Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Leviticus: Part 2


I have finished going through the last 10 chapters of Leviticus. I have discussed more of the laws this time because they are more pertinent to my disagreement with the Bible.

Again, a good portion of the book talks about sacrificing animals and proper conduct for the Israelites. It begins with discussing anyone who kills an animal for any reason. Any kill is owed to God. If anyone kills an animal and doesn’t sacrifice it, they are cut off from their people. So basically, if you eat, you must first feed God. This seems quite selfish of God.

God again shows his jealousy in Leviticus. Worshiping other gods is considered prostitution. I don’t really see any problem with prostitution in and of itself, but, assuming it’s wrong, I don’t see how worshiping other gods is equivalent.

We are finally told why God doesn’t like the people touching blood. Life is blood apparently. I don’t know why that makes touching blood bad. It’s also an inaccurate statement, so, again, God isn’t all knowing.

No sex with relatives because…God is the lord? It was okay before, but now it’s a no no. This makes sense for the fact that the more you sleep with relatives the more likely your children are to get a genetic defect. But God’s reasoning is silly. “Do it because I said so,” basically. Though other similar laws are just plain silly. Don’t sleep with your wifes sister while your wife is still alive. You can marry other women, but they can’t be your wifes sister, and you can sleep with other women as long as they’re not your wife’s sister. But that only applies when your wife is alive. Once she’s dead, you can sleep with her sister…unless her sister is married. This shows women as mere property, which I don’t like. But there is no real reasoning for this other than that you’ll disgrace your wife. But what if the wife’s fine with it? And why wasn’t it wrong for Jacob? He married two sisters. Don’t have sex with a woman during her period. Because blood is icky…or life…or something. This is silly. The blood has nothing to do with the woman’s life. It only really makes sense if you have no understanding of how reproduction works.

Then we get to the bit about sacrificing children. Don’t sacrifice your children to Molech…whoever that is. Can’t we just leave it at “don’t sacrifice your children”? That seems like the most moral option.

And of course I couldn’t skip Leviticus 18:22: “Don’t have sexual relations with a man as you would with a woman.” See, this doesn’t say don’t have sex with a man, it says don’t do it as if that man were a woman. That sounds much better than “homosexuality is a sin.” Though it could be taken as transphobic, but that depends on how you define man and woman.

But God just seems to be getting weirder as we go: “Even the land was defiled, so I punished it for its sin.” WTF? Seriously, WTF?

And then we get to the treatment of foreigners. When discussing how people should behave once the Israelites have taken over the Canaanite land, God says “The native born and the foreigners must not do any of these things.” I’m sorry God of the Bible, but you’re not my god. How is it okay to go into somebody else’s land and start telling them how to live? I mean, historically this has happened a lot, but don’t people complain about this very thing a lot now a days? Of course it’s usually in the form of “If you want to come live in my country, you better learn to speak my language and follow my laws,” but we still see it as morally problematic to go into someones country and then tell them how to behave. Though there is some level of equality that people today seem to struggle with: “The foreigner living among you must be treated as your native born.” But they’ll steal all our jobs! And they don’t know English! How could I ever show respect to any foreigner? And then there’s this: “Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart.” Anyone else is fine though.

Though many of these new laws contradict what was previously just fine. “Do not lie.” But…but…Abraham got to! “Do not practice divination or seek omens.” Why is that only wrong now? It wasn’t wrong in Exodus. “If a man has sexual relations with his daughter-in-law both will be put to death.” Didn’t that very act make a woman righteous in the previous book?

Many of these laws I just don’t understand: So if you go into a new land and you plant a fruit tree, you must wait five years to eat it. Why? How will your harvest be increased? “Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists.” What’s a spiritist? Why are these things bad? I doubt it’s because they’re scammers…

Also, God really hates this Molech…

Why is it that when it discusses men having sex with animals the Bible talks as though the man is responsible for the action and must be punished while the animal is only put to death because icky, but when it talks about women sleeping with animals it talks as though the woman and the animal both have the same level of ability to consent so they are both equally responsible?

So God is going to drive people out of the land because they did things that God didn’t like. The Israelites did the same things, but they get to inherit the land. They just have to stop doing the things. Did God ever tell the others not to do these things, because the Israelites are just now being told?

Witch hunt! Kill the mediums!

God doesn’t like people who don’t look “normal” or are sick, or if they just have crushed testicles. What an example of morality. Seriously, he doesn’t want them anywhere near him. He doesn’t even like animals that are any way not normal. Why?

“This is to be a lasting ordinance to the generations to come.” Again, sacrificing animals is supposed to keep happening.

God, I get it: you like to eat and smell cooked meat. And God likes presents.

“Anyone who blasphemes the name of the lord, whether Israelite or foreigner, is to be put to death.” Does that include those that don’t worship this God? Because that seems to be exactly what is meant? Personally, I’m glad that’s illegal because I shouldn’t be held to the religious standards of others. Seriously, can you imagine if we all had to follow the doctrines of religions that we don’t follow? That would be impossible.

“An eye for an eye” is not a moral justice system.

We don’t do very well with following God’s laws today: The land is God’s so it can’t be sold permanently. Tell that to the government. Don’t take interest from the poor. Tell them that too. And the Christian (political) right. They suck at understanding this one.

The Israelites can’t be made slaves, only foreigners. They can be made slaves for life. Foreigners are supposed to follow the slave creed of the Israelites. How did that work for them? Why would they give any special credence to Israelite laws? Especially when the Israelites were fine with making them permanent slaves.

God promises to let the Israelites destroy all their enemies. Great, so now they can violently take over. How moral.

God is a controlling, sadistic bastard. “If you don’t do exactly as I say, I will punish you 7 times worse than you deserve. I will starve you and kill you. I will hate you forever.” Does this scream abusive to anyone else?

“I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies, the sound of a wind blown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing the sword. And they will fall even though no one is perusing them.” Is this where the “help, I’m being oppressed” attitude and belief comes from? Because if so, yes, you are, but God is your oppressor.

Women are worth half of what men are worth.

I hope no one reading this is hoping that reading the Bible will make me Christian, because it’s only having the same effect that it had last time: it’s making me more sure that the God of the Bible doesn’t exist. Or, at the very least, isn’t worth worshiping.

 

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94 responses to “Why I Can’t Agree With the Bible: Leviticus: Part 2

  • Dr. George Gallant

    Someone, somewhere is working on the answer designed for your question. However, remember they may not respond the way you expect, but the question can be answered. Sometimes our preconceived ideas get, in the way of us honestly wanting to have a genuine response to the issue at hand. We want answers to conform to our way of thinking, not the way they really should be.

    Sometimes it takes years of research and study, on how one is to answer the question, but that does not mean there is no answer. Sometimes people can be very impatient and want answers, and because they don’t have them now they draw conclusions that this question cannot be answered; this is a false assumption.

    My question to you is, do you really want honest answers or are you just a person who likes to have controversy.

    Dr. George Gallant

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      Well just because a question can be answered doesn’t mean it will, nor does it mean everyone will like the answer.

      I think is imporant to remeber that these posts are an athiests reading of the bible, With Hessian reading from Here perspective. This isn’t ment to be definitive, or consiterate to diffrent reading of the bible. We might do that later, but while I think rather likely that you won’t like that it’s still that this post is.

      However Hessian and I are always open to honest answers to difficult questions.Though honesty alone is not enough to convince us. Coherent, convincing, and substantive evidence and argument are necessary for us. And what I hope is obvious is that the context is important to determining the level evidence necessary to to take the argument or answer serious, and what it would then take me to change my mind, or otherwise convince me.

      Withteeth

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      • Dr. George Gallant

        Hessianwithteeth, I guess I was under the assumption you were talking or making reference to my blog; I had no idea you were talking about someone else’s blog that was atheistic in nature. However, that should not matter the truth always be true no matter who speaks it.

        As I said before the answers come, but occasionally they take a long time and sometimes the answers we get are not what we’re looking for. Because of our human nature, we want answers to conform to the way we think so that we can feel good about what we believe is truth.

        Dr. George Gallant

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      • Dr. George Gallant

        Atheists refuse to believe because they do not desire to be accountable, to anyone but themselves. So, if you are atheists, there is no sense talking to you because your mind is already set.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          What a dismissive, and fallacious way to talk about a varied group of people. If you refuse to contend with the wider reality of people then you can keep pretending your simple generalizations are actually true.

          Or if you care to understand he actual opinions and ideas of Atheists you can read our on going series. https://hessianwithteeth.wordpress.com/atheism-101/

          Do be careful about being the Kettle that calls the pot black, because in this case you seem be the pot calling the silver wear black. We are open to changing our mind, and we have outlined several ways in which that might be done. Sure we are often incredulous and demand evidence for claims, but that’s skepticism not close mindedness. This is particularly important here since I doubt you’d ever consider changing your mind.

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          • Dr. George Gallant

            I will not waste my time on individuals who have made their minds up as to the Bible.

            Like

          • equippedcat

            Are you not also an individual who has made their mind as to the Bible? Might not the least time wasting individuals be those who may or may not have an opinion, but in either case are willing to listen to reason?

            Like

          • Dr. George Gallant

            I will not debate with an atheist because not matter the evidence laid out before them; they will ignore it and evade the truth. Individuals who are hardened atheists are like the heart of Pharaoh of old there was no convincing him also, this lead to a tragic end for him and his army in the Red Sea.

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          • equippedcat

            There are some atheists who won’t even consider a possibility that they could be wrong. There are also religious folk who are equally unmovable. Often the religious folk have personal experience which is highly convincing to them, but such evidence is of little value to anyone who did not share the experience. Often the atheists use “lack of evidence” as evidence, which may be indicative, but hardly is certain.

            Since there is limited evidence either way which is “universally” accepted, an honest person in either camp will see there is a possibility that they are mistaken, and spend some effort investigating the other point of view. They might find a usable flaw with it. Or with their own…
            .

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          • hessianwithteeth

            So what your saying is your god hardened our hearts so we can’t believe in him, but it’s our fault we don’t believe.

            Like

          • Dr. George Gallant

            Atheists do not want an honest debate as their minds have set themselves on NO God, so to them is cyclic reasoning with no possible conclusion. Therefore, I believe you are attempting to draw me into a debate, and I will not fall for this foolishness.

