The Problem With Biblical Inerrancy


As many of you know, last summer I began to look into theology. Now that I’m no longer in school, I have gotten back into it. This had led me to think about the idea that the Bible is inerrant. As an atheist, I obviously don’t believe that this is true, but most Christians do believe that the Bible is inerrant. This is incredibly problematic.

When I talk to Christians about their belief in God, or my non-belief, the Bible inevitably comes up. I don’t believe in God because I see no evidence to suggest that God exists. I want evidence before I’m willing to commit to a belief. Christians, however, often believe that they have the evidence. The problem is this evidence is not convincing to a non-Christian. Why? Because it tends to presuppose the inerrancy of the Bible. This is also a major problem with the theology I have read. If you already accept that the Bible is inerrant, then I’m sure the arguments presented are fairly convincing. But, if you already accept that the Bible is inerrant, then you are probably already a Christian and you probably don’t need the arguments to convince you of anything. But for someone who does not accept the Bible as inerrant, the conversation quickly becomes frustrating and circular because a major presupposition is being ignored that prevents the conversation fro getting anywhere.

As I’ve said in other posts, if you want to provide evidence to support the Bible (assuming your goal is to convince them that you are correct) to someone who does not accept the Bible, then you cannot use the Bible as your evidence. The Bible cannot be evidence of the Bible. Why? Because someone who is not a Christian does not agree with your premise that the Bible is inerrant, therefore, using the Bible to prove the Bible is no different that using Harry Potter to prove Harry Potter. You as a Christian may disagree with this, but you do not need to be convinced of your own beliefs. This means one of two things: either the Christian needs to be willing to put aside their belief that the Bible is inerrant for the sake of the conversation, or a discussion about Biblical inerrancy needs to be had before the conversation can go any deeper. This is the only way I can see the conversation not turning into a frustrating mess where neither party understands the other.

I bring this up because a lot of the Christians who have commented on earlier posts seem to be unwilling or unable to grasp the idea that we do not accept the Bible as inerrant. We have ended up getting into a number of circular arguments because, when we say that the Bible is not evidence, or even that we do not see any evidence to support the Bible, we either have people throwing Bible verses at us, or we have people saying that we’re wrong because the Bible without getting any deeper than that. I honestly don’t know what anybody could possibly hope to get out of that other than simply shutting down any possibility for further discussion. As such, we ask that you take this into consideration before making such comments in the future.

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169 responses to “The Problem With Biblical Inerrancy

  • Tabitha

    I as a Christian do agree with this. Using the bible to prove the bible is not a great idea 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Evidence and personal experience | Club Schadenfreude

    […] evidence for what I supposedly believed (the whole very long discussion can be found in comments here). I had presented this evidence, but it got me thinking, what evidence would my opponents consider […]

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  • ethlite

    Christianity is simply a belief system like Communism or Heliocentrism. However, unlike heliocentrism, there is no physical measurements or some other universally agreed upon standard to determine its truth value.

    Instead of trying to solve an insolvable problem, why not consider another approach? Why not evaluate beliefs based on how well they serve your goals, whatever they may be? This may seem strange given we are conditioned to evaluate ideas based on their truth value, but what happens when no truth value can be determined and agreed upon by all?

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Sure if we want to define a belief system loosely, but those examples represent different kinds of belief systems. Communism is a belief about socioeconomic systems. Heliocentrism is less a belief system and more a belief claim about the nature of the solar system, and a testable one at that. Christianity is a religious belief system, and as such has different qualities from the others you explain, have makes many untestable claims.

      So while I can agree that religions are belief systems, I can’t agree that they are just like any other kind of belief system.

      “Why not evaluate beliefs based on how well they serve your goals, whatever they may be?”

      Well I think we all do that to some degree, the reason why I don’t suggest it as the primary method of , is because it can be wildly dishonest, and you can justify anything that way.

      “but what happens when no truth value can be determined and agreed upon by all?”

      Well I don’t concern myself with the beliefs of every single person, just like I don’t care what flat earthers and conspiracy theorists beilief.

      But if we can find a definitve awnser we with have to try to gauge the problem some other way or admit we don’t know. Though isn’t isn’t one universe method I’d justest as being the right tact to take.

      Some times we’ll need to consider what is useful to us, other time we’ll need to consider the harms. Other times time well need to take other people into consideration, or other things like, animals of whole habitats.

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      • ethlite

        How many testable claims are there in communism or the American Dream? When it comes to beliefs that aren’t anchored in physical reality, truth value is a red herring because it is purely a function of how many people believe it (or at least refrain from expressing disbelief publicly). Not all Americans had to believe Joe McCarthy, but enough did (or remained silent) for it to be real enough to warrant a proper noun and certainly real enough to destroy the lives of many innocent people. Same with the Inquisition and Cultural Revolution. Saying you don’t care about beliefs that cannot be falsified basically amounts to burying your head in the sand. So what’s the alternative? I’d suggest appealing to self interest is our best defense against bad ideas. It’s not as seductive or appealing as “truth seeking”, but like democracy, it’s the best alternative out of all the others

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Lots acutally. One we know that communism has never succeed and does not work as Marx imagined it. The American dream is in fact a fantasy and does not represent the true opportunities of the USA. Both of those beliefs are based in the physical reality because they propose ideas about how it works or ought to work.

          Also I did not say that I “…don’t care about beliefs that cannot be falsified…”

          I do care about what other people think, I just don’t think unfalsifiable beliefs are mostly useless. There are a couple exceptions, but you trying to make my thought black and white and there is a deeper nuance to be found.

          Also.

          “I’d suggest appealing to self interest is our best defense against bad ideas.”

          …. HA that’s hilarious. Self interest is a very good way to delude yourself, or to not take others into consideration. Perhaps you have a more nuance idea of self interest in which case we might see eye to eye, but that alone is not good enough.

          Truly being self interested does not mean you’ll actually pick what is best for yourself, but only what you think is best. We need something more or we will have no way of knowing when we’ve stumbled off the path.

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        • hessianwithteeth

          Honestly I reject the notion that there is a single best option for absolutely everything, but I do think that testable claims and ideas are much better then untestable ones.

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    • Ann Walton LPN, LMT

      When you say there is no inerrant truth, by default you make yourself inerrant and the final judge of your own life. I personally do not want to go there. I need a judge who is merciful.

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      • hessianwithteeth

        Um, not so much, You can say that there are no abolsute truths while accepting that that might not even be true, and you might think there are others who will judge your life. Heck you can still believe in a God at that point, but you just can be absolutely sure which one (well you can’t know for sure anyway so it’s really just more honest).

        Though really what you just wrote is bad philosophy. It isn’t a fair representation of the variety of opinions (or possibilities) that exist, it just creates a false choice.

        I think you would be much better off if you thought things though in greater detail before you spout aged rhetoric on the internet.

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  • clubschadenfreude

    there are of course Christians who claim that they don’t think that the bible is inerrant and how dare any atheist say any TrueChristians consider the bible inerrant. The problem is that every theist is sure that parts of their magic book is inerrant; they just can’t agree on what parts.

    Liked by 1 person

  • vonleonhardt2

    As a theologian, I hold the position of inerrance as heretical a.k.a. “new.” It seeks to hold a ancient near eastern text as “correct” against modern standards that were not a consideration when it was written. That is gross eisegesis that tries to wrap itself up as “more pious” and anachronism to justify modern prejudices, and honestly that makes for a harmful mix.

    As for authority, of course an atheist won’t recognize it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • hessianwithteeth

      Yes and this is why it nearly coundfounds us why people pull out the bible passages which assert non-Christan as fools as compelling evidence. I say nearly because people just have a tremendously hard time realizing that not everyone think just as they do.

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    • clubschadenfreude

      I am curious, vonleonhardt2, considering that many of the early Christians did evidently consider the bible to be inerrant and truly describing events that happened building their theology on these supposed facts, how can you call this attitude “new”?

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      • vonleonhardt2

        They considered it infallible. But they weren’t having this debate so saying they held either view is anachronistic. They also put allegory above history in value of the text.

        You also are taking a certain veiw of historicity as if it’s universal, and I’m not sure someone dead 1800 years could share our view of history.

        Ancients had no issue with “myth” or there wouldn’t of ever been any. And they knew they were myths.

        So your glib remark just shows a narrow mind that can’t see inerrancy came from new concerns and 1890s culture.

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        • clubschadenfreude

          infallible: incapable of error and inerrant: free from error (both from Merriam-Webster.com)

          Early Christians considered the bible without error. They may not have been debating this with non-Christians, but it is not anachronistic to say that the early Christians considered the bible inerrant/infallible.

          There is nothing that shows that your claim that “they also put allegory above history in value of the text”. They believed that the events claimed actually happened. The claim that Jesus was resurrected is considered a fact, correct? The flood was a fact, the exodus was a fact, As I have stated elsewhere, if there was no literal “fall”, then there is no need for a resurrection. Like many Christians, you pick and choose what you want to claim is inerrant and infallible. The problem is that none of these myths have any better evidence than the next.

          Your personal incredulity means little. Someone who was dead for 1800 years would indeed have a different version of history since they would not have the methods to show that their claims of events happening were wrong. Early Christians (and many modern ones) still think Adam and Eve happened, the Noah flood happened. What they think has no bearing on what actually happened.

          Ancients did have issues with the religious claims of their fellows. We can see this in the various writings of the ancient philosophers. They disagreed with the average person who did believe in the gods, just as you believe in yours.

          For someone who makes false accusations about “glib remarks”, you demonstrate that you are ignorant of the history you claim as your evidence.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            There is plenty if support for allegory, midrash was acceptable and Jesus and Paul both do it.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Jesus does use allegory. Where does Paul?

            If Paul uses allegory, does that mean that Paul did not believe in a literal Adam and Eve? Does this mean that Jesus did not believe in a literal Noah and Moses?

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Paul midrashes sarah and hagar, Abrahams covenent, adam and jesus (where original sin finds its proof text). Jesus at least doesn’t believe Gen 1 is literal, in John 13 (I think) “my father has never rested neither do I.”

            But the OT is the OT, Christians prioritize the NT

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Where does Jesus say he doesn’t believe that Genesis 1 is literal? From what I can see, there is a possible problem in translation, which does make any of the bible a bit suspect. The closest I can find is John5: “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

            Most apologetics try to claim that the word translated “rest” doesn’t really mean that, but means “ceased”. Now, if Jesus, ostensibly reading the correct words with the correct meaning, didn’t think that his god rested but only ceased or abstained, this doesn’t show that JC didn’t believe that the creation story was real. God could have stopped creating but not his other tasks. Mark 13:19 seems to indicate that JC did believe in the genesis narrative, as does Luke 11: 50. John 5 indicates that JC accepted Moses and the exodus, and says that Moses accurately writes about him (with the Sabbath day command). Matthew 19 has JC sure that Adam and Eve were real. Matthew 24 has that Noah’s flood was real. Luke 17 has that Lot and his salty wife was true and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were true.

            I did get all of these verses from a Christian site that says that Jesus did believe in a literal bible creation (answersingenesis.org). This is why I ask which version of Christianity should I believe since all versions have no evidence for them?

            Christians do indeed prioritize the NT. However, they claim that the OT is true, at least when it comes to supposed prophecies and the laws they like. And as I have demonstrated, Jesus Christ certainly seemed to think the OT was valid. If the trinity claim is true, this god and Jesus are one in the same. They/it wrote on magical tablets that there was a literal creation story. If they are unchanging, then nothing has changed. Of course, this assumes that these stories are true.

            That Paul mentions Sarah and Hagar, etc, does not indicate that he did not find the stories true. An allegory is a story, an extended metaphor that usually with characters who are not real but symbolic. It may indeed be that he considered that Hagar and Sarah were only symbols, not real women. However…

            This doesn’t make as much sense for the claims about Abraham, since it would make little sense to refer to someone, who everyone would known as only a character if this were the case, as vitally important as a real person who had faith. Paul calls Abraham his forefather according to the flesh. Paul also seems to think the resurrection was real, and not allegory.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Thats where I meant in John.

            There is a lot in that response. But you’re blending “finds it true” or “is the bible true” into a debate about inerrency. I’m only taking to inerrancy here because you asked why a Christian wouldn’t like it. This has degenerated into a mess.

            Trying to get back on point:

            The question is not do Christians believe the metta narrative. They do, I do. I’ve been trying to say our take on “facts” and “statistics,” etc. was not part of the culture that wrote the book. They don’t mind psedopigrapha, or narratives written that highlight the meaning of events over the details. Mainly, their idea of truth is primarialy telic not forensic. Ours is forensic and not at all telic. Greek can’t even logic the way english can regarding past events.

            The question is does inspiration mean that saying its both 600 one place and 300 in another mean that there can be no conflict and the numbers need to be synched, or that the info the numbers convey is what the writter knew and that the main message comes through anyways.

            In a Christian context there is also the idea the book is dead letters and only the HS can enlighten the reader; the none elect get turned off by it.

            Your use of Jesus in the above is monophysite, Chalsidonian Christian’s holding Jesus being fully human too he would stick to his cultures conventions. As a real human he can’t answer questions that weren’t raised then. He couldn’t know what wasn’t discovered yet. Jesus couldn’t hack a macbook. And he certainly did not think according to modern critical theories.

            There is too much assumed in inerrancy, and it is anachronistic. Because it holds that all our ideals are addressed in the text. Plainly, it ignores the conflicts in the text. Honestly, the bible does not synch up. But it doesn’t synch up to include divergent voices and sources. If God wanted it to synch and please readers’ nowadays concerns he could have done it.

            But he didn’t. And it says something about people if they think they are going to fix God’s mess for him because he MUST do it the way they will accept. There are 4 gospels, we’ve known of the conflicts from the first. But inerrancy folks want to write a 5th that oddly enough fits their culture.

            That’s suspect. And its a debate. But the voice is “new” a.k.a. heretical or “new.” It is a particular nasty issue because it seems the most pious to be inerrancy supporting but it s violent to the text all over.

            On the main though is the need for a one to one answer. Christianity has historically lots of plurality and favors apophatic tenats, so the need for hard answers doesn’t fit it.

            Nor do we care to. The tension between adam and evolution is not uncomfortable, same for moses and archeology, text criticism and theology, etc. Inerrency folks and atheist may say we need dichtomous conflicts on these thing but we don’t concure. I’m tired of people saying what I/we need to worry about like outsiders have a vote.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Paul midrashes sarah and hagar, Abrahams covenent, adam and jesus (where original sin finds its proof text). Jesus at least doesn’t believe Gen 1 is literal, in John 13 (I think) “my father has never rested neither do I.”

            But the OT is the OT, Christians prioritize the NT, and the historical use of the OT was always allegory on prefiguring Jesus till the NT was common and a direct teaching from the NT took over.

            This doesn’t deny they attached historicity to it, they just were not focused on it in the way we do. In fact the historical focus school got in trouble with Nestorious

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Christians do prioritize the NT. They make claims about the OT, which the original believers consider to be nonsense. The historical use of the OT was not “always allegory” on prefiguring Jesus.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Well I guess Jews and Christians are different then… and the original Jewish believers were not of one opinion either.

            Anything worth discussing normally draws divergent views from politics to how to cook burgers.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            I agree. However, if something claims to be an objective truth and there is divergent views of what that “truth” is, that makes its claims to seem rather ridiculous.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            It just means that truth is hard to find. And that’s probably why people latch on to concrete things to feel secure or give up the chase.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            it could also mean that claims of an objective truth are completely false, and that Christians do not agree on a truth because they are all making it up.

            How would you determine if something was the truth, vonleonhardt2?

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Well you’d be stating an objective truth if you said all truth is subjective, so its a self defeating claim.
            I just claim objective truth is hard and we have subjective takes on it.

            Christianity is experiencial, so the evidential truth criterions apply.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Since I didn’t claim that all truth is subjective, nor do I believe it, your sentence doesn’t make much sense. Again, evidence for this “hard objective truth”. Christian claim they have it, the absolute truth. There is no evidence for this at all. They also disagree on what this “objective truth” is when they make claims about what their god wants. One could have different takes on an objective truth, but when these takes are entirely contradictory, there is no reason to think any of the takes is true. For example, the claims of absolute morality coming from this god.

            Christianity is full of claims of personal experience; all of these are subjective. It is also full of claims of how this god directly influences the world. Since there is no evidence for this, and personal experience claims are used by all theists with the same lack of evidence that these experiences are from some god, there is little reason to believe theist claims.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Have I said at anytime through this that I was trying to debate this type of thing? This was about inerrency, not a soap box about why theism is so great. I am a Christian not a theist, I don’t particularly buy theist claims either.

            Christians have a personal God, and we even see him at work in those Christians we don’t agree with, so theist disagreement is a different issue.

            But believing or not believing is a different issue, and personally one I find uninteresting. My issues are far more promise, hope, and frustration.
            Really though, why did we move this way? I have no faith in debate to change someone’s mind about colors to paint the bathroom; debating theism and atheism is empty.

            I’m only speaking to Christian issues against inerrancy, which boil down to them making the text fit 19th century concerns.

            If you want the God debate, pray for 30 days and mean it… all religions insist that works, so its the “expert” approach. If an atheist won’t do that they are going against the experts, if they do do it, they can say the experts are wrong from some basis. But 9x out of 10, the real issue is the God people WANT isn’t there, and they won’t take the one that is. Thats very different from “faith” or “science” debates, which boil down to I want a myrical God or ethics debates of I want a nice God, etc. etc.

            Honestly I don’t care to hear about the God you happen to want, that’s never the issue.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            You are a theist since you are a self-professed Christian. Theist only means that you believe in a god or gods, as atheist means one does not . I’m not quite sure why you wouldn’t know that or want to acknowledge that.

            Christians have a god just like every other theistic religion worshipping gods. Just like those other believers, you claim that you see your god at work. Just like other believers, you want to claim that those “other” Christians are mistaken, from being entirely wrong to having a part right, and can’t show that your claims are any more true than theirs.

            You may not have any faith in debate to change someone’s mind. Your personal incredulity doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. We have seen that it does in many venues, many dealing with ignorance and intolerance like racism. It is not terribly surprising that you would want to make claims and then when countered, decide that debating is “empty”. It’s a common tactic to try to convince someone to cease pointing out your errors.

            Again, Christians do not agree on inerrancy and your claims that your version is the correct one are unsupported. I’m sure that those other Christians are sure that they see God at work with you but you aren’t right at all. Each generation of Christians try to claim that the text of the bible somehow was really meant to fit their particular concerns, inventing new interpretations and again applying a magic decoder ring to tell them what their god “really” meant.

