Fitting the Pieces Together, the Christian Puzzle is Solved!

I think I've finally solved the Christian puzzle. Here is my solution in brief (details are linked to, and a much fuller explanation is needed):

Christians do not believe in the God of the Bible, despite what they claim. Instead, they believe in the perfect being of St. Anselm in the eleventh century after centuries of theological gerrymandering. The Bible isn’t consistent in describing its God, but one probable description is as follows: Rather than creating the universe ex nihilo, God fashioned the earth to rise out of the seas in divine conflict with the dragon sea god sometimes called Rahab (in Job 26:9-12). This God is merely the “god of the gods,” who like the other gods had a body that needed to rest on the seventh day and was found walking in the “cool of the day” in the Garden of Eden. Yahweh, the god of Israel, probably emerged out of a polytheistic amalgamation of gods known in the ancient Near East in pre-biblical times. In the ancient Near East, all pantheons were organized as families, and Yahweh was simply one of the members of that family. Some biblical authors consider Yahweh, the god of Israel, as one of many gods fathered by Elyon whose wife was Asherah, to whom was given the people and land of Israel to rule over (Deut. 32:8). This God was responsible for doing both good and evil, sending evil spirits to do his will and commanding genocide. As time went on, Yahweh was believed to be the only God that existed. Still later, Satan was conceived as an evil rival in order to exonerate Yahweh from being the creator of evil. Still later, in the New Testament the God of the Bible was eventually stripped of physical characteristics and known as a "spiritual being" (although, in an era where gods could become men and where women were regarded as merely receptacles of the male seed, the virgin birth story is problematic in the New Testament, and hard to reconcile with a God who is considered a "spiritual being"). As theologians reflected on their God, they came to believe he created the universe ex nihilo. Anselm finally defined him as the “greatest conceivable being.” But Anslem’s God is at odds with what we find in most of the Bible.

The origin of the Christian cult started with an apocalyptic prophet who preached a doomsday message and gained a small following in Palestine. Jewish prophets like these were a dime a dozen and they had it easy given the harsh Roman rule.

After Jesus was crucified his followers had visionary dreamlike or ecstatic experiences which led them to believe Jesus was alive in a heavenly type existence. As time went on an empty tomb sequence was added to the story as well as other mythic elements, like a virgin birth a transfiguration, and so forth.

Their story was of a God who loved people so much that he sent his Son to atone for our sins in a culture where human, animal, and child sacrifice was acceptable to large segments of society. This story made sense and so evangelists and missionaries like Paul were able to reach the people of the whole Roman empire who themselves were superstitious to the core, since they believed in many gods and goddesses and had no evidence for them either. The best story had the best chance of success in those times.

Since warriors go to war in the name of a god, and since the Christian religion was growing in numbers, Constantine went to war in the name of the Christian cross and established a Christian empire. Upon becoming Emperor he called upon the church to settle their disputes which decided orthodox doctrines at that time. So Constantine's battle on the Milvian bridge decided which religion would dominate in western cultures from that time forward. We have inherited our religious beliefs because of this whole process. Had Constantine fought in the name of another god then history might have turned out differently.

Since that time Christianity has simply reinvented itself in every generation, much like a chameleon.

The only reason Christians refuse to acknowledge these things is because they simply are defending their culturally adopted beliefs. Many Christians refuse to even acknowledge that human beings don’t reason logically about this at all! That’s because, as Dr. David Eller argues, our culturally inherited beliefs are what we use to see with. These inherited beliefs are much like our very eyes themselves, so it’s extremely difficult to examine that which we use to see with. We cannot easily pluck out our eyes to look at them since we use our eyes to see. But we must do this if we truly want to examine that which we were taught to believe.

And as far as where we got our morals from in our western cultures, the same things can be said. Our morals evolved.

There is no basis for believing. The only antidote to the brainwashing of our culture is to demand evidence!

The Christian puzzle has been solved for me. In this sense Christians are no different than roughly half of Icelanders who believe in the existence of elves.

29 comments:

atimetorend said...

After Jesus was crucified his followers had visionary dreamlike or ecstatic experiences which led them to believe Jesus was alive in a heavenly type existence. As time went on an empty tomb sequence was added to the story as well as other mythic elements, like a virgin birth a transfiguration, and so forth.

Another perspective on understanding the resurrection is that the resurrection stories were simply written down as a description of the way people experienced Jesus, that they felt he still lived somehow in his message? I think John Shelby Spong promotes a view something to this effect. That seems perhaps a simpler and more likely explanation for the resurrection stories than visionary or ecstatic experiences. I don't have enough background to argue for or against that case, but am curious as to why you selected the scenario of visionary experiences. I hope that question is not too far off topic for this post, I know it is just one detail of where you are going with that.

John W. Loftus said...

atimetorend, it's probably a both/and, not an either/or. As to the arguments check this out.

Cheers.

atimetorend said...

Thanks, that's a great resource. I like the both/and option, I'll go with both/and/something-like-that. Looks like Richard Carrier goes with the story-casting as well.

PersonalFailure said...

Wow! Thanks for that.

Only in rereading the OT recently did I come to the conclusion that the ancient Israelites were monolatrists rather than monotheists. They clearly believed in the existence of other gods, they just thought they had picked the winning pony with yhwh.

I realized a long time ago that most christian "theology" is actually an odd conflation of the Bible, Dante's Inferno and Paradise Lost. Try telling someone that, though.

Sinbad said...

