Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – please welcome Alex, a Christian who has asked to debate me

A Christian has asked to debate me, Alexander Phaethon, of the blog Peace of Mind. He comes to us from commenting on my last blog post, about a christian who insists that everyone agrees with her. You can see what kind of a Christian he is on his comment here. He also commented that he is “I’m technically 50 percent white 50 percent Latino.” He does think that Elizabeth, the one who insists that everyone agrees with her is correct. We’ll get to that in a bit.

You can follow along in the comments below. If it gets too unwieldly, I’ll open another post to continue.

To start off, Alex has asked this “Well, lets just start with our base beliefs and then will get to Elizabeth’s claim. What are your reasons for believing that there is no God, and also what then do you believe is the point of life?”

Alex, the reason I don’t believe in any gods, including the many variations of the Christian god, is that there is no evidence at all for their existences. Not one event claimed to have been caused by your god, or any other, can be shown to have happened. There is also no evidence that any of these gods come through for their worshippers as they promise in the various holy books that theists have.

Now to focus the Christianity we both are familiar with, there are dozens, if not far more, of versions, all of which contradict each other. That Christians cannot agree on the most basic things in their religion, (e.g. how one is saved, what heaven and hell are, what this god considers a sin, what morals this god wants, which parts of the bible to consider literal, exaggerated or metaphor, etc), nor convince each other that their version is the “right” one, shows that there is little reason to think that there is any “right” version. This is especially true since not one self-described Christian can do what your supposed messiah promised you would be able to do. Those abilities are described in Mark 16, John 14 and James 5, among other places.

I do say self-described since that is the only way to know who a Christian is since you all point at those Christians who don’t agree with you and claim they aren’t Christians, but you cannot show this to be the case.

Could there be a “right” version? Perhaps, but I see no evidence of what it is or that it exists.

The second part of your request is “what then do you believe is the point of life?” I don’t see that there has to be a “point” aka “meaning” for life that is external to the person living a life. There is life since physics allows for it. I’m alive, a meerkat is alive, my cats are alive, the collard greens plants in my backyard garden are alive.

I give meaning to my own life, and that is to help others when I can so they can enjoy their life too, to enjoy my life which means loving my spouse, my kitties, my friends, having tasty meals, a comfy bed, a nice glass of wine or beer or bourbon, creating art, gardening, etc. I am largely Epicurean (a brief description: “Epicurus believed that the greatest good was to seek modest, sustainable pleasure in the form of a state of ataraxia (tranquility and freedom from fear) and aponia (the absence of bodily pain) through knowledge of the workings of the world and limiting desires.”) in worldview, with a splash of Stoicism.

When I was a Christian, I was taught that the meaning of life was to obey the god of Christianity, and if I was approved of, I’d get to exist forever in heaven. I’m quite happy to have left that behind, since I finally did realize that the god of Christianity wasn’t anything I would want to obey, even if it were real. I read the bible and found out what it says, not the expurgated version that pastors and priests give. I found I had far better morals than this god from reading comic books and watching Star Trek than what the bible teaches. No promise of eternal life would be worth following such a horrible being as the god depicted in the bible.

Now, you probably are asking about what I found “horrible”. The following:

1. A god that condemns everyone for the supposed actions of two. This eliminates free will. This also is the story of Eden, where this god intentionally keeps Adam and Eve ignorant of what good and evil are, and blames them for not obeying him when they would have had no idea that not obeying this god was “evil”.
2. A god that kills every living thing on earth except for 8 people horribly by drowning. This includes children and animals who did nothing wrong. See the noah flood.
3. A god that mind controls humans so it has an excuse for abusing and killing them, including children. See Exodus 4, Joshua 11.
4. A god that repeatedly commits and commands genocide and rape of girls, see Numbers 31.
5. The idea of a blood sacrifice by torture required for “salvation” from this god’s actions that it screwed up in Eden. See the whole Jesus story.
6. The idea that if you don’t believe in the right god you deserve eternal torture. per both Jesus and paul.
7. The lunacy and viciousness of Revelation where this god works with its supposed archenemy to corrupt its followers after it kills everyone else.

If you’d like me to clarify, do ask. Alex, my questions to you are how do you know your version is right? What is the best evidence you think there is that your god exists? And what do *you* think the meaning of life is?

Addendum: 5/4/22: how this ends up here:

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – A Christian claims everyone agrees with her.

Elizabeth Prata, of “The End Time – Exalting the name of Jesus through Christian essays” blog, has written an essay claiming everyone really does agree with her about her god existing. I found out about her nonsense on Bruce Gerencser’s blog.

