8 Year Anniversary!

So today marks 8 years that I’ve been doing this blog. That’s a pretty big milestone! I had two posts on November 14, 2006, and I thought it would be fun to repost them here (along with a little commentary).

Here’s the first:


Well, this is the first official post of my new blog. Don’t expect much, though. I’m hoping to turn this into a weekly thing with posts centering around religion – specifically, “Christianity.”

Wish me luck… 🙂


So that was innocuous enough. Now here’s post number 2:


If you’ve spent much time perusing your Bible, you’ve probably stumbled across passages dealing with the “mystery” (and most likely, these were passages written by Paul).  In Ephesians 3, Paul spends time revealing the mystery to us: that the Gentiles now have access to salvation!  Wrapped up in this mystery is God’s entire plan of salvation – salvation for all!  But why is it called a “mystery?”  And should it still be “mysterious” to us today?

I think 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 best explains the way in which Christ’s gospel was/is a mystery.  As vs 18 says:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

We can see from this passage that God’s plan of salvation makes no sense to those who refuse to believe it, but to those of us who accept it, it’s brilliant!  Verse 21 goes on to say:

21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.

See, because the world is so “wise,” it views the concept of God as foolishness.  They have been blinded by their own pretensions.  For the Jews and Greeks of the day, it wasn’t that they didn’t believe in the supernatural; it wasn’t that they didn’t believe in deities.  Their problem was that they thought they already knew what God would do.  The Jews already had a fixed idea of what the Messiah would be, so when Christ appeared and didn’t lead them to victory against the Romans, they refused to accept him.  The Greeks didn’t accept Christ because they couldn’t conceive of a god allowing himself to be put to death by his own creation.  And because they already had things “figured out,” they missed their chance.

Today, people do the same thing.  They would rather put faith in scientific theories that have not been proven.  They would rather believe that all of the order we see in our universe (the fragile food chain, vast differences throughout the animal and plant kingdoms, the very specific orbits of planets, etc) was created through a giant explosion (something that, in all practical applications, has only been shown to destroy, not create).  Have they been blinded by their own “wisdom?”

Too often, even those who profess to be religious only listen to their own ideas about what God wants.  Many times they view the Bible as a collection of stories or suggestions, and not the “wisdom of God that leads to salvation” that 1 Corinthians purports it to be.  How is that different from what the Jews and Greeks were condemned for?

Throughout the Bible, passages talk about truth and understanding.  I firmly believe that God gave us understanding and intellect for a reason.  We are supposed to be able to understand God’s message for us.  It’s not supposed to be “mysterious” any longer.  It’s not supposed to be some “better felt than told” experience.  No, God’s word is supposed to be powerful and undeniable.  It’s supposed to move us and touch us in a way that nothing else can.  But for it to do that, we have to read it, study it, know it.


It’s a little painful to read through that. I cringe when I read how badly I understood things about evolution and the Big Bang back then, or when I alluded to non-Christians as just being those who “refuse to believe it”. It’s kind of funny, but I was guilty of the same thing I was accusing others of. I thought I had the answers, but I had never taken time to really examine any other point of view.

The one decent thing from the post that serves as a bit of foreshadowing about where I would eventually wind up is the last paragraph. You can see that while I was firmly ensnared in Christianity, I believed that it was not supposed to be utterly mysterious. It was supposed to be consistent and “undeniable.” It took a while, but I finally realized that Christianity just didn’t deliver in that regard.

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little jaunt down memory lane. Someone suggested to me recently that I should think about doing this kind of review with more of my old posts. I’ve been considering it… Thoughts?

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342 thoughts on “8 Year Anniversary!”

  1. I like the suggestion to review old posts. That is one of the most fascinating things about your blog – that you can walk through time and see the transition. Most of these types of blogs start after a transition has completed or is already well under way. It would be very interesting to see you retrospect on your old self and the process of transformation.

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  2. Congrats on the anniversary Nate! An awesome blog with great conversations.

    I agree with Travis – it’s so cool how your blog contains the different views you’ve had through time. Responding to your old self also sounds like a great idea.

