More Idiocy from Answers in Genesis

Opposing Views is a website that generally presents different opinions on various topics and allows its users to debate then freely. So it was a surprise to see the Creationist propaganda mill known as Answers in Genesis publish this rank nonsense for all to see on that site:

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/dear-atheists-bodie-hodge Continue reading

The Absurdity of the Book of Job

The Book of Job is one of those Bible works that clearly served a theological purpose: solving the problem of evil. Ancient Hebrews assumed that the universe was created by an all-powerful and intelligent deity who also gave laws to govern the lives of his Chosen People. But this created a dilemma: how could an all-powerful God allow for evil in his own creation? The Book of Job attempts to address this issue, but does so in a sloppy manner that really does not give any genuine answers.

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Stop Overlooking Evil in Religion!

Rebecca Watson just reported on a supposedly “moderate Theist”, named Stan, who criticized her attacks on Helen Ukpabio, a self-professed “witch-hunter” and Christian fanatic in Nigeria.

Here is the message he sent her:

Subject: Moving beyond Skepticism toward agendas
Message: Thank you guys/gals for years of entertainment, lessons regarding logical fallicies, interesting interviews, laughs and the ‘how-to’ in approaching a supposed “science-based” essay.

I continue to download your podcast weekly, though lately I find myself only to listen briefly to your science news, check who may be interviewed and skip to ‘Science or Fiction.’

Over these years (in MY subjective estimation) you have continued to drift toward an ‘agenda-based’ position forwarding not only skeptical thinking but actively pushing atheism.

It’s no longer limited to Rebecca’s consistant slam on organized religion, but seems woven through most your dialogues whenever the subject arises.

OK, example please! Late examples would be the story of a supposed Christian lady leader in Africa killing witches (the one coming or who came to Houston, TX). These acts of this organization in Africa are terrible. And so, you blame it on the religious group(s) for allowing or supporting this. In the same vein, let’s poke at the religious for our history segment on burning witches at the stake (last week). Skeptically, I think the anthropologists would look more at the local government structures at the time to be the culprit; but, religion is an easy target for you.

I wondered today, that say a man entered a local bank, loudly declared himself to be an athiest and proceeded to rob the bank at gunpoint, how you would spin it on SGU.

By what I see as of late, I think you would not deem it noteworthy, since 1) It’s not a topic driven by my afore mentioned agenda; 2) You wouldn’t accept that he was an athiest just by his declaration; and 3) You would NEVER associate his atheism (if he was) to this disassociative act.

If the last two reasons above seem sensible to you, why not apply that with inflamed news that includes religions?

I don’t think you can defend the position that you do give religious news the ‘fair skeptical look,’… and thus my first point (not your agenda) has grounds.

Though I may slowly drift from your podcast, I do thank you greatly for your lessons, and for introducing me to various energized skeptics across the globe who can keep focused on the “Science” and fair “Skepticism,” not focusing on groups to slam in order to feel good or more right.

I absolutely hate when people write like this. It is so intellectually dishonest!

Fighting bigotry is not about promoting the atheist agenda. Unless and until the speaker in the podcast is explicitly stating he wants to promote atheism, any such assumption from Theists should be considered an outright lie!

Indeed, I consider the writer above to be a backstabber.  As the saying goes, it is not so much the evil doers that are the scourge of the world as much as the supposedly good people who do nothing….including Christians who ignore or make excuses for the extremists amongst themselves. Stan is an idiot.

Rebecca answered him as follows:

I don’t understand the complaint at all. Helen Ukpabio founded an evangelical Christian ministry based upon her interpretation of the Bible. She preaches to congregations around the world about witches, telling them that God hates these children and demands that they be cured or murdered.

Why on earth would we discuss that without mentioning religion? She is literally using religious belief to convince people to murder children. We never said that this is what all Christians do. We never even said that this is what all Christians believe or support. So what did we say that was incorrect?

When Stan did not give a straight reply to her, she sent another message:

Apparently I don’t merit a direct response, but I’ll try once more, anyway. Witches are paranormal creatures that do not exist. Our podcast is called “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe.” Skeptics often rationally discuss the paranormal.

Now, I’m very curious: please explain why we should not have covered the Helen Ukpabio witch-hunter story.