A common criticism of Christianity from folks like Dawkins is that, unlike science, it has no mechanism for self-correction. You, on the other hand, criticize Christianity's efforts at self-correction. I wish y'all would make up your minds....

strangebrew said...

'A common criticism of Christianity from folks like Dawkins is that, unlike science, it has no mechanism for self-correction. You, on the other hand, criticize Christianity's efforts at self-correction. I wish y'all would make up your minds....'

Problem with that statement is in the wording...or the claim in itself!

Christianity only changes dressing...just like Creationism adopting the chameleon attitude renamed themselves Intelligent Design.....and then lied about the reason!

Furthermore the actual change in Christianity apart from being only skin deep and cosmetic only occurs at times of panic and threat!

Falling church attendance...lets 'happy clappy' to be trendy!

But the core of the delusion never goes far in distance...and the followers still cannot behave in a rational manner whatever the brand chosen.

And that is because unlike science, it has no mechanism for self-correction...on a meaningful level.
But it so likes to disguise itself every now and then.

Science by default self-corrects every single time an observation demands it...Christianity ignores and vacillates every time change actually should occur...even have fisty cuffs between themselves to make them feel more righteous....and it has done for over two thousand years!

There is no comparison one discipline is extremely honest...the other is stuck and hoisted by its own petard!

Paul M. Harrison said...

Sinbad,

The idea of self-correction means the scientific system is allowed to test, doubt, question, reform, update, and change according to new information. It assumes we don't have the final truth on a matter.

In dogmatic, absolutist, authoritarian religious systems where a perfect God is said to reveal static, objective, unchanging truth codified into doctrines and enforced by auhtority, there can be no change.

The accusation atheists level against this type of belief is that although believers claim to be living according to the unchanging (usually moral and ethical) standard of what God has revealed, they continually change and adapt according to their time, place, and culture in order to stay relevant.

The fundamentalist brands are static to a fault by denying new information while the liberal brands are pliable to a fault because they have to reinterpret or abandon what the religion actually claims.

This is why many people reject religion altogether and stick to free-thinking, which allows us both to be humble with reality and to affirm strongly what we can know.

Andrew said...
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Brad Haggard said...

John, I don't want to sound trite, but none of this is new. Have you solved the puzzle now because you summarized it in one post?

John W. Loftus said...

I find it interesting that whenever I write about something, no matter what the topic is, some Christian comes along to say this isn't anything new. If I could only write about things that are new then I wouldn't be able to write about anything much at all. "Confound the ancients, they've stolen all of our ideas."

All I'm saying is that I've finally put the pieces together from my research, and as such I have the evidence to back up my claims. I have the arguments to back up my claims. I've read the relevant works.

ahswan said...

John, I won't say that you're not saying anything new. I will say that it's still wrong.

Christians do indeed believe the God of the Bible, and Christianity doesn't keep reinventing itself. If we stopped reading the Bible and merely read Lewis or Wright or whoever, then you could argue that. However, Christians still read and study the Greek texts as well as the writing of people like Irenaeus. There are certainly some new ideas (often impacted by secular philosophy, etc.), however it is always seen in the context of 2000 years of thinking; everything in Christianity goes through the equivalent of being "peer-reviewed," and is, as such, self-correcting.

Many of the examples that you refer to and the texts that have been discounted have failed in the larger context of Christianity.

Sinbad said...

"Christianity only changes dressing...just like Creationism adopting the chameleon attitude renamed themselves Intelligent Design.....and then lied about the reason!"

Sometimes true, but not always. We all share a human tendency to want to be right and, just as significant, to appear right to our peers.

"[T]he actual change in Christianity apart from being only skin deep and cosmetic only occurs at times of panic and threat...."

If you really think that you might want to read a bit more history. I would suggest, for example, that the Reformation provided a bit more than cosmetic change.

"But the core of the delusion never goes far in distance...and the followers still cannot behave in a rational manner whatever the brand chosen."

I love that we're so often accused of being delusional, mentally ill, ignorant, irrational, stupid, child-abusers, etc., simply because we don't see things the way you do. I can't imagine why someone might think that's being arrogant.

"Science by default self-corrects every single time an observation demands it...Christianity ignores and vacillates every time change actually should occur...."

You have a bit more faith in science (or, more accurately, scientists) than I do. Scientists are prone to seeing what they want to see like everyone else. Sometimes they must be (at least metaphorically) dragged where the research demands.

"There is no comparison one discipline is extremely honest...the other is stuck and hoisted by its own petard!"

Based on your triumphalism, it appears that you haven't had must contact with real scientists. I'm a touch more cynical than you....

"The idea of self-correction means the scientific system is allowed to test, doubt, question, reform, update, and change according to new information. It assumes we don't have the final truth on a matter."

And John's research suggests something quite similar about Christianity.

"The accusation atheists level against this type of belief is that although believers claim to be living according to the unchanging (usually moral and ethical) standard of what God has revealed, they continually change and adapt according to their time, place, and culture in order to stay relevant."

Religion isn't the only problem here. To pick two easy examples, consider eugenics and communism. Both were said to be entirely scientifically based, but both lasted for decades despite the evidence.

"This is why many people reject religion altogether and stick to free-thinking, which allows us both to be humble with reality and to affirm strongly what we can know."

This idea has a long Christian history too. For example, Augustine:

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens and the other elements of this world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and relative positions… Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of the Holy Scriptures, talking nonsense on these topics, and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn."

Literal Commentary on Genesis (1.19.41).

guitarstrummr said...

