Monthly ArchiveDecember 2009
Christianity Thomas on 20 Dec 2009
One example question:
4) One day while jogging in the park, you see a maniac with a butcher knife about to attack a six-year old girl. What should you do?
1. Grab the nearest rock and club the attacker
2. Call the police on your cell phone
3. Yell “POLICE!” and run toward the attacker in a threatening manner
4. Calmly walk away, because God works in mysterious ways, and what appears “evil” to our finite human mind, may in fact be part of a vaster plan in God’s infinite mind, so it’s best not to interfere
On this question, why should a human do anything if there really is an all-powerful man in the sky who has a plan for each one of us, and who has the power to save this child himself if it is his plan for the child to live?
What if Mother Mary Had Obamacare? – by Chuck Norris
What would have happened if Mother Mary had been covered by Obamacare? What if that young, poor and uninsured teenage woman had been provided the federal funds (via Obamacare) and facilities (via Planned Parenthood, etc.) to avoid the ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy? Imagine all the great souls who could have been erased from history and the influence of mankind if their parents had been as progressive as Washington’s wise men and women! Will Obamacare morph into Herodcare for the unborn?
Why would Mother Mary need to “avoid the ridicule, ostracizing, persecution and possible stoning because of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy?” Because of fundamentalists following Bible verses like this:
Deuteronomy 22:20-21 – “If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.”
If Mother Mary Had Obamacare, she would not face stoning and her child would have been born in a hospital instead of a barn.
Rush Limbaugh declared on his December 17 show: “In Copenhagen, it is a blizzard on loan from God, my friends. I always believe God has a sense of purpose and I always have believed that God has a sense of humor.”
The storm is described here: Blizzard Dumps Snow on Copenhagen as Leaders Battle Warming
So in the mind of this Christian, God looked down from heaven and adjusted the planet so that snow would fall at a specific place and time to send a message to world leaders.
Of course that same God would not want to look down on the planet and help the tens of thousands of children who will die of starvation today.
Why does Rush Limbaugh think that his God has a sense of purpose and a sense of humor, but not a sense of compassion or a sense of decency? Christians like this are disgusting.
The God of the gaps: “There is a religious feeling at the limits of Ptolemy’s knowledge, and this is a trend that will continue for thousands of years… Some of the greatest minds that have proceeded us have done ths.”
Even Isaac Newton invoked intelligent design at the limits of his knowledge.
In this review the book is called “Karen Armstrong’s rebuttal to the new atheists”:
Taken together, well over a million and a half copies of [atheist] books were printed and purchased in the past five years. Why did they strike such a chord in American readers?
Stepping into the debate and answering this question is Karen Armstrong. A former Catholic nun as well as a former skeptic (“for many year I myself wanted nothing whatsoever to do with religion”), Armstrong enters this conversation with twenty years of religious study to her credit. She is an expert on world religions, the author of bestselling and respected works on Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and even A History of God. So we can take Armstrong’s title, The Case for God, very seriously and hear it as a profound rebuttal to the new atheists of the moment.
On Amazon: The Case for God
Another review: All quiet on the God front
When people talk about non-physical substances like souls, they are participating in dualism. The idea that the soul can survive the body as its own object creates a new kind of object. This is nonsense, as this video will help you understand:
Since ancient times, many attempts have been made to account for the relationship between mind and body. This video examines the inherent flaws in the philosophy of substance dualism, along with some of the fallacious reasoning often put forward to support it.
A Christian puts it this way:
To me, God exists outside of the realm of science we are aware of. The most commonly held theory is that the universe began with a Big Bang type event. Real scientific evidence points to this conclusion. It is also feasible that it was a completely random occurrence, a la quantum physics. Yet even if it was random, there’s still that pesky ‘why’ question that won’t go away (i’m not satisfied by a response that says random implies no need for a why). Like everyone else, I have no definitive answer.
Yet why do I believe in God? It is hard to articulate. I’m no poet. When I see beauty in the world, it makes me feel like there’s something more there. This may just be a product of my evolution, but again theres no proof. I feel closest to God (if he exists), when I listen to Beethoven’s Ninth (another top achievement). Or look out onto the Grand Canyon (as Bob Dylan once alluded to). Yes it is a cliche, but have you watched those old “miracle of life” films recently? I understand the biology and physics that lead to life, but science has yet to fully explain my thoughts or feelings. Also, this belief has nothing to do with a comforting desire for an afterlife. I have no clue, but my best guess is that my after-life will be just like my before-life.
The responses are interesting.
A story that shows that the Bible does not necessarily teach morality – it sometimes teaches just the opposite:
The number of dead was confirmed at nine in late April when police were able to investigate and have a doctor perform autopsies on the dead. Among the reports were those of the murder of several children: “Moses, aged 13 years; Alec Oomaraluk aged eight years; Johnasie, aged six years; Johnny Kokpuk, aged seven years; Nukarak, aged 55 years; and Kumudluk Sarah, aged 32 years, all froze to death after [a woman named] Mina forced them to walk onto the frozen Hudson’s Bay on the morning of March 29, 1941. Testimony from witnesses suggested that, for example, the woman, Mina, was under the delusion at the time that she was God or Jesus, depending on reports. Of the other murders, the death of Sarah Apawkok involved others believing she was Satan; others involved disagreement over the claims of two other men who said they were God and Jesus.
There is some suggestion that the religious nature of the murders came from the fact an Anglican missionary had left a translated Bible among the hunters on the Belchers in the 1920s.
“…the Calgary Albertan reported that the Toronto Star had received details of the murders over short-wave radio. The murders, according to the Star, occurred during a religious dispute, concerning God’s return to earth, between two unnamed Eskimo families. In view of the religious nature of the dispute, the Star contacted Archibald Fleming, Anglican Bishop of the Arctic, for comments. Fleming explained that “it had been many years since there was a missionary on the Belchers who could help the Eskimos solve their theological difficulties.”