The answer, quite simply, is that the Bible itself condones and even commands the sort of brutal stunts against women and children who are labled “witches” that Ukpabio calls for. And Stan must know that.

This whole issue would not exist if Christian leaders would stop lying about the Bible itself and how it was made.

There is nothing moderate about asserting as fact what is actually a falsehood. Not in politics nor in religion!

You can be a theist without believing in the Bible as the Word of God. You can even be a Christian without believing in the Bible as the Word of God. In short, you can be a Christian without believing in any lies. Try it sometime!

Jesus said even the Torah is not the Word of God

I am neither a Jew nor a Christian, but I find it ironic that many Christians insist that the Bible is the infallible Word of God, considering that Jesus did not teach that and indeed seemed to indicate that fallible MEN made some parts of it.

Matthew 19:3-9

3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

   4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

This passage strikes at the very heart of fundamentalist dogma, that the entire Bible from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse of Revelation, was revealed by God and has absolute authority over men. Of course, if you are an Orthodox Jew, you would naturally take offense at anyone overturning a law of the Torah. But often Christian sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses also fall prey to excessive legalism, which Jesus denied! If certain laws in the Torah were made by Moses, not God, why not allow for the possibility that other passages, even in the New Testament, were also made by men for a specific time and people, not by God for all peoples and all times? How can we tell?

We can’t, which is why Biblical authority is a concept we need to discard.

Dr. Georgia Purdom, hypocrite

This is a bio of Answers in Genesis “scientist”  Georgia Purdom.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/g_purdom.asp

Quotes from it will be in red and my responses will be in green.

Dr. Georgia Purdom is a compelling and dynamic lecturer and well qualified to speak on the relevance of Genesis to the issue of biblical authority.

So she has the gift of gab. You need that to be a successful preacher, but that has nothing to do with being an effective scientist.

She is the only female Ph.D. scientist engaged in full-time speaking and research for a biblical creationist organization in North America.

This actually violates Biblical teachings!  1 Timothy 2:12 – “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”

Dr. Purdom states, “A proper understanding of Genesis is very important because it is foundational to biblical authority and a Christian worldview. It’s about so much more than the creation/evolution controversy. It’s about the truthfulness and authority of God’s Word.”

Sure, as long as you ignore that verse from 1 Timothy. Or maybe she thinks it is not God’s Word? After all, it IS in the Bible. So can she, her boss Ken Ham, or other Creationist advocates specify what parts of the Bible are the Word of God and what are not?

The real issue I have with religion

The real issue is of honesty, not what one beleives. I don’t care if you bow down and worship a blue bull, as long as you don’t LIE to us about how that bull is not only your god, but is somehow a god to everyone else and that there is credible scientific and scholarly evidence to support your dogmas about the bull.

Anyone can read the Bible with his own eyes and mind and see that it is chock full of historical errors, contradictions, logical failings, and absurdities. So what do Christian apologists do to explain them away? Word gaming, nothing more! Once you start down that perverse path, with no test in reality, there need be no end to it. One lie is defended by another lie, and then you tell yet more lies to support the earlier ones. It just becomes a habit that is impossible to break, because doing so would make your whole case fall apart and you would lose your blind and ignorant following which gives you your power!

That’s how religious apologetics works, and Creationism is merely religious apologetics with scientific terminology. Nothing more.

Translations of Scriptures cannot be trusted

As critical as I am of the Baha’i Faith, I am equally critical of orthodox Islam, which the Baha’i Faith evolved from. The reason is simple: If you truly believe in an all-powerful and sovereign God, then the very idea that anything, like the Quran, can be the final revelation of God for all time is blasphemy. It is man telling God to be silent forever. So why not become atheist, then? I addressed this before:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/muslims-get-a-life/

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Dinosaurs and Creationism

One of the biggest frauds committed by Creationists, especially of the “Young Earth” variety, is to assert that dinosaurs existed as part of God’s creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis, that they were on the Ark of Noah, and that they died out after the flood. They do all this without a single shred of evidence for their claims, nor do they give any clear statements from the Bible as support. So from both a scientific and a theological perspective, they fail miserably.

