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1/16/2008                                                                                       View Comments

Rejecting John 3:16

By Astreja

So, let me get this straight: A god sacrifices its only son, purportedly so that it (an ultra-powerful god) will be in a position to forgive us (comparatively powerless humans) for something called "sin".

I don't think so.

I really and truly don't think so.

Imagine for a moment that you've put a lot of work into your yard, and it looks fabulous.

You put up a sign that says "Keep Off the Grass".

Along come a couple of people who don't know how to read. They not only walk across your lawn, but sample a raspberry or two off the bush on the north side of the walk.

You get annoyed.

No; you get angry.

So psychotically angry, in fact, that you lock the great-great-great-grandkids of the trespassing raspberry thieves in your basement, turn on the garden hose, and drown them all. (All, that is, except for a dozen or so kids who were out at the lake that afternoon.)

The survivors go on to raise families, and many generations later you send your son to chat with them. As you're omniscient, it really shouldn't come as much of a surprise when your kidlet gets nailed to a tree.

(Although the dead fruit tree, the herd of pigs rotting in a culvert, the fist fight at the ATM, that police report about a couple of stolen motorcycles and rumours about your son calling some woman a bitch might also have given you a bit of a heads-up...)

This time, instead of killing the lot of them, you say that you "forgive" them.

But only till next week, when you intend to send death, disease, pestilence, famine, war, lambs and dragons and Beasts (oh my!) to liven things up in the neighbourhood.

Literalist Christians, give me a break. The key stories in your mythology are abysmally, terminally stupid. You should be ashamed of yourselves for believing such tripe, and deeply ashamed if you teach these stories to your kids as "The Truth."

Metaphor-friendly Christians, you aren't off the hook either. You have yet to explain how an all-powerful god could possibly have been injured by humanity acquiring any amount of knowledge, with or without the god's permission.

For that matter, you can start by explaining why an all-powerful, omniscient god would bother to put two rather useful trees into a garden, yet become upset when one of them gets used by people who didn't yet possess the knowledge to know they were doing something wrong.

And then you can try to explain how a blood sacrifice makes everything hunky-dory again, but only if we think blood sacrifice is a good thing and agree to play along with this nasty psychotic deity and its creepy obsessions.

End of rant. Discuss.

57 comments:

Telmi said...

Great post, Astreja.

You are giving it to them straight and simple. But can they -the Xians of course - read and evaluate?

Many xians cannot see the forest for the trees, that's the reason they can't see what's presented to them, in pure simple terms. Some have not even read the Bible.

Jim Earl said...

Kudos, Astreja, on your post. Problem is, most cretins are not even willing to discuss anything contrary to their belief system, no matter how stupid those beliefs are.

We find ourselves catering to their beliefs all the time and I am tired of it. I long for the time to come when the majority of human beings will be ruled by logic and reason and faith will be in the smallest minority. Hey, I can dream too, can't I?? Cheers, Jim Earl

NateDog said...

Great Post!

Remember that God sacrificed himself to himself in order to appease himself. This way he would not send us imperfect humans that he created to hell which he also created. These are the words that greeted me when i first visited this site, and they made me realize how ridiculous the idea of atonement really is.

Mandatory Chaos said...

Allow me to add to the beginning of your analogy to make it more parallel with the bible story, it should read:

"The couple can read the sign, but your nephew who hates you invites the couple to walk on the grass over to the raspberry bush and have a taste. The couple replies, "but the sign says not to walk on the grass". The nephew assures you that it's ok because the sign was there because the grass had just grown in and was still delicate, but now it's fully grown in and ready to walk on. So the couple obliges the nephew's hospitality.

Then you come out and cut your nephew's legs off and lock the raspberry theives descendants in the basement.

Does that sound about right?

Anonymous said...

WHAT REALLY. REALLY WORRIES ME IS THAT SOME OF OUR POLITIONS RUNNING FOR OFFICE BELIEVE THIS CRAP, AND THEY ARE ADMITTING IT YET. BUT I GUESS THATS HOW YOU GET THE VOTES FROM THE DELUSIONED BRAIN DEAD CHRISTIANS.