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  3. Actually, I am currently in conversation with a young lady who is teetering on the brink, and I had already considered sending her to Matt’s, Neuro’s and your sites, to better understand what you (pl) went through in the process of deconversion. Personally, I began questioning as a child, and really can’t hold my experience up as an example, as some of you, who have served on church boards, and been otherwise deeply involved in religious activities, then made a total about face.

    For her, at least, you couldn’t have posted this at a better time.

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  4. That’s so very cool. Seeing where you were, and where you are. If you could send Nate 2006 one message, a short message, something to focus on to help him progress, what would it be? (You don’t have to answer that… It’s not easy).

    And Congratulations on the Anniversary!

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  5. Thanks arch — I hope she gets something of value from it. Tell her if she checks in over here, that she’s welcome to comment on any of my posts, or even send me a message through my ‘contact’ page, if she wants.

    Thanks John! And what a great question…

    I think I would ask myself “how do you know you can trust the Bible?” The inerrancy issue really was the biggest thing for me. My entire belief hinged on whether or not the Bible was trustworthy. And while I was very interested in studying the Bible and understanding it more fully, I just wasn’t that interested in the various manuscripts or in ancient secular history. I had heard over and over that archaeology, history, and the manuscript evidence only bolstered the Bible’s claims, and since I didn’t run into anyone who knew that wasn’t true, it just never dawned on me that those claims might not be justified. But if someone had challenged me on that presumption, I would have felt the need to research it, and I think that would have led me here.

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  6. I caught up with you after you’d already left the church. Now, after reading these two earlier posts, it makes me want to go back (when I can find the time!) and “watch” the transition. Fascinating how we change as we move through time …

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  7. Well, unfortunately, the actual transition wasn’t documented here. I was too afraid to voice any of my thoughts publicly at that time, which is why there’s a big gap in the blog from June 2009 to February 2011. So you get “before” and “after” here, but not much of what happened in between.

    I do have a lot of that in emails though, and I may post some of that soon.

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  8. Congratulations on the bloggiversary!

    I went back and read some of the first posts I wrote the other day, myself. It’s amazing the difference. I didn’t start my blog until I was in the throes of doubt but the transition is evident.

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  9. Congrats.

    The secret to moving forward is accepting the premise that you might be mistaken. It’s a way of life for me.

    Unfortunately, the others within my social sphere assume that they have ‘arrived’.

    This makes for a totally insane dysfunctional environment for me.

    It is the reason I have concluded that people are chaotic and irrational.

    I could be wrong.

    But then I know the people in my social groups are wrong.

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  10. “You can see that while I was firmly ensnared in Christianity, I believed that it was not supposed to be utterly mysterious. It was supposed to be consistent and “undeniable.” It took a while, but I finally realized that Christianity just didn’t deliver in that regard. ”

    Nate, what passages do you base this on? Where does it say that Christianity is “undeniable”.. that we shouldn’t / can’t question? And “consistent” also.. what are the exact passages that support these assertions that you’ve based your whole “newfound” beliefs on? “Consistent” is subjective in relation to biblical context. And as you’ve shown in our exchanges, you don’t apply objectivity when you make these claims of inconsistency. It’s sad to see your “progression”. I don’t see any real objectivity. I’ve challenged you many times on this and you never follow through.. which only supports my assertions.

    What are the specific passages that you base this assertion of “undeniable” and “consistency” on? And how do you know you are applying true objectivity when you decide there is a lack of consistency?? What are your most compelling examples of inconsistency?

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  11. Thanks to everyone for all the great comments.

    Hi Kathy,

    First of all, deciding whether or not the Bible is consistent is a personal decision that everyone must make. No one can ever know for sure if they are objectively right about it; we all just have to do the best we can.

    But to answer your questions, does it make sense for God to communicate to us, but not make that communication consistent? And by consistency, I’m talking about accuracy and coherency. I think of passages like 1 Cor 14:33, which says “God is not the author of confusion.” So I think any message we get from God would be trustworthy, and that’s why I think any contradictions in the Bible are marks against authenticity.

    In my very first “letter to Kathy” post, I gave you a long list of issues I have with the Bible. I also have a number of them linked in my About section, so just check those pages if you’d like to talk about something specific.