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Teaching religion dishonestly

One of the things I so despise about Christian apologists like Josh McDowell is how blind they seem to be to their own stupidity or dishonesty. Case in point, the two completely different birth narratives about Jesus in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. I will present them one after the other, but with completely different names to show how utterly different and mutually exclusive they really are. People overlook the otherwise obvious only because they see the names of Jesus, Joseph, and Mary in the stories and because they associate those names with holiness, they assume the writings must be holy and therefore true. But in fact, at least one of the Gospel writers made falsehoods and thus defiled those names. A lie told in the name of Jesus is still a lie and thus dishonors Jesus.

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If we can burn Qurans…

….why can’t we also burn Bibles?

Look at this:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100907/ap_on_re_us/quran_burning

Pressure rises on pastor who wants to burn Quran

By MITCH STACY, Associated Press Writer Mitch Stacy, Associated Press Writer 11 mins ago

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The government turned up the pressure Tuesday on the head of a small Florida church who plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, warning him that doing so could endanger U.S. troops and Americans everywhere.

But the Rev. Terry Jones insisted he would go ahead with his plans, despite criticism from the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, the White House and the State Department, as well as a host of religious leaders.

Jones, who is known for posting signs proclaiming that Islam is the devil’s religion, says the Constitution gives him the right to publicly set fire to the book that Muslims consider the word of God.

Gen. David Petraeus warned Tuesday in an e-mail to The Associated Press that “images of the burning of a Quran would undoubtedly be used by extremists in Afghanistan — and around the world — to inflame public opinion and incite violence.” It was a rare example of a military commander taking a position on a domestic political matter.

Jones responded that he is also concerned but is “wondering, ‘When do we stop?’” He refused to cancel the protest set for Saturday at his Dove World Outreach Center, a church that espouses an anti-Islam philosophy.

“How much do we back down? How many times do we back down?” Jones told the AP. “Instead of us backing down, maybe it’s to time to stand up. Maybe it’s time to send a message to radical Islam that we will not tolerate their behavior.”

But atheists say that Christianity is just as corrupt, abusive, and bogus as Islam. Therefore, if this Christian pastor wants to burn the Islamic holy book, then atheists should feel just as free to burn the Bible, the holy book of the pastor’s religion. What goes around, comes around.

Of course, it would be better to burn no books at all. Not even Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Studying the books’ contents and refuting their claims is always better.

Why the Rapture is a bogus concept

Have you ever seen a bumper sticker like this?

Where does that idea come from? It is found here in 1 Thessalonians:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/1th/4.html

4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Note the exact wording, however. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

Clearly, Paul was claiming that the return of Christ and the Rapture would occur while the generation he was writing to was still alive. But that generation has been dead for about 1900 years. So the people who have such bumper stickers really don’t read their own scriptures properly. The prophecy is false.

From the book of Deuteronomy:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/dt/18.html

18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Why is Paul STILL considered a genuine apostle of Christ? If I had my way, all of Paul’s writings, along with the book of Acts (which features Paul), and even the epistle of 2 Peter (which makes excuses for the failure of Jesus to return as he supposedly promised and mentions Paul as a “beloved brother”), would be thrown out of the canon of the New Testament. It is suggested by many Bible scholars that the real Apostle Peter didn’t write “2 Peter” and it wasn’t written until decades after his death. If so, then the epistle is a case of fraud and shouldn’t even be part of Christian scriptures at all.

The prophet Isaiah did NOT predict the coming of Jesus!

One of the biggest absurdities ever claimed by Christians is that many of the prophecies made in the Old Testament refer not to events that were expected to occur within a few years, but to events that might occur hundreds or even thousands of years from the time of the prophecy, including references to Jesus that were only realized as such after the fact. One example of this is the claim that the prophet Isaiah predicted that Jesus would be born of a virgin and would be God incarnate. But in fact, he did no such thing.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/robert_price/preposterous.html

