Friday, February 23, 2007

Debate With Dan--Part Four

Continuing from comment on Fighting the Good Fight

This comment from Pastor Cornell illustrates the problem with many believers' opinions about atheists. This guy is a believer speaking to believers. His intention is not an explanation, it is retention. He is trying to keep his flock in line by making assertions that he knows nothing about.

Relying on a preacher to explain atheism is like going to a Republican for an explanation of why there should be a Democratic president.

"An atheist assigns himself to life without ultimate purpose."
Wrong. It is just a different purpose than the pastor's.

"The atheist must also suppress the demands of logic."
Terribly wrong. It is logic that breeds atheism.

"...the very existence of the universe seems to be a colossal violation of the laws of nature (i.e., a miracle)."
Wrong again. But, this guy knows that. He is talking to believers not atheists.

"The atheist must also deny the validity of historical proof. If he accepted the standard rules for testing the truth claims of historical documents, he would be forced to accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
Wrong again. I have already covered this in a previous post.

"Always remember that the atheist's problem with belief in God is not the absence of evidence but the suppression of it."
Wrong. There is no evidence for God outside of the Bible which I have repeatedly said and shown is an unreliable source of information.

"This is what scripture teaches."
His only source of evidence.

This is a sermon, not an explanation. If you want your pipes fixed you get a plumber not a roofer. If you want to know what atheists think you ask atheists, not someone whose source of income is dependant on people believing in a fairy-tale.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fighting the Good Fight

There's an important case coming before the US Supreme Court next week brought by Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). Gaylor will argue that President Bush's Faith Based Initiatives is a government promotion of religion and therefore unconstitutional.

While news reports about the case aren't very optimistic about Gaylor's chances of winning, they do concede that she and the FFRF have been successful over the last few years at whittling away pieces of the initiative.

Religious legal groups argue that "real people with real problems are no longer getting help because of some of their [Gaylor and the FFRF] lawsuits," but don't mention that money given to these Church groups could be just as easily given to government programs that are forbidden by law to discriminate.

Whether Gaylor wins her case or not, it helps me have some hope for my children's futures to know that there are people out there with the time and resources to fight the good fight.

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Fifteen Minutes of Stupidity

Today marks the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol's death.

I am old enough to remember Warhol and The Factory, so remember, and appreciate the contributions that this man made to art, and pop culture, and have been fascinated for decades with his life, philosophy, and work.

NYC Warhol 7-02-06

I was also lucky enough to have seen some of his work at MoMA last summer when I was in New York with my son. I took the picture above while I was there. While there, something that really showed me just how brilliant Warhol's work is, was my son's fascination with it. He (my son) knew who Warhol was because of his part in "The Doors," the Oliver Stone movie about the band, but really didn't know any of his work. Then as we went through the museum the only piece of work that grabbed my son's attention more than the Campbell Soup Cans was the Richard Avedon portrait of Lennon (at left), which is itself similar to some of Warhol's work.

Along with his creating "Pop" art, Warhol was fascinated with fame, and is known for the quote:
"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
As time went on, and he got tired of being asked about the quote he occasionaly changed the quote to "In the future 15 people will be famous" or "In 15 minutes everybody will be famous," but the original quote is something that has turned out to be somewhat prophetic.

With the popularity of stupidity like "Survivor," "American Idol," and other so-called reality TV shows (which Ron Jeremy has compared to porn flicks), and the World's fascination with people like Anna Nicole Smith, and Paris Hilton whose only claim to fame is fame itself, it seems that the Western World's main goal behind war is bringing Warhol's statement to life.

Case-in-point, during the time I have sat here writing this there have been two news spots on the Anna Nicole stupidity, and a full length segment on Britney Spears head-shaving rehab-quitting maneuvers on the morning news, and no mention of the mess in the land of the fabled Garden of Eden.

Everything I've read about Warhol seems to point toward his wanting and being fascinated with fame, but I really wonder sometimes what he would think of the fame machine now.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hey, NAE. Wanna Help? Then Get Out of the Way.

Last month the National Association of Evangelicals, sans Ted Haggard, announced an effort to begin protecting the environment. This extremely belated decision is quite a change from two decades ago when the Secretary of the Interior for the then Evangelical in Chief, Ronald Reagan, announced that environmental issues were a waste of time because of the impending return of Christ who wouldn't allow us to self-destruct before he got here.

But, now even Pat Robertson has come around, and no longer thinks that Global Warming is a hoax perpetrated by the evil Christian hating, Gay loving, feminista left.

According to the NAE's announcement they will start looking for ways to "reverse the degradation of Creation," and "not allow it to be progressively destroyed by human folly." Naturally, I have some suggestions for ways they can help.

First step: They should actually mean what they say. On the same day that the NAE announced their new stand on the environment, there was an announcement on the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance's website saying the exact opposite. For some, this contradiction says that there is a split in the Evangelical community over the whole issue, and I agree, but it also points to the NAE's attempt to play both sides of the issue, which will ensure that their current flow of money will continue pouring in to them. Money that people like the NAE's former leader, Ted Haggard, will need for prostitutes and meth.

However, the most important step they could take, would be halting their attempts to take science back to the Dark Ages.

The people who are now calling for "fundamental change in values, lifestyles, and public policies required to address these worsening problems before it is too late," and are pledging to "work together toward a responsible care for Creation and call with one voice to the religious, scientific, business, political and educational arenas to join them in this historic initiative" are the same people who routinely call for an end to the study of real science in American public schools, and are thereby promulgating their ignorance of science.

While famous failed attempts at dumbing down our children in places like Pennsylvania, and the comedic back and forth on the issue by educators in Kansas draw a lot of media and public attention, it is the daily battles fought by fanatic undereducated educators that really harm our society's chances to do something positive about the damage we have done to the Earth's environment.

Luckily, other economically powerful countries and groups like Japan and the European Union aren't as stupid as ours when it comes to science education, which goes a long way toward explaining why the richest and most powerful country on the planet consistently ranks behind virtually every European and Asian country in terms of the science and math proficiency of its students.

Luckily for the rest of us, these same countries have taken positive steps to help matters, despite the current American administration's continued road blocks over the past six years.

If the NAE really wants to make positive steps toward a survivable environment, then they simply need to take several steps away from public schools and education, and accept the Constituion's stance on religion and government, thereby allowing people who know what they are doing to get things done.

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Jesus de Florida Update

Well it seems that CNN finally got word about Jesus being in Florida. I found out weeks ago. However, CNN did get some details that I was originally unaware of.

I knew about the whole "no sin" thing, and I knew that he had a lot of followers, but I didn't know that there was a club tattoo. It seems that instead of just giving him lots of money, like with any preacher, you also get to get a nifty tattoo of the number 666 (must be Iron Maiden fans).

Of course other religious leaders are calling Jesus a cult leader. He doesn't just say that the spirit of Christ is in him--he says that he is Christ incarnate, and was told so by angels. Naturally he preaches that his particular brand of Christianity is the one true one, and his followers believe him. Sounds like any number of Christian churches to me.

Maybe he is a cult leader, but how is he any different than any number of other religious leaders? As long as he isn't bombing abortion clinics, preaching hate, or calling for the assasination of World leaders, then I say if people are going to follow him, and give him their money that's their problem. If they are that gullible they would just be following some other con-man with a Bible if this guy hadn't shown up.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Stop the Madness

Well folks, this whole "bald celebrity" stupidity is getting way out of hand.

So, now we are looking at the possibility of Donald Trump's sporting a chrome dome, based on the winner of a choreographed dance between two steroid-ridden morons?

What's next--Oscar loser shearings? Least strange Scientologist head shaving?

Maybe they could just have a contest to see who can jump from the tallest building before news programs are full of shiny bald heads.

