Open Conversation Part 3

Just continuing from the last thread…

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928 thoughts on “Open Conversation Part 3”

  1. i’d still like to discuss the medo-Persian empire vs the persian empire thing…

    anyone have any thoughts or even see why i think this is an issue?

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  2. and I had a clever reply to neuro regarding dictators, but as i pressed “post comment” it was lost as nate had just closed that section for discussion – so I guess I’ve leave that subject alone… for now.

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  3. Responding to a comment from the last thread:

    William, any woman who tells you the size of the dictator doesn’t matter, is lying to spare your feelings.

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  4. LOL, yes sir, does that mean you prefer your dictators big, but will settle for smaller ones if they’re around, or is that you only like bigger ones?

    but I am thinking a bigger dictator that cant stand up or cant stand up for long isnt really that impressive.

    But whether big, small, average, good or bad, if i’m the dictator, then i’m the only dictator. But hey, I dont have to be in complete control all the time, I’m willing to let someone else be on top for a little bit, but make no mistake, there’ll be no mistaking who’s in charge when i’m in charge.

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  5. but enough about rooster shaped roots, to the persians and to the medes….

    Now cyrus was an impressive dictator… darius the mede, well, let’s just say the stories of his grandeur make one suspect whether he was ever real…

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  6. Closing this thread and moving to a new one so it will load faster ~ Nate

    My internet modem thanks you 🙂

    William, why is the medo-Persian empire vs the persian empire an issue?

    Arch, I don’t expect to hear back from NASA. Someone slumped over a computer will glance at it and send back a canned response… three weeks from now.

    The idea, though perhaps not realistic, at least had good intentions. My son read the email over my shoulder so perhaps he will get a better idea.

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  7. Kathy, next time you’re looking for something interesting to read, check out this: Book Review: The Bible Tells Me So. I know you won’t read anything by “liberals”, but this book review is done by a conservative evangelical. The book itself is written by Peter Enns, a progressive Christian scholar.

    This article demonstrates that there are theologians that believe in God, believe in Jesus and yet would agree with many things that Nate, William and others have written concerning the old testament. Here’s a quote from the article:

    Evangelicals have got it all wrong. They read these texts as historical narratives correlating to true events, and the Bible can’t always live up to this expectation. Thus, they are defending something that can’t be defended. Instead, according to Enns, the Bible should be read as a series of stories that interpret Israel’s cultural-historical memory through the perspective of later authors. Events happened, later generations interpreted them as divine, and creative writers described the events in this way, even putting words into God’s mouth. In reality though, God never commanded these events, God didn’t lead Israel into battle, and most likely some of the events never occurred at all. For Enns, the reader shouldn’t struggle with these texts because they never happened. These texts are a “quest [by their authors] to experience God in the present, a sometimes volatile and catastrophic present.”

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  8. Dave, if she even bothers to read the quote you posted, I think once she gets to the last part that starts “In reality though …”, her mind will immediately shut down. Nice try, though.

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  9. “…Events happened, later generations interpreted them as divine, and creative writers described the events in this way, even putting words into God’s mouth. In reality though, God never commanded these events, God didn’t lead Israel into battle, and most likely some of the events never occurred at all. For Enns, the reader shouldn’t struggle with these texts because they never happened. These texts are a “quest [by their authors] to experience God in the present, a sometimes volatile and catastrophic present.”

    I can accept many of the stories in the Bible based on this consideration. People do that today. People who believe in God want to find some way to make sense of the chaos that is in their minds supposed to be so orderly. When hurricanes, earthquakes, wars, wildfires, personal tragedies hit people try so desperately to see what God is doing. A good example is Kathy’s interpretation of Neuro’s financial loss. There is nothing in “God’s Word” that tells us he had anything to do with it at all. Yet a Christian will read God into it every time.

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  10. Dave,

    I’m interested in the medo-persian things for a few reasons

    1) Christians maintain that there was a medo-persian empire. Historically, all i see is a persian empire.

    2) Christians say this for a few reasons, and Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar dream in Daniel 2 is one of them. There, christians maintain that the medo-persian empire overthrew the baylonians, who were then taken by the greeks, who were then taken by the romans – when the church was established. However, daniel aligns a little better with history if daniel meant that the medes were the second power, then the persians the third with the greeks as the fourth.

    3) Esther makes mention of the law of the medes and the persians…

    does anything in secular history agree that there was a medo-persian empire? We hear about the 300 spartans vs the persians, not the medo persians. the cyrus cilynder speaks about the persians doing this or that, not the medo-persians. We know from history that there was some relation between the medes and persians, but that the persians conquered the medes before Cyrus too babylon.

    Jeremiah 50 and 51 talks about how the medes will conquer and destroy babylon – but they didnt. The persians walked into babylon and took it without a fight. Did the biblical authors just assume jeremiah was right and try to marry his forecast with actual events, creating a fictitious medo-persian empire?

    If there was no medo-persian empire, then that is one more strike against Daniel and Esther – although those books are already suspect for other issues.

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  11. William, thanks for the explanation.

    There is nothing in “God’s Word” that tells us he had anything to do with it at all. Yet a Christian will read God into it every time.

    Ruth, I used to live like this everyday. I even analyzed the thoughts in my head wondering if they were from God or not. Every event in our lives could theoretically be a message from God or one of his Angels and we could make ourselves go crazy worrying about them. At some point we have to get a hold of ourselves and stop playing mind games with these “invisible men”. *hint hint* Kathy 🙂

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  12. Actually, I initially used the term, “canned response,” but decided that might disillusion you in the event that you were harboring any.

    “My son read the email over my shoulder….” – and the torch is passed.

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  13. “Actually, I initially used the term, “canned response,” but decided that might disillusion you in the event that you were harboring any.” lol.. how thoughtful of you

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  14. Dave,

    Ruth, I used to live like this everyday.

    Don’t feel like you’re alone in that. I interpreted every.single.thing. through that lens. There are points in my life where it was almost necessary to live that way to survive. Well, it seemed that way at the time. If I were going to live by the scriptures, that is. I didn’t think I had any option but to try to interpret the events unfolding in my life as divinely guided. What was I supposed to learn? What was God trying to teach me? What was the purpose of this and that?

    As a result I interpreted for other people, too. 🙂 Handy, that one.

    At some point we have to get a hold of ourselves and stop playing mind games with these “invisible men”.

    Amen and amen. That is all it amounts to. We are giving ourselves one massive mind….well, you know. It’s so very anti-climactic.

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  15. yeah, it is interesting how if something good happens, then god is blessing me.

    If something bad happens, well that’s either a test, or a trial of satan, or punishment for something – depending on how you feel that day.

    everything is evidence for anything if you look at it just right.

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  16. I am so glad to be free from that maddening mind chatter.

    In the previous post, a few of us were having a discussion about Mississippi. Not only is the state exceptionally dysfunctional, it also happens to be the most religious. From a cognitive sciences study “The Origins of Religious Disbelief”:

    “Religious engagement is far stronger in societies marked by poverty, high infant mortality, short life-spans, economic inequality, and nonexistent or unreliable government services and social safety nets.

    Some of the least religious societies on earth are found in contemporary Northern Europe and Scandinavia; not surprisingly, these are perhaps the most existentially secure societies in the history of humanity. Where life is safe and predictable, people are less motivated to turn to gods for succor.”

    My dad was transferred (job) to Mississippi when I was 10. I no longer live there. But I remember hearing sermons in church condemning these societies for having their chit together. For being cooperative, for taking care of their citizens, for being peaceful. They were of the devil, proclaimed the preachers.

    Studies show that the most religious states in the U.S. are the worst states to live in, while the least religious states are the best states to live in. In fact, the South (Bible Belt) is the worst region of the country to live in according to data from a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/10/07/why-the-south-is-the-worst-place-to-live-in-the-u-s-in-10-charts/

    New Hampshire made it to the top of the list for being the best state to live in. It happens to be the second least religious state in the Union, with Vermont being the least religious, which happens to be in the top three of the best states to live in.

    If you want the best education, the best health, the cleanest environment, the safest environment, the least crime, the best place to earn a living, the best place for internet access, the best job opportunities, etc., move to the least bible thumping states.

    Where religion thrives, social well being takes a dive. It would appear that the Christian god wants environmental conditions of inequality, sickness, poverty, illiteracy, crime, etc., — basically the worst of human conditions — thus ensuring loyalty.

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  17. Will you please remind me of how wonderful NH is in 4 months when my driveway is a sheet of ice and I’m having mini avalanches from the snow piled up against the retaining wall? : )

    I am an atheist, in part, because my mother was born and raised in poverty in rural Tennessee. Her father was an abusive, Southern Baptist, alcoholic lay preacher. She did well to marry my father, who sold Kirby vacuum cleaners but eventually retired as a Lieutenant Commander in the Coast Guard. He had gone to college, and was an electrical engineer and an atheist.

    I am so grateful that they made sure we got a good education, learned to trust our own thinking, and got the hell out of the Bible belt. It is still an uphill battle, even here in New Hampshire. Legislators are trying to pass laws eroding the teaching of evolution in the public schools, for instance. I have encountered many evangelical Christians, especially at work, and I have been told it is offensive to say I am an atheist. I have been harassed by a Christian in my former place of work. I don’t talk about it much where I work now.

    I can’t imagine living somewhere on the opposite end of the spectrum. I feel like an alien here sometimes because of my atheism.

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  18. Gliese, I smiled and thought about you when I read the stats about NH. I’ll take the snow drifts any day. It is disconcerting that the evangelicals are attempting to cast darkness on your beautiful state. They are doing that in Europe too. The Christian Science Monitor stated that they aim to change European Law, meaning, affect the rights of women, children and LGBT, etc. The American Prospect states: “Flush with cash and ancient hatreds, American evangelicals are incubating a Christian right in secular Europe.” They further state:

    “And as evangelical Christianity and other conservative religious movements gain force in Europe, the American right is finding more allies on the Continent. Cumulatively, their victories may be changing the global climate on some of the biggest social issues of our time. “We have a conservative period now in history — a substantial movement to the right around the world,” says James Paul, executive director of the Global Policy Forum in New York and a prominent thinker on the globalization of the Christian right.”

    http://prospect.org/article/tomorrow-world

    From the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) founded by American evangelicals:

    “Vision 2020 is the product of EEA’s reflection on religious liberty trends over 19 years, learning from our members, partners and political experiences. It has an ambitious goal – to pave the way for far greater Gospel impact in Europe by 2020 – because we have changed attitudes towards religious freedom, and because we have renewed Evangelical confidence in the Gospel and in our ability to share it, no matter what happens. Europe’s Evangelicals will be effective Good News People.”

    http://www.europeanea.org/index.php/vision-2020/

    “Good News People”

    *shudders*

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  19. I tend to think of the evangelists of all religions turning up the heat of their agendas as the baby boomers age. They know it won’t be long and a large number of people the world’s baby boomers will be, well . . . dead. And for those of us still alive, we won’t be speaking up and if we are we might be speaking gibberish if at all. Consider our aging minds and bodies quietly decaying into the night. (Cheerful eh?)

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  20. “The world is starting to feel rather medieval.”

    Gliese, this past week in North Carolina and Ohio, the religious right got the Supreme Court to side with them (voting discrimination) just hours before early voting days went into effect. (Point #14)

    This past month, in Colorado, the religious, conservative Jefferson County School Board introduced a curricula depicting American heritage only in a positive light — restricting history education to subject matter that “promotes patriotism”. (Point #1)

    We’ve got the religious conservatives all up in arms about homosexuality and against equal pay for women, and ownership of their own bodies. (Point #1 & 5)

    Five religious, conservative Supreme Court justices sided with religious corporations affecting women’s well being and their families. (Point #8 & 9)

    America has the highest incarceration rate in the world and continues to build more prisons even though crime has decreased over the last two decades. (Point #12)

    On June 30th, the conservative Supreme Court issued a ruling against organized labor unions. (Point #10)

    Members of the economic elite are being pampered by the political elite. (Point #9)

    The religious conservatives continue to dismantle the social safety net. (Point #2)

    I stay abreast of the news everyday — news that rarely makes the MSM (Point #6 & 13). Every point mentioned in this link, data provided by political scientist Lawrence Britt, is taking place in America and has since the Patriot Act was enacted. (Point #3 & 7).

    Yes, these are the “Good News People” I’m highlighting here.

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  21. Members of the economic elite are being pampered by the political elite.” – whose campaign funding is provided by the economic elite. And so it goes.

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  22. “Sorry, Neuro – meant Zoe – must be my gibberish, now GET OFF MY LAWN! –”

    Since “Stand Your Ground” laws are enacted in your neck of the woods, I will slowly back away. Please don’t shoot. I was just admiring your recently mowed lawn. Geesh.

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  23. Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that the “Good News People”, y’know the ones with all the Good News, are the ones screaming that the sky is falling?

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  24. Does anyone else see the irony in the fact that the “Good News People”, y’know the ones with all the Good News, are the ones screaming that the sky is falling? – no, because THEIR’S is; ours is clearing up nicely.

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  25. The conservative party is big on national defense and magnifies our perception of threat” – the real question is, how much of that is real, and how much a manipulation technique? Playing to the fear often results in big defense contracts to wealthy fatcats, who support the Party that generates it. Have we forgotten how many otherwise rational people – including our current President – voted to attack Iraq, on the fear that a lie was true?

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  26. ..ours is clearing up nicely.

    Oh, I agree. It’s just that they proclaim they have this good news and then proceed to tell everyone how terrible everything is… 😕

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  27. the real question is, how much of that is real, and how much a manipulation technique? Playing to the fear often results in big defense contracts to wealthy fatcats, who support the Party that generates it. Have we forgotten how many otherwise rational people – including our current President – voted to attack Iraq, on the fear that a lie was true?”

    Point #8:

    Religion and Government are Intertwined – Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.

    Point #9

    Corporate Power is Protected – The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

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  28. Oh, I agree. It’s just that they proclaim they have this good news and then proceed to tell everyone how terrible everything is…

    The “good news” is that you can escape this awful world and go somewhere better. These folks dwell on bad news and then pray “come quickly lord jesus!” Oh well. I prefer to enjoy what we’ve got and not pretend that we are going to live forever in a paradise. What was it called again? Oh yeah… being realistic.

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  29. the real question is, how much of that is real, and how much a manipulation technique?

    I have a “friend” on FB who is somewhat into conspiracy theories and I have to admit, some of the stuff he’s posted has me thinking twice about what the news media has fed to the American people. Anyone want to point out who owns these reporting agencies?

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  30. Nan, your comment reminds me of that film Wag the Dog. I was having a conversation with my brother-in-law the other day in which I expressed a distrust of our news media. I don’t think we ever get the whole story and certainly not in anything resembling unbiased.

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  31. “The conservative party is big on national defense and magnifies our perception of threat, whether of foreign aggressors, immigrants, terrorists, or invading ideologies like Communism. To a conservative, the world really is a frightening place.”

    ““The conservative party is big on national defense and magnifies our perception of threat” – the real question is, how much of that is real, and how much a manipulation technique? Playing to the fear often results in big defense contracts to wealthy fatcats, who support the Party that generates it. Have we forgotten how many otherwise rational people – including our current President – voted to attack Iraq, on the fear that a lie was true?”

    Of course.. because the “logic” here is that it’s much “smarter” to take a chance on losing our freedoms instead of misspending money.

    more “logic”… because people are making money.. that “MUST” be the reason for going to war.

    I wonder how many liberals whined about those warning about Hitler. Or the many other communist mass murderers and the poverty that came with them. Or those warning about the growing sharia supporting muslim population in France, GB and other European countries.
    You all don’t get it.. and that’s why you are liberals.

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  32. “I have a “friend” on FB who is somewhat into conspiracy theories and I have to admit, some of the stuff he’s posted has me thinking twice about what the news media has fed to the American people. Anyone want to point out who owns these reporting agencies?”

    The media is overwhelmingly liberal. The bias has made news reporting a joke in this country.. and around the world ftm.

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  33. “You all don’t get it.. and that’s why you are liberals.”

    Kathy, I’m not a liberal. I support gun ownership, I oppose abortion, I am okay with spending money on our military, I oppose common core, I agreed with you on the human population issue and this November I’ll be voting for a republican governor to replace the democratic incumbent in NY.

    None of these issues have anything to do with the original purpose of the threads directed to you. Everyone here has brought up reasons by which we have concluded that the Bible is a man-made collection of writings. We also tried discussing evidence for macro evolution with you which you did not reply to. This leads me to think there may be some truth to Paul’s claims that you really are just “messing with us”. Are you sincere about searching for truth or is this just a game to you?

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  34. Dave, just for your information I’ll pass along what the rest of us have learned in the last 5000 comments (all the threads’ worth) –

    – Explanations fall on her deaf ears

    – Reasonable explanations are futile

    – Words do not mean what she thinks they mean

    – Keep talking, however, as many people are reading Nate’s blog and they might actually THINK

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  35. Dave, I hope it goes without saying that one doesn’t have to be a libertarian or conservative to support gun ownership, personally oppose abortion, or support defense.

    I do believer, however, that Kathy is playing games — trolling.

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  36. Well, she’s doing an awful job of defending her religion. Even as an ex-Christian I’m offended. I mean I was once a believer… but I was never like her.

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  37. I think it makes kathy’s world easier to live in when you lump huge groups into two categories:

    1) extreme bible believers and conservatives.

    2) bible doubter, disbelievers and liberals.

    I suspect some of this comes from trying to reconcile how a merciful and loving god would condemn so many to eternal torture. I suspect that in order to make that notion of god hold up with the severity of the punishment, that she is forcing herself to believe that all who do not see the bible as she does, is doing so out of rebellion and pride – essentially saying to herself that people who go to hell, go there with their eyes wide open, spitting in the face of their benevolent creator.

    while it may seem to simplify things on the surface, that outlook is really just idiotic and insane – not to mention the fact that espousing such nonsense only guarantees that no one will be swayed by such commentary and only serves to distance yourself from others.

    troll, stupid, ignorant, mentally handicapped – whatever the root cause, i feel sorry for her in many ways.

    Even with comments like this, she’ll only hold firmer to her position, justifying with, “the Lord said we’d be persecuted and hated for his sake…” She wont realize that she’s being “persecuted” because she’s and a pompously annoying ass, not because she’s so righteous.

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  38. oh, and to kathy’s comment on liberal media…

    Fox news has the largest viewing base in the nation. It is the biggest mainstream media outlet there is – it is not liberal. It is very, very “conservative” and the only thing “fair and balances” about it is when they toss the phrase around.

    I’m sure kathy watches the biggest mainstream media outlet and takes it as gospel, just behind the gospels.

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  39. Couldn’t agree more, Dave. I was once a devout Christian. She is, in my opinion, one of the worst representations of Christianity. I do know a lot of sincere, caring Christians. I may not agree with their belief that Jesus was a deity or his daddy, but I respect their desire to use the positive aspects of Christianity as a tool to help them become a more compassionate human beings, if that’s necessary. I think Ryan is one of them. But religion should be personal. I don’t want people like Kathy shoving their bigotry and antisocial crap down my throat.

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  40. Or the many other communist mass murderers and the poverty that came with them.” – first of all, you ditz, it is not the job of US citizens to give up the lives of their sons and daughters to go after every mass murderer in the world. How many innocent Iraqis died in our pursuit of a lie that managed to take out 1 – count ’em – 1 mass murderer?

    Korea, Viet Nam and Iraq were all wars that didn’t need to be fought. Arms manufacturers made billions. There is so much, about which you know so little, it boggles the mind!

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  41. Dave, I hope it goes without saying that one doesn’t have to be a libertarian or conservative to support gun ownership, personally oppose abortion, or support defense.

    The truth is we all have unique views on a myriad of different topics. We are individuals and deserve to be treated as such.

    whatever the root cause, i feel sorry for her in many ways.

    I feel sorry for her too William. It doesn’t have to be this way. She could respond to the points rather than sniping at the dialogue. She could make friends here, disagreeing on historical points but agreeing to be courteous.

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  42. the Lord said we’d be persecuted and hated for his sake…” She wont realize that she’s being “persecuted” because she’s and a pompously annoying ass, not because she’s so righteous.”

    William, if she’s a troll, she probably won’t think that. If she isn’t, she most likely relishes in what she thinks is persecution.

    http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/why-right-wing-christians-think-they-are-americas-most-persecuted/

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  43. “Fox news has the largest viewing base in the nation. It is the biggest mainstream media outlet there is – it is not liberal. It is very, very “conservative” and the only thing “fair and balances” about it is when they toss the phrase around.”

    This proves my point.. WHY is Fox the most watched News network?? Because slowly but surely, people (who are objective) realize that if they want unbiased news, that’s the only place there is to go.

    And because they give the OTHER side of the liberal “news”.. liberals attack them every chance they get.

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  44. Dave,

    I guess you haven’t noticed the Kathy posts? Where I defend Christianity with much success?

    The points you’ve brought up, I’ve already addressed. If you have some new points, I’ll gladly address them.. and even some old ones if your points are valid.

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  45. I actually laughed out loud at that statement “. .. Fox. .. Unbiased news. .. ”

    Then I read the next comment about Kathy thinking she’s defending christianity with much success.

    Have we talked about delusions on this thread yet???

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  46. “This proves my point.. ” – kathy

    Oh?

    “WHY is Fox the most watched News network?? Because slowly but surely, people (who are objective) realize that if they want unbiased news, that’s the only place there is to go.

    And because they give the OTHER side of the liberal “news”.. liberals attack them every chance they get.” – kathy

    you’re funny.

    “I guess you haven’t noticed the Kathy posts? Where I defend Christianity with much success?

    The points you’ve brought up, I’ve already addressed. If you have some new points, I’ll gladly address them.. and even some old ones if your points are valid.” – kathy

    this proves that you’re either delusional or trolling – either way you are very entertaining.

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  47. “This proves my point.. WHY is Fox the most watched News network??”)

    Studies show that at least 75% of people follow other people’s opinion even when evidence is staring them in the face. It’s called cerebral automatism.

    Read the Solomon Asch experiments. You fit the typical follower. Read the studies from the University of Leeds where scientist found that 95% of people followed without their conscience awareness. The scientists said that people follow like sheep. ➡ You

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  48. “Dave, I hope it goes without saying that one doesn’t have to be a libertarian or conservative to support gun ownership, personally oppose abortion, or support defense.

    I do believer, however, that Kathy is playing games — trolling.”

    “trolling”.. because I don’t agree with your views.. yep, that certainly *is* the liberal definition.

    “..personally appose abortion”… while thousands of innocent babies are killed every day, which you support.

    And liberal support of defense means when they’re on your doorstep I’m sure.. when the cost of lives and money is much greater.

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  49. “..personally appose abortion”… while thousands of innocent babies are killed every day, which you support. – kathy

    what are you talking about?