            It also does not surprise me that you tell me to pray and “mean it” the usual false assumption by a Christian that an atheist hasn’t tried prayer and that prayer works and that anyone who doesn’t get the promised result wasn’t doing it “right”. Tell me how to “mean it”. I have prayed when I was a Christian and when losing my faith and I certainly did “mean it”, but unsurprisingly nothing happened. I am quite sure that you will refuse to tell me how to really “mean it” since you know that if it fails, I again have evidence that your claims are false. You make the claim “all religions insist that works, so its the “expert” approach”.. Really, so prayers to Allah, and Krishna and the Wiccan Goddess, and every other god work just like the prayers you say to your god? Where is the evidence for these prayers working? Childrens’ and veteran hospitals should be nearly empty if your claims are true, and that certainly isn’t the case. There should be no starving people if prayers worked. There should be no massacres of innocents if your claims are true. What excuses will you offer for this failure of your claims?

            There is no reason to think that theists like yourself are experts in anything, since no theist can show that their claims are true. You may as well claim to be an expert in fairies. I have prayed and again your promises fail rather dramatically. So, yes, I can say that theists are wrong in their false claims about prayer working. You also make the usual Christian claim that atheists want a god that isn’t there. The gods I’m expecting are those claimed to be accurately described in their various holy books and claimed to be accurately described by theists like yourself. Should I not believe such supposedly impeachable sources?

            It’s always bemusing to watch theists like yourself change the description of their god when their claims about it fail. Since you say I am looking for a god that isn’t there, tell me about the one that supposedly is. I’ll make an educated guess that you won’t do that either.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            I meant theist simply as those that rest on some ontological, or other philosophical proof.

            Yes, folks gots lots of Gods. If you think about it, the bible thinks folks are too religious. Commandment one is actually religion is mostly bad.

            You just proved my want point. You want a God that empties hospitals, etc.

            Most complain the bible is to full of death and innocents dying and they toss up theophanies. I say God leaves the hospitals full and allows wars. How’s that changing the description?

            I’d also say God doesn’t love unconditionally or everybody. That’s why there’s hell. If I backed up on that you’d have grounds to accuse of disemblance like those hippie losers that go on about God is Love (where love means cosmic slot machine of niceness). This is not a full arguement, it’s just that such a claim on your part is out of line.

            God allows life to suck, tough titties. Never said he didn’t, bible never said he didn’t.

            So anyone complaining at that wants a different God, and won’t find Him.
            As to how the boss runs shop, I won’t defend it; it works out for my good so I’m cool with it.

            It’s good you’ve at least tried, so as I said, you have grounds to complain.

            What I don’t get is the proof thing, what do you WANT proved? That God exist? Your negatives prove the pudding as much as all the positives because they are in the Christian description. Most folks are never Christian, just “nice Jesus”-ist.

            Look at our main prayer, we pray for bread, deliverence, and the like which kinda implies hunger, evil, and all that are GONNA happen.

            Again, this isnt what you WANT.

            And to debate and say no he is what YOU want is fruitless because he simply isn’t. Which is why I eschew the debate. It’s fine to just reject him and leave it at that, but its also stupid to me to do so.

            But maybe you’re not elect, in which case you can’t believe, won’t be answered, and all you scripture reading just further condemns you. Idk, but cool. I’d say avoid it then because it just makes your situation worse anyways.
            Now, I’ll debate inerrancy with the sheep or the curious as to how my culture functions, but entertaining goats isn’t my job.

            Proof arguments, theophanies, etc. are boring. And Jesus never runs after anyone and says wait, we’ll have a different message next sunday!

            If my incredulity doesn’t effect your view, why would I allow yours to effect mine?

            I don’t save souls, lead souls to God, etc. He does that. If you have complaints in that department shoot a complaint to his inbox. You know how.

            Just don’t accuse me of lacking a solid position because others are wrong headed in appologetics. I’d say most the world hates God and he just obliges them with what they want. War, death, and lots of living in a Godless hell hole.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Theists are those who worship gods; it seems that you have more evidence than ontological or other philosophical proofs. I’d ask you again for evidence but it seems you have nothing more than just those exact things you decry
            The bible thinks folks are too religious? That’s hilarious. The first commandment is the words of a people who want to pretend that no other religion but theirs is the right one. Most, if not all, religions and believers make that claim. Of course, there is no evidence of this at all.
            Oh darn, I want a god that empties hospitals. It’s a shame that you don’t want the same. It’s also hilarious that your bible makes the claim that true believers can heal people and surprise! None of you can. Can you, vonleonhardt? Or are you no more of a TrueChristian than those who you dislike so much?
            Your god is a rather sick disgusting being as you’ve created it in your own image. Again, you all just make up nonsense so you can claim you are right. Yes, my TrueChristian, you claim that the Christian god doesn’t love unconditionally. It’s great to see Christians yet again disagreeing the basics of their religion. Your god is just a reflection of you, just like other Christians’ god is a reflection of them. I do love how you are sure your god isn’t the same one of those “hippie losers”. Please do show us that your version of your god is the right one.
            Your bible says that this god cares for its believers and that it would grant any request asked of it quickly and positively. You know,those parts that mountains, will move if asked, not erode away by physics, and that this god would never give you anything but what you asked for, for a father would not give his son a snake if asked for a fish. So, your claims that this god doesn’t answer prayers is great to show how you utterly ignore your supposed holy book in order to excuse your god’s inability to do anything at all. The bible does not say that God allows life to suck. The bible says that this god cares more for man than the lilies of the field, and the birds of the air, and those things are taken care of also.
            “As to how the boss runs shop, I won’t defend it; it works out for my good so I’m cool with it.” Well, at least you are more honest than most theists. Your belief is entirely selfish. You’ve done such a good job of removing the few good bits about Christianity from your version.
            Yep, I do want evidence for your god. I expect a god that fulfills the description given by the bible and theists, and that fulfills the promises made. It’s wonderful to watch you declare that the bible is wrong, at least in those parts that don’t’ fit with your very own version. You’ve made a god that you want, for all of your storming around claiming that is what I am doing, though being unable to show this to be the case. Your claims about what you god is and isn’t is like watching a child insisting that his invisible friend is the best one.
            Oh, you are one of those wonderful Christians who think that he and only a few others will be going to heaven. That has to be one of the best baseless claims that a TrueChristian can make. Quite a few more than a 144,000 make this claim. And of course you can’t show that you are any more of a special snowflake than the others.
            I do appreciate that you show again that Christians don’t agree on much of anything. So many Christians claim that everyone has free will to accept their god and now we have you saying that no one does have free will, that only those selected can accept this god. That sure does play hob with the idea of a just and honest god. Just how could anything make someone’s situation worse if a magical omnipotent god intentionally wants to torture them for eternity for something that they had no control over. What a abusive father your god is. I guess he is just a reflection of you. How sad.
            Since I have evidence your god doesn’t exist, that none of its promises or events happened, I am not personally incredulous. I have plenty of reason to know that you are wrong. Now, if you can provide the evidence for your claims, that would be great. You can’t, can you? Nope, your apologetics are just as much nonsense as those “hippies” that you decry. Congratulations. You’ve managed to claim that “most of the world hates God” and also claim that most of Christians are wrong for thinking that their god is love. Which is it, my TrueChristian?

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Dude, honestly thats just to long. You have to give me the unconditional love verse, last I checked John 3:16 had a condition, commandments ate conditions, etc. etc. So dont make this about me being something novel. Election is in there 30 times and as early as Deuteronomy.

            Anyone who thinks love is unconditional has never thought about jack. Love wants whats best, it wants growth, our parents demand and get mad for love all the time.

            And I didn’t deny free will, I just gave it to God. He’s free himself. He’s not a whipping boy that loves Hitler, he sends in the allies and bombs. But love doesn’t mean you give to every jerk that ask, half the time love is saying no… and “Jacob have I loved, Esau I have hated”

            And as for healing, I’ve never tried. But I do know lots of science worked out so healing is possible, and if God made the chemical… he could not have. Again, want… you want big flashes, upset when given penicillin or did we evolve the thing from dead dirt?

            The only thing is God doesn’t love Christians because they are “better” or he’s picking skin tones or virtues. We aren’t better because we believe, in fact we need mercy the most. Its like romantic love, you just love who you do.

            But this is 101 level theological stuff, were you baptist or pentecostal? Easter/Christmas?

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Well, “dude”, that’s too bad. Yep, John 3:16 does have conditions given supposedly by this god and the commandments are conditions. You are not novel at all. You are just one more Christian who claims that his version of Christianity is the only right one and of course has no evidence for his claims. You can quote scripture and so can those “hippies” that you decry. Whoop-de-doo.

            I know all about the claims of the “elect”. I was a Presbyterian and they’re all about predestination, all smugly sure that they’ll be the elect. The JWs are the same and so
            many “evangelical Christians” love the idea that they and only they will get into heaven, like its some posh club. Alas, none of you can show this to be true. Heck, the claim of some special group being God’s favorite is has been around since the nonsense in Genesis. Its’ a very human desire, wanting to be special, the favored of the omnipotent ruler of the universe. Pity that you can’t show this to be true at all.

            Love doesn’t threaten the loved ones with eternal torture if they don’t do exactly as the “father” says. That’s called abuse. Our parents may get mad and demand love. They aren’t some omnipotent being that claims to love everyone and want to find every “lost sheep”. I am quite happy that my folks never told me that they would torture me for eternity for not obeying them, like the Christian god does.

            Nice dodge about free will! You have denied free will if you claim that everyone but the “elect” are damned for something that they didn’t do. As soon as you can show god exists, we can debate that this god is somehow “free”.

            Thank you for mentioning Hitler. Funny how your god has to rely on humans and bombs. Can’t the poor thing do what it supposedly did in Egypt, and not rely on the deaths of millions? It’s always fun to watch Christians depower their god to explain its supposed actions. How about if this god does what it says and punishes people for even having the thought of sin much less acting on it? Could have killed Hitler et al without a fuss at all. But it didn’t, did it?

            Thanks for pointing out that verse from Romans 9. Yep, this god loves and hates people with no reason whatsoever, controls human minds so it can show off, damning people to eternal torture through no fault of their own, and says it creates some humans just as object lessons. Again, love isn’t this at all. This is a control freak.

            Surprise! You’ve never tried to heal. Let me guess, because you don’t want anyone to realize that your claims about how great a Christian you are false. Yep, science has been worked on slowly and surely and has resulted in humans being able to help themselves. Now, if your god is behind this, why did it stall in revealing antibiotics? Washing hands? Blood types? Blood flow? Anesthesia? Nothing shows your god made chemicals or did anything. Still waiting for that evidence.

            Alas for your strawman, I am not upset because we have discovered penicillin. Yep, I do want big flashes since that’s what your bible promises. Again, is your bible wrong? The Christian god has shrunk continuously since the first claims made about it. Once, this was a being that could cause a magic world-wide flood, and now, well, it needs humans to do everything.

            To compare romantic love to your god’s actions is even more amusing. Romantic love isn’t from controlling something you supposedly created and threatening it with eternal torture if it leaves you or contradicts you. As I have said, I was a Presbyterian. Easter was important, so was Christmas. It’s a heady thing to delude yourself with, that you are God’s favorite and that you’ll get a magic present after you die. Then I realized that there was no evidence for this sect of Christianity or any other sect or any other religion. Every theist makes the same baseless claims. And Christmas and Easter are both curious since again no evidence for the essential events of the bible can be found, and Christians can’t agree on when they happened.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            I just haven’t had the chance with healing, the one time I asked for me it cane out o.k. really just no occasion yet.

            If you were Presbyterian you’d know the elect are never under threat of hell. I’m just glad you stopped saying I was saying something novel and realized I’m towing the party line.

            Like I’ve said multiple times, you want something different. I don’t really hold to “free will” in an abstract way, people are affected by multiple things, given limited choices, etc. You really just are complaining about your options.

            I think the Church is evidence enough for the bible. Jesus is also plenty real and the whole world even YOU go on about him.

            I think your demands for evidence are dishonest sorry. You hate God, and if I were to raise Abe freaking Lincoln that wouldn’t change… so don’t justify it. I don’t think you need the evidence-based objections to say you don’t want anything to do with God if he does or doesn’t exist is immaterial to that.

            And, I’d go so far to say you’ve probably more proofs than me. If you’re really honest on the evidence thing, then prove it. You don’t have to admit you accept them, but just plain list the 10 most convincing proofs for God you’ve ever heard, read, without any commentary. Thats simple enough to prove that line of yours is really honest.

            P.s. I don’t care to win this, I just wanted to say inerrency isn’t the only way to look at the bible… I’m past interest in the is there isn’t there realm.

            But I really think psychologically/ etc. it would do you good to just say you hate God (the real one) and to say you don’t want him, you’d do a better job, and all that. Cause if you hesitate at that or the discussion stays at is there/ isn’t there as a vital question, then the whole discussion isn’t about God but about your hurts.

            Real atheist stay seated in pews, cause none of it effects anything but its a nice diversion.

            Which is another reason I eschew debate, you’ve something else motivating all this.

            That would be more interesting to talk about then how I can’t control God or caste spells, I’ve never denied my ineptitude as a magician.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            I love the excuse that you haven’t had a “chance” with the healing that Christians are claimed to be able to do. No chance to go to a hospital and help someone? Sure, V, sure. Then you seem to be claiming that you have done healing, that it “came out ok”, but again, no evidence and contradicting your prior claims.

            Yep, I do know that the nonsense that Presbyterians claim about the “elect” being not threatened with hell. Again, there is nothing that shows you are “towing the party line” since the “party” can’t agree on what the “line” is. Your trying to twist my words is amusing to watch, alas it doesn’t work very well in a written medium where anyone can see what was actually said, and doesn’t have to accept false claims.

            Again, Christians do not agree on predestination, the nonsense about any “elect”, the dates of any of the claimed events, what Jesus/God really wants, etc.

            As I have said, I don’t want anything “different” at all. I know exactly what the bible claims and your version and the version of all other Christians fail what is described in the bible. Again, is the bible wrong, since the god you’ve invented isn’t the one in the bible?
            I don’t believe in free will at all, I think we act as if we have it since we cannot know the myriad influences on us. What we do have is the claims by Christians that we have free will and that free will is what makes love of God valuable, and then we also have claims by Christians like you who want to make believe that they are the elect and have a “get out of hell free” card. Still waiting for any theist to show that their version is the “right” one.

            Ah, “The Church’ is evidence for your bible, eh? Quite a circular argument you have there ‘the Church is true because the bible is true because the church is true because the bible….” Almost as good as “The bible is true because God is true because the bible is true…” Oh and lovely attempt to claim that Jesus is real because people talk about the character. Does this mean that Santa Claus, that jolly old elf, real since people talk about him too? Or Allah and his prophet Mohammed? Krishna? The Wiccan Goddess? They must all be “plenty real” since people talk about them, per your very own argument. I suspect you will deny this and thus your claims become nothing than special pleading.

            I do enjoy that again you intentionally tell falsehoods about me and my intentions. That is called lying, aka “false witnessing”. No, V, you just want to pretend that my requests for evidence are “dishonest” because you cannot provide this evidence. I would look at any evidence that you have to give and to honestly consider it. This does not mean that I would accept them blindly.

            I do not hate your version of the Christian god or any other Christians’ version. I do not believe it exists. If it were real, and as described in the bible, I would certainly stand against it because anything that demands genocide is nothing I would follow. You of course make more false claims that I would not accept any evidence from you. I am expecting you to be able to do what your bible claims that a self-professed believer in Jesus Christ can do. If you cannot do what was promised, then that is evidence that the bible is wrong, or that you are not what you claim or both. If you could raise the dead, I certainly would consider the evidence you have presented. But you can’t even tell me when the supposed events of the bible happened, much less perform any kind of miracle as promised by your bible. I have no problem in changing my mind. I will happily do so if evidence is offered. For instance, I was sure that I had watched a certain TV show when I was in high school. But when I looked at the evidence, the dates for the show, I found that my belief was patently impossible. I was wrong and it doesn’t harm my self-worth at all. So, please don’t lie about me, V, in order to attempt to provide cover on why you can’t pony up any evidence.

            I have no idea what the heck “And, I’d go so far to say you’ve probably more proofs than me.” What?

            You ask me to tell you the 10 most convincing “proofs” for God I’ve ever heard. I’m guessing that you mean only for the Christian god. It’s cute that you don’t want to see any commentary. Why is that, V? Let me guess, it’s because you don’t want me to show you how poor those “proofs” are. There is no reason that *not* offering commentary would show my honesty any more than offering commentary so it seems that you do have an ulterior motive. Tsk. It’s like Ford asking Chevy to do their advertizing for them.

            The most convincing arguments I’ve seen for your God, are the same that I have seen for any god. Theists often use the same arguments, too arrogant or ignorant to know that other faiths use the same arguments. For instance, I do like the first cause argument. Unfortunately for theists, they can’t show that the “first cause” is their god/s. Indeed, you can’t show your god to exist as described at all, nor can any other theist. You can’t show that any of the essential events of the bible, or any holy book, to be true. Other supposed “proofs” of your god: testimony (which fails since again no one agrees), Jesus Christ (no evidence for a man/god. Only a possibility of a normal man who thought he was messiah), Yep, I can counter all of these for even the best “proofs” of your god fail. That doesn’t mean that there can’t be actual evidence, which I am still waiting for.

            Of course, inerrancy is not the only way to look at the bible. The problem is that each Christian makes up what parts s/he wants to be inerrant and what parts should be tossed. Oh, the story of a worldwide flood and talking donkeys are silly, but honest and for true a man died and was resurrected and no one recognized him, and real soon now he’ll be back and take us special snowflakes to heaven. I look at the bible to be a great record of the altering of religion of a group of people. It’s quaint that you claim you aren’t interested in “is there/isn’t there realm. It’s like any child who feigns disinterest if they aren’t winning a game. 🙂

            Really, attempts at claiming you can psychologically analyze me through the internet? How droll. Alas, V, I won’t lie to make you feel better. And tsk, asking someone to lie when your god supposedly hates lies.

            I don’t hate any god since they aren’t real. You claim to have the only real one and of course, still no evidence. It’s always funny to see you desperately demanding that I agree with you since you have nothing else left. No, dear V, your further attempts at pretending that I am somehow “hurt” are just more excuses you’ve invented to explain to yourself why someone doesn’t agree with you. I am rather disappointed with religion but “hurt”? No. Now, do you want to go about how “lonely”, “angry”, etc atheists are supposedly? It’s de rigueur for TrueChristians to make those false claims too.

