10 Reasons the Crucifixion Story Makes No Sense

Does God exist?  You wouldn't think so given the bizarre crucifixion story.I’m afraid that the crucifixion story doesn’t strike me as that big a deal.

The Christian will say that death by crucifixion was a horrible, humiliating way to die.  That the death of Jesus was a tremendous sacrifice, more noble and selfless than a person sacrificing himself for the benefit of a butterfly.  And isn’t it worth praising something that gets us into heaven?

Here are ten reasons why I’m unimpressed.

1. Sure, death sucks, but why single out this one?  Lots of people die.  In fact, lots died from crucifixion.  The death of one man doesn’t make all the others insignificant.  Was Jesus not a man but actually a god?  If so, that fact has yet to be shown.

It’s not like this death is dramatically worse than death today.  Crucifixion may no longer be a worry, but cancer is.  Six hours of agony on the cross is pretty bad, but so is six months of agony from cancer.

2. What about that whole hell thing?  An eternity of torment for even a single person makes Jesus’s agony insignificant by comparison, and it counts for nothing when you consider the billions that are apparently going to hell.

3. Jesus didn’t even die.  The absurdity of the story, of course, is the resurrection.  If Jesus died, there’s no miraculous resurrection, and if there’s a resurrection, there’s no sacrifice through death.  Miracle or sacrifice—you can’t have it both ways.  The gospels don’t say that he died for our sins but that he had a rough couple of days for our sins.

4. Taking on the sin vs. removal of sin aren’t symmetric.  We didn’t do anything to get original sin.  We just inherited it from Adam.  So why do we have to do anything to get the redemption?  If God demands a sacrifice, he got it.  That’s enough.  Why the requirement to believe to access the solution?

5. The reason behind the sacrifice—mankind’s original sin—makes no sense.  Why blame Adam for a moral lapse that he couldn’t even understand?  Remember that he hadn’t yet eaten the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, so who could blame him when he made a moral mistake?

And how can we inherit original sin from Adam?  Why blame us for something we didn’t do?  That’s not justice, and the Bible agrees:

Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin (Deut. 24:16)

6. Jesus made a sacrifice—big deal.  Jesus is perfect, so his doing something noble is like water flowing downhill.  It’s unremarkable since he’s only acting out his nature.  What else would you expect from a perfect being?

But imagine if I sacrificed myself for someone.  In the right circumstance, I’d risk my life for a stranger—or at least I hope I would.  That kind of sacrifice is very different.  A selfish, imperfect man acting against his nature to make the ultimate unselfish sacrifice is far more remarkable than a perfect being acting according to his nature, and yet people make sacrifices for others all the time.  So why single out the actions of Jesus?  Aren’t everyday noble actions by ordinary people more remarkable and laudable?

7. What is left for God to forgive?  The Jesus story says that we’ve sinned against God (a debt).  Let’s look at two resolutions to this debt.

(1) God could forgive the debt of sin.  You and I are asked to forgive wrongs done against us, so why can’t God?  Some Christians say that to forgive would violate God’s sense of justice, but when one person forgives another’s debt, there’s no violation of justice.  For unspecified reasons, God doesn’t like this route.

And that leaves (2) where Jesus pays for our sin.  But we need to pick 1 or 2, not both.  If Jesus paid the debt, there’s no need for God’s forgiveness.  There’s no longer anything for God to forgive, since there’s no outstanding debt.

Here’s an everyday example: when I pay off my mortgage, the bank doesn’t in addition forgive my debt.  There’s no longer a debt to forgive!  Why imagine that God must forgive us after he’s already gotten his payment?

8. The Jesus story isn’t even remarkable within mythology.  Jesus’s sacrifice was small compared to the Greek god Prometheus, who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to humanity.  Zeus discovered the crime and punished Prometheus by chaining him to a rock so that a vulture could eat his liver.  Each night, his liver grew back and the next day the vulture would return, day after agonizing day.  The gospel story, where Jesus is crucified once and then pops back into existence several days later, is unimpressive by comparison.

9. The Bible itself rejects God’s savage “justice.”  This is the 21st century.  Must Iron Age customs persist so that we need a human sacrifice?  If God loves us deeply and he wants to forgive us, couldn’t he just … forgive us?  That’s how we do it, and that’s the lesson we get from the parable of the Prodigal Son where the father forgives the son even after being wronged by him.  If that’s the standard of mercy, why can’t God follow it?  Since God is so much greater a being than a human, wouldn’t he be that much more understanding and willing to forgive?

If we were to twist the Prodigal Son parable to match the crucifixion story, the father might demand that the innocent son be flogged to pay for the crime of the prodigal son.  Where’s the logic in that?

10. The entire story is incoherent.  Let’s try to stumble through the drunken logic behind the Jesus story.

God made mankind imperfect and inherently vulnerable to sin.  Living a sinless life is impossible, so hell becomes unavoidable.  That is, God creates people knowing for certain that they’re going to deserve eternity in hell when they die.  Why create people that he knew would be destined for eternal torment?

But don’t worry—God sacrificed Jesus, one of the persons of God, so mankind could go to heaven instead.

So God sacrificed himself to himself so we could bypass a rule that God made himself and that God deliberately designed us to never be able to meet?  I can’t even understand that; I certainly feel no need to praise God for something so nonsensical.  It’s like an abused wife thanking her abuser.  We can just as logically curse God for consigning us to hell from birth.

Perhaps I can be forgiven for being unimpressed by the crucifixion story.

Photo credit: Wikimedia

103 thoughts on “10 Reasons the Crucifixion Story Makes No Sense

  1. Bobby, you’re starting to sound like a little whiney-B (brat). You know one of those little geeky guys that would show up to class with perfect attendance, sit in the front row, never miss homework, always answering questions, and asking questions to which he already new the answer only to show just how smart he was. Hmmmmmm, I think I just described myself. Forget it! Anyway the other day a guy visited my blog, copied a section and posted it to his blog for critique. He said he tried clicking away several times but was driven back to consider the content of the post. I had a similar experience with this post of yours, clicking away but coming back to consider your line of inquiry: sporting an arguable tint of irreverence yet just enough sincerity to make it genuinely sincere, which I respect. I’d be lying if I said some of those questions didn’t occur to me in my experience as a believer; but took back seat to more urgent life and death issues for me at the time. I think now is just as good a time to look at them, as you’ve raised them.

    1) From the accounts of Jesus’ physically demanding ministry routines he was considered to be in fairly excellent physical form. Yes, his death was by crucifixion; the records reflect that his visage was more marred than any man’s, beaten above the requisite stripes for the crime assessed. Crucified yes, but physical evidence assessed cause of death to be of a broken heart. Yes he died of a broken heart; a world of men rejecting him as he died for their sins; heaping shame, injury and insults upon him. I would have posted a relevant link but you can simply Google “Jesus died of broken heart” a dozen will be available. God doesn’t have love, he is love…that must have taken quite the emotional pound of our of a man dying such a death. It wasn’t simply death by crucifixion, but all the surrounding circumstances contingent on that event that made it unequal in its wretchedness. There were two other men to his left and right and whose psychological profile is revealed in their brief statements. They either new they had it coming which made it easier to bear, or the process was not quite as complicated in contingent factors as was Jesus’. If the notion so sin is a mere philosophical ponderance to you, you can’t possibly fathom experiential horror of the total annihilating effect it has on the character of God imbibing every vile wretched abominable deed every committed at the hand of man, it’s like matter meeting anti-matter while matter is being crucified at the same time. It’s like death by cancer, crucifixion, or whatever painful form multiplied by an undetermined factor.
    2) You are apparently suggesting the punishment doesn’t fit the crime; but until you know what the true nature of sin is, the relative disparity of equity of justice here can’t be appreciated. Hell was not prepared for any man, but for the fallen angels and their infamous leader. That is precisely the driving impetus behind God’s zeal to prevent men whose free will he cannot override from suffering such a similar fate.
    3) You know, You’re such a cheat! You pack these questions with all these other sub questions! Yes Jesus died; and yes he raised from the dead. Matthew 27:45-50 reports that in the ninth hour Jesus surrendered his spirit; a prisoner to the power of death, as is required of all men who die. The reason for every man’s death is not so much for individual accounts of sins his as for imputed sins inherited through Adam’s disobedience. 3a) – Resurrection is by definition the dead being raised back to life; Jesus died, and was raised back to life by the power of God the Father; that satisfies the definition of resurrection. 3b) – the real sacrifice of his life is that he surrendered his life in payment for our sins, in our place so we would not have to die for our sins. Hell accepted the terms by receiving his life as payment for all the sins of the world that he took onto himself. If you sign the receipt for certain goods received, and then wind up loosing the goods received; that all on you; such was hell’s conundrum when they received Jesus’ life as payment for the world’s sins. Payment for the world’s sins was satisfied; hell just had lousy accounting in not reckoning that Jesus hadn’t any personal sins among those of the world’s that he just made payment on and that they could hold him for; that was legal. Now you had a man in hell who had the peculiar dimension of no personal sins to account for, none the less there he was in prison, but stronger that other prisoners; the perfect Trojan Horse. Any other man would have no legs to stand on; you’re dead—you’re done. Now with Jesus you had a prisoner about whom the question was: hmmmmm, can you hold me? It’s me against you; I’m going to do a prison break and if you can’t hold me, it’s on you; I’ll be free; and all the people who you’ve already accepted payment for. Jesus could effect prison break if hell couldn’t over power him, which no other prisoner before him had strength to accomplish. He was raised from the dead, by the power of the Father. 3c) – The Old Testament foretold his dying for the sins of all the world in the symbolism of the scapegoat and the spotless lamb, the Gospels recorded such a death Jonn 3:16, the Epistles explains his dying for all our sins Romans 5:6-8— For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die : yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die . 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    4) What….you’re in pirson, a guy comes to break you out; he says follow me. You think you can just still stay there in prison and yet be free? Freedom exists somewhere else you have to move. No you didn’t do anything to get what you got; your lousy dad sold you out, and someone’s come to buy your freedom. Even if you’re simply hungry as a biological function, hunger may not be your fault, but you better take action or perish from hunger. You know….hunger happens; you wanna be a stick in the mud about it? It happens.
    5) A moral lapse that he couldn’t underatand? Believe it, he understood “don’t cross the street or it will kill you” he knew what it meant. The tree of the knowledge of Good and evil which he now appreciates is a view from the other side of the street which he crossed. Free will is not free will until it is tested. 1 Timothy 2:14—And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 5b) -Good thing you weren’t born under Greek, Roman, or American slave systems. Your dad was a slave, you were going to be a slave too. Adam didn’t just sell himself out to hard time under sin the deal included his entire lineages following him. 5c) – That’s what Jesus is all about recovering the children.
    6) So was Adam, he had all those things going for him including free will. Finally somebody made the right choice. 6b) – Let it not escape you, God is love; where ever you see love expressed it is God in action, we are not separate from him, but some people by free will choose to act different from him while others act consistent with him. God doesn’t see himself as separate from we, we however see ourselves as separate from him 6c) – Why single him out? The records apparently attach his name to the deed. He did it. Why give George Washington credit for what he did, or for that matter JFK, Abraham Lincoln, MLK, Einstein, or you for posting this magnificent post?
    7) Bobby (if you don’t like me call’n you Bobby it’s ok to say so—I’ll stop) when you pay your mortgage isn’t there an exchange of some form of legal tender, currency, or something of equal value for the real estate to make the deal stick? Well you and I have to sign on to the terms of a multiple plaintiff single class action lawsuit against hell (a new covenant) saying you accept Jesus kind of life for your new life which he laid down, and hell could not hold. Where he literally died for you, you are signing onto a vicariously death in him. In effect you relinquish your present life of mortal servitude and the vulnerability to the elements of this world, and all the laws of nature having dominion over you in a vicarious death that breaks their dominion from over you, and is consistent with Jesus’ dying for you. God isn’t raising you up to have some ordinary human life, but to have the life pre-fallen Adam had, which is consistent with and is represented by the life Jesus demonstrated as having dominion over all the elements of this world and all the laws of nature, which the zombies (AKA sleeping giants) who parade around as Christians fail to do. You can’t have two lives; either one or the other: the weak post-fallen Adam, or pre-fallen Adam’s life restored in Jesus. You acknowledge involuntary culpability (debt) for Adam’s sins and agree to have God’s forgiveness consistent with his plan for you in Jesus to effect your liberty from bondage. I’d call that more than a fair deal.
    8) Alright Bobby; I aint even going to go there man. You whinnnnie_B.
    9) My suggestion to you Bobby; don’t run afoul fo 21st century law and order jurisprudence. If you get slapped with a life sentence, someone is required to give up their life…..today. If you don’t believe me, take a walk down death row in the facility of your local big house. Adam’s transgression carried a life sentence which was paid for 2000 years ago. Today all you have to do is ask sign on to the new covenant. You can’t do that in your local big house. 9b) – LOL, LOL, LOL Very funny Bob. When you figure the valley of the shadow of death parable you’ll have your answer.
    10) Now who’s got drunken logic. He made man perfect, complete with a free will. There goes you logic; out the window.