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  50. “And liberal support of defense means when they’re on your doorstep I’m sure.. when the cost of lives and money is much greater.” – kathy

    I’m still confused as to how you’re using “liberal.”

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  51. Neuro, I’ve explained in my own words why I have the views I do.. your “studies” are propaganda for liberals who can’t or refuse to think for themselves.. instead giving blind trust to anything that has “study” attached to it.

    Honestly, the only thing those who hold leftist/ liberal views can do is come up with “studies” to sway and hold their fellow liberals… and the bias is there, influencing the outcomes… I promise you.. I’ve seen it. Again, it’s the only way liberals can keep the number of followers they have, by being deceptive.

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  52. “Neuro, I’ve explained in my own words why I have the views I do.. your “studies” are propaganda for liberals who can’t or refuse to think for themselves.. instead giving blind trust to anything that has “study” attached to it.”

    Nobody can be that illiterate or bigoted unless they are mentally challenged or a troll.

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  53. “I’ve explained in my own words why I have the views I do.. your “studies” are propaganda for liberals who can’t or refuse to think for themselves.. instead giving blind trust to anything that has “study” attached to it.” – kathy

    kathy, this is one of your problems, you’re commenting on something you havent read. the bible even warns against doing that.

    If you want to refute Neuro’s article, then read it and offer counter points to those in the study.

    Do you realize that “studies” arent just things that are made up? sure, you’d be wise to look and see how the study was conducted and how they arrived at their conclusions, but being swayed by such work makes much more sense than believing a super being had some guys write a book for him – and that we should trust them or burn if we dont…

    If you call that rational, you’re mistaken.

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  54. Scientific studies: Evidence, peer review and detailed conclusions based on the research and evidence.

    Bible: Claims to speak for god, threats of eternal damnation if you dont believe those claims, doesnt hold up to all the available evidence…

    which involved blind trust?

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  55. “I guess you haven’t noticed the Kathy posts? Where I defend Christianity with much success?”

    Kathy, it was painful to read along because you always avoided the best points and snatched at the trivial ones. You resorted to stereotypes and character assassination rather than addressing anything of value. You kept telling everyone that you wanted to debate, but never really engaged.

    Here are 20 reasons to back up my claim that Christianity is a man-made, non-divine religion. I will gladly discuss any of these topics with you. You choose:

    1. Science disconfirms the Bible – Science has shown us that the universe is much older than 6000 years old. Being able to see galaxies that are millions of light years away is one example.

    2. Archaeology disconfirms the Bible – After much searching no one has found any trace of the mass exodus, the ten plagues in Egypt, a large-scale Canaanite conquest or a world wide flood.

    3. Contradictions in the Bible – Christianity is centered around the Bible and it’s divine message, the inconsistencies and contradictions within the Bible are evidence of it being uninspired. It is passed as a single, unified book from God, but it is just a collection of religious texts from ancient writers and should be treated as such.

    4. Insufficient evidence – The miraculous events in the gospels are not mentioned in any contemporary writings and the gospels are written anonymously 40-80 years after the events may have happened. The gospels are not written in the first person, they are written like a story.

    5. Failed prophecy – The most prominent failed prophecy in the Bible is Jesus’ own prediction that his second coming would occur within the lifetimes of his generation.

    6. God is not involved – Good and bad things happen to both good and bad people. Terrible and horrific things occur and God does not intervene. There does not appear to be any supernatural beings meddling with us at all.

    7. Hell is unjust – Infinite punishment for finite crimes is unjust and the concept of eternal torment is inconsistent with the concept of a loving God.

    8. The trinity is illogical – Not only is the trinity logically impossible, but it is a later explanation given to cover the problems created by the New Testament authors.

    9. Yahweh’s commanding of genocide – It makes more sense to interpret the Canaanite conquest narratives as man-made justifications rather than a divinely inspired message.

    10. Transformation is not supernatural – The ability to behave properly, treat others kindly and abstain from non-healthy addictions is not something only Christians can do (not that they all do). The moral “transformation” that occurs for a new believer is something anyone can do if they want to, but for some people they get a boost from a community of caring people to keep them accountable.

    11. No unity of the “Spirit” – Despite claims that the Holy Spirit is indwelling Christians and helps them discern the truth from scripture, Christians do not agree on many important doctrines and Christianity has been fractured into scores of different denominations.

    12. Out-of-context prophecies – The claim that Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies in the old testament falls flat. It is clear that anyone can go back and find texts that can be interpreted to meet their needs. The gospel writers (especially whoever wrote Matthew) appear to have gone out of their way to make their stories fulfill a “prophecy”.

    13. Christianity’s bloody history – The crusades, witch hunts and the inquisitions. Heretics (people with different views – gasp!) were burned at the stake. All of this was justified by select passages from the Bible such as Deuteronomy 13:7-12.

    14. Faith should not be esteemed – Faith in the sense that you need to believe in something rather than seeking evidence or proof does not appeal to me at all. Without being skeptical you will end up believing all kinds of things regardless of whether they are true.

    15. Unethical beliefs – I’ve been told that I should believe just to be on the safe side (Pascal’s Wager). This is selfish thinking. If I don’t have enough proof to convince honest skeptics or even myself then why should I believe just to save myself while believing that everyone else goes to hell? Beliefs should come from evidence, not from our desires.

    16. Nothing unique – I have yet to see a claim made by Christians that is not paralleled by other religions. All religions claim things about personal experiences, fulfilled prophecies, miracle stories, scientific insight and superior moral values. Christian’s who claim they are superior to other religions often rely on stereotypes.

    17. Outdated – The Bible is outdated and needs to be replaced. It is not a good book to base your life on. It says hardly anything about parenting. It says to stone your disobedient children or anyone who breaks the sabbath. It is not tolerant of other cultures and beliefs. It sanctions slavery. It tells you to do good things because you will get a reward. It does not treat women equally. Etc, etc.

    18. Based on fear – Fear of Yahweh, fear of Satan, fear of demons, fear of punishment and most of all… fear of hell. Vain threats have been used down through the ages by cowardly men who unfortunately know how to prey on human weaknesses.

    19. Birthed in superstition – The time period of the gospel writers was overflowing with superstitions. Miracle workers were commonplace along with divine prophets, martyrs and gullible believers.

    20. Unfair – The idea that the creator of all men would only reveal himself to one group of people, but leave everyone else in the dark is unfair. The ancient Chinese, Egyptians, Aztecs, Native Americans and many other people groups are left out and only the tribe of Israelites were chosen to interact with the creator of the universe.

    Kathy, all you’ve done is scoffed at us for believing that something can come from nothing, which is not even what I believe. While we make no claims to having all the answers to our origins you claim to know it all and somehow we are the prideful and arrogant ones.

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  56. “trolling”.. because I don’t agree with your views.. yep, that certainly *is* the liberal definition.

    Kathy, there are several other Christians who comment on Nate’s blog that don’t agree with us, but can carry civil discussions without labeling everyone. UnkleE, Josh, Ryan and Brandon to name a few.

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  57. And liberal support of defense means when they’re on your doorstep I’m sure..” – oh, well, if you’re sure, who could doubt it?

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  58. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Zoe (and to any other Canadians out there!) Happy weekend to all! I’m off for a feed of fish ‘n brewis (a Newfoundland dish) – you want an entertaining ‘commercial break’ – look it up! 🙂

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  59. With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that requires religion.
    — Steven Weinberg —

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  60. Again, it’s the only way liberals can keep the number of followers they have, by being deceptive. – Kathy

    Somehow studying reality and trying to figure it out is being deceptive, but relying on ancient texts is okay?

    We could make the same type of claim about Christianity… the only way they can keep the number of followers they have is by using the fear of “hell” and brushing aside all their doubts.

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  61. Kathy wrote: liberals who can’t or refuse to think for themselves.. instead giving blind trust to anything that has study attached to it.

    Replace the word “liberals” with “bible-believers” and replace the word “study” with “God” … and who does it remind you of?

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  62. Ok, let’s start with these 2..

    “1. Science disconfirms the Bible – Science has shown us that the universe is much older than 6000 years old. Being able to see galaxies that are millions of light years away is one example.

    2. Archaeology disconfirms the Bible – After much searching no one has found any trace of the mass exodus, the ten plagues in Egypt, a large-scale Canaanite conquest or a world wide flood.

    1)Not all Christians agree that the Earth is only 6000 years old. That’s one interpretation of scripture, but it’s debatable.

    2) Absence of evidence is not proof. On the contrary, there has been lots of archaeological evidence that supports it’s truth.

    1&2 are good examples of why I haven’t bothered with your arguments… they are weak.

    Present your best argument.. I’ll address that next.

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  63. 1)Not all Christians agree that the Earth is only 6000 years old. That’s one interpretation of scripture, but it’s debatable.

    2) Absence of evidence is not proof. On the contrary, there has been lots of archaeological evidence that supports it’s truth.

    1&2 are good examples of why I haven’t bothered with your arguments… they are weak.

    Present your best argument.. I’ll address that next.

    On 2) Absence of evidence is not proof:

    Are we looking for proof or good evidence?

    Neither of your rebuttals contains any real substance. Can you provide a link to a page with this archaeological evidence? Do you have a book or an archaeologist’s website?

    Also to that claim that absence of evidence is not proof: Absence of evidence for the mechanism by which evolution occurs, and absence of evidence for a first cause is not proof. If absence of evidence isn’t proof for archaeology, certainly the same should apply for origins?

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  64. Not all Christians agree that the Earth is only 6000 years old. That’s one interpretation of scripture, but it’s debatable.

    So you don’t take a literal, historic view of the Bible? You do realize why Answers in Genesis clings so desperately to that date don’t you?

    Absence of evidence is not proof. On the contrary, there has been lots of archaeological evidence that supports it’s truth.

    It is very good evidence in the events where you would expect to find evidence. You don’t think it’s odd that nowhere in Egyptian records they relate those massive events (plagues)? or a million slaves that went missing? Do you believe in Noah’s flood? That is one of the easiest things to prove false in the Bible.

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  65. Kathy,

    Wow. I might have to put the colander back on my head soon. If you don’t get that, you will have proved my point. There is a theory that time is an illusion and that in reality everything happens simultaneously, and you are full of pride if you don’t choose to believe it.

    Eraser, tv dinner, needle, paper, diving board, covered wagon, dress, cat, fish bowl zipper. My 7th grade teacher gave us two minutes to memorize those words and I still know them these many years later.

    I like cats, but both of my snails, both named Steve, died recently. I believe hiking is THE exercise for everybody and that if they don’t do it they will be punished forever. I believe it, therefore it is true.

    1 tbsp paprika, 2 eggs, juice of one lime, tequila – it’s a recipe for disaster.

    This is pretty much what your posts sound like to me. Effective communication involves a message, a sender, and a receiver. if the message is incoherent, the receiver cannot make use of it. Your message is incoherent, disjointed, and useless.

    I suppose this one is too, but I have amused myself writing it. You are SO working against Christianity, I bet even Jesus wants you to stop.

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  66. Kathy, either the earth has been around for millions of years or it hasn’t. Which do you believe? Keep in mind that our own Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light years across, meaning it takes light 100,000 years to travel from one side to the other. And that’s just our own galaxy! It is estimated that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe!

    Here is a quote from Answers in Genesis:

    The genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 make it clear that the creation days happened only about 6,000 years ago. It is transparent from the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11 (which give very detailed chronological information), unlike the clearly abbreviated genealogy in Matthew 1 and other chronological information in the Bible that the Creation Week took place only about 6,000 years ago.

    As you know these dates were meticulously calculated long ago by the Bishop James Ussher in the early 1600s.

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  67. At this point you either have to deny observable science and geometry used to calculate astronomical distances or you have to deny that the bible is to be taken literally. Once this decision is made you can either forget about it or you can count it as the first strike against the so-called “solid foundation” of the bible.

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  68. At this point you either have to deny observable science and geometry used to calculate astronomical distances or you have to deny that the bible is to be taken literally. Once this decision is made you can either forget about it or you can count it as the first strike against the so-called “solid foundation” of the bible.

    Agreed, Dave. I think that most literalists, like the ones at AIG, deny observable science. There are those who go down the road of myth and allegory with Genesis, but I’m not sure what they do with original sin and death prior to original sin if they keep it. There are also those who deny original sin but then I’m not sure what the purpose of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is. For me, when original sin fell, the rest of the house of cards wasn’t far behind.

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  69. Ruth,

    It was the product of my mind’s efforts to not let Kathy get to me. I was even thinking, “Whaaa?” when I was writing it.

    I am proud to say that i too have worn a colander. I needed a strange hat when I was an appraiser at a Destination Imagination tournament. I grabbed a colander, affixed a moose figurine to the bottom of it and tied it under my chin with a huge bow. Nobody there thought it was even remotely strange.

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  70. Present your best argument.. I’ll address that next. ~ Kathy

    Of course you want the “best” because its easier to attack one argument than 20 of them. My case against Christianity is a cumulative case and it’s all of them together that make a strong case. Anyhow, I find this very convincing: The origin of “Yahweh”.

    I am going to quote the Christian scholar Thom Stark:

    Well as scholars like Frank Cross, Chris Rollston, Mark Smith and others have demonstrated and have known for some time, the earliest texts in the Hebrew Bible give a strong indication that the early conception of Yahweh was that he was an ancient Near Eastern tribal deity. As I argue in my book, following Rollston, the Song of Moses in Deut 32 indicates that Yahweh was believed to have been one of the children of the Canaanite deity El Elyon (God Most High). The song describes how the nations were originally formed, and what it says is that the peoples of the earth were divided up according to the number of El Elyon’s children (the junior members of the divine pantheon). Yahweh, Israel’s patron deity, was one of Elyon’s children.

    If you look at this passage from the dead sea scrolls (our oldest copies) you can see what he’s talking about:

    Deut. 32: 8-9
    When Elyon divided the nations,
    when he separated the sons of Adam,
    he established the borders of the nations
    according to the number of the sons of the gods.
    Yahweh’s portion was his people,
    Jacob his allotted inheritance.

    In later versions like the MT and LXX the phrase “sons of the gods” gets changed to “son’s of israel” or “god’s angels” because the editors were trying to cover up the original meaning. in Canaanite literature El Elyon is the chief deity at the head of the pantheon. This passage makes it appear that Yahweh was one of the sons of Elyon and that he was assigned to Israel.

    I apologize if this was brought up in the Kathy threads, while I read a large portion of the comments I did not read every single one.

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  71. There is no “original sin.” It’s one of Paul’s made-up ideas.

    I totally agree, but most Christians subscribe to some form of Pauline Christianity. And if there is no original sin there is no good explanation for the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus according to that theology. This is what Kathy has been getting at when she’s asked Laurie repeatedly to give her a Reader’s Digest version of Jesus’ supposed sacrifice.

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  72. I apologize if this was brought up in the Kathy threads, while I read a large portion of the comments I did not read every single one.

    I don’t think this has been brought up to Kathy. I started reading The Human Faces of God and never finished. I’ve gone back several times and attempted to read it through, getting a little further each time. I had forgotten about that passage about Israel being Yahweh’s inheritance from his Father El Elyon.

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  73. @Dave –

    Sir John Lightfoot (1602-1675), Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, published his calculations in 1644, before Ussher’s were completed. Lightfoot even went a step further – he swore on a stack of Bibles that Man was created at exactly nine o’clock in the morning –  at least by god’s Timex!

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  74. Anger is a luxury I can ill afford.
    Translation:
    “Don’t make me angry – you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry –“

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  75. I apologize if this was brought up in the Kathy threads” – No, it hasn’t been. I gather that was taken from the Ugaritic texts? I have a slightly different theory, but each is better than the one offered by the Bible.

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  76. Arch,

    I don’t even like me when I’m angry. : ) A little anger is alright,, of course. Anger happens. I just don’t want to escalate and end up with another Pope Incident on Facebook. One thing leads to another, you know.

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  77. The part about El or El Elyon being the head deity is from the Ugaritic texts, yes. The part about Yahweh being one of his sons is from that passage from Deuteronomy. What makes it an important passage is that it is from the song of Moses which is one of the oldest parts of the bible.

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  78. I thought I told you about that, sorry. I tried to post “Poke me with a fork” on Facebook, but, as you know, I am very prone to typos. I posted, “Pope me with a fork” instead. Well, my worlds collided on Facebook, ending up with one of my longtime atheist pen pals saying, :F%#@ the Pope!” It also happened to be atheism awareness week,and I had changed my avatar to a big ‘A’ for the week. Eventually, my mother, who is an atheist, called me up and told me off for saying something so disrespectful about the Pope.

    The point is to an outsider, my Facebook page appeared as if I was obsessed with atheism, and was really angry about it. Anger can motivate us to action, but it can become an impediment if it gets out of control.

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  79. 5000 comments later and some of you are beginning to think Kathy might be a troll. oh, LOL.

    I can already tell you exactly what Kathy’s answer to the age of the earth is.
    she always says that “in the bible it says that a day can be a thousand years for god.
    then she will also argue that god created the universe “old”.

    and as I’ve said before, Kathy’s arguments always boil down to her accusing people of being baby killers, which she did here with dave:
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/10/09/open-conversation-part-3/#comment-21606

    hey Kathy, you ignorant cow, get your big fat worthless ass to the gay pride festival this Saturday at J.D. Hamel Park from NOON to 6 P.M. and tell all the gays that giving them the right to marry is worse than terrorism, the end of our society as we know it.

    then you are going to get the hell beat out of you.

    oh, but you are way too much of a coward to actually stand up for what you believe.,

    TROLL!!!!!

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  80. Dave, I’m not interested in spending a lot of time on your “best argument”.. so can you condense it as best you can? What’s the claim, and what SPECIFICALLY is the evidence that backs up this claim. Please give the best arguments.. in other words, be as brief as possible, if I find it a good argument then I’ll have the interest to learn more.

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  81. Ruth,

    “Are we looking for proof or good evidence?

    Neither of your rebuttals contains any real substance. Can you provide a link to a page with this archaeological evidence? Do you have a book or an archaeologist’s website?

    Also to that claim that absence of evidence is not proof: Absence of evidence for the mechanism by which evolution occurs, and absence of evidence for a first cause is not proof. If absence of evidence isn’t proof for archaeology, certainly the same should apply for origins?”

    I’m always looking for both proof and good evidence.

    Archaeological evidence:

    http://www.faithfacts.org/search-for-truth/maps/archaeological-and-external-evidence

    http://www.facingthechallenge.org/arch2.php

    The MAIN point here is that NO archaeological evidence has been found that disproves the Bible.

    The Bible is FULL of dates, events, historical figures.. so if it’s all made up, it would be very easy to find evidence to prove it.

    And I’ve never claimed to have “proof” of our origins.

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  82. In other words, Dave, she can’t comprehend your insightful, extremely well-written, sensible and intelligent twenty points you made. Like I say, though, for those reading along who DO think, it was well worth your effort!

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  83. I’m sure I’m not the only one that notices Kathy’s “links” are always to bible-based, Christian websites, whereas most links provided by others are to sites that offer studies by professionals in a wide range of fields. (Of course, they’re all “liberals.”)

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  84. Are you challenging those claims of archaeological evidence Nan? Because that IS the point.. the evidence.. not whose site the evidence is posted on..

    And Carmen, you miss the point again.. I’m asking for a condensed and precise claim/ argument. I’ve wasted enough time on desperate claims from atheists and liberals.

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  85. Yes, Kathy, I am challenging the claims that are shown on bible-based, Christian websites. For example, on the page that talks about meat being sacrificed to idols at facingthechallenge.org, the writer makes this statement:

    Archaeologists have discovered dining rooms in the temples of Asclepius and Demeter at Corinth. They have also found an inscription identifying the local meat market.

    What in the world does a dining room or an inscription have to do with meat being offered to idols? This is supposed to be proof???

    Further, most of what is said related to archaeological discoveries on these sites is carefully selected to “prove” certain bible passages or scriptures.

    If you’re going to use archaeological evidence to prove what you believe to be true about your faith, you need to examine all the archaeological evidence. This would mean extensive research of the places, events, and people of biblical times. Do that and then come back with your evidence and I think you will find people willing to discuss what you have uncovered.

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  86. Nope. I know it will never happen. I just felt it needed to be said. Many others on this blog have said essentially the same thing about just about every topic that she refutes and nothing has happened yet.

    She says she wants a “condensed and precise claim/ argument,” yet she refuses to provide the same.

    As you said … the merry-go-round goes round and round.

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  87. “What in the world does a dining room or an inscription have to do with meat being offered to idols? This is supposed to be proof???”

    Um.. dining rooms in a temple?? No one is claiming it’s proof, but it is compelling evidence.

    “Further, most of what is said related to archaeological discoveries on these sites is carefully selected to “prove” certain bible passages or scriptures.”

    Exactly. They are selected because they support parts of the Bible.. are they supposed to select random evidence that doesn’t support the Bible? Or are you claiming that other evidence disproves the Bible? If so, what is it??

    “If you’re going to use archaeological evidence to prove what you believe to be true about your faith, you need to examine all the archaeological evidence. This would mean extensive research of the places, events, and people of biblical times. Do that and then come back with your evidence and I think you will find people willing to discuss what you have uncovered.”

    Who’s not examining all the evidence? Can you post some examples of this??

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  88. Compelling evidence of what??? That people ate? That they may have eaten together in a dining room? In the temple? C’mon, Kathy. You’re grasping at straws. It has NOTHING to do with meat being offered to idols and has nothing to do with supporting the referenced scriptures.

    … are they supposed to select random evidence that doesn’t support the Bible? That’s a really stupid question and a very poor rebuttal.

    Who’s not examining all the evidence? I claim that YOU are not examining all the evidence. If you feel this is incorrect, then YOU post examples of the evidence (and the sources) that you have examined and we’ll go from there.

    Hint: Go back and look at the numerous examples of evidence and sources that Arch and others have posted to get an idea of what it means to do research outside the bible-based, Christian websites.

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  89. Dave, I’m not interested in spending a lot of time on your “best argument”.. so can you condense it as best you can? What’s the claim, and what SPECIFICALLY is the evidence that backs up this claim. Please give the best arguments.. in other words, be as brief as possible, if I find it a good argument then I’ll have the interest to learn more.

    Kathy, this is why everyone gives up on you. Perhaps that is your goal. You want to run and gun and just mock us without engaging. You dismissed my first two reasons and then did not respond to anything else I said about them. If you don’t want to take the time to read and respond I’m not sure why you’re here.

    Kathy, either the earth has been around for millions of years or it hasn’t. Which do you believe?

    At this point you either have to deny observable science and geometry used to calculate astronomical distances or you have to deny that the bible is to be taken literally.

    I was going to rewrite the origin of Yahweh comment, but looking back at it, it really isn’t that long. Here is the summary: Yahweh is one of the sons of the Canaanite’s chief god El Elyon. That’s the claim. For the evidence, read the passage I posted from Deuteronomy carefully and you’ll understand why scholars have concluded that it is a valid theory. It demonstrates one way that the Hebrews adopted and modified ideas from other groups.