[Christian apologist Josh] McDowell zeroes in on the virgin birth of Jesus, but digresses immediately into the mine field of “fulfilled prophecy.” He shows himself as heedless of the original context of biblical prophecies as his colleague in charlatanry Hal Lindsey (you know you’re dealing with real scholarship when your authorities go by names like “Josh” and “Hal”). He can unblinkingly cite Genesis 3:15, an etiological myth for why humans hate snakes, as a prediction of the defeat of Satan by Jesus! This medieval eisegesis makes utter gibberish of the context, but that’s okay with Josh. Context means nothing to a proof-texter. It simply does not occur to McDowell that no one living in pre-Christian times could have possibly understood any of the texts he blithely cites as predictions of the Messiah’s birth. These interpretations arose only after the fact, once Christians began to proof-text them as square pegs jammed into the round holes of Christian dogma. In other words, they sound like predictions of Jesus only once you read them through Christian lenses. Thus they have no evidential value in the endeavor to prove someone should adopt the Christian standpoint. It only seems to work once you’ve done so, and even then it is only an optical illusion.

“A clearer prophecy occurs in Isaiah 7:14 which states that ‘… a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel’ (KJV). This is very specific in that the reference is to a virgin. This most logically, refers to the woman in Genesis 3:15.”[4] Does it? One only need do what McDowell apparently has never done and open Isaiah 7:14 itself, which, as ought to be obvious even to the veriest fool, concerns itself with the birth of a child contemporary with Isaiah himself, as his birth will herald the imminent downfall of the Israelite-Syrian alliance against Judah. At this point McDowell’s argument is simply moronic, unworthy of a pimply adolescent Hi-BA member. It appears to be good enough for McDowell that Matthew cites Isaiah 7:14 as a prediction of Jesus’ virgin birth, only he ignores the implication of Matthew 13:51-52 that Matthew understood all such prophecies as allegorical double fulfillments, something inconsistent with McDowell’s inherited Protestant literalism, so he just ignores the context and pretends Isaiah was an ancient Jeanne Dixon.

Parenthetically, it is this sort of idiocy that explains why up to now scholars have not given McDowell’s tripe the time of day, for fear of appearing to dignify it with a response. My fellow contributors to The Jury Is In and I, however, feel that something ought to be done for the sake of the weaker brethren who do not know better and whom McDowell is causing to stumble into misinformation and delusion.

Ouch! Shall we look at the original scriptures then, to find their real context?

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/is/7.html

Isaiah 7:1 And it came to pass in the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, the son of Uzziah, king of Judah, that Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, went up toward Jerusalem to war against it, but could not prevail against it. 7:2 And it was told the house of David, saying, Syria is confederate with Ephraim. And his heart was moved, and the heart of his people, as the trees of the wood are moved with the wind. 7:3 Then said the LORD unto Isaiah, Go forth now to meet Ahaz, thou, and Shearjashub thy son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool in the highway of the fuller’s field; 7:4 And say unto him, Take heed, and be quiet; fear not, neither be fainthearted for the two tails of these smoking firebrands, for the fierce anger of Rezin with Syria, and of the son of Remaliah. 7:5 Because Syria, Ephraim, and the son of Remaliah, have taken evil counsel against thee, saying, 7:6 Let us go up against Judah, and vex it, and let us make a breach therein for us, and set a king in the midst of it, even the son of Tabeal: 7:7 Thus saith the Lord GOD, It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass. 7:8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin; and within threescore and five years shall Ephraim be broken, that it be not a people. 7:9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established. 7:10 Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 7:11 Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. 7:13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. 7:16 For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

No reference to a Messiah living several centuries in the future here! The note next to verse 14 says:

The King James Version mistranslates the Hebrew word “almah”, which means “young woman” as “virgin”. (The Hebrew word, “bethulah”, means “virgin”.) In addition, the young woman referred to in this verse was living at the time of the prophecy. And Jesus, of course, was called Jesus — and is not called Emmanuel in any verse in the New Testament.

Then in the very next chapter of the book of Isaiah, we read:

http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/is/8.html

Isaiah 8:1  Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man’s pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz.  And I took unto me faithful witnesses to record, Uriah the priest, and Zechariah the son of Jeberechiah. 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz. 8:4 For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria.

