Defenders of Islamic Mantra (DIMs)

The recent brouhaha with the Innocence of Muslims video has reignited not only Islamic violence across the globe (as predicted), but equally the asininity of my fellow liberals here at home. So I wanted to touch on the issues that really drive me bonkers when it comes to the ridicule of Islam and the glorious thing that is Freedom of Speech as established by the Constitution of the United States.

Muslims in Bangladesh burn a U.S. Flag in protest over the “Innocence of Muslims.”
(AP Photo/A.M. Ahad, CC)

The first response I usually see from my fellow liberals is how they support the Freedom of Speech and then they add the word “but” to the end of that. I immediately know that something really stupid and asinine is about to come out of their mouths and they are going to look like twits on my Facebook wall. Freedom of Speech is Freedom of Speech. There are only a few “buts” as established by the courts and this video met none of those “buts” – not even remotely close. So unless you want to change the Constitution or simply deny Freedom of Speech then, to quote my friend Matthew, “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Just remember that when you say it you sound like this, “I’m not a pedophile, but…” (also see Concern Troll)

The second response I usually see is some statement about the ethics or morality of the video, comment, expression, etc. Being an unethical and immoral asshole is not against the law. You may not like it and I may not like what a person says, but that does not mean they do not have the right to say it. Just like you have the right to be a stupid twit by saying nonsense like this: you’re being wrong does not prevent you from using your Freedom of Speech.

But the worst is yet to come! There are two things that generally happen when Islam goes rabid around the world enough that the news covers it for more than 48 hours. I should note that Islam is rabid around the world every day, but the news only covers massive outbreaks and ignores the violence perpetuated by followers of Islam across the planet on a day-to-day basis.

The first is the irrational defense of Islam by my fellow liberals and atheists. I don’t see this nonsense when I “attack” Christianity, so why are they so compelled to suddenly defend Islam? Is it because they are afraid of Islam’s response to my criticism? Is it because they have swallowed the ridiculousness of multiculturalism, but only as it applies to any culture they’re not raised in, therefore it’s okay to criticize Christianity or American culture, but not anyone else’s who might be offended? I mean, if you honestly think that the subjugation of women is a great cultural thing, then you probably should not be my friend and you definitely should not consider yourself a freethinker or rational human being. Not every aspect of every culture is worth defending. No one has the right to not be offended.

I especially love it when they confuse the criticism of Islam as some blanket statement against all Muslims. Is the criticism of Christianity a blanket statement against all Christians? If I say that Christianity is an unethical religion because it is based on the immorality of the Forgiveness Doctrine and Original Sin, does that mean I am saying that all Christians are immoral and unethical? Nope. So how come when I say that Islam is a violent and immoral religion because of the doctrine of violence against apostates and Kafirs, do my liberal and Islamic-defending atheist friends immediately think I’m saying that all Muslims are violent and immoral? We know moderate Muslims exist and some have even spoken out against the violence.

This is a culture worth respecting? The subjugation of women and denying women equal rights? Stoning women to death? Beheading women? Public executions of women? No thanks! (Photo CC)

But worst of all is when anyone who speaks out against Islam is called a bigot or a racist. I wonder if anyone who criticizes Christianity is equally racist and bigoted. If you think the criticism of Islam is racist, then you are the actual racist because you are the idiot that thinks all Muslims are Arabs. First, Islam is not a race, it’s a religion. And Arabs are not the largest demographic of Muslims. The largest demographic of Muslims are South Asia and Southeast Asia with over 1 billion followers of Islam. The Middle East only contributes 321 million followers of Islam to the global believers. If you go by country, the top ten countries are Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, Algeria, and Morocco. There are white Muslims and Asian Muslims and Muslims in every demographic and ethnicity on the planet. Not all Arabs are Muslim. There are a lot of Christian Arabs, Jewish Arabs, Zoroastrian Arabs, and atheist Arabs. So stop being a racist by thinking that all Muslims are Arab and accusing the criticism of Islam as being racist. You sound like a horse’s ass and dolt when you say stupid shit like that.

It blows my mind that so many of my fellow atheists are so quick to defend Islam when they would never do such a thing with Christianity or Hinduism or other religions. I can post inflammatory and derogatory comments about Christianity on my Facebook page and get a bunch of “Hell yeah!” responses from my fellow atheists. But post one thing inflammatory or derogatory about Islam and the Defenders of Islamic Mantra (DIMs) come out of the woodwork to tell me how horrible I am and how racist and bigoted I am. Well, I’m glad they don’t think I’m a racist bigot when I criticize and mock Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Paganism and other stupid beliefs like Creationism, Homeopathy, Astrology, etc.

There is one other thing that always happens when Islam goes berserk around the world. The Islam-defenders among my fellow atheists quickly point out, “Islam is no different than Christianity, which had the Crusades, Inquisition, etc.”

Yes, Christianity certainly had its moments in history, didn’t it? Every religion has. Our criticism of the current violent state of Islam is irrelevant to the brutal histories of other religions. That doesn’t mean we’re not aware of those brutalities and horrors. We are not living during the Crusades, Conquistadors, or Inquisition. We are living in the here and now. Right now the most dangerous religion on the planet is Islam.