Dead Strippers and Bald Has-Beens: Story at 11--And Every 15 Minutes Until Then

In the last couple of weeks there have been terrorist attacks in India, continuing death in Afghanistan and Iraq, continuing war in Somalia, increasing Cold War type tensions between the US and Russia in places like the Czech Republic and Poland, and a successful Chinese test of a rocket that can knock satellites from orbit.

President Bush seems determined to start another war; the Congress is too busy arguing about who supported what war when to deal with rising crime and poverty rates; and the mess called the Middle East is getting worse daily.

But what have been the big stories on television news? The paternity battle over a dead stripper's kid, and the hairdo, or lack thereof, and mental breakdown of a washed up pop star.

This is sad for so many reasons it's hard to pick one in particular to rant about. First we have the obvious stupidity of the average American news consumer, and then there's the obvious entertainment over information priority of the news outlets. But I guess the easiest target for a rant would be who has been picked for all of the attention.

When was the last time Anna Nicole Smith did anything that could even be remotely considered to be an addition to pop culture? It's been many, many years since her Playboy spread, and she wouldn't have even been in the news lately if it hadn't been for her drug using son's dying. Now she's the recipient of widespread mourning, and damned near 24 hour news coverage. Why? How many drug-addict strippers have died in the last year? I don't know either, so why is this one so damned important?

Then there's Britney. I don't give a shit if she's bald. But, obviously, the major news outlets seem to think I do. This last thing this pop-tart contributed, that I can remember, was her "take-me-from-behind" statue, and her musical contributions before that weren't anything to sing about. Let her have her breakdown, maybe then someone will take her kids and put them somewhere safe.

If the media needs a singer to talk about: today is Kurt Cobain's birthday (my son let me know that one before he left for school this morning). Surely they can milk his story for a couple of days, and, at least he actually contributed some good music to the World and had a real effect on American culture.

OK. I'm done ranting now. I guess I'll run a search for Paris Hilton, and Jessica Simpson--wouldn't want to lose track of who they're banging, and with the other two bimbos getting so much attention, they are surely planning something newsworthy.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Kentucky's New Family Fantasy Fun-Land

By way of Planet Atheism, I found an article at Discover.Com about the new Creationist Museum in Kentucky.

This place is definately being put on my to-do list for the Summer. My children love fantasy themed exhibits as much as I do, so it will probably be a family outing, and since it's only about an hour and a half away it will make for a good day-trip.

Hopefully, by then they will have an exhibit about how the Sun orbits the Earth as I plan on doing a post on this subject soon, and would be interested in their take on the subject.

Debate With Dan--Part Three

And so we come to Part Three. This part is significantly shorter than the others because the debate keeps taking a circular route around the actual issue of the debate, which is the validity of the Bible as an inerrant life-manual.

Below I address only those questions or statements posed by Dan's latest entry that are relevant to the debate. The entire comment can be found in the comments section of Debate With Dan--Part Two.

His statements are in quotes and blocked, my statements follow.


So are you saying that you have no answers to my questions about the inaccuracies and contradictions of a supposedly divinely inspired truth? I have pointed out dozens of flaws in the Bible and the beliefs you have pulled out of it, and you have addressed none of those points with anything other than sermons. Is that because the fairy tales and resulting religions have no defense or just that you don't know enough about either to offer the defense.?

The questions you have asked me with your comment are addressed below. The preaching serves no purpose in this debate, so unless it is relevant I have excluded it.

"Not to disapoint you I will copy you as a responce to your post"
I am not really sure what this means since I didn't write any of the stuff you use below.

"I guess there is only one thing to ask then: Do you think The Bible is a fake?"
I believe that it, like other religious texts, is nothing more that philosophical beliefs codified in literary form. I don't believe that it is a historical or true account of a real, supernatural entity.

"I believe it was written by 40 or 50 people over 1500-3000 years all pointing or prophesizing (sic) events that did come true (provable throughout history and no other book in the history of the world can claim that)..."
The authorship of the Bible is far from being that simple, but that subject has been covered by scores of books, and treatises which I cordially invite you to read. As for the prophecies, I don't have the time or space to address the inaccuracy and fallacy of Biblical prophesy, but there are many others who do. One good article I have found on this subject can be found HERE.
H. G. Wells predicted the atomic bomb, aerial bombing, robotics, and many other things in his stories--does that mean that you believe Martians will invade the Earth?

"...and that has lasted or transcended all sorts of rejections, and hundreds of different governments, over this many years and has moved 500 men (at first) back then to preach the good news ...the 2 billion people of this day ... all believing in the same thing..."
If longevity is proof of validity, then shouldn't you be Hindu? Or Buddhist? or Jewish? These religions are hundreds or even thousands of years older that Christianity. As for 2 billion people believing the same thing: there are over fifty different version of the Bible, and over 300,000 different Christian sects--this is hardly believing the same thing.

"The book has eye witness account (sic) of very credible people in that time frame and throughout history (too many to count here) comparable and more accurate then (sic) any history, written about those times, books we have to date."
The Iliad has a credible report of Troy, so do you believe in Zeus and Achilles? And, the accuracy of the Bible's history is more flawed than most fantasy novels. The Bible has people alive in time periods after they died, the wrong leaders in the wrong time periods, and hundreds of characters and events that have never shown up in any contemporary documents or accounts. The Bible also repeatedly contradicts itself on stories that can't be proven to have happened in the first place. This is far from being historically accurate. There are literally thousands of historical documents and books, and many works of fiction, that are far more accurate.

"...Can you honestly say that this Christianity thing is just fake, fad or that there are that many very confused people?"

"Aren’t you concerned that maybe you missed something or maybe missed the bus? That would frighten me if I missed something that most all of humanity understands and welcomes."
No. More people don't believe the Bible than do. And, I would counter that very few of those who believe actually understand. Otherwise they would be able to answer some simple questions--questions you have dodged repeatedly.

"There is a movement these days to debunk Christianity but that also was written in the bible (sic) talking about the last days."
And here we go again with the only defense you ever offer, the fear of a supernatural being written about in a collection of tales that cannot be shown to be accurate much less divine.

"Good luck and may God bless you on your path; my advice to you is to pick the narrow one."
Okay. Thank you. Are you supposed to believe in luck?

Once again the debate was ignored and other subjects were turned to. It is starting to look like there is no defense other than the circular tactic of turning to the Bible to defend itself. So I pose only the following questions (again).

If the Bible cannot be validated as inerrant and truthful, then how the Hell can it be used as the only proof for its own validity? If it can be shown to be inerrant and truthful then why can't you do so?

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Old MacDonald's Barnyard Freaks

Well folks, it seems that Ole' MacDonald the god of barnyard animals and vowels is trying to send me a message.

I made a statement in another post about never having seen a four-legged bird, then today I am told about a four legged chicken in Romania, and then I find a story about a four-legged duck in England.

Okay, Lord MacDonald I apologize--E, I, E, I, sayeth the Lord.

One Truth? Two Truths? No Truth.

Well folks, since I said in my last post that my next post which is this post, would be about Gospel proof vis. Matthew and Mark, that the New Testament cannot be a collection of truths which were written by divinely guided hands I here present the contradictions and fallible comments of the Gospel according to Matthew and Mark.

Why Matthew and Mark?

I could have used any two, any three, or all of the Gospels for this post, but there are reasons for just using these two:

  • Matthew and Mark were presented to me in a previous comment as examples of the accuracy and infallibility of the Gospels.
  • Matthew, being the largest of the Gospels is the one most people use when speaking about the teachings and life of Christ, and is the only Gospel that contains all of the most familiar stories making it the obvious choice as one to be compared to the others.
  • Matthew contradicts all of the other Gospels in many ways making it the best source of contradictions.
  • Like all of the Gospels, Mark contains contradictions with the other three. Basically it is as good as any of the others for this purpose, and it does contain some of the more easily explained contradictions.

