the Passover meal while John clearly says it was before. John seems to have changed it for theological reasons.

          This seems to be an important point. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul says Jesus died (for sins), was buried, and was raised on the third day, according to the scriptures, which would be Isaiah 53:8-9 and Hosea 6:2. Mark names the women who witnessed each of those events in Mark 15:40, 47, and 16:1-6.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…You should read the parallel passages simultaneously…”

          I’ll stick with the Hebrew and Greek. But thanks.

          “…Read Mark (and the other Synoptics) and John carefully to see that they do not agree on whether the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial happened before or after the Passover meal…”

          BOOKS have been written about this — you know, those things that if you read them “keep you stupid”? — and we call such books ‘harmonizations’ of the Gospels. Any single objection you think you have… has been made already and it’s been made centuries and millennia ago. Likewise, the books written in answer to the folks like you who don’t like to read, were also written, in many cases, hundreds of years ago.

          I would point you to a few titles, but you seem to be angry at books so I’ll save the digital ink.

        • Greg G.

          Do any of the books actually solve the problem? One should be enough. It should be easy enough to solve in an article.

          Last week, someone gave a link to a paper on it, purportedly solving the problem – lots of footnotes and references. The author seems to have overlooked that from chapter 13 to Jesus’ arrest in chapter 18 is a continuous narrative which specifically begins by noting that it is before the passover.

          Another recent comment was that there were two passovers. It turned out that the diaspora Jews have two but there was never a reason for it in Jerusalem.

          Are you one of those who will accept an apologetic as a reasonable excuse to ignore the problem?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Another recent comment was that there were two passovers…”

          No. There were two calendars. And this fact is proven, among other ways, by looking at how John (who was writing to Greek-speaking men and women in the Roman Empire) marked time in his Gospel with the Roman clock, which we use to this day, with midnight beginning the cycle.

          The other apparent contradictions (within the synoptic Gospels) are easily resolved once the verses are looked at in Greek. Sometimes the Greek will show things like ‘…and the day of unleavened bread drew nigh…’ but the English translators will botch that, irrespective of Greek verb tense, to render ‘…on the day of unleavened bread…’

          Every apparent contradiction is resolved merely by being careful and equitable with the facts. Anyone who shows up with a mind to accuse the Word of God will find plenty of material to keep them busy. Honesty and fairness are required to this task. And so is learning to divest ourselves of as much presupposition and attitude-skewing baggage as possible.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          Folks get angry at that which they cannot crack or comprehend.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah ha, it’s a code?

          A code that only the select few have cracked and comprehended properly. Let me guess, your in the Gnostic group who has the secret wisdom?

          Nobody here is angry at your stupid book of Rorschach ink blots. It’s a lot of made up mumbo-jumbo. We get angry at tossbags and dickheads like you lot that drop by and spew bullshite you can’t support, then crap all over the table and blame everyone else for it.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          I’m sorry.
          I thought this channel’s description is, “Clear thinking about Christianity”.
          (I actually got kind of excited thinking that I might be arguing with “Christians”)
          I really have no desire to argue against the religion of Atheism.
          It wold be more honest if it said, “Clear thinking about Atheism”.

          While I do not actually claim “Christianity”, I can clearly see that there is NO “thinking about it” HERE.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So do us all a favor, FUCK OFF THEN ya idiot…before ya get shoved. You’ve clearly nothing conducive to add to the discourse.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          Well,
          since “clear thinking” is definitely NOT your [or your cronies’] interest here, I will take my leave.

          (No intelligent life here.)

        • Albert Swearengen

          I used to get angry at my crayons for coloring outside of the lines.

          So I can relate. I know how these guys feel !!!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Par usual, whenever you encounter an unpalatable truth (like *all* of YOUR KIND), you resort to an insulting non sequitur rather than trying to use evidence to refute the statement.

          It’s like you KNOW (in your ‘heart of hearts’, you’ve heard that one, right>) that you’re wrong but are afraid to admit it even to yourself.

        • al kimeea

          don’t beat your slaves too badly

        • Albert Swearengen

          Never. My fellow slaves must be beaten just enough!!!

        • Rudy R

          Ummm, ever heard of the the No true Scotsman fallacy? I’m guessing your god values arrogance as well.

        • Albert Swearengen

          What difference does it make if men have malleable minds which are prone to confusion and selfish self-service? What difference does it make if man will not learn the basic lessons God taught in plain language? What difference does it make if man is partisan and given to selfish self-rule and self-aggrandizing?

          Do these things in any way diminish what God has spoken or the content of the instruction by which He has chosen to express His will to His creation?

        • Rudy R

          What difference does it make if men have malleable minds which are prone to confusion and selfish self-service?

          What has prevented you from having a malleable mind?

          What difference does it make if man will not learn the basic lessons God taught in plain language?

          How did you learn the basic lessons of god?

          What difference does it make if man is partisan and given to selfish self-rule and self-aggrandizing?

          Aren’t you guilty of being partisan, selfish and self-aggrandizing by accusing the same of others?

          Do these things in any way diminish what God has spoken or the content of the instruction by which He has chosen to express His will to His creation?

          How did you receive the spoken message of god? Where is the source of instruction that he expresses his will?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…What has prevented you from having a malleable mind?…”

          Says who that I do not? Indeed I do. But like the minds of all other men, my mind needed a firm foundation upon which to abide. I have found that foundation because I went looking. I didn’t go looking for IT, per se. I just went looking.

          “…How did you learn the basic lessons of god?…”

          By studying the written revealed text of information He transmitted to us across the millennia. But before I could learn from that material, I had to examine the material itself and judge it based upon the claims about itself which it makes. I had to determine whether or not the material was the concoction of men’s imagination or whether it was legitimate in the sense of being the written Word of God. I have found the material to be legitimate in every sense and therefore have been able to rely on it for learning many of the lessons God has intended to teach us.

          “…Aren’t you guilty of being partisan, selfish and self-aggrandizing by accusing the same of others?…”

          No. Because in this case, my accusation rests on the result of denying even my own perspective, which is one of the least selfish and self-aggrandizing things men are able to do. The only thing special about my knowledge comes to me from Another and nothing of what makes my knowledge special comes from myself. The confusion in modern Christendom which has spawned the absurd number of denominations and factional disputations is owing to the refusal and/or the failure of the founders and developers of those denominations to do what God has asked them to do. God has asked them to deny the self and to learn from Him on His terms. It’s a big ask and there are myriad ways to fumble it, but God has been faithful to give us precise instructions on how the task is to be rightly-accomplished.

          “…How did you receive the spoken message of god? Where is the source of instruction that he expresses his will?…”

          There are multiple sources of instruction which express His will and one of them is the natural creation. All men have seen and have experienced the evidence of God written all through His creation. Those who deny God are therefore without excuse. But apart from that, we have been given God’s instruction in written form, such that we need not rely on the words or the memory of men to convey that information to us. We have the mind of God expressed to us in the form of the volume of Scripture. And this we may then compare with what we see in nature in order that we may come away with an even fuller understanding of both the mind and the character of God.

        • Rudy R

          …my mind needed a firm foundation upon which to abide.

          And what foundation might that be?

          By studying the written revealed text of information

          And what text is that?

          …refusal and/or the failure of the founders and developers of those denominations to do what God has asked them to do.

          How do you know what god wants you to do?

          And this we may then compare with what we see in nature in order

          Exactly what is compared in nature that would confirm truth in scripture?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…And what foundation might that be? And what text is that?…”

          I’ll assume these questions were rhetorical. For if not, then I fear for the functionality of your mental apparatus!!! Or maybe there’s a chance in your mind I might bow at the altar of Jupiter!!!

          (you atheists still have a sense of humor, right?)

          “…How do you know what god wants you to do?…”

          Because He has taken the time to express to us what He wants us to do.

          “…Exactly what is compared in nature that would confirm truth in scripture?…”

          Let’s consider the opening verses of the Bible:

          In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

          That seems pretty obviously confirmed by looking out the window. But maybe you think things happened all on their own. However…

          God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

          Is there light?

          God separated the light from the darkness.

          How did He do that?

          God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning…

          Ahhh… Clarity. Is there day? Is there night? Are they the same? Do they come upon us simultaneously? Or are they separated by the evening and the morning, precisely as God has explained to us in the opening verses of the first Book of the Bible!!!

          And we’re only on verse 5, incidentally. Now, we can park here on these verses and I could expound to you for hours the things we see in those five verses and how they are confirmed for us in nature and in the things of this world. Or we could continue further and proceed to link the things of the Book with what we see in the creation. But I sense that you’re somewhat hostile to the Word of God and would not abide long in the virtual presence of a man who so expounded. So I’ll tread gently lest I wear out my welcome.

        • Rudy R

          I’ll assume these questions were rhetorical.

          Assume it’s not rhetorical. Again, what foundation might that be? And what text is that?

          Because He has taken the time to express to us what He wants us to do.

          How did your god express what he wants?

          That seems pretty obviously confirmed by looking out the window.

          What’s your evidence that god created everything outside your window?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…And what text is that?…”

          The 66-Book canon of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures otherwise known at the Bible. Don’t make me doubt your sincerity, now.

          “…What’s your evidence that god created everything outside your window?…”

          You, just like everyone else, have had a nearly 2000 page document made available to you for you perusal and study. After you study the material, then if you still have questions like this one, I will be happy to address them. Just don’t ask me to re-write the Bible for you, because I won’t.

        • After you study the material, then if you still have questions like this one, I will be happy to address them.

          And we’ll get the Albert interpretation. OK, that’s one data point, but why should we listen to you? Why not the Catholic or Quaker or Baptist or Pentecostal or some other denomination that’s not you?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…why should we listen to you?…”

          Why shouldn’t you? In the banner of your website you have written the words:

          An energetic but civil critique of Christianity from an atheist viewpoint

          Now, am I to assume that what you’ve written here is true? That civil critique of Christianity is what you are all about here? If so, then why wouldn’t you bother to listen to a reasonable defense, if not of Christianity (which I cannot defend until the term is defined) then at least of the instructions found within the Bible, which is what makes so-called Christians Christians?

          Or would you rather go back to your unobstructed reviling of the Bible all by yourselves, so that you are able to enjoy the echo-chamber you’ve created undisturbed?

          Seriously Bob, if you want me to vacate your board, just say the word and I will leave. Otherwise, I plan to stay a while and offer a somewhat brisk and reasoned defense of the Word of God which you make it your business to accuse.

        • why wouldn’t you bother to listen to a reasonable defense, if not of Christianity (which I cannot defend until the term is defined) then at least of the instructions found within the Bible, which is what makes so-called Christians Christians?

          Not what I was talking about. I’m saying that your opinion is just your opinion. It’s not like your opinion is the final word on the subject. There are dozens of other viewpoints.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…your opinion is just your opinion…”

          I’ve never even insinuated to the contrary. But the truth IS. And we may avail ourselves of what IS by doing as we have been instructed to do.

          We have been instructed to seek.

        • We have opinions. How do we know when we have the truth?

        • Lark62

          You have the truth when you agree with the one true christian.

          /snark.

          (Pay no attention to the bagpipes behind the curtain.)

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…How do we know when we have the truth?…”

          No one alive on this planet has the truth. The best we can do is to go in search of truth and learn from truth. Then we will find that the Truth is a HE and He has instructed us to follow Him…

          …and warned us what will happen if we reject Him.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I’ve never even insinuated to the contrary. But the truth IS.

          Problem is you’re trying to sub your opinion in for ‘the TROOF’.

          If it’s true, you can demonstrate it.

          If you can’t, that ought to tell you something about your opinions of what Truth is.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You have *yet* to offer anything but poutrage, “..believe because KING ME says so…”, insults, and non-sequiturs.

          If you want to discuss the evidence, bring it.

          If not, get used to being pwned (misspelling intentional) & mocked as you so richly deserve.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I don’t believe your ‘bible’ (any of the many versions)

          Give me evidence to explain why I should.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          After you study the material, then if you still have questions like this one, I will be happy to address them.

          Nope.

          Salesdrones like you can’t demand even that I piss on your shoes (but I might do that for fun)

        • “…How do you know what god wants you to do?…”
          Because He has taken the time to express to us what He wants us to do.

          Why are there 45,000 denominations? Shouldn’t there be just one?

          God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning…
          Ahhh… Clarity. Is there day? Is there night? Are they the same? Do they come upon us simultaneously? Or are they separated by the evening and the morning, precisely as God has explained to us in the opening verses of the first Book of the Bible!!!

          The first chapter disagrees with the second chapter. The Bible isn’t off to a good start.

          Or we could continue further and proceed to link the things of the Book with what we see in the creation.

          Yes, we could proceed. I like Gen. 1:26, “Let us make mankind in our image.”

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Why are there 45,000 denominations?…”

          There aren’t.

          “…Shouldn’t there be just one?…”

          No.

          “…The first chapter disagrees with the second chapter…”

          Show me.

          “…Yes, we could proceed. I like Gen. 1:26, “Let us make mankind in our image.”…”

          I would love to discuss Genesis 1:26 with you. But tell me why you bring it up?

        • “…Why are there 45,000 denominations?…”
          There aren’t.

          And yet there are. Source (find line item 45): http://www.internationalbulletin.org/issues/2015-01/2015-01-028-johnson.pdf

          “…Shouldn’t there be just one?…”
          No.

          Not helpful.

          “…The first chapter disagrees with the second chapter…”
          Show me.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/08/illogic-of-the-garden-of-eden-story-2/
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/08/the-leaky-noahs-ark-tale-bible-genesis/

          “…Yes, we could proceed. I like Gen. 1:26, “Let us make mankind in our image.”…”
          I would love to discuss Genesis 1:26 with you. But tell me why you bring it up?

          Because it illustrates the polytheism that was a part of the supernatural thinking in its earliest days.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…(find line item 45)…”

          And? Who gets to define the term? If the Jehovah’s Witnesses make their congregants wear black ties on Sunday, but purple ties on Tuesday, does that classify as a distinction in their denomination? There might be 45,000 tax-exempt businesses calling themselves churches, but there are not 45,000 distinct denominations in Christendom and it is preposterous to suggest otherwise.

          How many denominations are there in actual fact? I have no idea nor can I be bothered to find out. How many should there be? As many as there are. Everything in this world is exactly the way it should be. Did it surprise you when I said that just now? (Just think of everything you’ll be able to accuse me of now!!!) Think it over for a while. Nothing in this world happens which is contrary to God’s will.

          Again, if you have an argument to make, make it right here. I’m not interested in links. Use your words. I thought you were an author but thus far you haven’t offered anything but garden variety goobersmoochery in terms of an actual argument in defense of your positions. To be fair, neither have I, but that’s because you fellas are making meaningful conversation somewhat difficult.

          No links, please. If you have something to say, say it here. I get to interact with you right here. That’s the point of these comment boards. I don’t get to interact with your links and I have no interest puzzling over which bits might be relevant to our conversation and which might not be. Are you up to this task, or aren’t you? If not, then the banner on your website is something of a false advertisement.

          “…it [Genesis 1:26] illustrates the polytheism that was a part of the supernatural thinking in its earliest days….”

          Is that so? Well then show me your supporting witness for this contention. In both the Hebrew Scriptures and the Greek we are instructed to confirm every statement with supporting witness. If your assertion here is true, then show me any other place in the Bible where God addresses this mysterious ‘we’ and this mysterious ‘our.’

          God was addressing someone when He said what He said in that verse, but He wasn’t vouchsafing for any polytheistic thinking. But answer my query before you ask me more about this: Are you able to show God speaking in similar terms elsewhere in the Scriptures, or not? (By similar terms I mean a demonstration that polytheism in any way left its imprint on the Word of God. The Bible teaches plainly that there is ONE God. There are those who are referred to by the Hebrew word אלהים [elohim], but those are always ‘sons of God’ or בני האלהים [bene ha·elohim] and are nowhere referenced in any way which would lend support to polytheistic thinking.)

        • And? Who gets to define the term?

          It’s a Christian source, so I’ve used it. I realize that others might make a different calculation. The main point is that it’s more than 1.

          there are not 45,000 distinct denominations in Christendom and it is preposterous to suggest otherwise.

          Preposterous? It all depends on how “denomination” is defined.

          Everything in this world is exactly the way it should be.

          Fair enough. And we come back to God’s perfect Word being so ambiguous that its intended audience can’t agree on what it means.

          Again, if you have an argument to make, make it right here. I’m not interested in links. Use your words.

          They’re for people who are interested in a broader conversation—evidence, arguments, and all that. I realize that’s not you.

          I thought you were an author but thus far you haven’t offered anything but garden variety goobersmoochery in terms of an actual argument in defense of your positions.

          I offer the entire blog. That you can’t be bothered to read relevant posts isn’t my problem. I guess the benefit is that our conversations will be brief—I’ll say, “My thorough argument is here,” and you’ll lecture me about common decency and decorum and blah, blah, blah.

          No links, please. If you have something to say, say it here.

          Seriously?

          I get to interact with you right here.

          No, apparently not. You admit you’ve provided no arguments, and you don’t seem to care about reading mine. But, as I noted before, there’s a silver lining there.

          Is that so? Well then show me your supporting witness for this contention.

          I’d give a link, but why bother?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yeah. It’s like the salesdrone who demands you give a REASON why you’re walking away and ignoring them.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…The main point is that it’s more than 1…”

          Absolutely correct. But again, what men do and say about God is irrelevant. The Scriptures make it very plain that there will be but FEW men who actually pay attention, learn the lessons they’re meant to learn, incorporate those lessons into their own lives, and persevere until the end.

          Few.

          “…And we come back to God’s perfect Word being so ambiguous that its intended audience can’t agree on what it means…”

          The Word is not ambiguous. The Word requires effort and it requires that men actually trust God. That means we have to believe what He has said in place ‘A’ so that we may compare and contrast it with what He says, additionally, in place ‘B’ … and so on. The Word has a beginning and it has an end. And there is much information to cover between those two points. The ONLY way to come away with a viable understanding of the message, is to allow the Word to speak for itself and to allow oneself to learn from what the Word teaches. Fail at that, and become stuck. Fail, and end up in atheism or some form or other of worthless doctrines of men. Wasting time pretending to be a student of Christ is probably worse than being an atheist. At least atheists get to have more fun while they live in this world. The point is this: All of this is done God’s way, or it’s done the wrong way. And He’s the best teacher there ever was, for anyone who sits down, shuts up, ditches the presuppositions and ulterior motives, and lets Him teach.

          “…You admit you’ve provided no arguments…”

          I’m not the one with a website making a case. I came here to rebut your nonsense. I came here to challenge your lies. I came here to straighten out your distortions. But you want to throw a fit and belly-ache like a child when I tell you I’m not here to play by your rules. If you want something answered, man the hell up and put it on the table.

          Do you have any skills besides posting links? Are you able to compose an argument on the fly? Are you able to think on your feet? Clearly not. Otherwise you would have done so by now. What’s up, Bob? I thought you atheists were supposed to be the smart ones?

        • What’s up, Bob? I thought you atheists were supposed to be the smart ones?

          What’s up, Al? I thought you Christians were supposed to be the winsome ones?

          But no, you just another Christian asshole. You come in and tell us how it’s gonna go—both the rules of engagement as well as assuming your conclusion from the start. Things don’t go your way, so you fall back on insults.

          I do have flaws, as you suggested. I engage with Christians longer than I should. When someone plays games like you, I should just ignore that person immediately, but thoughtful, polite Christians are so rare that I hang in there longer than makes sense. My cross to bear, I suppose.

          If you have any thoughtful Christian friends who want to engage the topics using evidence and argument, let them know that they’d be welcome.

          And be sure to let God know that I was mean to you.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          If they believe in ‘christ’ (a delusion, but we’ll set that aside for now), then they’re xtians.

          Your No True Scotsman doesn’t fly here.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I know what you assert.

          I don’t believe you, on the simple basis that you demand and browbeat people do so sans evidence.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          What difference does it make if men have malleable minds which are prone to confusion and selfish self-service?

          Because it would be MORE evidence your ‘god’ was a poor designer / engineer, but was a general all-around fuckup.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          What difference does it make if men have malleable minds which are prone to confusion and selfish self-service?

          It means god’s mode of dissemination was a poor choice, especially given your admission that the Bible requires comprehensive study even in the best of circumstances.

          If you wanted to warn your toddler about the hot stove, would you give her or him something analgous to the Bible? Or would you offer more direct and concise direction?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…It means god’s mode of dissemination was a poor choice, especially given your admission that the Bible requires comprehensive study even in the best of circumstances…”

          OR…

          …it means God knows what He is doing, is doing things in a particular way for a reason, has chosen the BEST way of doing things, and will attain precisely the outcome He set out to attain.

          Whereby proving in the act that all ignorant men who draw out their tongues (or their digital pens) to accuse Him, are simple-minded and rebellious children who have no ability even to play Devil’s Advocate in their own minds.

          Or they simply can’t be bothered to do so, because…

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          it means God knows what He is doing, is doing things in a particular way for a reason, has chosen the BEST way of doing things, and will attain precisely the outcome He set out to attain.

          So choosing a means of dissemination that unnecessarily results in the torture of millions of souls is mere stylistic preference?

          More importantly, once you make god inscrutable enough for this type of dismissal, you also eradicate any basis for thinking he is good in the first place.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          YOU are claiming to know your ‘truth’.

          Expound it, simply and clearly & without self-contradictions, or admit it’s just as much nonsense as the rest.

        • Lark62

          Hey, Bob. Look how lucky we are. A self appointed representative for the one and only correct version of christianity has blessed us with his presence. Out of 45,000 versions of christianity, this christian is following the only correct one. Ain’t he special?

          It kinda makes my heart go pitter pat. Or maybe it will after I stop laughing hysterically.

        • My cup sloppeth over. Or maybe that’s just me barfing.

        • Lark62

          Yeah, “kinda makes my stomach go hurl” might have been more accurate. But what can one expect from such a bad writer?

        • Pofarmer

          Have you ever looked at Darell Ray’s book “The God Virus”. I must say, I’m only a chapter into it, but, so far, I’m nodding my head a bunch.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve only read the first chapter. But it sure seems to explain a lot of what we see on here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve just ordered it on your recommendation.

        • Pofarmer

          Very interesting to me. Through chapter 2. New way of thinking about it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’ll do for me.

        • Pofarmer

          Got through chapter 3 last night. I’ll be genuinely interested in your thoughts.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It has been dispatched….arriving before 9 pm tomorrow.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yeah, John 17:21 is a real deal-breaker, based on the denomination count (n > 1)

        • Well, Jesus was just an ordinary man, y’know. We all make mistakes.

        • Mayhem

          @Ignorant_Amos:disqus will you call out your side for fallacious arguments or will hypocrisy be the order of the day?

        • Mayhem

          @robrudolph:disqus or you, will you call out Bob’s appeal to authority fallacy?

        • Rudy R

          What is your evidence for Bob’s appeal to authority?

        • Mayhem

          “The 45,000 Christian denominations agree with me.” – Bob Seidensticker (4 days ago)

          Any more stupid questions?

        • ?? There’s no appeal to authority.

          Let’s review. Albert said, “You should read the almost 2000 pages of revelation He handed us for clarity on such matters.” There’s no clarity here because Christians have interpreted the Bible into 45,000 denominations.

          An appeal to authority is never made. It’s an appeal to anarchy, I suppose, but that’s it.

        • Rudy R

          Fuck off!

        • Mayhem

          I’ll take that as a no.

        • Rudy R

          Take it as a response to a smart ass comment .

        • Susan

          “The 45,000 Christian denominations agree with me.” – Bob Seidensticker (4 days ago)

          How is that an appeal to authority?

        • Ignorant Amos

          It isn’t, but Mayhem is too stupid and just spouts the first ballix that springs to mind.

          I think the eejit conflated the fallacy with the ad populum fallacy, but it still wasn’t that.

          We aren’t dealing with a rational thinker here, remember?

        • When God told Moses that he had to go speak to Pharaoh, Moses said that he was not an eloquent speaker. God told him to not worry about it, and that he (God) would supply the words.

          Mayhem is clearly no Moses. Or maybe God just hates him.

        • Point out a fallacy first–that one or indeed any one.

        • epeeist
        • Mayhem

          Yeah that accusation isn’t original either.

        • epeeist

          Well since he didn’t manage it perhaps you could tell me why the evidence for the Big Bang isn’t sufficient to falsify the biblical account of creation.

        • Mayhem

          “The current best explanation for the formation of the universe is the ΛCDM version of the Big Bang theory.”

          That is an opinion so where is this evidence that the big bang is even a thing?

        • epeeist

          That is an opinion so where is this evidence that the big bang is even a thing?

          I’ll type more slowly since your grasp of English is obviously not very good.

          No, it isn’t an opinion. It has a considerable amount of evidence backing it, it makes predictions that can be critically tested and has survived such testing. In other words, it is a scientific theory.

          As opposed to the accounts in Genesis, which are simply the mythos of a particular set of people at a particular time and having no more correspondence to reality than any other mythos.

        • Mayhem

          Yes the evidence for all matter, the universe, deriving from a super hot singularity?

          Theories are not facts and must be accepted, in the absence of evidence, as a matter of faith.

        • Facts are used to compose scientific theories. They’re the evidence that you say doesn’t exist.

          No, faith has no role within science.

        • Mayhem

          Are you planning to show any evidence, Bob Seidensticker, or are we just gonna tiptoe around the subject?

        • Evidence for what? For the Big Bang? Nope–I have none to offer. I suggest Wikipedia if you’re actually curious to know why scientists have accept the Big Bang theory.

          My forte is the God question, not cosmology.

        • epeeist

          Yes the evidence for all matter, the universe, deriving from a super hot singularity?

          Singularity, probably not given that our theories break down at the Planck epoch. What we do know is that around about 13.7 billion years ago the universe was hot, dense and rapidly expanding.

          Theories are not facts and must be accepted, in the absence of evidence, as a matter of faith.

          Thereby demonstrating that when it comes to scientific theories you have no idea what you are talking about.

          Theories are the gold standard in science, they will have evidential backing, strong explanatory power and good empirical fit. The Big Bang theory fulfils these requirements and more, it makes novel predictions (such as the microwave background) that were subsequently verified.

        • Mayhem

          “What we do know is that around about 13.7 billion years ago the universe was hot, dense and rapidly expanding.”

          This is exactly the evidence I’m asking for. Do you know of it, will you share it?

        • epeeist
        • Mayhem

          https://www.physicsmyths.org.uk/cosmology.htm

          … and yet reasonable arguments have been made that reveal the assumptions that the various theories operate under.

          Is it still science when the theories are premised on assumptions?

        • epeeist

          … and yet reasonable arguments have been made that reveal the assumptions that the various theories operate under.

          Thomas Smid, who he? And what kind of scientist takes an M.Sc. in “physics” rather than something like a masters in Nuclear Science and Technology or Particle Physics? The same applies to a Ph.D. in “Astronomy” but more so.

          But a nice try at a red herring designed to hide the fact that you have no response to the small number of papers I referenced.

          Is it still science when the theories are premised on assumptions?

          This isn’t restricted to science is it? It is an epistemic question, what counts as knowledge. Now I am quite happy to discuss things like foundationalism (fallible or otherwise) or reliabilism, but it isn’t going to help you. You are stuck with same problem, how do you know that the assumption of YEC are correct?

        • Why ask for it? Because you think scientists have developed the Big Bang theory without evidence?

          Go somewhere besides ICR or AiG for your science. Even Reasons to Believe would accept the Big Bang.

        • Mayhem

          I ask for proof because in its absence faith is the evidence for things not seen (Heb 11:1) and my point is your beliefs are just as much faith based as mine.

          This is why it’s called The Big Bang Theory and not The Big Bang Fact.

        • You don’t really know how science works, do you? Seriously—you should get your science from an actual science-y site, not Creationist ministries.

          I ask for proof

          Science doesn’t give proof.

          your beliefs are just as much faith based as mine.

          I have no use for faith, thanks. When things are trustworthy, I trust them.

          This is why it’s called The Big Bang Theory and not The Big Bang Fact.

          Open mouth, insert foot.

          Theories don’t graduate to facts. You start with facts, and you develop an explanation (that’s what a theory is) that is well supported by the facts.

        • Mayhem

          Supported, though they may be, is not the same as proven and explanations of theories are opinions.

        • Quantum tunneling is explained by a scientific theory. The semiconductors in your cell phone work only because quantum tunneling works as the theory explains. Engineers designed the circuits depending on quantum tunneling. That the cell phone works isn’t proof, but it’s pretty f-ing good evidence that the theory behind quantum tunneling works.

          It’s cute that you think “the universe started with the Big Bang” and “vanilla ice cream is best” are both theories opinions and are therefore equally credible, but that’s why you’re still at the kids’ table.

          EDIT: typo fixed

        • Ignorant Amos

          Even the Vatican accepts the Big Bang, since Father Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître, the Belgian Roman Catholic priest, mathematician, astronomer, and professor of physics at the Catholic University of Louvain, pitched the theory back in 1951 to Pope Pius XII who accepted it and declared it scientifically validated Catholicism.

        • You’re rejecting the Big Bang?

        • Mayhem

          Yes I do, given there is zero evidence for it.

        • What other scientific consensuses do you reject–evolution, climate change, others?

          I’m impressed with your huevos. I always accept the overwhelming consensus in a scientific field of which I’m not a part. Deciding to judge experts’ conclusions when I’m not an expert isn’t how I roll.

        • Mayhem

          “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus”.

          “Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results”.

          “The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.” – The late Michael Crichton, MD, author, film producer.

        • … which is not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the approach that laypeople use to decide what’s true or not. The scientific consensus be wrong, but it’s the best bet we have at the moment.

        • Greg G.

          The whole concept is derived from evidence. It could not exist without evidence.

        • Mayhem

          And yet none of you offered any evidence just mealy mouthed opinion.

          It’s about what I expect to be frank.

        • Greg G.

          The evidence is easily obtainable to anyone who has not been brainwashed that there is no evidence by their religion.

          Astronomers can measure the distance to stars by the triangulation method. Some stars have a variable intensity and the rate of the variation is related to its intensity so that can be used to determine the distance to stars that cannot be triangulated.

          The elements of stars absorb particular frequencies of light which tells a lot about a star. The Doppler Effect applies to light so the relative velocity of the star and the observer can be determined.

          When those methods are combined, the more distant the light source, the faster it is moving away. When you do the math to project where everything would be, it all comes from the same place.

          Now you have an overview of the evidence. Go and study reality.

        • Mayhem

          Professor Subir Sarkar of Oxford University’s Department of Physics…

          https://phys.org/news/2016-10-universe-rateor.html

          … disagrees in so far as his team’s “work serves to demonstrate that a key pillar of the standard cosmological model [accelerated expansion] is rather shaky”.

          Is that real enough for ya?

        • epeeist

          … disagrees in so far as his team’s “work serves to demonstrate that a key pillar of the standard cosmological model [accelerated expansion]is rather shaky”.

          Nice try at quote mining but you really shouldn’t have linked the article. If you read the actual paper in Nature you will see that Prof. Sarkar accepts the idea that the universe is expanding, just not that the expansion rate is increasing.

          In other words, he still accepts a “Big Bang” cosmology.

        • Mayhem

          Quite right but I was just making sure you wouldn’t try throwing in acceleration once I’d shown that uniform expansion does not account for recent discoveries of galactic structures that they’d take 80 billion years to form…

          https://www.icr.org/article/big-bang-theory-collapses/

          … and yet they exist alongside our planetary system that we presume is only 4.5 billion years old.

          Care to explain that without heaping more theories on top of the ones you already rely upon?

        • epeeist

          https://www.icr.org/article

          Ah, the old “theory X has anomalies, therefore it has problems, therefore it is false and the creationist account wins by default” move.

          As it is, do you expect me to take an article seriously that can’t even quote its references properly?

          The article mixes original papers with assertions, for example the Tully paper (Alignment of clusters and galaxies on scales up to 0.1 c) does not say “These structures are much too big for the Big Bang theory to produce.”, this is simply an assertion inserted by the author of the ICR article.

          But let’s switch around shall we. All theories stand on their own merits, not on the “problems” of other hypotheses. The ICR claims “young Earth” chronology. So, what is the evidence for this? Note, the bible is the claim, not the evidence. We are looking for actual physical evidence to support their position.

