Monday, December 11, 2006

Why I Turned Away From Christianity - The Walls Come Tumbling Down

Several months ago, I ordered a bumper sticker from CafePress.com that reads “I’ve read the Bible. That’s WHY I’m an ATHEIST.” Thus far I have not been brave enough to put the sticker on the bumper of my car, as I dread the prospect of having the sides of my car keyed or finding handwritten notes left underneath my windshield wipers admonishing me for rejecting God and corrupting the impressionable youth of suburban Long Island.

It is a bit of an oversimplification to say that reading the Bible turned me into an atheist, though it certainly was an important factor. As I mentioned in the introductory post to this series, I did read the Bible from Genesis 1 through Revelations 22 three times in a row, and I read different parts of the Bible numerous times apart from that.

I don’t recall the precise moment when I began to have my doubts about Christianity, though I believe it began some time during my first semester at Nassau Community College in the fall of 1987. And before any theists reading this roll their eyes and mutter about atheist liberal college professors turning another decent and God fearing young man away from the Lord, the change in my thinking about Christianity was not inspired by any of my professors. In fact, I don’t recall any of my instructors during my first semester of college being conspicuously liberal at all. Rather, I would say that I started to look at the Catholic Church and read the Bible with a critical eye instead of with blind faith and devotion.

If memory serves, it was my disillusionment with Catholicism that came first. I found it absurd that in the late 20th century the Church still did not allow women to be priests. “Why?”, I wondered. Isn’t the truth the truth whether it comes from the mouth of a woman as well as a man? I felt the same way about allowing priests to be married. Church masses became mechanistic exercises of stand, sit, kneel, stand, sit, stand, kneel, utterly devoid of any true spirituality to me. I began to see the Church for what it was, an institution created by men that set itself up as being a necessary intermediary between the human and the divine. Even worse, the Church acquired the means to enforce its religious monopoly by coercion and terror. I stopped attending mass on Sundays, which became difficult anyway, as my job as a stock clerk in Sears at the time often required me to work on Sunday.

It was not long after that when I realized that the God of the Bible, or at least of the Old Testament, did not comport with my idea of a just, compassionate and fair deity. Rather, the God of the Israelites displayed characteristics that were typical of a cruel, capricious and oppressive monarch. This deity worshipped by so many people as the all powerful creator of the universe struck me as being rather small and mean.

As someone who was always fascinated at an early age by astronomy (as early as the third grade I devoured all of the books in my elementary school about the solar system), I was always consciously aware of our planet Earth being one planet in one solar system in a galaxy filled with millions of planets and stars that in itself is just one galaxy in an infinite universe filled with galaxies. I thought to myself, would a god create this vast and complex universe filled with planets, stars, galaxies, quasars, comets and other celestial bodies and then proceed to behave as the personal tribal deity to just one small group of people on Earth? The only answer I could come up with was “no.”

Around the same time I was reading the Bible from a critical thinking perspective, I was also reading “The Outline of History” by H.G. Wells. From elementary school onward, an even greater fascination for me than astronomy was history. And Wells’ “Outline” was and remains a great introduction to the grand sweep of history and the forces that shaped it from the dawn of time to the end of the second World War.

Wells devotes a chapter of his masterfully written work to “The Hebrew Scriptures and the Prophets.” In reading this chapter, a number of things had a profound impact on my thinking.

First off, Wells noted the similarity between the story of Moses and that of the Sumerian king Sargon I, whose mother by his account, placed him in “a basked of reeds, she shut up the mouth of it with bitumen, she abandoned me to the river, which did not overwhelm me.” Furthermore, Egypt had no records of a man called Moses, the Ten Plagues, and Pharaoh’s chariots being drowned in the Red Sea. I know that some apologists for the Bible will argue that the Egyptians simply chose to cover up an embarrassing moment in their history, but the truth is, such a monumental disaster cannot be covered up. If such calamities had really befallen the Egyptian kingdom, it would have been impossible to sweep under the rug, The archaeological record would show a sudden and rapid contraction of Egyptian power and influence in the region, because a kingdom that endured such disasters would be fatally crippled. But the historical record tells us that Egypt’s decline did not become evident until the 12th century B.C., after the reign of Rameses III.

Wells writes that David’s story, “with its constant assassinations and executions, reads rather like the history of some savage chief rather than of a civilized monarch.” His last words in the Bible have him telling his son Solomon to kill Shimei, because David’s oath to not harm Shimei did not apply to Solomon. As for Solomon’s reign, Wells observes that “for [Solomon‘s] wisdom and statecraft, one need not go farther than the Bible to see that Solomon was a mere helper in the wide-reaching schemes of the [Phoenician] trader-king Hiram, and his kingdom a pawn between Phoenicia and Egypt His importance was due largely to the temporary enfeeblement of Egypt.”

