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Some Anti-Theist Religious Bits & Pieces: Round Eighteen - by John Prytz

Of all of those Big Questions central tophilosophical concepts that surround life, the universe and everything, therealms of theology and religions and the nature of deities continue tofascinate. Opinions proliferate in books, articles, videos, conversations inbars and pubs, and in fact anywhere and everywhere two or more humans are inproximity. There's the pro side; there's the anti-side. There aren't too manyfence-sitters. I'm still in the anti-camp as the following bits and piecesillustrate.

Regarding the Bible


*Why in the Genesis creation tales (both of them) isn'tanything of a unicellular / microorganism / bacteria / virus mentioned? Maybebecause the purely human writers of Genesis hadn't a clue about germs, etc. IfGod had created them you'd think that they would have gotten at least onesentence!


*Pseudo-historian and extreme right-wing Christian DavidBarton has claimed that if any one part of the Bible is shown to behistorically accurate and true then all of the Bible is historically accurateand true. Does anyone apart from me see an obvious flaw in that reasoning?


*If Grimm related that a man lived inside of a large fishfor three days and nights, and the Bible had a story about a a man named jackwho climbed this very, very tall beanstalk, what's the real difference? Bothare tall tales.


*Even if you think that you get your evidence from thegospels, that's not collaboration that the gospels are actually accurate andhistorically true.


*The Bible no more proves the existence of Noah andMoses, or of Adam and Eve, than "The Hound of the Baskervilles"proves that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson actually exist or that"1984" gives reality of substance and structure to Big Brother.


*Tolerance is unbiblical.


*Just because there might be some degree of consistencywithin a Biblical narrative doesn't of necessity - as some theists argue - makethat narrative true.


*Made up shit that's not in the Bible:

- The Pope.

- The infallible Pope.

- Celibacy for priests.

- Women can't be priests.

- Confession.

- No meat on Fridays.


Regarding the Exodus


*With God's 'help', a two-week walk takes 40 years! Thatshould be a prime entry in "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" series.


Regarding God


*If God defeated the devil / Satan, and God is alleged tobe all-powerful after all so it shouldn't be a real problem, then there's nostory left to tell. That is why Superman can never defeat Lex Luthor and Batmanthe Joker. 


*The very fact that the debate over the very existence ofthe Christian God still drags on and on and on clearly means that TrueBelievers, Christian theists, have failed to come up with the smoking gunevidence to convince the atheistic skeptics. So non-believers have no realreason to believe Christian theists. As the saying goes, what can be assertedwithout evidence can be rejected without evidence!


*Why there is something rather than nothing is NOT anargument for the existence of God since one can then ask why there is a Godrather than nothing? Where did God come from?


*So here we have human humans (i.e. - Homo sapiens)existing for at least 100,000 years if not double that, and then for 95,000years (or even 195,000 years) God totally ignored us, and then, and only then,then being the past 5,000 years or thereabouts, God reveals Himself to one andonly one relatively small region on Planet Earth (although all continents exceptAntarctica were human inhabited) and one of the most barbaric of regions atthat. It all makes no sense.


*God rested on the seventh day (of creation). Has Herested on any day since then? Given that He has actually done anything inthousands of years, He probably doesn't need to.


*Why does God always give His revelations to people inprivate settings instead of giving them to everyone in the public square?


*What kind of God relies on faith as a pathway to Hisexistence instead of on evidence as a pathway to His existence? It's notrational. 


*Why does an omnipotent God need mere humans to persecutethe LGBT community or abortionists or other people who rub God the wrong way?Why doesn't God deal with these folks directly?


*Why did it take an omnipotent being (i.e. - God) fivetimes longer to create one tiny speck of planetary dust (i.e. - Planet Earth& terrestrial life) than it did to create the entire rest of the entirecosmos? It's like it takes you five times longer to decorate one room than ittook to build all of the buildings and all of the rooms in an entire mega-city.


*God is true in His existence and you believe that is soif you can't falsify or disprove that belief in God and His existence. Thequestion is, does that also mean you believe in each and every otheralternative concept of a deity's existence (i.e. - Zeus) just because you can'tfalsify and disprove their actual existence. Logically, you should. Further,you should believe in the existence of anything and everything you can'tfalsify or disprove!


*A warm fuzzy spiritual feeling in your gut is notevidence for the actual existence of God.


*For a God who can create anything and everything, whydoes He have to give detailed instructions to humans as regards to buildingNoah's Ark or the Ark of the Covenant?


