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4/06/2008                                                                                       View Comments

Why I am not a Christian

By Richard Carrier

The Evidence is Inadequate

(One) reason I am not a Christian is the sheer lack of evidence. Right from the start, Christians can offer no evidence for their most important claim, that faith in Jesus Christ procures eternal life. Christians can't point to a single proven case of this prediction coming true. They cannot show a single believer in Jesus actually enjoying eternal life, nor can they demonstrate the probability of such a fortunate outcome arising from any choice we make today. Even if they could prove God exists and created the universe, it still would not follow that belief in Jesus saves us. Even if they could prove Jesus performed miracles, claimed to speak for God, and rose from the dead, it still would not follow that belief in Jesus saves us.

Therefore, such a claim must itself be proven. Christians have yet to do that. We simply have no evidence that any believer ever has or ever will enjoy eternal life, or even that any unbeliever won't. And most Christians agree. As many a good Christian will tell you, only God knows who will receive his grace. So the Christian cannot claim to know whether it's true that "faith in Christ procures eternal life." They have to admit there is no guarantee a believer will be saved, or that an unbeliever won't. God will do whatever he wants. And no one really knows what that is. At best, they propose that faith in Christ will "up your chances," but they have no evidence of even that.

Now, this could change. It is theoretically possible to build a strong circumstantial case that God exists, that he has the means to grant us eternal life, that he never lies, and that he actually did promise to save us if we pledge allegiance to the right holy minion. But that's a lot of extraordinary claims to prove, requiring a lot of extraordinary evidence. Christians simply don't come close to proving them. Of course, Christianity could be reduced to a trivial tautology like "Christ is just an idea, whatever idea brings humankind closer to paradise," but that is certainly not what C.S. Lewis would have accepted, nor is it what most Christians mean today. When we stick with what Christianity usually means, there is simply not enough evidence to support believing it. This holds for the more generic elements of the theory (like the existence of God and the supernatural), as well as the very specific elements (like the divinity and resurrection of Jesus). We shall treat these in order, after digressing on some essential points regarding method.

This is just an excerpt from Carrier's excellent essay, "Why I am not a Christian ©2006." For the entire text, CLICK HERE.

54 comments:

Lorena said...

We simply have no evidence that any believer ever has or ever will enjoy eternal life, or even that any unbeliever won't.

Agreed. But I suppose that, if at least those promises that are for this present life were provable, perhaps one could try to extrapolate to the after-life.

Unfortunately for Christians, all of the claims that should be applicable to the living have proven faulty. Some examples are unanswered prayers, unchanged lives, and general ineffectiveness of the faith to do anything about anything. Even as a social network the church, more often than not, is an abusive, elitist circle.

SamiB said...

Nice post. I also find it hard to understand anyone who has a blind and unquestioning faith, in anything. Be it government, media or a belief system.

Unfortunately, many people seem unable to see past the lies and propaganda that is spewed forth from so many quarters. I think it takes more guts to investigate and question, than it does to be a mindless follower, it always has done.

The future is for those of us who question. The modern world cannot be navigated via an archaic belief system and no good will come of those who attempt to do so. The current state of the world is a good example. Greed,ignorance and corruption lurk under the gilt and mystery of priestly robes as it always has done and always will do.

THE ACE said...

I know this is going to sound wacky, but in trying to decide if the Christian claims of an afterlife are true, I used to wonder why God didn't let someone come back as some sort of spirit and say to me, "Hey, its really true! Accept Jesus and you'll live in Heaven forever!" Or, on the other hand, return from Hell (no
doubt looking like they forgot to
put on sunblock at the beach), and
say "Its horrible! If you reject
Jesus you'll burn in Hell forever!" This would certainly
convince me!

But its never happened to me, or to anyone else I know or have heard
of. All we have is an ancient book
filled with the fantastic claims of a superstitious and
mostly uneducated society.

As I said, I know its kind of a
wacky thought, but it first came
to me as a child, and to this day
it still occurs to me.

cipher said...

Ace,

You know the answer to that one - "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead".

Which is, of course, patently absurd - but God said, they believe it and that settles it!

THE ACE said...

Cipher-Thanks for your response, and you are so right. Isn't there
a school of thought that says Moses
never existed, but was a composite of a number of different men? You can't listen to someone who ain't
there!

And I'll have to admit..being a
better-than-average coward..if I'm
walking by a cemetary at night, and
see someone rising from the grave,
I will probably put my legs into
gear and set a new world record
in the 400 meter dash!

riley_jensen said...

I am so glad Charlton Heston is gone. Now the xtians can shut up about the whole Ten Commandments thingy already. lol

As far as why I am not an xtian because there are errors in the bible and xtians have changed their beliefs every few decades on what is wrong and what is right.

Men who wrote the bible did not see god. Their version of what god said is just as falible as the nut jobs today saying they talked to god and then do something stupid. Xians don't get that. They claim to have god within telling them how to live their life and then they fuck up. If they really believed they would not foul up all the time.

The biggest thing that got me to unbelief was when I learned that the xtians believe the earth is only 6 to 8 thousand years old since the creation when you use a biblical timeline. It only takes one error to make it fail. It can no longer be trusted and I am 100% justified. Period.

The xtians of yesterday would stone to death the xtians of today.

riley_jensen said...

OH,,another proof. I know I can't test thy lord, so I tested the devil. I have been asking the devil to show himself and that he exists. NO such luck. I even tryed to sale my soul many times over, but I am still making minimum wage. So much for that theory.

Odin is better said...

Nice blog my man. It is nice to see those who question the big questions...
My my how many ways do i loath the three crap religions Christianity, jewdism, and Islam. They are after all the same shit different pile. Crude but it gets the points across.
I read the bible a lot objectively and it makes me laugh. Oh! how they pick and choose which passages to use.
Why do Christians eat shell fish, and Jews and Muslims don't? Why aren't the Jews or Christians stoning idoliters anymore? Muslims to a lesser degree still are.
So far the only answer i can come up with is
IT IS A BUNCH OF CRAP.
keep up the good work
Also if you want a book to read
Letter To A Christian Nation
Great read

Telmi said...

Christians claim they know something about God and the Bible is a source of information about God. The Bible is "truth" to many Christians. So we can use the Bible to talk about God.

I have read many parts of the Bible, and my conclusion is that God - as portrayed in the Bible - is not a god worthy of worship.

God or precisely the Bible God is a malevolent, insane, genocidal delinquent in need of parental spanking.

mikeytj said...

I've been at this "Christianity thing" for over 40 years now. I'm not influenced by any denomination, and other than maybe Billy Graham any particular man or group. I've had most of the questions at one time or another that I see here. I've read of the many efforts out there to disprove Jesus Christ and the harder they try the more they prove Him, the events of the Bible, and so much more.

Jesus Christ is talked about and spoken of to have existed in most of the worlds religions. The one thing you seek is to be able to touch, to feel, to see, to hear, and that is the one thing that God says in John 3:16 that you only have to believe in to have His salvation.

It's all about each one of us having a one on one personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

No one doubts the fallacies of man, yet those fallacies of so many prophesies that were written over hundreds and hundreds of years by folks that never knew of each other all came true in Jesus. Maybe God did not put in every period, comma, exact word as that is not what the Bible is about. It is about His message to us. Many will worship by taking it word for word while others take the message and go forward with thier lives.

There are many many things in this life that you can't touch, feel, see or hear that you believe in so don't put down one thing that matters the most.

He is real, prayers are answered, maybe not the way you think they should be, and much more that you doubt is proven very real.

Take care all

SEO said...

Re: Prayers not answered in the way you think….

Yes because there’s so many different ways to answer the desperate pleas of a 9-year-old who is being rape by her father for the fourth time in week.

SamiB said...

mikeytj said: "I've read of the many efforts out there to disprove Jesus Christ and the harder they try the more they prove Him, the events of the Bible, and so much more."

I'm sure there are many nonbelievers like myself who are open to the idea that Jesus may have existed, but the fact is he would have been a man, nothing more. A man with charisma certainly, most cult leaders are very charismatic, initially, but not the son of a virgin and absolutely not the son of some supreme deity.

I also question your above statement that efforts to disprove him as jesus christ only prove he existed even more!? How did you come to that conclusion?
It makes no sense to me at all. There is no proof of god, a book doesn't make something fact, nor do hordes of unquestioning believers.

WHERE IS THE PROOF?

If people WANT to believe in something badly enough, they will. And that is why religion in general is so popular with the masses. Not everyone can cope with the idea that we get one shot at life and there's nothing beyond that. It's the vanity of mankind to assume that we are here for a greater purpose.

I'm sure that the world would be a better place if everyone lived by their heart instead of by books that were written by a bunch of blokes with vivid imaginations.

Hemlock said...