"I will say that it's still wrong.

Christians do indeed believe the God of the Bible, and Christianity doesn't keep reinventing itself."

Its comments like these that make me just shrug my shoulders. I will never fully understand how it is that Christians can be so arrogantly confident.

No need to back statements up - even when it is clearly obvious they do not have near the credentials that you do. No desire at all - not even one thought - to reconsider their position.

This person is a perfect product of modern Christianity. No doubt. None whatsoever. No room for the humility that makes one question their own solutions.

They have all the answers in the universe figured out, and well, once you know that - what evidence can be brought against it?

They start with the solution and weave the evidence to point that direction. It is quite an interesting way to think, but I can't stomach it.

Scott said...

Christians do indeed believe the God of the Bible, and Christianity doesn't keep reinventing itself.

Ahswan,

Even the God of the bible clearly reinvents himself.

First, he walks in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve as asks "where are you?"; then he retreats to a throne, which sits upon a solid dome, spread out above the earth like a brass bowl; then he retreats to the tops of mountains as a cloud, where no one can see his face and live; finally he retreats once again, to become a non-material being who exists in some other timeless, spaceless realm.

If this isn't reinventing himself, then what is?

Also, do you think it's merely a coincidence that Jesus travels to and from a spaceless, immaterial realm by spatially ascending and descending though the earth's atmosphere?

Acts 1:9-11: [9]After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. [10] They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. [11]"Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

Seems strange that the same "eyewitness testimony" of a risen Jesus' also includes him traveling though the clouds to a spaceless, immaterial realm.

dave mabus said...
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Teleprompter said...

I TALK IN CAPTIAL LETTERS BECAUSE MY WORDS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT AND YOU HAVE NO HUMILITY WHATSOEVER.

Anyone see contradiction here?

strangebrew said...

'Sometimes true, but not always. We all share a human tendency to want to be right and, just as significant, to appear right to our peers.'

To the extent where lying for jeebus is not only commonplace but compulsory!
Lying to each other is a small price to pay and acceptable...lying to yourself less so!
But it is what religion does...especially the Christian cult!
Peer pressure and ego run the show...and the more bizarre the dogma the more special it be!

'If you really think that you might want to read a bit more history. I would suggest, for example, that the Reformation provided a bit more than cosmetic change.'

The only change in the premise was a scrap between the deluded several hundred years ago...and that is still not something to boast about..Protestant and Catholics really love one and other just like jeebus preached...
That is not only deluded but the exact opposite of Christianity...well done!...probably better to keep it quite....folks might not notice the hatred between the afflicted!

Maybe someone misread history...heal thy self physician!

'I love that we're so often accused of being delusional, mentally ill, ignorant, irrational, stupid, child-abusers, etc.,'

Your point?

'simply because we don't see things the way you do'

No! it is because you are challenged with a reality bypass!
You believe in a fairy story and honestly expect everyone else to respect that ....and demand special privileges and screech intolerance when the nonsense is challenged.

'I can't imagine why someone might think that's being arrogant'

And it is obviously not arrogant to preach pompous twisted scripture in defense of a pet fear!..

'You have a bit more faith in science (or, more accurately, scientists) than I do.'

Absolutely!

' Scientists are prone to seeing what they want to see like everyone else.

That is just a claim of desperation..Scientists follow and see the evidence...something which religiously blind cannot see and do not accept because to do so would compromise their delusion!

'Sometimes they must be (at least metaphorically) dragged where the research demands.'

There is no evidence for a god...and you cannot drag a scientist to see what is not there...they only attend evidence....
That must be very uncomfortable for the fairy story but that is the reality....

Alternatively have you considered actually presenting the evidence you boast of? ...no thought not!

'based on your triumphalism, it appears that you haven't had must contact with real scientists.'

Based on your ignorance how do you presume that...I meet and work with scientists everyday...I work and have worked in many labs...
However much your prejudice might burn unfortunately you are fishing in the wrong creek!

'And John's research suggests something quite similar about Christianity.'

You wish!...or are you just lying for jeebus?

'Religion isn't the only problem here. To pick two easy examples, consider eugenics and communism.


Ahh the ubiquitous strawman argument ad infinitum!

'Both were said to be entirely scientifically based'

Only by retarded jeebus clones!

'but both lasted for decades despite the evidence.'

Same can be said for fairy stories and ghosties and the ghoulish...change the record...both examples are fallacious argument...and are always played from the point in a debate when a Christian realizes he is losing an argument...desperation does that !

'I'm a touch more cynical than you....'

A touch more naive maybe!

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens and the other elements of this world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and relative positions… Now it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of the Holy Scriptures, talking nonsense on these topics, and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn."

Pity being that Christians never learn!...nothing changes stupidity seemingly...

Eternal Critic said...

"everything in Christianity goes through the equivalent of being "peer-reviewed," and is, as such, self-correcting"

You're kidding, right? If an idea is rejected by mainstream christianity, half the time it results in a new annoying sect/subsect/"revival" or whatnot. If it were self correcting there could be consesnsus, which in religion, christianity in particular, there will never be.

Christianity, like anything else ancient struggling for current relevance reinvents itself to survive. Its like a sick analogy to evolution.

HomeTown said...

Hi John: I'm confused about your link between the God of the Bible and Anselm. Sorry to ask but what's the connection?