            Oh and telling me that you know what “real atheists” do. You are hitting your marks when it comes to making false claims about all sorts of things. Atheists do many things, and some even might sit through a church service. Many atheists don’t sit in pews since it’s a waste of time. They can actually do something than sit and be told about a bogeyman. It seems that all your claim appears to be is a plea to keep the seats full so you can imagine that people agree with you. You of course don’t “eschew” debate, you’ve been willing participating all along. It’s only when you realize that your claims aren’t being accepted that you try to revise history. Alas, a written medium is rather hard to change, especially if it is in the hands of someone else.

            We don’t need to talk about how you can’t control your god or cast spells. We already know you can’t, and why. But please do tell us how you can’t control an imaginary being, and how prayers differ from magic spells?

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Perhaps you would like to discuss things further on my blog so we aren’t bothering Hessian and With Teeth any further. I’d be happy to have you as a guest and put up a post of yours.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            Sure, but what of?

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          • clubschadenfreude

            I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            I think I might understand. You could explain how you think the idea of an “elect” works with the idea of love, justice and the concept of good and evil.

            You could also just answer my questions.

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          • vonleonhardt2

            sure, but do you have like a list or something?
            Sorry for the late reply, been doing term papers

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          • clubschadenfreude

            No hurry. A list of the questions I’ve asked you?

            “Again, is the bible wrong, since the god you’ve invented isn’t the one in the bible?”

            “Does this mean that Santa Claus, that jolly old elf, real since people talk about him too? Or Allah and his prophet Mohammed? Krishna? The Wiccan Goddess? They must all be “plenty real” since people talk about them, per your very own argument”

            “But please do tell us how you can’t control an imaginary being, and how prayers differ from magic spells?”

            “Yep, I do want big flashes since that’s what your bible promises. Again, is your bible wrong?”

            “Now, if your god is behind this [science], why did it stall in revealing antibiotics? Washing hands? Blood types? Blood flow? Anesthesia?”

            “How about if this god does what it says and punishes people for even having the thought of sin much less acting on it? Could have killed Hitler et al without a fuss at all. But it didn’t, did it?”

            “Can’t the poor thing do what it supposedly did in Egypt, and not rely on the deaths of millions [world war 2]?”

            “Really, so prayers to Allah, and Krishna and the Wiccan Goddess, and every other god work just like the prayers you say to your god? Where is the evidence for these prayers working?”

            “I love the excuse that you haven’t had a “chance” with the healing that Christians are claimed to be able to do. No chance to go to a hospital and help someone?”

            And of course, you still have presented no evidence that your version of Christianity is any more valid than any other Christian sect or other religion.

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          • equippedcat

            I hope the person you are talking with can understand these questions, because most of them don’t make sense to me. I suspect that they depend on earlier discussions between you two.

            Here’s one which I think I understand, so will take a whack at answering it:

            “How about if this god does what it says and punishes people for even having the thought of sin much less acting on it? Could have killed Hitler et al without a fuss at all. But it didn’t, did it?”

            As I understand it, God does not punish people for thinking about sin. He does not really punish people for sinning. It is more that He is “allergic” to sin and keeps it away from Himself. Thus, unless the sins are “removed” from a person, then that person cannot be with God, and it appears there is only one other place to go. God is not punishing sinners; they are punishing themselves.

            God could have killed Hitler, but no He didn’t, or at least not when we would have preferred him to be killed. He does things (or doesn’t do things) for HIS purposes, not ours.

            You complain that people don’t provide evidence to back up their beliefs. I note that you seem not to provide any evidence for yours…

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Well, EC, just do a control +F on the page and search for the questions. Since they weren’t addressed to you, but vonleonhardt2, there is probably a reason why you don’t understand. But you can if you want to.

            As you “understand it”? This points out how Christians don’t agree on how to understand their supposed source of truths. For you see, the fellow who was originally asked the questions doesn’t agree with your version of Christianity. He’s sure that he’s the elect and that your god has already guaranteed that he’ll go to heaven, with no free will, and plenty of predestination. Your claims of understanding are just as baseless as his. We do have a way to figure out which of you is the TrueChristian. Pity that neither of you can actually demonstrate the qualities claimed for TrueChrisitans in your bible.

            You seem to forget that your supposed savior, Jesus Christ, said that this god does indeed punish people for thinking about sin. Do you recall this bit “27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” It certainly seems like even thinking about a sin is considered the same as doing the sin and that this god will send you to hell for exactly that. So your claims that your god “does not really punish people for sinning” seems to be completely the opposite of what your bible says.

            What you have done is made up your own religion by claiming that the bible is wrong and that this god is only “allergic” to sin and keeps it away from itself. I know you don’t like the god as depicted in the bible so you want one that does nothing unpleasant, and try to blame anyone but it for what is supposedly does. Your god is nothing but your personal hates and desires dressed up so you can claim a magical powerful being agrees with you. Yep, your god didn’t kill Hitler, because it is imaginary.
            As always, you invent reasons why your god does nothing. Lots of claims that this god does miracles, and controlled countries, but shucks when it comes to expecting it to do something, then it mysteriously doesn’t and you get to explain why this god needed to have a genocide accomplished for it and required millions to give their lives in order to save others.

            Now, EC, you claim that I haven’t given evidence for my beliefs. What beliefs are those and how haven’t I given evidence? Or is this just one more attempt to try to claim that I am no better than you by making vague claims with no support?

            Still waiting for your evidence, EC.

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          • equippedcat

            I do indeed remember the “sermon” on the mount, where sin was revealed to be not only physical action but heartfelt desire. There is a difference between thinking of sex and lusting for a person in your heart. Good thing, since most of us can’t go more than 7 minutes without thinking about sex 🙂

            Don’t forget that there is a theoretical alternative to self mutilation to avoid or remove sin, and removing sin eliminates any worry about punishment, either as a deliberate act of God or as the only alternative to being welcomed into God’s presence.

            You will probably wait forever for my evidence, as it being personal experience it is not and should not be acceptable to you. Unless you have the same sort of experiences, you are not going to get any evidence (cause so far there doesn’t seem to be any other sorts), so it is somewhat a waste of energy to keep demanding it. Unless someone claims the have some universally valid evidence, then go to town. I’d like to see that too.

            Lets see if I can list some beliefs of yours:

            1) No gods exist or have ever existed
            2) The bible is partially or completely fiction
            3) Those who follow any religion are at best mentally challenged and at worst evil, lying, manipulators

            As far as I recall, you have not presented evidence of 1. You have made statements, which if proven, could be evidence of 2, but have not produced the claimed evidence itself. As for 3, you attempt that regularly, and in some individual cases, succeed. Proving one does not prove all.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            I am glad that you do indeed remember the sermon on the mount where, as you say, “sin was revealed to be not only physical action but heartfelt desire.”This does show that your claim “As I understand it, God does not punish people for thinking about sin.”to be inaccurate.

            Now, let’s look at my question that started this thread of questioning ““How about if this god does what it says and punishes people for even having the thought of sin much less acting on it? Could have killed Hitler et al without a fuss at all. But it didn’t, did it?”” You offered your claim that “god does not punish people for thinking about sin” in response to this question of mine. I do agree that there is certainly a difference between thinking about sex and lusting after someone. Now, do tell us how this applies to a genocidal maniac and your god’s inability to do anything about it. Is wanting to murder 6 million people a “heartfelt desire”?

            Hmmm, strange. I have no problem going without thinking about sex for more than seven minutes. I also dont’ find sex a “sin”. How Puritan.

            So, what is this “theoretical alternative” to self-mutilation to avoid sin? It seems that JC himself is all about this self-mutilation. Is JC wrong? Now, assuming that this “theoretical alternative” is accepting JC, this would also show that again Christians don’t agree on what their bible says or what their supposed objective truth is. If accepting JC is the way to “remove sin and eliminates any worry of punishment”, then you would need to show that your version of Christianity is the right one and the just-as-Christian ideas of predestination isn’t. Can you?

            Of course not. Yep, I know you don’t have any evidence and never will, EC. You make claims and insist that I’m wrong, but when you are asked to support your claims, there’s nothing there. There are plenty of claims of objective evidence in the bible, events which should have produced plenty of evidence “long ago and far away”. Now, when Christians are asked for similar evidence, suddenly they claim that their god can’t ante up, that it is now mysteriously restricted to subjective personal experience. I certainly could get evidence *if* this god existed and it is certainly not a waste of energy to demonstrate that you, and other Christians, cannot show that your god exists and that you are hypocrites when you do not accept the same personal experience proffered by other believers of other religions.

            Ah, and the claims I have supposedly not supported. How nice to see that you are willing to make false claims, EC. I have shown and said that I have evidence that the essential claims of all gods did not happen and that other events have happened in their place. For example, no magical flood, plenty of evidence that normal human events happened in any time believers want to claim that the flood happened. I have shown the geology that shows that the fflood is a myth, for example. The entire world’s archaeology shows that there was no magical flood (and I’m quite sure you’ll claim it was a “metaphor”). The bible is indeed mostly fiction except for the very rare mentions of real places and people. The above applies, no evidence for the events claimed and plenty of evidence for other events happening that have nothing to do with gods. There is no evidence whatsoever for the exodus, not even a date, no evidence of an Egyptian kingdom that lost its entire army, no evidence for a resurrected man/god, no evidence for the sun going dark magically during an earthquake, where the dead walked around, etc. I have mentioned all of this before. Now, we can again postulate that some god that does nothing and is hiding under a rock on Zeta Reticuli V. Is this your god? Is this any god ever worshipped by humans? Is this a god at all per the definition?

            Wow, this is a great one that you’ve invented, EC: “3) Those who follow any religion are at best mentally challenged and at worst evil, lying, manipulators” Please do show where I said this. Or is this just a lovely strawman invented for you to try to cast aspersions on me? If it’s so “regular”, you should have no problem in quoting me. I do wonder if you think I succeed in showing that “other”Christians are wrong when you say “As for 3, you attempt that regularly, and in some individual cases, succeed. Proving one does not prove all.” Considering that you have no better evidence than them, having evidence to support my point about believers can and does indicate that all have the same problems.

            Please also tell me how you would like things to be “proven”, EC. Is objective evidence enough? For example, the evidence that Egypt never lost its entire army as the bible claims? That the city of Tyre was never destroyed by your god to the point that no one can find it and a quarter of a million people live there right now and archaeology digs are going on right now there? That there was no darkening of the sun on a day that there was an earthquake in the eastern Med, where the dead walked, but just regular human activity on any date that Christians might claim as the passion and resurrection? What would be “universally valid” evidence be?

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          • equippedcat

            Since you seem to agree that thinking about sin (which is not sin; it could not be, as if one never thought about sin, one could not even attempt to avoid it) is not what the sermon on the mount is saying, how is my statement about God not punishing for thinking about sin “inaccurate”

            By the way, you might want to use “claim” a bit more accurately. If I say “God does not punish thinking about sin”, that is a claim which can be debated. If I say “I believe God does not punish thinking about sin”, that is not a claim. Or rather, it is a claim about me, not about God, and cannot be debated (although it can be laughed at).

            And so God did not eliminate Hitler (or Pol Pot or Stalin or Hussain or Dahmer, etc)? What does that prove? It is clear that punishment may not be applied until after death. A system which seems to suck, I agree. But neither of us is God, so our opinion does not matter.

            No, sex is not a sin. Sex between man and wife is a gift. Other sex has potentially serious negative consequences, so even if God does not care about it, or does not exist, such sex should still be avoided. Not Puritan, common sense to put the good of ones self and the good of the world above ones own pleasures.

            I don’t think I’ve “claimed” that you are wrong. I disagree with you, but readily admit that you could be right and I could be wrong. Or we both could be wrong.

            Yes, you’ve said over and over that you have evidence. And you may indeed have it. I just don’t recall you ever producing it. Making a statement “geology shows there was never a flood as described” is not evidence. It is a “claim”, which may well be supportable, but in that case, the “evidence” would be that which supports the claim, not the claim itself. In this case, a respectable geologist or better, a majority of geologists, who can show how such a flood could not possibly have happened and that no respectable geologist can show any flaw in their explanation.

            Did Egypt send the entire army after the Israelites? And if they did, did the entire army enter the sea before it closed? Were Egyptian politicians any more eager than modern ones for their mistakes to be remembered?

            I do not recall you ever coming out a saying that Christians are mentally challenged, etc. Your debating style certainly gives a very strong impression of that in most every post. Oh wait, you have used the term “lies” about some statements, which IS calling the person who made the statement a lier.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            No, EC, I do not agree with you at all. The Sermon on the mount is exactly talking about damning people to hell for thinking about sin. I have no idea how you got otherwise from my post. It appears you failed to read what I wrote. I shall repeat what I said “I am glad that you do indeed remember the sermon on the mount where, as you say, “sin was revealed to be not only physical action but heartfelt desire.”This does show that your claim “As I understand it, God does not punish people for thinking about sin.”to be inaccurate.”

            Now, let’s look at my question that started this thread of questioning ““How about if this god does what it says and punishes people for even having the thought of sin much less acting on it? Could have killed Hitler et al without a fuss at all. But it didn’t, did it?”” You offered your claim that “god does not punish people for thinking about sin” in response to this question of mine. I do agree that there is certainly a difference between thinking about sex and lusting after someone. Now, do tell us how this applies to a genocidal maniac and your god’s inability to do anything about it. Is wanting to murder 6 million people a “heartfelt desire”?”

            You make the claim that you believe that it is true that God does not punish thinking about sin “I believe God does not punish thinking about sin”,. So you do make a claim and I do use the word correctly. I am not unfamiliar with Christians trying to change the definitions of words in their need to disavow what they have said. It happens quite frequently. Let’s look at the definition of claim in this context: “to say that (something) is true when some people may say it is not true” and “3a : to assert in the face of possible contradiction” both from Merriam-webster.com. Again, you seem to be quite wrong in your claims. No matter if you say “believe” or not, you are making a claims about what your god is and does. The claim is evidence for my position that most, if not all Christians, make up their god in their own image.

            You ask what does it prove if your god did not eliminate Hitler, et al? Well, it does disprove a lot of claims about your god made by you, other Christians and your bible. The bible claims, as I have quoted, that even thinking about a sin is punishable. You have tried to qualify this by saying that the thoughts about the sin have to be “heartfelt”. Again, is wanting to murder all of the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, etc, in the world “heartfelt” enough for your god to pay attention? Did you misread my post in order to ignore this question?

            We also have your god directly killing plenty of people for their thoughts and actions, and as above, they are equivalent. The magicall flood, the deaths of the first-born, the rebellious Israelites, Anaias and Saphira, etc. We also have your god killing those who did nothing in retribution for what others did, David’s son is one great example. So, your god’s inability to kill those who killed millions is quite good evidence that the bible and Christian claims are wrong. The god does not act as it has before and there is no demonstrable reason for that, if this god is somehow unchangeable. Your claim that punishment “may not be applied until after death” is shown to be just an excuse to explain a world that acts just like there is no god as claimed by you and by your bible. Your god changes, the world hasn’t. Such a sycophant, so desperate to shut down any criticism of your god that you insist that nothing counts unless it agrees with you. Sorry, my opinion and the facts do matter, no matter how much you insist that they don’t.

            You certainly seemed to think sex is a sin when you mentioned it. “There is a difference between thinking of sex and lusting for a person in your heart. Good thing, since most of us can’t go more than 7 minutes without thinking about sex :-)” Ah, I get to see that you are sure that the only sex that is not a sin is that sex that you approve of based on your religion. Just between a man and a woman, eh? So, how is this sex that you don’t like have “potentially serious negative consequences”? What are those that aren’t to be had from the regular old sex that a man and a woman have? Sorry, your “common good sense” is just more Puritanism, it isn’t common or good sense at all, just fear. Please do tell how sex that you don’t like harms one’s “good of one’s self and the good of the world”? What is this “good of the world” and “good of one’s self? It seems that it’s the usual claims of a Christian who wants to force his own opinions on others, dressing those opinions in the guise of a god he’s invented and the baseless claims of some objective truth.

            You have claimed I am wrong every time you have said that my understanding of the bible is wrong. That’s what disagreeing with me is, EC, telling me I am wrong. To agree, to conclude someone is correct. To disagree, to conclude that someone is wrong. Here’s just one example of you trying to tell me I am wrong “I do indeed remember the “sermon” on the mount, where sin was revealed to be not only physical action but heartfelt desire.” Why are you so afraid of admitting you have said I was wrong? You haven’t always admitted that I could be right or that we could both be wrong. That is simply untrue, and as I have shown, easy to demonstrate.

            So, how do you want me to produce evidence here on the ‘net, EC? If me writing out all of the evidence that exists isn’t good enough, then what is? Would pictures be okay? Would links to articles? If so, I have told you these things are on my blog which you can easily search. But since you seem to need to ignore that offer, I shall put links to those things: http://clubschadenfreude.com/2013/02/06/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-the-illegible-post-part-1/
            http://clubschadenfreude.com/2015/01/01/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-another-challenger-who-is-sure-that-the-bible-flood-happened-diana-lesperance/
            http://clubschadenfreude.com/2013/01/29/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-bad-logic-and-even-worse-science/

            There are plenty more.

            Andn yes, dear EC, a majority of geologists say that your bible is nothing more than myth. It is only your willful ignorance that prevents you from knowing this. Congratulations. Please do show any “respectable geologists” that can show that a world-wide flood that covered mountains did happen. I’ll wait.

            “Did Egypt send the entire army after the Israelites? And if they did, did the entire army enter the sea before it closed?”

            Why yes, at least according to your bible. See Exodus. It’s always good to see that a Christian is ignorant about his bible and won’t bother looking.

            “Were Egyptian politicians any more eager than modern ones for their mistakes to be remembered?”

            Likely not. So, please do tell us how that explains why no nations that were enemies of Egypt noticed the entire army gone? Again, where is the evidence for Israelites in Egpyt and evidence for hundreds of thousands (per the bible) of Israelites wandering around an area the size of half of Pennsylvania for 4 decades that people have been desperately searching for during the last thousand plus years?

            It’s nice that now you say “I do not recall you ever coming out a saying that Christians are mentally challenged, etc”when you said that I believed “3)
            Those who follow any religion are at best mentally challenged and at worst evil, lying, manipulators” You of course can’t even post one quote of mine that say anything like this. Now, if I hadn’t called you on your nonsense, would you have admitted you making false claims? It seems not. Why yes, I have called some people liars and I have shown how they have lied. I have not said that everyone who follows any religion are “at best mentally challenged and at worst evil, lying, manipulators”. So, again, your claim about what I believe is completely a fabrication of your own make.