Explanation of Comparison:

It has been my experience here in this blog and in other venues, that some people do not understand the point of my making comparisons such as this one. So, before I begin I will explain the concept of comparison as it pertains to the Bible.

First of all I am not comparing two normal pieces of literature or chapters, whatever you want to call them--I am comparing two pieces of work that hold the distinction of being considered by many to be divinely pre-edited by an omnipotent entity. According to this belief, everything contained in these works is the truth. Though written by fallible men, the hands and thoughts of these men were supposedly guided by one perfect being. If this is the case then the works should agree on detail thereby revealing one truth, because there cannot be two truths about an event.

Establishing the validity of the Gospels is important, because they and the rest of the New Testament constitute the only place on the planet with mention of Jesus' ever having existed. If the Gospels can be shown to be unreliable sources of factual information, then they can not be used as valid proof of the laws and existence of Jesus, and since there is no other substantiated evidence for his existence, the whole thing becomes no more valid than stories of other mythological beings like Zeus, Thor, elves, gnomes, and even Frodo Baggins.


None of the Gospel writers were present at all of the events recorded, and Mark, Luke, and Paul who is given credit for the Epistles, weren't there at all, so these writers have to have divine guidance or else they would not get the story right. The New Testament cannot be considered historically accurate if the stories in it contradict each other


One omnipotent God+One occurrence+divinely guided writers=The same story written by different authors.


Two different stories about the same event=No Omnipotent pre-editor, and no validity for their claims.

So, do Matthew and Mark tell the same divinely guided inerrant story? Let's see.

Of all the tenants of the Christian faith, the passion story of Jesus is the most important. It is through his death and resurrection that Jesus acquires his standing as the Savior. No resurrection--no divinity. No divinity--no authority to make rules. No authority--no reason to believe.

The importance of this story is a central point in the rest of the New Testament, and in the religion that has formed around it. Therefore, if there is any story in the Bible that is important enough to be presented correctly by God, then this is it.

Please feel free to follow along with your own Bible, or use the links I provide here. (all book, chapter, and verse references are from the King James Version of the Bible, since that is the version most fanatics use)


The accepted story to the point of Jesus' resurection goes something like this:
Jesus is born of a virgin, he grows up and then begins his ministry following a baptism, he gathers twelve disciples, he performs some miracles and teaches many people many things, he is betrayed by one of his disciples, he is arrested, all of his disciples run away fearing for their own welfare, Jesus is tried, crucified, and dies, he is then buried.
There are many contradictions in the New Testament concerning all of this, but those things are for another time.

Contrary to the three days and three nights that Jesus is supposed to spend dead, he is resurrected after two nights on the morning of the second day after his death.

The proof of the resurrection comes first from his tomb's being empty. Who found the empty tomb?

Matthew 28:1 says that Mary Magdalene and "the other Mary" (not his Mother) go to the tomb. Two women go to the tomb.

Mark 16:1 says that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, AND Salome go to the tomb. Three women go to the tomb.

Normally a story where there is a difference of opinion about the number of women involved wouldn't be a problem. But, this is supposed to be two inerrant accounts of the same event. One's wrong.

When the women get to the tomb what do they see?

According to Matthew 28:2-7 two women arrive and feel an earthquake and watch an angel move the stone away from the opening. The guards around the tomb pass out. Then the angel sits on the stone, and tells them that Jesus is no longer there. The angel then invites the two women to look into the tomb, then tells them that Jesus will meet the disciples in Galilee and commands them to go tell the disciples what they have seen and heard.

According to Mark 16:3-7 three women head toward the tomb wondering among themselves how they will move the big stone in front of the opening. When they get there the stone has already been moved, and the guards are gone. So, they go inside. Inside the tomb they find a young man in a white robe who tells them the same thing that Matthew's angel said.

So is it two women showing up to see some guards and an angel who moves the stone, or is it three women who see an open tomb and nobody around except the young man inside. Mark's version is not as exciting, and is obviously different. One story is wrong.

Both stories say that the women freak out and run away. What do the women do after they leave?

According to Matthew 28:8 the two women do what they are told, and head out to go tell the disciples what has happened.

According to Mark 16:8: the three women just run away and tell nobody what they have seen. Later Mary Magdalene tells the disciples, but that's covered below.

So do two women go straight to the disciples or do three women just run away and tell nobody? One story is obviously wrong.

So now that Jesus is out of the tomb who does he appear to first?

According to Matthew 28:9-10 Jesus appears to the two Mary's as they are headed to tell the disciples. Then tells them again to go tell the disciples.

Mark 16:9-10 says the Jesus "appeared first to Mary Magdalene." This is after she and the other two women ran away from the tomb. After Mary (alone) sees him, she does what the the young man in the tomb had told her to do--goes to tell the disciples.

So, does Jesus appear to two women on their way to the disciples, or to just one woman who then goes to the disciples. The only thing for sure here is that Jesus seems to have had something for Magdalene, and that God and/or proponents of an inerrant Bible can't count.

So after Mary, or Mary and Mary tell the disciples about Jesus' not being dead anymore what is the reaction of the disciples?

Matthew's version has the disciples believing the women and running straight to their secret hideout in the mountains near Galilee. "Holy resurrected messiah Batman. To the Bat Cave!"

Mark's disciples are a bit more skeptical. They don't believe Mary. "Yeah right, you lying whore. Next thing you're going to tell us is that you're carrying his love-child. Run along Monalisa." Not only do Mark's disciples not believe Mary, they don't even believe two of their own club that Jesus appears to while they were out for a Sunday stroll through the country.

So, do the disciples believe the two Marys and run off to the mountain in Galilee, or are they agnostics and call Mary Magdalene and two of their own crew deluded liars? Obviously, either Matthew or Mark has his divinely guided facts wrong. Or do both of them have the story wrong?

Now that Jesus has appeared to either two or five people where does he finally catch up with his whole posse?

According to Matthew, Jesus appears to his faithful followers after they arrive at their mountain retreat in Galilee.

According to Mark, the disciples stay put, so Jesus surprises his little band of agnostics while they are having supper. He then jumps their shit for not believing Mary, or the two he appeared to out in the country.

So, did Jesus have to catch a bus to Galilee or not. Somebody wasn't listening to God while he was writing his story, otherwise they would be the same story.

So, now Jesus has convinced his disciples that he is really not dead. Now what?

Well Jesus tells his little band of evangelicals to run out and spread the word. Then:

In Matthew Jesus tells them that he will be with them always. End of story.

But, in Mark Jesus ascends to Heaven and sits down next to his old man thus giving us two gods looking down on us. From there Jesus helps his posse spread the word. Amen.

So, did Jesus ascend or not? This is a pretty big deal. You would think these guys could at least get this part of the story straight. But, considering all the other differences between Matthew's stories and Mark stories, like take the staff, no wait a minute don't take the staff, I guess it is to be expected that they wouldn't tell the same story about this.

Unless of course, they were divinely inspired and their hands and minds were guided by an omnipotent God who doesn't make mistakes, and then went on to write a believable story about a real person and a real series of events, that could be used as a valid basis for the way a person should or should not live his or her life.

But as we have seen here--that simply cannot be the case.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Debate With Dan -Part Two

And so it continues.

My Debate with Dan continues, and since the comments back and forth are sometimes rather long I have promised to make separate posts as things go along. I am doing just that here.

This post is a reply to the last comment Dan left on Debate With Dan. The comment can be read in its entirety there, but I will be posting the parts replied to here for clarity. I will edit the comment only in the following ways:

His comments will be in quotes and blocked.

I will break down parts of the comment to make it easier to read.

I will emphasize with italics specific points of debate (unless otherwise stated all italics in his comments are mine).

I won't present parts that are irrelevant to my reply unless they are needed for context, though as I said above the entire comment is on the other post.

So, let's get started.