    • sporting an arguable tint of irreverence

      I’ve had far harsher critiques of my attitude, so thanks for that!

      the records reflect that his visage was more marred than any man’s

      Is that in the NT?

      God doesn’t have love, he is love…that must have taken quite the emotional pound of our of a man dying such a death.

      God was bummed out? He knew what the outcome would be.

      until you know what the true nature of sin is, the relative disparity of equity of justice here can’t be appreciated.

      God made us imperfect, and then he flies into a rage when we act as he made us?

      You think you can just still stay there in prison and yet be free?

      What prison? Jesus removed the prison! The sin that imprisons us–gone. And yet we have to take this bizarre leap of faith (y’know–exactly what we’d have to do if the whole thing was fantasy).

      Good thing you weren’t born under Greek, Roman, or American slave systems.

      The Hebrew system of slavery wasn’t so great either.

      Bobby (if you don’t like me call’n you Bobby it’s ok to say so—I’ll stop)

      (That would be nice.)

      when you pay your mortgage isn’t there an exchange of some form of legal tender, currency, or something of equal value for the real estate to make the deal stick?

      I’ve already made clear that the mortgage metaphor doesn’t hold. You can either (1) pay the mortgage holder money equal to the debt or (2) the mortgage holder can forgive the debt. Not both.

      Well you and I have to sign on to the terms of a multiple plaintiff single class action lawsuit against hell (a new covenant) saying you accept Jesus kind of life for your new life which he laid down, and hell could not hold.

      Translated: we must believe something unbelievable. Something that, when you see it in other religions, you reject immediately. Why this extra huge hurdle?

      Much of your argument is simply rationalization, for which I see no value. If you’re saying that you can rationalize the facts so that your belief is upheld, I believe you. My approach is to, instead, consider the facts and find the best explanation. (And the Christian one isn’t it.)

      • 1- sporting an arguable tint of irreverence

        I wouldn’t commend you if I thought you were doing something beyond the pale of simply pursuing a vigorous line of inquire which I myself engage in from time to time to find the truth.

        2- the records reflect that his visage was more marred than any man’s

        Isaiah 52:9-15 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: Do you mean to imply something by that question? Like it doesn’t count cause it’s in the Old Testament?

        3- God doesn’t have love, he is love…that must have taken quite the emotional pound of our of a man dying such a death.

        Sorry about the misprint, it was meant to read as….(that must have taken quite the emotional pound of flesh out of a man dying such a death.) Yeah, I could see how just thinking about having to walk in front of a freight train is just as easy as doing the deed.

        4- God was bummed out? He knew what the outcome would be.

        Maybe you have to set me straight on how it was that God made us impercect. When he made male and female he said they were perfect and in his image. Last time I checked God was not imperfect. 4a- How did he fly into a rage? He simply allowed the consequence of indipendent freewill choosing a course to play out.

        5- What prison? Jesus removed the prison! The sin that imprisons us–gone.

        What Prison? You tried acting like Jesus lately. You experience degrees of liberty according to your faith. If I leave money for you I a will, it’s your only if you go get it. Your liberty from all things is assured in Jesus, but again you are free only if you choose get it or not get it. You don’t have to die for it, he did the dying for you already.
        6- .

        6 – The Hebrew system of slavery wasn’t so great either.

        Ever hear of Jubilee? After a while you get to go free, or if you choose your ears were pierced to bear evidence of your choice to remain. Many people choose to stay cause it really wasn’t that bad. Look around you that actually became so fashionable that today you are the odd man out if your ears aren’t pierced. Try that with old Jim Crow. You get more than an ear piercing.

        7 – That would be lnice.

        I’ll give that, after all fair is fair; but you are so no fun. What should I call you?

        8 – I’ve already made clear that the mortgage metaphor doesn’t hold.

        Well in that case, that is what vicarious means he dies for you, you don’t literally die for your sins. Your mortgage debt is cancelled because he paid the price for you, you don’t pay the bank again. You mean you don’t even want to exert so much effort as to walk over to the house or go get the key?

        9 – Translated: we must believe something unbelievable. Something that, when you see it in other religions, you reject immediately. Why this extra huge hurdle?

        @#&##!@%! Girlie_man. Got a piece of advice for you: If you think this is hard, don’t go into particle quantum mechanics; and certainly don’t go into the “spooky action” principle of entanglement theory. I’m going to wait for you to tell my which other religion allows you to do all things that Jesus did and enjoy all the liberty that God enjoys.

        10 – Heh! No fair….. when you get check mated your’re supposed to ask for a new game or quit!

      • Isaiah 52:9-15 … Like it doesn’t count cause it’s in the Old Testament?

        Like that’s not something from “the records,” which is what you referred to. (This is a small point.)

        Maybe you have to set me straight on how it was that God made us impercect. When he made male and female he said they were perfect and in his image. Last time I checked God was not imperfect.

        Since the rules for getting into heaven are “thou shalt be perfect,” are you saying that everyone is bound for heaven?

        If that’s not the case, then I guess we’re not perfect. And, we are as God made us. As Hitchens says, God made us sick and commanded us to be well.

        He simply allowed the consequence of indipendent freewill choosing a course to play out.

        We’re made imperfect; we’re made bound for hell. Maybe the metaphor of God as a 9-year-old kid with a magnifying glass burning ants works best.

        Ever hear of Jubilee?

        Sure–enough to know that it applied only to Jews. Foreigners were slaves for life. It’s a complete facepalm to hear modern Christians justifying the insanity in the OT. Do you hear what you’re saying??

        And in the same way that God told the merchant to sell using fair weights and measures, he told the Israelites how to handle slaves—how to treat a fellow Israelite as a slave (Ex. 21:4–6 and Lev. 25:39), how to sell your daughter into slavery (Ex. 21:7), how to decide when a beating was too harsh (Ex. 21:20–21), and so on. Very handy!

        Many people choose to stay cause it really wasn’t that bad.

        Not that bad? We’re talking about slavery, right?

        Are you saying that you’d be content to have the OT form of slavery in place in this country?

        You mean you don’t even want to exert so much effort as to walk over to the house or go get the key?

        I’m saying that treating Jesus belief like a plate of sandwiches, which you can either take or leave as you choose, doesn’t work. Example: try believing in leprechauns and tell me how that goes for you.

        If you think this is hard, don’t go into particle quantum mechanics; and certainly don’t go into the “spooky action” principle of entanglement theory.

        Absolutely laughable. If I got a doctorate in quantum physics, there would be no faith that it works, I’d know it as well as anyone would. And yet if you got a doctorate in theology, you’d still rely on faith.

        I’m going to wait for you to tell my which other religion allows you to do all things that Jesus did and enjoy all the liberty that God enjoys.

        It’s a story! You’re bragging about how much better your imaginary story is than the other guy’s?

        • Bob, I am given to observe some pause here in light of the general assessment of your last group of comments. It appears this exchange is disintegrating into a volley of angry exchanges. I can’t imagine that is the purpose of your post. The framework of my communication with you so far presupposes a deep respect that I maintain for you regardless of our different opinions about God. I trusted such framework to be of sufficient strength to allow for some degree of levity within the bounds of mutual respect. In accordance I have made some off-colored remarks which I hoped you might see them as such; but instead, as I reflect on your replies, my off-colored remarks may have been misunderstood and gendered offenses that may be in part responsible for the elevated level of mercury I sense. If any such offenses are true, I do apologize for all such offense, and trust your forgiveness is not too much to hope for.

          Frankly I despair of a world where no one ever smiles, and takes everything as grave as the grim reaper; and all things outside the tenuous grasp of our understanding is altogether counted as insanity. Among the most brilliant minds of our recent times not many would rank their achievements beyond Einstein’s; yet though he more than most is qualified to assess contrary views as delusional, he instead appeared rather more moderate in such outlook, noting that what we know, is nothing in comparison of what we do not know. The vastly larger quantity of the unknown therefore doesn’t necessarily preclude the possibility of God. The view I hold of God makes predictions that they who hold such faith in him, are to bring forth such proof of him by their faith in doing the same works that Jesus did because this is not about peddling philosophy but showing to the world the extended life of Jesus in us by his works which only God can accomplish through we who have his faith. Until I show that proof to you, all my words are meaningless and you are justified in any amount of scoffing at them.

          I am unsure as to whether I should continue responding to your rebuttals because I might site your comments regarding slavery as typical of the misunderstanding that is growing so far as a cause for concern. I want to make allowance for it, but can’t be certain that you may be engaging in some amount of shin-digging when to underscore your point you site chapter and verse to suggest that I, who am Jamaican would possibly be advocating slavery on any level as I know personally the adverse ripple effects that such an abominable practice has visited upon the human family. I have and continue to keep company with staunch Atheists who insist on humorous exchanges to the point even where it near pains me to indulge them, because they are usually banterings about God, although they maintain some degree of appreciable sensitivity. I can attest that their propensity for humor never dulled their razor sharp intellect. I have to say I thought I noticed a reluctance to humorous treatment of subject matters on your posts, but ignoring such divinings I may have pushed the envelope beyond harmless calculations.

          Again I submit my apologies for any grievances gendered, and offer you my best regards.

        • If any such offenses are true, I do apologize for all such offense, and trust your forgiveness is not too much to hope for.

          Your apology is both eloquent and unnecessary. But thanks!

          The vastly larger quantity of the unknown therefore doesn’t necessarily preclude the possibility of God.

          Agreed. I’m just following the facts to the best conclusion.

          suggest that I, who am Jamaican would possibly be advocating slavery on any level as I know personally the adverse ripple effects that such an abominable practice has visited upon the human family.

          Whether you’re a Jamaican or a privileged white guy who proudly traces his lineage back to the Mayflower, the idea of justifying slavery of any kind is unthinkable in the 21st century. That’s why, when I read what certainly seems to me like such a justification, I cringe and point that out. If you reject slavery of any kind, join me in decrying the inhuman conditions that were standardized by the OT.

        • Whether you’re a Jamaican or a privileged white guy who proudly traces his (slave owning) lineage back to the Mayflower, the idea of justifying slavery of any kind is unthinkable in the 21st century. That’s why, when I read what certainly seems to me like such a justification, I cringe and point that out. If you reject slavery of any kind, join me in decrying the inhuman conditions that were standardized by the OT.

