ARCHIVES:

Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Articles

1/15/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Baptist Preacher Vs. Atheist - By Brett Keane

58 comments:

SpaceMonk said...

Job's trials made him a better person?
How much of a better person did he need to be?
He was already a faithful believer.

Christian's don't seem to ever think about Job's family in this story either.
They didn't become better people out of it. They got dead.

Would Job's wife ever have married him if she knew she'd be killed, just so that Job could 'become a better person'?


When a Preacher say's, "I don't fully understand why God would do that...", then he should be challenged, "How dare you teach anyone else about this 'God', leading people's lives into submission to him, when you don't even know what you're talking about yourself."

yearbook said...

The pastor is totally wrong. Unfortunately Brett misses the point too. If either the pastor or Brett had actually read Job, they will discover that whole "suffering breeds patience" thing is the exact argument is the exact argument Elihu makes - He's rebuked by God at the end of course. So even theologically he's in error.

Of course nobody really knows more about the book of Job than the first chapter and the last (the wager, the plagues, Job being restored) - which goes to show people who pretend to know about the Bible really don't know anything about it.

The book of Job is one of the most beautiful book of the Bible, and it is also the most agnostic. In fact it almost advocates atheism, as Job is commended for bringing God to trial. Good stuff. Read it.

Jeff said...

The typical fundy responce, The Bible has changed my life. I wonder what so many people would be like, had they never heard of the Bible?
I guess they would just be miserable wretches, just as the song says they would be..huh?

The real convincing evidence would have been that, Jesus supposedly disguised as God, would have survived the crucifixion and walking around on Earth today, spreading his message and performing his miracles today, just as Methuselah suppossedly lived to be 887 years old, didn't seem to attract that much attention back in those days, Jesus would have been a little over 2000 years old still living today, no big deal perhaps.

The miracle would have been that Jesus is here with us today, there would be no further need for a Bible or a Quran, no questions need to be asked, no need for different beliefs, nor different denominations.

The big mistake was that Jesus died, they all thought that Jesus would miracously save himself and walk away and still be living today but their scheme failed them, now we all need an abundant amount of faith to believe Jesus is God in disguise.

The real problem is that, we have this book that was written by men, and were allowed to call it inspired by a God.

paul said...

Good stuff from Brett Keane:
Adam and Eve: They didn't understand the concept of death. How could a threat like that bother them? --Brett, God clearly warned about the consequences of disobeying Him- Genesis 2:17:But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
It is more important that we should honor the Word of God rather than molded by the fear of the consequences of not obeying Him. Likewise, now we do not have a concept of hell. Yet, God is warning us about it through His Bible. We should heed His word more than trying to comprehend the exact nature of hell. Before death was a reality Satan deceived Adam and Eve into death inspite of God's forewarning about it. In the same way, before hell is a reality Satan has been deceiving us into hell inspite of God's forewarnings in His Word about the reality of hell.
God knew who would be saved before the foundation of the world...You are right. That is the doctrine of election. God chose select human beings for His kingdom. We shall understand that the whole humanity is condemned due to Adam's sin. God offered salvation to all in Christ. Yet, not all people are going to become Christians. God in fact knew the people who would become Christians. It is like the President offering clemency to certain prisoners on the row to their execution. The President is not unfair in choosing certain individuals for the clemency. It is the will of the President to pardon whomever He chooses. The remaining prisoners die to pay their own crimes. They have nobody to blame but themselves. Yet we should not ignore human responsibility in this matter. The divine sovereignty and human responsibility are like two rails on the same track. They go parellel to each other. In other words the world is moving on both rails: Divine Sovereignty and Human responsibility. For example, as an experienced teacher I knew John is a poor student and will fail the forthcoming test. Yet, John cannot blame me for his failure if he fails the test. Passing or failing is on his shoulders. Jesus said, 'He that cometh to me I shall in nowise cast him out', 'For God so love the world', Jesus died for the sins of the world. Salvation is prepared for all human beings.
JOB: Satan accussed that Job is following God just for the sake of things he got from God. So, God wanted to prove to Satan that Job loved Him without any interest in material gains. At the end, God glorified humanity by showing that there are certain people who love Him just for the sake of loving God. The tests also proved to Job that no matter what happens to him his faith is real and his Redeemer is alive to lead him in all trials.
The big lesson of the Book of Job is in chapter 38. God showed up in a whirlwind and shot a flurry of questions at Job. Job could not answer even one question out of some 50 questions God directed at him. The lesson is there are no answers for everything in life, yet we can trust God just for who God is. God is perfectly good and righteous in all his actions. You know the origin of Engligh word, God. They took it from the word, 'good'. Therefore God is synonymous with goodness.
CHANGE IN MY LIFE: Change is a subjective phenomenon. Many Christians give subjective proofs to objective questions. Our experiences may supplement our answers but they are not substitutes to our answers. You do not need to be a Christian in order to quit drugs and pornography. AA or NA can help in that matter. The biggest evidence to Christianity is the historicity of the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. Mohammed did not raise from the dead, nor Buddha, or Rama or Krishna. Jesus proved to us through His resurrection that He is who He claimed He was.

.:webmaster:. said...

Paul,

I have one request from you. Please use paragraph separations. Long, extended, rambling blocks of text are annoyingly hard to read, regardless of what is being written.

Sincerely.

BB said...

Paul: It is more important that we should honor the Word of God rather than molded by the fear of the consequences of not obeying Him. (Word of God? what word of God, a God nor Jesus never wrote one word in the Bible.)


Likewise, now we do not have a concept of hell. Yet, God is warning us about it through His Bible. We should heed His word more than trying to comprehend the exact nature of hell. Before death was a reality Satan deceived Adam and Eve into death inspite of God's forewarning about it. In the same way, before hell is a reality Satan has been deceiving us into hell inspite of God's forewarnings in His Word about the reality of hell.
God knew who would be saved before the foundation of the world...You are right. That is the doctrine of election. God chose select human beings for His kingdom. We shall understand that the whole humanity is condemned due to Adam's sin. God offered salvation to all in Christ. Yet, not all people are going to become Christians. God in fact knew the people who would become Christians.

If that being the case, then God already knew that Satan would disrupt Heaven and the entire world, he could have warned Adam and Eve not to listen to a talking snake, instead he told them not to eat of the tree.

Also this God being the creator of all things, could have easily eliminated all evil and Satan at the snap of the fingers. If he created the whole universe in just six days, destroying evil and corruption would have been a snap to eliminate. Since he knew all this would happen.

Your nonsense Paul is just that, nonsense!

Paul, you're just repeating something that people wrote down over 2000 years ago and they were on halucingenic drugs, opium and hashish.

Barry said...

Paul: "The biggest evidence to Christianity is the historicity of the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. Mohammed did not raise from the dead, nor Buddha, or Rama or Krishna. Jesus proved to us through His resurrection that He is who He claimed He was."

Jesus was never resurrected, his physical body was missing, why because he walked out of the tomb, his physical body was never found, why? If it's the soul that goes to Heaven, the physical body should have been there, but it was gone.