Poverty, culture, and politics play their part, but it is belief in martyrdom after death and glory in Paradise with Allah that allows this to happen.

Religion is like dogs: different breeds behave different ways. Some are yippy and annoying. Some are aggressive and dangerous. Some are docile and weak. Some are feral and rabid. Christianity has been mostly domesticated. Sure, it nips at you or scratches every now and then, but it’s mostly timid these days. It helps that Christianity is mostly the pet dog in secular households (countries) these days. Every now and then the Christian dog will try to shit and piss on the carpet, but that’s why there are groups to help fight that shit in the first place (and discipline the dog when it does via court cases). How many Christian terrorist attacks can you think of in the last ten years?

Islam in its current state is feral and wants to bite your head off every time you look at it funny. Some of the pups in Islam are rabid. How many Islamic terrorist attacks can you think of in the last ten years? (HINT: the answer is almost 20,000)

It also doesn’t mean we don’t recognize the role that culture and politics and poverty play, either. We understand that Islam is culture and politics: they are intertwined in the theocracies and dictatorships that exist around the globe. They are inseparable and feed off each other. Politics and poverty and lack of education may lead one to Islam, but Islam is what leads one to strap on dynamite and blow up innocent civilians at a market for the reward of virgins and martyrdom in Paradise.

Yes, all religions are bad, but some are worse than others. The trick is to keep a close eye on the most dangerous while not losing sight of the others to ensure you’re not getting flanked. Our criticism of Islam’s violent tendencies and barbaric texts does not mean we don’t think the Bible is not full of horrible things (it most certainly is) or that we don’t think the Vedas has some nasty shit in it (it definitely does). What it means is that we are currently criticizing Islam.

The sooner you realize how silly you look and sound when defending Islam and getting all bent out of shape when someone goes after Islam, the better.

The next time the Islamic heads get together to pass blasphemy laws at the United Nations… the DIMs out there can vote in favor of it. In the meantime, I plan on standing up for the Freedom of Speech, which includes the right to criticize EVERY religion and EVERY faith and EVERY prophet and to be as blasphemous as I want to no matter how much it bothers your hyper-sensitive multiculturalism nonsense.

Don’t be a DIM!

Praise Bacon!

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Debate 023: Ian and Blair debate evolution & the Bible

Ian Rebuttal #001:

Just because fossils and dinosaur bones exist doesn’t at all prove evolution. Carbon dating is a very interesting discovery, but is still an unknown variable. You can estimate the rate of carbon decay and guess your way backwards, but I would hardly call it proof. Do I believe things could be very old in this world? Sure. But from my standpoint, they could have easily been created right with the world.

I’d be happy to hear how the Bible “unravels” itself. I’ve heard most theories, so please explain. From the people I’ve talked to, none could support their claims. I’m not doing this to argue, but to clarify any misconceptions. I will never tell anyone what to believe.

I would like to point out a common misconception that all scientists believe in evolution. Quite a few think it is ludicrous, but alas, education books like preaching on. From my standpoint, one cannot argue for evolution and not be able to explain the details.

Scientific theories say matter cannot be destroyed. It is mearly reallocated in a different form. How can evolution support the claim that matter formed from nothing? Have you heard of Entropy? It is a basic teaching of science that things will always go from order to disorder. How then can evolution miraculously teach that somehow mother nature will go against this basic principle?

Of course things “evolve”. People change over time. There is nothing wrong with change Biblically. Take a look at Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

You mention the OT and NT contradict each other. How? I’ve heard quite a few arguments, and would be curious to hear what you can come up with.

I think you mentioned you are not a Biblical scholar. How then can you argue the Bible is wrong?

I think discussion is great. The best we can do is learn from each other.

Religious Confusion

It is unfortunate there is so much confusion now in days regarding religion. People get tired of not knowing which to choose and instead choose to believe nothing at all. Look at Christianity and how various church bodies have become corrupted over time. Church bodies keep splitting and becoming more scattered. I don’t doubt this. As the world ages, I believe there will be more and more confusion about what to believe. The Bible refers to the breakdown of the church, and while unfortunate, is bound to happen.

Just think of your children. If you has talked to Jesus and witnesses His miracles, you’d certainly tell your children, wouldn’t you? In turn, your children would tell their children…and so forth. But what about a few more generations down the line? Suddenly, Jesus is less credible and sounds more like a story. Would it be proof sufficient for Jesus to come tomorrow and prove Christianity? Not really, as future generations will continue to disbelieve it…although people tomorrow might be convinced. Are we robots? Of course not. We have the capability to make choices…along with whether to believe in God or not.

There has indeed been a ton of scientific discovery in the past 200 years. And that is great. But it doesn’t mean, in the materialistic world we live in, that God doesn’t exist. Aside from pleasure, what does technology really accomplish?

Again, there has been much corruption elsewhere as well. So one really can’t give an excuse not to believe because of the world’s corrupt past. Greed runs rampant in this world and always has. People will always try using the Bible to benefit their own selves.

It is a sad truth. Just look at some of America’s religions…there is documented proof that their leaders became extremely wealthy at the expense of their followers. These people were screwed up and went against everything the Bible teaches (can you say false prophets?). This in of itself does not mean the Bible is flawed. In fact, the Bible shows this will happen and warns against it.

