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9/23/2005                                                                                       View Comments

Penn & Teller Commentary

Who are Penn and Teller?


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26 comments:

Anonymous said...

A Response To Penn and Teller’s “Bible”

1 – There are different Genesis accounts (Genesis 1 and 2) that conflict.
Genesis 1:27 says that on the 6th day “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 2 says God created Adam, Adam could eat fruit, he named the animals, God saw he was lonely and created Eve.
Penn & Tell and “Mr. Skeptic” basically say, “See! Genesis 1 says He created man and woman at the same time and Genesis 2 says they were created at different times! You can’t believe the Bible, it contradicts!”
Wow. First off, Genesis 1 is an overview or summary of the seven days of creation. Genesis 2:4 picks up with the story/details, “This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.” This is obviously no contradiction.
Example: My freshman year of high school was rough; I didn’t make friends very easily. But my sophomore year got much better as I got to know more people and I became close friends with George and John. We did everything together. My junior year was cool because I tried out for the basketball team and eventually became the starting point guard! I also started dating Cindy. By my senior year I was offered a scholarship to Georgetown, was co-captain of the basketball team with John and in a long-term relationship with Cindy. High school was great.
Now, this is an account of my high school years. As a freshman, I was picked on by the older boys because I was short and slightly overweight. A few other boys, George and Jeff were picked on too and we became known as the Twinkie Trinity. Anywhere I went, people would call out names and make fat jokes at us. Etc….
Now, is it a contradiction that I summarized my four HS years and then started to give details about each one? Is it a contradiction that I said I became good friends with George my sophomore year but I mentioned that I knew him earlier (in a more detailed account) in my freshman year? No! Same goes for Genesis. It begins with a summary, and moves to specifics.

2 – People say Elvis is alive too.
Penn & Teller make it a point to show how there are people who believe Elvis is still alive, there are books and writings about him still being alive and there are even contradicting accounts of his life (Elvis never did no drugs!). . . all this just 25 years after his death! See, Elvis and Jesus sightings are just the same. We know Elvis is dead (except for a few loonies) and we also know Jesus is dead (except for a lot of loonies).
First, Elvis never made claims to be God or that after he died he would rise from the dead.
Second, Elvis doesn’t impact peoples’ lives the way Jesus does.
Third, the disciples were transformed from scared men into bold men because they saw the risen Jesus. What else would have changed them from running away at his arrest and not wanting to be associated with him to loudly proclaiming that he is the Messiah and that he rose from the dead? One thing: seeing the resurrected Jesus! They were all even willing to die for what they saw. Couldn’t they have conspired and made up that story? Well, men won’t die for a known lie. If I tell you I am a three-toed Martian and you torture me, I will quickly tell you I was lying. (Some may object that radical Muslims will die for their faith but they are missing the point: they are dying for something they believe to be true, not that they know is false!)
Fourth, Elvis’ body could be dug up. Try digging up Jesus’.
Fifth, just because some people claim one thing to be true that isn’t, doesn’t mean that others who claim basically the same thing aren’t telling the truth! Example: Bill Clinton says he didn’t have sexual relations with Monica. Just because Bill’s story was a lie doesn’t make all non-adultery claims by other men lies as well! Just because some say Elvis is alive and they are wrong, doesn’t mean people who believe Jesus rose are wrong too (true it doesn’t prove he did rise, but you can’t use the Elvis claim to prove Jesus didn’t rise from the dead). Bill had sexual relations with Monica, therefore the Pope had sexual relations with Madonna. Or, Reagan never smoked pot, therefore neither did Snoop Dogg. Riiiiight.
Finally, Penn & Teller constantly mention “Elvis never did no drugs,” referring to some people who say he didn’t even though others say he did. They use that phrase to imply a contradiction. So, what contradictions in the 4 gospels are they referring to? Do they name any? Nope. (For a resource of the apparent contradictions, see When Critics Ask by Geisler)

3 – Noah’s Ark couldn’t fit two of all those species on it.
“There’s not a boat in the world big enough to hold the millions of species that are on this planet” say most skeptics. And, of course, they’re right. But Penn & Teller seem to forget a few minor details:
1 – They didn’t need to take any amphibians since they can survive in water. Take takes care of quite a few animals.
2 – Insects. Well, first of all they don’t take up much room now do they? Second, many wouldn’t have to have been taken since they could survive on floating debris. Also, since insects make up a majority of the millions of species on the earth, that really drops the number of animals Noah had to take.
3 – All of the sea creatures (which make up a large portion of the species in the world) didn’t need a ride either.
4 – Noah didn’t need to take every breed and variation of animal. Just one according to its kind. It would only take a couple of breeds of dogs or horses to get the many various kinds we have today. Variations occur today and when you mix two breeds together, you tend to find yourself with a new breed of animal. However, you still end up with the same type of animal (breed dogs and what you get is still a dog, not a tiger!).
5 – Remember, the ark was quite large and it had different levels too. 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high is a pretty big boat! That’s a volume of over 1.5 million cubic feet. A boat like that could hold a very large number of animals. Also, remember that he didn’t have to take adult animals, he could have taken very young ones. So, elephants, giraffes, hippos, (even though there are very few large animals like these) etc… wouldn’t have taken up quite as much room.

