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Some Anti-Theist Religious Bits & Pieces: Round Eighteen
Of all of those Big Questions central to philosophical concepts that surround life, the universe and everything, the realms of theology and religions and the nature of deities continue to fascinate. Opinions proliferate in books, articles, videos, conversations in bars and pubs, and in fact anywhere and everywhere two or more humans are in proximity. There’s the pro side; there’s the anti-side. There aren’t too many fence-sitters. I’m still in the anti-camp as the following bits and pieces illustrate.
Regarding the Bible
*Why in the Genesis creation tales (both of them) isn’t anything of a unicellular / microorganism / bacteria / virus mentioned? Maybe because the purely human writers of Genesis hadn’t a clue about germs, etc. If God had created them you’d think that they would have gotten at least one sentence!
*Pseudo-historian and extreme right-wing Christian David Barton has claimed that if any one part of the Bible is shown to be historically accurate and true then all of the Bible is historically accurate and true. Does anyone apart from me see an obvious flaw in that reasoning?
*If Grimm related that a man lived inside of a large fish for three days and nights, and the Bible had a story about a a man named jack who climbed this very, very tall beanstalk, what’s the real difference? Both are tall tales.
*Even if you think that you get your evidence from the gospels, that’s not collaboration that the gospels are actually accurate and historically true.
*The Bible no more proves the existence of Noah and Moses, 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 consistency within a Biblical narrative doesn’t of necessity – as some theists argue – make that narrative true.
*Made up shit that’s not in the Bible:
– The Pope.
– The infallible Pope.
– Celibacy for priests.
– Women can’t be priests.
– No meat on Fridays.
Regarding the Exodus
*With God’s ‘help’, a two-week walk takes 40 years! That should be a prime entry in “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” series.
*If God defeated the devil / Satan, and God is alleged to be all-powerful after all so it shouldn’t be a real problem, then there’s no story left to tell. That is why Superman can never defeat Lex Luthor and Batman the Joker.
*The very fact that the debate over the very existence of the Christian God still drags on and on and on clearly means that True Believers, Christian theists, have failed to come up with the smoking gun evidence to convince the atheistic skeptics. So non-believers have no real reason to believe Christian theists. As the saying goes, what can be asserted without evidence can be rejected without evidence!
*Why there is something rather than nothing is NOT an argument for the existence of God since one can then ask why there is a God rather 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 95,000 years (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 and only one relatively small region on Planet Earth (although all continents except Antarctica were human inhabited) and one of the most barbaric of regions at that. It all makes no sense.
*God rested on the seventh day (of creation). Has He rested on any day since then? Given that He has actually done anything in thousands of years, He probably doesn’t need to.
*Why does God always give His revelations to people in private settings instead of giving them to everyone in the public square?
*What kind of God relies on faith as a pathway to His existence instead of on evidence as a pathway to His existence? It’s not rational.
*Why does an omnipotent God need mere humans to persecute the 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) five times 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 entire cosmos? It’s like it takes you five times longer to decorate one room than it took 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 so if you can’t falsify or disprove that belief in God and His existence. The question is, does that also mean you believe in each and every other alternative concept of a deity’s existence (i.e. – Zeus) just because you can’t falsify and disprove their actual existence. Logically, you should. Further, you should believe in the existence of anything and everything you can’t falsify or disprove!
*A warm fuzzy spiritual feeling in your gut is not evidence for the actual existence of God.
*For a God who can create anything and everything, why does He have to give detailed instructions to humans as regards to building Noah’s Ark or the Ark of the Covenant?
*If God is some sort of cosmic overlord who is omnipresent over the entire cosmos, why is He so fixated on just one small tribe located in just one tiny geographical region of just one small speck of cosmic dust – Planet Earth? Further, why hasn’t He actually done anything in yonks – in thousands of years? Aron Ra makes the analogy that God is very much like Doctor Who. Doctor Who can travel anywhere in space and in time yet he seems to spend an extraordinary amount of time in late 20th Century and early 21st Century England!
*God is omnipresent and omniscient and so, like Big Brother, God is always watching you, even when you’re on the toilet!
*God created man and woman with original sin. Then God destroyed most of them for sinning. Then God impregnated a woman with Himself as her child, so that He could be born. Later, He killed Himself as a sacrifice to Himself to save all of you from the sin God gave you in the first place. If that’s not pure B.S. I don’t know what is.
*If an all-knowing God exists then He knows exactly what it would take for Him to convince me that He actually exists. That that hasn’t happened means either God doesn’t give a damn about proving Himself to me (although He apparently made a very few exceptions to selected individuals thousands of years ago), or else He doesn’t exist.
*God must have created imperfection given that Eve (a perfect being) ‘sinned’ while still in that perfect state.
Regarding God Being Omniscient
*Why does God have to test Abraham’s faith (vis-a-vis killing his son) when God is all-knowing?
Regarding God Being Omnipotent
*Judges 1:19 “And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.” Not so all-powerful now was the Lord, was He?
Regarding God’s ‘Morality’
*Theists say that God’s laws and actions trump human laws and the actions of humans. Therefore, according to atheists, you can justify anything you do based on Biblical texts providing as long as God also did it; God ordered it; God condones it. Good luck with that defense strategy in the courtroom for you’ll quickly find out that human law and human actions trumps God’s laws and God’s actions.