SKEP

Anonymous said...

but God loves the smell of burning flesh -- a "pleasing aroma." and it's His world, afterall; he created it and everything in it, and He can do anything He wants to it... so it goes ...

leotracks said...

Thank you Astreja.

My favorite argument is one that you grazed. Why were Adam and Eve punished for defying god (thus doing evil) because they ate the fruit that gave them the knowledge of good and evil. Why would you punish your creation for making a poor value choice when you have denied them the ability to make value choices.

"Do not commit schefferslecken!" I will tell you what schefferslecken is, just as soon as you do it. Then I will kill you and lots of other people for doing it.

Cheers!
--Brent S.

spratt said...

Thwe whole John3:16 senario is based on pagan human sacrifice rituals that began centuries (maybe millenia) before Christ. Thus we could say with equal veracity "John Jones died for your sins."

Thomas said...

"Jesus died for your sins"

Not really.

More like "Jesus had a bad weekend for your sins"

Wade said...

sorry forgot to "sign" my last post"

1172008 said...

Here is the real kicker I would like everyone to think about.

Get this: If there is a God, than every thing created by God would be exploited by God.

Men are exploited for their ingrained lusts, as Women are exploited for their ingrained desire to have children.

There is a set pattern inside each human that is programmed.

If there is a God, and we are programmed with the same basic coding, than THAT proves exploitation. And I do not like that one bit.

Did you ask for any of this life? Did you? Why were you given the opportunity to live if in fact an opportunity to live was given unto you?

Did we ask to be created if we were in fact created?

If creation is true, how come we were forced into this life?

If hell is real, I would rather have not been created. I wouldn't want to deal with the mental anguish of considering the ramifications of living for eternity in a hell created by the one who created me.

Jesus is a joke said...

Just remember this, according to the "Holy Book of Fables" everything God does is only to please himself.

If God even exists, he is truly an asshole who could give a shit less about the needs of anyone who lives on this planet.

Any christian who claims that "God is blessing me, or has blessed me" is giving credit to a myth instead of giving credit to themselves.

Most people succeed in life due to their own merits, not some retard named God.

Getting High with Christ said...

but God loves the smell of burning flesh -- a "pleasing aroma."

Maybe God gets high off of smelling burning flesh like humans get high off of smoking marijuana.

Anonymous said...

Neatly and nicely put. Of course, it won't get the publicity it needs, and if it did the Pat Robertsons of this world would go ga-ga, but then they're ga-ga already

Some days you just can't win for loosing

Tony said...

My question has always been why we're all automatically condemned by Adam's "sin", but even though Jesus died for our sins we aren't automatically forgiven - we have to personally accept Christ for that to happen. Also, if sin was defeated by Christ's death and resurrection from the dead, why did he go to heaven and leave mankind here for another 2000+ years living surrounded by sin, death, war, disease, etc.? Shouldn't sin have automatically disappeared and the devil have been thrown directly into hell?

moondoggie said...

I prefer to look at the sunnier side of Christianity. For example: Jonah and the Whale. He lived inside that whale dude, it is totally true I read it in the Bible. How about Jesus turning water into wine? That was boss. Because you know, water doesn't quite quench the thirst. Moses parted the Red Sea, mostly to show how awesome he was. See, lots of good times to be had in the biblical days.

Matt Long said...

Lots of "yep, I agree" here. I'll bite.

Since you give a hypothetical, I'll pose one too. Let's say there is a god. He created everything. He had it in him to toy with his created thing. He put a tree in the garden that could trip up his created thing. He just liked to do whatever he wanted with that which he created. It's fun for him. If there is a god, and he created you. can't he do whatever he wants with you. Even if you think that makes him a jerk, can't he still do whatever he wants since he is, after all, god--meaning all powerful ruler of everything. And if he is just mean and nasty and has destined for you to go to hell, shouldn't you be pretty afraid?