Regarding your "probable description" of God, I'm interested in knowing what makes it more plausible than any other "probable" description out there? (including any presented by Christians)

There's also quite a bit of parallelomania going on in your solution to the Christian puzzle. Not a good thing! To quote M.D. Hooker "That there are certain parallels between two narratives is hardly surprising, for similar themes reappear constantly in stories told by very different people. But suggestions that there is deliberate mimesis [imitation] can easily topple into parallelomania."

Brad Haggard said...

John, I guess it's the tone of the post that I object to. It sounds like this is some new discovery when you say the puzzle is "Solved!". It's important to point out that these arguments have some dust on them as well, and it's not as if some new "evidence" has finally falsified Christianity. Maybe the puzzle is solved for you, but it sounds like you think it is a rationally coercive case.

Sinbad said...

"To the extent where lying for jeebus is not only commonplace but compulsory!"

Kindly support the accusation specifically or have the decency to admit your error and retract it.

"But it is what religion does...especially the Christian cult!"

It's what people of all sorts often do.

"Peer pressure and ego run the show...and the more bizarre the dogma the more special it be!"

If you really think that atheists are somehow exempt you might consider offering some evidence to support your idea. Just a thought....

"The only change in the premise was a scrap between the deluded several hundred years ago...."

No, but only one example is needed to establish that your claim was and is patently false.

"Maybe someone misread history...."

Indeed you did. Horribly.

"[H]eal thy self physician!"

If you would show me where I have made such an historical error I could.

"No! it is because you are challenged with a reality bypass!"

In your view we can't be just wrong, we must be inferior. That's not arrogant....

"You believe in a fairy story and honestly expect everyone else to respect that ....and demand special privileges and screech intolerance when the nonsense is challenged."

If I have been guilty of any of these charges you should be able to demonstrate where and how. Otherwise, have the decency to admit your error and retract them.

"And it is obviously not arrogant to preach pompous twisted scripture in defense of a pet fear!"

Another false accusation and a tu quoque to boot. A daily double!

[ I noted that "[s]cientists are prone to seeing what they want to see like everyone else"]

"That is just a claim of desperation."

News flash -- strangebrew thinks scientists are perfect and not prone to human foibles. Any evidence for that?

"Scientists follow and see the evidence...."

In most cases they do and in even more cases I'm sure they try to.

"...something which religiously blind cannot see and do not accept because to do so would compromise their delusion!"

So people like William Phillips are blind? Has the Nobel Committee been notified?

"There is no evidence for a god...and you cannot drag a scientist to see what is not there...they only attend evidence...."

So how do you account for the mistakes scientists have made?

"That must be very uncomfortable for the fairy story but that is the reality...."

Yet another unevidenced claim.

"Alternatively have you considered actually presenting the evidence you boast of? ...no thought not!"

I have presented my view of the evidence many, many times in many places. Since that issue was not the subject of John's post I didn't mention it.

"Based on your ignorance how do you presume that...I meet and work with scientists everyday...I work and have worked in many labs...
However much your prejudice might burn unfortunately you are fishing in the wrong creek!"

Prejudice? Nonsense. Overall, scientists do fabulous work. We depend upon them every day in countless ways. But it isn't prejudice to recognize that scientists can and do make errors and are susceptible to common human foibles.

"You wish!...or are you just lying for jeebus?"

Another false and unevidenced claim. Support it please or have the the decency to admit your error and retract the allegation.

"Ahh the ubiquitous strawman argument ad infinitum!"

If (for example) eugenics wasn't a problem with and for scientists, you should be able to demonstrate how that's so. Can you?

"Only by retarded jeebus clones!"

Evidence please.

"Pity being that Christians never learn!...nothing changes stupidity seemingly..."

Within one post I'm accused of being stupid, mentally ill and retarded. I don't care how silly and rude you are, but please support the charges or retract them. Even better would be if you could respond in a post with fewer than a dozen exclamation points. Hope springs eternal after all....

strangebrew said...

"To the extent where lying for jeebus is not only commonplace but compulsory!"

'Kindly support the accusation specifically or have the decency to admit your error and retract it.'

Intelligent design/Creationist clones do it like breathing...or are they not Christians...funny how when the holier then thou's get tainted the ones doing the tainting stop being Christians...just like magic.

I would supply specifics but it is doubtful you could keep up with the argument.

No error No retraction.

"But it is what religion does...especially the Christian cult!"

'It's what people of all sorts often do.'

Claiming it a normal trait might assuage your sensibilities...does not make it correct.
Religion does it for control and gain...people of all sorts do it because they are human.

"Peer pressure and ego run the show...and the more bizarre the dogma the more special it be!"

'If you really think that atheists are somehow exempt'

So you admit the charge obviously.
Atheists do not have to resort to mutual pleasurings...that is only for the deluded.

'you might consider offering some evidence to support your idea. Just a thought....'

You claim it is not so... therefore you present the evidence that is the case.

"The only change in the premise was a scrap between the deluded several hundred years ago...."

'No, but only one example is needed to establish that your claim was and is patently false.

Scrapping of barrel bottoms disingenuous and wobbly...quite pathetic...it was a internecine war between the deluded trying to pretend who was more holy... not a renewal of Christian ethic...just the same old same old.

"Maybe someone misread history...."

'Indeed you did. Horribly.'

Of course your history is the christian one...ahh well I don't read fiction.

"[H]eal thy self physician!"

If you would show me where I have made such an historical error I could.

What heal yourself?
You claimed a jeebus bitch fight a few hundred years is proof of Christians reevaluating their belief.
But it was not the belief it was the practice of the belief....try and focus please!
You have nothing else as an example of christian change or renewal of faith to boast of...what a shock.

"No! it is because you are challenged with a reality bypass!"

Irony is never understood by some folks.

'In your view we can't be just wrong, we must be inferior. That's not arrogant....'

I did not mention inferior...maybe challenged is a better word.

"You believe in a fairy story and honestly expect everyone else to respect that ....and demand special privileges and screech intolerance when the nonsense is challenged."

'If I have been guilty of any of these charges you should be able to demonstrate where and how.'

No need you are a Christian it is a default setting apparently.

'Otherwise, have the decency to admit your error and retract them.'

Decency..do you know what that word means?

No error No retraction.

"And it is obviously not arrogant to preach pompous twisted scripture in defense of a pet fear!"

'Another false accusation and a tu quoque to boot. A daily double!'

Come come now do you not admit that Christianity is decided by interpretation of the bible?
Why do so many cults pretend different meanings...why are their Catholics and Protestants?

I noted that "Scientists are prone to seeing what they want to see like everyone else"

"That is just a claim of desperation."

News flash -- strangebrew thinks scientists are perfect and not prone to human foibles. Any evidence for that?'

Now you are really losing the plot...Your claim is a ridiculous one as such not really merit worthy of a detailed reply.

"Scientists follow and see the evidence...."

'In most cases they do and in even more cases I'm sure they try to.'

At least they have real evidence to operate with.

"...something which religiously blind cannot see and do not accept because to do so would compromise their delusion!"

So people like William Phillips are blind? Has the Nobel Committee been notified?

Nope! just cognitively dissonant!
And out of the many Nobel Laureates...still in a minority.

"There is no evidence for a god...and you cannot drag a scientist to see what is not there...they only attend evidence...."

'So how do you account for the mistakes scientists have made?'

How do you account for fairy stories?
Do you have any particular mistakes in mind?

"That must be very uncomfortable for the fairy story but that is the reality...."

'Yet another unevidenced claim.'

Yep admit nothing...don't allow the fear to show.

"Alternatively have you considered actually presenting the evidence you boast of? ...no thought not!"

'I have presented my view of the evidence many, many times in many places.'

Yeah I can imagine it.


'Since that issue was not the subject of John's post I didn't mention it.'

Fair enough but squirming can only delay the embarrassment.

"Based on your ignorance how do you presume that...I meet and work with scientists everyday...I work and have worked in many labs...
However much your prejudice might burn unfortunately you are fishing in the wrong creek!"

'Prejudice? Nonsense. Overall, scientists do fabulous work. We depend upon them every day in countless ways.'

More then you know methinks.

'But it isn't prejudice to recognize that scientists can and do make errors and are susceptible to common human foibles.'

'It's what people of all sorts often do.'...!'et tu Brute'

But not often and rarely twice.
Blaming someone for being human is a strange take on balanced argument.
And I never said Scientists were perfect...but I would trust them a tad more then folk happy clapping about jeebus and rapturing for effect!

"You wish!...or are you just lying for jeebus?"

'Another false and unevidenced claim.'

In what way does Christianity claim it is itself a false premise and it is more logical to believe in the existence of elves.?

'admit your error and retract the allegation.'

No error No retraction.

"Ahh the ubiquitous strawman argument ad infinitum!"

If (for example) eugenics wasn't a problem with and for scientists, you should be able to demonstrate how that's so. Can you?

Eugenics is a favorite bit of wiggle room concocted up by deluded retards to blame scientists and eventually evolutionary theory by default for political and ethnic delusions of grandeur perpetrated by ...yep you guessed it...Christians!

"Only by retarded jeebus clones!"

'Evidence please.'

Sir Francis Galton was a product of the Victorian era which were comprised of an attitude that the white man was superior...a claim which many a Missionary gentleman condoned and encouraged.
Science was implicated in the how...it was politics and government around the globe that implemented the when and why.
And it is only jeebus clones that prefer to blame science because the actual implementers were good Christian folks doing gods will.

'Even better would be if you could respond in a post with fewer than a dozen exclamation points.'

I like them...tis a innocent pleasure!

"Pity being that Christians never learn!...nothing changes stupidity seemingly..."

Hope does indeed spring eternal after all....

I stand by all charges and I retract nothing!

Sinbad said...

With so much silliness, it's hard to know where I should start, so I'll simply wade in at the beginning.

"Intelligent design/Creationist clones do it like breathing...."

Since I support neither, they don't apply. You accused me of lying. Support the accusation or retract it.

"I would supply specifics but it is doubtful you could keep up with the argument."

Try me.

"Claiming it a normal trait might assuage your sensibilities...does not make it correct."

I never claimed otherwise. Christians screw up regularly (and so does everyone else, scientists included).

"Scrapping of barrel bottoms disingenuous and wobbly...quite pathetic...it was a internecine war between the deluded trying to pretend who was more holy... not a renewal of Christian ethic...just the same old same old."

If you think the Reformation was "just the same old same old" you're simply ignorant of history.

"Of course your history is the christian one...ahh well I don't read fiction."

So now all Christians are untrustworthy louts too. Well played.

"You claimed a jeebus bitch fight a few hundred years is proof of Christians reevaluating their belief."

Yup.

"But it was not the belief it was the practice of the belief....try and focus please!"

How is the idea of justification by faith about practice and not belief?

"You have nothing else as an example of christian change or renewal of faith to boast of...what a shock."

There's lots more, but you claimed it never happened, requiring only a single (obvious) example to demonstrate how ridiculous your claim is.