On the Babylonian Captivity, Wells writes “The plain fact of the Biblical narrative is that the Jews went to Babylon barbarians and came back civilized. They went a confused and divided multitude, with no national self-consciousness; they came back with an intense and exclusive national spirit.”

From all of this, I could only draw one conclusion, the Hebrews were not really the chosen people of a universal Supreme Being, but rather a collection of tribes whose priesthood propounded such a doctrine in order to give a fractious people a sense of cohesion and unity. After all, when you have been conquered repeatedly and dragged away from your homeland, what better way to make you feel better about yourself than to believe that there is only one True God who created the Universe and that this God will protect you when you are righteous and cause you misfortune when you stray from his laws?

Once this all sunk into my consciousness, the Old Testament became discredited in my eyes. And once it became clearly absurd to believe that the Hebrews were the chosen people of some Supreme Being, then the foundations were knocked out from underneath the New Testament. Jesus is presented as being a descendant of King David and being in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, but if the Hebrews were not some special chosen people of God, as clearly shown by the historical record, then Jesus was not the son of God. As an aside, with all of the debates and back and forth between skeptics and Christians over the existence and alleged divinity of Jesus, I have always been curious why skeptics did not focus on this aspect of the debate. We can argue until we are blue in the face about the empty tomb, or the Virgin Birth or the veracity of the Gospels. To me, this is like trying to knock down the castle gate with a battering ram, when all you need do is tunnel underneath the wall and cause it to collapse.

To be honest, I did still try to remain a Christian for a while. After all, when you have invested so much of yourself into believing a particular doctrine or faith, it is hard to accept right away that it was a all a waste. I attended Easter Mass in the spring of 1988 in one last attempt to try to overcome my doubts with a renewed sense of faith, but as I stood and sat amongst the other parishioners in the Church, I knew it was over. The Catholic Church, and Christianity in general, no longer held any meaning for me. I remember my father coming to my room one day, I can’t remember if it was that same year or the year afterwards, to give me a Palm Cross to hang on the wall in my room. I told him that I did not want it. He look baffled, and said, “It was blessed by a priest.” I do not remember the exact words of my reply, but it was delivered in the spirit of a “yeah, so what?”.

While I had ceased to consider myself a Christian by Easter of 1988, I was not yet ready to let go of a belief in the divine. In fact, for a time, my belief in a God was strengthened because I saw all religion, whether it be Catholicism, Judaism, Islam and all of their various sects and denominations as being barriers between the unity of the individual and the divine. But that is a story for another time.

74 comments:

Stardust said...

I thought to myself, would a god create this vast and complex universe filled with planets, stars, galaxies, quasars, comets and other celestial bodies and then proceed to behave as the personal tribal deity to just one small group of people on Earth? The only answer I could come up with was “no.”

tommy - excellent point, and another excellent post.

Anonymous said...

If anything that proves you're very confused. Catholicism doesen't believe in following the Bible alone. They have the catholic catechism and you will notice everything a catholic testifys of as the truth comes from the catholic catechism and not the Bible. Next you're wrong about escatology. The hebrews are God's chosen people and are being used for God's purposes. They were dispersed to Babylon and to the ends of the earth as foretold by Moses the prophet. Ezekiel, Romans 11 and Revelation reveal to us the Hebrews will be drawn back to the land of Israel first, while still in rebellion, then God will convert them during the great tribultion. The problem is that you never understood you were decieved by people who are decieved. Turn from your evil deeds such as lying and stealing, Trust in Christ and you are forgiven your sins. Jesus will accept you and he won't turn you away. Then you will have righteousness and eternal life and you will live in the coming new heave and new earth. The good news is now you know you were never a Christian and you can become one if God chooses.

Stardust said...

My goodness, if that didn't sound like the same pre-recorded proseltyzing announcements that we encounter on a regular basis! LOL!

Tommy - I didn't know you were a liar and a thief! ;)

Anonymous said...

stardust yeah it is prerecorded, it can all be found in the Bible. I diden't immagine it up.

Stardust said...

I diden't immagine it up.

Someone else "imaginated it up" a long time ago when everyone believed the world was flat.

Anonymous said...

stardust so you're saying the Bible is wrong. If so what anti-christian literature did you read by one fallable author with bad reaserch? How did you immagine up all those ideas that the Bible is wrong?

Stardust said...

anonymous, I studied the bible...I have read it twice. Thirty plus years as a xian. I have taken courses at the university level in Bible as Literature and studied the various translations side-by-side, including the Tanakh. I still have all of my religious texts and reference books from when I was a xian and when I studied these things at the university.