            Like

          • hessianwithteeth

            Wow these assertions, Have we not been trying to have an honest debate? Or are you not happy that Hessian and I are not willing to grant all your assumptions? Because that isn’t being close minded, it’s that we don’t agree with you on some key issues.

            Now if you’d like to indicate how we are using circular reasoning fine by me. If we are I’d love to put an end to it.

            Though if you honestly don’t wish to debate or discuss then why to you keep pushing the issue. Either stop, or go forward.

            And again please quit lumping Atheist into one category, as though all atheist behave and think in the exact same way. That and your continued straw manning of my position is getting insulting.

            If you want to keep making assertions about my beliefs (including what they are) you’d best back them up, otherwise it’s you who is being dishonest.

            And here we don’t mind pointing out hypocrisy.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            You do realize in that story God hardened Pharaoh’s heart when he would have otherwise let the Israelite go right? This is explicit with in the text. So are you saying your Deity has hardened our hearts against him then? Well if that’s the case I could agree that arguing against us would be pointless, but it also rejects any argument about freewill unless you twist and twist until the illogical seem sensible.

            Though I only grow in my suspicions that it’s you who avoid truth and ignore all evidence before you which does not support you opinions. Since your so quick to cast judgement, but so unwilling to test yourself.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Your choice to make. I’m certainly not going to stop you. Though one parting piece of advice, don’t talk about groups of people, particularly atheists, as though they are homogenous in thought or action.

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  • Roger

    You make a lot of excellent points. I have discussed some of the most extreme examples of ungodly words and deeds attributed to deity in:

    Did God Really Say THAT!? A Blog about the Bible
    http://didgodreallysaythat.wordpress.com

    I’ve suspended posts there, being busy with other projects, but there’s already a lot of material on the site that Biblical literalists will find hard to address.

    Roger Christan Schriner,
    schrinerbooksandblogs.com
    http://www.schrinerbooksandblogs.com

    Like

  • seanledden

    Dear hessianwithteeth – congrats on your courtesy & fortitude! The “you wouldn’t think the Bible was stupid if you believed in it” mindset is really something to behold.

    Like

  • josephinacanseethehidden

    Reblogged this on Josephinacanseethehidden's Blog and commented:
    I RECENTLY RECEIVED A NOTIFICATION OF THE ONE THAT CALLS HIMSELF/HERSELF (however, by the views and writing style screams MAN)… “hessian with teeth”, VERY CREATIVE. I REVIEWED THE CONTENTS CONTAINED IN YOUR ARTICLES, AND “BAM!’ I THOUGHT, THIS COULD BE CHALLENGING AND FOR A PERSON THAT REALLY ENJOYS A CHALLENGE, I ACTUALLY SMILED AND THOUGHT “WOW. THIS COULD BE A HELL OF A LOT OF FUN”. I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW YOUR ARTICLES, NOT AS A FAN, BUT AS A CHRISTIAN DEFENDING “THE ALPHA… THE OMEGA”. “OUR FATHER; OUR CREATOR….. THE ONE AND ONLY GOD, JEHOVAH”
    DON’T GET ME WRONG, I DON’T MEAN IT IN AN UGLY SORT OF WAY…… BUT A CHALLENGE FOR “,THE BELIEVER AND THE NON-BELIEVER”. IT MAY INTEREST A WIDE ARRAY OF PEOPLE.

    TAKE THE CHALLENGE,
    SORT OF A BIBLICAL
    BATTLE OF CONFLICTING
    VIEWPOINTS & BELIEF

    CORDIALLY,
    JOSEPHINA

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      So the sake of clarity take my all caps in a SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Sort of tone because it is hilarious.
      WHILE ALL CAPS IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE WAY OF OF COMMUNICATING! BOTH OF US HERE AT HESSIANWITHTEETH GOT A KICK OUT OF THE reblog. SO MUCH SO THAT I FELT THAT A REPLY, IN ALL-CAPS MUCH LIKE THE FEMINIST HULK, WAS NECESSARY. PARTICULARLY IN RESPONSE TO YOUR ALL-CAPS ENTHUSIASM! MOST HILARIOUS, THIS MAY BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE COMMENTS/REBLOGS. FOR THE SAKE OF CLARITY I AM WITHTEETH AND I IDENTIFY AS MALE. HESSIAN, WHO WRITES MOST OF THE POSTS ON CHRISTIANITY, AND IS DOING ALL THE REVIEWS OF THE BIBLE AND MERE CHRISTIANITY DOES NOT IDENTIFY WITH EITHER OF THE MORE WELL KNOWN GENDERS OF OUR CULTURE. HOWEVER FOR YOUR FUTURE REFERENCE “THEY” AND “THEIR” ARE ONCE AGAIN BECOMING ACCEPTABLE GENDER NEUTRAL TERMS THAT CAN BE USED IN THE SINGULAR. IT DOES TAKE SOME GETTING USE TOO, BUT IT DOES ALLEVIATE THE AWKWARDNESS OF OUR LANGUAGE HAVING GENDERED PRONOUNS. FURTHER IT IS MORE INCLUSIVE OF INTERSEX PEOPLE AND THOSE WHOM ARE NOT GENDER CONFORMING.

      WE ARE GLAD TO HAVE ANOTHER PARTY INTERESTED IN DISCUSSING DIFFICULT TOPICS AND WE HOPE YOU ENJOY YOURSELF, LEARN AND BRING FORTH INTERESTING PERSPECTIVES.

      Though all-caps are not normally acceptable in our comment section :). Thanks.

      Like

      • josephinacanseethehidden

        For the sake of clarity, not to mention my concern that my point was properly taken…… Or, no disrespect intended, it seems that my invitation may not have been understood. I also felt what I understood to be piss your pants “HILARIOUS”. I have altered my agenda to address your interpretation of “LEVITICUS ONE AND TWO”.
        I think we will both find this little ‘WRITER RUMBLE” very interesting, not to mention “LAUGH OUT LOUD HILARIOUS”. by the way
        you seemed you seemed to overlooked the word “REBLOG”…. As it doesn’t fit into basic writing rule of conformity. Look forward to hearing your funny replies, and as a woman I’m sure I will find your translations fascinating.

        Till next time…..

        Like

  • shanechall

    Thanks for following my blog. I don’t care about religion or ethics, but I have studied the bible and you mentioned the “eye for an eye” concept in your post.
    I just wanted to clarify that the eye for an eye concept is widely misunderstood. It means this: should a man damage or destroy another man’s property, then he should restore what was lost equally. It doesn’t mean that the damaged party has the right to take back what was lost or do anything to the damager. An eye for an eye has been twisted over time by popular culture to mean a justification for vengeance, which was never the intended message. It’s just the basis for sufficient compensation. You did 1000 dollars worth of damage to my car, you owe me 1000 dollars. That kind of thing.
    Cheers!

    Like

  • equippedcat

    God chose the people of Israel to be “His people”. They were pretty primitive, so He set up a system of “do this/don’t do this” for their benefit. That is, to provide a guide on how to behave to avoid some common problems. Let us not miss that God seems to want or even need worship and belief and be “allergic” to sin, so these “laws” are for His benefit as well. Leviticus is part of this system.

    By looking at the “Law” described in Leviticus and demonstrated other places in the Old Testament, we can get an idea of what sin is. This system does not and can not PREVENT sin, it can only show us that we, in ourselves, can at best keep it to a minimum, Using the Old Testament to imply or evaluate anything against Christians is not valid, since Christianity is based on the New Testament. Things which were symbolic or hinted at in the Old Testament are fleshed out in the New Testament.

    There are many things in the Bible that I do not like. But I finally came to the realization that my opinion has no validity when it comes to God’s plan. Things may seem to be inefficient or ineffective or flat out wrong to me, but I am not God. I cannot comprehend most of God, and I don’t really know what He wants or needs. So all I can do is what I can do, to the best of my ability. How fortunate for all of us that the system specified in Leviticus et al was replaced by a system which is much simpler and more effective.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Don’t assume that the fact that the ancient people were less intelligent than we are today simply because they didn’t know what we know. Don’t forget: we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. They didn’t have that. That said, do you really think that the Israelites didn’t know that murder and theft were bad?
      I have not missed God’s need to be worshiped. In fact, in one of my posts I discussed the theory among Religious Studies and Biblical scholars that this need suggests a mutually beneficial relationship between humans and gods, and that it suggests that God is not omnipotent. After all, how can an all powerful being need anything?
      The New Testament doesn’t invalidate the Old Testament. Jesus says in the New Testament that the laws in the Old Testament are still valid. He also contradicts himself on that point, but still. However, the reason I’m reading the Old Testament first in because Christians still use it to defend their biases. Even the ones who claim it’s no longer valid turn to the Old Testament to defend their beliefs. If it’s so invalid, why would they do that? Why do Sunday School teachers spend so much time talking about Moses? And Noah? It clearly still matters to them, so reading it still matters.

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      • equippedcat

        Worship (or belief), is it a “need” or a “want”; I don’t know. If it were a need, then you have a point about omnipotence.

        I never said or implied that the Old Testament was invalid or no longer valid; I said that it does not directly define Christianity. Christianity is predicted and mirrored, but did not and could not exist until some 30 plus years after Christ was born. The Christian needs to refer to the Old Testament for history, for further support for their beliefs, and for a deeper understanding of God the Father.

        How does Jesus contradict himself or the “Law”? He says he did not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfill it. That is, when you follow Him, it does not do you any good to follow the “Law” (and even if you try, it is no longer possible to do so) because you are tasked to follow a higher standard.

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  • ianmillerblog

    n to should be “not” – thanks to this wretched autocorrect.

    Like

  • ianmillerblog

    I am n to sure whether this was pointed out somewhere previously, but some have a certain degree of sense. For example, the fruit trees . It is quite common for such trees to take five years to bear fruit. We must sometimes be wary of a faulty translation as well.

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  • germanginge

    A very thought-provoking article. Have you thought of buying a copy of The Bible for Dummies? It covers the Old Testament in very good detail.

    Like

  • fraryht

    On this topic I am reminded of the sobering quote from a member of a concentration camp. “If there is a God, He will have to beg for my forgiveness”.

    I feel the same way about not only my life, but the tragedies I see, read or hear about on a daily basis.

    You are right, he is not worth worshipping.