Remember, I'm just being hypothetical here. If there is a God and what the bible says about him is true, it doesn't matter if you don't think it's fair. If there is a god--and I mean he actually exists, then if he didn't have complete authority and power over all he created to do whatever he wanted, then he wouldn't be god any more would he? By definition to be god is to have ultimate and complete power over everything. If you don't like the way god is and you are created by him, aren't you screwed no matter what?

The phrase "I am that I am" is pretty powerful. If you had the authority to create sentient beings and they rebelled against you--would you show them mercy or just squish them? Couldn't you do whatever you wanted? And who could question you and call it wrong?

.:webmaster:. said...

I completely agree with you, Matt!

That's why I always encouraged my kids to use a magnifying glass to fry the hell out of the ants in the driveway, if that was their will. I also encouraged them to light fire to our pet cats from time to time as well, if that was their will.

After all, I am the god of my house, and I can do all my holy will, if I so choose. And if, hypothetically, I want to sleep with my daughter, or whip my horses, or torture and flay alive the mice in my barn, who are you or anyone else to tell me I'm doing something wrong!

Praise be to the god of anarchy and chaos, who answers to no one, and who declares all HIS behavior to be right, and holy, and good, no matter what HE does. To hell with any standard definition of love, justice, mercy, or just plain being nice. Crush those who offend you! And justify your cruelty with the soverignty card.

Sounds to me like your god, Matt, is a complete and total ass. And you, for not being able to see as much, are to be pitied.

Hitler and Stalin were monsters because they had no regard for human life that didn't bow down in abject servitude to them. Your god is no different.

Jim Arvo said...

Matt Long said "If there is a god, and he created you. can't he do whatever he wants with you. Even if you think that makes him a jerk,..."

Absolutely! No question about it. An all powerful being could create us just to torture us if that's what he wanted.

Matt asked "And if he is just mean and nasty and has destined for you to go to hell, shouldn't you be pretty afraid?"

Sure.

Matt continued "The phrase 'I am that I am' is pretty powerful."

You lost me. How is that powerful? (Didn't Popeye say something like that?)

Now I'd like to ask some questions. Is it possible that there is a god who likes to see people stand up against absurd books of mythology and hate, like the Bible? Such a god may decide to send all atheists to paradise and torture all the credulous Christians for eternity. If such a god existed, shouldn't you be shaking in your boots?

Here's another one. Suppose there is a god who will only save those who are wearing underwear with astrological signs printed on it. You never know.

Or how about this. Maybe there is a god who will only save left-handed red-haired people names Shmedly.

This sure is informative, isn't it? (not)

Anonymous said...

Good post! really. I enjoyed it! It's just that........... we also have the OTHER nasty, creapy, psychotic diety and it's sick obsessions to deal with.

I am referring to Satan, Lucifer, the Devil and his merry band of "mystery of iniquity" Demons that arrive at death to carry away the unsaved rebels in to eternal torture.

I don't think it's a good idea to smart off to the Savior who has promised to save you from Satan but that's what is done here on this site.

I know, I know. You all don't believe in Satan either!
Have you guys heard Denis what's his name say: Stop it! You are scaring the children.

Scared r

Anonymous said...

Sick obsessions..... I think of MALE circumcision first.

If we were Arabs, the ladies would not be spared either!
WHAT IS SICKER? MALE OR FEMALE CIRCUMCISION?

SPARE ME FROM ALLAH PLEASE!! DADDY!

Now we just going to cut a bit of your foreskin off as a little baby.

Can we make up a list of sick obsessions for both God and the Devil?

Starting with God's?
WHAT ABOUT ALLAH'S SICK OBSESSIONS?
Another favorite of mine is how after fleeing Sodom where Lot obviously made brownie points with his daughters by offering to offer them up to an angry band of Homosexuals the family flees Sodom and after Lots wife is hocus pocus turned into a pillar of salt the daughters get even with dear old daddy by getting him drunk and they fuck their own father in order so they can both have inbread Male children. They just couldn't wait to have children and males are more prized than females too.
It worked! They both had male children.