The bible is full of contradiction and inconsistencies. It is a basket full of cherries for anyone to pick from to prove one's point no matter what side you are on.

If this is sable chicken, I have told you this before. If not, then I think tommy has his first legitimate troll.

Tommy said...

Listen to how ridiculous you are anonymous. The Hebrews are God's chosen people based on what? Because the Bible says so? And your evidence that the Bible represents the inerrant truth of the creator of the universe is based on what?

Tommy said...

Stardust, everything I say is a lie. As a matter of fact, I'm lying to you right now! ;-)

Stardust said...

Tommy, I'm lying too. I am not really a 52-year-old mother of three grown kids, I am really a stripper who looks like Pamela Sue Anderson. ;)

Anonymous said...

Collapse comments


Stardust1954 said...
I thought to myself, would a god create this vast and complex universe filled with planets, stars, galaxies, quasars, comets and other celestial bodies and then proceed to behave as the personal tribal deity to just one small group of people on Earth? The only answer I could come up with was “no.”

That is the only answer you could come up with? You might want to think more about that one.

anonymous, Keep it up. Don't back down. When they start mocking you, they are running out of "text book answers"

Anonymous said...

Listen to how ridiculous you are anonymous. The Hebrews are God's chosen people based on what? Because the Bible says so? And your evidence that the Bible represents the inerrant truth of the creator of the universe is based on what?

Tommy, I thought you said you read the Bible. It IS the Truth silly. We don't have to trust in some guy, who has a PHD and doesn't know Jesus. Or a "smart writer" make up his own thoughts, based on books he has read, which, are false.

Anyways, just was going to let you know. There is a book that is for real and has Truth in it.

_
Richard

Stardust said...

I thought to myself, would a god create this vast and complex universe filled with planets, stars, galaxies, quasars, comets and other celestial bodies and then proceed to behave as the personal tribal deity to just one small group of people on Earth? The only answer I could come up with was “no.”

troll sable richard, wtf??? tommy wrote that in his post and I was quoting it. You have to be sable because you don't read. Also, being an English teacher I can "hear" your "voice" coming through the text. (meaning I can recognize individual writing styles very well.)

Sable Chicken said...

Anonymous is not me Stardust! But man, he must be as dyslexically crippled as I am.

Stardust said...

Fool me once sable, but can't again. The name "Richard" is a big giveaway since you work in riddles, and you have been talking about Richard Dawkins hence choosing your anonymous troll name. Also strange that you and anonymous troll are talking to each other so close together. I know your games too well now. It's not funny. I am calling a spade a spade...give it up.

Anonymous said...

Stardust, I knew that, it was easier to copy what you wrote then to press back and find it again. I'm lazy. Sorry.

Also, English teacher eh? Too bad for the students, because you don't now me. I am indeed new. Sorry to disappoint you.. (embarrassing)

You are a Teacher, new lessons for you. Don't jump to conclusions and don't assume. :) Bummer when you are wrong.

_
Richard

Anonymous said...

Sable, get a load of this guy?!

I'm laughing.. like for real!

Theerasak Photha said...

tommy---

Is there anyway you can check the IP the trolls coming here?

If you could produce a log showing that richard == sable, wouldn't her little Việt Công ass be embarrassed?

Anonymous said...

Theerasak Photha,

You aren't smart either.

I don't know sable. Chill

_
Richard

Sable Chicken said...

Please check the IP, it's not me!

Stardust said...

Is there anyway you can check the IP the trolls coming here?

Have to have sitemeter installed. It's great. I can see who is visiting my blog and what time and what city, IP address, etc. It has really cut down on my problems with trolls (so has word verification)

Anonymous said...

haha
Sable, I'm sorry, this is just too great!

Sable Chicken said...

Well, Richard/Annonymous you are making me look worse than I already am.
I guess this is my carma or something.
;(
PS to Stardust, I would never use the name Richard Dawkins, how in the world could I riddle you anything useing that guys name ?

Theerasak Photha said...

Theerasak Photha,

You aren't smart either.

I don't know sable. Chill


I guess that's Christian humility at work.

Maybe I should write a BrtBot database for you.

Predictable troll.

Anonymous said...

Guess no one sees the sarcasm these days...

Theerasak Photha,

Didn't mean to upset you. Might have taken it a bit far. Friends? (in the blog world)

Theerasak Photha said...

Do I know you? Reveal yourself.

Anonymous said...

Nope, I just came across the (blogging world) a few days ago. I will join you all soon, but not yet. I'm not ready.