            I’ve noted that you have ignored the following from my comment “Please also tell me how you would like things to be “proven”, EC. Is objective evidence enough? For example, the evidence that Egypt never lost its entire army as the bible claims? That the city of Tyre was never destroyed by your god to the point that no one can find it and a quarter of a million people live there right now and archaeology digs are going on right now there? That there was no darkening of the sun on a day that there was an earthquake in the eastern Med, where the dead walked, but just regular human activity on any date that Christians might claim as the passion and resurrection? What would be “universally valid” evidence be?”
            I have decided to do a blog post about some of what we have discussed on my blog. You are welcome to comment there as usual. I’d especially like to see you answer how you’d like me to post evidence:
            http://clubschadenfreude.com/2015/06/17/not-so-polite-dinner-conversation-evidence-and-personal-experience/

            I’ll be there to finish this conversation if you wish to do so.

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          • equippedcat

            You said (originally and here): ” I do agree that there is certainly a difference between thinking about sex and lusting after someone.” What the sermon on the mount talks about is “lusting after someone”. The other “thought sins” described in the Sermon are similarly not “just thinking about”. Thus, the sermon on the mount does not seem to support the claim that “God punishes someone for thinking about sin”, and the statement quoted above is is how I got otherwise from your post AND why I continue to believe that claim to be incorrect..

            There seems to be 3 reasonable paths for you to follow. 1) give some indication how the Sermon can be interpreted to count “any thought of sin” as sin, 2) find another place in scripture which can be interpreted as “any thought of sin” is sin, or 3) agree that just thinking about sin is not sin and is not punished. Or you can just hold to your position and there is no point in us discussing it further.

            The “claim” that I am making is “I believe”, not “God does not punish simple thoughts” Since the claim is about me, not God, you can accept it as a true statement or reject it as a lie, although why I would bother lying about my beliefs is hard to comprehend. As for what I believe in this claim, your support for the contrary claim appears to have not panned out, as explained above, and until you can follow through on 1 or 2 above, we are at a standstill on this point.

            As for the second part of the question: “Now, do tell us how this applies to a genocidal maniac and your god’s inability to do anything about it. Is wanting to murder 6 million people a “heartfelt desire”?” I don’t disagree that Hitler sinned, in desiring to kill all Jews and others he decided did not deserve to live, AND in action by leading people in the killing of the 6 million. And I believe that he WAS punished as God deemed appropriate; that is how it applies to in this case. Why God did not “take him out early” or otherwise “smite him” in a noticeable fashion is a completely unrelated question.

            Casual sex is certainly enjoyable, no question about it. I don’t need God to know that casual sex can lead to diseases which can be annoying, harmful or even deadly. Or the birth of a child who is not provided the optimal circumstances to succeed in life. Or a forced marriage which is “encouraged” to be a failure, with impact to the parents and the child. Is every out of wedlock child guaranteed to be a disaster and every in wedlock child guaranteed to be a success? Of course not, but the odds favor those outcomes.

            Then there is the less obvious results of widespread sex. It results in a culture where we tend to think of people as sexual partners rather than people. We tend to judge people sexually rather than humanly. This tends to skew society in a direction which is not healthy.

            Me disagreeing with you does not necessarily make you wrong. Disagreement has no intrinsic implication of wrong or right. Good thing, since if that was the case, you disagreeing with me would make you wrong, no? 🙂

            At the end there, you have some interesting points which will require more study on my part.

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          • equippedcat

            Not necessarily. If you have conflicting claims, all of them may be wrong, or all but one are likely wrong.

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  • Mazy

    I tried to have this exact conversation with a couple of Christians once. They never got it. They just kept shaking their heads at me and saying “But I just don’t understand how someone couldn’t believe in the Bible.” I had to give up.

    Liked by 1 person

  • 61chrissterry

    Reblogged this on 61chrissterry and commented:
    I tend to follow Christian principles, not because I believe in the Bible, but as I sincerely wish to abide by the principles.

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  • rura88

    Good read. The Bible has been “passed on”, “interpreted” and “translated.” There are many versions. One argument you can always use against Bible loving Christians is a simple question: “Do you think Martin Luther helped your faith?”

    When the respondent says “no” or does not know who Martin Luther is just point them to a good source. People like Erasmus and Luther broke the Catholic Church’s monopoly on the Bible which enables Christians all over the world to actually have a Bible and an opinion in the first place.

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  • Kit

    The idea that the Bible is 100% accurate strikes me as a non-mainstream idea that has been slowly growing in the mass culture. I was raised in a nice suburban Methodist church and they certainly had a more nuanced view of it. I think that’s the most common.

    Indeed, even though I no longer believe at all — I am of the opinion that insisting on treating the Bible as a literal factual document diminishes and demeans it. That isn’t its aim and it never was.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Eileen Thompson

    First I would like to thank you for visiting and following my Blog – I am curious to know why though, as you are so opposed to the idea of ‘God’.
    However, I am pleased to offer my two-penneth,as you say you would want evidence of God’s existence. May I suggest you could be looking in the wrong places( if you are still looking at all?) ….
    I was once an atheist and, like you, I couldn’t accept the concept of an inerrant Bible, regarding it as simply another ordinary book. I viewed belief in God as wishful thinking and a crutch invented by people who were unable to face up to the harsh realities of life and death.
    My story is too long to write here, but eventually I ‘proved’ God for myself by outright asking HIM if He existed! Yes – it felt pretty silly speaking into thin air, but by then I’d met too many highly intelligent people, who to my surprise, seemed to have a real and genuine relationship with their ‘God’.
    I couldn’t understand it, but I could not deny what their experience was. The best I could do was think up my own reasons why they were so delusional. So I guess facing up to the reality that Atheists couldn’t know everything after all, led me into agnosticism and eventually into full- blown belief in the Creator God.
    I experienced the new birth spoken of by Jesus, even though I had no church background, and no Bible to read. When I bought a Bible to learn more about this God I now knew existed, I saw that my experience matched exactly the sudden conversion of the very first followers of Jesus. That was a pretty good marker for me that the Bible is true.
    Christians can be guilty at times of trying to put the cart before the horse in discussions with Atheists because, yes – you have to believe in God first , before the recognition of the Bible as His word (to us) comes- it means nothing otherwise.
    Other markers of its authenticity and truth are the many fulfilled prophecies concerning Israel,( God’s chosen people ) and more to come – you only have to watch the News and know the historic facts.
    Lastly, twice in the Psalms it is stated: ‘The fool has said in his heart “there is no God” – now that is definitely true, as I know from personal experience!
    With my best regards, Eileen

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Before I begin my response to you, I have to say one thing: insulting the person you are responding to is not a great start to begin a dialogue. I’m sure you didn’t intend for it to be an insult, but there is really no other way to read that Psalms quote. Remember: the person who wrote that section of the Bible was interested in spreading his beliefs in a world that did not generally accept his beliefs as valid. He was attempting to vindicate the beliefs he held for his own purposes. Just because you can quote that passage doesn’t mean you should.
      Now, on to the actual dialogue. We’ve been told that we’re looking wrong before, but is there truly a right way to look? Different people come to there beliefs in different ways, and I came to my belief that atheism after 15 years as a Christian (give or take a few years). I didn’t exactly change my beliefs without a lot of painstaking thought and research. I don’t believe the Bible isn’t inerrant simply because I can’t imagine a book being inerrant. I have read the Bible (though I’m only now in the process of reading it from cover to cover). I’ve seen the contradictions. I’ve read the bits that don’t make logical sense for the time (like the idea that Joseph and Mary would be required to travel all the way back to Bethlehem for a census. That’s just not how censuses were done). I’ve also read a number of arguments in favour of God, both in my Philosophy classes and on my own. I don’t find them compelling for a number of reasons. You said that you found proof by asking God if he existed. How exactly did he respond, btw? I did that too, but I got no response.
      However, you seem to have had a far different view of religion than I have ever had. I’ve never believed that atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. As Matt Dillahunty said, I didn’t become noticeably more intelligent when I became an atheist. I think it’s really more of a personality thing than anything else. It sounds like you were an atheist simply because you weren’t raised to be a theist, and you initially accepted atheism because that’s what those around you accepted. It was the opposite for me. I was raised to be a Christian. Everybody around me was a Christian, so I accepted Christianity as true. As I got older, though, it just didn’t make sense to me. No matter how much I tried, I could not make myself believe. I never wanted to be an atheist. I had bought into the whole atheists are bad people thing. But eventually I had to accept that I was in fact an atheist whether I wanted to be or not. But I’ve never stopped looking into religion. I find religion fascinating, if false. I’ve also always been an avid reader. But as much as I’ve read Christian literature, as well as literature from other religious groups, ans as much as I’ve conversed with religious people both online and in person, and despite still being surrounded by religious family members, I have yet to come across a compelling argument for any gods existence, and I have yet to feel anything that would make me believe.
      That said, I don’t believe you’re delusional, but I do believe you are wrong. I think it’s more a case of mislabelling than anything else. And I think that this is as a result of our being heuristics machines, which is why it is more common for people to be theists than it is for us to be atheists.
      As a history major, I have seen nothing in history to suggest that any sort of prophesies are true. And the simple fact that life is overall getting better, note that I said overall and not in every way, would suggest that those who state that the end times are drawing nearer are wrong. As would the fact that people have been claiming the end times are nigh for thousands of years. If every one has been wrong up until now, what reason do we have to believe that anyone is right this time?
      I doubt that I will ever be convinced to become a theist, but I do enjoy conversion stories. If you are interested in telling us yours, we wouldn’t object to it taking up part of our comment section. Or you can send us a link if you have already posted it on your blog.

      Like

      • Eileen Thompson

        I’m sorry you took offence at my quote from the Psalms; I thought it was pretty obvious that I was referring it to myself. I see the word ‘fool’ as implying a lack of wisdom in biting the Hand that feeds us – albeit through ignorance. I think you are offended by the truth of God’s word not by me. And I would add that I didn’t pull out that verse as ‘compelling evidence’ – I surely would be a fool to do that!
        The so-called contradictions, questions about the Census etc are all easily answered if you go to legitimate and unbiased sources and in any case what makes the Bible unique and not just any old book is that we need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit when we read it. Of course, I know you strongly disagree with that, but it’s what the word of God claims for itself not simply what I believe.
        As a good example – with reference to your seeing ‘nothing in history to suggest any sort of prophecies are true’ , I can only say it’s a case of needing the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit because the Bible prophecies and fulfilments concerning Israel are so very plainly stated! [Plus the prophecies concerning Jesus of course].
        What has happened to the Jewish people over the centuries? In Ezekial chapters 37,38 & 39 God lays out what has and will happen to His people and the reasons why. History has proved and is in the process of proving those words to be correct. You have to be wilfully blind not to see it. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but truth is truth and I can’t pussy-foot around it. The troubles in and surrounding Israel will get worse and Jerusalem itself is called a cup of trembling and a stumbling block to the nations. For centuries the Jews had no land to call their own, having been conquered and dispersed all over the world. Now they are back in their own land of Israel, a tiny democracy, and the surrounding countries don’t like it and have the aim of destroying them – also foretold in the Bible…. you cannot deny that!
        On to your other points: I find it interesting that you say you tried to follow the Christianity of your family, but you never mention having had a personal relationship with Jesus as your Saviour. Christianity is a first-hand faith, not a second-hand one. By that I mean that it has to be your own personal experience – you cannot live off the faith of another person. Otherwise you just end up following a set of rituals that don’t mean anything and then don’t last.
        Your picture of how my atheism came about is inaccurate. My family was not atheistic – they had a belief in God in a superficial way – marriages, christenings, burials and occasionally sending the kids off to the Salvation Army sunday school to give Mum a break. I do remember thoroughly enjoying singing choruses and loving the stories about Jesus.
        However, when I reached my teenage years I became an atheist because I thought Science had proved the non- existence of God via the Theory of Evolution and that’s why I thought people who still believed otherwise must surely be lacking in intelligence! But then- I was an immature 16 year old and young people are always right aren’t they? I wouldn’t have touched church with a barge pole and chose to marry in a Register Office at age 24.
        You asked about how God responded to my question of His existence and I would like to answer that in another comment if I may? Got things to do at the moment, Eileen

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        • equippedcat

          It’s the Theory of Evolution, not the Fact of Evolution. And even if it were proven that everything came about “naturally”, that by itself does not prove that God does not exist

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Well it is actually fact that things evolve, we see it happening and have clear records showing that things do in fact evolve. The theories exist in part to explain why, although they’ve grown into much larger disciplines.

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          • equippedcat

            It is a fact that things evolve within species, particularly when exposed to “stresses” which may be natural or may be imposed by man for his own purposes. It is theory that plankton or whatever the first life was,eventually evolved to man, trees, lizards, etc.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            EC, you should learn about the theory of evolution before you attack it. It is not about plankton evolving into man, trees, etc. Again, attacking something you are ignorant above is nothing more than attacking a strawman that doesn’t exist.

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          • equippedcat

            Huh? Attacking? I don’t think I’m “attacking” evolution. Mutations occur, environments change, and natural selection tends to encourage the positive mutations and most adaptable individuals and “kill off” the rest. This is not something which is validly attackable. If I am “attacking” anything, it is “Evolution”, the theory that the very first, most simple life eventually became all the various current lifes, without any guidance. Not that it COULDN’T have happened, just that it is so unlikely. Which is not an attack, in my opinion, just my evaluation.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            You’ve done a great job in listing how evolutionary theory works. If all of these things work, why do we need a “guider”? How do you know it is “unlikely”?

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          • equippedcat

            Small changes are likely and even provable. Huge changes are less likely and take so much time we can’t observe it. I don’t think we have found a series of fossils demonstrating the steps of a huge change (from one form of life to a completely different form). If we can’t observe it or see “tracks” of it, does not mean it did not happen, just that it is at least possible it did not happen.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            So, what shows “huge changes” and not a bunch of small ones? Fossils don’t form often, the ones that we have do support the changes evolution predicts. We see no fossil out of the place it is predicted.

            If we can’t observe something, I can agree that is possible it did not happen. What does this say about religious claims?

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          • equippedcat

            I don’t dispute that changes occur in species over time. I question whether the simplest possible form of life became all the life around us without some intelligence behind it.

            It says that it is possible that religious claims might be incorrect.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            So, you can’t actually support the claims you’ve made. Not surprising at all.

            Again, you depend on your own ignorance to disbelieve in scientific theories that do have evidence for them by saying you “question” them, but you don’t even know what they actually say. Sigh.
            And why yes, your claims of not believing in something since you didn’t directly observe it does demonstrate that your religion has little reason to be believed since we don’t have even partial evidence that it is real, like we have for evolutionary theory, like the fossils that do show increasing complexity and change exactly like evolutionary theory predicts.

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          • Eileen Thompson

            ‘evolve’ is the wrong word to use for life forms simply ‘adapting’ to conditions. The Theory of evolution on the other hand teaches that one species or life-form has developed into another over a period of millions of years – for which there is no evidence. Everything reproduces after its own kind just as the Bible says.

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          • equippedcat

            Evolve is defined as a gradual change. When talking biologically, the mechanism is natural selection of mutations and adaptability to altered conditions. We have reliable evidence of evolution within species (in many cases, we forced it). I don’t know of any evidence of mutation from one species to a new species.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            No evolution is the correct term to use when an group organism adapts to it’s environment over the course of generations. Single organism do not evolve, some species have individuals are able to adapt, but evolution is something that occurs over populations, not on individuals.

            There are quite literally mountains of evidence of evolution Here are a couple of link to some decent sources. Also understand that “kinds” is not a scietifc term and has no place in biolgoy, becuase it is ill defined. Also in evoultion reptile never gave birth to birds, or anythingl iek that, but rather there is a extrealy long chain where early reptiles eventualy over the course of thousand, or millions of generation became dinosaurs and some of those dinosaurs after millions more years, gained the ability to fly (and we also now know that many dinosaurs had feathers anyway) It’s true that organism only give birth to very similar organisms (well okay there are weird exceptions, but biology is excellent for having exceptions) that how ever does not mean the dogs, cats, and foxes for example didn’t evolved from a common ancestor fox-like ancestor. In fact they all show a very clear physiological similarities because of that distant relation.

            For evidence here’s a short list on Wikipedia:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent

            If you look you can see that the is various kind of evidence which work together to collaborate evolutionary theory.

            Also I’ll leave you this video as well. It’s very dense with material, so don’t worry if you have to pause or rewatch parts. However this should answer many of your questions.

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          • Eileen Thompson

            Of course ‘kinds’ isn’t a scientific term, however, it’s meaning is clear: God created plant life, fish life, bird life, animal life and human life and they never naturally change between nor inter- breed with each other. Human life is quite separate and distinct.
            Of course your fox, dog etc ( and horses, zebras etc) have similar physiology but they still stay within their designated groups.
            If you do not believe in a Creator God, you’ve still got to admit that there must be some unknown( to you) , outside agency involved because each form of life has its own programmed -in information to make it what it is. For dinosaurs to gain the ability to fly as you claim, they would become birds and require different information added into their genetic make up , but where could that information come from? Life cannot make itself – if you think that then you too believe in miracles ( and magic – the frog turns into a prince)
            Even among scientists there is a division between those who see an Intelligent Mind ( but won’t go so far as to call it ‘God’) behind it and the ‘dismiss God at all costs’ scientists.
            The well -known militant atheist Richard Dawkins pathetically says life has ‘ the appearance ‘ of design but denies that means a Designer’. You know the saying – “if it walks like a duck’ etc …..
            I am neither a scientist, nor have I your level of education, but I have learnt a lot over 50 years , about the evolution/ creation debate, I had to, in order to defend the Christian faith against the onslaught of militant atheism. In more recent times I’ve learnt a lot from Creation.com a web site run by Scientists who are believers in God.
            I will take a look at your video but I doubt that it will tell me anything I haven’t already learnt about the evolution ‘ theory’.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            No one needs to “admit” that there is some magical outside agency. This is because there is no evidence of one. I am still waiting for you to show evidence of this, Eileen. You are woefully ignorant of the theory of evolution. Do you know how wings come about, Eileen? They are the same bones as are in our forearms and hands which are common to everything that came from our quadruped common ancestor. It requires no information added at all.

            There is no need for life to make itself, since life may have come from simple physical laws. These laws may have been around always. We may never know why they are the way they are. That fact still doesn’t show that your god and messiah exist.

            There are a handful of scientists who claim that creationism, or Intelligent Design, is true. They cannot show evidence of this and we have been waiting decades on the evidence they have been promising “real soon now”. There is no division at all, that implies a roughly equal number on each side and that is not the case. The quote from Richard Dawkins is “Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.” Again, the appearance of something is not evidence that it is true. Indeed, I can point that out by mentioning that each theist is sure that the universe is evidence for their god, but they can’t actually show that it was their god and not some other. One can say that it appears that God created it, or Allah, or Vishnu, or any one of a hundred other gods. Appearance is worthless without evidence.