          Greetings Bob,
          Good to hear from you, and equally good to hear that my apology was unnecessary. I think better to submit it, and have it not needed than not offer it where it might be needed; but you are as welcomed as you are gracious for acknowledging my apology.

          Like I said it was a poor attempt at humor to speak of the anachronism of slavery in that context thinking you would see through the obvious absurdity instead of cringing. Much to your credit though, some time ago you did advise me that you prefer straight talk and I should have respected that preference. Now I simply couldn’t resist the “(slave owning) lineage back to the Mayflower” jab because if you identify a heritage going back that far, you just have know that I passed through the 200 years of slavery in America, which I might have let slip except for that “proud” part which ought to be moderated by the slave owning heritage.

          It is not lost upon me that you have identified a time period (21st century) as a time where slave ownership would be considered unthinkable. You however noted that the OT standards were inhumane. It might have been well for you to provide some comparative values to access the relative inhumanity of that system; say the Sparticus type Roman system, or Greek, Persian, Egyptian, Babylonian. I could be wrong, but I don’t think any one of those systems allowed their slaves go free after a period of time. I never aspired to be any kind of scholar on that subject, but even if you were not Hebrew, I believe there was the option of converting to Judaism, where such a privilege might be yours as well as those so born. Again I say I’m no scholar nor can be an expert on everything so I may be wrong.

          Bob, I’m going to hazard falling into disfavor or greater disfavor with you by suggesting that you are arguing these points in a manner that belies your evident high level of intelligence. Your arguments do not respect the cogent contextual historical information that do shed light on the larger meaning slavery at the specific time period of which we speak. The slavery system at that time period in history you reference is not something that I’d desire for myself nor could anyone, nevertheless such was the world you lived in. As a matter of survival kingdoms would go on annual war campaign against kingdoms. If you lost the contest you became slaves and tributaries to the victor or else they killed you. Your tributary assets were the revenue bloodline of successful kingdom and your cotton picking slave labor fueled their industries. Exodus 22:21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. God told the Jews expressly to remember their 400 years of slavery in Egypt and not be curel to the slaves they would rule over. In that context not only was it humane it was above standard.

        • Now I simply couldn’t resist the “(slave owning) lineage back to the Mayflower” jab

          Just to be clear, the proud white guy I was imagining didn’t have any slave holding in his heritage. I’m acknowledging that a Jamaican who has slaves in his own family tree would certainly abhor slavery, but I don’t know that the white guy who didn’t would be any less pleased that slavery has been discarded in the US.

          I could be wrong, but I don’t think any one of those systems allowed their slaves go free after a period of time.

          Nor did the one in the OT!! Yes, I understand that there was special leniency for conditions of Jewish slaves, but the enslavement of non-Jews was the good old-fashioned slavery for life that we now detest.

          Let’s turn to Leviticus 25:44–46 to see: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

          This was good, old-fashioned, you-can-beat-them-as-long-as-they-can-get-up-in-two-days (Ex. 21:20–21) kind of slavery. This was kill-everyone-but-keep-the-virgins-for-yourself (Num. 31:18) slavery.

          And you’re rationalizing this?! I must be misunderstanding your position. You don’t need to be a Bible scholar to let the OT rules speak for themselves.

          The slavery system at that time period in history you reference is not something that I’d desire for myself nor could anyone, nevertheless such was the world you lived in.

          Now you’re speaking like a historian, not a Christian. I agree, of course. But unlike any other place and time in history, the Christian says that this society was a theocracy controlled by God. And yet (as you note yourself), it looks just like you’d expect a human-controlled society of the time to look. You argue that it was a little better than neighboring countries. But that’s it? Where’s the enlightened, godly governance when it looks far worse than the imperfect system we have in the West in the 21st century?

    • Bottom line, a reasonable man can easily conclude that Christianity is simply myth, He can do so because God gave him an intellect. God created man with the potential destroy himself (by using a gift – intellect – God gave him in the first place) Christianity is convoluted nonsense.

      • To go back to an earlier post regarding Isaiah 52:9-15… that verse doesn’t count because it’s not about Jesus. It’s about the nation of Israel returning to independence (and presumably prominence) after enslavement in Babylon. Christians love to quote Isaiah as if it contains prophecy about Jesus, but it really doesn’t.

      • This is another example of what I mean by I don’t understand what is beign communicated.

        I was hoping you ‘d see the part where I applied this criticism to myself and know that this comment was not intended as an attack.

    • Wow, well everyone is entitled to their view.
      Jesus can be your best friend. There is so much more about his suffering and death – since he is God’s only Son.
      Hope to see you on the other side of this life.

    • If god made man perfect,complete with a free will,then man, given choice could not have made the wrong choice, choosing the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
      Your god is a nasty creature not worthy of worship.

      • Hi Steve,

        You can make a vocal recording of perfect fedility to the source. Various things may cause a distortion of that fidelity. In the case of man he was created with a will that was in prefect alignment with God, and having the distinction of individual personhood may act independent of God. I seems what is being sought here is a relationship based on trust and love. If you love me, these are the parameters that define this love wherein we can be together, or we could part ways by these actions if you choose otherwise. The idea of freedom of choice implies freedom to choose to be inconsistent.

        Do you want to be married to someone over whom you hold something that compels them to be with you. You could never really know if they loved you. I don’t I know many people who warms up to the idea of God forcing them to do stuff if they are supposed to be free. That the test of that love or liberty is where you are given an opportunity to act one way or another without the influence of the party that you say you love. That’s why today you can be an Atheist, and God allows it; it’s that same choice. His love is not that insecure type that says, show me that love, or I’m going to beat you down. To me, that would be a nasty God.

        Willa told me that you guys know all the doctrines of the bible better than me and most Christians so I simply remind you that this experiment of free will is for the purpose of confirming who wants to be consistent with God even though they cant’ see him but only blindly feel after him by faith during this time. All those people who blindly followed him by faith will be confirmed in “fixed holiness”, according to theologians….which I think you know; the elements of temptation removed. Those who choose to be inconsistent will be provided a separate place where they can be inconsistent.

        Why are you guys using these alien images for gravitars?

        • NGR:

          I don’t I know many people who warms up to the idea of God forcing them to do stuff if they are supposed to be free.

          God forces you to believe as a condition of entrance into heaven. That doesn’t seem to bother you.

          The analogy of God is to you as you are to your spouse is a weak one. I don’t doubt that my spouse exists, but in the case of God, that’s the primary question!

          His love is not that insecure type that says, show me that love, or I’m going to beat you down.

          Yeah, except for that “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” thing. He sounds like a pretty vicious piece of work.

          Willa told me that you guys know all the doctrines of the bible better than me and most Christians

          I’m pretty sure she was speaking generally, though I would agree with that generalization: the average atheist knows more about the Bible than the average Christian (or: the atheist who enjoys debating with Christians knows it better than the Christian who enjoys debating with atheists). This is just a sense on my part; I don’t have a study to back this up.

          All those people who blindly followed him by faith …

          Wow–who’d want to follow anything by blind faith? You just check your God-given brain at the door and do what your told without consideration? Isn’t this how it works for suicide bombers?

          Why are you guys using these alien images for gravitars?

          That’s the setting of this blog. If you want to use a proper avatar, you can use one.

        • Greetings Bob:

          [God forces you to believe as a condition of entrance into heaven. That doesn’t seem to bother you.]

          Bob a statement like that reveals that you are willing to ignore a wide range of contingent factors that goes to why faith is required. I don’t want to accuse you of being disingenuous but that statement is on life support. The first arrangement with Adam required no faith. He saw God eye to eye, and walked away from God in disobedience. If now you can’t see God but choose to obey him, that seems to me a reasonable condition for overcoming the sin and freewill issue to enter heaven.

          [The analogy of God is to you as you are to your spouse is a weak one. I don’t doubt that my spouse exists, but in the case of God, that’s the primary question!]

          I can’t see that Bob, cause you are not taking into account that there is a sin issue to be resolved.

          [Yeah, except for that “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” thing. He sounds like a pretty viscous piece of work.]

          This is an example where folks were not required to live by faith but to observe the law and walk consistent with it; to which the analogy of a schoolmaster was applied as it was intended to prepare folks to walk by faith instead of the law.

          {[the atheist who enjoys debating with Christians knows it better than the Christian who enjoys debating with atheists] Wow–who’d want to follow anything by blind faith? You just check your God-given brain at the door and do what your told without consideration? Isn’t this how it works for suicide bombers?}

          I have you pegged as one of the sharper tools in the shed Bob, but this is another statement that is on life support. You have to use your senses to recognize God’s leading by faith instead of being led by the law. All the commandments and prophets hand on the
          Love and love works no evil to anyone.

          [That’s the setting of this blog. If you want to use a proper avatar, you can use one.]

          See Bob even you have some idea of what is proper for your blog.

        • NGR:

          If now you can’t see God but choose to obey him, that seems to me a reasonable condition …

          How do I know this guy exists? How do I know he’s not just like all the gods that you don’t believe in?

          I can’t see that Bob, cause you are not taking into account that there is a sin issue to be resolved.

          What does sin have to do with the fact that knowing that my spouse exists is trivial but knowing that God exists is the whole question?

          the analogy of a schoolmaster was applied as it was intended to prepare folks to walk by faith instead of the law.

          Schoolmaster? What kind of schoolmaster orders genocide? What kind of schoolmaster punishes those who offend him, as well as their children, and their children, and their children?

          You have to use your senses to recognize God’s leading by faith instead of being led by the law.

          This is precisely what a cult leader would do. Imagine a leader who worshipped a god (which didn’t exist) but wanted you into his cult. He’d elevate faith to a virtue.

          If God gave you brains, shouldn’t you use them to make sure you’re not led astray by mythology?

        • [How do I know this guy exists? How do I know he’s not just like all the gods that you don’t believe in?]
          Bob this post-911 world you and I live in now is greatly changed. Folks are screened and profiled for things with intensity they were never screened for before 911; if you wan to come into this country. This prospect of life in heaven is not the first barbecue. The first time out the question of (how do I know) was not relevant…Adam then knew; Adam and God had unbroken fellowship. The question of (how do I know) applies to us now because that fellowship was broken; the mechanism of faith is a screening process for entering into heaven. What’s clearly seen to you requires no faith. Faith implies you’ll not be seeing clearly nevertheless persevering under vague conditions. This assertion of faith on our part remedies Adam’s broken faith with God. If you knew, then faith would not be required, and broken faith would not be addressed, which has to be addressed. Faith is the way back home for we who have estranged from God. You and I are not required to make the way simply travel it. If you are entering the USA form a foreign port and do not want to be screened you are denied access.
          [What does sin have to do with the fact that knowing that my spouse exists is trivial but knowing that God exists is the whole question?]

          I initially spoke of a condition where all things were equal, before broken fellowship where Adam and God where not separated, had fellowship no need for faith where all things were clear. In such scenario I implied love, or free will between spouses shouldn’t be forced. Your criticism of that scenario, called into question the inequity of the comparison where spouses are equally real, but put God into the equation and there is a question as to whether he is real. In answer to that I pointed out the unresolved sin issue that was not a factor in my initial scenario, but that now makes things unequal as per your complaint. Now you may know your wife exists, but if that wife has an infidelity issue faith is required in that relationship where her love is in question as it is with God where our love to him is in question.
          [Yeah, except for that “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me” thing. He sounds like a pretty viscous piece of work.]
          the analogy of a schoolmaster was applied as it was intended to prepare folks to walk by faith instead of the law.]
          This is all old Testament stuff. The New covenant is presents better promises.
          The terms of a contract are being laid out so no one stumbles into negative consequences. Maybe you should highlight the benefits of the contract where all parties keep faith as well as the consequences a balance view is considered.