This is nothing new for a christian to claim, or, indeed, for many theists of all stripes to claim. Their need for external validation of their beliefs causes them to try to convince themselves that everyone agrees with them.

I replied to her answer to my first post, and gee, she didn’t allow it since it shows her claims to be false and that she is ignorant about her own supposed holy book. I do love the wonderful excuse she’s invented for herself “I deleted your reply. When the comment is longer than the actual post I usually delete. You gave your point I made my answer, I shared the Gospel. Now we can go our separate ways.  Have a pleasant day and please consider what I’ve shared. Your eternity depends on it”. I do enjoy Christians who make up “rules” as they find convenient. What even funnier is that her original post is 676 words. My response was 1425, and with the bible verses and her own words removed, it comes out to 924. Oh the horror.

Let’s see what Elizabeth said as her reply to what I said here:
“Elizabeth, it’s always great to see a Christian make false claims. You try to claim that “everyone knows” that your god exists, but that’s not true at all. It’s just you trying to convince yourself that you are right, and you must invent external validation that doesn’t exist to prop up your religion.

Not even all Christians agree on the same god, since you all invent the morals you insist it wants, and gee you all contradict each other. Add that fact to the fact that not one Christian can do what Jesus Christ promised and it seems that you are all frauds.”

Elizabeth “Hello Club,

Thanks for the comment. I am not making false claims. Every person on earth knows God exists because they:
–have a moral compass knowing right from that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, Romans 2:15

–have a conscience- John 8:9, And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
–see that the earth they are walking on exists. Romans 1, the word of God, specifically addresses this as mentioned in the essay above

We Christians know we are sinners and we often fail, usually daily, hour by hour. However nothing the Lord promised will fail. That He uses us sinful humans to accomplish His ends is amazing! When He says He will sustain us to do His will until the end, He does. Paul is a good example of a Christian that does what Jesus promised and who was not a fraud. He went from being a zeal breathing murderer of Christians to the greatest evangelist, missionary, teacher, and church planter the New Testament ever wrote about.

One way you can tell we are committed to the cause of Christ is that so many of us are willing to die to bring the Gospel to people who are not saved from God’s wrath. Since we are all sinners, we are separated from God because he is holy, and we will go to hell to be punished for our sins when we die.

What did Jesus promise that not one Christian can do? I’m not sure I understand that part of your comment

Romans 1:18,19- For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Jesus came to earth, lived the perfect life God demands, and died on the cross, taking on the punishment for sin that we justly deserve. Pleased with His Son, God resurrected Jesus and ascended Him to heaven. Now, all you need to do is acknowledge your sin, repent (turn from it) and ask Jesus to forgive you. He transfers His righteousness that is so pleasing to God, to you, and you can go to heaven to be with Him when you die instead of hell. Will you repent of your sins that anger our holy God so much?? Please.”

Elizabeth, you can call me Vel.    So, Elizabeth, let’s take a look at your claims.

Yep, your bible says that everyone knows about this god, Romans 1, Romans 2.  Funny how most, if not all religions, make the exact same claim, that the universe is “evidence” for their god, and everyone “really” agrees with their god, and can’t show it to be true at all.  Now, unsurprisingly, that bit from Romans 2 isn’t quite complete.  It says, in context, “12 All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. 15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.” Romans 2 (NRSV)

Unsurprisingly, gentiles don’t follow the “law” instinctively at all, nor can Christians agree on what the ”law” consists of, so much for your claim that everyone agrees with you when even other Christians don’t.  You all ignore the parts you find inconvenient, making some lovely excuses on why you don’t have to go about killing people who work on the sabbath, etc, despite your supposed messiah saying that *all* of the laws in the OT are to be followed, no exceptions. 

Humans have a consciousness, and we must be taught what is acceptable and not acceptable, our supposed “conscience”.  The sad facts of feral children show that we have no innate knowledge of what society considers “right” and “wrong”.   Your bible is wrong about basic facts, as usual.  The story in John 8 is just that, a story.  It is largely agreed upon in academic Christian circles that this was added much later to the Gospel of John, some hundreds of years later since it is not found in the earliest versions.  You might want to look at the Wikipedia article “Jesus and the woman taken in adultery” and take a look at its bibliography. 

Oh Chrsitians do claim that they are “sinners” but funny how they can’t agree on what this god considers as sin, so we have lots of different fingers pointing around at each other about who is the “real” sinners. 

Everything that the lord has promised has failed, Elizabeth and I can point to the entire industry of Christian apologetics to show that since you all must make up excuses on why your god does nothing for its believers and it hasn’t returned yet, despite 2000+ years of Christians promising it will return “soon”.  This god has used no one at all, and Christians can’t even agree on what its “ends” are. 