*God allows an evil act to exist or to happen. A human tries to prevent that evil act from existing or happening – if they 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 the attempted extermination of His Chosen People. God did nothing to stop Hitler and 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 God never intervenes to stop evil. Humans often do either by fate or by design.
*God blames and punished children for the sinful actions of 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 us sinners as being worthy or not worthy of an eternal life with Him. The tables should be turned. In fact I should request that God should confess His sins to me (upon my alleged Judgment Day) so I can judge Him worthy of spending time with. Let’s not forget that God has committed far more actual sins than I (or probably any one human) have.
*If you face some sort of final judgment, you certainly want to face an unbiased, impartial judge. That rules God out who’s clearly biased against certain tribes. That’s why I like the ancient Egyptian form of the final judgment. The ancient Egyptian gods supervise but don’t themselves judge. Your heart (which is where the Egyptians actually thought your ‘soul’ resided) was weighed on an independently impartial scale against a feather. If your 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 and that was the end of that. No afterlife; just total oblivion.
*If God sends me to hell, at least I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m more moral than the God who sent me there.
Regarding God’s Ten Commandments
*The original Ten Commandments (although not the final version) we get rather unimportant stuff like no other gods before God, and no worshipping idols and no taking God’s name in vain and do not work on the Sabbath, etc. So what’s missing that any moral deity would have, 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 commit child abuse; thou shall not commit animal abuse; thou shall protect the environment; and of course thou shall endorse women’s rights.
[#] That all the more the case given God’s actions 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 Ten Commandments?
*What was the point of actually turning water into wine and exactly where did those additional carbon atoms come from?
*Those claiming that Jesus was a real person have simply not met their burden of proof. We wouldn’t allow the type of evidence used to prove the historicity of Jesus for any other historical figure yet we allow this character to seemingly automatically find his way into the history books.
*If Jesus arose from the dead, doesn’t that make him a zombie, one of the walking dead?
*Jesus according to most is either Lord, Liar, Lunatic or Legend. Taking each in turn.
Lord: Billions of past and present True Believers have adopted the Christian faith on the grounds that Jesus was Lord with all that implies for themselves, well basically, their afterlife chances. They are looking out for Number One. Unfortunately, there’s no non-Biblical source(s) that can be independently verified that Jesus was anything but a human mortal at best and mythological at worst. Jesus as Lord is as verifiable as the verification of fairies at the bottom of your garden, and no, just because billions have and do believe doesn’t make it so. The majority doesn’t rule. The majority isn’t a pathway 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 and necessary lies, and of course fibs too, etc. No doubt Jesus lied when it suited his agenda and his interests to lie.
Lunatic: Throughout human history there have been thousands of perfectly mortal humans who have given themselves divine status. Mental illnesses manifests themselves in all manner of ways, including being delusional. There have been modern examples of such individuals, often forming cults, and often culminating in very bad endings. Further, there’s no reason to believe that mental illnesses are only a modern phenomenon. So, IMHO, the Lunatic Hypothesis is probably the best answer. I mean it wasn’t as if the idea of a Messiah wasn’t unknown concept back there and back then. The incident of cursing the fig tree might be an illustration of a time when Jesus lost his cool!
Legend: Given the trillions of words written and spoken about Jesus, plus the hundreds of books and dozens of films / documentaries about Jesus as well as the multi-thousands of images of Jesus (totally made up by 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 of course to Santa Claus or even Hercules for that matter. Even really real people from roughly that era like Alexander the Great or Cleopatra VII have achieved legendary status.
*There are many parallels with Jesus thus not making Jesus a unique entity. For example, there’s the myths and legends regarding the birth, 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 skills confined to Jesus. Healing the sick isn’t that big a deal since 1) sickness can often be healed by the body over the fullness of time naturally; 2) there’s the proven 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 achieve the right results. However, raising the dead is a different horse of another colour, and I’m excluding here the whole walking dead / zombie facet from this since that too is a different horse of another colour. Consider the following historical story.
*Cabeza de Vaca was just one of the ordinary Spanish soldiers known as the Conquistadors who invaded and conquered the Aztec and Incan empires in the 1500’s. Alas, this particular individual was shipwrecked off of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast and only he and three other of his companions survived. Thus began an eight-year odyssey (November 1528 to June 1536), an epic journey on foot across Texas and the U.S. / Mexican border region to the Gulf of California before being united with their fellow countrymen, the Spaniards. They of course spent a lot of time with the Native Americans on that journey. And therein developed amongst the natives the legend that Cabeza de Vaca and his three companions not only had the shamanistic power to heal the sick but also to raise up their dead! There exists texts and artworks available to this day attesting to and depicting these Spanish healers, especially by Cabeza de Vaca . And I rather suspect that if one were to do an exhaustive search of the literature you’d find other myths and legends surrounding ordinary mortals who healed the sick but more to the point raised the dead. Now either you have to admit that Jesus doesn’t have a monopoly on healing the sick and raising the dead, OR that myths and legends can and do take hold based on little or even no actual evidence. Real news can quickly become fake news and real facts turn into alternative facts with every telling and retelling of the story in question.
 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 some legitimate reasons to be angry. Few people would vote for an atheist for president even if they were super-qualified in every other aspect. In many places atheists couldn’t testify in court or serve on juries or hold public office. Atheists are often denied custody of their children just because of their atheism. Atheists often have to advocate their atheism anomalously because 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 the theist, no matter how decent the atheist might otherwise be.
*Atheism is a religion in the same way that abstinence is a sexual position. (via Bill Maher.)
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