So it’s quite obvious now that Isaiah was referring only to his own son, NOT to someone who would be born centuries from now to a virgin. Isaiah’s wife was not a virgin! The word “virgin” was falsely used in the Greek Scriptures (the New Testament) at Matthew 1:23 to apply the prophecy to Jesus, but it was not in the original Hebrew Scriptures. By the way, this debunks the notion that the writer of Matthew’s Gospel was a Jew writing for other Jews, since any actual Jew who knew the original context of Isaiah’s prophecy would have known Matthew was writing outright fraud. This matter would also explain why the Roman Catholic Church was so reluctant for centuries to allow the Bible to be translated from the Latin Vulgate to modern languages. People would have eventually realized the problem with scriptures like Matthew’s gospel and rejected Christianity as a result. And that’s what has happened, pathological  liars like Josh McDowell notwithstanding.

No wonder most Jews refuse to become Christians!

Is this really a science journal, or a Creationist front?

http://www.virologyj.com/

One has to wonder that after seeing this nonsense published within it:

http://www.virologyj.com/content/7/1/169

Influenza or not influenza: Analysis of a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time

Kam LE Hon email, Pak C Ng email and Ting F Leung email

Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR, China

Virology Journal 2010, 7:169doi:10.1186/1743-422X-7-169

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at: http://www.virologyj.com/content/7/1/169

Received: 16 June 2010
Accepted: 21 July 2010
Published: 21 July 2010

© 2010 Hon et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Bible describes the case of a woman with high fever cured by our Lord Jesus Christ. Based on the information provided by the gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke, the diagnosis and the possible etiology of the febrile illness is discussed. Infectious diseases continue to be a threat to humanity, and influenza has been with us since the dawn of human history. If the postulation is indeed correct, the woman with fever in the Bible is among one of the very early description of human influenza disease.

Infectious diseases continue to be a threat to humanity, and influenza has been with us since the dawn of human history. We analysed a case of high fever that happened 2000 years ago in Biblical time and discussed possible etiologies.

Case

The Bible descrbies the case of a woman with high fever cured by our Lord Jesus Christ. According to Mark 1:29 to 33 and Matthew 8:14-15, the mother-in-law of Simon Peter “lay sick” with a febrile illness [1]. When Jesus took her by the hand and lifted her up, the fever immediately left. The lady began to serve the household and probably prepared a meal. The case is also described in the gospel by Luke (Luke 4:38-39), who was a physician in his days and he specifically mentioned that the fever was high [1].

The title alone is stupid, and reminds me of that classic line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “To be or not to be…”

How the hell can you investigate scientifically something that happened 2000 years ago, when the ONLY evidence that it ever really happened was a written account that could have been made up?

It’s like those astronomers who waste their time arguing over what the star was that led the Magi to Bethlehem to see Jesus as an infant. Aside from the account in the Gospel of Matthew, there is no independent affirmation of such a star in secular literature.

And the authors give away their blatant lack of objectivity when they refer to “our Lord Jesus Christ”. They repeat one sentence in the Abstract and Case sections for no reason, and even misspell the word describes. Such sloppy editing is bad enough, but then they do not give ANY experimental or direct observational data whatsoever.

Others have already taken note of this absurd event:

http://scienceblogs.com/aetiology/2010/08/biblical_fever_influenza_youre.php

http://scientopia.org/blogs/thisscientificlife/2010/08/10/the-virology-of-christ/

I made this comment at the first one:

People need to stop looking at accounts of miracles in the Bible and trying to find rational, naturalistic explanations for them. That in itself reveals a lack of faith. That goes not only for the writers of that totally rediculous paper, but for all those “scientific” Creationists out there. I too would blacklist that journal for accepting that nonsense.

UPDATE: The paper was retracted as promised by the editor of the journal, Robert Garry.

http://www.virologyj.com/content/1743-422X-7-190

Misusing the Bible to deny global warming

That cesspool of Young-Earth Creationism, Answers in Genesis, has weighed in on the issue of global warming, coming down firmly on the side of denialism. I’m not surprized, since I always knew Creationism to be a form of evolution denialism. Denialists tend to flock together and be denialists about more than one subject, and this proves it:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/arj/v3/n1/bible-science-perspective-on-global-warming

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It’s not just evolution that discredits Genesis!

It’s modern astronomy as well, as this one verse makes painfully clear:

Genesis 1:16 – “God made two great lights – the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also.”