You try to claim that this god sustains every Christian to do his will til the end, and we can see that is simply not true since Christians die just like everyone else, are harmed just like everyone else and they commit suicide just like everyone else.  Of course, you will try victim blaming as an excuse for your god, saying that those who fail weren’t “real” Christians. 

The story of Paul is quite the example of how the bible is full of nonsense.  Poor Paul can’t even keep his own origin story straight, so there is no reason to think he is telling some “truth”.  This Paul also repeatedly contradicts your supposed messiah so you do have a problem claiming that Paul was some “greatest evangelist”.  Tell me, Elizabeth, who are we to call father per your bible? 

You then try to claim that since Christians are willing to die for their nonsense, this means it is true.  By that claim, then every martyr for every religion show that religion to be just as real as yours.  Muslims who blow themselves up, the people who drank poison at Jonestown, Buddhist who burnt themselves alive, all show that those religions are as valid as yours.  How interesting.  It’s also interesting that your god just doesn’t make bibles magically fall from the sky to those who supposedly need it.  Why does it need humans to do this, Elizabeth?  And if our “hearts” know this nonsense, why do we need bibles at all?  You have contradicted yourself. 

“What did Jesus promise that not one Christian can do? I’m not sure I understand that part of your comment.”

For all you claim to know about your bible, it’s always most curious that so many Christians claim ignorance of what JC promised them to be able to do.  

““Go into all the world and proclaim the good news[d] to the whole creation. 16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: by using my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes in their hands,[e] and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16

11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” John 14

13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. 17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.” James 5
Christians give many excuses why they can’t do the above promised actions.  Which ones will you try?

There is no evidence for your Jesus Christ existing at all, so repeating the myth doesn’t help your case, Elizabeth.  As I pointed out before, Christians can’t even agree on what this god considers sin so how can anyone “acknowledge” it?   Which of the many, many versions of Christianity do I have to believe in to get the “right” one?  You have no more idea of what “angers” your god than the next Christian.  And it’s quite a puny god that gets angry over what it knew its humans would do since it supposedly made them that way.  

Threats of hell are always amusing in their impotence and claims by Christians that I’ll go to heaven with this god shows their ignorance of what their own bible says.   Per your bible, only a very few virgin Jews get to go to heaven to be with this god, Elizabeth (and unsurprisingly, Christians can’t even agree on what the nonsense in Revelation “really” means).   The rest get the rather amazingly tacky “city of heaven on earth” with its streets of gold, gems everywhere, etc.  One has to wonder about a god that is so concerned with worldly wealth, from when it demands tons of gold, fine leathers, fancy curtains, etc for its temple to this “city”. 

As for your pleading for me to agree with you, I don’t and your claim that is the basis of this blog post is wrong. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a great paper on how cults rationalize their nonsense

Just a link to a very good paper on how cults, aka religions, can invent nonsense and end up believing it to be true. Thanks to John Loftus over at Debunking Christianity for giving the link.

“The Rationalization Hypothesis: Is a Vision of Jesus Necessary for the Rise of the Resurrection Belief?” — by Kris Komarnitsky

The information about the Marian Keech cult was interesting. I hadn’t known that UFO cults were so early.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – and yet again a Christian fails in their claims of what makes someone leave their religion

A fellow in my home state, Mark Farnham, from a relatively close by bible college, has decided to make a list of why people have left his religion.  And of course it’s the same baseless claims, and ignorance.  He has this nonsense on a rather vehement evangelical conservative Christian website called “Sharper Iron”, and claims he wants comments.  Of course, you can’t comment there unless you agree with these Christians (and like all Christians they are quite sure that only their version is the right one).  So here we go.   As always, nothing new here that I haven’t written before, so feel free to ignore. 

So, Mark, did you ever actually talk to an atheist?  Seems not, and you just made up nonsense to convince yourself how great you are. 

Per your own bible, no one can be “rescued” since your god has already chosen who it will let accept it and then it just damns the rest for no fault of their own.   But let’s look at your claims.  I do note that no one can comment on your nonsense unless they agree to the doctrinal statement of “Sharper Iron”, which is nothing more than typical fundamentalist Christian, and therefore, baseless claims. Always good for being able to spread false claims without challenge;  So much for this: “Comments, input, and corrections are welcome.”  

“1.They have experienced some hurt, trauma, or abuse at the hands of professing Christians, churches, and/or pastors.”

Nope, not at all, and many Christians love to hope this is true so they can ignore what non-christians say because is “just emotional”.   I don’t believe in your version of the Christian god, and other gods, because there is no evidence for them and plenty of evidence against them since not one event claimed to have been caused by a god can be shown to have happened.