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  • King Fõgi

    Religious people are brain-washed. Religion is stupid, makes stupid and unhappy.
    This woman on a park bench was telling me, the best thing about Christianity is, that Jesus took the sins away !?
    Is he still doing that, So if I get a speeding ticket, I can send it to Jesus, I asked her. He was a Devil, teaching people to be irresponsible.
    It is simply stupid, and I have never managed to reach the brain of a religious person, and make them think about that bullshit they insist is true.

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    • equippedcat

      Perhaps it would be better to not generalize. Are some religious people “brainwashed”? Perhaps, but not all of us. Can religion make someone stupid? No, but some people can move a bit further from reality than is supportable, which can “look like” stupidity. Can religion make someone unhappy? Some can, while some religions can actually make someone more happy.

      The claim is that Jesus paid the price for every sin that ever was and ever will be committed. The price required by God, not man. For sins against God, not against man. Jesus did not, and did not intend to or even claim to, remove worldly penalties for offenses against the law of man (speeding is not a sin, by the way).. He insisted people be MORE responsible, not irresponsible.

      Wise religious people know that a belief is something which cannot be either proved or disproved, so don’t insist that is true, just that it has not (yet) been proven to be false. Since it cannot be proven to NOT be true, it is just as “stupid” for you to insist it is “bullsh*t” as it is for them to insist it is true. The “smart” person says “I believe X is true/not true and will continue to do so unless that view can be shown to be wrong”.

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      • King Fõgi of Caledonia

        The question is, who invented the Christ-Brand-Name, who invented Christianity, and that thing with the sins taking away. Did Jesus say that. It’s an invitation for crime. (stupid)

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      • equippedcat

        The Christ brand name is from the presumed role of Jesus. Christ (/kraɪst/; ancient Greek: Χριστός, Christós, meaning “anointed”) is a translation of the Hebrew מָשִׁיחַ (Māšîaḥ) and the Syriac ܡܫܝܚܐ (M’shiha), the Messiah.

        Jesus “invented” Christianity, through the 11 men who were with him throughout the 3 years or so of his ministry. Those 11 were the nucleus who developed the Christian church after the death of Jesus.

        Yes Jesus did say it, and no, it is not an invitation for crime. Or more sin. The sin which He removes is that against God; Jesus never says or implies that He prevents punishment by Man. In fact, He says that part of following Him is obeying the human leadership which He places over us. And in order to receive this forgiveness from God, the recipient must be truly repentant, which includes the intention to not to repeat the old sins and the desire not to add new ones.

        Yes, the system may seem stupid to us, but we are not God and our opinion does not matter in His scheme of things.

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  • pineas2

    Molech was a caanite god. He is also known as Moloch and Baal with the phoenicians. No Mr. Nice God – as we learn from his longing for child victims.

    “… have taken over the Canaanite land, God says “The native born and the foreigners must not do any of these things.” That means that the foreigners are free not to follow the laws. The God of the bible is at this point quite exclusive for his followers, much later known as the jews.

    I am with you in your interpretation of the “lying with a man like with a women”- stuff.

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  • edebock

    Wow, hessianwithteeth, I’m going to assume that you were really tired when you wrote that last response!

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Lol thanks I suppose, but no I just get a kick out of it sometimes. I was talking about some of this earlier with my mother and was primed to write. I’ll probably do a post on the naturalistic argument against gods (and the supernatural) some time in the near future.

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  • my2ndnature Linda Samaritoni

    hessianwithteeth, thanks for following my blog even if you find you disagree with much of what is written there. Several Christians who responded to your post mention that the experience of the Holy Spirit makes all the difference, and I agree. God is beyond man’s understanding, and faith in Him can’t be faith if we have total proof. The proof will show eventually. Part I already showed up – Christ died and rose again all for the love of His flawed creation. The book of Romans contains great commentary on that.
    If you are honestly questioning why God does what He does, there is nothing wrong with that. If you are simply looking for excuses not to believe in an all-powerful God, you probably never will.

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    • kevingdrendel

      Thank you for liking my blog. I see you are mainly interested, so far anyway, in finding points of disagreement with the Bible. That is alright. You are being honest about where you are. I think God can do more work in a cold, honest heart than a lukewarm dishonest heart. If you really want truth, you will find it. Rather, if you really want to know God, you find Him (and discover He wasn’t the one who was lost). In fact, God is not words on a page. He must be encountered. Best wishes

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      • Dr. George Gallant

        You chose not to believe because you think it is easier, and it makes you popular on the Internet Blog site. The real reason is you are frightened that if you did believe you would have to change your ways, and that would be a hit to your Comfort Zone.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Well this is getting hard to follow not sure who’s talking to whom here. However, I’m assuming that given the tone at least some of you are touting out the old “You just saying your an atheist so you can sin.” argument.

          So I have numerous objections to this patently silly idea. One this assume we actually believe in some sort of deity deep down. I can assure you that we do not, otherwise we’d call out selves agnostic theists.

          No, there is good evidence that no supernatural forces exist. This is because in all sets of knowledge which have explanatory and predictive power also have robust naturalistic explanations. While this doesn’t rule out the supernatural it does indicated that any future explanation we get will be natural, not supernatural in in nature.

          This doesn’t just shed doubt on three of your personal versions on the Abrahamic god Yahweh, but all sort of supernatural entities and forces. Such as pixies, faeries, ghosts, and things like Karma.

          Next I reject the notion of sin because, well to be honest we all do to some extent. There is no real way of knowing which sins in the bible are truely sins in Yahweh’s eye’s. Though obviously if he does exist then it can be all of them because modern Christan’s and even most Jewish people don’t follow all the requirements set out by their God. Sure you say Jesus changed the rules, but the account differs from book to book, and he says that all laws shall be upheld, but later contradicts himself. And the existence of Jesus himself is still an open question.

          That said, what set of rules are you following? And is sin bad because God says so, or is it bad because some other reason.

          I have a good background in philosophy of ethics/morality and I must say the bible is chock full of horrid things. You’d think a just or loving god would condemn thing like slavery, rape, murder outright. But Yahweh has commanded it. sure you can wheel a way out of it if you twist and turn you logic enough, but surely an all powerful god (again which is not a given, it just assumed by most modern Christan) could have do much better then lead a bad of tribal desert folk around on a series of rampages.

          I reject sin because it seems to be just what ever the hell people thinks it is that Yahweh find displeasure. Quoting this bit of the bile or another. I say screw that we have millennia of philosophical thought on the matter of what we ought to do, and how we ought to do it.

          I choose to do my best to lay out system of thought and practice that allows us to treat others with the respect and dignity that we wish to be treated. to improve the world around us rather then just sucking at it for all it’s worth. I reject the notion of sin because it’s a failed attempt at morality and we can do and have done much better. I want people to bring about the best consequences with the best of intentions, people can make mistakes, and will make mistakes. But making people fear or long after a promise of an afterlife and a set of haphazard rule which have not kept well over the last several thousand years meant to keep us all in line is not the way to a better world.

          My ways are complex and ever changing, to be wrong is something I must live and deal with, but I do this through change not denial. I accept when I’m wrong, and alter my thinknig and actions to match that. That said the three of you just asset that there is sky father looking down and judging me base of some nebulous set of rule no one can agree on. They say this sky father love us, but threaten us with ethereal hellfire or darkness. They say this powerful being actually cares what we think about it, to the point that if we doubt it existence, let alone slander its mere idea we shall be damned.

          This might make sense to the mind of a petulant child, but I grown past such childish power fantasy and simple with to see a world where people do good because it is in the interest of all. Who think be for spewing hateful words and doing hateful actions. A world where people analysis their own ideas and action and are wise enough to change when they find themselves in the wrong.

          You claim that unbelievers don’t want to change their sinful ways, but how can you say that? How can you even say what sin is? Why do you even think unbeliever are doing bad things? Is it not just a reasonable that if there is a god(s) out there (which again there probably isn’t) that the god(s) what us to use out own mind to find truth and seek morality and wisdom, or other gods which wish to see us tear each other apart? Make make you so sure of anything you believe. I believe in the evidence in the fact and those hypothesis which have faced those most difficult rigors of science and time. If I want to check something I will test it, but can you test your god, or are you destined to be truly ignorant until you die, when you either learn something about whatever afterlife there happens to be (again who is to say its heave and hell could be something else all together), or you simplely end never knowing how wrong you where.

          I choose the difficult path of the pursuit of knowledge, not easy task to sit wallowing in my own ignorance. Though show me I’m wrong convince me otherwise. I can be convinced of theoretically anything should your argument be compelling, and your logic sound.

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  • calihurder

    Please remember exactly whom it was who wrote the bible. we are men and we are prone to things like exaggeration, innuendo, supposition etc. The bible is meant to be a guide to righteousness. It wasn’t written by God. In fact I believe God had a good laugh as it was being compiled. Probably shaking his head saying, “Oh man, these guys are too funny”.
    In the end, it is our actions that count, and that we must but believe to be saved.

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  • Paul Murray

    “Can’t we just leave it at “don’t sacrifice your children”? That seems like the most moral option.”

    Why no. All that openeth the womb is sacred to Jehovah. All the firstborn. Of course – there’s a mechanism for buying your kids back: “redeeming” them. Whew! Glad that’s sorted!

    Until you appreciate that the Israelites kept slaves. How many of their firstborn got bought back, do you think?

    Read Lev 27:28-29 again, and think about it for a second.

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Why? What good would it do to reread it? By “don’t sacrifice your children” I meant any children under their care. Though I’m sure many masters were happy to sacrifice a few animals to keep their human slaves alive, it’s still an incredibly problematic belief system. To view your chidren as owed to someone and as meant for sacrifice is disturbing.

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      • Paul Murray

        You misunderstand me. Those verses pretty clearly mandate human sacrifice, is my point. They escaped the razor that removed so many of the older parts of the Pentateuch.
        You know – everyone talks about how God sends a ram so that Abraham didn’t have to sacrifice Isaac. No-one notices that Abraham did not once protest that Isaac’s life wasn’t his to give.
        They also tend not to notice that that whole bit with the ram was cut-and-pasted into Genesis. You can see the stitches in the scroll at Gen 22:15: “and then God called to Abraham a second time and said…”. Clumsy, but good enough for the bronze age.

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  • edebock

    In reply to your response above, that’s why I recommended reading a chronological Bible. It put the events in the order in which they actually happened.