Of course, one looking at the night sky with no knowledge of modern astronomy would assume that  the stars are nothing more than a decoration  to add to the light provided by the Sun and the Moon. But in fact, many stars are far bigger and brighter than the Sun and ALL stars are also suns, greater lights in their own star systems.

Had that Bible verse been inspired by the true Creator of the universe, it might have been written: “God made billions of great lights, one of which we call the Sun that rules our days, and also made a lesser light to rule the night.”

Ironically,  in another part of the Bible, we read:

Psalms 19:1-2: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”

If that is true, then clearly we need to toss out the references to the Sun, the Moon, and the stars in Genesis, since they fail to “declare the glory of God” and also fail to “display knowledge” like the heavens are supposed to do according to the 19th Psalm.

The Bible CANNOT be the Word of God

This blog is a direct sequel to these earlier ones:

Religious fundamentalism is blasphemy!
http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2007/07/23/religious-fundamentalism-is-blasphemy/
The chain of Abrahamic religions is too rusty and weak
http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/the-chain-of-abrahamic-religions-is-too-rusty-and-weak/

One of the great tragedies of the Protestant Reformation, in addition to destroying forever the unity of the Christians in western Europe, was that it enshrined the Bible as the sole source of dogma among Protestants. Now, I will grant that the incredible corruption and tyranny of the Roman Catholic Church during the Middle Ages made the Reformation both necessary and inevitable, but the way it was done by most Protestants made spiritual tyranny inevitable among them as well. This was because they simply replaced the Catholic papacy and church councils with the Bible itself, or rather, how Protestant leaders read the Bible. Calling the Word of God what is actually your INTERPRETATION of words of men writing in the name of God is stretching things beyond any bounds of logic you can imagine, which is why Christians constantly emphasize faith as their standard.

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Debunking the Liar, Lunatic, or Lord argument

One of the favorite arguments put forth by Christian apologists is that of “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord” in reference to Jesus. It was published by C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity, and later repeated by Josh McDowell in his works. Basically, it goes like this:

“Jesus claimed to be God. If so, he must have been God incarnate in order to be accepted as a great moral teacher. If he was NOT God incarnate, then he must have been either a liar (evil) or a lunatic (diseased in the mind) and by definition someone who is evil or diseased in the mind cannot be a good moral teacher, so the only logical conclusion is that Jesus must have indeed been God incarnate, and therefore his teachings were infallible and he was by nature superior to any other moral teacher that ever lived.”

This argument is completely bogus! And here’s why:

First, we know NOTHING about Jesus that came directly from him. Everything written about him, including all quotations of his words, are second-hand or third-hand sources. See my earlier blog entry for more details:

http://dalehusband.wordpress.com/2008/10/14/the-chain-of-abrahamic-religions-is-too-rusty-and-weak/

Second, it is perfectly possible for someone to teach good morals and yet be a con artist. Indeed, you wouldn’t expect someone to openly proclaim “I am a liar and am immoral, corrupt, and serve evil causes!” You would expect someone to USE issues of morality to attract the well-meaning but gullible followers that the con artist could exploit for his personal gain later.

Third, even most insane people have some elements of lucidity in their characters. There is not an absolute distinction between the insane and those of normal mentality. Mental illness has many different manifestations and degrees of severity.

Fourth, there is an incident recorded in the Gospels of Jesus cursing a fig tree just because it had no figs to give him at the time (and it wasn’t even the season for them) and the tree soon dies: Mark 11:14, 20-23, Matthew 21:19-21. He uses this irrational action as an example of the power of faith. Sounds like insanity to me!

Fifth, the same liar, lunatic, or lord argument could be just as well applied to the founders of every other religion, including those with teachings very different from Christianity. Yet to be a Christian, you must assume that all those other religions are false!

Quite simply, this argument is an appeal to religious and cultural prejudice. It is no more valid than arguments to support astrology, palm-reading, or belief in a flat Earth.

The chain of Abrahamic religions is too rusty and weak

There are four religions in the world that are classed as “Abrahamic”, being descended from the original work of Abraham. Abraham himself left no writings of his own and he may have been only legendary, as much as Greek myths are thought to be. He founded no religion that survives today.