    Thanks

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  12. Hi Nate,

    8 years shows good perseverance, especially when the motive for writing (and living!) has changed.

    Usually when I start to take an interest in someone’s blog I read the About and I go back and read the first few posts to see what the blogger is on about. In your case I pretty much read right through, or at least skimmed right through. It was an interesting read.

    I think it must be interesting for you to re-read, because it must also bring back many thoughts and memories well beyond what is written. Also interesting for everyone is to reflect on how we may look back on what we think now in a decade’s time.

    Thanks for what you have shared – it is a pleasure knowing you in this way, even though it is distant.

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  13. Thanks unkleE! I really appreciate that, and I’m flattered that you took the time to go back through all my earlier posts (even if you only had time to skim them!).

    I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you over the last several years too. Visiting Australia is one of those “bucket list” things for me, and while I know it’s a huge country, I like to think that if I ever make it over there I’ll be able to track you and Ryan down. Probably a long shot, but I’ve so enjoyed getting to know everyone in our little WordPress community, and it would be great to meet you/them all in person. I actually managed to do that with Persto a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it!

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  14. Congrats Nate!

    Yours is one of the first atheist blog that I came across when I was deconverted and I really like the way you deconstruct the bible.

    Also, I think you have been the most patient blog writer that I’ve seen so far (and that includes Herman the friendly atheist). I sense no smugness, no uppity nor pride in your exchanges with believers and non-believers alike and I think that really suit your blog name “Finding Truth” perfectly.

    Here’s wishing you a blissful and wonderful life and long live the blog!

    oh and @kathy

    seriously can it. I doubt you know the meaning of “objective”.

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  15. “First of all, deciding whether or not the Bible is consistent is a personal decision that everyone must make. No one can ever know for sure if they are objectively right about it; we all just have to do the best we can.”

    Every decision we make is personal, and I agree, we should do the best we can to be objective. That’s my whole premise here. My point/ question to all of you has always been, “are you applying objectivity?”. You might *think* you are doing the “best” you can but what I’ve been pointing out is that if you claim you can’t do any better, it might be because you are allowing pride and ego to get in the way.. I’m saying/ have been saying that YES, you CAN do better.

    I have the very same goal here that you claim to have, Nate. Objectivity. My questions to you have always been about that. Am I doing something wrong by asking these questions? Are you saying you don’t want your objectivity challenged to see if it is flawed or could be improved?

    “But to answer your questions, does it make sense for God to communicate to us, but not make that communication consistent? And by consistency, I’m talking about accuracy and coherency. I think of passages like 1 Cor 14:33, which says “God is not the author of confusion.” So I think any message we get from God would be trustworthy, and that’s why I think any contradictions in the Bible are marks against authenticity. ”

    1 Corinthians 14:33 New International Version

    For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

    Here is another example of you applying the incorrect context to scripture. The surrounding text is clear, this is about order in the church.
    I’m not trying to claim that God promotes confusion of scripture. I agree that God wants us to understand and not be confused. But again, you are distorting actual scripture to fit YOUR assumptions about God. There’s a reason I asked for the actual scripture to support your claims/ beliefs. 1 Cor. 14:33 doesn’t support your belief.. what are the others?
    It’s important to NOT impose your own views into the actual scripture.

    What you don’t consider.. where you fail to apply objectivity.. is in not asking yourself if there are possible reasons OTHER than Christianity being a false faith to explain the contradictions.
    You seem to *appear* to do this in your posts but I don’t think it’s honest objectivity.

    You make assumptions upon assumptions when arriving at your conclusions.

    Your examples of the “inconsistencies” of the 4 Gospels are easily explained but you reject those explanations based on an unsupported assumption that God wouldn’t allow the “contradictions” or “confusion”. Christians aren’t confused at all.. we accept the extremely reasonable explanations.

    1) 4 different accounts by different people are NOT going to match exactly.. if they did, it would THEN be a valid question of it’s Truth.

    2) If the Gospel is not true, if the Bible is fiction, why would these “contradictions” be included in the Bible? Why wouldn’t they have been “corrected”? Or, why not just one simple story.. instead of 4?