Mikey, please stop following God. Biblical evidence shows that he is a wildly unpredictable entity. He can not be trusted. He is using the bible to manipulate you. His will is unknown, as are his ends and the means which he will employ to meet those ends. He operates on many planets. Do not trust His word. God is a male, that's why I keep using the 'he' pronoun. Thank you.

cipher said...

Mikey,

I'm a Jew, and let me tell you - you're just wrong. The texts in the OT you folks consider to be prophecies pertaining to Jesus - aren't. In every instance, they've been taken out of context, and/or they refer to another character altogether. Of course, I know you won't believe me, but, as you people are so fond of telling nonbelievers - it doesn't really matter whether or not you believe it. It's still the truth.

I've said this here before - it represents the height of arrogance for you people to have spent the last two thousand years telling us that we've misunderstood and misinterpreted texts that we wrote in the first place - with or without divine inspiration. They're our books. Not yours. Ours. We wrote them. Stop telling us what you think they they mean.

And I don't know where you get this business about Jesus being mentioned in other world religions. You've got Islam. That's it.

Astreja said...

Mikey, there is much, much more to the world's religions than Christianity, Islam and Bah'ai. Those are, to the best of My knowledge, the only major religions that talk about Jesus.

Hinduism: No.
Taoism: No.
Buddhism: No.
Judaism: No.

Only in Christianity is the Jesus-story an original tale... Both Islam and Bah'ai came much later, so essentially we have one religion with two later derivatives. The New Testament is the closest thing we have to a primary source regarding the alleged life of Jesus, and it is fraught with severe problems. In the Gospels alone there are contradictory family trees, inconsistencies in the crucifixion/resurrection story, and significant events (such as miracles, earthquakes and three-hour eclipses) that no one else recorded in the histories of the day.

But, even if every religion on the planet mentioned Jesus... So what? That's just another version of argumentum ad populum. If you're going to claim that gods exist and people can come back from the dead, we want proof rather than mythological hearsay.

Dave8 said...

I agree, the Jewish Tanakh, was confiscated and abused by the character Paul, who wanted to turn Jews away from their laws... the OT doesn't mention the word "Jesus" once - ever. One would think, that in a "series" of prophesies, a "name" would appear just "once".

Talking to people who don't understand the words they use, because they speak from a highly imaginative and emotional point of view, seems inane many times.

I like the few lines below from the movie... "The Princess Bride".

Inigo Montoya: You are sure nobody's follow' us?

Vizzini: As I told you, it would be absolutely, totally, and in all other ways inconceivable. No one in Guilder knows what we've done, and no one in Florin could have gotten here so fast. - Out of curiosity, why do you ask?

Inigo Montoya: No reason. It's only... I just happened to look behind us and something is there.

Vizzini: What? Probably some local fisherman, out for a pleasure cruise, at night... in... eel-infested waters...

Vizzini: INCONCEIVABLE.

[In the boat in the morning]
Inigo Montoya: He's right on top of us. I wonder if he is using the same wind we are using.

[Vizzini has just cut the rope The Dread Pirate Roberts is climbing up]

Vizzini: HE DIDN'T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.

Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

That which is inconceivable, can not be conceived of, i.e., talked about, pondered, etc. I find that most religions use words that have no rational meaning - God for one.

cipher said...

I forgot about Baha'i!

mikeytj said...

I'll try to comment on a few of the replies. Nothing I say will likely change the emotional feelings I see in the replies but at least you'll have my side of it.

First of all remember the God I beleive in gives us the right of choice.

Hemlock talks soley about God in that reply. You may not like Him but you admit He exists.

Cipher writes that the OT is owned by the Jews and I would say that as Jews you worship God as you believe in Him and have learned to do and that is your right. The OT is imo not owned by anyone but God. As for prophesies being taken out of context in this and similar groups, every verse in every chapter can be quoted and dozens of "out of context" statements made. I'm no big fan of out of context either but let's face it my friend an awful lot of things that were predicted and spoke of in the OT came to be fact.

Samib says Jesus was a man..Of course He was, that is what He was about, was to be here as a man, etc. etc.. You say you want proof. Of everything or just some things or just one thing. Science, archeologists and others have come up with loads of proof of many many events, people, places and much more that are in the Bible. How many things in the Bible do you need proven before you can say that it's worth looking into, that it just might be possible? If your waiting for each chapter and verse then you'll run out of time my friend. You say we only get one shot at this life and we should go at it with our heart. Your choice of rejection of God is in your heart and the choice your allowed to have. Do not put me down because the choice of both my mind and my heart are different than yours and like I said earlier after 40+ years of asking all the questions have concluded that God and Jesus are real and I choose to believe.

Astreja talks of descrepencies in the Bible. I would say any book written over such a large time frame and by so many authors will have sections that in some way are different but that is not what the Bible is about. It is a message of God's love for each one of us. (I know I'll get piled on with what about this or that and am not trying to address specific issues here because we can't know the specifics. Our life is about choices both ours and others and how they interact). God is said to have inspired the Bible and it's contents. I have not found anything that has said He gave instructions as to every word, placement of punctuation marks, etc.. If you spend your time picking apart the semantics then your not paying attention to the message.


Samib also said "I think it takes more guts to investigate and question, than it does to be a mindless follower, it always has doneI think it takes more guts to investigate and question, than it does to be a mindless follower, it always has done" I agree and to imply that anyone who beleives in a religion of any type is just a mindless follower that never has asked questions or investigate thier beliefs shows an ignorance of the mindset of those your against.

So bottom line folks we all have th chance, the choice, and the ability to decide as we will. I challenge each one of you to investigate and question more than I've seen here, much more. I challenge you to give everything related the very deep thought that you owe yourself, then make your choice. God, again as I know Him, allows you to do so. If you want to stand on the street or in your house or here on this blog and say God if you do exist I reject you and/or don't beleive in you then give it all you have and like everything else in this world be prepared if you make the wrong choices.

As Samib said, we only get one chance at this life and you surley want to be as sure as possible the path your choosing everyday is right.

Take care all

Mikey

mikeytj said...

I'll try to comment on a few of the replies. Nothing I say will likely change the emotional feelings I see in the replies but at least you'll have my side of it.

First of all remember the God I beleive in gives us the right of choice.

Hemlock talks soley about God in that reply. You may not like Him but you admit He exists.

Cipher writes that the OT is owned by the Jews and I would say that as Jews you worship God as you believe in Him and have learned to do and that is your right. The OT is imo not owned by anyone but God. As for prophesies being taken out of context in this and similar groups, every verse in every chapter can be quoted and dozens of "out of context" statements made. I'm no big fan of out of context either but let's face it my friend an awful lot of things that were predicted and spoke of in the OT came to be fact.

Samib says Jesus was a man..Of course He was, that is what He was about, was to be here as a man, etc. etc.. You say you want proof. Of everything or just some things or just one thing. Science, archeologists and others have come up with loads of proof of many many events, people, places and much more that are in the Bible. How many things in the Bible do you need proven before you can say that it's worth looking into, that it just might be possible? If your waiting for each chapter and verse then you'll run out of time my friend. You say we only get one shot at this life and we should go at it with our heart. Your choice of rejection of God is in your heart and the choice your allowed to have. Do not put me down because the choice of both my mind and my heart are different than yours and like I said earlier after 40+ years of asking all the questions have concluded that God and Jesus are real and I choose to believe.

Astreja talks of descrepencies in the Bible. I would say any book written over such a large time frame and by so many authors will have sections that in some way are different but that is not what the Bible is about. It is a message of God's love for each one of us. (I know I'll get piled on with what about this or that and am not trying to address specific issues here because we can't know the specifics. Our life is about choices both ours and others and how they interact). God is said to have inspired the Bible and it's contents. I have not found anything that has said He gave instructions as to every word, placement of punctuation marks, etc.. If you spend your time picking apart the semantics then your not paying attention to the message.


Samib also said "I think it takes more guts to investigate and question, than it does to be a mindless follower, it always has doneI think it takes more guts to investigate and question, than it does to be a mindless follower, it always has done" I agree and to imply that anyone who beleives in a religion of any type is just a mindless follower that never has asked questions or investigate thier beliefs shows an ignorance of the mindset of those your against.

So bottom line folks we all have th chance, the choice, and the ability to decide as we will. I challenge each one of you to investigate and question more than I've seen here, much more. I challenge you to give everything related the very deep thought that you owe yourself, then make your choice. God, again as I know Him, allows you to do so. If you want to stand on the street or in your house or here on this blog and say God if you do exist I reject you and/or don't beleive in you then give it all you have and like everything else in this world be prepared if you make the wrong choices.

As Samib said, we only get one chance at this life and you surley want to be as sure as possible the path your choosing everyday is right.

Take care all

Mikey

stronger now said...

"How many things in the Bible do you need proven before you can say that it's worth looking into, that it just might be possible?"