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  90. “It demonstrates one way that the Hebrews adopted and modified ideas from other groups.”

    Indeed. Same with Jesus — adopted and modified ideas and characteristics from other groups / mythological gods.

    “Introduction:

    There are many dozens of events in the gospels that are very similar, or identical, to incidents which appeared centuries before, in the stories of Pagan hero/saviors. These “god-men” were worshiped by the priesthood and laity of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern religions.”

    Jesus’ life copied from other saviors/god-men/heroes

    Life events shared by Yeshua (Jesus) and mythical heroes:

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  91. Nan,

    “Compelling evidence of what??? That people ate? That they may have eaten together in a dining room? In the temple? C’mon, Kathy. You’re grasping at straws. It has NOTHING to do with meat being offered to idols and has nothing to do with supporting the referenced scriptures. ”

    Are you claiming that in Paul’s time, there weren’t pagans sacrificing to idols? What is your evidence for this claim? The archaeological evidence supports the claim that they did. And I’m sure there’s plenty of non archeaological evidence that also supports that. You have nothing by contrast.. only lots of question marks.

    “The church that Paul founded at Corinth was one of his most successful. And yet they were in a large city surrounded by immorality and idol worship. One of the problems that plagued the church was how to relate to the pagan idol worshippers who surrounded them. (Many of the church members had become followers of Christ out of such a background.) For example, was it alright for them to share a meal with the pagans? Often, the meat involved in the meal would have been sacrificed to idols first. So did sharing a meal amount to taking part in idol-worship? They wrote to ask Paul, and he replied in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 8 verses 1-13.

    Archaeologists have discovered dining rooms in the temples of Asclepius and Demeter at Corinth. They have also found an inscription identifying the local meat market. (See 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verses 25-29).

    Yet again, archaeology provides a wealth of background confirmation of the historical accuracy of the Bible’s record.”

    There was plenty more examples on that site Nan.. is this all you could come up with??

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  92. Kathy,

    Okay I’m not disputing your evidence that meat was sacrificed to idols in temples and that the meat was sold at a local meat market. I didn’t think that was in dispute. What is this evidence of with regards to Jesus or the Bible? I’ve already conceded that there are historical places and people in the Bible. Much like A Tale of Two Cities or The Divinci Code or any other work of fiction. They contain historical places and perhaps even remark on actual historical events yet they are still works of fiction.

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  93. Again, Kathy, the evidence supports what is written in secular and historical accounts of Greeks and Romans and their gods. What evidence is in that which supports Christianity?

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  94. “Kathy, either the earth has been around for millions of years or it hasn’t. Which do you believe?”

    I told you, I don’t necessarily believe that the earth is only 6000 years old.

    At this point you either have to deny observable science and geometry used to calculate astronomical distances or you have to deny that the bible is to be taken literally.

    I was going to rewrite the origin of Yahweh comment, but looking back at it, it really isn’t that long. Here is the summary: Yahweh is one of the sons of the Canaanite’s chief god El Elyon. That’s the claim. For the evidence, read the passage I posted from Deuteronomy carefully and you’ll understand why scholars have concluded that it is a valid theory. It demonstrates one way that the Hebrews adopted and modified ideas from other groups.”

    Here is the NIV translation..


    8
    When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided all mankind,
    he set up boundaries for the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of Israel.[b]

    9
    For the Lord’s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted inheritance

    I trust it more than I trust your sources/ claims.. that’s why I’ve asked for specifics..

    Where did you get your translation from? Please cite it.

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  95. Are you claiming that in Paul’s time, there weren’t pagans sacrificing to idols? What is your evidence for this claim?

    Did I make that claim? No I didn’t. What I said was the archaeological evidence presented on the website you cited does not have anything to do with meat being offered to idols. It talks about dining rooms in a temple. Unless you there to view what they were eating, then you cannot say it is direct evidence of anything except there was a dining room in a temple.

    As per your usual pattern, you’re avoiding the true issue and coming up with general statements (e.g., The archaeological evidence supports the claim that they did.) that are not based on fact, but are merely your form of rebuttal.

    And I’m sure there’s plenty of non archeaological evidence that also supports that. You are SURE? Pray tell, what makes you so sure?

    Yes, Kathy, I did look at several other pages on this website. On one, I found this statement, which I thought was quite revealing: “Archaeology can throw new light on the Bible story, even when it does not directly ‘prove’ it to be true.” Hmmmmm.

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  96. ” What is this evidence of with regards to Jesus or the Bible? I’ve already conceded that there are historical places and people in the Bible. Much like A Tale of Two Cities or The Divinci Code or any other work of fiction. They contain historical places and perhaps even remark on actual historical events yet they are still works of fiction.”

    Ruth, again, no one is claiming this is “proof” of anything.. the claim is that it is evidence that supports the truth of the Bible.

    You compare this to the Tale of two cities etc.. but these are admitted fiction.. no one is claiming that fiction doesn’t contain real places etc. These are comparable examples because of this.

    And as for those other examples of non fiction where the evidence is similar.. that’s fine.. it is at THIS point where you weight the evidence… the OVERALL evidence in deciding it’s truth.

    Was there any evidence to disprove those other claims? You and others continue to ignore the lack of this evidence for the Bible. And yes, you may find “evidence” that argues against the truth of the Bible.. fine again, and again, it’s at that point where you weight the evidence.

    But as I’ve pointed out and no one has shown otherwise, there is NO archaeological evidence that DISPROVES the Bible.. that itself is a form of evidence.. that again, should be weighed.

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  97. To further elaborate Ruth, the evidence of pagan sacrifices of meat during Paul’s time helps to validate the truth of what is written.. and which also helps to validate the Bible. It’s supportive evidence. I don’t know how else to explain it.

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  98. I can’t make you apply reason and logic.

    HA! The reasoning is that the evidence presented on that website you posted is not representative of anything except there were dining rooms in a temple. The logic is that the website’s archaeological evidence proves nothing.

    If you would, just for a moment, open your mind beyond your embedded beliefs (put there by your church and/or pastor), you would see that reason and logic were presented. You just chose to ignore them … as you do with every other piece of information that has been offered on this blog.

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  99. Neuro, very interesting video! Lots of ‘food for thought’ – no doubt it gave Kathy lots to ‘chew’ on . . .

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  100. “HA! The reasoning is that the evidence presented on that website you posted is not representative of anything except there were dining rooms in a temple. The logic is that the website’s archaeological evidence proves nothing. ”

    Nan, you’re being ridiculous.. did you notice that Ruth DOES see it as evidence?

    Maybe, just maybe you aren’t applying the proper reasoning to your thinking.

    And again, please look up the def. of evidence.. I’m not going to post it myself, it obviously
    does no good.

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  101. I told you, I don’t necessarily believe that the earth is only 6000 years old.

    No you didn’t. You said “Not all Christians agree that the Earth is only 6000 years old.” Now you’re saying what you “don’t necessarily believe”. What do you believe?

    At this point you either have to deny observable science and geometry used to calculate astronomical distances or you have to deny that the bible is to be taken literally.

    No response.

    Here is the NIV translation.. […] I trust it more than I trust your sources/ claims.. that’s why I’ve asked for specifics.. Where did you get your translation from? Please cite it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elyon

    From the Wikipedia Elyon page you linked to:

    Many Septuagint manuscripts have in place of “sons of Israel”, angelōn theou ‘angels of God’ and a few have huiōn theou ‘sons of God’. The Dead Sea Scrolls fragment 4QDeutj reads bny ’lwhm ‘sons of God’, ‘sons of the gods’. The NRSV translates this as “he fixed the boundaries according to the number of the gods” […] This passage appears to identify ʿElyōn with Elohim, but not necessarily with Yahweh. It can be read to mean that ʿElyōn separated mankind into 70 nations according to his 70 sons (the 70 sons of Ēl being mentioned in the Ugaritic texts), each of these sons to be the tutelary god over one of the 70 nations, one of them being the god of Israel, Yahweh. Alternatively, it may mean that ʿElyōn, having given the other nations to his sons, now takes Israel for himself under his name of God. Both interpretations have supporters.

    The translation I gave is based on the Dead Sea Scrolls which says “sons of God” or “sons of the gods”. The DSS is the oldest source available for the Old Testament. From younger sources we get “angels” – from the LXX (Septuagint) and “son’s of israel” – from the MT (Masoretic Text).

    Why do these changes exist? It is strong evidence that the later versions were changed to reflect a more monotheistic culture, while the earlier version reflects polytheistic origins.

    The origin of Yahweh as I’ve presented it is one theory among many. So while some if it is speculation there are still some facts here that cannot be dismissed: Changes occurred in the translations of the verse to “cover up” polytheistic origins. Again, this song of Moses from Deut. along with the song of Miriam from Exodus are considered by scholars to be among the oldest portions of the hebrew bible.

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  102. Dave,


    At this point you either have to deny observable science and geometry used to calculate astronomical distances or you have to deny that the bible is to be taken literally.

    No response.”

    It’s because I don’t have an answer.. and I don’t really care. The evidence is very compelling that the earth is millions of years old.. but then again, I’m not an expert.. I rely on scientists who often DO have a bias while claiming they don’t. But still, in this case, at this time, I do believe it’s the case.. that the literal interpretation of the time frame is not the correct interpretation.
    But, at the same time.. I would NEVER claim that God couldn’t create the earth in 6 days and that it’s 6000 years old. Clearly, God can do anything.

    This is what I don’t want to do.. waste time on yet another attempt of desperation to disprove the Bible. It’s too time consuming.. all just to find out it’s nothing but reaching. And in order to believe your claim, that means the REST of the Bible, written by many different authors, is in disagreement with this.. does this make sense to you? It doesn’t to me.. it makes much more sense to believe that those few exceptions of the translation are the INCORRECT translations.

    Again, it comes down to WEIGHING the evidence. These exceptions (of reaching) do not outweigh the compelling evidence FOR the Truth of the Bible.

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  103. Deut. 32: 8-9
    When Elyon divided the nations,
    when he separated the sons of Adam,
    he established the borders of the nations
    according to the number of the sons of the gods.
    Yahweh’s portion was his people,
    Jacob his allotted inheritance.

    Are there any other passages in the OT or DSS that support this
    claim of multiple gods?

    The entire Bible supports the interpretation of the NIV.

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  104. Welcome, Dave, to the wonderful world of wisdom according to Kathy. . . great way to pass a Saturday evening, eh??

    Like

  105. You MUST consider the surrounding text, aka CONTEXT.. the entire Bible from beginning to end claims ONE God. You / atheists focus on one lone translation trying to claim that SOME interpretations are correct, and the rest of the entire Bible is wrong.. this is what I mean by weighing evidence.

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  106. be as brief as possible, if I find it a good argument then I’ll have the interest to learn more.

    In other words, Dave, it’s your responsibility to please her Royal Highnie – now HOP!

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  107. No, Ms. Kathy, I’m not being ridiculous and I don’t appreciate this snide remark .

    What Ruth believes is her business. I believe the archaeological evidence (available body of facts or information indicating whether a belief or proposition is true or not) does not support that meat was offered to idols.

    At this point, I have to wonder if you even understand the significance of archaeological evidence.

    Carmen, now that you mention it, this definitely is NOT the way to pass a Sat. Eve. So c’ya all!

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  108. Kathy, it’s not about whether the NIV is the correct interpretation. It’s the sources, DSS, LXX and MT that do not agree with each other and show a pattern of polytheism to monotheism. I do not disagree that the hebrews become monotheists (eventually) and that the OT is very monotheistic overall. However, when we are looking for clues about origins we start with the oldest portions and look at what was written. Then we look at the later translations and notice some tampering was done to try and smooth things over. Yes, there are some other examples from the old testament, but they’ll have to wait till tomorrow afternoon as I’m heading to bed now. My wife is a Christian so I’ll be going to church with my family in the morning. Have a good night everyone.

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  109. Dave,

    “The origin of Yahweh as I’ve presented it is one theory among many. So while some if it is speculation there are still some facts here that cannot be dismissed: Changes occurred in the translations of the verse to “cover up” polytheistic origins. Again, this song of Moses from Deut. along with the song of Miriam from Exodus are considered by scholars to be among the oldest portions of the hebrew bible.”

    Sorry Dave but it is NOT a fact that the “changes” were to “cover up” polytheistic origins. This is your assumption, based on speculation.. not fact.

    Just because the DSS are the oldest text we have, that doesn’t make them the “original” text.. it just means it’s the oldest we have possession of.

    And going by your claim, the Song of Moses would have to be before Genesis and the other books. And that all of those books were a continuing “cover up”.

    Your claim means that all the authors of the Bible lied.. they didn’t know what they were talking about. Or.. they were all in on the “cover up”. And that “argument” fails badly.. it’s not a rational claim.. this is just more of the same.. failed attempts to discredit the Bible. The evidence that supports the Truth of the Bible far outweighs these isolated claims.

    Also see:

    http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/05-deuteronomy/text/articles/heiser-deut32-bs.htm

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  110. To further elaborate Ruth, the evidence of pagan sacrifices of meat during Paul’s time helps to validate the truth of what is written.. and which also helps to validate the Bible. It’s supportive evidence. I don’t know how else to explain it.

    I’m agreeing to disagree. I don’t see evidence for pagan idol sacrifice and worship as supporting the truth of the Bible or Christianity. That there would have been idol worship, worship of other gods, is well documented. Furthermore we are all well aware that the Jews believe the Bible to be God’s word and that they believed idol worship and sacrifice was a sin. It would not be unusual to see Jewish writers writing about idolatry. Still, this is not evidence of the truth of the Bible, only that the Jewish people believed idolatry to be wrong.

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  111. Ryan. Powerful tune. This version is my favorite.

    ” I fell under your spell
    A love no one could deny”

    It represents my deconversion, the realization that I gave my deepest love away to a cultural myth. I jumped right into a belief system without ever giving it a second thought. I trusted. I devoted most of my life to this myth. Made a lot of sacrifices. I hate using the word hate, but I’ll say it because it’s fitting. I hate being betrayed, and the thought that others have also fallen under the spell and may someday experience what so many of us have, is something I think about while having discourse with believers. This kind of betrayal is far worse than any betrayal of trust I’ve experienced in my life. As I’ve mentioned before, deconversion is not for the faint of heart.

    Welcome back. Hope your camping trip met your expectations. 🙂

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  112. It’s because I don’t have an answer.. and I don’t really care. The evidence is very compelling that the earth is millions of years old.. but then again, I’m not an expert.. I rely on scientists who often DO have a bias while claiming they don’t. But still, in this case, at this time, I do believe it’s the case.. that the literal interpretation of the time frame is not the correct interpretation.

    I do care. This was something important to me when I was a Christian. I can’t make sense of Genesis with a universe that is so old. God made it, made adam and eve, and then the genealogies start. If the earth is millions of years old (which you admit is very compelling) then something is not right. You can dismiss it and choose to not care. I choose to count this as one of many reasons to doubt the claim of divine authorship.

    Sorry Dave but it is NOT a fact that the “changes” were to “cover up” polytheistic origins. This is your assumption, based on speculation.. not fact.

    You’re right, I should rephrase. The changes are there, that much is fact. The oldest say “sons of the gods” and the younger say “angels” and “sons of Israel”, this is also fact. What you make of these facts is your choice. I think it makes sense and is very reasonable to conclude that scribes who copied these texts made changes when something did not agree with them.

    Just because the DSS are the oldest text we have, that doesn’t make them the “original” text.. it just means it’s the oldest we have possession of.

    Yeah, unfortunately we don’t have any originals for anything in the Bible. We have to make do with what we have and trust in the unknown scribes who made copies of copies. Most find it reasonable to conclude that older copies are more accurate than later copies.

    And going by your claim, the Song of Moses would have to be before Genesis and the other books. And that all of those books were a continuing “cover up”.

    That’s not my claim, I’m just saying what scholars have concluded. It makes sense because songs would have been passed down orally generation to generation.

    Your claim means that all the authors of the Bible lied.

    I don’t think so. I think things were passed down verbally at first and then written and adapted over time with compilations made and then copying and editing to align the texts with what was currently believed. It does look like Genesis 1 and 2 were written by two different authors. Nowhere is it claimed within the Bible that these were the first things written down. It is the hebrew creation story so it was put at the beginning. So many cultures have a creation story. Do you think all other creation stories should be considered lying? I don’t think so. They are writing down what they believe or what they have heard and what has been accepted by their region as the story of creation.

    Also see: http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/05-deuteronomy/text/articles/heiser-deut32-bs.htm

    Just so you know, I read this entire page as I did the last link you gave me. I’m not trying to suppress anything, I am trying to determine what actually happened.

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  113. Are there any other passages in the OT or DSS that support this claim of multiple gods?

    Deut 32:43, Verse 43 of 4QDeut (DSS):

    “Praise, O heavens, his people
    Kneel before him, all you gods”

    The writer of this verse expects the other gods to kneel before Yahweh. This was changed in the LXX to “you angels of God” and in the MT to “rejoice with his people”. The context of these verses show Yahweh’s victories and vengeance against his enemies.

    Exodus 15:11 (song of moses and miriam)

    “Who is like you, O Yahweh, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in grandeur, doing marvelous things?”

    Exodus 20:2-3 (NIV)

    2 “I am the Lord [YHWH] your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
    3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

    Rather than saying that they should not worship false gods it just says to keep Yahweh as number one.

    2 Kings 3:4-27 – This is a story where the author implies that when the moabites sacrifice to their god, Kemosh, that the sacrifice was accepted and empowered the moabites to rout the israelites.

    Psalm 82:1 “God stands in the assembly of El;in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.” (New English Translation)

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  114. there is NO archaeological evidence that DISPROVES the Bible.

    there is NO archaeological evidence that DISPROVES:

    Thor
    Odin
    Zeus
    Ra
    Mithra
    Marduk
    Amurru
    and a thousand others – so does that make them true?

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  115. Remember the 14 words (so far) that you don’t understand, Kathy? “Evidence” was one of them.

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  116. Dave,

    Just logically thinking through this:

    The OT prophets were constantly calling the Israelites back to Yahweh. They believed in all sorts of baals. Moreover, they worshiped those baals. When Moses came down from the mountain top with his tablets of stone the Israelites were supposedly already worshiping a gold statue. Now, after everything they had supposedly seen – from the plagues to the Exodus – not one, but the whole of the Israelites thought it good to worship a golden calf instead of Yahweh who had just performed all those miraculous signs. It is obvious that they were polytheistic. Those gods weren’t real and neither is Yahweh. Were he real, and had all those miraculous signs occurred the Israelites would have been worshiping him instead of some thing they had just melted down all their own jewelry and made themselves.

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  117. Kathy,

    Nan, you’re being ridiculous.. did you notice that Ruth DOES see it as evidence?

    I don’t think that Nan believes that this is evidence of absolutely nothing. Obviously these artifacts exist. I think that what you, Nan, and myself disagree on is what exactly this is evidence of.

    Case in point:

    This article is about a large mosaic that has been uncovered in an ancient tomb in Greece. No, it is not a mosaic of any Christian symbol. It’s a mosaic of the Greek God, Hermes. He was the conductor of the souls of the dead to the afterlife. This is evidence. But evidence of what? It is evidence that the Greeks believed that a god named Hermes conducted souls to the afterlife. Nothing more. It is beautiful, I’m sure. And if anyone still believes that Hermes conducts souls to the afterlife they are likely giddy because….evidence. But this, like your artifacts and dining halls, are evidence only of beliefs or rituals – not evidence that any of those gods are real.

    So while there may not be a ton of evidence that disproves the Bible(though I think there is and you discount it as liberal), there is also not any archaeological evidence that proves the existence of Yahweh. Only evidence that people believed in Yahweh.

    I’m not sure if that makes any sense, but hopefully you get my point. If I wanted evidence that shows what people’s beliefs were there is that in abundance. I think the main point, which you dismiss, is that where one would expect there to be evidence there isn’t any. You’ve asked several times what evidence there would be of, say, the Exodus. Well, I would expect there to be broken pottery. Surely in all those forty years wandering somebody broke a bowl or ten. And with all that nomadic living and the number of deaths that would have been certain to occur one would think bones. It has been suggested that the Jews carried the bones of their dead to the promised land which is why none are found. Millions of Jews supposedly left Egypt. Generations of them died, which would be millions of people, most likely. The Jews that were left carried the bones of millions to the promised land? And there’s no mention of this in the OT at all. It’s just a big supposition that this is what happened. Why? Because one must do all the mental gymnastics imaginable to make the Bible not wrong in any way.

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  118. “I’m agreeing to disagree. I don’t see evidence for pagan idol sacrifice and worship as supporting the truth of the Bible or Christianity. That there would have been idol worship, worship of other gods, is well documented. Furthermore we are all well aware that the Jews believe the Bible to be God’s word and that they believed idol worship and sacrifice was a sin. It would not be unusual to see Jewish writers writing about idolatry. Still, this is not evidence of the truth of the Bible, only that the Jewish people believed idolatry to be wrong.”

    Ruth, this is just more proof of your lack of objectivity.

    Here’s what the site says that I assume you’ve read..

    “Meat sacrificed to idols in Corinth

    The church that Paul founded at Corinth was one of his most successful. And yet they were in a large city surrounded by immorality and idol worship. One of the problems that plagued the church was how to relate to the pagan idol worshippers who surrounded them. (Many of the church members had become followers of Christ out of such a background.) For example, was it alright for them to share a meal with the pagans? Often, the meat involved in the meal would have been sacrificed to idols first. So did sharing a meal amount to taking part in idol-worship? They wrote to ask Paul, and he replied in his first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 8 verses 1-13.

    Archaeologists have discovered dining rooms in the temples of Asclepius and Demeter at Corinth. They have also found an inscription identifying the local meat market. (See 1 Corinthians chapter 10 verses 25-29).

    Yet again, archaeology provides a wealth of background confirmation of the historical accuracy of the Bible’s record.”

    It’s not simple proof of idol worship and sacrifice of meat.. it’s the fact that it was found in Corinth at the time of Paul.

    If the temples were found to NOT have dining rooms, THEN you/ atheists would no doubt claim that was evidence that Paul was either a fictitious person or he was lying. And it WOULD be evidence towards that claim. But when it’s evidence against your claim, you can’t admit it. This is proof of lack of objectivity.

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  119. It’s not simple proof of idol worship and sacrifice of meat.. it’s the fact that it was found in Corinth at the time of Paul.

    Kathy,

    I’m not saying that idol worship wasn’t happening in Corinth at the time of Paul. You are entirely missing my point. It was Corinth in Greece where they worshiped Greek Gods. Of course I would expect there to be evidence that Greeks worshiped Greek Gods. I’m also not disputing that Paul might have something to say about that. No one here is disputing that there were Christians who also had beliefs in Corinth at the time of Paul.