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  • Dr. George Gallant

    Simply put there are things in Scriptures that boggle the mind and these are questions only God can answer. Your concerns are legitimate, and I will not try to say I have all the answers, but that is not what will save an individual; it is Jesus Christ, who came to fulfill the whole law.

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  • infanttheology

    hessian,

    I see you started following my blog. Thank you.

    Might I suggest you start with the book of John instead of Leviticus? Or, if you are going to judge the God of the Bible on the basis of Leviticus that you read a good commentary on the book by persons familiar with the whole of Scripture? http://www.amazon.com/Leviticus-Concordia-Commentary-John-Kleinig/dp/0570063175

    God hates Molech because Molech was the foremost deity to whom child sacrifice was offered.

    I am just stopping by briefly. I apologize ahead of time that I don’t really have the time currently do continue a conversation.

    Best regards,

    +Nathan

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I’m reading the Bibile in order from book to book. How can anyone say they truly understand a book if they don’t read it in order?

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      • edebock

        The Bible is actually a collection of 66 books, rather like a library. Like a library, it isn’t meant to be read in any particular order. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with reading it through from cover to cover in the order that it has been published but that’s not necessarily the best way to understand it. As I mentioned above, a chronological Bible is a better way to do that but there are also many other ways to study and understand the Bible. For example, one might choose to study a certain topic and search the scriptures to see what is said about it in different books. The Gospel of John is often recommended as a starting point because it so clearly tells us who Jesus is. Without an understanding that the entire Bible is really about Jesus, you miss the point.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Different things happened at different times. It is easier to understand the context of later events if the earlier events are read first. It’s like reading the Harry Potter series: if I read book 5 before I read book 3, I would miss some important details that make book 5 easier to understand. Yes, the authors are different, but it’s meant to be the same cohesive story.

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        • Dr. George Gallant

          Just maybe the reason you do not understand the Bible is that you have no spiritual life in Jesus. To understand the Holy Word you must be guided by the power of the Holy Spirit.

          Just to let you know I am a theologian but have NO denominational affiliation.

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  • chandlerklebs

    Agree with you 100% on this post. What is all this stuff about sacrifice and blood? I always hated it but was afraid to say anything about it for fear that I would be punished. I could never go back to pretending to worship that thing called god.

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  • joeisbusy

    I scanned some of your comments. I can relate to many of your comments and arguments. Prior to asking Jesus into my life, I had many of the same doubts and thoughts. I won’t attempt to change your mind. Scripture says it only happens when we are called by God.
    I admire that you mention you have read through the bible. Many folks have. I had read it (BC), before Christ. Until the Holy Spirit was in me, I had no real understanding of the scripture. Especially when it seemed contradictory.
    The best way to show someone who God is, is to obey His commandments, and live a life that is a testimony to His Word. In other words, as the song goes, “I would rather see a sermon, than hear one”.
    I understand your confusion when you see “professing” Christians, living a different life than what the bible demands.
    The bible sets a standard. That means, we have a consistent, non changing example to follow.
    You have covered many topics in your comments. I love to discuss/debate the bible. However, to do this, it means both sides bring facts about the topic. The bible is straight forward about every topic. You may interpret something one way based on one scripture. When studying the bible, it is important to know, the Word of God is built on precept on precept. That is to say, in order to form a doctrine, there will be 2 or more scriptures to back up the idea.
    I have no preconceived idea about who/what you are, based on something I have read here on the internet. If you would like to discuss the bible, using the bible as the study material, pick a topic and let’s discuss!
    Prior to becoming a Christian, I spent ten plus years seeking evidence of a god, little g. I studied many religions. I tried many of those religions. You see, I didn’t want to base my beliefs only on something I read, I had to try them out. By try them out, I had to live them to some extent. This drove my wife and family nuts!
    I will never attack your way of thinking. That approach never worked on me, and I have never seen it work on anyone else. I am open minded enough to believe you could teach me something. As long as scripture is the foundation of our discussions, we will be discussing the same thing.
    If your beliefs are based on another religion, then of course we can use that as part of the discussion. I say that because, obviously there will be that standard or guidelines you use to live out your beliefs?
    Thanks
    Joe

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  • Tobe Damit

    Do you think God(s) are aliens or something like that or does it not simply matter at all to you??? BTW I’m just curious and without strong religieus convictions myself but I do value some type of spiritual values like loyalty, honesty, being humble and so forth…. To me if you believe in certain values no matter what religion you are from or if you are not at all then is irrelevant because you are a good person and it’s pretty much what matters.. I really hope I didn’t make you angry here. And btw ty so much for following my blog. I’m a newbie and each time someone either posts a comment, likes one of my posts or decides to follow my blog (which is the cherry on the cake!!) you have no idea how happy and proud it makes me.

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  • Greg Hildenbrand

    My dear fellow bloggers and seekers after truth,

    I am a Christian, and I believe the Bible contains very great truths, and I appreciate and empathize with your frustration in trying to find a God in whom you can place your belief in Scripture. For me, it has been helpful to understand that the Bible was written by human beings, not unlike you and me, who were inspired to record their experiences through writing, not unlike you and me. God did not write, nor did God dictate the Bible. God inspired people to write about their experiences with God in the best way they knew how and to the best of their ability to do so. To try to find God in any particular book or passage is, in my opinion, a futile exercise. I also find searching for God only through Scripture to be inadequate, at least for me. I think it is by considering the entirety of scripture and placing it in context with our experiences, our logic, and our religious traditions that God becomes a living presence with us. Just because certain passages in the Bible record murders, bloody sacrifices, rules that make no sense today, polygamy, incest, a lesser status of women, etc., does not mean God supports any of those acts. It only means they were a part of the writer’s experience and culture at the time.

    I encourage you to keep reading — perhaps focusing on the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) for a time. They record God coming to earth as a human (Jesus) to show what we are destined to become.

    Most of all, I encourage you to keep searching for God — in Scripture, but also as a living presence around you. God is not limited by what has been written about God in the Bible, nor by what is preached about God in the pulpit. I pray you will find, as you continue to reach out to God, that you will come to find God reaching back to you.

    Blessings to you on your journey!
    Greg

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    • hessianwithteeth

      We aren’t trying to find god. That would be starting with a conclusion. We are merely reading the Bible as we would any other book and determining its merits from there. As such, we are reading it in order because we do not believe that you can have a proper understanding of it by jumping from passage to passage.
      We’re also reviewing Mere Christianity in the same manner and will be reading other theology books later on.

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      • edebock

        Interesting dialogue. If you truly want to read the Bible in order, I’d suggest a chronological version which takes the traditional Bible and simply reorganizes it into the order in which things happened (as much as is possible). It includes writings such as the Psalms and the New Testament letters at the points in which they were written which gives them better context. An archeological study Bible that includes information about the times and culture also adds interest and perspective. I’m currently reading the New King James version Chronological Study Bible and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

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  • emilyrathjen

    I thought this understanding (or lack there of, depending on your personal opinion) and perspective of the Old Testament was interesting. I’m a Christian but I’ve always been frustrated and irritated by some of the laws and the obvious “discrimination” of those times. I guess I’ve always just thought of it as history, as a God dealing with children who had in many ways already decided what they wanted to be normal. I’ve just looked at it as a response to something broken and in need of protection. But once you get to the New Testament you find so many new and different things, including a God that has teachings that go against the times and customs of the patriarch society. It doesn’t sound like much compared to today’s world, but back then it was a huge deal to say anything that even slightly empowered women or gave them value.
    But there will always be something in the Bible that won’t mesh, which is why we get to either take it or leave it. Seeing as changing it isn’t a viable option, at least not if your expecting the same outcome…
    Honestly there’s so much in the Bible that I don’t understand and can’t agree with, but then there’s also so much that I do and can. Any way… interesting read, I’m curious on your take of other religious texts.

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  • effulgentbeliever

    What makes me laugh (and kinda hurl on the inside) is how cruel these comments are. Really guys? Could we actually show love to people like Jesus told us to? Or maybe we’re having too much fun on our high horses as we trump over people who have the bravery to speak their thoughts.

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  • scmike2

    You said: “”Not accepting objective morality doesn’t mean that any behavior must be accepted.””

    It does mean that your complaint against any behavior is reduced to mere personal preference, though, and, as such, you lose any rational foundation for saying that anything SHOULD not be done. After all, your personal opinion is non-binding and not authoritative in any way, which ultimately renders your ‘standard’ against murder, etc. about as meaningful as you saying ‘blue is my favorite color’. Personal preferences are nice, HWT, but there is no logical basis for applying them to anyone else but you. When you do so, you are living inconsistently with what you profess to believe. That is, you do believe in moral imperatives, yet you reject the only possible source for an objective moral code—the God of the Bible. As such, you end up holding the self-contradictory position that things like rape, murder, etc. are ‘wrong’, but they could also be ‘right’. Obviously, this position is unacceptable and irrational.

    You said: “”They are right or wrong because we have decided that they are right or wrong. That’s what it means to be subjective. And my moral standards aren’t mine alone. They are the morals that I have learned by being a citizen in my society. They aren’t arbitrary, they are agreed upon by almost everyone in my society.””

    However, this is just a faulty appeal to the majority, as it shifts an unjustified opinion from one person to a group of people. As such, it is indeed arbitrary, as it also means that the opposite could just as easily be decided otherwise at any point in the future. Again, you are forced to admit that (according to your professed position), if the majority rules, then ANYTHING the majority deems ‘right’ is what we should do. That means that if the majority ever decided that murder was acceptable (like in Hitler’s Germany, for instance), then it necessarily becomes the ‘right’ thing to do and you would then be ‘wrong’ for opposing it. Like it or not, this is what your worldview leads to when followed to its illogical end.

    Besides, if you are going to argue that ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are up to the majority, then I can just argue that since the majority of people are not atheists, then atheism is therefore ‘wrong’ and you lose the argument by your own standard. If you truly believe what you profess to, then you should have no problem with that!

    You said: “”There is what’s in our nature to do. It is in our nature to survive. Most people will do whatever they can to stay alive.””

    So if rape and murder benefit the survival value of a particular individual or group, then they should go for it? This leads to consequences that you probably won’t want to accept, HWT. Suppose someone put forth that kind of an argument to justify homophobia and the elimination of those who practice a homosexual lifestyle—-citing that such relationships are detrimental to the furtherance of society since they can produce no resulting offspring. If they could convince enough people of their position, and could get laws passed to support it, then by your own standard, it would become the ‘right’ thing to do. YIIIIIIIIIIKKKKKKEEEEESSS!!! (Although I do appreciate you demonstrating what a worldview without God really leads to for all to see).