    You’ve never given a valid explanation for these points. And these are the reasons that Christians are not confused.

    God’s gift of salvation is not confusing.. it’s very simple and very clear. Everything else is left for people to either apply honest objectivity in sorting out or NOT apply honest objectivity.
    It’s about free will. It HAS to be.. because love cannot exist without the existence of free will.
    If God were to use divine intervention in making sure the Bible was crystal clear, and not affected by humans in any way, then why not go a step further.. and use His power to just MAKE us believe? Why not just make us “robots” and not give us free will at all?

    These are the questions that I would like the answers to of those who’ve decided to reject God.

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  16. @Kathy

    These are the questions that I would like the answers to of those who’ve decided to reject God.

    As you are unable to establish that there even is a god, and more to the point the god you worship, then nothing has been ”rejected”.

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  17. Ark,

    Not true. There is the Gospel, there are witnesses and martyrs. It’s a claim WITH evidence. And atheists etc have chosen to reject the claims and the evidence.. which means they’ve rejected the God of the Bible.

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  18. Hey Nate,

    If you guys ever do get down to South Australia, let me know if you plan to go through Adelaide

    and I’ll drive back on the weekend to say hi 🙂

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  19. @Kathy

    true. There is the Gospel, there are witnesses and martyrs.

    What a pile of steaming Camel Turds.

    There are no witnesses, no contemporary accounts and there is no verifiable evidence for any so-called ‘martyrs’ .

    Furthermore, you cannot produce a single scrap of verifiable evidence, so why do you continue to espouse this vacuous diatribe?

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  20. @portal
    If you guys ever do get down to South Australia, let me know if you plan to go through Adelaide

    Does one still need a criminal record to visit Australia?

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  21. I KNEW you couldn’t stay away for long!

    Does one still need a criminal record to visit Australia?

    In your case, I’m sure your psychiatric discharge would do as well —

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  22. Hi Kathy,

    You’re right that the context 1 Cor 14 is talking about order in worship services. However, verse 33 is given as a reason why services should be orderly — that reason is that God is not a god of confusion. So Paul apparently thinks this applies beyond just the worship services context. And we could point to other passages, like Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18, which claim God never lies. So if nothing else, it seems to run against God’s nature to give us a message that isn’t completely accurate or trustworthy.

    Regardless, that’ something we actually agree on, so I won’t press it any further.

    What you don’t consider.. where you fail to apply objectivity.. is in not asking yourself if there are possible reasons OTHER than Christianity being a false faith to explain the contradictions.
    You seem to *appear* to do this in your posts but I don’t think it’s honest objectivity.

    I’m sorry if you question my sincerity and objectivity — I can’t really help that. But I have most certainly tried to find other explanations for these issues other than their being actual contradictions.

    Your examples of the “inconsistencies” of the 4 Gospels are easily explained but you reject those explanations based on an unsupported assumption that God wouldn’t allow the “contradictions” or “confusion”. Christians aren’t confused at all.. we accept the extremely reasonable explanations.

    Then please head over to one of these posts and present the reasonable, easy to understand explanations:
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/contradictions-part-5-out-of-egypt/
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/11/contradictions-part-6-jesuss-genealogy/
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/contradictions-part-7-judas/
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/17/contradictions-part-8-the-crucifixion/

    1) 4 different accounts by different people are NOT going to match exactly.. if they did, it would THEN be a valid question of it’s Truth.

    No one’s asking them to be exact copies of one another. This is not a difficult issue to understand. If I read a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and it goes into great detail about his childhood, but a different biography skips over that part of his life, does that result in a contradiction? Of course not!

    But if I read a biography of Lincoln that says he served as President from 1860 – 1866, and another that says he served from 1861 – 1865, one of them is wrong. It’s hard to see how those differences can be reconciled in any way. And even if they can, there’s nothing wrong with seeing them as contradictions until sufficient evidence is presented to explain them.

    That’s where the apologists’ responses fall flat. They explain the different genealogies for Christ any number of different ways. Some say Matthew’s is Joseph’s lineage and Luke’s is Mary’s — some say the opposite. Some apologists say they’re both through Joseph, but one covers a biological lineage while another covers a lineage with levirate marriages. The problem is, there’s no evidence for any of those explanations, which is why different Christians will support different ones.