The supernatural would be a great starting point. Do you have any credible evidence of the supernatural?

"God is said to have inspired the Bible and it's contents."

He is also said to have made mohammed his prophet. He is said to be many different things by many different people. Lets not concern ourselves with what "people say" and stick to what is. Shall we?

"If you spend your time picking apart the semantics then your not paying attention to the message."

If there is no credible evidence that "the message" came from a deity, it really doesn't matter if we pay attention to it or not, except for the fact that we share our lives and this world with folks who believe it is from a god.

"First of all remember the God I beleive in gives us the right of choice."

If you believe that the OT god and the one you believe in are the same, how do you reconcile this statement with the exodus account of the biblegod taking the pharahos choice away from him?

"...an awful lot of things that were predicted and spoke of in the OT came to be fact."


This is interesting. Without even giving one example you make a statement in support of your position, as if we knew what you were specifically referring to. Can you cite the examples and then please cite the examples of other prophetic works with similar claims of success and then show how you determined that those in the bible were from a deity, and the others, not so much? And what of the predictions in the bible that didn't happen?

I do not think that you examined the claims of the bible in a proper way to be able to make a reasonable choice.

AtheistToothFairy said...

mikeytj wrote:
Nothing I say will likely change the emotional feelings I see in the replies but at least you'll have my side of it
----
Mikey,

The emotions being portrayed, really have nothing to do with whether an assertion is true or false.
I don't think you'll find very many folks here who would be persuaded to change their minds from appeals to emotion etc..
That being the case, I'd prefer myself, to stick with the evidence and see the emotions, as just that, emotions.

>First of all remember the God I beleive in gives us the right of choice.

Yes, about the same "choice" one would have to not hand over their wallet, when a gun is pointed at their brains, right?


>Cipher writes that the OT is owned by the Jews and I would say that as Jews you worship God as you believe in Him and have learned to do and that is your right. The OT is imo not owned by anyone but God.

Last I checked, no one holds the "ownership" to any of the ancient biblical writings, and if some god is laying claim to it's ownership, it failed to make that known by not protecting those writings from being tampered with by us mortals.
Obvioulsy, an all powerful god could easily have protected those writings, yes?

> As for prophesies being taken out of context in this and similar groups, every verse in every chapter can be quoted and dozens of "out of context" statements made. I'm no big fan of out of context either but let's face it my friend an awful lot of things that were predicted and spoke of in the OT came to be fact.

I know of no prophecy in the OT or NT that could be used as showing a clear cut case of having been of some supernatural origin.
Care to cite a few to us that might have some credible evidence of supernatural origin?


>Samib says Jesus was a man..Of course He was, that is what He was about, was to be here as a man, etc. etc..

I'll take what Samib said and go one step further and say that history outside your bible book, is deathly quiet about the existence of any magical man named jesus that had thousands of followers who knew and/or followed him.

> You say you want proof.

We sure do and not a single xtian who ever roamed in here, could provide such proof.
Should we assume you'll be the very first now?


> Of everything or just some things or just one thing. Science, archeologists and others have come up with loads of proof of many many events, people, places and much more that are in the Bible.

At best, the bible talks about some of these more mundane events that happen to correlate with known secular history. That is no better proof for anything supernatural than a science fiction story taking place aboard the space shuttle of our day.
Sure, the space shuttle is real, but is anything else of such a story?

How about for starters, you provide us with historical evidence that Moses was a real person as portrayed in your bible and that he freed all those jews from Egypt, who then wondered the desert for 40 odd years.
Your bible is the sole source of such a history, to my knowledge.


> How many things in the Bible do you need proven before you can say that it's worth looking into, that it just might be possible?

Ohhhh, let's see.
I'll settle for proof that 500 people popped out of their graves.
Got any evidence this took place, hmmm


> If your waiting for each chapter and verse then you'll run out of time my friend. You say we only get one shot at this life and we should go at it with our heart.

I disagree with making very important choices using one's 'heart' alone.
How many couples got married because their 'hearts' thought it was the right choice at the time, but later on their minds saw past the rose colored glasses and the relationship fell apart.
Picking a mate would surely be of less significance than would be making a decision about whether any gods exist and which god one should worship and the resulting benefits/penalties that would come with making that choice.
That being the case, using one's emotions (heart) alone, would be quite the foolish thing to do with such an important matter, don't you think?


> Your choice of rejection of God is in your heart and the choice your allowed to have.

WRONG.....my rejection (as you call it) of your god is based on your god providing zero evidence of it's own existence, other than hearsay evidence of your bible writings.
Given your jesus made promises that his followers could do all sorts of miracles (move mountains?), I would fully expect to see many unexplainable miracles being performed today by jesus worshippers, yet I see NONE AT ALL.


>Do not put me down because the choice of both my mind and my heart are different than yours and like I said earlier after 40+ years of asking all the questions have concluded that God and Jesus are real and I choose to believe.

No, I just feel sorry for you, much as I would feel sorry for someone in a mental institution who is living a delusionary existence.

I would love to know what deep questions you have been asking for 40+ years?
You most certainly asked those questions from your 'heart', as any logical questions would not have resulted in a desire to believe in jesus/god. Your choice was a matter of blind faith, with no supporting credible evidence to back that faith up with.


>Astreja talks of descrepencies in the Bible. I would say any book written over such a large time frame and by so many authors will have sections that in some way are different but that is not what the Bible is about.

So then in your opinion, it's fine and dandy that god didn't bother to have his authors pen his thoughts in a consistent manner?
That's what this god gets then for subcontracting out work, that he should have done himself. I know, god is all powerful, but he has one tiny flaw in that he never learned how to write.

> It is a message of God's love for each one of us.

Funny, but I never 'felt the love' of your god.
The OT surely shows a waring psycho god and the NT god wants to fry us in hell for not believing this jesus crap on blind faith alone.
Yeah, loving god...NOT.

> God is said to have inspired the Bible and it's contents.

Well if god inspired the bible contents, then he did it in the same sort of fashion that Hollywood uses when making a movie that is 'based on a true story'.
e.g. 1% truth and 99% fiction.


>.... I agree and to imply that anyone who beleives in a religion of any type is just a mindless follower that never has asked questions or investigate thier beliefs shows an ignorance of the mindset of those your against.

Again, I ask you, what key questions have you asked that would have resulted in credible evidence for your god/jesus?
I have seen nothing from any xtian apologist, that even came close to being credible, and frankly, most of what they spew out isn't evidence at all and much of it is either outright lies or quote-mining.
They really have no choice, as any real evidence just simply isn't to be found !!

> I challenge each one of you to investigate and question more than I've seen here, much more. I challenge you to give everything related the very deep thought that you owe yourself, then make your choice.

I'm very sure my questioning and investigating have vastly exceeded anything that you have done in you life.
While I spent decades searching for the truth, I'm willing to bet that you quickly made up your mind about god and your investigation was short lived, at best?
If that is incorrect, you should explain to us what your investigation involved and how you concluded from verifiable evidence, or logic, that this bible god must exist.


>God, again as I know Him, allows you to do so. If you want to stand on the street or in your house or here on this blog and say God if you do exist I reject you and/or don't beleive in you then give it all you have and like everything else in this world be prepared if you make the wrong choices.

Once again, as all you xtians do, you assume we "reject" your god, rather than having discovered such a god has no evidence to support it's own existence.

However, I will say this as well.
If such a bible god really existed, as portrayed in your silly bible book, I would have no problem rejecting such a CRUEL and INSANE creature.
Of course, rejecting such a wacko god is not necessary, as I'm quite sure such a creature (that would also be involved in human affairs) surely can't exist as advertised.

As far as wrong choices goes, you better hope that Allah or Zeus isn't the correct choice to make, or you'll find yourself in the same sinking boat as the rest of us heathens, Buster Brown.

>As Samib said, we only get one chance at this life and you surley want to be as sure as possible the path your choosing everyday is right.

Know anything about Pascal's Wager?

If my atheist choice turns out to be wrong and there is some afterlife and god being, then I have no problem telling that god to his face, that he failed horribly to provide the same evidence to ME, that he had no problem providing all his characters in his bible book.

Funny how all those biblical characters got to see god (or parts of him) and all his great miracles and it didn't affect their free-will one iota.
Yet, you xtians tell us that god can't afford us the same evidence today, and we must swallow all this bible crap using blind faith alone.
How's that work again, Mikey, hmmm?


ATF (Who is sure Mikey made his god choice with nothing more than his emotions)

cipher said...

To which I will add that I didn't say we OWN the OT; I said that we WROTE it - then Christianity came along and proceeded to spend the next 2,000 years telling us that we didn't understand what we had written.

