Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Christian apologists are pathetic!

Every once in a while I have a discussion with a theist about beliefs and why I personally do not believe in God. First off using the Bible as a tool to make your case is outright ignorant and useless because I don't consider the Bible to be inspired by its alleged god. In fact, I see the Bible as a record of the ancients Hebrews myths and many superstitions. I take a lot of what the Bible says with a grain of salt and find it incredible and unconvincing. The Bible is a work that was written, collected, edited, and produced enitirely by man and its god is a creation of man himself.

Taking collegiate level courses in apologetics is in my view a waste of time and effort and doesn't change the fact that the Bible is self contradictory and full of fantastical tales that belong in the realm of myths and not reality. Many biblical scholars that have taken the time to put in the work and effort it takes to become experts in the field have actually become agnostic or atheist as a result of their studies. Bart Ehrman is considered to be one of the worlds leading experts in New Testament studies and he is an agnostic. Former Christian apologist and student of William Lane Craig John Loftus is also an atheist as a result of his studies. Roman historian and scholar Richard Carrier also is an atheist who found the biblical arguments for God to be unconvincing.

I find it astounding that theists no matter how learned they may appear don't seem to get it that the evidence for the existence of god particularly the Christian deity is not just lacking it isn't there. Some of the rationalizations that apologists use are outright ridiculous and illogical. They are plagued by confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance which does not allow them to see past the inconsistencies of their faith and beliefs. In their pathetic efforts to defend the faith they violate every single principle of reason and cling to a myriad of logical fallacies.

Christianity as I have said before is a house divided. Every time you have a discussion with a theist you have to find out what branch or sect of Christianity they belong to in order to try and understand what it is that they actually believe. It's incredible that since the rise of Christianity there are around 35-40,000 sects worldwide! They all interpret certain aspects of the scriptures differently and cannot agree on certain things such as the nature of Christ, the doctrine of the trinity, etc. I'm not agnostic about the matter of the biblical gods existence because I have come to the belief that he like the title of my blog suggest is just another myth. If evidence does present itself then I'm all ears but to date there is not empirical or objective evidence for his existence thus no reason for me to wonder if he does exist.

Finally, I find the biblical deity as he is presented in the O.T. to be a tyrant and a morally bankrupt monster. He is painted in the most unflattering light in that he is said to have drowned the entire world in a global flood. Murdered an Egyptian Pharoah and his entire army who couldn't repent because the text states that God hardened his heart so he could prove himself and demonstrate his power to the Hebrews. I think that many of the laws as they are stated in Leviticus appalling. Even if he did exist this is not a deity that I would worship. I find worship itself to be disgusting and self degrading. Hitler, Mao, Papa Doc, Vlad the impaler, and God have a lot in common. They are all blood thirsty animals who deserved to be put down for their cruelty towards their fellow man.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Child suffering is Gods fault!

"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21

Megan Huntsman

In Pleasant Grove, Utah police are still investigating how a woman was able to conceal a total of seven pregnancies unnoticed by neighbors and eventually kill six of the seven children. The last one the woman claimed had been still born, but the amazing thing is that this woman hid the bodies in her garage and this went on for a span of about ten years. You can read about this incredible story right here.

Theists believe that we are all created by God and that we all have some purpose in this life. But I beg to differ. In the first verse cited above God supposedly states that he gives life and takes it away and that only he can wound and heal. The second verse is Job's reaction to the death of his eight children at one time during a house collapse. In this verse Job humbly acknowledges that his god is the giver and source of all that he has and praises him for it despite his circumstances! 

The most heinous aspect of this crime is that by her own admission this woman claimed to have either strangled or suffocated her children at birth! So I ask theists what was the purpose in life for these seven innocent children? What is the purpose behind a woman having a stillborn child? If God is all knowing and loving as you claim him to be, then why was this woman allowed to have six children so that she could murder them?

Some can argue that this is an isolated case, but the truth of the matter is that this is not as rare as you may think. Children are born into this world all the time to suffer starvation, abuse, and even death at the hands of the one who was supposed to take care of them and protect them. The world is full of abusive parents and sexual deviants who harm children every day. What is the purpose behind the suffering and in many cases the subsequent death of those children? 

Why does God allow unfit parents to bear children? He could easily make these people infertile and unable to have kids. It appears at times that in life the most fertile women tend to be prostitutes and drug abusers. Many describe the birth of a child as a gift from God but here we have many people in this life who don't deserve such a gift. On the flip side of this situation you have nice people who can't have children and are forced to adopt or seek alternative methods due to dads low sperm count or his mates inability to have children due to physical deformities of her uterus etc. 

In the Bible we read about God's actions specifically regarding the fertility of women. He is said to allow or to even shut the wombs of women in the scriptures. I once met a woman who had 12 children who were all taken away from her as soon as they were born by child protective services! This woman was involved in prostitution and was a heavy drinker. She spent her days out in the plaza in Waterbury, CT. looking for Johns and a "good time." Why doesn't God shut the wombs of such people? Why are people such as her so fertile? 

