Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – answering “Answering Atheism’s Questions Part 1: Is God’s Character Abusive?”

Is the Christian god abusive? Well, that depends on which version since each Christian comes up with one they create in their own image.  The author of the blog post I’m addressing does want to claim that his version isn’t an abuser.

Generally, abusive would mean “ using or involving physical violence or emotional cruelty” (all definitions from merriam-webster.com). So, does god use physical violence? Yes, it’s hard to count how many times.  Does it use cruelty: the state of inflicting injury grief or pain? Yes. The bible has many instances of this, allowing Satan to murder Job’s family, killing david’s son for David’s sins, killing children for the actions of heir parents, using young girls as war booty for Israelites and for treasure for its temple, insisting that if a man is a slave and he is freed but his family is not, he has to choose between freedom and them, blinding a man so this god can show off, etc.

Some Christians, like Ed Croteau), try to make a division between Jesus and God (although perhaps not, but it’s hard to get exactly what Christians think about the trinity, and Christians don’t all agree that Jesus is god or that Jesus is not god), but that doesn’t work so well since this “son of god” says that everything his father does and commands is okay by him, and that all of those silly commandments in the OT have to be follows until earth and heaven pass away. They are still around.

I haven’t read Finch, but she seems to be quite happy to get away from the lies of evangelical Christianity, having recognized that Christians make up their own nonsense and then try to convince others that some magical being agrees with them and only them. Her quote ““So often for those raised within evangelical environments, any single moment of perceived failure, any mistake, any step outside the previously established lines can paralyze with life-altering fear, anxiety, shame, and dread, because the trauma of early teaching is essentially playing on a loop within us.” Is quite true since people use fear and ignorance to try to control people and it is especially hard on kids. And when those kids grow up and realize that they were lied to, it’s even harder since they really did trust those who lied to them.

I happily wasn’t an evangelical Christian, I was a Presbyterian, which has its own whole other bag of problems since Christians do get cranky when non-Christians wonder which is the real version, predestination vs free will, Catholic vs protestant, etc. I do know that Finch is a bit confused on her bible knowledge but her version is as good as any other for why this god had bit of a personality break between the OT and NT (depending on the author of each book of course).

Despite what Ed claims, there is no “clear message of Jesus Christ” and that is why a lot of younger folks (I’m in my 50s) realize that there is no reason to believe in Christianity at all. We have the god/Jesus of preachers like Jeffress who ignore their bible as long as they get power, we have Joel Osteen who is sure that prayers are answered like the bible promises and everyone can get rich, we have liberal pastors who are sure that this god doesn’t hate homosexuals or other Christian of varying sects and we have Christians who are sure that this god hate Catholics, or Protestants, or whatever flavor they don’t follow. I grew up watching protestants hate catholics.

They also realize that there is no evidence Jesus existed, or that he was the messiah described in the OT since he doesn’t fulfill those promises at all.

We also have the problem that the verses from Isaiah claimed in Luke weren’t about a messiah at all, but were Isaiah speaking about himself or this god. When such a false statement is so easily found out, there is little reason to believe the Christian who made it. The author of Luke claims that some prophecy is being fulfilled but has no evidence for that at all, but it does make a good story.

When the whole bible is read, one finds that this god is abusive. This god supposedly, per Paul, picks and chooses who can accept it and who cannot, damning those for something they did not do (Romans 9). This is analogous to a father beating his child for an action they did not do and could not do. We also have Jesus reportedly stating that he uses parables to make sure some people can’t accept him. So this belies Ed’s claim that this god wants to “free anyone”.

As to the claim that JC came physically back in 32 CE, Christians don’t agree on this, nor is there any evidence of any of the supposed rather dramatic events around the cruxifiction at any time they do float as the “truth”, the major earthquake, the sky darkening, and the dead rising from their graves and wandering around Roman-occupied Jerusalem around the Passover. One would think that the Jews would have noticed this and the Romans would have had their hands full.

If we are to believe the bible, this god either intentionally let Satan into the garden or was too stupid to keep it out, away from two humans who knew absolutely nothing at all, including that it was supposedly good to obey this god. Then this god blames the humans for its failure, and casts them out of eden. After supposed thousands of years, this god repeatedly tries to fix its mistake, with a flood (no evidence), with commandments (no evidence of an exodus) and then finally it decides it needs a human sacrificed by torture to make itself happy. It depends on Satan to make this happen since no “betrayal” then no supposed salvation.

