Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Questions for believers (Christians)

Not too long ago a poster apparently from the Netherlands who was reading my blog asked me if I could post a link he had provided with a list of questions he thought that every Christian should attempt to answer. I personally went to his site and began to read the list of questions and found that they were indeed logical and reasonable questions to ask. So as per my readers request I am providing the link to his site and urge all of my readers to review this list and feel free to comment here and on his site what you think about these questions. Also, I would appreciate it if theists actually try to provide rational responses to some of these questions. I am very familiar with the bible and would love to hear what you theists have to say about this. So without further ado here is the link for the English version: and here is the link for the same site in Dutch: Enjoy!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's all about fear

As a former fundamentalist Pentecostal preacher I struggled daily with a crazy situation. I had been preaching for four years and had a ministry which I shared with the public on the streets on the weekends and with other churches by invitation. I was becoming quite well known in the Christian community, but at the same time I was beginning to question many aspects of my faith.

The bible teaches that as a believer you are to fear the Lord in Matthew 10:28 28 'Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” (NJB). There are many threats like this throughout the entire bible and it is these very threats that kept me hanging on to my faith as long as I did. You see fear is the driving force behind Christianity especially fundamentalist groups. They constantly remind you about the consequences of doubt and backsliding as they like to call those that turn their back on the faith.

During those days I was a literalist, and so the threat of hell was not allegorical but rather a very real threat for me. Back then I did not even dare think why a loving god would even create a hell or permit such an inhumane form of punishment for someone not believing in his existence or just living their lives to the fullest without God. As an atheist I demand proof of the existence of God especially when there are believers trying to influence the U.S.  government to make this evil deity’s commandments the law of the land.

We as believers were taught that it was far worse for us because of the fact that we have “known” the truth and willfully turned it down. 26 If, after we have been given knowledge of the truth, we should deliberately commit any sins, then there is no longer any sacrifice for them.
27 There is left only the dreadful prospect of judgement and of the fiery wrath that is to devour your enemies.
28 Anyone who disregards the Law of Moses is ruthlessly put to death on the word of two witnesses or three;
29 and you may be sure that anyone who tramples on the Son of God, and who treats the blood of the covenant which sanctified him as if it were not holy, and who insults the Spirit of grace, will be condemned to a far severer punishment. (NJB)

After having read the bible in its entirety and having researched as much as I could regarding the scriptures, I became convinced that not only was the bible not true but that it was a work of fiction. I realized after reading my way through the O.T. that this God was far from loving. The bible is full of tales of this “loving” monster and his so called mercy. The biblical God has been the cause of more tragedy and death and destruction according to the tales of the bible itself. God is far from good, and judging by the standards of men he is no better than Hitler, Stalin, or Mao put together.

This goes to prove once again that Christians don’t read the bible they profess to believe in, and when they do they just ignore what they choose to deny. How can anyone call God good after reading the Old Testament? And even after reading the O.T. the N.T. doesn’t make God look any better. The N.T. has God punishing people with eternal torment in a hell he created for such silly things as not believing in him. In fact, living a life without God is a sin no matter how good of a life you live here on earth. This is what is referred to as coercion through fear and is not what you would expect from a loving god.

Man has many fears, but what fear is greater than the fear of death? Man has been searching for the fountain of youth from time immemorial and has been trying to find ways to prolong life as long as they can. The bible promises eternal life to all those that believe and live their lives according to God's good will. And then to sweeten the pie you are promised a whole bunch of imaginary door prizes for worshiping God and committing your life to him.

The fear of death is made much worse through Christianity through the use of threats of eternal torments that will follow you even after death. Christians believe that they will be resurrected to eternal life and live a perfect existence in the presence of the Lord forever and ever and ever. Now if you ask me, that is worst than hell.