    You said: “”Faith means that I believe without, or despite evidence to the contrary. That’s your stance, not mine.””

    Actually, we both operate on faith. Yours is an unjustified and unjustifiable one (as you continue to demonstrate), which gives you no rational foundation for the things you believe in (morality, logic, etc.), while the Christian’s faith is 100% justifiable, as it is based upon the immutable, objective foundation of God’s sovereign, absolute, and unchanging character and nature as revealed in His Word. As such, I have a logical justification for believing in absolute standards (such as morality), while you are reduced to subjective personal opinion in these matters (although, again I am relieved that you don’t really live that way).

    You said: “”Refusing to admit that you don’t know is.””

    Not only do I know, I can justify my ability to do so (as God has revealed some things to mankind such that we can be certain of them). How is it possible for you to know anything for certain in your worldview?

    You said: “”Laws don’t make something right or wrong either. They just enforce what we as a society have decided is moral to a certain degree.””

    You are really all over the place on this. You said earlier that society determines morality, now you seem to be indicating that it’s up to the individual, despite what the majority determines. If society is the measure of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, then individual preference is irrelevant, as society is always ‘right’ no matter what. If morality is individually stipulated, then anyone is free to stipulate their own standard of morality and they are all equally valid. Again, if the thoughts in our brains are nothing but mere chemical process and the results of time and chance, then nothing gives one chemical reaction predominance over another. The fact that you do believe that there exists a correct way to think and behave betrays your professed position (yet again) and reveals that you are suppressing what you know to be true.

    You said: “”Even if I decided tomorrow that I thought it was okay to rape and murder someone, that doesn’t mean that I can go and do it, because we have laws that tell me that I can’t.””

    Unless, of course, you knew that you could get away with it and it benefited you to do so. Again, that is the morality of atheism in a nutshell: there is no ultimate reason not to rape and murder if you can get away with it and it benefits you to do so. In fact, it would be inconsistent with your worldview not to do so, as survival is the name of the game, remember?

    You said: “”But no, my opinion of those two things won’t change any time soon. Why? Because I have thought carefully about them. I have decided how I feel about them. To me, rape is one of the most detestable crimes that one can commit and I wish that people were better educated about what rape actually is.””

    Unfortunately, this is question begging, as it amounts to you saying I know my opinion of rape and murder won’t change because I have formed an opinion about them. I want to know how you know for certain that you won’t find these things 100% morally acceptable tomorrow. Here’s a hint: you don’t. As such, you are forced to admit that those things could become ‘right’ in your eyes at any given time. Eeeeeeeeek (for the umpteenth time)! Nice worldview ya got there (not really).

    You said: “”But if your only reasoning for not raping is “god told me not to” then you are the one who could change your mind at any minute. You don’t really know why your actions are wrong, you just know that you were told not to.””

    Actually, I know why it is absolutely wrong to rape and, as a Christian, I know for certain that I could never commit such behavior (see 1 John 3:9-10). However, you could never say this in your worldview, as you espouse a position in which rape could become ‘right’, and you just might decide to engage in such behavior at any given time. Again, this doesn’t bode well for your position, but it does wonders for mine. I am grateful! : )

    You said: “”What if you have a dream where god tells you that somebody deserves to be raped and he wants you to rape them? Are you going to rape them? If you don’t, then you’re going against god, but if you do you’re acting immorally.””

    Um, not if I know for certain that such a dream conflicts with what God has already revealed for certain regarding the absolute ‘wrongness’ of rape (which I do). Again, though, this is something you could never say given your professed position.

    You said: “”And yes, I do live in accordance to my personal beliefs.””

    I sure hope not! I suppose I should be grateful that my contact info. is secure, though. : D

    You said: “”You may site your bible when you wish to discriminate, and maybe you also site it when you feel that you’ve done something note worthy, but if you actually followed all of the laws in the bible, you’d be in jail right now.'”

    Really? I don’t know about you, but where I come from (which shall remain undisclosed for safety’s sake : D), ‘Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ is still absolutely legal.

    (I realize that you are probably referring to the civil and ceremonial laws here that were only for the Jews while living under God’s direct theocratic rule in the O.T.and which were fulfilled in Christ. This is a frequent misunderstanding/ misrepresentation by those who hold non-believing worldviews and one which I forgive you for.)

    You said: “”I never said that it would be alright for someone to eliminate me. I wouldn’t care though: I’d be dead. It would be immoral by my standards and by societal standards, but they could still do it.””

    BINGO! In your worldview, it ultimately doesn’t matter if one lives like Mother Theresa or Adolph Hitler, as they are both on equal footing today—dead forever. Shameful, really.

    See, on one hand you profess to believe that human beings are nothing but evolved assemblages of atoms–the products of time and chance over millions of years. However, on the other hand, you act as if we are not merely the results of mindless chemical processes over time, and should be treated with a certain level of dignity and respect. As such, you are in sort of an ‘intellectual hell’ right now, trying to hold to two completely contradictory ideas at the same time and in the same way because of your irrational worldview. This is the type of vain and foolish reasoning that results when one rejects the truth of God’s Word (see Romans 1:18-23). I am hard pressed to think of a clearer example of that fact than this one.

    You said: “”It’s not that I don’t like your moral standards, it’s that they are absurd. There are better moral standards to follow. I prefer my own because I see the value in it. But with yours, I just see silly rules that don’t mean anything and harmful rules that hurt others.””

    Riiiiiiight. ‘Thou shalt not murder’ and ‘rape is absolutely morally wrong in all places and all times’ is a much more absurd and harmful standard than ‘rape and murder could be ‘right’ and ‘there is no ultimate reason why you shouldn’t engage in them right now if it benefits you and you can get away with it’. With respect, your willful unreasonableness with regards to this topic is staggering.

    You said: “”How do I know my reasoning works? How do you know your car works? Or your computer? That’s how I know.””

    Well, since I know these things by using my God-given senses and reasoning to learn them, it looks like you are arguing that you use your senses and reasoning to determine that your senses and reasoning are valid. I hate to break this to you, HWT, but that is the very opposite of a logical worldview and reduces your position (yet again) to absurdity. Unfortunately for you, this internal inconsistency further renders your position demonstrably false and irrational. Oh well, such is the illogical outcome of atheism—-don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    You said: “”And don’t say “the bible.” That’s circular reasoning: “I know god exists because the bible says so, and I know the bible is true because god says so.””

    Actually, Mr. ‘I sense and reason that my senses and reasoning are valid’, that’s not my argument. I know for certain that God exists AND the Bible says so, just like I know the Bible is true AND God says so. Surely you would not adopt the intellectually dishonest position that an omnipotent, omniscient God could not reveal these things to us independently of one another (although, at this point it wouldn’t surprise me).

    You said: “”Yes. I believe what I’m told when the person telling me something can back up their claims with evidence.””

    Bet you’ve never asked them for the evidence that their senses and reasoning are valid or how they know for certain the things they are telling you are true. As such, both you and they must accept these things on blind, irrational faith if/ when you reject the God of the Bible.

    You said: “”Thus why I accept what scientists tell me and not what theologians tell me. I want to know the truth, so I’m not going to believe whatever BS claim I’m told. I’ll believe the person with the best evidence. And if their claim is proven false, then I find a better answer. That’s how critical thinking works.””

    And let me guess, you’ll do so with senses and reasoning that you validate with (****drumroll please*****) your senses and reasoning. I think you’ve just adequately demonstrated the absurd lengths you’re willing to go in order to cling to your worldview, HWT. As I stated way back at the beginning, you are free to continue in your sin and your profession of atheism, however, it is crystal clear that you do so—not for any rational reasons—-but rather due to an unjustified prejudice against the God who gave you life. It is my sincere hope that you will come to cease this behavior and call upon Christ, who stands ready to forgive your sins and transform you via His Spirit by the renewing of your mind unto the truth.

    As it is, I am pleased to leave the discussion here, as you have conceded the debate at this point via your admission that the foundation of your worldview is an irrational one. However, if I can be of any assistance to you as you honestly think through these important issues, I am happy to help if I can (as I am sincerely concerned for your salvation). I recommend you read the four Gospels (especially the book of John) and you may also find the Answers in Genesis website a good resource for educating yourself on worldview issues. Take care!

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Can you please just go read some philosophy books? Try learning some logic skills? Seriously, your arguments are terrible. You basically argue “Your an atheist, and atheists are bad, therefore you must be an immoral monster and must not have logically justifiable beliefs.” Quite using your personal opinion to try and tell me that I’m just using my personal opinion. And try using some new arguments, because all you’ve done is repeat yourself in most of your posts. I didn’t agree with you the first time, why would the next 10 be any different?

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      • scmike2

        You said: “”Can you please just go read some philosophy books?””

        How ironic! A professing atheist suggesting that I should put my trust in the writings found in some book. You really are too much! : D

        You said: “”You basically argue “Your an atheist, and atheists are bad, therefore you must be an immoral monster and must not have logically justifiable beliefs.””

        Huh? I’m not sure whose arguments you’re referring to here, HWT, but they aren’t mine. Please show me where I have stated anything even close to what you have alleged above. At this point, I am forced to conclude that you are being deliberately obtuse and appealing to emotion here (which is a sign that one has run out of any valid, rational arguments for their position). A guilty conscience maybe?

        You said: “”And try using some new arguments, because all you’ve done is repeat yourself in most of your posts. I didn’t agree with you the first time, why would the next 10 be any different?””

        Just because you don’t like the arguments doesn’t mean they are not valid and should not be used. Thankfully, though, your agreement is not required here. Truth does not necessarily equal persuasion, as it is impossible to convince someone of something they don’t wish to be convinced of. Don’t worry though….I would say exactly the same things if I was in your position.

        I have enjoyed the exchange here and appreciate the exposure of our respective worldviews for all to see. I welcome any intellectually honest reader to examine our comments to see which of us has remained logically consistent with their professed position and who has not. Take care!

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  • scmike2

    You said: “”Evolutionarily speaking, there is no “right way” to evolve.””