          [This is precisely what a cult leader would do. Imagine a leader who worshipped a god (which didn’t exist) but wanted you into his cult. He’d elevate faith to a virtue. If God gave you brains, shouldn’t you use them to make sure you’re not led astray by mythology?
          You have to use your senses (brains) to recognize God’s leading by faith instead of being led by the law.
          Clearly I said “God’s leading”….. non cult leader’s leading….(you shall not need for any man to tell you to know the Lord, for I the Lord will teach them myself).
          If you’ve already decided that there is no God faith. Faith assumes there is some merit in pursuing a path to validate an outcome. Here you are being offered a way back home. I have evaluated what that bodes for me and find the benefits out way the risks.

        • NGR:

          Faith implies you’ll not be seeing clearly nevertheless persevering under vague conditions.

          I understand that. And I’m wondering why anyone would ever have faith like this, particularly for something so important as a god claim.

          Faith is the way back home for we who have estranged from God.

          Yeah, or God could just make his presence obvious and we wouldn’t need faith.

          Now you may know your wife exists, but if that wife has an infidelity issue faith is required in that relationship where her love is in question

          Seems like the sin question is useful in that it obfuscates the issue. I’m simply talking about existence. I know my spouse exists, but I’ve seen basically no evidence God exists. This God:me :: spouse:me analogy is hopelessly flawed.

          This is all old Testament stuff. The New covenant is presents better promises.

          Huh? You can just drop the OT when you feel like it because it’s unpleasant? It’s the same god throughout, right??

          You have to use your senses (brains) to recognize God’s leading by faith instead of being led by the law.

          I don’t think so. Using faith is precisely the opposite of using your brains.

          you shall not need for any man to tell you to know the Lord, for I the Lord will teach them myself

          Huh? Your Christian foundation was provided for you by men, not God—from the writing and translation of the Bible to the preaching last Sunday.

          Here you are being offered a way back home.

          This presupposes that the Christian solution applies to an actual problem.

        • Greetings Bob:

          [I understand that. And I’m wondering why anyone would ever have faith like this, particularly for something so important as a god claim.]

          I thought to reply to this first entry but am unsure of the meaning: (so important as a god claim.) It could be sarcasm, stating the opposite of what you mean, or maybe you meant something else; if sarcasm, I would say: you don’t have the math right. If you meant I shouldn’t have to fight for something so good. I’d give you the “some people think it worthwhile to climb the highest mountain, fly the Atlantic….” speech.

          [Yeah, or God could just make his presence obvious and we wouldn’t need faith.]

          What do you think about dropping airport and border security screening and have Alkaida over for tea. Evidently where to you there is no sin problem your reasoning would hold up.

          [Seems like the sin question is useful in that it obfuscates the issue. I’m simply talking about existence. I know my spouse exists, but I’ve seen basically no evidence God exists. This God:me :: spouse:me analogy is hopelessly flawed.]

          Again to you there is no sin problem to it wouldn’t make any sense.
          I you want to talk existence without the sin question the only scenario that works is the model before sin entered the picture; in which case (God:me) would be: (Adam and God where not separated, had fellowship no need for faith where mutual existence were clear. In such scenario I implied love, or free will between them shouldn’t be a forced issue). The church or Christians are referred to a spouse—God’s spouse; but then you knew that.

          [Huh? You can just drop the OT when you feel like it because it’s unpleasant? It’s the same god throughout, right??]

          It wasn’t God who broke faith, he is the one making the effort to effect the remedy.
          First he laid out the grounds for a successful relationship, man braking faith trashed it. Second he took them out of distress in Egypt made a covenant to which willing parties agreed. They broke all the terms of the contract.
          Third instead of doling out punishment for breach of contract God said Here is a new contract, I’ll have my son take the rap, If you come short unintentionally simply ask forgiveness and we’re fine. Yeah, it’s the same God throughout. Your wife plays the field on you, see how long that union lasts.

          [I don’t think so. Using faith is precisely the opposite of using your brains.]

          Some amount, arguably more grey matter is required to discern something that is not clear than what is clear.

          [Huh? Your Christian foundation was provided for you by men, not God—from the writing and translation of the Bible to the preaching last Sunday.
          Here you are being offered a way back home.
          This presupposes that the Christian solution applies to an actual problem.]

          Men makes satellites, launch them into outer space, then from earth is able to communicate with them. O course God the creator of men couldn’t possibly have half the wit as men to make men and then communicate with them. But then again there ain’t no God to be half as smart as men.
          Clearly you do not see sin as a problem, so to you there is no sin problem.

        • NGR:

          It could be sarcasm

          Not this time. A god claim is pretty important, particularly to someone like you (right?).

          What do you think about dropping airport and border security screening and have Alkaida over for tea.

          And what does that have to do with the fact that God is hidden?

          Again to you there is no sin problem to it wouldn’t make any sense.

          Tossing in “Yeah, but what about sin?” into the issue of how we know if something exists or not is like demanding that we consider symbolism in Moby Dick during a congressional debate about tariffs. If sin is relevant, you need to show this.

          It wasn’t God who broke faith, he is the one making the effort to effect the remedy.

          You act like God is someone who tries one thing, it doesn’t work, so he tries something else. He’s omniscient, right?

          And this doesn’t address my point that you have the exact same god in both the OT and NT. If you don’t much like the one in the OT, I see the problem, but you’re stuck with him and his genocidal ways.

          First he laid out the grounds for a successful relationship, man braking faith trashed it.

          1. Don’t saddle the rest of us with Adam’s sin.

          2. Adam didn’t sin. He had yet to eat of the fruit that would give him the knowledge of sin, remember? Ignorant, yes; sinful, no.

          Second he took them out of distress in Egypt

          Distress? God has absolutely no problem with slavery. Oh–wait a minute. I mean: God has absolutely no problem with slavery of other people. Yeah, that’s better.

          Third instead of doling out punishment for breach of contract God said Here is a new contract, I’ll have my son take the rap

          Or God could just forgive. That’s how you do it, right?

          simply ask forgiveness and we’re fine.

          Ah, but you hit Pascal’s Wager. What if you backed the wrong horse? What if the Buddhists are actually right–then you’ll be going to their hell. Ouch.

          Some amount, arguably more grey matter is required to discern something that is not clear than what is clear.

          Reread your statement and I think you’ll see that that’s bizarre. (If you’re saying that more effort is required to convince you of something for which there is insufficient evidence, OK. But, again, why do that?)

          Here you are being offered a way back home.

          … assuming that the Christian story is the right one. Why make that assumption?

  2. I find it incredible, not to mention absurd, that anyone spends time debating this stuff. It’s like debating whether or not Zeus got a headache when Athena popped out of his forehead, and if so, which did he take, aspirin or Tylenol?

    The bible is simply (yet another) book full of fables, and anyone who takes it seriously needs heavy medication. Including anyone who bothers to waste time debating it.

    Sorry, Bob, but I can’t support you here – arguing with the insane simply legitimizes their insanity.

  3. One of the things you left out is that Christianity itself creates the problem of “sin” and then presents the supposed solution for sin, the sacrifice of Jesus as an atonement for sin. It’s a standard salesman’s gimmick! First, you invent a supposed problem. Then, you present your solution, which makes it all OK again!
    Remember, it’s all baloney!!

  4. Well done.

    @ newgenesisres – You really need to take a step back.

    Really?? -> “From the accounts of Jesus’ physically demanding ministry routines he was considered to be in fairly excellent physical form.”

    Really? This sounds like something from fan literature or a comic book.

    C’mon, Harry Potter is in excellant shape …. but he’s still an imaginary character.

    Sorry, I don’t want to be rude to you, but let’s put your faith in perspective -> you only know about this bible and jesus because another human being told you about it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    Had you been born in a different country or a different time your whole life experience would have been vastly different.

    You could have been a devoted and passonate believer in a religion that doesn’t even exist anymore and no one knows anymore about.

    Dude, if an ancestor decided to stay instead of go, you might even have been a moslem or a jew.

    As it is, you’re already an atheist – to Jupiter, Zeus, Pan, Cernunous, Wotan, etc…

    • Some very good points Willa. I can’t quote the precise source, but there has been a study that demonstrates that geography and demographics are by far the most accurate predictor of religious affiliation.

      Also like the Harry Potter analogy.

    • Willa Cartwright
      Sorry, I don’t want to be rude to you, but let’s put your faith in perspective -> you only know about this bible and jesus because another human being told you about it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      Hi Willa,
      The degree of your candor, and transparency are both rare and refreshing qualities; as is your polite decorum and civility. I don’t expect that people should necessarily agree with me, but when they communicate at a level that is not at once cryptic and laden with provincial esoteric undecipherables veiled in clouds of pejoratives which both preclude and obstruct understanding, I am happy to respond to you. I can appreciate someone making the effort to be conversant; be it with clubs, whips and scorpions, but conversant nonetheless. Much more than I can say of so many of the overly sensitive Christians who scurry up their ivory towers and cannot abide criticism or contrary views of indefensible positions or irrational tradition based dogma that can yield no appreciable result consistent with the faith they hold. (I can already hear the gasp…faith is not rational, I hope to address that later). Frankly if it doesn’t work for me, I can’t use it. I very much appreciate your unlooked for treatment of humanity by speaking to me instead of the high handed hubris of speaking past me.

      Muhammad, William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Caesar Augustus, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Adolf Hitler, Christopher Columbus, St. Paul, Confucius, Buddha, Ptolemy, Louis Pasteur, Euclid, Alexander the Great, Constantine I, Moses, Martin Luther, Alexander Grahambell, Napoleon, Wright Brothers, King Phillip II, King Henry VIII, Cyrus the Great (II), Vladimir Lenin, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Leonardo DaVinci, Rene Descartes, Beethoven, Bach, Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin, William Seymour, Nostradamus, Queen Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, Queen Catherine, my grandfather.

      I never personally met any of these individuals, but themselves as well as historians have written about them, teachers/professors have told me about them. I have no reason to doubt their words but if I did, I can go dig through the archives of records, and archeological finds myself, but I rather think they were not fictional, but very real. Attend a BSO concert and hear the works Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, most of us have struggled through Euclidean geometry or not, gone to a museum to see the works of Picasso, Monet, Michelangelo, and yes your’s truly…..NOT.

      Today if you wanted to know if Jesus was a real person, that information is actually readily available, and at your fingertips, as opposed to the time when I had to do that search to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion. You might simply Google, and dig through the wealth of sources that you deem credible. I must have been a Junior in college years ago at the time I approached the senior professor of history by name, Dr. Verginia Wolf. I asked her directly: “according to your knowledge, are there sources apart from the Bible that corroborate the fact of a man named Jesus Christ that lived at the time, and place that the Bible said he did?” She didn’t even have to think about it, but readily affirmed, yes. As it was not a religious institution, and she probably wanted to remain hands off of matters religious, she hastened to add…but I don’t think he was anything but a man. I didn’t ask her opinion in that regard, but nevertheless I thanked her.

      Flavius Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) was born to an aristocratic Jewish family, became the commander of Jewish forces in Galilee following the revolt against Rome that began A.D. 66. Captured by the Romans, Josephus spent his later life in Rome under the patronage of the Roman emperors where he composed the history of the Jewish people and his account of the Jewish war that led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70.
      He writes:
      (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. (64) And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross [2], those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day [3], as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.