        • Greg G.

          Why are you resorting to stupid ICR arguments. That one is nearly 30 years old. The author didn’t know that the distribution goes back to the variation of density at the initial expansion, you know, the Big Bang.

          https://www.universetoday.com/85530/examining-the-great-wall/

        • Ignorant Amos

          And an article by the Gish Galloper himself, it doesn’t get any funnier than that.

          A fuckin’ Muppet, citing a fuckin’ Mippet…it doesn’t get better than this.

          https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Duane_Gish

        • Greg G.

          He is citing an ICR paper from nearly 30 years ago.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And journal articles from 1927…which isn’t a problem if the content was still current, but it really ain’t.

        • Whoa! He’s bringing in the big guns.

        • Mayhem

          From your link…

          https://www.universetoday.com/85530/examining-the-great-wall/

          “The team suggests that this increased velocity dispersion is a result of a higher rate of interactions among galaxies than in other clusters.”

          … so the question becomes are suggestions, facts?

          The paper goes on to say that the current models fall short in explaining the Sloan Great Wall all the while continuing to assume these same models prove the big bang and while they offer no explanation, for this anomaly, they hope their research will be of some use going forward.

          This paper reports a discovery it does not explain how, or why, the Sloan Great Wall galaxies behave differently than every other galaxy that science previously knew about.

          So density fluctuations, huh, but background radiation (the base assumption of all radiometric dating methods) never fluctuates which we know by extrapolating 160 years of data to cover 13 odd billion years. Yeah sounds like science to me, not.

        • Greg G.

          It’s a hypothesis. Science does not do proof as it is always getting more and better evidence. Science avoids giving false certainty. That is a strength.

          Religion offers certainty based on incomplete evidence, then hates to change when it is shown to be nonsense.

          ETA a missing “not” in the second sentence a few minutes later.

        • Mayhem

          Yes and it hypothesises the discovery might be of some benefit sometime in the future which is the nature of discoveries that have no immediate application.

          The authors go on to explain that the discovery is expected to help firm up the age of the universe which suggests, to me, they know that the current model isn’t conclusive and is open for debate.

        • Greg G.

          Yes. Science is always open for debate, except that which was falsified.

        • Mayhem

          So why is matter not evenly distributed, throughout the universe, and what might have caused the first perturbation that could explain the clumping…

          https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0370269313003924

          … considering observations from the Planck satellite argue against the inflation paradigm that clumpers used to rely on when explaining why our observations didn’t match their silly theory?

        • Greg G.

          Why expect matter to be evenly distributed? Before the expansion known as the Big Bang, it was densely packed. There is no reason to assume the density was evenly distributed. It is more reasonable to assume the densities were random.

        • epeeist

          For the sake of argument let us assume that the above paper kills off the idea of the Big Bang. Where does this get you?

          What are you going to replace it with?

        • Greg G.

          What are you going to replace it with?

          “Godidit”, I’m sure.

        • epeeist

          “Godidit”, I’m sure.

          Well yes.

          He has (so far) avoided answering me when I asked for actual physical evidence for a universe that is less than 10,000 years old or pointed out that science isn’t the only subject that has assumptions, it applies to theology too. Why does this not surprise me.

        • epeeist

          So why is matter not evenly distributed, throughout the universe

          Quantum mechanics and zero point energy.

        • Mayhem

          An equivalent statement would be “It’s in the Bible, read it”.

        • epeeist

          An equivalent statement would be “It’s in the Bible, read it”.

          So where in the bible does it mention ground state energy, dressed particles, real and virtual particle interactions?

          The best observed value for the anomalous electron moment is 1.001 159 652 180 73 (±28), while the calculated value using the above concepts from quantum field theory is 1.001 159 652 181 13 (±86). So where does it mention anything of similar accuracy in the bible?

          But this is simply another case of missing information in the bible, a few days ago there was this rather pompous post, to which I was forced to point out that the bible doesn’t mention the rotation of Venus, Uranus or magnetism. To bring it closer to home it doesn’t mention America (or many countries outside of the Middle East) or penguins either.

        • Mayhem

          Where did I say it did?

          I’m nearly done with your clutching at straws.

        • epeeist

          I’m nearly done with your clutching at straws.

          The thing is, ground state energy (a consequence of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle) does explain why the universe is not totally homogeneous, the bible provides nothing that is remotely similar.

          I have asked before and received no answer, where is the actual physical evidence for the cosmology described in the bible?

        • Mayhem

          There isn’t any physical evidence for the origins of the universe, silly, not from your perspective, nor from mine, and that is why your world view is a religion just like mine is.

          And you know your link is merely a long winded explanation why the various modelling systems are unable to agree, right?

        • epeeist

          There isn’t any physical evidence for the origins of the universe

          Nice attempt at deflection, where have I been claiming that the Big Bang was an explanation for the origin of the universe, note this from my comment of the other day, “What we do know is that around about 13.7 billion years ago the universe was hot, dense and rapidly expanding.”

          However, glad to see you admitting that there is no evidence for the biblical cosmology, I guess we can treat it the same as any other origins myth.

          And you know your link is merely a long winded explanation why the various modelling systems are unable to agree, right?

          No.

          You do realise that all the papers I referenced give an age for the universe that is mutually consistent between all of them (within observational error of course) even though they all used different methods for determining this.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Oh fuck, a knuckle-dragging creotard arguing physics with a a doctorate in physics….should I be cracking out the popcorn?

        • Greg G.

          Sarkar’s contrary opinion is about the acceleration of the expansion of the universe and dark energy. If he is right, the current model will be falsified so that the former model that originally implied the Big Bang will be the current model, again.

          If Sarkar is saying something else about all models of the Big Bang, please describe his evidence and his arguments.

        • Mayhem

          What evidence? I only know of the theory.

        • epeeist

          Since you obviously don’t want to look at my link I will repeat it here. The following is a list of predictions from the Big Bang theory and what we actually find.

          The current best explanation for the formation of the universe is the ΛCDM version of the Big Bang theory. If this is correct then then:

          1. At anything but the smallest but the smallest scales the universe should be homogeneous, this indeed is what we find.

          2. We should see galaxies moving away from us at a speed proportional to their distance, this indeed is what we see.

          3. Primordial nucleosynthesis should lead to an archaic element
          distribution consisting of hydrogen and helium, with a trace of
          deuterium, lithium and beryllium. This is what we observe.

          4. A universe formed in a hot big bang should have a black body thermalspectrum. This, to an extraordinary degree of precision, is what we observe.

          5. Because the initial universe was small enough for
          quantum effects to apply we should see fluctuations in the thermal spectrum (the CMBR), this indeed is what observe.

          6. For objects which vary in brightness and are distant from us we should expect to seem time dilation effects. We can observe this in type 1 supernovae.

          I think that is probably sufficient as a starter, there is no need to
          include things like Tolman tests, Sachs-Wolfe or Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effects.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I prefer bias rather than hypocrisy, but we all suffer from at least a wee bit of both. Had you a particular incident in mind, or is this just a general inquiry?

          If you were a regular here, you’d know that not only would I call out anybody who I see making a comment that I believe is erroneous, or contains an error, I have done. And don’t think I’m the only one here that will do it either.

          Gary Whittenberger is a prime example of an atheist who gets a lot of flak for being a dickhead. Another called Cygnus, who hasn’t been around much of late, is another. Then there are internet friends who might need a nudge of correction.

          It doesn’t matter what one believes if what ever one believes is wrong. I’d like to think my friends would keep me straight on a point in which I’ve erred. I’m not going to learn by having my mistakes let fly.

          I’ve been commenting online for some twelve years now, and I’ve had my fair share of criticism from my own side, including getting banned from the Richard Dawkins site for criticizing the moderators for removing a lengthy, time invested comment, while leaving my adversaries comment up…my adversary was another atheist by the way. On Outshine the Sun, I’ve had comments removed or criticized by the moderator for various reasons, including being fallacious, and on occasion of the later, I was, and learnt from it too.

        • I’m not following your point. Please expand on it. What arguments are you referring to?

        • Mayhem

          “The 45,000 Christian denominations agree with me.”

          This is a logical fallacy and the two commentators I called out objected to similar so now I’m wondering if their criticism only applies to one side in this debate or is the playing field level.

        • Where’s the fallacy?

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          That’s the problem.
          You don’t have a brain of your own to work with/from.
          You belong to the collective.

        • epeeist

          Oh, look it is the attack of the killer sock-puppets

          https://media.moddb.com/images/mods/1/1/597/48454.jpg

        • Ignorant Amos

          Unbelievable…Bert turns up here, shites all over the place while blocking everyone that challenges him, threatens to leave, gets pushed out the door. So what does the nonce do? Simmers for a while, licking his wounds than returns with this fuckwittery. Flabbergasting.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Bwaaaahahaha…the irony is dripping.

          You’re the one that belongs to a religious cult and believes all the gullible woo-woo that cult has spoon fed ya.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          That’s where you are an ignoramus ignorant, Amos.
          I don’t belong to ANY religion.
          You on the other hand, belong to the religion of Atheism, and probably Scientism as well.
          Come to think of it, you would necessarily have to subscribe to the religions of Humanism [or Trans-humanism], and Materialism, etc. TOO!

          Gosh! How much more religious can you get?
          The amount of faith you have [in man’s wisdom] is astounding!

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s where you are an ignoramus ignorant, Amos.

          Bwaaahahahaha…I think that’s the fastest that one of you fuckwits have fell into the trap. [private joke, the regulars will know what am talking about and will enjoy the moment].

          I don’t belong to ANY religion.

          You’re a fucking liar. Either here, now, or on your profile.

          Israelite servant of Yahuwah and follower of my Savior Yahushua with the Holy Scriptures as my doctrine and the Holy Spirit as my Guide

          You do know what a “follower of my Savior Yahushua ” is, right? Ya dopey bastard.

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

          You on the other hand, belong to the religion of Atheism, and probably Scientism as well.

          Yaaaawwwnnnn!

          Demonstrating the joke in your first sentence, What an imbecile.

          Come to think of it, you would necessarily have to subscribe to the religions of Humanism [or Trans-humanism], and Materialism, etc. TOO!

          Nope…not necessarily at all. Here’s an idea, why don’t you leave the thinking to those of us that actually have a working brain with which to think with. Deal?

          Gosh! How much more religious can you get?

          Check the mirror.

          The amount of faith you have [in man’s wisdom] is astounding!

          Typical Christian religitard, conflating the difference in definitions of the word “faith” and making a right royal fuck up in the process.

          I have confidence in man’s wisdom because it works, demonstrably so. Supernatural woo-woo explains fuck all, and never has done. Ever, in the history of mankind.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          Well,
          Good luck with that!

        • Ignorant Amos

          Still here a see, ya dopey tit.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Says the person using the internet and a computer…you’d be hilarious if ya weren’t so bloody pathetic.

        • It’s a little odd telling someone else what religion they are. Is that your final answer?

          As for faith, Amos can speak for himself, but I have no use for faith myself. I’ll focus on trust instead.

        • I belong to … the Borg? A commune?

          You’ll have to expand on that for me to understand your point.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          What?
          Read real ancient historical nonfiction text to gain “clarity”?
          Surely you jest!
          Wouldn’t the knuckle dragging missing links have to be able to read and comprehend what was written first?

          Lobotomized howler monkeys would be more likely to discuss matters of Biblical Truth with you.
          (Rev. 22:11-15)

        • Albert Swearengen

          I tried to dialogue with those monkeys once.

          They started throwing feces at me. Kind of like what happened here on this board!

          And what? If I come down here so these God haters can help me tighten up the chinks in my armor… how can that be a bad thing?

          I just don’t want to hurt any of them such that their blood be upon my head, so I have to keep my impatience in better control than I did here the other day!!!

        • Ignorant Amos

          The problem you have, is that it can’t be demonstrated that it is non-fiction, while the real folk that haven’t been lobotomized, con show where and why it actually is fiction you moronic arsehole.

          Here’s your problem….

          Apocalyptic Nonsense

          http://robertagrimes.com/jesus/apocalyptic-nonsense

          You lot of idiots can’t convince each other…why would you think you could convince someone without your mind wankery it’s anything more than nonsense?

          All other religions believe their texts contain the clarity for belief, your book of nonsense makes no more sense than theirs.

          Don’t blame us, blame the messenger for such incompetence.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          “The problem you have, is that it can’t be demonstrated that it is non-fiction….”

          It can, and it has been “demonstrated that it is non-fiction”.
          Through world wide historical records, as well as archaeology, etc. the Bible narrative has been proven correct over and over.
          And that doesn’t even include the hundreds of prophecies from the Bible that have been fulfilled to the most minute detail.

    • islandbrewer

      Design by committee, where each of the *does a quick count* 53 members gets one of his or her suggestions incorporated into the organism. And half of them forgot what they were supposed to be submitting and came up with something half-assed 30 seconds before turning it in.

    • Albert Swearengen

      The only way the design theory works is if there is more than one designer. And they don’t like each other.

      Sounds like a conclusion a man who’s actually read the Bible might reach.

  • WCB

    So God creates, nasty viruses, ugly fungal diseases, horrific diseases cause by microbes, protozoic diseases such as amoebic dysentary, and truly agnozing parasites. Try the website “Parasite of the day”. Does this world resemble a world created by a loving, indly, compassionate God? Or blind opportunistic evolution?

    Monty Python song – All Things Dull and Ugly

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPriOQkKd6k

  • skl

    The title of this article is misleading.
    The fictional dialogue seems a lot more about theodicy than design.

    • Doubting Thomas

      You should put more effort into understanding the point than you do looking for dumb complaints.

    • Lex Lata

      No, by my reckoning, it’s only about 26.7% theodicy. But you’re absolutely right about the title’s imprecision, and not at all quibbling about a minor aspect of the post just for the thrill of being a contrarian. A better title would be along the lines of: “70.3% The Design Argument, 26.7% Theodicy, 2% Tea Symbolizing Insight, 1% Personal Tragedy.”

      • skl

        On the other hand, maybe it’s all the same.
        Theodicy could be considered a branch of design study. A study
        of how bad designs could come from a good designer.

        • Doubting Thomas

          A study of how bad designs could come from a good perfect designer.

          This is actually what Christians believe. And it’s not a problem to be thought through. It’s a contradiction.

        • Albert Swearengen

          It’s not a contradiction for anyone who’s actually read the Bible.

        • Greg G.

          A perfect creator creating an imperfection is a contradiction.

        • Albert Swearengen

          It would be if the Bible hadn’t explained to us how we arrived in our present unenviable position… what has happened (and will happen) to make things the way they are and why.

          But then, a God who condescended into His own creation and even went to the trouble of handing His own creation a guidebook consisting of nearly 2000 pages of instruction? I guess such concepts are too weighty for the undeveloped minds of rebellious children!!!

          The rebellious children would much rather have things to complain about and gripes to belly-ache over on their way to merging with the machine.

        • sandy

          Leviticus 20:13 (KJV) If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

          Albert Swearengen, above is just one example of your guidebook telling you what to do. Your God demands death for breach of many of his commandments. Do you follow His instructions or just cherry pick what you like or don’t like? You can’t have it both ways. It’s pretty obvious your bible was written by superstitious bronze aged tribal men reflecting the values and customs at the time it was written. It’s all there, just read it like all of us atheists have done.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Your God demands death for breach of many of his commandments…”

          No. Justice requires death for many transgressions against the Living God.

          “…Do you follow His instructions or just cherry pick what you like or don’t like?…”

          I believe you mean to ask me if I slay homosexuals and disobedient children. No. I do not. I am not the Judge. I am not the dealer of justice in such matters. We are instructed to obey God’s commands. We are not instructed to slay those who do not obey. Now, you will object. You will show from the Old Testament many verses which clearly state that we ARE to deal such justice to the lawless. But I would remind you that the Bible is a Book with more than one verse… more than one passage… more than one chapter and more than one author. The Bible serves as a unified Volume and we have been subsequently instructed to be merciful and that we are NOT the Judge. Do you see a contradiction here? There is no contradiction. There was a body of Law, God’s Law, explained to us in the Old Testament Scriptures which later was expounded when the Author of that Law came to teach men the fuller meaning of the Law and how it was to be received by us. The penalty for the crimes you ask about, however, yet remains to be dealt with in those lawless men who presently dwell on the earth.

          “…It’s pretty obvious your bible was written by superstitious bronze aged tribal men…”

          The Bible was written by men who inscribed what the Spirit of God inspired them to write. And God has instructed us that He does not change. Man changes. Cultural norms change. Society rots and decays. But God remains the same. You’re making the mistake of impugning the authors of Scripture for being backward rubes living in unenlightened times. But that presupposes the nonsense claim that men today are superior of mind and of spirit. It presupposes the lie that modern man is in any way enlightened.

        • I believe you mean to ask me if I slay homosexuals and disobedient children. No. I do not. I am not the Judge. I am not the dealer of justice in such matters.

          Someone needs to read his Bible. You are indeed obliged to get your hands bloody:

          If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, 7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), 8 do not yield to them or listen to them. Show them no pity. Do not spare them or shield them. 9 You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. 10 Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God. (Deut. 13:6–10)

          Praise the Lord.

          You will show from the Old Testament many verses which clearly state that we ARE to deal such justice to the lawless.

          Good prediction.

          But I would remind you that the Bible is a Book with more than one verse… more than one passage… more than one chapter and more than one author.

          And I would remind you that the Bible has zero contradictions.

        • Albert Swearengen

          You didn’t even take the time to read the objection I included myself within the very post you’re responding to? I hate to say it Bob, but you really need to step up your game.

          I wrote:

          Now, you will object. You will show from the Old Testament many verses which clearly state that we ARE to deal such justice to the lawless. But I would remind you that the Bible is a Book with more than one verse… more than one passage… more than one chapter and more than one author. The Bible serves as a unified Volume and we have been subsequently instructed to be merciful and that we are NOT the Judge. Do you see a contradiction here? There is no contradiction. There was a body of Law, God’s Law, explained to us in the Old Testament Scriptures which later was expounded when the Author of that Law came to teach men the fuller meaning of the Law and how it was to be received by us.

          (bold and underline added)

          You wrote:

          “…And I would remind you that the Bible has zero contradictions…”

          That’s the first thing you’ve said all day that I well and truly agree with!!! There may be hope for you yet!!!

        • you really need to step up your game

          ?

          I would remind you that the Bible is a Book with more than one verse… more than one passage… more than one chapter and more than one author.

          Right. And when the Bible says X (X = stone those who encourage you to worship other god(s)) and you don’t like X, you can search those many verses for a place where it says not-X and hang your hat on that.

          There is no contradiction.

          Easy to say. But if you want to hold to that, that’s fine. Just never use the argument, “Ah, yes, the Bible does say that, but remember that it also says . . .”

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…And when the Bible says X (X = stone those who encourage you to worship other god(s)) and you don’t like X, you can search those many verses for a place where it says not-X and hang your hat on that…”

          There is vast exposition in the Greek Scriptures (that would be the New Testament) on this very subject. This has to do with ‘under the Law’ as juxtaposed with ‘under the Grace of God,’ and Paul expounded at great length on the matter.

          If we ourselves mete the lawful punishment for lawlessness onto the heads of others, we ourselves will then become subject to the full extent of the Law. It is lawful to stone witches and homosexuals in God’s Law. But if we do that and we point to God’s Law as our justification, then we ourselves will become subject to JUDGMENT in the day when we are judged and we will have no hope of mercy, who have dealt justice without mercy to others.

          I’m afraid it takes God a bit more than a single sentence or even a few verses to explain His instructions to us fully and coherently.

          “…Just never use the argument, “Ah, yes, the Bible does say that, but remember that it also says . . .”…”

          Why on earth not? There is no way to rightly understand the Bible unless it is considered in the light of its totality. It is a broad and unified message the Bible conveys. If we cut off the last 27 Books of Scripture, as the Jews have done, then we leave ourselves with only a partial map and a partial set of instructions for finding our destination.

          If we don’t look at the Bible as a unit, we come away with a deficient understanding in all cases… bar none.

        • There is vast exposition in the Greek Scriptures (that would be the New Testament) on this very subject. This has to do with ‘under the Law’ as juxtaposed with ‘under the Grace of God,’ and Paul expounded at great length on the matter.

          Paul et al changed things. Yes, I get it. Your challenge is to show that God’s perfect plan, throughout the OT, was to have the Mosaic covenant . . . and then overturn that with Jesus. Show us that the original audience of the books of the OT clearly knew that that covenant was temporary. As I recall, though, it was supposed to be perpetual.

          If we ourselves mete the lawful punishment for lawlessness onto the heads of others . . .

          . . . then we’re following God’s law. “You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death,” thus sayeth the Lord.

          It’s your book. Don’t blame me.

          I’m afraid it takes God a bit more than a single sentence or even a few verses to explain His instructions to us fully and coherently.

          How hard is “You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death” to understand? You’re trying mightily to make it confusing, but it seems pretty clear to me.

          “…Just never use the argument, “Ah, yes, the Bible does say that, but remember that it also says . . .”…”
          Why on earth not? There is no way to rightly understand the Bible unless it is considered in the light of its totality.

          No contradictions, remember? You’re insistence of its totality means that you benefit from the contradictions. That ain’t the way the game is played—at least according to you.

          It is a broad and unified message the Bible conveys. If we cut off the last 27 Books of Scripture, as the Jews have done, then we leave ourselves with only a partial map and a partial set of instructions for finding our destination.

          Why is that a problem? You’ve stopped adding books to the Bible. Why not assume that yet more books need to be added on? This is the “God is still speaking” thinking. Islam added to the Bible. Mormonism added to the Bible. They see you like you see the Jews—not bad, but you’ve got your head in the sand with respect to God’s subsequent revelation.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Funny, isn’t it, how ol’ Al is trying to use the ‘context’ argument w/o using the word?

        • Even funnier that he gets himself into a lather to assure us that the Bible doesn’t have a single contradiction, and yet he wants to use the Bible’s contradictions to his advantage–when I quote an unpleasant verse that says A, he digs up not-A from somewhere else in the Bible.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Paul et al changed things. Yes, I get it…”

          No. You don’t get it. Paul changed nothing. Christ changed nothing when He came. The effects of His sacrifice were already in the system. All Christ or the apostles did was to clarify. Nothing was changed.

          “…Your challenge is to show…”

          You might knock of this silliness. Who the hell do you think you are, Bob? My challenge? I’m here to interact with the material I see posted on your boards; nothing more… nothing less. You don’t get to give me homework assignments, fella.

          “…then we’re following God’s law [if we mete justice ourselves onto the heads of others]…”

          Yup. Listen closely now: If you follow God’s Law in such ways, then you place yourself under the Law and anyone who does this thing is an utter fool if they have their hand out looking for mercy in the day when they are judged. Does this really need further clarifying?

          “…It’s your book. Don’t blame me…”

          Are you not worthy to be blamed? I’ll be the one to tell you if you don’t know (but you do know)… You are worthy to be blamed.

          Step it up, fella. Most clearly I have mistaken you for a motivated participant in this thing. I came here thinking I’d find a different class of thinker — more capable. That assessment is changing in a hurry.

          I scanned the 35-odd comments I have yet to answer on the way down to answer this one…

          …hostility is what I see. Nothing cordial or civil about the discourse here at all. One user I blocked immediately without reading any of his commentary except for the invective and profanity which jumped out at me as I scrolled past. Are you and your users capable of meaningful conversation? Because if not, I’ll show myself the door in a hurry. The fact is, you won’t have an easy time dealing with me and you know it. So put on your game faces and get serious… all of you. This is what you PRETEND to be interested in engaging in… ACTUAL discourse with a man who is ACTUALLY familiar with the material you all accuse.

          Let’s see what you guys are made of. Or show yourselves to be frauds and enemies of the Most High.

        • Most clearly I have mistaken you for a motivated participant in this thing. I came here thinking I’d find a different class of thinker — more capable. That assessment is changing in a hurry.

          Gosh. I’m in danger of losing my good reputation in Al’s mind.

          …hostility is what I see. Nothing cordial or civil about the discourse here at all.

          For the life of me, I can’t imagine what could’ve provoked such a response.

          Are you and your users capable of meaningful conversation? Because if not, I’ll show myself the door in a hurry.

          You do that.

          The fact is, you won’t have an easy time dealing with me and you know it.

          Agreed. You refuse to engage with the evidence. Very clever—you win.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…For the life of me, I can’t imagine what could’ve provoked such a response…”

          You and your enemies of God are the ones who provoked with invective, profanity and vile language. I didn’t. I was at first perfectly civil with everyone on this board and now, because you people have such feeble control over yourselves, we’ve degenerated into a food-fight and this has become an exercise in worthlessness.

          For all of me, I am still willing to resurrect the dialogue and to make it worth everyone’s time.

          Is there not a single man on this board who will meet me in meaningful dialogue?

          How about this, Bob…

          I dare you to bring me five of your so-called contradictions. I challenge you. How’s that sound?

          You pointing to any other board but this one will be an admission that you haven’t got the moxie to actually do what you pretend to do around here.

          If by midnight tonight (you can guess which US timezone) you haven’t provided your examples, then I’ll go my way knowing there’s nothing here worth engaging.

          You folks want an argument tabled? You keep asking for it. Demanding it. Here it is. Those are my terms.

          Ready when you are, fella.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I dare you to bring me five of your so-called contradictions. I challenge you. How’s that sound?

          You
          pointing to any other board but this one will be an admission that you
          haven’t got the moxie to actually do what you pretend to do around here.

          Bob already pointed you to his contradictions. Don’t accuse him of not having moxie when he’s written an entire article listing contradictions and you’re too lazy to go read it. Why should he be willing to engage when you’re unwilling to do something so simple?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Bob already pointed you to his contradictions…”

          No. He pointed me to garbage he STOLE from other websites. Bob is incapable of formulating his own arguments without theft of intellectual property.

          Criminality and atheism go hand-in-hand.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Criminality and atheism go hand-in-hand.

          But you said…

          I will point out again that there is no such thing as an atheist

          Try to keep your dumbassery straight.

        • Greg G.

          The Bible is finite. The contradictions are well documented. You want people to come up with new ones when you can’t respond to the old ones. You are weak.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…You want people to come up with new ones when you can’t respond to the old ones…”

          I have challenged this entire board to table ANY contradiction (so-called) they want addressed.

          Yet not a single one of you has tabled anything but noise and hot air.

          “…You are weak…”

          You are dishonest.

        • Greg G.

          The crucifixion. Before or after Passover? It is one or the other. It depends on which gospel you read. It is a clear contradiction.

          You ran from it without answering it.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Asked and answered.

          Jesus was crucified as the sheep were being slaughtered for the Passover meal.

          That’s twice.

        • Greg G.

          You are reading John and ignoring the Synoptics.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Mark 15:6 and 7

          Now at the feast he [Pilate] used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection.

          What now? If the feast was past, then why hadn’t Pilate turned loose of the prisoner?

        • Greg G.

          Note that Mark 15:1 says that it was in the morning, which means it was the morning after the lambs were killed. Since the lambs were killed at twilight, and the meal was eaten after sunset, which is when the new day began in the Jewish culture, it was after the meal. 

          So it is just another error in a fictional story. Or you can harmonize it as being a week-long feast.

          Mark used Aramaic words and Latin words. He never explained the Latin words but he almost always explained the Aramaic. But Mark didn’t seem to know a lot about Jewish culture. Matthew corrects many of his errors. For example, in Mark 10:11-12, he seems to have been thinking of 1 Corinthians 7:10-13, where Paul was writing to Greeks about a woman divorcing her husband. But Jesus was speaking to Jews who would never have thought about a woman doing the divorcing. Matthew omitted that part. Mark was writing to Romans who did not know much about Jewish culture so he was free to slip in fiction.

          It is not reasonable to think Pilate would be releasing a terrorist. The whole story is contrived. Mark explains the name Bartimaeus earlier. Then he has Jesus open his Gethsemane prayer with “Abba, Father” so his readers will realize that Barabbas means “Son of the Father” so there are two prisoners by that name. This sets up the scapegoat scenario of Leviticus 16:5-22 where a goat or a lamb is chosen at random from a pair. One is killed for the sins of the nation while the other is released into the wilderness. This is the Yom Kippur (Atonement Day) which is about 5 months after Passover.

          The Barabbas story is immediately followed by the Mocking of Jesus. That story parallels the Mocking of Carabbas in Philo’s Flaccus. The difference in the letters in Greek is the same as in English. Only the first letter is different.

          The contradiction remains but it hardly matters since the whole gospel of Mark looks contrived, which means the other gospels copied from Mark.

          That is one of the problems with reading cover to cover. You miss out on the fine details.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Note that Mark 15:1 says that it was in the morning, which means it was the morning after the lambs were killed…”

          False. See the resolution you’ve just been shown. There are not multiple Passover feasts. There is one feast. And Mark chapter 15 shows the feast had not yet occurred.

        • It’s a little hard to believe that Scholar Albert wasn’t well aware of the contradiction before you bring it up, but it’s clear he has no idea what’s going on. He’s a man of constant surprises.

        • Greg G.

          I told him that reading cover to cover keeps you stupid. John was the last gospel he read so it’s all he remembered.

        • He had little to contribute to the conversation besides bluster.

          The Dunning-Kruger is strong in this one.

        • epeeist

          He had little to contribute to the conversation besides bluster.

          Personally I prefer bloviate

        • An excellent word, indeed. That prompted me to look it up. The OED gives an American usage from 1845 as their earliest example.

        • epeeist

          The thing that amuses me is that they come here and present themselves as what they obviously see as magisterial and authoritative while in actually producing portentous verbiage.

        • Maybe we’d see a different side of them if our reception was more appreciative or surprised. He seemed certain that he was the smartest guy in the room, when I doubt that was the case.

        • Greg G.

          He wouldn’t recommend any books on the subject. Apparently he couldn’t because he had never read one. He couldn’t find one that supported him.

        • Rudy R

          Asked: Before or after Passover?

          Answer: Jesus was crucified as the sheep were being slaughtered for the Passover meal.

          Not answered.

          Your whole premise that the Bible contains no contradictions has been disproven.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Are you trying to prove you have zero ability to pay attention to detail?

          Read carefully:

          On Mark 14:12

          Firstly, there are no textual variants in this verse to speak of among the major Greek MSS. Here is the verse from the Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550:

          Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον λέγουσιν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ Ποῦ θέλεις ἀπελθόντες ἑτοιμάσωμεν ἵνα φάγῃς τὸ πάσχα

          Verify that for yourself, if you like. I’ve already posted links with which to do that and won’t be bothered to do so again.

          Secondly, the Greek word πρώτῃ highlighted for you in bold above, to help your through your attention deficit problems, is defined thusly:

          first, before, principal, most important

          Again, those are NOT my definitions, but definitions which come from reputable reference sources. Links already given. Go find them or do some actual thinking and actual study on your own.

          THEREFORE, the verse in question, Matthew 14:12, may EASILY be rendered as:

          And BEFORE the day of unleavened bread, when they were to sacrifice the Passover lambs…

          …which clarifies the matter greatly and eliminates any confusion. Moreover, it is made clear THREE CHAPTERS LATER, in Matthew 15, that the feast has NOT happened yet on account of Pilate having YET to release a prisoner to the Jews on the feast, as was his custom.

          Free yourself of the lies. Free yourself of confusion. Do your own study. Rely on the work and the witness of NO MAN.

          And stop pretending you do not see how easily this apparent conflict is resolved, even if your world view comes under a certain amount of stress when you do so.

          Truth is always better than a lie.

        • garbage he STOLE from other websites

          What is this joker even trying to say? I’m trying to find some interpretation that would make sense of his words. Disagreeing with a charge is one thing, but I don’t even know what he’s talking about. The quotes are all from the Bible, and the links are mostly to my own posts.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/

        • I am still willing to resurrect the dialogue and to make it worth everyone’s time.

          That ship has sailed.

          I dare you to bring me five of your so-called contradictions. I challenge you. How’s that sound?

          Sounds like you’re deluded. Or are very forgetful.

          You pointing to any other board but this one will be an admission that you haven’t got the moxie to actually do what you pretend to do around here.

          Right. Pointing to my own post in my own blog is an admission. I’d have thought it was an admission that whatever argument you’ve got, I’ve probably responded to it, but apparently not.