“2.They have spent too much time reading, listening, watching, and talking to people espousing weak theology, heresy, and the hiss of the serpent asking, “Did God really say?”

This is the common claim of “sophisticated theology”, e.g. non-christians haven’t heard the “real” religion.  I have and I’ve also looked into all of those versions of Christianity that you claim are wrong.  Funny how you can’t show yours right, just like them. 

I did indeed spend a lot of time reading about Christianity, its many many contradictory sects, and other religions.  I found that religion has nothing going for it.

“3.They have wittingly or unwittingly absorbed and adopted naturalistic, atheistic, and hedonistic assumptions and presuppositions and then critiqued the Bible in light of those. As a result they find the Bible objectionable, ludicrous, or repugnant.”

The bible is indeed objectionable, ludicrous and repugnant.  I’ve read it cover to cover.  This is the typical claim of the Christian about “rebellion”, and daring to think differently than they do.  They don’t like the bible to be critiqued like any other book, “holy” book or not. 

I quite “wittingly absorbed” information that shows that Christianity fails, because I dared to read something other than Christian books, and was smart enough to follow the information, not my wishes that some god existed.  That’s why knowledge is death to religion.  Religion depends on willful ignorance and fear to keep its followers in line.

“4.They have tired of the scorn, ridicule, and pressure of the unbelieving world, and find it easier to abandon the faith to just get along.”

Nope, not at all.  I grew up in and lived in a society that has a ludicrous amount of respect for religion. So no “pressure” at all.  I was indeed tired of the scorn, ridicule and pressure amongst Christian sects, and found it pathetic. 

“5.They had deeply-felt expectations for life and what God would do, and when disappointed, could not bear the thought of worshiping the God they feel has let them down.”

Oh this is a good one.   Funny how the bible’s promises fail and the believer should ignore this fact per Mark.  What’s even more amusing is that it is a common Christian argument that one should join their religion since it doesn’t fail like other ones that they claim are only to idols.  It fails with the exact same frequency. 

I found it was ridiculous to keep making up excuses why this god doesn’t do anything.  Apologetics is just that, making up excuses and if your god needs this, you don’t have much.

“6.They have misunderstood and misinterpreted the Bible’s revelation about the character and actions of God, and have come to believe that they are more moral than God, and now stand in condemnation of God’s character and his actions in the pages of Scripture.”

This is the same as #2, where the theist insists that everyone but them misunderstands what the bible really says aka “sophisticated theology”.  Yep, I have no problem in pointing out that this god is a moral monster.  The Christian will find it rather hard to use their arguments for objective morality when they excuse this god for doing that they, hopefully, would find abhorrent if a human did them.   Their morality is subject to who/what something is, not the action itself.  If it’s wrong for a human to kill children, then it would be wrong for a god to, if there were indeed objective morality. 

“7.They grew up in legalistic churches and families where an abundance of man-made rules were added to the gospel and to God’s moral law. At some point they tired of these oppressive environments and could not separate true Christianity from the legalism, and so left the faith.”

This is also #2 again, with the Christian insisting that only his version is the TrueChristanity™.   Alas, poor Mark can’t show that his version is “God’s moral law”.  He’s just one more crab in the bucket. 

I grew up as a Christian, then when I was questioning it, I went straight to the horse’s mouth, and read the bible, asking this god for help.  Unsurprisingly, nothing at all happened.

“8.They fed on liberal social justice and incipient Marxism, and found the Bible’s acceptance of inequality because of the curse of sin and the Bible’s call to suffering wanting, according to their new belief system that salvation is deliverance from inequality.”

I do love this.  Alas, for this Christian, Jesus was quite the communist and social justice warrior, at least sometimes depending on who the anonymous writer is inventing.  And hmmm “the Bible’s acceptance of inequality” ??  I seem to recall a certain supposed savior that claims equality for all, again at least some of the time.  Hmmm, what was that?  Oh yes: “16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen.” John 13  (and oopsie there’s that bit that shows that there is no free will).

“9.They simply no longer wished to be bound to the biblical ethic, most often related to the Bible’s clear restriction of sexual activity to one man and one woman in a monogamous covenant of marriage. They wanted to have sex and not feel guilty about it.”

Nothing more than #3 again.  This is the common Christian “you only want to be a rebel” nonsense that always fails since poor Christians can’t agree on what morals aka “biblical ethis”, their god wants.  Alas, the bible doesn’t restrict sex to one man and one woman in a monogamous relationship.   One has to wonder if Mark ever read his own bible.

So, gee, that can’t be why people leave poor Mark’s Christianity. BTW, I’ve been in the same relationship for 33 years so that isn’t the reason I left. 