My greatest fear is eternal life in a heavenly realm stroking God's great big ego and telling him how great and wonderful he is. All of this knowing that in all reality if he did exist and if what the bible says he said and did is true would actually make this deity a cruel, vindictive, and maniacal devil. Before I bow down to an eternal dictator I would much rather suffer the torments and flames of the imaginary hell.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

God and Birth Defects

            One of the things that have always nagged at me was the subject of birth defects. I remember a few years ago that my eldest sister and I had a discussion regarding the existence of God. She said that the miracle of birth was evidence of the existence of God, and I responded by stating that it was not a miracle and that it was just a natural and very normal occurrence.

            When I was a believer people attributed birth defects to several causes and quite frankly none of them made any sense to me. Some said it was demons interfering with the pregnancy while others stated that it was God either testing the parents to be or punishing them for some hidden sin that they have not yet confessed. The bible does in fact teach that God punishes the rebellious or sinful man, but it does not get into the subject of birth defects specifically.

            In the book of Deuteronomy 5:9 it states: … “I punish the parents' fault in the children, the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren, among those who hate me;”(NJB) or as it says in the KJV to the third and fourth generation. Could this punishment aside from misfortune in life refer to birth defects as well? Children are born with missing limbs, all sorts of congenital disorders, heart disease, mental illnesses and even conjoined. Does a belief in God provide sufficient explanation to account for all these different types of phenomenon? I don’t think so.

                I think that genetics explains the many causes of these issues a lot better than the bible ever could. Although those of us that are familiar with the scriptures know that God has no problem with killing children 2 Kings 2:23-24. He killed King David’s son for his father’s transgression against Bathsheba’s husband.  Demons and God’s wrath are silly superstitions invented by men who during a pre-scientific age could not explain these things in any other way. Myths are important because they give us a peek into the mind of post modern man. As a result of this fact when you read the bible with this in mind the beliefs of these people are better understood and do not seem so preposterous.

                The U.S. Center for Disease Control state in their website that there are several causes for birth defects but the most common are listed as follows:
  • Women who take certain drugs, smoke, or drink alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Women with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or obesity.
  • Women who take certain medications that are known to cause birth defects, such as isotretinoin (a drug used to treat severe acne).
  • Women who have someone in their family with a birth defect. To learn more about your risk of having a baby with a birth defect, you can talk with a clinical geneticist or a genetic counselor.
  • Women over the age of 35 years.
Considering these facts we begin to see a clearer cause for birth defects and even some possible ways of prevention when that option is available. The site goes on to break down these cause to the following mixture of factors: Most birth defects are thought to be caused by a complex mix of factors. These factors include our genes, our behaviors, and things in the environment. For some birth defects, we know the cause. But for most, we don’t.

                Another issue that I think is related to this one is that of fertility, if there was a God then why would he allow women who He Knows would be unfit mothers to have children? The hospitals are filled with abused children, crack babies, and children who have been found abandoned and left for dead. It seems that also in third world countries the women are very fertile as well. One woman having ten children in the middle of the goddamn desert with no means of supporting them is a very common occurrence, while there are couples all over the world who for whatever reason can’t have children and have to resort to adoption.

                In the book of Genesis 20:18 we read in that God closed the wombs of all the women in that town because Abraham had lied to Abimelech by telling him that his wife Sarah was actually his sister. As a result of this lie Abimelech was going to take Sarah to himself. Now if God could do this to an entire town, then why doesn’t he do this to unfit mothers, crack heads, or abusive parents? I mean what is the sense of a child being born only to die at the hands of the neglect and abuse of their parents? The bible has no answer for these questions.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

God loves to play games!

As an atheist I have always wondered why the bible is full of stories of God testing the faith of his followers. Christians read these same stories and all they see is the rewards that God's faithful obtain after proving themselves worthy but they never ask themselves why the good Lord would have to test anyone in the first place. The answer is that he likes to play games with peoples lives like the little kid burning ants with a magnifying glass!