Still trainging to be a Jedi I guess...

_
Richard

Theerasak Photha said...

OK, then.

My answer to your question pivots on whether you are a genuine wingnut troll or not.

Anonymous said...

genuine wingnut troll.

What is that? I'm new to all this "blog lingo," but it is enjoyable.

Theerasak Photha said...

wingnut, n.: pejorative term used for right-wingers

troll, n.: someone who posts on Internet fora such as Usenet newsgroups or blogs to incite anger and generate controversy.

Anonymous said...

I get it. Nice explanation. That isn't my whole intention. :) I just enjoy being challenged and challenging others.

Stardust said...

That isn't my whole intention.

So then, you admit that it IS your intention...to incite anger and generate controversy. Your purpose is to "tell" atheists what to believe, not to listen and read thoroughly to come to understand why we do not believe. We understand that you need religion in your life, you must understand and accept that we do not. It's really quite simple.

Anonymous said...

Well, Stardust1954

Still hasn't caught on to my sarcasm. Well, next time I will make it more obeous. I forget that some people on these sights arn't of the younger generation (might not get the hints to refer to a joke) so, I will put (joke) after a joke, just for some people who get confused. (not a joke)

That isn't my whole intention. :)

The smilely face wasn't a big enough give away, I admit, lets redo it?



I get it. Nice explanation. That isn't my whole intention. :)(haha I'm jokeing, that isn't my intention) I just enjoy being challenged and challenging others.

Better? Sorry for the confusion.(not joking) But sinse this is "off topic" of the post, I will stop talking.

Anonymous said...

Well, Stardust1954

(dumb spell check)

Still hasn't caught on to my sarcasm. Well, next time I will make it more obvious. I forget that some people on these sights aren't of the younger generation (might not get the hints to refer to a joke) so, I will put (joke) after a joke, just for some people who get confused. (not a joke)

That isn't my whole intention. :)

The smiley face wasn't a big enough give away, I admit, lets redo it?



I get it. Nice explanation. That isn't my whole intention. :)(haha I'm joking, that isn't my intention) I just enjoy being challenged and challenging others.

Better? Sorry for the confusion.(not joking) But since this is "off topic" of the post, I will stop talking.

Tommy said...

Sheesh! I check on my blog this morning and see that a troll war has broken out.

When I started this blog, I wanted to have an open comments policy, with the understanding that there would be no trolls hiding behind the cloak of anonymity.

I have added word verification for now to act as something of a speed bump, and also to filter out spam commentary. If necessary, I will limit comments to those who have Blogger accounts as Bacon Eating Atheist Jew does, though I am reluctant as I am not sure if welcome commenters like TP have blogger accounts.

If you have something meaningful to say, use a name (it does not appear that there is an option to exclude anonymous and retaining Blogger and Other). And don't post comments under a known name and then post more comments as anonymous pretending to be somebody else. Just be honest about who you are. That should not be asking for too much.

Richard said...

You bet Tommy. Thank you for your kindness and explanation.

Tommy said...

Okay, now Richard, I don't have much time left in my lunch break, but I wanted to address your comments about my post.

My theory is this, the Bible is not the inerrant word of some all powerful creator of the universe. Neither you nor I can prove our positions 100%. All I can do is offer evidence and arguments that cast doubt on a literal interpretation of the Bible and the claims made by those who believe that the Bible represents some sort of divine truth.

My theory, in part, which I intend to expound upon in future posts, rests on the following arguments:

1. The Bible does not contain predictions about events that had not happened but ended up happening after the predictions were written. Rather, I would argue that these "predictions" were written after the fact and then held up as examples to the people of holy men warning their ancestors.

2. My argument that a Supreme Being would not create a vast universe and then behave as a tribal deity is meant to cast doubt on the claims that a band of semi-nomadic tribesmen were the chosen people of the creator of the universe.

It is not enough to argue that because the Bible says that God chose the Hebrews to be his chosen people that they must in fact be so. You must have some sort of objective criteria to test such a grandiose claim. I would argue that such criteria would include, but not be restricted to (a) military success against their neighbors, and I am not talking about piddling small tribes like the Edomites, Amalekites, Moabites and whatever other mini-ites mentioned in the Bible. I am talking Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians. (b) if God gave them the land of Israel, how many of the years from when God gave them the land up to the present day did the Israelites actually rule these lands as an independent state. History shows that for the overwhelming majority of the time, the Israelites either were not in the land in force, or they were under the rule of a foreign power, and (c) what did the writers of other nations have to say about them? For example, the Greek historian Herodotus, who wrote much about the peoples of the near east, makes absolutely NO MENTION of the people of Israel.