10.They were never true believers to begin with. They are apostates who posed as Christians, very convincingly and for a long time. 1 John 2:19–22 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. [20] But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.” (ESV)”

The typical false claim of a desperate Christian who needs to pretend that no one would ever disagree with him.  It’s rather like the Muslim nonsense of needing to kill apostates out of fear too. It’s very easy for a cult to make this claim, and since Christianity is just a cult, they do.  I was indeed a faithful believer, and Mark does nothing more than lie when he claims otherwise.

it should be entertaining to see him fail “unpacking each of these” in the coming weeks. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – yet one more list of questions for atheists that fails

This is a list of 29 (!) questions from a family of apologists that style themselves the AIIA Institute (such a lovely appeal to authority attempt. Anyone can start an “institute”).  I found out about them since they took out a full-page ad in Yankee Magazine (a regional tourism, etc magazine for the northeast US).  They are evangelical Christians and the typical sadistic beliefs about hell, etc.  They also believe that the bible is without error or fault.  Of course, that only holds up within their own claims of what the bible “really” means.

I’m really, really bored at work, waiting on a refit.  There is not one thing new here at all.  It is a decent list of just how incompetent apologists are.

Unsurprisingly, this starts out with the claim that these questions are only for “sincere” skeptics, which in evangel-speak, those who are going to agree with the Christian.  The rest of us are to be deemed insincere and thus untrustworthy since we dare not to agree with the particular version of Christianity presented. 

“1) What would it take to persuade you to become a believer?”

Evidence.  And do specify which version of Christianity I’m supposed to become a believer in. Oh and what would it take for you to become a Wicca (or insert any religion here)?

“2) If you could be persuaded that Christianity is true, would you become a Christian?”

Nope, the god described is ignorant and violent.  I have better standards than that.

“3) Do you believe that it’s absolutely true that all truth is relative, or that it’s only relatively true that absolute truth exists?”

A rather hilariously phrased question.  There are truths aka facts.  Nothing shows that any religion’s baseless claims are facts.

“4) On what ground do you (or anyone else) stand to object[1]ively answer the previous question?”

Facts existing.  If you don’t accept facts, do put your hand in some molten steel to check if reality is an opinion.

“5) Would you agree that one can be legitimately persuaded about what is true on the basis of a preponderance of evidence, not just on the basis of 100% empirical proof?”

Yep.  Nice admission that you have no evidence.

“6) Are you only skeptical about Christianity, or are you unsure about just how many gods you doubt, about the reality of knowledge itself, or about whether you even actually exist?”

Another hilariously phrased question by someone desperate to make a “gotcha” question.  There is no evidence for *any* god.  No reason to doubt reality (see molten steel point above) or my existence.  But nice try to find a gap for your god.  

“7) Is it possible that your skepticism is based on pride or on a lack of effort to resolve it?”

Nope.  I’m not the one who has made up a god in their image. What I have is self-respect and I don’t need to believe in a petty god.   

“8) Is it possible that your unbelief in a perfect God is the result of some negative experience that you’ve had with imperfect Christians?”

Nope, they were perfect Christians e.g. humans who think that some imaginary being agrees with them.  Some were nice, some weren’t.  Still no evidence for their versions, and your version, of a god.  

“9) If every effect has a cause, who or what caused the cosmos?”

Don’t know.  Still no evidence for your god.  

“10) From whence derives humanity’s universal moral sense?”

There is no such thing as “humanity’s universal moral sense”.  We do have some morals in common since they help civilization work.  And funny how Christians can’t agree what morals their god wants.  

“11) Please explain how personality could have evolved from impersonal matter, or how order and the irreducibly complex components of life could have resulted from chaos.”

 Don’t quite know yet.  Still no evidence for your god. 

“12) Are you able to live consistently and happily with every aspect of your present worldview and skepticism?”

Yep.  This is the common Christian attempt to claim that atheists *must* be nihilists.  Happily we aren’t, and Chritsianity has no lock on benevolence or humaneness.  

“13) Wouldn’t it make better sense to live as though the God of the Bible exists rather than to live as though He doesn’t, just in case He does?”

Nothing more than Pascal’s Wager.   Takes a stupid god to accept people who are believing “just in case”.

“14) In what sense was Jesus a ‘Good Man’ if He was lying in His claims to be God?”

Jesus is imaginary.  The unknown author was writing down baseless claims.  Just like any guy who wrote a myth down e.g. Hesiod, etc.

“15) Most people are unwilling to write off Jesus’ claims to be God as mere self-delusion, pathological lying, early-on rumors that got out of hand, or the idea that He was an alien first-century avatar. But if one of those postulates are realistic, how would you explain His claims?”