          If by midnight tonight (you can guess which US timezone) you haven’t provided your examples, then I’ll go my way knowing there’s nothing here worth engaging.

          I’ll help you along with that. I’m always willing to help a fellow student of Christ.

          Those are my terms.

          You’re hilarious. Or nauseating. I can’t quite decide which.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Very well.

          We’re finished here.

          Not a single man on this board has the intestinal fortitude to stand up and make an argument for what he believes in without pointing to the work of other men.

          Because YOU did not conjure up your list of “contradictions.” You pilfered it from the work of other men. You don’t even have what it takes to craft your own attacks against Scripture but have to STEAL from others to make yourself look smart.

          Guess what, Bub?

          Nothing doing.

          Your cranial capacity is about as authentic as the bicep in your avatar image.

          F A K E.

          You’ll know where to find me if you ever grow up and grow a pair. Because I will be the guy to undo your substance if you ever muster the chutzpah to meet me toe-to-toe on the field of debate. But you already figured that out. At least you’re that smart.

          This is not how I planned to address any of you. But not a one of you has shown himself worth even the veriest shred of courtesy or cordiality.

          You are dismissed.

        • Greg G.

          You have been challenged repeatedly but ran away from every one of them.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Prove it. If there’s anything I’ve run from, then reproduce it right here and see how fast my feet shuffle.

          That’s the third time in ten minutes I’ve asked this of you. I will not be asking you again.

          If you accuse me once more of ducking questions without actually asking me a question, then I will recognize you for a highly insincere and deceitful man.

          Ask me an honest, direct and sincere question and I’ll know you to be other.

          Last time.

        • Greg G.

          Was Jesus crucified before or after the Passover meal?

          You said there were books about it. You didn’t even say whether they concluded it happened before or after.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Was Jesus crucified before or after the Passover meal?…”

          Jesus was crucified as the sheep were being slaughtered for the Passover meal.

        • Greg G.

          Is that your answer?

          Mark 14:12 says Jesus was alive on the day the lambs were killed. That occurs before sunset, when the new day begins and the Passover meal is consumed. Jesus was arrested after sunset.

          Your answer is contradicted by the Synoptics. How many guesses do you need?

        • Albert Swearengen

          Here’s what Mark 14:12 says:

          On the first day of Unleavened Bread, at which time they sacrificed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?”

          Show me the contradiction.

        • Greg G.

          Mark 14:12 – It was the day the Passover lambs were sacrificed.

          Mark 14:16 – The disciples prepared the Passover.

          Mark 14:17 – It was evening.

          Mark 14:18 – Jesus and the disciples were eating. 

          Exodus 12:6 – The lambs were slaughtered at twilight on the fourteenth day of the month.

          Exodus 12:8 – The lamb had to be eaten that same night.

          Exodus 12:10 – There were no leftovers. Everything not eaten had to be burned.

          Therefore, the meal that Jesus and the disciples were eating in Mark 14:18 was the Passover meal. Jesus was not killed when the lambs were killed. In the Synoptics, Jesus was arrested and crucified after the Passover.

          But John has Jesus arrested and crucified before the Passover meal.

          That is a clear contradiction.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Mark 14:12 – It was the day the Passover lambs were sacrificed…”

          That is not what Mark 14:12 says, though it is easy to make that mistake. Look at the verse in Greek with the interlinear available to you at:

          https://biblehub.com/interlinear/mark/14-12.htm

          Καὶ τῇ πρώτῃ ἡμέρᾳ τῶν ἀζύμων, ὅτε τὸ πάσχα ἔθυον

          And the ***first*** day of unleavened bread (unleavened bread is when the Passover lambs were to be sacrificed)…

          See here the Greek word πρώτῃ (prōtē) which is the Dative form of πρῶτος (prótos), meaning:

          first, before, principal, most important.

          Verify this if you please here or elsewhere:

          https://biblehub.com/greek/4413.htm

          Do you see the resolution? You don’t really expect me to believe Mark contradicted himself from one chapter to the next, do you? You see plainly in the verse I already cited for you elsewhere, that Pilate gave up a prisoner on the feast, yet he had not YET given a prisoner, so he offered them Barabbas or Christ.

          There is no conflict here.

        • Very well.
          We’re finished here.

          B’bye.

          Not a single man on this board has the intestinal fortitude to stand up and make an argument for what he believes in without pointing to the work of other men.

          Dunno what you’re talking about. I’ve referred to my own posts.

          Because YOU did not conjure up your list of “contradictions.” You pilfered it from the work of other men.

          Show me.

          You’ll know where to find me if you ever grow up and grow a pair.

          I don’t know, and I don’t care. But Godspeed on your quest, winning souls for the Dark Lord.

          Because I will be the guy to undo your substance if you ever muster the chutzpah to meet me toe-to-toe on the field of debate.

          Why bother? I’ve already lost in your mind, and nothing I could do would change that.

          But to anyone else who’s reading this conversation, feel free to share your most compelling arguments. Or, search All Posts above to see if I’ve covered it (I probably have), read that post, and then share your thoughts.

          But you already figured that out. At least you’re that smart.

          You give me too much credit.

          This is not how I planned to address any of you.

          Tip: next time you enter an ongoing conversation of (mostly) atheists, try to delay being a dick.

          You are dismissed.

          And I thought you couldn’t be more of an asshole. Albert proves me wrong yet again!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Without your OT, you have no ‘fall of man’, hence no need for a ‘second adam’.

          Take the OT, warts and all, or lose the NT.

          It’s that simple.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          When the first step of your Gish Gallop is a stumble, we’re not required to watch the rest of the race.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Inconvenient, those verses actually requiring doing something others might officially disapprove of

          😉

        • Michael Neville

          What does your god have to do with justice? Your god kills people just because he can, he condones slavery, he orders genocide, sexual slavery and rape, and is generally an immoral bastard. Read your damn Bible without your godgoggles and you’ll see what an asshole your god actually is.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Justice requires death for many transgressions against the Living God.

          First you have to demonstrate your ‘god’.

          But even allowing that, why have so many countries forbidden the death penalty, countries which are places most of us would want to go, while the remaining death penalty countries are recognized as hellholes?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          No. Justice requires death for many transgressions against the Living God.

          Didn’t god create reality, and thus the requirements for justice? If not, does this mean god is bound to act according to rules around justice that he has no control over?

          There’s an even bigger flaw in this response. If I burn down Bob’s house, justice is warranted because I harmed him. Why would trangressions against god qualify when we cannot harm him in any way?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Didn’t god create reality, and thus the requirements for justice?…”

          Yes.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes

          Then you no longer disagree with Sandy’s comment from earlier?

          “Your God demands death for breach of many of his commandments”

        • Albert Swearengen

          The penalty under the Law of God for certain crimes is death.

          But is that all God had to say?

          Read The Book.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Huh? So do you now agree with Sandy?

        • Doubting Thomas

          But then, a God who condescended into His own creation and even went to
          the trouble of handing His own creation a guidebook consisting of nearly
          2000 pages of instruction?

          That’s pretty dumb thing to do given the fact that the vast majority of his “creation” couldn’t read.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…the vast majority of his “creation” couldn’t read…”

          Eh? And does that excuse in any way benefit you today?

          And Ohhhh… if this is what you conceive of as an insurmountable obstacle, well, let’s just say you’d be painting a pretty weak picture of your character if it is.

        • Lark62

          Ah, the “I’ve got mine, sucks to be you” approach to morality.

          You can read the perfect, wonderful, precious book, therefore there is to need to consider the billions of people denied access to this perfect, wonderful, precious book.

          Christian immorality is matched only by their arrogance.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I wasn’t using it as an excuse. I was using it to point out the stupidity of your god.

          But do you think illiteracy should be a sufficient excuse for the billions of people who were and are unable to read the Bible?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…I was using it to point out the stupidity of your god…”

          And I will point out again that there is no such thing as an atheist. Self-professed atheists are all liars. All of you are haters and enemies of God.

          Wouldn’t you feel better if you just came out and admitted it?

          They day is coming when you and your kind will do exactly that. You’ll see some very convincing light at the end of your tunnel and your hatred will get the better of you. What’s more, you’ll actually start to think your god is going to win.

          Think again.

        • Doubting Thomas

          You didn’t actually answer my question, but that’s expected coming from a Christian.

          But also, this has to be the dumbest, laziest argument a person can use. Instead of actually pointing out where my belief is wrong, you just tell me I do believe what you do. It’s a sign that you don’t have any good arguments.

        • Albert Swearengen

          IF you clowns learned how to pay attention and actually understood the meanings of terms…

          …you’d know I haven’t made any arguments yet.

          But you weepy children offer nothing to argue against even if I did. A bigger bunch of belly-aching, profane, puerile, crybaby fools I have not encountered since the last time I was in a room full of petulant, snotty ankle-biters.

          And I mean that sincerely. I’m not just heaping scorn on you because you have all irritated the crap out of me. Well and truly, you are an embarrassing lot.

          No skills on this board and barely enough mental acumen to fill a shot glass between the lot of ya.

        • A bigger bunch of belly-aching, profane, puerile, crybaby fools I have not encountered since the last time I was in a room full of petulant, snotty ankle-biters.

          You praise your lord with that mouth?

        • Greg G.

          You dodged his question again!

        • Albert Swearengen

          The user is blocked by me. I only put up with so much harassment.

          Ask me a question and I will give you an answer if I am able.

          Seems to me I’m repeating myself.

          Right here, Greg. Ask me a clear and direct question.

          If you are able.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Maybe this question is clear and direct enough for you:

          “But do you think illiteracy should be a sufficient excuse for the billions of people who were and are unable to read the Bible?”

        • Greg G.

          He ran away from your question by blocking you.

        • Greg G.

          In response to your claim about the absence of contradictions in the Bible, I asked you whether the arrest, trial, and crucifixion of Jesus happened before the Passover meal, per John, or after the Passover, per the Synoptics. You said there were books written about it. That doesn’t answer the problem.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Is there some other Greg G. on this board using the identical avatar image as you use?

          Here is what I posted to you an hour ago relative to this subject:

          There were two calendars. And this fact is proven, among other ways, by looking at how John (who was writing to Greek-speaking men and women in the Roman Empire) marked time in his Gospel with the Roman clock, which we use to this day, with midnight beginning the cycle.

          The other apparent contradictions (within the synoptic Gospels) are easily resolved once the verses are looked at in Greek. Sometimes the Greek will show things like ‘…and the day of unleavened bread drew nigh…’ but the English translators will botch that, irrespective of Greek verb tense, to render ‘…on the day of unleavened bread…’

          Every apparent contradiction is resolved merely by being careful and equitable with the facts. Anyone who shows up with a mind to accuse the Word of God will find plenty of material to keep them busy. Honesty and fairness are required to this task. And so is learning to divest ourselves of as much presupposition and attitude-skewing baggage as possible.

          Now, in what way is that not a direct address of your question?

        • Greg G.

          Oh, that was you? That was blown out of the water several times.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Whatever you say, Greg.

          Baseless assertions are perfectly fine when they issue from your mouth or from your camp. But you lovers of unequal scales will screech and quiver about how unfair it is when God fearing men speak a word about the Bible without they first demonstrate the validity of every word of Scripture to your satisfaction.

          The games you people play are going to redound to your own heads and it will not go well for you in the day when that happens.

          You could at least force yourselves to bear honest weights and square scales while you make your arguments. But then, that would require actual effort and you’d have to learn to do a little actual thinking on your own.

          Consider your ways.

        • There were two calendars.

          Sort of. In the Diaspora, they celebrated holidays on two consecutive nights (months could be 29 or 30 days long, decided by observation of the moon, and communicating the 29 vs. 30 decision simply couldn’t be done reliably to the hinterlands–hence the double celebration). However, there was no need for a double celebration in Jerusalem. So, no, there was no confusion since the Last Supper story is told within a Jerusalem context.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…months could be 29 or 30 days long…”

          God’s calendar in Scripture never has 29-day months. His calendar consists of 12 months of 30 days each, only and always. Then there are ‘marker days’ to contend with.

          All Babylonian versions of a calendar were lunar-month based and were never God’s instituted system for marking time.

          “…So, no, there was no confusion since the Last Supper story is told within a Jerusalem context…”

          I never said there was confusion. Men here in this day are confused as touching this matter. The ancients were torn between systems and it is simple enough to prove that John used Roman mechanisms for marking time in his Gospel. Compare the hour of Christ’s death as John reported it with the timing as given in the synoptic Gospels.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Supposedly, your ‘god’ created all things.

          And was such a fuckup that it couldn’t get it all to work together as desired.

          That’s a workman blaming tools / creations for the workman’s shortcomings.

        • Greg G.

          Whoosh!

          Rebellious (imperfect) children would have to have been made by an imperfect creator.

          If God was perfect, he would have put Jesus in the GoE instead of Adam. Then there would be no need for a flood or a crucifixion.

        • And the Bible would’ve been 5% as long and far more coherent.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Rebellious (imperfect) children would have to have been made by an imperfect creator…”

          Is that your final answer?

          Too bad you’re wrong. But lucky for you, you have a God who took the time to explain the error of your conclusion in great detail. Try reading the Book He made available to you, and try reading it with both eyes open this time.

          And if you have any questions, there are plenty of smart fellas you can ask for answers.

        • Greg G.

          And if you have any questions, there are plenty of smart fellas you can ask for answers.

          I see, so I take it that you are not one of them.

          Why is it so hard for you to answer the problem? You spend more time giving excuses than answering the problem. Just saying the answers are out there is insufficient. We keep asking but nobody can give a real answer.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Try asking me a direct and a sincere question.

          Then I will be happy to answer you in kind.

        • Lark62

          This perfect being handed over a “2000 page guidebook.” Being omniscient, the perfect being must have known the “2000 page guidebook” would spawn 45,000 denominations and counting, each interpreting the “2000 page guidebook” differently. The perfect being would know how many millions of guidebook following people would be killed by other guidebook following people over disagreements in how to follow the guidebook.

          Yet the perfect being chose to include “Happy is the one who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks” and omit “Alberg Swearengen is right, everyone else is wrong.”

          Your deity is an f’ing screwup.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          ‘Explain’ is exactly what your ‘bible’ DOESN’T do.

          EXPLANATION is imparting understanding of an unknown thing on the basis of shared known things.

          Your ‘bible’ claims to explain known things by resorting to the bullshit of unknown things, then shores itself up with an excuse for lying by claiming everybody knows / believes what it says but may lie to themselves.

        • epeeist

          It’s not a contradiction for anyone who’s actually read the Bible.

          You seem to mention this “bible” thingy quite a lot. Why should we pay any attention to it?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Why should we pay any attention to it?…”

          You should pay attention to it so that you may learn for yourself whether the reports you have heard about it are true. You have heard it reported that the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth has communicated a message to His creation in the form of a Book of written instruction. Therefore, prudence dictates that we all examine the Book for ourselves, to see whether this claim has merit or not.

          Because you have heard, you are without excuse if you fail to make your examination. And by examination I do not mean relying on the stilted and stunted opinions of other men, who themselves most likely have relied on the same vapid opinions of yet others in the formulation of their own conclusions.

          You should pay attention to the Bible on the chance that you live in a world with a Creator who has instructed you to pay attention to it and you should consider the potential consequences of any refusal or failure to do so.

        • epeeist

          Because you have heard, you are without excuse if you fail to make your examination.

          But why the bible in particular? There are numerous other religions all with their own ontologies, what makes the bible special? What is it that means that it should be taken as true?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…But why the bible in particular? There are numerous other religions all with their own ontologies, what makes the bible special? What is it that means that it should be taken as true?…”

          This is a perfectly legitimate, fair, logical and reasonable question. And the very question points out what is fundamentally lacking in modern man, which is both the time needed and the inclination required for engaging in an adequate examination of all such bodies of literature to make claims of divine authenticity similar to the claim made by the Bible. How are we to know which documents bear the mark of authenticity and which do not? We are to examine them all. No mean feat. But how else is a man ever expected to arrive at a meaningful conclusion with respect to the conflicting and contradictory claims of the various perspectives presented to man and vying for his attention?

          Not many men in the western world have time for such an endeavor. But that’s their own fault. It is their fault they have succumbed to the deceptions of a world whose job it is to keep man from a knowledge of his Creator. Which, of course, we have been warned about repeatedly in God’s Bible.

          I’ve examined the world’s counterfeit scriptures. They all bear much the same message, which distills to man-worship in the final equation. Only the Bible is different. Only the Bible warns of the consequences of man-worship; of self-worship or of worship of the creation in any of its iterations.

        • epeeist

          How are we to know which documents bear the mark of authenticity and which do not?

          I don’t care about authenticity, I care about which are true.

          I’ve examined the world’s counterfeit scriptures.

          So tell us how you know they were “counterfeit”.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…I don’t care about authenticity, I care about which are true…”

          Authenticity is an artifact of truth in this case, because we’re discussing a body of text which purports to be the inerrant, inspired Word of God. Either the text is inauthentic, by which we mean that it is found to be something other than what it purports to be, or the text is authentic, by which we mean that it is found faithful and true.

          “…So tell us how you know they [the world’s scriptures] were “counterfeit”…”

          There’s no short answer to this question, so I’ll give you the bullet-point Reader’s Digest version:

          All of the world’s scriptures point to self-worship, self-salvation or salvation through mankind. The texts which ignore the soteriological questions treat of negative states or altered states, all of which are expounded as elevated or evolved states of existence.

          But in order to address self-salvation or even elevated states, all of the world’s scriptures rest on moral principles and absolutes which can only find their roots in a Supreme Being. Concepts like right and wrong or good and evil are not defensible, are not even coherent, apart from an ultimate source of the concepts, and that source can only be THE God. The God which absolutes point to in all cases must be, if we’re being consistent in our thought and argumentation, a god who created everything. Therefore, the world’s scriptures which purport to issue from the creator of everything (the Koran, for example) may then be examined on that basis.

          In the case of self-worship or self-centered schools of scriptural thought such as Buddhism/Hinduism (practitioners of these schools are ascending either to godhood or to nirvana), the notions expressed likewise rely upon the bedrock of absolutes rendered coherent only in a singular Source. But that source appears nowhere in the Buddhist tracts and only insufficiently in the Hindu.

          Moreover, we may determine a counterfeit by means of comparing these other texts with the revealed Word of God. They are in many places contradictory. Thus, one or the other, or all of the above, are counterfeit because in this universe, truth does not contradict itself and truth never changes. Therefore, if the scriptures are all examined and the Bible is found to be true, then the others are thereby disqualified insofar as they contradict the Bible. And once a source which purports to be of divine origin is found to contain error and that error cannot be attributed to the hand of a later scribe or copyist, then the source is disqualified from legitimately being what it pretends to be. It is not a genuine source of information since it includes lies.

          This last, very naturally, spills over into a philosophical question: Supposing there is a God, would God ever lie?

          But that’s not what you asked me and the question is deserving of its own dedicated conversation board if we decide to table the question for consideration.

        • Michael Neville

          Supposing there is a God, would God ever lie?

          That’s supposing an omnibenevolent god. Most of the gods invented by human imagination, including the sadistic, narcissistic bully you appear to prefer, would lie in a heartbeat and not think about it twice.

        • Albert Swearengen

          I’ll be over here if you have anything meaningful to add.

          Why is it the other men on this board have managed to quit themselves with a reasonable demeanor and only you and that other commentator suffer from the inability to do so?

          I’m not interested in your sniping, fella.

          I came here for discourse with mature adults. So get with the program or be ignored forthwith.

        • Michael Neville

          I’m still waiting for you to say something meaningful. All you’ve done is beat the drum for your beloved Bible and sneer at people who don’t agree with you. If you want discourse with mature adults then act like a mature adult and start a conversation with facts and logic. Your proselytizing is not new to us and your inability to rebut any criticisms are quite telling. Instead of whining about me “sniping”, why don’t you response to my criticisms of your unsupported assertions about the Bible?

        • Lark62

          Tone trolling and ad hominems. Wowzer.

          You claim you came here for discourse. Then address the comments made by others rather than lobbing insults and provide evidence to support your claims.

          Hold my breath, I will not.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Aw, c’mon!

          ‘Cyanotic’ is a *lovely* shade of blue…

        • Lark62

          My brother as a toddler actually did that. The doctor told my mom not to worry. He assured her my brother would start breathing automatically once he passed out.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          WOW!

          That’s *determination*!!

          No lasting harm, I hope?

        • Lark62

          Nope. And he stopped holding his breath as soon as my mom stopped reacting.

        • epeeist

          ‘Cyanotic’ is a *lovely* shade of blue…

          Long years back I managed to inhale a fair amount of bromo-aniline. On a freezing February night they took me to the hospital in a cold ambulance. They intended to inject me with methylene blue but what with the bromo-aniline and the cold it took them multiple attempts to find a usable vein.

          The methylene blue acts as an oxidant but most of it just passes straight through unchanged. The nurses thought it was hilarious that I was pissing bright blue.

        • Michael Neville

          There is a urinary tract analgesic called pyridium. One of its side effects is to color urine bright orange. Nobody told me this the first time I took pyridium. Pissing orange was rather upsetting, especially since I already had a urinary tract problem.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Eating Sugar Puffs breakfast cereal makes yer wee smell of Sugar Puffs and drinking cocktails with Blue Curacao such as a Blue Lagoon, turns ones poo bright blue.

        • Greg G.

          Then there is the fear of urine with a reddish tint in the morning until you remember the beets you had yesterday.

        • Sample1

          Hahahaha. First ever root canal done a few years ago. I go get lunch after.

          I’m eating my food and begin tasting blood. Kind of ignored it for a few more seconds of chomping down as I was hungry. Didn’t realize my tongue was still numb from the anesthetic and I was chewing the side of my tongue. Had no clue the anesthesia reached to my tongue.

          For a second I thought I’m fucked, surgery next! But fortunately it was just a flesh wound. 🙂

          Mike

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I’ll be over here…

          How can we miss you if you won’t go away? (h/t to some country song whose title I can’t remmber)

        • Michael Neville

          I’m getting fed up with your unwarranted arrogance. You get asked serious questions and, when you can’t answer them or when you can rebut criticism, you deliver sneers and ad hominems. Why don’t you start being mature instead of whining about “reasonable demeanor? In other words, start acting like a reasonable adult and I’ll treat you like one. Your choice, asshole.

        • epeeist

          Authenticity is an artifact of truth in this case, because we’rediscussing a body of text which purports to be the inerrant, inspired Word of God.

          Let’s agree what we mean by true, Aristotle is a good start:

          To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of whatis that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.

          In which case the bible fails at the first hurdle, its accounts of the formation of the universe are not true. Similarly its account of how the biosphere was formed is false.

          But in order to address self-salvation or even elevated states, all of the world’s scriptures rest on moral principles and absolutes which can only find their roots in a Supreme Being.

          It’s an interesting assertion, but can you justify it?

          Therefore, if the scriptures are all examined and the Bible is found to be true, then the others are thereby disqualified insofar as they contradict the Bible.

          But we have already found two errors, therefore the claim to inerrancy is false.

          As it is though, you commit a major logical error. Religious accounts are not contradictories but contraries, one might be right but all could be wrong.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…In which case the bible fails at the first hurdle, its accounts of the formation of the universe are not true…”

          False. This is a claim. It is an assertion. It is an opinion. It is not truth. And you may have the floor for as long as it takes if you think you are able to demonstrate otherwise. I would suggest a dedicated OP for this subject, however.

          “…It’s an interesting assertion, but can you justify it?…”

          I traffic in the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures. I do not traffic in the world’s religious books, though I have studied or at least examined almost all of them. I will not be delving into those religious books in order that I might piece together citations to satisfy your request. Either a man is familiar with the nature of those other writings, or he is not. It is the nature and the character I mean to indicate when I say they treat of human ascension or man-based perfection/salvation. More than that, I’m afraid I have nothing to add on the topic.

          “…But we have already found two errors…”

          You are the one standing in error, friend. Not the Word of God. And since my claim carries an equal weight to yours, then I guess it’s time for that dedicated OP. Are you initiate in the mysteries of so-called ‘Oort Clouds’ and stellar ignition? Are you familiar with the reasons for why the surface of Venus and the rotation of Uranus devastate your claim? Are you educated in the nature of the Earth’s magnetic field and how easy it is to prove that it has never reversed, but is rather on a (more-or-less) constant one-way decline since it was created? Have you studied sub-atomic physics or plasma physics?

        • epeeist

          False. This is a claim. It is an assertion.

          Well since you seem to be arguing the physics then we will stick to that (though of course there is a huge amount of evidence for evolution).

          I could of course use your own rhetoric against you, have you studied cosmology or the general theory of relativity? However let’s not do this.

          The current best explanation for the formation of the universe is the ΛCDM version of the Big Bang theory. If this is correct then then:

          1. At anything but the smallest but the smallest scales the universe should be homogeneous, this indeed is what we find.

          2. We should see galaxies moving away from us at a speed proportional to their distance, this indeed is what we see.

          3. Primordial nucleosynthesis should lead to an archaic element distribution consisting of hydrogen and helium, with a trace of deuterium, lithium and beryllium. This is what we observe.

          4. A universe formed in a hot big bang should have a black body thermal spectrum. This, to an extraordinary degree of precision, is what we observe.

          5. Because the initial universe was small enough for quantum effects to apply we should see fluctuations in the thermal spectrum (the CMBR), this indeed is what observe.

          6. For objects which vary in brightness and are distant from us we should expect to seem time dilation effects. We can observe this in type 1 supernovae.

          I think that is probably sufficient as a starter, there is no need to include things like Tolman tests, Sachs-Wolfe or Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effects.

          I traffic in the Hebrew and the Greek Scriptures.

          So the answer to my question would be, “No, I cannot justify it”.

          Are you initiate in the mysteries of so-called ‘Oort Clouds’ and stellar ignition?

          Sorry, what have these got to do with the formation of the universe. Oh, and they aren’t mentioned in the bible.

          Are you familiar with the reasons for why the surface of Venus and the rotation of Uranus devastate your claim?

          Why don’t you tell me, you might want to provide some kind of reason as to what they have to do with the formation of the universe at the same time. Oh, and neither the rotation of Venus or Uranus are mentioned in the bible.

          Are you educated in the nature of the Earth’s magnetic field and how easy it is to prove that it has never reversed, but is rather on a(more-or-less) constant one-way decline since it was created?

          And this has to do with formation of the universe how precisely? Oh, and once more, never mind the Earth’s magnetic field, not even magnetism is mentioned in the bible.

          Have you studied sub-atomic physics or plasma physics?

          My doctorate is in molecular physics, so no I haven’t studied them at the research level. Undergraduate level is another matter.

          How about you, what is your background in physics and cosmology?

        • ΛCDM has some issues at the smallest scales, predicting much more small galaxies than observed (emphasis on the latter), and there’re some issues with the Hubble constant but all observations give it a strong support.

          Why what we observe in the Universe does not appear in those texts that Albert uses as proof despite the omni*** of the one who inspired them is anyone’s guess.

        • epeeist

          ΛCDM has some issues at the smallest scales

          Well you are never going to find me saying that a theory is utterly and absolutely true.

          However it would seem to be the case that it is highly unlikely that Big Bang cosmology will be overthrown, the evidence is strongly in its favour. Changed, yes; Developed, yes; Shown to be completely wrong?

        • Very unlikely, and science being what is the new theory that replaced it, assuming that happened at all (let’s say for the sake of argument it was a MOND-like one) should have to work as well as Lambda-CDM.

          Much unlike what happens with… well.

        • epeeist

          Very unlikely

          We seem to be violently agreeing.

          Much unlike what happens with… well.

          Well yes, the likelihood our current theories will be replaced by the account in Genesis would seem to be below what creationists usually quote for evolution.

        • epeeist

          Oh, and the mention of “plasma physics” has me slightly worried. I just wonder if he is going to turn out to be an “Electric universe” woo-meister.

        • Would not be rare at all, as well as that both plasma physics and the Bible were mixed inside of the head. I’ve seen fuckups of epic scale by Fundies who recognize to be clueless about science just at the end mixing the Big Bang as well as other concepts of physics clearly too big for them with the Bible.

        • epeeist

          I’ve seen fuckups of epic scale by Fundies who recognize to be clueless about science

          Yes, we seem to have had an infestation of late, not sure whether Bob has ban-hammered TheBob, Mojo or bman but thankfully they seem to have disappeared for the moment at least.

        • As I post more at RtD, I lost track of them.

          Anyway, the mess I talk about includes -if you dare to read on- the same compilation of PRATTs to claim evolution is BS, up to mixing in frauds as Piltdown, the Flood and nonsense about a gene that causes people to believe in God that the NWO will remove, and especially a “portal to a dark Universe discovered with the help of the heavy quark”, this mixed with Genesis.

          The sad part is that most Evangelicals here have even less knowledge of the science than that pastor, who claims to be a retired universitary teacher of Philosophy, and will take that fuckup as truth.

        • epeeist

          Not sure whether this counts as a total aside, it does seem somewhat apt with the current set’s view of how science works:

          https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/physics_suppression.png

        • ildi

          bman and I are still engaging in a “delightful” exchange over in the 20 Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage, Rebutted thread, so they’re definitely not gone yet…

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…though of course there is a huge amount of evidence for evolution…”

          Right on. That’s why your boys are increasingly stepping off the reservation with respect to that (ahem) evidence. Too bad it’s still a hazard to their careers to do so. When you see livelihoods being threatened merely on account of dissenting ideas, watch out. Lies and deception are always at the heart of such darkness.

          “…Sorry, what have these [“Oort Clouds” and stellar ignition] got to do with the formation of the universe…”

          Oort Clouds have nothing to do with the creation of the Heavens and everything to do with the age of the Heavens. Near-earth comets orbiting the sun off-gas. They decay. They dissipate. Were the Heavens as old as you say they are, all observable (certainly with the unaided eye) comets would have vanished long ago. That’s why the Oort Cloud was conjured from nothingness and postulated as a stop-gap measure. Stellar ignition is problematic for your model because you cannot explain how the first star formed. You’d need other stars going nova to produce the kinds of pressure required. Gas expands to fill a given space absent any containment vessel. Never in the history of cosmology has there been a gas observed which does anything other. Whence the needed pressures or gravitational conditions to facilitate the first star’s ignition? Better invent another Oort Cloud, or just ignore the problem by postulating self-condensing gas!!

          “…Why don’t you tell me, you might want to provide some kind of reason as to what they have to do with the formation of the universe at the same time…”

          Retrograde planetary rotation is a serious problem for your model. And so is magnetic field strength. Uranus had a magnetic moment of 3.0 x 1024 A m2 when it was measured by Voyager II on January 20, 1986. Big Bang theorists predicted that Uranus would have a much smaller field, or none at all [Dessler, A.J. “Does Uranus have a magnetic field?” Nature, 316 [January 16, 1986], 174-175). And as with the “Oort Cloud,” your boys have formulated the notion of flip-flopping magnetic poles. And look!!! It’s observable in certain rock formations, the very record of this imagined pole-flipping. Except it isn’t.

          I’m not looking for a debate about the mechanisms of universe formation. Were it not so wildly-inconsistent with the timing given to us in Scripture, I wouldn’t bother impugning Big Bang theory. An instant of creation? That’s not contradictory to what the Word teaches, unless it becomes so at a later time with the addition of irreconcilable calculations or postulations.

          “…How about you, what is your background in physics and cosmology?…”

          I don’t have any. My studies have been, for the most part, self-guided. I’ve had formal ancient language instruction, but my cosmological studies have been informal, even when conducted with the aid of actual physicists with whom I have associated over the years.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I bet he didn’t see that comin’…the fool.

        • epeeist

          I bet he didn’t see that comin’…the fool.

          Yes, I thought all my Christmas presents had come at once when I saw the last sentence in his post.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Authenticity is an artifact of truth in this case, because we’re discussing a body of text which purports to be the inerrant, inspired Word of God.

          Nope.

          Look up the word ‘mistaken’. One can be both authentic AND mistaken.

        • epeeist

          One can be both authentic AND mistaken.

          Indeed, as Bertrand Russell pointed out one can have a completely consistent fairytale.

        • Lark62

          So tell us how you know they were “counterfeit”.

          What a silly question. The authentic book is the religious text Albert believes. The counterfeit books are the religious texts Albert rejects. Simple, huh?