Part 1:

"It was funny that you made the comment on dumbing it down for me. The bible says the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. So maybe I should dumb it down for you."
The comment I believe you are talking about is the following:
"As to helping you understand, I would say again to read all of what I write. Beyond that, I could simplify the language I use if you want, to make what I say easier to understand. I didn't do so before, because I didn't want you to feel that I was talking down to you, or doubted your abilities of comprehension."
You are the one who said: "The bible is infallible. Please point something out so I can understand what you are talking about" in the prior comment. This implies that I hadn't pointed out anything for you. As I had pointed out within my posts and comments that your parable was wrong; that the creation stories in Genesis were in fact fallible; that there couldn't be two different inspired truths about a single event; and pointed out in my comment that your reply didn't address any of these issues but had wondered off in different directions, I felt that either the language, or metaphors were confusing which was why you didn't see or understand my post and the points contained therein, or that you hadn't read all of it (which was my main point).

I often confuse people that I talk to, and have to change my vocabulary and allusions to help them understand. I didn't say that I would dumb down for you, only that I was willing to use simpler language.

As for you needing to dumb down--I have no problem understanding your points, allusions, metaphors, similes, or vocabulary, even when they are misspelled, use the wrong tense, aren't punctuated, used improperly, or used in poorly constructed sentences, so there is no need for you to dumb anything down for me, but thanks anyway.

Part 2:

"It makes me remember a verse I just read not too long ago what (sic) Moses said to God when he was chosen for the task of leading his people to the Promised Land. Moses said in Exodus 4:10-12 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say."
I am not sure what a discussion between Moses and God about Moses' public speaking abilities has to do with writing. Unless you are implying that one or the other of us is uttering the inspired words of God.

Part 3:

"You are a funny guy to say the least."
Thank you Dan--I try. But I don't see the relevance.

Part 4:

"Let's go further with it shale [sic] we. I put what I wrote you and the other Christian site in quotes and if you Google it you will see that not even I wrote it and that is why the quotes are there. My original comment was for the other Christian site and I thought it was fitting to you so I copied you for your rant."
Generally, in what I write, and in what I read, when someone else's words or ideas are used they are attributed to their sources so that the quote or idea can be placed in context, and to avoid the appearance of plagiarism. While I didn't actually say anything about your using other's word except that such tactics wouldn't dissuade my views, it is something I have always felt strongly about.

As for what I called "the form letter" part of the reply in question, I stated that the reply made no sense in context to the post of mine you were replying to, and that its style showed a deal of disingenuosness. Also implied was that by using out of context form-letter replies you convey an appearance of not having read my posts and/or replies, or don't have answers to the questions stated and/or raised.

Part 5:

"My first priority (sic) is my wife and three kids and I talk to a lot people (sic) a day whether it's one on one witnessing or online (as you can see) or even preaching in online games. I really don't have that much time to spend with people that (sic) are hard of heart because God made you (sic) that way (remember 2 Thessalonians 2 comment in the past blogs) so I give most all of my attention to the humble at heart and sow the seeds for God to water."
As for your priorities I would expect nothing less, and never implied that I did. Neither have I implied or said that your replies weren't timely. In fact I would prefer that you take all the time needed to read what I write, toss it around for a while, and make your replies your own.

Due to my work schedule I have a lot of time to read and write. Due to my academic background and line of work I have become adept at thinking about several things at once, and retaining what I read. These things combined with my children being old enough that they prefer to do for themselves and don't require the maintenance they once did, and my not having any kind of time-dependant relationships or hobbies, I can usually reply relatively quickly, but I do not expect the same from others--unless they press me for quick answers in which case I press back.

As for your referance to 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and the sentence preceeding this referance: the passage, as I'm sure you are aware, talks about servants of Satan who follow him due to his "power and signs and lying wonders" whom Jesus WILL cause to believe lies so he can punish them--basically supernatural entrapment. This is to happen after the rise of Satan into prominence.

Since you said that God had "hardened my heart," and then used this chapter to explain yourself. Am I to assume that you, like many in the Bible, believe that thought comes from the heart? Are you saying that Satan has risen to prominence, so the end is nigh? Worst of all--Are you saying that I have seen the signs and powers of Satan and worship him?

As for the first two questions: that's on you. But, as to the third question: I have never seen the powers of anyone or anything that I am willing to worship. I don't believe in a Satan, and as a result don't worship it.

As for the rest of the comment--it is always easier to feed the people who want to be fed, so I understand why you put so much time into it.

Part 6:

"If you tell your kids there is a Santa Clause then you have lied and you are a liar even though you claim not to be, you are too proud to see that. How many lies does it take before someone is called a liar 1, 3, 10, 400 if I lied to you once, you would call me a liar? If I stole $1.00 or $100.00 from you I am still a thief. How many murders before you are called a murderer? Jesus said if you hate someone you are a murderer of the heart. You lied when you said you have never committed adultery because Jesus said in Matthew that if you look at someone with lust you commit adultery of the heart. God knows our thought life and we will be judged by his law (The Ten Commandments). The fifth Commandment is Honor you Mother and Father, Have you done that every time (sic) even when you were a teenager?"
"Have lied," and "are lying" are two different things. Just because I slept last night does not mean I am sleeping now. If you lie to me once I will say you lied. If you lie to me now I will say you are lying. If you lie with every opening of your mouth I will say you are a liar. But all of this is merely a matter of semantics and is somewhat based on opinion. The context for this part of your reply is my statement that I do not live what would be considered a sinful life and, my use of examples of how my lifestyle differs from that of many evangelical leaders.

I did not lie about my not committing adultery. First: adultery is defined by Websters as: "voluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband," and is something that I never did. Second: your definition of adultery is based upon Biblical statements, the validity of which you have still not established. Third: my affinity for Angelina Jolie didn't begin until well after my wife died (I first saw her in Gia which came out around 98 or 99 I believe--four or five years after my wife's death), and I never lusted after anyone while with my wife. The commandment you should be referring to is the one in which I made the Jolie comment in context with--#10 And no, Brad Pitt is not my neighbor. Fourth: you are again in violation of Jesus' instructions as per Matthew 5:22.

As for the honoring of parents thing: that is another Biblical concept, and once again, I point out that you have not established the validity of the Bible.

Which brings me to an interlude.

Once again you are quoting scripture to convince me. The original basis for this debate was a statement you left on my blog referring me to yours. After reading yours I told you that what you referred me to was nothing new, and I said that Biblical quotes and form-letter sermons would not convince me.

You continued to press the Bible and said: "I can prove there is a God." When I said that you had to prove the validity of the Bible, and raised a number of my reasons for saying so, you started going off subject, accused me of not presenting reasons, and have yet to answer questions that I have posed. You haven't proven there is a God, and you haven't shown how my points about the unreliability of the Bible are wrong.

I understand that you are using points given by Ray Comfort's Atheist Debate Instructions, but, frankly, this is why you are floundering. These instructions assume that the believer can control the conversation, and that the atheist can't or won't put the believer on the spot with questions. I have never seen this tactic work in person, and it is impossible to pull off in a venue like this.

What is happening here is that you are dodging questions in an attempt to wrest control. While I am willing to play point/counter-point with you, your increasing use of prejudicial attacks on my character as a means to try to scare me to the arms of Christ and side step the issues being debated will not only not scare me, but will weaken your point in the eyes of anyone reading this, because it makes it appear that you have no answer to my replies and questions, which weakens your position to anyone who does not already accept it. Side note: I am more than willing to openly, publicly debate the validity of my thoughts and ideas in a collegiate venue as the Living Waters evangelism resources page suggests its followers to do.

Back to your comment.

Part 7:

"Come on who are you trying to convince here me or you?"

Part 8:

"The first commandment...Have you broken that commandment?"