4 – There is no historical account of Moses or Hebrews in Egypt. If they did exist, they probably crossed at a shallow part of the Reed Sea.
Hebrews in Egypt? How do we know? Well, Penn & Teller say there is no evidence to show there were any Hebrews in Egypt. Funny, is there any evidence showing that either Penn or Teller ate any food in the month of May in 1983? If not, should we assume they did not eat any food in that month? Now in the same respect the argument can be said “is there any proof that Penn or Teller didn’t live in northern China in 1983?” But, lack of evidence is not evidence of a lack of history. Archeology continues to unearth findings that are discovering more and more evidence of the Bible’s claims, and the more time goes by, the more the Bible is confirmed. Hey, speaking of, most people who object to the history of the Bible tend to full-heartedly support evolution. What about all those transitional forms? “Well,” they say, “just because we haven’t found them yet, doesn’t mean they’re not there!” Hmmm, sounds familiar. So, critics of the Bible, shouldn’t you at least allow others to use the same argument you are using?! A bit hypocritical wouldn’t you say?
As far as evidence goes, there has been much claim and support for the Hyksos being the Hebrews. See http://www.bibleandscience.com/archaeology/exodus.htm as well as http://www.hope.edu/bandstra/RTOT/CH3/DATING.HTM for the idea that the Habiru were the Hebrews. Also for other findings on evidence for the Hebrews, see the book, Israel in Egypt by Hoffmeier. The Brooklyn Papyrus (ancient Egyptian record) shows the ownership of slaves from a Semitic group in the north west “Asiatic” region with names that are not from the Egypt area.
Keep in mind, many ancient civilizations (especially the Egyptians) didn’t like to record their defeats in battle, let alone allowing a slave force to leave, have an army chase them down and end up dead.
Oh, and about the crossing at a shallow part of the Reed Sea, if the Hebrews crossed at a shallow part of the Reed Sea then how in the world did all those trained Egyptian soldiers die in a few inches of water?! That would be a miracle!

5 – God killed all the firstborn in Egypt. How loving and kind is that?
Amazing. When humans play God and kill thousands of innocent babies each year by having abortions we call that our “right.” But when God is God, well, we have no toleration for that. Or when America goes to war, don’t we know that when we bomb the other nation we will inevitably kill some innocent people? Yet we still go to war full well knowing that we will kill innocent people.
Speaking of innocent, we have to have a different perspective on that issue. Is anyone perfect? Has anyone kept the laws of God 100%? Has anyone even followed his or her conscious 100%? Nope. So the concept of innocent is based on comparison. And the way we compare ourselves to others is usually something like: “well I’m not perfect, but I’m no Hitler either!” Isn’t it easier to compare our little lies and what not to the Hitlers, Husseins, cannibals, murderers, rapists and pedophiles of the world? But compared to them we are all angels! Really, we pick the worst people in the world, measure our lives against theirs and then say we are good and innocent! Why not compare ourselves to Mother Teresa, Ghandi, or Jesus?! Because we would feel bad about our lives, that’s why! Innocence is not a comparison game, it’s a rule-oriented one. Have you followed all the rules? If not, you’re not innocent. I don’t care how big or little the rule is that you’ve broken, you’re still in the wrong.
So, let’s then take a look at innocence in God’s eyes. And, to keep it simple, let’s just look at the 10 Commandments. Ever murdered someone? No! Well hang on, Jesus said to hate is the same as murder. Dang it. Ever cheated on your spouse? No! Well hang on again, Jesus said lusting after another woman is committing adultery in your heart. Double dang! Ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? Oops. Ever been dissatisfied with the things you own and desperately wanted what someone else had? There’s your coveting. Ever put someone or something ahead of God on your priority list? There’s having another god before Him. Ever disrespected your mom or dad? Man, this is hard! Ever lied? Ok, ok, I get the point. You see, we’re not as innocent as we would like to make ourselves out to be. But big deal, I’ve broken a few little things here and there. I’m sorry, what was that? A few little things? How many times have you lied, lusted, hated, disrespected, coveted, cursed, etc? A few?! Come on, be honest, we already know you’re a liar. And what’s this about little things? Who gets to decide the scale of big and little? You? Riiiight. Elvis never did no drugs! Come on, God didn’t say “Here’s my laws. Oh, and this set of them I don’t really care if you break or not. I made them up for the heck of it. Just avoid this list of the real bad ones.” No, we don’t get to decide these things because we are not God. We have to understand we have not broken laws made up by someone inferior to us or even on the same level as us, no, we have broken God’s law. There is a big difference.
And how do we make up for breaking a law? On earth, if we break a law made by humans we may have to pay a fine, do some community service, lose our job, or go to jail. What is the price for breaking a law made by God? Just as humans got to make the rules and make the punishments for those rules, God made the rules and he gets to decide the punishment. And He says the punishment is death. So, we can argue all day that we only do a “few” “small” sins, but even one of those is punishable by death. So is it unfair? Nope, that’s the law. What’s unfair is that most of us get to keep living after we break His law dozens, hundreds and thousands of times.
We also tend to think that if someone dies in the Bible, then it is bad. Death is not necessarily bad. If a God exists and a Heaven exists, then those who have faith in him need not fear death. Also, just because God punishes someone in the Bible doesn’t mean they go to Hell. King David had his firstborn die because he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and yet in the end David was considered a man after God’s own heart. God punished David, Samson, Adam, Eve, Moses, Abraham, and many others but it doesn’t mean they all went to Hell.
So, as for this notion of God being a mean God for killing all the firstborns in Egypt, keep these things in mind: death is not necessarily bad and we are not innocent. We don’t stop buying things from China because of their child limit policy, stop buying certain shoes or clothes because they were made by children, stop shopping at stores because of their views on certain ethical issues, etc. but for some reason we will picket a God who punishes law breakers. (And for those of you who argue that some of the firstborn were infants and they shouldn’t be punished since they can’t understand words let alone laws, the traditional belief is that little children go to heaven anyway so you could say God, in a sense, spared them of a hard earthly life and allowed them into Heaven. Not a very cruel thing at all.)