We end up with this “Father” in Revelation, where this entity forces humans to work with Satan to accomplish what this god wants to have happen (Revelation 17). Then after this god kills every non-christian on earth, this god intentionally allows Satan to corrupt the Christians that are left.

This is not a loving father, this is a lunatic.

As Ed says “Put what you believe out in the open and it will make you stronger.”  I wonder if he would agree with that now?  I posted a comment on the blog post and we’ll see if it shows up.

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – more low hanging creationist fruit

Fruit. See what I did there?  😀

Unsurprisingly, Ray Comfort, the fellow who thinks oranges are evidence for his version of the Christian god, is now trying to glom onto actual science again and insisting paleontology shows his myths are true.

And of course he’s trying to make money from repacking the same old creationist lies. Ray wants to claim this: “Why did the dinosaur disappear? Contemporary scientists have their theories:

  • Was it a massive asteroid?
  • Was it violent volcanic activity?
  • Did the dinosaurs kill each other?
  • Was it simply a matter of survival of the fittest?”

Hmm, just who are these “contemporary scientists” who think the dinos killed each other to the point of extinction or that it was “simply a matter of survival of the fittest”? That would be none. We do have evidence that it was likely a massive asteroid with some activity from massive volcanic areas known as traps.

Ray’s new video “Why did the dinosaurs disappear?” has a lovely trailer with a lot of rather ignorant people having no clue about dinosaurs and then Ray’s minions insisting that there has to be a designer.

That’s it. They tout a new discovery in Wyoming that supposedly agrees with their version of the bible.

Let’s take a look at that discovery.

First, it’s not new. Wyoming is a treasure trove of fossils thanks to where it is on the continent. It has one formation, the Morrison Formation, that has a lot of fossils in it. It’s made up of various beds of different sedimentary rock from conglomerates (big grain size) to siltstones (very small grain size) and limestones (chemical deposition and shells of critters). This indicates that there were different environments that deposited each layer. These layers were deposited within the Jurassic.

What Ray et al try to do is claim that there was their magic flood, and this was the reason dinos died. What they are too willfully ignorant to note is that there were dinos in other times too, the Triassic and Cretaceous. They weren’t the same ones as in the Jurassic.

There’s also the problem that massive floods don’t make layers like the Morrison Formation. Potholer54 does a great experiment to show this, an experiment that any child, or willfully ignorant theist, can do.

But heck, if you are going to invoke magic for one thing, why not insist that magic makes layers too?

What’s actually going on is that there is a thing called Mission Jurassic, where a lot of money and a lot of paleontologists will concentrate on a part of the formation thanks to the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis. Here’s a good article on it: https://buckrail.com/jurassic-dig-uncovering-hundreds-of-dinosaurs-in-wyoming/

It’s not surprising Ray et al want to try to spread their lies by hanging onto the coattails of science. Creations keep claiming “real soon now” that they’ll have evidence for their god being the one who created dinos and everything else. It’s rather like how they insist that their bible describes dinosaurs and that their god killed those same beasts, lots of false claims.

It’s rather quaint to see Ray try to claim that the behemoth described in Job (you know, where this god works with Satan to murder a family) is really a large herbivorous dinosaur. Let’s look at what the bible says and how Ray ignores what it actually says to invent his lies.

“Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eats grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moves his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lies under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinks up a river, and hastens not: he trusts that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He takes it with his eyes: his nose pierces through snares” (Job 40:15-24).

The italics are Ray’s claims verbatim.

This was the largest of all creatures He made. It was plant-eating (herbivorous).

Alas Ray is too lazy to know about blue whales, eh? Dinos didn’t eat like oxen as far as the evidence shows.

It had its strength in its hips.

Loins, Ray, not “hips”, this bible critter had strength in its penis. And what the heck is this supposed to actually mean? The dinos had a lot of strength everywhere in their bodies. Being that dinos are likely from eggs, no navels either.

Its tail was like a large tree (a cedar).

Ray has to directly ignore the bible here. The bible says “He moves his tail like a cedar” which indicates that somehow the tail moves like a tree. Not that the tail is the size of a cedar. We also have evidently a bible beast that has testicles with sinews that are wrapped together.

It had very strong bones.

Yep, so do humans and so do cows.  The bible says that the bones were bronze tubes, not “like” bronze.  Rhinos may have the strongest bones.

Its habitat was among the trees. Drank massive amounts of water. His nose pierced through snares. Then Scripture says, “…He that made him can make his sword approach to him.” In other words, God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct.”