Furthermore, you say that "Science, archeologists and others have come up with loads of proof of many many events, people, places and much more that are in the Bible." I don't know what "scientific" evidence you are referring to. As far as archeology is concerned - if anything, a growing body of archeological evidence tends to discount the Biblical narrative - or, at least, a literal understanding of it. But you won't accept that - the only "evidence" that gets circulated in Christian (and Orthodox Jewish, for that matter) circles is that little bit which could be stretched to be seen as confirming your beliefs. The vast bulk of the evidence that doesn't gets left outside.

What always gets me is how Christians weigh "evidence" in their favor. Point out that no reliable text apart from the Bible (I don't consider Josephus' account to be reliable) mentions Jesus, and you'll be told that "absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence". These same people then pounce upon the very few incomplete areas in evolutionary theory (areas that are rapidly being filled in) and claim that they constitute "evidence" that the whole business is a lie and a deception.

They really ought to change the name of the franchise from "Christianity" to "Double Standardism".

cipher said...

Actually, I just looked back at my comment of a month ago, and I did say that they're our books, not yours, which implies ownership. I usually don't put it that way.

Well - I stand behind it.

Astreja said...

Mikeyjt: "Astreja talks of discrepencies in the Bible. I would say any book written over such a large time frame and by so many authors will have sections that in some way are different but that is not what the Bible is about. It is a message of God's love for each one of us."

That's not the message I get from it, Mikey. I consistently see this:

- An obsession with death, blood, eschatology and punishment of the innocent.

- An obsession with obedience, social control and penalties completely out of proportion in relation to the alleged crimes.

- Laws that violate the human rights of women, children, and GLBT individuals.

The Bible is not inspired by any god worthy of the name.

boomSLANG said...

Mikeytj: I would say any book written over such a large time frame and by so many authors will have sections that in some way are different but that is not what the Bible is about.

...no, of course that's not what it's about---it's about cherry-picking the verses that coincide with the individual reader's own personal, already formulated views, and then using said verses to "validate" those personal views. In other words, it's entirely subjective, when in fact, it claims to be objective. Imagine that.

SamiB said...

mikeytj - Please don't misquote me again. I said jesus may have existed but "IF" he did then he was just a man nothing more, NOT the son of a virgin and not the SON of god.

When I said I expect proof, I meant the kind of proof that so far hasn't been forthcoming in any area of the supernatural. Not proof that the places and some of the people in the bible exist, but proof of your god and his supernatural powers. If there was proof 'my friend' I'm sure we wouldn't be having this debate.

Of course you are 'allowed' to believe what you like, aren't we all? Isn't that what humanity should be about, the freedom of choice and respect for our fellow man, but of course that is an atheistic ideal rather than a christian one.

You see, this is a site for non-believers so you are intruding into our world and preaching your arrogant opinion to people who have no interest in hearing it. So why mickeyjt, are we not allowed to believe what we like without intolerant christians like you berating us on our site?

"Do not put me down because the choice of both my mind and my heart are different than yours" ...your words mate. So try living by them.

Mike at Drivers Job Source said...

First my apologies. I admit I did not read the Site Purpose section first but like you claim I am it tends to say that my posts are ok if reviewed and allowd to go forth. I came to share not to preach. I did not lambast or talk about any of you in any way other than to open a discussion. It is very obvious you have not need or desire to talk to anyone who believes different than you. As predicited you picked apart each and everything I said, often in ways that you ask that I do not use.

Bottom line I stepped in somewhere that I'm not welcome and I again aplogize. I have no need intefere with your confirming each others views, hatred and disagreements in these areas and will not.

Sadly when two groups disagree the lack of dialoge means that the division will only run deeper vs acceptance of one another right to feel the way they do and learn from each other.

There was not one post that any of you repsonded to me with where you offered any proof at all that the events and descriptions in the Bible, a lot written by eye witness accounts, and backed up by documents other than the Bible, are not true. You say they are not but refuse to itemize your proof, only to allow yourself to demand proof the other way.

Again folks sorry to intrude in your area. As we have all said, we all have the choice and we know each others.

Take care and thanks for the short chats.

Astreja said...

Mike: There was not one post that any of you repsonded to me with where you offered any proof at all that the events and descriptions in the Bible, a lot written by eye witness accounts..."

Well, I'll attempt to respond to this. Mike, the Gospels are almost certainly not eye-witness accounts. They were written much too long after the events they allegedly describe... At least forty years afterwards. And, to the best of My knowledge, there are no matching records of the events in Jewish and Roman writings of the time.

"...and backed up by documents other than the Bible..."

Again, there are no credible historical documents of this sort. Don't bother raising the Testimonium Flavianum of Josephus, as this has been debunked as a text altered by Christian apologists several hundred years after the original writing.

Finally, if you claim that gods exist and people can come back from the dead, the burden of proof is on you. Not us. The onus is upon the believer to demonstrate that the mythology they want us to believe has a referent in reality.

stronger now said...

"There was not one post that any of you repsonded to me with where you offered any proof at all that the events and descriptions in the Bible, a lot written by eye witness accounts, and backed up by documents other than the Bible, are not true."[bold added]

Which events and what descriptions are you referring to specifically?

In my post I used the exodus account in the bible in a question to you. Can you show one bit of credible evidence that the exodus event in the bible actually took place?

Again you don't cite which examples you are referring to specifically. You could be talking about the accounts of insects with four legs or the cud chewing that bunnies are reported to do, or more believable things like fishing.

A distinction must be made by you BEFORE we can address any partucular issue/event that you might raise, and it would be helpful if you raised an issue BEFORE and not AFTER you expect an answer. Furthermore if you would like to prove that the events regarding the Flying Spahgetti Monster didn't take place, be prepared to encounter a burden of proof problem.(look it up)

"As predicited you picked apart each and everything I said, often in ways that you ask that I do not use."

Who? What? Where? Again you fail to give any examples. Why do you wish to rely on vaugness as an argumentive form?

"You say they are not but refuse to itemize your proof,..."

"You" who? And when? Please try and remove that plank from your eye.

boomSLANG said...

Mike...I came to share not to preach.

Fair enough, however, please bear in mind that many of us, if not most of us, have spent(wasted) huge portions of our lives believing that Christianity was "Truth", and mind you, we did this for many of the same reasons that you believe it to be "Truth" right this minute. In other words, I'll wager that there's really not much you can "share" with us that we don't/didn't already know. Yes, we are aware of the "Christian" perspective. We've simply changed our minds.

Mike...It is very obvious you have [no] need or desire to talk to anyone who believes different than you.

You're a Theist, specifically a Christian, yes? Yes. And this is a website for former Theists, specifically Ex-Christians. Again, Christianity: Been there; done that. Furthermore, if a Christian posts on this blog, it's really hard - at least for me, personally - to not see it as an implicit challenge. You came here to this clearly labeled website, and you said what you had to say. In turn, you got some counter-arguments, none of which you addressed, BTW. And this is because, as best as I can tell, that you don't care for the tone of the conversation. That's the best you've got? Might I suggest, that either you grow a thicker skin, or refrain from posting on blogs that oppose your worldview. 'Just a suggestion.

Mike...As predicited you picked apart each and everything I said, often in ways that you ask that I do not use.

Look, we are discussing religious philosophy, not cooking tips, or which knitting method works better. In other words, you are an adherent/proponent of a worldview that claims absolute Universal Truth. Thus, if you cannot back your position with facts, then yes, expect your comments to get picked apart....especially on an EX-christian website. Hello? Furthermore, if you "predicted" your arguments would get picked apart, I'm not quite sure why you posted in the first place.

Mike...There was not one post that any of you repsonded to me with where you offered any proof at all that the events and descriptions in the Bible, a lot written by eye witness accounts, and backed up by documents other than the Bible, are not true. You say they are not but refuse to itemize your proof, only to allow yourself to demand proof the other way

Please learn what's called the burden of proof.

The bible makes fantastic claims, namely, of the supernatural order. It is not my burden to "disprove" snakes, donkeys, and vegetation that purportedly speak the human language. It is not my burden to "disprove" zombies, unicorns, floating hammers, and witchcraft. No. If you expect me to believe such nonsense, then it's YOUR burden to provide proof(evidence) that the information that's been revealed to you is based on reality.

mikeytj said...

I appreciate all of the replies. I'll be up front with you in that I'm not the one to go verse by verse with you, not out of ignorance but due to some other issues.

Boomslang I appreciate your comments (as I do all the others). I realize and acknowledge the intelligence level of the group, the fact that most of you are former one thing or another and that's fine. I understand the nature of the responces that I have recieved and again have apologized for posting without reading the purpose and disclaimer.