6 – Jesus did slight of hand tricks, not miracles. Anyone could do that today.
One of my favorites. Penn & Teller already come with the preconceived idea that miracles aren’t even possible so by default, Jesus must have deceived the people with tricks. Hmm, interesting, the guy who says don’t lie, love your neighbor, pray for and help your enemy, etc… actually lies and deceives those around him. Riiiiight.
“Mr. Skeptic” himself says that the miracles that Jesus did could be done by Penn & Teller. After he says that, they move on to the next topic. What?! No walking on water by Penn, no bringing a dead man back to life by Teller and neither of them give sight to a blind guy?!?! Oh, I suppose they’re just choosing not to do a miracle. If you’re going say it was slight of hand, go ahead and raise a 3-day old dead person from the grave or go ahead and give Stevie Wonder his sight. Anyone could do it? Elvis never did no drugs!

7 – Apollonius is a guy who lived when Jesus did and was said to have done miracles and rise from the dead too.
So Penn & Teller mention that there were many “Messiahs” around the time of Jesus. How do we know he really was it? A guy named Apollonius seemed to have done the same type of things Jesus did so why don’t we follow him?
Good questions. Here are some answers: first of all the only remotely early writing we have that mentions this guy is by Philostratus who wrote approx. 200-245AD. That is a good 150-200 years after Apollonuis lived! And why did he write about him since he didn’t even live in the same time you ask? Good question! An empress wanted to dedicate a temple to Apollonius and told Philo guy to go ahead and do it. Hmmm, motive? Maybe to please the empress? Maybe we embellish a little in order to please the empress? So one source 150-200 years after the fact. No eyewitnesses. How does Jesus compare? Well, to make a long story short: numerous eyewitnesses (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James, Jude . . .) all written within 50 years of his death. Most of them within 30 years of his death! Many sources vs. one. 25-50 years after death vs. 150-200 years after death. Hmmm, which may be more accurate?
And by the way, why are people, who reject the evidence of Jesus being a miracle worker or even alive, accepting the story of Apollonius? If you’re going to accept a one person, non-eyewitness writing 150-200 years after the fact in order that a empress can build a temple; then how much more should you accept multiple authors writing within 25-50 years of Jesus? Anyone else see ridiculous bias?

8 – The only proof of the resurrection is the empty tomb, big whoop.
Would a non-empty tomb be better evidence? If someone rose from the dead, wouldn’t that be the first important sign? Wouldn’t that be a requirement?
No, the empty tomb isn’t the only proof (although it is perhaps the most important). The disciples ran away when Jesus was arrested. Why? Because they were scared for their lives! They weren’t around at the crucifixion. Why? Because they were scared for their lives! A few days after the crucifixion they were boldly proclaiming the message that Jesus was alive. Why? Because they were scared for . . . . wait. No, they no longer feared for their lives. In fact, all but one of the disciples died for their faith. What on earth would change a dozen men from frightened and scared individuals to a dozen bold and courageous individuals willing to die for their faith? Only being convinced that Jesus had in fact risen from the dead would transform such men!
Now I assume Penn & Teller would respond, “they just made up the resurrection story.” Well, what did they have to gain? Nothing! The culture of the day was faithful Judaism and by proclaiming that Jesus (who was accused of blasphemy) was the Messiah and even God himself, well, you might as well write out your own obituary. In fact, the disciples had everything to lose, not gain! If they made it up, there still runs the problems of consistency and death.
First, consistency. If this group of uneducated men made up this whole thing, then when they wrote about it, they would make sure all their stories sounded the same. Well, though the Gospels tell the same basic story, they all have different details. Just as if you were to ask four different people to talk about September 11th, 2001, the Gospel writers tell the same story with different details. (Many people, when asked about 9-11, forget to mention that a plane crashed in PA or one crashed in the Pentagon. Does that mean it didn’t happen? No! Some focus on the buildings crashing and burning, some focus on how many died, some focus on the rescue attempts while some focus on who did the attacks. They are different, but they don’t contradict. The same is true with the Gospels. They tell the same story, with different focus and emphasis. See question #2 for thoughts on apparent contradictions.)
Second is death. People don’t die for what they know is a lie. If the disciples made it up, they wouldn’t die for it. For example, I might tell you I am a spy from Mars and that I believe 2+2=7, but the minute you torture me or threaten my life, I’m going to tell you I was joking or lying. The same is true for the disciples. All but one died a martyr’s death for their faith in the resurrection. If they had made it up, at least one of them would have cracked! But none of them did. Now, some may object and say that some radical Muslims blow themselves up and that disproves that people won’t die for lies. Well, no, it doesn’t. Those radicals actually believe that they are right, they aren’t blowing themselves up for something they know is wrong. People won’t die for a known lie! And the disciples didn’t die for something they knew was false.
For a resource on refuting other claims on the resurrection, see Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell or I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Geisler and Turek.