Imagine you are a small child. From the very earliest age you are hearing “Bible stories” that involve murder. Cain and Abel, Noah’s flood, King David, Jesus’ murder, etc. Don’t you suppose that this sort of education would predispose millions of people towards murder as a viable solution to their problems?
What if everyone in America had been raised without these stories?
Christianity Thomas on 13 Dec 2009
Christianity Thomas on 12 Dec 2009
Question from a Christian – “What do you do with the secular writings about Jesus Christ? Please explain to me how you could say that Jesus Christ never lived, that there was no Jesus Christ.”
A question from a Christian, in the form of a YouTube video:
I would like to pose this question to anyone who says that Christianity is completely false, or that there is no God. What do you do with the secular writings about Jesus Christ? Please explain to me how you could say that Jesus Christ never lived, that there was no Jesus Christ. Because there were many, many secular writings, and to me that would be extra-biblical proof – proof outside the Bible – that definitely corresponds with what is in the Bible. What would be your answer for that?
First, we look at the evidence that Christians use to claim that Jesus did exist. The 35 minute video below (in 4 parts) provides a summary of that evidence. It opens with:
I would like to present to you the case for the historical evidence of Jesus. Lately there have been many people who have been claiming that there is no evidence to verify his actual existence… First you should know that this view is a new one. All throughout history skeptics used to claim that Jesus did not rise from the dead, or that his miracles were only parlor tricks, or that his disciples stole his body from the tomb. But they never claimed he didn’t exist. Claiming he never existed only became possible recently, due to the long period of time that has passed since the first century. In actuality, there is much more evidence for Jesus’s existance than there is for almost any famous or important person of that time. In this presentation, we will be using only non-Biblical evidence. In other words, we won’t be using the Bible to prove the Bible. We will also be stopping after every account to address the typical skeptical questions about each claim. I warn you though – if you watch this video you will no longer be able to believe that there is no evidence for the existence of Jesus, and you might even start to question the integrity of the research of those who have told you that there isn’t. I will be quoting from the website TheDivineEvidence.com
The evidence includes:
1) The writings of Cornelius Tacitus (55 – 120 AD) – “considered one of the greatest historians of Rome.”
2) The writings of Lucian of Samosata – “second century satirist”
3) Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 AD)
4) Pliny the Younger
5) Celsus – Second century Roman author and opponent of Christianity
6) Gaius Suetonius Tranquilius (69 – 130 AD) – “prominent Roman historian”
So how do Atheists refute this? By noting that there are no eye-witness or contemporary accounts of anything mentioned in the Bible. Example:
Therefore, the fact that historians make small mentions of Jesus after-the-fact, and often with words like “superstition” attached, is meaningless. Note that none of the historians above was alive when Jesus was supposedly alive. They are all working with hearsay. The fact that no contemporary historian mentions Jesus is stronger than the fact that later historians did write about him using hearsay.
This page carries that argument further, noting that there is ample contemporary evidence to prove that Julius Caesar existed, but none for Jesus:
Unlike the mythical Jesus Christ, we know what Caesar looked like and we have a complete history of his life. In turn, general, orator, historian, statesman and lawgiver. We have words written by Caesar himself and words written by both his friends and his enemies. Artifacts confirm his life and death, as do his successors. Caesar established a style of government – and a calendar – which endured for centuries…
The ringing claim of “more evidence for the existence of Jesus than there is for any other person of his day” is followed by a potpourri of ancient sources, as if a list made long enough could disguise the fact that NOT A SINGLE SOURCE EVER QUOTED IS FROM THE TIME OF THE GODMAN.
Early non-Christian writers, including the favourite hostages – Josephus, Suetonius, Pliny and Tacitus – are discussed here.
Note what we are being asked to believe: That the God who created the universe sent his only son to earth, and that this son did things like gathering thousands of people together and feeding them with loaves and fishes that materialized out of thin air…
…But not a single eye-wittness or contemporaneous account exists.
That is not believable.
Christianity Thomas on 12 Dec 2009
Ray Comfort wrote an intro to Darwin’s “Origin of Species”. The only problem is that the first three pages are plagiarized:
Comfort put his introduction on the Web months ago, and several bloggers who monitor anti-evolution efforts noted differences in style between the biography and the rest of the introduction. A brief computer search uncovered the source, and they confronted the author and publisher about the apparent plagiarism months before the book was printed. Guffey says he was never contacted for permission to use the biography. Both the author and publisher declined to comment for this story.
One of Ray Comfort’s favorite questions: “Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever stolen anything?” Ray Comfort does both, publicly.
Islam Thomas on 11 Dec 2009
Interesting video from CNN on Islam’s stated goal to dominate the world. At the 20 second point you see the poster stating ISLAM WILL DOMINATE THE WORLD:
If only they had this fervor for something useful like feeding the poor or ending pollution. But no, they feel this fervor because of an imaginary being in the sky, and to achieve domination they are willing to kill.
It helps explain the Swiss minaret ban
Christianity Thomas on 10 Dec 2009
Kent Hovind (of young earth creationist fame) wrote a thesis, and now you can read it:
Reddit comments are available here:
“Hello, my name is Kent Hovind. I am a creation/science evangelist. I live in Pensacola, Florida. I have been a high school science teacher since 1976. I’ve been very active in the creation/evolution controversy for quite some time.”
That’s not a thesis, that’s a letter to santa.
If you have never heard of Kent Hovind, this is one of his seminars. “Solid evidence that the earth is not millions of years old”:
Christianity Thomas on 10 Dec 2009