Again, Ray has to lie about what his bible actually says. This beast supposedly drinks a river, the Jordan. Now that is a rather pitiful river, not wider than a creek here in the eastern US, but drinking a river is not just drinking “massive amounts of water”. Again, whales.

We can also see that the NRSV version of the bible doesn’t agree with Ray’s version. It’s so cute to see this god bragging like any child in a playground ““Look at Behemoth, which I made just as I made you; it eats grass like an ox.16 Its strength is in its loins, and its power in the muscles of its belly.17 It makes its tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are knit together.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like bars of iron.19 “It is the first of the great acts of God— only its Maker can approach it with the sword.20 For the mountains yield food for it  where all the wild animals play.21 Under the lotus plants it lies, in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.22 The lotus trees cover it for shade,  the willows of the wadi surround it.
23 Even if the river is turbulent, it is not frightened;   it is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth.24 Can one take it with hooks  or pierce its nose with a snare?”

Sounds rather like a hippo or rhino.   Alas, Ray and conservative Christianity fail again.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Now Oranges are evidence of the conservative Christian god

Yep, thanks to Ray Comfort, oranges are evidence of his version of the Christian god:

 

Of course no Christian can do miracles like Jesus Christ, Son of God. But heck, we should believe oranges are evidence of this god, just like bananas.

Screw the amputees, screw the cancer patients, oranges are evidence of God. Even Ray will choose a secular hospital rather than trusting that a Christian elder can heal him.  Sucks to need evidence, eh? So much for “faith”.

What complete idiots.

 

and this is the fellow that some atheists claim is a nice guy

 

S’right

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: Ray Comfort thinks he’s being clever again “Is God a Cruel Tyrant?”

Ray Comfort thinks he’s being clever again. He has an attempt to claim his god isn’t a “cruel tyrant”.

My father used to hit me. He would daily leave my mother to raise us kids, and I once saw him kill a helpless animal with his bare hands. With that information you could understandably come to the conclusion that my father was a tyrant.

And of course, there is indeed information missing to explain what Ray is trying to claim.

But listen to some missing information. If I ever lied or stole, my dad cared enough to correct me on the seat of my learning, and for that I greatly respected him and stayed on the straight and narrow. The reason he left my mom each day was to work hard as a carpenter and provide food for our table. And that animal he killed…it was a large bird that had been struck by a car and had been left to die on the side of the road. He put the poor animal out of its misery, and it grieved him to do so.

One has to wonder how many times Ray lied or stole from someone, being a raised as a Christian and all. Must have been often and he still does it. A pity his father isn’t still around. One also has to wonder exactly how Ray’s dad killed an injured bird with his “bare hands”. My father had to kill a hawk that I found; it had been shot and left to die, filled with maggots. He shot it and it died quickly and cleanly.

With that knowledge you can now see that my dad wasn’t a tyrant. He was a loving and kind father.

Yep, we can see that this human wasn’t a tyrant, if somewhat questionable.

Richard Dawkins believes that God is more than just a tyrant. He said:

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

But there’s some missing information he’s not giving you that changes everything…for those who will listen.

Dawkins is right, this god is all that he mentions and more (I can give verses if you’d like). We have a god that either intentionally allows the “serpent” in the garden or was too stupid to keep it out. Then this god punishes humans for listening to and believing the second most powerful being in the universe, if we are to believe the bible. We continue on with this god wandering off and when it comes back, it is upset no one is worshipping it anymore, deeming that to be “evil” and then killing everyone on earth (minus 8 including a drunkard), including children, plus animals and plants that had nothing to do with this.

We then head to Exodus, where this god forgets that its people are suffering, and when it does remember, proceeds to mind control people so it can show off. This showing off kills many. Farther along, we have this god killing a child for its parents actions, being afraid of a tall building, and repeatedly screwing up in choosing kings for its supposed “chosen” people.

Then, finally, this god, having repeatedly trying and failing to get its people to do what it wants, decides it needs a blood sacrifice of itself to apologize for it allowing the serpent in.

This is what Ray claims:

This same morally perfect and holy Creator (whose seeming harsh judgments were always “righteous and true altogether”) became a morally perfect human being. He did this to save us from the same just wrath that spilled upon the wicked nations of the Old Testament. Most of us know that Jesus of Nazareth gave His life as a sacrifice for the sin of the world. What they don’t know is that we violated God’s Law (the Ten Commandments) and justly deserve the wrath of the moral Law, but Jesus paid our fine in full. That means that God can legally dismiss our case. He can commute our death sentence and let us live forever, because our fine was paid by Another who then rose from the dead.