    Are these archaeological finds evidence that what the Greeks believed was truth? If not, why not? Why would it be evidence for the truth of the Bible, but not the truth of Greek Gods?

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  120. Ruth (and Kathy), in and of itself, the presence of dining rooms in the temples has no particular significance (except perhaps that people ate together). The inscription identifying a local meat market indicates (doesn’t prove) that such a market may have existed.

    Neither of these are evidence that meat was offered to idols. It’s all conjecture (which, by the way, pretty much sums up most “evidence” that is presented about the bible).

    To my way of thinking, the only archaeological evidence that would give any kind of credence to Paul’s words would have to be the remains of an idol in the dining room …

    Kathy, you cannot stretch your suppositions to make them become truth.

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  121. “I’m not saying that idol worship wasn’t happening in Corinth at the time of Paul. You are entirely missing my point.”

    No, you are sorely missing the point Ruth…. I never said or implied that you said idol worship wasn’t happening in Paul’s time. I’m saying that you refuse to acknowledge that archaeological evidence of it happening during Paul’s time supports the validity of Paul and his writings.

    You conveniently avoided a key point I made.. if it was discovered that there were NO dining rooms in the temples that would be supportive evidence that Paul was lying or a fictitious person. It most definitely WOULD be evidence towards that claim. And again, since you refuse to acknowledge the reverse, that evidence of dining rooms in the temples supports the truth of Paul, it shows that you lack objectivity.

    “Are these archaeological finds evidence that what the Greeks believed was truth? If not, why not? Why would it be evidence for the truth of the Bible, but not the truth of Greek Gods?”

    I can’t believe I have to explain this over and over.. why would evidence of pagan worship support the truth of their gods? Please explain this to me..

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  122. No, Kathy. The lack of dining rooms in the temples would support nothing. It would not have anything to do with Paul’s existence or be an indication that he was lying. Why? Because the existence of these things has no particular meaning. Period. They just were. The fact that they were found in/near Corinth means people lived there. Nothing more.

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  123. why would evidence of pagan worship support the truth of their gods? Please explain this to me..

    Why would evidence of Yahweh worship support the truth of Yahweh?

    You conveniently avoided a key point I made.. if it was discovered that there were NO dining rooms in the temples that would be supportive evidence that Paul was lying or a fictitious person. It most definitely WOULD be evidence towards that claim. And again, since you refuse to acknowledge the reverse, that evidence of dining rooms in the temples supports the truth of Paul, it shows that you lack objectivity.

    I didn’t avoid anything. Most likely you are right. If these did not exist that is what would be said and the evidence would support that. My broader point is that the Romans and Greeks, themselves, acknowledge that sacrifice and feasts were part of their worship of their gods. So it is no surprise that, if it was happening, it was happening in Corinth at the time of Paul. This still does not provide evidence that what he wrote about Jesus was true, only that pagan worship was happening. Nothing about finding dining rooms in temples supports Paul’s assertions about the deity of his choice, just like nothing in them supports the truth of pagan gods. That there was pagan worship and sacrifice proves nothing about the validity of Paul’s claims. I can’t believe that you have the good sense to see that when it comes to the pagan gods but not Jesus.

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  124. Ruth (and Kathy), in and of itself, the presence of dining rooms in the temples has no particular significance (except perhaps that people ate together). The inscription identifying a local meat market indicates (doesn’t prove) that such a market may have existed.

    I agree, in principle, about this. I don’t see what the existence of dining rooms in the temples has to do with the truth of Christianity. As far as identifying a local meat market, so? Does the inscription say that sacrificial meat was sold there? I’m sure there was a meat market in town. That doesn’t mean the meat sacrificed to idols was sold there.

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  125. “No, Kathy. The lack of dining rooms in the temples would support nothing. It would not have anything to do with Paul’s existence or be an indication that he was lying. Why? Because the existence of these things has no particular meaning. Period. They just were. The fact that they were found in/near Corinth means people lived there. Nothing more.”

    I was imagining yesterday, this scene in a court room.. Nan is the defense attorney and is arguing that the defendant being witnessed as walking out of the house where a person was murdered is NOT evidence that he was the murderer! not at all!.. it’s *only* evidence that he walked out of the house. Nan, you just don’t get it.

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  126. Where did I make that claim Ruth??

    Let’s just say that Paul was right about the sacrificed meat. It would be an acknowledgement that he was familiar with pagan worship, which being in a Greek city would be very likely. How does this validate anything else that he wrote?

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  127. No, Kathy, YOU don’t get it. You’re comparing apples to oranges. But that’s OK. I think most of us have long ago figured out that the blinders you wear prevent you from seeing/understanding anything that doesn’t fit what you believe to be “truth.”

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  128. “Why would evidence of Yahweh worship support the truth of Yahweh? ”

    Where did I make that claim Ruth??

    Simply put, Kathy, every time you say that the Bible is evidence for Yahweh. The Bible is merely evidence that people worshiped Yahweh.

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  129. It does look like Genesis 1 and 2 were written by two different authors.

    As I’ve often stated, Gen 2 was written in the Southern Kingdom of Judea, at Jerusalem, by priests known as the Yahwist (J) Source, about 950 BCE, and Gen 1 was written by the “Priestly (P) Source,” in captivity in Babylon, around 500+ BCE.

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  130. The very fact that Kathy appears to be back after an absence of quite some time, implies to me that she has been thrown off of wherever she’s been, and that this is the only place she is free to rant at will, without repercussions.

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  131. “Where did I make that claim Ruth??

    Let’s just say that Paul was right about the sacrificed meat. It would be an acknowledgement that he was familiar with pagan worship, which being in a Greek city would be very likely. How does this validate anything else that he wrote?”

    So, let’s get that part cleared up… I never claimed what you just said I claimed.. that evidence of worship proves God’s existence… I’ve never made that claim because it doesn’t make any sense. I think this is just more evidence that you lack objectivity on this issue.

    “Simply put, Kathy, every time you say that the Bible is evidence for Yahweh. The Bible is merely evidence that people worshiped Yahweh.”

    And yet you STILL try.. I say that the Bible is evidence of God’s existence because of what is written inside.. things that can be corroborated.. just like the man walking out of the house being corroborative evidence of the charge against him.

    It’s evidence Ruth.. however powerful you deem it to be, it’s none the less, actual EVIDENCE. That you can’t acknowledge this, again, proves your lack of objectivity.

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  132. why would evidence of pagan worship support the truth of their gods?

    “Pagans” don’t consider themselves pagans, Kathyh – they consider everyone who doesn’t worship THEIR gods (like you) pagans.

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  133. Hey Arch — are you by any chance trying to redirect this conversation? If so, can’t say I blame you.

    ‘Nope – just late to the party after a horrendous day yesterday.

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  134. I’ve never made that claim because it doesn’t make any sense.” – Yes, Kathy, but we’ve come to expect that from you.

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  135. It’s evidence Ruth.. however powerful you deem it to be, it’s none the less, actual EVIDENCE. That you can’t acknowledge this, again, proves your lack of objectivity.

    Time and again you put words into our mouths. I never said it wasn’t evidence. You and I disagree on what it is evidence for. Of course the Bible is evidence. It’s evidence that Jewish people worshiped a deity they called Yahweh. It’s evidence that people believed that Jesus was the Messiah. It’s evidence, alright. It just isn’t particularly good evidence that Yahweh was/is a God nor that Jesus is the Messiah.

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  136. What I am trying my best to explain to you, Kathy, is that the Bible – in my estimation – is nothing more than evidence of Yahweh worship. It is not evidence of Yahweh’s existence. So when you claim that the Bible is evidence of Yahweh’s existence you are claiming that evidence of Yahweh worship is, in fact, evidence of Yahweh.

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  137. Ruth, you are failing badly in defending your claim.. at least you FINALLY acknowledged that it IS evidence.

    ” It just isn’t particularly good evidence that Yahweh was/is a God nor that Jesus is the Messiah.”

    BUT.. then, you reverse that in your very next comment!

    “What I am trying my best to explain to you, Kathy, is that the Bible – in my estimation – is nothing more than evidence of Yahweh worship. It is not evidence of Yahweh’s existence. So when you claim that the Bible is evidence of Yahweh’s existence you are claiming that evidence of Yahweh worship is, in fact, evidence of Yahweh.”

    Ruth, you are utterly blind to your own lack of objectivity. This should be very concerning to you.. because it likely means that did not apply honest objectivity when you decided to abandon God. I KNOW that you are not applying honest objectivity in arguing this subject presently.

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  138. Ruth:

    “The Bible is merely evidence that people worshiped Yahweh.”

    Right, just like the defendant walking out of the house is just evidence of him
    walking out of the house.

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  139. So, I’m supposed to pray, I assume, and ask for forgiveness. What am I supposed to ask forgiveness for? I understand I can say the words even if I don’t believe it, right? How do I operationalize “follow Him”? Specifically, what do I do after I pray for forgiveness? Do I start to go to church? Which one?

    Ironically, my friend tells me I am the best Christian he knows. He means, of course, that I am a good and kind person. I had a conversation with a woman once, who told me that not only did I have to believe in God and Jesus, but it was not good enough for her for me to go to the Unitarian Universalist church. I thought that she would have though it was a success to get me into any church at all.

    I have read the Bible multiple times. I read it the first time out of curiosity. I wanted to see how it would be helpful to me. The next time I read it, I was trying to better understand Christians and Christianity. Having been raised in an atheist household, it is foreign to me. When I read it most recently, it affected my mental well-being negatively. It made me feel sick. Am I supposed to force myself to study this book. Do I go to a study group, talk to a pastor?

    When do I do the same thing for Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism? Why should they not be given equal time? How would I tell my kids that I am now going to believe in something I have denounced their entire lives, without giving at least giving the other major religions a try?

    I know I can be sarcastic, but these are some of the legitimate obstacles that would be in the way of me becoming a Christian. This is all hypothetical, mind you, but still valid questions I would have.

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  140. Yeah, Ruth – it likely means that (you) did not apply honest objectivity when you decided to abandon an invisible man who lives in the sky that no one has ever seen and for whom there is no evidence! SHAME on you! Shame, shame, shame –!

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  141. Gliese,

    Ask for God’s forgiveness and follow Him.

    He’s invisible, Kathy – how can she tell which way he’s going?

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  142. Right, just like the defendant walking out of the house is just evidence of him walking out of the house.” – exactly like, that proves only opportunity, certainly not motive nor anything else connected with a crime. Where do you get your analogies, a subscription to “Analogies ‘R’ Us”?

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  143. I know I can be sarcastic” – Believe it or not, some say the same thing about me – can you imagine? Go figure —

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  144. the defendant walking out of the house is just evidence of him walking out of the house… right?” I answered that, Nimrod – learn to read!

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  145. “When I read it most recently, it affected my mental well-being negatively. It made me feel sick.”

    As it should. Your instincts were engaged.

    gliese, I agree that it can affect your mental well being when you’ve not been exposed to it and desensitized on the level that many have been. Initially, I didn’t study scripture. But the bible stated that I should study to show myself approved unto god, so I took that very seriously when I became an adult.

    Initially, I pretty much studied the Gospels. But as I progressed, I started to question some many things in the bible that were disturbing to me. Pastors played a major role in further raising the red flags. They justified the antisocial behavior in the bible calling it righteous indignation. The more I studied, especially the OT and Revelations, the more I questioned the character of the god I was believing in and devoted to. It literally got to a point that I was physically feeling ill when I read the bible. My instincts and neural circuity associated with critical assessment were re-activating.

    Excerpt from Through These Godless Eyes</a

    “Here we are in the 21st century and a large percentage of humans still worship the god of Abraham, an inspiration and example to many Christians. A man supposedly commanded by god to kill his own son, to pay back a debt to the creator of the universe and to prove his love for that god.

    What must these religions do to the minds of believers to even allow them to describe the story of Abraham as beautiful? Which of us would leave Abraham in charge of our children? Imagine how scripture and theology must pervert the pathways and processes of the human mind, and perhaps the very psyche of our species.

    It all seems so primitive and that’s being kind. I’m not saying that there isn’t a creator. I just can’t believe a mind that would make this universe would share exactly the same insecurities; the same need for respect and recognition; the same demand for loyalty, submission and obedience and the same murderous rage as the worst of human kings and your average alpha male chimpanzee.

    What are you worshiping?”

    That’s exactly what I had to ask myself.

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  146. It should be noted (but carefully looked for, as it’s not on a billboard anywhere) that Abraham and Sarah never lived together again after Abe’s little road trip with Isaac – no wonder he “rose himself up” so early in the morning —

    I just can’t believe a mind that would make this universe would share exactly the same insecurities; the same need for respect and recognition; the same demand for loyalty, submission and obedience and the same murderous rage as the worst of human kings and your average alpha male chimpanzee.

    “Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves.
    Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.”
    — Robert A. Heinlein —

    “In our own hearts, we mold the whole world’s hereafters; and in our own hearts we fashion our own gods.”
    — Herman Mellville —

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  147. Neuro.

    It must be horrifying to have had that faith, only to read the Bible and find out the deity you’ve believed in and trusted is psychopathic. It was bad enough for me.

    I’ve been told by many Christians that I should pray for faith, which is a bit of an oxymoron. What they do not seem to understand is I am suspicious of faith itself. Warping my psyche to believe in something without evidence (the definition of faith), is not going to happen on a whim.

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  148. ““When I read it most recently, it affected my mental well-being negatively. It made me feel sick.”

    As it should. Your instincts were engaged.”

    Our Savior giving His life for us should make you feel “sick”? I don’t get it.. can either of you explain this in greater detail?

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  149. Also, I was wondering, what was the reason for changing from polytheism to monotheism? especially in such a dishonest manor? What was so wrong with polytheism that they felt it had to be changed? It sounds like someone “invented” monotheism, according to your theory and then the lies kept going from there.

    As I explained to Nate, the claim that they weren’t deliberately lying doesn’t work.. scripture is in a factual format.. no implications of speculation and no oral beliefs are referenced/ mentioned.

    What you’re claiming can be nothing but intentional deceit. And that doesn’t work. People won’t give their lives for flimsy speculation. They won’t create a fiction and then die for it.

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  150. Dave, cont..

    I do care. This was something important to me when I was a Christian. I can’t make sense of Genesis with a universe that is so old. God made it, made adam and eve, and then the genealogies start. If the earth is millions of years old (which you admit is very compelling) then something is not right. You can dismiss it and choose to not care. I choose to count this as one of many reasons to doubt the claim of divine authorship.”

    Have you considered that the Adam & Eve and flood stories might be allegorical?

    Sorry Dave but it is NOT a fact that the “changes” were to “cover up” polytheistic origins. This is your assumption, based on speculation.. not fact.

    “You’re right, I should rephrase. The changes are there, that much is fact. The oldest say “sons of the gods” and the younger say “angels” and “sons of Israel”, this is also fact”.

    No, that’s not fact either… they aren’t “changes”.. they are interpretations. The main goal of interpretation is to be as accurate as possible to the original meaning. The meaning that the NIV has is based on the entire context of the Bible.. the other writings/ authors. That would be the most reasonable interpretation.. because context is key to interpretation.

    “What you make of these facts is your choice. I think it makes sense and is very reasonable to conclude that scribes who copied these texts made changes when something did not agree with them.”

    http://www.kjvtoday.com/home/sons-of-israel-or-sons-of-god-in-deuteronomy-328

    Just because the DSS are the oldest text we have, that doesn’t make them the “original” text.. it just means it’s the oldest we have possession of.

    “Yeah, unfortunately we don’t have any originals for anything in the Bible. We have to make do with what we have and trust in the unknown scribes who made copies of copies. Most find it reasonable to conclude that older copies are more accurate than later copies.”

    That’s right, we don’t.. so there is no way of knowing which are the closest to the originals. To make a conclusion that the oldest would be the most accurate is a mistake.. the kind of mistake you trust that all those scientists haven’t made but likely do.. all the time.

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  151. “Our Savior giving His life for us should make you feel “sick”? I don’t get it.. can either of you explain this in greater detail?”

    That wasn’t the part that made me feel sick. It had more to do with the Old Testament than the New Testament, but Revelations didn’t help. I am not a biblical scholar – I can only tell you how it made me feel to read it. I was not inspired to follow Jesus at all. I felt afraid for mankind, that so many believe it to be divinely inspired and true.

    The Bible didn’t sell itself to this outsider. I was trying to be sympathetic to Christians, to understand them better. I am more baffled now than before I read it, more convinced that Christianity is not for me.

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  152. Ruth:

    “The Bible is merely evidence that people worshiped Yahweh.”

    Right, just like the defendant walking out of the house is just evidence of him
    walking out of the house.

    If someone actually saw Yahweh leave the building the Bible would be equivalent evidence to the defendant walking out of the house. The Bible is oral tradition written down [in many cases] hundreds of years after the tradition began. So none of the people who wrote the scriptures down were even there when these things supposedly happened. Flimsy evidence at best. So it’s not the same. Moreover, if all the evidence is the defendant walking out of the house then it’s really not good evidence that the defendant committed a crime. There isn’t a jury who could convict on that basis alone. And if you would convict on that evidence alone I wouldn’t want you on any jury.

    You have repeatedly given five or so “evidences” :

    1) martyrs…which there are for most every major religion and many people are clearly willing and sometimes even eager to die for a lie(even if they believe it’s true).
    2) our very existence – no one knows so in lieu of that knowledge…God.
    3) Miracles – which I’m pretty sure we’ve narrowed down to “our very existence”.
    4) Fulfilled prophecy…which are vague and many events in history have been retrofitted to match.
    5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible…which, as I said, only shows that tradition was handed down that people worshiped Yahweh.

    Dave gave you 20 yet you call his weak. Any evidence anyone has for or against a god would be circumstantial at best. We are all doing the best we can to be as objective as we can.

    Ruth, I’d really like to hear you agree.. the defendant walking out of the house is just evidence of him walking out of the house… right?

    Okay. If that’s all the evidence you’ve got, then yeah. How many times has someone been accused of a crime that they did not commit because of rash conclusions such as this?

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  153. That’s right, we don’t[have any originals].. so there is no way of knowing which are the closest to the originals.

    So, really, you don’t have any way of knowing if the original intent nor message of the Bible is being given in the scriptures we have today. Nor do you have any way of knowing how close the Bible we have today even resembles the original. Yet you are willing to bet it’s accurate and true but only when it suits your purposes and only the interpretation(NIV) that you like the best. Have you studied the manuscripts? Do you know Hebrew? How do you know the NIV is the best interpretation?

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  154. Kathy,

    ypui keep saying things like,

    “Again, it comes down to WEIGHING the evidence. These exceptions (of reaching) do not outweigh the compelling evidence FOR the Truth of the Bible.”

    what evidence is there that the bible is telling the truth about its divine origin?

    you keep saying there’s compelling, factual evidence. what and where is it? showing the evidence would be more compelling than saying there is evidence.

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  155. Hi Victoria,

    We all had a great time thanks, I bought a swag and slept under the stars (and clouds) 🙂

    Just in regards to what you wrote:

    I hate being betrayed, and the thought that others have also fallen under the spell and may someday experience what so many of us have, is something I think about while having discourse with believers. This kind of betrayal is far worse than any betrayal of trust I’ve experienced in my life. As I’ve mentioned before, deconversion is not for the faint of heart.

    I don’t see it like that. I don’t feel betrayed…but then again personally, I still believe in God. I have lots of shortcomings and inconsistencies, but I believe a person can be both reasonable and a believer.

    Atheists I do not think have a monopoly on reason and clear thinking.

    🙂

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  156. Hi Kathy,

    In response to your verses of multiple “gods”… how do you rectify that with all these verses that clearly state ONE God?

    History is always written by the winners. Followers of Yahweh and then monotheism is what became orthodox and that’s what became the theme of the old testament. The same thing happened in the formation of the new testament. Whatever was deemed orthodox was included in the canon, everything else was deemed heretical.

    Also, I was wondering, what was the reason for changing from polytheism to monotheism? especially in such a dishonest manor? What was so wrong with polytheism that they felt it had to be changed?

    I think at first priests of Yahweh wanted to push the fact that Yahweh was superior to the other gods. They wanted people sacrificing to Yahweh and not to Baal, Asherah or the other gods because there were benefits associated with being a successful priest. You get free room and board and free food not to mention some pretty nice robes. Eventually they pushed the ideology that Yahweh and El were one and the same and that all the other gods were false.

    Have you considered that the Adam & Eve and flood stories might be allegorical?

    If you mean stories, then yes, that’s exactly what I think they are. They may even be adapted stories, the flood story is very similar to a Sumerian story in the epic of Gilgamesh.

    No, that’s not fact either… they aren’t “changes”.. they are interpretations.

    Call them what you like. They are different.

    The main goal of interpretation is to be as accurate as possible to the original meaning.

    We have no way of knowing what was going on in the minds of the Hebrew scribes from 2500+ years ago. You are giving them a lot of trust. Do you give that kind of trust to all men?

    That’s right, we don’t..[have the originals] so there is no way of knowing which are the closest to the originals. To make a conclusion that the oldest would be the most accurate is a mistake.

    It may or may not be a mistake, but it seems reasonable since things have a habit of changing over time. So less time would equal less change. Nothing is for certain.

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  157. “That’s right, we don’t..[have the originals] so there is no way of knowing which are the closest to the originals. To make a conclusion that the oldest would be the most accurate is a mistake.” kathy

    to assume that the newest would be the most accurate is an even bigger mistake.

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  158. Ryan, I’m glad you have a great time. I can just imagine how beautiful it was sleeping under the stars there, especially if you were in an area where city lights didn’t obscure the stars.

    “I don’t see it like that. I don’t feel betrayed…but then again personally, I still believe in God. I have lots of shortcomings and inconsistencies, but I believe a person can be both reasonable and a believer.

    Atheists I do not think have a monopoly on reason and clear thinking. “

    Most of us who were once devout Christians tend to have a more in-depth understanding of the Christian belief system than actual believers. As deconverts, we have a unique perspective and insight that a believer cannot grasp nor relate to. I do think that to believe by faith and feelings is not representative of clear thinking. Belief comes from the primitive limbic system. Our brain is so good at duping us which is why it’s important to apply critical thinking skills (frontal lobes) and utilize unbiased tools like scientific methodologies and instruments.

    I have not seen in any of your comments where critical thinking or scientific method was utilized to come to your conclusion. All that is necessary is faith, need and a ripe imagination.

    Christians do not have a monopoly on love and prosocial behavior.

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  159. Our Savior giving His life for us should make you feel “sick”? I don’t get it.. can either of you explain this in greater detail?

    Worshiping a god who made a mess of everything, then sent his 30-something kid to be tortured and die to straighten out the mess the god himself made, is enough to make any rational person sick – but as I said, I wouldn’t expect you to get that.

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  160. People won’t give their lives for flimsy speculation. They won’t create a fiction and then die for it.