*If God is some sort of cosmic overlord who isomnipresent over the entire cosmos, why is He so fixated on just one smalltribe located in just one tiny geographical region of just one small speck ofcosmic dust - Planet Earth? Further, why hasn't He actually done anything inyonks - in thousands of years? Aron Ra makes the analogy that God is very muchlike Doctor Who. Doctor Who can travel anywhere in space and in time yet heseems to spend an extraordinary amount of time in late 20th Century and early21st Century England!


*God is omnipresent and omniscient and so, like BigBrother, God is always watching you, even when you're on the toilet! 


*God created man and woman with original sin. Then Goddestroyed most of them for sinning. Then God impregnated a woman with Himselfas her child, so that He could be born. Later, He killed Himself as a sacrificeto Himself to save all of you from the sin God gave you in the first place. Ifthat's not pure B.S. I don't know what is.


*If an all-knowing God exists then He knows exactly whatit would take for Him to convince me that He actually exists. That that hasn'thappened means either God doesn't give a damn about proving Himself to me(although He apparently made a very few exceptions to selected individualsthousands of years ago), or else He doesn't exist.


*God must have created imperfection given that Eve (aperfect being) 'sinned' while still in that perfect state.


RegardingGod Being Omniscient


*Whydoes God have to test Abraham's faith (vis-a-vis killing his son) when God isall-knowing?


RegardingGod Being Omnipotent


*Judges1:19 "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of themountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because theyhad chariots of iron." Not so all-powerful now was the Lord, was He?


Regarding God's 'Morality'


*Theists say that God's laws and actionstrump human laws and the actions of humans. Therefore, according to atheists,you can justify anything you do based on Biblical texts providing as long asGod also did it; God ordered it; God condones it. Good luck with that defensestrategy in the courtroom for you'll quickly find out that human law and humanactions trumps God's laws and God's actions.


*God allows an evil act to exist or tohappen. A human tries to prevent that evil act from existing or happening - ifthey can. That's the moral difference between humans and God. In other words,God seemed perfectly okay with Nazi Germany and the Third Reich and theattempted extermination of His Chosen People. God did nothing to stop Hitlerand company. It was up to way more moral humans to act against the Third Reich,and stop the slaughter. This is hardly a unique example. The point is that Godnever intervenes to stop evil. Humans often do either by fate or bydesign.   


*God blames and punished children for the sinful actionsof their ancestors. How is that moral? (Exodus 20: 5 and 34: 7; Numbers 14: 18;Deuteronomy 5: 9 and 23: 2-3.)


*Regarding human sin: God is apparently going to judge ussinners as being worthy or not worthy of an eternal life with Him. The tablesshould be turned. In fact I should request that God should confess His sins tome (upon my alleged Judgment Day) so I can judge Him worthy of spending timewith. Let's not forget that God has committed far more actual sins than I (orprobably any one human) have.


*If you face some sort of final judgment, you certainlywant to face an unbiased, impartial judge. That rules God out who's clearlybiased against certain tribes. That's why I like the ancient Egyptian form ofthe final judgment. The ancient Egyptian gods supervise but don't themselvesjudge. Your heart (which is where the Egyptians actually thought your 'soul'resided) was weighed on an independently impartial scale against a feather. Ifyour heart was pure it balanced against the feather and you then went on,passed go and collected your $200 afterlife dollars. If your heart was impure,it wouldn't balance the feather and it then got gobbled up by a monster andthat was the end of that. No afterlife; just total oblivion. 


*If God sends me to hell, at least I'll have thesatisfaction of knowing that I'm more moral than the God who sent methere. 


Regarding God's Ten Commandments


*The original Ten Commandments (althoughnot the final version) we get rather unimportant stuff like no other godsbefore God, and no worshipping idols and no taking God's name in vain and donot work on the Sabbath, etc. So what's missing that any moral deity wouldhave, and should have included? Well what about thou shall not commit rape;thou shall not commit genocide; thou shall not own another human being(slavery) [#]; thou shall, as parents love your children; thou shall not commitchild abuse; thou shall not commit animal abuse; thou shall protect theenvironment; and of course thou shall endorse women's rights.  

[#] That all the more the case given God'sactions in Exodus - "Let my people go".


*The question really boils down to,couldn't YOU have done a hell of a lot better job in coming up with the TenCommandments?


Regarding Jesus


*What was the point of actually turning water into wineand exactly where did those additional carbon atoms come from?


*Those claiming that Jesus was a real person have simplynot met their burden of proof. We wouldn't allow the type of evidence used to provethe historicity of Jesus for any other historical figure yet we allow thischaracter to seemingly automatically find his way into the history books.


*If Jesus arose from the dead, doesn't that make him azombie, one of the walking dead?


*Jesus according to most is either Lord, Liar, Lunatic orLegend. Taking each in turn.