I do wonder, who the heck has said that Jesus was an alien?   This is a variant on the lord liar lunatic nonsense that forgets one “L”:  legend.  These weren’t JC’s claims; they were the unknown authors.  

“16) How do you explain how one man with no formal education, who was virtually untrav[1]eled, and died at age 33, is still today radically affecting lives and society?”

Hmmm, do you explain how one man with no formal education, who was virtually untraveled, and died at age 62, is still today radically affecting lives and society?   Oh yeah, that was Mohammed.  No evidence of JC at all. The answer, people are gullible. 

“17) If Jesus’ resurrection was faked, why would 11 intelligent middle-aged men (Jesus’ disciples) have willingly died for what they knew to be a lie?”

There is no evidence of apostles either.  All you have is a set of claims aka the bible.  Claims of martyrdom are baseless.  

18) Have you ever considered the fact that Christianity is the only religion whose leader is reported to have risen from the dead?

 Yes.  So?  No evidence of that at all.

19) How do you explain the empty tomb of Jesus given the fact that credentialed scholars have countered every single attempt to refute it, e.g. the swoon theory, hallucination theory, stolen body hypothesis, etc.?

Christians can’t agree on the tomb’s location, so no reason to think that one was ever full or emptied.  It’s a story.

“20) How can one realistically discount the eyewitness testimony of over 500 witnesses to a living Jesus following His crucifixion (see 1 Corinthians 15:6)?”

ROFL.  There is no such thing as eyewitness testimony of over 500 people. There is a claim of 500 unknown people seeing Jesus, written by an unknown author.   Nice try to lie about what the bible says: “Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.”

“21) How do you explain David’s graphic portrayal of Jesus’ death by crucifixion in Psalm 22, written 600 years or more previous to crucifixion ever even being used as a form of capital punishment?”

Psalm 22 literally has not one mention of anything (the rest of the article about the psalm: 2nd part, 3rd part) like cruxifiction.  It does mention shriveled feet, and a lot about cows, and dogs and lions (but no tigers or bears).     

“22) Why does the Bible alone, of all of the world’s sacred literature, contain hundreds and hundreds of meticulously fulfilled prophecies?”

It doesn’t have “meticulously fulfilled prophecies” either.   Not one bit can be shown to be a coherent prophecy.

“23) How did 40 men of many varied professions, over a period of 1,500 years, and living on three separate continents, ever manage to author one unified message, i.e. the Bible?”

No evidence of any of these claims e.g. “40 men”, on separate “continents”, and over 1500 years.  As for a unified message?  ROFL.  Oh my.  The poor bible is a mash of contradicting messages.  How do we know?  It takes an entire industry of “apologetics” to try to make it make sense, and even apologists don’t agree.

“24) How is it reasonable to doubt the reliability of Scripture considering the fact that the number of copies of Bible manuscripts and their proximity to the original manuscripts far exceeds that of all other ancient literature?”

No “original manuscripts” so this claim is simply a lie from the start.   Add to that the number of copies or accuracy makes nothing true.  If this was the case, Dianetics is more true than the bible, and we’re all in danger of thetan infestation.

“25) How do you account for the vast ongoing archaeological documentation of the accuracy of Bible stories, places, and people?”

There is no “ongoing archaeological documentation of the accuracy of the bible”.  What we do find is that the claims of the bible are unsupported by archaeology e.g. the nonsense of “exodus” never happened.   

“26) Why were/are so many brilliant scientists, dead and alive, men and women of strong Christian faith?”

Argument from authority logical fallacy.  The Christian also fails to mention that the various people he is claiming were/are from vastly different versions of Christianity.   

“27) Because earth and life origins are observable, verifiable, or falsifiable, how does so-called historical science amount to anything more than just another faith system?”

“Historical science?”     

“28) How is the Second Law of Thermodynamics reconcilable with modern progress[1]ive naturalistic evolutionary theory?”

Again, the Christian demonstrates a complete ignorance of the laws of thermodynamics.  The poor dears can’t grasp that we are not in a closed system. 

“29) If you are nothing more than the random assembly of molecules over vast eons of time, and if you will therefore soon cease to exist, why care about anything? Why go on?”

Why not? I’m enjoying myself. Here the poor Christian is using the typical fear and ignorance his religion requires to exist.  He also tries to pretend that atheists have to be nihilists.  Happily, most of us aren’t. 

“Why oh why aren’t people flocking to Christianity anymore?” ask the believers.  Because apologetics fail.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – that “convoy”

So, where was that “convoy” that was going to show how upset people were? You know, the one that the treasonous idiots claimed was a-comin’ from California and Alabama?