    Possibly not, but one person can create a fiction that other people die for – you know, like all of the American boys and girls who died for Bush’s WMDs in Iraq lie —

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  161. interesting discussion, I agree with both neuro and Portal.

    I agree with portal in that I have seen and I know several believers who are very rational and intelligent people who routinely use and demonstrate high level critical thinking abilities.

    I agree with Neuro in that having faith in this bible god (or any other that i am aware of) is a position maintained outside of good reason.

    I think certain people, who are very intelligent and prudent, suspend their intellect when it comes to their god out of fear – fear of being wrong, fear of being rejected by god, fear of eternal punishments, etc. It is their suspension of reason that keeps these wise and intelligent people in the faith and not the use of reason.

    What evidence is there for the bible really being from god? kathy points to martyrs. others point to existence, and some point to jesus and others point to a need for forgiveness.

    none of these are good evidences at all. would concede that believing in islam because of muhammad makes any sense? or do sihk martyrs convince us that they worship the true god? Does our existence prove Zeus or Anne Frank’s diary as divine? does the connection I feel with all life prove wicken?

    in one of the earlier kathy threads, someone was asked how many times the angels appeared at the tomb of jesus according the gospels, as each gospel account is different. after many attempts at ignoring the question, the comment-or finally said something like, “all the gospels were right, so the angels appeared several times.” This answer was given to try and prevent contradictions like “angles on the stone vs angels in the tomb,” but this presents other problems that should be obvious like, why were the women still unaware where jesus was, after the angels on the stone told them what happened to jesus, that made it necessary for the angels to reappear in the tomb and tell them the same thing again… why did the angles have to go through this 4 times, and why did each gospel only record it as of their telling was the only occurrence? there is no good answer, but otherwise reasonable people will make all sorts of unreasonable arguments if they want something to workout bad enough.

    there are many red flags that come with the bible. is it our reason that tosses them aside, or is it our suspension of reason that lets us ignore them?

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  162. I am more baffled now than before I read it, more convinced that Christianity is not for me.

    Meeting Kathy generally has that effect on people.

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  163. “People won’t give their lives for flimsy speculation. They won’t create a fiction and then die for it.” – kathy

    and who has said this is what happened?

    people believed a fiction enough, that they wrote it down. They believed it enough that they created “fill-ins” to try and cover gaps and holes they saw in the story. They didn’t realize they were making anything up, they thought that they were “wisely” deciphering god’s plan – much like christians do with the genealogies of matthew and luke. Both genealogies claims to through joseph, but that cant be, so they make stuff up like, “well, luke’s was really through mary,” etc.

    That is a fiction created to patch what they already think is true, they’re just trying to clarify for everyone else, or create reasons to still believe it, even when it looks problematic.

    So these martyrs, much like the martyrs of religions you think are false, died only for what they believed was true – not what was in fact true. It was a fiction, even if they believed it was history.

    this concept is so basic that defies all reason as to why we’re still having to discuss it.

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  164. Moreover, if all the evidence is the defendant walking out of the house then it’s really not good evidence that the defendant committed a crime.

    How can you say that Ruth, when you KNOW that a broken window is evidence of a burglary?!

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  165. How can you say that Ruth, when you KNOW that a broken window is evidence of a burglary?!

    I’m not sure why this is so hard for Kathy to grasp.

    A house with a broken window has missing items. Was the window broken to gain access or was the window already broken? A broken window alone might be evidence or it might not even if a burglary has taken place. More investigation is necessary.

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  166. “I think certain people, who are very intelligent and prudent, suspend their intellect when it comes to their god out of fear – fear of being wrong, fear of being rejected by god, fear of eternal punishments, etc. It is their suspension of reason that keeps these wise and intelligent people in the faith and not the use of reason.”

    William, I agree. As I’ve mentioned before, deconversion is not for the faint of heart. Even when one comes to the conclusion that there is no need to fear rejection or punishment from a god, there is still a price to pay (rejection) regarding a social safety net which one is most likely to lose once they become an open agnostic/atheist. Especially if one lives in very religious cultures. Understanding was more important to me than the notion of security.

    @Ryan, here’s what I mean with regard to applying critical thinking regarding a god belief:

    Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.”

    My conclusion: If there is a god/creator, it’s not the biblical god.

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  167. Zoe, I follow a blog, “Godless in Dixie”, and I think you do, too. I’m behind on my reader, so I’m glad Carmen brought his latest article Apologetics Isn’t for the Lost, It’s for the Saved to my attention today. I just finished reading it. For those who may not be aware, the author of the blog, Neil Carter, is a former church elder with a seminary education. For all of his life, he was a member of the largest protestant church in America, the Southern Baptist Convention. As noted in his bio, he mostly writes now about the struggles of former evangelicals living in the midst of a highly religious subculture. He tells it like it is.

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  168. Curious … many non-believers/atheists/agnostics make this statement: If there is a god ….

    When they do, I often wonder why a person even considers that such a being … entity … organism exists at all. Especially one that cannot be seen, heard, or touched. What is it that creates this uncertainty?

    Personally, while I tend to believe in a universal “presence,” to imagine it as an actual entity is difficult, if not impossible, for me to consider.

    It becomes even stranger when I think about the bible god — a being that is simply a glorified version of ourselves.

    Maybe this is all too deep. But every time I see the above phrase, it triggers my imagination. .

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  169. What is it that creates this uncertainty?

    Nan, personally, it’s not about uncertainty. I don’t believe god exists, not any god that man has conjured up. There’s a vast historical graveyard full of gods. But I’m open to the possibility that there might be a creator, though I am not a deist. When I was a believer, I was so certain that Christianity was the truth, and that the biblical god was theGod. It was humbling to realize how wrong I was.

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  170. Curious … many non-believers/atheists/agnostics make this statement: If there is a god ….

    When they do, I often wonder why a person even considers that such a being … entity … organism exists at all.

    Nan, I can only speak for myself in regards to this. When I make that statement it is usually a concession that there might be some entity that is invisible and that I am unaware of. I don’t believe that to be the case, but as it is ultimately unprovable one way or the other, I leave room for the possibility that I don’t know everything.

    As for why I ever believed such a thing; I was, like Neil Carter, told at a very young age that there was such a being. I never questioned whether that was true or not because the people that told me there was were adults – trustworthy adults. They were people who loved me, who cared about me, who cared for me.

    I was never given the sweetness and light version of how great everything would be forever and ever. In fact I was keenly aware because of the struggling of those around me (and my own) that there was no such thing as happy all the time and forever. Yet I still believed that the cure to all of that was in eternity where all of these would triumph over poverty, illness, and death.

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  171. Ruth,

    “If someone actually saw Yahweh leave the building the Bible would be equivalent evidence to the defendant walking out of the house. The Bible is oral tradition written down [in many cases] hundreds of years after the tradition began. So none of the people who wrote the scriptures down were even there when these things supposedly happened. Flimsy evidence at best. So it’s not the same. Moreover, if all the evidence is the defendant walking out of the house then it’s really not good evidence that the defendant committed a crime. There isn’t a jury who could convict on that basis alone. And if you would convict on that evidence alone I wouldn’t want you on any jury. ”

    Ruth, are you intentionally being this obtuse? Where did I ever state that the evidence was the same as the accused walking out of the house?? Either you’re trying to obfuscate or you truly aren’t aware of your own pride that is clearly controlling you, not allowing you to apply objectivity and honesty.

    And what is your evidence that the Bible is based on “oral tradition”? This is NOT claimed in
    the actual scriptures. What do you base this claim on??

    I’d still like to know.. which is it? Is the archaeological find of dinning rooms in the temples evidence that supports Paul’s testimony? Or not?

    “Ruth, I’d really like to hear you agree.. the defendant walking out of the house is just evidence of him walking out of the house… right?

    Okay. If that’s all the evidence you’ve got, then yeah. How many times has someone been accused of a crime that they did not commit because of rash conclusions such as this?”

    Again, you’re being obtuse.. or deliberately ignorant due to pride.. I didn’t ask if it was “proof”… I asked if it was evidence.

    You lack objectivity Ruth.. period.

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  172. Ruth, cont..

    “Dave gave you 20 yet you call his weak. Any evidence anyone has for or against a god would be circumstantial at best. We are all doing the best we can to be as objective as we can. ”

    And here it looks like an attempt to divert away from my point that you cannot acknowledge.

    I’ve already addressed most of what he’s brought up.. I’m addressing right now his “best” “argument”.. that Christianity started as a polytheistic and was dishonestly changed to the “lie” we follow today.

    Ruth, you (all) are NOT doing the best you can to be objective.. I’ve proven this over and over.

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  173. Kathy, please get off this “objectivity” kick.

    The definition of objective is undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena.

    Based on this definition, YOU are the one not being objective in that you have no observable phenomena to offer when you claim there is a god.

    And you quite obviously have personal bias as related to Christianity, the bible, Jesus, God, Paul, the OT, etc., etc.

    So it is YOU that is not being objective.

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  174. there are many red flags that come with the bible. is it our reason that tosses them aside, or is it our suspension of reason that lets us ignore them?

    Just speaking for myself, when I was a Christian, not only did I ignore problems, but I was also ignorant of a lot things that I have since learned. I never looked at non-canonical texts that did not make it into the Bible. I never knew anything about comparable ancient religions like Zoroastrianism. I never studied anything from ancient near east literature. I never studied anything that supported evolution or an old universe. I did not really know anything about biblical criticism or formation.

    Even though I was aware of the genocide in the old testament I never really thought through it or considered the unfair judgments that were being made: killing David’s baby for David’s sin, killing Egyptian firstborns for the pharaoh’s stubbornness, killing 70,000 men for David’s census, etc.

    In order to really take a fair look at the Bible I had to first remove it from it’s glorified position within my mind. I think this is a critical step, we have to change our perspective before we can approach something without prejudice.

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  175. Ruth, are you intentionally being this obtuse? Where did I ever state that the evidence was the same as the accused walking out of the house?? Either you’re trying to obfuscate or you truly aren’t aware of your own pride that is clearly controlling you, not allowing you to apply objectivity and honesty.

    Obviously I missed something. What point were you attempting to make about the defendant walking out of the house?

    And what is your evidence that the Bible is based on “oral tradition”? This is NOT claimed in
    the actual scriptures. What do you base this claim on??

    Let’s clear up a misconception here. I said much of it was based on oral tradition. If, indeed(and there is some doubt), a character named Moses wrote the ‘five books of Moses'(Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus ,Numbers, and Deuteronomy) much of what was written had to have been oral tradition. Moses was not alive at the creation, nor was he alive at the time of Noah, nor was he alive at the time of Abraham. Many of the previous generations are reported to have lived hundreds of years and had died many years before Moses was even born. Based on that alone I’d say that much of the Torah, at least, was based on oral tradition. Do you have any question on that? The Bible does lay out that it had to be based, at least partially, on oral tradition.

    I’d still like to know.. which is it? Is the archaeological find of dinning rooms in the temples evidence that supports Paul’s testimony? Or not?

    Supports Paul’s testimony about what? Idol sacrifices? Greek idolatry? Meat sacrificed to idols? That the Greeks ate meals in the temples?

    Okay. If that’s all the evidence you’ve got, then yeah. How many times has someone been accused of a crime that they did not commit because of rash conclusions such as this?”

    Again, you’re being obtuse.. or deliberately ignorant due to pride.. I didn’t ask if it was “proof”… I asked if it was evidence.

    Who said anything about proof? I’m saying that if all the evidence there is is a man walking out of a house where a crime was committed it’s not very good evidence.

    You lack objectivity Ruth.. period.

    Meh…okay.

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  176. Ruth, you (all) are NOT doing the best you can to be objective.. I’ve proven this over and over.

    Again, I say….meh…okay. *shrug*

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  177. I asked if it was evidence.

    You’re forgetting, Kathy – “evidence” is one of the 14+ words that you don’t understand.

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  178. In order to really take a fair look at the Bible I had to first remove it from it’s glorified position within my mind. I think this is a critical step, we have to change our perspective before we can approach something without prejudice.

    Exactly this!

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  179. Ruth, cont..

    “So, really, you don’t have any way of knowing if the original intent nor message of the Bible is being given in the scriptures we have today. Nor do you have any way of knowing how close the Bible we have today even resembles the original. Yet you are willing to bet it’s accurate and true but only when it suits your purposes and only the interpretation(NIV) that you like the best. Have you studied the manuscripts? Do you know Hebrew? How do you know the NIV is the best interpretation?”

    Wrong. I trust the evangelical interpretation because I’ve observed their methods and motives and the character of those people and also those today who also trust the evangelical interpretation. I’ve found no deception or dishonest motives.. I’ve observed honesty objectivity. So, no I don’t know Hebrew, and it’s not necessary to know it. I’ve applied objectivity and have made my decision.. it’s how it’s done in life most of the time. We can’t all be experts on everything.. we don’t live long enough and many don’t have the mental capability.

    They’ve studied extensively the manuscripts we do have, and they’ve applied all aspects of research required, age of documents, sources, historical records etc to determine the accurate interpretation. And most key, they’ve applied the CONTEXT of ALL writings of the witnesses/ authors.. of the prophets and disciples who’ve given their lives to testify to their faith and words.

    They are smart enough to not give credence to “witnesses” who make claims base solely on their own words alone.. people like Muhammed or Joseph Smith. They are smart enough to take into account the actions of these people.. not just the claims they make.

    All of this is really not that hard to discern.. it just takes honest objectivity and common sense.
    And God has given these abilities to all of you.

    Like

  180. **I messed up my wordpress code:

    Kathy: I’d still like to know.. which is it? Is the archaeological find of dinning rooms in the temples evidence that supports Paul’s testimony? Or not?

    Me: Supports Paul’s testimony about what? Idol sacrifices? Greek idolatry? Meat sacrificed to idols? That the Greeks ate meals in the temples?

    Like

  181. Thanks Neuro and Ruth for your comments. It’s a very deep subject, but one that I think of now and again and enjoy learning about other people’s ideas

    I actually have more to say on the subject, but I’ll put my comments off to another time, another place (maybe on my blog?).

    Like

  182. “I wanted the truth, not a fantasy or something that made me feel good. To be frank, if I’d known the pain I was about to endure, I probably would not have been able to make that decision.

    To make a long story short, I found that as I probed into my religious world view, pulling threads here and there, it fell apart like a cheap sweater. ” ~ Dave, Ex-minister.

    More quotes from ex-Christians. http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~slocks/quotes.html

    Like

  183. Ruth, the earliest evidence that the Jews had a written language is dated to about 1000 BCE – before that, all was oral. Why, I must wonder of Kathy, would the Bible see the need to specifically state that a particular story came from oral tradition? Should each page say, “This page was written in ink”?

    Like

  184. Wrong. I trust the evangelical interpretation because I’ve observed their methods and motives and the character of those people and also those today who also trust the evangelical interpretation. I’ve found no deception or dishonest motives.. I’ve observed honesty objectivity. So, no I don’t know Hebrew, and it’s not necessary to know it. I’ve applied objectivity and have made my decision.. it’s how it’s done in life most of the time. We can’t all be experts on everything.. we don’t live long enough and many don’t have the mental capability.

    They’ve studied extensively the manuscripts we do have, and they’ve applied all aspects of research required, age of documents, sources, historical records etc to determine the accurate interpretation. And most key, they’ve applied the CONTEXT of ALL writings of the witnesses/ authors.. of the prophets and disciples who’ve given their lives to testify to their faith and words.

    Are you suggesting that all the other translations of the Bible are by those who haven’t studied extensively the manuscripts we do have and applied all the aspects of research required? Those who translated the NLT, ESV, NAS, KJV, HCS, ASV, DBT, DRB, ERV, GWT, ISR, ISV, KJP, NET, OJB, WEB, WBT, WYC?

    What about the Jewish versions? Are they not studied enough to provide an accurate translation of their own manuscripts?

    You’re probably right, though. A whole bunch of smart people believe it so it must be true.

    Like

  185. Why, I must wonder of Kathy, would the Bible see the need to specifically state that a particular story came from oral tradition?

    Yeah, I was just trying to get her to apply some logic, reasoning, and honest objectivity. 😉

    Like

  186. “Kathy: I’d still like to know.. which is it? Is the archaeological find of dinning rooms in the temples evidence that supports Paul’s testimony? Or not?

    Me: Supports Paul’s testimony about what? Idol sacrifices? Greek idolatry? Meat sacrificed to idols? That the Greeks ate meals in the temples?”

    The credibility of the NT and Paul.

    And please don’t get confused again.. I’m NOT claiming it is “proof” of anything.. I’m claiming, just as the link suggests.. that it is archaeological evidence that goes towards or SUPPORTS the truth of the NT and Paul.

    Like

  187. “Why, I must wonder of Kathy, would the Bible see the need to specifically state that a particular story came from oral tradition? Should each page say, “This page was written in ink”?”

    Divine revelation Arch.. that claim is made throughout the Bible.

    Like

  188. And what is your evidence that the Bible is based on “oral tradition”? This is NOT claimed in the actual scriptures. What do you base this claim on?? — Kathy

    Unless someone was around to witness creation (as related in the bible), then it’s pretty obvious the scriptures are based on oral tradition.

    They are smart enough to not give credence to “witnesses” who make claims base solely on their own words alone..

    And, pray tell, what is the bible, if not claims made by “witnesses” in their own words?

    Like

  189. And please don’t get confused again.. I’m NOT claiming it is “proof” of anything.. I’m claiming, just as the link suggests.. that it is archaeological evidence that goes towards or SUPPORTS the truth of the NT and Paul.

    I’m not confused. I know what evidence is. It is evidence that Greeks, at least, ate meals in the temples. It is evidence that Paul knew that. It isn’t evidence that Paul’s testimony regarding anything else is credible.

    Like

  190. many don’t have the mental capability.” – we certainly know that applies to you, don’t we Kathy?

    Sadly, knowing nothing of Hebrew, you have no way of knowing that in Genesis, the Bible’s god tells Abraham that his name is “El Shaddai,” and repeats in Exodus, to Moses, that his name is Yahweh, but that he was known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as “El Shaddai.” All English versions of the Bible have changed that into “God Almighty,” which is incorrect, but you and your evangelical friends will never know that, will you?

    Like

  191. “.Are you suggesting that all the other translations of the Bible are by those who haven’t studied extensively the manuscripts we do have and applied all the aspects of research required? Those who translated the NLT, ESV, NAS, KJV, HCS, ASV, DBT, DRB, ERV, GWT, ISR, ISV, KJP, NET, OJB, WEB, WBT, WYC? ”

    Nope.. I’m sure they’ve studied too.. but all can’t be right, so again, we have to discern which is the most accurate, and I’ve given my reasons for my choice.

    Like

  192. “Why, I must wonder of Kathy, would the Bible see the need to specifically state that a particular story came from oral tradition? Should each page say, “This page was written in ink”?”

    Divine revelation Arch.. that claim is made throughout the Bible.

    So Moses miraculously recorded the Pentateuch before he was even born? Or did God dictate it to him?

    Like

  193. Ruth,

    “And please don’t get confused again.. I’m NOT claiming it is “proof” of anything.. I’m claiming, just as the link suggests.. that it is archaeological evidence that goes towards or SUPPORTS the truth of the NT and Paul.”

    True or false? Simple question, it requires a simple answer.

    Like

  194. Nope.. I’m sure they’ve studied too.. but all can’t be right, so again, we have to discern which is the most accurate, and I’ve given my reasons for my choice.

    I see.

    Like

  195. kathy, you’re asking if genealogical evidence of dining rooms in greek temples is evidence that the entire bible is true and valid?

    is the discovery of troy evidence that the Iliad is historically true in all aspects?

    if that is what you’re asking, your question screams of dishonesty or stupidity.

    Like

  196. FALSE, Kathy.

    If you would look at this discovery OBJECTIVELY, you would understand that the presence of dining rooms in the temples does not mean anything … except that people ate there. It doesn’t even indicate if they were Greeks (probably were, as Ruth suggests, but there is no objective evidence to confirm this).

    Like

  197. This belief of yours that the archaeological discovery verifies something about Paul is nothing but your personal bias showing.

    Like

  198. Divine revelation Arch.. that claim is made throughout the Bible.” – Ahh, more magic – telepathy this time!

    Like

  199. Ruth,

    “Obviously I missed something. What point were you attempting to make about the defendant walking out of the house?”

    Have none of you ever watched tv in your lives? If so, I don’t know how you could have missed all the court room dramas.. or the most watched trial with OJ or Casey Anthony? I guess not, because if you had this all wouldn’t be so confusing for you.. if you had watched I imagine it had to be very confusing.

    And what is your evidence that the Bible is based on “oral tradition”? This is NOT claimed in
    the actual scriptures. What do you base this claim on??

    “Let’s clear up a misconception here. I said much of it was based on oral tradition. If, indeed(and there is some doubt), a character named Moses wrote the ‘five books of Moses'(Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus ,Numbers, and Deuteronomy) much of what was written had to have been oral tradition. Moses was not alive at the creation, nor was he alive at the time of Noah, nor was he alive at the time of Abraham. Many of the previous generations are reported to have lived hundreds of years and had died many years before Moses was even born. Based on that alone I’d say that much of the Torah, at least, was based on oral tradition. Do you have any question on that? The Bible does lay out that it had to be based, at least partially, on oral tradition.”

    So, basically what you are claiming is that a Book about God, the Creator of all, wouldn’t claim that the Creator of all could give revelation to His follower, a creation of His… because that’s just not possible.. it just can’t be done.. creating the universe is understandable, but not Divine inspiration.

    Like

  200. “creating the universe is understandable, but not Divine inspiration.” – kathy

    divine inspiration is fine, but if your only source for this divine inspiration is the fella who’s claiming to speak for god then “faith” and “gullibility” look a lot alike.

    Like

  201. Nan,

    “If you would look at this discovery OBJECTIVELY, you would understand that the presence of dining rooms in the temples does not mean anything … except that people ate there. It doesn’t even indicate if they were Greeks (probably were, as Ruth suggests, but there is no objective evidence to confirm this).”

    So, Nan, why do you believe they were “probably” Greeks?

    Like

  202. Have none of you ever watched tv in your lives? If so, I don’t know how you could have missed all the court room dramas.. or the most watched trial with OJ or Casey Anthony? I guess not, because if you had this all wouldn’t be so confusing for you.. if you had watched I imagine it had to be very confusing.

    This appears to be avoiding the question I asked.

    So, basically what you are claiming is that a Book about God, the Creator of all, wouldn’t claim that the Creator of all could give revelation to His follower, a creation of His… because that’s just not possible.. it just can’t be done.. creating the universe is understandable, but not Divine inspiration.

    Um. No. I’m not claiming that there is a creator of the Universe. You are. There’s some more of that magic dust. And you accuse us of reaching? That you can and are willing to believe that is your business but to be incredulous that others don’t is absurd.