            It’s hilarious that you think that since you’ve been alive for “x” years, this means you know how the sciences are wrong. I doubt you would be so arrogant to claim that since you’ve been around 50 years, you know all about how to fix a nuclear reactor. But you think you know about the sciences that you can’t even accurately describe. It’s the same with the creationist scientists who you trot out, they have no evidence, haven’t worked in the fields and of course say that everyone but them is wrong. I do wonder, Eileen, are old earth creationists right or are young earthers right? and how can we know?

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Hi there Eileen,

            Would have replied sooner by this comment got buried and I didn’t see it till late last night.
            “Of course ‘kinds’ isn’t a scientific term, however, it’s meaning is clear: God created plant life, fish life, bird life, animal life and human life and they never naturally change between nor inter- breed with each other. Human life is quite separate and distinct.”

            Well good for me I don’t I have to defend any of what you’ve said above, as evolutionary theory doesn’t think that a dog becomes cat or a mouse a flower. Or that interbreeding can occurs between different species in the vast majority of changes, and when it can only between closely related species.
            The concept of common descent is that the different groupings of organisms we see in the world derived from common ancestors not that different kinds of organisms suddenly popped out others.

            IF you wish to understand evolution theory, or more properly in this case, common decent. You will need to do away, at least for the time being, with the notion of cross breeding. That isn’t how evolutionary theory works.
            You’ll need to understand that according to the theory we are part of a colossal family tree, where if we go back far enough we can probably connect all life to a single progenitor cell, or perhaps a few early progenitor cells, but that something we probably can’t know for a fact. from there variations in offspring and changes in habitat have over billions of years resulted in the variety of life around us, and different groups split. Though I’ll leave the biology lesson there for now and see if you are interested in learning what the actual positions of biologist are or if your only concerned will telling me your convictions.

            “If you do not believe in a Creator God, you’ve still got to admit that there must be some unknown( to you) , outside agency involved because each form of life has its own programmed -in information to make it what it is.”

            Just because there is an unknown does not mean there is an agency behind it. If you think there is it your job to show that there is an agency. And the argument from complexity is not good enough. Ice crystals for intensely complex fractals, and there is not agency behind freezing.

            As for your dinosaurs to bird complaint allow me to explain first with mammals.
            Just yesterday a man way trying to tell me that there is a fundamental difference between diffrent kinds, just as you are, but lets look at bats and humans. Are we fundamentally different? Lets first compare the wind of a bat to the arm of a human.

            You can see that the bone structure alone are very similar, but if you look into muscle type, skin. They are all very similar. Even the flaps of skin between the bats fingers are not particularly strange, humans can be born with webbed fingers. What you think are fundamental immutable difference are acutely but small changes of a common motif. (birds are considerably different then us, but even then you can see the similarities). All of these things are predicted by evolutionary theory.

            Life cannot make itself? Odd because my mother and father made me, and we have a very good understand of how that happened. Though perhaps you mean life make itself from no living matter. Well the field of abiogenesis would beg to differ.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
            Although if you expect evolutionary theory to explain the origins of life, you’re a greatly mistaken. Evolution is how organism change over time, not how organism can into existence. So make sure you don’t continue to make that mistake in the future.

            Eileen you may have looked into evolution, but it’s clear that you do not understand what evolution is or the scientific theories that explain why evolution happens. If you did you would not thin that evolutionary theory (there are far more scientific theories around evolution then one) explains the origin of life, nor would you be trying to tell me about cross breeding plants and animals. None of that has anything to do with evolution.
            I’ll help you understand where I can, but starting with that video series will allow you to ask me the right questions. Also there are lots of ways to add addition information to a genome, mutations are one, but the many different kingdoms of life have varies means of adding genetic information. Plant for example can replicate genes multiple times over allowing for rampant mutation of those genes to no ill effect of the plant (since they only need one original gene to retain health functions).
            Biology is a massive field, and is built upon the back bone of natural selection, and population genetics, but do not think for a moment that understanding biology generally is an easy task, or can be done without understanding evolution.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Though understand if you deal honestly and fairly with me, and attempt to understand what I’m saying I’ll return the favor.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            You are misrepresenting evolutionary theory, Eileen. There is plenty of evidence of animals/plants evolving.

            To clarify this issue of a creationist not even knowing what they are attacking, let me ask you, what does evolutionary theory actually say?

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          • clubschadenfreude

            EC, I have a question. The same science that you benefit from everyday is the same science that demonstrates that evolutionary theory is correct. Why do you accept one and not the other? The principles used are exactly the same.

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          • equippedcat

            No, it does not show that it IS correct, it shows that it COULD BE correct. There are 3 possibilities: Natural Evolution, Guided Evolution and Creation. I don’t claim any of these are “definitely wrong”, and I suspect I’ll never know which is “definitely right”.

            And what science is it I benefit from every day that is no more definitive than Evolution theory?

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          • clubschadenfreude

            No, it shows that it is correct because all of the evidence was predicted by evolutionary theory even before it was found. EC, do you know what evolutionary theory actually says? It seems not.

            There is no evidence for “guided evolution”, this would require evidence for a “guider” which doesn’t exist. We would also have to see how it “guided”. What evidence is there for that, EC? Where is the efficient actions of someone who knew what needed to be where and how? Why is there evidence completely against this, that shows the process of evolution to be wasteful and inefficient?

            There is no evidence for creation, no coming from one pair of humans who were made of dirt, no instantaneous appearance of animals, nothing happened as the creation myths claim. Why is that?

            Nice attempt to skew my words, EC. I did not say “And what science is it I benefit from every day that is no more definitive than Evolution theory?”

            I said “The same science that you benefit from everyday is the same science that demonstrates that evolutionary theory is correct. Why do you accept one and not the other? The principles used are exactly the same.”

            I did not say what you said at all, and it’s a shame that you so blatantly tried to say I did. Again, the same science that you benefit from everyday is the same science that shows evolutionary theory is correct. You doubt one but not the other, and the methods are exactly the same, at valid conclusions on how the world works. it appears that you have no problem accepting the fruits of using evolutionary theory when it comes to using antibiotics and modern foodstuffs, but you can’t equally accept that evolutionary theory shows that myths are nonsense and there is no “guider” or supernatural creation.

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          • equippedcat

            Lack of evidence does not necessarily mean “no way”, it just means no evidence of. Only evidence against can lead to a “no way” claim.

            You did seem to imply that all Science is equally certain. The evidence which exists seems to indicate natural evolution, but due to the time involved, we can’t “reproduce” it. On the other hand, I use “Computer Science” every day, and if anyone has any question about it, they can apply scientific method to verify it. Thus I have a higher degree of faith in Computer Science than I do in Evolution Science.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            EC, then would you agree that evidence of something else happening in place of a proffered claim would be evidence that the claim did not happen?

            I am not sure what you mean that I am sure that all “Science” is equally certain. Do you mean that I should accept that sometimes the laws of physics don’t work?

            you have made false claims again when you insist we can’t reproduce the mechanisms of evolution. This makes me wonder just how much you knwo about what you attack and claim wrong. Humans have been the environmental stressors that have selected certain attributes from many plants an animals. That’s how it happens in nature, stressors that act on attributes of entities, the best fit having the best change to pass along its heritable attributes.

            You seem to forget that there are some people who use evolutionary theory every day and one can indeed apply the scientific method to it. Anyone can apply the scientific method to evolutionary theory if they have questions about it. So your attempts to try to claim that one can’t are simply untrue, and seem to be no more than an attempt to create a false dichotomy. It appears that you question that which you do not understand and have decided that your own personal incredulity is somehow important. That is a great example of the logical fallacy, the argument from ignorance “If I don’t understand it, it can’t be true.”

            Faith means different things. I have no religious faith and you have no religious faith in whether computer science works or not. You trust and accept that it will work since it has, just like I do. You have evidence that it works, just like I do. Christians claim that faith is in things unseen. That is not evidence and that is why non-Christians don’t accept baseless claims from Christians.

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          • equippedcat

            Of course. If A and B are mutually exclusive, and there is no evidence of A and there is evidence of B, that is also evidence against A.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            So, since we know that typical geological events occurred over the entire earth and we have evidence of this, and we dont’ have evidence of a bible flood, this would mean that there is no reason to believe in the bible flood, correct? This would also apply to Adam and Eve if there is no evidence of them and plenty of evidence of early hominids and their movements, yes?

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          • equippedcat

            Depending on how reliable the evidence is, and how mutually exclusive the events are, yes.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            So, since there is literally and figuratively mountains of geological evidence against the noah flood, there is no reason to believe it happened. The same with the exodus, the same with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The sun did not go dark and there was no earthquake and there was no dead walking on the same day. There was the sun doing its usual thing, the earth not shaking and the dead in their tombs. Would this be reliable and mutually exclusive?

            I’m going to guess you’ll qualify what you’ll accept as “reliable” evidence. 🙂

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          • equippedcat

            There may well be geologic evidence which makes the flood described unlikely; this could certainly and validly throw significant doubt that the flood happened or at least that it happened as described. And THAT would certainly be a significant hit to the inerrency of the Old Testament.

            I have not seen valid evidence against the Exodus. Sure, some ‘experts’ claim that there were never any Israelites in Egypt, but in every case I’ve seen, they base that claim on them not finding any evidence the Israelites were there. Unless scientists find actual evidence Israelites were NOT there, I’m not buying it.

            “The sun did not go dark and there was no earthquake and there was no dead walking on the same day” To borrow from you, can you back up that claim? Any evidence there was no eclipse and no earthquake, no matter how local? And what dead were alleged to be walking that day? If you can prove it, that would certainly be reliable and mutually exclusive, and a massive hit to the inerrency of the New Testament..

            Of course I’m going to insist on reliable evidence. Reliable to most people, not just reliable to you.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            EC, there *is* geological evidence which demonstrates that your bible’s claim of a world-wide Himalayan deep flood to be completely untrue. The evidence exists whether you avail yourself of it or not. Willful ignorance does seem to be required to keep religious belief alive. You depend on it. You can avail yourself of all of my posts on the flood at my blog, complete with links (clubschadenfreude.com and search “flood” in the blog). If you wish, you can do your best to explain why there is no one single meters thick flood deposit that has human civilization remains, dinos, and trilobites mixed together. I do fully expect you won’t even try to read anything that shows your claims to be false.

            Again, there is no evidence *for* the supposed “exodus”. Christians and Jews can’t even tell anyone when it happened. If you believe it happened, then tell me when. Then we can look for the evidence. In that we have looked through the entire timeline of Egpytian history and found no trace of it whatsoever *and* have evidence of every normal event in an empire’ history except a magical set of plagues, this is the evidence that the exodus is no more than a nationalistic myth.

            Yep, if there is no evidence of Israelites in Egypt, this would mean that there were no Israelites in Egypt. It’s hilarious to see you demand evidence for something not existing. Those miserable old a-Santaists can’t provide evidence that Santa doesn’t exist, so he exists with as much possibility as your God. How interesting. What wonderful BS “. Unless scientists find actual evidence Israelites were NOT there, I’m not buying it”You are such a silly hypocrite.

            I believe I’ve asked you to give me dates of when the bible events happened. If I haven’t, I’ll ask you now, give me those dates and then we’ll have little trouble finding the evidence *if* t exists. I’m guessing you will refuse.

            I can back up the claim that there has been no day in history that the sun went dark and there was an earthquake strong enough to tear the curtain in the temple at any time that Christians claim that their supposed savior existed. I can also back up the claim that no dead came back to life and walked around. There is no evidence of it, EC. No astronomical evidence, no geological evidence (we can see earthquakes from fault disturbance and date them), no records of Romans or Jews noticing the dead walking around and please do tell me that you are sure that the Jews wouldn’t have noticed that their patriarchs were back with them. Yep, there was no eclipses over the area claimed by Christians during the time period they claim their supposed savior existed nor the various dates they claim that this savior died. You see, EC, the movements of the moon and earth are quite stable. We can use computers to run time backward to see when eclipses would have happened and where. Add to this that the ancients in the Eastern Med knew what eclipses were and knew how to predict them too and your claims are shown to be so much nonsense. Again, your myths don’t stand against evidence.

            Oh, darn “And what dead were alleged to be walking that day” It seems that you don’t know your own bible. Matthew 27:“51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” Nothing supports this at all. Were the early Christian not telling the truth? Do you pick and choose what parts of the story to believe? Just those parts you want to pretend are “inerrant”? Is the bible not to be considered “reliable”?

            So, how can we tell what is reliable to “most people. Tell me who these “most people” are that don’t require evidence like I require for events in their lives and for claims made to them by people they have no reason to believe blindly? How do* you* know something is likely to be true or correct?

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        • Eileen Thompson

          Sorry equippedcat, I must have pressed the wrong reply button, I meant it to be a reply to Hessianwithteeth! Senior moment …. Of course now I am a Christian I believe in the Creator God of the Bible. Eileen

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    • clubschadenfreude

      “My story is too long to write here, but eventually I ‘proved’ God for myself by outright asking HIM if He existed! Yes – it felt pretty silly speaking into thin air, but by then I’d met too many highly intelligent people, who to my surprise, seemed to have a real and genuine relationship with their ‘God’.”

      I did the same thing. Didn’t get an answer, so your method isn’t demonstrably effective and there is no reason to believe that your story is true or is anything more than confirmation bias. You also are using a fallacy, claiming that since you claim some religious people are “highly intelligent” that must mean that they are telling the truth about their god. that’s just a variation of the appeal to authority.

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      • Eileen Thompson

        “I did the same thing…..”

        What I wrote about was of course from my own experience – in the hope that it may encourage others to a faith in God.
        Given the complexities of human nature and that we are all individuals, I am not so naive to think that I can persuade anyone by own words and experience, neither could anyone have so persuaded me in my atheistic years – it needs God’s input for that to happen. But God has promised that you will seek and find HIM when you do it with your whole heart.
        Now, nobody else can know your heart , so I don’t know why you got no answer, except that I’m convinced of God’s timing in everything and because you think He didn’t answer you then ,doesn’t mean that He isn’t answering you now ( I don’t mean through me of course) Only He can expose our attitudes,prejudices and motives – to ourselves. God, being God, could simply zap us at any time, instead He is full of grace and patience.
        I realise this is most likely falling on deaf ears if you are an out and out atheist, but no matter – I have to be true to myself and my faith in God.

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        • clubschadenfreude

          Eileen, that seems not quite true since you claimed that your way to reach god worked and that Hessian was supposedly “looking in the wrong place”, thus presenting your claim as a way to correctly find this god. I can understand that you would want to walk that back since I have indicated that I was evidently looking in the “right” place and your god wasn’t there either.

          If your claims were actually factual, there would be no need to try to excuse your methods failure by citing human complexities. Your god would be found and that would be that. What we have is the subjective claim of a theist that is no different than the claims of many other theists, that one supposedly just needs to reach out to this god and it will respond, and the same failure of that action.

          It seems that your claims that this whole process needs God to actually deign to interact show that the common Christian claim of free will is nonsense. If humans have no ability to actually find this god, and it can choose not to show up, then people like me are quite damned through no fault of our own. This god ignores the honest Thomases who are seeking it.

          You also make the excuse that I somehow must not be seeking this god with my “whole heart”. This is just one more baseless excuse, made so you might continue believing that your god really did interact with you. I can understand why you would backpedal from claiming your god is using you to answer me since you have failed badly. That is nothing more than trying to excuse your god again. I have yet to see this god do anything at all, much less expose attitudes, prejudices and motives to anyone at all.

          Ah, nice false claim at the end, accusing me of having deaf ears to salve your ego on why I don’t accept your subjective claims blindly. I am indeed an atheist, but I do have an open mind. There is no better reason to accept your claims than those of any other theist. You are sure that they are wrong and I can make an educated guess that you use the same processes I do to determine this. Do you understand why I would not believe you?

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          • Eileen Thompson

            You make the mistake of thinking that because you personally haven’t found God, He isn’t to be found! Are you accusing me of lying? Or simply being deluded?
            I have no ‘methods’ to use, nor do I make excuses, I’ve merely been offering suggestions as to why we have opposite experiences. Obviously this has made you angry.
            I and countless others, throughout history, have had a life- changing encounter with God for which an atheist has no explanation.
            As for salving my ego – God is the judge of my motives, not you and God forbid that I should expect anyone to blindly accept anything I say – you seem to think I have a very high opinion of myself and That is very far from the truth.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Eileen,

            I do not make that mistake. There is no evidence for your god at all, including personal experiences. For all of the claims made in the bible and by Christians, there is no one bit of evidence that supports the existence of the Christians god. You make the claim that your god must exist since you have had some subjective event that you attribute to your god. This is not evidence. Let me explain why.

            Theists often claim that their personal experience means their and only their god exists. A subjective experience is not evidence. If you wish to claim it is, then you would need to also acknowledge that every other theist has as much evidence as you do and that all gods must exist. I suspect you will try to cite the existence of the universe as evidence also. The problem with that is that most religions make the same claims of evidence for their gods as Christians do. Since none of you can show that you are correct, why should I believe you?

            You do use methods and you do make excuses. Your “suggestions” are hardly just that, they are claims you know something about the universe that no one else does per your religion. When confronted that your claims do not work, you do back them off, retroactively trying to claim that you were only making suggestions. I am not angry, but I do suspect you wish I were so you could have one more excuse to ignore my questions. How do you know that I am angry, Eileen? That I show that you are wrong?

            Yes, you and many others have claimed to have life-changing encounters with your god. That is indeed a fact. This does not indicate that any gods exist at all. The theists of other gods have made the same claims. Do you believe that their gods exists just like you believe yours does? I am not asking such questions lightly. I am asking you to consider your faith from an outsider’s point of view. You seem interested in not answering my questions. I will ask it again “Ah, nice false claim at the end, accusing me of having deaf ears to salve your ego on why I don’t accept your subjective claims blindly. I am indeed an atheist, but I do have an open mind. There is no better reason to accept your claims than those of any other theist. You are sure that they are wrong and I can make an educated guess that you use the same processes I do to determine this. Do you understand why I would not believe you?”

            You have claimed I likely have deaf ears because I am an atheist. That was a false claim on your part. I can make an educated guess on your motives since psychology is a science that does well in predicting behavior. I may be wrong, and if so I apologize. Then I ask: What is your reason to accuse me of not being open minded? Just because I am an atheist? Just because I do not accept your claims?

            I have no idea if you have a high opinion of yourself. One can have a poor opinion on oneself and still think that one has the correct answer to the universe and has made Pascal’s Wager correctly. In that you have not shown you have this right answer, again, do you understand why someone would not believe your claims as you do not believe in the claims of others?