17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah. Genesis 20:17-18 

On this occasion God was able to shut the wombs of all the women of the house of Abimelek as punishment for his having taken Sarah to himself. Of course the Lord kept him from sinning by laying with Sarah, but the point is that in this circumstance and others he was able to keep women from bearing children. This brings to the forefront another question. If God is the giver of life then he is also responsible for all the evil men/women born into the world who later commit horrible acts  against humanity such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Gayce, etc. You can try to remove the blame from God by chalking it up to sin but that argument is not going to fly here. 

The problem is that according to those same scriptures you claim to be the absolute truth your god is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is supposed to be all knowing and all powerful yet he at times demonstrates in the scriptures that he is neither of these three things. If he is all knowing then he knew that Hitler would try to kill and exterminate the Jewish nation. His so called chosen people. Are we to believe that it was God's plan to have Hitler be responsible for the wholesale slaughter of about six million Jewish men, women, and children? The reason I ask is simply because if he knew what Hitler would do then he is also responsible. 
According to the stories in the Bible about the conquests of Canaan the Hebrews were led by God to kill every man, woman that has known a man, and every male child! Weren't the Canaanites also created by God? So, if we are to believe the stories in the Bible then all those other nations were created with the sole purpose of becoming victims to God's chosen people. Not only that, but so were all the children that were there as well. So much for a good and loving God! 

Without a belief in a loving good god in our lives we can understand that these horrible things just happen. That there are people who are born with mental illnesses that lead them to commit these acts without remorse or consideration for the ones that they cause pain and suffering to. From a naturalistic viewpoint there is really nothing to explain. Some children are born into suffering, misery, starvation, and death. Others are born into a good home with loving parents who raise them with good morals, education, and respect for their fellow man.
Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Jesus contradicts himself!

1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Using this simplest of definitions for faith as it has been written and explained by the author of the book of Hebrews I have underlined the three key words of this passage. Oftentimes faith and hope are used by believers synonymously and interchangeably. Hope in my opinion is the best word to define what faith is because Christians have a hope that one day they will be granted eternal life and be able to live in the presence of their god. The scriptures describe this afterlife as a time of bliss and eternal joy where there wont be any pain and sorrow or the many struggles and strife that one endures in this present life.

One of the things I find most irritating is when theists assume that I don't understand the concept of faith. They often forget that I myself was once a theist and quite frankly, when you really think about it it's not so otherworldly that it could not be understood with a little bit of reading comprehension. Faith as used in a Christian context is hope in the promises of God as outlined in the Bible and the confidence and assurance that he will fulfill his promises to those that are faithful. See, now that wasn't so hard. Hope requires that you believe that God exists and that he will fulfill each and every last one of his promises.

6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Faith is believing in the unseen without evidence but rather entirely on a divine promise.

13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.  16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:13;16

With this in mind let's move on to two examples from the gospels where Jesus in one instance chastised someone for not believing in the promise of his rising from the dead and in another where he sent someone as proof of God's power.

After the resurrection of Jesus one of his disciples Thomas was told by the others that they had seen him at a time when Thomas himself was not present. Thomas's response is famous for it demonstrates the mentality of a rational person and a skeptic.

So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!" But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." John 20:25

Later on we read that the apostle Thomas was granted his request, but at the same time he was chastised for his unbelief!

29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

The portion of that verse that I have underlined is the actual working definition of faith and according to Christianity is absolutely necessary in order for one to obtain salvation through Christ. You must believe without having seen or requiring evidence! On this one occasion Thomas was granted the opportunity to validate his lack of faith with the evidence he asked and required of Christ. 

In Mark chapter 5:1-20 we are told the tale of a man possessed by a legion of demons. He is said to live in the tombs and to be so strong as to be unable to be subdued by any man or other form of restraints such as chains. Once Jesus delivers this man from his demonic possession he then request of the Lord to go with him. But Jesus refuses to let him go and instead gives him the following instructions:

19Jesus did not let him, but said, Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. Mark 5:19-20

Instead Jesus told the man to go and be a living witness to the power of God. He specifically sends him to his own people because they obviously knew of this mans history and his former condition. As in the story of Thomas in this case faith was not gained from not seeing but rather the seeing actually engendered faith. Contrary to believing without seeing faith came in both instances because of what was seen! This is just another one of those biblical contradictions that are not so obvious unless you know the scriptures. Jesus contradicts the biblical definition of faith through his actions in both the former and latter case. 

So my question to theists today is if he could do this back then, then why can't he do this today? If he truly wanted us all to be saved I would hope that he would do everything in his power to help us who don't believe to believe. This was the request of a man whose son was possessed by a demon in Mark chapter 9.

23“ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24

So apparently it's not too much to ask the Lord to help or give me a reason to believe. I too have made a similar request to that of  the apostle Thomas when I left the faith in 94' and the Lord has yet to answer my last prayer request. I guess I just wasn't meant to be saved! The decision to worship god in this life is a life changing decision that in my opinion requires careful thought and evidence. To date no Christian rationalizations in the defense of faith without seeing has satisfied me. This is the main reason why I live under the belief that God does not exist just as I do with similar beliefs such as bigfoot, fairies, elves, unicorns, etc. Theist, the burden of proof is entirely on you to demonstrate to us doubters and unbelievers that your God exists. Otherwise, the rational choice is to assume that he doesn't. 

Note: All biblical texts are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures.