Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Don't Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

For anyone who doesn't believe in a sky fairy who commands and watches over us all; is not sure about the existence of this fairy; or in any way believes or thinks differently than Christians who think they have all the answers, there always comes a time when he or she has to defend his or her belief or lack thereof against an attack from some fundamentalist Christian wacko.

In most such debates the non-believer usually defers to logic, reason, science, or some other form of intelligent argument. The problem with such tactics is that fundamentalist Christians are far from being logical, reasonable, learned people, and instead use fairy tales, faith, and ancient literature to support their position.

So, how do you prove your point, or at least get them to back off--Simple: You fight fire with fire.

There is but one source for the Christian faith, and that source is the collection of morality tales, and fairy tales known as the Bible. Without the Bible Christianity disappears (as does Judaism, and Islam). Unfortunately, most atheists, agnostics, and other non-believers have little knowledge of the Bible, and are basically stepping into a gunfight holding only a knife.

Well, as it turns out, I can help with this. The main reason I became an atheist was my father's insistence that I learn the Bible as a child. This intense regimin of study not only taught me the Bible, but also showed me what a crock it is, so eventually led to my abandoning the faith.

The Bible is full of discrepancies, contradictions, and other wonderful pieces of ammo that, when used correctly, stops Christian bullshit dead in its tracks. I know where most of this stupidity is, and have successfully used the Bible against Christidiots many times. It is my intention to begin sharing this ammo with you.

As I see it for now, this will become a semi-regular topic covering one or two topics of debate at a time. Most of these topic discussions will only work against fundamentalist Christians, as they are the ones who believe that the Bible is the unerring word of God. Other sects, such as Catholics, have gone out of their way to develop arguments based on logic. Such arguments are relatively hard to counter, but fortunately these people are usually not the ones trying to get you to "repent" and see things there way only.

For my first installment, I will address one of my recurring themes (the fallacy of the Bible's containing divine truth), and one of my favorite stories (the death of Judas.)


At the center of most fundamentalist Christians' arguments for their belief being the true belief is the line: "the Bible says;" "because it's in the Bible;" or some other form of reference to the Bible. According to their way of thinking, everything written in the Bible is from God, and therefore not only instructions and statements directly from him, but also the absolute truth. If this were in fact the case, then no statement in the Bible would directly contradict another, because there can be only one absolute truth.

The story of Judas' death in one wonderfully graphic example of two contradictory "truths."

For those of you who don't know who Judas is, he is the guy who betrayed Jesus to the authorities for thirty pieces of silver, and therefore, one of the big villains (something that could also be argued) in the story of Jesus.

As the accepted story goes, Judas felt guilty for his betrayal, and went back to the temple of the priests who paid him off:

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.

Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

Matthew 27:5-8 (I am using the King James version of the Bible since is the one that most Protestants use, but other versions say the same thing)

So, in effect, Judas threw the money back to the Priests then went and hanged himself. Then the priests bought a potters field to bury strangers in. Since the field was bought with "blood money," they named the field "the field of blood."

This is the story that is widely accepted as the true word of God on this subject.

But---According to the book of Acts Judas' actions, and demise were quite different.

Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

Acts 1:16-19

Okay, a much different story supposedly being told soon after the events described. In this story, Judas DOES NOT RETURN the money. HE is the one who buys the field. And then, while in the field, Judas falls down, explodes, and his guts "burst forth," and everyone in Jerusalem knows what happened which is why they call the field "the field of blood."

To me, this is a much more entertaining story; like something out of a modern slasher film.

I have thrown this at many Bible thumpers, and most of the time it confused them so much they shut up and left me alone. But, there have been the occasional stubborn individuals who tried to argue that I was reading it wrong. Below are the arguments I've heard and my replies:

1) Judas was left hanging so long that he exploded. My reply: if he hanged himself then how did he get to the field? Answer: He hanged himself in the field. Reply: then how did he buy the field? Answer: He bought it before he hanged himself. Reply: But how did he buy it with "reward of iniquity' if he had given the reward back to the priests? Answer: You're going to Hell!

2) Judas was buried in the field then exploded. Reply: Nowhere does it say that Judas was buried, only that the field was for the burial of strangers. Besides if he was buried before he exploded then no one would know about it. But, there is still the problem of who bought the field. Answer: You're going to Hell!

Basically, no matter how someone twists the details of the story, there are two totally different versions of who bought the field with the "reward of iniquity."

Two absolute truths?

A common answer to this is that the Bible is the word of God, but was written and edited by men, so will contain the occasional mistake, because men make mistakes.

My reply? If there are mistakes, then how does anyone know what is mistake and what is correct? For all you know, everything you believe may be the mistakes. In fact the entire book may be the wrong story.

Their reply: Well I have faith in God.

My reply: How do you know there is a God.

Reply: The Bible.

My Reply: The above story.

Most people let go of the argument when confronted with a statement about faith, but if you point out that their faith is based entirely on a book that is rife with mistakes, and that they would be better off believing in a better written fairy tale, such as The Lord of the Rings, these nutbags tend to just curse you to Hell and go away to babble amongst themselves.

Praise Frodo.

In the next instalment, we will discuss the argument that God created everything.

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Michelle said...

If reality and the bible are at odds, then it's obvious that reality is at fault. You didn't know that?

All hail waalon!

R Nicolas said...

I didn't mean to imply that the Bible is at odds with reality (at least no more so than The Hobbit), only that those who believe in the Bible's validity are at odds with intellegent thought.

Praise Waalon and all her beer recipes!

R Nicolas said...

Ooops. I guess my misspelling of intelligent makes me look real good Huh?

It's all Satan's fault, he's trying to make me look bad.

Robert said...

Excellent post.. well said.

Pedro Timóteo said...

The problem here isn't that reality and the Bible are at odds, but that the Bible and (another part of) the Bible are at odds... :)