The story of Jesus is the biggest hoax and fraud to have ever been devised and you Christians got fooled, you're suckers.

You got took, Paul you mind and your money.

That "Ball" Guy said...

"and they were on halucingenic drugs, opium and hashish. "

You say that like it's a bad thing ;)

Anonymous said...

Greatest Magician EVER!

Penn Got it right! (After all he did graduate from Clown College with what I'm sure was an advanced degree in history.)
Jesus was just a normal guy who was beaten severely, nailed to a cross, peirced, had about 100 pounds of spices and cloth, had a large stone removed, tricked the Roman guards and removed the Roman Seal (the guards all went out to have a sandwich.)

Please do not give athiest a bad name by using this theory (See David Friedrich Strauss.) I know this site is all about "attacking Christians" but have some sense...

I appreciate how respectful Brett Keane is to the Baptist Pastor. However, these philosophical arguements are quite circular. The historical and scientific approach carries greater wieght.

Anonymous said...

It always comes back to FAITH for these people. It is amazing how the Bible is full of miricles tohelp those in the past to believe, but we are left with faith.

Onanite

twincats said...

Anony, this site is not so much about attacking Christians as it is venting about them.

Those of you who come here and feel attacked are free to spout your apologetics and evangalizing elswhere; that's not what we come here for.

But if you want to provide some entertainment or diversion (or even conduct an intelligent discussion) be prepared for a skeptical audience and grow a thick skin (or maybe just grow up!)

Asana Bodhitharta said...

I challenge Brett to a debate anytime. I will answer all his questions gladly.

Asana Bodhitharta

Anonymous said...

Actually, this is much better! I think Brett hinted at some good dialogue here.

This makes me think he is not a "bully" - he's just doing a little comedy with some serious topics. There is room for that in the world.

I still want Brett to call me, or let me call him for an exchange. Just please go to the bathroom first!

kharris@thewordfm.com

Jeff said...

Why should Brett waste his time talking to you? You've already made up your mind that you'll not concede to anything that he has to say?

There's enough evidence in this video alone, to convince anyone in their 'right mind' that the Bible is a pile of trash

Anonymous said...

You know this is like the 10th vid of Keene dedunking people in teh past month or so...I don't mind it and I am glad he does it..But it seems the people he goes up against are like the villiage idiot. I mean Mr Keene your auguments would be much more powerful if you go up against a Born Againer who knows the Bible very well.The fellows your debating are like...Well lets say I know Math very good..And i try to challnge a 5th grader to a Algebra debate....I mean come on...
Quit finding dufasses try to find some real good debater like a modern day CS Lewis.

.:webmaster:. said...

On the one hand, Mr. bold anonymous, I agree with you. The people Brett addressed are obvious idiots.

However, they also wear the title of preacher and deacon.

This is telling.

This is also one of the reasons ex-Christians have better arguments that Christians. The bulk of Christians in my experience have been strikingly ignorant, non-questioning, drones.

Anonymous said...

Web Master, One can get a preacher licence near in a craker jack box....That doesnt prove beans! I know a 17 year old man who is of the Church of God "Charismatic" He just got ordaned....yeah ordaned...he is a boy....Not a CS Lweis who has real power...Mr Keene is dealing with boys..not real men....I left the faith myself..but I know if I was still struggling i could easily see Mr Keene was taking on idiots...or duffases! Stemp it up some Mr keene!

.:webmaster:. said...

One can get a preacher licence near in a craker jack box....That doesnt prove beans!

Uhm, right.

That's the point.

Comment: If you feel you have a better comprehension of how such things should be handled, then there is nothing keeping you from doing it yourself, and then showing us all how it should be done.

Keep in mind, anony, no two of us see everything exactly the same way.

Peace.

SpaceMonk said...

Anonymous, read the end of the first post here.
That's what Brett's doing.

Anonymous said...

Look Webmaster and Space... I give Mr Keene a A+ for effort and what he is doing is good! And I read again the parrel of Space Money's first post...I agree..All good. But All I am saying is for the people who really are struggling and who listen to Mr Keene"most Christians won't even look at the U tube vids" but those who will look are likely struggling.
With this said...I know as for me..I was a book worm in the faith a Calvinist and well studied. So When i see Mr Keene going up against more less preachers who know the Bible like not very good "Like this one and like the Catholic one a few days back"
I would thus say....'Ohh what is this?'
I mean come on thats like me who knows little about Space...and having Carl Sagen call me on the phone and telling me about Black holes, Red Star, Blue Dwarfs etc...I think you get the drift.
I think now at this stage of the game it would do Mr Keene more service to find real challenges..Not Craker Jack ones!
I would rather see Mr Keene post 1 good vid, then 25 like this one..Anymore I quit veiwing these..its the same old rethoric.

Anonymous said...

You see, all you guys are worried about is putting God down and trying to prove why he is not real. The Bible clearly says that whoever calls on him WILL BE saved. Now, does that mean that you say " Lord, save me" and thats it, your saved? No, you have to mean it, and really ask God to change your heart and for Him to show himself to you. Guys, I've been a christian for about 5 months, and before that my life was a mess...he HAS changed my life, and he HAS made himself known to me.
Right before I was baptized I found an arrow head, now to some of you that might sound like a joke, or a coinsidence, but the verse that God game me that day was in Isaiah 42:9 " And He has made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of His hand he has concealed me, and He has also made me a select ARROW, he has hidden me in his quiver." Now that was God speaking right to me, and if you ask me, thats a miracle too. So many other things have happened to me that have assured me that God is with me. When you guys put down someone who really did die for you(whether you want to confess that or not) and bad mouth him all the time, it makes people like me, who know God, really want you guys to see the light, and have God come into your life. I was lost, and now I am found!!! you guys, I know that you do not believe...but whether you do or not, Jesus loves you, and always will!! I urge to to seek for him and confess your sins, because when you do, trust me...he will make himself known to you to!! please email me guys, ivfjeremyb99@hotmail.com

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous,

Do you believe in Zeus? Have you sincerely asked Zeus to demonstrate his awesome powers to you? If not, please explain why. If Zeus is truly the god of all gods, you would want to know it, right? Wouldn't you? I can guarantee that if you accept the power of Zeus, it will change your life.

If you seriously address my simple questions, perhaps we can have a conversation. If not, have a nice life.

Anonymous said...

Do I believe in Zeus?? No I do not, Why do I not believe in Zeus?? Obiously because im a Christian, and believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and rose again on the third day. If you want to get more technical about it, I dont believe in him because the thought of a bunch of gods living on a mountain, riding on chariots through the sky sounds very idiotic to me. Now, if you read the Bible, and see that God gave israel their promised land, and how conflicts between them and the muslim nations have been happening for thousands of years, it is even going on in front of our very own eyes today, theres is some proof now, isin't there??...Now, I am not saying that I base all my beliefs because of this, I believe in God because his power is right infront of our eyes, The earth, nature, anything....now, you guys can come up with all these questions that I cannot answer, like "How is it that God always existed, without being created" you see, I cannot answer some of these questions, no one understands how God works, but I can say this, no matter what others think about the bible, or no matter how many people believe there is no God, there really is, an all merciful, loving God ( yes, he loves you to)----Jeremy ( previously anonymous)

Jim Arvo said...