Lord: Billions of past and present True Believers haveadopted the Christian faith on the grounds that Jesus was Lord with all thatimplies for themselves, well basically, their afterlife chances. They arelooking out for Number One. Unfortunately, there's no non-Biblical source(s)that can be independently verified that Jesus was anything but a human mortalat best and mythological at worst. Jesus as Lord is as verifiable as the verificationof fairies at the bottom of your garden, and no, just because billions have anddo believe doesn't make it so. The majority doesn't rule. The majority isn't apathway to the truth.


Liar: We note from the TV program "House, M.D."that everybody lies. We all tell big lies and small lies and white lies andnecessary lies, and of course fibs too, etc. No doubt Jesus lied when it suitedhis agenda and his interests to lie.


Lunatic: Throughout human history there have beenthousands of perfectly mortal humans who have given themselves divine status.Mental illnesses manifests themselves in all manner of ways, including beingdelusional. There have been modern examples of such individuals, often formingcults, and often culminating in very bad endings. Further, there's no reason tobelieve that mental illnesses are only a modern phenomenon. So, IMHO, theLunatic Hypothesis is probably the best answer. I mean it wasn't as if the ideaof a Messiah wasn't unknown concept back there and back then. The incident ofcursing the fig tree might be an illustration of a time when Jesus lost hiscool! 


Legend: Given the trillions of words written and spokenabout Jesus, plus the hundreds of books and dozens of films / documentariesabout Jesus as well as the multi-thousands of images of Jesus (totally made upby the way), and the multi-millions who wear Jesus-on-the-cross pendants, yes,you could probably assign him legendary status. But that equally applies ofcourse to Santa Claus or even Hercules for that matter. Even really real peoplefrom roughly that era like Alexander the Great or Cleopatra VII have achievedlegendary status.  


*There are many parallels with Jesus thus not makingJesus a unique entity. For example, there's the myths and legends regarding thebirth, life, death and resurrection surrounding Horus, Attis, Krishna,Dionysus, Mithra, Osiris, Adonis, Romulus, Inanna, Zalmoxis and even Hercules.


*Healing the sick and raising the dead aren't skillsconfined to Jesus. Healing the sick isn't that big a deal since 1) sickness canoften be healed by the body over the fullness of time naturally; 2) there's theproven demonstration of the power of positive thinking - the placebo effect;and 3) some healers just might do the right thing at the right time to achievethe right results. However, raising the dead is a different horse of anothercolor, and I'm excluding here the whole walking dead / zombie facet from thissince that too is a different horse of another color. Consider the followinghistorical story.


*Cabeza de Vaca was just one of the ordinary Spanishsoldiers known as the Conquistadors who invaded and conquered the Aztec andIncan empires in the 1500's. Alas, this particular individual was shipwreckedoff of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast and only he and three other of hiscompanions survived. Thus began an eight-year odyssey (November 1528 to June1536), an epic journey on foot across Texas and the U.S. / Mexican borderregion to the Gulf of California before being united with their fellowcountrymen, the Spaniards. They of course spent a lot of time with the NativeAmericans on that journey. And therein developed amongst the natives the legendthat Cabeza de Vaca and his three companions not only had the shamanistic powerto heal the sick but also to raise up their dead! There exists texts andartworks available to this day attesting to and depicting these Spanishhealers, especially by Cabeza de Vaca [1]. And I rather suspect that if onewere to do an exhaustive search of the literature you'd find other myths andlegends surrounding ordinary mortals who healed the sick but more to the pointraised the dead.  Now either you have toadmit that Jesus doesn't have a monopoly on healing the sick and raising thedead, OR that myths and legends can and do take hold based on little or even noactual evidence. Real news can quickly become fake news and real facts turninto alternative facts with every telling and retelling of the story inquestion.


[1] Wood, Michael; "The adventure of Cabeza de Vaca"(in) Conquistadors; BBC, London; 2000; pages 231-265.


Regarding Atheists & Atheism


*Atheists are angry because they have somelegitimate reasons to be angry. Few people would vote for an atheist forpresident even if they were super-qualified in every other aspect. In manyplaces atheists couldn't testify in court or serve on juries or hold publicoffice. Atheists are often denied custody of their children just because oftheir atheism. Atheists often have to advocate their atheism anomalouslybecause if identified they will be executed - Iran for example. But especially,atheists are usually condemned by theists to suffer eternal torment / torture /damnation because they just don't play in the same theological sandbox as thetheist, no matter how decent the atheist might otherwise be.


*Atheism is a religion in the same waythat abstinence is a sexual position. (via Bill Maher.)

Science librarian; retired.

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