      One of the ways science is able to make progress beyond world of Einstein’s limitations is by maintaining a open mind to what the data from their observations is saying. When they are looking for particles in their experiments and the data revealed waves; because the two concepts waves, and particles are totally uncomplimentery, they reasoned: we started with particles and are now seeing waves, how could that be? Instead of saying it’s impossible, perhaps we ought to consider waves as a possible outcome. The result…probability waves, a whole new horizon in physics. The terrible mistake that is being made by both Christians and Atheists is that they do simply not understand what God is, nor what he has communicated to us. Absurd, imaginary, prepsoterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievsable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane, are among some of the pejoratives gleaned form various criticisms so far. These things all describe God to the letter. He describes himself as: matter that lives, I AM THAT I AM, the Living One…invisible (to the naked eye)….the past, present, and the future together, light (electromagnetic radiation); and we live, move and have our being in him, existence that is everywhere at the same time. He says if you study matter you will see me.

      If you disregard something that has been misrepresented to you; you actually addressed a misrepresentation of the thing not the thing itself. Enter the wrong PIN into the ATM and you’ll never get any money out of it. The God that Atheists discard and Christians misrepresent is nonetheless real in spite of their wrong approach to him. When science made clear the geocentric view of the universe was incorrect and the world was not flat, that science could be embraced by Atheist philosophy, now where science is revealing a universe that is consistent with God, it appears Atheists are questioning the validity of the very science without which all their existence would suddenly amount to the reality of the industrial age of steam engines and wire telegraphs.

      Picture two parallel railroad tracks; one would be what God has communicated of about himself to us in the Bible, and the other would be what science is describing when they look at the world you live in right now: Absurd, imaginary, preposterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane. Yes, that’s exactly what they see. This is the language that the leading physicists today are using to describe the medium in which we live move and have our being when they see it. Einstein died without arriving at the evidence he hoped would disprove these things. 60 years after his death a promintent physicist built a machine that could do the work that would bring to fruition Einstein’s assertions that such things are ridiculous what he called “spooky actions”; instead the disproving it, the results confirmed that such is the world of the medium we live in. People have always been wanting to put God under the microscope, well now they are seeing him, and describing him as: Absurd, imaginary, propsoterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievsable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane.

      Everything that Jesus did and said about himself is exactly what physicists are seeing when they examine the universe. These subatomic particles display exact properties that Jesus’s demonstrated of himself. Change his physical phase, Walked on water, walked through walls, reconstituted matter at the molecular level to produce variable and alternate substances, exercised complete control of matter. He is both forms of power; exhousia (exercise of dominion authority), and dunamis (literal power that acts upon and through matter). All these things happen in glaring display and unpunctuated regularity at the sub atomic level. It is the membrane of the universe, the way it breathes. You live and move and have your being in the medium of miracles: described as (Absurd, imaginary, preposterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane). If I try to describe a thing of that nature to you why wouldn’t those words apply. The language of faith is like that too: Absurd, imaginary, preposterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane.

      Though these things are not observable at the human scale of life they apply across the universe (now determined to be only one in a myriad of universes {multiverse}) in less observable ways than the glaring manner in which they are observed at the sub-atomic level of matter. A world where at a particulate or invisible level, things are anything until you label, measure, or identify it. Particles are not inclined to be either here or there, but everywhere in multiple locations at once (where did I hear the characteristic property of omnipresence before?). When you put my faith into perspective, do consider these things that are equally; Absurd, imaginary, preposterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane; and are equally a part of your world that you live and move and have your being in.

      • NGR:

        I asked her directly: “according to your knowledge, are there sources apart from the Bible that corroborate the fact of a man named Jesus Christ that lived at the time, and place that the Bible said he did?” She didn’t even have to think about it, but readily affirmed, yes.

        I don’t find the extra-biblical sources to be especially compelling.

        (63) Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. …

        Even most Christian historians reject this part of Josephus as a later Christian addition. You can find that, too, on the Internet.

        science is revealing a universe that is consistent with God, it appears Atheists are questioning the validity of the very science without which all their existence would suddenly amount to the reality of the industrial age of steam engines and wire telegraphs.

        Yes, there’s a problem with people rejecting science, but I don’t think it’s the atheists who are doing it!

        Everything that Jesus did and said about himself is exactly what physicists are seeing when they examine the universe.

        Odd, then, that the Bible has predicted precisely nothing that modern science has now discovered.

        Science is the marvelously-instructive view of reality, not Christianity.

        These subatomic particles display exact properties that Jesus’s demonstrated of himself.

        Now you’re sounding like Deepak Chopra! (Not a good thing.)

        • In the interest of clarity, the Josephus entry is the result of a 5 minute google search under the subject in question; nothing the professor offered. Relying on the merits of her scholarship I simply asked her based on her knowledge of the subject to answer the question. She pointed me to no spicific source no did I inquire of her any specific source. I was pretty clear that anyone wishing to satisfy their own querry might do the same Google search and work through such sources presented to their satisfaction. Frankly I haven’t time for that.

        • NGR:

          In the interest of clarity, the Josephus entry is the result of a 5 minute google search under the subject in question; nothing the professor offered.

          Understood. I get plenty of scoldings from Christians who (rightly or wrongly) say that I haven’t done enough research on a particular attack against Christianity and that I’ve missed the obvious rebuttals. In this case, however, a more thorough search would show that Josephus’s writings have two paragraphs about Jesus, and the one you cited is both the more exciting for the Christian and also the more likely to have been doctored.

        • If my tone sounded like scolding I apologize. Apart from what historical surveys I considered there is my subjective experience as a believer which I don’t think anyone in this venue is interested in, but taken together with historical data, validates my faith of God. On the score of historical material, I make no pretense of being someone’s guide but simply point to the immediacy of available internet sources, and suggest any interested party making their own queries. You can call into question the little 5 querry that I posted as an example, as much the police may call into question a guy’s alibi where he may not be guilty but cannot demostrate it, as I cannot show you my internet search, and certainly that is your right to do so. I’m not going to ask you to show me your family tree going back to the Mayflower that corroborates you assertions of a non-slave holding history; It might be intriguing to see it, but I do not require it.

        • NGR:

          Deepak Chopra is a very popular New Age-y kind of writer who likes to seize on things at the frontier of science and say, “Yeah, that’s what I meant! Quantum vibrations! That’s what causes [fill in New Age-y philosophy of the moment].”

        • NGR:

          On the score of historical material

          I wasn’t trying to make a larger comment about searching, just that if you thought that that Josephus quote is relevant, most relevant authorities (I think) agree that it is a forgery. I say that simply FYI.

          I’m not going to ask you to show me your family tree going back to the Mayflower

          That doesn’t describe me.

        • Bob said: [Yes, there’s a problem with people rejecting science, but I don’t think it’s the atheists who are doing it!]

          Bob, I’ve not actually said anything directly to you about this before but I actually like talking to you, with the exception that your expressions are sometimes almost like in double layers when I try to get what you are saying. Thankfully this is different from double-talking where someone says something but then says something else that belies his previous statement intentionally; so don’t get me wrong. Your last few comments actually show a significant improvement in clarity to me so I think we are headed in the right direction.

          http://tommydo1994.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/atheism-one-persons-trash-is-anothers-treasure-2/

          {I am an Atheist and I don’t believe in the establish “God”/gods of particular reasons because of hypocritical statements and actions in text and people. Also the logic that religious people to justify their religion is hardly logic, they choose parts to use logic and other part they completely ignore logic.

          I myself am a more open minded person than most, I don’t deny that there is the possibility of super natural higher beings nor do I fully believe in logic and science. Because both religion and science are flawed and you can only ask why and how on each of them to a certain extent before you reach a dead end.}

          I was thinking about what Tommy said when I made the statement about Atheism backing away from science. I seems that’s the impression given here; granted Tommy qualifies his position by the modifier “fully”.

        • NGR:

          your expressions are sometimes almost like in double layers when I try to get what you are saying.

          Well, that’s not helpful! I do use sarcasm (saying the opposite of what I mean), but I hope that that’s clear from the context.

        • Saying the opposite of what you mean is not really talking as straight as possible though is it. This is simply a request that you really don’t have to hear, but I rather have it straight and save the time of making contextual comparisons. You have to be a very busy guy with all the writing, searching, researching; I’m not half as adept a you so that’s just one less thing that could streamline the process for me. Thanks for at least responding, you might have otherwise just shrugged it off. Tell you the truth sarcasms along with “marbelized english” and fuzzy speaking are things that I’m making the effort to screen out of my exchanges on this forum so I don’t sound arrogant, preachy and list of other things that have proven offensive to the responders.

      • Hi newgenesisres,

        Firstly, my real name is Willa – it would nice to know your first name. You don’t have to give your whole name, but “newgenesisres” is a religio-polotical name and it would be nice to talk to a human being and not to a religious ideology.

        Secondly, I’m not an English speaker, or rather I’m no longer and English speaker. I was born in Australia, but I’ve lived in a non-english speaking nation for so long, that English writing requires too much time effort to deliver messages easily.

        Thirdly, sorry to say this, I really don’t mean to be rude, but you write far too much and say too little.

        You’re written volumes but there’s really no content. I realize this might be seen as insulting, but there’s not a lot of meaning in your content.

        I don’t want lecture you but you’re writing in the same tone and style that many atheists have heard their whole lives. It sounds like some protestant or baptist minister dolling out biblical passages. Sorry, it’s boring and it’s not very interesting and it doesn’t come across as sincere.

        I won’t write much more but the very style you complain about, is the very style you, yourself, are using.

        I do suggest, that if you are really interested in discussing your point of view, follow the following points:

        1. Write less, say more
        2. Treat your readers as knowledgeable – don’t think they’re idiots.
        3. Don talk down – your manner of speech is arrogant, change it.
        4. Be authentic – you come across as someone who doesn’t really believe what you’re saying.

        If you no longer believe what you’re writing, don’t write. Truth is, you don’t sound like you believe in Christianity anymore – it sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself.

        Please write something I can respond to, say what you really feel or don’t bother at all – really.

        Thanks

        Willa

        • Hi Willa,

          My name is Tony, no one bothers with “Anthony” since I left Jamaica umpteen years ago; I don’t bother with it either. I’m not going to say much more till I tell you how very sorry I am for treating you so badly. Apart from Bob who was only half way nice, you were the only one who stepped right up and looked me eye to eye like I was suppose to have a name. You have a real disarming honesty about you. Most people get up in your face because they are armed to the teeth and motivated to hurt you. You got up in my face but without the defenses and just said I’m not scared of you; what do you have? Instead of appreciating you for that unique quality and speaking in turn to you directly, I spoke obliquely at they individuals who I thought were just being nasty and mean spirited. Feel like you have to be overly careful of everything I say cause I’m going to be picked apart like a hostile witness seven ways till Sunday. I don’t think anybody speak this way when they are at home.

          Everybody seemed to be in some intellectual tower throwing stuff around most of it aimed at me. I figure, why should I be on the ground where you could just throw you hot oil on me. Hell, every time Bob says something to me I got to take 20 minutes to figure out what he said, and I still get it wrong. I don’t even know if he’s insulting me or not. I’m the only target in an Atheist shooting gallery. Truth is if I is start talking candidly, your friends are probably going to say; those two need to go get a room somewhere. I don’t care who you are, I’m just going to distance myself from you, or I’m going to be right there with you. May sound like extremes but I don’t like the idea of dividing myself up into a million compartments. I can’t deal with that.