On evolution

Concerning the Big Bang, where did the “molten blobs” come from? I’d like to know. Just like people may argue the molten blobs were always there, people can also argue that God has always been there (as I believe). People have a tendancy to want to play God and not like another power over them….especially in this society where people have such comfort and no fear of outside events.

Of course it is easy to say “God made it”. The Bible isn’t complicated and wasn’t intended to be.

Concerning Biblical Origin

I’m not going to doubt that humans make mistakes. Of course they do. We’re all sinful. But compare our Bibles today to the earliest manuscripts that exist, and they are incredibly accurate. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1944, they were accurate and went according to our Bibles today. I guess I don’t see your point. And like I said before, of course sinful men can twist the Bible to suit their desires.

Personally, I think atheism can be a crutch for the religious confusion that is out there. People do not understand the Bible and the millions of belief systems out there, so they choose to believe none of it. If you are ever interested or have questions regarding the Bible, please do ask. I’d be happy to explain.

Christianity in General

You fail to show how the Bible or God are fairy tales. Can you disprove them? Can you disprove Jesus never existed? I still see a lot of assumptions being called proof.

The obvious solution to me is the Bible is your proof. No other book has “survived” like the Bible has. No other book has produced more copies. Don’t you think that if people knew Jesus didn’t exist, they would have not spread Christianity so zelously?

Conclusions

Bibilical translations are necessary to spread the Bible and God’s Word. Do you see any translations being based off previous translations (and so forth) and thus corrupting the Bible? I’m not certain of what some modern day translations have done, but most (in almost every language imaginable) are based off the earliest manuscripts.

If you have questions about what I believe, please do ask. Public or private is fine. I’ve talked to quite a few people about the Bible and what I believe and their opinions have always been based on misconceptions.

 

Response to Ian #001:

IAN: “Just because fossils and dinosaur bones exist doesn’t at all prove evolution.”

That is correct. The fossils alone do not prove the theory of evolution or evolutionary biology. The fossils are part of a massive amount of evidence that supports the theory of evolution and evolutionary biology. One piece of the puzzle does not give one the picture – it is most or all of the pieces that one can ascertain the true picture that the puzzle creates.

IAN: “Carbon dating is a very interesting discovery, but is still an unknown variable. You can estimate the rate of carbon decay and guess your way backwards, but I would hardly call it proof.”

Carbon dating, the dating of materials using Carbon-14 is not used to date material older than 50,000 years and that can be a stretch sometimes. The half-life of Carbon-14 is 5,730 years, so after so many years there should be no detectable Carbon-14. Of course Carbon-14 can only be used to date materials that were biological, such as plants, bones, etc. Carbon-14 cannot be used to date inanimate material such as rocks.

The creationist argument that Carbon-14 is an invalid way to measure things in the millions of years is an accurate argument. However, it is also a stupid argument, because scientists know this and don’t use Carbon-14 to date things older than 50,000 years.

For more information on Carbon-14 dating and what it is used for (not what the creationists think it’s used for), you can check out some reliable online sources such aswww.c14dating.com, and www.radiocarbon.org.

Perhaps you mean radiometric dating, accelerator mass spectrometry, or isochron dating?

IAN: “Do I believe things could be very old in this world? Sure. But from my standpoint, they could have easily been created right with the world.”

Why would your Bible-God create the universe to look and act like it was 14 to 15 billion-years-old? Why would he create the world to look and act like it was 4.5 billion-years-old? Even if the creation account were correct, why would you dismiss the world of evolutionary biologists, geologists, anthropologists, oceanographers, etc for discovering how your Bible-God made it look?

IAN: “I’d be happy to hear how the Bible “unravels” itself. I’ve heard most theories, so please explain.”

I’d be happy to show you how the Bible “unravels” itself.

Let’s start off simple. We’ll take the 12-step program of Bible errancy. We’ll call it Bible study so you feel right at home. I’ll let you do the study so you can personally find and witness the contradictions. I’ll give you 12 questions about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Read all four gospels to answer the questions. Include each answer from each gospel and ensure that there are no contradictions or inconsistencies.

Read the four gospels, answer the questions from each gospel and make the answers work without contradicting each other. If you can do this, you’ll be the first person to ever do it – no theologian or Biblical scholar has ever been able to do it. Good luck!

  1. What time did the women visit the tomb?
  2. Which women visited the tomb?
  3. Was the tomb open when they arrived?
  4. Who was at the tomb when they got there?
  5. What did the messenger tell the women?
  6. Did the women tell what happened?
  7. Did Mary know Jesus had resurrected when she returned to the tomb?
  8. When did Mary first see the resurrected Jesus?
  9. After visiting the women at the tomb, whom did the resurrected Jesus visit next?
  10. Where did the resurrected Jesus first appear to the disciples?
  11. Did the resurrected Jesus stay on Earth or depart that same day for Heaven?
  12. Where did the ascension take pace?

After you answer those 12 questions just get back to me with your 100% contradiction-free answers.

IAN: “I would like to point out a common misconception that all scientists believe in evolution. Quite a few think it is ludicrous, but alas, education books like preaching on.”

Please provide a sample of scientists within the field of biology that do not agree with biological evolution. If you would like to give me a list of accredited scientists from accredited universities that do not accept the science of evolution, I’d be happy to look at that, too.