    I try to be fair — there are some passages that skeptics will claim are contradictory, when they’re actually not. But at the same time, there are some passages Christians will claim are “easily explainable” when they simply aren’t. But please, if you think there are fixes for those issues, help yourself to any of those blog posts I listed. I’d be interested to see any evidence you have.

    2) If the Gospel is not true, if the Bible is fiction, why would these “contradictions” be included in the Bible? Why wouldn’t they have been “corrected”? Or, why not just one simple story.. instead of 4?

    They’re only visible when you really spend time comparing the different versions with one another. This is why so many of us were able to spend years studying the Bible without seeing all the problems. When the various books were being selected, there were no search engines to help them narrow it all down. There were also plenty of apologists then, just as there are now, who attempted to smooth out any apparent issues.

    Also, you might be surprised to know that there were attempts to correct some of these problems more officially. In the late 2nd century, Tatian wrote the Diatesseron, which was an effort to combine the 4 gospels into one. He didn’t include the details that would have been contradictory. For instance, he left out both genealogies. And in other stories, where the details couldn’t be reconciled, he just chose one version over another.

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  23. Kathy,

    you said,

    “Here is another example of you applying the incorrect context to scripture. The surrounding text is clear, this is about order in the church.
    I’m not trying to claim that God promotes confusion of scripture. I agree that God wants us to understand and not be confused. But again, you are distorting actual scripture to fit YOUR assumptions about God. There’s a reason I asked for the actual scripture to support your claims/ beliefs. 1 Cor. 14:33 doesn’t support your belief.. what are the others?
    It’s important to NOT impose your own views into the actual scripture.” – kATHY

    you know, you;re not exactly right here. while the entire context of the passage may be talking about order in the church, it is not improper nor is it incorrect to use “god is not the author of confusion,” in the way that nate did.

    You act as if phrases can only exist in the cluster in which they’re presented, but this the case. If nate were talking about the entirety of 1 cor 14, or 1 cor as a whole, then he’d be incorrect, but he didnt.

    In fact, by your line of reasoning, you’d be wrong to take chapter 14 and discuss out outside of its broader context withing the book of 1 cor.

    The bible says that god is not the author of confusion – well, is that right? 2 different genealogies for jesus isn’t confusing at all. 3 gods but only one god makes perfect sense.

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  24. Kathy’s questions:

    “1) 4 different accounts by different people are NOT going to match exactly.. if they did, it would THEN be a valid question of it’s Truth.”

    Huh? So stories that align would create questions of their cohesion, while conflicting stories don’t? again, maybe you can clear these few issues up for us:

    1a – where were the angles encountered at jesus tomb (please provide scripture)?
    1b – where did Mary, Joseph and Jesus go after leaving Bethlehem (please provide scripture)?
    1c – what day was jesus crucified on, passover or the day before (please provide scripture)?
    1d – during the triumphal entry, how many donkeys did jesus have with him (please provide scripture)
    1e – how many people are in the linage of joseph and jesus (please provide scripture)?

    “2) If the Gospel is not true, if the Bible is fiction, why would these “contradictions” be included in the Bible? Why wouldn’t they have been “corrected”? Or, why not just one simple story.. instead of 4?”

    So you’re saying that these mistakes are too big and too obvious to be real mistakes?

    You may have to research a little on how your bible was canonized. A group of people got together and voted on what to include and what to toss out. Some gospels were tossed out and we have the 4 that we have because they got the right number of votes. But your questions are on the right track, now ask, “why should we believe the claims made in the book sand letters?” and ask, “why would a perfect god write a book that even looked like it had errors in it?”

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  25. “You might *think* you are doing the “best” you can but what I’ve been pointing out is that if you claim you can’t do any better, it might be because you are allowing pride and ego to get in the way.. I’m saying/ have been saying that YES, you CAN do better.” – Kathy

    Kathy, do you think you can do better at being objective?

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  26. Much of a muchness then? Phew!