9 – The Bible was voted on and other books were voted out.
Sure, and the Da Vinci Code is accurate history. Elvis never did no drugs! So how was the New Testament compiled? What were the requirements to make it into the New Testament? Well, let’s take a look:
1 – had to have been written by an eyewitness to Jesus or a contemporary of an eyewitness and therefore also had to be written in the 1st century (no Gnostic 2nd and 3rd century “gospels”)
2 – had to be historically accurate (no Da Vinci Code)
3 – had to be well circulated or quoted or used by the early church (eliminates some obscure person/church using or quoting one odd letter)
4 – the “spiritual” content had to reflect God’s character (no God loves evil stuff)
So, as we see, the church didn’t create the cannon, it discovered what was already there. It discovered what letters and gospels were true and accurate. Kind of like the question, who invented the fact that the interior angels of a triangle total to 180 degrees? Well, nobody invented it, they just discovered what was already there. If the Lord sent the Holy Spirit to remind the disciples of all that he said and did (John 14:26), then those who were closest to him would be the ones to accurately write what he said and did.
And by the way, didn’t we have to vote on rights for women, minorities and such? Just because something is examined and put to a vote doesn’t mean the thing being voted on is wrong or misguided.

10 – What about these verses:
Exodus 21:7 – slavery is ok?!!? No, reading the context of the verse you will see that the female servant is meant to be married. There is a very lengthy discussion of such verses here: http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qnoslave.html The slavery in the OT was very different from what we think of as slavery. Poor people would sell themselves as servants to another wealthier person so they could live and be provided for (more like a job than the cruel slavery we think of). You also need to keep in mind that nowhere in the Bible does God command slavery, He is working within the context of a particular culture of the day.
1 Corinthians 11:14 – its bad for men to have long hair!?! Wait, didn’t Jesus have long hair?! First off, all those wonderful paintings of Jesus, how do we know what he looked like? Did they take pics of him back in the day? No! All of them are just guesses! As a matter of fact, he was just an average Joe, or Jew. Isaiah 53:2 says, “He had not beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Now, Elijah had long hair (2 Kings 1), the Nazarites had long hair, Samson had long hair, Absalom was praised for his long hair . . . . So what is Paul talking about? Some say that the long hair being referred to is hair past the shoulders since women would have their hair that length and in the culture, hair to your shoulders for men was normal. Remember, long hair is a somewhat relative-to-the-culture term. Long hair in the army is what, 2 inches?! Long hair for boys in the 60s and 70s is a different type than what long hair is today. So, some would say that Paul is just saying don’t have hair like women’s hair.

For answers to questions like these, see “When Critics Ask” by Geisler and Howe, “New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties” by Archer, “Hard Sayings of the Bible” by Davids, and “Difficulties in the Bible” by Torrey. For websites, see: www.carm.org/bible_difficulties.htm and www.apologeticsindex.org.

.:webmaster:. said...

Genesis 1 (Elohist): Order of creation in the first account.

1. The heaven and light were made (vs:1-5).

2. The firmament was constructed and the waters divided (vs:6-8).

3. The waters gathered into seas-- and then dry land, grass, herbs, and fruit trees created (vs:9-13).

4. The sun and moon created and the stars made also (vs:14-17).

5. Fishes, fowls, and great whales created (vs:20- 23).

6. Beasts, cattle, every creeping thing, man and woman created (vs:24-27).

Summary: Heaven and earth were created before the sun; all animals created, and then man and woman (both sexes) were created simultaneously.

Genesis 2 (Yahwist): Order of creation in the second account.

1. The heavens and the earth created (v:4).

2. A mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground (vs:5-6).

3. Man (male only) made out of dust and named Adam (v:7).

4. A garden planted eastward in Eden and man put into it (vs:8-17) .

5. Beasts and fowls created (vs:18-20).

6. Woman created from one of the man's ribs (vs: 21-24).

Summary: The man (male only) was created, then all the plants, beasts, and fowls, and finally the woman.

Conclusion: The two creation accounts are in obvious conflict, and the different names by which God was called in the two accounts indicate separate authorships.

To argue that Jesus can't be dug up, and that proves he is God is ludicrous. If that's all it takes to be God, then there are lots of Gods out there. Most of humanity can't be dug up.

Noah and the Ark? Really? No comment.

Defending the barbarism of God in the Old Testament by citing the barbarism of human beings is assinine. Surely God should be considerably more civilized than mankind, in any age.

Your god is monster.

SomeMoreThoughts said...

SomeThoughts: "Finally, Penn & Teller constantly mention “Elvis never did no drugs,” referring to some people who say he didn’t even though others say he did. They use that phrase to imply a contradiction. So, what contradictions in the 4 gospels are they referring to? Do they name any? Nope. (For a resource of the apparent contradictions, see When Critics Ask by Geisler)"

For a much larger resource for the "literal" and "expansive" contradictions, see...

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/index.htm

Jim Arvo said...

http://exchristian.net/exchristian/2005/09/penn-teller-commentary.php



"somethoughts" (henceforth ST) provided a rambling rebuttal of Pen & Teller's "Bullshit Bible". I'll pick a few gems to respond to; most of it is not worth a reply.

ST: "Penn & Teller make it a point to show how there are people who believe Elvis is still alive,..."