I've posted in other groups that are similar, some I was invited, some I ran across. I ran across two things. One for those that would "debate" verse by verse so to speak the folks in the group would immediately have their opinions against it. This is fine as it's your belief and conclusions but usually the other poster is in various forms of subtley branded an idiot. The other issue is that as I have done here, I have asked for undisputed proof (the very same thing you ask of m) that the events, people, places, etc of the Bible were not true. Someone in a post said an eyewitness that writes of something 40 years later can not be considered a reliable eye witness source. If you are an eyewitness to the occurances in the Bible, say that Jesus did, your going to remember those. So what if the four descriptions are somewhat different in actual inclusion or exclusion of specific details? If they were exactly the same in all words, etc then you would argue colusion between the four. Point is (when I say you I'm not being personal but speaking of the general groups) you have studied and come to your conclusions and that's fine. If you choose not to believe eyewitness accounts fine that's your choice.

Anyhow we can go on like this forever. You can not prove that the "Bible events, people, etc" did not take place. All you throw back are demands for proof to your satisfaction, which through your studies and conclusions will not happen. I say prove this and you (again the group) come back and lacking the proof say for me to prove one event. You discredit anything offered so we are at a stalemate.

You know it goes back to the argument of evolution vs intelligent design. There are millions of things we can look at on earth and come to conclusions. I say sit out in the woods and spend a couple of hours focused on a tree. Make a mental or written list of everything that tree does for this earth. The food for us and animals of all types, shelter, oxygen, renewable resources, and on and on. There will never be anyone that can tell me that two rocks colliding the the exact spot in space that would support life, and in an envirnonment that scientist agree was at that time not able to support life, one tiny cell managed to multiply itself thorughout history into all we have including that tree and our ability to sit and study it. We are not an accident folks. This world, even if it did physically "evolve" in some manner is not an accident. All that we are, have been and will be could not happen without intelligent design. You all will no doubt eat that one up as well. I've been called an idiot many times for stating that argument but folks don't take my word for it...go study a tree in depth and come to your own conclusions. If your think that tree came about and all that it support as some freak accident of two rocks hitting each other then please don't call me an idiot for my feelings of proof right before my eyes of a power, how ever that power is described, exists. You'll say that evolution is the answer and for you there is no proof that God designed the tree. I say that along with everything else we see and do is proof of His existence. That being the case, then the events of the Bible start to take on more reasons to be right.

I can only hope there is not hatred generated and we can part as friends.

stronger now said...

"You can not prove that the "Bible events, people, etc" did not take place."

Learn about the burden of proof.

You cannot prove that flying spahgetti monster didn't create everything. You cannot prove that Thor isn't reponsible for thunder. You cannot prove that aliens didn't land in roswell in 1947. You cannot prove that there isn't an invisible pixie that makes the bubbles in beer. You cannot prove that leprechauns don't exist.

"All that we are, have been and will be could not happen without intelligent design."

"I say that along with everything else we see and do is proof of His existence. That being the case, then the events of the Bible start to take on more reasons to be right."

(O.k. If silly is the game you want to play then silly is what you'll get. Off to Neverland!)

All that we are, have been and will be, could not happen without the help of pixies. Everything else we see and do is proof of their existence. That being the case, the events written about in Peter Pan start to take on more reasons to be right.

Prove that the events in Peter Pan didn't take place. I double dog dare you.

boomSLANG said...

::heavy sigh::

Mikey...Boomslang I appreciate your comments (as I do all the others). I realize and acknowledge the intelligence level of the group, the fact that most of you are former one thing or another and that's fine.

Excuse me...not "one thing or another", but former Christians. I almost get the impression that you don't want to acknowledge that we were ever "Christians". Again, we believed and accepted Christianity as Truth, for all of the same emotional reasons that you list throughout your "gut instinct"-laden posts. Once more, we changed our minds. Much of the reason for that, is because we put emotions aside, and decided to investigate the belief objectively, and to accept what we found no matter how it made us "feel".

Mikey...I have asked for undisputed proof (the very same thing you ask of m) that the events, people, places, etc of the Bible were not true.

Yes, yes!....understood---that's precisely what you have asked, ad nauseam. 'Got it; 10-4; understood. The problem with this, however, is that you either can't, or won't, see the fallacy of your argument, as pointed out to you many times by various people.

Again, whether you believe there are "eyewitnesses" to the accounts, or not, the bible is a source of revealed knowledge. To be clear, all such "revealed knowledge" is second-hand information. For instance, the Book of Moron, contrasted to the Holy Bible, not only has eyewitnesess, but the alleged signatures of the actual eyewitnesses.

Now, does that hold water with you? I'll bet not...and if not, then you should be able to see why your insisting that the Holy Bible had "eyewitnesses" means squat to us. And let me ask you something else----can you prove that the biblical "eyewitnesses" didn't have an agenda, as you probably believe the Mormon eyewitnesses had an agenda?? I'll wager you cannot.

Furthermore, there's another issue that you overlook, as well. Here it is: Believing that people, places, and things are rooted in reality because they were recorded and handed down throughout history, is one thing. Bit it is quite another thing to believe supernatural claims for the same type of reasons. Are you telling us with a straight face that you believe things like, cadavers can walk upright, that a man can spend the night in whale's digestive tract and live to tell about it, that pigeon blood heals leprosy, that giants came from heaven and mated with man, and on, and on...and that you believe these things simply because that's what's been revealed to you, per your bible?

Again, the aforementioned are fantastic claims. It is NOT our burden to "disprove" those claims, just as it is not your burden to disprove the claims in the Mormon bible, or the Holy Qu'ran. If you cannot grasp this fairly simply concept..i.e.."the burden of proof", then this discussion's pretty over, the way I see it.

Mikey...You can not prove that the "Bible events, people, etc" did not take place.

Yes, and per my response to this same fallacy above, likewise, you cannot "prove" that the Mormon "events, people, etc" did not take place. So?....we should then conclude that it all must be true, simply because we cannot prove it false?

Is this sinking in, yet?

Mikey...You discredit anything offered so we are at a stalemate.

Friend, we are at a stalemate because you, like all Theists, cannot prove that your book of fantastic claims of the supernatural, is rooted in reality. We are not at a stalemate because such claims cannot be "disproven"; we don't need to "prove" non-belief.

Mikey...I say sit out in the woods and spend a couple of hours focused on a tree

I say sit at a library and spend a couple of hours with your nose firmly planted in a biology book.(*note--one written by scientists, not Christian apologists)

Mikey...Make a mental or written list of everything that tree does for this earth. The food for us and animals of all types, shelter, oxygen, renewable resources, and on and on.

I bet you don't even realize that to do such a thing would lend more credence to natural selection, then it would to "Creation". And besides, your above argument amounts to non-sequitur. We all agree that "Nature", and its subsequent natural processes, exists. You are assuming that Nature was started and remains driven by something "supernatural", and to assert that it is, mind you, with no evidence other than "gut-instinct", is the fallacy of your argument.

mikeytj said...

Boomslang I offer at least as heavy a sigh LOL.. I thank you for at least some level of courtesy and level of intellengence in your responces. I'm not sure where stronger is coming from but his responses basically get back into fringe insults and who needs that.

Your first paragraph sounded like your insulted....I realize your all for the most part ex Christians, have acknowledged that and even complimented you on your intellengence and investigations leading to your current beliefs or lack thereof. I've apologized for getting in here without reading the purpose statement. I will not continue to do so.

None of us will ever get beyond where we are. You want burden of proof but demand it all come from me. You want no responsibility for burden of proof. I have no idea why your bringing the Mormons into this as they have not been any part of the discussion. Unless your just trying to divert what you've been asked to do.

Just one of you......just one provide absolute, unquestioned, verified proof that Jesus Christ did not exist, that Jesus Christ did not perform the things He did such as healing, feeding the masses, etc. and that he did not re appear to, not just a few, but large numbers of people after His death. Put it out there in scientific black and white, documented that any scientist, regardless of their personal beliefs, can say there we have proof.

Give it to me. The burden of proof is on you my friends. If you can not and do not prove without any question whatsoever that the events of the Bible did not occur, supernatural or otherwise, then you have to at the very least say the may have. You owe it to yourselves to have absolute, verifiable, tested proof of what you say otherwise you do yourselves such a dis-service. That burden of proof is on you for you, I have mine which you discredit by saying I have no proof to your satisfaction. All I hear out of the posts I've seen is folks reaching out and asking for proof that you can accept. I say you have that burden of proof to yourselves and if you can not disprove it at the very least you have a basis for possibility and further research, not a basis for the firm conclusions you express. All I see discussed is the super natural and your desire for proof of this or that related to it. You apparently have come to the conclusions that you have based on your research and that's fine. Go with it, be at peace with yourselves, and give credit to others that don't feel the same as you.

I asked you to go sit and spend some time on one subject and you immediately come up with something else like go read a book or that yes nature exists but well you know there is no proof it was created so why believe in it. I say to you to use that intelligence you claim to have and try real hard to come to the conclusion that every living thing (millions of differnt things), every plant, tree, bush weed, food item, every drop of water or molecue of air, every bit of ice in the polar regions, and on and on all came from one cell evolving itself to become every thing we are. If it did and you think that happened by accident the so be it but don't put me down for not thinking and using my mind.