3. You cannot look at the Bible in a vacuum. The ancient Hebrews lived in a region of the world that had such powerful and sophisticated civilizations as the Egyptians, the Hittites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, and the Persians, to name the most prominent ones. You have to compare their religions and myths to those of the Hebrews and from that you can tell to what extent the Hebrew priests borrowed from these civilizations when putting together their own Bible.

Once you look at these things, as I did, the case that the Bible is the word of God and the Hebrews being the chosen people of the Creator of the Universe becomes a claim that is very hard to believe. The thing is, most people are ignorant of history, and for Biblical Literalists who fall under this category, their knowledge of Middle Eastern history is limited to what the Bible tells them. Therefore, they will take it on faith that Solomon was the wisest of all monarchs because they have no criteria by which to compare Solomon to other rulers. Just as a quick example, the Persian king Cyrus the Greater was a much wiser and effective ruler by many magnitudes than Solomon. He left behind him an imperial state that survived more or less united for the next 3 centuries, he showed tolerance for peoples of all religions in his empire, which covered a domain far greater than Solomon's pitiful empire, and the Jews themselves were one of those people who benefitted from living under the protection of the Persian Empire.

Sable Chicken said...

Tommy,I would just like to add there is a lot of interesting things that you wrote about in this last post. I would like to talk about some of them, but it does often seem like, what is the point. And I'm talking about more than just the beating my head against the sky part. I'm way past the hopes of thinking that I have the power of converting anyone.

Tommy it's hard for me to tell if Stardust and Theerasak Photha, are here as your personal friends or just other atheists that think it is their job to run off "xians". Personally I have just went round and round with both of them, to prove to you that I will not be scared off so easily by these head hunters. Now that was alot of time wasted to make that point. Is that the game? Every single "xian" that comments has to go through the Stardust TP filter? I think that it takes away from your blog Tommy. Stardust wants to turn your blog into another Suckersite.com? If you can't handle an opinion other then your own world view, please say so now. Tommy you don't seem like the kind of person that needs to be so protected and sheltered from any opposing views, other than atheist's views. I may be just projecting that, so please be up front if you are haveing a difficult time handling a Christian commenting on your blog. I really don't see myself as such a threat, the way Stardust makes me out, I am not that worldly.

But Hey, I still like haveing both Stardust and Theerasak Photha around.

"So then, you admit that it IS your intention...to incite anger and generate controversy. Your purpose is to "tell" atheists what to believe, not to listen and read thoroughly to come to understand why we do not believe. We understand that you need religion in your life, you must understand and accept that we do not. It's really quite simple." (stardust)

Now that last comment of Stardust has me just shaking my head. You remind me of my husband. Laying down the laws, of what is considered to be upsetting and what is not. (Just why in the world is this my lot to deal with this? I ask myself....I'm kinda joking to lighten my dilemma) By the way it is easy to turn off that annonymous setting. I don't know anything about computers and I figured that out. So going back in time when I decided to use the annonymous identity, on Stardust's blog. First of all, It was given as a option choice, in her comments. Why did she do that? The only reason that I could think of was, that atheist love to say the most anger incited things and still love to have their identity hidden...just like Theerasak Photha. She was just keeping that option open for them...to do their thing.

Anyway....I had not heard of H.G. Wells book "A Short History of the World" writen in 1922. I believe I found it in full on the internet, so I can put it on a reader and get through it fast. As much as Stardust would love to believe that Christians want to be stupid and their childern do poorly in math and science, my daughter in 6th grade is getting A's in both classes.

Now from the 3rd chapter " The Beginnings of Life"

" It is well, however, to bear in mind that the Lower Palæozoic rocks probably do not give us anything at all representative of the first beginnings of life on our planet. Unless a creature has bones or other hard parts, unless it wears a shell or is big enough and heavy enough to make characteristic footprints and trails in mud, it is unlikely to leave any fossilized traces of its existence behind. To-day there are hundreds of thousands of species of small softbodied creatures in our world which it is inconceivable can ever leave any mark for future geologists to discover. "

I had to stop and go in a differant direction because I know that I have seen pictures of fossilized small softbodied creatures like octopus. If one really thinks about it how can a small softbodied creatures become fossilized? The circumstances that would be necessary for this kind of animal to be fossilized puts evolution up to be questions.

Now I would admit I don't know history like I wish I did, so I am reading as well as questioning.

Stardust said...

sable - I was invited by tommy to come visit his new blog. I put a link to it on my Stardust site. He is an excellent writer and I enjoy reading what he writes and joining in intelligent discussion, whoever it might be...xian, buddhist, whoever.

