Friday, January 20, 2012

Why I Cite The Bible

In response to a comment by Lost Blogger I have decided to write a post on why I often cite and use the bible as a tool to refute arguments made by theists. One of the things I learned when I was in the military was that the best way to win a battle or war was to know your enemy. While in boot camp we learned about weapons used by the enemy, the capabilities of those weapons, and more importantly how to disable those weapons and sometimes even use them against the enemy himself.

Although this is not war at least in the traditional sense, that axiom has stuck with me my entire life. As many of my followers are aware I myself was once what we now call a fundie. I was taught that the bible was the inerrant word of God and that its authors were all inspired by the Lord in some way to compose the various books within its pages. I believed every word as literal and did not accept all of these modern day interpretations of scripture. When I encountered contradictions and was challenged I would simply reply that those were mysteries which today we did not understand but as the apostle Paul said that one day we would know and understand all things clearly 1 Corinthians 13:12 (NJB).

I have read the bible in its entirety three times when I was a theist and once in Spanish, so that I may compare it to the English translation. The more I read the less I believed what I was reading and the more I was shocked to discover that I had been duped! I saw the mythological nature of the scriptures and the very concept of God himself. It struck me as odd that the biblical deity seemed to be not much different than your garden variety tyrant. He had a bad temper, was jealous, changed his mind often, and was swift to mete out punishment usually in the form of death to thousands of his followers as told in the Old Testament.

He was supposed to be just but I found his judgement lacking both in morals and rationality. I came to the conclusion that the bible did not present God in a very good light, but more than this I saw in God a reflection of man himself. The biblical deity is a myth that has been described mostly through the process of anthropomorphism. The Sage dictionary defines this word as: 'the representation of objects (especially a god) as having human form or traits. Christians refer to God as ineffable which means that he defies expression or description, but they don't cease trying to describe him.

It is my conviction that in order to argue with a theist,  in this case a Christian you must inform yourself about what they actually believe in. Otherwise you are going to look like a total ass when you try to argue with them about things they don't actually believe due to your lack of knowledge. I pride myself in knowing the bible more than most theists and use it often just to bring home a point or refute a doctrine.

One practice that theists love to utilize is that of quoting scripture out of context to try and back up their ridiculous claims. If you are not aware of this then you will not only be able to rationally destroy their argument but you will not be able to point out to them how their beliefs based on misquoted verses of scripture are wrong. Many of the so called prophecies about the coming of Christ in the Old Testament fall in this category.

I also use the bible to point out absurdities and show them the many contradictions within the texts themselves. In this case I am using their only weapon against them. I challenge them to try and reconcile what I know to be irreconcilable without performing some sort of mental gymnastics.

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