Oh yes, it was a lie told by cowards aka supporters of trump, anti-vaxxers, wannabee nazis, white supremacists, and other failures.

I grew up seeing truckers as a kind of hero (oh yes, I am a child of the 70s and 80s). They seemed to have ignored these morons,so perhaps most are.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the cowards of January 6

“A 37-year-old Pa. man awaiting up to a 20-year prison sentence for his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has taken his own life, instead.

KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh reports the obituary for Matthew Perna of Mercer County quotes his family as saying he died last week of a “broken heart” and “the justice system killed his spirit and his zest for life.””

Poor thing, he tried to attack the government, got people killed, was held accountable and couldn’t accept that he failed. Even his obituary ended up with lies to cover up his failure.

“He attended the rally on January 6, 2021 to peacefully stand up for his beliefs. After learning that the FBI was looking for him, he immediately turned himself in. He entered the Capitol through a previously opened door (he did not break in as was reported) where he was ushered in by police. He didn’t break, touch, or steal anything. He did not harm anyone, as he stayed within the velvet ropes taking pictures. For this act he has been persecuted by many members of his community, friends, relatives, and people who had never met him. Many people were quietly supportive, and Matt was truly grateful for them. The constant delays in hearings, and postponements dragged out for over a year. Because of this, Matt’s heart broke and his spirit died, and many people are responsible for the pain he endured. Matt did not have a hateful bone in his body. He embraced people of all races, income brackets, and beliefs, never once berating anyone for having different views.”

quite the set of false claims there. There was no “ushering in by police”. If everyone recalls, the police were trying to keep these idiots out.

The video is very disturbing and shows someone in desperate pain.

and oh my. “Matt’s family stood by him during this devastating ordeal, and are extremely proud of his passion for life and his pursuit of many dreams. His actions last year are not looked down upon, instead his family is grateful and humbled by his courage. They say God never gives anyone more than they can handle. That statement is not Biblical, nor is it true. Rest Easy Matt, you are finally FREE!”

Suicide not the action of someone who was given something they can handle. And actually the bible does say that this god won’t give you moer than you can handle.

13 No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.” 1 corinthians 10

” Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 4

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34

He killed his own spirit and zest for life by believing an idiot like Trump and the QAnon liars. No one else is responsible.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – attempts to declare one religion “better” doesn’t work out so well

I do love a completely clueless post by John Clayton, over at Does God Exist.  He tries very hard to declare that Christianity is ever so much better than Islam.

To give some background, John tries to claim that he was once an atheist who became a Christian because “science”.  Alas, not one thing about science says that one particular religion is true.  He’s also apparently an old earth creationist, who has no more evidence that nonsense is true than the young earth creationists.  Oh but he is quite proud to claim how wrong they are.   This is a man whose entire reason to believe in his god is a god of the gaps argument:  humans can’t explain everything, so “god” or in his words “I began to realize that science had its limitations — that science, in fact, strongly pointed to other explanations than natural ones to certain questions.”

This is a man who can’t give a name to the supposed “brilliant well known atheist” and geology professor who supposedly taught at Indiana University who said he would show how the bible is garbage.  This is simply a repetition of a common Christian story that comes up in movies like “God is Not Dead”.  Alas, no Christian has ever been able to show a single professor who supposedly did what they claim. 

John’s tendency to think he’s right and everyone else is wrong continues in all of his writings.  Most recently he claims how wrong Islam is and how right his version of Christianity is.  Of course, he is blind to the fact that he uses just as many baseless claims and conveniently ignores his bible when it makes just as silly claims as the qu’ran. 

First we start with John’s claim, as noted above that science showed him his god exists and not everything can be known by science.  Muslims use the same claims (contrast it with Christian attitudes), that there has to be a god since humans don’t know everything yet.  He also claims that he had no reason to think that the “right” god was the Christian one.  Hmmm, nothing but his entire culture being largely Christian. 

He also says he compared what JC ways and what Mo says and that told him who is the right one.  And thus tries to claim that Islam is wrong.

In addition to some scientific errors, the Koran has teachings that denigrate women. “

Hmmm, funny how the bible has these too.  

Here’s a few scientific errors:  Humans with lifespans in the multiple hundreds of years (John tries to claim that the term years wasn’t “really” meant by the bible authors).  Hailstones are kept in magic warehouses.  A worldwide flood.  A tower that this god is sure could reach it.  Sitting on a mountain would allow you to see all of the earth (that only would work on a flat earth), whales can carry men around inside them for 3 days, etc.    