Once again, your telling me to use my brain and I say to you please do the same and as I have given you credit for that then also give me the credit. You all have given the usual responses that at the very least question my intelligence, compare me to folks in a mental institution and a variety of other things.

We can go back and forth with spaghetti monsters and all the kinds of posts or we can just enjoy the fact we have met each other, chatted and part ways as friend. I'll leave you all to continue to compliment yourselves on your high levels of intellegence as seen in the earlier posts and enjoy the exchanges we have had, and truley wish each of you well.

Take care all and I do thank you for allowing me to visit with you for even a short time.

boomSLANG said...

Mikey is back, with...I thank you[boom'] for at least some level of courtesy and level of intellengence in your responces.

You're("you're" i.e..contraction for you are) welcome, however, you have fair warning that that may change, on the courtesy end of things.

Mikey?..you evidently do NOT listen. And frankly, it is not my responsibility to make you a good reader. I will attempt one last time to illustrate the fallacy of your argument(s), then I will bow out, leave you to your erroneously flawed "logic", and you can be on your merry way... or, you may continue to post your flawed, apologetic drivel, that is, as long as the webmaster can stomach it.

Here we go....

You said: None of us will ever get beyond where we are.

In the future, please don't you f%cking dare attempt to speak for me, okay? Thanks. Speak only for yourself. I've have gone on record many times to say that I'll be happy to change my position, if/when I become a first-hand witness to the supernatural. To be more concise, I mean the same kind of empirical, tangible evidence that the "Twelve", and around 500 other people allegedly saw, first-hand, as delineated in your "Holy" handbook. To be thorough, an example of what I will NOT accept as evidence, is a f%cking "tree", or any other inanimate thing that occurs IN NATURE.

In any event, notice that neither the "free will", nor the "faith" of these alleged biblical eyewitnesses, was damaged or tampered with. In other words, I will NOT accept those types of typical, "cookie-cutter", apologetic excuses for why "Jesus" cannot simply "appear". For crying out loud, "He" was allegedly making appearances all over kindom come back then. Combine that, with the fact that Christians insist that "Jesus" is our midst; they insist that "He" is "omnipresent". Well, f%cking FANTASTIC!....then it should be NO PROBLEM for him to make "His" existence known, right?(rhetorically asked)

You said: You want burden of proof but demand it all come from me

This statement, alone, illustrates to me, and likely to others, that you are either reading comprehension-challenged, or you are invincibly ignorant, or possibly both. Said statement is utterly moronic.

Once more---NO, it's not that I "don't want" the "burden of proof". What I'm trying, and evidently failing to illustrate to you is, the burden, or onus...or simply, the obligation of putting forth "proof", is in the lap of the person MAKING the fantastic claim(s). Um, that would be YOU, per your Holy Bible.(more on this below)

You wonder: I have no idea why your bringing the Mormons into this as they have not been any part of the discussion.

Oh shit, I don't know...why did you bring a "tree" into the discussion???

But seriously, many times, if/when a person cannot seem to grasp simple concepts...::cough:..it is effective, and sometimes necessary, to illustrate by analogy. Hence, why I brought the "Book of Mormon" into the discussion.

To review, you have been raving about, and seemingly wrought with enravishment, over the alleged "eyewitnesses" in your bible, as if they are your strongest case for showing that the bible is "Truth". I simply pointed out that the Book of Mormon not only has eyewitnesses that testify to its "Truth", but said doctrine even has the actual signatures of these eyewitnesses.

I more or less asked you on what grounds you (would) dismiss the Book of Mormon, in an attempt to illustrate the blatant double-standard that is likely there.

AGAIN: Why are you NOT impressed with the eyewitnesses who testified to the Book of Mormon being the One Universal Truth? That is a direct question.

you blather on...If you [cannot] and do not prove without any question whatsoever that the events of the Bible did not occur, supernatural or otherwise, then you have to at the very least say the may have.

Again, the idiocy continues.

Can you "prove" that Muhammad didn't sit in cave and take dictation(by memory) from the Almighty Allah? Can you "prove" that Poseiden doesn't sit at the bottom of the ocean with his trusty trident, just waiting to jab people in the ass for disbelieving in him? Can you "prove" that there isn't transparent flying elephants in Alfa Centaury?

In your words---if you CANNOT and do not prove, without any question whatsoever, that the those things did not occur, supernatural, or otherwise, then you have to at the very least say the may have.

Now, using your own "logic", do you say to yourself that the above things might be true?

Are you getting this yet?

.:webmaster:. said...

"The burden of proof is on you my friends..."

No, you are the one making a claim that there exists a magical being from a magical land that magically decided to become its own son and do crazy magical stuff, so you are the one with the burden of proof.

"Burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: it is not sufficient to say "you can't disprove this." Specifically, when anyone is making a bold claim, it is not someone else's responsibility to disprove the claim, but is rather the responsibility of the person who is making the bold claim to prove it." -- Wikipedia

Now, prove that invisible fairies are not responsible for keeping the planets in motion. Prove it! If you can't prove that invisible fairies don't exist, then that proves that those fairies do exist!

See how stupid that sounds?

Dave8 said...

mikeytj: "Give it to me. The burden of proof is on you my friends."

To "demand" that everyone prove - "your" - claims, is not only absurd, but odious as well.

What "position" do you perceive to hold, that grants you the authority to make intellectual "slaves" of others?

mikeytj: "If you can not and do not prove without any question whatsoever that the events of the Bible did not occur, supernatural or otherwise, then you have to at the very least say the may have."

I find it amazing, at the number of ultimative statements (coercion), made by religionists in a conversation; while claiming to be "caring". How does a religionist justify caring via coercion - you want to talk about "moral" corruption; do you not "see" the obvious confusion a child would have, if they were to associate "coercion" with "care"?

So, this ultimatum now; if I don't willingly become your intellectual slave, then I have to accept your claims, even if tentatively.

I partner in "trust" relationships, not "submissive" relationships - perhaps, you have a "better" way of interacting with a society, besides ultimative "coercion"?

I am currently talking to a stranger; I don't find it "smart" to "trust" strangers I don't know. As a matter of fact, I am sure many parents wouldn't teach their children to "trust" strangers as well.

Mikeytj, I... don't "blindly" presuppose you are "trust-worthy".

If you want to establish a "trust" relationship... then, by all means, do so.

For example; if you want to talk about "talking reptiles", then... it would help me tremendously, to examine your "credentials" that establish you as an "authority" on "talking reptiles", etc.

Now, if you do not have "credentials" to establish you as an authority on talking reptiles... then, I can not intelligently trust what you have to say regarding "talking reptiles".

I value people, it makes up my morality... however, my value for human life, does not preclude me from logically "rejecting" any person as an authority figure, on matters they have no established credibility. Does that bother you?

If I reject a person's authority, yet, such a person has a burning desire to "teach" me something, then... they have a "responsibility" in this "trust" relationship, to "establish" their self as a "credible" authority.

Note; I do not have a "responsibility" to "prove" someone's claims, because they "failed" to create a "trust" relationship.

Astreja said...

Mikey, Mikey, Mikey... *sighs heavily*

The reason I brought up the forty-years problem is quite simple. Average life expectancy in the Roman Empire was approximately 20-25 years.

Furthermore, if one considers that the person mythologized as Jesus was considered a criminal in the eyes of both the Roman occupiers and the Jewish community, I'd be very surprised if any of his followers lived to the ripe old age of thirty-five.

This makes it extremely likely that the actual authors of the various Gospels weren't even born at the time of the alleged events. Whatever actually happened back then, it is My opinion that the Gospels are hearsay or fabricated myth rather than eye witness accounts.

"If you can not and do not prove without any question whatsoever that the events of the Bible did not occur, supernatural or otherwise, then you have to at the very least say they may have..."

In My opinion, 'May have' ranges from 1.0 probability to <0.0001 probability, depending on the specific claim. Egypt? Yes, Egypt existed in the Biblical time period. Romans? Yup. Talking snakes...?

...If you happen to find a living specimen of Lamprophis loquatius, please Fed-Ex it to Me immediately. Bonus points if it can sing tenor harmonies in Akkadian.

mikeytj said...

Ok folks. As always these things move in directions that lead nowhere. You've moved from veiled insults to cussing and threats of further and worse name calling.

Bottom line folks. I have my proof and it is acceptable proof by millions including who knows how many with a lot more smarts than any of us here. The Bible at the least is a historical document that gives credence to so much..One person said the average age of a person was 35 so no one writting the Bible could have lived during Jesus time. This shows they don't pay attention and don't care, just grab onto anything that will justify their position.