"That'll fix dear old daddy Lot who dared to offer us to Homosexuals!" Offer me to the Sodomites of Sodom will ya!! We'll get daddy drunk and fuck him! It was a revenge thing on the part of the daughters wasn't it?

I was just a newborn and thus, couldn't keep the sick obsessive doctor from mutilating me.

CIRCUMCISION IS MUTILATION!

I just threw up from reading the westboro post and I feel weak.

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentleman, I don't think I have what it takes to read this site any longer. my stomach.....

If God or the Devil appear, good luck in fending either or both of them off....

Yes, I am scared that you all are wrong. I believe its all true. every word. Even though we find fault with it. Even though it reads like a fortune cookie!

I like much of what I read here. I agree with you all. yet I don't believe you all are correct and I am just an insect on a leaf and a circumcised one at that!

Before you jump on me for spouting off my beliefs that favor the Bible you can see that I come here troubled, and scared.

I got damaged good. really good. I still believe. Do me a favor and put me out of my misery with a bullet in the brain, and bury me out back with all the other Christians you find among you here. Disalusioned and wandered in just to use your restroom.

Matt Long said...

Sounds to me like your god, Matt, is a complete and total ass. And you, for not being able to see as much, are to be pitied.

We can argue all day whether or not *my* God is a "total ass", but the things I glean from the bible have me doing all I can to love my neighbor, be faithful to my wife, love and raise my kids, do my job well, don't speak evil of others, be hospitable to everyone, turn the other cheek when offended (keep in mind I don't always do these things completely successfully. I am a work in progress). How is any of that bad? And won't people commend me for living that kind of life when I die? I don't understand why you think I should be pitied?

-Matt

Anonymous said...

My next you tube video is going to feature a scene where a store owner refuses to let a customer (Jesus Christ) use the restroom. With the store owner pointing to a sign.

" He's the Prince of Peace and you won't let Him use the restroom??"

Anonymous said...

pitied because you believe in God. Pitied because you observe a God who rules you by fear. But you are not a good person because of fear.

This is the last post. I don't have the strength to continue posting.

I may just log in an read the posts.

boomSLANG said...

Matt: "The phrase 'I am that I am' is pretty powerful."

Jim Arvo responds: How is that powerful? (Didn't Popeye say something like that?)

LMAO! Pricelessk!

Matt Long said...

pitied because you believe in God. Pitied because you observe a God who rules you by fear. But you are not a good person because of fear.

Seems to me that if everyone did what I am saying, that being ruled by fear is a pretty good thing. We all treat each other well. We love one another. We always do what is right. I think society could benefit from that. You know.. love, honesty, respect. If it's motivated by fear, what's wrong with that?

I'm not sure what you mean when you say "But you are not a good person because of fear". Can you clarify? Are you saying that people who respond in their lives out of fear are not good people? Or are you saying that any good thing I do is actually not good because it is motivated by fear. Isn't doing good always doing good even when it's wrongly motivated?

-Matt

Anonymous said...

So it was Popeye the Sailor man who led the Jews out of Egypt?

Did anybody ever tell Max and Dave Fleischer that that little saying will compare Popeye to God?

Anonymous said...

Because fear any kind of fear even if it comes from GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF IS BAD.
FEAR IS AN EVIL THING AND THAT IS WHERE IT UNRAVELS OR SHOULD UNRAVEL.

FEAR IS THE KINK OF ALL FOUR LETTER WORDS.

F.E.A.R.

LIKE FUCK AND HELL AND DAMN AND SHIT FEAR IS A FOUR LETTER WORD.

WE HAVE GOD WHO USED A FOUR LETTER WORD.

FEAR GOD HE SAYS.

I FEAR THE WORD FEAR.

Matt Long said...

You lost me. How is that powerful? (Didn't Popeye say something like that?)