Jeremy said "Do I believe in Zeus?? No I do not, Why do I not believe in Zeus?? Obiously because im a Christian, and believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and rose again on the third day."

But you didn't answer the second part of my question. Have you sincerely asked him to demonstrate his powers to you? Many people simply believe the first religion they are exposed to, and that precludes them from seeking any further. Do you deny that billions of people all over the world believe in false gods, and will not consider any other religion because they have already found the "truth"? How do you know that you're not in that camp with respect to Zeus until you've sincerely asked him to reveal his power?

Jeremy: "If you want to get more technical about it, I dont believe in him because the thought of a bunch of gods living on a mountain, riding on chariots through the sky sounds very idiotic to me."

I see. How about a god who cannot defeat chariots made of iron? (Judges 1:19) How about a god who does not like it when you plant two crops in the same field, or wear garments made from two different materials? (Leviticus 19:19) How about a god who loses a wrestling match with a human? (Genesis 32:22-30) How about a god who condones sexual slavery (Numbers 31:15-18,Exodus 21:7) and infanticide (Hosea 13:16, 2 Kings 15:16, 1 Samuel 15:3, Psalms 137:9), deception, genocide, and plundering (Deuteronomy 20:10-15), etc. etc. etc.

You think Zeus is idiotic? Oh, please. If that's a legitimate criterion, then Yahweh is in really sad shape. Furthermore, if it's reasonable to expect a god to exhibit a higher morality than man, then Yahweh is an idiotic choice. I know of no other deity who has purportedly condoned and even commanded such ghastly behavior. Do you?

Jeremy: "Now, if you read the Bible, and see that God gave israel their promised land, and how conflicts between them and the muslim nations have been happening for thousands of years, it is even going on in front of our very own eyes today, theres is some proof now, isin't there??..."

Proof that religions foment violence and bloodshed? Yes, it sure does show that. But that's not what you meant, is it? You meant that the Bible "prophesied" these events, right? How closely have you examined the so-called prophecies? We discuss them all the time on this site. Those who come here and cite them as impressive evidence for the divine origin of the Bible are almost without exception completely ignorant of how the Bible was written, and how various passages came to be identified as prophetic. So, how closely have you studied them?

Jeremy: "...no matter what others think about the bible, or no matter how many people believe there is no God, there really is, an all merciful, loving God..."

That's what you believe. Simply asserting it doesn't help your case. We already know that you believe such things, and you should already know that we do not share your beliefs. Unless you have some credible evidence that distinguishes your fantastic claims of invisible all-powerful entities from myriad others, we'll just go ahead and file yours along with Zeus, Mithra, Osiris, Attis, Adonis, Isis, and all the rest. Fair enough?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Arvo,

Our God ( yes, yours too, whether you want to admit it/believe it or not) is a God that we cannot understand. I mean, can you explain our complex galaxy/natural instincts etc?? Someone had to create it. Now, you say why I dont call unto zeus to demonstrate his powers to me??... well... hes not real!!! Ofcourse, you can say
" hey, thats what you believe, that doesnt make it true" and you can also say "I dont have proof" Its just a walk of faith my friend, I have witnessed healings, speaking in tounges, prophecies,-things that the Bible talks about, showing proof to me, now to you..its a whole different story.
You see, you have to realize, im not writing to you to condemn you, im writing to you to tell you that Jesus can turn your life around, like he did mine, IF you give him a chance...I mean, why not?? May I ask why you dont believe in God in the first place??

.:webmaster:. said...

NONY said: "Our God ... is a God that we cannot understand."

And in the very next sentence NONY implied that the inexplicable complexity of the galaxy somehow explains the self-existence of an incomprehensible god.

An ironic apologetic.

"God did it" explains the things we don't yet understand. Once upon a time, God supposedly threw thunderbolts, shook the ground with earthquakes, punished with volcanoes, denied rain, sent disease and famine and tornadoes etc. Now we know that all those things are not manifestations from a god, but normal forces and cycles of nature.

It's a big galaxy, and our knowledge of it is no doubt small. Yet, based on past assumptions about gods and nature, it is like that the forces that formed the galaxy, our instincts, and even the entire universe, have a purely naturalistic explanation. I think it more than likely that future generations will look at the religious faith of today and think "How simple-minded and ignorant," much like we look at the religious faith of those former times and think "How simple-minded and ignorant."

Jim Arvo said...

Jeremy: "...can you explain our complex galaxy/natural instincts etc??..."

Science has gone a very long way toward explaining these things, yes. Galaxy formation is quite well understood, as is the acquisition of complex social behaviors. Of course, there are many unanswered questions, but the explanations that science has provided thus far are testable, and they make myriad detailed predictions that have been verified.

Jeremy: "...Someone had to create it."

Whoa... slow down. Please explain how you got from "galaxies are complex" to "someone had to create it". That's a huge step, and I fear I've misses something very important here.

Jeremy: "Now, you say why I dont call unto zeus to demonstrate his powers to me??... well... hes not real!!!"

So, it seems you are saying that you would FIRST need to believe in Zeus before you would ask him to demonstrate his powers. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but that's the impression I'm getting. Is that accurate?

Jeremy: "Its just a walk of faith my friend,..."

If that's so, then you can clearly understand why others do not believe the same thing you do, right? Most of us here do not believe in things for the sake of "faith", but rather look to where the evidence points.

Jeremy: "I have witnessed healings, speaking in tounges, prophecies,..."

But now you're talking about observable evidence! Didn't you just say it was "faith"? I'm confused. Please explain. Especially about the speaking in tongues part. Do you have any video you could share? Oh, and the healings... they wouldn't happen to have included an amputee who got a limb back, would they? I'm still waiting to see one of those.

Jeremy: "...im writing to you to tell you that Jesus can turn your life around,..."

But I've never disputed that. Belief in Jesus has changed millions of lives. As has belief in Allah, and Shiva, Mithra, and every other god invented by man. If you suddenly believe fervently in anything it will change your life. If you believed you were an artichoke, I guarantee it would change your life. NOT believing also changes lives. There are dozens of people here who will tell you that their lives improved dramatically when they STOPPED believing in invisible deities. What do you make of that?

Jeremy: "May I ask why you dont believe in God in the first place??"

Sure. I've never seen one scrap of credible evidence that she exists. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

Ooooh! Speaking tongues is now considered evidence? Har har! I remember when I attended the Vineyard Christian Fellowship church here in Penticton. I faked tongues once just for for fun in a Youth Group I had belonged to, and then all of a sudden I had a hand on my shoulder as someone thought it necessary to interpret it! Ha haaaa!! Funniest thing I ever experienced! -Wes.

Anonymous said...