    Like

  203. ““creating the universe is understandable, but not Divine inspiration.” – kathy

    divine inspiration is fine, but if your only source for this divine inspiration is the fella who’s claiming to speak for god then “faith” and “gullibility” look a lot alike.”

    That’s why there are multiple authors/ witnesses of the Bible.. for corroboration… aka evidence for the objective.

    Like

  204. Ruth,
    “True or false? Simple question, it requires a simple answer.

    False.

    Next.”

    “Have none of you ever watched tv in your lives? If so, I don’t know how you could have missed all the court room dramas.. or the most watched trial with OJ or Casey Anthony? I guess not, because if you had this all wouldn’t be so confusing for you.. if you had watched I imagine it had to be very confusing.

    This appears to be avoiding the question I asked.

    So, basically what you are claiming is that a Book about God, the Creator of all, wouldn’t claim that the Creator of all could give revelation to His follower, a creation of His… because that’s just not possible.. it just can’t be done.. creating the universe is understandable, but not Divine inspiration.

    Um. No. I’m not claiming that there is a creator of the Universe. You are. There’s some more of that magic dust. And you accuse us of reaching? That you can and are willing to believe that is your business but to be incredulous that others don’t is absurd.”

    Ruth, you’re playing games. You were the last person I had hope for on this site.

    I’ve got better things to do. I can’t help people who aren’t willing to be honest. It’s a waste of
    time.

    Like

  205. “That’s why there are multiple authors/ witnesses of the Bible.. for corroboration… aka evidence for the objective.” – kathy

    kathy, if they all agreed, then okay. If they all wrote the same thing at the same time, then fine.

    That’s not what we have.

    What is jesus right genealogy? matthew or Luke?

    where did the women encounter the angels at the tomb?

    how many angels were there at the tomb?

    where was the first place that Joseph and Mary and jesus went after his birth?

    where did birds come from? water or earth?

    what day did jesus die? passover or the day after?

    was babylon destroyed by the medes like jeremiah says, or was babylon taken without destruction by the persians?

    getting details wrong and having 40 authors take 1500 years to complete the compiled works is not miraculous.

    …but, I may not watch as much tv as you, so take the above for what’s it worth.

    Like

  206. “I’ve got better things to do. I can’t help people who aren’t willing to be honest. It’s a waste of
    time.” – kathy

    that busy work schedule?

    does this mean you’re leaving? promise?

    Like

  207. Ruth, you’re playing games. You were the last person I had hope for on this site.

    I’ve got better things to do. I can’t help people who aren’t willing to be honest. It’s a waste of
    time.

    Had hope for what?

    I had high hopes for you, too, but if you can’t be objective it’s a waste of time. Here’s a link to Oxford Biblical Studies about oral tradition and it’s role in the creation of the Bible:

    http://www.oxfordbiblicalstudies.com/print/opr/t94/e1382

    Like

  208. I’ve got better things to do. I can’t help people who aren’t willing to be honest.

    I would also add that you’ve been playing games this entire time. On several occasions you said you wanted ‘debate’ so that you could learn. In this one phrase you have let on that you were here to teach – never to learn.

    Like

  209. I didn’t say I believed they were Greeks.

    What I said was that Ruth was probably correct in her assumption because the website said the dining rooms were in the temples of Asclepius (the Greek god of medicine) and Demeter (the Greek goddess of harvest).

    It does not, however, in any way, validate what they ate, whether they were Greek Christians, or whether Paul was there.

    As I’ve repeatedly said, which you seem to have a problem grasping, is that the archaeological evidence of dining rooms in the temples is not evidence of anything.

    Like

  210. William,

    All of those questions have been addressed, you can find the possible answers with a simple google search.

    A lot of the questions like these have
    very reasonable explanations.. that you’ve obviously chosen to reject..
    and I would question your decision to reject them..

    where did the women encounter the angels at the tomb?

    how many angels were there at the tomb?

    When you have different witnesses you are not going to get identical accounts.
    This is simple common sense. If all the accounts were identical while coming from
    numerous people, then that WOULD be questionable.

    Like

  211. “When you have different witnesses you are not going to get identical accounts.
    This is simple common sense. If all the accounts were identical while coming from
    numerous people, then that WOULD be questionable.” – kathy

    but you’re claiming they were all divinely inspired. and we know the gospels aren’t eye witness testimony, even the believer cant say they were completely as they write about events they slept through, etc…

    and when witnesses get details wrong, like details we have in the bible, it’s a sign of collusion, as in they agreed or had knowledge of broad and generic details, but when they tried adding specifics, they were all wrong. In you court room tv dramas, it’s details like these that end up damning the criminal.

    cop: were there angels?

    guy 1: yes

    guy 2: yes

    cop: how many?

    guy 1: 2

    guy 2: 3

    cop: where did you see them?

    guy 1: inside

    guy 2″ outside

    cop: yep, this is exactly the same event. I mean, if they had answered all the questions exactly the same, i’d think they were lying. but now we can be certain that there were maybe 1 or 2 angels, that were encountered either inside or outside.

    how much of this tv do you really watch?

    Like

  212. and for your google searched answers to those questions, yes, I think they’re all rubbish. You wouldnt accept crap like that if trying to explain away errors with the koran or anything else.

    “maybe it could mean…”

    “it doesnt really mean what it says, it means this…”

    solid.

    Like

  213. “maybe it could mean…”

    “it doesnt really mean what it says, it means this…”

    Ambiguity is evidence of divine inspiration.

    Like

  214. kathy,

    why arent there any other accounts of the sun standing still? there were several groups at the time that recorded solar events and phenomenon.

    why arent there any other accounts of the sun moving backward? there were several groups at the time that recorded solar events and phenomenon.

    why arent there any supporting accounts of dead people walking in the streets when jesus died? was that just a common occurrence back then?

    the fact that you reject the obvious tells me a lot about you.

    Like

  215. Or it could mean that God chose not to intervene in these testimonies.

    Moses wasn’t testifying to anything.. because as you pointed out he couldn’t
    have been there.

    Discernment people.. not that complicated.

    Like

  216. No, Kathy. It doesn’t mean probably, possibly, maybe, by chance, in all likelihood they were eating meat sacrifices. Geez!!! I can’t understand how you can be so dense. It means exactly what it says. There were dining rooms in two of the Greek temples. Period.

    You can assume all you want about this discovery to justify your personal bias about what Paul wrote related to meat sacrifices. But that’s all it is. An assumption.

    If you can produce some sort of evidence that confirms there were people sitting at these tables eating meat sacrificed to idols (pictures, maybe?), then I stand by my original statement.

    Like

  217. Or it could mean that God chose not to intervene in these testimonies.

    Moses wasn’t testifying to anything.. because as you pointed out he couldn’t
    have been there.

    So it wasn’t all divine revelation or inspiration? God chose not to intervene in the most important testimonies of all?

    And the fact that you have to come up with “what it could mean” is a problem in itself. Are you being divinely inspired?

    Like

  218. William, those are all valid questions.. there are possible explanations.

    First, you make an assumption that nothing was ever recorded.. that’s an impossible assumption to make.. the most that can be claimed is that we have nothing.
    And when you look at the length of time that has gone by, it’s very understandable that
    not everything survived. This is one possible explanation.

    What this should say about me William is that I have weighed ALL the evidence.. and these
    few questions are not enough to discount the supportive evidence.

    Like

  219. Discernment people.. not that complicated.kathy….aka interpret it any possible way that can it can still be true. Not what is most likely, not what is probable, but whatever keeps the believe alive.

    Like

  220. “So it wasn’t all divine revelation or inspiration? God chose not to intervene in the most important testimonies of all? ”

    He didn’t need to Ruth. The Gospels are more than enough on the testimonies of real people..
    which is very strong evidence. Again, those minor discrepancies actually SUPPORT the truth of the Gospels.. because exact accounts are not a normal occurrence.

    More lack of objectivity.

    “And the fact that you have to come up with “what it could mean” is a problem in itself. Are you being divinely inspired?”

    Sorry, it’s not a problem at all. I don’t have all the answers.. no believer makes that claim.

    You lack honesty and objectivity Ruth.

    Like

  221. “Discernment people.. not that complicated.kathy….aka interpret it any possible way that can it can still be true. Not what is most likely, not what is probable, but whatever keeps the believe alive.”

    This is hilarious coming from a person who’s been proven to lack objectivity.. you can’t even acknowledge simple factual evidence Ruth.

    Like

  222. Whaaaaat??? Ruth can’t acknowledge “simple factual evidence” … !??! What do you call it when you can’t accept that the dining rooms in the temples were nothing more than the simple, factual evidence of … dining rooms in the temples?

    Unbelievable.

    Like

  223. He didn’t need to Ruth. The Gospels are more than enough on the testimonies of real people..
    which is very strong evidence. Again, those minor discrepancies actually SUPPORT the truth of the Gospels.. because exact accounts are not a normal occurrence.

    Now you know what God does and does not need? You have no idea! Doesn’t the Bible say that all scripture is God-breathed?

    More lack of objectivity.

    Meh…okay.

    Sorry, it’s not a problem at all. I don’t have all the answers.. no believer makes that claim.

    It is totally cool that the unanswered questions don’t bother you. But it is ridiculous that you badger people who want answers. If your God is so great don’t you think he can take it? Is his ego really that fragile?

    You lack honesty and objectivity Ruth.

    Meh…okay. *shrug*

    Like

  224. “Moses wasn’t testifying to anything.. because as you pointed out he couldn’t
    have been there.”

    hebrews says that moses was giving his testament.

    Like

  225. “What this should say about me William is that I have weighed ALL the evidence.. and these
    few questions are not enough to discount the supportive evidence” – kathy

    or it says that you dont know much about the actual evidence and that you believe martyrs are good evidence of divinity of the martyrs religion, and that you likely think all these things because you spend too much of your time watching tv.

    Like

  226. This is hilarious coming from a person who’s been proven to lack objectivity.. you can’t even acknowledge simple factual evidence Ruth.

    The only thing that has been proven is the lack of objectivity coming from you, the person who pleads ‘give God an honest chance’ and ‘the benefit of the doubt’. Those are not statements of objectivity. The irony in you pointing out bias in others is palpable.

    Like

  227. “or it says that you dont know much about the actual evidence and that you believe martyrs are good evidence of divinity of the martyrs religion, and that you likely think all these things because you spend too much of your time watching tv.”

    Again, William… for the hundredth time.. it’s about WEIGHING the evidence.. martyrdom is extremely strong evidence when combined with other factors and evidence.

    Like

  228. “Sorry, it’s not a problem at all. I don’t have all the answers.. no believer makes that claim.” – kathy

    then why do you act like such jerk when atheists say that they dont have the answer to the origins of the universe?

    Like

  229. “The only thing that has been proven is the lack of objectivity coming from you, the person who pleads ‘give God an honest chance’ and ‘the benefit of the doubt’. Those are not statements of objectivity. The irony in you pointing out bias in others is palpable.”

    Right Ruth.. all of the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve typed on this site are about “benefit of the doubt”… not evidence and valid reasoning / arguments that you all fail over and over to defend.

    Like

  230. “Again, William… for the hundredth time.. it’s about WEIGHING the evidence.. martyrdom is extremely strong evidence when combined with other factors and evidence.” – kathy

    that’s why you reject all other martyrs…

    what other factors and evidence?

    Like

  231. Right Ruth.. all of the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve typed on this site are about “benefit of the doubt”… not evidence and valid reasoning / arguments that you all fail over and over to defend.

    Kathy, all of your evidence, reasoning, and arguments have been defended over and over with much success. You are the only one here who thinks you’re doing a bang up job of defending Christianity. The evidence you have provided is all very circumstantial and it all hinges on a presupposition of a deity. The credibility of the Bible hinges on divine inspiration. An a priori belief in God is required to believe in divine inspiration.

    Like

  232. “that’s why you reject all other martyrs…”

    Right! Those religions lack the compelling evidence that Christianity has.. their martyrdom evidence isn’t enough on it’s own.

    Like

  233. Those religions lack the compelling evidence that Christianity has.. their martyrdom evidence isn’t enough on it’s own.

    Have you studied these other religions objectively to know what evidence they have?

    Like

  234. what other factors and evidence?

    what compelling evidence does Christianity have?

    and FYI, you’re basically saying that martyrs are only good evidence when other good evince is around, which is the same as saying martyrs arent good evidence, but good evidence is.

    so why dont we just leave martyrs alone now that we all agree on that, and you can get to the good evidence now.

    Like

  235. “Right Ruth.. all of the hundreds of thousands of words I’ve typed on this site are about “benefit of the doubt”… not evidence and valid reasoning / arguments that you all fail over and over to defend.” – kathy

    ah, it makes sense now. you’re crazy.

    Like

  236. kathy,

    – the bible is a composite book that was heavily edited. This is known fact, not conjecture.

    – every book was written by men and only some of those men claimed to be speaking for god, but not all books do.

    – they claim wonderful and marvelous things that cannot happen naturally.

    – they claim miracles proved that they were speaking for god, but miracles dont happen today.

    – they claim that solar events happened, yet there is no corroborative evidence, despite several solar tracking cultures of that time across the world – none, not one recording any of these alleged miraculous events, although they recorded other typical solar events.

    – while some of these books contain some historical events accurately, they also record some historical events incorrectly.

    – it took 40 people 1500 years to write this book, and even then, it has contradictions and discrepancies. numerically that’s the same as 4 people taking 150 years to write their book, or 1 person 37.5 years to write their book.

    – this book, in the first 2 chapters, cant agree on where the birds came from.

    – this book says that god makes everything, including all the rules, and then it says he had to sacrifice his son to save people from a fate he created….

    what about this is compelling to you? what about this just screams “TRUE” to you?

    please tell me that you’re basing your faith off of more than the author’s claims, and matter and martyrs.

    Like

  237. “An a priori belief in God is required to believe in divine inspiration.”

    Which I’ve asked you all over and over.. got a better explanation?

    No, you don’t. It’s the most obvious, reasonable explanation we have.

    When you don’t have proof, you have to apply reason.

    Like

  238. “Those religions lack the compelling evidence that Christianity has.. their martyrdom evidence isn’t enough on it’s own.

    Have you studied these other religions objectively to know what evidence they have?”

    Yep.. as I’ve also asked over and over and no one has been able to give an answer to…

    Name the religion or religions that have more compelling evidence..

    Like

  239. How can we answer that question, Kathy, when you have not been able to provide any compelling evidence about your religion?

    Like

  240. Ruth,

    “Kathy, all of your evidence, reasoning, and arguments have been defended over and over with much success. You are the only one here who thinks you’re doing a bang up job of defending Christianity. The evidence you have provided is all very circumstantial and it all hinges on a presupposition of a deity. The credibility of the Bible hinges on divine inspiration. An a priori belief in God is required to believe in divine inspiration.”

    You are getting even more confused in trying to defend your failed beliefs Ruth.. first, all we have to work with is circumstantial evidence for our origins. And that evidence is FOR determining which it is.. there is no “presupposition” of God.. that’s what the evidence is for.. to
    make that determination.

    Like

  241. Yes NeuroVictoria. I’ve been following him for some time now. One of my favourite blogs. When he went to Patheos I was a little sad because they don’t have a *like* button. I read that post yes, and really liked it. I was big into apologetics. Always ready to give an answer. Studying apologetics, Christian diversity, cults and other religions helped to escort me right on out of the faith. Odd when as Neil said they are really written for the faithful.

    Like

  242. Just wanted to add Nan that for me it’s simply conversation. If pressed I might say that sure there might be a God but I don’t think it’s the Bible God or for that matter any God in any form of religion that has existed or will exist on the earth.

    Like

  243. You’re just jealous Kathy that you’re not as imaginative as Neuro. The images speak volumes. Too bad you miss the point.

    Like

  244. Which I’ve asked you all over and over.. got a better explanation?

    No, you don’t. It’s the most obvious, reasonable explanation we have.

    When you don’t have proof, you have to apply reason.

    Why is this the most obvious, reasonable explanation? Why was there ever nothing? Maybe there was never nothing but always something. Something material. If your God doesn’t need an explanation why does material need an explanation? It seems to me reasonable to think that something material has always existed.

    Like

  245. “I was big into apologetics.”

    Zoe, from Neil’s post, this stood out the most — really resonated:

    “I used to be into apologetics when I was a Christian. I also used to study cults and foreign religions in order to sharpen my own grasp of what I believed compared with what anybody else believed. I wanted to believe that the Christian faith was eminently rational. I wanted to believe that a person could hold his head high for accepting the Christian message despite the apparent irrationality of believing a virgin had a baby who then later became a miracle worker and died, then came back from the dead and floated into the sky to become invisible. I bought the books and read them, studying their arguments in order to be better prepared to defend my faith against attack from the outside.

    But I don’t think outside threats are really what motivated me to study cults, foreign religions, and apologetics. In fact, I hardly remember anyone bothering to challenge my beliefs at all…]. The real threat to my faith wasn’t some nefarious outside horde of skeptical assailants roaming the earth, seeking to devour me. ➡ No, the greatest threat to my faith was my own mind, my own need to understand why I believed what I believed.

    Like

  246. You are getting even more confused in trying to defend your failed beliefs Ruth.. first, all we have to work with is circumstantial evidence for our origins. And that evidence is FOR determining which it is.. there is no “presupposition” of God.. that’s what the evidence is for.. to
    make that determination.

    There is nothing confusing about it. But in order to determine that the Bible has divine origins it is necessary first to have a belief about a deity. Not just any deity, but the God of the Bible. Which is an a priori belief in the existence of a God. If you already believe there’s a God because…existence, then and only then can you make a determination about any written text.

    And I’m sorry but if you haven’t applied any more effort into studying any other religions than you have the one you currently espouse I call bullshit on your ability to distinguish whether they have compelling evidence or not. I have a feeling you only looked into these other religions insofar as apologetics could dispel them.

    Like

  247. Fail again Ruth…

    “But in order to determine that the Bible has divine origins it is necessary first to have a belief about a deity. Not just any deity, but the God of the Bible. Which is an a priori belief in the existence of a God. If you already believe there’s a God because…existence, then and only then can you make a determination about any written text. ”

    Where did I claim that I believe in God because of existence? I believe in God because of ALL the evidence, existence being one of them. But you are wrong in claiming I have to believe in God “before” I assess the evidence.. that’s not the way it works… for me anyway.

    “And I’m sorry but if you haven’t applied any more effort into studying any other religions than you have the one you currently espouse I call bullshit on your ability to distinguish whether they have compelling evidence or not. I have a feeling you only looked into these other religions insofar as apologetics could dispel them.”

    I’ve ASKED you to tell me which religion has more evidence. Instead of giving me the correct answer, which is that there ISN’T one, you accuse me of not doing my homework. I’ve challenged you Ruth, and you’ve failed.. and THAT proves my point.. I know enough about those other religions. Stop judging me and work on your own issues.. like your complete LACK of objectivity.

    Like

  248. Kathy, is there anything upon which you can agree with anybody here? Seriously, is there any common ground? Why so contentious? Do you pray to Jesus to be granted patience to deal with us atheists? Why bother with us?

    Is this what you think Jesus wants you to do? It is so ineffective for actually converting anybody to Christianity.

    Like

  249. Kathy, I think you are an intelligent person, with strong convictions 🙂

    As we all do, you have the potential to take your skills and apply them in many different ways.

    I’m asking this sincerely, I’m not having a go at you:

    Why do you feel that applying your yourself to debate here is beneficial, considering how many posts have now been done,

    what are you getting out of it?

    If you feel that this is important, or you have some important things to share with people here, then by all means go ahead.

    But I would still be interested to learn what your getting out of these debates with different people.

    Like

  250. I’ve got better things to do. I can’t help people who aren’t willing to be honest. It’s a waste of time.

    Please feel free to go do them, far be it from any of us to keep you – oh, before you go, could you ask your magic man to please give us back all of the time we’ve wasted on your nonsense?

    Like

  251. Or it could mean that God chose not to intervene in these testimonies.

    That HAS to be the flimsiest explanation for ANYthing I’ve ever heard. What happened? I thought she was leaving —

    Like

  252. you can’t even acknowledge simple factual evidence Ruth.

    Yeah, Ruth!

    1. A broken window is compelling evidence of a burglary!
    2. A man walking from a house is compelling evidence that he’s a murderer!
    3. A table in a temple HAS to mean that the diners were scarfing meat offered to idols, rather than enjoying a leisurely bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast!

    Like

  253. Right! Those religions lack the compelling evidence that Christianity has.. their martyrdom evidence isn’t enough on it’s own.

    Christianity is one of the least substantiated religious cults of which I’m aware – I would place it in a close contest between Mormonism and the Church of Scientology.

    Like

  254. When you don’t have proof, you have to apply reason.” – when did you think you might begin doing that?

    Like

  255. “Have you studied these other religions objectively to know what evidence they have?”

    Yep..

    Exactly which religions have you studied, and what books on each have you read?

    Like

  256. You are getting even more confused in trying to defend your failed beliefs Ruth.. first, all we have to work with is circumstantial evidence for our origins. And that evidence is FOR determining which it is.. there is no ‘presupposition’ of God.. that’s what the evidence is for.. to make that determination.

    Could someone please translate that into English for me? ANYone –?

    Like

  257. Neuro … you’re pretty good at coming up with those relevant images!” – she’s pretty good at coming up with anything you could possibly ask for!

    Like

  258. Where did I claim that I believe in God because of existence?” – you have REPEATEDLY said that existence is proof of god!

    I know enough about those other religions.” – again, tell us which of those religions you’ve studied in depth and what books on them you’ve read.

    Like

  259. It is so ineffective for actually converting anybody to Christianity.” – In Kathy’s defense, she’s never actually claimed she’s any GOOD at it —

    Like

  260. Portal, I would feel like it was all worth it if just one person here could learn to be objective and honest” – And I’m sure we’re all hoping that that one will be you, but I’m not giving that good odds.

    Like

  261. I’ve shown Ruth much more respect than she’s shown me.” – That’s because she’s earned so much more respect than you have.

    Like

  262. ““I’ve shown Ruth much more respect than she’s shown me.” – That’s because she’s earned so much more respect than you have.”

    By being dishonest? Of course you would think that.. you’re a liberal.

    Like

  263. Portal, I would feel like it was all worth it if just one person here could learn to be objective and honest.

    Do you think objectivity is important?

    I do think its important,

    as far as any of us can be completely objective. What would that even look like?

    Also, Portal.. to be respectful, honesty is required.. it’s a two way street, you know. I’ve shown Ruth much more respect than she’s shown me.

    I agree Kathy, it is a two way street, I apologise for singling you out.

    have a good night

    Like

  264. I’ve shown Ruth much more respect than she’s shown me.

    Although I have to disagree with you there, I don’t think you’ve necessarily shown Ruth more respect.

    Ruth comes across to me as a decent and blogger that expresses a fair amount of empathy.