The few “scientists” that I’ve met that rejected the science of evolution came from Christian colleges (although the majority of Christian colleges teach evolutionary biology because they know it’s scientifically sound). A few other scientists that rejected the science of evolution came from fields that had nothing to do with evolutionary biology. Biochemists work without any reference to evolutionary biology – they care about how biochemicals work – not how biochemicals evolved. Michael Behe is a biochemist. Of course, if you read Behe’s book, he is a proponent of evolutionary biology – he just thinks that “god did it.”

IAN: “From my standpoint, one cannot argue for evolution and not be able to explain the details.”

One cannot argue against it if they are not able to explain the details. If you are going to argue for or against something, you must know both sides. I do. Do you?

IAN: “How can evolution support the claim that matter formed from nothing?”

Evolutionary biology does not make that claim. You are confusing evolution with cosmology.

IAN: “Have you heard of Entropy? It is a basic teaching of science that things will always go from order to disorder. How then can evolution miraculously teach that somehow mother nature [sic] will go against this basic principle?”

How do you see evolutionary biology and the theory of evolution as a violation of entropy? For that matter, didn’t the Bible-God violate entropy when he created the world from chaos? Regardless, please explain how the theory of evolution and evolutionary biology violate entropy.

IAN: “I think you mentioned you are not a Biblical scholar. How then can you argue the Bible is wrong?”

You don’t have to be a Biblical scholar to read the Bible and see all the errors, contradictions and inconsistencies. I think you would also find that most biblical scholars recognize the problems and are not apologists. You’d probably be surprised to find out that when new theology students arrive at theology school they are in the 80 percentile of “literalist.” By the time they leave theology school they are only in the 30 percentile of “literalist” (source: Barna Research, 2002).

Why is that? That change occurs because in theology school they teach these students real theology and real biblical scholarship, with criticisms and analysis – something they never learned in Sunday school. The students learn about the contradictions. They learn about the theological problems and inconsistencies and how the apologetics were adopted and ultimately adapted and evolved. The students learn the history of the Bible instead of the Bible as history.

Many students that enter theology school never go on to become priests, pastors, ministers, or preachers. Several atheist friends of mine went through theology and seminary school and it is there that their roots of atheism were founded as they began to learn what Christianity really is instead of what their Sunday school teacher and parents wanted them to know.

I believe that I can speak about the Bible because I have read it several times (straight through). I have studied biblical scholarship and theology. I have attended seminars and lectures given by biblical scholars and theological historians. I have been to Israel to tour the places of the Bible. I have discussed these issues with theologians, biblical scholars, and clergy of many faiths. I have read the statements of one side and the apologetics of the other.

I have read the reason and the rhyme. I have read the pros and the cons. I have made sure that I know both sides so that I can make an educated decision about the issue instead of being told what to believe. I would recommend that you do the same thing.

IAN: “People get tired of not knowing which to choose and instead choose to believe nothing at all.”

Did you look at the other religions of the world? Did you study the Qu’ran, Vedas, Enuma Elish, Koryak, Kitab-i-Aqdas, Kitab-i-Iqan, Apocrypha, Tanakh, Book of Shadows, the Word, Dhammapada, Sutta Nipata, Vinaya, Corpus Hermeticum, Kebra Nagast, Mabinogion, Lun Yu, Ta Hsueh, Chung Yung, Book of the Dead, Thelema, Secret Doctrine of Theosophy, Rosicrucian texts, Devi Gita, The Magus, Akaranga Sutra, Kalpa Sutra, Talmud, Qabalah, Midrash Tanhuma, Kalevala, Shah Namah, Book of Mormon, Walam Olum, Malleus Maleficarum, Prophecies of Nostradamus, Oahspe, Book of Knowledge, Te Pito Te Henua, Kumulipo, Sybilline Oracles, Prophecies of Paracelsus, Kama Sutra, Ananga Ranga, Kojiki, Nihongi, Yengishiki, Kwaidan, Shundai Zatsuwa, Bushido, Shri Guru Granth Sahib, Mishkat Al-Anwar, Rubayyat, Mahanirvana Tantra, Shakti-Shakta, Tao-te Ching, T’ai Shang Kan-Ying P’ien, Yatkar-i-Zariran, Avesta Vendidad and the Khorda Avesta (just to name a few)?

If the Bible-God were as powerful as you make him out to be, one would think that this confusion or “not knowing which to choose” would not be a problem.

IAN: “Just think of your children. If you has talked to Jesus and witnesses His miracles, you’d certainly tell your children, wouldn’t you?”

If I had seen the events as they are told in the Bible, then yes, I would tell my children. Unfortunately, no one at the time seemed to tell their children. With all that happened when Jesus supposedly gave up the ghost, no one seemed to notice. Not a single document of Rome or Judea mentions these events. Not a single historian of the time mentions any of these so-called miracles or heavenly events. Not a single historian or literary of the time mentions it. The only reference you’re your gospels that were written after-the-fact by non-witnesses.

IAN: “Would it be proof sufficient for Jesus to come tomorrow and prove Christianity? Not really, as future generations will continue to disbelieve it…although people tomorrow might be convinced.”