It is not my intention nor my right to run anyone off of someone else's blog. But I feel I should warn people when I know someone likes to play anonymous and games using aliases and what not to try to trick people.

When people provide counter-arguments it does not mean that someone is persecuting you. I never have played games with you. I have been up front. I have never had multiple handles, and never post as anonymous.

As for the "suckersite", I found when you first started posting there and Marcus welcomed you very warmly. Sean gave you a chance. They all gave you a chance...start reading back in the archives at October 17th, 2005 with your first comments there if you forgot. I am not going to get into the rest of it here.

Why sable, do we all have to be the same and have the same beliefs? Who is the one who cannot handle another's worldview? I am not out to take your beliefs away, but why are you so adament to try to force yours on others?

I think tommy's posts about his deconversion so far offer lots of good reasons for walking away from religion. If you read carefully here, and at other atheist blogs you frequent (I see you were at mine again today and funny anonymous commented at my photography blog around the same time), you might just understand atheists better and see that we are not following satan and are not evil people out to persecute you, and maybe we would actually come to some common ground.

Tommy said...

To be honest Stardust, there are times when I feel Satan calling me, but I try to ignore him as best as I can.

;-)

Sable, I don't need Stardust to defend me on my own blog. If you and her have issues, it is based on your past interactions that I know very little about and do not much concern me. Our acquaintance predates the establishment of this blog, and she has provided me with valuable advice with some technical issues. TP I know from another blog where we both post comments.

As I've stated before, you are more than welcome to post here, just as long as you are honest, civil and your comments are meaningful and in response to the actual topic of the post.

This whole brouhaha took place last night after I had longed off and I only saw the extent of it this morning. I have a busy schedule and cannot referee here 24/7. Besides, we're all adults here, right?

As for converting people to Christianity, Islam, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or atheism, no one can do that for you. My decision to be a practicing Catholic at age 14 was an internal one that I undertook for reasons that were valid to me at the time, and my deconversion from Catholic to a direct personal relationship to what I perceived to be the divine, and thence to atheism were likewise based on an process of examination and consideration. Instead of trying to save other peoples souls or intellect, we are better off focusing on our own lives.

The purpose of this blog is not to convert religious people to atheism, though I would be extremely flattered if it had that effect, but to put out there my reasons for rejecting it. Some are arguments that Christians have heard before, others I like to think are unique and rare, or that I put my own twist on. For example, Christians who believe Genesis is literal truth have encountered skeptics about the Noah's Ark story, but I doubt many Christians have heard Noah being called a 500 year old virgin. It is humorous remarks like that I like to think make Literalists confront the real implications of their beliefs.

Lastly, I focus more on historical arguments than scientific arguments because that is where my knowledge lies. If you want to challenge people over evolution, you can try the Pharyngula blog. They are much more qualified than I am to debate those issues.

I will try to check on things a little later. Until then, pleasant evening all.

Sable Chicken said...

Well, I guess that means I've been jumped into the gang (JOKING)

The Short History of the World, sure goes on along time about Evolution.
Chapter 11 and still evolving....but that's the part, of the history of the world, that doesn't really interest you that much, right? Anyway, so far I found the book, that changed your life, seems to be very out dated up to this point.

Sense you were into Catholicism, what did you think about Martin Luther. ( I skipped ahead to chapter 50. ) It doesn't say much about him. What was your thoughts when you first learned about Martin Luther?

Tommy said...

Martin Luther, an anti-semitic piece of shit who did have legitimate criticisms of the Catholic Church.

Regarding Wells "Outline",try skipping a few chapters ahead to where he starts talking about actual civilizations. I tended to skip the evolution parts when I read it, and of course some of it is expected to be outdated with new discoveries made since he wrote the damned thing.

Sirkowski said...

Martin Luther was also a sado-masochist. He liked to whip himself.

Theerasak Photha said...

As much as Stardust would love to believe that Christians want to be stupid and their childern do poorly in math and science, my daughter in 6th grade is getting A's in both classes.

Wasn't it St. Thomas Aquinas who said that mathematicians were agents of Satan?

Kookoo! Kookoo!

Sable Chicken said...

Tommy
No one likes Martin Luther? Legitimate criticisms of the Catholic Church, I would say! 95 things that the Church practiced that was against the Bible nailed to the Church doors, makes one unpopular even now.
OK moving on to civilzation chapters. I'm glad that you skipped over the evolution parts...it's pure myth anyway.

Sable Chicken said...

Theerasak Photha,
"Wasn't it St. Thomas Aquinas who said that mathematicians were agents of Satan?"
I wouldn't say that she is a mathematician, just because she's bright.

"Kookoo! Kookoo!"
Are you doing bird calls now?