    Although admittedly I haven’t read all of your exchanges between the two of you, Ruth has asked you questions that have been respectful, at least the ones I have come across and read.

    Like

  265. By being dishonest? Of course you would think that.. you’re a liberal.

    there you go Kathy….with a mindset like that how can there be a constructive conversation?

    stop with the labels, they don’t help us understand what you mean. It doesn’t achieve anything but polarise yourself.

    It’s like if I said to you – Of course you would think that! you an American!

    see how that would be detracting from forming a better understanding people, and who they actually are?

    Like

  266. “By being dishonest? Of course you would think that.. you’re a liberal.

    there you go Kathy….with a mindset like that how can there be a constructive conversation? ”

    I guess you didn’t notice his “mindset”.. you apologized for singling me out earlier and then
    you did it again.

    You asked what objectivity looks like.. I know honesty is required.. but I can give you actual examples of what it DOESN’T look like.. just read Ruth’s exchanges with me today and also note yours.

    Like

  267. I’m really not here to defend myself.. I’m interested in presenting truth. That’s what this blog is SUPPOSED to be about.. but whenever the truth is revealed, people here get mean. That’s always when it starts.. when the truth comes out. It’s not about finding the truth with liberals.

    Like

  268. “em>By being dishonest?” – I’ve never known Ruth to be dishonest – intolerant of nonsense, yes, but never dishonest.

    Like

  269. If so which one. Please let me know, so I can then dismiss what you write if I don’t agree, solely on the grounds that your “in the “murica” box”

    Kathy,

    that was my attempt at sarcasm btw, I wouldn’t really want to dismiss what you write based on a stereotype of what an american is….:)

    Like I wouldn’t want to dismiss what someone else says solely based on a stereotype of what an Liberal is…

    what you and they write should stand on its own, and be assessed itself for its validity,

    despite who’s writing it.

    Like

  270. I’m interested in presenting truth.

    Go for it Kathy, but please don’t back it up by calling others liberals or dishonest…saying those things doesn’t back up anything.

    If you feel its important, please explain what you mean, and then people will understand without being polarised as liberals.

    Like

  271. “I’m interested in presenting truth.” – when did you plan to begin doing that?

    Arch, stop taking shots at Kathy, she’s right. its a two way street.

    Why should she quit with the stereotypes if you won’t take her seriously?

    Like

  272. Arch, stop taking shots at Kathy, she’s right. its a two way street.

    Portal, I’ll stop taking shots at Kathy when she stops giving me grounds for doing so. Go back to Kathy 1 and read the thousands of comments leading up to this point, comments that I’ve lived with, comment by comment – concentrate especially on the thousand or more that Kathy has personally posted, then point out the ones that deserve better treatment than she has gotten.

    Her behavior – the same behavior you’re seeing here – has gotten her banned from every site she’s ever ranted on but this one – why do you think she’s back here after an absence? She has nowhere else that will tolerate her.

    Treat her as you feel she deserves, and I’ll do the same.

    Like

  273. Treat her as you feel she deserves, and I’ll do the same.

    Arch,

    I feel like that’s a very polite way of saying, mind your own business Portal! 😛 But I wanted to speak my mind 🙂

    Kathy,

    instead of me asking what does it take to be a liberal, I’ll switch it around

    What doesn’t it take to be a liberal? then at least we have a definition to work off to determine who your referring to when you say liberal.

    Like

  274. Dear Kathy,

    It is obvious by our exchanges that we are talking past one another.

    What reason is there for you to believe that I lack objectivity and honest? Moreover, why do you feel as though I’ve disrespected you when you have repeatedly denigrated my ability to reason and apply objectivity?

    You began our exchanges by questioning my integrity. How is that respectful? Is it only respectful when it’s a Christian questioning the integrity of atheists? And why is it you can question the education, claims or evidence of everyone else here but when the same measuring stick is applied to you it’s jugemental?

    Am I not allowed based on your claims, evidence, and education to judge whether or not you have reliable information?

    Like

  275. I’ve ASKED you to tell me which religion has more evidence. Instead of giving me the correct answer, which is that there ISN’T one, you accuse me of not doing my homework. I’ve challenged you Ruth, and you’ve failed.. and THAT proves my point..

    Failed in what regard? That I haven’t convinced you? If that is the measuring stick then I think we can call it a draw.

    But I don’t believe that I have failed. Here is why: I never said any religion had better or more evidence. I simply do not believe the evidence you have presented carries any more weight than any of the others. I think they are equally false.

    Which I’ve asked you all over and over.. got a better explanation?

    No, you don’t. It’s the most obvious, reasonable explanation we have.

    When you don’t have proof, you have to apply reason.

    Let me try this again. There are many hypothesis regarding origins. Most of the scientific hypothesis propose that there was always something material rather than nothing. The reason I believe that these scientific hypothesis are better than the God hypothesis is that they are testable; meaning that if they hypothesis is wrong it is discarded and other hypothesis are tested. God as an explanation for existence is scientifically untestable with I feel makes it an inferior hypothesis. But you are right, we do have to apply logic and reason. So in the absence of proof I feel it is reasonable to conclude that no particular hypothesis, including the God hypothesis, is the best explanation for our origins.

    Like

  276. portal, you really are so naïve.

    Kathy has more than proven herself to be what she is,
    a hateful liar that enjoys insulting people.

    that is all she is. she has zero interest in debate, or learning.

    the only thing this is about is ignorant, uneducated Kathy trying to make herself feel superior to everyone else, bashing liberals, gays, other religions.

    here, let me give you an example from 4 1/2 yrs ago.

    kay~ms said
    March 20, 2010 at Saturday, March 20, 2010
    Yeah, he told me to go away because SOMEONE lied to him and told him things about me that were just not true. My words speak for themselves and I’m going to remind him of that.. and the other person’s words speak for themselves also.

    I am going to try and apeal to Steven just as I’ve tried to apeal to all of the liberals here… to be honest and admit when a valid point that opposes their view has been made. And not be another typical liberal who ignores those valid points and just continues along with their faulty views. I still have hope for him… I’ve lost hope for you all here and that is why, I think, that I’ve ventured out finally.

    http://tothewire.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/hollywood-liberalism-knows-no-boundries-exhibit-1-the-movie-doubt/#comment-16946

    does that sound familiar to you? I’ve got literally thousands more of this from 6yrs of watching this bullshit drama queen fat cow sitting around on her lard ass, collecting food stamps so she can watch t.v. and bash liberals on the internet.

    she doesn’t deserve any respect.

    Like

  277. “There are many hypothesis regarding origins. Most of the scientific hypothesis propose that there was always something material rather than nothing. The reason I believe that these scientific hypothesis are better than the God hypothesis is that they are testable; meaning that if they hypothesis is wrong it is discarded and other hypothesis are tested. God as an explanation for existence is scientifically untestable with I feel makes it an inferior hypothesis.”

    Very well said, Ruth. No doubt, Kathy won’t watch this, but I’ll post it anyway. (7 minutes)

    Should any go to the about page on YT, it has several links under the video regarding the origin of life, including an excellent hour-long lecture by David Deamer presenting an overview of our current understanding.

    Like

  278. Paul,

    It doesn’t actually matter to me whether its a Christian, atheist or a Hindu, a republican, a democrat, gay or straight, when it comes to how you treat someone.

    Maybe its because I know what it is to be on the receiving end of cruel behaviour, at school I was a lot more sensitive than I am now, and I used to catch a bus with a group of borders that were bored.

    Their entertainment involved belittling people. That’s how they got their laughs. By yelling down people, throwing things, and calling people names. Usually to affirm themselves in front of others. I think they liked the power, since they also made a point of only allowing borders to sit on the back of the bus, behind everyone, where they would abuse, and yell at people from out the wind and throw paper at the back of people.

    And I didn’t even get it that bad, not really. I was just more sensitive to it. at least I could step off the bus and had a great family to go home to. Not everyone has that support, another point of reference. Some kids didn’t have that. Some kids were borders as well, they lived with the very same guys that messed with them on the bus.

    The internet is like that bus for some people, they think that because they drive away from those they yell at, then they can say what they want. yell what they want.

    Usually those picked on were reserved and confrontation didn’t come naturally to them. That was their crime. But hey we were kids, and people grow and change.

    But it still bothers me when I see people being treated like dirt, doesn’t matter who it is that’s mistreating them. And it doesn’t matter what a person believes, no one should be treated like crap.

    people here can come to there own conclusions about Kathy. There is no need to treat her like crap.

    If that makes me naïve Paul, you can thank my past experiences for that.

    If Kathy started writing personal attacks against you on here, then I’d feel the same way about that. mistreating and abusing someone to me is lame. It’s cheap and there is already enough of it.

    by the way if your still plugging through red dead redemption, you may like this

    Although from what I’ve seen its a more surreal experience, but I’m a fan of the surreal

    All the best man

    Like

  279. Ryan, I feel the same way you do about the labeling and accusations of dishonesty, but I think we just have to ignore it. When I read “You lack honesty and objectivity” I translate that to “You have an opinion and so do I”. In any event, some of the discussion was beneficial and think we should just ignore the distractions.

    I’m going to throw in my 2 cents on the archaeology issue.

    Kathy makes the point that there is archaeological evidence that coincides with the places and people mentioned in the Bible. I agree with this. The people who wrote the Bible were aware of the surrounding practices, places and people wherein they lived. However, what we don’t have is any archaeological evidence for the miraculous claims within the Bible. This is what is in question.

    Did Yahweh drown the Egyptian army in the river? There have been no discoveries of chariots although someone did fake it once. Noah’s ark has never been found. The Egyptians don’t have any record of a bloody river, mass infestations, perpetual darkness or infanticide. There are no secular contemporaries of Jesus who witnessed the period of darkness, the temple curtain rip or the mass resurrections. What we do have is a bunch of other gospels and writings that did not make it into the new testament. The gospel of Peter records the resurrection with a talking cross coming out of the tomb, but no one believes this happened.

    The Code of Hammurabi records several historical people and places that are attested by archaeology, but no one believes it’s claim that the wisdom given Hammurabi is from the god Marduk.

    The Egyptian Book of the Dead contains references to Egyptian cities. Do these historical references give any credence to the other claims and theology within the Book of the Dead? No, it just means that the authors knew some local geography.

    The only exception on the two archaeology links Kathy gave was a claim that the walls of Jericho were found and that they had fallen outward. This runs contrary to other things I’ve read about Jericho, but perhaps this is something worth looking into. I’ll report back if I find anything interesting. Arch, do you know anything about this?

    Like

  280. Kathy makes the point that there is archaeological evidence that coincides with the places and people mentioned in the Bible. I agree with this. The people who wrote the Bible were aware of the surrounding practices, places and people wherein they lived. However, what we don’t have is any archaeological evidence for the miraculous claims within the Bible. This is what is in question.

    I agree with this. This is what I’ve been trying to say, although not so eloquently. Yes, there are places and people mentioned in the Bible that are undoubtedly historical. Does that mean that we conclude that everything contained within the Bible is historically accurate? Where we run into to trouble is that, I think, we’d expect to see archaeological evidence of those miraculous events and none has been found.

    Like

  281. @Dave,

    When I was a YEC I completely bought into the AIG explanations for things like the flood. Deep sea fossils found on mountain tops were evidence for the great flood. When I began to doubt and actually did learn about how the earth was formed over millions of years with tectonic plates shifting below the earth’s surface forcing large mountain ranges to form from the depths of the sea I was astonished at how absolutely uneducated I had been. I felt so stupid. Smh…

    Like

  282. RYAN, Kathy makes personal attacks on me every day with the things she says about gay people, she fuels hate. re: gay marriage is a detriment to society and children, gays are worse than terrorists.

    you have never in your life experienced the bullying that i have due to my homosexuality, NEVER!

    so, anyone that makes my life difficult and miserable because they hate gays and hide behind religion to justify it, they can fucking kiss my goddamn ass, the same goes for those that support that behavior. I’ve been fighting these people all of my life. they will not defeat me.
    i will defeat them by any means necessary.

    of course, anyone can come to their own opinions about Kathy,
    most here have already figured her out, she’s a lying troll.
    the thing is, most people are well meaning and give her the benefit of the doubt,
    unaware that this is just a game for her.
    bullying liberals under the guise of wanting to come to some sort of understanding.
    she never has any intention of debate.
    it’s only about her entertainment, telling others that they are dishonest and lack logic, reason, objectivity. Kathy is a bully. bullies deserve to be bullied.

    grow up! life is no fairy tale bowl of cherries sweetness and light,
    if you believe in jesus you should know that already..

    nothing personal against you, buddy, but it is what it is.

    finished red dead, great game, just started batman arkham city, not really enjoying it as much.
    ???????

    Like

  283. I feel like that’s a very polite way of saying, mind your own business Portal!

    Isn’t politeness a virtue? I can’t imagine anyone being rude to you, Portal.

    Like

  284. Dave,

    In any event, some of the discussion was beneficial and think we should just ignore the distractions.

    I agree with you, I don’t think ignoring it is always the best policy

    Ruth,

    Thanks 🙂

    Night everyone

    Like

  285. In fact, Portal, I believe politeness may well be one of the Seven Deadly Virtues – right up there with chastity and patience – and as we all know, virtue is it’s own punishment.

    Like

  286. @Ruth

    I was a big fan of Answers In Genesis. Even wanted to work for them at one point. Now, I find it amusing to read their detailed explanations of how the fossil layers were laid down during the global flood starting with small marine organisms and working up progressively to fish, then amphibians, then reptiles, then dinosaurs and then birds and mammals. They think the birds and mammals were buried last because they ran to find higher ground. Somehow the dinosaurs did not follow suit.

    Like

  287. Dave, sorry should have wrote

    I agree with you but* I don’t think ignoring it is always the best policy.

    Paul, that sucks people treated you badly. I haven’t played arkham yet, I know there are a few out though. Arkham Origins being the follow up I think.

    I have a bad habit of starting games and not finishing them 🙂 so see how it goes.

    Like

  288. Don’t expect an answer soon, Ruth – Kathy doesn’t get up before noon.

    Maybe she has a job now and her shift doesn’t end until three-ish.

    Like

  289. Paul – I liked your username over there: “kay’s-up-to-her-stupid-tricks-over-at-huffington-post” – it HAD to be you, who else could come up with a name like that?

    Her every other word is “LIBERAL” – she hasn’t changed a bit. But maybe Portal can change her, if he asks his god for a miracle.

    Like

  290. Well, if god miraculously changes Kathy, I’LL even believe in her/him/it. . 🙂

    I won’t hold my breath on that one, though.

    Like

  291. Paul,

    If treating people like I don’t want to be treated and returning hate with more hate is part of “growing up”

    Then I never want to grow up…

    But then again I don’t think of that as being paramount to growing up, so there you go, I guess we are working off different dictionaries 🙂

    Like

  292. right arch, Kathy hasn’t changed a bit. she never will.

    I guarantee, at some point, everyone here will come to the same conclusion and realize that Kathy is only playing games and jump off of the seemingly endless merry-go-round of miasma.

    I’m not saying at all that what the other commenters here have said hasn’t been thoughtful discussion, it’s just that at some point, everyone is going to realize that answering her endless questions are not worth their time. she has had them answered again and again. she just goes from one website to the next asking the same questions and claiming that liberals can’t or won’t answer her questions. it’s stupid.

    Kathy is just a miserable person with no life that wants everyone else to be as miserable.

    portal, I don’t think that I will finish batman, it is too slow paced. I’m not feeling very enthusiastic.

    there is a new game out called “the evil within”, made by the same guy who came up with resident evill 4, a great game. I really like the horror/survival games.

    Like

  293. portal, there is a time and a place for everything,….
    it’s called the internet.

    I’m not treating people like they don’t want to be treated,
    I’m treating kathy with the respect anyone that wants to deny me my basic civil rights deserves, NONE!

    you many never grow up, but you will surely grow old.

    Like

  294. I really like the horror/survival games.

    Paul, then I recommend Half Life.

    Its the survival game that other survival games visit after a day in the office and are looking for some schooling.

    Like

  295. Hey Paul

    It doesn’t actually suprise me that you like die antwoord. They are pretty into shock for shocks sake. You are too, going by your gravitar picture…

    Like

  296. Living just two blocks from my school, I never rode the bus, Portal, but I had similar experiences on the playground. One day in fifth grade, I was walking away from just such a confrontation, when my resident bully decided he wasn’t through with me yet and jumped on my back. I threw him over my shoulder, straddled him, and beat his head against the ground until the other kids pulled me off – he never bothered me again. I’ve always felt e e cummings summed it up nicely: “There is some shit I will not eat.

    Kathy is the aggressor here, if you can’t see it, I can’t help that.

    Like

  297. Arch, do you know anything about this?” – Yes, Dave, but I’m way too busy to hunt up links today – the walls fell about 200 years before the time the Bible claims Moses took his voyage down the Nile in The Love Basket.

    Like

  298. I think there is also a time and place for being confrontational 🙂” – no disagreement there, Portal – anytime, anyplace Kathy says something inane. The confrontations stop when the inanity does, the ball’s in Kathy’s court.

    Like

  299. arch, I concur wholeheartedly, I was such a sissy little child and got beat up all of the time. one day I just had enough and turned the tables, and started beating the crap out of the bullies. since then, no turning back. they get what is coming to them.

    do unto others, portal.
    the only people I attack are those that attack first.
    Kathy is the aggressor.

    Like

  300. right arch, Kathy hasn’t changed a bit. she never will.

    I get the impression that somewhere along the line, she’s concluded that negative attention is better than no attention at all. Quite likely, the guy who got her pregnant was the first guy who ever paid any attention to her. I feel badly about the kind of upbringing she likely had, but at some point, you have to grow up and stop letting a negative past control you. She hasn’t learned to do that.

    Once William clearly stated that he was through responding to her – her next several comments were directed at him, trying to irritate him into responding to her. Had she accomplished that, she would doubtless have felt the elation of victory that comes with successful manipulation. Or so I’ve heard.

    Like

  301. What I’ve discovered over these several thousand posts is that whenever someone disagrees with Kathy, they are one of the following:

    — liberal
    — atheist
    — lacking objectivity
    — dishonest
    — wrong
    — obtuse
    — ignorant

    (Did I miss any?)

    It’s actually quite sad that she sees so little value in herself that she must denigrate everyone else to make herself feel better.

    Like

  302. exactly, that is her M.O.

    she likes to illicit a reaction.

    I don’t really think it was her upbringing, I recall years ago, she actually admitted she enjoyed annoying people, she said as a child, when her brother would bring a friend over to their house, she would do anything in her power to disrupt his fun. she boasted that when his girlfriend would visit him, she would knock on the wall to his room repeatedly and delight in how upset it made him.

    she is just a mean person, filled with hate, that gets cheap thrills out of annoying people. she seeks out blogs like this to come in and act as if she is sincerely concerned with having open dialogue, but her real motive is to disrupt, annoy and insult.

    seriously, her pastor is listed on the southern poverty law center as a hate group and her idol is fox news greg gutfeld, who wrote a book called “the joy of hate”.

    it’s all about the hate.

    I guess one could feel sorry for someone like that, but i can’t.

    Like

  303. lol, no i hadn’t. that’s great. flippin the bird to god. lol.

    Michelangelo, one of the greatest homos ever.
    homos have made the greatest contribution to the arts than anyone,
    imagine how dull things would have been without them.

    everyone should take a moment out of their day and thank a homo.

    Like

  304. Oh my! How could I have forgotten those???

    I also should have written one *or more.* Rarely is someone “just” a liberal. They’re also full of pride, dishonest, lacking objectivity, etc., etc.

    Like

  305. During the first half of Kathy 1, I was a lot like Portal – thinking I saw Kathy for what she was, a naive, little 19-year old indoctrinated girl with a 2-year old child; I even thought she began posting late because she had to take her little girl to day care and work some early-morning job somewhere – I fell all over myself trying to be nice to her while others were criticizing her. When I realized how wrong I was – long before you came along and clarified the picture – I began calling her a doorknob, because that’s what she seemed to be as dumb as. She has yet to show me a reason to think otherwise.

    You’d like e e cummings, Paul – the quotation I posted above came from his poem, “I Dream of Olaf, Big and Blonde” – not gay myself, but what the hell do I care what you do with your noodle?

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  306. I guess one could feel sorry for someone like that, but i can’t.</em" – Me either – at some point one either lets go of the past or lets it control you, if she chooses to do the latter, it's not on me. It's not a walk in the park, you gotta try!

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  307. Neuro,

    I’ll have to catch that David Deamer lecture later, but I did finally get around to listening to this. I thought is was a very concise explanation of what we do know and what we don’t.

    The fact of the matter is, there are things we don’t know. If some want to posit that a God fits into those places that is all fine and well. What I don’t understand is their insistence that because these things are unknown everyone else should follow along and do that as well.

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  308. arch – “but what the hell do I care what you do with your noodle?”

    Indeed, arch has regaled us with tales about his hose. . . razz. .

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  309. Me either – at some point one either lets go of the past or lets it control you,…

    There’s probably very few, if any, people here who have Norman Rockwell pasts. The thing about it is, and it’s the very thing we’re being accused of not doing, one has to take some personal responsibility. Perhaps there are things that have happened in our pasts that we couldn’t control, but we get to control our present, and we can either wallow in the past and not learn a damn thing or we can grow.

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  310. everyone with the exception of me, starts out being nice and civil with Kathy. eventually they come to the conclusion of what she is really up to. i think that is what irks me so much, how she denigrates smart, friendly, sincerely nice people. which clearly you are all, even you arch.

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  311. Indeed, arch has regaled us with tales about his hose. . . razz. .” – Kathy’s god’ll get you for that, Carmen!

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  312. About that banner, arch…there’s just something off about it. It looks like God and his merry band of misfits are pointing and laughing. Maybe that’s why the man is flipping him off?

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  313. That must be one ginormous lawn, arch! 😀” – yeah, well, YOU try cutting an acre of lawn with a pair of fingernail clippers!

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  314. yeah, well, YOU try cutting an acre of lawn with a pair of fingernail clippers!

    Oi! Surely you could spring for a pair of pinking sheers!

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  315. even you arch” – you’re accusing me of being “sincerely nice“? You really know how to hurt a guy – what did I ever do to you?!

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  316. I’d like to know who that hot little 14-year old is, that the big guy’s got his arm around – suppose that’s Mary?

    I can’t criticize, I’ve had sex with a 14-year old. But then I was 12 at the time —

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  317. Oi! Surely you could spring for a pair of pinking sheers!” – I KNEW there had to be an easier way! Nobody ever ‘splained it to me that way before —

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  318. Arch, I was just about to say the same thing. 😀” – I’ll use your own favorite phrase: “Why am I not surprised?

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  319. Paul, I’d like to share a paper, (a hypothesis) with you by a behavioral neuroscientist. He’s heterosexual. It was written 15 years ago when they first started doing fMRI imaging on gay brains.

