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I still think that at least Jesus's existence is factually true.

In what form? A man, a carpenter with a wife and kids, or the demi god, born of a virgin, performed miracles after not being heard of from the ages of 12 to 30, crucified and born again 3 days later?

Why people want to hold on to this silly story in the 21st century baffles me, and I'm sure many here on the forum.

How long before you let go of the fairy tale, and become an atheist? All that means is that you lack a belief in gods.
Yep, that is all you can say. Large floods happen. But you knew that without needing the bible to tell you. People build civilizations near water and sometimes the water floods.

Noah is just a legend about a big flood that killed some people. No global catastrophe, no magical saving of one family who then repopulated the earth, no putting all the animals on the planet on one boat ever happened. Because not possible. No evidence.

So, what else in the bible is not factually true, but mythological? Can we lay much of Genesis to rest as mythological? Or, maybe it would be simpler to ask, what important parts of the bible do you still think are factually true?

Seeing as Jewish rabbis have said they consider all five books of the Torah to be mythology/historical fiction... I still think that at least Jesus's existence is factually true.
Religion In The News / Re: National Geographic article on atheism
« Last post by kcrady on Yesterday at 11:06:38 PM »
I remember hearing that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception isn't even in the Bible, though since I haven't gotten that far in my read-through I can't officially confirm or deny that through my own reading yet.

Funny thing about that.  If Yahweh could just wave his magic wand over Mary's zygote and say "Presto!  No 'Original Sin' for you!" why couldn't he just do that for everybody?  Save his beloved son from crucifixion, especially if he started out with Cain and Abel and kept things from getting terribad in the first place.  If he could only cast an Immaculate Conception spell once for some reason, why do it for Mary?  He could have done it for Jesus and obviated the need for a "virgin conception," so poor Mary and Joe could have had a regular marriage instead of sleeping next to each other every night moaning in sexual frustration because The Baby got permanent ownership of Mary's uterus for some reason.[1]  In short, "the Immaculate Conception" is a retcon that blows up the story it's meant to save no matter how you slice it.
 1. Even if one wants to take a sexist patriarchal perspective and not care that Mary had to do all the diaper changing & etc. without so much as a single orgasm to show for it...What About Teh Menz?!  Here's poor Joseph, goes and betroths himself to a pretty young chick, but before he even gets a honeymoon night, along comes Yahweh and hits him with a perma-cockblock.  And whenever he tries to go to the alehouse, all the dudebros say, "Joseph, we'd stone your ass for blasphemy for saying the kid's Yahweh's, as if Yahweh was some kinda swinger like Zeus, but we're too busy laughing at you for being such a cuck!"  His consolation prize--people bury little statues of him when they want to sell their houses.  Totally worth it! ;)
General Religious Discussion / Re: Noah's Island???
« Last post by kcrady on Yesterday at 10:26:47 PM »
What was god's goal with the flood?


Did he succeed in that goal?

Hell yes!  How else can you turn the extermination of an entire planetary biosphere into something cute for kids?

This is called the "Tales of Glory Noah's Ark Play Set."  Because isn't planet-wrecking slaughter glorious?

That has to be the most astonishing feat of marketing in the history of the human species.  If you can convince people to believe this shit--and that Yahweh and Noah are the good guys--then you've got the cheat codes to their brains and you can get them to believe, or do, anything you want.  And that, as JST would be the first to admit, is what it's all about.  "Jehovah" (or "Yahweh") is all about garnering human obedience.  But of course, no invisible cosmic superbeing ever shows up to collect; "his" human spokesmen do, "on his behalf."

General Religious Discussion / Re: CrystalDragon's Bible Blog
« Last post by nogodsforme on Yesterday at 09:45:17 PM »
If you were not married, how could you commit adultery? Tis a puzzlement. But you are probably right that someone who thinks that gays cannot be married could still be charged with committing adultery. So they could be stoned to death twice.

I also think you are starting to understand why so many people find it hard to remain Christians once they actually read the bible. I have said before that many black folks I know are devout Christians who think they know the bible. Because they "study" the bible, that is, they read selected sections of it either alone or with a group, while answering some kind of pre-packaged questions developed by their pastor or by some Christian organization. But they never really read the bible, not read the entire thing while thinking about it,  like they would read a newspaper, a textbook, or anything else secular.