MR Arvo,

Saying how the universe is so complex and someone had to create it, has a direct relation...I dont see how I lost you there?? If I had a video of someone speaking in tounges, I would show you, but I dont... but I have seen it with my own eyes. As a said before, im n ot here to tell you how wrong you are on the way you live, or to change your beliefs ( even though it would be nice if you did) all I am here for is to tell people how God changed my life, thats all. And yes, you can say that other religions change people too, but the truth is, their god has never answered there prayers!! there are so many arguements we can get into Mr. Arvo, there are arguements for everything. Im just a 17 year old kid, trying to spread God's word...I'll pray for God to do a miracle in your life, and let you see the light, like he did to me.

Anonymous said...

Oh - by the way - I am more than interested in pulling this same stunt during a regular service at ANY church! I would love to do it; thinking I might one day. And I will bet DAMN NEAR EVERYTHING that there WILL be an interpretation! THAT'S how well I can fake it, and THAT'S how I know that speaking in tongues is BULLSHIT. Actually, I've had more than a couple people tell me that I WASN'T faking it! Hee hee. Fun with idiots. -Wes.

Anonymous said...

"If I had a video of someone speaking in tounges, I would show you, but I dont... but I have seen it with my own eyes."

So what? It's a purely emotional/psychological phenomenon! Tell me - how many religions and "faiths" use glosalalia? How many?? THOUSANDS. So.. ..why is yours special again?? I still can't find anything unique about christianity. I haven't found one thing that other religions have once had at some point. And who cares anyway. They're all crap. -Wes.

Anonymous said...

"Im just a 17 year old kid, trying to spread God's word"

Well, I have to admit. I was in your shoes when I was 17. Been there, done that. Heck - you name it. If it had something to do with christanity, I was involved. I was: Youth Leader, Youth Assistant Pastor, Youth Counselor, Worship Team leader/drummer/sound and light tech.. ..oh, geez. The list goes on and on for about twenty years... -Wes.

Jim Arvo said...

Jeremy: "Saying how the universe is so complex and someone had to create it, has a direct relation...I dont see how I lost you there??"

I just spilled some milk on the floor. The pattern is complex. Did someone design it? Snowflakes are incredibly intricate, with dozens of symmetries. Did someone design them? You look at something and deem it so complex that "someone" must have designed it. I want to know how you feel qualified to make that assessment and what it is based on. That's a straightforward question.

Jeremy: "...all I am here for is to tell people how God changed my life, thats all."

Okay, you shared that in your very first post, did you not? Your belief in an invisible being has affected your life; or so you think. Okay. We get it. As I said, that happens all the time, with hundreds of belief systems. So, you must be after something more. What?

Jeremy: "And yes, you can say that other religions change people too, but the truth is, their god has never answered there prayers!!"

Who, specifically, are you talking about? Please tell me which gods you are talking about, and how you know that they do not answer prayers. While you're at it, explain how the god you believe in has a better track record than the others.

Jeremy: "Im just a 17 year old kid, trying to spread God's word...I'll pray for God to do a miracle in your life, and let you see the light, like he did to me."

And I will be hoping that you escape the cult you are in one day. Come on back when you're ready to ask some really hard questions about your beliefs. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Wes,

If you were so involved in the church, what made you be like you are now, not wanting anything to do with the church??

Anonymous said...

"If you were so involved in the church, what made you be like you are now, not wanting anything to do with the church??"

Simple. I started seriously studying comparative religion and researching the roots of christianity. After years and years of study, and besides the fact that christianity simply couldn't answer my questions effectively, I simply recognized the fact that christianity has very little to demonstrate by way of 'truth', much like most all world religions that exist, or ever had existed. -Wes.

eel_shepherd said...

Jeremy, who has faith that the other gods don't exist, wrote:
"...really want you guys to see the light, and have God come into your life. I was lost, and now I am found!!!..."

Were you also blind? But now, can you see?

G'night, Gracie.

Anonymous said...

not literally blind..shepherd, I meant i was lost in the world, and Jesus saved me. Mr Arvo, I guess only time will tell whose right.

Jim Arvo said...

No, Jeremy, "time" will do none of the work for you. However, if you study, work hard, and strive to be intellectually honest, you may just see a little bit further. Best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr Arvo time will tell. Hah, well....when Jesus comes back there will probably be a scientific explanation for that one too huh?? your guys' theories crack me up...nice talking to you Mr Arvo, you have a good one...And by the way, we were just having a conversation, no need to get fired up about this. I mean, I know you guys hate life, and are miserable, but doesnt mean you have to reflect that on others just wanting to talk. Praying for ya man, Jeremy.

freeman said...

Anonymous
when Jesus comes back...

Could you possible give evidence that he was already here?

I mean, I know you guys hate life, and are miserable...

Avoidance of reality, group therapy, obsessive behavior, the list could go on and on. Sounds like you have no meaning to your life and it is you who are miserable and depressed. You seek to be with others to validate your existence. Take away your precious jesus and you are without meaning. There is no life force within you. You are scared shitless and are dependent on other's acknowledgements. Try looking inside of yourself for once and not to others or a book.

Everyone has meaning in this life and it up to each individual to discover what that meaning is to them. It is not dictated to us, but chosen by us.

Happy in a jesus-less world.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Jeremy,

When I was 17-years-old, I was alot like you, convinced that my ideas & beliefs were concrete. As I got older, I realized that it takes a lot more than personal conviction to make a belief true, and that even our senses aren't always trustworthy.

The human mind is a grab bag of illusions, and it's only by exercising critical thinking and looking for quality evidence that we're able to subvert our predisposition to believe weird things. It's an uncomfortable truth, to be sure, but it is true nonetheless.

So I'll second Jim's comment by wishing you the best of luck. My hope is that someday you choose to challenge your beliefs instead of simply accepting what you've seen or heard.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

Nice one freeman...once again, saying things that arent even close to being true

Jim Arvo said...

Jeremy, your remarks were a bit strange and overly defensive. At 17 you should be immersing yourself in study and asking relentless questions, not proclaiming that you have the key life. Do yourself a favor. Print out JCS's comment above, fold it up, and keep it in your wallet. Take it out and read it from time to time. There's far more wisdom in his short comment than in any "holy" scripture I've ever seen.

freeman said...

Anon

What have you said that was true?
We hate life? We are miserable?

What does your god say about lying?

Astreja said...

Ah, Jeremy, Jeremy... You have so come to the wrong place.

(Sighing heavily, the Springy Goddess sips her beer, pets a cat, and puts in another heavy metal CD) I adore life. And most of the people I chat with on this forum also appear to enjoy life quite a bit.

Except for the times when proselytizing idiots come stumbling in and try to tell *us* what *we* think about Life, the Universe and Everything.

Idiots who have the audacity to call *us* liars.

Shame on you for your arrogant falsehoods.

Shame on you for judging people that you have not personally met.

(glances quickly a handful of years into Earth's future) Já, this one will deconvert, too.

Delana said...