Judaism: Considered to have been founded by Moses. He was credited with writing the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament), but this is incorrect; He may have written the laws detailed in the Torah, but not the Torah itself, since his death is recorded at the end of it and it is implied that it was made several centuries after Moses’ time. So the foundation of this religion is uncertain.

Christianity: Considered to have been founded by Jesus, but he himself wrote nothing that we have and the stories and quotations of him are entirely second-hand. In addition, most Christian doctrine was formulated by Paul, who was not even an original desciple of Jesus, but joined the Christians later after being their enemy. Thus the foundation of this religion is highly uncertain.

Islam: Founded by the Prophet Muhammad. He was said to be illiterate, and dictated most of the Quran to various scribes rather than write it directly. It wasn’t until after his death that the Quran was assembled in its final form, and it was not assembled in chronological order.

The Baha’i Faith: Baha’u’llah, the founder of this religion, is said to have written his own books. But he too relied on personal secretaries to do most of this, including Mirza Aqa Jan, who later would be condemned as a “Covenant-breaker” for opposing Abdu’l-Baha, the son and immediate successor of Baha’u’llah.

The credibilility of the Baha’i Faith is dependent on Islam, the credibility of Islam is dependent on Christianity, and the credibility of Christianity is dependent on Judaism. Yet all these religions also claim that the earlier ones were corrupted over time, making the new ones necessary. Does this make sense? What if all four religions were flawed from the beginning, because their means of recording their teachings were flawed? Their founders could have written and edited their writings all by themselves and not allowed others to make unauthorized editions after their time. Thus any possible errors or contradictions in those teachings would have been prevented. Outsiders could have been prevented from polluting the original faith with foreign concepts. Disputes between followers could have been settled without assuming blindly that the leadership was never to be questioned and that others could “agree to disagree” without being treated as traitors.

None of these were done, except by the most liberal branches of these faiths, and thus they have been sources of tyranny and ignorance rather than liberty and enlightenment. And as this essay shows, there is really no reason for ANYONE to be certain that any of them are absolutely true, especially since modern science has completely debunked the creation myth that was said to be the very root of all of them.

Do NOT beat your kids!

The saying “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is a tragic misunderstanding of a passage of the Book of Proverbs (Proverbs 13:24). The rod referred to that used by shepherds in ancient times to guide sheep to go in a certain direction, but NOT to ever BEAT them! Beating children with anything should be considered abuse, because adults are stronger than children. Therefore, the only thing kids can learn from being beaten is that bullying is acceptable and thus they can get ahead by bulling weaker and smaller people!

The ultimate conflict between Judaism and Christianity

I am always sickened by those who claim that the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is God’s Word and that it has no errors and does not contradict itself. Well, maybe if you exclude one of these two verses from it, that may be somewhat true. Otherwise, the Christian fundamentalists should SHUT UP!

The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin. - Deuteronomy 24:16

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

Conclusion: PAUL WAS A TRAITOR TO THE TORAH! And NO Christian can claim to be a true spiritual descendant of the ancient Hebrews!

And it gets even worse! See this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35A8zAkNjyE

Religious fundamentalism is blasphemy!

2000 years ago, Jesus warned his early followers: “Not everyone who calls to me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do my Father’s will may enter. On the Judgement Day many will say to me, ‘Lord, didn’t we prophesy, cast out demons, and do many miracles in your name?’ But I will say to them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you that do evil!’ ” (Matthew 7:21-23)

I would suggest that the thing which will condemn someone to hell, even though they profess to believe in Jesus, will be the person’s placing the Bible above God Himself. Fundamentalists have claimed for over a century that the Bible is the Word of God and is therefore infallible. This claim has no support whatsoever. Attempts to support it by references to the Bible are circular reasoning. Only God Himself should ever be seen as infallible, and since we have no direct contact with Him, we have nothing that may be considered infallible. The Bible, the Quran, and other religious books may be inspired by faith in God, but they are still human products, and are thus prone to error like all other human products. The Quran itself condemns the tendency of man to make partners with Allah, so should it be acceptable for any Muslim to make the Quran a partner with Allah?

In this physical world, there is NOTHING and NO ONE that may rightfully be called infallible!