I'll clarify. Anyone can say "I am that I am". It's just words. It's what it implies that is powerful. It means in essence I am my own standard. What I do is not measured by anything but me. Is that really true for anyone. If you can claim to be your own standard and back it up, that's pretty powerful. I'll illustrate.

If you get pulled over by the police and tell them that they have no authority over you because you are what you are. They will quickly prove you wrong with the citation they hand you.

Popeye was wrong. ;-)

Anonymous said...

SAVE US FROM A GOD WHO DEMANDS THAT WE FEAR HIM.

I FEAR SATAN.

I FEAR GOD

I DON'T WANT TO FEAR ANYBODY BUT WE MUST LIFE AFRAID DON'T WE.

I SUBMIT MY CIRCUMCISIONED GENITALIA AS PROOF OF THE MADNESS OF GOD!

YOU ALL HAVE ALL BEEN MUTILATED BY GOD ALREADY.

HOW MANY OF THE READERS HERE HAVE BEEN CIRCUMCISED (MUTILATED)

SPARE THE ARABIC WOMEN WHO'S LITTLE CLITORIS'S ARE NOT SPARED FROM ARABIC CIRCUMCISION!

I MUST STOP NOW THIS IS TAKING TOO LKARGE A TOLL ON MY SANITY.

Anonymous said...

SEEMS WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE "GOD" TO ARGUE WITH OR REBELL AGAINST OR TRY TO FIGURE OUT.

JESUS CHRIST

ALLAH

THE GODS OF THE HINDU'S WITH THE UGLY LITTLE ELEPHANT

ALL THE IDOLS WHO DEMANDED SICKER THINGS THAN CIRCUMCISION LIKE SACRIFICING BABIES THEN THERE IS SATAN TO CONTEND WITH.

WHAT ABOUT THE U.F.O. THAT APPEARED OVER TEXAS?

IS THIS ANOTHER TYPE OF MOTHERFUCKER WE WILL HAVE TO CONTEND WITH?

I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO SEE WHAT SICK OBSESSIONS THE ALIEN LIFE FORMS HAVE IN STORE FOR US.

THEY ALL CAN WAR AGAINST EACH OTHER AND THE WINNER GET TO MAKE US FEAR IT.
\
HOW NICE!

boomSLANG said...

Matt: We can argue all day whether or not *my* God is a "total ass", but the things I glean from the bible have me doing all I can to love my neighbor, be faithful to my wife, love and raise my kids, do my job well, don't speak evil of others, be hospitable to everyone, turn the other cheek when offended (keep in mind I don't always do these things completely successfully. I am a work in progress). How is any of that bad?

Who said those things are "bad"?

Matt: And won't people commend me for living that kind of life when I die?

More than likely.

Matt: I don't understand why you think I should be pitied?

Because in your case, either, a) you believe that you have to be told to do those things, when that might not be the case(and you may never know), or b) you do have to be told to do those things. Either "a", or "b"--it's a pity, either way.

And BTW, occasionally falling short of those aspirations is part of human nature; to believe that you are "broken" and need to be "forgiven" for being exactly what and who you are, would also be a pity.

Does that answer your questions?

========================================

Anonymous: I MUST STOP NOW THIS IS TAKING TOO LKARGE A TOLL ON MY SANITY.

Agreed. So?...STOP.

Anonymous said...

WIPING MY ASS WITH THE BOOK OF MORMON AND TRYING NOT TO BE FEARFUL

Matt Long said...

SAVE US FROM A GOD WHO DEMANDS THAT WE FEAR HIM.

I FEAR SATAN...


I'm not sure what you're saying. Who should save us from a God that demands we fear him?

Also, this doesn't answer my question of how fear is a bad motivator if it causes people to always do what is right.

-Matt

Anonymous said...

YES. I WILL STOP.
IT IS STOPPED!

boomSLANG said...

Matt attempts: If you get pulled over by the police and tell them that they have no authority over you because you are what you are. They will quickly prove you wrong with the citation they hand you.