HAVE ANY OF YOU HEARD THE TERM POETIC TRUTH????
I truly doubt it since most of you write worst than most 8th graders I tutor!
Therefore, I will give you the idea of what a Poetic Truth is, since most of you will be too lazy to look it up yourself. A Poetic Truth is a fable or a story which tells a moral truth. Not until recent history has humankind been concerned with rather a fable is actual history or not. People in Ancient History, you know the period when human beings were writing the bible and other holy books, were not concerned in writing what actually happened, they were concerned in writing a moral truth, or aka a poetic truth. For example, does it matter if Noah really built an arch and the world really flooded? Only to the dumbasses who can not understand the concept of poetic truth. The only thing you should get from this story is: first sometimes you need to take a chance on your gut instinct and do something, like build an arch, when everyone else thinks your insane, second is to be kind to animals, because if there is a god lets hope he/she gives a shit about all his/her creations, and third respect the planet, respect the forces of nature.
It is a waste of time looking for the arch, and evidence of a flood. In the scheme of things who cares. If you are not smart enough to say it does not matter, I am going to follow the moral teachings of this story and other fables from ancient times, without God having to drop the commandments, or the arch on my head, you are probably a dumbass anyway.

delana said...

Let me also add does it matter if Christ was the son of God? Does it matter if he was born from the Virgin Mary? You (Christians) let the concept of doing good and teaching morals slip away by trying to convince us in the truth of something you can never physically prove. You should teach the philosophy of Christ, not that he was the son of God or cram the religion down our throats. You know the philosophy of turning your back on the material world, showing kindness to others, standing in passive resistance against an oppressive government, and teaching to give to others. Funny thing is if you really read the philosophy of Christ he sounds more like a Socialist than he does the Capitalist, Family-Orientated, and Property owning shit this freaking American society has made him out to be. One thing Brett does have right is Christianity is destroying itself, and Islam doing the same thing to their religion. You are more concerned with trying to figure out if the trinity is true.Which for any dumbass out there let me explain you can not worship 3 Gods, the father, son, and Holy Spirit, and claim to be monotheistic. The only reason you fell for that BS, is because Constantine was an Orthodox and not an Aryan. To get to back to my point I am not an Atheist, but I am sure the hell am not one of you materialistic, dumbass, pieces of shit, who has no love for life, cannot understand the written word (in the bible or outside the bible), and uses religion to make business connections and develop a better network. You make me sick, and you are the true Atheist!

Astreja said...

Delana: "HAVE ANY OF YOU HEARD THE TERM POETIC TRUTH????"

'Poetic truth' is an oxymoron. I prefer the term 'metaphor', myself.

"For example, does it matter if Noah really built an arch and the world really flooded?"

Personally, I am 99.99999...% certain that it never happened.

The Noachide flood story, however, puts the lie to the Judeo-Christian claim that their god is "good". Only a complete and utter maniac would drown a planet.

delana said...

In other words, you don't get it!! Thats right, it did not happen, but once again, it does not matter! Kinda of similar to Hansel and Gretel, the velvet rabbit, or the story of Saint Nicholas (which we have turned into Santa). They are fables which tell a moral story. You are trying to put modern day standard or a modern day definition to the idea truth! The people who wrote the bible, and many other ancient text, did not define truth the way we do today. They defined it as something that is morally true or taught a moral as being true. So once again the moronic part is not the term poetic truth, it is the fact most of us are so dumb we want to take a book, that at the best is a little less than 2,000 years old and define the truth of it by today's standards. That is what most Christians do, that is why their screwed in the head, and unfortunately, most individuals who defy Christianity try to do the same thing. It makes you both look like idiots.
For example the word wine means about three different things in the bible. Physically the word wine is different than what it is today. People had to drink distilled products, because their was no means to purify water any other way. So when the word wine comes up, you have to realize they are talking about uncut wine. They used to cut wine with water and sometimes add in spices and honey for taste. So when an ancient text says wine they are talking about a wine not cut with water, and when they say water, ecspecially if they are consuming it, they are talking about wine mixed with water. So why does wine get so much shit talking in the bible, while because if you are a glutton and drink more than your fair share in a community you are depriving someone else of their water supply, because it does take a while to distill alchool. The reason I bring this up is because it is an example of how one word can change a whole meaning of the text, if we do not understand the ancient day meaning of the words. The same standard should be set on truth, they had a different meaning for truth than what we have today. Not until you understand the History, and culture of the people who wrote the bible, and other ancient text, do you even have a snowball chance in hell of understanding what they are saying. So arguing if Job really existed, Jesus, or Noah you are doing as much good as a dog chasing its own tail.

boomSLANG said...

Delana: In other words, you don't get it!! Thats right, it[the outrageous claims in the bible, nursery rhymes, and children's stories] did not happen, but once again, it does not matter! Kinda of similar to Hansel and Gretel, the velvet rabbit, or the story of Saint Nicholas (which we have turned into Santa). They are fables which tell a moral story.

This is fantastic news! Thanks so much for this astonishing disclosure.

So, "Santa" tells a "moral Truth"..i.e..be a good boy, not a bad boy. 'Got it. Similar to the bible's "Heaven and Hell", correct?...be a "good boy", and you can live forever in the clouds; be a "bad boy"?... and you get incinerated in Satan's horrific torture chamber. Am I "getting it"? Gosh, I hope so.

In the mean time, Delana, how about you get this: The day Christians stop evangelizing, ministering, and promoting their legendary "poetic truths" as objective literal Universal "Truth", is the day I'll shut up about it, 'k? If you are "fine" with seeing and listening to their religious blather, along with their thinly veiled threats for non-compliance? Again, good for you. On the other hand, I have every right to stand up against it. After all, in challenging their legendary superstition bullsh*t beliefs, you will inevitably cure at least a small percentage of them. I know this for a fact, because I WAS formerly one of those very brainwashed people. Do we/can we have an understanding?

Delana: They are fables which tell a moral story. You are trying to put modern day standard or a modern day definition to the idea truth! The people who wrote the bible, and many other ancient text, did not define truth the way we do today.

In that case, I'd loved to be enlightened as to what the "poetic truth" is in KILLING people who don't conform to a particular "fable". If memory serves me, St. Nick doesn't tell his little elves to go kill all the people who don't take him literally. On the other hand, both the "Holy Qur'an AND the "Holy Bible" condone, and promote, the killing of non-believers of their respective doctrines.(And I'll be happy to provide the exact scripture if need be)

Delana: So once again the moronic part is not the term poetic truth, it is the fact most of us are so dumb we want to take a book, that at the best is a little less than 2,000 years old and define the truth of it by today's standards. That is what most Christians do, that is why[they're] screwed in the head, and unfortunately, most individuals who defy Christianity try to do the same thing. It makes you both look like idiots.

Ironically, in calling everyone who doesn't think just like you, "dumb" and "idiots", you seem to miss the point. You see, the difference between Christians who "define" their Holy book as "Truth" by "today's standards", and the secularists/freethinkers who tell them that there IS no objective "Truth" in their ancient hand-book by "today's standards", is that we don't need the Bronze-aged "poetic truths" of ignorant men to tell us HOW to act and behave in modern civilized society. "Thou shalt not murder". No sh*t? "Treat others as you wish to be treated."(the "Golden rule") Wow..really? Thank gawd for the bible, huh?

You see, the objective is to ABOLISH legendary thinking from the planet---we don't need it. In doing so, it is sometimes necessary to refute the crap in the bible, including it's "poetic truths". 'Follow? BTW, what is the "poetic truth" of a "soul"? I'm curious.