    BINGO! Evolution being the mindless process that it is could only give us that which ‘is’, not that which ‘should’ be. Therefore, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are meaningless terms in an evolutioniary universe, as behavioral standards are reduced to a matter of personal (subjective) preference and no one personal preference is any more valid than another. If I say “I like red” and you say “yeah, but I prefer blue”, what bearing does your preference have on mine? None! Absent an unchanging, overriding standard of morality by which to gauge the ‘correctness’ of any behavior, nothing can be said to be truly ‘immoral’. When you appeal to such concepts, you are revealing the internal inconsistency of your position. You believe in objective moral standards, but at the same time deny the only possible source of them–God.

    You said: “”We say that rape and murder are wrong because they are activities that we as a species have decided are morally unacceptable.””

    Um, last time I checked, rapists and murderers were part of our ‘species’ who have decided otherwise. What makes their position incorrect and yours correct? Because you say so?

    You said: “”This is because we live in groups. We need certain laws to maintain peace within our groups.””

    Why is maintaining peace the ‘right’ thing to do, though, as opposed to not maintaining it, from a purely atheistic standpoint? Who gets to decide this, the group or the individual?

    You said: “”Otherwise our species kills itself off.””

    And how do you know for certain that this isn’t what we should be doing vs. not doing so? If you don’t know the proper function of evolution, you could never know this, since people necessarily behave the way the chemicals in their evolved brains tell them to in an atheistic universe. If the chemical reactions in someone’s brain told them to destroy as many people as possible, why shouldn’t they do what their ‘brain fizz’ dictates? We wouldn’t get mad at the resulting reaction produced by adding baking soda to vinegar, after all. Sure, you may find this disagreeable, but what gives the chemical reaction in your brain precedence over the one in their’s in a strictly materialstic, accidental universe? If we both shake a can of different soda and then pop the tabs, we wouldn’t call the resulting chemical reactions ‘right’ or ‘wrong’—-they just ‘are’. Besides all that, nothing (including killing our species off) is absolutely forbidden in your worldview. Remember?

    You said: “”According to the bible, rape is only wrong because you are mistreating another man’s property. The issue is easily resolved by marrying the woman. Rape is wrong for a different reason today: you are causing the woman harm and infringing on her rights as an autonomous person.””

    I’m sure you’ll understand if I don’t take my Bible exegesis from you (too many misrepresentations). However, your claim is just plain wrong (and irrelevent). Even if your position were true (it isn’t) rape is still absolutely morally wrong according to the Bible (the reasons nonwithstanding). This is something you could never say in your worldview, as you are forced to admit that rape could become acceptable at any time, both in society’s eyes and in your own. In fact, how do you know for certain that you won’t view it favorably tomorrow given that your personal preferences are subject to change?

    You said: “”Killing is also viewed differently.””

    Again, this is incorrect. You’re confusing killing with murder–apples and oranges. Murder (being that killing which is unlawful) is absolutely morally wrong, while killing is not. Since God is the standard of the law, He cannot commit murder.

    You said: “”Why should other people accept my moral standard? Because most of them are laws. If they don’t want to go to jail, then they should follow the law.””

    So if the laws changed to condone the practices of rape, murder, child molestation, and homophobia, then people SHOULD follow them? Eeeeeeek! See what your worldview leads to, BWT!

    You said: “”They should also follow many of them, because we as a species find certain things distasteful, and if they don’t want me to do those things to them, then they better not do them to me.””

    Or, why not just eliminate you from the get go to ensure that you couldn’t do so? As an atheist, you have no logical reason why you or anyone else should not (or won’t) adopt that standard of behavior. In fact, doing so would be more consistent with natural selection and the ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality, as getting rid of you could possibly increase survival value of the other party. However, as a Christian, I can say with certainty that it would be absolutely wrong to do this to you, as I know (as do you) that you are created in the image of God and are deserving of love, dignity, and respect.

    You said: “”Reasoning is not an authority. Appealing to an authority would be if I’d said “Richard Dawkins says that feminism is wrong, therefore feminism is wrong.” Dawkins is not an expert on feminism, so taking his word on feminism because he’s Richard Dawkins would be an appeal to authority.””

    Sort of like appealing to society and its changeable laws as the basis for your morality? You’re too much, HWT!

    The question is: how do you know that your reasoning about any of this is correct? As an atheist, what is your logical justification for trusting that your senses and reasoning are valid in the first place and that they are giving you valid information?

    You said: “”And why do you make critical thinking sound like a bad thing?””

    Critical thinking is a wonderful thing! As a Christian, I know that my senses and reasoning are a precious gift from God and are to be used in the pursuit of exploring and gaining knowledge about the world around us. I am interested to see how you logically justify your ability to think critically (or at all) without God, though. Take care.

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      Um…I don’t believe in objective morality. It’s completely subjective.
      What makes rape and murder wrong? See, there’s this thing called majority opinion. Most of us agree that rape and murder are wrong, so the minority that think otherwise either have to accept our authority or risk punishment.
      Maintaining the peace isn’t “right” or “wrong,” it’s in our best interest. We’re very good at surviving as a group, but we kinda suck at surviving alone.
      If you want to die, go ahead and try to create a society of people determined to kill each other off. Personally, I like living. So do most people. Why would we do something that would kill us when we can do things to keep ourselves alive instead?
      Why do you think that I’m wrong on rape in the Bible? Is it because I’m an atheist and can therefore have no understanding of the bible? Is it because your church interprets it differently? To quote a Baptist friend of mine “there are as many versions of Christianity as there are Christians.” What makes your interpretation better than mine?
      Commandment 6 “Thou shalt not kill.” That says nothing about murder, just about killing. Yet god commands the Israelites to kill.
      Laws don’t generally say what you must do, they say what you can’t do. You don’t have to murder because murder is legal, you just won’t go to jail for it. If somebody edited a Bible to take out the 6th commandment (let’s say it was generally believe that god came to them so their edition became widely accepted), then what would keep you from murdering? See, I still have my own moral convictions which would tell me that I shouldn’t murder despite the lack of punishment. But, based on what you’ve said, if god tells you that killing is okay, then you should do it.
      “Survival of the fittest” isn’t actually part of natural selection. The term was coined by Darwin’s cousin (a Christian, BTW) who believed that whites were superior to blacks and wanted to use evolution to make his beliefs acceptable. Somebody could eliminate me if they thought that it would somehow improve things for them. However, they would likely go to jail and someone may decide that their actions are deserving of revenge. Now quit being arrogant and telling me that you know me better than I know me. You’ve never even met me, and I’ve never met your god.
      Read up on your fallacies please. The evidence suggests that that my beliefs are correct beyond a reasonable doubt.
      We don’t need god to explain critical thinking, or human functioning. I don’t need a puppet master, I do just fine on my own. And science has made so many discoveries that your questions are easily answered. If you want to know about evolution, go to your local college/university and talk to a biologist. You can also talk to a physicist while you’re there and they can explain the creation of the universe to you. Hell, you can even find a religious studies professor and they can explain how the ancient Hebrew religion led to Judaism, and how Judaism led to Christianity, and how all those religions changed over time. Those people are all experts in their field.They study these things closely. Those are the people I get my information from.

      Like

      • scmike2

        You said: “”Um…I don’t believe in objective morality. It’s completely subjective.””

        Then you concede that your complaints against any behavior (especially God’s) are without merit, as they are reduced to mere opinion which places them in the realm of blind faith. I am pleased with that!

        You said: “”We’re very good at surviving as a group, but we kinda suck at surviving alone.””

        Which is irrelevent unless you knew that ‘surviving’ is what we are supposed to do. Again, since you have no rational basis for this belief apart from your opinion, this again reduces your position to one of blind faith.

        You said: “”If you want to die, go ahead and try to create a society of people determined to kill each other off. Personally, I like living. So do most people. Why would we do something that would kill us when we can do things to keep ourselves alive instead?””

        The question is: why not? I have a rational answer to this question in my worldview. You do not.

        You said: “”Why do you think that I’m wrong on rape in the Bible?””

        Actually, I don’t think it–I know it. Rape is not wrong because of the reasons you gave, it is absolutely wrong because it is in contradiction to the revealed character and nature of God. That’s what sin is, HWT. It is that which violates the character and nature of God as revealed to us in His Word.

        You said: “”Commandment 6 “Thou shalt not kill.” That says nothing about murder, just about killing. Yet god commands the Israelites to kill””

        Again, the type of killing forbidden here is murder (i.e. unlawful killing). Naturally, any killing done by the Israelites as commanded by God would not be unlawful. In fact, it would have been unlawful for them not to do it.

        You said: “”Laws don’t generally say what you must do, they say what you can’t do. You don’t have to murder because murder is legal, you just won’t go to jail for it.””

        Riiiiiiight. The point is, you have no basis in your worldview for why someone SHOULDN’T commit murder outside of subjective personal preference. After all, what one chemical accident does to another is ultimately irrelevent in a purely accidental, evolutionary universe.

        Besides, you would be forced to admit that if society decided to pass laws imposing punishments for not murdering, raping, etc., then it would now be ‘right’ to do those things. Again, this is but one of the absurd consequence of a purely subjective, atheistic worldview. Thankfully, you don’t live in accordance with your professed beliefs.

        You said: “”If somebody edited a Bible to take out the 6th commandment (let’s say it was generally believe that god came to them so their edition became widely accepted), then what would keep you from murdering?””

        Um, the innate knowledge that it is wrong per God’s direct revelation. Again, this is but one of the things that God has ‘hardwired’ into mankind, being made in His image, such that we can know them for certain.

        You: “”See, I still have my own moral convictions which would tell me that I shouldn’t murder despite the lack of punishment.””

        No, what you have (by your own admission) are your subjective opinions that, themselves, are subject to change. You are forced to admit (given your professed position) that your unfavorable opinion of things like rape, murder, etc. could change at any moment to a favorable one (yes, I noticed that you have avoided addressing that point). Again, I am so thankful that you don’t truly live in accordance with your professed beliefs!! YIKES!

        You said: “”Somebody could eliminate me if they thought that it would somehow improve things for them. However, they would likely go to jail and someone may decide that their actions are deserving of revenge.””

        So basically, it’s cool for them as long as they can get away with it, then? Eeeeeeeeek (again)!! Can’t you see the types of absurd conclusions that your professed atheism leads to? Why trust such a logically and morally bankrupt position, simply because you don’t LIKE the alternative?

        You said: “”We don’t need god to explain critical thinking, or human functioning.””