Part 9:

"God said if you break one commandment you break them all. You are in serious trouble here on judgment day. If you die in your sins then you will be guilty of [breaking] God's laws and what do you think that will be, heaven or hell?[sic] Justice will be served be sure of that."
You have yet to establish the validity of the Bible so this segment is irrelevant, because I have no reason to believe much less fear it. Again, see Matthew 5:22. I don't believe in heaven or hell, and anyone's going to either is in doubt according to the Bible anyway.

Part 10:

"What if someone raped you (sic) child and then died in his sleep the next day of a heart attack. Do you think justice would be served?"
His odds of making it to the next day if I know him would be slim at best. But to answer your question--no.

Part 11:

"Be sure God will punish the wicked and evil..."
See part 9 above.

Part 12:

"...(you are 54% evil right? or is that just your site)."
My site--it says so in the sentence before the number 54

Part 13:

"You sure are a proud of that aren't you?"
Yes. Using the same scale yours is 37%.

Part 14:

"Go to and click open for more."
The link doesn't work properly, but I have taken this test before at another's site, and found out that even if you answer innocent to every question you are still condemned to Hell, so it is a useless test--the thing should just get to the point.

Part 15:

"I am man enough here to say I have broken every single commandment 10 times over and I am very grateful that God gave me a way to wash away my sins and avoid Hell (God's jail) So I will follow him because I am grateful and humbled to his glory and kindness towards me."
I am happy for you, though a bit shoked that you have killed ten people, worshiped ten false idols, worshiped ten other gods, and commited adultery ten times.

As for how this applies to me: that is covered by my comment on part 9

Part 16:

"Matthew and Mark two different people are describing the same things. Describing not interpreting. Do you need the definition for you (sic) to understand the analogy I was giving? It seemed to go over your head a little."
You said: "In Matthew and Mark two different people are describing the same things. They do not use the exact words because two different brains are interpreting the same occurrence."

I said: "they are not 'interpreting' an event they are reporting said event."

You say they are doing both--I disagreed and said they were describing (reporting is a synonym for describing). So who needs a definition? (again you have resorted to attacks)

I understood your analogy--Matthew and Mark reporting on the events of say "Easter" Sunday is compared with the two of us watching fireworks. I explained how this analogy fails in context with my statements about contradictions. Very little I read goes over my head. So the real question here is which of us is having trouble with comprehension.

As for Matthew and Mark observing the SAME thing. I don't want to use the space here to cover this inaccuracy and the contradictions, but will do so with my next post.

Part 17:

"You crack me up because you said that you believe in Einstein's relativity and you don't even know that even one of the smartest men in the world ever, believes (sic) in God, here is (sic) some of his quotes: "Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." Or "God is subtle but he is not malicious." Or "God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.""
I said I "believe" relativity, not "believe in" it. That's two different things. Einstein is dead therefore believes nothing. As for whether or not he believed in God: I will let him speak for himself on the subject:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." From a letter Einstein wrote in English, dated 24 March 1954. It is included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, published by Princeton University Press.

"Thus I a deep religiosity, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of 12. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached a conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true....Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this attitude which has never left me." The Quotable Einstein

You might want to find the quotes you used in their original context, so you understand what they mean. You should probably read his thesis on relativity, because that will help too.

Part 18:

"So you are a very lost and (sic) sad and misinformed person."
Read the quotes above. Then reread your quote here, cite it to yourself, and you have my answer.

Part 19:

"You are the one that (sic) is not sincere because look at your bio you just love Pissing people off and...Well that's the biggest one except maybe exposing stupidity for the World to see."
And I seem to have done both here.

Part 20:

"I am not angry at you... ."
Your continued barrage of personal attacks belies this comment (see below).

Part 21:

"...but I pity you."
And I you.

Part 22:

"So you are a proud person, until that day when God changes your heart to help you with your conviction."
We STILL haven't seen your establishment of the validity of the book that this statement is based on.

Part 23:

"(an unshakable belief in something without need for proof or evidence in case you didn't understand)."
I know what conviction means, but you obviously don't. The definition says nothing about proof or evidence. You are defining a religious form of faith.

Part 24:

"So you are wrong I am sincere but I am not taking you seriously, how can I? You are trying to disprove a creator."
I said your use of form-letter replies give the appearance of insincerity, I never made a statement as to whether or not you were sincere. cf. my final comment on Debate With Dan. I am not trying to disprove a creator--I am proving the fallibility and contradictory nature of the Bible that constitutes the only so-called "proof" of the Biblical creator, in response to your assertion on my post that I was wrong. You have yet to debate any of the points I have made in that debate, with the exception of your incorrect assertion that I didn't understand the fireworks-viewing analogy you made that I replied to and have yet to see a rebuttal thereof.

It is obvious that you aren't taking me seriously because you have yet to answer any of the points I've made or questions I've posed.

Part 25:

"I think everyone is worth a chance to help them understand The truth my blog (sic) at"
We quit debating the accuracy of your blog long ago when I said that it was well written but flawed and you said you would prove the accuracy of it and the existence of God; then went on to dodge every question and/or point I posed. If you can't address these things then admit it.

That marks the end of my reply to this latest comment.

As I have stated numerous times in this post, the original debateing points have not been addressed, so I will, as promised earlier, do what you requested with the statement "The bible is infallible. Please point something out so I can understand what you are talking about." I will present one of my points by discussing the contradictions contained in the two books you threw at me (Matthew and Mark KJV Bible) as sources of reasons that I should believe in your god.

My point in that post will be that the two books have different versions, not interpretations, of the same series of events surounding one of the most important and critical events in all of the New Testament, and thereby have no validity as a divinely inspired collection of truths, based on the premis that there can be only one true series of events in any situation.

So, you are welcome to restart the actual debate with my next post, unless you wish to address all of the unanswered questions and statements contained in my previous posts instead.

Your choice.

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The above post was edited on 19 February 2007 to correct my using the word right when I should have used write. This stupid mistake was spitefully pointed out by another reader, and since it seemed to distract him from the issue at hand I corrected it.Thank You,

Friday, February 16, 2007

Light a Match Noah!!!

According to a story from National Geographic News this week, native Americans have been cooking with domestic chili peppers for at least 6,000 years.

So, since Americans were cultivating chilies about two thousand years before Noah, it is quite possible that Noah and his family could have had chili on their cruise--that's pretty cool. However, I don't understand how these chilies could have only grown in the place they were domesticated (Latin America) before the flood, and then only grown in Latin America until Columbus found them three thousand years later. It seems to me that the seeds would have floated around during the flood, and then sprouted in other favorable climates like Africa, or Australia. Maybe a creationist can clear this up for me.

There is one issue in the Bible that this report does clear up for me though.

As you may know, spicy Hispanic foods tend to give some people, myself included, problems with flatulence. If Noah and other Biblefolk had chili and the like, it would explain why the Bible talks about farting:
"Wherefore my bowels shall sound like an harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh." [Isaiah 16:11 KJV Bible]

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Be Careful What You Pray For...

Well folks, the same group of people who are constantly calling for having God put into politics, are now engaged in prayers, because of God being part of politics.

Uzbec map from CIA's World FactsOfficials in Uzbekistan have arrested Dmitry Shestakov (a.k.a. Pastor David), a Pentecostal preacher for inciting religious hatred, insulting Islam and distributing banned literature. Evangelical leaders in Uzbekistan, and elsewhere are crying foul saying that Shestakov's arrest is part of a pattern of religious intolerance by the government of this predominantly Islamic nation.

The Russian Orthodox Church is recognized by and registered with the government, as are some other Christian groups, but according to the Uzbek authorities, Shestakov was preaching without permission.

While I, by no means, support arresting people because of their religion, Uzbekistan's government and religious leaders make some good points about Shestakov and his ilk.