Delana: Not until you understand the History, and culture of the people who wrote the bible, and other ancient text, do you even have a snowball chance in hell of understanding what they are saying.

That would be a great soundbite IF I needed an "understanding" of "what they were saying".... or, if I need a lesson on grapes. I don't.

Delana: So arguing if Job really existed, Jesus, or Noah you are doing as much good as a dog chasing its own tail.

You're entitled to your opinion. Here's mine: By refuting the Christian claim that their Holy book contains all the answers to lifes greatest questions, and that in it's pages is the "Divinely" inspired objective "Truth" for all of mankind, parable, or not, we rid the world of harmful superstitions, and make the world a better place.

You're either part of the solution, or you're part of the problem.

Good day.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Delana,

With all due respect, there's no need to have a fit over - well, whatever it is you're having a fit over.

HAVE ANY OF YOU HEARD THE TERM POETIC TRUTH????
I truly doubt it since most of you write worst than most 8th graders I tutor!


Glad to see you've chosen to start off on the right foot. It's quite obvious that your communication skills far surpass those of anyone here. The ignorance that I alone have displayed in my time at this website in itself warrants remedial classes in rhetoric. How lucky your students are to have you.

As for poetic truth, yes, I've heard of it. My questions for you are, what difference does it make if certain lessons in scripture might have the properties thereof? Does it somehow make the Bible more valuable as a guide when there are equally moral lessons to be learned from other sources equally endowed with poetic value? Moreover, is a poetic truth inherently beyond examination or criticism, including how it stacks up in light of its historical context?

My point is, you seem awfully shrill in your defense of the moral lessons of the Bible as poetic truths. In fact, it seems pointless to do so. You won't find many people here who would argue that the Bible contains absolutely nothing of value. So, perhaps you're making a mountain out of a molehill?

I will give you the idea of what a Poetic Truth is, since most of you will be too lazy to look it up yourself.

Once again, I'm glad for your gentle admonition. I have seldom found one so precisely erudite in their assessment of my character. How you manage to remain above base insults is a mystery to me.

Not until recent history has humankind been concerned with rather a fable is actual history or not.

Humbly begging your pardon, with the many persistent assertions being made by believers concerning the historicity of their favorite fables, it would seem that many do not regard them as fables at all, but literal truths to be embraced by all. It follows that if someone asserts a fable as an historical event, that the facts may come into dispute. Perhaps you were unaware of this?

For example, does it matter if Noah really built an arch and the world really flooded?

Only if one is interested in scientific accuracy in the Bible. I am surprised to learn, however, that Noah built an "arch" instead of an "Ark." That's truly something that needs to be brought to the attention of scholars. I do hope you plan to share your wisdom with those silly people. And, let me compliment you again on your communication skills. Few of us are as well acquainted as you are with our language and how to properly express ourselves in writing.

To be sure, there is a moral to the story, but it is up to the individual to decide what that moral is. Not everyone draws the same inferences from that story as you do. Even Christians teach different (and contradictory) aspects of that story depending on the context in which it's being taught. Many seem to feel that it is important that it actually happened in exactly the way the Bible describes, and use it as the basis for something called, "flood geology." This is quite frequently referred to by creationists who deem it necessary to correct all those silly scientists and others like them who irrationally prefer facts to faith.

It is a waste of time looking for the arch [sic], and evidence of a flood.

I could not agree with you more.

I am going to follow the moral teachings of this story and other fables from ancient times.

As you wish, but do not be surprised if others derive a different teaching from whatever text you choose to follow. Some of us do not need fables to teach us morals. In addition to our innate tendency toward altruism (or at least, altruistic reciprocity), which is expressed to varying degrees across a broad spectrum of possible behaviors, there is the fact that our societal upbringing imposes certain limits on what is acceptable behavior.

What happens if the moral lessons of your preferred fable are at odds with decent behavior, as is often the case with the fables in the Bible? Do you choose to ignore its "poetic truth" in favor of another, or do you follow it merely because you've determined it to have the qualities of "poetic truth?"

...you are probably a dumbass anyway.

You're probably right. I thank you for pointing this out. As always, I'm indescribably happy that someone of your insight has chosen to regale us with her superior wisdom.

You are trying to put modern day standard or a modern day definition to the idea truth!

Interesting. I thought it was poetic truth, not irony, you wished to discuss.

Your statement here is ironic in that you have yourself imposed your own modern judgment of what the Noachide fable means on the text. Indeed, the ancient Hebrews likely did not view that story as an abstract moral teaching, but an actual event in which God demonstrates His sovreignty over all creation. Have you truly considered the context in which the stories of the Old Testament were written? The people of that age were highly superstitious, and had little understanding of how the world works. Furthermore, with the prevalent concern being survival, both for the individual and the tribe, there was little time to consider ephemeral concepts such as those you suggest are found in the story of Noah. Pragmatism and the kind of moral certitude that reinforces group polarization and solidarity were the order of the day.

Are you suggesting that the ancient Hebrews were noble savages more in-touch with the concept of truth than their modern counterparts? Are you suggesting that whatever morality might be contained in their stories be applied today in the same manner that the ancient Hebrews would have? If so, I submit we have examples of just that sort of savagery today, but I doubt they match closely with your imagination. Orthodox Jewish settlers who believe they are God's chosen tenants of an otherwise insignificant patch of desert in the Middle East. Muslim extremist groups, such as Hamas and Al-Qaeda, also embody the same spirit of "noble" savagery. American Evangelicals who long for theocratic rule, as well show signs of preferring a less enlightened approach to governance.

Not until you understand the History, and culture of the people who wrote the bible, and other ancient text, do you even have a snowball chance in hell of understanding what they are saying.

In that case, I yield to your obviously superior knowledge of the subject, and humbly recuse myself from commenting further on subjects I obviously know nothing about. Many thanks for condescending to share your wisdom, and for doing so in a way that leaves little doubt as to the extent of your literary skills and ability to communicate well with others.

Astreja said...

No, Delana, I'm afraid *you* don't "get it".

I understand perfectly that most of the stories in the Bible were made up by humans trying to instill moral values in their communities.

However, it troubles me to think that these same believers have no problem worshipping a god who makes a mockery of Biblical morality.

Planet-wide omnicide, mythological or not, is not the trademark of any being whom I would care to worship.

So, what is the Bible really trying to say? "Might makes right"? No, thanks; I'll pass.

freethinker05 said...

vzppvTo all of you, Guys and Gals above, who are speaking out against (chrustianity, islam, qorant and the buybull), i'd like to thank you all, as I couldn't put comments with words of you all, anymore the better. I would've liked to commented myself, but right now i'm just to mad and trying to forgive all the fundies who spew their "silly, rightous, comments". So, thanks again in advance, Peace, Roger

delana said...