You want to touch and feel and talk to the supernatural and that is the only proof you will accept. Fine sit and wait for it. Many of you show, as ex Christians that you have studied the Bible, the religion, etc., and come to the conclusion that God does not exist and the Bible is inaccurate and untrue. Good for you.

When ever I see anyone try and join in logical conversation in groups like this it all comes down to the same exact content that is posted here. I do give a hoot about you all and that's ok but if you have provided yourselves the needed proof that all you believe in is true then go for it..It is your choice.

You don't owe me zip as far as proof goes. You owe yourself the burden of absolute, unquestioned proof that will stand up to any review, any scientific test and any in depth study which will bring the current status to change. If you can't give yourself that kind of proof and just want to wimp out on well if I can't see it or touch it then it's not real attitude, your only sticking your head in the sand and hoping your right.

Take care, there are hints that you want the webmaster to ban me and that's not needed as this is the last post.

Again thanks for having me for awhile. I appreciate the dialoug even though it was sadly "as usual"

boomSLANG said...

I appreciate the [dialogue] even though it was sadly "as usual"

Yeah, uh huh... it was "as usual" because you, like most people who have zero objective evidence for their religious beliefs, refuse to listen; refuse to acknowledge and correct blantant logical fallacies when you commit them; refuse to stick to the facts, and instead, erect and attack strawmen; refuse to research the terms---terms such as "the burden of proof", which, much to my amazement, you STILL haven't a clue what it means.

Beat it, shoo...go sit in front of a tree.

Steven Bently said...

To Mickeyjt,

Yes..yes, run away like a scared little bunny rabbit, maybe you can run under jesus' robe and maybe he will let you suckle his, one of his breast'es. It's hard to give up on the beliefs that the one whom brought you into this world told you it was true, that would be calling mommy and our elders all liars, but they were just like all of us, we were all grossly misinformed...i.e., we were lied to.

Imagine that Mickey! The Bible god about two millennia ago, realized that souls needed to be saved from the sins that were committed by Adam and Eve that the Bible god allowed to permeate in the first place.

So god sent his sperm down from heaven via an angel to inseminate a virgin girl so he could walk the Earth as a god but disguised as a human being, performed a few miracles and lived 32 years then was crucified returned to Heaven and now lives with himself, on the righthand side of himself in paradise.

So the Bible god returned back to where he started from in the first place, wasn't much of a sacrifice, would you agree?

And now will send people to hell for not believing that he came to Earth disguised as his son.

Imagine that, yeah you best leave this site, you may wind up in hell.

Jim Arvo said...

Hello Mikey,

I've been out of the loop for quite a while due to some projects that have kept me insanely busy, but I thought I'd chime in here (albeit a bit late).

You said "I have my proof and it is acceptable proof by millions including who knows how many with a lot more smarts than any of us here."

The same could be said of virtually any religion, or indeed virtually any popular belief system. Lots of people, in fact billions, believe lots of things. Lots of very smart people believe contradictory things. I'll spare you the list of brilliant people who come down on our side of the religion issue. I hope we can agree that lining up philosophical allies and counting noses accomplishes nothing. What matters in the end, at least to us, is the substance of the arguments; not who holds them; not how many espouse them. That said, I will point out that I have never encountered a single cogent argument or credible bit of evidence for the existence of disembodied conscious beings of any kind. While I cannot rule them out, I have zero reason to believe such a thing exists.

Mikey: "The Bible at the least is a historical document that gives credence to so much.."

The Bible is a mishmash of writings, some with more historical veracity than others. To claim that it, as a whole, is "historical" is both overly-simplistic and question-begging. It's overly simplistic in that it ignores the very large role of midrashic interpolation, not to mention poetic license. It's question-begging in that it simply assumes many of the central points at issue: e.g. Was there a historical Jesus? If so, did this person say and do the things attributed to him?

Mikey: "You want to touch and feel and talk to the supernatural and that is the only proof you will accept."

That's a very poor characterization. Speaking for myself, what I "want" is some kind of cogent reasoning, and some kind of objective evidence. I'm willing to seriously consider any kind of evidence that you or any other Christian is willing to put forth. However, with astonishing regularity, what visiting Christians deliver falls into one of several categories: 1) Fallacious arguments (e.g. arguments from ignorance, consequences, authority, popularity, etc.), 2) excuses for not supplying evidence (e.g. we cannot or do not wish to understand), or 3) content-free repetitive emotional appeals or sermons.

Mikey: "When ever I see anyone try and join in logical conversation in groups like this it all comes down to the same exact content that is posted here."

Sorry, but that's just absurd. There may be common threads that you recognize, such as rightly placing the burden of proof on the one making the positive claim, but I assure you that you are not being subjected to cut-and-paste apologetics (as we occasionally endure from the other side).

Mikey: "...if you have provided yourselves the needed proof that all you believe in is true then go for it.." (emphasis added)

Another very poor characterization. I know the position of most of the regulars here, and nobody claims to have their finger on absolute truth. As far as I can tell, that position is peculiar to religionists. I believe this has already been pointed out to you, has it not?

Mikey: "You owe yourself the burden of absolute, unquestioned proof that will stand up to any review, any scientific test and any in depth study which will bring the current status to change."

What you've just said is complete nonsense. It indicates a failure to grasp the notions of "burden of proof" and "science" in general. To "owe yourselves the burden of proof" is a non sequitur. Simply put, if you make a claim that X exists, or X has property Y, and these claims are not already manifestly clear from observable evidence, then we are under no obligation whatsoever (logically, morally, ethically, legally, etc.) to simply accept such claim as true unless or until you provide some cogent reason to do so. Furthermore, no claim is immune to questioning. Science is not in the business of supplying absolute truths (that fictitious role is the exclusive province of religion), but rather ideas that can stand up to serious scrutiny. This is in sharp contrast with most religious tenets.

Let's suppose for a moment that the burden of proof were NOT on the one making the claim. Then we would all be obliged to believe countless absurdities, simply because others do. You would be obliged to recognize the validity of the Book of Mormon, the one-ness of Allah, the enlightenment of Buddha, and the divinity of Krishna, all at the same time. Unless, of course, you could offer PROOF to the contrary (which you cannot). Such a world would be populated by credulous idiots (to an even larger degree than it already is).

One simple principle separates our present world from the cartoon-world of "everything is true until proven false"--that one principle is "warranted belief". In my view, it is our responsibility to seek that which is factually supported, and to doubt all else. If that seems overly harsh to you, then all I can say is that I hope you've made some very lucky guesses, because that is, in effect, what you are left with.

mikeytj said...

Jim even though I said I had posted my last reply I'll do this one more based on your response.

Your response up until the end and at first glance appeared to have something behind it in the realm of a desire to have a conversation but alas after re reading it, it was the same thing everyone else has said just in different words. You again ignored all that I said about proof and Whoa Trigger because I can't answer that question, reverse it to something I've said I don't believe anything that I would say to you.

The Bible's primary point is belief by faith something that you all have basically said is hogwash and will not happen for you. Fine excellent folks and now Jim. I get it. But contrary to each and every verse you have picked apart and injected doubt into so that you can support each others theories, I choose to belief all of what I have learned and investigated. According to you, in your last paragraphs that put's me and most of the world, regardless of our chosen form of religion into the status of "incredulous idiots". That leaves your little group as the elite, and most enlightened humans on earth. Good for you. If your happy with that go for it.

But what you don't get is that I have my proof and no matter how I would explain that to you it would be pooh poohed away. The difference between you and me is that you, each one of you, do not, let me repeat do not, have one iota of verifiable, unquestioned, proof that the events of the Bible, not matter what they were, did not occur or exist. The facts that are available you don't give credence to so you say you have to doubt them. Fine doubt them but don't give up on them.

I know you've heard this before, and I've seen the answers to other similar posts, but truth is truth. As I said I have my proof, which went through the tests of my doubt. I've lived a very good life, not talking the goody two shoes type of life, but a very good life. I have no doubt about my future. That is a great position to be in.

You on the other hand have zero absoluter proof of what you claim, so you always, always have to have the lingering doubt in the back of your mind as to what if your wrong. Oh yea I know here come the blustery macho responces to that one. You can not now prove your claims, or your side of this argument to the satisfaction of anyone but your small little group who constantly repeat what each other has said. You will never convince me that all we are as human being is an accident without purpose to be here for a spit of time and go away. You ask for logic, look at yourselves, your brain your thinking, your itneractions and all the other things you are and if you think your are all of that without a single purpose in life then it's a sad and very lonely thing for you.

Face it folks if I'm wrong, I've lived a great life with a sense of being and reason and purpose and not one doubt about my future (I've face death a couple of times so can say that with full conviction). What's the worst that can happen? I'll go th the grave same as you and just disapeer into nothing? But folks if you are wrong, well I won't pretend which version of Hell is accurate but you being wrong will face the God you have denied, be fully aware that your wrong and not have the slightest chance at that point to change things. No silly fear tactics or anything like that just a comparison of where we each stand.