Some of Uzbekistan's Imams feel that Shestakov's arrest is a good thing because he and other pentecostal missionaries "set out their traps and our young people fall into them. We must punish in the harshest way those who poison the minds of our youth." Uzbek government spokesmen have questioned Shestakov’s being a real pastor because, "Earlier he abused alcohol and was dependent on drugs and now he presents himself as pastor David."

These claims have been confirmed by Shestakov's wife who also added that the good pastor had been in prison "several times." It has also been confirmed that Shestakov has been officially warned twice before about his "illegal religious activities."

The only person who has been allowed to see the pastor is his personal lawyer. According to Shestakov's followers his getting his own lawyer instead of a state appointed lawyer was in answer to their prayers. They didn't say why they didn't just get him released by praying for that.

Let me reiterate that I don't favor religious oppression, but if Pentecostals and other Evangelicals are going to rant and rave about having religion in government then they should shut up, and obey the laws put in place when a god is put into government. It is this exact type of situation that Jefferson saw happening in the American colonies and was trying to avoid by "building a wall of separation between Church & State." A wall which American Evangelicals are constantly trying to tear down.

Of course the issue here for Evangelicals would seem to be that it is not necessarily religious oppression that is the issue, but rather that this time they aren't the ones trying to oppress. When Evangelical leaders like Pat Robertson call Muslims "evil," and "Satanic," then compare the to Hitler and, say that Islam "is not a peaceful religion that wants to coexist. They want to coexist until they can control, dominate and then, if need be, destroy,", it is alright, but when drug addict/Evangelical preachers are called bad people it is "intolerance." When Evangelicals like Jerry Falwell say that America cannot accommodate ideas "that are diametrically opposed to Christian truth," it is "God's will," but when one of theirs is arrested for trying to control, and dominate children it is oppression.

Where are these self-proclaimed champions of tolerance when atheists are attacked by Christians, because they don't believe in God, or even when Evangelical Christians attack other Christians because they worship the same god differently (occurrences of which have according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have risen sharply in the last few years)? They were standing behind the attackers pressing them on, that's where.

Evangelicals, and other religious folk, need to stand back and face the truth--you can't have it both ways: if religion is involved with government things like this are inevitable, so my advice to these hypocrites is simple:
Shut the Hell up! And, Be careful what you pray for

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dawkins and Johnson on CNN

I found this video by way of The Atheist Jew. I've been looking for it, and was quite happy to have finally found it. Thanks AJ.

It is a CNN segment on discrimination in America of atheists, and includes a short interview with Richard Dawkins and a talking heads panel including American Atheists president Ellen Johnson.

Dawkins is, as usual, quite impressive, and makes several good points. Ellen Johnson doesn't do so well, but she is faced with a typical minister who won't shut up. However, the minister does a good job of proving some of Dawkins' points.


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Scientific Creationists: Oxymorons and Just Plain Morons

Since I have been all but trapped in my house for the last couple of days due to Ole' Man Winter's rearing his ugly head, I have had a lot of time to cruise the web catching up on a lot of things. During my travels I came across an interesting article posted on the Telegraph's website. According to this article, which is a month old, a group of Evangelical (a.k.a. fundamentalist) churches in Kenya is banding together to try and force Kenya's national museum to hide its collection of hominid fossils from the public. These fossils represent decades of archaeological finds in Kenya's Great Rift Valley by people such as Dr. Richard Leakey, and his family, and are considered to be the " clearest record yet discovered of the origins of Homo sapiens."

Basically, what this means is that Evangelicals want the Kenyan museum to hide all of the evidence that they have debunking the idiocy commonly called creationism. The churches' argue that their doctrine is "not that we evolved from apes...", so therefore don't want the fossils displayed, because it runs contrary to that doctrine (evolution from apes to man is also not the doctrine of evolution as anyone who has actually halfway researched it knows). Dr. Leakey said the group's plans were "the most outrageous comments I have ever heard."

But, unlike Dr. Leakey, I live in the American mid-west, and have the misfortune of seeing and hearing such tactics regularly. When Bible thumpers here are hit with something that runs contrary to their mythology, they make serious attempts to hide the opposing viewpoint. Here they generally go after children by trying to supplant real science with so-called "scientific creationism," or as it is called now, "intelligent design."

Such ideas are neither scientific, or intelligent, so their attempts generally fail, or are overturned later. The problem is that during their attempts many children are denied true knowledge that they would need to succeed in real Universities, and become so bombarded with un-substantiated and irrational claims that they spend years if not all their life confused and mis-informed about real science.

But, confusion and dis-information are the only things that creationists have on their side to "prove" their outrageous, and outdated claims that the fairy-tales found in Genesis are true. They claim that the Bible is scientifically accurate, and that its stories of divine creation, a world wide flood, supernatural sources for linguistic differences, etc. are true. But, when pressed to show their evidence they tend to take the course of attacking the other side, and pointing to the Bible as the truth. The "evidence" presented by proponents such as Duane Gish amounts to collections of attacks, unsubstantiated claims, misquotes, and , quite often, downright lies.

The tactics of the creationists involve instilling a fear of eternal pain, making sensationalist claims and statements, and the knowledge that your average person won't think to ask for sources, or won't take the time to seek them out. I have a great deal of experience with these methods, because they were used on me throughout my childhood by my father. He would force me to read nonsense such as a pamphlet from his preacher of choice entitled "Did Humans Evolve from Lower Life Forms, or Did God Create Adam?" (I still have my original copy), but then forbid me to read anything that presents the other side. I remember one instance when I was in middle-school, where dear ole' Christian Dad beat me silly for bringing home a book from the school library about evolution, and then burned the book because it was "evil and full of Satan's lies."

What Dad, and other creationists, didn't count on was that I, like so many others, had the ability to read, ask questions, and do my own research on the subject. Not only did I read and research the evolutionist viewpoint, but also read and researched the creationist side. I found the creationist side severely lacking any proof at all, and further found that their only documented source of information, the Bible, was so messed up that I eventually got to the point that I not only could no longer believe the darned thing, but couldn't believe that I had been so blind as to have ever believed it in the first place.

To present all of the evidence for the evolution side of the debate would not only take more time and space than I have here, but would be senseless, because an indoctrinated creationist wouldn't read it to begin with. But, I do have the space and time to present documented evidence for my claim that the Bible is as far from a reliable scientific document as you can get, and provide links at the end for further information about evolution, and other ACTUAL scientific studies--This is a hell of a lot more than any creationist is willing or even able to give about their claims. Besides, they want to use the Bible as proof, so I will go their route and challenge them to support their evidence.

The Bible is rife with statements, stories, and claims that are easily proven wrong by science, but it also full of statements that are easily proven wrong by a trip to the zoo or even your own backyard. I present just a few of these idiocies here. The entries here are just some of what I saw when I was checking a reference to "proof" of the Bible's being scientifically accurate left in the comments section of one of my previous posts.

All you need to double check my assertions and statements are a Bible, a brain, two eyes (one eye would suffice), and the ability to read (which you obviously have, otherwise these squiggly lines mean little or nothing to you).

Four-legged birds?

In your entire lifetime, how many four-legged birds have you ever seen? Weird dreams and sci-fi movies don't count. I have never seen a single one. I have seen fossil evidence that birds evolved from four-legged animals but have never seen any evidence for a four-legged bird. According to the Bible--there are such things.
"All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination to you." [Lev. 11:20 KJV Bible emphasis mine]

Feathered Bats?

I have seen many bats in my lifetime. I used to crawl into some caves behind my grandmothers house and catch them; a past time that Granny severely disapproved of, especially since I occasionally brought them into the house. But, none of the bats I ever caught, and in fact no bat ever recorded, caught, or photographed by anyone, had feathers. This is because they aren't birds--they're mammals, and mammals don't have feathers. But, the bats in the Bible are birds:
"And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls ... the stork, and the lapwing, and the bat." [Lev. 11:13-19 KJV Bible emphasis mine]

Hoofed rabbits?