          /snark

        • epeeist

          Well yes, plus the fact that since all the others are counterfeit then his must be correct.

          Not quite like the false dilemma that we get from the creationists we have had of late but essentially an extended version of it.

        • plus the fact that since all the others are counterfeit then his must be correct.

          Well, yeah. At least one supernatural tradition must be correct. Obviously.

        • eric

          it is their fault they have succumbed to the deceptions of a world whose job it is to keep man from a knowledge of his Creator

          The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth created a world whose job it is to keep man from a knowledge of his Creator. And it’s totally our fault we fell for it and he’ll let us burn in hell for falling for it. Victim-blaming if I’ve ever heard it.

          And he hands his guidebook to people hundreds of thousands of years after people have been on Earth. That’s not very smart, is it?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth created a world whose job it is to keep man from a knowledge of his Creator…”

          Not so. The God permitted things to happen as they have happened. But He told us all about these things and He even condescended to tell us why. But does anyone hear Him?

          What burns in the fire before it can be made pure?

          Precious metal comes to mind. What else? Are you using what men say about God in order that you may have something with which to accuse Him? Why not let Him answer these objections Himself? He’s told you what age-abiding fire is all about. Yet you still seek to impugn Him with it and blame Him for injustice.

          “…And he hands his guidebook to people hundreds of thousands of years after people have been on Earth…”

          Now, that WOULD be something with which to accuse Him if it were true!!! That would be pretty unfair for all of those hominid hoopleheads and knuckle-dragging goobersmoochers who came before us, bereft of any guiding light from on High!!! Or, maybe you shouldn’t rest your worldview on the foundation provided by enemies of God.

        • eric

          “Not so. The God permitted things to happen as they have happened

          If I stand by, watch, and permit someone else to put deadly traps in my house, and then some innocent person comes into my house and dies, I’m going to be held criminally responsible for their death. The fact that I didn’t myself set the traps does not absolve me of my passive but nevertheless participation in such reckless endangerment.

          Or, maybe you shouldn’t rest your worldview on the foundation provided by enemies of God.

          Satanists?
          Oooh, of course you mean scientists. I am one. I’ve met many. And I’ve never met any I would characterize as ‘enemies of God’ (though I’m sure you can find a few grandstanders on the internet). The fact that they have come to conclusions you don’t like doesn’t make them enemies of God.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…If I stand by, watch, and permit someone else to put deadly traps in my house, and then some innocent person comes into my house and dies, I’m going to be held criminally responsible for their death…”

          Damn straight. And rightly so!!! But if you handed your guests a 2000 page document outlining, in extraordinary detail, the nature, the location and the characteristics of the hazards, you would thereby eliminate your responsibility. You would especially eliminate your responsibility if you sent agents to warn those who are otherwise ignorant of the dangers.

          And just how righteous would be the punishment of those visitors if they neglected the document you had handed them, rejected to heed the warnings of the agents you sent to sound the alarm and fell into the traps? How righteous indeed…

          “…Satanists? Oooh, of course you mean scientists. I am one…”

          Are you first a scientist or a revolutionary? Which are the motives to animate your purpose as a scientist? And do you imagine that there could even be a Satan without science?

          “…I’ve met many. And I’ve never met any I would characterize as ‘enemies of God’…”

          I thought you didn’t believe in God. Or do I have you confused with someone else? If you don’t believe in God, what qualifies you in any way to determine who is and who is not an enemy of God?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          handed your guests a 2000 page document outlining, in extraordinary detail, the nature, the location and the characteristics of the hazards, you would thereby eliminate your responsibility. You would especially eliminate your responsibility if you sent agents to warn those who are otherwise ignorant of the dangers.

          Option 1: Build a house…. put deadly traps all over the place… leave a few maps here and there with difficult–to-discern details on how to avoid the traps… ensure a couple of the near limitless number of endangered people are handing out said maps.

          Option 2: build a house with no traps in it.

          Which do you think is the best course of action?

        • eric

          if you handed your guests a 2000 page document outlining, in extraordinary detail, the nature, the location and the characteristics of the hazards, you would thereby eliminate your responsibility

          IANAL but I’m pretty sure rigging up your house with death traps and then handing someone a manual for them before that person is forced to navigate through your house would still count as reckless endangerment. Here is the definition of that crime from uslegal.com: “Reckless endangerment is a crime consisting of acts that create a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. The accused person isn’t required to intend the resulting or potential harm, but must have acted in a way that showed a disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the actions.”

          The analogy fits. God allowed the acts that create a substantial risk of serious harm, and by allowing such acts showed a disregard of the foreseeable consequences. In fact, for anyone claiming God is omnipotent, that last bit is inescapable; an omnipotent being could not help but know exactly who (and how many people) would die in the traps.

          ***
          But if we still disagree about whether it was immoral/criminal for God to let someone rig his house with booby traps as long as he then gave people a manual on how to avoid them (…a manual not available to everyone…and one that, in your own words, takes serious time and effort to understand…), I’m perfectly happy to end this discussion by agreeing with you that this is an apt analogy of what God did, and we can part ways with our different beliefs about whether this was a moral course of action or not. So will you agree with me that the analogy is apt, even if we continue to disagree about the morality or immorality of the acts in it?

        • eric

          Which are the motives to animate your purpose as a scientist?

          I want to understand how the universe (and various bits in it) works. I want to help humanity by discovering understanding that nobody has right now – to create new knowledge that, ideally but not necessarily, leads to some future improvement in human prosperity.

          And do you imagine that there could even be a Satan without science?

          Science as a formal process/institution is only a few centuries old. Satan shows up in much older writings, like the bible. So yeah, it’s a historical fact that there was a Satan without science, because the concept of Satan predates science by over a thousand years. You might as well ask if there could be a Satan without airplanes.

          If you don’t believe in God, what qualifies you in any way to determine who is and who is not an enemy of God?

          The fact that I have ears and can listen to what coworkers and peers say about God? One doesn’t have to believe in X to understand another person’s opinion about X.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          The God permitted things to happen as they have happened.

          If this ‘god’ was a human parent, CPS would be on the case already.

          ETA: On that note, Tracie Harris delivers the smackdown:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrfWs52Kjk0&feature=youtu.be

        • How do you distinguish between Judaism and Christianity when they both use the same books?

        • Albert Swearengen

          I have yet to meet a man who has trouble distinguishing between those two umbrella theological constructs. Do you think I’m the first who is unable to do so?

          Judaism (as a generalization) is an illegitimate system for conceptualizing the God of Scripture.

          But so is Christianity (again, as a generalization).

          So as far as distinguishing between the two…

          …why do we even need to?

        • The Old Testament is Yahweh’s book. That’s what the Jews follow. Seems hard to criticize them for doing what God tells them to.

          Seems like, from the standpoint of the perpetual contract God made with Moses, you’re the one in error.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Seems hard to criticize them [the Jews] for doing what God tells them to…”

          Say what now? The Jews do what? They do what God tells them to do? When has that changed!!! The Jews were spewed out of the land for obeying God? Is that your argument? And they came into the land last century of their own accord, without God’s invitation… and yet they obey God?

          You have a somewhat suspect world model spinning around in your mind, Bob!!! I am dubious.

        • No idea what your point is. The Jews are disobedient so therefore … something?

          Your religion is the Johnny-come-lately. You need to justify why God laid out a perfectly good religion and then upset it with Jesus, Paul, and the boys.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…The Jews are disobedient so therefore … something?…”

          You’re getting tired, aren’t you? If the Jews are doing what God tells them (as you posit), they can’t very well be disobedient to God (as I posit and the Scriptures make perfectly plain). If the point escapes you, then we should get back to this on the Morrow. I’ve had enough of looking into this screen for one day.

          See you then, God willing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You’re getting tired, aren’t you? If the Jews are doing what God tells them (as you posit), they can’t very well be disobedient to God (as I posit and the Scriptures make perfectly plain). If the point escapes you, then we should get back to this on the Morrow. I’ve had enough of looking into this screen for one day.

          I fucking knew it…you haven’t read the bloody thing…you’re a charlatan…that’s why all the obfuscation and weaseling. If you’d read the bible, you’d realize your comment is a loada ballix. You must be the easiest yet.

        • Michael Neville

          You still haven’t given any reason why we should prefer your favorite “holy book” over any other. The Vedas have better stories than the Bible, the Prajnaparamita Sutras are more humanistic, the Quran is shorter, the Analects of Confucius have a more coherent philosophy, what’s wrong with them?

          You’re wrong when you claim “[o]nly the Bible warns of the consequences of man-worship; of self-worship or of worship of the creation in any of its iterations.” The Tipitaka has the same warnings, given some 500 years before the birth of Christ.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…The Vedas have better stories…”

          So go read the vedas.

          Or better yet, since you have so clearly figured out what’s most important to you with respect to substance and character of religious literature…

          …go write your own.

        • Michael Neville

          I have no interest in writing silly fantasies. But thank you for not responding to criticism. I knew that you’d fail to make a meaningful response to my question about why your Bible is better than other “holy” books.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why write *any*?

          Demonstrate your assertions…you’re failing miserably.

        • igor

          “Only the Bible is different.”

          Every Holy Book is different.

          “Only my Holy Book has this specific message.”

          Every Holy Book has specific messages.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          “I’m different! Just like everybody else!

          😉

        • Albert Swearengen

          Whom are you quoting, igor?

          This is disingenuous, the way you have formatted your post.

        • igor

          My first “quote” is a direct quote. My second “quote” is a generalised summary of the last sentence. This is an informal discussion group, not a perfection-seeking pedantic group of long-term specialist English academics. Please loosen up a bit.

          I expect a Christian to under-rate any of the competitor Holy Books and over-rate his/her own Holy Book. If I want a religious assessment of another Holy Book I would seek such an assesment by a member of the relevant religion, not a competing religion. So I do not accept your under-rating of non-Christian Holy Books.

        • Susan

          Not many men in the Western world have time for such an endeavour

          True. But speaking as one of the “men” who have put some time into such an endeavour, all the answers come up as there being no there there.

          But that’s their own fault.

          Show it.

          I’ve examined the world’s counterfeit scriptures

          Show your work.

          Only the Bible warns of the consequences of man-worship.

          And yet, in no way does it recuse itself of man-worship. Looks like man-worship to me. That is, it looks like humans making claims they can’t support… claims that include humans being the centre of the universe.

          But no support for it.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…all the answers come up as there being no there there…”

          Show your work, madam. Give an example of supporting evidence for this statement.

          But I can already tell you you’ll do nothing of the kind. Because only you folks are permitted to make such requests and to pester and harass with demands for proof. Right?

          What say you, madam?

        • Susan

          Because only you folks are permitted to make such requests and to pester and harass with demands for proof. Right?

          You’re making a claim that an agent exists because humans wrote a book.

          I am saying that I don’t believe you.

          What say you, madam?

          I don’t believe it.

          You haven’t supported it.

        • Albert Swearengen

          When it is my turn to prove to you the existence of the One who created you…

          …let me know.

          And be ready to prove it’s my turn, because it will be required of you.

        • Susan

          When it is my turn to prove to you the existence of the One who created you…

          …let me know.

          Another claim, “Albert”.

          Completely unsupported and nested in your question.

          It’s your turn.

          Make some sort of effort.

          Claiming it’s the devil turning us against you is not an effort.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          And the very question points out what is fundamentally lacking in modern man, which is both the time needed and the inclination required for engaging in an adequate examination of all such bodies of literature to make claims of divine authenticity similar to the claim made by the Bible.

          Nope.

          The proper method is to disbelieve ANY ‘divine’ claims, INCLUDING YOUR ‘bible’, until they’ve met their burden of proof.

          So go to it, bucko.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’ve examined the world’s counterfeit scriptures. </blockquote

          You do now that lying makes baby Jesus gurn his lamps out, right?

          Given this false claim, I doubt you've even read a version of the bible.

          They all bear much the same message, which distills to man-worship in the final equation. Only the Bible is different. Only the Bible warns of the consequences of man-worship; of self-worship or of worship of the creation in any of its iterations.

          Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!…”

          I’m surrounded by an idiot.

          Blocked.

        • Do you have any other proof of your statements that is not the Bible?. One expects the omni*** deity said to inspire it would have inspired other books in other cultures, not to mention stuff as galaxies or the Higgs that He would not have problems to know.

        • eric

          Yes, because no atheists ever started out life as Christians and came to atheism after doing said examination [rolls eyes].

          You’re trying to sell bibles to people who have one on their shelf and have probably read more of it than you have. I doubt very much than anyone on this forum has rejected Christianity out of ignorance of what the bible says.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Yes, because no atheists ever started out life as Christians and came to atheism after doing said examination [rolls eyes]…”

          If you dispossess yourself of your assumptions, you’ll realize I’m not talking to any of you about Christianity. Christianity is a meaningless term which amounts to nothing more than what men have to say or think about the Bible. As a term, it’s about as significant as your grandmother’s recipe for banana bread. Now, that might be some tasty banana bread… but what are we really saying when we say as much?

          “…I doubt very much than anyone on this forum has rejected Christianity out of ignorance of what the bible says…”

          Everyone on this forum has, until now, tabled the standard canned objections which a man might pluck from most any anti-Bible website sprinkled across the internet. The objections you folks have been making are thus far the standard objections of men who (insert reason here) have not been inspired to due diligence. Understanding the Bible takes a good deal of effort and it takes a fair amount of time as well. These are valuable resources which most men are niggardly with in respect to all cases of investment except for the cases which bring them the most immediate gratification.

          I’m not accusing you of being niggardly with your resources, but the objections bandied about by the board are no different from the same old tired and uninspired missteps men have dropped their feet into for ages. And if you’ve read the Bible even once, then you’ll no doubt recall One saying to you that pursuit of the meaningful and abiding things of this world would not be easy.

          Man has no difficulty producing excuses for why he’s found the Bible wanting. But actually defending those excuses, you may find, will come as something of a challenge.

        • eric

          Understanding the Bible takes a good deal of effort and it takes a fair amount of time as well.

          Then your God is a monster who damns to hell every innocent who doesn’t have the time, resources, access, or intelligence to do the requisite study.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Then your God is a monster who damns to hell every innocent who doesn’t have the time, resources, access, or intelligence to do the requisite study…”

          He does what now? I will see your evidence in support of this slander of the Most High.

          Take all the time you need.

        • Phil

          So are you saying babies (born atheists) that get killed for whatever reason get a free pass to heaven? Or are they condemned to hell?

        • Albert Swearengen

          No one goes to Heaven when they die. That’s a lie of the traditions of men.

          All mankind, no matter their age when they go the way of all the earth, are brought down to Paradise or brought down to the Pit. This is where they will abide while they await resurrection and judgment. Everyone will be resurrected and everyone will be judged.

          There is no such thing as a free pass.

        • Sounds a lot like Zoroastrism, that predates this for several centuries. Maybe you’d also read the Book of Enoch, written before Jesus’ times,where this setup is laid off.

        • Ignorant Amos

          All mankind, no matter their age when they go the way of all the earth, are brought down to Paradise or brought down to the Pit. This is where they will abide while they await resurrection and judgment. Everyone will be resurrected and everyone will be judged.

          That’s a lie of the traditions of men.

          This counter-apologetics Marlkey is really easy.

        • Phil

          So are you saying newborn babies will be judged and go to heaven or hell depending on how wicked they’ve been?

        • Albert Swearengen

          I have no idea how newborn babies will be dealt with by the Judge.

          I would have to speculate, and I will only speculate on this board as a last resort.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Shitheel, IT’S IN YOUR OWN POST.

          Understanding the Bible takes a good deal of effort and it takes a fair amount of time as well.

          Are you a committee or suffering from short-term memory loss?

        • eric

          As HEWBT said, the evidence is in your own post. You said the bible is God’s instruction manual to us, and you said this instruction manual takes “a good deal of effort and it takes a fair amount of time” to understand.

          Your claims together mean that it takes a good deal of effort and a fair amount of time to understand God’s instructions to us.

          So if someone doesn’t follow God’s instructions because they didn’t have the time or available effort to understand them, what happens to them? The Pit, right? So then your God is damning people to the Pit because, as I said, they didn’t have the time etc. to do the study.

          This is, by the way, probably one of the reasons Gnosticism never took off and why Protestantism adopted sola fides; because the theology of heaven only being available to a subset of people based on their ability to study is just so horrible.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…So if someone doesn’t follow God’s instructions because they didn’t have the time or available effort to understand them, what happens to them? The Pit, right?…”

          Not necessarily. But even if they are brought down to the Pit, the Pit is punitive. Think of it like a debtor’s prison. You go in. You pay what you owe. And eventually you get out.

          “…So then your God is damning people…”

          Damnation smacks of eternal punishment — i.e., eternal conscious torment — which is a lie and a slander against God. Judgment is not condemnation. When we trespass or infringe on justice, we must pay a price. But the price we are made to pay is commensurate with the violation we perpetrated and mankind is incapable of perpetrating infinite violations. Therefore, the penalty will not be infinite. Eternal torment for mankind is a Christian tradition. It is not a biblically-legitimate notion.

          “…the theology of heaven only being available to a subset of people based on their ability to study is just so horrible…”

          Consider these verses:

          1 Timothy 4:10

          For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

          See that especially of believers? Not of believers only.

          1 Corinthians 15:22

          For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

          This is crystal clear language. Yet the traditions of men have sinners roasting in hellfire for all eternity. Eternal torment is a lie and only exists in TRANSLATION. The Hebrew and the Greek know nothing of it, and there are myriad verses like the two above which prove it to be nonsense.

          All men. Not most. Not some. Not only the “cool” kids who look like Kirk Cameron and sing songs on Sundays.

          All men.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Not necessarily.

          Well that all depends on which version of the nonsense one believes, doesn’t it Mr. True Scotsman?

          The Doctrine of Eternal Punishment was/is a thing in some Christine quarters.

          All about the cherry-picking.

          In the Roman Catholic Church, many other Christian churches, such as the Baptists and Episcopalians, and some Greek Orthodox churches, Hell is taught as the final destiny of those who have not been found worthy after the general resurrection and last judgment, where they will be eternally punished for sin and permanently separated from God.

          http://www.abidingwalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Hell-the-Biblical-Reality-300×225.jpg

          “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night” ~Revelation 14:11

          But even if they are brought down to the Pit, the Pit is punitive. Think of it like a debtor’s prison. You go in. You pay what you owe. And eventually you get out.

          Wise up ya crazy bastard.

          Hell: a place regarded in various religions as a spiritual realm of evil and suffering, often traditionally depicted as a place of perpetual fire beneath the earth where the wicked are punished after death.

          From the Westminster Confession…

          “but the wicked, who know not God, and obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (Chapter XXXIII, Of the Last Judgment)

          Hardly the same as a day, week, month, year, in a debtors prison.

          Damnation smacks of eternal punishment — i.e., eternal conscious torment — which is a lie and a slander against God.

          How do you know?

          Judgment is not condemnation. When we trespass or infringe on justice, we must pay a price.

          Condemnation comes after judgement has been passed on the guilty, but guilty of what? What price?

          But the price we are made to pay is commensurate with the violation we perpetrated and mankind is incapable of perpetrating infinite violations.

          Death for thought crime, adultery, idol worship, lying, or working on a Sunday, seems pretty infinite to me. Regardless of eternal damnation.

          Therefore, the penalty will not be infinite.

          Yeah…not that, see, back in the day when I was in Sunday School, going to Hell for eternity was a thing. Millions of Christians believe it’s a thing, regardless of anything else…therein lies the problem with a fucked up ambiguous text and a Rorschach exegesis. Lots of bullshit, biblical or not, is taught to the minions to keep them in check. Now, we atheists think it’s all a parcel of crap either way, but that’s not the point. The point is the mental abuse…especially of children. In the here and now.

          …torment for mankind is a Christian tradition. It is not a biblically-legitimate notion.

          Says Mr. True Scotsman. Except for the time when it was a legitimate biblical notion, or by those that still believe it is, which while maybe not be your flavor of the nonsense, is still the nonsense of others…which is central to the point. You do know the buybull is littered with contradiction, right?

          1 Timothy 4:10

          Pseudepigraphical nonsense. You disregard other biblical nonsense, see above.

          1 Corinthians 15:22

          Pauline corpus nonsense. You disregard other biblical nonsense, see above.

          This is crystal clear language.

          Which is why millions of scholars have mulled over every word in the bloody thing for millennia in order to tease out the meaning and message of every passage. Crystal clear my arse.

          Yet the traditions of men have sinners roasting in hellfire for all eternity.

          Funny how the crystal clear word could be so right royally fucked up. So many False Scotsmen, that’s the problem, but all’s well, because you’ve got the enigma sussed. Now you just need to learn how to communicate it in a more coherent fashion than it is in the book, but you’re the man. Aren’t we so lucky?

          Eternal torment is a lie and only exists in TRANSLATION.

          Therein lies the problem with ancient books written by a conglomerate of different fallible men over centuries. All religious texts suffer the same problem.

          The concept of Hell has been developing from well before Christians got their hands on the idea, but lets not pretend that just because the word “Hell” didn’t exist, that the concept didn’t.

          23 In Hades, where he was being tormented, he looked up and saw Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.[a] 24 He called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in agony in these flames.’ ~Luke 16:23-24

          The Hebrew and the Greek know nothing of it, and there are myriad verses like the two above which prove it to be nonsense.

          You don’t get it yet, do ya? The whole parcel of crap is nonsense.

          What it says in the loada ballix and what folk believe it says in the loada ballix, might be two different things, but since few believers actually read the loada ballix, we mostly concentrate on the later. Brcause that’s the bit doing all the damage.

          All men. Not most. Not some. Not only the cook kids who look like Kirk Cameron and sing songs on Sundays.

          Saul of Tarsus was the Kirk Cameron of his day ya idiot.

          What gives the fruitcake Paul any authority? His say-so?

          Joe Smith, Mo and his flying horse, Ronnie Hubbard anyone?

          All men.

          What about the women and children…don’t they count?

          Anyway, in other places the message is different…Matthew 7:21 for example.

        • eric

          even if they are brought down to the Pit, the Pit is punitive. Think of it like a debtor’s prison. You go in. You pay what you owe. And eventually you get out.

          Matthew 25:46 (NIV): “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

          2 Thessalonians 1:9 (NIV): “They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might”

          Mark 9:43 (NIV): “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.”

          Jude 1:7 (NIV): “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.”

          [My bolding in all cases.]

          The bible is pretty clear: this is eternal punishment. Everlasting. The fire never goes out and is eternal. If you thought otherwise, I guess you didn’t study the instruction manual well enough.

        • Mayhem

          @albert_swearengen:disqus just got through telling you eternal punishment only exists in translation, eric, and you come at him with translations! We know what the Bible says in English and we know what it says in the original texts and the two aren’t nearly the same on several key points.

          The word translated as “eternal” is the Greek – aiónios – and it does not mean forever and ever…

          https://biblehub.com/greek/166.htm

          … and the same can be said of the fires in Sodom & Gomorrah, whereby the smoke will rise “for ever and ever”, which would be on the news if it was still burning to this day.

          Our point, eric, is that we’ve heard these objections hundreds of times and it almost always boils down to folk accepting, without question, the opinions of men. There is no eternal punishment and all men are saved but not all will inherit and that, son, is the bit the churches don’t/won’t teach.

        • epeeist

          The word translated as “eternal” is the Greek – aiónios – and it does not mean forever and ever…

          https://biblehub.com/greek/

          Why are you using a biblical concordance rather than a Greek/English dictionary?

        • Mayhem

          Why are you attacking my methodology rather than the substance of my argument?

        • epeeist

          Why are you attacking my methodology rather than the substance of my argument?

          I asked a question, that you refuse to answer it is noted.

          As it is an online translation gives eternal, everlasting and perpetual as English equivalents. It does rather look as though eric is correct.

        • Mayhem

          Eternity is what we are arguing here not “eternities” so do you have any explanation for the plural usage in the Bible?

        • eric

          The greek word “aiónios” is used to describe both time in hell and time in heaven. Specifically, it’s the word that Matthew and Mark use to describe the “eternal life” that God grants believers as well as the eternal fires of hell that nonbelievers experience. Same word in both cases, same connotation and denotation.

          So are you saying that neither heaven nor hell lasts forever? Or are you merely cherry picking when you think the word refers to eternity?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Standard Christian apologetics. Words have completely different meanings when it comes to their nonsense, unless it also means the same.

        • Mayhem

          The adjective aiónios is derived from the noun aiōn and the rules of grammar state that an adjective cannot take on a greater force than the noun from which it is so derived.

          aiōn – “age” – practically eternal, in certain usage, but “age long” in four out of five instances and “ages” have endings thus we can have “age of ages” but not “eternity of eternities” or “forever and ever” as the translators often choose to render it.

        • eric

          Your response doesn’t address the issue. “Eternal life” is just as much an adjectival use as “eternal fire.” Both heaven and hell references in the NT regularly use the adjective form of the word, and you’ve given no justification for translating the adjectival usage differently for the “eternal life” uses vs the “eternal fire” uses.

        • Mayhem

          “So are you saying that neither heaven nor hell lasts forever?”

          Good question.

          Paul writes that after death has been destroyed God becomes all in all (1Cor 15:24-28) and given God is not subject to time it’s fair to argue the new Jerusalem won’t be either. Sure that sounds practically eternal (arguable translation of aiónios) from our perspective but is somewhat of a mystery when dwelt upon. I mean how does no night (Rev 22:5) work in a world governed by time?

          Is heaven, as you put it, eternal or will the new Jerusalem exist as an age of ages like what the Greek manuscripts say and why weren’t the authors inspired to write aidios

          https://biblehub.com/greek/126.htm

          … if eternity is what was meant?

        • Doubting Thomas

          Do you think it was a good idea for god to communicate via a book when, throughout history, the vast majority of people were illiterate and those that could read have and still do have to squabble over the meaning? Couldn’t an all-knowing god find a better way to communicate such an important message?

        • Mayhem

          God promised to protect scripture, which He has, and our tendency to go beyond the oldest, most reliable manuscripts speaks nothing of His ability to convey the message.

          There are around 5,500 unique root words in the NT and some 8,700 in the OT whereas English has recently surpassed 1,000,000 leaving plenty of wriggle room for lying scribes to inject their biases into the narrative.

          Does aiónios mean eternity? Only when it is applied to the nature of God.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Regardless of the reliability, your conversation here is evidence that words are mistranslated, concepts change, and languages evolve, which makes a book a poor choice of communication across time and languages. And all that says nothing about the billions of people that can’t even read it. Do you think god could find a better way to communicate such an important message?

        • Mayhem

          No; I think such an important message should be conveyed in the most succinct manner possible and on the basis that more words means we’re dumber, not smarter, I contend that the biblical narrative is best understood in the original languages and any interpretation that goes beyond that is opinion which can be questioned or dismissed.

        • Doubting Thomas

          So you think a book is the best method of communication (instead of god just telling everyone personally) and you also think the Bible is succinct (despite page after page of “begets” and often telling the same story numerous times) and you think that someone must know how to read in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek in order to be best understood.

          Please tell me I’m missing something.

        • Mayhem

          You are missing something, the fact that God grants you the choice to obey Him.

          And He did come, personally, to correct our errors but few listened just as many still don’t to this day.

          Think in terms of the parable of the rich man – Luke 16:19-31.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Nothing you said is relevant to my post. It looks like you’ve given up and just started preaching.

        • Mayhem

          You asked what you were missing and lamented the lack of voices in your head but my comment isn’t relevant? Yeah tell yourself whatever helps you sleep at night.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Are you equating god telling someone something with them hearing a voice in their head? Very telling.

          But couldn’t god tell people something himself, not as a voice in the head, but more like when a friend comes over for a chat? Wouldn’t this be better than having to be proficient in three languages?

        • Mayhem

          I was poking fun at those who claim God speaks to them personally while presuming you meant oral transmission from a God that is a spirit being.

          And your suggestion might make things easier except for the little problem known as chinese whispers or the telephone game. No it is far better that we have the written word rather than the frail memories of men.

        • Doubting Thomas

          Why would Chinese whispers or the telephone game be a problem when god is telling everyone the same thing? The whole point of god telling people is that they wouldn’t have to hear it from someone else (or know how to read in three languages).

        • Mayhem

          Why have we replaced the handshake with contracts? Because what is heard isn’t always what was said.

          People don’t have to hear God’s message from anyone else. This is what the parable of the rich man teaches, that we have Moses and the prophets, because even the dead coming back to life isn’t enough to convince everyone.

        • Doubting Thomas

          So you think more people have become Christian by reading the Bible (in its three original languages) than would have been if god just told everyone his message?

        • Is this supposed to justify God’s hiddenness, because if he weren’t hidden, it wouldn’t make any difference?

          No, an omnipotent god who really wants to connect with us and yet doesn’t is a contradiction. If he existed and wanted to connect with us, he would. That he doesn’t means that god doesn’t exist.

        • The Clucker

          What really makes you think he wants to connect with you specifically? Faith is a requirement. You don’t have that.

          Get to the back of the bus already.

          I’m still trying to understand why a person would spend so much time online railing against one particular religion that they don’t even believe in. Taking up woodworking or showing your son/daughter how to change a car tire would be time better spent. Mayhem and Al are trying to help you, but I don’t think it’s possible. Jesus helps those who help themselves.

        • What really makes you think he wants to connect with you specifically?

          The Christians who tell me that God is eager for a relationship and that faith is a gift from the Holy Spirit.

          Faith is a requirement. You don’t have that.

          Correct. I guess it’s just part of God’s incomprehensible plan that I don’t have what I need to avoid hell. Sucks to be me, I guess, but praise God.

          Get to the back of the bus already.

          With the rest of the coloreds? I’m not sure what metaphor you’re using here.

          I’m still trying to understand why a person would spend so much time online railing against one particular religion that they don’t even believe in.

          That’s cute! You’re a Christian and yet you are unaware of those Christians who want Creationism in public school science class, prayer in city council meetings, “In God We Trust” in government buildings. Some, like Kim Davis, want to be able to judge the morality of actions and use their government position to impose that on their clients. There are lots more examples of Christianity as the bull in society’s china shop. If they respected the separation of church and state, I might indeed move on to woodworking.

          Jesus helps those who help themselves.

          That’s nice to hear. He must be applauding my blog, because I’m studying these issues diligently and paying attention to insightful rebuttals. If God exists and gave me a big brain, I’m using it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I’m still trying to understand why a person would spend so much time online railing against one particular religion that they don’t even believe in.

          That’s because you are stupid.

          This woman wrote a whole book about the reasons why atheists are angry at religion, but Christianity is up in there…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFQjHCqyI-k

          I live in Northern Ireland. Christians have been fucking things up here for centuries. The recent spat has affected me personally.

          Taking up woodworking or showing your son/daughter how to change a car tire would be time better spent.

          Why are you here whining, instead of employing a “better” application of your time?

          Mayhem and Al are trying to help you, but I don’t think it’s possible.

          Certainly not using the method it is employing. There have been a lot more than that eejit pitching up here trying that nonsense. That joker hasn’t even got the skill set to bring a “C” game.

          Jesus helps those who help themselves.

          At the exact same rate as any other mumbo-jumbo worship…or milk carton worship for that matter.

        • There are ordinary teachers who, if you can believe it, graduate 100% of their students from their class. It’s hard to believe that God (let’s just conservatively call him a billion times smarter than a human teacher) does so poorly in the biggest test of all.

        • Mayhem

          You presume to judge God and the success or failure of lesbian dance theory, or some such silliness, doesn’t really compare to the study of the gospel message.

          God speaks once, nay twice, (as you’ve already noticed) all the while you choose not to hear.

        • You presume to judge God

          Yup! You make a supernatural claim, and I’ll take the time to evaluate it (you’re welcome). But the buck stops here. I have no alternative but to judge the claim and the evidence. If I find the claim poorly supported, then I’m obliged to fall back on the null hypothesis, that the supernatural claim is false.

          and the success or failure of lesbian dance theory, or some such silliness, doesn’t really compare to the study of the gospel message.

          You’re saying that the Good News is far more important than many things we spend time on? Maybe—if it’s true. If not, it’s just Harry Potter-ology.

          You may have memorized long passages from the scripture of Harry Potter and be able to accurately give all the spells, but so what? It’s just make-believe until you show us otherwise.