Yes, that would be proof. He can fly down on his magic cloud, set his golden harp aside, fold his white wings back, drape his white robe and sit down and have a cop of coffee with me. We can talk about the creation, the OT, the NT and other things. He can perform a few blatant miracles and I’ll be convinced. The first thing I’ll ask him after he convinces me is, “Why didn’t you do this for everyone? Why let all those people go to Hell when you could have done this with every person in the world?”

I’ve yet to get a straight answer on this – perhaps you can answer it. Why did the all-powerful Bible-God choose a specific region for conversion to his new religion of “follow my son, I mean me, my son and that third thing, the grandfather of my father of my son?” One would think that this all-powerful Bible-God could convert the entire world at once. It seems rather silly to send your son to die for the sins of the world and then not tell the world about it.

If the only way to Heaven is through Jesus, and no one knew about it – then everyone went to Hell until the world finally spread. It’s taken almost 2,000 years for the word to spread and there are still people that haven’t heard about Jesus – and everyone that missed the word is going to Hell – even if it wasn’t their fault. All those Native Americans that didn’t find out until the Spanish swords were dripping with the blood – went to Hell. All those people in the OT that were alive before Jesus – went to Hell. All the people in middle and South Africa that didn’t hear about Jesus until their masters on the plantation told them about him – all went to Hell. All the feral children and indigenous peoples of the world that never heard of Jesus – all went to Hell.

All the babies that are killed before their first Sunday school lesson – they go to Hell. All the mentally retarded children that can’t understand the concept and therefore can’t accept Jesus – they go to Hell.

How is that a moral doctrine?

IAN: “But it doesn’t mean, in the materialistic world we live in, that God doesn’t exist.”

That is correct; it doesn’t mean that a god doesn’t exist. It does mean that the Bible-God doesn’t exist. The Noachian flood never happened. A six-day creation never happened. A 40-year exodus in the desert never happened. The Tower of Babel never happened. Adam & Even never happened. The very things that the Bible-God is attributed with doing never happened and that’s because he never happened.

IAN: “Aside from pleasure, what does technology really accomplish?”

Technology has helped considerably with the survival of the species: increased life spans because of advanced medical science, decreased infant mortality rates, increased growth and delivery of food to prevent starvation, and much more.

Technology has also made information wide-spread. The human masses were ignorant before books were widely available. When books became available to the common man, then we began to see social change as man was educated. Then technology increased that knowledge with mass production of books and interstate commerce. Telecommunications and the advent of the wireless and ultimately the Internet increased that knowledge even more. With all major advancements in technology and specifically in the spread of information, a social change occurs.

The Renaissance, the Reformation, the civil rights movement, the woman’s suffrage movement, and the sixties are just examples of these social shifts at the advent of new information and ease of spreading that information.

Satellite communications and the Internet are getting the word out about the reality. The false statements and nonsense issued from the pulpit are responded to and disseminated via these mass-media means. The public learns the history of the Bible instead of the Bible as history. The public learns the hatefulness of the Bible and Qu’ran. The public learns about the cruelty of those that would espouse their god to do harm to others.

This increased information availability has seen a major increase in Freethought around the world. The Holy See has officially declared several countries to be “Officially Pagan” and they are renewing their missionary approach to those countries. Information is available to anyone and the church can no longer control it.

Islam’s current situation is a direct result of this mass media and information availability. Islam has turned in on itself and has attempted to seclude the Islamic population from the information of the world. The media outlets are state-run in theocracies and dictatorships. The information provided to the Islamic public is filtered and full of hatred against Jews and westerners.

Instead of blossoming and becoming a part of the world, Islam has pulled its window shades, bolted the doors and set the alarm – letting no influence in. This lack of education, equality, and economy in that part of the world, coupled with the Qu’ranic blinders of “hear no evil, see no evil” has increased the Fundamentalist extremists of the religion to a boiling point.

Christianity had to deal with this a long time ago. During that time they did the same thing that Islam is doing today. The Spanish Inquisition was how the church dealt with technology and information availability. Luckily for the world, the Reformation occurred and Christianity was watered down. That watering down continues to this day. As you mentioned, the church creates a new split each year as new denominations are formed – each one a watered-down version of its predecessor.

IAN: “People will always try using the Bible to benefit their own selves.”

By using the Bible as a way to get to Heaven, aren’t you doing the same thing?

IAN: “These people were screwed up and went against everything the Bible teaches (can you say false prophets?). This in of itself does not mean the Bible is flawed.”

I would disagree with you. The very fact that there are so many interpretations and so many different views of the Bible is a very testament to its flaws. If the Bible were clear and concise, as one would expect from a so-called all-powerful supreme being, then there would be no discordance among the pious masses. The fact that the common man cannot read the Bible and know exactly what the pious pulpit states is a testimony to the fallibility of the Bible.

Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Bob Jones, James Kennedy, Billy Graham, Benny Hinn, Jim Bakker, and many others get away with it because the sucker that’s born-again every minute can’t understand the Bible on his own. No one is willing to take the time to actually read the entire thing and study its origins and meaning. If they did, then I would aver that the churches would be empty. The churches are relying on the incontinence of the biblical word and the inability of the pious masses to make heads or tales of who, what, when, where, and why.