The bible say's that God knows our innermost thoughts and intentions, so if this is the case then why is he constantly testing peoples faith in him? In fact the bible takes it a step further by stating that "16 Your eyes could see my embryo. In your book all my days were inscribed, every one that was fixed is there."(Psalms 139:16 NJB). Before you are born and formed in the womb he supposedly knows you and according to this scripture your days on earth are fixed. With this text alone you can forget about free will and living day by day because God has your days planned out in his daily planner lol.

Abraham almost sacrificed his son to God and Job withstood the most arduous tests of any of the biblical characters. Job lost his livestock, all his children in one day, was afflicted with boils all over his body, and had to put up with his wife trying to make him curse God and die, let us not forget his friends who kept blaming him for his calamities! And why did Job go through all of this? So that God could show the devil that even if Job was not blessed and had it all that he would be faithful to the end! It was a wager between God and Satan!

These are not the acts of a personal loving and caring father figure! They are the acts of an insecure little petulant child or unreasonably jealous lover who thinks that everyone wants to steal their mate. If ever there was someone or in this case something or being that abused and abuses his power it has to be the biblical God. He demands complete submission and absolute obedience from those he created to live only to worship and stroke his ego not just in this life but for all eternity.

For those of us who question this deity, who require evidence for his existence and dare to oppose him we are threatened with an eternal place of torment known to the sadistic Christians as hell. This alone makes this god a monster and a sadist. In closing it is my opinion that he does not deserve worship but instead the very mention of him should be greeted with disdain.

Friday, December 9, 2011

How is God merciful?

This post is in response to an anonymous commentator who stated that although his God was merciful that he/she did not think that he would tolerate blasphemy. So before we get started let's take a look at the dictionary definition of merciful and see if God measures up. According to the free dictionary online mercy is defined as:
1. Compassionate treatment, especially of those under one's power; clemency.
2. A disposition to be kind and forgiving: a heart full of mercy.
For illustrative purposes I will use one example from the Old Testament that will demonstrate without a doubt that the biblical deity is not merciful; in fact, he is a tyrant! Our story takes place in 1 Kings chapter 18 and I invite all theists and non theists to read it for themselves. According to this tale there was a great famine in Sumaria at the time, and God had sent his prophet Elijah to speak to Ahab regarding the people and their worshiping of a false god called Baal.
Elijah basically told Ahab that they had brought this famine upon themselves due to their infidelity towards Yahweh. He then ordered that all of Israel (the people not the nation) gather on Mount Carmel where Elijah would be. Elijah then issued a challenge to the prophets of Baal which numbered at 450 and basically set the terms of the challenge. Two altars were to be set up with sacrifices for their respective gods. They were to call on their respective gods and the one that responded by fire would be recognized as the one and only true god.

The prophets of Baal spent all day calling out to their god to no avail, but when Elijah called on Yahweh he responded with fire from heaven and all the people fell on their faces and cried "Yahweh is God." As soon as the challenge was over the bible says that: 40' Elijah said, 'Seize the prophets of Baal: do not let one of them escape.' They seized them, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon, and there he slaughtered them.' 
You read right, they slaughtered all 450 prophets of Baal. Now here is my problem with this, why weren't they given the opportunity to convert after having seen a demonstration of God's power? Where was God's mercy then? Where is God's mercy towards humanity now? It is nowhere to be found. My argument is if God is loving, merciful, and kind then why could he have not just forgiven mankind and all living things as a whole for the transgressions of Adam and Eve? I mean he is supposed to be omnipotent yet he can't with a word restore man back to his original state without going through the ridiculous and lengthy process of redemption through Christ.