          Willa, all that over the top, marbleized English stuff that you complained about was just me in a defensive fetal position getting ready to be kicked in the teeth, or some vital organ that should be protected. Everything you say is true except the part where you think I don’t believe. If I didn’t believe there’s absolutely nothing to stop me from just walking away. I did that when I was 17 and couldn’t seem to get the other foot on the ground with God. For one, I really don’t care much what people think about me, if I’m being truthful about my actions. Now and again I look at my kids and think how different things are with them than when I was their age; I doubt I missed a day in church then, but now we haven’t attended church for the last several years. I have no plans of going back to church as it exists. We’re too far away of what we should be; sticking my head in the sand is just not a way to deal with stuff. I’m personally boycotting them by my absence. My problem is not with God, but the people who say they know God.

          The truth is you really have to be a genius to make things simple the way you guys do; so doing all this talking just shows you what I am not. I’ve never been able to take things at surface value (not saying you guys do), I got to have nuts and bolts details especially where it really matters, so I feel like I have to keep explaining, and explaining, and explaining; and then before you know it there are just so many words. See what I’m saying; this is a scarf already, and I’m just starting. Before you think I’m not taking your advice, which I’d be a fool not to, I’m going to stop and let you speak.

          Thank you for your suggestions, I’ll try to make the best use of them.

          Tony

      • Asking about “sources apart from the Bible that corroborate the fact of a man named Jesus Christ” is disingenuous. That’s like asking if there are any sources apart from JK Rowling that mention Harry Potter. Sure there are, but so what?

        The fact is that there are no CONTEMPORARY mentions of Jesus, at all. There isn’t a single mention in Roman archives, there isn’t anything in contemporary writings, there isn’t a single shred of independent evidence from the time that Jesus even existed, let alone that he did any of the things he was claimed to have done. Not even any of his supposed followers bothered to say anything.

        Even writers like Philo, who lived at the same time, who wrote extensively about the bible, and who would certainly have been interested in anyone claiming to be a Messiah, completely fail to note anything about all the miraculous happenings that were supposedly taking place. In fact, there isn’t a single mention of Jesus until over a generation after he supposedly died. Even then, most of the comments, such as claimed quote from Josephus, are tiny, vague, contradictory and usually appear to have been inserted by others long after the fact.

        Given that Jesus, and the events claimed to be connected with him, were supposedly so world-shakingly important, it seems quite odd that NOT ONE PERSON who lived at the time, so much as even noticed that he existed.

        On that basis, the opinion of your professor seems pretty much unfounded.

        • A common practice among Christian apologists is to say something along the lines of “there is more evidence of the existence of Jesus than there is of the existence of Julius Caesar, but you don’t doubt that he existed.” Then if you accept that claim, they’ll try to convince you that if the Gospels are telling the truth about the existence of Jesus then all of the miraculous claims must also be true. That’s where they lose me. You see, I don’t question the stories about Julius Caesar, because none of them mention him doing anything that would be impossible for a normal man to do. If they did, then I would question those stories too.

          While I don’t think it was mentioned by NGR (hard to tell with all the fluff text obscuring the intended meaning), I want to point out that a story containing some elements of truth does not lend any weight to its supernatural claims. Harry Potter is a good example, again. The book series mentions real people and places (London, the British Prime Minister, etc.), but that does not mean we should believe that there are really wizards and witches who practice magic at Hogwart’s. In order for me to believe that, one of those witches or wizards would have to perform magic for me, and it would have to be something completely unambiguous and convincing (i.e., something I haven’t already seen from Cris Angel). When people ask me what it would take to convince me that God really exists, I tell them that I would accept the simultaneous and immediate changing of every single holy book in the world so that they all contain exactly the same text, and that every person who read those books would understand them in exactly the same way. I’m still waiting for God to do it. ;-)

        • Hi Rich,

          I actually can’t help but to appreciate the levelheadedness of your argument. I flatly do not believe in apologetics if my fluffy statements have not clarified that for you so far. It is ineffective. I do not subscribe to it. I can understand you wanting to have God make the world speak only a single language, but by the time he does that your faith in him will not be necessary. Where my faith is today is not where I started out believing. Faith expands develop and grows according to experience. Jesus is not some static historical scrap of uncertain information. The faith that I have today is Jesus; and because that is true, the very works that I will now do according to the point where my faith has recently grown will be those very same works of Jesus. Forget about that empty tomb pointing to his resurrection. I will soon provide for your consideration a Lazarus that you might believe for the very work’s sake. Not only was he born 2000 years ago, he lives as me today.

          (Absurd, imaginary, preposterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane) is the world we live in according to science. And I say, actually very much God.

        • Michael said:
          [Asking about “sources apart from the Bible that corroborate the fact of a man named Jesus Christ” is disingenuous……Not even any of his supposed followers bothered to say anything.]

          It is very likely that we are appreciate that today various elements in spite of overwhelming evidence of Hitler’s concentration camps continue to assert no such things happened. The dark ages were not just seven or ten years but I’m sure we already have some estimates of your own. During this time attempts at making copies of the scriptures available to people were met with penalties of death. Really no fun to be burnt at the stake. Christians were not particularly celebrities about town, but hunted; around the time when you say no one was really raising their hands to provide supporting testimonies of events in question. I’m not convinced of PBS and BBC role as champions of the Christian faith, but I’ve seen so many ubiquitous secular documentaries that speak to the historical fact of Jesus at the time and place consistent with the Biblical accounts that it makes me wonder who is being actually disingenuous, where Michael says it is disingenuous to even ask if there are supporting facts of Jesus’ existence. Since when did it become illegal to ask a question about something you desire to have information on. I’m not even sure I understand what you are saying Michael. Am I to assume something that I desire to know is not, and then making that assumption pursue no inquiries about it?

          I personally associate with Atheists, one of whom I suggested he go and get himself certified as a genius. This man could flip through a book and practically have the contents memorized; he virtually has the entire Bible in memory; giving me a ride one day, when my car broke down he went on for abut 20 minutes reciting without a glitch the works of Shakespeare while driving through traffic with all the gestures and as much ease as giving his address or any ubiquitous personal information that you don’t have to think about. I could give you anecdotal accounts that show the man’s grasp on mathematics is actually off the charts. This man and other’s in his company entertain no insecurities about actually acknowledge the fact of Jesus without feeling compelled to believe in him. I’m not well acquainted with Buddha, or Mohammed’s philosophy, but I don’t have to subscribe their philosophy to acknowledge the historical accounts of them. If I were going to embrace Atheist philosophy I’d hope it be one that could be intellectually honest enough to look Jesus in the eye (figuratively) and say: you may be man, but God you are not, cause there ain’t no God.

          This is a similar problem I see among Christian who see obvious information in the Bible and don’t even bother to acknowledge them because someone already told them what the Bible was about. Frankly when people begin to tell you about God, I seriously doubt they have the first clue about what they are saying because they seldom venture beyond the generational parroting of regurgitated information made the more mindless because they never took the time to look at the material with a fresh eye free of traditional prejudices. This inability to acknowledge the truth runs the range from Atheism through the various shades of believing Christians to the highest levels of Christianity. It’s just a difference of the amount of information that is ignored when one makes assessments. That’s why I think Christians and Athiests are only different sides of the same coin.

          Michael when you say that Jesus’ supporters didn’t even bother to say anything about him, before I say anything more maybe I should ask which particular supporters are you talking about?

        • NGR:

          During this time attempts at making copies of the scriptures available to people were met with penalties of death.

          You are missing my point. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you are doing so unintentionally.

          “Copies of the scriptures” is not what I was referring to. There is NO MENTION of Jesus by ANYONE who was alive at the same time, not so much as a brief aside. Given the magnitude of the miracles that supposedly occurred, and the high level of literacy in the Roman empire at the time, this is nothing short of astounding. This is about equivalent to living in Europe throughout the 1940s, yet failing to notice that World War II happened. People like Philo (who lived in the area before, during and after the period of Jesus’ lifetime) wrote extensively about the Jews and their Bible. You would think that he and similar people would have at least off-handedly mentioned that some rabble-rouser was claiming to be the hebrew Messiah, and was performing miracles witnessed by tens of thousands of people. You’d expect a Roman centurion or two to write a letter home mentioning all the incredible things that were happening. You’d expect to see someone, somewhere, notice all the amazing happenings, and at least comment on them. Yet all these miraculous things, and indeed, Jesus himself, passed completely unnoticed by anyone, until a couple of generations later, when everyone involved were safely dead and buried. Only then did someone start making up stories about all the incredible things that supposedly occurred. (There’s a word for this: it’s called FICTION WRITING, and people still do it today.)

          My point here is that when you go looking for actual independent EVIDENCE (not after-the-fact anecdotal testimony of people who have an axe to grind) of Jesus’ existence… there isn’t any. Let alone any evidence that any of the other fantasy stories in the so-called scriptures are correct. On the contrary, there are mountains of evidence that the bible is riddled with errors, fabrications, exaggerations, contradictions, mythology and occasionally just plain lies.

          So the bottom line is: until you can PROVE (not state, not argue, not preach, but PROVE) that the bible is entirely factual, logical people will continue to treat it as just another collection of folk tales, along with Paul Bunyan, the Brothers Grimm, and Aesop’s Fables.

          On a different topic: I would like to apologize for the people here who have started slinging insults. That’s not called for; you have been pretty polite, and don’t deserve that kind of response. On their behalf, I’m sorry.

          Regards,

          Michael

        • Hello Michael,

          We could be anything, but when we choose to be better, that’s to be applauded under any circumstances. Some people by their limitations can bring nothing to the debate. They run short on intellect and necessarily have to go back home; they defer by desperation to the gutter, or anger over patience; as though where reason failed, to be rash is a sure bet. The downward spiral of ignorance starts with violence against knowledge, and leads to violence against mankind. You can’t reason with a man who would put a bomb in the vest and walk into the crowd; there is no reason in his beginning or the end he brings to others. Whey you can’t shame a man into doing better, you can only expect the worst I suppose.

          I stand by my assessment that of the few Atheists whom I have personally known and interacted with, I been made better for knowing them. Their demographic is among the most intelligent of people. I’m under no illusion however but that there are exceptions in every group, and those exceptions need no introduction; they declare themselves.

          [So the bottom line is: until you can PROVE (not state, not argue, not preach, but PROVE) that the bible is entirely factual, logical people will continue to treat it as just another collection of folk tales, along with Paul Bunyan, the Brothers Grimm, and Aesop’s Fables.]

          Michael, thank you for bottom-lining the issue. I’m actually not sorry I stopped to ask for clarification because I think we were drifting off to different pages. Regarding your statements about “friends of Jesus who didn’t bother to say anything” it simply didn’t occur to me that there would have been among his “friends” they who were witnesses and didn’t say anything. I can also see in my statement that there was enough room for misunderstanding. I made reference to a period of time ranging form the time of his crucifixion where people might have felt it discrete to not openly identify with a social pariah, to later times of the Dark ages around the 1500’s a.d. when people were burnt for having “copies of the scriptures”.

          You know, it’d be difficult to get a close estimate on just how many people around the are convicted and jailed based on circumstantial evidence, but it ain’t just a few, because circumstance evidence holds up in most any court of law. Would you accept circumstantial proof?

          Higher regards

          Tony

        • NGR:

          I can understand you wanting to have God make the world speak only a single language, but by the time he does that your faith in him will not be necessary.

          Yes, but so what? What good is faith? Faith is what you’d need if it weren’t true. We’ll discard that once we have decent evidence, and good riddance.

          (Absurd, imaginary, preposterous, ridiculous, irrational, unbelievable, confounding, voodoo, spooky, illegal, insane) is the world we live in according to science. And I say, actually very much God.

          You’re adapting your religious views to mesh with the reality that science gives us. And the Muslim could do that. And the Buddhist, and so on. What you need to do is the opposite: show that Christianity (and only Christianity) gives you more insights into how the world really, empirically works.

        • [Yes, but so what? What good is faith? Faith is what you’d need if it weren’t true. We’ll discard that once we have decent evidence, and good riddance.]

          You might also look at faith as a language that God speaks, which if you could speak you could get to know him, instead of you speak it because God is not doesn’t exist.

          [You’re adapting your religious views to mesh with the reality that science gives us. And the Muslim could do that. And the Buddhist, and so on. What you need to do is the opposite: show that Christianity (and only Christianity) gives you more insights into how the world really, empirically works.]

          I have to disagree with you here. Math makes predictions about things that cannot be proven at the time because the technology is not available to measure or see it. Later such tools are available and that observation is then consistent with the math.
          God describes himself to us, says he is invisible; look at invisible matter and you will see him. You could take it by faith or wait till the tools are available and take up his challenge to see the invisible creation that is consistent with his description.

        • NGR:

          I’ve seen so many ubiquitous secular documentaries that speak to the historical fact of Jesus at the time and place consistent with the Biblical accounts that it makes me wonder who is being actually disingenuous

          Show me one example where the consensus view of historians is that a miracle took place. I’ve seen none.

          Any historical account (Alexander the Great, Augustus Caesar, George Washington) is scrubbed of all supernatural claims. Why make an exception for the Jesus story?

          I’m not well acquainted with Buddha, or Mohammed’s philosophy, but I don’t have to subscribe their philosophy to acknowledge the historical accounts of them.

          Oh? And what do you do with the claim that Mohammed rode to heaven on a winged horse? Is that an accurate historical element in the story?

        • [Show me one example where the consensus view of historians is that a miracle took place. I’ve seen none.]

          I know your reading skills are much better than your giving the impression here. I said nothing of miracles, merely mentioned the person of Jesus as a man. Tell you what I’m going to do however. I’m going to break with my lazy habit here and go make a search of news paper pulished around the early 1900s where William Semour’s ministry produced countless such miracles as Jesus; maybe the only such episode is 2000 years where there were these occurances, which I suspect Local news publishers could not have overlooked.

          [Oh? And what do you do with the claim that Mohammed rode to heaven on a winged horse? Is that an accurate historical element in the story?]

          Actually I leave that to those who advance his faith. The proof of the faith of God who I know requires me to do the same works that Jesus did and even grater to give evidence that he lives today in me or in who ever else advances that faith. I have mentioned my faith has just about arrived at the stage to do just that, much as a fruit tree will bear the fruit that is predictive of its DNA at that time time of maturation.

          [And where does it end? Do I just check my God-given brains at the door and accept on faith everything an earnest believer gives me? Am I entitled to be skeptical about anything? (Or is that allowed for everything … except for Christianity?)]

          For each instance where you exercise faith, it should result in the proof of the thing for which that faith reached out being made tangible. Faith is a tool that you use to reach for something. I could tell you what worked for me, but I suggest that you examine the body of scripture that speaks to the particular situation or thing that you may want to reach for, and do that experiment.

          You might say then to me, well that’s the same thing cause it’s only people who wrote the Bible; and I would say to you. You might to want try starting somewhere. Try one instance where you want to exercise faith in God and see if it just the words of men or is there more to it,

          If the language of faith were like French and you wanted to try German as an alternative you have freedom of will to do so. If you agree that you are going to try faith then give skepticism a break while you try faith. If an experiment doesn’t allow you to mix oil and water together, you may frustrate yourself if you go ahead and make that attempt. Everything is given to me by faith, so I apply faith to everything.

          [I don’t take science on faith. I trust it. It’s proven itself. Science isn’t always correct, but it has a pretty good track record. Religion … not so much.
          Putting science and religion in the same bin (if this is what you’re suggesting) is hard to justify.]

          I see math as the nuts and bolt language of science.

          I make a distinction between religion and God. God identified himself as matter that lives. That’s what science is looking at today. They may allude to it as the organic intelligence of “spooky action”, but matter, is matter and that’s just what God said he is.

          Religion is the proverbial “corn maze” that people wonder through to find God consisting of all the myriad exercises that make them look godly though they may not have the life of God. I wouldn’t Call electromagnetic radiation religion or religious but God said he is light, and that is what light is; all things are made of light.

        • NGR:

          You might also look at faith as a language that God speaks

          And where does it end? Do I just check my God-given brains at the door and accept on faith everything an earnest believer gives me? Am I entitled to be skeptical about anything? (Or is that allowed for everything … except for Christianity?)

          Math [perhaps you mean science] makes predictions about things that cannot be proven at the time because the technology is not available to measure or see it. Later such tools are available and that observation is then consistent with the math.

          I don’t take science on faith. I trust it. It’s proven itself. Science isn’t always correct, but it has a pretty good track record. Religion … not so much.

          Putting science and religion in the same bin (if this is what you’re suggesting) is hard to justify.

        • NGR:

          make a search of news paper pulished around the early 1900s where William Semour’s ministry produced countless such miracles as Jesus

          That could be interesting. Keep in mind, though, that we’re not looking for simply the documentation of one Christian’s claim. We’re looking for the consensus view of historians that a particular miracle took place.

          Actually I leave that to those who advance his faith.

          So you have no opinion about whether Mohammed ascended to heaven on a winged horse? It seems as likely to have happened as not?

          The proof of the faith of God who I know requires me to do the same works that Jesus did and even grater to give evidence that he lives today in me or in who ever else advances that faith.

          Faith isn’t all that surprising, but evidence of miracles would definitely be.

          I could tell you what worked for me, but I suggest that you examine the body of scripture that speaks to the particular situation or thing that you may want to reach for, and do that experiment.

          I think that that would be a waste of time, which is how I imagine you would respond to a Scientologist telling you that you need to walk the Scientologist walk and you’ll see that it all makes sense.

  5. @newgenesisres RE: Slavery in the Old Test.

    You make the same mistake that most Christians make: There are two distinct slavery systems in the old Testament. There is one for Hebrews, which is more akin to modern day employment…you work for a guy in exchange for money. And then there is one for everyone else, which is life-long slavery, even to your master’s heirs, with no reward of money. Where in the Hebrew slave system you can be set free during a 50 year Jubilee, no non-Hebrew slave can.

  6. Small nit regarding point #5: Adam was told “Don’t” and did. So, as far as the myth goes, I’d say it’s fair to conclude he did know it was wrong, regardless of his understanding. (We don’t expect children — or for that matter, soldiers under a commander — to always understand why when told “Don’t”, but we do expect them to know it’s wrong to disobey orders.)

    • I see your point, but it does make us wonder what Adam and Eve knew before they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Did they know a little of right and wrong, so the tree could be more aptly named the Tree of the Knowledge of All the Rest of Good and Evil? I’m just wondering how fair it is to charge them with making a Good/Evil mistake before they (apparently) knew of such things.

      Of course, if one sees the Eden story as a just-so story to explain Man’s messed-up nature, it probably did that job well back in the Bronze Age.

      • My own take-away, based on very little introspection, is that the tree is more of a Tree of Hubris and Arrogance, and the essence of the myth is “Don’t get cocky and ignore advice / warnings, or you’ll get bitten in the ass for it. Especially if the ‘advice’ is coming from someone with muscle, hired or otherwise.”

  7. Why argue over the biggest work of fiction the world has ever known, The Bible? There is no evidence whatsoever, that any of the stories or that the main characters truly existed, but in the minds of those who chose to believe in them through a book that was written over thousands of years! Control and manipulation of human minds, and their money. Truly, an amazing scam!

  8. Hi Toni,

    Thank you for taking the time to write back, I do appreciate that.

    Firstly though, to address the “elephant in the living room” where you feel you’re being “attacked” in an “Atheist shooting gallery” for writing here. – this is an atheist site. You do realize this?

    Anyway, I won’t try to justify any rudeness directed at you, but you do understand atheists will challenge you here? This is because there is a fundamentally unbridgeable gulf between the atheist / rationalist and the believer. You understand this, don’t you?

    Also, if you say you are not losing your faith, that’s fine. I’ll accept that. It wasn’t really a challenge, anyway You just sounded like I did before I gave up on faith.

    Anyway, you go on to write “…you really have to be a genius to make things simple the way you guys do…” –

    Well, I’m not a “guy”, but to address your point – I think this is the part that probably aggravates people the most, and sorry to say, this is error nearly every christian makes when they come to an atheist forum or website.

    I mentioned this in my last reply to you – it’s the arrogance and the pompousness. You probably don’t mean it, but this is how it comes across.

    When Christians visit atheist or rationalist websites, they often make the fatal mistake of thinking they’re dealing with people who are stupid or ignorant or just plain obstreperous. They often don’t mean it, but it alienates people right the on-set.

    This is why I wrote these to you:
    1. Write less, say more
    2. Treat your readers as knowledgeable – don’t think they’re idiots.
    3. Don’t talk down to people
    4. Be authentic

    Now, it’s my turn to say something that will sound arrogant. It’s not meant to be, but it will come across that.

    The simply truth is Toni, that most atheists and rationalists know the bible, it’s associated theologies and it’s histories far, far better than most Christians and this is why you shouldn’t treat as idiots.

    Ultimately Toni, no one will blame you if openly declare your faith. No will argue with you.

    However, you will be very heavily challenged if you try to “explain” that “black is white” or “obedience is freedom” or “death is life”.

    This is why you are being heavily challenged on the topic of slavery – because you’re obviously trying to say that when the “Jews did slavery” is was not the same as the when the Greeks or Romans did it. In fact, you’re clearly trying to say it wasn’t bad at all.

    This is why you’re being “attacked” as you say.

    Have a nice day.

    Willa

  9. The very fact that the Bible is subject to such a wide range of interpretations should worry Christians more than it, evidently, does. Good grief, this is supposedly a communication from a Divine being who willed the universe into existence. I submit, if such a being wanted to communicate with it’s creation, the message would be as precise and unambiguous as mathematics, the evidence for the messenger would be overwhelming and incontrovertible, and the messenger would have told the whole world, not just a dozen illiterate peasants. (How can an ‘all powerful’ God ‘want’ anything and remain all powerful?)

  10. No one can “prove” that YaHSHua (Jesus to you), was resurrected, just like no one can prove that YaHoVaH is real and not just a myth. But then again neither can anyone prove that YaHSHUa did not rise from the dead or that YaHoVaH does not exist. Just like no one can prove that evolution ever happened. Do you know why? Because none of us were there. We can only gather the evidence and make a decision based on that. But then again one would want to know the truth for the evidence to speak for itself.

    Its very easy to ignore the facts if you do not want to see them. Its called personal choice. YaHSHua put it this way, “And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were wicked.”

    I leave only one question…..Would YOU did for a lie if you knew it was a lie?

    • TR:

      neither can anyone prove that YaHSHUa did not rise from the dead or that YaHoVaH does not exist.

      Agreed. But surely this is simply an observation, not an argument. You also can’t prove that I’m not an alien. But would you assume that I am? No thoughtful person thinks, “Well, it hasn’t been proven false, so I’d better assume that it’s true.”

      The burden of proof is on the proponent of an argument.

      Just like no one can prove that evolution ever happened.

      Science can’t prove anything, so this isn’t saying much.

      Its very easy to ignore the facts if you do not want to see them.

      Are you willfully ignoring the facts of Hinduism? Or is Hinduism just an ancient mythology not worth believing in?

      Why is Christianity any different?

      Would YOU did for a lie if you knew it was a lie?