They never ask, now does this make any sense? Does this passage match what I just read yesterday? Does this follow from what I know about my religion? Does this match what I know about the world? Is this what I actually believe?

Instead, they assume from the outset that it is all true because god wrote it or breathed it or inspired it or whatever. And then they try to make it fit reality....
Chatter / Re: How does free speech work?
« Last post by Mr. Blackwell on Yesterday at 08:07:52 PM »
A right-winger will be opposed to immigration...

Every single "professional" right winger has espoused strong support for immigration. They merely oppose "illegal" immigration or amnesty for those who have already crossed our borders through unofficial channels. 

The left-winger who loses his job when it is outsourced to India may want it back and care nothing for those who are really struggling to make any sort of a living.

Sounds like a right wing complaint to me but I can see how a liberal would still be miffed if they lost their job to outsourcing.

The left and right may band together to oppose a minority action, e.g. opposition to the kosher/halal slaughter of animals: the right because it proves Jews and Muslims are savages who have gone too far, and the left as it is cruel to animals and unnecessary.

I am not familiar with this debate but it does bring up a question regarding religious freedom and weddings. Could a Jewish couple sue a catering company if they refused to cater their wedding because the owners refused to provide kosher food based on their own personal religious bias? What if a Muslim wants a Jewish owned catering company to provide a halal menu for their religious ceremony? This is just a tangential question. It just crossed my mind.

From the point of view of an "oppressed" minority, government must be careful to strike a balance between protecting them and their customs and indicating to them that they are victims of some sort who deserved not only "rights" but compensation for having lived whilst not having those rights. This is particularly difficult, as government has to have time to allow the adjustment of the mindset of the majority. Yet a minority can make quite a noise whilst this process is happening, which makes persuading the majority that a concession is in order all the more difficult as polarisation starts to occur.

That is the problem in a nutshell. I'm guessing that it's easier to walk a tight rope across Niagara Falls during a thunder storm than it is for a government to balance the equation of human happiness and suffering. You can't please is a fools errand.

Some minorities have among them right/left wingers who realise this is the case and purposely find a good cause (e.g. segregation) and then behave more than provocatively on the back of that cause – using it for their own agenda.

I would love to understand what they think the world will look like once they have accomplished all their goals. Sometimes it seems to me that the "progressive" agenda has no finish's just an eternal struggle to change whatever is happening at the time....which is constantly changing. I mean, is there a point where the progressives will sit back and say to each other, "We have finally accomplished our vision, cheers to a job well done!"? What do they become then? Conservatives? Because, you know, they would want to conserve what they think is just the absolute best way for everyone to live.

Like all things, free speech is about what you do with it when you have got it: you do not use it to cause harm and you do not use it to criticise what a person can do nothing about. Otherwise, you may use it in all cases of opinion – yours or theirs and I do believe that nobody has a right not to be insulted.

Religion In The News / Re: National Geographic article on atheism
« Last post by CrystalDragon on Yesterday at 07:19:24 PM »
(Albeto, I'll respond to yours in a little while, I'm a little busy right now and I had wanted to reply quickly to NGFM's post.  Just so you know I'm not ignoring the other posters.)

^^^That is exactly what happened. The Catholics changed the names of the gods and goddesses, and let people keep on partying. That is why there is a patron saint for everything under the sun, and lots of different local saints and virgins in every Catholic country around the world. It's polytheism, all the way down.

If you look at the major Christian/Catholic festivals, they coincided nicely with European pagan feast days and celebrations. Fertility celebrations in the spring to reawaken Mother Earth. And wow, the word Easter actually means "fertility" and all those eggs and bunnies and flowers happen to represent Jesus being reborn. In a place where the seasons don't even match. What a coincidence.

And the winter solstice celebration where pagans set trees on fire to bring back the sun after the dark, cold winter just happens to take place the same week that Jesus was born far away during a frosty, snowy winter. In the Middle East. Right.