The lack of knowledge by the public and the commercial genius of the pious pulpit have worked together to make the Bible-God a corporation. I’d like to buy 100 shares of GodCo and Jesus, Inc., please.

IAN: “Concerning the Big Bang, where did the “molten blobs” come from? I’d like to know.”

For information on the Big Bang, please see Where Did It All Come From?

IAN: “Of course it is easy to say “God made it”. The Bible isn’t complicated and wasn’t intended to be.”

The Bible isn’t complicated? Aren’t you the same person that made reference to all the different churches not agreeing on the Bible? If the Bible isn’t complicated then why is it so hard for the churches to agree on it? If the Bible isn’t complicated then why have there been so many councils for thousands of bishops and presbyters to figure out what it meant and “law down the law” on how they interpreted it?

IAN: “But compare our Bibles today to the earliest manuscripts that exist, and they are incredibly accurate.”

Are you sure about that? Most biblical scholars would disagree with that statement.

IAN: “When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1944, they were accurate and went according to our Bibles today.”

That is entirely false. The finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially Qumran Cave 4, created more variants and more problems for biblical literalists. The book of Isaiah, for example, was found to be missing several chunks (in the Bible version) and the chunks that weren’t missing were found to be full of mistakes. The Dead Sea Scrolls were talked about widely when they were initially discovered. When translation began, they suddenly disappeared. It wasn’t until years later that they were finally brought out in the public again and it was disclosed just how bad they made the Bible look.

The number of variants of manuscripts is ludicrous. The variation of the variants is even more astounding. There are books that aren’t in the Bible – why didn’t they make the cut?

Regardless, the accuracy of the translations of the modern Bible compared to the ancient manuscripts of which they originated is irrelevant in the long run. It doesn’t matter if the translations are accurate or not. Accuracy of translation is not proof of the accuracy of the Bible itself and it certainly is not proof of any god represented therein.

IAN: “Personally, I think atheism can be a crutch for the religious confusion that is out there.”

Personally, you’d be wrong. Atheism is the removal of the crutch. Atheism is the sorting out the confusion and getting the real picture. Atheism is the recognition of the ludicrous nature of religion and breaking free of the imprisonment of thought.

IAN: “If you are ever interested or have questions regarding the Bible, please do ask. I’d be happy to explain.”

I think you have enough explaining to do with the 12 questions I presented you above as a precursor to contradictions in the Bible. No offense, but I doubt there is anything you can tell me about the Bible that I don’t already know or that I haven’t already heard.

IAN: “You fail to show how the Bible or God are fairy tales. Can you disprove them?”

Atheism Awareness does not attempt to do that. The purpose of Atheism Awareness is to address the myths, misconceptions, and misunderstandings of atheism. One page refers to my view that the Bible is nothing more than fairy tales for adults, but the page makes no claim to show that.

All that aside, it is easy to refute and dismiss the personalized, characterized, and defined gods of mankind: Yahweh, Allah, Vishnu, etc all fall under scrutiny. The atheist freely admits that he or she cannot prove that a god does not exist – you cannot prove a negative.

As far as fairy tales go, there is no reason to prove it – just read it. The tale of Noah and his Ark is clearly a fairy tale and never really happened. The tales of the plagues of Egypt at the behest of Moses are fairy tales that never really happened. The tale of Adam & Eve and the talking snake is obviously a fairy tale. Where did the talking snake come from, anyway? We know these are fairy tales not just by the silliness of them and the outlandishness of them, but by the scientific evidence against them (no global food, etc).

IAN: “The Can you disprove Jesus never existed?”

One cannot prove a negative, so one cannot say that Jesus never existed. What I can say is that based on the available evidence, or more accurately, the lack of available evidence, it is more probable that Jesus, as the Christ, never exist. Is it possible? Yes. It is probable? No.

Anything is possible – unicorns, Big Foot, Loch Ness monster, leprechauns, gremlins, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc. I’d rather deal with the probable than the possible. Are you willing to admit that leprechauns exist because they possibly exist and no one can prove that they don’t exist?

I would remind you that the burden of proof is in your court. You have made the exceptional claim that a man around 30 CE performed miracles, was executed, died and was buried, resurrected and then ascended up to Heaven where he awaits to return on his whim to Earth to wage holy war against the sinners.

Tell me a great teacher lived in 30 CE and taught a form of Judaism then you’re getting a little more credible, more believable because you have less exceptional claims. Start throwing in all the miracles and metaphysics and you are crossing into the realm of exceptional claims – a realm for which you have no proof.

One mistake of the Christians is to use the Bible to prove the Bible. Where are the outside sources and verifications? None of the so-called references of Jesus that apologists often quote are even remotely legitimate (not a single one). Do Christians fail to recognize the works prior to 30 CE and the supposed life of Jesus? The stories of older gods and goddesses that match the story of Jesus – why aren’t these taken into consideration by Christians?

IAN: “The obvious solution to me is the Bible is your proof. No other book has “survived” like the Bible has.”

That’s an awfully bold statement to make, especially considering that it is wrong. The Bible, as you know it (66 books), has only been around for approximately 1,700 years. The Tanakh, Torah, and Talmud have been around for much longer. The books of Judaism have been around longer than the Bible.

If you are going to use longevity and durability as an argument for accepting a theology, then perhaps you should consider converting to Judaism?