“Morally perfect”? Where? Only if one assumes that anything that this god does is “morally perfect” just because it is this god e.g. a morality based on might equals right.  And wrath on the nations in the ancient Middle East?  Where?  No one noticed.

The verse that Ray is quoting from is this, Psalm 19: The law of the Lord is perfect,  reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;  the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”

Now we have a problem here for Christians since none of them follow these commandments and laws of this god. Not even every Jew follows them these “perfect laws” or even tries.  We also have this psalm that as a great example of the ignorance of bible characters about the universe, assuming that the sun has a tent that this god puts it in.  This is also supposedly David singing, to a creature that killed his child.  It takes a lot of fear and stupidity to laud a child-murderer (of course many Christians will say it’s not “murder” since this god has the right to do whatever it wants with humans).

You know, like a tyrant.

No, “most of us” don’t know or believe that this magical man gave his life for anything. We have a story, that has this magical man really not wanting to do this, and being forced by this god to be a human sacrifice for something it caused to happen. (the gospel of John of course contradicts this). And Ray, sorry to tell you but there are quite a few more commandments from your supposed god than just 10. Ray also argues that we don’t need those commandments in public buildings since “Jesus paid our fine in full.”

One has to wonder what legality that this god is beholden to, if it can “legally dismiss our case”.   That would be something beyond this god.

The same holy God who considers lust to be adultery and hatred to be murder, made provision for His great love and mercy to be extended towards those who repent and trust in the Savior. For the Christian, the cross of Jesus Christ shows that God isn’t the wicked tyrant that foolish and ignorant men make Him out to be. It is the missing information that changes everything.

So, if this god considers even a thought as bad as the act, one has to wonder why this god constantly allows these people to commit their acts, rather than smiting them like he supposedly used to do. He could stop raping priests and pastors, because he let them have their free will in their minds. But this god does nothing at all, not even what a parent would do to correct a child. There is no “love and mercy” toward those who this god intentionally allows harm to come to. Such an incompetent tyrant Ray has as a god.

I’m quite pleased to provide that missing information that Ray chose not to present.

What the Boss Likes – more about the kittens!

So, as I said recently, we have new additions to the family.   Here are some photos of them and a few short videos.   We did screw up on what sex some of the little beasties are.  Since they are going to be spayed/neutered, we don’t know if it makes that much difference to change the names, and well, a lot of the time, cats just don’t give a damn what their human-given names are. 🙂  Athena is a male, and Leo is a girl.  The rest of the kittens are males, so Harley, Jason and Apollo are okay names for them. We’ll probably call Leo Matilda now, taking a riff from “The Professional”.   Athena is so sweet looking with that little black nose, I can’t imagine him as a tomcat, so Athena might just stick.

Athena and random stripy kitten

 

 

Jason is the stripy one.  The black one is Tez (Tezcaltipoca) who isn’t sure about this whole kitten thing.  Harley is off to the left.

 

Aggie (Agamemnon) is the big grey and white cat.  The darker stripy one is Apollo, the lighter one, Matilda and the white and stripy is Harley.

This is again with Aggie, Harley, Apollo, Matilda and Athena.

Hera, aka MommaCat, is recovering from her spaying operation.  Unbeknownst to us she was still in heat, though the trilling and wiggling around had stopped.  That makes the operation a little more difficult but she is doing well.

What the Boss Likes – Our Toronto Vacation

Two weeks ago, we ventured up to Toronto for a vacation.   Things had a bit of a rocky start since the airline ceased to be going out of our local airport, and we had to travel to Philly to get on it. It, of course, took longer to get to the airport than it took for the actual flight. I love flying, I freakin’ hate airports. The TSA lines weren’t bad though, and we got up to Toronto in the morning.

After navigating the rail line from the airport to Toronto and then the subway to our hotel, we finally got ensconced in our room. When ever we can, we stay at a Kimpton Hotel, since they are always nice, and they have nicely liberal policies, including taking pets. The St. George was, as usual, in a mid 20th C mid rise building and we were on the 7th floor. The room was about twice the size of the one we stayed in when we stayed at a Kimpton in Boston. And speaking of Boston, it felt like it was about that expensive in Toronto, but with a good exchang

l was near the University of Toronto, and this was definitely a college bar but very nice, and I liked the seating in it. The first time we went, it was great customer service. The second time, there was no customer service, so your mileage may vary.