Irrelevant conclusion. If you get pulled by a cop, the evidence that they exist, along with evidence that the laws they enforce exist, is abundantly clear, yes. However, that has no bearing, or relevance, on whether there exists a cosmic disembodied "mind" in the sky who has the final authority on everything.

Matt continues: Also, this doesn't answer my question of how fear is a bad motivator if it causes people to always do what is right.

Um, what did you just sAY?..."always do what is right"???? Good grief, I think you seriously misspoke.

leotracks said...

Matt--

First of all, I am so glad that you try to live by standards of kindness and love. So do I, and so do many others who frequent this site. However, I think our kindness is more valid than yours, because we do so out of choice, not fear of punishment or expectation of reward. I am kind because I like to be treated with kindness. I do not steal, because I don't like to have my shit stolen. I do not need any god to teach me these values.

And speaking of values, I would like to know where you are getting these instruction in the bible?

I agree, many of jesus' teachings were very nice and have positive meanings. But remember, christianity came later. Much later. And less then 10 percent of the bible actually involves jesus. Most of it is twisted accounts of atrocities committed in the name of a loving, fatherly god. The last half is nothing but twisted rules and arcane rituals that serve only to empower a few living men we manipulate the gullible.

If you are so confident that your god is real, then be happy and go away. Let us burn, you and your kind can laugh at us for eternity. Like Mark Twain said, you go to heaven for the climate, but you go to hell for the company. I would gladly choose hell over the company of self-righteous, ill-informed sheep.

Brent S.

Matt Long said...

@boomslang Does that answer your questions?

I like your answers and the tone in which you deliver them. Thanks for that.

Because in your case, either, a) you believe that you have to be told to do those things, when that might not be the case(and you may never know), or b) you do have to be told to do those things. Either "a", or "b"--it's a pity, either way.

Why is it a pity? I understand what you're saying, but you haven't explained why it's pitiable?

boomSLANG said...

Matt...Why is it a pity? I understand what you're saying, but you haven't explained why it's pitiable?

Tell me, if you "understand" - as in, understand my position - then what is it that I haven't explained? I'm simply offering you my opinion, BTW; I'm not telling you conditionally.

Once more, then: I find it sad(i.e..a "pity") that some people do the right thing, only for fear of not doing the right thing. I cannot simplify it much more.

leotracks said...

Matt asked, why is it pitiable?

It is pitiable because it implies that you cannot make a good decision without coercion. And good can be defined without a supernatural agent. Good is the opposite of harm or pain. We have all experienced harm and pain, and suffering, so we are all capable of understanding these, and understanding that these are things to be avoided. We should also be able to understand that others also wish to avoid these negative conditions, and good behavior is do whatever we can to avoid this things in our lives, and in the lives of others.

And I take back what I said before, I was trying to be magnanimous, but Jesus said a lot of sick shit too. Such as:

"Do not think I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." Matthew 10:34 and Luke 12:49-50

"none of you can be my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions."
Luke 14:33

"I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's own household."
Matthew 10:35-36 and Luke 12:52-53

"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me..."
Matthew 10:37

"Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters...cannot be my disciple."
Luke 14:26

There are so many more, but I think it's clear that the bible contains many negative messages. Yours is a god of vile ego and lust for blood. Even if such a beast did exist and, as you say, by being god, does that give him authority despite our feelings? No. Such a beast should be despised and dishonored at all costs.

Matt Long said...

Hey Brent:
And speaking of values, I would like to know where you are getting these instruction in the bible?

Here's a couple:
Love your neighbor: Matthew 22:36-40
Love your wife: Ephesians 5:25-27
Be hospitable: 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1
Turn the other cheek: Matthew 5:39

And less then 10 percent of the bible actually involves jesus.

That's interesting, but I don't think it's completely true. I don't know if your 10 percent is accurate, but but let's say it is. I think you can say only that we see him on the scene in 10 percent of the bible. The whole bible, however, is about him. Jesus said that himself: "He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." (Luke 24:44)

Most of it is twisted accounts of atrocities committed in the name of a loving, fatherly god. The last half is nothing but twisted rules and arcane rituals that serve only to empower a few living men we manipulate the gullible.