          God speaks once, nay twice, (as you’ve already noticed) all the while you choose not to hear.

          No, it’s you who has ears but refuses to hear. You ignore the worship of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Or Allah. Or Shiva. Or any other god.

        • Mayhem

          What does any of that have to do with the method God chose to convey His message or have we come full circle whereby you merely repeat yourself?

        • What does any of that have to do with the method God chose to convey His message

          Dunno. I was talking about (1) what a sucky teacher God is (by comparison to a human teacher), which connects with God’s nutty rules for heaven, and then (2) clarifying how an honest person evaluates a supernatural claim. And a few other things.

          That all seemed to be in direct response to the points you were making.

          or have we come full circle whereby you merely repeat yourself?

          That hadn’t been my plan. Would you like me to?

          I’ll tell you what I’d like: for you to respond to the points I made in the last couple of comments.

        • Mayhem

          I reject Shiva because God is one not three just as I reject the God of Islam who teaches the sun sets in a muddy puddle. The Flying Spaghetti monster, on the other hand, is a lot closer to the truth than you might be aware except when it comes to giving due credit to our creator.

          Supernatural claims, huh, do you mean like how life erupted from not life given the 2nd law of thermodynamics precludes any possibility life evolved from random events?

          Or how all matter erupted from a zero point do you mean that sort of supernatural claim?

        • God is one not three

          . . . or is he? The Trinity makes things muddy as well.

          This does nothing to objectively show how humans invent lots of gods, but that the Christian god is for real.

          Supernatural claims, huh, do you mean like how life erupted from not life given the 2nd law of thermodynamics precludes any possibility life evolved from random events?

          I plant a seed in the ground. A month later there’s a plant.

          I let sugar water (chaotic) evaporate, and I get beautiful, organized sugar crystals (order).

          Maybe you don’t understand the second law.

          do you mean that sort of supernatural claim?

          Any correct quoting of a scientific law or theory is obviously natural.

        • Mayhem

          The trinity is not a biblical concept aside from The Father, Son and Angel of God and these three are one. Yes 1+1+1 = 1 and I don’t even understand how that is let alone trying to explain it.

          Does not your sugar water experiment prove intelligent design?

        • The trinity is not a biblical concept

          Agreed. It was invented over the next few centuries.

          Yes 1+1+1 = 1 and I don’t even understand how that is let alone trying to explain it.

          Good to hear. But then you should hesitate when you say that “God is one not three.”

          Does not your sugar water experiment prove intelligent design?

          Nope. I can’t imagine where that came from.

          I’m lampooning your understanding of the second law of thermodynamics. Do you understand the problem?

        • Mayhem

          So the sugar crystals always arrange themselves in symmetrical geometric shapes quite by chance?

          I say God is one because that is what He teaches…

          https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/God-Is-One

          … all the while knowing all mysteries will be revealed, by God, in the fullness of time.

        • Your deliberate stupidity was adorable, but now it’s wearing thin.

          Sugar crystals from sugar water is an example of order from chaos. Yes, the second law of thermodynamics works, but it allows order from chaos (in this and countless other examples, like living things) because it applies to a closed system. There’s a net increase in disorder overall even while there are small areas of a decrease in disorder.

          Let’s have you learn your own basic science in the future so I don’t have to teach you.

        • Mayhem

          The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system cannot decrease over time and order from chaos clearly contradicts that unless you’d like to argue that every time a sugar crystal forms one of Nietzsche’s butterflies dies.

          I don’t make the rules I just insist they’re adhered to.

        • and order from chaos clearly contradicts that unless you’d like to argue that every time a sugar crystal forms one of Nietzsche’s butterflies dies.

          What are you saying? That since sugar crystals form from sugar water that the second law has been violated?

          Of course not, Einstein. It means that the “closed system” includes more than just the container of water. Entropy increases overall even though in the case of the sugar, its entropy decreases.

          I don’t make the rules I just insist they’re adhered to.

          You don’t even understand the rules. But thanks for letting me be your tutor. I just love a snarky, ungrateful, overconfident pupil.

        • MR

          Somebody’s been reading apologist websites again! Too bad they never read what the actual science says, then they’d know how deceiving those apologist sites are. Shoot I had this stuff in high school. Was he not paying attention in class or was he homeschooled?

          Another favorite canard is that the 2nd law of thermodynamics would make life on earth impossible. Meanwhile the first thing you learn in a real science class is that the earth is not a closed system and gets its energy from the sun. Without the sun, the earth would indeed die. Apologist videos like to mock the 2lot showing scenes of earth “just bursting with life,” (one of the few times they aren’t otherwise spelling doom and gloom), in a montage of frogs leaping into brightly lit ponds, the sun sparking off the water, flowers straining their little necks to point their bright, little faces toward the sun, sweeping scenes of sunlit fields, everywhere, everywhere the sun. And then they laugh at the “stupid” scientists.

          Meanwhile there’s not a mother alive who doesn’t invoke the 2nd law of thermodynamics every time she tells you to shut the goddamn door.

          Apologists are nothing but a bunch of deceiving clowns.

        • It’s the unwarranted confidence that stands out for me.

          You correct them on one thing and then, like a Weeble, they pop back up with something else.

        • MR

          Right. The take away lesson is that when one deceit doesn’t work, they’ll just reach for another. It completely undermines everything they say.

        • epeeist

          The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system cannot decrease over time

          The second law is statistical in nature though isn’t it. There is nothing stopping a local decrease in entropy even though the total entropy of the system increases.

        • Doubting Thomas

          You should cite one physicist (you know, the people that best understand the laws of physics) that thinks the origin of life breaks the 2nd law. If you can’t, then maybe you should conclude that it’s your understanding of the 2nd law that is incorrect.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You clearly don’t know what you are talking about, and the reason for that is because you read creationist muck, the Earth is not an isolated system…try again?

          Hint: that big round yellow nuclear fusion reactor in the sky.

          However, the most important part of the second law of thermodynamics is that it only applies to a closed system [Universe]- one that does not have anything going in or out of it. There is nothing about the second law that prevents one part of a closed system [Earth] from getting more ordered, as long as another part of the system is getting more disordered [the Sun].

        • epeeist

          The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system

          Oh, and you do realise that the Earth is not an isolated system, due to the large yellow thing that delivers on the order of 1.5Kw per square meter to the Earth’s surface.

        • Doubting Thomas

          I would suggest not bringing numbers into a conversation when the person you’re talking to is so ignorant that they think a fundamental law of physics is disproven by the existence of rock candy.

        • epeeist

          So mentioning coarse graining in configuration space wouldn’t be a good idea 😉

        • Doubting Thomas

          I’d start a bit simpler than that. At this point, a discussion about Tootsie-Roll Pops could be a life altering moment for him.

        • Mayhem

          Where did I claim the earth was an isolated system?

          Strawman!

        • Greg G.

          You invoked the second law of thermodynamics regarding events on earth. You implied earth as an isolated system whether you know it or not.

          If you consider the earth and sun as a system, the overall entropy increases.

        • Mayhem

          No, you inferred that.

        • Greg G.

          Then why did you bring up the second law of thermodynamics? Your argument falls flat on its face when you include the sun and earth as the entropy increases.

          It only works in a creationist’s mind when they don’t consider the sun.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It only works in a fuckwit creationist’s mind when they don’t consider the sun.

          FTFY.

          Also, not forgetting the fact that the Earth has been getting peppered by external masses from the get-go.

        • Mayhem

          So the tendency is for entropy to increase and yet after a supposed 13.8 billion years there still exists order. Kinda counter intuitive, no?

        • Greg G.

          Entropy is a process that happens over time. Time keeps everything from happening all at once.

        • Mayhem

          Quite right and now I’m asking you why the supposed 13.8 billion years haven’t resulted in total chaos given entropy has no apparent upside.

          My point is the millions/billions of years nonsense conveniently provides your high priests, both biologists and physicists, an easy out whereby stuff, matter/life, just magically appears out of thin air.

        • Greg G.

          Entropy is dependent on time. A few billion years is a drop in the bucket. There are stars that are expected to exist for trillions of years. They could power evolution on their planets for a long time.

        • epeeist

          Strawman!

          Of course it isn’t, simply a reminder that equilibrium thermodynamics only apply in an isolated system.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I take it you’ve realized Mayhem is a sock of Al with that elipses thing going on that had ya irked?

        • I noticed the coincidence but hand’t made so strong a connection. Unfortunately, Disqus is bound by new privacy rules so that the email names and personal URLs are now disguised.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That new rule is a bit of a bummer for moderators who are trying to police their own blogs efficiently.

          At least he is behaving himself a wee bit better this time…although still daft as a brush mind.

          Time will tell.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You may have memorized long passages from the scripture of Harry Potter and be able to accurately give all the spells, but so what? It’s just make-believe until you show us otherwise.

          That’ll be my 31 year old daughter. A Potter fanatic. Knows all there is to know about the series. Has all the books and continually reads them cover-to-cover. Quite impressive in a perverse kinda way.

        • When it comes to memorizing things, sports fans come to mind. I don’t know if it works this way with football/soccer (or cricket or rugby), but with some sports, fans memorize stats of teams and individual players for decades. Maybe this is mostly a baseball thing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          You are correct.

          I’m chairman at my local football supporters club and a friend I socialize with is turning 80 in a couple of months. He is a football encyclopedia. It is intriguing to witness when he gets into the company of similar aged gents who are also football fans, the competition between them in pulling up past football games that were played before I was even born is nothing short of amazing. Who scored which goal, against which, when and where. At the same time, he is beginning to not remember things we’ve talked about just a week ago.

        • epeeist

          I don’t know if it works this way with football/soccer (or cricket or rugby)

          Oh, it definitely works for cricket .

        • Susan

          You presume to judge God

          As do you.

          He did come, personally…

          I don’t believe you.

          There is nothing to lift your claims above the white noise of all superstitious claims.

          I don’t believe “he” exists nor that “he” came personally.

          Nor have you provided a reason for me to accept your particular niche of unsupported, superstitious claims.

          (Hint: Accusing me of being unread or misled by my own ego or by the devil is not supporting your original claim.)

        • The Clucker

          They system in most instances is designed for teachers to pass as many students as possible to make the teacher look good.

          I don’t know what point you’re actually trying to make here but it appears to be an irrelevant whataboutism to the current topic at hand…

          and on YOUR OWN ARTICLE. Huh.

        • If the point was obtuse the first time around, I have little hope for my second attempt.

          Human teachers do a decent job in conveying information and getting students to pass their class. God is like a teacher, but he’s (1) a billion times smarter than any human teacher and (2) admits that he can’t pass even half of his students into heaven.

        • Greg G.

          If God cannot communicate effectively with every person, why should anybody believe someone who says God communicated with them?

          The New Testament has more discrepancies than words. The majority of the copies were handwritten a thousand years after the originals.

        • Mayhem

          Who here is arguing you should take anyone’s word for what the Bible teaches given you have all the tools needed, at your fingertips, to correctly divide the word yourself?

          And anytime you hear a conversation that starts along the lines of special revelation from on high, run, and let God be true but every man a liar.

        • Greg G.

          A real god thingy could teach directly to anyone no matter what languages they know. You don’t have to parse out the contradictions to favor one that way. A real god thingy could make it clear.

          There would be one and only one religion. There would be no need for religious texts. Nobody would ever write one. So the fact that religious texts exist is a sign that there is no god thingy. That the religious texts are different makes that more apparent.

        • The Clucker

          “ Whom will he teach knowledge?
          And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk?
          Those just drawn from the breasts?
          For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
          Line upon line, line upon line,
          Here a little, there a little.”

          Greg, nobody owes you a damn thing. If God made himself obvious and apparent by PROVING Himself to the the whole world, the concept of the Faith he asks for would go out the window. Open a book with your heart in the right place and do the due dilligence. Faith is a requirement and you don’t seem to understand that, which leads me to believe that you have never actually read a Bible cover to cover. If you have, then somehow you missed one of the most basic points of the whole of Scripture. It’s like an 11 year old not knowing what the number “2” is.

          Ask, receive. It’s really that simple. If your heart and mind is closed you’ll forever be the hamster on the wheel. It’s no wonder you resign your time to railing against something you believe is false. I’m not a Hindu so I don’t study or try to disprove Hindu religious beliefs or manuscripts. Meh.

        • Greg G.

          Faith begins where evidence and reason ends. Faith is believing things whether they are true or not. I have been there. It is a silly way to live.

          Hindus are not trying to control my government in order to impose silly religious beliefs on others.

          You have a right to practice your religion. You have a right to swing your fist. Your right to swing your fist ends at the next person’s nose. Your right to practice your religion ends when you try to practice it on others.

          If you had evidence that your religion was worth considering, you would not have to talk about faith. Keep your preaching to yourself.

        • If God made himself obvious and apparent by PROVING Himself to the the whole world, the concept of the Faith he asks for would go out the window.

          You say that as if it were a bad thing.

          If Christians had proof of God, they would lead with that. They don’t, and that’s the problem, so they handwave that actually faith is a good thing.

          It’s not a good thing in any other walk of life–crossing the street, for example. Why imagine that it’s useful for deciding the question that Christians say is the most important of all?

        • Yes, succinct is good. I don’t think the Bible is particularly succinct.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/12/simplicity-trait-missing-christianity/

        • Mayhem

          From your link…

          “The Bible in English has nearly a million words.”

          … so what? Scripture has less than one hundredth as many.

        • So “Scripture” is what?

        • Mayhem

          Scripture is the word of God as supported by the oldest and therefore most reliable manuscript copies of the originals.

        • Why then the claim, “Scripture has less than one hundredth as many [as a million]”?

          The Bible has a million words. The Bible is Christian scripture. No?

        • Mayhem

          No the Bible is an interpretation of scripture by men that can make no claim to inspiration and is to be considered unreliable where it deviates from the abundant manuscript copies of the original texts.

        • You’re making some sort of obtuse Bible/scripture distinction that I’m not motivated to untangle.

        • Mayhem

          The Bible is in English, Scripture is not and this is the distinction I have been making all along which suggests your feigned ignorance is wholly intentional.

        • Ah! So I’m a liar now. Good to know.

          In response to my “The Bible in English has nearly a million words,” you said, “so what? Scripture has less than one hundredth as many.” If “Scripture” is the original-language work and “Bible” is the English translation, then Scripture is not one percent the size of the Bible.

          So now we need to figure out if you’re a liar or stupid or ignorant or what. Because you’re not correct.

        • Mayhem

          Correct; the English translations contain much fluff and filler not to mention down right made up doctrine.

        • Fascinating. Show us that the entire Protestant Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek has just 10,000 words.

        • I’m still waiting for evidence that, while the English translation of the Bible has about a million words, the entire Protestant Bible in the original languages has just 10,000 words.

        • Mayhem

          It’s actually a little under 12,000 but I couldn’t be bothered working out the exact ratio because the point is still clear despite the rounding error.

          “There are 5,437 different words in the New Testament. They occur a total of 138,162 times. But there are only 319 words (5.8% of the total number) that occur 50 times or more . . . These 319 words account for 110,425 word occurrences, or 79.92% of the total word count, almost four out of five.” – William D. Mounce. Basics of Biblical Greek. Zondervan Publishing. 1993. p 17.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_D._Mounce

          “Strong’s Dictionary identifies 8,674 words in the Hebrew Bible. However, of these, 2,415 are proper names (such as Moses, David and Isaiah), leaving us with 6,259 Hebrew words.” – Jeff Benner, Biblical Hebrew teacher.

          https://www.quora.com/profile/Jeff-Benner-1

          I mean you do know the concordances use a numbering system, don’t you, well take out the double ups, where names of people and places have root equivalents as well as any suffix or prefix where it is listed individually, and you can actually argue there are even less unique words.

        • Uh huh. So all of this has been an apples-and-oranges confusion on your part. I mentioned a million words in the English Bible. Obviously, that’s a count of the words, not a concordance of the number of different words, which (at the moment, at least) is what you’re talking about.

          Your “the English translations contain much fluff and filler not to mention down right made up doctrine” seems to show you confusing yourself as you try to juggle 12,000 unique words in the original language version vs. the million words used to write the actual English Bible.

          If you want to salvage this waste of time by showing something useful, go ahead. Otherwise, this is just you making useless word-like sounds.

        • Mayhem

          Whatever, Bob Seidensticker, your readers might well grasp the point even if you don’t.

        • No, the problem is the reverse. I very clearly understand the problems, first a confusion of a tally of the number of words vs. the number of unique words, and second, your inability to see that and then admit the error so we can put this behind us.

        • Mayhem

          What error? I have consistently used the term “unique words”, when it mattered, and freely acknowledged I had rounded off a number where doing so had very little impact on the point I was making.

          Did you get the point though, Bob Seidensticker, that the lying scribes cannot be trusted and should be questioned every step of the way?

        • What error? I have consistently used the term “unique words”, when it mattered

          This all began with your reaction to my, “The Bible in English has nearly a million words.” So how does that tie in with your concern about unique words? You’re saying that your “so what? Scripture has less than one hundredth as many” was a non sequitur? If not, how does it tie in if I was talking about words and you were talking about unique words?

          Did you get the point though, Bob Seidensticker, that the lying scribes cannot be trusted and should be questioned every step of the way?

          Uh . . . that scribes are unreliable was a point that I have made. Were you making it too? You said, “the English translations contain much fluff and filler not to mention down right made up doctrine,” but that is about translators, not scribes (copyists).

        • Mayhem

          I use the phrase “lying scribes” colloquially, in this instance, because I like to speak of bible matters in biblical terms.

          Handle it, semanticist.

        • So let’s recap.

          (1) You’ve made no sense of the all words vs. unique words debate. A simple, “Yeah, I was confused” would put that to bed. But I guess that’s not how you roll.

          (2) Now I’m the pedant for being confused by copyists vs. translators? They seem really different in my mind, especially since the Bible has been translated dozens of times by many different people, and the lengths of all those English Bibles is about the same. Any particular hanky-panky by translators is news to me, so if you actually have something interesting to say, I’d be interested.

          (3) And (yet again), back to what seems to have been your original point: English Bibles are 100x larger because translators with agenda have added nonsense and twisted the doctrine. That’s probably not what you meant, but if you want to clarify, I’ll be interested to read what you actually mean. Or if you want to drop that, that’s fine, too.

        • Mayhem

          How about reducing the English language down to its roots and we’ll see if it makes any significant difference to the ratio.

          Translators having an agenda thus adding nonsense and twisting doctrine is exactly what I mean.

          I’m largely done here, Bob, until such time one of you actually make an argument and certain comments, of mine, aren’t marked as spam.

        • I’m largely done here, Bob, until such time one of you actually make an argument

          Ri-i-i-ight. I’m the bad guy again. I’m seeing a trend.

        • Mayhem

          You can play the victim or you can make an argument but either way imagining I’m attributing motive is on you.

        • or you can make an argument

          Not with you I can’t.

        • Greg G.

          Copyists of the New Testament also imposed their own agendas. “The Woman Caught in Adultery” was a late interpolation, for example. Translators have to payattention to those things. Yet there are some conservative translators that translate according to their own agenda.

        • Mayhem

          scribe – one of the group of scholars and teachers of Jewish law and tradition, active from the 5th century b.c. to the 1st century a.d., who transcribed, edited, and interpreted the Bible. – Dictionary dotcom.

          Pedant!

        • You don’t even understand what you wrote yourself. Fascinating. Or maybe some troll is putting words under your name.

          The topic was the English Bible, so apparently you were talking about translators.

          But hey–you could do me a favor. Next time I reply to one of your comments, intrigued by something that I don’t understand but might yield some useful new information, remind me to not bother because your words are largely random and aren’t connected to reality. That’ll save me a lot of time. Thanks, bro!

        • Mayhem

          You’re arguing “transcribe” isn’t synonymous with “translate”, which the dictionaries don’t agree with, and yet it’s me who has a reality disconnect.

          You funny guy, bro!

        • You’re arguing “transcribe” isn’t synonymous with “translate”

          Correct.

          which the dictionary don’t agree with

          Citation needed.

        • Mayhem

          https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/transcribe

          Now that’s twice you’ve been humiliated by the dictionary.

        • Translate means to go from one language to another. Transcribe doesn’t.

          This is fun! We’ll have to waste time together again soon.

        • Mayhem

          You do know your readers can click on my link and see that translate is indeed listed as a synonym of transcribe, don’t you, and who are you to tell anyone which words they can use?

        • Let’s review. You used the phrase “lying scribes,” but you meant translators, not mere copyists (scribes). next, I tried to help you out by pointing out the error to encourage you to make a coherent argument.

          Apparently, you don’t appreciate such help. I’ll try to keep that in mind.

        • Mayhem

          What error given transcribe is synonymous with translate?

        • Maybe a dictionary is the book you should be reaching for, not a thesaurus.

        • Mayhem

          No worries the dictionary it is will the Oxford do?

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

          You’ll have to click on the synonym button yourself though.

        • The definition of “transcribe”? Uh, thanks.

        • Greg G.

          There is nothing about translating from one language to another. The closest is about changing the letters from one alphabet to another but it is not translating from one language to another.

          Again, your reading comprehension fails you.

        • epeeist

          Again, your reading comprehension fails you.

          That’s very charitable of you, assuming a comprehension problem rather than deliberate lying.

        • Greg G.

          Mayhem seems like a chronic sock to me. I don’t think he is clever enough to act so stupid.

          He seems like the guy who came back with a new name about three times in quick succession a few months ago.

        • epeeist

          Mayhem seems like a chronic sock to me.

          Agreed.

          a few months ago.

          You don’t think he is the sock of Albert Swearengen?

          I notice we had a guy called The Clucker posting in support of Mayhem, glancing at his profile he seems to be a Trumpanzee whose blog of preference is Breitbart.

          Incidentally, are you seeing Disqus stuffing in huge amounts of white space when composing posts?

        • Greg G.

          I am in Vietnam right now. When I was in Saigon, we stayed in a condo where the internet connection didn’t allow Disqus. It would show the comments threaded but no Disqus accoutrements, so there was no reply, no up and down buttons, time date stamps. So I could reply on the laptop, copy&paste to email, then when I could get wifi in a tourist area, I could copy&paste from email to a Disqus combox.

          There it seems to have added an extra return to each one.

          Now I’m traveling. The hotel wifi is intermittent for Disqus. Chrome works better than the Samsung browser. Sometimes I have to refresh many times. Sometimes it gives no comments, sometimes no Disqus buttons or formatting, and sometimes it takes two or three attempts to get it to post.

          I left the laptop in Saigon so I just have my cell.

        • Greg G.

          And another thing… I haven’t got the Recent Comments to work at all since leaving Saigon. I will try it in the morning when I go for ca phe sua da. That place was reliable last year.

        • MR

          A lot of these guys strike me as Breitbart/Russian trolls. They seem fan out every now and then with some new wave or another. Their goal certainly isn’t to have an honest exchange.

        • I’ve added “dictionary” to my Christmas list for Mayhem. He’s usually so hard to buy for.

        • epeeist

          He didn’t bring much did he, mayhem that is.

        • It was kind of a special needs mayhem.

        • epeeist

          I am thinking at the level of the apocryphal “Small Earthquake in Chile. Not many dead.”

        • Greg G.

          If the thesaurus is cheaper, get that. He doesn’t know the difference.

        • Or maybe put a Webster’s cover over a thesaurus, just to gaslight him.

        • Greg G.

          Maybe a boxed set with Webster’s Thesaurus and Roget”s Dictionary.

        • Careful what you wish for. You might inadvertently create an unstoppable Christian genius with irrefutable arguments.

        • Greg G.

          I’m told I really believe. Maybe I need someone to convince me.

        • Greg G.

          Mayhem must be able to equivocate.

        • Liars gonna lie.

        • Greg G.

          The meaning of translate there is “translating to a different medium”, not “translating to a different language.”

        • Mayhem

          What are you babbling about? The meaning of translate where?

        • Greg G.

          Do you understand that words often have more than one meaning? When you switch from one meaning to another, it is called “equivocation”.

          “Transscribe” is a synonym with “translate” in the second definition below.

          trans·late
          Dictionary result for translate

          /transˈlāt,tranzˈlāt/

          verb

          1.

          express the sense of (words or text) in another language.

          “the German original has been translated intoEnglish”

          synonyms:interpret, render, gloss, put, express, convert, change, construe, transcribe, transliterate

          “the German original had been translated into English”

          2.

          move from one place or condition to another.

          “she had been translated from familiar surroundings to a foreign court”

          synonyms:relocate, transfer, move, remove, shift, convey, transport, transplant

          “my husband and I, recently translated from California to the Northeast, were given similar advice”

        • Mayhem

          How come when I view this comment from my home page it looks different to when I click on the “view in discussion” button?

          The list of synonyms, that included the one I’m arguing for, has mysteriously disappeared on the online version of your post.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3c31e24eda152a7b36ee5e540eb00368ef6038371f3fb26c364e5443057b34c7.png

        • Greg G.

          I don’t know. I have not edited anything after posting all day.

        • The thesaurus isn’t your friend. Use a dictionary.

          Suggested first word to look up: “synonym.”

        • epeeist

          You want to use a thesaurus to provide the meaning of words.

          Why not use a dictionary and see what this gives for translate and transcribe.

        • Mayhem

          According to your links translate is indeed synonymous with transcribe, and vice versa, so if you were trying to make a point it is lost on me.

          Anyway I don’t have much time for squabbling over dictionaries in a conversation that started off referencing peer reviewed journals.

        • epeeist

          According to your links translate is indeed synonymous with transcribe, and vice versa

          Well yeah, “Express the sense of (words or text) in another language” is obviously a synonym of “Put (thoughts, speech, or data) into written or printed form.”

          Anyway I don’t have much time for squabbling over dictionaries in aconversation that started off referencing peer reviewed journals.

          Strange, I thought I was the person providing references to peer reviewed journals and you were the person failing to address the points that they were making.

        • Greg G.

          A thesaurus is not a dictionary.

        • Greg G.

          Mayhem writes about things he doesn’t understand. It’s his style.

        • Let a thousand flowers bloom.

        • Greg G.

          This was about the New Testament. Scribes were wiped out in the first century when Jerusalem was destroyed. They had nothing to do with the New Testament except as foils in the fictional gospels.

        • Mayhem

          So what, does that mean I can’t use “scribe” in place of “translator” or are synonyms too hard for you?

        • Greg G.

          Of course you can but if you want to be clear, you should let your “translator” be “translator” and your “scribe” be “scribe”.

        • Good luck with moving on to “yes” and “no.”

          The stupid is strong in this one.

        • Mayhem

          I should do what now?

          Conform to your way of thinking?

          No thanks.

        • Greg G.

          My way of thinking? See James 5:12 and Matthew 5:37.

        • Mayhem

          You choose your words and I’ll choose mine, okay, and aside from that I fail to see the point of your comment.

          You know those two passages are talking about being honest without making a big song and dance about it, right?

          They have no bearing on day to day conversations but nice try all the same.

        • Greg G.

          But you are being dishonest. You are totally misinformed about everything. It appears to be a problem with your reading comprehension.

          The next time you create a new sock puppet, make one who can read.

        • Mayhem

          Fascinating opinion, thanks for sharing it, but yours isn’t worth my time.

        • Greg G.

          Your own opinion isn’t worth your time.

        • The next time you create a new sock puppet, make one who can read.

          !

        • Ignorant Amos

          New Testament scholar Bart Ehrman claims that to be a copyist didn’t necessarily mean one knew how to read, let alone translate.. Reading and writing in antiquity were not like today and learnt in tandem.

          The KJV was translated by around 50 scholars working in groups in different places…copying errors and translation errors are not nearly the same.

          You need to separate scribal errors of copying, with scribal errors in translation.

          Ehrman’s “Forged: Writing in the Name of God – Why the Bible’s Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are”, “Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why” and “Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them)” are a good place to start to learn about this stuff.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forged_(book)

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

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus,_Interrupted

        • Mayhem

          I need to do what now?

          And another commentator put up a link to 20 supposed Bible contradictions and I shredded the first five.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And that has what to do with you learning the difference between a translator and a copyist how exactly?

          I’ve yet to see you shred anything yet…you might have believed you’ve shredded the five points, but that’ll be easily excused by you having a deluded mind.

        • Did you now?

          Perhaps I missed that. If you shredded them, I think I would’ve remembered. Can you point me to that rebuttal?

        • Greg G.

          I think he means that he misunderstood that a thesaurus matches synonyms according to a single possible definition of a word. He seems to think a match in a thesaurus means the words are completely interchangeable.

          “Transcribe” = “Translate” therefore “Scribe” = “Translator”.

          So when Mayham shreds an argument, it means he missed addressing the argument by a wide margin.

        • Who said that no harm comes from picking up the wrong reference book?

        • Ignorant Amos

          In his pea sized brain he might believe he has, but that’s as far as it goes. Perhaps he’s getting his socks confused with someone else that didn’t shred them either.

        • I have some sympathy. If I had a dollar for every back-of-the-envelope calculation I’ve made that proved Einstein wrong …

        • Greg G.

          Do you understand that words in different languages do not correspond precisely in meaning? A Greek verb might convey gender, plurality, and tense which might include clues about the person it refers to so a translator needs multiple words including the name instead of a pronoun to capture the full meaning and other words to make the sentence flow.

        • Mayhem

          Yes and therein lies the opportunity for a translator to inject their bias, whether intentional or not, which is why I hold the narrative is best understood in the original languages.

        • I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around your point here. I think you’re saying that “translators” translate. I guess it should’ve been obvious from the word itself, so that was my bad. And I guess that’s why you used “translator” instead of “scribe,” because you were pointing out that there was a language translation in there.

          OK, thanks. I’m clearer now.

        • Mayhem

          My overarching point is that a perfect English translation, of scripture, is not possible therefore any arguments over what is meant should defer to the original languages.

        • Greg G.

          You are fooling yourself if you are pretending you can get a perfect understanding by reading it in the original language.

          You can’t know what the original words were. Some words require inferring the meaning from your interpretation of the text, the same as any other translator.

          If you come up with a different interpretation than all the other translator, you should probably conclude you messed up.

        • Mayhem

          You’re the only one looking for perfection. I’m just insisting where their is ambiguity the most reliable copies of the original should take precedent at which point folk are to make up their own mind whether or not the translators got it right.

          Trusting translators is putting faith in man. A big no, no.

        • Greg G.

          If the words are important and the meanings are important, why don’t you insist on perfection?

          If you can’t trust scholars to get the translation right, who are you going to trust. You have a lot of trouble with English. How are you going to deal with a dead language?

          When I look at a Bible passage, I use a half dozen different translations, look at the footnotes, and look at commentaries.

          But if a god thingy created a perfect Bible by Divine intervention, then let allow it deteriorate through simple copying errors and deliberate changes so that you cannot know that the most reliable copies are even reliable at all, it would be such a waste.

          It has been shown that the rate of changes to Bible texts were less after canonization. Before that, they were just making copies of letters and stories. So you can assume that there was a great deal of change between the original autographs and the second copy of each. They may have considered the originals to be the first draft.

        • Mayhem

          Then you should have little trouble revealing its flaws and yet here we are, some three or four days in, and you haven’t made a single accusation, against the Bible, that has stuck.

        • Greg G.

          You haven’t refuted anything. You are incapable because of your reading difficulties.

          Show us a New Testament verse that can be proved to be the original wording and the proof.

          All you can read are copies of copies going back to someone rewriting a letter by hand. You don’t know what the original said.

        • Your contempt for everyone you correspond with is clear–well done. “Christian love” seems to have a different meaning online.

          You worship your savior with that mouth?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Trusting translators is putting faith in man. A big no, no.

          But that’s all ya’ve got.

        • epeeist

          My overarching point is that a perfect English translation, of scripture, is not possible

          Well it would seem that one of the great logicians of the 20th century would agree.

          The thing is that this applies to all translations, whether from, say, Greek to English or Aramaic to Greek or Aramaic or Greek to Latin. It would even apply to differences over time, for example in one of his sermons Isaac Barrow talks of “a most vile, flagitious man, a sorry and naughty Governour as could be”. How would you translate something for which there is no referent, for example line 574 of Beowulf reads:

          niceras nigene·nó ic on niht gefrægn

          What is a “niceras”?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Doesn’t say much for a God whose main attribute is supposed to be perfection.

          Billions have no chance of understanding the true message given the situation.