Yes, the point being that people cling to cherished notions despite the lack of evidence, and even in the face of disconfirming evidence. Hence, people's convictions do not in themselves constitute credible evidence.

ST: "Well, men won’t die for a known lie....(Some may object that radical Muslims will die for their faith but they are missing the point: they are dying for something they believe to be true, not that they know is false!)"

No, you are the one who missed that point entirely. Just because someone dies for a belief, it does not mean the belief is true. Your comment about radical Muslims is a non sequitur.

ST: "Remember, the ark was quite large and it had different levels too. 450 feet long by 75 feet wide by 45 feet high is a pretty big boat!"

You assert the truth of this fantastic story based on what? Genesis? An ancient text of unknown origin. Can you please show me the physical evidence of a world-wide deluge that destroyed virtually all life on Earth within the past 10,000 years?

ST: "...Penn & Teller say there is no evidence to show there were any Hebrews in Egypt. Funny, is there any evidence showing that either Penn or Teller ate any food in the month of May in 1983?"

There is nothing fantastic about the claim that Pen & Teller ate food in the month of May, as we have huge amounts of evidence that that is what people do. On the other hand, we have no reason to believe that a huge population could inhabit a region for more than a generation without leaving a trace, so that would qualify as a fantastic claim.

ST: "When humans play God and kill thousands of innocent babies each year by having abortions we call that our “right.” But when God is God, well, we have no toleration for that."

If you are saying that humans can be just as savage as the god portrayed in the Bible, then I would have to agree with you. However, that's not exactly a ringing endorsement of your god, is it? As for your "god makes the rules" rationalization, please tell me how that differs from "Might makes right". Also, please explain how a god can command all inhabitants of a community to be slaughtered, and then be deemed "merciful" and "loving" in any sense that is meaningful to humans.

ST: "Penn & Teller already come with the preconceived idea that miracles aren’t even possible so by default, Jesus must have deceived the people with tricks."

You miss the point again. Why is Jesus reported to have performed so many "tricks" that could have easily been faked? Could he not be a little more original? I'll offer an explanation: Because such things often WERE faked people were already familiar with such feats of "magic". They came to expect them, just as they came to expect that anyone of significance would be born of a human-divine union. Why did Jesus fit all the expectations of the day to become yet another hero figure, with all the standard motifs, and nary anything extra? Could it be that he was largely (if not totally) an invention?

ST: "If you’re going say it was slight of hand, go ahead and raise a 3-day old dead person from the grave or go ahead and give Stevie Wonder his sight."

The evidence supporting these miracles come exclusively from evangelists writing long after the supposed events. Their purpose in writing was to instill belief in the divinity of Jesus in the same manner as other hagiographic writing of the period. Imagine what an evangelist writing about one of today's "faith healers" (who are charlatans) would say 40-or-so years from now. I can think of few lines of evidence weaker than that.

ST: "How does Jesus compare? Well, to make a long story short: numerous eyewitnesses (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, Paul, James, Jude . . .) all written within 50 years of his death.... And by the way, why are people, who reject the evidence of Jesus being a miracle worker or even alive, accepting the story of Apollonius?"

You missed the point yet again. The story is of Apollonius is NOT believable, just as the story of Jesus is NOT believable. While there may be more evidence for the latter than the former, it's all extremely dubious nonetheless. There are NO reliable accounts from eyewitnesses; most of the ones you mention do not even claim to be eyewitnesses, and the authorship is not even clear for others.

ST: "Second is death. People don’t die for what they know is a lie....The same is true for the disciples. All but one died a martyr’s death for their faith in the resurrection."

You are assuming that all the disciples were martyred (which is very poorly supported), and furthermore, that their belief in the resurrection was central. The latter is not supported by anything at all aside from today's conception of what they must have believed.

That's all I have time for. Your arguments are a tangle of unsupported or very poorly supported assertions. Outside of the Bible itself, which is filled with midrashic interpolation and tall stories borrowed from more ancient traditions, you have virtually nothing to support your central dogma about Jesus, or anything else for that matter.

boomSLANG said...

First, Elvis never made claims to be God or that after he died he would rise from the dead.
Second, Elvis doesn’t impact peoples’ lives the way Jesus does.


Third, Elvis didn't promise an eternal life of shear uninterupted bliss if you listen to his music, nor does Elvis promise to incinerate you don't listen to his music.

..::scratching head::...

Gee, I wonder why Jesus "impacts" so many more lives, than Elvis?

Somethoughts--I'll go out on a limb and say that's why you waste so much time widdling the corners off the square as to force it into the circular hole--your "reward".

Arks; talking snakes; talking vegetation; swimming hammers; unicorns; firmaments......shit, I could rationalize it all too, if the price was right, AND if the price was LEGIT. It's not, though...your Jesus doesn't exist. You are wasting your time using your own, grossly subjective interpretation, to try and sell us on your Jesus myth.

Warnepiece said...

Somethoughts,

Have you thought about pursuing a lucrative career selling, maybe, used automobiles? Your slick, oily, weasel-worded response to Penn & Teller’s Bullsh*t Bible reminds me of the pitch that snake oil salesmen used to con people out of their money about 130 years ago. You’re good at making BS sound almost respectable!

Bentley said...

ST

God supposedly created the heavens and the earth in just six days this would also include over 125 billion galaxies in which it takes over 4.5 million light years to reach the closest galaxy at the speed of light.

ST's probable answer, With God all things are possible.