My point is simple, which I obviously need to point out to some. If you want to claim to be an atheist, a non-Christian, or whatever. You need to speak of the bible as if it is a book of old Jewish fables,which in its own way tries to teach morals. When you write about the stories in the bible, and refer to them as actual historical events, and then in the next statement tell people your an atheist, you lose a lot of credit. You do a real injustice to your cause. Generally people who quote scripture, and then argue how evil and mean God is in the next statement, are just angry with God, not a true atheist! Before you go and state this does not happen, read the latter comments above my post. There are several proclaimed atheist who write in their comments about events in the bible, as if it is a real historical event. Then their next phrase they tell us how God sucks and they do not believe in him. Also if you reread my comments,

Not until you understand the History, and culture of the people who wrote the bible, and other ancient text, do you even have a snowball chance in hell of understanding what they are saying.

I am not just speaking about the bible, but all ancient text.

My general concern is this you are either an Atheist or not! If you want to speak as if the bible is historically accurate, and then say your an Atheist, then your obviously just angry at GOD. It is either a poetic truth or historically document, and I promise their is a lot of Christians who see it as the latter. So if you are truly an atheist who is trying to prove some kind of point can you please refer to it as a book of fables or poetic truths instead of an historical document. Also if you are going to refer to it at all in your arguments, go learn something about the culture and the history of the society who wrote the bible, or any other ancient text you refer to in your arguments. Which you should do with any primary source you use. The reason I used the example of the wine, or the grapes, as you refer to it J. C. Samuelson, is to show how one word can change meaning in 2000 years. The bible has over 444,395 different words in it, how many of these have changed meaning with time. How many people in the world have taken the time to figure out what these words meant to the people in the time the bible was written, Christian an Atheist alike. Christians use the excuse that the bible is the living word and the meanings are suppose to change with the times. I personally think it is an excuse to be lazy and not learn history. I just thought as an Atheist you were suppose to be better than that, and true learning was important. I guess I was wrong!!!

J. C. Samuelson said...

Delana,

The change in tone is really appreciated. Your most recent post is the most cogent you've yet offered. It's much easier to reach an understanding when the parties involved aren't flinging insults.

If you want to claim to be an atheist, a non-Christian, or whatever. You need to speak of the bible as if it is a book of old Jewish fables,which in its own way tries to teach morals.

To begin with, I take your point that an atheist (or other non-believer) often views religious stories as fables. However, you seem to think that this is intentional, or something atheists should do in order to consider themselves True Atheists™. Frankly, the idea that there is such a thing as a True Atheist™ seems repulsive to me. It tastes of the same sort of dogma as that exhibited by believers in a One True God™, and I want no part of it.

There's no "right" way to be an atheist. As far as I know, no one sets out to become an atheist, and most tend to march to their own tune, so it's a bit absurd to say that in order to be a True Atheist™, a person must do this or that. To be sure, among the traits of an atheist is the view that there are "no gods" (the literal meaning of atheist), and that ancient religious texts are viewed as fictitious. However, as an atheist I feel no fundamental need to show the world that I'm a True Atheist™ because I hold those views.

Incidentally, this is an ex-Christian website, not an atheist website, and there are those here who have simply rejected that one religion, not the idea of gods altogether.

Generally people who quote scripture, and then argue how evil and mean God is in the next statement, are just angry with God, not a true atheist!

Again, one needn't be a True Atheist™ in order to comment here, and I doubt there is any such thing, as I've mentioned. In any case, highlighting the absurdity of the claim that the God of the Bible (or the Koran, etc.) is depicted as a moral being is sometimes called for. However, your point is taken that this might be viewed as lending weight to an argument for God's existence. G.K. Chesterton followed just that sort of logic quite frequently in his apologetics. It really does nothing of the sort, but I do understand that some people think that way.

But I do have a question: Is Richard Dawkins, for example, not a True Atheist™ because he has written about the monstrous nature of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic God? If your answer is no, then you'll understand that one needn't avoid talking about God's alleged nature to disbelieve.

I am not just speaking about the bible, but all ancient text.

Fair enough, but as this is an Ex-Christian website, you can expect that the Bible will be a subject of discussion frequently.

My general concern is this you are either an Atheist or not!

False dichotomy. Is an atheist one who positively asserts that there is no god, a person who simply claims gods are extremely unlikely, or one who simply has no use for religion? The original meaning of the word was simply "no gods." This leaves alot of room for interpretation. It seems to me that you may be overly concerned that people choose the "right" label for themselves, and embody that ideal completely or the label doesn't apply. This is dogma, plain and simple, and has little to do with reality.

It is either a poetic truth or historically document...So if you are truly an atheist who is trying to prove some kind of point can you please refer to it as a book of fables or poetic truths instead of an historical document.

Another false dichotomy. A fair amount of the material is historically accurate, but that has little to do with whatever poetic truths that might be found within. Even though I'm not a biblical scholar as such, I've done quite a bit of research into the biblical text, and it corroborates its fair share of historical accounts from other sources. For myself, I view the Bible as historical fiction - some of its characters and events have an historical basis, but are mythological in content otherwise.

Simply referring to it as a book of fables is fine and dandy, but it does not harm anyone's "cause" to concede certain points, or even to entertain them as provisionally true for the sake of discussion. Indeed, sometimes it's worthwhile to fully examine why such things can be dismissed as fables, rather than dismissing them out-of-hand. As Aristotle once observed, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

If our goal is simply to say "I'm right and you're wrong," then perhaps simply calling them fables is enough. In my experience, however, this doesn't get anyone anywhere. To be fair, of course, there are some parts of the psychology of belief that seem to indicate that reasoning alone doesn't change minds, so perhaps those of us who do tackle believer's arguments seriously are wasting our energy. I guess you could say some of us remain hopeful that it will (change minds, that is).

Also if you are going to refer to it at all in your arguments, go learn something about the culture and the history of the society who wrote the bible, or any other ancient text you refer to in your arguments.

Sound advice, but as I've already mentioned, for the most part anyone is free to comment regardless of how much it irritates others.

The reason I used the example of the wine, or the grapes, as you refer to it J. C. Samuelson...

I didn't refer to the wine or grapes at all in my post. That was boomSLANG, and I'm pretty sure he understands your reasons for bringing it up.

As for the rest of your post, you'll get no argument from me that language has changed significantly. Classical Hebrew and Greek, as it is, are dead languages, and the best anyone can do is make educated guesses as to the precise meaning of a given word as it was understood to the cultures that used them. But as you observed, there are those who don't know or don't bother to learn this. Some of us do, and I personally feel that helping others to understand this aspect of scripture (among many others) might help them to reach a less dogmatic understanding of the text, perhaps prompting them to further study and even perhaps to reevaluating their beliefs. Then again, maybe I'm too optimistic.

I just thought as an Atheist you were suppose to be better than that, and true learning was important. I guess I was wrong!!!

You've been awfully presumptuous in your evaluation of the non-believers who frequent this site. It's also quite apparent that you think very highly of yourself and enjoy deriding others as less intelligent or otherwise lacking. You might be surprised how many non-believers here have extensive knowledge of history, science, and so forth. I can't help but think you haven't been around here long, and haven't spent much time discussing the issues. Stick around. You might actually learn a thing or two.

Jim Arvo said...