    I’ve read a number of studies showing that the brains of gay men are nearly the same as the brains of women, and lesbians tend to have the brains of men. What you said about gay men making a significant contribution to humanity is certainly true when you look through the lens of evolutionary biology. The paper is written in a very positive light. Some 15 years later, a number of studies are emerging that give credence to his hypothesis. I would be interested in your feedback.

    I hope the day comes soon when people who’ve experienced untold suffering (especially by the religious) will finally be vindicated.

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  320. Ruth,

    “What reason is there for you to believe that I lack objectivity and honest?”

    Ruth, I challenge you to find one time where I’ve made that accusation about you that was not accompanied by my reasons.. using your own words and actions.

    You’ve just given a very good example of why no progress is made in these “debates”.

    And please note.. when I made that accusation, it was accompanied by my reasons, using your own words and actions.. (future actions in this case.. because you won’t find one example of where my reasons were not included for making the accusation.)

    “Moreover, why do you feel as though I’ve disrespected you when you have repeatedly denigrated my ability to reason and apply objectivity? ”

    Is “denigration” based on honesty and truth? If so, I guess I’m guilty.. and anyone who is trying to make progress by pointing out real faults is guilty of it.

    And I feel disrespected by you whenever you chose to be dishonest in our debate. It’s very insulting. That’s one of the worst forms of disrespect. And probably why I have such a negative attitude towards liberals.. there is a fundamental element of dishonesty that has to be present in order to hold liberal views.

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  321. “I’ll have to catch that David Deamer lecture later, but I did finally get around to listening to this. I thought is was a very concise explanation of what we do know and what we don’t.”

    Ruth, thanks for watching the short video. I think you’re going to enjoy Deamer’s lecture. He is eloquent in speech, a superb presenter and explains in layman’s terms.

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  322. Ruth, I challenge you to find one time where I’ve made that accusation about you that was not accompanied by my reasons.. using your own words and actions.

    Making an accusation and repeating a person’s words back to them doesn’t prove the accusation is true. In every exchange we’ve had I’ve done the same thing. I’ve quoted you and pointed out where I disagree. That doesn’t mean you’re dishonest. These are your opinions and assessments. Just as my opinions and assessments of the evidence don’t make me dishonest.

    And I feel disrespected by you whenever you chose to be dishonest in our debate. It’s very insulting. That’s one of the worst forms of disrespect.

    I’ve given you my honest opinions and I’ve given evidence which I think supports my opinion. If it is insulting to you that I disagree with your conclusions about the evidence then there’s really nothing I can do about that.

    And probably why I have such a negative attitude towards liberals.. there is a fundamental element of dishonesty that has to be present in order to hold liberal views.

    If it is your opinion that anyone who isn’t a conservative evangelical is fundamentally dishonest I don’t think you will have any productive dialogue with anyone who doesn’t hold the same beliefs as you.

    You seem to have determined that if anyone comes to different conclusions than you regarding evidence and what it points toward they are the ones who are fundamentally flawed and that you could not possibly be wrong. Am I misrepresenting you opinion of this?

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  323. Ruth, cont..

    ” Is it only respectful when it’s a Christian questioning the integrity of atheists? ”

    A few times, people here have made accusations about me where they did actually use my own words.. I WELCOME that. Include the proof.. if I’m wrong about something I want to know.. and correct it.

    “And why is it you can question the education, claims or evidence of everyone else here but when the same measuring stick is applied to you it’s jugemental? ”

    See above… just back up your accusations.. as I have. If you can’t then it’s not constructive.. it’s nothing but ad hominem.. and dishonest.

    “Am I not allowed based on your claims, evidence, and education to judge whether or not you have reliable information?”

    Yes, you are “allowed”.. you failed to back up your claim. I didn’t. As I stated, I know enough of those other religions to decide they lack the evidence. I laid out a challenge for you.. you are the one who failed to follow through.. and then you make a judgment about what I’m doing wrong.. without any supportive evidence.

    And just like Nate, you cannot be honest and acknowledge that Christianity has the most compelling evidence to back up it’s claimed Truth.

    Just like you cannot acknowledge that the temples discovered with dining rooms is evidence that supports the truth of Paul.. as a real person and is also evidence that supports the Truth of the Bible.

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  324. “Making an accusation and repeating a person’s words back to them doesn’t prove the accusation is true. In every exchange we’ve had I’ve done the same thing. I’ve quoted you and pointed out where I disagree. ”

    Examples Ruth.. post some examples.. I’ll gladly explain again how it shows you lack objectivity and honesty. I use your own words and actions along with explanations.

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  325. I think this needs repeating:

    You seem to have determined that if anyone comes to different conclusions than you regarding evidence and what it points toward they are the ones who are fundamentally flawed and that you could not possibly be wrong.

    Read the above very carefully, Kathy. It very well sums up your actions on this blog.

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  326. As I stated, I know enough of those other religions to decide they lack the evidence. I laid out a challenge for you.. you are the one who failed to follow through.. and then you make a judgment about what I’m doing wrong.. without any supportive evidence.

    What material have you studied with regards to those other religions? How did you come to the determination that they lack evidence?

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  327. Kathy,

    Why do you want to constantly rehash the same points over and over? Every one of us here has used your very words to ask questions of you, to point out different conclusions that might be reached, and to challenge you. You never, and I mean never, take up a challenge that is issued to you. You conveniently begged out of Dave’s challenge to you simply calling his arguments weak. William asked you the same questions about he evidence you gave, which I might add, requires supporting evidence and you never answered his questions.

    You stated yesterday that you were here to give truth. You don’t think we have anything to offer that you could learn from?

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  328. “You seem to have determined that if anyone comes to different conclusions than you regarding evidence and what it points toward they are the ones who are fundamentally flawed and that you could not possibly be wrong. Am I misrepresenting you opinion of this?”

    There are some instances where it’s not so clear.. but I do believe the evidence, when studied in depth does show liberal views to be faulty and wrong.

    But there are other examples where there can really be no excuse for defending those views.. based on the facts. I think abortion is at the top of that list.

    But in regards to the issues we’ve been debating.. ask any attorney, any scientist, if archaeological evidence of dining rooms is not evidence to support the existence of Paul and the truth of his testimony.

    And, there are quantities of evidence for each religion, they are not all the same. But that’s what you are trying to “sell” in order to not have to acknowledge that Christianity has the most evidence. That’s pure dishonesty Ruth.

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  329. As I stated, I know enough of those other religions to decide they lack the evidence. I laid out a challenge for you.. you are the one who failed to follow through.. and then you make a judgment about what I’m doing wrong.. without any supportive evidence.- kathy

    Kathy,

    This, this right here is what I’m talking about. You never provide the supporting evidence for your claims. You claim to know about these religions and I’m asking you to provide the evidence of what you’ve studied. That isn’t asking that much.

    What material have you studied with regards to those other religions? How did you come to the determination that they lack evidence?

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  330. And, there are quantities of evidence for each religion, they are not all the same. But that’s what you are trying to “sell” in order to not have to acknowledge that Christianity has the most evidence. That’s pure dishonesty Ruth.

    Kathy, I’m not selling anything. You are the one trying to convince me, remember?

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  331. “What material have you studied with regards to those other religions? How did you come to the determination that they lack evidence?”

    I’ve already been over this.. start with the source claims that the religions are based on.. the Bible has MANY different witnesses.. Islam has ONE.. Mormonism has ONE.. one man’s word.

    Combine that with their ideologies.. Islam is not about peace.. it’s about death and hatred.. based on Muhammed’s own words.. the very person from which Islam came from. Joseph Smith taught that each man will become a god.. EQUAL with God when they die. Again based on one man’s word.

    These “religions” have all the characteristics of a cult. I don’t need to learn every single detail.. to come to that conclusion. If YOU believe you need to learn each religion in depth that’s your prerogative.. I don’t need to waste my time.. what I know is more than enough.

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  332. Is “denigration” based on honesty and truth? If so, I guess I’m guilty..” – I originally said this on Kathy 1, shortly after I’d finally seen you for what you really are, and was soundly criticized for saying it, “You wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped you in the face!”

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  333. “And, there are quantities of evidence for each religion, they are not all the same. But that’s what you are trying to “sell” in order to not have to acknowledge that Christianity has the most evidence. That’s pure dishonesty Ruth.

    Kathy, I’m not selling anything. You are the one trying to convince me, remember?”

    So, I assume that’s it? You’re NOT going to either give the name of another religion that has more evidence or agree that it is Christianity that has the most evidence? You’re just going to make a diversion comment and hope that it goes away.. again?

    Ruth, again, THIS IS DISHONEST.

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  334. Kathy, imagine this:

    You are not a christian, you know nothing about the bible, you have never heard of Paul, God or Jesus … but you are an archaeologist and you happened to come across dining rooms in two Greek temples, what would be your conclusion?

    Can you disengage yourself from you embedded beliefs long enough to answer this question from an unbiased and impartial viewpoint?

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  335. And for the record..

    I follow God.. not gays. I want to please God.. and part of pleasing Him is to love others.. including gays. I don’t want them to be mistreated or oppressed. But, God is infinitely wiser than liberals.. He knows what is best. And redefining marriage is not what is best for the human species. There are other ways for the govt. to treat everyone equally without redefining marriage. And there are other ways to get society to be kind to everyone without changing fundamental values and morals that support, again, the human species.

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  336. I know enough of those other religions to decide they lack the evidence.” – I’ve asked you twice, this makes thrice, which religions did you study, and what sources did you use? I guess you could say, “I laid out a challenge for you.. you are the one who failed to follow through..

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  337. So, I assume that’s it? You’re NOT going to either give the name of another religion that has more evidence or agree that it is Christianity that has the most evidence? You’re just going to make a diversion comment and hope that it goes away.. again?

    Ruth, again, THIS IS DISHONEST.

    I never claimed another religion has more evidence. I just don’t agree that Christianity does either. I think they’re all equally false and falsifiable. That’s not diversion, that’s my opinion based on the evidence.

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  338. I know enough of those other religions to decide they lack the evidence.” – I’ve asked you twice, this makes thrice, which religions did you study, and what sources did you use? I guess you could say, “I laid out a challenge for you.. you are the one who failed to follow through..“

    I have now asked this question twice. So that’s five times you’ve been asked this, Kathy. Are you or are you not going to be honest enough to provide the supporting evidence for your claims? Or is you claim your evidence again?

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  339. I think we’ve all cut and pasted enough of Kathy’s own comments back to her. In just about every single exchange we’ve done this. Yet she thinks she’s shown us to be dishonest. The very claim that we haven’t backed up our positions and accusations is dishonest. It’s a bald face lie.

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  340. Kathy,

    you said:

    “And just like Nate, you cannot be honest and acknowledge that Christianity has the most compelling evidence to back up it’s claimed Truth.”

    You’re being dishonest. Do you recall when this has been answered? Where nate answered “Buddhism” when you demanded to have a religion named? Do you recall rejecting that answer?

    do you recall when myself and others said that we didnt find any religion that had credentials of being most true in it’s claims of being divine? Surely you recall saying, “I didnt ask which was true in regard to its claims of being divine?”

    When you said that I asked several times, without answer, for you to clarify how you meant “true” if not true in the sense of their divine claims. how can we answer your question again, when you haven’t clarified what it is you’re asking?

    again, if martyrs, existence and a book written by 40 people over 1500 years is all you consider to be compelling evidence, then we can agree to disagree.

    If you have more to add, then do so. But let’s stop this broken record. It’s sad.

    clarify what you mean by “true.” because I dont see the bible as being truly from a perfect being. In fact, I think it’s false. I think it reeks of error and problems.

    back it up if you like, but the same ole stale “evidences” you’ve been giving arent good ones. If you’re convinced by them, then that;s okay, there’s just no reason to continue pushing them after they’ve been discussed.

    You’re dishonest. I quote you every time I write you. I’ve shown you your own words. If you really care about the discussion, then pony up and produce. but you dont.

    you’re a tired old nag who wants to avoid the real issues and wallow in the silly tangential issues that only distract from the discussion. why dont you either go away, or prove me wrong and

    1) add something new, like the good evidences that make christian martyrs believable.
    2) explain how you mean “true.”
    3) how are you qualified to judge which religion is most true? how many religions have you studied?

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  341. ask any attorney, any scientist, if archaeological evidence of dining rooms is not evidence to support the existence of Paul and the truth of his testimony.” – they’d laugh you out of town, Kathy!

    They were eating bowls of Lucky Charms for breakfast – after all, they’re “Magically Delicious” – now prove they weren’t!

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  342. I don’t need to waste my time.. what I know is more than enough.” – Oh Man, another Keeper! I will DEFINITELY play that one back to her!

    Along with, “I know all I need to know.” and “Existence is evidence of a Creator.”

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  343. agree that it is Christianity that has the most evidence?” – Christianity has practically no evidence to support it’s claims. Name those who ever met Yeshua and wrote of his existence – and don’t bother with “Matthew,” “Mark,” “Luke” and “John,” because they are freely acknowledged by even the church as not being the anonymous authors who concocted the fables named after them.

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  344. the god of the bible doesn’t make sense when explaining our existence or the universe.

    – the biblical creation story doesnt match scientific findings, so the “explanation” is explaining something that appears to be incorrect.

    – genesis 1 and 2 cant agree on whether god brought birds out of the water or out of the earth.

    – jesus said seeds must die before they grow – this is just false. if a seed dies, nothing grows.

    – the devil is all evil, but once lived in heaven with god, or is the devil some evil, and therefore some good too?

    – if the devil and his angels were kicked out of heaven, why do you think the saved wont be kicked out too, if freewill means that they will eventually choose to sin?

    – jeremiah was wrong about the medes destroying babylon in chapters 50 and 51.

    – matthew was wrong about Jeremiah foretelling about the 30 pieces of silver – it was zechariah.

    – matthew and luke cant agree on the genealogies.

    – the list is literally too long to post. the bible doesnt make sense by itself, so in what way does the god of the bible make the most sense for being the catalyst to our universe and existence?

    – it’s like saying the moon is made out of cheese. and then saying that answer is the most compelling one because no one else in the room knows for sure what it is made out of.

    – the bible is only a book of claims made by men, so you’re only believing what these men have told you. You dont know the moon is made of cheese or the god made the universe, you believe it is because old people wrote it down.

    – your pride wont allow you to admit that, because then you’d be admitting you’re wrong. if you let go of your pride, it wouldnt be so hard for you to accept the truth. can you even admit that the bible is a collection of claims written by men?

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  345. I thought she’s never leave! I’m finally caught up – now, quickly, before she comes back, I’m going to go drink my lunch —

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  346. William,

    “You’re being dishonest. Do you recall when this has been answered? Where nate answered “Buddhism” when you demanded to have a religion named? Do you recall rejecting that answer?”

    It wasn’t an answer William, because Nate failed to explain WHY … he failed to give any valid evidence that supports the truth of Buddhism.. he actually tried to claim that Buddhism didn’t espouse a god therefore it had more “evidence”.. do YOU remember that?

    “do you recall when myself and others said that we didnt find any religion that had credentials of being most true in it’s claims of being divine? Surely you recall saying, “I didnt ask which was true in regard to its claims of being divine?”

    You aren’t making sense.. yes, I said I didn’t ask which you believed to be the most true, I asked which you believed had the most evidence.

    I can’t help it if you all don’t understand how to discern. But that’s clearly what is going on here.

    You don’t understand what “evidence” is. You all can’t seem to discern “evidence” from “proof”.. (they are not the same).

    When you said that I asked several times, without answer, for you to clarify how you meant “true” if not true in the sense of their divine claims. how can we answer your question again, when you haven’t clarified what it is you’re asking?”

    I’ve explained this to you countless times now William.. all have “evidence”.. what I’m asking you to do is WEIGH the evidence.. no matter how you all try to spin it, it does NOT all weigh the same because you don’t believe any of them are true.

    You all are having a really hard time with such basic words and meanings… I can only deduce that it’s due to your pride blinding / blocking your objectivity. Which you won’t get a pass for btw.. pride is a sin .. you CAN choose otherwise.

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  347. The Jesus’ story, in all that it entails, is not original. It’s a retelling of the ancient savior mythologies that were around long before Yahweh and Jesus. It’s not an easy pill to swallow for Christians, but if they would take the time and find the courage to study outside the confines of their bible, and stop listening to hearsay from those making a living off of Christianity, they would see for themselves.

    “It’s not easy to change world views. Faith has its own momentum and belief is comfortable. To restructure reality is traumatic and scary. That is why many intelligent people continue to believe.” Dan Barker, ex- evangelical pastor

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  348. Neuro — you know that. I know that. Most everyone on this blog knows that.

    But Kathy? She won’t even take the pill out of the bottle.

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  349. Sorry Neuro, historical similarities don’t automatically make the newer stories fiction. That doesn’t explain away the documented evidence of a man named Jesus who did miracles, who had disciples, who gave their lives to testify to Him and their faith in Him as our Savior and Lord.
    And it doesn’t discount the compelling evidence that supports the Truth of the Bible.

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  350. … documented evidence of a man named Jesus ???

    What documentation? The bible? And what “proof” and/or “evidence” (remember, Kathy, they are not the same) do you have for its validity?

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  351. Dave

    October 13, 2014 at 8:18 am

    Hi Kathy,

    In response to your verses of multiple “gods”… how do you rectify that with all these verses that clearly state ONE God?

    History is always written by the winners. Followers of Yahweh and then monotheism is what became orthodox and that’s what became the theme of the old testament. The same thing happened in the formation of the new testament. Whatever was deemed orthodox was included in the canon, everything else was deemed heretical. ”

    Hi Dave..

    I don’t see the answer to my question here.. your examples of “multiple gods” and my examples that clearly state One God.. are all mixed together.. according to your definition of “gods” there is clearly contradictions all throughout the Bible.. how do you explain this? Especially since you’ve noted that anything deemed heretical could be edited out.

    me:”Also, I was wondering, what was the reason for changing from polytheism to monotheism? especially in such a dishonest manor? What was so wrong with polytheism that they felt it had to be changed?

    you: I think at first priests of Yahweh wanted to push the fact that Yahweh was superior to the other gods. They wanted people sacrificing to Yahweh and not to Baal, Asherah or the other gods because there were benefits associated with being a successful priest. You get free room and board and free food not to mention some pretty nice robes. Eventually they pushed the ideology that Yahweh and El were one and the same and that all the other gods were false.”

    Ok.. that’s fine.. but WHY do you think that? What is the evidence for this? You’re basically claiming that these people were NOT interested in the truth, they were pushing a huge lie for material gain. It is much more reasonable to believe that they were sincere about their faith. You’ve got to come up with evidence to believe the contrary.

    Superior doesn’t mean that they needed to claim monotheism. You say it became “orthodox”.. but why? Monotheism was a completely new idea.. and it is the very foundation of Judaism / Christianity. And it’s all because of some self serving priests? You need evidence for this. There is a ton of evidence to support the claim of ONE God. The entire Bible. You/ atheists are misunderstanding “gods” when it is used in the Bible. They are celestial beings unequal with the Creator of all.

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  352. Dave cont..

    “Have you considered that the Adam & Eve and flood stories might be allegorical?

    If you mean stories, then yes, that’s exactly what I think they are. They may even be adapted stories, the flood story is very similar to a Sumerian story in the epic of Gilgamesh.”

    Adam & Eve seems allegorical to me, the flood does not.

    me:”No, that’s not fact either… they aren’t “changes”.. they are interpretations.

    you: Call them what you like. They are different.”

    Dave, I find this answer kind of disingenuous. They weren’t “changes”. And being “different” is due to varying groups of people with different backgrounds searching for the correct translation based on surrounding text/ context.. much more objective than your theory that they were devious attempts to perfect the “lie”. Again, you have no evidence for this claim. It’s biased speculation.

    “me:” The main goal of interpretation is to be as accurate as possible to the original meaning.

    you: We have no way of knowing what was going on in the minds of the Hebrew scribes from 2500+ years ago. You are giving them a lot of trust. Do you give that kind of trust to all men?”

    My trust is not solely on them Dave.. again, my trust is based on ALL the evidence together. I’m applying objectivity and reason. Interestingly, you DO seem to “know” what was going on in the minds of those priests. You have no evidence.. my evidence is the overwhelming compelling evidence that supports the Truth of the Bible.

    me: That’s right, we don’t..[have the originals] so there is no way of knowing which are the closest to the originals. To make a conclusion that the oldest would be the most accurate is a mistake.

    you: It may or may not be a mistake, but it seems reasonable since things have a habit of changing over time. So less time would equal less change. Nothing is for certain.”

    Again, assumptions like that are what lead us to false “truths”.

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  353. Ruth,

    “Let me try this again. There are many hypothesis regarding origins.”

    There are 2.. God or accident.

    And neither one is a logical starting point.

    “Most of the scientific hypothesis propose that there was always something material rather than nothing”.

    Not rational.. and there is no scientific basis for this belief. Also, do you have a reference for this claim?

    Especially since it’s been scientifically determined that the universe is expanding.. logic dictates
    that that means there was a starting point.. which means nothing before the starting point.

    “The reason I believe that these scientific hypothesis are better than the God hypothesis is that they are testable; meaning that if they hypothesis is wrong it is discarded and other hypothesis are tested.”

    HOW is it testable?

    “God as an explanation for existence is scientifically untestable with I feel makes it an inferior hypothesis.”

    How do you know God is untestable? Again, sources?

    “But you are right, we do have to apply logic and reason. So in the absence of proof I feel it is reasonable to conclude that no particular hypothesis, including the God hypothesis, is the best explanation for our origins.”

    Existence is very strong evidence of a Creator. And due to the complexity, it’s much more reasonable that we were created than everything happened by accident.. from a non beginning of eternal existence.. which is “perfectly reasonable” to believe if it’s matter, but not for an Eternal Being.

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  354. “You have no evidence.. my evidence is the overwhelming compelling evidence that supports the Truth of the Bible.”

    When you are BOTH debating the same “Copies” , YOU , Kathy have NO more evidence than Dave.

    I believe you (Kathy) are using as much conjecture as Dave.

    conjecture = an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

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  355. Kathy, thanks for taking the time to respond.

    I don’t see the answer to my question here.. your examples of “multiple gods” and my examples that clearly state One God.. are all mixed together.. according to your definition of “gods” there is clearly contradictions all throughout the Bible.. how do you explain this? Especially since you’ve noted that anything deemed heretical could be edited out.

    It’s possible that some references were edited out completely (we’ll never know) and perhaps some were missed. In two of the examples I gave (Deut. 32:8-9 and Deut. 32:43) the references were edited out. My explanation of this will also cover this comment you made:

    Dave, I find this answer kind of disingenuous. They weren’t “changes”. And being “different” is due to varying groups of people with different backgrounds searching for the correct translation based on surrounding text/ context.. much more objective than your theory that they were devious attempts to perfect the “lie”. Again, you have no evidence for this claim. It’s biased specul