This is not the only occasion where God was lacking in compassion, the bible is full of stories like this one and the biblical tyrant is responsible for more deaths in the Old Testament alone than all the mass murderers and tyrants that have ever existed on Earth. It's actually worse in the New Testament where God is not just satisfied to punish the so called "wicked" in this life, but for all eternity in hell. This God is nothing short of evil and not even worthy of worship or respect.
It's funny how God in the O.T. was willing to demonstrate his powers to the people of Israel upon Elijah's request but in the N.T. Jesus admonishes his listeners with these words: 7 'Jesus said to him, 'Scripture also says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' It's actually a sin to request a demonstration of proof from God! The only means he wants to be known is through blind faith and thus he remains hidden to all the rest of us who ask for proof of his existence first. 
The N.T. doctrine of hell demonstrates clearly that the god of the bible is nothing more than a tyrannical dictator who rules with an iron fist. His motto: "Worship me or suffer eternal pain and torment." He requires complete and unwavering submission from his followers who he gladly labels servants a fancy word for slaves.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What was the point of the flood?

According to Genesis man had fallen from God's graces due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve. If we are to believe the scriptures between chapters 3 and 6 man continued to decline morally and lived only to satisfy the pleasures of his flesh. After some time God became weary and decided: 5 Yahweh saw that human wickedness was great on earth and that human hearts contrived nothing but wicked schemes all day long.

Now before we move on I would like to point out that this verse alone challenges the so called claims regarding the attributes of God. Namely, omniscience (all knowing/ infinite knowledge). The reason I say this is that upon closer examination of the text it seems that God was surprised at how man had turned out. So much so that the very next verse says:  6 Yahweh regretted having made human beings on earth and was grieved at heart.

The Sage dictionary defines regret as: sadness associated with some wrong done or some disappointment. Why would God be sad if he already knew that this would be the outcome? If he was truly omniscient he would have known that his so called "good" creation was going to be a bust.

Now what was Hitler ooops I meant God's final solution? Well in the very next verse he makes it known: 7 And Yahweh said, 'I shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created -- human and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven -- for I regret having made them.' Again he emphasizes that he regrets having created not just mankind but all living things.

If we were to use the allegory of disease in regards to sin and a corrupt nature then I could see the logic in destroying all forms of life and starting from scratch. If you had a deadly plague spreading rapidly across a region and was able to contain and exterminate the infected to eliminate further spread and infection then I could agree with such an action and it would make perfect sense. But this is not what the great and knowledgeable God did. For it says in verse 8 that: 8 But Noah won Yahweh's favour.

Now here is the kicker, how could one man gains favor with God is he also inherited the curse of God upon all of mankind? Since the fall of man in the garden man was cursed and so were all the future generations. God's curse was like a genetic disorder and as such would not just disappear.

The purpose of the flood was to cleanse the Earth from all wickedness, yet he does not fulfill this by sparing on of the "infected" and his family. And as expected his descendants did exactly like their previous ancestors had done. They ended up going back to their sinful ways and pissing God off once again.

Now in verse 13 you find a huge contradiction in motive for God: 13 God said to Noah, 'I have decided that the end has come for all living things, for the earth is full of lawlessness because of human beings. So I am now about to destroy them and the earth. Notice that he said that not only will he destroy all living things but also the earth! If this was his plan then why tell Noah build yourself an ark? In fact why spare Noah at all since as I stated earlier he was infected with God's curse against humanity through the fact that he was part of the human race?

So I have to ask, what was the purpose of the flood? He killed every living man and beast on the face of the earth, except those he let live on the ark. Only to end up back at square one. Then he waited thousands of years before he sends his son the perfect sacrifice to redeem man and begin a new covenant with man.

This chapter undermines the so called omniscience of God. It demonstrates that he does not know everything nor how things will turn out in the future. God is a bad planner and basing ourselves on the Old and New Testament a bully and a tyrant. Luckily for us he does not exist, and these tales are nothing more than myths and legends that have no objective means to validate their claims.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The blame game

I have been an atheist for nearly 18 years and have debated many a theist. One of the things I find most annoying about debating theists about matters of morality etc. is that they love to play a silly childish game I like to call the blame game. Atheists themselves have been known to also fall into these stupid arguments that in my opinion are completely irrelevant to the issues that matter.