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          • Eileen Thompson

            Since I’ve already addressed your questions/ remarks and you know fully where I stand and you are such a clever person who already knows all the answers – why are you asking me again? Please don’t waste any more of my time, Eileen

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Eileen,

            I will ask my questions to you again because you have not answered them:

            “Since none of you can show that you are correct, why should I believe you?”

            “How do you know that I am angry, Eileen? That I show that you are wrong?”

            “Do you understand why I would not believe you?”

            “Do you believe that their gods exists just like you believe yours does?”

            “What is your reason to accuse me of not being open minded? Just because I am an atheist? Just because I do not accept your claims?”

            “In that you have not shown you have this right answer, again, do you understand why someone would not believe your claims as you do not believe in the claims of others?”

            I can understand why you would not want to answer such questions; they are uncomfortable for a Christian to consider. I found them to be that way when I was losing my faith. However, to lie about others as your excuse not to answer such questions is not the same as simply saying “I do not want to answer the questions.” You have chosen the former. One more example of you doing this is accusing me of claiming to be “such a clever person” and supposedly knowing all of the answers, when I have done no such thing. You have made this strawman in order to avoid answering me. I am asking you questions because I want to know the answers. As I have said, I have never claimed to have all of the answers. If you wish to support your claim about me, do so. If not, it does seem that you are intentionally lying about me. I do not appreciate lies, and as a former Christian, I know that the god of the bible doesn’t either, even if a believer thinks that they are lying for this god (Romans 3). That’s one of the better things to be found in the bible.

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          • equippedcat

            I don’t propose to speak for Eileen, but I’ll take a whack at answering your questions, from MY point of view. Eileen can speak for herself, if she wishes to.

            – You shouldn’t believe anything which cannot be shown TO YOU. Don’t assume that that because it can’t be shown to you, it is not shown to anyone else.

            – I don’t know that you are angry, but the way you write makes it abundantly clear to most people that you are, shall we say, very intense about your viewpoint, and not particularly sensitive towards anyone who holds a different viewpoint.

            – I do (see first answer).

            – I don’t, because they have even less support than my God does, and I don’t have the personal experience with them. But lack of belief does not mean belief in the lack, if you see what I mean. New facts (should) lead to new evaluations.

            – I (also) don’t think you are open minded. You state things which you believe as if they were “facts”, you tend to seize on keywords and extrapolate “statements” which were not intended by the speaker, and when that is explained, doggedly keep with the original misunderstanding. You refuse to consider even the possibility of things beyond your views. Plus, your manner of speaking is quite harsh and discourages exchange of information.

            – Yes, but I try not to beat them over the head with it.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            Thanks for doing so, EC.

            I don’t make the assumption that if I haven’t seen it, something can’t exist. I do require evidence of claims. Take evolution for example, I require evidence, I do not assume that since I haven’t seen it personally, it doesn’t exist. If one claims one’s god exists, and especially claim that everyone should be following it for some moral reason, etc, then I do require evidence.

            I have asked for evidence and for explanations of why I should accept someone’s claims over anothers. How is this insensitive? Would you not ask the same questions of anyone you didn’t agree with? To put it in a more fanciful setting, was the child insensitive when she said the emperor had no clothes? I can completely agree that my questions are not comfortable to theists. That doesn’t mean that they should not be asked.

            I know you understand why someone would not believe you, EC. You are a fairly rare Christian in that you do understand. Many other theists do not.

            You say that other gods have “even less support” than your god does. In my studies, I have not found this to be the case at all. We have no evidence for the essential claims of any religion, the supernatural events, the supernatural abilities of their main characters, etc. Many religions do mention real people and places, and since they mostly do, this is also not evidence for truth of the religious claims. I am curious if you think there is some special evidence for Christianity that other religions do not have. Plenty of believers of other religions have personal experience with their gods. You mention new facts. We have plenty of new facts that show that the claims of religion are not true. I am unaware of any new facts that support the claims of any religion. I am not quite sure what you mean by “lack of belief does not mean belief in the lack”. The lack of what?

            I have plenty of reasons to state what I accept as reality as facts. I know that they are not going to change magically. If you can show that they do, I’d be more than happy to acknowledge that. If I do take others out of context, I apologize but if I do think I have apprehended them correctly, I do my best to point out why I find that they seem to claim what I think, with quotes and with my reasoning. Often, those quotes and reasons are not challenged, which would indicate that I may not be that far off. It may not.

            I do consider the possibility of things beyond my views. Then I analyze them and consider them. If there is no evidence for them, what reason is there to continue to say “well, it’s possible” when it is not? For example, I acknowledge the possibility of a silver teapot in orbit around Pluto. It is a possibility however minute, since things orbit, teapots exist and Pluto exists. I do not acknowledge the possibility of a twelve eyed pushme-pullyou crashing through my living room window. I can imagine it, but that doesn’t mean that everything a human can imagine must be possible or must exist. I agree that it very likely sounds harsh if someone is not used to being told that they are wrong. Many theists have never even considered that someone would disagree with them, very sure in their external validation. I found myself in that very position when I was losing my faith. To realize that someone doesn’t accept what you consider a “truth” is very shocking and it does engage every defensive mechanism. I would ask you to consider: would you consider my tone so harsh if I was addressing someone you didn’t agree with, for example a Klansman? You may, though I would wonder why.

            I would ask, how is asking questions discouraging the exchange of information? I would posit that demanding that no one ask questions and avoiding answer questions whilst making up false claims about ones opponent does that in spades.

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          • equippedcat

            Requiring evidence of claims is not unreasonable before accepting them, but lack of evidence does not necessarily mean the claims should be rejected out of hand. Putting them “on the shelf” until evidence for (or against) is a more flexible approach.

            You may have adequate cause to state things as facts, but unless you can “prove” them, it comes across as “proselytizing”, which if you don’t like being done to you, it might be a good plan not to do to others (at least those who don’t agree with you).

            No evidence to support something is not a guarantee it is not so, but is often adequate to consider it “unlikely”.. I find it much more effective and less stressful to consider “anything” which cannot be disproved to be “possible”. The only things which are not “possible” are those that are proven to be impossible.

            Asking questions is a good way to facilitate exchange of information. As with any communication, the WAY the question is asked can affect its effectiveness. In particular, questions which require the person being asked to accept something they disagree with tends to be somewhat throttling. For instance, “Why do you believe something as stupid as …?” or “Have you stopped abusing your children yet?” or “Why would you lie about …?”

            A “claim” which you disagree with is not necessarily false, and even if it is, that does not mean that the person you are talking with is “making it up”. People can honestly be mistaken.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            How long should things be put on the shelf? 2000 years? 10000 years? And how much counterknowledge do we need to know that there is indeed no such character as the Cat in the Hat as a real existential being? When does it become ridiculous to keep a belief alive? As I said, just because someone can imagine it, doesn’t mean it is possible or plausible. I cannot “prove” that the Cat in the Hat doesn’t exist, but every bit of evidence is against it. If we expand this to looking for evidence for thousands of years, the likelihood of finding evidence for something that has never been shown to exist gets vanishingly small.

            In that I have evidence that religious claims are false, and that entirely different events happened in place of them, to try to compare my evidence based claims with religion’s baseless claims is a bit ridiculous, EC.
            Proselytizing is an attempt to convert and that is no bad thing, unless the claims aren’t true. Reality doesn’t care if you convert, it doesn’t change. No one gets their own reality “’The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”. People can try to proselytize to me all they want. They won’t get a free pass to do it without being countered and asked to provide evidence.

            EC, I am guessing, perhaps incorrectly, that in no other part of your life would you accept that something exists without evidence. How is it effective to consider anything could exist? Do you live your life as if a 40 story tall lizard could exist and take measures against it “just in case”? I somehow doubt it. If you consider that such a lizard could exist, it seems that this would be a bit stressful.  But you discount such things because there really is no reason to believe that it could exist. You also seem to again invoke what you think could or could not exist, a version of personal incredulilty.

            I have no reason to ask questions in any different way. I am guessing, again perhaps incorrectly, that you want me to ask questions that leave a possibility of the claims made by others to be true. There is no reason to do this if there is no evidence this is the case. It does require the querent to say something that he/she doesn’t really mean or believe. You seem to be making a claim that I have asked questions like you have postulated. Please do show where I have asked anything as ridiculous as the wifebeating nonsense or calling someone stupid. If I haven’t, then you seem to be arguing against a strawman.

            If someone has lied about something, told a direct falsehood with the intention to deceive, what is wrong to ask then why they have lied about it? I can understand if someone accidently misrepresents something, or has accepted a claim by another and doesn’t know that they are wrong in repeating something. However, when they are told that they are making false claims and shown how and why, *and* they keep doing it, then they are lying. And, yes, I do know that a claim that someone makes that I disagree with isn’t necessarily false. If they can’t support it, then that’s the way to bet. Your doubt of evolutionary theory shows that something that you disagree with isn’t necessarily false, especially if it has evidence supporting it.

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          • equippedcat

            How long? Until it is validly resolved. In my case, I figure I’ll find out for sure in less than 50 years.

            You ignore the evidence of my personal experiences, and you should, for you. For me, they are adequate so far. I don’t believe without evidence, just not with evidence valid for anyone who does not share my beliefs or even my experiences. It is possible that the evidence you rely on for your beliefs are also only valid for those who share your beliefs. Or maybe it IS universally valid, just that nobody has yet shown it to me.

            Would it be worth it to you to change your style? Depends. If you are satisfied with the results you are getting, then there really is no incentive for you to change. If we don’t like it, that is our problem, not yours; we can always ignore you if we get to where we can’t stand it.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            “Validly solved” That’s a lovely excuse. And who determines what is valid, EC?

            I know your personal experience is enough for you. It’s enough for a child who believes in Santa Claus.

            You try to use another typical and failed Christian claim that the evidence I require is somehow equivalent to the baseless claims theist make. No, EC, it is not “possible” that the evidence I rely on is only valid for those who share my beliefs. If that where the case, then you wouldn’t accept antibiotics, computers, cars, modern foodstuffs, etc. The same evidence I require is the same evidence you require in every aspect of your life except your religion.

            “no one has shown it to me”, what an excuse, and more of the pathetic personal incredulity that you rely on to keep your religion.

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          • Eileen Thompson

            I find your attitude so warped that, against my better judgement, I will answer since it’s so important to you.
            Your accusations of me lying would be laughable if it wasn’t such a serious issue. I can only think you choose such language in order to provoke a response from me – well, you’ve succeeded. But – the question is – if you think I am a liar, why bother asking anything? I find you truly baffling and silly with what I perceive as your ‘triumphalism’ – the worst thing being that you do the very thing you accuse me of!
            So – to put the matter to rest :-
            Q. “Since none of you can show you are correct, why should I believe you?”
            A. You can’t possibly know that none of us are correct just because we don’t demonstrate it to your satisfaction. Truth is truth whether you believe it or not, and it seems your only explanation for our personal knowledge of God is to say we are lying.

            Q. “How do you know that I am angry Eileen? That I show that you are wrong?”
            A. As we are not face to face, of course I don’t know if you are angry, but I can glean it from how you present your remarks and the things you say – just my opinion of course.

            Q. “Do you understand why I would not believe you?”
            A. Yes, I understand perfectly – you fit the Bible’s description of an unbeliever exactly.

            Q. “Do you believe that their gods exist just like you believe yours does?”
            A. Yes – in the sense that there are many false gods but only one true Creator God – the God of the Bible and the nation of Israel.

            Q. “What is your reason to accuse me of not being open- minded? Just because I am an atheist? Just because I do not accept your claims?”
            A. No, neither of these – it is because you have already decided that I am a liar and you will not accept the remote possibility of ‘God’ making Himself known to anyone because He hasn’t done so to you. What sort of faith you must have had before must have been on very flimsy ground. Jesus spoke of building our house (faith) on sand or rock didn’t He?

            You flatter yourself if you think your questions make me uncomfortable, and unlike you, I gained faith, I didn’t lose it; for which I am eternally grateful.
            I do not understand or recognise your remarks referred to me ” however to lie about others(!) as your excuse not to answer such questions ….”
            As a Christian believer, it grieves me greatly that you so publicly and without cause call me a liar. I love God with all my heart and as much as is within me, I obey His word. He is my Judge and not you, I am very happy to say.
            There is no way any reasonable, objective person could construe any remarks I’ve made here as ‘Lies’ and that is why I chose, initially, not to answer your ridiculous accusations.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            You find my attitude “warped”? How so, Eileen? You seem to be shocked that anyone would question your claims or call you on the falsehoods you tell about others. For someone who has claimed I am wasting their time, I do wonder why you would bother answering my questions. I am glad that you have, it shows that you did not answer my questions before, though you claimed to have done so.

            I have no problem in calling a liar a liar, Eileen. You made false claims about me and I have quoted you when you have done so. You may of course present evidence that you didn’t. I don’t think you always make false claims. I do know that you have done so repeatedly about me. You have the benefit of the doubt for everything else. Where have I lied, Eileen? If you are willing to make the accusation, please do show where I have lied. I’m waiting.

            I can know that no Christian is correct since none of you can do what the bible claims you should be able to do, you make contradictory claims and none of you can provide evidence for your religion. As always, I am waiting for this evidence. Do you have it? I doubt your religion’s claims for the same reasons you doubt the claims of other religions. They evidently fail to demonstrate their religion’s claims to “your satisfaction”, so you doubt them and are sure that they have no evidence for their claims. The truth is certainly the truth if you believe it or not. The truth is supported by evidence. Where is yours?

            You claimed that I was angry “Obviously this has made you angry.” and now admit that you cannot know that I am angry. Your claims of “gleaning” is nothing more than baseless assumption, that you evidently want to believe, to the point of ignoring the person you are accusing. This tendency of yours to make false claims out as if you are stating facts is why I have no reason to believe you.

            I wondered how long it would take you to try to claim that I was just like the biblical description of an unbeliever. The biblical claims of what unbelievers are nothing more than attempts to convince the believers that they are special. It’s the usual hysterical claims that anyone who doesn’t agree with them is “evil”. The bible does a lovely job at decrying anyone who doubts it, just like any book of religion. The bible says that believers shouldn’t associate with us bad ol’ unbelievers. Funny on how most of you don’t. I wonder, Eileen, would you obey your god if it said to bring all unbelievers in front of it and kill us? That’s what Luke 19 requires. I suspect you are far better than your religion.

            No, Eileen, I am not asking you if you doubt those other gods. I am asking you if you believe that the gods of others are just as real and true as yours since you want to use the same claims as they do. Do you? If you just call those other gods false even though they use the same claims as you do, there is no reason to think your god is “true”. It’s as false as those other gods. There is again, no evidence for your “God of the Bible and the nation of Israel”.

            Eileen, I have shown that you make false claims about others in order to try to cast aspersions. Those are well recorded in your very own posts. There is no reason to accept the possibility of the god claimed in the bible since there is no evidence of any of the essential events of the bible nor for this god. I will ask you again, are you to be considered closed minded since you do not believe that the gods of the other religions exist as their believers claim nor do you believe that those gods do what their believers claim? It seems so. You do not belive that those gods have revealed themselves to others as true gods as you claim for yourself.

            It is also unsurprising that you want to pretend to know what kind of faith I had. “What sort of faith you must have had before must have been on very flimsy ground. Jesus spoke of building our house (faith) on sand or rock didn’t He?” It’s a very common tactic of Christians when you want to pretend that anyone but you doesn’t have real faith. That claim of yours is again a false claim made about me by you. Now, I am sure you will claim that you really didn’t question it, you were only “suggesting”. 
            I am sure you wish to claim that you just don’t’ recognize where you have claimed false things about me. I have already pointed them out but I’ll happily do so again. “I realise this is most likely falling on deaf ears if you are an out and out atheist, but no matter – I have to be true to myself and my faith in God.”

            Or: “Since I’ve already addressed your questions/ remarks and you know fully where I stand and you are such a clever person who already knows all the answers – why are you asking me again? Please don’t waste any more of my time, Eileen.”

            Or: “Obviously this has made you angry.”

            I am sure that it does surprise you that anyone would call a self-professed Christian a liar. I have no problem with it, and citing evidence (see above). Actions speak quite a bit louder than your pious claims on how you love your god.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            (I assumed you didn’t want the incomplete post around so I removed it)

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          • clubschadenfreude

            thanks. much obliged as usual.

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          • equippedcat

            If a person says that “a way” worked for them, then it is a true statement that the described way is “a way”. If the statement is that the way is the “only way”, then there is room for debate.

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          • clubschadenfreude

            That is very true. However, Eileen has said that she is sure that Hessian was not looking in the right place *and* offered her claim of how to reach her god. The only truthful statement is that Eileen has made a claim that she speaks to God and she thinks that those who don’t are looking in the wrong place. We have no evidence that God replies or that a god exists at all.

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          • Eileen Thompson

            You keep misrepresenting what I said – I did not say I was sure Hessian was looking in the wrong place – I only suggested she could be … You put your own twist on everything I say to suit your own agenda I think – goodness knows why!

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          • equippedcat

            Kind of sounds like complaints made against religious fanatics, doesn’t it?

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  • cuttydarke

    As a Christian I am appalled by the idea that the Bible is without error and must be taken literally. Any time I’m faced with this belief I find myself asking “which version?” Because the first problem with this belief is that there’s more than one Bible. If we go back to the earliest scriptures written in Hebrew and Greek then we’re still stuck with the problem of interpreting ancient languages for the modern world.

    Then there’s the problem of taking everything literally when as Christians, as followers of Christ, we should be familiar with the idea of parables. There was no more a literal Garen of Eden or single Global Flood than there was a Good Samaritan or Prodigal Son. They are stories told to help us absorb complicated lessons because that’s how we learn best.

    But there is truth in the Bible. We should do our best to love one another and we are happier when we succeed. We shouldn’t judge each other. We should try to forgive. Christ offers us the promise of victory over death, which I interpret as freedom from the fear of death. That’s why I’m a Christian. Because I’m terrified and it makes me less afraid. It gives me something to hold on to.

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    • clubschadenfreude

      If there was no Garden of Eden, then there was no “fall”. Per the bible, jesus Christ was the answer to the fall. No fall, no need for Jesus, no need for a “resurrection”. etc. You obviously believe that the resurrection was an actual event and not just some “parable”, so you do appear to believe that at least some of the bible is “inerrant”.

      This is what I find to be the case with most, if not all, Christians, you pick and choose what parts to claim to be inerrant and what parts to claim as metaphor. The flood is silly and has no evidence for it at all and there is plenty of evidence against it. A talking snake is silly. However, to claim that a man was born of a virgin, was a blood sacrifice for the sins of the world and rose from the dead accompanied by other dead people, that must remain as the literal truth or the religion fails rather dramatically. Do you see why I might find your attitude rather odd?