        However, this is just your way of avoiding the tough questions that you don’t want to deal with. If God is not required, then give me your worldview’s logical justification for how you know that your senses and reasoning are basically reliable and are providing you with valid information. You continue to make knowledge claims that you say are based upon ‘critical thinking’. I want to know what rational basis you have for proceeding with the assumption that the senses and reasoning you employ in your observations and conclusions are valid to begin with (and don’t worry, I know why you don’t want to answer this question).

        You said: “”Those people are all experts in their field.They study these things closely. Those are the people I get my information from.””

        So, you do just believe what you’re told, after all? That explains alot! : D

        Like

        • hessianwithteeth

          Not accepting objective morality doesn’t mean that any behavior must be accepted. It means that you do not believe that the action is wrong by its nature. Like I’ve already said, I believe that somethings are right and some things are wrong. But they aren’t right or wrong inherently. They are right or wrong because we have decided that they are right or wrong. That’s what it means to be subjective. And my moral standards aren’t mine alone. They are the morals that I have learned by being a citizen in my society. They aren’t arbitrary, they are agreed upon by almost everyone in my society.
          Again, there is no “what we are supposed to do.” There is what’s in our nature to do. It is in our nature to survive. Most people will do whatever they can to stay alive. We don’t know why we want to stay alive, other than that it is in our best interest. There is a difference between believing something for a reason and having faith. Faith means that I believe without, or despite evidence to the contrary. That’s your stance, not mine.
          Why do you need an answer beyond “I don’t want to die”? Why isn’t that enough? Why are you so scared of admitting that you don’t know that you have to put “god” as your answer? Not knowing isn’t a bad thing. Refusing to admit that you don’t know is.
          Your god doesn’t say that. He simply says don’t kill. If he meant “don’t kill except in certain circumstances” why didn’t he say that? If the commandments are the ultimate rules that you as a christian are supposed to follow, then the pacifists have it right. No killing means no killing.
          For our universe to be accidental, there would have to be a mind behind it. You’re assuming intent. And again, my morals aren’t simply my personal preference. I live in a society with other people. I have to work with them to ensure that I have the most freedom. That means not doing things that harm them so that they won’t do things that harm me.
          Laws don’t make something right or wrong either. They just enforce what we as a society have decided is moral to a certain degree. Laws aren’t perfect either, because many of them are passed specifically to benefit certain people to the detriment of others. This is because politicians are human. But things like rape and murder are covered by laws. Even if I decided tomorrow that I thought it was okay to rape and murder someone, that doesn’t mean that I can go and do it, because we have laws that tell me that I can’t.
          But no, my opinion of those two things won’t change any time soon. Why? Because I have thought carefully about them. I have decided how I feel about them. To me, rape is one of the most detestable crimes that one can commit and I wish that people were better educated about what rape actually is. I wish that politicians will stop excusing rapists and the media would stop blaming the victim. As for murder, I will never join the military because I believe that they get away with a lot of murder. Every time the military kills an innocent civilian they have committed murder. And governments excuse the murders committed by their soldiers by calling it collateral damage. I don’t have to fear my morals going to shit because I have thought hard about them and thus know why I believe them. But if your only reasoning for not raping is “god told me not to” then you are the one who could change your mind at any minute. You don’t really know why your actions are wrong, you just know that you were told not to. What if you have a dream where god tells you that somebody deserves to be raped and he wants you to rape them? Are you going to rape them? If you don’t, then you’re going against god, but if you do you’re acting immorally. And yes, I do live in accordance to my personal beliefs. I’m just happy you don’t actually do what the bible tells you to do. You may site your bible when you wish to discriminate, and maybe you also site it when you feel that you’ve done something note worthy, but if you actually followed all of the laws in the bible, you’d be in jail right now.
          I never said that it would be alright for someone to eliminate me. I wouldn’t care though: I’d be dead. It would be immoral by my standards and by societal standards, but they could still do it. It’s not that I don’t like your moral standards, it’s that they are absurd. There are better moral standards to follow. I prefer my own because I see the value in it. But with yours, I just see silly rules that don’t mean anything and harmful rules that hurt others.
          How do I know my reasoning works? How do you know your car works? Or your computer? That’s how I know. How do you know your god works? And don’t say “the bible.” That’s circular reasoning: “I know god exists because the bible says so, and I know the bible is true because god says so.” That’s not logical. What other reasons do you have for knowing your god is the basis of morality?
          Yes. I believe what I’m told when the person telling me something can back up their claims with evidence. Thus why I accept what scientists tell me and not what theologians tell me. I want to know the truth, so I’m not going to believe whatever BS claim I’m told. I’ll believe the person with the best evidence. And if their claim is proven false, then I find a better answer. That’s how critical thinking works.

          Like

  • scmike2

    Behavior has nothing to do with the existence of the standard, HWT. If there existed an absolute speed limit of 50 mph and some people drove 55 mph, that in no way negates the fact that the standard exists. The question is not which behaviors some people profess to approve of when perpetrating them against others, but what they know to be true regarding those behaviors if they were enacted upon them or someone they love. No doubt, those who profess a love and acceptance of rape, murder, oppression, violence etc. would decry such behaviors if someone decided to visit any of those acts upon them. As such, the inconsistency of their position is exposed, as they too know in their heart of hearts that such behaviors are absolutely morally wrong and not just a matter of personal preference.

    You said: “”So no, there are no moral absolutes””.

    So moral absolutes are absolutely forbidden in your worldview, then?

    You said: “”That doesn’t mean I don’t take things to be morally unacceptable. Giving your daughter would be one such thing. Killing people for disagreeing with you is another.””

    This is not ‘morality’, but personal opinion. Morality is that which ‘should’ be. From a purely atheistic standpoint, why SHOULD anyone else adhere to your personal preference if they don’t want to (especially if it is their personal preference to do you harm and they can get away with it)? After all, differing personal preferences (i.e. opinions) are not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, they’re just……’different’. To remain consistent with your professed position, that would be the most you could ever say about any behavior in your worldview.

    Besides, didn’t rapists, murderers, terrorists, etc. evolve too? How do you know that they didn’t evolve the correct behavioral standard and you didn’t evolve the incorrect one?

    You said: “”My world view is based on critical thinking. It’s based on looking at the world and looking at all the different religions and comparing what they say to the world around me. It’s based on study. It’s not based on my parents telling me what to believe, or my teachers, or my church. It’s not based on only reading one side of the argument. My world view is as logically based as you can get. But you don’t seem to have an understanding of what logic actually is. Let me give you a hint: it isn’t appealing to an authority.””

    Actually, we both are appealing to authority here. The issue is: which one is rationally defensible and internally consistent? I appeal to the absolute authority of God and His Divinely revealed Word, which gives me justification for the existence of absolute objective standards and concepts such as morality, logic, truth, and also for believing that my senses and reasoning are basically reliable. You, on the other hand must appeal to your autonomous senses and reasoning alone as your ultimate authority. The question then becomes: how do you know that the senses and reasoning you use to perform your ‘critical thinking’ and observations are, themselves, basically reliable and are providing you with valid information? What is your logical justification for that belief in your worldview?

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Evolutionarily speaking, there is no “right way” to evolve. We say that rape and murder are wrong because they are activities that we as a species have decided are morally unacceptable. This is because we live in groups. We need certain laws to maintain peace within our groups. Otherwise our species kills itself off. Morality doesn’t just change from culture to culture, it changes over time too. According to the bible, rape is only wrong because you are mistreating another man’s property. The issue is easily resolved by marrying the woman. Rape is wrong for a different reason today: you are causing the woman harm and infringing on her rights as an autonomous person. Killing is also viewed differently. Killing your neighbor was wrong, unless they sinned. Then you were responsible for ensuring that they are killed. But god not only accepted, but commanded, the Israelites to go into other lands and kill the people. We do not find that acceptable. If you go into someones land and start killing people, you are determined to be acting immorally. You can say that rape and murder are wrong in all places at all times (tell the rape bit to India), but what we define as rape and murder differs. This is not mere opinion, this is because morality is not black and white. It’s a complex issue.
      Why should other people accept my moral standard? Because most of them are laws. If they don’t want to go to jail, then they should follow the law. They should also follow many of them, because we as a species find certain things distasteful, and if they don’t want me to do those things to them, then they better not do them to me.
      Reasoning is not an authority. Appealing to an authority would be if I’d said “Richard Dawkins says that feminism is wrong, therefore feminism is wrong.” Dawkins is not an expert on feminism, so taking his word on feminism because he’s Richard Dawkins would be an appeal to authority.
      And why do you make critical thinking sound like a bad thing? Would it be better if we all just blindly accepted what we are told?

      Like

  • scmike2

    Simple. Because, as a professing atheist, your rejection of God and His Word is purely arbitrary and not based upon ANY logical foundation or objective standard, which therefore calls your motive into question. In one of your prior comments to me, you made the statement: “nothing absolutely forbids anything”. Followed to its logical (read: illogical) conclusion, this means that things like rape, murder, child molestation, terrorism, etc. are not absolutely forbidden in your worldview (and, in fact, could be entirely ok at certain places and times). Not only that, due to the purely subjective nature of your position, you are forced to admit that you could just as easily come to view those behaviors in the same favorable light as you have come to view prostitution, etc. (YIKES!).

    This gives you zero rational basis for condemning any behavior (alleged or otherwise), yet you go on and on in your article complaining about certain things that you (erroneously) believe that God has done wrong. At some point, though, one must ultimately ask you why that is. If you yourself have no ultimate absolute moral foundation, what is the rationale for your (mischaracterized) complaints against God—other than simply having an ‘ax to grind’ based on unfounded hostility and contempt on your part towards your Creator? Like it or not, this is what your position is reduced to, and it is the epitome of sinful behavior (see John 3:18-19). I recommend repentance.

    “When Man ceases to worship God he does not worship nothing but worships everything.”
    ~G.K. Chesterton

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      There are cultures that accept rape in certain contexts. All cultures accept killing others in one form or another, and they define murder to exclude those acceptable forms. In the US, many states are fine with killing prisoners with the death penalty. In some states it’s acceptable to kill someone for entering your property. It’s not considered murder by your government’s standards when they kill hundreds or thousands of non-American citizens in a country that the US considers themselves at war with. So no, there are no moral absolutes. That doesn’t mean I don’t take things to be morally unacceptable. Giving your daughter would be one such thing. Killing people for disagreeing with you is another.
      My world view is based on critical thinking. It’s based on looking at the world and looking at all the different religions and comparing what they say to the world around me. It’s based on study. It’s not based on my parents telling me what to believe, or my teachers, or my church. It’s not based on only reading one side of the argument. My world view is as logically based as you can get. But you don’t seem to have an understanding of what logic actually is. Let me give you a hint: it isn’t appealing to an authority.