"I did not mention inferior...maybe challenged is a better word."

Inferior was my interpretation based upon your repeated assertions that I'm stupid, mentally ill and retarded. I think it a reasonable interpretation.

"No need you are a Christian it is a default setting apparently."

Hand-waving isn't a demonstration that I "demand special privileges and screech intolerance." Put up or shut up.

"Decency..do you know what that word means?"

I'll let the record of this thread speak for itself.

"Now you are really losing the plot...Your claim is a ridiculous one as such not really merit worthy of a detailed reply."

The claim of one with no worthy reply to offer.

"'It's what people of all sorts often do.'...!'et tu Brute'"

Yup. Me too. And even you.

"In what way does Christianity claim it is itself a false premise and it is more logical to believe in the existence of elves.?"

Nice deflection attempt. You accused me of lying. Support it or retract it.

"Eugenics is a favorite bit of wiggle room concocted up by deluded retards to blame scientists and eventually evolutionary theory by default for political and ethnic delusions of grandeur perpetrated by ...yep you guessed it...Christians!"

I don't blame evolutionary theory for the nonsense of eugenics. I blame foolish and overreaching scientists, both Christian, atheist and otherwise.

"I stand by all charges and I retract nothing!"

Thank you Captain Renault.

strangebrew said...

'With so much silliness, it's hard to know where I should start'

Start like most of your ilk do...bum backwards

"Intelligent design/Creationist clones do it like breathing...."

'Since I support neither, they don't apply.'

Au contraire, mon brave...you support by sheltering these vermin under the auspices of Christianity.

'You accused me of lying. Support the accusation or retract it.'

Now you ARE lying...I never accused you personally.
If you cannot read analytically then try the Janet and John books to gain a little suss!

"I would supply specifics but it is doubtful you could keep up with the argument."

'Try me.'

The lovely family Phelps is a prime example of the premise...roundly condemned by all sides for their rabid hatred of society while hiding behind religious conviction...surely some good christian folks would label them...'no true Christian'?

But it would appear you score a point...no one from the theist community has labeled them as non Christian.
Despite their bile vile and vicious campaign of unadulterated hatred...the 'moderate' Christian community have never claimed their status as being non christian !
how very err...Christian!
Of course I retract...or maybe not.

A Devout Christian turns murderer...
From 'Spreading Light Ministries'

'Listening to Christian music does not make you a Christian. Going to church does not make you a Christian. Reading your Bible does not make you a Christian.'

The ski resort murderer was a Christian though...but regarded a Catholic as a non-christian...apparently...he thought is a jolly service to Yahweh to convert folk to the Christian faith!

Maybe extreme examples but belies the storm of confusion and suspicion bubbling and roiling under the surface of Christianity.
'Not with us then you are against us'...obviously some folk crack under that strain.

When the Christian religious can decide who is... what constitutes...and how Christianity should be espoused then you can join he grown ups in conversation.

One thing is for sure...no point in holding ones breath to await rationality from them!

'I never claimed otherwise. Christians screw up regularly (and so does everyone else, scientists included).'

Obviously..it is a part of the deal in being human.
But Religion does bossa nova the bossa nova with promises threats and demands...not all whiter then white...'Repent or Burn in Hell' seems a common theme...I wonder if that is a little white lie...?

'If you think the Reformation was "just the same old same old" you're simply ignorant of history.'

Christians have been wetting themselves since the Nicene council to out do one and other to appear holier then thou...nothing changes...the reformation was one group wanting to be holier then another group...considering it was the same god as titular deity it was just as I say...an internecine spat amongst themselves...enjoy!
It was not about redefining Christianity in the light of new evidence...it was an affect of power struggle and political desire that is on going.

'So now all Christians are untrustworthy louts too. Well played.'
A belief in fairy stories and supernatural gobbly gook does call in to question rational thought.

Would I trust a Christian?...no !
Are they untrustworthy?...depends if you are a Christian!
Well played?...I had nothing to do with it!

"You claimed a jeebus bitch fight a few hundred years is proof of Christians reevaluating their belief."

'Yup.'

Maybe you should re-evaluate what re-evaluation actually means.

'How is the idea of justification by faith about practice and not belief?'

Okay what is your belief...jeebus?...holy spook?...some spurious vague idea of a supernatural sky daddy?

How do you manifest your belief?

See the difference...?

One is the premise...the other is how you relate to the premise.
Both very different things.

There's lots more, but you claimed it never happened'

Lots more?...so many you are falling over yourself to boast about....Hmmm!
Christianity remains the same... the prejudice and irrationality NEVER changes...only how it is packaged.

'requiring only a single (obvious) example to demonstrate how ridiculous your claim is.'

That was not an example of the point..that was just a Christian disagreement which ended in acrimonius divorce...Christianity has not changed..it did not re-evaluate...it used no evidence....just a different interpretation of the bible.

'Inferior was my interpretation based upon your repeated assertions that I'm stupid, mentally ill and retarded.'

Actually it was you that coined that diatribe...

'I love that we're so often accused of being delusional, mentally ill, ignorant, irrational, stupid, child-abusers, etc., simply because we don't see things the way you do.'

How Christians love martyrdom.

I never said you were stupid...I never said mentally ill and I never said retarded or ignorant, irrational, stupid, child-abusers, etc.,...but that might change ;-)

'I think it a reasonable interpretation.'

I think it is an hysterical one...but there ya go different folks different strokes.