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      • cuttydarke

        You’ve just told me what I believe. I find that rather odd.

        Why would you ask a question about belief if you believe that you know what I believe better than I do?

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        • clubschadenfreude

          I haven’t done that, but no matter. Let’s see what you do believe, cutty. Do you believe that the resurrection was a real event?

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          • cuttydarke

            I don’t know. I wasn’t there. The people who were there seem to have believed in it as a literal and physical event and they acted according to that belief. But it’s possible to be a follower of Chris’s teachings without believing in a physical resurrection.

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          • equippedcat

            It would seem to be difficult to believe in Christ’s teachings without a physical resurrection. Since He promised to be resurrected; it He was not, then what else that He said was deliberately untrue or accidentally mistaken or wrongly reported?

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          • cuttydarke

            There’s a difference between surviving death and being physically resurrected.

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          • equippedcat

            There is indeed. It seems unlikely that the Romans who were ordered on pain of death were not able to tell He was not dead, and the Romans who were ordered on pain of death to make sure nobody (inside or outside) of His tomb removed Him did not see Him move the heavy stone or other people come and move it. And even if all this were so, how could someone who resorted to such trickery have words which should be believed?

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Well the question I have for both of you is this. How do you know which parts of the stories are true? Where there really Romans guarding the tomb of a (apparently) failed massiah for example? Such men where not uncommon around that time. Was such a thing common practice at the time?

            Like there are problems even if you grant certain facts, but you have to look at the whole of the account, and have a detailed understanding of the time, to be able to really question it’s legitimacy or illegitimacy
            .

            Liked by 1 person

          • equippedcat

            We have the one source, which appears to be not verifiable by normal means. Due to its nature, I tentatively believe it is all so. If any part is not so, then the whole thing comes into question. Believing all of it and believing none of it are both fairly straightforward. Believing parts of it is much more of a challenge (which parts? if some parts are not so, how can one have confidence in any parts?) .

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Well there’s to paths I see. If your concerned with whats plausibile, you want a historians with a focus on the bible and if your partiuclarly interested with the new testament, your also going to want people who know a lot about the contemporary Romans since that where your going to get most corroboration you’ll find.

            If you’re concerned with ethics, then you’re probably best off reading a lot of philosophy and learning to pick out the good from the bad.

            Otherwise your mostly left listening to other interpretations or hoping yours is correct. Though the problem is you might end up looking like this if your not careful. https://i.imgur.com/RRWJKpn.jpg

            Liked by 1 person

          • Frank Balsinger

            With all due respect, the phrase “the people who were there” rather begs the question that there was a “there” to attend or be witness to. I find it rather interesting that from the presumed death of this presumed person, resurrected or otherwise, there’s a gap in the written literature of approximately 30 years leading up to the authentic Pauline writings, which predate all four of the canonical Gospels. The deafening silence of extra-biblical literature about this otherwise incredibly important spiritual VIP during that time frame is mind-boggling. This wasn’t a region devoid of its own version of pop culture/celebrity gossip.

            About the only thing we can almost safely assume about the authentic Pauline writings is that Paul wrote to existing “churches” as a new convert himself, who only ever experienced the “cosmic” Christ in vision/revelation, to mostly tell them that they were doing it wrong. So, unless he entirely fabricated the body of churches to whom he addressed these letters, which isn’t unthinkable, there were groups that pre-dated Paul by at least some little bit. People of the time kept records of a great many things, especially when there were logistics of running a group to sort out, so it’s more than a little peculiar that we have no writings from any of those groups that Paul seems to have addressed.

            Acceptance, not only of resurrection, but even of Jesus (read: Yeheshua/Joshua, a very common name of the period) existing and dying under any circumstances, much less miraculous ones, is entirely a matter of faith. To that extent, rational argument is pretty fruitless. The person with faith will have faith regardless of how little evidence (even none) there is to support that faith. The faithless may or may not demand evidence in varying degrees of quality in order to be persuaded.

            The same goes for his teachings. The historical record, again, is strikingly silent, which leaves only incredibly conflicting reports as to what those teachings even are. To read Paul, one might almost think he’d never read the canonical Gospels to know what those teachings are. Oh, wait! Of course he didn’t, because they were written after his writings. So maybe the Gospel writers were blissfully unaware of this Paul guy who was so busy telling people they were worshipping all wrong? Weird that he’s not mentioned in the Gospels even once, isn’t it? So how to account for Red Letter Jesus’ teachings in Matthew, for instance, when those sentiments aren’t 100% mirrored in everything Paul taught? Is it possible Paul’s revelation might have been flawed? Or maybe the Gospel authors just had important things totally wrong?

            Liked by 1 person

          • cuttydarke

            Well short of a time machine I see no way of knowing either way. However, since people were going to their deaths following the teachings of Jesus/Joshua/Yeshua within a single lifetime of his supposed death, I think it’s fairly unlikely that it was completely made up.

            And am I alone in thinking Paul was kind of an arsehole?

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          • Frank Balsinger

            I think we can safely agree on Paul 🙂 I’ll take any shared square inch I can find.

            By way of counterexample to your point re: people going to their deaths, I confess to a weak counter, but it’s at least weakly analogous. I looked up Rastafarian persecution. Of course, whether or not Haile Selassie really is the Almighty God is a moot point. Some people believe it, and it’s a relatively new thing, at least compared to Christianity. I couldn’t quickly find any cases of Rastafarians being killed for their beliefs, but (oh, dear, a wiki link…I plead gauche) here’s mention of one that was jailed and a commune that was destroyed by Jamaican authorities.

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

            Granted, death is far, far the worse. But it seems one would have to believe really, really, really hard to be willing to go to jail for years or to hold out so long that one’s home is destroyed by the government. So does the fervor of their belief lend credence to the Almighty God nature of Haile Selassie?

            Or, if I really stretch the point to the extreme, did the willingness (or even lack of in some cases) of Branch Davidians to actually fight the government and die testify to the legitimacy of the beliefs of that particular schism of the Seventh Day Adventist faith?

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

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          • clubschadenfreude

            That’s quite a dodge. It doesn’t matter if you were there. I asked if you *believed* that the resurrection was a actual event. Do you? If your belief in something requires you to have been there as a witness, then you must not believe in many things. I of course do not believe this to be the case for you. If you require in being there to accept something as a fact, then there is little reason for you to accept the character Jesus Christ’s words as words actually from a magical man/god. It seems that you are simply picking and choosing, insisting that the silly parts of the bible aren’t literally true but insisting that other parts are, using your magic decoder ring to figure out which parts are which.

            It’s quite amusing to see you try to claim that there is a diference between surviving death and being physically resurrected. Wow.

            I can agree that it is possible to follow parts of Jesus Christ’s teaching without believing in a physical resurrection. It’s rather hard to believe his claims about being God and being resurrected physically, if you don’t think that Jesus is god and that Jesus Christ was a sacrifice for sin if this being didn’t die and come back.

            If you are only following the bits about “do unto others”, well, those bits have been around far longer than some story about a man/god that is some “messiah”.

            Like

  • The Problem With Biblical Inerrancy | Christians Anonymous

    […] Source: The Problem With Biblical Inerrancy […]

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  • ijustgetbored

    Disclaimers: I don’t know specifically what has been claimed re: Biblical interpretation (as counterevidence, if I understand?) here before. I do not believe in God, but I was raised in a very religion-saturated environment (sigh).

    So: this may not actually apply to what you’re addressing here. There is a distinction (which I apologize if you’re already fully aware of) between subscribing to Biblical inerrancy and the belief that the Bible is divinely inspired. The first you’ve defined extremely well here already. The second would be more a belief that the Bible is indeed the word of the Christian God, but it has been received and transcribed, repeatedly, by men (repeat: men) and is therefore subject to what you might call acquired errors. From what I know of this divide, most Christians fall into the second camp.

    From my admittedly cynical standpoint, they can both be dead-end no-winners in an argument: the Bible is 100% true, OR perhaps we can change up this interpretation to suit situation X?

    (I usually end up referring to The X-Files Episode “The Lazarus Bowl” and calling it a day)

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  • rabbiadar

    What about those who believe that the Bible has many different levels upon which it might be understood? Most Jews take this approach, and Jews range in belief from atheism to a form of fundamentalism. Even those Jews who hold that the Torah is “mi-Sinai” – from the personal dictation of a deity on Mt. Sinai – use the a series of approaches to interpretation of particular verses. Therefore one verse might be understood to be literally true (“Moab is to the east of Israel”) and another might be understood metaphorically, or only for its moral/ethical content, or various other methods of interpretation. Because even taking it literally requires interpretation: all translation requires interpretation.

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  • david andre davison

    You brought up a very relevant point, The Bible only tells me more about God and how he wants me to live. I do not only believe in God because of the Bible, but because of Science.

    I – Creation: Why does only our planet have life, or higher life?
    No evolution on other planets?

    2 – Sin: Why do people chose evil? Have you ever seen a hardened criminal or someone who is insane? Before you say brain damage, you might want to look at the criminal mind, as some are quite intelligent. So can Science explain good versus evil?

    3 – Miracles – I have seen them in my life. Science is unable to explain all of them.

    4 – Love – Beyond satisfying our sexual and reproductive needs, why do we humans need love? How does Science prove that?

    5 – Cultures – every culture has a religion of some kind. Since continents and islands divide us, why do all peoples have some kind of religion? How is that scientific?

    6 – History – People are willing to believe historical books of the past, but not the Bible? Why don’t some people believe first person accounts of Biblical events? This book has stood the test of time.

    Just a few things in which Science can’t account for. Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    -Dave

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    • hessianwithteeth

      Hi Dave,

      Since you’ve been so kind as to list out what you think is evidence for god (apparently scientific although you may be confusing scientific evidence with things which don’t have scientific answers)

      1. Oh so you’ve personally checked every planet for life and haven’t found any anywhere in the whole universe? Fascinating I’m sure astrologists would kill to have that ability.

      Now that was very snarky, but you’ve made a very bold claim in your first point and as the saying goes extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

      I suggest you take a look into Jupiter’s Moon Europa as it has so very promising potential for life. Sure life of Europa isn’t guaranteed, but it’s also not impossible according to what we know.

      Also for your future knowledge the process of life forming is known as abiogenisis and is a separate field of study from the various evolutionary sciences.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

      2. Well first I don’t actually think sin, nor good or evil are real things. These are labels we apply in a fairly arbitrary manner to notorious action and traits some human some not. While I sure we can agree that some thing are bad and good I’m also sure we would disagree on a wide range of thing for a wide range or reasons and that would would fail to find a common ground which we could agree is an ideal, or objective definition of evil vs. Evil. Sin in particular is extremely arbitrary. For example it’s a sin to wear mix fabrics if you follow the laws of the bible, or eat shell fish.

      I generally perfer to talk about thing in term of harms and benefits as we tend to do in the legal system as that’s more grounded the the lofty and largely unattainable notions such as “good and evil.”

      3. Is it really the job of science to disprove and explain away what you call miracles, or is the burden of proof on you to show that they are in fact miracles? Can you show that there was in fact a suspension in the physical laws as we know then to allow something normal impossible to occur.

      4. Evolution can explain all the emotions all animals pretty easily, and that includes humans. Also we don’t nessicarily need to prove things beyond a show of a doubt we just have to go where the evidence leads, and I don’t see how love would prove a god. I’ve had a few Christan’s try to come of with reasons why love could only come from god, but well each time they just end up assuming that love can’t exist with out god and then leave it there.

      Now I’m willing to write up a post on the subject of how evolution can explain emotions such as love, but I’m interested in how you think god is the only reasonable explanation love?

      5. Well I don’t know if every culture has a religion, but science is something which is inborn to our speice in fact we are not normally geared to be logical at all.

      Though I will agree that human’s are prove to be religious and have religious or spiritual experiences, we have science which back those claims up, but that does not prove there is a good that just indicate that humans are prove to building social organization which we call religions.

      Like humans love to attribute consciousness to everything.

      http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3733

      Though my biggest critique of your 5th point is when did human nature have to be aligned with scientific notions? It’s not like we are inherently rational or reasonable, those are which we need to learn and practice.

      6. Well in that case I guess we should probably start wondering if homer’s The Odyssey and the The Iliad is based on actual happenings since it is a good deal older then most of the bible.

      Though really point 6 is a question for historians, not scientists.

      Though if you are to take one thing from this comment it would be the science doesn’t actually need to solve for questions and problems which are not scientific in nature. Much of what you’ve stated above actually belong to fields of thought which do not themselves fall under science.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

      • david andre davison

        Thanks for responding. It appears that your are as convinced that there is no God as I am there is. I decided to present some non-Biblical possibilities but you explained them away.

        The wonderful thing about Christianity is that we believe God gives every one a choice to believe in Him. I believe out of love and faith. The Bible only supports that belief.

        I hope and pray that you have a change of heart during your lifetime. May you find the answers to your existence.

        -Dave

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  • xandrad

    I sincerely doubt that most Christians think the Bible is inerrant. Certainly most I know do not. They happily accept that being handed down orally, penned by men, copied, bits added, bits taken out, losses in translation, that it cannot possibly be inerrant.

    My mother had a strong Christian faith – she also was fascinated by evolution; a passion she passed on to me.

    But come on, Biblical literalists are an endless source of fun, aren’t they? I recall one once who insisted the Bible is not only inerrant, but it is “chronilogically correct”. I therefore asked him who the first woman was, to which he replied Eve. I immediately retorted, “No, I meant the first woman. The one mentioned in Genesis chapter 1, where the Bible says “male and female created He them”.” I then went on to explain that was a reference to Lilith, who was written out of the Bible, because if there was one thing the early church couldn’t stand it was a wilful and single-minded woman.

    I therefore said he had a choice; that if the “male and female” in Genesis 1 were Adam and Eve, the Bible cannot be chronilogically correct, or that if he accepts the first woman was not Eve but Lilith, then it therefore logically follows that the Bible has been altered by man and therefore cannot be the inerrant word of God.

    The said Bible literalist doesn’t speak to me any more for some reason.

    “You’re wrong – because the Bible” just pisses me off. It’s as much of a cop-out as “The Lord works in mysterious ways”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • equippedcat

      I’ve heard of this “Lilith”, but what indications are there that Lilith existed prior to Eve?

      Liked by 1 person

      • xandrad

        Well, firstly, there is the clue in the first chapter of Genesis, which I mentioned above.

        Genesis 1:27-28 states:

        “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

        According to this account, God, on the sixth day, made a man and a woman. This woman was not Eve, who does not appear until Genesis 2:21-22, when she was formed from one of Adam’s ribs:

        “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.”

        In the Jewish Midrash, the first woman was Adam’s first wife, Lilith. However, Lilith was single-minded, overtly sexual and, according to the 11th century Sipher Ben Sera, a collection of Midrashic, proverbs, she refused to recognise Adam’s authority over her or to lie under him during intercourse, and thus left him.

        At this point the story of Lilith enters into Jewish mythology, with her entering an alliance with Samael, who is equally named as an archangel and king of the demons, and their offspring were the demons known as the Nephilim. Some scholars also claim that Lilith was the serpent in the Garden of Eden. She was certainly associated with a snake goddess in some cultures.

        So it was that Lilith, having been the first woman, was removed completely from mainstream scripture and entered into Jewish mythology as an evil and demonic being. But when she was removed, the scholars failed to remove that one glaring reference to her in the first chapter of Genesis, which predates Eve.

        I’ll be first to admit, this is a very compact and simplistic explanation, but Lilith is a fascinating character who far from being evil, is the embodiment of the independent woman.

        Like

        • equippedcat

          Interesting. This makes some assumptions. First, that the two views of creation are separate rather than the usual Jewish practice of describing an event as an overview and then again in more detail. In the first verse quoted, WHAT God did was specified. In the second verse quoted, HOW He did it was described. Next, that not only was Lilith replaced because she did not meet requirements and that she was not mentioned in the Bible, but that the Bible deliberately lied in Genesis 2, where God attempted to find Adam a companion from the animal kingdom and then created Eve when none was found.

          Besides, the description of Lilith makes no sense. If Adam had no knowledge of Good and Evil, as is pretty much stated, how could Lilith have that knowledge which would seem to have been necessary in order to be “so bad” as to be unacceptable to God and/or Adam?.

          I guess the real question is, what is this “Midrash”, and what indications do we have that it has any validity?

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          • paidiske

            You don’t know midrash? Midrash is the body of Rabbinic commentary on Jewish Scripture. Its validity is in contributing to the ongoing Jewish reflection on Scripture, and shaping Jewish tradition.

            In that sense it can’t be “authoritative” for Christians but it is often a source of helpful insight into a text and the ways it has been understood and applied.

            Like

          • equippedcat

            Nope, no exposure to Jewish commentary or scripture except for the Old Testament.

            Now the question becomes, where in Jewish scripture (which is from God, by definition) does it talk about Lilith being the first woman and being “bad”.

            Commentary (which is from Man) does not have reliability unless it can show it’s basis in scripture and lack of conflict with scripture.

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          • paidiske

            The only place I know of where Lilith is mentioned by name in Scripture is Isaiah 34:14, where the reference seems to be to something other than the first woman.

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          • equippedcat

            ??? Isaiah 34 is a prophesy of doom, not a review of creation. And 34:14 has nothing to do with any woman, much less a theorized first woman:

            14 The wild beasts of the desert shall also meet with the jackals, And the wild goat shall bleat to its companion; Also the night creature shall rest there, And find for herself a place of rest.

            If there is no scriptural support for Lilith and no verifiable historical support, then why would anyone give it any credence?

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          • paidiske

            “Night creature” is how your translation has rendered “Lilith.”

            Personally I don’t “believe” in Lilith (but then I don’t believe in a literal Adam and Eve, either), but it’s worth asking what felt need it satisfied to have Adam and the (submissive?) Eve in a triangle with a woman of a decidedly different temperament. Does it represent ambivalence about our social constructions of womanhood?

            Liked by 1 person

          • equippedcat

            Screech owl, night monster, night creatureS, night owl, Lilith (NRSV), night creatureS, night animals – these are the translations of several of the major bible versions. All say “will”, indicating Isaiah is speaking of alleged future events.

            Hebrew dictionary: H3917 לִילִית lı̂ylı̂yth
            1) “Lilith”, name of a female goddess known as a night demon who haunts the desolate places of Edom
            2) a nocturnal animal that inhabits desolate places.
            3): A feminine noun referring to a night creature; a screech owl. In Isaiah 34:14, it refers to a creature of the night that will settle among the ruins of the nations whom God judges

            It appears that some Hebrew experts don’t think this refers to the first woman. It sounds unlikely; there have been many centuries between the first woman, whoever she was and Isaiah, who was predicting the future. Thus it seems that the first woman would not still be around, and even if she was, it does not make any sense for her to be involved in this prophesy.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Also not sure if this has been mentioned but the biggest problem with Isaiah 34 is there are a wide range of different translation some which make use of Lilith or related terms instead of the night creature or a bunch of other things.

            Like

          • xandrad

            Well, of course it makes no sense – it is the Bible.

            Your argument that Lilith makes no sense can equally be applied to Adam and Eve. In fact, the story of the Fall of Man makes no sense of all. Adam and Eve are told not to eat of the tree of Knowledge of good and evil. However if they had no knowledge of good and evil, it logically follows they did not know right from wrong, which immediately makes God a piss-awful parent. But moreover, if they did not know right from wrong, they could not be guilty of wrongdoing. Frankly, in the narrative, God appears as responsible as a parent who puts bleach in a lemonade bottle and leaves it on a low shelf.

            Besides which of course, if God were omniscient, then he must have known what was going to happen. And if he is not omniscient, then he is not God. Just as he would have to be omnipresent to be God, yet Adam and Eve “hid” from him.

            The Bible states that God made man and woman together on the sixth day. There is no mention of the sixth day in Genesis Chapter 2, when Adam is already created.

            Midrash is the early Jewish interpretation of or commentary on a Biblical text. So it’s validity is that it was the study and interpretation by early Jewish scholars.

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          • equippedcat

            No, it does not appear to be the Bible. The Bible is claimed to be “inspired by God”, making it “scripture”, by definition. This does not guarantee it was inspired by God, or is completely accurate, and certainly this is open to question. I’m not going there; I’m simply saying that the story of Lilith appears to contradict the Bible, so absent valid support, it cannot be considered even up to Biblical standards of reliability.

            It appears, as far as I can find so far, that the story of “Lilith” as the first woman was “picked out of the air”, by Jewish scholars. Unless they can point to a scriptural or historical basis for the theory, it is not worth considering. If there was a valid basis for it, then we could evaluate the reliability of the source(s) of the story. With no source, there is nothing to evaluate.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            It should be mentioned there are numerous “forgotten” scriptures and Gospels which did not make it into the official bible. Many of those managed to stick around for a long time due to there popularity. A big one I’ve been told about is the years of Jesus’ Childhood.

            I’m not a biblical scholar, but I believe Lilith was a popular figure in some of the stories that where handled down in that official manner though Christan circles.

            Though I’m not anywhere near competent in this area, so I don’t really have a whole lot of info.

            Withteeth

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          • equippedcat

            That’s what I’m trying to find, a source which makes the Lilith concept a bit less farfetched.

            Like

          • hessianwithteeth

            Well isn’t not biblical (at least not the bible we are familiar with) and I’m pretty sure she has roots in the early church. I’ll see if I can pull up anything quick.

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          • hessianwithteeth

            Well she definitely looks like a Hebrew myth, and was his first wife, but obviously that only one possible interpretation.

            All the addition stuff was added on later it seem, but I haven’t been able to find anything really good.

            Though I have had the best luck looking up “Mythology of Lilith” so if you’re still interested mythology would probably be the best area to research in.

            Like

    • filmmakerj

      I prefer to think of God as “working in unexpected ways” if anything. I think people also say “mysterious ways” because whenever God might appear (to some people) to be intervening in Earthly affairs, it isn’t quite clear why then, and why in that way, or why he wouldn’t choose to do more, depending on the situation.

      But see, it just makes things easier to say “mysterious ways” then to express in what way it seems so mysterious. Though I guess it’s a rather redundant statement, as we have no idea (truly) what God is thinking or what God is doing at any given time. So everything about him is pretty much mysterious all the time. It is therefore up to us to interpret what might be a sign or an intervention from him, and to act upon that interpretation in the best way that we can. Plenty of people don’t respond rationally to such signs, but many also do.

      Like

      • xandrad

        True, we don’t know God’s thoughts – or why any supposedly loving deity would create things such as parasites which burrow into the eyes of children.

        I cannot believe in a god who is less merciful than I am.

        Like

        • filmmakerj

          I’m not exactly sure what your point was in bringing up the worst possible thing as an example of God’s unmerciful qualities. But even so, your comment seems to suggest that despite your claims to not believe in God because he is unmerciful, you still seem to presuppose that he created the world as it is today right from day one, parasites and all, when according to all our research into evolutionary theory, that just doesn’t appear to be true at all. None of the animals on Earth today existed a million years ago. And none of them will be here another million years from now: at least not in their current forms.

          But more importantly, your comment also suggests that you have come to the same ultimate conclusion that many have before you. That being “God must not be real, because if he is, then why isn’t he doing anything to stop the suffering in the world?” Why are there wars? Why is there famine and world hunger? Why are there creatures which can eat away at your body and kill you in an instant? Because the ultimate question is, “if God is good, then how can he allow suffering?” Well, I think I might know why. I think it’s because of Free Will.

          Free will is our human right, to live our lives as we please: to make our own paths and to take off on our own journeys, or to simply have the ability to decide what we eat or what we watch on any particular day. But with God, all men are equal, because we are all his children, as he claims us to be. And so we all get Free Will, not just the “good” people. Because most people I think are good people in the beginning, not all, but it’s often upbringing and personal experience that turns good people towards illegal acts of violence and greed.

          So above all other solutions, if you wanted to stop all hardship, all pain, and all suffering in the world right now, today, then the only way you could do it is if God were to cease all free will everywhere, in every person and creature on Earth. Because if you want to stop all suffering, then suffering must be classified as an absolute. Because suffering and harm comes in many forms. Sometimes its physical injury, sometimes it’s emotional distress, sometimes it’s mental and psychological trauma, and sometimes it’s personal health and well-being in relation to food, thirst, and other metabolic factors. But in all cases, suffering is suffering. If someone is hurting, they don’t want to be hurt, and we don’t want to see them hurt. So how do we stop it?

          The fact is, we can’t, unless we were to stop anything and everything that’s causing that hurt. Ergo, we have to stop those people and those things out there that cause hurt from being able to do what they do. And that means removing their free will. But if we did that, then we would also cause ourselves to be without Free Will as well, because anybody has the potential to hurt anybody else, even we do, even just a little. A punch to the shoulder, a step on someone’s foot, a hurtful word or insult, or simply forgetting someone’s birthday or anniversary. These things hurt too. Maybe they don’t seem so big a deal compared to world-wide catastrophes out there. But consider the fact that if all of the biggest pains and hurtful things in the world were removed, all you’d be left with are the simple hurts. But when you have nothing else to compare them to, even the smallest of pains can be blown out of proportion. Just look at any child who gets injured for the first time.
          So would you want to give up Free Will to stop all that too? What about all the things you wouldn’t get to do anymore? What about all the choices you could’ve made, the things you could have done, the places you might have gone, or the people you might have helped.

          And that’s another thing. If there’s no more suffering in the world, then even if we did still have free will somehow, no one can be quite as productive as someone who wants to make people smile. And making people smile or making people happy is no more meaningful than when it involves making a sad person’s life happier, or making a bad situation better. Helping people who are suffering in some form is what drives innovation. It’s what drives people to do good things, or even just productive things: because they want to inspire someone, make someone’s dream come true, or even just give them the best birthday ever. Plenty of innovation and industry has come from the backs of suffering people too. But industry begets corporations, and corporate executives live on greed, and greed comes from the individual’s free will. Which means if we wanted to stop all of that suffering as well, then we’d have to stop all kinds of suffering. And you can’t play favorites with free will. Either everyone gets it, or everyone does not.

          You can remove someone’s free will by putting them in jail, sure. But can you really do that on such a grand, all-encompassing scale? I think it’d get rather surreal if you did. Not to mention all of the very particular moral questions you would have to answer, if you were to treat everyone’s right to free will on a case-by-case basis. Like, how and when do you decide to take away someone’s free will, perhaps for just a short sentence? And who would receive such a punishment, and why? Would anybody be capable of doing something bad enough to get their free-will taken away? Would we risk all of the mass confusion and unfair decision-making. Would we consider it fair, if given our free will, we verbally insult and yell at someone for being irritating, it hurts their feelings, and then we get our free will taken away for a month because we hurt someone’s feelings? Sure it’s a trivial example, but it only gets worse and more controversial from there.

          But like I was saying before, if there was no more suffering in the world, would we really still keep doing meaningful and productive things? Would we still want to make people happy if they were simply happy all the time? No more pain, no more sorrow, no more regret. Would we just live life on airs, never making anything for any particular purpose? Would we just stagnate, and become aimless and inactive?

          You cannot have true happiness without even just a small amount of sadness in your heart. Because without sadness, you cannot appreciate happiness on a meaningful level. I’m actually very happy quite a lot of the time, and rather content with my life, I’ll admit. But I honestly don’t think I’d feel half as genuinely happy as I do if I didn’t understand what the opposite felt like. And sometimes, sadness can also be a happy sadness. And would you call that kind of sadness suffering also? Or would you call that type of sadness a blessing, or a gift, or perhaps just one of life’s many wonders: whether God really exists or doesn’t?

          Maybe you thought everything I just said was hogwash. Who am I to say? But I stand by everything I just said. And I don’t think there’s a better explanation out there for why there is suffering in the world, because so far, I haven’t heard a single person suggest anything more suitable to answer that question.

          So in response to your particular concern. I think God is very merciful, because the alternative would simply be mental slavery to God. We would have no way to choose our own paths and do as we please, even within the limits of law and order. We would be trapped inside our minds, helpless to do anything outside of take what is given to us, and do as we are told, in order that we do not harm others.

          So, which sort of world would you rather be in? Which sort of life would you rather lead? A life with free will, or a life without it?

          Like

          • equippedcat

            Putting someone in jail does not remove a person’s free will, it just narrows their focus. The only way to remove free will is to remove every possible decision.

            Like

          • xandrad

            Well at least you admit creatures do indeed evolve over millions of years.

            No, I did not come to the conclusion that there is no god because of suffering in the world. In fact I only realised at the age of 47 that there is no god, after looking all my adult life. And I came to that conclusion from the point that the existence of god(s) defies all logic.

            To try to say that a merciful god makes us suffer so we know the difference between that and happiness is a bunch of apologist guff. It’s every bit as bad as that turd William Lane Craig stating that the children massacred in the OT was a blessing because they were taken up to Heaven.

            It is every bit as glib as the spiritualist I laid out with a left hook once for stating to a grieving parent that children who die “are leant to us for a short while to underline the fact that all children are special”.

            Free will? Do we have free will? Truly, ask yourself just how much free will you have. We are tied not only by the law, not only by government, but by cultural, famlial and sociological boundaries, and of course by our own moral compass.

            God gave us free will? Then it logically follows that your God cannot be omnscient, for if God were omniscient, he would know all that has been, is, and has yet to come. Yet if we have free will, that cannot be possible.

            Not that it can be possible in any case, for every moment of our lives we are faced with the choice of an infinite number of possible futures, dependent on the actions we take. I could have chosen not to answer you and just walked away. Instead I chose to be curteous and reply.

            But wait a minute, if there’s an infinite number of futures, then that precludes predestination and omniscience, and without omniscience, there is no God. Yet if God is omniscient, then there cannot possibly be free will.

            Like

          • hessianwithteeth

            It must be stated over and over that the Free Will of humanity’s not at all an appropriate answer to why parasites exist, carnivores, or the general tends of evolution which exist in the world. The vast majority of which have existed before our distant mammalian ancestors lost their tails to become what we now call old world apes.

            The only things I’m aware of which can be said to be truly caused by us is the extinction of megafauna, domesticated crops and animals, and the dramatic species lost due to our massive expulsion of CO2, and habit lost which is caused by our ever increasing expansion across the planet, and our over harvesting of other resources. Though very little of that can be used to explain the existence of nasty things since we’ve only really had any of this influence for perhaps 10-12 thousand years, compared to the hundreds of millions of years life has existed on land, and the billions of years life lived in the sea.

            The Argument that, Free Will of humanity = “Evil” = Parasites and all other suffering, simply the conclusion does not follow from the premises. Not only do you have to show that meaningful free will exists, which I might remind you is a highly contentious issue, but you have to show why evil must be allowed for will to be free, and then you have the truly monumental task of trying to link all that suffering back to that free will.

            Now to have a convincing argument you do not need to show every link in the chain, but the task is still colossal, and one we can already see is doomed to fail given that you need to link the suffering and hardship of countless animals for many hundreds of millions of years before humanity even existed. I think that the best we can say is that the systems we live in do not, and probably can not, care about or be concerned with suffering, and at worst suffering was built right into the system.

            To blame all suffering on our actions is in my mind nothing but a sick perversion, build by vile people to foster guilt and shame in others. A sick prevision which is not only harmful, but intensely arrogant. Assuming we are so important that all of life good or ill revolves around our actions.

            Like

  • Frank Balsinger

    You’re probably already familiar with this, but just in case, here’s The Skeptic’s Annotate Bible’s page of contradictions. There’s times I’m not thrilled with the editorial tone of the SAB, and sometimes the examples are a stretch, but there’s plenty of glaring and simple contradictions.

    I’d be curious to hear how believers in an inerrant Bible explain away outright contradictions when the contradictions are mutually exclusive. For example, did the cock crow after Peter’s first denial, or after the third denial? Both are claimed. Something is in error. If something is in error, where is the inerrant nature of the entire work?

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/cock.html

    Naturally, it’s easier to point at the creation myth and compare it to reality as we understand it now, but since that draws a comparison between the Bible and something external to it, it’s all too easy to claim that any external evidence is clearly of the Devil. But if the error is in the text itself, wherefore the error? Has the Devil inserted error into the inerrant work?

    Like

  • filmmakerj

    I suppose I would consider myself a Christian. I do believe in God, whole-heatedly. And I hold myself to Christian beliefs, for the most part. But I don’t conform myself to what is typically taught in the “Christian” community. But even so, I completely agree with where you are coming from with this concern. And it would irritate me just as much to have to deal with people like that.

    I think if a person is a Christian, they can follow the Bible’s teachings honestly and reasonably, or they can follow them as if they are a zealous servant of the Lord who is bent on convincing everyone around them that their God is the most important thing in the universe. And while I personally believe God is real, based upon my own personal life experiences, I certainly can’t convince anyone who doesn’t already believe in God that he exists based on such points. It’s a futile effort, and it’s basically a waste of everyone’s time. I’d much rather teach the values of the Bible rather than teach people about God specifically. Because I think any person who isn’t already a Christian won’t become one themselves unless they experience an event in their life that they can only explain as a work of divine intervention. Only then will they have any chance of believing in something otherworldly like that. And I don’t think any amount of conversation would be able to do the same.

    Also, I find it a bit foolish to believe that the Bible is innerant, simply because so much of the Bible contradicts itself if you look deep enough into it. Truth be told, I’ve never committed myself to reading much of it on my own yet, but I know people who have read it many times through, and they have found plenty of reason to speculate that the Bible is best not to be taken literally at every passage. It’s just like any society who has a legal code: the code gets amended, altered, restructured, or even thrown out and re-written. And that’s what a lot of the Bible amounts to. It’s more of a story book, mixed with historical documents and diary entries, and lightly dusted with a few tips on life, moral lessons, and legal codes of conduct. And in many cases, those legal doctrines have been re-written during later eras, while still leaving the old laws intact in earlier chapters: which has obviously led to a lot of confusion over whether or not every word in the Bible should be law, or if only the most recent and most rational should be. Because there are plenty of laws and rules in it that are simply unimportant and meaningless to modern society, because they were designed for people thousands of years ago in a very particular socioeconomic situation. So there’s no reason to apply those rules to your life now, because they hold no meaningful purpose.

    I’ve probably talked on a bit too much here. But I wanted to say all that as sort of a change of pace for your comment section, and to simply say that even if I’m a Christian, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be reasonable, or that I shouldn’t be sensitive to your feelings and concerns about such theological matters.

    I wish you the best in your further study.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Constant Geographer

    I had a discussion with a student years ago. He didn’t approve of my definition of religion. Something like, “a collection of human-contrived notions, ideas, practices, and principles associated with a deity or deities or some form of Prime Mover.” He wanted to challenge my definition on the basis of presuppositional apologetics. In other words, the inerrancy of the Bible, but specifically the idea any debate concerning faith, religion, or God must be predicated on the inerrancy of the Bible. If the two debators cannot agree on the basic premise, no debate can occur.

    “Then, we might as well move on. Since I’m not going to agree with you regarding the Bible being the infallible word of God, no point in debating.”

    One would think a being with the power to create the Universe could create his/her own immutable book, leaving no doubt, no question, and zero room for debate. That some Prime Mover would dictate rules to an old guy, in the desert, for him to etch and scratch onto a set of clay tablets only to have those break, is simply preposterous.

    On the other hand, billions of people need to live in fear of an angry god to live moderately decent ethical lives and keep from turning this planet into a seething hellacious Mad Max-like catastrophe.

    Good post, by the way. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  • skinbark

    I feel the same way about you and Wikipedia. 🙂

    Like

    • hessianwithteeth

      Not sure what you’re trying to get at. Mind explaining?

      Like

      • skinbark

        Sure, what I mean is that I noticed during a back and forth we had that when there was a term, concept, or idea you wanted me to know better you quite often linked me to Wikipedia. I was surprised by this as Wikipedia is not to the most reputable source. Any professor I had would never let it be used as a source for a paper. After this blog post of yours I began contrasting the various books in the biblical cannon vs wikipedia. I realized that as far as authentication goes, I would trust the bible over any wikipedia topic even if I didn’t believe the bible was the word of the creator of the universe. Therefore at the risk of sounding snarky I would like you to take my lack of faith in Wikipedia into consideration in the future.

        Like

        • hessianwithteeth

          Wikipedia is a good starting point. Obviously not all of it’s posts are good since they can be written by anyone, but for an overview of a topic they are generally a good place to send people once the page has been reviewed. If you scroll down to the bottom of any given Wikipedia page, you can see the sources that the author used. Those sources are what tell you if the page is reputable or not (a little trick I picked up from a university professor of my own). Obviously we’d never argue that Wikipedia is inerrant, nor would we expect it to be used for anything other than a basic understanding. If you do suggest Wikipedia sources, we usually also suggest more reputable sources to go with it. They are just generally too advanced to read n their own without any background information. Unfortunately, our best sources aren’t actually open to most of you since we’re university students and have access to academic journals.

          Liked by 1 person

  • Anna Marion Howell

    You can take the Bible seriously, or you can take it literally. You can follow it faithfully, or you can hold it as inerrant. They’re mutually exclusive.

    Liked by 1 person

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