The bible actually contains a very good version of the blame game in Genesis 3:11-13 after having eaten from the tree of knowledge and attempting to hide from the presence of the Lord, they are asked by God why they had disobeyed his commandment. Adam blamed the woman and the woman blamed the snake, but in the end God made all three of them accountable for their individual part in the fiasco.

I have heard Christians blame atheism for atrocities committed against humanity by Communists or other tyrannical forms of government. Atheists on the other hand like to pull out all the dirt that they can find on theism from their own atrocities committed against humanity such as the crusades, inquisitions, etc.

What we all forget is that these acts are not the result of a particular belief system, but rather the result of the acts and beliefs of individuals. You can't blame an entire belief system or lack thereof for the acts of certain men who claim to be proponents of those systems. This also applies when they don't claim to represent any system of belief as well. People have the bad habit of labeling others by their actions or former beliefs.

In the end we as individual are all held accountable and must suffer the consequences or rewards of our own actions. That is part of being an adult, taking responsibility for the things you do in this life in the here and now not in some imaginary afterlife. I am not moral because the bible tells me to be moral and to love my neighbor etc. I am moral because society has taught me that there are rules that we all must abide by.

I didn't learn right from wrong from the biblical god, but rather from my parents. The society I came up in has laws that one must abide by or else suffer imprisonment or in some states the death penalty. When I debate theists I try to avoid playing the blame game because it draws attention away from the real issues that need to be discussed. I can't blame the person I am debating for his religious institutions immoral and brutal actions that happened in the past and in some parts of the world continue to happen when he personally had no part in it. 

I personally have a felony on my record from 2003 for resisting arrest one night and injuring a police officer in the process. But society labels me a felon and puts me in the same category as a rapist, murderer, pedophile, etc. What happened to me could've happened to anyone but I have and continue to be judged as bad because of the label felon. It is difficult for me to find a job and I am discriminated against for being a felon. Although I have never stolen anything or robbed anyone or committed any major crime in my life.

In conclusion my fellow atheist, when dealing with theist try not to make blanket statements or label and discriminate against them for the things that other rotten apples of their religious institutions have done. Not all theists are bad, and some are very open to reasonable discussion regarding matters of their faith. Sometimes in the end you just have to agree to disagree and let them go on with their delusion. And remember always to be responsible for your own actions whether they be for better or for worse.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Adam and Eve literal or allegorical?

One of the latest ploys that the theologians have been using to try to explain all of the inconsistencies of the tale of the Adam and Eve story is to state that those events described in Genesis were not meant to be taken literally. They have been saying that Adam and Eve were not real people and that the entire story of the fall of man was meant to be interpreted allegorically.

There are several problems with this form of interpretation but I will start with the most damaging one first. If Adam and Eve did not exist and the tale of the fall of man was an allegory then that would mean that man never sinned and Jesus died for nothing! If there was no fall and the story is not true then how did man come to be? Where did we come from? Religion has no answer to this question except that God created man out of mud and the woman out of one of mans ribs.

Now here are the reasons that I believe that the author or authors of the story in Genesis meant for it to be taken literally. Genesis 4:1,2 state that Cain and Abel were the first couples two sons, it makes no mention of daughters. In the same chapter we are given a short genealogy of Cain and his family after he was ejected from the garden. Genesis chapter 5:5 says that Adam lived to be 935 years old and fathered a son named Seth at the ripe old age of 130! We are then given a genealogy of Seths family tree in the subsequent verses.

Now if this tale was mean to be an allegory and Adam and Eve never existed, then why go through all the trouble of giving us genealogies and even telling us of Adams death etc.? These things alone contradict the apologists beliefs that this story was not supposed to be taken literally. The author/authors of this tale meant for every word to be taken literally as they wrote it.