Stardust said...

Martin Luther, an anti-semitic piece of shit who did have legitimate criticisms of the Catholic Church.

tommy - Despite his criticisms of the Catholic church, Luther was also kind of a nutball. I spent all of my childhood and teenage years, (minus two years my mother decided to try to find herself at a Baptist church), as a German Lutheran and was confirmed in the gloom and doomy Missouri Synod Church at the age of 13 and was fed a regular diet of Luther throughout the years I was one of the sheeple of this bleak denomination.

Luther shared the belief that witchcraft existed and was inimical to Christianity. While Luther did not specifically write about witchcraft, his ideas of it are available through discussions of Biblical references to witchcraft and in table talk. His ideas were similar to those of late medieval Christian thinkers. Luther shared some of the superstitions about witchcraft that were common in his time. When interpreting Exodus 22:18, Luther stated that witches with the help of the devil could steal milk simply by thinking of a cow.

In his Small Catechism (I still have my dreadful copy), Luther taught that witchcraft was a sin against the second commandment and prescribed the Biblical penalty for it in a "table talk":

On 25 August 1538 there was much discussion about witches and sorceresses who steal chicken eggs out of nests, or steal milk and butter. Doctor Luther said: "One should show no mercy to these [women]; I would burn them myself, for we read in the Law that the priests were the ones to begin the stoning of criminals."

Luther was a mean bastard.

Tommy said...

I don't suppose he would have been a fan of the Harry Potter books?

Theerasak Photha said...

"Kookoo! Kookoo!"
Are you doing bird calls now?


No. I'm pointing out that St. Thomas of Aquinas was a retard.

(So was Luther.)

If you're going to comment here, then stop bullshitting around and address the issues, rather than spouting diversionary smoke-and-mirrors garbage and "foo bar baz Richard Dawkins qux frob" blather.

Otherwise I'll have to put together a YAML source file to make a haunting Doppelgänger for you.

Sable Chicken said...

"The purpose of this blog is not to convert religious people to atheism, though I would be extremely flattered if it had that effect..."

Tommy thanks for being welcoming on your blog, and giving me a chance to fully exercise futility. Your statement above is what I think fixed it for me. Sence I read it, I have been left with a feeling of hopelessness. I just thought it would be polite to say goodbye.
Goodbye Tommy.

Goodbye Stardust.

Stardust said...

Too bad religion leaves people with such a sense of unnecessary hopelessness about humankind and the world we live in.

Tommy said...

Awww, c'mon Sable! Don't you believe in a God powerful enough to give you the powers of persuasion to help me accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior? You just haven't worked hard enough at it.

Then again, maybe the H.G. Wells book is having an effect on her as well! "Gosh, Tommy is right after all!"

:-)

Stardust said...

Then again, maybe the H.G. Wells book is having an effect on her as well! "Gosh, Tommy is right after all!"

tommy - could be!

Why is human will so much stronger than this god's? Or maybe satan is stronger than god? Maybe that is why god could only run satan off and not destroy him? ;)

Richard said...

Too bad....

...Lost people thinking they are found...

When you both are ready to give your life up to Jesus, let me know. For I don't put my trust in man....or man's theology.....about us coming from soup....

Psalm 118:8
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.

Stardust said...

Sable Anonymous Richard,

You just can't help yourself, can you?

Stardust said...

give your life up to Jesus

..."give up your life"...

No, thank you. I'll not be enslaved to a myth. I choose to live.

Bye again for the hundreth time, sable.

Tommy said...

If you're gonna tell me to give up my life for Jesus, you have to at least offer compelling evidence to me for doing so.

You tell me not to put my trust in man (i.e. mankind), but you are a person, therefore by that criteria I should not trust you either.

Stardust said...

You tell me not to put my trust in man (i.e. mankind), but you are a person, therefore by that criteria I should not trust you either.

tommy - and don't forget that their god turned himself into a man and did all his preaching on earth as a man, and expected people to believe this man. Once the man went back to heaven, this god still remained silent except through human proseltyzing. But then we are told by the proseltyzing humans not to trust humans.

That is probably one of the biggest contradictions in the bible.

Richard said...

That is probably one of the biggest contradictions in the bible.

Might want to read the Bible again. I wasn't saying trusting man like, "trust me, I know all." Ya see, I believe the Word of God. (Not man) Man wrote it, but as I'm sure you both don't know, (due to your past comments)
1 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

Therefore, don't trust me. Trust the Word of God.

Jesus was all man, But all God. You should know that too if you read the scriptures.