Boy there are some tough things in the bible that would help you make this case. I certainly wrestle with some of those things. However, I, and the Christians I know would agree with you that using rituals and religious beliefs to manipulate people in the name of God is terribly wrong.

Let us burn, you and your kind can laugh at us for eternity. Like Mark Twain said, you go to heaven for the climate, but you go to hell for the company. I would gladly choose hell over the company of self-righteous, ill-informed sheep.

If people burn eternally, then it's no laughing matter at all. I don't claim to know who goes where, but I believe (and I know this makes me a kook) heaven and hell are both real places. That's the end of it for me. I am not anybody's judge. And I would agree with you that I don't want to be with a bunch of self-righteous, ill-informed people either. Jesus taught that people needed to be humble and meek. Man, I struggle with that too. It's a lot easier to be self-righteous and judgmental. It just not right to do so.

leotracks said...

Hey Boomslang, maybe Matt can understand this....

Person A donates a million dollars to an orphanage, but does so without giving his name. Person B also donates a million dollars to the same orphanage, but he does it in front of a TV crew.

Both did something kind, but person A was kind because he felt a true sense of kindness. Person B was kind because he wished to be recognized. One is a great guy, the other is a phony.

leotracks said...

I'm glad you brought up psalms. According to psalms 137:9 it is okay to kill babies, as long as they are the babies of your enemy. According to you, everything in psalms is good.

Is it okay to kill babies?

Matt Long said...

@leotracks
Both did something kind, but person A was kind because he felt a true sense of kindness. Person B was kind because he wished to be recognized. One is a great guy, the other is a phony.

It's an interesting analogy, however, the orphanage who received the money wouldn't care about the motivation. Not only that, but claiming that anyone ever does anything *purely* out of the kindness of their own heart is self delusional. If there are people like that, then you would never hear of it because they would be truly humble and give it in secret--anonymously, not even wanting a tax break for it. Do you know anybody like that? I do, but they do it not because they don't want recognition, but because they believe God has called them to do it secretly. And the only reason I know is because it was a large sum of money and they wanted to ensure it was safely delivered to its intended recipients. Only they, God, and I know. ;-)

-Matt

Jim Arvo said...

To add a touch of scholarship to this discussion, I'd like to inject the actual Popeye quote:

"I yam what I yam ! and I've had all I can stand, I can't stands no more!"

It took me a while to find this through Google. Who would have thought to search on "I yam"?

In doing this research, I uncovered another remarkable prophecy of the Old Testament. Just compare Exodus 3:14 with this and this! Spooky, isn't it? How did god foresee a 1933 cartoon character? I mean, I don't think animation even existed back when the OT was written. Holy Olive Oyl!

Matt Long said...

I'm glad you brought up psalms. According to psalms 137:9 it is okay to kill babies, as long as they are the babies of your enemy. According to you, everything in psalms is good.

Is it okay to kill babies?


Cherry picking bible texts to make your point isn't helpful. There is no place in scripture that says it's good or right to kill babies.

The Psalm you've chosen is a lament about the way Jerusalem was treated by its captors. Plus you're taking one verse out of context and claiming it means what you say it means. The Psalmist speaks out in anguish because of his own losses. Read the whole thing. You'll see what I mean.

Jesus teaches to love your enemies. This psalmist was human and probably hadn't even considered that concept. It's pretty radical to most people. To desire justice and retribution is not wrong. To commit it may be.

-Matt

leotracks said...

your examples were cherry picked.

Furthermore, I am well aware of the entire psalm. I am well aware of the entire book.

As far I can see, and what led to my eventually freedom from religion, is that so long as a single verse cannot be taken seriously, then the entire systems must be questioned.

And you completely missed my point in the orphanage scenario. the people who give because god called them; either they would have done so regardless of what god wanted, or they regard god is same way as my hypothetical person regarded the tv camera.

boomSLANG said...