Then, about women:

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”  1 Corinthians 14

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” 1 Timothy 2

I like that last one.  Eve at least was deceived by a superpowerful being.  Adam just was being an idiot.  And funny how Paul is sure that only childbearing gets a woman saved.  I guess it sucks if you are not fertile.

There is also where women are called property, Exodus 20, where women are given over to rapists to protect some “man of god”, women are given as war booty to be raped (and this god requires some of them too, Numbers 31), women are unclean after having children, etc etc.  One can see the very long list of how women are denigrated, raped, and otherwise harmed per this god here.  One word of caution, the SAB sometimes does push it when it uses some verses to prove a point.  However, most are quite valid.

“It also commands violence.”

Gee, the bible does too. Here’s a great bit by JC.  “Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God[e])— 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”” Mark 7

JC is upset that children aren’t killed for “speaking evil” about their parents.  We also have JC having no problem with killing children, see the flood, the plagues.  It’s okay for a man to be blinded so this god can show off. 

‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”” Luke 19

Christians will claim that this is *only* a parable.   Hmmm, if so what does this “really” mean then, and do tell who the “nobleman” is in the parable.

“Let me hasten to say that my Muslim acquaintances are as disturbed as I am with these teachings and would never participate in them. The problem is with the teachings of Mohammad, not what all Muslims do.”

Yep, Christians also pick and choose what they do.  Their supposed messiah says that all of the laws in the bible are to be followed, so where are these folks when people are daring to work on the sabbath? 

Of course, *all* of Revelation is advocating violence toward anyone not a Christian. Christians like John don’t much like that book being mentioned.

However, recent events in Pakistan have shown that Muslims in that part of the world follow those teachings of Mohammad.”

Yep, Christians do the same.  We get to see accounts of violence by Christians that fit quite nicely with what this god supposedly commands.  That’s why we have Christians attacking abortion clinics, doctors, homosexual people, killing their own kids because they are sure that this god will heal them or because they think it’s better than to allow the kids to “sin”, etc all because of what the bible says to do.  If we did not have secular laws in the US, I think it is safe to say that things would be quite a bit worse. 

As a man convinced that God exists, I could not embrace a book that taught things I knew were destructive and untrue. When I read the teachings of Jesus Christ, I saw a plea for peace, love, and non-violence. He elevated women and refused to return evil for evil. I saw the striking contrast between the teachings of Mohammad and Jesus Christ.”

Yep, John ignores those bits that don’t confirm with the fantasy he’s invented, a god in his own image.  Just like Muslims.  As shown above, the bible is full of things that are destructive and untrue.  Alas, lots in the bible is “do what I say, not as I do” when it comes to JesusGod and violence. 

“If you have doubts about the teachings of Christ and Mohammad, I would encourage you to get a copy of the Koran and read all of it. Then read Matthew through at least chapter seven.”

Oh, the whole way to chapter 7, eh?  Hmmm, if you read further, you find many of what I’ve cited above.  Seems that someone is trying to cover up how his religion is no better than any one else’s. 

“Although there are many good things in the Koran, it also calls for a cultural dependence on violence and servitude.”

Yep, you can say the same about the bible, with verse after verse about obedience, how great slavery is, and violence (see above).  Happily, we can ignore all religions since no one needs a god, or John, to know what does help humans and civilization. 

There’s plenty of websites that list “difficult passages” of the bible too (evil bible is a good one).  Of course, both sets of believers will try to invent reasons why their “holy books” don’t “really” mean what they literally say.  Do see the Skeptics Annotated Bible and Qu’ran to see just how ridiculous, and similar, both are.

Why Can’t We See God?

Funny how this claim from a Christian fails completely. If this is the case: “The answer is that if God allowed us to see him, we would indeed choose to love and worship him, but it would be by force. Out of fear of Hell we would love and worship God, and that is not what God wants. God wants people to choose to love and worship him of their own free will.”

the Christian must answer, why did this god show itself constantly in the bible, and there was no problem with it “once upon a time”?

Christians often don’t think very hard about their arguments. They react thoughtlessly in their need to excuse their god’s nonexistence.

Philosophical Logic

It is often asked by those who don’t believe in Jesus, “Why can’t we see God?” The answer is that if God allowed us to see him, we would indeed choose to love and worship him, but it would be by force. Out of fear of Hell we would love and worship God, and that is not what God wants. God wants people to choose to love and worship him of their own free will.

So how is God to preserve free will, and at the same time, make it possible for people to know him? God’s system is this, he proves his existence through the creation, and he proves his specific identity through his word. This means everyone knows a God exists when they look at the world, but they don’t have to come to Jesus if they don’t want to. They can choose not to read the New…

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