Delana,

Your accusations are a bit over the top. Surely you realize that discussions concerning religion can take place on many levels, and any given participant can switch among them, even within a single post. For example, as an atheist I often point out that I have seen no credible evidence for invisible conscious beings of any kind, thus I see no reason to believe in the omnipotent variety that is purported by numerous religions. However, that does not preclude me from also pointing out what an insufferable petulant psychopath the god of the Bible is--as a fictional character--without any danger of being taken for a theist. Or so I would hope.


You said "Generally people who quote scripture, and then argue how evil and mean God is in the next statement, are just angry with God, not a true atheist!"

Of course that's complete nonsense. I have no belief in deities of any description, yet I quote scripture on occasion for a number of reasons. For example, to point out how ghastly the Yahweh character is, or how the Bible contradicts itself, or how it asserts as fact things that are now known to be primitive ideas from a Bronze-age society. Surely one can criticize a work of fiction without claiming it to be anything other than fiction. Moreover, clearly one can criticize many of the stories contained in the Bible without claiming that it is *entirely* fiction. Finally, one can point to absurdities that plainly reveal its status as (largely) fiction.

But there are other reasons to quote scripture as well. For example, one might quote Paul's epistles in the context of discussing Jesus and what we know of him. As it is generally accepted that Paul was an actual first-century evangelist, and that he did indeed write many of the letters attributed to him, one can attempt to extract historical information from his letters. Yet another reason to quote scripture would be as poetry or philosophy. Surely most will admit that the Bible contains some passages of great literary value, and some valuable insights into human nature as well. (As do all "holy" texts--the Bible is clearly not unique in this regard.)

So, I find your comments to be overly simplistic. The Bible is a many-layered document that can be analyzed and criticized at many levels.

boomSLANG said...

Delana is back with: My point is simple, which I obviously need to point out to some. If you want to claim to be an atheist, a non-Christian, or whatever. You need to speak of the bible as if it is a book of old Jewish fables,which in its own way tries to teach morals.

Actually, even though you've mellowed out with the ad hominem attacks, I think you might have a slight reading comprehension problem. Firstly, none of us "need" to do anything, as you so kindly suggest, okay? Secondly, please consider this: the ex-Christian, and/or Atheist(not mutually inclusive), wouldn't be pointing out the bible's errancy and blatant inconsistancies in the first place, if it were not for Christians INSISTING that the bible is an objective/universal truth, either a) morally(as I've previously pointed out it ISN'T), OR b) literally(as any rational grown adult knows it ISN'T).

To avoid further misunderstandings, I repeat: the day that Christians stop touting their bible as "Holy"---either as "Divinely" inspired "literal Truths", OR, as "Divinely" inspired "POETIC TRUTHS"---is the day that the bible becomes obsolete, and NO ONE will need to quote it in ANY regard.

Delana continues: When you write about the stories in the bible, and refer to them as actual historical events, and then in the next statement tell people[you're] an atheist, you lose a lot of credit.

Really? Well, to be honest, I think you lose signifigant "credit" when you repeatedly show that you don't know the difference between "your"(possessive), and "you're"(contraction for "you are"). Especially if you are tutoring 8th graders.

Notwithstanding, I'm sorry, but I disagree with your above premise. In the event that non-believers/Atheists should point out that the bible is inconsistant with reality, this does NOT make them "guilty by association" of being a "Theist", nor does it make them a bible-literalist. First, one must consider the context of what's being quoted, and to whom. In other words, on a case-by-case basis. Which reminds me, you didn't address the question about "killing all non-believers"(Deut). Again I ask--- where is the "poetic truth" in such scripture? How about "stoning" rebellious teens? Will you tell me that "stoning" is metaphorical, or has 78 meanings? What?..'get high with 'em?..is that what they meant?

Please address these direct questions, since you are a proponent of the bible being full of "poetic truths". Thanks.

Delana: Generally people who quote scripture, and then argue how evil and mean God is in the next statement, are just angry with God, not a true atheist!

Wrong, once more. Again, if/when a non-believer references scripture in such a way when engaging a Christian, it is to illustrate, hypothetically, that no such being can exist, and be a "God", as defined by the very book from where the scripture originated in the first place. Furthermore, one must consider that it is directed to the Theist who is proffering the exact same biblical passage to "validate" their biblegod's existence, saying that it's "true", literally, because it "says so here:[insert arbitrary scripture]"

Delana continues: My general concern is this you are either an Atheist or not! If you want to speak as if the bible is historically accurate, and then say your an Atheist, then your obviously just angry at GOD.

Please, don't be "concerned" on our behalf, just stop projecting your ridiculous misconceptions about Atheism around here. Atheism is the non-belief in god/gods. If a Muslim says "God exists" because X, Y, and Z in the Holy Qur'an, I can legitimately reference, examine, and ultimately refute X, Y, and Z in the Qur'an, WITHOUT that fact making me a believer in "Allah". To illustrate further---if I say I have flying leprechauns in my back yard, and you say, "but Leprechauns can't fly", that doesn't mean you believe in non-flying Leprechauns, does it? No, of course not.

Delana: So if you are truly an atheist who is trying to prove some kind of point can you please refer to it as a book of fables or poetic truths instead of an historical document.

Please find and quote one Atheist/non-believer on this thread who has explicitly argued their case from a position of the bible being "historically true" and accurate. Furthermore, you'll be hard-pressed to find an ex-christian who will concede that the bible is "poetic truth", at least in an objective/universal sense.

Delana: The reason I used the example of the wine, or the grapes, as you refer to it J. C. Samuelson, is to show how one word can change meaning in 2000 years.

Again, I suspect a reading comprehension problem, as I(boomSLANG) am the one who made the statement about "grapes", not J.C. Samuelson. Nonetheless, I don't give a %$#@ about how word's meanings have changed---it doesn't make religious convictions stand the test of time, nor does it make them morally "true", either literally, or "poetically".

Delana: Christians use the excuse that the bible is the living word and the meanings are suppose to change with the times.

That's odd, because most of the Christians I run across say that the "Word of God" is UN-changing.

Delana ends with: I just thought as an Atheist you were suppose to be better than that, and true learning was important. I guess I was wrong!!!

Well, since you're evidently NOT an Atheist, and further, since you haven't a clue what it means to be an Atheist, then it's probably not a good idea to "think", or hypothesize, about what it means to seek "truth" as one.

Good day.

stronger now said...

delana said...

"Physically the word wine is different than what it is today. People had to drink distilled products, because their was no means to purify water any other way. So when the word wine comes up, you have to realize they are talking about uncut wine. They used to cut wine with water and sometimes add in spices and honey for taste. So when an ancient text says wine they are talking about a wine not cut with water, and when they say water, ecspecially if they are consuming it, they are talking about wine mixed with water."

Actually wine is not distilled. It is fermented. The alcohol content is usually enough to kill harmfull bacteria and such even after watering it down a bit. The addition of honey is done to up the alcohol content and also for flavor. Physically wine is no different today than it was way back then.

Anyway, they were all a bunch of drunken morons who thought they heard bushes, snakes, and asses talking to them. So why should I get morality from them?