'Hand-waving isn't a demonstration that I "demand special privileges and screech intolerance."'

Should Churches be taxed at county level?...should churches be exempt from other social charges?...should Homosexuals be discriminated against?...Should ID/Creationism be taught in science class?...should visible declarations of faith...like crosses...be worn by a public service official?...should xmas paraphernalia like cribs and angels and the baby jeebus dolls be displayed on public buildings during the season?...should prayers be said in a public or state building?...should god be mentioned in the constitution of the United States of America?...Should god be mentioned on the currency of said country?...

'Put up or shut up.'

Just did!

'I'll let the record of this thread speak for itself.'

Indeed!

'The claim of one with no worthy reply to offer.'

You claim that I posited that 'scientists are perfect and not prone to human foibles'

And I never said that...that was why it is a ridiculous if not ludicrous claim and not worthy of reply.

"In what way does Christianity claim it is itself a false premise and it is more logical to believe in the existence of elves.?"

'Nice deflection attempt.'

Who is deflecting now?

'You accused me of lying. Support it or retract it.'

It is never lying when it is done for jeebus...I do apologize!

'I don't blame evolutionary theory for the nonsense of eugenics. I blame foolish and overreaching scientists, both Christian, atheist and otherwise.'

I will try this again...
A Scientist...or at least a gentleman of learning...proposed the theory of Eugenics in a book ...Sir Francis Galton...

'Inquiries into human faculty and its development.'

It was an inquiry in to ability and the possibility of hereditary mechanism in perpetuation of certain characteristics.

Political bunnies thought they saw a utopia in human development...they were the perpetrators of the practical aspect...not the Scientist or scientists.

I am aware tis a fine distinction...and a difficult concept. ...maybe that is why religiously motivated assume it was a nasty atheist scientific endorsed movement...unfortunately it was not!
But a lot of prominent folks agreed with the premise...go figure.

And you criticize my Historical knowledge?...sheeesh!

"I stand by all charges and I retract nothing!"

'Thank you Captain Renault.'

Is this not fun?

"Eppur si muove"

Sinbad said...

"Au contraire, mon brave...you support by sheltering these vermin under the auspices of Christianity."

I'm neither the pope nor a pastor. I have no capacity to "shelter" anyone.

"Now you ARE lying...I never accused you personally."

Of course you did. For example, you said that "lying for jeebus" was "compulsary" for Christians.

"The lovely family Phelps is a prime example of the premise...roundly condemned by all sides for their rabid hatred of society while hiding behind religious conviction...surely some good christian folks would label them...'no true Christian'?"

Try here (for example):

http://www.apologeticsindex.org/111-westboro-baptist-church

"But it would appear you score a point...no one from the theist community has labeled them as non Christian."

A "cult" isn't seen as being Christian.

"Maybe extreme examples but belies the storm of confusion and suspicion bubbling and roiling under the surface of Christianity."

Every worldview, ideology, whatever -- each and every one -- is susceptible to arguments and disagreements both above and below the surface. That's not news.

"When the Christian religious can decide who is... what constitutes...and how Christianity should be espoused then you can join he grown ups in conversation."

The same could be said for every political movement, every ideological movement, every....

"Obviously..it is a part of the deal in being human."

You got something right.

"Would I trust a Christian?...no !"

You obviously hold all Christians in contempt. Since most Americans fall into this category, you must be angry most of the time. I pity you.

"How Christians love martyrdom."

You give yourself way too much credit. I think your name-calling is juvenile nonsense.

"I never said you were stupid...I never said mentally ill and I never said retarded or ignorant...."

Of course you did:

* "Pity being that Christians never learn!...nothing changes stupidity seemingly..."

* "Atheists do not have to resort to mutual pleasurings...that is only for the deluded." [You do know that "delusion" is a clinical diagnosis, don't you?]

* "Only by retarded jeebus clones!"

"Political bunnies thought they saw a utopia in human development...they were the perpetrators of the practical aspect...not the Scientist or scientists."

You might want to read up on Charles Davenport, Ernst Rudin, Alfred Ploetz, Harry Hamilton Laughlin, Eugen Fischer, Erwin Baur, Fritz Lenz, Lucien Howe....

"Eppur si muove."

Pssst. Galileo almost surely didn't say that.

strangebrew said...

'I'm neither the pope nor a pastor. I have no capacity to "shelter" anyone.'

And obviously feel comfortable with lying vermin in the same bed!

'Of course you did. For example, you said that "lying for jeebus" was "compulsary" for Christians.'

And so it is...but I never accused you before of lying personally but I do now I was casting the net wider then one Christian on a blog site!

"The lovely family Phelps is a prime example of the premise...roundly condemned by all sides for their rabid hatred of society while hiding behind religious conviction...surely some good christian folks would label them...'no true Christian'?"
But it would appear you score a point...no one from the theist community has labeled them as non Christian."

'A "cult" isn't seen as being Christian.'

Oops! spoke to soon.

"Maybe extreme examples but belies the storm of confusion and suspicion bubbling and roiling under the surface of Christianity."

'Every worldview, ideology, whatever -- each and every one -- is susceptible to arguments and disagreements both above and below the surface. That's not news.'

Certainly not in religious circles anyway...

"When the Christian religious can decide who is... what constitutes...and how Christianity should be espoused then you can join he grown ups in conversation."

'The same could be said for every political movement, every ideological movement, every....'

It could be but it isn't.

Political belief and ideological belief are very similar to religious conviction do you not think?

"Obviously..it is a part of the deal in being human."