By the way, for the last time. I have nothing to do with Sable. If you were telling the truth before, you would have "found my IP" but, just as I was assuming, you didn't. :) So, every time you call me Sable, I chuckle to myself. I thought you both were smarter than than. :) (no offense)

Also, next time when you "read" the Bible, try to read left to right, top to bottom, and every page. Just because you read a few pieces you can't claim you have read the entire things.

(I say all this with a smile. I'm no being mean or having a negative tone. It is hard to see sometimes in the text.

Thanks guys!

Stardust said...

Man wrote it, but as I'm sure you both don't know, (due to your past comments)

Sable richard, The Timothy passage contradicts the Psalms. The difference between you and me is that I can identify the contradictions, you cannot (or refuse to acknowledge them).

By the way, for the last time. I have nothing to do with Sable. If you were telling the truth before, you would have "found my IP" but, just as I was assuming, you didn't.

I don't think tommy has sitemeter to prove that, but I have sitemeter and "anonymous" commented on my blog the same time that you were lurking, sable. And, as I have said before, being an English major and studying linquistics, I am pretty good at identifying a person's written "voice." Being a teacher of writing and composition in the past, I am pretty good at identifying cheaters who use other student's writing.

And, we know sable that you have a past history of playing the alias game.

Richard said...

I don't think tommy has sitemeter to prove that, but I have sitemeter and "anonymous" commented on my blog the same time that you were lurking, sable. And, as I have said before, being an English major and studying linquistics, I am pretty good at identifying a person's written "voice." Being a teacher of writing and composition in the past, I am pretty good at identifying cheaters who use other student's writing.


I'm glad you spent all that money and time, and still CAN'T identify who you are talking to. I'm not Sable again. Sorry buddy. :) (It's sad to read that comment you made and know that I'm a Man, and not a woman, and I don't know Sable.) Oh well..

English payed off, I can tell....

"linquistics"

Either a big word I don't know, or you don't know how to spell... Some English teacher.. Too bad for those Kids..

So what contradictions? You're read through the Bible a few times, which obviously makes you really smart, so how does Timothy and Psalm contradict?

Thanks

Tommy said...

Stardust, ignore this troll.

Whomever you are "Richard", take a hike. I don't want you here. Adieu. Thank you for your cooperation.

Stardust said...

ok, tommy

Richard said...

Just as I thought. Nice "contradictions." I was just wanting some information you claimed you had. I will be waiting for it. If there is any.

When you have nothing to say, you call me a troll and put me down. I just want to talk.

Thanks guys

God Bless

beepbeepitsme said...

Anonymous, sable chicken and anonymous richard all seemed to be bad at spelling.

Anonymous said...
testifys
decieved
5:23 PM
diden't immagine
7:01 PM

fallable
7:49 PM
obeous
12:44 PM
-----------------------------------
Sable Chicken
dyslexically
10:30 PM
carma
11:17 PM
haveing haveing
annonymous annonymous
differant
Sence
1:18 PM
--------------------------------
Anonymous said... (Richard)

you don't now me.
10:37 PM
Still trainging to be a Jedi I guess...
12:16 AM
payed off
---------------------
It is interesting when 3 supposedly different people are such consistently bad spellers.

Richard said...

beepbeepitsme,

Glad you took the time to read all those.

Sometimes I do forget to use spell check. I do have typo's also. You forgot the word that the "English Teacher" made up.... That means she is me and I am her... right?

Stardust said...

linguistics...happy now, sable? Missing an occasional keystroke is not anything like being consistently grammatically and linguistically challenged.

I thought you said goodbye.

Stardust said...

tommy -- sorry for posting that last comment after you saying to ignore the troll. I will not take anymore flame bait.

Richard said...

Guess everybody misunderstood me. I'm not Sable.

Theerasak Photha said...

Whomever you are "Richard", take a hike.

I think that would be 'whoever'.

Because it's the nominative predicate, right?

I couldn't help myself. :)

Anyway, I don't want 'richard' to leave. I think we should just pull out the BrtBot on his ass.

Theerasak Photha said...

It is interesting when 3 supposedly different people are such consistently bad spellers.

One person might be using a proxy, but I don't think any of them are that smart.

It's a mystery.

Trissa said...

I say slap that bumper sticker on your car! It's funny and lots of people will laugh.

I have a bumper sticker that says:

WTFWJD?

I also worried about the ramifications to my car, but not a single bad thing has happened.

By the way, your post was very well thought out and you had several good points. Good luck on your journey.

Tommy said...

Thank you for visiting Trissa. Hope to hear more from you.

Kind regards,

TK

Theerasak Photha said...

I have a bumper sticker that says:

WTFWJD?


Probably get his dumb ass nailed to a cross.