Matt, a few points to consider:

1) If we are asked to not "cherry-pick" verses to make our case, then at this time, I would ask you to please stop quoting scripture, yourself(thanks in advance)

2) As pointed out, you missed the entire point of the "donation" analogy. You said, "...the orphanage who received the money wouldn't care about the motivation[behind the donation]". Your premise is evidently that the orphanage wouldn't care how they got the money, as long as they get the money, in the end---in which case, if it were to be truly analogous with the "reward"/"punishment" concept of your religion, then "God" wouldn't really care how you act, as long as you believe in him, in the end. Oh crap, wait....that's already true. Nevermind; my bad.

3) I don't think anyone of us non-believers would deny that some people simply need their religion. Nonetheless, that says NOTHING about if the belief, itself, is true. In which case, if it only works as "placebo", then people should be free to believe any damned religious doctrine they please, as long as they're "good" boys and girls. And thus, you should stop implicitly touting your Christian beliefs as Universal Truth. In other words, stop telling us about what "Jesus" allegedly did, and what he allegedly said.(again, thanks in advance) Hell, David Carradine, AKA "Kung Fu", extolled, and practiced, all of fine attributes that you mentioned about your religious figurehead(with the exception of "turn the other cheek") So it should be perfectly fine to simply tune-in to reruns of "Kung Fu", to stay morally grounded.

Namaste`

stronger now said...

If I may put my two cents in. I believe this little conversation started with a notion that even if the deity in the bible was an asshole it would still be better to act as if he wanted us to be better than him because he might get mad and smite us if we don't.

And it isn't really hurting mankind to do the good stuff that he commanded, even when he commands some bad stuff as well, but it would be better for us to ignore the bad stuff he tells us to do, even though he might smite us for it. Have I got it figured out or is there an even more confusing aspect to your theory?

By the way, it would go a long way towards getting people to obey him if he would make his presence known. The way it is now, it's like the only reason we are told to fear him is so we won't think that he doesn't exist.(because we'll be too afraid to)

Astreja said...

My $0.02 on the question of doing good:

If you do good because you have empathy for other people... You have internalized morality. It has become part of your character and will tend to remain fairly constant.

If you do good because you fear the wrath of someone, anyone, anywhere... Your morality is subject to the whims of that external agent, and your moral development is stunted. Furthermore, if the rules of the external agent change, you're vulnerable to having your sense of right and wrong reprogrammed from outside.

Matt: "And if he is just mean and nasty and has destined for you to go to hell, shouldn't you be pretty afraid?"

Well, I don't know about the rest of you folks, but I've gone beyond worrying about such things. It's just one more level of surreality that makes an absurdly untenable god-concept even more so.

fjell said...

Turn the other cheek?

God sanctioned "non-cheek turning":

2 Kings 2:23-24

Mandy said...

Matt: "The phrase 'I am that I am' is pretty powerful."

Jim Arvo responds: How is that powerful? (Didn't Popeye say something like that?)

So that is how Jesus resurrected on the 3rd day. He simply ate his spinach....lol!

Cousin Ricky said...

Matt should understand this:

“[Jesus said] ‘Be careful not to do your “acts of righteousness” before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“‘So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’” —Matthew 6:1–4, NIV

Of course, the belief that his imaginary Father will reward him contaminates the analogy somewhat…

Matt Long wrote: “There is no place in scripture that says it's good or right to kill babies.”

See 1 Samuel 15:1–3. If Samuel truly spoke for YHWH, and YHWH only commands what is good, then that passage says that it’s good to kill babies.

________________________

Cogito ergo spud. “I think, therefore I yam.”

Cousin Ricky said...

(If stunt man/magician Jesus had come today instead of 2000 years ago.)

Can you picture Jesus riding into Jerusalem on two stolen motorcycles at once? :-D

Jim Arvo said...

"Cogito ergo spud. 'I think, therefore I yam.'"

Love it. :-)

Anonymous said...

john 3:16 DOES NOT EXIST. check the new bibles like rsv and kjv