Feed on Posts or Comments 23 October 2014

Monthly ArchiveApril 2011



Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 30 Apr 2011

Why religion can flourish even when it is provably false – Science shows that human children are easily indoctrinated

This quick science experiment shows that human children are strangely easy to indoctrinate. Apparently human children can be indoctrinated with any sort of nonsense, if the video is to be believed:

Commentary:

Young chimps make chumps of children

Vicky Horner, who worked on the study, added: “All the children blindly copied everything I did, perhaps because as humans we’re predisposed to copy adults.

This is likely the source of religion’s persistence. Human children will accept any nonsense from if it comes from an adult.

Christianity Thomas on 27 Apr 2011

David Barton: Christian Charlatan, and the GOP loves him

Meet the Religious Right Charlatan Who Teaches Tea Party America The Totally Pretend History They Want to Hear

Newt Gingrich promises to seek his advice and counsel for the 2012 presidential campaign. Mike Huckabee calls him America’s greatest historian, says he should be writing the curriculum for American students, and in fact suggested that all Americans should be “forced at gunpoint” to listen to his broadcasts. Michelle Bachmann calls him “a treasure for our nation” and invited him to teach one of her Tea Party Caucus classes on the Constitution for members of Congress. State legislators from around the country invite him to share his “wisdom” with them. Glenn Beck calls him “the most important man in America.” Who is this guy?

Among other problems:

Barton’s growing visibility and influence with members of Congress and other Republican Party officials is troubling for many reasons: he distorts history and the Constitution for political purposes; he encourages religious divisiveness and unequal treatment for religious minorities; and he feeds a toxic political climate in which one’s political opponents are not just wrong, but evil and anti-God.

Why do “loving” Christians follow people like this?

Christianity Thomas on 19 Apr 2011

Does Christianity Have a Future?

A look at the decline of Christianity in Britain. “It’s thought that two and a half thousand people stop going to church each week”. “Everything has militated against what we used to do and the way we used to do it”:

Christianity &Islam &Judaism Thomas on 12 Apr 2011

The evidence for God is “terrible or non-existence”

The problem with God is the lack of evidence, as explained here:

Christianity Thomas on 08 Apr 2011

A Christian asks, why don’t atheists believe that Jesus existed?

The following thread from Reddit is worth reading:

A question from a Christian

as a Christian I have a lot of beliefs about a guy we call Jesus who was probably named Yeshua and died circa 30CE. I’ve heard that there are people who don’t even think the guy existed in any form. I mean, obviously I don’t expect you guys to think he came back to life or even healed anybody, but I don’t understand why you’d go so far as to say that the guy didn’t exist at all. So… why not?

Here is the top-rated answer:

I am one who doesn’t think Jesus actually existed, and I will try to make my case here. Secondly, there is a subreddit called r/jesusmyth that you should check out.

On to why I don’t think he existed:

First, there is no contemporary evidence what so ever. Not a single shred of documentation exists written in the time frame that mentions this person. Not a single Roman document ordering his death and not a single mention from any historian writing at the time, and 1st century Judea is a very well documented area where we have descriptions of multiple low level preachers claiming to be a messiah. The biographers of Herod never once mention him slaughtering children and the biographers of Pilate never mention him allowing a mob to grant immunity to a barbaric zealot while condemning Jesus, an act that was unprecedented in ancient times.

Second, even the Gospel accounts are demonstrably incompatible and historically inaccurate. In Matthew, Jesus is born during the reign of Herod, who died in 4 BCE, but in Luke, he is born during the Census of Quirinis, which occurred during 4-5 CE. One of those has to be wrong, so we cannot accept either as true. Beyond that, the simple removal of Jesus from the cross is historically inaccurate. Roman crucifiction was used as much as a warning to others as a punishment to the condemned. As such, bodies were not removed from the cross. They were left there to rot as a warning to others to keep in line. There is no way, the Roman authorities would have allowed the condemned to be removed from the cross on the same day of his execution. I know the Bible works in a cover about the bodies needing to be down before Passover, but the Romans wouldn’t have done it.

Third, the earliest writings of Jesus we have come from Saul/Paul, a person who admittedly never met Jesus, and who’s writings never actually refer to Jesus as an actual person who once walked the Earth, they are written to depict Jesus as someone who only existed in the Spirit World.

Fourth, the Gospels were all written at least 40 years after Jesus’ death, so they provide no useful first hand information. We also have no idea who the actual authors were, so we cannot verify anything. Also, the earliest known copies of Mark (the first gospel written) don’t even mention the resurrection, that wasn’t added until later, which brings into question the whole resurrection story. Since the other 3 Gospels are mostly just copied from Mark (with some changes and embellishment) they are just as flawed.

Lastly, the “proofs” that Christians trot of ancient writings about Jesus have been mostly proven to be forgeries (see Josephus).

The situation is obvious. Jesus never existed in reality. He (and everything attributed to him) is a myth, just like the myth of Santa Claus.

Why do Christians believe this myth, especially with so many myth elements displayed so prominently, such as the virgin birth, the miracles and the resurrection from death? This video explains why:

Christianity Thomas on 01 Apr 2011

The dream of the religious right – indoctrination at gunpoint

Rather shocking, but not unexpected:

Mike Huckabee Says He Wants Americans To Be Indoctrinated At Gunpoint

Mike Huckabee states, “I almost wish that there would be, like, a simultaneous telecast, and all Americans would be forced–forced at gunpoint no less–to listen to every David Barton message, and I think our country would be better for it. I wish it’d happen.”

Who is David Barton?

In that video you will hear the idea that 29 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were seminary graduates. This is untrue:

Debunking “Beck U” — Faith 102 with “Professor” David Barton

“Barton cleverly uses the word ‘seminary’ to dupe his followers into thinking that 29 signers of the Declaration of Independence had theology degrees and were ministers, when in reality the word ‘seminary’ just means college, although its use today is almost always to refer to a theological seminary. The truth is that only four of the 56 signers of the Declaration went to college to study theology, and only two, John Witherspoon and Lyman Hall, stuck with it and became ministers, but Hall was booted out of his church for some moral indiscretion and decided to become a doctor instead of a minister. Of the other two, one became a lawyer and the other became a merchant.”

Much of what Barton says is untrue:

WallBuilders’ Shoddy Workmanship

Incredibly, Barton appears to have emerged undamaged even after admitting that many of his quotes are bogus, and he continues spreading incorrect information through the Religious Right’s media empire. During his most recent interview with Dobson May 2, Barton conceded that Thomas Jefferson’s famous 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut calls for a “wall of separation between church and state.” But Barton went on to claim that later in the letter Jefferson says separation “means the government will not run the church, but we will still use Christian principles with government.” In fact, Jefferson’s letter says no such thing. (For more information about this and other Barton errors, see “Sects, Lies and Videotape,” and “David Barton’s Bad History,” April 1993 Church & State magazine.)