You see Jim and all of you it's not about some silly worldly definition of what "burden of proof" means. You all claim to be ex Christians and have all investigated throuroughly the Bible and all related information to come to your conclusions yet anytime, anywhere that I have see you asked to provide the solid proof not of what I claim but of what you have said you all pack it off on the burden of proof being on anyone that believes.

I'll put it one other way that maybe you can understand. There is no "burden of proof" on any of us. What is there is the "responsibility of proof" to ourselves. I have my proof, without question in my mind (I still investigat a lot of things but have the proof I need). Your only argument so far from any of you is that you don't need to prove anything only that others have to prove their side. Your wrong folks. You have made statements and claims against what has been accepted the world over by many groups of learned folks (not trying to say my learned folks are better than yours). But instead of offering even the tiniest shred of proof of your side of the argument you only pass it off to be the burden of others to prove your wrong. Doesn't work that way folks. If you believe in something as strong as you all do, then prove it. Take your proof the the scientific and other bodies of the world and let it be investigated and validated, and let all of history be written again to satify your claims. You can't do that so your responsiblity to yourselves is not a reality to achieve.

If you can't prove it don't believe it. Keep searching and questioning, but don't believe anything you can't prove. Not one of you (I'll say again) has provide on tiny bit of proof that your theories and beliefs about the invalidity of the Bible are true.

Later all................this for the sake of the webmaster and all of your angry replies will be the last....Just wanted to respond to Jims somewhat lenghthy repeat of previously made statements.

boomSLANG said...

Good luck, Jim. lol

boomSLANG said...

I'll attempt this once more, using another angle:

Mikey states...(1)...each one of you, do not, let me repeat do not, have one iota of verifiable, unquestioned, proof that the events of the Bible, not matter what they were, did not occur or exist.

and....

(2)You on the other hand have zero absoluter proof of what you claim...

AND...

(3)But instead of offering even the tiniest shred of proof of your side of the argument you only pass it off to be the burden of others to prove your wrong

AND...

(4)If you can't prove it don't believe it. Keep searching and questioning, but don't believe anything you can't prove. Not one of you (I'll say again) has provide on tiny bit of proof that your theories and beliefs about the invalidity of the Bible are true.

(Of course, each statement commits the same logical fallacy; each one ignores the burden of proof, which, that is obviously a concept Mikey refuses to grasp)

Dear Mikey,

I have 5 direct, pointed questions for you. Each question borrows from one of your OWN displays of "logic", as seen above. The questions are as follows:

1) Do you, Mikey, have one iota of verifiable, unquestioned, proof that the events in the Holy Qu'ran are false?

2) Do you, Mikey, have absolute proof that invisible imps didn't create the first human prototypes out of corn husks?

3) Do you, Mikey, have even the tiniest shred of proof that the Book of Mormon is a lie?

4) Can you, Mikey, provide one tiny bit of proof that your theories and beliefs about the invalidity of Scientology, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, the toothfairy, the Great Pumpkin, Quetzacoatl, the Easter Bunny, the Boogieman, and Osiris, are true?

Mikey, I await your direct answers, and BTW, I implore you to answer each question with a simple "yes", or "no".

My last question, question 5, is---if you answered "no" to the above questions, then will you, thus, "keep searching" to see if those things have a referent in reality? Remember, it was YOUR recommendation that if one cannot "prove" a hypothesis false, then one MUST "keep searching" to see if it is true. Right? I'd like to know if you practice your own advice. I'll wager that you do not.

Waiting.

cipher said...

Honestly, Boomslang, I don't know why you're bothering. This is why I won't even converse with Christians any more. It just takes too much out of me.

I spoke to Quetzlcoatl and the Easter Bunny about it, and they couldn't understand why you're bothering, either. I didn't talk to the Tooth Fairy, though - she owes me money and she's avoiding me.

Jim Arvo said...

Mikey,

You have not addressed a single point I raised. Do you feel an obligation to believe everything you are told without evidence? Do you think that would be a good idea? Would a responsible thinking adult believe every rumor, all sides to all arguments, all stories? No, of course not. Why not? Because there it's infinitely easier to generate, believe, and propagate nonsense than it is to find and verify facts. That's why it's a good idea to have some evidence for something before believing it. Otherwise, you will be reduced to a credulous simpleton. I suspect that you actually agree with me on that, but for some reason you do not feel comfortable stating so; either that, or you insist on interpreting what I just said in some bizarre way. So be it. If you have "proof" of what you believe, good for you. Best wishes. Have fun. Good luck, and all that. But it seems that for some perverse reason you wish for us to *also* hold the same beliefs you do, but with no evidence. If I'm wrong about that, just speak up.

By the way, you keep hiding behind the fact that we have not given you "proof." When I make positive claims, I am prepared to offer reasoning and evidence to back them up. Refusing to do so would be silly. If you want me to back up any positive claim I make, I'll be delighted to do so. For example, I claim that much of the NT was very likely derived from midrashic interpolation, and there is a wealth of evidence to support this. I'd be happy to discuss that with you. I also claim that the existence of a historical Jesus is by no means certain from the extant evidence. I'll be happy to show you why. I'm always eager to offer explanations for my beliefs, and to modify my beliefs when my reasoning is found to be faulty. Why is that not the case for you?

By the way, if you do decide to grace us with your presence again, please don't assume you know what my claims are. Feel free to ask, and I'll be happy to tell you, but if you assume, you will likely be attacking a straw man. (And you've already wrestled quite a few of those.)

Dave8 said...

Mikeytj: "You don't owe me zip as far as proof goes."

I'd say not; the claims that you have made, are yours... you're responsible for ensuring they are credible based on authoritative information you trust.

Mikeytj: "You owe yourself the burden of absolute, unquestioned proof that will stand up to any review, any scientific test and any in depth study which will bring the current status to change."

Mikeytj, do you realize, your statement is "directive" and "prescriptive"; requiring a submissive relationship “on your authority”, not a relationship built on trust?

Not only are you making intellectual demands on others, without having established a trust; you are "prescribing" how everyone should intellectually approach life.

You're not only authoritatively "dictating" (dictator); you're micro-managing how we go about accomplishing your intellectual demands throughout our lives.

As a child, I had no choice but to blindly submit to authority regarding morality, education, religion, etc. from clods without a clue – and… I resent being “bullied” now, just as much as I did then.

The demand to require a submissive relationship, psychologically speaking, goes further than words on a blog – it’s likely indicative of your lifestyle.

stronger now said...

"I'm not sure where stronger is coming from..."

I was comeing from a position derived from your lack of understanding simple concepts about logic, and your refusal and/or inability to address them.

"...but his responses basically get back into fringe insults and who needs that."

I suppose useing the word "silly" might be a "fringe insult", whatever that means. Is there another way to call an idea "silly" that COULDN'T be taken as insulting? Or is the fact that I dared call it silly insulting to you?

My advice to you:

"If you don't want people calling your beliefs silly, don't believe silly things."

Dave8 said...

Jim, it was good hearing from your voice of reason - hope your projects are successful, and fulfilling. Have a great one.

Dave8

shalagen said...

Here is an interesting quote I read:

I believe in science. Unlike mathematical theorems, scientific results can't be proved. They can only be tested again and again, until only a fool would not believe them.

I cannot prove that electrons exist, but I believe fervently in their existence. And if you don't believe in them, I have a high voltage cattle prod I'm willing to apply as an argument on their behalf. Electrons speak for themselves.

I believe the Bible and God are the same, although much evidence exists in the prophecies of the Jews being fulfilled through Christ.

Also something to ponder from the Bible in

"But know this, that in the last days grievous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; 5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power therefore. From these also turn away. 6 For of these are they that creep into houses, and take captive silly women laden with sins, led away by divers lusts, 7 ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also withstand the truth. Men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further. For their folly shall be evident unto all men, as theirs also came to be.
10 But thou didst follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience, 11 persecutions, sufferings. What things befell me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that would live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and impostors shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 15 And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. 17 That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work."

Praying for each of you....seek and delve into the Bible front to back before once and for all rejecting Christ.

Philip said...

Shalagen -

The upside to science is that there aren't thousands of different groups of scientists all disagreeing on how electrons interact and what their properties are.

And think for yourself. Don't let the Bible think for you.

Astreja said...

So where's the Biblical equivalent of your cattle prod, Shalagen? Bring it out forthwith so we can run some tests on it.

But Methinks thou hast no voltage we can actually measure.

And whatever gave you the idea that we never read the Bible? For many of us, reading that woefully silly book was the first major step in our deconversion.

cipher said...

The difference is that you don't go to hell for not believing in electrons.

And there is no evidence of Jesus fulfilling Old Testament 'prophecies". This exists solely in the minds of your apologists. Christians have been reading the OT selectively for 2,000 years.