I definitely remember hearing about the winter solstice one—Saturnailia[1], I think, based around the god Saturn where we get Saturday from—and how they just say Jesus's birthday is on December 25th to try to convince more pagans to join
 1.  Which I think is a cool-sounding holiday name
General Religious Discussion / Re: CrystalDragon's Bible Blog
« Last post by CrystalDragon on Yesterday at 07:16:51 PM »
Problematic?  It shows Christians claims to be wrong, not just a little but completely.       Slavery was and still is supported by the bible, no rewrites coming down from your god.   Treating women at best as second class citizens was and still is supported by the bible.   As for divorce, your supposed savior said it was wrong, with no excuses and this savior also said that all of the idiotic laws of the bible were still to be followed, no exceptions.   It's humans (at least more of them) that have changed and grown, leaving a hidebound religion behind.

I admit, even though a lot of people say "We don't have to follow the OT laws anymore, Jesus abolished it!", actually reading the context shows that not an iota of the Law will pass away, which presumably means we still ought to follow it—honestly, I think the reason a lot of people don't know about that (or seem to is because they either ignore it, haven't read the Bible, and/or just believe that Jesus declared the OT invalid because someone told them, without looking into it themselves.

I think Jesus said that divorce is wrong except in cases of adultery, then Jesus said anyone who thinks a lustful thought or looks at someone lustfully has committed adultery... every human being on the planet capable of having sex has done this... therefore ---   DRUMROLL

Nobody should get a divorce except for... EVERYBODY!

Thank you, YRM_DM, for posting something that gave me a laugh today.  Good point and funny. :)

I wonder if the anti-gay marriage folks would grant a Christian gay married couple a divorce due to one committing adultery? Would they tell the couple that they were never really married, so there was no adultery possible? Or would the whole sitcheyashun just make their heads explode? :?

My guess is they might say the couple were never really married, but there was still a sin of adultery.
Chatter / Re: How does free speech work?
« Last post by Graybeard on Yesterday at 05:31:20 PM »
I agree with you graybeard!

One thing you didn't address that I would like your opinion on is on the flip side, the oppressed majority. It's quite funny though when we look at it. We always talk about minorities who always get oppressed, but on the subject of gun control, the minority has the law in their hands. I remembered that statistic where 93% of USA (both left and right wingers) supported openly gun control and background check laws, yet, the 7% get to tell 100% of the country how their gun laws shall be enacted.

That is just one example, but I do wonder about an oppressed majority on the subject of free speech.
This has little to do with free speech – free speech is just that: it does not mean that anyone will listen to you. However, in the West we like to think that governments respond to demands in proportion to the number of people expressing that opinion.

Well, that is the delusion. One day every 4 years a few people[1] get to choose the people who say they will do something that approximates to what they want done but, in reality, they are constrained by economics and a desire to get elected next time and, at the same time, do as little as they think they can, as cheaply as they can, and get to get away with – all the time having to put up with natural disasters and lunatics abroad doing things nobody likes.

As much as I disliked him, Mitt Romney was perfectly correct when he said that he didn’t care about the 47% who are never going to vote Republican[2] – truth is, he was probably not much bothered about the 47% who were going to vote Republican – he was interested in the 6% in the middle who might vote Republican if the right things were said. These were the only people for whom democracy worked in some way.

The subject of gun control is the poison chalice: all politicians just wish it would go away but failing to do anything is not oppression. If the majority are now in position A and a year later they are in position A then there is no oppression; if, a year later they are in A minus, then they are oppressed. If they are in A+ they have simply been raised to a position from which A will appear to be oppression.

The oppression of the majority occurs when adverse laws are passed against the majority and in favour of a minority -> 10% extra task on people whose homes are less than 10,000 square foot -> thus causing the drop from A to A minus. They are not oppressed by “No tax if you earn over $1 million/p.a.” as their circumstances remain “A” nor are they oppressed by laws that confirm the rights of a minority (gays may marry) as their circumstances remain “A” or enable a minority to live more efficiently (free medicine for terminally ill patients; free appliances for the disabled.)

Your example of only 7% being opposed to gun control is simple corruption. If a government knows the will of the people, as long as that will is reasonable, then they should, regardless of who is filling their coffers, comply with the wishes of the people. The failure of a government to act makes them subservient to a non-democratic minority who have power without responsibility.
 1. See the next paragraph for the 6% who are listened to
 2. “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.
Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Yes floods occur, we are talking about a specific flood deeper than my Everest over the whole world that occurred in 40 days of rain and lasting a year eliminating all life on earth except for that on a wooden boat built from trees in a desert inhabited by violent, wicked men that raped each others wives and children for kicks.
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