      Like

  • scmike2

    You said: “”I hope no one reading this is hoping that reading the Bible will make me Christian, because it’s only having the same effect that it had last time: it’s making me more sure that the God of the Bible doesn’t exist. Or, at the very least, isn’t worth worshiping.””

    Gotta be honest, HWT, this article has ‘I love my sin a whole lot and would rather be God than submit to Him’ written all over it. Nothing new there (in fact, it’s perfectly consistent with what the Bible states about mankind’s tendency to rebel against their Creator despite knowing better—ironic, huh?).

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I have yet to see your god prove itself to be worth worshiping. Though, being as I “sin” a lot less then a number of Christians, I don’t know how you could say that I just love my sin and want to do more of it.

      Like

    • criticalbuddhist

      Response to smike2: Come again? I just read this post and what I’m hearing is “Nothing in this book makes sense to a decent and sensible person.” What HWT is doing is simply reading the source documents and asking obvious questions, like “Why?” or “How come?” or, more to the point, “WTF?” Any sane person reading the Old Testament (and a fair bit of the NT) would ask these questions. Only people who have already been lobotomized by their “faith” (read “ideology”) would believe this stuff and then not have any questions. If God does not behave morally, why follow him? If he doesn’t make sense, why heed him? If smike2 you behave morally, it’s not because you read it in the Bible, I can assure you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dr. George Gallant

        What is your specific question, maybe I can help? My advice is for you to read the New Testament first as there are many things in the Old Testament that can be confusing when the mind is not open to spiritual matters.

        Like

        • criticalbuddhist

          I actually don’t have any intention on becoming n regular participant on this forum, but I’ve covered the bases as far as reading the Bible. I have a bachelors degree in religious studies, have read the Bible in its entirety (parts many times over), have taken courses on it, written papers, passed tests, delivered public lectures on it, etc. The questions from the blogger are just simple, obvious questions any sane and unprejudiced person would ask when confronted by the barbarism rampant in the OT. However, as to the comment “Simply put there are things in Scriptures that boggle the mind and these are questions only God can answer”—this is a totally unacceptable attitude, simply a cover for ignorance and an excuse for acts and teachings that would not be acceptable to any modern, civilized person.

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          • Dr. George Gallant

            I can understand your dilemma but you have to also understand that there are many things in life that we will never know about or can know about. I think what you’re looking for is being able to have total answers I can understand your dilemma, but you have also to understand that there are many things in life that we will never know about or can know about. I think what you’re looking for is being able to have total answers all the time. You are looking for the impossible not improbable but impossible.

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          • Dr. George Gallant

            Just reading the Bible is not enough, one needs to believe and trust Jesus Christ. Science cannot answer all our questions, and many of their answers lead to exactly more questions. If you believe otherwise, then you are in for a big surprise.

            Like

      • scmike2

        Hi Critical Buddhist, thank you for taking the time to read the post and for your comments. Regarding your remarks:

        You said: “”I just read this post and what I’m hearing is “Nothing in this book makes sense to a decent and sensible person.””

        The problem, though, is that apart from the Bible, there is no rational grounds for calling any person ‘decent and sensible’, since no other worldview can provide us with coherent objective standards for determining this. If you disagree, please feel free to tell what standards you use to gauge the decency and sensibility of people in your worldview and why those standards necessarily apply to anyone.

        You said: “”What HWT is doing is simply reading the source documents and asking obvious questions, like “Why?” or “How come?”””

        Hardly. Actually, what HWT is doing is trying to use their God given reasoning to undermine the authority and existence of the One who gave them that reasoning, due to a hostile bias against the God of the Bible. In other words, HWT begins with the assumption that the Bible is NOT the inspired Word of God and then proceeds to reason erroneously from that position. As you can see from the discussion we had below, such a position is not rationally defensible and ends in absurdity, since it undermines the very concepts HWT is appealing to in their arguments against God (e.g. morality, logic, truth, science, etc.). Apart from the Bible, there is no rational basis for believing in any of these concepts or applying them to anyone or anything (as HWT was forced concede).

        You said: “”Any sane person reading the Old Testament (and a fair bit of the NT) would ask these questions.””

        Questions are fine, CB. Misrepresentations and false, unsubstantiated allegations against the God of the Bible (due to personal bias) are not. Any intellectually honest reader can see that HWT is engaging in the latter.

        You said: “”Only people who have already been lobotomized by their “faith” (read “ideology”) would believe this stuff and then not have any questions.””

        Is that something that you accept to be so without question? If so, you have just demonstrated your own ideology. The fact is, everyone has an ‘ideology’. The question is: which “ideology’ is the correct one and can be rationally justified? I submit to you that only Christianity is and can be (by the impossibility of the contrary).

        You said: “”If God does not behave morally, why follow him?””

        I disagree with your allegation that God does not behave morally. Besides, in order to even make such an allegation, the questions you would need to answer first are: by what objective standard do you call any behavior moral or immoral? How do you account for that standard apart from the God the Bible? Why does that standard necessarily apply to anyone (especially God)?

        You said: “”If he doesn’t make sense, why heed him?””

        Again, I disagree with your allegation here. However, by what objective standard of logic do you determine what is sensible? How do you account for that standard? Why does it necessarily apply to anyone (especially God)?

        Like

        • criticalbuddhist

          Hi,
          I confess I have neither the time nor the interest to debate these issues with you, though needless to say I disagree with your assertions in toto. But as I noted in a previous post, I don’t want to become an ongoing party to this debate, so will opt out, leaving you the field, as it were. As a sub to many of my own views, though, I would offer Sam Harris as a quite credible and rigorous thinker on these issues. He’s posted numerous blogs (not to mention written several books) on exactly the subjects you seem interested in. I suggest you consult his books (THE END OF FAITH, LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION, etc), and his blog. Farewell!

          Like

          • scmike2

            You said: I confess I have neither the time nor the interest to debate these issues with you, though needless to say I disagree with your assertions in toto. But as I noted in a previous post, I don’t want to become an ongoing party to this debate, so will opt out, leaving you the field, as it were.””

            No problem, CB. My challenges to your professed position stand awaiting your response if/ when you decide to address them.

            You said: “”I suggest you consult his books (THE END OF FAITH, LETTER TO A CHRISTIAN NATION, etc),””

            Surely you’re not suggesting I should put my trust in some book? How ironic! : D

            You’re too much, CB! Priceless!

            Like

          • criticalbuddhist

            I said nothing about putting your trust in a book–that’s your specialty. I simply said that the arguments you’ll find in Sam Harris’ books against your positions are quite in line with a lot of my thinking. They can therefore stand in as a proxy for me. No need to reinvent the wheel, as they say. .

            Like

          • scmike2

            You said: “”I said nothing about putting your trust in a book–””

            Well, unless you’re asking me NOT to trust what Sam has written in his book, that’s exactly what you’re asking me to do! You’re a hoot, CB!

            P.S. Since it looks like you’re doing ok on time right now, how about addressing those challenges to your position from my first post? You can do one at a time if that’s easier for you–I’m patient.

            Like

          • criticalbuddhist

            No. What I’ve seen of your writing, both to me and to my fellow blogger, does not merit a response.

            Like

        • hessianwithteeth

          Yes. I’m also very hostile towards the easter bunny and fairies. Those imaginary creatures that don’t exist are assholes and I hate them all. I was thinking of taking of childrens’ tales next as a result. Because, you know, so many people take them literally.
          Are you just looking for reasons to be offended? How many times do I have to say “I do not believe in gods” before you will figure out that I don’t believe in your god? This is about people and people only. Now, if all you have to say is “you’re being mean to god,” please just go away.

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          • scmike2

            You said: “”Yes. I’m also very hostile towards the easter bunny and fairies. Those imaginary creatures that don’t exist are ****** and I hate them all.””

            Funny how you don’t call yourself an ‘a-easter bunniest’ or an ‘a-fairiest, though’—just an atheist. I wonder why that is?

            You said: “”I was thinking of taking of childrens’ tales next as a result.””

            Consistency hasn’t been your strong suit in the past. Why start now?

            You said: “”How many times do I have to say “I do not believe in gods” before you will figure out that I don’t believe in your god?””

            Hey, don’t be mad at me if your actions betray your profession, HWT. Your behaviorial inconsistency speaks much louder than your words. I just calls ’em likes I sees ’em!

            Like

          • hessianwithteeth

            I think this is more a case of you reading into it what you want to see as apposed to anything on my part. I don’t call myself an aeaster bunnyist or an afairiest because people don’t automatically assume that I believe in them. People do assume that I believe in god, so calling myself an atheist is actually necessary. And despite the title, you continue to assume that I believe in god, so You yourself prove its necessity.

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          • scmike2

            You said: “”I don’t call myself an aeaster bunnyist or an afairiest because people don’t automatically assume that I believe in them.””

            Nah, only millions of American children around age 10 and under!

            You said: “”People do assume that I believe in god, so calling myself an atheist is actually necessary.””

            Only if you’re unconcerned about logical consistency with regards to your behavior and reasoning.

            You said: “”And despite the title, you continue to assume that I believe in god,””

            And you continue to demonstrate the truth of that assumption for all to see via the behaviorial and internal inconsistencies of your professed atheistic position. I am fine with that. Take care!

            Like

      • equippedcat

        scmike, you know things, which you cannot prove. This is the definition of belief. The people you are talking to also know things they can’t prove. Their beliefs contradict yours. You probably know that the harder you are pressed about your beliefs, the more entrenched in them you become; isn’t it likely that other people react the same way?

        If you were to present your view as a belief and recognize that absent proof (which so far does not exist), other people’s beliefs are just as valid to them as yours is to you, perhaps a less contentious dialog could result. After all, aren’t you arguing from a point of safety? If it turns out you are wrong, hopefully you have gained more than you have lost anyway, whereas if it turns out the “other side” is wrong, they are royally screwed.

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