        • MR

          God always seems to fade into the background at this point. Whenever I hear a creationist start to special plead like this about a two thousand year old text when the supposed living, breathing, bad-ass, All-Powerful, Master of the Motherfucking Universe is supposedly still active and moving in the world but has to rely on a bunch of ancient, outdated, obscure and largely boring texts–that for the most part Christians themselves don’t even bother reading–and has to use his own special translators, not those translators over there ’cause they’re doing it wrong, but this translation here because this is what it really means, and well…, it’s just further indication to me that God doesn’t exist. Once you start talking about textual criticism, that’s all it is. God gets erased and it’s a tacit admission that he doesn’t exist. Just by raising this argument, they’ve already lost the argument in my eyes.

        • Mayhem

          In your opinion but I think the English translations are sufficient unto salvation just not when it comes to discussing the finer points.

        • Ignorant Amos

          My opinion? You are the one that is here criticizing us for reading the corrupt translations and not getting the one true message.

          You are all over the place on this matter. If the English version is full of padding and falsehoods, how is someone reading such a corrupt version, supposed to know what is corrupt and padding, and what is to be taken serious?

          The doctrine of eternal damnation is a prize example.

          https://www.bcur.org/journals/index.php/Diffusion/article/download/107/88

          You have an interpretation of scripture, others have an interpretation, both can’t be right…but both could be wrong.

          None of this helps your position. There are at least two beliefs based on interpretation of ambiguous texts, therefore the contradiction exists. The conflicting scriptures are therefore not clear. That is what is at fault here. You arguing apologetics would not be necessary otherwise.

        • In a perfect world, we’d be using Greek to discuss the finer points of the NT, but that’s a conversation I can’t participate in.

          Since all English translations say pretty much the same thing, I don’t see what, apparently to you, is a large problem. Is it a conspiracy? You said, “the English translations contain much fluff and filler not to mention down right made up doctrine.”

          Do you read the NT in the original language?

        • Mayhem

          An example is “eternal punishment” which only exists in translation. The Greek has it age abiding which, if you think about it, is akin to sufficient unto purpose. I mean what sort of a God would punish His created beings for all eternity?

        • An asshole god. And yet it’s Christian dogma.

        • Mayhem

          Indeed, christian dogma, see what I’m up against?

        • Mayhem

          I like to use Bible terminology but at least I’m not going all King’s Engrish on you. Do I get any credit for that?

        • Greg G.

          The meanings of words are inferred by their use in extant writings. Some are only used once in all the writings we have so their meanings are not clear.

          For words that are used a few times, we may not comprehend all the nuances.

          So you may not be understanding what you are reading anyway. Some of the meanings passed down through time may not be correct. The meanings may be skewed by theological interpretation for centuries. 150 years ago, the word “mad” meant “insane”, not “angry”. There are words that have different meanings in British vocabulary than American vocabulary or Australian vocabulary. The church fathers may have read things wrong due to a different dialect.

          No worries. It is just superstitious religious baloney. You should compare what is written in the Bible with the literature that was extant in the first century. It becomes onvious that the New Testament is fiction.

        • Mayhem

          Whatever, take it up with the concordances.

          Superstitious baloney like how all matter sprang from nothing forming a closed system that trends to entropy in which life magically sprang up in a sterile vacuum? That sort of mumbo jumbo?

        • Greg G.

          I’m taking it up with you, because that is where the problem lies.

          You are following a religion that blames hurricanes and earthquakes on an angry god thingy.

          A hurricane can hit the Bible Belt, and some Christian preachers will be telling us that it’s because they weren’t Christian enough while Muslim imams will be saying the hurricane is retribution for the area being too Christian

        • Mayhem

          You’re the one arguing for a translation over the original languages. Your problem to fix not mine.

          Who cares what religious leaders say? Examine the storm punishments, in the Bible, and you’ll find God always sent a messenger to give warning. Now if these clergy could predict these storms before they shows up on the weather radar, and not before then, they might be worth listening to.

          You are right, Greg G., to be wary of “churches”, God calls them daughters of the harlot and calls His people to come out from them.

        • BTW, are you Albert Swearengen?

        • Mayhem

          No I’m not.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Well, ya would say that wouldn’t ya?

          A sock isn’t going to admit to being a sock, that defeats the object.

        • Greg G.

          There are 16 words that make up 25% of the NT. The word “kai”, usually translated as “and”, is 5.9% of the NT.

        • God promised to protect scripture, which He has

          What does that mean? Manuscript copies have loads of changes and errors. What divine protection do we see in the Bible that we don’t see in other ancient books?

        • Mayhem

          The Masoretic text is supported by the Dead Sea Scrolls and comparing them shows a 95% accuracy rate of copies that were transcribed around 1,000 years apart. Further more the 5% discrepancy, mostly obvious slips of the pen and variant spellings, is of little consequence and in no way displaces any of the biblical narrative.

        • My personal focus has been on the manuscript unreliability of the NT. As to the OT, the gap from the Dead Sea Scrolls to the original is centuries.

          Even if we focused on your 5%, how does this support your claim, “God promised to protect scripture, which He has”? The OT and NT manuscripts have dumb errors and deliberate changes in a way that looks unsurprisingly natural. Where’s the magic protection?

        • Mayhem

          These so called dumb errors and deliberate changes alter the biblical narrative how precisely?

          Languages evolve, meaning does not, and this explains the vast majority of the very few discrepancies.

        • These so called dumb errors and deliberate changes alter the biblical narrative how precisely?

          Not at all, assuming that the resolution of the differences by scholars is correct, but we’re talking here about the errors/changes we know about.

          Languages evolve, meaning does not, and this explains the vast majority of the very few discrepancies.

          You mean: very few known discrepancies. But how many are unknown? I explore the problem in this post:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2016/04/a-simple-thought-experiment-defeats-claim-that-bible-is-accurate/

        • Mayhem

          I traffic in what is known not hypotheticals and why bring up the minor discrepancies given you’re happy to assume the scholars might well have sufficiently addressed them?

        • Hmm. I’m not sure why this is hard.

          We have multiple manuscripts with some contradictions. Let’s assume that scholars have picked the correct version for every contradiction.

          So, have we gotten back to the originals? Of course not! Now we get to the situations where there was a fork in the road (two traditions for a verse) and yet only one has been preserved by history. We don’t even know to wonder about alternative readings for these passages because we only have one!

        • Mayhem

          There are no contradictions, in the Bible, that survive consideration.

        • You’re ignoring my thought experiment about how we can’t know that we’ve gotten back to the autographs. Was that intentional?

          If we’re moving on to Bible contradictions, I have 20 here. Didn’t I already give you this?
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/

          If your point about “not surviving consideration” means that you know, without even looking at the list, that you won’t find any convincing, I believe you. I think they would be very compelling to an objective, unbiased observer.

        • Mayhem

          I know because I have looked at many such lists and I’ve already stated I don’t do hypotheticals which is why your though experiment was ignored.

        • Nice! When you get in hot water, you just say, “I’ve deliberately ignored your argument”!

          Dang–I wish I’d thought of that. Remind me to avoid a battle of wits with you.

        • Greg G.

          The physical evidence of archaeology shows that the OT is fiction, myth, and political spin.

          Harry Potter books have a near 100% accuracy rate. I don’t believe it either.

        • Mayhem

          Then it should be easy for you to provide evidence for your claim.

          I’ll wait.

        • Greg G.

          No, it is not easy. I have provided limited amounts of the evidence in this forum only to be accused of providing a wall of text by those who were hoping I didn’t have any.

          Mark uses Homer’s epics for the base of many stories seasoned with some OT passages. He also used Jewish Wars for a few passages and names of characters. He also drew from some of Paul’s epistles.

          Matthew and Luke used Mark and other sources. Matthew used Antiquities of the Jews for his nativity story. Luke used the writing plus Josephus’ autobiography in the parts where he wasn’t using Mark and Matthew, and used those Josephus works for Acts even more.

          John seems to have had the Secret Gospel of Mark.

          Paul loved to talk about “Jesus” and “Christ” using those about once for every five verses but doesn’t give much information about him. Every piece of information he gives can be found in the OT. It’s the same with the other early epistles. Nobody seems to have information about Jesus from the first century.

        • I thought the consensus was that the Secret Gospel of Mark was a fake.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Depends which scholar ya read. I had this out with Korus Destroyus last week.

          James Tabor has no doubt the Clementine letter citing Secret Mark is authentic.

          https://jamestabor.com/morton-smith-and-a-secret-gospel-of-mark/

        • Interesting. I thought it was a dead issue.

        • Greg G.

          Mark 10:46 has the Jesus posse entering Jericho and immediately exiting the city. That really looks like something has been removed. Clement’s insertion seems to be reasonable.

        • Greg G.

          That’s what I have thought for some time. Ignorant Amos mentioned it a couple of weeks ago so I did some more research. It seems there is a debate. Some say it is fake. Some say it is an expansion of canonical Mark. Some say canonical Mark is a redacted version of Secret Mark.

          http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/secretmark.html

          http://www.tonyburke.ca/ancient-gospel-or-modern-forgery/

          https://depts.drew.edu/jhc/fowler.html

        • Fascinating. That’s the last time I say bad things about Amos’s knowledge.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Where did you already say bad things about my knowledge? I must’ve missed them.

          Not to worry anyway, I’m the worst critic of my knowledge. Though I take exception to the eejit that pitch up here that say bad things about my knowledge when it is abundantly clear that while not being great, it still ain’t as bad as their own.

        • I was just kidding. It was an inverted compliment (or an attempt at one).

        • Ignorant Amos

          Aye, a figured that.

          Thanks.

        • Mayhem

          1) – Mark uses Homer’s epics according to Dennis R. MacDonald about whom it has been said…

          https://www.equip.org/article/the-homeric-epics-and-the-gospel-of-mark/

          … “The overwhelming majority of parallels drawn in The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark are the product of MacDonald’s vague generalisations, fertile imagination, and literary manipulations”.

          2) – Matthew plagiarised Antiquities of the Jews except Josephus’ work is widely accepted as historiographical. Do I need to break that big word down for you?

          3) – Paul extensively referenced the old testament because, well, duh!

          All three debunked, that must smart, what else do you have?

        • what else do you have?

          Meaning, “Please, please let’s move on to another … look over there–something shiny!”

        • Mayhem

          Answering your objection, point by point, is an attempted distraction?

        • Greg G.

          1) – Mark uses Homer’s epics according to Dennis R. MacDonald about whom it has been said…

          https://www.equip.org/artic

          … “The overwhelming majority of parallels drawn in The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark are the product of MacDonald’s vague generalisations, fertile imagination, and literary manipulations”.

          Some scholars were convinced that Jesus was historical since they were children. Now their livelihood depends on maintaining that belief. Of course there will be denial from them.

          They said similar things about Tommy Thompson in the 70s and 80s when he studied ancient texts and said that Abraham and Moses were myths drawn from the writings of other cultures before archaeology in Israel, Egypt, and the Sinai showed the same thing.

          One can only cry “Coincidence!” so many times before there is a pattern that needs to be explained.

          Homer’s epics have been imitated for millenia, including Vergil’s Aeneid (written‎: ‎29–19 BC) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (released: 2000 AD). One should be obligated consider a story with as much obvious fiction as the gospels to be based on the most popular writings of the day.

          2) – Matthew plagiarised Antiquities of the Jews except Josephus’ work is widely accepted as historiographical. Do I need to break that big word down for you?

          If some writer had recorded that Herod killed all the male babies in a city, we would expect the Christian community to preserve it as it would support Matthew.

          Matthew combined the pharaoh story of Moses in Volume 2 with the King Herod story in Volume 17. In Exodus, the pharaoh wanted to reduce the population of Jews in Egypt by killing the male babies. Josephus says the pharaoh wanted to kill the male babies for fear of a prophecy and also has Herod fearing a prophecy. Matthew has Herod having babies killed for fear of a prophecy.

          Josephus has Moses’ father receiving a warning in a dream, Exodus has nothing like that. Matthew has Joseph getting dream warnings.

          Perhaps the Magi are based on the description of the Pharisees in the section about Herod, as Josephus says they were thought to have the power of “foreknowledge of things to come by Divine inspiration.”

          Exodus 30 describes certain items that are used in the temple. Josephus describes them in Volume 3. Matthew lists them as the gifts of the Magi but in the order that Josephus lists them, not in the Exodus order.

          The Jews picked a fight with the Romans based on a perceived prophecy of a coming Messiah, according to Josephus. Josephus was captured and told Vespasian that he would be the person to rise from Judea to become the emperor of the world. It probably amused the emperor. Vespasian became the Roman emperor shortly after. So Josephus had a reason to hype up prophecy.

          3) – Paul extensively referenced the old testament because, well, duh!

          All three debunked, that must smart, what else do you have?

          The point was that Paul never talked about Jesus in first century terms. Only in OT terms. He never met Jesus but in 2 Corinthians, he insists that his knowledge was not inferior to the knowledge of the “super-apostles”. Per Galatians, he knew them personally and spent a couple of weeks with Cephas. If Cephas had spent time with Jesus, surely the subject would have been discussed. Paul says he got nothing from them. So not only does Paul not know anything about Jesus that he didn’t read in centuries-old writings, he knows the other apostles don’t know anything about a first century Jesus either.

          So you debunked nothing.

        • Mayhem

          The Homer Multitext project, according to the Smithsonian, work under the assumption “that there is not one original text that we should try to reconstruct,” quite likely due to there being innumerable variations dated centuries apart and scattered over the ancient world. Might I suggest this is why the project flies under the banner “As many Homers as you please”.

          Josephus’ work is an historical account of Judaism and early christianity, which makes sense given his vocation was historian, and given Jesus purpose for coming was to correct Judaism is it any wonder this otherwise invaluable work doesn’t conform with the biblical narrative?

          Paul was very familiar with the old testament and only had need of the gospel message that Jesus taught him, personally, while Paul was in the desert for 3 years. Further more, some 14 years after this, Paul got the chance to compare notes with several Apostles and was found to be in complete agreement. As for his literary style well that comes with a warning (2Pet 3:16) which is probably why his books are so often the go-to for enemies of the Most High.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Homer Multitext project, according to the Smithsonian, work under the assumption “that there is not one original text that we should try to reconstruct,” quite likely due to there being innumerable variations dated centuries apart and scattered over the ancient world. Might I suggest this is why the project flies under the banner “As many Homers as you please”.

          That is nothing but a non sequitur and makes not a scrap of difference. If parallels in Mark to Homer can be identified, then the version of Homer that Mark used, and the version that scholars are comparing it to in order to se those parallels, must be very similar, if not the same.

          Josephus’ work is an historical account of Judaism and early christianity,…

          You really don’t know anything, do ya?

          Josephus made no account of “early christianity”, or any “christianity” for that matter.

          Paul was very familiar with the old testament and only had need of the gospel message that Jesus taught him, personally, while Paul was in the desert for 3 years.

          Where do you pull this crap from? Religion really has you fucked right up.

          Further more, some 14 years after this, Paul got the chance to compare notes with several Apostles and was found to be in complete agreement.

          More fuckwittery pulled from your arse.

          As for his literary style well that comes with a warning (2Pet 3:16) which is probably why his books are so often the go-to for enemies of the Most High.

          But 2 Peter is a second century forgery.

        • Mayhem

          “Josephus made no account of “early christianity”, or any “christianity” for that matter.”

          “So much of the early history of Christianity is wrapped in obscurity that additional evidence from any source is always welcome. Apart from the writings of the New Testament and the other early Christian literature, the most important single author is Josephus.” – The Testimony of Josephus to Christianity, Clyde Pharr, The American Journal of Philology (Vol. 48, No. 2 (1927), pp. 137-147) published by Johns Hopkins University.

          Care to retract your accusation?

        • Ignorant Amos

          Care to retract your accusation?

          Nope.

          Learn some modern up-to-date scholarship on the issue.

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/12071

          https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/7437

        • Mayhem

          Your first link argues expert opinion is only of value if it is up to date. I agree. So then what evidence do you have that Josephus wasn’t a Jewish historian, your 2nd link, but that only discusses Josephus’ testimony about the crucifixion of Jesus and makes no mention of references found elsewhere in his works.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Where did I say Josephus wasn’t a Jewish historian?

          There is only one mention for Jesus elsewhere. The James reference, which is addressed at the bottom of the first link.

        • Mayhem

          I wasn’t the person who raised Josephus’ works as proof of anything, in fact, I was replying to another commentator who claimed passages in the Bible were plagiarised from writings such as the Flavian Testimony.

          Josephus’ mentioning, or not mentioning, Jesus/James is incidental to the point that he was a Jewish historian.

        • Greg G.

          No Josephus passages were plagiarized. Elements were borrowed from Josephus to create fiction for the Bible.

          If you read Origen carefully where he mentions Josephus, he associates the James who Paul talks about in Galatians with the James Josephus mentions but Origen gets the brother of James from Galatians. It is apparent that Eusebius put the “brother” language into the Josephus passage.

          Origen mentions that James passage and the John the Baptist passage multiple times but never the Testimonium. He bequeathed his library to the city of Caesarea, which was curated by Pamphilus, who was the mentor of Eusebius. Eusebius “found” the Testimonium in the same copy that Origen used.

        • Mayhem

          I don’t claim the Flavius Testimonial supports the Bible. That Josephus was a Jewish Historian is all that matters in this case.

        • Greg G.

          Yes, Josephus was Jewish and wrote about Jewish history.

          The author of Mark used bits from his Jewish Wars. The author of Matthew used bits of his Antiquities, and the author of Luke and Acts used bits of his Antiquities and bits from his autobiography.

          Josephus did not write about Jesus.

          Justus of Tiberius was a Galilean historian who wrote about Galilean history. He didn’t mention Jesus either. We know that only from a Christian lamenting that Justus didn’t mention Jesus.

        • Mayhem

          Show me the relevant papyri, of Antiquities of the Jews, that predate the 1st and 2nd century evidence for the Bible?

          That would be the Jews that chose Barrabas over Jesus. Yeah no wonder they don’t mention the Messiah they deny.

        • Greg G.

          There is no first century evidence for the Bible. Antiquities has an internal reference that tells us it was written around 94 AD.

          It is apparent that Matthew and Luke used Antiquities so the later you make Antiquities, the later Matthew and Luke are.

          The Jews were expecting the Messiah. That’s why they rebelled against the Romans. They had faith that the Messiah would come and save them.

          Barabbas is a fictional story.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Matters for what?

        • Mayhem

          Matters for this conversation.

          Any more dumb questions?

        • Ignorant Amos

          You haven’t explained why it matters that Josephus was a Jewish historian…so until you do, the question ain’t dumb. The assertion that him being a Jewish historian matters, is what is dumb

        • MR

          You’re just another dick for Jesus. Very compelling.

        • Ignorant Amos

          That Josephus doesn’t mention the newly evolving cult of Judaism in 94 CE is problematic for Christians. It means there was no group of the Jesus-movement making enough impact or noise at the time of his writing, worthy of inclusion is work. This was an issue for later Christians who employed pious fraud to try and make it that there was such a group.

          The Jesus-movement (what we now call “early Christianity”) should be understood, in part, within the context of many popular and not-so-popular Jewish movements and sects in the first century. We need to remember that this was a movement within Judaism, not a separate religion.

          A movement within Judaism not worth mention as others were, by Josephus. A Jewish historian writing about first century Jewish life, but never mentions the alleged first century Jewish movement known as the Jesus Followers, what gives? Had Josephus just not heard the stories of this god-man miracle worker, who raised from the dead and ascended into heaven? Or was the story just one of many fanciful yarns that were abundant at the time and no noteworthy?

        • Ignorant Amos

          I wasn’t the person who raised Josephus’ works as proof of anything, in fact, I was replying to another commentator who claimed passages in the Bible were plagiarised from writings such as the Flavian Testimony.

          Excuse me?

          That’ll be the fallacy of the non sequitur.

          Who first mentioned Josephus is not the issue. You claiming…

          “Josephus’ work is an historical account of Judaism and early christianity,…”

          …is the problem.

          Then you cited a disregarded and well out of date scholarship to support emphasized part of your claim and then request a retraction from me.

          Care to retract your request?

          Josephus’ mentioning, or not mentioning, Jesus/James is incidental to the point that he was a Jewish historian.

          A point no one was contesting, so a strawman fallacy.

        • Mayhem

          Josephus wrote history, in other words he wrote about stuff that had already happened and given the oldest complete text is younger, by some 10 centuries, than the earliest evidence of the NT there isn’t much to stand on in order to accuse the NT authors of having copied from Antiquities of the Jews.

        • Ignorant Amos

          In the first place, history writing back then was not the same as history writing today. Ancient historians wrote myth and legend into their work. Unless you believe Plutarch’s account Romulus and the historian duped “The Father of Lies” Herodotus was accurately recording events that had happened. Josephus is compared to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, they all wrote myth as history.

          The age of the text is a Red Herring. That’s not how scholars operate. You contradict yourself too. The earliest evidence of Josephus work isn’t 10 centuries younger than the earliest evidence of parts of the NT.

          And all that is still academic, you made an erroneous claim, Josephus wrote no history of early Christianity.

        • Greg G.

          Josephus provides first century information about Judea. His writings provide a contextual source for the first century, not about Christianity.

        • Mayhem

          Best you toddle off and edit the wikipage…

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

          … and save humanity from ignorance.

        • Greg G.

          There is nothing wrong with the Wikipedia page. The problem is your reading comprehension. Josephus wrote about first century Judea. That is where Christianity is thought to have arisen. He did not write about Christianity. His writings provide background information of the time and place.

          I have read Jewish Wars and his autobiography completely. I have read all of the last four volumes of Antiquities, which covers from the first century BC to the destruction of Jerusalem, plus several passages in volumes 1 to 16.

        • Mayhem

          Are you pulling my leg because you just made my point better than I did?

          Yes Judea: where christianity arose, or in other words, early christianity, the history thereof.

        • Greg G.

          Josephus wrote about the time and place Christianity supposedly happened to arise. Josephus did not write about Christianity.

          If someone wrote about Baltimore from 1880 to 1910, you could say the wrote about where Babe Ruth was born. But if the person never mentioned Babe Ruth, then you can’t say the person wrote about young Babe Ruth.

        • Mayhem

          Semantics, dear boy.

        • Greg G.

          It is not semantics, it is your reading comprehension failures.

        • A thorough rebuttal. That takes a lot of effort, I realize, but at least you have a student who’s eager and appreciative.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Do you have a citation?

          In the meantime, that’s not quite what the scholars are saying…

          http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/bible_isaiahscroll.html

          https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/dead-sea-scrolls/the-masoretic-text-and-the-dead-sea-scrolls/

          https://news.nd.edu/news/dead-sea-scrolls-yield-major-questions-in-old-testament-understanding/

          http://www.oodegr.com/english/protestantism/masoretic_vs_septuagint.htm

          While much is similar…and some differences are minor…it is clear that some differences are not just “slips of the pen and variant spellings”. Which one should be amended to reflect the other.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Septuagint#Dead_Sea_Scrolls

        • Greg G.

          God promised to protect scripture, which He has, and our tendency to go beyond the oldest, most reliable manuscripts speaks nothing of His ability to convey the message.

          Where are the protected originals? We have copies of copies with more unprotected variations in the copies than the total number of words in the reconstructed versions.

          At best we can only go back to the last common ancestor copy of any text with all of its errors and interpolations.

          There are some discrepancies that cannot be objectively determined and involve theological implications.

          But then, the New Testament we have appears to be fictional accounts based on the literature of the day plus mythology based on imaginary prophecy of the mythology of the Old Testament.

        • eric

          I mean how does no night (Rev 22:5) work in a world governed by time?

          You seriously can’t think of a solution? Not at all?

        • Mayhem

          Can you without adding to scripture?

        • Ignorant Amos

          … and the same can be said of the fires in Sodom & Gomorrah, whereby the smoke will rise “for ever and ever”, which would be on the news if it was still burning to this day.

          Amusing that you are trying to make sense out of a fairy tale. The term, “And they all lived happily ever after” is lost on you. Have you not seen the movie Transformers? Motor vehicles can talk in that story.

          Our point, eric, is that we’ve heard these objections hundreds of times and it almost always boils down to folk accepting, without question, the opinions of men. There is no eternal punishment and all men are saved but not all will inherit and that, son, is the bit the churches don’t/won’t teach.

          It’s okay Bertie, no need for the royal we, everyone knows this is a sockpuppet. Your style gives you away. Moron.

          That’s the problem with the opinions of men, they are a double edged sword that can be used against you.

          “The predominant meaning of aionios, that in which it is used everywhere in the NT, save the places noted above, may be seen in 2 Cor. 4:18, where it is set in contrast with proskairos, lit., ‘for a season,’ and in Philem. 15 . . . Moreover it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless, as, e.g., of God, Rom. 16:26; of His power, 1 Tim. 6:16, and of His glory, 1 Pet. 5:10; of the Holy Spirit, Heb. 9:14; of the redemption effected by Christ, Heb. 9:12, and of the consequent salvation of men, 5:9, as well as of His future rule, 2 Pet. 1:11, which is elsewhere declared to be without end, Luke 1:33; of the life received by those who believe in Christ, John 3:16, concerning whom He said, ‘they shall never perish,’ 10:28, and of the resurrection body, 2 Cor. 5:1, elsewhere said to be ‘immortal,’ 1 Cor. 15:53, in which that life will be finally realized, Matt. 25:46; Titus 1:2.

          “Aionios is also used of the sin that ‘hath never forgiveness,’ Mark 3:29, and of the judgment of God, from which there is no appeal, Heb. 6:2, and of the fire, which is one of its instruments, Matt. 18:8; 25:41; Jude 7, and which is elsewhere said to be ‘unquenchable,’ Mark 9:43.

          “The use of aionios here shows that the punishment referred to in 2 Thess. 1:9, is not temporary, but final, and, accordingly, the phraseology shows that its purpose is not remedial but retributive.”* ”

          -W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996).

          “Eternal life does not therefore just begin in the future, it is already the possession of those who have entered upon fellowship with Christ. Thus Jn. 3:15 speaks of having eternal life in the present. But there is also a temporal sense, so that eternal (aiōnios) indicates the quantity of this life: because it belongs to Christ, who himself is the Life (Jn. 14:6), it has no end. It will not even cease at death (Jn. 8:51; 11:25f.).”

          -Colin Brown, New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1986).

          “Only in the light of the context can it be said whether αἰών means “eternity” in the strict sense or simply “remote” or “extended” or “uninterrupted time.””

          -Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, ed. Gerhard Kittel, Geoffrey W. Bromiley and Gerhard Friedrich, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964-).

          You seem to want to have your cake and eat it too.

          But let’s play Devil’s Advocate and grant you your particular apologetic exegesis is the most accurate, it’s still a shit concept.

          Even if the word doesn’t mean “eternal” as apologists like you assert, but actually an “age”, that hardly gets ya off the hook.

          You seem to forget, that an “age”, to all intents and purposes, was effectively eternity. Jesus was supposed to return soon, within the lifetime of some still alive. Where were those temporary residents in Hell according to you, going when their sentence was up?

          And let’s say the buybull doesn’t say what everyone, bar those lucky enough to be like you and who can interpret the esoteric meaning, how does that help the situation of the past two millennia where Christians were told it was eternal torment and were psychologically abused by the fear of such? What kinda god allows that shite to happen to billions of folk? A right piece of unworthy shite, for sure.

        • Mayhem

          It’s not what apologists, like me, assert that counts, Ignorant Amos, but what the word says that matters.

          Consider if you will…

          the mystery concealed for ages past (G166-αἰωνίοις-aiōniois) but now revealed-excerpt from Rom 16:25-26

          … which has so called eternity debunked in a single sentence not to mention the usage is plural which therefore makes more sense if translated “ages” as opposed to “eternities”.

          How about Matt 10:30 & Luke 18:30 “the coming age” or Gal 1:4 “the present wicked age” or Eph 2:7 “the coming ages” or Matt 13:39,40 “the conclusion of the [present] age” and lastly Eph 3:9 “the secret revealed from [past] ages”…

          … will you be consistent and also argue these passages rightly refer to eternity?

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s not what apologists, like me, assert that counts, Ignorant Amos, but what the word says that matters.

          But apologists like you say the word says one thing, based on your favorite interpretation, while different apologists say the word says a different thing, based on their favorite thing. And the things beind said in different interpretation vary depending who, where, and when the interpretation is taking place. Hence the in-fighting in Christianity from the get-go.

          Consider if you will…

          the mystery concealed for ages past (G166-αἰωνίοις-aiōniois) but now revealed-excerpt from Rom 16:25-26

          … which has so called eternity debunked in a single sentence not to mention the usage is plural which therefore makes more sense if translated “ages” as opposed to “eternities”.

          You didn’t read my citations, did ya?

          The word aionios has a number of definitions, depending on the context.

          2 Corinthians 4:18 for example…

          While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

          The aionios of 2 Corinthians 4:18 must be eternal, in a temporal use or reference, else the antithesis would be gone.

          … will you be consistent and also argue these passages rightly refer to eternity?

          Like I said, the word means different things in different contexts.

        • Mayhem

          “The word aionios has a number of definitions, depending on the context.”

          Quite right but none of those definitions can have a different or greater meaning than the noun from which it is derived without, first, dispensing with the rules of grammar. The noun is aión, from which we get “eon”, and it means “age” not “forever” which is aidios.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          The aionios in my copy says “everlasting”, which is not exactly the same as “forever”.
          “Forever” can [and often does] mean “until the end, or until it’s all gone”.
          However, “everlasting” means “without end”.

        • Mayhem

          Consistency then begs the question why are we not immortal (John 5:24) and how is it any word could be antithetical of itself?

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          Yohanan 5:24
          “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My Word and believes in Him who sent Me possesses everlasting hai, and does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to hai.” (emphasis mine)

          I guess I don’t see how this is opposed (antithetical), to the root word “aión”. There are many words that change their “part of speech” when a suffix or prefix is added.

        • Mayhem

          “There are many words that change their “part of speech” when a suffix or prefix is added.

          But none take on a greater force than the noun from which it was derived. Conflating “ages” with “eternity”, based on the same noun, is grammatically incorrect.

          I don’t understand “hai” although I can see you’ve used it in place of “life” in contrast with the majority of texts.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          “But none take on a greater force than the noun from which it was derived.”

          Correct. (though I’m not sure what “greater force” means)

          I’m not conflating “ages” with “eternity”.
          BOTH of those words are nouns.
          “Ages/eons” are nouns. “Everlasting” is an adjective.
          In your example, the object is “life”. “Everlasting life.”

          “Everlasting” simply tells us how long the “life age” will last.

          You used the adjective “antithetical”.
          Did you err? Is “antithetical” of greater force than the noun “antithesis”?
          No. They are just two different parts of speech.

        • Well, there’s everlasting and then there’s everlasting. God promises an everlasting covenant with Moses, but then Christians throw that out the window when they invent new rules based on Jesus.

          Bible verses given here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/04/the-bible-story-reboots-have-you-noticed/

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          I’m well aware that “Christians throw that out the window when they invent new rules based on Jesus”.

          I spend more time arguing with them about that than anything else.

        • My point was that the Bible says “everlasting” and then changes its mind.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          I thought your point was that the Bible says “everlasting”, and then “Christians” change it.
          I personally haven’t found any contradictions in the Biblical text, only contradictions in peoples’ interpretations.

          Thanks for being civil. It’s much appreciated.

        • Well, sort of. The Bible says “everlasting” during the time of Moses, but the Christians (in later books but, sure, let’s call them “the Bible,” too) overturn that.

          I guess we agree that many Christians have many interpretations. My focus on contradictions (and now I think we’re changing topics a bit) has been on where the Bible or Christian doctrine contains contradictions.

          I wrote a blog post series on contradictions here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/

          I also prefer civil conversations. They’re rare, unfortunately. Perhaps the Invisible Pink Unicorn (glitter be upon him) will bless our conversation.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          OK, so I read your “Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions”.
          And frankly most of them are simply contradictions between what the Scriptures say, and what Christians say they say. (Which most of the time makes for an erroneous mess)

          My opinion is that this comment;
          “…tossing Christianity’s dirty laundry onto the lawn for everyone to examine”,
          would have been a more accurate title for the piece.