'You got something right.

How very Christian of you!

"Would I trust a Christian?...no !"

'You obviously hold all Christians in contempt. Since most Americans fall into this category, you must be angry most of the time. I pity you.'

Save your pity I am not American!

"How Christians love martyrdom."

You give yourself way too much credit. I think your name-calling is juvenile nonsense.

What name calling?...you decided that you were apparently accused of being delusional, mentally ill, ignorant, irrational, stupid, child-abusers, etc...not I...because I have more taste... calling yourself names then blaming someone else who is an atheist is very Christian in its logic...but still rather inane!

"I never said you were stupid...I never said mentally ill and I never said retarded or ignorant...."

'Of course you did:'

Where? why do you not nail yourself to a bit of wood and be done with it...?


* "Atheists do not have to resort to mutual pleasurings...that is only for the deluded." [You do know that "delusion" is a clinical diagnosis, don't you?]

So a clever change of a word from my text and do you feel better?...and yes I know...but honesty usually sorts it out in time...maybe you should try it?


"Political bunnies thought they saw a utopia in human development...they were the perpetrators of the practical aspect...not the Scientist or scientists."

'You might want to read up on Charles Davenport, Ernst Rudin, Alfred Ploetz, Harry Hamilton Laughlin, Eugen Fischer, Erwin Baur, Fritz Lenz, Lucien Howe....'

Three americans and five Germans...hmmm!...and look at the dates well well well what does that tell you?

Well obviously every scientist is a nasty little atheist probably...shows the level you work at...

Okay two can play at that game...

Rev. Clarence True Wilson, the General Secretary of the Methodist Episcopal Board of Temperance, Prohibition and Public Morals.

Rev. Harry F. Ward, professor of Christian ethics and a founder of the Methodist Federation for Social Service, writing in Eugenics..he said that Christianity and Eugenics were compatible because both pursued the “challenge of removing the causes that produce the weak.

Bishop Francis McConnell, President of the Methodist Federation for Social Service.

In 1929, the Methodist Review published the sermon “Eugenics: A Lay Sermon” by George Huntington Donaldson. In the sermon, Donaldson argues, “the strongest and the best are selected for the task of propagating the likeness of God and carrying on his work of improving the race.”

The largest corpus of writings on eugenics by an evangelical in this period came from the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's Walter L. Maier.
Maier went so far as to claim that the church "has never protested" legislative efforts in a list of states "where epileptics, insane, or feeble-minded persons" or "any one who suffers from an uncured social disease" are prevented from marrying.19 The terminological slipperiness of eugenics manifested itself in Maier's claim that:

'If the simple application of common sense in rejecting as a marriage partner any one contaminated with a loathsome and recurrent disease is eugenics; if the careful premarital investigation of physical characteristics is an integral part of eugenics, then every Christian should be a eugenist.'

Christian hands are not lily white...Enough said...except...

'as the Eugenics movement came to the United States, the churches, especially the Methodists, the Presbyterians, and the Episcopalians, embraced it.'

Do you still want to play?

"Eppur si muove."

'Pssst. Galileo almost surely didn't say that.'

The point was however much you wish things to not be so..reality has a way of defeating that wish.
Oh and by the way...

Pssst. god almost surely doesn't exist either.

Sinbad said...

"And obviously feel comfortable with lying vermin in the same bed!"

Yet another false statement. Surprise, surprise.

"And so it is...but I never accused you before of lying personally...."

Since I am a Christian, an accusation about all Christians necessarily includes me. It's simple logic.

Me: 'The same could be said for every political movement, every ideological movement, every....'

Strange: "It could be but it isn't."

If you think so you don't get out much.

"Three americans and five Germans...hmmm!...and look at the dates well well well what does that tell you?"

That I've proven my point -- despite your (false) claim, scientists were indeed at the center of the eugenics movement. Non-scientists were too. So were Christians. Shame on them all.

"Well obviously every scientist is a nasty little atheist probably...shows the level you work at..."

Sorry, Strange, that's not my position.

"Christian hands are not lily white...."

Of course not. There's always more than enough evil to go around.

J.L. Hinman said...

my answer is up on Atheist watch


here

lester.c.g said...

Oook.. So here's a basic way to break this down that worked for me about ten years ago when I was 11. I read LotR and I read several hundred pages from a bible. I came to the conclusion that if one could be true because it says it is, then the other could be as well. Later I decided that basing life on such a flimsy concept was foolish, thusly I came to the conclusion that niether could be possible because we have no evidence of either being true.

If evil exists, then god cannot. Since many christians claim all non believers to be sinners, evil, then god cannot exist, therefor niether can the basis of your religion. No god = No Jesus (which there is no record of to begin with). "Satan brings evil to the earth!" God is all powerful, Satan cannot exist if god exists, it's paradoxical to your argument of his existantce and his abilities and characteristics.

Furthermore, how can you claim that "all christian texts are regulated against 2000 year old greek texts" when we all know that Christianity came from Constantine a few hundred years after Jesus supposedly was crux'd?

There are to many inconsistancies with all religions to even consider them to be fisable. If something does not make sense, you cannot force it to make sense. If you argue against a christian they throw you in the classic loop.

-The bible says god is real. The bible is gods word so it is the truth.

I like to think ... What if god is lying? Then he's real, but you don't know him! Then you're fucked!!! HAHAHA.

I am a human being born in nature.
Nature is chaotic.
Chaos demands adaptation.
Religion cannot adapt.
Therefor it is false.