Except the Bible God can't save souls just by himself, no! He has to let a demi-god do that for him.

Four thousand years later, of course!

Then people's hearts were continually wicked, of course God, whom being in the Heart changing business, he could have just changed everyone's wicked Heart or eliminated all evil, right then, but No!. God found it much more pleasurable to watch all the little children and elderly and those continually wicked animals all suffer and drown and grasp for their last breath...ha ha ha ha ha said the Lord!

God says thou shalt not kill, but it's ok if he does, since he makes the rules, huh?

Do as I say but don't do as I do!

Then this God elected a drunkard, Noah and his family, whom he found favor to be perfect in God's eyes, to build a boat out of gopher wood, without any saws or a hammer or nails or metal or drawings, with one window, just using pitch and wood, no bathrooms, no toilet paper, no life vests, no life boats, not knowing whether it would float or not, not knowing where they were going and not knowing when they would come back, if ever.

Then Noah, to show his kind generosity to God, gets petrified drunk, ahh glory to God!

Then a little later on we have Sodom and Gommorah had to be destroyed because, their Hearts were continually wicked. What happened to Noah and his family being saved from the flood to spread their righteousness having been so perfect in God's eyes?

Noah and his family was supposed to filter out the wicked, so much for that plan, eh?

God supposedly killed all those people after the flood, except Noah and his family to continue the righteousness in God's eyes, but it failed, failed big time.




ST:
8 – The only proof of the resurrection is the empty tomb, big whoop.
Would a non-empty tomb be better evidence? If someone rose from the dead, wouldn’t that be the first important sign? Wouldn’t that be a requirement?
No, the empty tomb isn’t the only proof (although it is perhaps the most important).



Jesus's physical body was gone. Why? If it is the "soul" that rises to Heaven, the tomb needed not to be opened.

But the tomb was OPENED!!! WHY???
Because Jesus walked out, thats why, and millions have fallen for the JESUS HOAX!!!!

There was no need for the tomb to be opened, but yes, it was witnessed by many, the tomb was open. His physical body did not rise to Heaven according to scripture, the body does not rise, it's the soul that rises.

Jesus's physical body should have still been in the tomb, but it was gone!!! Why??? Because Jesus walked out, or it was carried out, that's why?

Jesus and his loyal(but scared)disciples faked his death in order for the premeditated prophesy to appear to have become true.


ST sounds like Mr. Haney on Green Acres "I have some genuine authentic antique reproductions, I'd like to sell you, Mr. Douglas."


The Bible, the greatest story ever sold!

Anonymous said...

wow, everyone on here gets up in arms, just as they accuse those "radical fundamentalist creation believers" of doing. geez.

1 - whoever said i tried to prove the resurrection from an absent body apparently didn't read very far. reread it. (and maybe even check the resources i mentioned)

2 - citing the barbarianism of humanity was done to show how upset we get over one thing but tend to be hypocritical. that was (once again) not the whole argument. reread.

3 - JIM ARVO . . .wow. please reread. i never said because the disciples died for their belief that proved it was true. only that they were convinced it was because people won't die for what they know is a lie. if they knew jesus didn't rise from the dead, they wouldn't have died for it. as far as physical evidence of a flood, i assume you won't accept millions of dead things burried in different rock layers made by a flood. next, historians do believe in large populations that they still can find no trace of b/c archeology is fairly rare world wide. thats why we dig and look. see comment on fossil record. as far as god removing communities and being called merciful, if he didn't punish evil you would call him unjust right? no win situation. and pretty much all of the mentioned cite eyewitnesses, read it.

"according to scripture, the body does not rise, it's the soul that rises......WRONG, both body and spirit.

Jesus's physical body should have still been in the tomb, but it was gone!!! Why??? Because Jesus walked out, or it was carried out, that's why?....Jesus was dead. no walking out. if the disciples stole the body, well, reread that whole part again and look at the resources. not likely.

Jesus and his loyal(but scared)disciples faked his death in order for the premeditated prophesy to appear to have become true.....wow. again, reread.

everyone else, great emotional and straw man arguments.

i will conclude with your own:
bunch of liberal anti-country and anti-god freaks. nazi wannabes. idiots. jerks. blah blah

Warnepiece said...

Wow anonymous,

Your arguments are SO convincing, I wonder why the entire EX-christian population doesn't fall to their knees and re-convert to christianity immediately.

Maybe you ought to do exactly what you think everyone else should do, go back and re-read what the others have posted.

The fact that you can't come up with even a fake name, other than anonymous, tells us what kind of christian you are. It's called a "frightened chickenshit"! You are so scared of being challenged for your irrational beliefs that you hide behind "anonymous".

Yes, that's what god wants, cowardly christians!

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous said "wow, everyone on here gets up in arms, just as they accuse those 'radical fundamentalist creation believers' of doing. geez."

Wow. If you don't want anybody to respond to your comments why bother posting them here? Geez.

Anonymous: "JIM ARVO . . .wow. please reread. i never said because the disciples died for their belief that proved it was true."

Anonymous... wow. Please think. If you did not offer that reasoning as evidence for the resurrection, then it was completely pointless, no? People believe a lot of things--whether they are true or not is the issue, and martyrdom does not speak to that. By the way, there is a significant hurdle that you must clear before ANY of this is relevant; and that is showing that there is historical evidence for the existence of the disciples as well as their martyrdom. Aside from Acts and the gospels themselves, there is very little if anything.