          As long as you are of the opinion that what Christendom teaches the Scriptures say is the truth, you, like they, will never know what the Scriptural Truth truly is.

          But, everyone must be convinced in their own minds.

          Shalom

        • frankly most of them are simply contradictions between what the Scriptures say, and what Christians say they say.

          Looks to me like the Bible saying two contradictory things.

          you, like they, will never know what the Scriptural Truth truly is.

          Do you have this truth? Why do you have it and so many others don’t?

          What would those others say about you?

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          “Looks to me like the Bible saying two contradictory things.”

          I look at places that It seems to contradict as if it is a big flashing sign that says, “Dig Here. Buried Treasure.”.

          “Do you have this truth?”

          I certainly don’t have all of it. Anyone who says they do, is a liar. I do have more than most. However, the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.

          “Why do you have it and so many others don’t?”

          Because I WANT it, and my Creator God wants me to have it.

          “What would those others say about you?”

          They DO say that;
          1) I’m a heretic.
          2) I’m an arrogant ass.
          3) I’m wrong and lost.
          4) I’m a deceiver.
          5) I’m a liar.
          6) I’m Satanic.
          7) I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
          8) I’m delusional.
          – or, any combination of the above.

        • “Looks to me like the Bible saying two contradictory things.”
          I look at places that It seems to contradict as if it is a big flashing sign that says, “Dig Here. Buried Treasure.”.

          Is there an argument there? It looks to me like I’ve still got a list of 20 contradictions with zero rebuttals.

          “Do you have this truth?”
          I certainly don’t have all of it. Anyone who says they do, is a liar. I do have more than most. However, the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.

          You’re one person who thinks you have the correct interpretation of the Bible. There are countless many who have contradicting interpretations who are just as knowledgeable and devout as you. And we’re back to square 1, where you all look the same from the outside. Why should I believe your claims over the others’?

          “Why do you have it and so many others don’t?”
          Because I WANT it, and my Creator God wants me to have it.

          That’s what they all say.

          “What would those others say about you?”
          They DO say that;
          1) I’m a heretic.
          2) I’m an arrogant ass.
          3) I’m wrong and lost.
          4) I’m a deceiver.
          5) I’m a liar.
          6) I’m Satanic.
          7) I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
          8) I’m delusional.
          – or, any combination of the above.

          Right. And we’re back to the Bible being an enormous book full of options. You can emphasize the angry God or the loving God. The Bible says just about everything, so if you can ignore the contradictions, you can just pick and choose the verses you want to make the God of your choosing.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          See that’s just the thing. I CAN’T ignore any SEEMING contradictions.
          There are NO CONTRADICTIONS in the Biblical Text.
          There are only contradictions between interpretations.

          And I DO NOT interpret the Bible. (anymore than I have to “interpret” the McDonald’s menu)
          It says what it says, and NOT what you, or I, or anyone else thinks It says.

          It’s not my fault if folks are ordering up “Whoppers” at McDonald’s.

          “Why should I believe your claims over the others’?”

          You shouldn’t!

          You should drop all preconceived notions, and study the Bible for yourself.

          It’s way past my bedtime,
          Good-Night

        • See that’s just the thing. I CAN’T ignore any SEEMING contradictions.

          If there were apparent contradictions that, on closer inspection, turned out to not be contradictions, that would be fine to ignore. We’re not talking about that.

          There are NO CONTRADICTIONS in the Biblical Text.

          And I say there are. Where do we go from here?

          Is your “no contradictions” a straightforward conclusion from obvious facts, or is it dogma?

          There are only contradictions between interpretations.

          Then pick a few of them, show me how my interpretation(s) were wrong, and stand by your argument as one that should convince an unbiased observer (that is, not just you or Christians of similar mind).

          It says what it says, and NOT what you, or I, or anyone else thinks It says.

          OK. Not sure how this plays out in practice.

          “Why should I believe your claims over the others’?”
          You shouldn’t!
          You should drop all preconceived notions, and study the Bible for yourself.

          That’s my goal! And one of the fruits of that research is my list of 20 contradictions.

        • MR

          And yet this is exactly how conspiracy theorists talk. If it doesn’t fit the theory, you look for a way to make it fit. That’s not dropping preconceived notions. That’s simply deluding yourself. Would you believe the excuses you make if they were in defense of a belief you don’t currently hold?

          Dropping all preconceived notions also means dropping the preconceived notion that the Bible is true. Could you be wrong or are you solely trying to defend your belief? How do you guard yourself against falling for such a preconceived notion?

          What steps should I take to guard against being deceived by you if you are wrong? How can I objectively know that your message isn’t false?

        • Greg G.

          Mark clearly says Jesus was arrested and crucified after the Passover meal. John clearly says Jesus was arrested and crucified before the Passover meal.

          This is a clear contradiction.

          Early in John 13, it says it was before the Passover. There is continuous conversation, mostly Jesus speaking, that goes to the end of John 17. John 18 says that when Jesus stopped talking he crossed the creek and was arrested and crucified.

          In Mark 14:12, it was the day the lambs were killed Exodus says the lambs were killed at twilight on the evening before Passover and eaten after sunset, at the beginning of the Jewish day. Jesus had a meal after that, which had to be the Passover, went to Gethsemane, got arrested and crucified.

        • MR

          Why wrong and lost? Why not just wrong? Could you be?

        • Armed Citizen

          ‘Because I WANT it…’

          Amen!
          Jeremiah 29:13

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah, yes…the hidden God…games, it’s all games.

        • Armed Citizen

          have you not researched the Scriptures and seen all the proof Sir?
          do you not see life and realize how unrandom and precisely planned we are?
          do you know the depth of Creation and not marvel at how exact He has been?

        • Ignorant Amos

          have you not researched the Scriptures and seen all the proof Sir?

          Proof of what?

          do you not see life and realize how unrandom and precisely planned we are?

          Nope. I’ve read more up-to-date books…we’re not that.

          do you know the depth of Creation and not marvel at how exact He has been?

          Nope. How exact? Give me a break with that nonsense.

          Let’s start from first principles.

          Who’s this He to which you refer?

          Don’t just say “God” and think that suffices…it doesn’t.

          Define it, then tell me what method you use to separate it from your imagination, or the imagination of others, and reality?

        • Armed Citizen

          your mind is set. i’ve seen many atheists who’ve change after thorough investigation, but again – it is a choice and the result of very serious inquiry.

          i can only pray you and yours His will, Sir – sincerely=)

        • Ignorant Amos

          your mind is set.

          Nope. This is the misconception you guys don’t seem to grasp. Most of the regulars here were once Christians of various stripes. A number of devout catechized Catholics among them. I myself was born into a Christian household and was raised a Protestant, baptized into the Church of Ireland. My family were particularly faithful. I attended/was sent to Sunday School and church every sabbath, wining annual prizes for attendance and knowledge of the scriptures. Not that that was hard as I was only instructed on the nice bits. We weren’t encouraged to read it all, that endeavor came after I left the faith.

          i’ve seen many atheists who’ve change after thorough investigation,…

          Nah…it’s usually the opposite. Christians bale after a thorough investigation, atheist re-convert through lack of research and emotional reasons. Bob has wrote some stuff on this, here’s one…

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/10/how-could-an-atheist-convert-to-christianity/

          but again – it is a choice and the result of very serious inquiry.

          Indeed…and the inquiry is a lot bigger than just reading the scripture, although I would suggest that a good starting point for any Christian having doubt about their faith. Ya see, not that many Christians have actually read the bloody thing. And Christian clerics are made aware of the problems when they enter seminary. The high drop out rate at the beginning is because of this.

          I’m surrounded by Christians everywhere, and of the number I’ve asked, all but one has admitted they haven’t read the bloody thing.

          When I first started living with my current partner, a then Christian that had never read the Bible either, I requested that she read it before passing judgement of my atheism, she did, that was just over 8 years ago…it only took until Deuteronomy before she was converted.

          I was in my teens when I started to see holes in the idea of religion, but I didn’t give it much thought. I just lapsed and then later asserted I didn’t believe, but hadn’t really much reason than it didn’t make any sense when looking at the world we live in. Then I didn’t even know what the term atheist meant. It was around 2006 that I seen a book while on holidaying in Spain, called The God Delusion. When I got home, I went out and bought it, read it, then went and got another similar type book, then another, and another. I also decided it would be a good time to read the whole Bible, warts and all. Since then, I’ve devoured loads of books on the subject, consumed countless internet articles on the same theme. So I disregard the charge of not engaging in serious inquiry.

          The fact is, a hell of a lot more faithful go the other way through serious inquiry. And I can cite a plethora of seminarian trained Christian clerics that have walked away from Christianity through serious inquiry. And you could hardly accuse any of those of not engaging in serious inquiry to get them where they were in the faith in the first place.

          http://clergyproject.org/

          Perhaps you could share just how much serious inquiry you’ve engaged in to challenge your belief?

          Anyway, I notice you’ve avoided answering any of my questions. Your prerogative of course, but don’t pretend then that this is more about serious inquiry, than you here to preach.

        • Armed Citizen

          ‘…don’t pretend that this is more about serious inquiry, than you here to preach.’

          false presumptions – you know zero about me and i know nothing of you.
          as i stated before – it’s all your choice – so don’t presume your lack of comprehension on these matters is enough to turn Christians away from Truth.

        • Ignorant Amos

          false presumptions – you know zero about me and i know nothing of you.

          Oh, I don’t think that’s completely accurate. I know that your first comment was an “Amen!” and a reference to a Bible verse. That’s preaching.

          I also know you are not here to engage in honest discussion, because you are not interested in two way discourse. I answered all your questions, you’ve avoided answering any of mine.

          I know that you are not interested in serious inquiry, because again, while I answered your questions, which were not of a serious inquisitive nature, but rhetorical, while you have yet to answer any of my more serious questions.

          So yes, you are here to preach…or that’s the inference to be drawn from your behavior so far.

          as i stated before – it’s all your choice – so don’t presume your lack of comprehension on these matters is enough to turn Christians away from Truth.

          It is you that demonstrates the severe lack of comprehension on these matters. It is a demonstrable fact that the reasons I give is what turns Christians away from what you call “Truth”…because it becomes evident to them that “Truth” is definitely NOT what it is.

          Is your faith really that fragile?

          Don’t shoot the messenger because you disagree with the message, and are too afraid to check for yourself. It’s nothing less than pathetic.

        • it’s all your choice

          Belief isn’t a choice. Give me sufficient evidence, and I’ll be obliged to accept your point of view.

        • Armed Citizen

          it’s all written Bob.
          dig in!

        • What’s all written? You mean that the Bible and Christian apologetic arguments are all written?

          Yes, you’re right. What I should do is spend a decade exploring those ideas and writing my critique.

          Oh, wait a minute–I already did that. It’s this blog. So I guess the ball’s in your court.

          It’s all written, Citizen.

        • epeeist

          I myself was born into a Christian household and was raised a Protestant, baptized into the Church of Ireland.

          You might be interested in this article from the NSS.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Yes, very interested indeed.

          The problem is polarized with the PSNI and the 50/50 recruiting strategy. There is no uptake of the 50% in the Catholic community, while the Protestant community is oversubscribed. The upshot is, that the level of standard for Catholics is lower.

          The problem is compounded when a non-believer applying for the Police, who gets shoved into the Protestant pot, gets penalized.

          I’m aware of the issue of using schools to determine religious community…my two children went integrated schools…I wonder how that works, they are both atheist?

        • Are you recommending serious inquiry? Show us your serious inquiry into other religions. Or is Christianity the default for some reason?

          As for atheists changing, you’re right. They do. However, the well-educated ones don’t become Christians for intellectual reasons. I explore that here:
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2012/10/i-used-to-be-an-atheist-just-like-you-2/

        • Ignorant Amos

          That’s the link I was looking for…and just noticed that it is the previous page to the one I did link to below…duh!

        • Armed Citizen

          i owe you nothing bob.

        • OK. I just thought that making a thoughtful and compelling argument for Christianity was your goal.

          I’ll try not to make that mistake again.

        • Armed Citizen

          no offense meant Sir – i figured you were one who is totally against all things Christian regardless.
          i have seen compelling Christians who were atheists – but as i say – it is certainly a choice and the knowledge is endless.

          i pray His will for you and yours Bob=)

        • i figured you were one who is totally against all things Christian regardless.

          Nope. I’m against lies and misunderstanding.

        • Armed Citizen

          no chance it could be you misunderstanding, Bob?

          i heard it said like this:
          pretend you know 1/2 of everything. quite a lot of knowledge.
          now is it possible that God exists in that half you know nothing about?

        • Sure, that’s possible. And you’ve nicely destroyed the argument, “There is no god.” Which I don’t make.

          Focus on what I actually am saying, OK?

        • Armed Citizen

          you were having problems with lies and misunderstanding –
          1 – i haven’t lied.
          2 – i have no misunderstandings.

          then say it.

        • I never said you did.

          This doesn’t respond adequately to my previous comment.
          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2019/02/the-design-argument-fiction-2/#comment-4349852546

        • Ignorant Amos

          Just preaching…nothing more to see here…move along.

        • No, I don’t see any planning. If you have good arguments for why we should adopt your worldview, go ahead.

        • MorningDew Reynolds
        • Greg G.

          As long as you are of the opinion that what Christendom teaches the Scriptures say is the truth, you, like they, will never know what the Scriptural Truth truly is.

          There is an internet law (Poe’s Law, perhaps) that says it is impossible for a Poe to say something more ridiculous about Christianity that what has been said by a sincere Christian.

          Bible inerrantists are a significant percentage of believers. There are even some who think the epitome of inerrancy is the 1611 version of the King James Bible. Pastors have been dismissed from churches for suggesting otherwise.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          But, everyone must be convinced in their own minds.

          Philip K. Dick had a quote that better describes the case: “Reality is that which, when you don’t believe in it, still remains.”

        • Ignorant Amos

          Blade Runner ranks among my most favorite movies of all time.

        • Greg G.

          I don’t have my notes but the OT promises an everlasting covenant unconditionally, then there are conditions, then God makes unilateral changes based on the conditions. Then there will be a Messiah.

          Josephus tells how the Jews were so convinced the Messiah was about to come, they picked a fight with Rome.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          With or without your “notes”, those are really good points, that most of Christianity simply dismisses as not being “for or about” them.

          The Promises of the Covenant ARE everlasting. There ARE conditions to be met in ANY covenant/contract.
          One party promises something to the second party who has entered into the covenant/contract. Generally there are conditions that have to be met to even be a party to the contract, and the obligations are spelled out.
          YHWH’s Covenant with His people is no different, and in fact, is the Precedent for ALL civil and legal covenants/contracts since then.

          YHWH (“God”) NEVER changes, nor does He recant or restructure what He has declared or designed.

          The Messiah was promised in Genesis (the beginning).

          I’ll have to read up on what you said about Josephus. I have his complete works. It seems like I heard something like that before.

        • Greg G.

          It is Jewish Wars 5 or 6 and chapter 4 or 5. If I had to guess, I’d say JW 6.5.2 to 6.5.4.

        • Ignorant Amos

          So you are a follower of a variant of Messianic Judaism? A modern hybrid version of Judaism who accept Jesus actually was the messiah.

          YHWH’s Covenant with His people is no different, and in fact, is the Precedent for ALL civil and legal covenants/contracts since then.

          This is absolute nonsense. You need to support your assertions with evidence.

          The Law of Moses isn’t the first set of rules. Contracts predate the Moses story by centuries, both when it was written and the chronology in which the story is set.

          Covenant Code was not uniquely Hebrew.

          The form and content of the code is similar to many other codes from the near east of the early first millennium BC. It also resembles Babylonian Code of Hammurabi. According to many scholars, such as Martin Noth and Albrecht Alt, the covenant code probably originated as a civil code with the Canaanites, and was altered to add Hebrew religious practices. Michael Coogan sees a noticeable difference between the Covenant Code and the non-biblical codes like the Code of Hammurabi. The Covenant Code, like other biblical codes, differs from these by including among the laws dealing with criminal and civil matters various regulations concerning worship. Both, however, set the laws in an explicitly religious context.

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

          And other codes in that part of the world pre-date even the Code of Hammurabi.

          The Code of Hammurabi does not stand alone in the annals of Mesopotamian legal writing. It is preceded by the laws of Lipit-Ishtar, Eshnunna, and Ur-nammu, and followed by the neo-Babylonian Laws, Assyrian Laws, and Hittite Laws. All these law codes bear stylistic similarities to one another: they are in large part comprised of casuistic ‘if A then B’ statements, which are grouped into themes, e.g., laws concerning murder, sexual transgressions, or theft. Often, two texts will share remarkably similar, or even identical language. ~ Raymond Westbrook, “Biblical and Cuneiform Law Codes”, Revue Biblique, 92 (1985): 248.

          The modern contract owes more to Plato than the ancient Hebrews.

        • Greg G. gave you the conflict over the date of the crucifixion (before or after Passover). One of my other favorites are the two different lists of Ten Commandments (Ex. 20 and 34). Both of these are in my Top 20 list.

          https://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2018/10/top-20-most-damning-bible-contradictions/

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          The crucifixion was ON Passover Abib 14th. The 15th is a “High Sabbath” because not only is it the 7th day Sabbath, it is also the first day of “Unleavened Bread”.
          There is no contradiction in the dates here. Only a bit of a contradiction in the common terms used to denote the 3 Feasts.
          It’s no different than people today calling the whole holiday season “Christmas”. “Christmas” does not only relate to Dec. 25th.
          From Passover to the end of Unleavened Bread is a 9 day long Feast, if you tack on the 21st which is a seventh day Sabbath.
          Some folks referred to it as “the Passover”, and some folks referred to it as “Unleavened Bread”.
          There is no contradiction here.

          There is only ONE set of the 10 Commandments in the Bible. True, the first stones were broken, but none of the Commands were changed on the second stones.
          I don’t know where you got that from, it’s not in Scripture.
          So there is no contradiction here either.

        • The crucifixion was ON Passover

          It’s stated two ways. (1) the Last Supper was the Passover meal, and the next day, Jesus was killed. Or (2) the Last Supper was 24 hours before the Passover meal, and Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation. So: was Jesus killed before or after the Passover meal? Contradiction.

          There is only ONE set of the 10 Commandments in the Bible. True, the first stones were broken, but none of the Commands were changed on the second set.
          I don’t know where yo got that from, it’s not in Scripture.

          It’s precisely in scripture. You need to read your Bible more carefully. Shall we turn in our Bibles to Exodus 34?

          1The LORD said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.

          OK, so we know that this next set should be identical to the first. And now on to our familiar 10 Commandments:

          11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles.[a] 14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
          15 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
          17 “Do not make any idols.
          18 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt.
          19 “The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. 20 Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons.
          “No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
          21 “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
          22 “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.[b] 23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign LORD, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the LORD your God.
          25 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Festival remain until morning.
          26 “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the LORD your God.
          “Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
          27 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.

          And that’s the first place in the Bible where “Ten Commandments” is used.

          So there is no contradiction here either.

          Instead of just writing stuff, why not go to the posts that I linked you to, where my arguments are clearly stated? Do you have some allergy against following links like dear Albert?

          Simply denying evidence and saying “there is no contradiction here” makes you look bad. Stop it.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          I’ll try this one more time. However, If you don’t grasp it this time, I don’t know what else to tell you.
          The Passover was commanded to be observed starting the evening of the 14th of Abib, and continuing through the night till morning of the 15th.
          Yahushua (Jesus) was killed at the same time as the Passover lambs in the afternoon of the 14th.
          SINCE the next day (15th) is the Sabbath (in this case a high Sabbath), the 14th is called “The Preparation”. Not only was everything being prepared for the NIGHT of Passover, but also preparation was being made for the Sabbath AND the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

          Yahushua was crucified on the day of the 14th, His body prepared, and entombed just before sunrise on the Sabbath of the 15th. He arose early on the morning of the 16th (Feast of First Fruits), the first day of the week.
          When the separate accounts of the apostles are studied CAREFULLY, it turns out that they ALL AGREE.

          I read every single one of your “20 damning contradictions”.

          Where in the Bible do the 10 Commandments ever change?
          Are you SERIOUSLY claiming that Exodus 34:11-28 is the enumeration of the 10 Commandments?????

          “Simply denying evidence and saying “there is no contradiction here” makes you look bad. Stop it.”

          All that being said, I COMPLETELY understand your problem with the seemingly apparent, contradiction of the Passover and Crucifixion date. As MANY Bible believing SCHOLARS can’t agree on it.
          However, I HAVE answered it. Whether you accept that answer or not, is up to you.

          As to your claim that Exodus 34 says that the Commands changed;
          THAT has got to be the biggest piece of intellectually dishonest horse pucky that I have seen to date!
          You have completely ignored what YHWH stated in verse 1 of chap. 34, and gone off the rails in your hatred for the Scripture.

          I have no real desire to try and change your mind, so unless you really WANT to know the Biblical Truth of these matters. I really don’t have anything to offer you that you want.

          I really did think that this was a “Christian Thinking” channel. Maybe you should change the description from,
          “….”,
          Ah, never mind.
          You DID change it.

          Good! Adios

        • Yahushua (Jesus) was killed at the same time as the Passover lambs in the afternoon of the 14th.

          Yes, according to the gospel of John. Now show me that the other three agree with that.

          When the separate accounts of the apostles are studied CAREFULLY, it turns out that they ALL AGREE.

          Oh? Matt. 26 says:

          the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
          18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
          20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.

          Jesus ate the Passover meal and then was killed. The other two Synoptics have pretty much the same story.

          Are you SERIOUSLY claiming that Exodus 34:11-28 is the enumeration of the 10 Commandments?????

          Yup. What part of Exodus 34:28, “[Moses] wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments,” are you having trouble understanding? That’s the conclusion of the process, and it’s also the first place where the phrase “10 Commandments” is used.

          All that being said, I COMPLETELY understand your problem with the seemingly apparent, contradiction of the Passover and Crucifixion date. As MANY Bible believing SCHOLARS can’t agree on it.

          I think scholars pretty much agree—the Last Supper was the Passover meal, and Jesus was killed the next day. Is the consensus otherwise? If so, show me.

          As to your claim that Exodus 34 says that the Commands changed;
          THAT has got to be the biggest piece of intellectually dishonest horse pucky that I have seen to date!

          And you’ll have refuted the point when you respond to Ex. 34:28 above. I’m surprised you’re being so rebellious about what the Good Book clearly says.

          You have completely ignored what YHWH stated in verse 1 of chap. 34, and gone off the rails in your hatred for the Scripture.

          (1) Who says I hate Scripture or that that motivates me? Defend that statement.

          (2) What does Ex. 34:1 say that is relevant? God is acknowledging that the first set was smashed, and Moses needed a new set: “I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke.” Oops—not quite the same words as the first time, are they?

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          You have an agenda to push here.
          I do not.
          So I’m certain you can carry on without me.

        • I have the agenda, not you? That will amaze and/or amuse those who are reading our conversation.

          You don’t pound the table or make accusations to get across your point; instead, you should show us the evidence. I presume you’re smart enough to realize that your “no contradictions” argument fails. Where you’re failing now is in admitting that in public.

          It doesn’t much matter whether you admit the error here in public. Where it really matters is that you admit it privately, to yourself. If you’re just now realizing that the Bible ain’t the perfect book that the pastor promised, think about that. If God exists, he gave you that big brain to use.

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          See? You do have a agenda here.
          And it is to try and prove the Bible to be fallible, and therefore the God of It’s fame, fallible, or even of questionable existence.

          I have no desire/agenda to prove the opposite to you, or anyone else.
          And my “big brain” tells me it’s a fools errand to even try.

          So, be convinced and satisfied in your chosen path….
          As I am in mine.

        • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink, and I’ve provided the evidence but you have no interest in it. That’s your call, but I suggest you be clear going forward with commenters that you have no use for evidence and argument. Probably best to be honest with them up front so they aren’t frustrated later on.

        • Ignorant Amos

          And it is to try and prove the Bible to be fallible,…

          There is no need to try. It is fallible. You are being stupid and rational Christian scholars know it. I think you need to read Dr. James McGrath’s article here… https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2008/07/thank-god-for-blessing-us-with-a-fallible-bible.html

          Unless you also think McGrath has some kind of agenda too.

          …and therefore the God of It’s fame, fallible, or even of questionable existence.

          Whaaa? You do know that the “God of it’s fame” is believed by Bob, and most here, to be in the imagination of the writers of the Bible and those everywhere that believe it is the inspired word of God, right?

          The burden lies on those making the ontological claim that God exists, i.e. you, to provide convincing evidence for your claim and what method you use to defend the veracity of that evidence.

          The Bible is a clusterfuck, and an embellished plagiarized clusterfuck at that, so it isn’t the work of a perfect being, that’s for sure. But even if it wasn’t such a clusterfuck, it is no more evidence that God exists, than other religious holy texts are evidence for the existence of the gods within the pages of those texts. Or that Harry Potter was really a boy wizard, because the books say so.

          I have no desire/agenda to prove the opposite to you, or anyone else.

          So your point in being here is what, exactly?

          And my “big brain” tells me it’s a fools errand to even try.

          Try engaging that “big brain” in some rational and critical thinking and you’d look a lot less of the fool on your errand.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why do you consider a dispassionate reading for consistency of your ‘bible’ to somehow be an ‘agenda’?

        • MorningDew Reynolds

          You need to read the whole conversation in context.
          It was not merely “a dispassionate reading for consistency”. It was a whole article claiming inconsistencies that simply aren’t there.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Wrong.

          YOUR KIND couldn’t tell me to piss on your shoes (although I might do that for *fun*…).

          I’ve READ Bob’s list of contradictions, and the only way to deny that they’re contradictions is from a will to deny the plain black-letter text in any pettifogging way possible.

          I guaran-damn-tee that if such contradictions were listed from the koran, the vedas, or popol vuh, you’d gleefully accept them and use them as evidence of those other beliefs being ‘false religions’.

          Get over yourself.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Agenda?

          Only insofar as reading for meaning without presupposition of virtue in the text is an agenda…it’s how text *should* be read…

        • Greg G.

          The Passover was commanded to be observed starting the evening of the 14th of Abib, and continuing through the night till morning of the 15th.

          The Jewish day begins at sunset. So it was the 15th at that time.

          Nothing of the meal was to last until morning. It had to be burned. I gave you the verse about that.

          You have been misled.

        • Greg G.

          The crucifixion was ON Passover Abib 14th

          That’s what John says. Mark 14:12 says it was the day the lambs were slaughtered. That means the lambs were killed at twi-light, then eaten as the Passover meal at sunset, when the 14th became the 15th.

          Jesus was arrested in Gethsemane after that. You have a contradiction.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Thanks for being civil. It’s much appreciated.

          Whaaaoooh!

          Fuck, that’s a bit rich coming from the person whose opening salvo on this forum had us pegged as…and I quote…

          “knuckle dragging missing llnks”…”[un]able to read and comprehend what was written”…[and less than] “Lobotomized howler monkeys”

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_design_argument_fiction_56/#comment-4347987974

          And whose first comment to Bob S was anything but civil.

          “That’s the problem.
          You don’t have a brain of your own to work with/from.
          You belong to the collective.”

          https://disqus.com/home/discussion/crossexamined/the_design_argument_fiction_56/#comment-4347991993

          Sheeeesh! You think you should be treated civilly?

          Luckily, Bob S is quite restrained and it takes quite a lot to get him riled. But you really shouldn’t really be surprised at any uncivil kick back you have received. You started it.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The aionios in my copy says “everlasting”, which is not exactly the same as “forever”.

          Oh, but it is. Exactly.

          https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/everlasting

        • Ignorant Amos

          Quite right but none of those definitions can have a different or greater meaning than the noun from which it is derived without, first, dispensing with the rules of grammar. The noun is aión, from which we get “eon”, and it means “age” not “forever” which is aidios.

          Hmmm….

          In Romans 1:20 the word aidios is used of Divine action and rendered in the King James Version “eternal” (the Revised Version (British and American) “everlasting”), the only other place in the New Testament where the word occurs being Jude 1:6, where the rendering is “everlasting,” which accords with classical usage. But the presence of the idea of eternal in these passages does not impair the fact that aion and aionios are, in their natural and obvious connotation, the usual New Testament words for expressing the idea of eternal, and this holds strikingly true of the Septuagint usage also. For, from the idea of aeonian life, there is no reason to suppose the notion of duration excluded. The word aionios is sometimes used in the futurist signification, but often also, in the New Testament, it is concerned rather with the quality, than with the quantity or duration, of life. By the continual attachment of aionios to life, in this conception of the spiritual or Divine life in man, the aeonian conception was saved from becoming sterile.

          https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/eternal/

          You’ve got this strange idea that because the book doesn’t actually say the word the way Christian doctrine teaches it, that it is a problem and refutes the point. It really doesn’t.

          According to the Christian doctrine of universal reconciliation, the Greek New Testament scriptures use the word “aeon” to mean a long period (perhaps 1000 years) and the word “aeonian” to mean “during a long period”; Thus there was a time before the aeons, and the aeonian period is finite. After each man’s mortal life ends, he is judged worthy of aeonian life or aeonian punishment. That is, after the period of the aeons, all punishment will cease and death is overcome and then God becomes the all in each one (1Cor 15:28). This contrasts with the conventional Christian belief in eternal life and eternal punishment.

          You aren’t helping your cause by pointing out how Christians have fucked up. Most sensible folk, Christians included, know the KJV is a lot of fudged crap. The problem is trying to get to any original is problematic.

          The idea of the “virgin” birth comes from a Greek mistranslated Hebrew term. It matters not.

          See, the translation of aeon is from Hebrew to Greek of the word “olam” which itself has different meanings depending on context and the scripture.

          https://www.logosapostolic.org/hebrew-word-studies/5769-olam-everlasting.htm

          But this is a lot of semantics. How long was the “age”, if, like you claim, that’s what the word means? And how does this alleviate the issue for you in any reasonable way?

          Is an “aeon” of torturous torment in Hell a fair punishment for not kowtowing to a loada nonsense?

          Edited to clarify a point.

        • We know what the Bible says in English and we know what it says in the original texts and the two aren’t nearly the same on several key points.

          So are you a superior translator than all other translators or just some?

          Our point, eric, is that we’ve heard these objections hundreds of times and it almost always boils down to folk accepting, without question, the opinions of men.

          But . . . isn’t that what you’re doing?

        • TheNuszAbides

          Let’s not forget that (at least in “the original Greek”) the language of ~S~cripture is “plain” and “crystal clear” … at least, whenever Al wants to try harder to make someone look foolish and/or uninformed.

        • The objections you folks have been making are thus far the standard objections of men who (insert reason here) have not been inspired to due diligence. Understanding the Bible takes a good deal of effort and it takes a fair amount of time as well.

          Amazing! You’ve already beaten all of us, even though you’ve provided no arguments and have only read one post of this blog! We sit at the feet of the Master.

          the objections bandied about by the board are no different from the same old tired and uninspired missteps men have dropped their feet into for ages.

          There are 1000 posts here, none of which you will apparently read, and yet you’ve already triumphed? That’s some big balls you’ve got there. And I thought I was a dick for being too proud to bend the knee.

          actually defending those excuses, you may find, will come as something of a challenge.

          Hmm—sounds ominous. Lord knows, none of us have ever done that. Thanks for the warning, bro.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Amazing! You’ve already beaten all of us…”

          Is this sort of thing amusing to you, this mindless back-and-forth? This is what you will engage with willingly, but you steadfastly refuse to table the objections you want addressed?

          Frankly Bob, when I read your material I thought your quality of argumentation was going to be something exceptional or at least noteworthy. Do any of you wish to engage in a meaningful conversation? Or is bickering over pointlessness more to your liking?

        • you steadfastly refuse to table the objections you want addressed?

          I refuse to play games. I’m happy to point you to posts that are related to something you bring up.

        • Albert Swearengen

          No, Bob. You brought up the so-called contradictions in the Bible. I didn’t.

          Had I brought the issue up, I would have been more amenable to interacting with your work on another board.

        • I said, “The 45,000 Christian denominations agree with me.” Then you said:

          Good. Then stand in confusion with the 45,000 denominations.
          Or you could just read the Bible and try paying attention to what it actually says

          My interpretation of this is that you’re saying that, though there may be many denominations, the Bible actually gives no support for these divergent points of view. If you weren’t talking about contradictions (or there not being contradictions in the Bible), you could’ve clarified.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          re contradictions in the ‘bible’

          bibviz.com

          Go to it!