Or perhaps you should consider Hinduism? The Vedas has been around hundreds of years longer than the 66-book Bible. Of course there are other books that are older than the Bible and still around, too.

As to longevity being a proof of something, you are leaving a lot to be desired. How does the longevity of something make a statement of its truth or proof? We’ve seen the destruction of many doctrines of the Christian church fall during the 1,700 years that the 66-book Bible has been around.

The idea of a hard firmament that is described in the book of Genesis fell. The idea of a flat Earth described in the OT and NT fell (although a few die-hards still believe that the Earth is flat). The idea of a geocentric solar system, as described in the Bible, fell.

IAN: “Don’t you think that if people knew Jesus didn’t exist, they would have not spread Christianity so zelously [sic]?”

No, I don’t think that at all. Often the most zealously spread doctrine is a doctrine of lies and deceit. One need only view the historically recent Nazis to see how such zealousness can be produced on a doctrine of lies, deceit and fabrication.

During the time that Christianity was gaining a foothold, the religions of the world were replete with miracles, virgin births, resurrections and other such mythology. The people of the time, not having the technological advances of our time (as we discussed earlier), were not inclined to find the stories false. That does not mean that there were not critics at the time. Unfortunately, the early Christian church set out to destroy all critics and criticisms and few remain to this day.

IAN: “I’m not certain of what some modern day translations have done, but most (in almost every language imaginable) are based off the earliest manuscripts.”

The KJV is a good example. The original manuscripts (which do not exist) would have been written in Hebrew of Aramaic. What remains is the Greek Septuagint. The Greek was translated into Latin. The Latin was translated into German and the German was finally translated into English in order to create the KJV.

If you want a version that is more accurately translated from the Greek Septuagint, I would recommend the Scholar’s Version (SV). Unfortunately, the SV only covers the NT. However, the Tanakh and Torah, the Jewish sacred texts, are good sources to get closer translations to the original Hebrew, as they are still written in Hebrew to this day. You can view the Tanakh, Torah and Talmud online at Sacred Text Archive: Judaism.

And Ian, like most, disappears into the masses…

Debate 015: Jason and Blair debate 9/11 & Judaism

Jason is a Jew. When I first read his email I was a bit surprised. Jason is the first practicing Jew to send me a rebuttal. I’ve received emails from Jews before discussing issues with Christianity and sometimes even congratulating me on a refutation of a particular argument. I’ve even gotten a few emails from Jews thanking more for defending them in a couple of debates. This was the first time I had received a rebuttal email from a Jew. I decided to roll with it…

Jason Rebuttal #001:

I don’t mean this as a personal attack, but your page that talks about 9/11: Cannot Prove.

Really shows your naivete. If you want the best understanding of G-d (and the potential to make a truly informed decision), I suggest you seek out and speak to a Chabad/Lubavitch Rabbi. I don’t know where you are located, but there is a ‘Chabad House’ on many college campuses.

The only proof one needs of G-d is the Jew… we are from the beginning and we’ll be to the end! The same Torah way of life for 3700 years.

We’ve seen all the ‘great’ civilizations come and go: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Roman etc…

 

Response to Jason #001:

Don’t worry, I don’t take any of my emails as a personal attack – even the ones where the writer intended it.

JASON: “Really shows your naiveté.”

You failed to prove your point here. You accused me of being naive and offered nothing to back up your claim. If your only proof of a god is the fact that a group of people has lived then you are the one that is naive.

JASON: “The only proof one needs of G-d is the Jew… we are from the beginning and we’ll be to the end! The same Torah way of life for 3700 years.”

That’s it? That’s all you have to offer? Who’s naive?

JASON: “We’ve seen all the ‘great’ civilizations come and go: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Roman etc…”

Surely you’re not suggesting that Judaism is a civilization? Where is the civilization of the Jew? The Jews are a scattered people that have no civilization – only a heritage. Even that is disappearing because of secular Jewishness and reform Judaism. Even “Jews for Jesus” have a hand to play in the demise of Judaism.

Israel is not a civilization, either. It is a large refugee camp, filled to the brim with the world’s fleeing Jews. They have staked a claim of land based on a religious book and now are in the fight of their lives (again) because of religion.

Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize completely with the plight of the Jews and anti-Semitism irritates me just as much as any other racial or religious bigotry. Bottom line, however, is that if the Jews are falling for the “my god is better than your god” then they are no better than any other religion.

You’re going to have to do better than that.

 

Jason Rebuttal #002:

You are missing the point here. It was not an attack…

The view or concept of G-d that you hold is simplistic and it’s apparent in your 9/11 example, again it’s not personal. I speak from experience! I *was* an atheist and had a similar understanding… To fairly judge between the sides: G-d or Not, you need to speak to the people who can give you the proper perspective. It’s not that the ‘Jewish version’ is better, but you should hear the Chabad explanation! You must know that Jews are not into missionizing, that’s not my purpose here.

You claim to dispel misconceptions, well how about the possibility that what you have known about G-d has been a big misconception? To be intellectually honest, you should hear all sides, not only the Christian version! I’m glad that you can sympathize with what’s going on. I’m not here to talk geo-politics. The Jewish people are a nation, not a civilization. I said that we lived through the others that have come and gone… and that is the point.