Anonymous: "...as far as physical evidence of a flood, i assume you won't accept millions of dead things burried in different rock layers made by a flood."

As evidence of a single global flood in the past 10,000 years? Are you joking? Do you realize that many of those layers represent dramatic climate changes over hundreds of thousands of years, with vast forests alternating with deserts and lakes? Please explain how that comports with a recent flood?

Anonymous: "...as far as god removing communities and being called merciful, if he didn't punish evil you would call him unjust right?"

So that explains why god saw fit to have entire communities slaughtered, including the children and even the animals. That's being merciful, right? And the bit about keeping the young virgins, that's because they were spiritually pure, right? Can you honestly read that garbage and not be repulsed by the horrific violence and the capriciousness? That's some impressive mental gymnastics.

Warnepiece said...

To Jim Arvo,

Touché

Anonymous said...

Hi nony, do you believe someone willing to blow themselves up, or give up their life for their cause, makes their cause univresally true for everyone? Or, does it speak to the conviction one person has to their belief. Why are you only able to accept your one belief, aren't all beliefs the same?

Anonymous said...

I love this site. It makes me laugh. It's great when a bunch of angry people get together. It's interesting that the only arguements considered illogical are those that are pro - God. Would you not say that some of the arguements made against God are also illogical? Not that some of the arguements against the Bible are valid, but some just seem like cheap shots to make a bunch of angry and bitter people feel better about themselves. That certainly is logical.

Anonymous said...

Yea we're all really Christians pretending to be ex-c's and you're really a ex-c pretending to be a Christian. Eat one, cretin!

Warnepiece said...

Of course anonymous, we’re all angry as ex-christians…..

Here, maybe this will make you feel better as a “pro-god” person……

Ooooooooooo…..ow-ow-ow-ouch…..damn….what the hell?.......AArrrgggggg….grrrrrrr……
Crap, life is so unfair and those Christians get to have fun believing in mystical beings, talking reptiles, animals and shrubbery. And they don’t even have to think for christ’s sake….they just apply the bible to their lives and everything flows smoothly from birth to death, then they get to be with Jesus forever while laughing hysterically at all the cursed roasting in the “everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels”. Oops, I forgot to pretend to feel bitter too…..

Awwwww hell….this life sucks. I wish some christian would come along and save me from myself. Damn, Damn, Damn….oh woe is me…

There! That should confirm all your biases anony. Thanks for stopping by for a laugh!

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous,

The people who exude the most anger here are typically the visiting Christians. If you think something is illogical, be specific and we can discuss/debate it. Broad brush statements are of little value, and that includes assertions about people here being angry or bitter. (Which is complete nonsense, by the way.) In my opinion, such comments are often an indication that the poster has nothing substantive to offer; it's much easier to point fingers than to assemble a cogent comment.

boomSLANG said...

A parody inspired by Anonymous 12:11

I love this site. It makes me laugh so hard I piss myself. It's great when a bunch of blubbering boisterous religious buffoons stumble in here and make henous generalizations about people they've never met, only because they refuse to join in on the collective kissing of Jesus' invisible white a$$. It's interesting that the only arguments that these pompous self-rightous web-pirates see as illogical, are those that are skeptical of their Jesus. Would they not say that some of the arguments made for Jesus are just as illogical as those that the Muslims make for Muhammad?...the Egyptians for Ra?...the Vikings for Odin?...kiddies for Santa? Not that some of the arguments against "T'was the Night Before Christmas" are valid, but some just seem like cheap shots to make a bunch of ignorant and scared people feel superiorly safe in their religious memes. That certainly is logical.

JumpnJohnthJungleBoy said...

You go Anonymous!

I thought that Somethought's or Anonymous' response was very well thought out and representative of a well educated Christian, Not some snake-handling, ranting, nut-job! I am probably older than many of the other posters on this site and, in my younger days, thought I knew more than everyone else. Oh man, I had it ALL figured out. What I have learned is that the more you know, the more you realize that you don't know very much!
Anonymous posted a logical rebuttal to some very casual observations. People, please don't forget that Penn and Teller are entertainers. Are they Dr. Penn and Dr. Teller? Have they devoted their lives to studying any of the subjects they comment about? I believe the answer is no. I enjoy a good laugh as much as anyone. But, I sense a vitriolic hatred of spirituality here. Religion is based on faith. Many things are based on faith. Science for instance is faith based. Really you say? Well, you have to have faith that the THEORY of evolution is correct in order to BELIEVE in it. Don't you? I haven't seen proof of a species jump. I have seen proof of adaptation. Personally I think that the theory of evolution offers some interesting food for thought and should not be dismissed as idiocy, but there has to be a better explanation. One, maybe, that leads to proof? So in the meantime, all of you empiricists have to have faith that the theory is correct.

As far as faith healers all being scam artists, true, I believe that there are a plethora of fakes out there or even wanna-bees. But I knew a Catholic faith healer. He was the real deal. When I met him I didn't know what to expect. He was very, very humble, soft spoken, and prayed a lot. (go figure) But when I met him for the first time, I reached out to shake his hand in greeting and I started to perspire and almost passed out. It was pretty bizarre, I must say. It was kind of like being mildly electrocuted and suddenly having a fever at the same time. But this man, Father Luke Zimmer, is well documented as healing many people of various ailments including Multiple Sclerosis. Now I am rambling I guess, but until you encounter something like this in your life, it is difficult to believe that it really can happen. I am not expecting to change people's minds on this post, just to consider for a moment that there is something out there that is beyond our relm. A closed mind, either fanatically religious or anti-religious, is a handicap.