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          We’re calling you out for your chest-thumping vaguely-disapproving bullshit.

          Put up or shut up.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Is this sort of thing amusing to you, this mindless back-and-forth?

          Yep…in a masochistic way.

        • Joe

          You’re smuggling a huge assumption into your implorations here. Namely, and you were questioned about this earlier on in the thread: why is the bible significant?

        • Albert Swearengen

          The Bible is significant because it is the compendium of God’s written instructions to all of mankind.

        • Joe

          That’s the claim, but a lot of things in that claim are unproven and even more unlikely.

        • Y’know, maybe it’s my fault. Maybe I haven’t made clear that the blog topics are atheist topics and that Christian theology doesn’t automatically count as evidence.

        • Lark62

          I don’t think there is any possible way that you could communicate that info that would make any difference to chew-toy-du-jour.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          /s

          LOL

        • Susan

          The Bible is significant because it is the compendium of God’s written instructions to all of mankind.

          Show your work.

          Saying so doesn’t make it so.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Get in line, Susan.

          And declare right now that you will submit yourself, likewise, to answering questions of a similar nature when you are asked.

          The one way street and dual standards have nearly been brought to perfection on this one comment board.

          Equal scales, madam.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          “I don’t believe you” isn’t subject to any burden of proof.

        • Michael Neville

          So what’s your evidence that we will “submit” ourselves? You ignore the fact that we’re atheists. We don’t believe your sadistic, narcissistic bully of a god exists, just like we don’t believe any other gods exist. Pointing at a collection of myths, fables and lies and saying “word o’ gawd” is not evidence that your god exists. Giving us threats “gawd gonna getcha after you die” isn’t evidence. Sneering at us and whining about coherence in poorly written posts isn’t evidence. Bring out some evidence that you’re not just talking out of your rosy red rectum.

        • Susan

          declare right now that you will submit yourself, likewise, to answering questions of a similar nature when you are asked.

          If I make claims of a similar nature, I will certainly do that.

          Equal scales, madam.

          I didn’t make completely unsupported assertions and then more unsupported assertions as excuses for why you haven’t accepted my unsupported assertions.

          So far, that’s all you’ve done.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…If I make claims of a similar nature, I will certainly do that…”

          Cite my claims.

          Equal scales, madam.

        • Susan

          Cite my claims.

          Just cited a few. It’s hard to keep track. That’s all you have.

          Equal scales, madam.

          If only.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Read on, madam.

          And dream.

        • Susan

          Read on, madam.

          And dream.

          So, you’ve got nothing, then?

        • Albert Swearengen

          Professional time waster.

          Get behind me.

        • Susan

          Professional time waster.

          Nothing at all, then?

          Get behind me.

          Absolutely nothing, then?

          Empty assertions.

          I was willing to listen if you had something more;

          But you haven’t.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Knobhead thinks this is the first time we’ve come across a dick of his like…he’s not even very good at it…sometimes I yearn for the likes of Luke Breuer…especially with the calibre of mindwnakers we’ve been getting here recently.

        • Susan

          sometimes I yearn for the likes of Luke Breuer…

          I will never yearn for the likes of him. He used the same tactics, just fortified them with more rabbit holes.

          He never supported his claims, just snuck them in.

          And expected everyone else to do the work.

          Knobheads, both.

        • As I recall, Luke wasn’t as obnoxious, but neither is worth yearning for.

          Sadly, Dear Albert is now in the past tense as well.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Happy days…he’ll be frustrated ta fuck that he can’t reply to his nonsense being taken apart. Serves him rightly for being such a tit in the first place.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I was being a tad facetious…LB sucked the life clean outta everywhere he went, but at least he tried to make sense and was nowhere near as stupid.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I meant in that at least he made a vague attempt to support the nonsense he spouted.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          awwww….terse attempts at ‘tough-guy’ rhetoric.

          You’re cute when you’re trying to be tough and laconic…like a baby with a full diaper.

        • Phil

          Here’s one of many “The Bible is significant because it is the compendium of God’s written instructions to all of mankind.” How do you know that?

        • LastManOnEarth

          If that is the best a god could do, it must be a third-rate deity indeed.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Another power thinker, I see.

        • LastManOnEarth

          I’ve read the fucking thing. It’s a mess.

          Not my problem that your god sucks at communication.

        • Albert Swearengen

          I’m sorry you have problems with reading and comprehension. Perhaps you might mention that to your Judge when you stand before Him.

        • LastManOnEarth

          I’m sorry you’ve bought into a pack of iron age superstitious bullshit.

          Look, I understand that you have made an enormous emotional investment in this, and that in order to cope with the cognitive dissonance when your beliefs are demonstrated to be both unfounded and ridiculous you feel the need to lash and and double down on the outlandish threats and boasts. I get it.

          I don’t think there is much hope for you, and in a way I feel slightly bad for piling on with the mockery, but damn, you really do go on and on with the nonsense and your arrogance and obvious lack of self-awareness make it impossible to resist.

          Seriously, take a step back and take a look at what you have become. Is your behavior that of a rational, well-grounded individual interested in actual conversation or is it the desperate flailing of a man that realizes, deep down, that you are caught in a crumbling prison of your own unjustified and irrational beliefs?

          Your belief in this god and bible aren’t bringing you peace only pain. Take a step back and reflect.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Take a step back and reflect…”

          Take a step back and repent.

          Smartest thing you’ve ever done, if you do it.

          Good night.

        • LastManOnEarth

          Take a step back and pull your head out of your ass. It would be a start.

          Is this how the game is played?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Repent *what*?

          And *why*?

          Evidence with your assertions when you answer, too, bub.

        • A thoughtful response. (Which is tough to do in a situation like this.)

        • LastManOnEarth

          It’s not us he’s desperate to convince.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Albie-poo, realize that we read your ‘bible’ the same way *you* would read the Book of Mormon or the Koran or The Book Of The Dead.

          Your ‘bible’ is nothing special, regardless of how often you threaten to hold your breath until the sky turns blue over it (too late!_

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I don’t believe you any more than I believe in your ‘god’.

          Demonstrate this ‘god’ or get off your high horse and grow some much-needed humility.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          . Understanding the Bible takes a good deal of effort and it takes a fair amount of time as well

          No doubt. All mythology requires years of anthropological, social and language studies to fully grasp.

          This raises the question, though, of why? Why does the divine message of an all powerful deity that plays a critical role in our ultimate fate require such effort? Was god incapable of simplifying it? If not, then what value is there in overcomplicating things, particularly when eternal torture is at stake?

        • Ignorant Amos

          And such effort that all adherent fail at too. Otherwise they’d all be on the same page, but they’re not. And if only one can be right, then they can all be wrong. But Bert is here to share an epiphany…he’s dead cert he has the correct exegesis.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Yes, when sincere investigation can still lead astray, fault can’t be placed solely on the reader.

          Frankly, this is something any remedial writing course teaches; to the extent that they want to be understood, it’s the author’s job to be understandable. Why less is expected of a perfect god is beyond me.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Understanding the Bible takes a good deal of effort and it takes a fair amount of time as well.

          So your ‘god’ is too incompetent to provide clear, coherent, verifiable and moral instruction? Or picks incompetent losers who are unclear to transmit such supposed intellectual riches?

          Try again.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ah…the old “No True Scotsman Fallacy”…unless one has seen the light, they aren’t a true believer and have no means to understand the deeper meaning within the bible…is that it? So, how are ya getting along in understanding the deeper meaning of the Vedas? Or, or, or the Popol Vuh? Or, or, or, Prakrit Jain texts? Or, or, or, [insert any religious woo-woo scripture here].

          When you work out why other religious scriptures are not deep and meaningful to you, it will help you understand why we atheists don’t find the nonsense in the pages of the various versions of the bible, satisfying in a deep and meaningful manner.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Ah…the old “No True Scotsman Fallacy”…”

          Already addressed. Would it kill you guys to cough up an original thought occasionally?

          Try not sounding exactly like the fifty commentators who came before you.

          Just a suggestion.

        • Michael Neville

          Why should we be original? You certainly aren’t.

        • Greg G.

          You keep bringing up the same fallacies over and over and expect someone to believe you.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Cite me stand on a logical fallacy and show me that you even know what you’re talking about.

        • Greg G.

          You have attacked the respondent rather than any argument. That is an ad hominem. Regarding whether the crucifixion being before or after the passover, you responded with a non sequitur by claiming that there were two passovers but that has never been observed in Jerusalem.

        • Albert Swearengen

          My patience with you is at its end.

          I specifically answered your query vis-à-vis the timing of the crucifixion.

          Twice.

          Good bye Greg.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The thing about Disqus ya moron, is that unless one reads the complete thread, one can’t know who has said what, when.

          I have yet to see where you’ve adequately addressed it…or why you keep repeating it if you think you have.

          If you bring along the same old shite that we’ve all seen ad infinitum, you’re going to get the same old replies. You are like the last, oh, I don’t know, like, every religious fukwit that I’ve witnessed, with the not original thought. So don’t be surprised when you get the same unoriginal kickback. Bring something original to the table and perhaps the response might get updated. As it is, it is what it is, Dime Bar.

          Just a suggestion.

        • Susan

          unless one reads the complete thread, one can’t know who has said what, when

          One can just read the commenter’s commenting history (if it isn’t blocked) and see that the commenter likes to assert things but makes all kinds of excuses for not supporting those assertions.

          If you bring along the same old shit that we’ve all seen ad infinitum

          You mean, like Albert?

          The most telling thing is that they want to make the assertions but feel no obligation to support it.

          Instead, they use up commenting space accusing us of things they feel no obligation to support, either.

          Dime Bar.

          Mm hmmmn.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Try not sounding exactly like the fifty commentators who came before you.

          Many versions of truth DO end up sounding similar if not identical.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Just in case you were not aware of it, Bob sent Bertie Boy to the dunces corner for a time out.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          I was wondering why some replies wouldn’t post.

          Thank you!

        • Lark62

          A great number of people here are atheists because they read the bible.

          Besides, the deity does not to spend eternity with ignorant, cruel, asskissing idiots. So She wrote the bible to weed out those people out. Anyone who thinks the bible is moral or the deity described therein is moral does straight downstairs.

          So sorry. Maybe you’re the one who needs to pay closer attention.

        • Albert Swearengen

          So sorry. Maybe try writing a coherent post?

          If your writing skills are any indication of your reading skills, it is no wonder you imagine such vanities.

        • Lark62

          So sorry. I will use baby talk to help you out.

          You buhbleeve your pweshush widdle bibble tells the truth about the pathetic, egotistical, genocidal maniac you worship.

          I believe your pweshush widdle bibble is so repugnant that no kind, decent or moral person would believe that rot or worship the pathetic, genitalia obsessed despot described therein.

          Thus, if there is a deity, she / he / it / they would be disgusted by anyone who believes that festering pile of bovine excrement contains moral guidance. She / he / it / they will send you to hell for praising or worshipping the malignant, genocidal pedo called Yahweh.

          Unless you can prove with evidence that your interpretation of your preshush widdle bibble is correct and my interpretation is wrong, you have exactly as much chance of being right as I so.

          So sleep well while you can.

        • Albert Swearengen

          So far you’re the only outlier on this board. The other folks have been amicable to serious conversation, reasonable and intelligent commentators.

          Capable communicators they are, too. At least they have this much to teach you.

          Godspeed.

        • Michael Neville

          Again you didn’t even attempt to rebut Lark62 but rather you were condescending. Not impressed with you, boyo.

        • Albert Swearengen

          I’ll bear that in mind, Mike.

        • Michael Neville

          Instead of “bearing it in mind”, why don’t you do something about it, Al?

        • Ignorant Amos

          There’s me thinking he liked Bert, Bertie, Albie….but not Al…seriously, not Al.

        • Susan

          I’ll bear that in mind, Mike.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • Albert Swearengen

          I have come here to rebut claims.

          I haven’t made any claims of my own yet. I have answered questions but have not put forth an argument or attempted to defend an argument.

          Looking for a few actual thinkers on this board, is what I am doing — people with whom to engage in meaningful conversation about the things you folks pretend to have vanquished.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          You don’t get to ‘rebut’ claims while your biggest claim is unsourced and doubtful.

        • Susan

          I haven’t made any claims of my own yet

          Bullshit. That’s all you’ve done.

          I’ll direct lurkers and participants to your commenting history as evidence:

          https://disqus.com/by/albert_swearengen/

          I’ll pick some random examples. that pertain to this particular Disqus thread in the conversation.

          the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth has communicated a message to His creation in the form of a Book of written instruction.

          Quite a claim. Completely unsupported so far. Just an assertion.

          “…Was the earth created before the Sun and all other celestial objects were created?…”

          (Zeta’s direct question)

          Your answer.

          Yes.

          Completely unsupported.

          “…Didn’t god create reality, and thus the requirements for justice?…”

          (JustAnotherAtheist2’s direct question)

          Your answer:

          Yes.

          No support. Just an assertion.

          You make claims and offer nothing to support them.

          So far.

          I’m asking you to choose one and do better.

          (Hint: Telling people that a book written by humans can only be interpreted the way you say it can, and that it supports your assertions that a deity exists who wrote the book is not support. It’s just a guy on the internet making unsupported assertions.)

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

        • Albert Swearengen

          Clearly you need a lesson in communication:

          1. Answering a question

          2. Making a claim

          The two are not the same.

          Now, if my answers bother you or if they don’t carry with them material adequate to your purposes, then you get to ask follow-on questions. But in order to communicate with such unoriginal, repetitive, one-track-minded people like yourselves, it becomes necessary to summarize.

          Moreover, your kind always presumes the moral and intellectual high ground such that you demand explanations from those who stand where I now stand, but you refuse to submit to those same (juvenile) demands when the tables are turned on you.

          Again… I don’t owe you a damn thing, lady. I came here to show what junk is being peddled on this site, but we never got to address any of the official particulars because you all know how to derail a meaningful conversation along those lines even before it starts with your infantile barkings about proof and what is OWED to you.

          You are owed nothing. What’s more? You’re already in debt up to your eyeballs.

          No more useless back-and-forth with you. If you think you have something with which to damage what I uphold, then bring it here and watch it fall. But that would take actual courage and actual effort, and none of you have either one.

          Professional time-wasters. All of you. You’ve all clearly mastered the art form of destruction of valuable resources. Congratulations.

        • Lark62

          Excuse me? Is this one of the “amicable” posts you are referring to?

          So sorry. Maybe try writing a coherent post?

          If your writing skills are any indication of your reading skills, it is no wonder you imagine such vanities.

          I have expressed negative opinions on your book of myths and your imaginary friend, and opined that no self respecting deity would tolerate worship and praise. Past your apparent approval of a fairly reprehensible book, I have made no comments about you personally. You however have directly insulted me.

          I notice that you are in fact quite free with insults but totally failed to address my comments. My initial comment, which you insulted but otherwise ignored, was serious. How do you know a deity, if one exists, approves of the content of the bible or the conduct of the deities described in the bible?

          You have provided no evidence for why you think your interpretation of your book of myths is the correct one and mine is not. Perhaps I struck a nerve?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          *Let* the door hit you on the way out.

          It might knock some sense into brains, which obviously ain’t livin’ in your cranium.

        • Michael Neville

          You are hardly the person to complain about someone else’s writing skills. You’re much too prolix in your praise of the collection of myths, fables and lies called the Bible. Plus your response to Lark62 was not a rebuttal but rather ad hominem. Do you want to actually refute his/her comments or are you just going to whine about writing and reading skills?

        • Albert Swearengen

          If I cared to interact further with that other commentator…

          …I would have done so.

        • Michael Neville

          So I’m to assume that you can’t refute his objections. Still not impressed.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          So you admit you’re an asshole, who has nothing, but is too fucking stupid to keep silent.

          You’re the blog equivalent of Ron ‘Tater Salad’ White:

          https://youtu.be/neUaSTSKFZc?t=139

        • Susan

          Maybe try writing a coherent post?

          Lark62 wrote a coherent post.

          i.e. any deity worth its salt isn’t interested in obedience for the sake of obedicience.

          Or there is no reason to assume it’s moral.

          Most importantly, (in the case of your deity, thus far) , there is no reason to take it seriously on any moral level.

          Nor any reason to see that it’s not just another imaginary deity.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…i.e. any deity worth its salt isn’t interested in obedience for the sake of obedience…”

          Agreed. Now try reading the Bible and learning first-hand what God has said and why.

          Or you can be spoon-fed putrescence from grist mills of Belial.

        • Joe

          Or you can be spoon-fed putrescence from grist mills of Belial.

          I’ve heard that’s not so bad when seasoned correctly.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Tabasco or sriracha can do a LOT.

        • Ignorant Amos

          It’s all the starving of the world have to look forward to don’t ya know? Whatever happened to manna from heaven, or quails neck deep?

          Aul’ YahwehJesus ain’t the omnipotence they once were, apparently.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Why should I read your book?

          You’re claiming it’s SPAYSHUL…

          DEMONSTRATE IT!

        • Susan

          Agreed.

          That is exactly what Lark62 said. So, you agree.

          Now try reading the Bible and learning first-hand what God has said and why.

          I have read “the” bible. I have never been provided with a good reason to believe that it was written by a deity.

          the grist mills of Belial

          That’s just a pompous way (not a clever one) of accusing me of being misled by the devil.

          I have never been provided with a good reason to believe the devil exists either.

          What are you claiming and how do you support it?

          So far, you seem to be claiming that a man-god walked the earth and the only reason I don’t believe that is because the devil is misleading me.

          Because it says so in a book written by humans and the only reason I don’t believe it is because a character in a book written by humans is misleading me.

          Got anything less circular?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…the grist mills of Belial…”

          Why have you added a definite article to this and altered my quotation?

          “…I have never been provided with a good reason to believe…”

          Ever hear the story about Lazy Jane? She wants a drink of water so she lays down and opens up her mouth and waits and waits and waits for it to rain. Any relation? Does someone owe you answers? Are we instructed to sit and wait to be delivered the goods? Or are we told, rather, to go and seek

          ???

          “…What are you claiming and how do you support it?…”

          That’s not the way I interact with you folks. I respond to your demonstrably wrong-headed assertions and then I answer questions which arise from such an interaction. I didn’t come here to prove anything to you except that the claims you folks make are all bogus, as touching the Scriptures. At least, I would do that if we ever got down to actual work and not throwing food every which way.

          “…So far, you seem to be claiming that a man-god walked the earth and the only reason I don’t believe that is because the devil is misleading me…”

          Feeding at the troughs in this world will get you sick. That’s a fact. If you wish to avoid becoming infected by the disease, you must seek your food much nearer to its natural source. The world is misleading you. Apparently it’s told you you are owed something.

        • Which does not appear at all in the Bible.

          Or alternatively when you die you may find either Hades, Greek deity of the Underworld, or the OT God (Yahweh) are awaiting you, and you end up respectively in Hades as described in the Illiad or in Sheol. It’s a very bad idea to trust so blindly in a book.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…It’s a very bad idea to trust so blindly in a book…”

          Trust is the opposite of blindness, when it’s had in due order.

          But you do things your own way and let me know how that works out for you.

        • Otto

          Agreed. Now try reading the Bible and learning first-hand what God has said and why.

          Yesterday you agreed with me that men wrote the Bible….you need to get your story straight.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Your inability to understand coherent text that opposes your worldview is NOT our problem.

        • Ignorant Amos

          The Dime Bar can’t read past the couple of typo’s like the rest of the more rational of us can manage.

          It’s an assumption that everyone commenting is doing so from the comfort of behind a desk and on a PC. Which is a stupid assumption.

          He wants to try one of my comments after I’ve had a few…then he’d have something to complain about.

        • Joe

          You should pay attention to the Bible on the chance that you live in a world with a Creator who has instructed you to pay attention to it and you should consider the potential consequences of any refusal or failure to do so.

          We don’t live in such a world though.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…We don’t live in such a world though…”

          We do live in such a world.

          Now, does the burden of proof fall to one or the other of us? Of course not. Every man is responsible for demonstrating the condition of this reality to himself.

          And frankly, if we lived in a world with no God and no Creator who has placed demands on us all…

          …you atheists would never waste a moment of your time laboring against what you pretend is nonsense.

        • Joe

          Every man is responsible for demonstrating the condition of this reality to himself.

          If we can’t agree on the nature and substance of reality, then one of us is wrong.

          And frankly, if we lived in a world with no God and no Creator who has placed demands on us all…

          …you atheists would never waste a moment of your time laboring against what you pretend is nonsense.

          Just like Christians spent no time labouring against other religions they “knew” weren’t true over the centuries?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…If we can’t agree on the nature and substance of reality, then one of us is wrong…”

          False. It is far more likely that both of us are wrong.

          But you fellas have your imaginary decks stacked in your own imaginary favor. You’ve left yourself almost no way out of the labyrinth.

          Imprudent in the extreme.

        • Joe

          But you fellas have your imaginary decks stacked in your own imaginary favor. You’ve left yourself almost no way out of the labyrinth.

          Oh, the irony.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…Oh, the irony tragedy…”

        • Otto

          …you atheists would never waste a moment of your time laboring against what you pretend is nonsense.

          Sure we would, because crackpots like you who pretend to speak for a god and spew nonsense are a dime a dozen.

        • Pofarmer

          Oh, Lord, the stupid, it burns.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Renewable resource?

          😉

        • Now, does the burden of proof fall to one or the other of us?

          Yep. You’re making the remarkable claim. The atheist takes the null hypothesis, that your remarkable supernatural claim is false.

          Why do you ask? Are you trying to shirk the burden of proof?

          if we lived in a world with no God and no Creator who has placed demands on us all…
          …you atheists would never waste a moment of your time laboring against what you pretend is nonsense.

          Your bizarre use of ellipses doesn’t help the conversation. You might want to moderate your criticism of others’ writing, Mr. Glass House.

          To your point: I’m here because Christianity does real harm in the world. If “Christianity” turned into “knitting,” I’d immediately find another hobby. Or even if Christians stopped being busybodies. No such luck.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Your bizarre use of ellipses doesn’t help the conversation.

          Ohhhps…guilty as charged by association.

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Fair enough.

          I see no evidence that we live in the world YOU posit.

          Define and present your evidence.

          BTW, it’s the assholes who use xtianity as a lever to fuck with other peoples’ lives that keep us opposing it.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          wow, you really don;t know how logic works do you, no wonder reality is so challenging for you

        • Otto

          The Bible was written by men, you do realize that right?

        • Albert Swearengen

          Did I say something which gave you to believe otherwise?

          You were born from human parents. Are humans your creator?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Yep. My late parents ARE my creators…even if they had other things on their minds when it happened.

        • Otto

          You did.

          You have heard it reported that the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth has communicated a message to His creation in the form of a Book of written instruction.

          and then you said…

          And by examination I do not mean relying on the stilted and stunted opinions of other men, who themselves most likely have relied on the same vapid opinions of yet others in the formulation of their own conclusions.

          Men wrote, edited and decided what would be included and excluded from the Bible…as you have admitted, though you claim its origin is not men…and then you tell us not to rely on the opinions of men, which is rather odd since you are relying on the opinions of the writers and editors of the Bible who are men. You are contradicting yourself.

        • Phil

          I read it and I have to tell you, it’s rubbish.

        • Albert Swearengen

          You own your answer.

        • Phil

          Gosh that sounds profound and meaningless at the same time. Quote from Deepak Chopra perhaps. “The invisible is the foundation of an abundance of mortality”

        • Albert Swearengen

          Just remember not to blame anyone but yourself in the day of your judgment. Your God is not fond of excuses.

        • LastManOnEarth

          Not buying it.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          You should pay attention to the Bible on the chance that you live in a world with a Creator who has instructed you to pay attention to it

          This response seems to miss epeeist’s point.

          The reason for his rhetorical question is that this process has been done and we can conclude with a high degree of certainty that it isn’t the case. So why should we continue to pay more attention to the Bible than any other mythology?

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…So why should we continue to pay more attention to the Bible than any other mythology?…”

          Show me the other web channels you go to where you folks dance around like a bunch of drunk hoopleheads while you tear Korans, Vedas, Books of the Kabbalah or Books of the Dead to shreds and urinate on the pages.

          Show me where you spend one second of your day railing against ANY form of religious instruction, except the Bible.

          You are convicted by your own words and actions, just like everyone else.

          Why should you continue to pay even negative attention to the Bible and why come to boards like this one if you aren’t all hopeless liars? Your actions belie your assertions. You are known by the fruit of your deeds.

          See how easy that is and how Truth leaves you fellas no cover?

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          Huh?

        • Se e how easy that is and how Truth leaves you fellas no cover?

          What a great tactic! I’ll try that in the future–just assume my opinion is correct and use mockery to back it up.

        • Show me where you spend one second of your day railing against ANY form of religious instruction, except the Bible.

          Why ask that? Why not demand to see where we discuss water access or ongoing fighting in the DRC or climate change?

          We don’t talk about that because this blog is focused on Christianity. I live in the US, and the toxic form of Christianity is a social problem here.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Whaaaa? I would do, if those other books and religions were the main problem.

          Christianity and Christian fuckwits are the major malfunction around my part of the world.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          and when some prat of a hindu comes here demanding we worship Vishnu because the Vida says so i will give him the same serving as we give you. Thing is only christian prats come here so we only deal with them.

        • Ignorant Amos

          We’ve had an Ahmadiyya Muslim prat here before posting huge swathes of copy & pasta woo-woo…he got the same treatment.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          i hope he comes back, would make for a refreshing change of pace, there even be new rubbish to incinerate

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          People use your ‘bible’ to try to fuck with our lives in the name of your irrational superstition.

          When any of those others start doing that, we’ll fight them, too.

          One overbearing authoritarian set of assholes at a time.

        • Max Doubt

          “See how easy that is and how Truth leaves you fellas no cover?”

          I pay almost no attention to the Christian bible, but there is truth without it. Here’s one for ya. There is nothing the god you imagine can do outside your own head that I can’t do, too. And there are many things I can do that the god you imagine obviously can’t. Outside the minds of believers, I am more powerful than any god anyone has ever imagined. Truth. Don’t believe me? I’m up for a contest, and I’ve made that offer dozens of times over dozens of years. And for all the talk that these gods are allegedly real and allegedly powerful, they’ve all shown themselves to be complete wusses. None of them has ever been willing to even show up for a contest.

        • Albert Swearengen

          Did you just actually challenge the gods to a fight and then mock them for not showing up on your schedule?

          That is what you just did, isn’t it?

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Nope.

          YOUR KIND don’t get to push off the burden of proof.

          YOU are claiming that supernatural things happened, and (per the book) xtian believers can STILL MAKE supernatural things happen.

          Demonstrate that or recant.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Have God read the book aloud and tell us whether it had anything to do with the book.

        • Albert Swearengen

          How about you re-read your comment and tell me if it makes any sense.

        • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

          Of course a charlatan would say such a diversion. Seriously, get God on that shit! I’m tired of asking. I promise not to believe in him until he’s done reading XD

        • I will pray Selûne, Goddess of the Moon -now that it’s in full phase- for you.

        • Albert Swearengen

          What will you ask her for?

          Just curious.

        • That you go outside to enjoy the beauty of a night under a full Moon instead of spending time on a place of this where you’ll change no opinions, especially when you do not respond what you’re asked for.

        • Albert Swearengen

          “…especially when you do not respond what you’re asked for…”

          I don’t know what this means. Maybe ask your god for a little clarity in communication while you’re at it.

        • Kit Hadley-Day

          ahh, pascals wager still as rubbish today as when it was first uttered

        • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

          Demonstrate that.

          I don’t believe you.

        • Otto

          This is demonstrably untrue.

  • RichardSRussell

    Rationalist: I believe it because it’s true.

    Religionist: It’s true because I believe it.

  • A designer of such an Universe as this, not to mention including what is still unknown, would be something far beyond that that bloodthirsty Middle East war deity. It’s as simple as that.

    • Michael Neville

      It amazes me that Christians try to squeeze the creator of hundreds of billions of galaxies with trillions of stars and planets into an Iron Age tribal god who obsesses about sex.

      • Much more actually, not to mention if the Universe was infinite and/or just one in an ensemble of them.

      • Pofarmer

        There was this marriage counseling session once, where I asked why would a God that’s all loving and all knowing and all Powerful and everywhere and created everything be worried about the skinon the tip of my dick? Never got an answer.

        • You’re such a troublemaker!

        • Susan

          Never got an answer.

          It’s a mystery. (Cue dreamy eyes.)

          Also, hate to keep harping on this. But why would a god that’s all-loving and all-knowing and all-powerful create natural selection out of metaphysical nothing?

          It doesn’t add up. Hundreds of millions of years of unfathomable suffering before anything resembling a human existed. Most suffering is non-human.

          So their references to “vaccinations” and “stubbed toes” just make me sick.

        • Sample1

          I like the fact that you focus a lot on the brutality of evolution. Sometimes predator prey vids come up in my feed and over the years they’ve become more vividly produced. To watch other species mourn, parasitism, or witness a lioness torn apart by hyenas (or the reverse) is too much to watch sometimes. Give me fake horror movies and I’m fine. But reality? This Yahweh thing, if true, is truly a creator who outthinks and overachieves the worst villains in all of comics.

          I live in a place where a hike in the woods or a swim in the ocean on the rare hot day transforms me into prey. Do some people who brush off thinking about the brutality of nature think it’s a mere cageless zoo out there filled with disabled pandas and icky slugs?

          With every breath, something, somewhere is trying to utilize your energy for its own end even if it kills you. That goes for non life too from asteroids to exposure.

          Come to think of it, the natural, determinate, philosophical end àla Aquinas is found in Yahweh’s Nature and she’s not friendly. The perfect bride of Yahweh who would chew off his three heads if she could.

          Mike

        • Otto

          And that’s the thing, if there is an all knowing, all powerful creator behind this ‘plan’…as my wife says…it’s a bad plan. I am far more comfortable with the idea that the universe is indifferent than that there is a divine method to this madness.

        • JustAnotherAtheist2

          This is why, ridiculous as it is, creationism is the most honest response to jibing reality and scripture. Not that it relies on honest tactics, just that any other attempt at reconciliation requires keeping stuff just beyond arm’s length… which means it’s never really resolved at all.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Also, hate to keep harping on this. But why would a god that’s all-loving and all-knowing and all-powerful create natural selection out of metaphysical nothing?

          The snake made me do it!

  • eric

    designers are always more complex than what they design.

    Humans genetically modifying human DNA to activate broken genes is a not-so-hypothetical counter-example.

    • Isn’t a scientist more complex than a strand of DNA?

      • eric

        I guess in order to assess that (or even my original point), we’d need creationists to give us a quantitative definition of complexity.

  • HairyEyedWordBombThrower

    OT: Just got my copy of Cross Examined, and having a blast reading it.

    😉

    • Awesome!!

      Put “A Modern Christmas Carol” on your Christmas list.

    • Ignorant Amos

      A bit of a different angle from the norm, isn’t it?

  • Mayhem

    @BobSeidensticker:disqus one of my comments has been marked as spam are you able to redress this please?

  • Derek Mathias

    “So ‘simple things must come from complex things . . . except for God’ is your argument.”

    Now that’s interesting! I use the exact OPPOSITE position to refute the Kalam Cosmological Argument in this video:

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

    • Nice! That’s worth a thumbs up.

      As with the Law of Causality, there are no known exceptions.

      I must disagree with this, however, The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics says that some things–radioactive decay of a nucleus, for example–have no causes. Not that we don’t know when a nucleus will decay (or even that we can’t know), but that there was no cause.

      • Derek Mathias

        Thanks! Yes, I would have worded that differently had I made that video much more recently. In fact, are use that same radioactive decay argument in other videos. I appreciate the thumbs up.

  • Silverwolf13

    I hope that the Intelligent Design hypothesis can be proved and the designer identified. When that happens, I plan to sue that designer and his earthly representatives for the incompetent design of the human back.

    • Greg G.

      I see. You want to sue the Intelligent Designer for not being intelligent enough. You should win. I hear that the good lawyers don’t go to heaven.

    • Phil

      Me too. So many manufacturing defects.

  • Phil