Rabbits are something else I have seen a lot of. There are currently three living in my backyard, and I used to hunt them with a girl-friend's father when I was in high-school (the things a guy will do for a girl, huh). But, alive or dead, I never saw a rabbit with hooves. I have never seen pictures of hoofed rabbits either. I have seen jackalopes mounted, but I thought they were novelties constructed by taxidermists: I never knew they were mentioned in the Bible:
"And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you." [Lev. 11:6 KJV Bible emphasis mine]
I am not sure that rabbits or hares chew their cud either, because I do know that they can't regurgitate, which is part of the "cud" process--I will research this.

Camel hoof?

There is a reason for the term "camel toe." The reason is that camels have feet with two toes. They don't have hooves. Granted, the only camels I've actually seen are ones in the zoos I've been to, but I have never seen pictures of camel hooves either, and according to everything I have ever read about them, they don't have hooves. Well, everything I've read but the Bible:
"... the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you." [Lev. 11:4 KJV Bible emphasis mine]

Four-legged Insects?

To the chagrin of my Grandmother, I also liked collecting insects when I was young. Being the type of person that tends to research anything I become interested in, I learned that all insects have six legs, and that grasshoppers, locusts, and beetles are insects. My children knew these things before they could even write. But the "scientific" writers of the Bible didn't know it:
"Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind."

"But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you." [Lev. 11:22-23 KJV Bible emphasis mine]

Then there are stories about boats holding representatives of every animal on the planet when the boat wouldn't have been large enough to hold two of every insect much less two of every other animal, a family, and a year's worth of the food needed for the family and animals. Stories about every human, of every race on the planet being from one family in Turkey who lived 4,000 years ago. And, other outlandish stories that are supposed to be accepted as history, not fairy-tale.

The Bible can't even get its first story straight, much less be intelligently considered scientifically accurate. But, its deluded proponents continue to try to convince people that they have the only true source of information about everything even though they have no evidence for their claim, and try to hide the evidence against it.

And, as for the passage I mentioned above that was presented to me as "proof":

"For the life of the flesh is in the blood... ." [Lev. 17:11 KJV Bible]
Genesis 2:7 says:

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

These guys can't even decide if it's breath, or blood that is gives life. Scientists claim that it is both, but what do they know?

Evolution links as promised above (some contain explanations in simple language, some are scholarly, and some contain articles about creationism, but all are documented, cited, and refer you to their sources):

Evolution site at Berkeley

National Academies of Science evolution pages

The complete works of Darwin from Cambridge

Tree of Life project--Web collection of douments about the evolution of damned near everything

TalkOrigins archive--Many documents debunking creationism

National Center for Science Education "Defending the Teaching of Evolution in the Public Schools"

No Answers in Genesis: collection of anti-creationism documents

Leakey Foundation

Evolution Sciences versus Doctrines of Creationism and Intelligent Design

Their are many, many more places to find information on this subject. Just run a search for evolution and you will find thousands of documents and links.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Organized Crime for Christ

Stealing a church, buying male prostitutes, smoking meth, and environmental activism.

The crimes committed by leaders of the gay agenda? No?

Crimes committed by godless atheists? No?

Actually these are the activities of some of the leaders of the most active group in American organized crime today: The Evangelical Christian Mafioso.

Our Crook Pastor for the day is one Randall Radic, former pastor of Ripon's First Congregational Church in Ripon, California. This man of God managed to forge papers making him look like the owner of the Church property. He then used the papers to get $200,000 dollars in loans with the property as collateral, then sold the property for $525,000. Of course, since he is a man of God, no one from whom he got the loans, the people to whom he sold the church, or his blindly faithful flock thought that maybe he was up to no good.

The really good part about this is that aside from the six months he spent in jail, he will receive no further punishment. It seems that he has entered into a plea agreement--freedom in return for ratting out a murderer who supposedly confessed to him while he was in prison.

The pastor turned snitch has also found a publisher for a book he has written entitled "The Sound of Meat," a memoir of sorts about how he managed to sell a church right out from under its members. As I have always said: Illegal crime may not pay, but religion sure does.

Now, I'm sure that there are a number of people out there who will of course immediately say something to the effect that he "was not a true Christian." I've never understood what that meant, but I will say that he sure looks like a pastor to me, and according to Grace Notes, an online Bible study resource, Pastor Radic sure sounds like a typical Christian pastor:
Dr. Randall Radic

Dr. Randall Radic is the pastor of First Congregational Church in Ripon, California. He has graciously consented to provide some of his writings for distribution by Grace Notes. I think that you will really enjoy this teaching and receive blessing and help from his spiritual communication.

Dr. Radic has had an extensive and eclectic education in the Word of God. He received a B.A. in Classics from the University of Arizona; then he attended Bellview College in Westminster, Colorado, where he receive the Bachelors in Biblical Studies. He went on to receive the Master of Ministry and Doctor of Theology degrees from Trinity Seminar. Finally, he attended Agape Seminary where he received a doctorate in Sacred Theology.

He is a well-prepared pastor who has the rare ability to produce scholarly lessons that are readily understandable by most Christians.
That last line is my favorite.

I read some of his stuff, it is well written from a feed the believer standpoint. I'm surprised that some of his quotes haven't shown up here yet. My favorite article was one he wrote entitled "The False Prophet and the Mark of the Beast." I guess it takes one to know one.

I also liked the note that appears near the bottom of the bio. pages at Grace Notes:
There is no charge for Grace Notes Materials.

The ministry is supported by Christians who pray for the work and share in the expenses.
Radic's supporters sure prayed and paid.

Update on an Evangelical don I mentioned in a previous post: Estavam Hernandes-Filho and his wife have pleaded not guilty to smuggling charges in Florida. Brazilian officials are still waiting to get their hands on them for fraud and money laundering.

Evangelic homophobic solicitor of male prostitutesIn other news, American evangelicals, the people formerly led by the solicitor/ice head Ted Haggard, are worried about negative growth in their numbers. To reverse this trend they are going after Hispanics and other ethnic groups. I guess the poor undereducated Caucasian population has been tapped out.

They are also going after children with activities that include clowns and parades, and trying to attract single-moms by offering to change their oil.

Incidents like this always bring the words of Ben Franklin to mind:
When a religion is good, I conceive that it will support itself; and, when it cannot support itself, and God does not take care to support, so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.
Granted single moms, and Hispanics don't constitute a civil power, but the basic message is the same.

There are Baptists in Texas who are putting this growth drive in jeopardy though. It seems that 2.3 million Baptist Texans are being asked by their leaders to help the environment by voicing their opposition to 18 new coal-fired power plants that the governor is proposing. This moves is also in opposition to the Southern Baptist Convention, who last summer denounced environmental activism and warned that it was "threatening to become a wedge issue to divide the evangelical community."

There is also concern that this will divide Baptists in Texas. It seems that God is telling different people different things. Quite the jokester this guy.

Next thing you know we will have an Evangelical preacher/reformed lover of prostitutes having a show on the Discovery Channel a bastion of scientific programs, or even Spike TV home of shows like Spike's Women of Action, Late Night Strip, and Films of Fury, which they describe as: "a kung-fu flick of unparalleled ass-kickin-ness." Their website is interesting too, especially the feature called "The Babe-A-Lizer."

Wait a minute folks--such a thing has happened. It seems that America's favorite cry-baby/prostitute lover Evangelical leader, Jimmy Swaggart, airs his BS on these two channels. OK, now I can't be surprised anymore.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fire With Fire--Pt 2 (sort of)

It seems that I have started attracting readers who can't understand why simply slapping down a verse from the Bible doesn't send me running to the nearest church.