By the way, I think Penn and Teller are very entertaining!

.:webmaster:. said...

Jumpnjohn...,

You've made a few assumptions. First of all, many of the regular posters on this site have gray hair. Second, age-acquired sagacity is a myth.

Thirdly, whether or not a person accepts or understands the scientific theory of evolution has no relation to believing in flying chariots, talking bushes, walking snakes, magic cloaks, sticks, and bowls, floating ax heads, or a flying un-dead man-god. Evolution is a SCIENTIFIC THEORY. Bible stories are RELIGIOUS MYTHS.

You, with your advanced wisdom, do realize there is a big difference between stories by Bronze Age religious peasants in the Middle East and modern scientific theories, don't you?

For instance, there is the Theory of Flight. Now, according to you, believing in a scientific theory is the same as believing in an ancient religious story. So, in that case, it takes the same amount of faith to believe that Elijah and Apollo had flying chariots as to believe that airplanes fly.

Here's another theory I'm sure you're familiar with:

Gravitational Theory.

I suggest you read that article. It's quite interesting to note how the scientific theory of gravitation has evolved and changed as more information has been uncovered and a better understanding of the processes of gravitation has grown. Oh, just for your information, we still don't completely understand how gravity works. Perhaps God put some magical supernatural glue into everything, kind of like how the Bible says it. Yeah, I bet that's it.

My point, oh ancient one, is that scientific theories are used in an attempt to understand and explain the natural world. Before anything can be called a "theory" it undergoes quite a bit of scrutiny, and continues to face scrutiny forever. When new information suggests adjustments are needed in any scientific theories, it happens. That's why are planes fly better today than when Orville and Wilbur first hit the sky.

In contrast, religious stories are just made up. And once written down, are never to be questioned or doubted.

Now, your Father Luke Zimmer died in 1997. Perhaps he couldn't heal himself? Do you know if he ever healed an amputee? I mean, there are a lot of people returning from Iraq with missing limbs. Surely "the real deal" could grow someone a new arm or leg. That would be quite helpful, I'm sure. Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed, the Catholic Church has accepted the theory of evolution. In fact, they teach it in their parochial schools.

As a last comment, your electric charismatic experience is nothing unique. I've had similar experiences. I assure you, you generated the feelings in your own mind through suggestion.

Jim Arvo said...

JJJB said, concerning the theory of evolution, "So in the meantime, all of you empiricists have to have faith that the theory is correct."

Goodness, another one! We hear idiotic comments like that on a daily basis. Maybe you can be the first one to explain this to me, oh hoary wizened one. Why, exactly, must I have "faith" in evolution? I have studied the evidence for evolution quite extensively, and even read dozens of creationist books that claim to refute it. My position is that the theory of evolution fits the available data spectacularly well, accounting for the phylogenetic tree of life, vestigial organs, ring species, the existence of thousands of transitional fossils, the well-documented transition from reptiles to mammals, the abundance of pseudo-genes, the presence of hind limbs in whale embryos, teeth in chicken embryos, and tails in human embryos, etc. etc. etc. (I could make a list many pages long.) It also makes thousands of very detailed predictions (e.g. concerning the "missing" primate chromosome in humans) that have been verified through molecular biology and genomics, for example. I therefore regard it as the most plausible explanation for how life attained the forms that we see today.

The theory fits the facts, it makes detailed predictions that can be verified, and speciation has in fact been observed in nature. Yet, with all of that, I'd be among the first to doubt it or cast it out entirely if new evidence came to light that proved it to be erroneous. So, I ask again: Why must I have "faith" in evolution? Of what use is "faith" in any theory? What role does it play?

(For your convenience, here are the answers to my last three questions: 1) I need not, 2) it is totally useless, and 3) It has no valid role to play in science.)

Anonymous said...

hehehee. i always thought everyone can believe what they choose to believe. if you are angry when someone else tells their own beliefs then you must be not sure of your own beliefs

Soup said...

http://www.kids4truth.com/watchmaker/watch.html

boomSLANG said...

http://www.thebricktestament.com/

(Adults4truth)

boomSLANG said...

In other words, Soup...'got anything better than your tired ol' "watchmaker" argument?

Non-sequitur.

.:webmaster:. said...

Soup. Since when has nature ever produced a watch? Watches are made by people. Comparing things made by people to the generation of life is like the proverbial apples to oranges analogy.

Watches aren't alive, don't exist in nature, and we KNOW watches are made by people.

And, even if current scientific theory is incomplete (to you), that doesn't mean there is a magical "watchmaker" in the sky.

Besides, isn't your "watchmaker" alive? I'm guessing that you are claiming that life could not exist unless it was put together by an intelligence. Well, by that logic, wouldn't your "watchmaker," who is alive, require a higher intelligence to put HIM together?

Think about it. If you are saying that there is a life form out there that wasn't created, then you are admitting that life can exist without it being created.

DUH.

Lutheran Woman said...

Penn and Teller are liars! They edited the footage to the point where when Paul Maier presented the liberal view, Penn and Teller ended up making it appear as if that was Paul Maier's view. http://www.concordtx.org/msnews/maier2.htm

Penn and Teller are the real Bullshitters here.