      Nope. But then that’s not applicable to the Jesus story.

  11. 1) Agreed. But surely this is simply an observation, not an argument.

    One could argue that point :-)

    2) You also can’t prove that I’m not an alien. But would you assume that I am?

    Yes I could prove that, just give me some of your blood and I will check your DNA.

    3) No thoughtful person thinks, “Well, it hasn’t been proven false, so I’d better assume that it’s true.”

    That’s also not true, look at evolution. It is still called “The THEORY of Evolution” but it is held as fact and taught as fact even though it breaks nearly every scientific law. And there is no evidence of it being true.

    4) Science can’t prove anything, so this isn’t saying much.

    Depends what science you are talking about? Evolutionary science? Then you are quite right, they cant prove a thing. But if you are talking about real science then yes, things can be proved. Let us define what true science is. True science can be tested in a controlled environment. This is how we know of such laws as the law of gravity, and the law of entropy.

    Law = can be tested and every time you will get the same results.

    5) Are you willfully ignoring the facts of Hinduism? Or is Hinduism just an ancient mythology not worth believing in?

    What are the facts that are worth believing in? Show me and I would consider them. But I don’t see the point in chopping down a tree, using half the wood to make a fire and cook my food and the other half engraved into the image of some four armed creature and bow down to it and say “you are my god”.

    6) Why is Christianity any different?

    For the innumerable facts that surround the scriptures and the Jewish people.

    7) Would YOU die for a lie if you knew it was a lie? Nope. But then that’s not applicable to the Jesus story.

    I would say that it is very applicable to the “Jesus Story”. Why? Because most of the 11 Disciples who said they personally and physically saw and touched the risen Messiah, were tortured and put to death for THAT testimony. That includes Saul, who persecuted and put to death people who confessed that YaHSHua has risen from the dead, then he changed his story? and said he saw the risen Messiah? And then died for that? Mmmmm something does not add up?

    • TR:

      Yes I could prove that, just give me some of your blood and I will check your DNA.

      Whoa–don’t get me started on the gullibility of the “intelligent” life on this planet. As if spoofing a DNA test were hard for our species, a million years more advanced than yours!

      It is still called “The THEORY of Evolution”

      Do you know what a scientific theory actually is?? You act like there’s something provisional about the theory of evolution (or the germ theory of disease, for that matter). A theory is as good as it gets, my friend.

      And there is no evidence of it being true.

      The scientific consensus is overwhelming but you, the Judge of All of Science, can label some disciplines as valid and others not? Cool! I wish I were that smart!

      But if you are talking about real science then yes, things can be proved.

      Nope. Math proves things; science does not. What science tells us is the best approximation of the truth that it has at the moment. New evidence could always overturn a conclusion. Science is always provisional.

      I don’t see the point in chopping down a tree, using half the wood to make a fire and cook my food and the other half engraved into the image of some four armed creature and bow down to it and say “you are my god”.

      You could be missin’ out, bro!

      For the innumerable facts that surround the scriptures and the Jewish people.

      Hardly an answer. The guys from all the other religions tell me that they have the right religion. You sound just like them.

      most of the 11 Disciples who said they personally and physically saw and touched the risen Messiah, were tortured and put to death for THAT testimony.

      I have a response to this argument here: Lee Strobel’s Fragile Argument

      • Hey Bob,
        If sience is always provisional, as per your 4th statement ( Science is always provisional.) then why doesn’t that apply to evolution as suggested in your second statement (You act like there’s something provisional about the theory of evolution (or the germ theory of disease, for that matter)

        • 1) Whoa–don’t get me started on the gullibility of the “intelligent” life on this planet. As if spoofing a DNA test were hard for our species, a million years more advanced than yours!

          That’s a big assumption.

          2) Do you know what a scientific theory actually is?? You act like there’s something provisional about the theory of evolution (or the germ theory of disease, for that matter). A theory is as good as it gets, my friend.

          It seems that you do not. How can science be provisional and not the Theory of evolution?

          3) The scientific consensus is overwhelming but you, the Judge of All of Science, can label some disciplines as valid and others not? Cool! I wish I were that smart!

          When did this have to become nasty?

          4) Nope. Math proves things; science does not. What science tells us is the best approximation of the truth that it has at the moment. New evidence could always overturn a conclusion. Science is always provisional.

          Yes Maths can prove things. Science is not an approximation of truth, it is the search for how things work. The Law of gravity does not tell us of the existence of the big bang or God. But it can be tested and tested and tested and no matter what you do the law of gravity will always be there. It is a law, it cannot be changed. If i apply the law of lift, that does not mean that the law of gravity no longer is true. You see I am talking science. If new evidence overturns a conclusion then the previous conclusion was not a law it was a theory. Even you should know that.

          5) Hardly an answer. The guys from all the other religions tell me that they have the right religion. You sound just like them.

          I did not intend to get into the details of the evidences all of which you seem to be overwhelmingly familiar with.

          6) I have a response to this argument here: Lee Strobel’s Fragile Argument

          Its very convenient to say that it probably did not happen like that. Hey wait! that reminds me of something. Oh yes evolution. Every time their theory does not work they change it. Kind of like in the beginning it was lightning in the soup that brought about life, but after a few decades or more they realise that for life to begin it needed plasma, but hey you cant get plasma unless you already have plasma. That means it was not lightning in the soup! It was aliens!!!

          (And no I don’t know all the different theories of the Theory, but that pretty much sums it up)

          And you call that intelligence? I mean, in the beginning of your last response you made out how stupid we actually are compared to the advanced life outside of the planet!

          All your arguments are circular in nature. There will never be a conclusion. When I read my scriptures I see that the way it says that YaHoVaH made everything is still operating in the same way. Light and darkness are still separated. There is still morning and evening. The moon and sun are still for times and seasons. Oh and my favorite is that plants and animals are still reproducing after their own kind. But maybe that is just too simplistic for the “intelligent Scientific Community”, hey who knows.

          In ending, and this will be my last response as if we continue we will be here until YaHSHua returns or I evolve into an alien or something. What is sad for me, is that one day the truth will be made known. When we die, then we will know who was right. And either we wont care because there will be nothing OR you are going to be very sorry that you did not hear. Until then

          Shalom

        • TR:

          That’s a big assumption.

          Are we on the same page here? My point was that “well, you can’t prove that X didn’t happen” is not a reasonable path to wisdom.

          It seems that you do not. How can science be provisional and not the Theory of evolution?

          Yup, poor choice of words. If you don’t understand my point, I can restate.

          When did this have to become nasty?

          My attempt was snarky, not nasty. I hope I didn’t cross the line.

          Science is not an approximation of truth, it is the search for how things work.

          The scientific method is a search; scientific pronouncements are approximations of the truth.

          If new evidence overturns a conclusion then the previous conclusion was not a law it was a theory. Even you should know that.

          Seriously. Look it up.

          A scientific law describes what something does. They’re often expressed as formulae: F = Gm1m2/r**2 is the Law of Gravity, for example. Or PV=NRT (Ideal Gas Law). Or V = IR (Ohm’s Law).

          A scientific theory is an explanation. Why does gravity work that way? The law doesn’t tell you; you need a theory for that. The Theory of Evolution explains why life is the way it is. It’s a theory and not a hypothesis because it’s withstood many tests.

          And to touch on your point before, laws aren’t immutable. Newton’s law of gravity has wide applicability, but it’s not perfect. It doesn’t take into account relativistic effects, for example. And maybe it doesn’t take into account other things we don’t yet understand.

          Every time their theory does not work they change it.

          You sidestepped my challenge before: how do you dismiss the scientific consensus when you’re not a scientist in that field?

          (And no I don’t know all the different theories of the Theory, but that pretty much sums it up)

          Hopefully you know that evolution and abiogenesis are very different things.

          All your arguments are circular in nature.

          I think I’m on pretty solid ground by accepting the scientific consensus where it exists rather than picking and choosing my “truth” based on personal preference.

          When I read my scriptures …

          Why read those scriptures? Why not read some other religion’s scriptures?

          When we die, then we will know who was right. And either we wont care because there will be nothing OR you are going to be very sorry that you did not hear.

          Ever consider that Pascal’s Wager applies to you as much as it does me? What if the Buddhists are right? We’ll be together in Buddhist hell kicking ourselves for being so closed minded.

  12. This thread was fun to read! But to my christian brothers and sisters out there I would like to caution you on putting your faith on the line just because you cannot win over this argument. I have been to christian-atheist debates where the atheists asks “Will you forsake your religion if I can prove you wrong?”. DO NOT question God and doubt him because you were not intelligent enough to win over an argument. God tells us that the gate is narrow, and the path is also narrow. There will inevitably be many (in fact the great majority) who will be against us.

    To all the other atheists out there, I would like to propose something perhaps you have never thought of before. In this day in modern society, science has become so mainstream (and this is a good thing by the way. Science is good, because God created science himself!), that men have become quite arrogant in believing we have the answers to all aspects of life. However, what I realized before I became a christian was that the more we discover, the more we dig, the more questions we have! A simple example would be the regulator enzymes in our bodies. They regulate different types of enzymes activities that occur in our bodies. But what regulates those regulators? And what regulates the regulators of these regulator enzymes? And so on…you get my point. Why there must be God! Even if you deny him, you cannot disagree that there isn’t “something” doing all this work! He is the only plausible explanation! Also, the universe did not assemble itself randomly. Everything I see around me tells me undeniably that there is order in it, from the atomic level all the way to the astronomical level. As Hoyle’s calculation stated, the probability of the spontaneous origin of 2000 proteins of 200 amino acids each to form a functional enzyme in even the simplest organism is 10 to the POWER of -40000. In scientific terms, this is deemed impossible. For those of you who do not understand the magnitude of this figure, pictures putting all the parts of a Boeing 747 into a bag and shaking it. The possibility of life developing out of NOTHING would be like constructing a Boeing 747 out of that scenario. And that is only for ONE enzyme for the simplest single-cell organism. Imagine the chances of that developing into a much more complicated mammal like humans! The very concept of something coming from nothing is contradictory in itself according to one of the laws of science.There are a lot more facts such as the increasing distance of moon to the Earth every year which makes the whole “Earth is 4.5 billion years right out the window”. I high recommend you to look them up even if you don’t agree with me at all! I challenge you to do it!

    I would like to apologize for the long post! But I would like to say that Christians don’t have a problem with science. I LOVE science. Science is great, its the only reason I can even access the web! But keep in mind that science can only accomplish so much. The universe can not be dependent solely on tangible data. Atheist out there reading this, do not deem everything you can’t see or feel as “unimportant”. Ideas, thoughts, self-identity, among many other aspects in life are important, yet they cannot be “scientifically” detected. And finally, I want to state that I respect each and every one of you as people, as man made in the image of God. I just don’t agree with many of your thoughts. I pray for you all that you can accept Christ as our ONE and ONLY saviour. =)

    • There will inevitably be many (in fact the great majority) who will be against us.

      You want to feel ganged up upon? Be an atheist in America.

      Science is good, because God created science himself!

      I thought North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il created science. (I get my dictators mixed up … sorry.)

      Even if you deny him, you cannot disagree that there isn’t “something” doing all this work!

      Mindless evolution explains things quite well, I think.

      As Hoyle’s calculation stated…

      You mean Hoyle the astronomer? Why would I care what he said about biology?

      And what’s the date on this? (Let’s use current information.)

      Finally: do you think this convinces the people who actually understand this stuff–the biologists? If not, why should I care?

      I would like to say that Christians don’t have a problem with science. I LOVE science.

      Prove it by accepting the scientific consensus.

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