That evening, we went out to find the reason we ended up in Toronto. I had read about a “nerd” bar, the Storm Crow Tavern that is located out in Vancouver. We were prepared to fly out there to go to it but then found out that they were going to open a location in Toronto, the Storm Crow Manor. It’s a couple of streets back from Yonge Street, which is the main entertainment/LGBT area of Toronto.  I do need to show you the baby changing station:

They have very good food and drink. The décor is very much for the happy nerd in me. I’m not much of a photographer, so just go out to the link and look around. They were working on their outdoor area when we were there, which is complete now (I think.) You can also follow them on Facebook to see what they are doing. We went there three times during the 4 days we were there.

Romulan Ale, or at least as close as you can get to it on 21st Earth

I got “Romulan Ale” as you can see.  and here’s a video of it bubbling.

 

The next day we walked down to the CN Tower, a ridiculously high observation installation, about a fifth of a mile high. That’s it standing above the skyline. We were going to go up in it but the line was ridiculous and it was hot. So we proceeded across the street to the Steam Whistle Brewery, which had just opened a German-style biergarten. They had a very good pilsner, and I had a radler (beer and grapefruit soda) made with it, and my husband had just the beer. He also had the chicken schnitzel and I had beef tartar. It was a little over mustardy for me, but good, well chopped rather than ground.

CN Tower, around a 1/5 of a mile high

We chose to walk up Yonge Street on the way back to the hotel. And there we found a Tokyo Smoke, another reason we went to Toronto. We partook some very low dose capsules. I’ve tried weed before but never had much of a reaction to it. This wasn’t much of a reaction either but it does seem to make it easer to think about things creatively and to get rid of the anxiety that you aren’t doing something “right” when doing art, writing, etc. The folks at the store were very professional and helpful. I really hope that PA gets recreational weed soon. The day was ended at Storm Crow again.

For Wednesday, I had made an appointment at a spa in the city, Hammam. It had advertised that it did Turkish baths and massages. My husband hadn’t had a professional massage before so I thought we’d both enjoy it. We had seen Turkish baths on various shows, most notably Tony Bourdain’s travel show, and wanted to try one. After wrapping up with towels, we spend some time in the steam room, a lovely tiled area with benches. It was HOT, but they had cold wet washcloths in a refrigerator right outside, so I took one and breathed through it while the sweat streamed off me. Then the bath attendents took us into a room with a large heated stone table where we laid down and were sluiced by hot and cold water, body temperature soap suds as well as being well scrubbed with what felt like 80 grit sand paper, but in a good way. After the bath, we were taken to another room for the massages. I got a full body massage and my husband got just the upper body since he’s a computer guy and, being tall, hunches over his desk all of the time. I’d definitely recommend it, even if it was a little pricy. But you only live once, eh?

After the spa, we wanted to get some dim sum, so we walked into Chinatown. We ended up at the Sky Dragon restaurant in a small multistory mall. I think we were the only Caucasian folks there, and we had absolutely no idea what we were eating, but it was tasty. There were several sets of dumplings, I could recognize the shu mai, and then we had a deep fried thing that seemed to be something like a crab cake, but rather shaggy on the outside. These were brought around in cards by elderly Chinese ladies, who were amused with us.

The next day we knew it was going to be rainy all day. We were just up the street from the Royal Ontario Museum, so we saved that for the rainy day. When we were there they had two special exhibitions, one for Indian treasures and the other paintings from the age of Rembrandt. The Indian show had caparisons for elephants and horses, clothing, canopies and jewels. The painting exhibit was beautiful, and I found I could appreciate it more since I’ve been dabbling with painting myself. One painter, I think it’s was Pieter Jansz. Saenredam, struck me as having what I would consider modern sensibilities. (an example of his work).

Finally, for dinner that evening, we again overcame our shyness and anxiety and went to a Japanese barbeque place right across from our hotel. It was called Gyubee, and seems to be a small chain up in Canada. Like the dim sum place, we really had no idea what we were doing, but it was fun grilling thinly sliced meats and vegetables on the gas grill in the center of the table. We had pork belly, brisket, marinated short rib, asparagus and mushrooms. For desert they had these great popsicles, Melona, and we had the mango ones.

We had idly known that the Toronto Raptors were playing in the NBA finals. Being not interested in sports in the least, we really didn’t pay attention. But that night, I woke up to hear all sorts of hooting and screaming. The celebration was on, and we could hear them seven stories up. And we were a couple of miles from the real craziness down at the arena by the CN Tower.

All in all, a good vacation, though every time I come home, I vow to never leave again. My anxiety chews me up on vacations. Hope you enjoyed reading!