There have always been Jews that have left the fold (Hellenists, Karrarites etc) up to this day. A certain number have been lost to everyone of the cultures already mentioned. The fascinating thing is that a people who have been the subject of Progroms, Crusades, Inquisitions and Holocausts and were without a land for the past 2000 years (The Romans exiled us starting in the year 70 it’s on the Arch of Titus in Rome), is still strong! There are more and more Jews finding their ‘roots’.

The number of Observant Jews is growing! By any standard we as a people/nation whatever, should have disappeared long ago! But that is simply not the case. If you see it as a historical fluke of nature, so be it. If you don’t investigate the option of the Chassidish understanding of G-d then I believe you are not covering all the bases and you are making a decision based on a misunderstanding.

 

Response to Jason #002:

JASON: “You are missing the point here. It was not an attack…”

I didn’t say it was. I said that I don’t take any emails as a personal attack, including ones that are intentionally meant as one. That was not meant to be an insinuation that yours was such, I was just making a statement.

JASON: “The view or concept of G-d that you hold is simplistic…”

Actually, I hold no view of god. I guess you can call a zero view of a god “simplistic”, but that conclusion is based on a detailed search of all religions, including Judaism.

JASON: “I speak from experience! I *was* an atheist and had a similar understanding…”

I’m sorry to hear that you got suckered back into god-belief. Of course, based on the “arguments” you’ve presented so far you probably were not a very good atheist, but that’s another subject altogether. Anyway, you have my sympathies for being turned to the dark side.

JASON: “To fairly judge between the sides: G-d or Not, you need to speak to the people who can give you the proper perspective.”

Why would you assume that I haven’t? I have visited synagogues, mosques, cathedrals, churches, temples and everything in-between. I even visited Israel twice and visited all the “holy” sites, including the Wailing Wall and others. I’ve talked to several Rabbis and even had a discussion with a professor at the University of Jerusalem. You’re not telling my anything new. All I’m hearing from you are the same old tired arguments that have failed for eons except upon the weak-minded.

JASON: “It’s not that the ‘Jewish version’ is better, but you should hear the Chabad explanation!”

The “explanation” is just as hokey as the Christian one. Let’s be honest here, the Old Testament, which of course was stolen by the Christians from the Torah writings, are bizarre and corny. Anyone that takes that stuff literally has a few screws loose or is in desperate need for “fellowship”.

JASON: “You must know that Jews are not into missionizing, that’s not my purpose here.”

Your emails sound a lot like proselytizing to me – trying to prove that YOUR version of god exists and laying on the “scripture”. If your purpose is not to proselytize, then what is your purpose?

JASON: “To be intellectually honest, you should hear all sides, not only the Christian version!”

Been there, done that. The reason that Christianity is predominant on my web page is because that is what I am faced with in America. The Jewish community here is quiet except when they need to shout. I have worked closely with the local synagogue on several issues and have talked to the Rabbi a few times. We even had a Rabbi give a “sermon” on Judaism at the local Unitarian Universalist fellowship.

Judaism is not a proselytizing religion because it is mostly based on heritage and tradition. There’s no push to convert the gentile because they are not “Jewish”. This puts the Judaic community on my good side, at least in America. The pseudo-theocracy of Israel is another issue.

JASON: “I said that we lived through the others that have come and gone… and that is the point.”

If that is your only argument for the proof of the Judaic god then you’ve lost already. The Shaman religions of the African plains are the oldest religion known today, estimated at 26,000 years. Shamanism has outlived and outlasted Judaism and the Jewish people. If you base your belief in a god on the consistency of the nation and/or civilization that holds a belief in that god, then you should be worshiping the gods of the African Shamans.

JASON: “The fascinating thing is that a people who have been the subject of Progroms, Crusades, Inquisitions and Holocausts and were without a land for the past 2000 years…”

The Shaman tribes of Africa have been subjected to equally bad conditions and sometimes worse. They prevailed longer than Judaism. So again, you are stuck in a dilemma. If you base your belief on the longevity of a crowd of believers then you must choose African Shamanism as your religion. Or you must concede that Judaism is just second best in longevity.

JASON: “The number of Observant Jews is growing!”

You’ll have to provide data to back that up. All the information I’ve seen shows a slight decline in followers of traditional Judaism. Even Christianity has only grown .8% in the last 35 years. Atheism and non-religion has grown over 8% in that same period, making it the fastest growing “religion” worldwide.

JASON: “By any standard we as a people/nation whatever, should have disappeared long ago!”

Why’s that? Other civilizations have survived through just as much turmoil. I’m sorry that the Jews have been treated badly throughout history, but you’re not going to convince me to believe in your god(s) just because I sympathize. Your longevity argument, as seriously flawed as it is, stands no chance of converting me, either.

JASON: “If you see it as a historical fluke of nature, so be it.”

I see it as a testament to humanity and the individual will to survive. The Jews are a testament to biology and the want to survive and perpetuate the species. Nature had a role in the biology of the human being, but it is the humanity and will to live that has kept the Jews and other cultures going through hard times.

JASON: “If you don’t investigate the option of the Chassidish understanding of G-d…”

Like I said before, you assume too much.

Jason has not responded.