Well Penn Jilliate said it best when he stated:
"We need more Atheists, and nothing will get you there quicker than reading the Bible."
You see my Christian friends, I went through my childhood with a daily and quite extensive regimen of Bible studies. This constant reading and studying of the Bible led, in part, to my current lack of faith in it. I was not born or raised an Atheist--I learned my way there. In fact you might say that I intellectually evolved. Time permitting I will tell the story of this evolution in a future post.

So, to prove my point about the Bible, I will give you the second installment of my new Series--Fire With Fire, which began with a previous post about Judas.

The Genesis Creation Stories:

Most Christians know, or at least think they know, the creation story as laid out in Genesis. The story generally goes something like:

First there was nothing. Then in six days, God created everything from the stars to wallabies. He created things in order beginning with light, and eventually formed the first man, Adam, out of clay. In order to give Adam some company, he took from Adam a rib, and from that created the first woman, Eve, and all was good.

After creation, Eve was tricked by a talking snake into eating something she wasn't supposed to. Eve in turn tricked Adam into doing the same. God got pissed, and made the formerly immortal couple mortal, and cursed the woman with child-bearing.

They lived unhappily ever after.
This story is based on Genesis chapters one,two and three (one and two are discussed in the following--three will be saved for later.) Nice story, but it is a combination of two distinctly different stories. Most people don't see this because they know the story before they read it, which causes them to read into the stories what they already believe, and to read over the parts that don't make sense.

Here I will rectify this mistake.

Story One--Genesis 1

(Since the Bible in all of its versions can be found online I will give links to the chapters and verses I will use, and will only quote the verses when necessary for clarification. I invite readers, especially the believers, to follow along with whatever version they have or the online connections I supply)

Genesis 1:1-5:

"In the beginning" God creates the heavens and the Earth. The Earth is kind of a blob with water on it and is dark. God creates light, separates it from the darkness and calls the light day and the dark night. He is done for day one.

Genesis 1:6-8

God creates the sky which divides the water; some water on the Earth and some above the sky. He calls the sky "heaven," and is done for day two.

Genesis 1:9-13

God gathers all the water under the sky into one place, and causes dry land to appear. On the dry land he put plants including trees, and then stops for the day. End of day three.

Genesis 1:14-19

God creates the stars and other heavenly lights to be used to determine days, seasons, and years and puts them in the sky. He then creates the Sun and the Moon and puts them in the sky. He stops for the day. Day four complete.

Genesis 1:20-23

God creates all of the fish, and birds. He gives them the ability to procreate then ends his work for day five.

Genesis 1:24-31

Day six. God creates all of the land animals. Then they decide to create man in their image and put them in charge of the other things they have created. Then God makes men and women, and commands them to procreate and care for the Earth. He then makes everything vegetarian, stands back and looks at his creations and declares them "Good." End of day six.

Genesis 2:1-3

These verses are the end of the story in chapter 1.

(Remember, originally the Bible didn't have chapters and verses these were added later by the Catholic church to make the Bible easier to read.)

God is finished with creating and takes day seven to rest. He sanctifies this day making it a day of rest.

Now the contradictions begin:

Genesis 2:4

Intro to the story of creation, which was concluded in the last verse. ????

Genesis 2:5

There is an Earth, but no plants, no rain, and no man. Yes there are--he created them on days three (plants), one (rain), and six (mankind).

Genesis 2:6-7

God causes it to rain, then creates a man. There are still no plants or animals. Which contradicts Genesis 1:11-25 during which time he creates all of the plants and animals before man. How do I know there aren't any plants or animals yet? Well, just read on.

Genesis 2:8

God creates Eden, and puts the man (no name yet) there.

Genesis 2:9

God creates plants, or at least trees:
And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

So is it trees before man and woman (Genesis 1:11 then 1:27), or man (no woman) then trees as it says here. Did he create everything then decide that it was in fact not good and start all over? Or is this two different stories?

Genesis 2:10-15

God creates some rivers, and precious stones then puts the man back in the garden to take care of it. It doesn't say when he took our gardener out of the garden after having already put him there, but at least now he's back.

Genesis 2:16-17

God informs the man that he can eat anything in the garden but fruit from "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." God informs the man that if he does eat from that tree he "shalt surely die."

Genesis 2:18-20

God decides that the man needs help in the garden so he creates all of the animals to help the man out.

OK stop, in the last chapter God created all of the animals over a couple of days, and THEN created men and women. Here it says that he created a man, no woman, then created the animals (no fish yet, though) to be the man's little helpers. Which is the actual story?

Anyway, when God takes the animals to the man we finally find out that the man's name is Adam. Adam names all of the animals, but can't find any animals that will be good helpers.

Genesis 2:21-25

To rectify his mistake of not creating a good helper-animal ("...,but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him." 2:20) God puts Adam to sleep, removes one of his ribs (ouch) and creates a woman from the rib. When God shows his creation to Adam he declares that she is a woman.

Adam and his un-named wife happily roam around the garden naked.

This ends the creation saga. Genesis 3 is the story of the "fall of man," and as such does not have bearing on this subject. Although there is a glaring problem in chapter three that I will cover in a future post.

So, to clarify, we are to believe that every word of the Bible is true, and does not contradict itself. This has to be the case, because if the Bible contained contradictions it could not be entirely true. Since this is the only document in the Universe in which we are told about God, and is in fact the word of this God, it has to be entirely true, or it is a lie.

The first two books of this Bible clearly contradict each other.

Chapter one order of creation:
The Universe, Earth and water.

Then the light and darkness.

Then the sky.

Then the ground and seas.

Then the plants.

Then the sun, moon, stars, and other planets galaxies etc.

Then fish and birds.

Then land animals.

Then the last thing he creates--men AND women at the same time.
This order of creation is completely different from chapter two:

Chapter 2 vs Chapter 1:

First verses 4 and 5 of chapter 2 say that nothing is here except for the Earth. Since the sky, heavenly bodies, and seas are never mentioned in chapter 2 I am willing to concede that they have been created at this point. The problem is that no life talked about in chapter 1 is here now. Did God start over? If so then the whole seven days thing does not exist. Or is this in fact a different story?

Many believers have tried to explain this problem by saying that chapter two is merely a less detailed retelling of chapter 1. Well that could be the case if both stories got things in the same order and they simply don't.

In chapter two God creates a man (7) THEN trees (9). Earlier we are told that the order is trees then man and woman last.

God creates birds and land animals (19) after trees and a man. Earlier he created birds, then animals, then finally, mankind.

God then creates a woman. Here we have a definite problem. Man-trees-animals-then woman. Earlier it says plants-animals-man and woman at the same time:
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
This, according to chapter 1, was God's final act of creation, and was done on the same day.

Clearly, to anyone who can read, this is two separate and different stories. You can have only one truth, therefore one of these stories must be untrue, which throws the validity of the "true word of God" right out the window. And, if some of the Bible is a lie or fairy-tale then why believe any of it that cannot be supported elsewhere.

Homer's Iliad tells of the Trojan War, complete with Helen of Troy, Achilles, Odysseus, Zeus, Hera, and many other supernatural and superhuman characters. For centuries most people thought that the whole story, and it's companion The Odyssey were a collection of mythology and morality tales, and that Troy never existed. Then in the 1870's the fabled city of Troy was found to be real.

Does the finding of Troy make the Iliad and Odyssey true stories. There are no contradictions in these tales and there is historical evidence for the Greeks, and Trojans having really existed, so these stories have just as much proof of their validity as the Bible, without the contradictions, and predate the Bible by many centuries. It would be much easier to believe in the story of Achilles than in the story of Adam, or Noah, or even Jesus.

Now I am not so naieve as to believe that these facts will change the minds of people who prefer only facts that support their position, but until contradictins like those between Genesis 1 and 2, or Genesis 1 and 3, or the stories of Judas' death, etc. can be explained fully in logical terms that can't be refuted by the Bible itself, there will be no need for me to believe in the Bible's validity as an instruction maunal for life.