    Quite possibly, in South Africa, that actually means something intelligible. Here? Not so much. Of a muchness.

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  27. Well, being American you must first learn to speak English before you and I can converse on the same level. I can’t keep ‘dumbing down’ everything I write, Y’all.
    Besides, Nate seems to cope all right so what’s your problem?
    Besides, JFGI for the gods’ sake. Sheesh! Must I do all the work around here?

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  28. I can’t keep ‘dumbing down’ everything I write – Are you saying that has been a deliberate effort, all these years, just for me? I’m flattered – I always assumed it was just – well, you!

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  29. Since I started ‘talking’ to you, the pages of my thesaurus of Englishto American has more fingerprints than all those cars you used to nick for joyrides.

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  30. and furthermore,
    Kathy just loves to boast (which is a sin, by the way)
    about how generous and charitable Christians are, but the facts are:
    Kathy never donates or tithes and when she was needing help supplementing her diet,
    did she turn to a church? absolutely not, she went straight to the u.s. government to get food stamps.

    how is that for being a hypocritical liar!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  31. Morning Ark,

    Does one still need a criminal record to visit Australia?

    Yep, and a Striped jumpsuit, 3 Packets of crisps, 4.3 prawns on a barbie, and a drop bear as a hat.

    Also some blue shorts… Oh and a small portrait of the Queen to be kept in your left back pocket at all times…in case you happen to meet the pm down the pub.

    If you need a hand harnessing a kangaroo to ride about town let me know

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Since I started ‘talking’ to you, the pages of my thesaurus of English to American has more fingerprints than all those cars you used to nick for joyrides.

    USED” to?

    So you’re saying that I have contributed significantly to your continuing education! Always glad to be of help to the less fortunate.

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  33. Nate,

    “You’re right that the context 1 Cor 14 is talking about order in worship services. However, verse 33 is given as a reason why services should be orderly — that reason is that God is not a god of confusion.”

    The word “disorder” is used an equal number of times in the list of translations on Bible Hub.. When you look at the surrounding text it’s clear that the “confusion” is a result of disorder. You are attempting to conflate literal disorder with disagreement over meanings / context. It’s not the same thing. Few people would argue about what constitutes disorder. But there are major disagreements over what constitutes confusion of scripture. Again, Christians aren’t confused.

    I think this is another example of how you are interpreting meaning and context to fit your belief/ non belief. Just like when you add the word “all” to the Tyre prophecy. It’s not there. And neither is “confusion” in the context you are asserting.

    “Some say Matthew’s is Joseph’s lineage and Luke’s is Mary’s — some say the opposite. Some apologists say they’re both through Joseph, but one covers a biological lineage while another covers a lineage with levirate marriages. The problem is, there’s no evidence for any of those explanations, which is why different Christians will support different ones.”

    What “evidence” do you require here? ..WHY do you require evidence here?? Why can’t you just accept that any of those could be the correct explanation and move on? There’s no real reason to not do so except that you don’t WANT to. My point is that you have NO evidence to prove it’s false. You have different authors who used different sources and so what they wrote didn’t match, but it’s NOT proof of deception or error, possibilities have been presented to explain the differences… yet you treat it as deception because you don’t have proof it’s not. This reveals your unwillingness to trust God, you aren’t willing to give Him the benefit of the doubt. If you can’t trust Him on these minor details, how can you trust Him to take away your sins?

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  34. “They’re only visible when you really spend time comparing the different versions with one another. This is why so many of us were able to spend years studying the Bible without seeing all the problems. When the various books were being selected, there were no search engines to help them narrow it all down. There were also plenty of apologists then, just as there are now, who attempted to smooth out any apparent issues.”

    This just isn’t true Nate. There are some seeming conflicts that I’ve noticed all along. The varied details of the core of Christianity – the resurrection.. are hard to not notice. And that you’re trying to claim the men who dedicated their lives to God and His word didn’t notice these while they were putting together the Bible just isn’t reasonable.

    “Also, you might be surprised to know that there were attempts to correct some of these problems more officially. In the late 2nd century, Tatian wrote the Diatesseron, which was an effort to combine the 4 gospels into one. He didn’t include the details that would have been contradictory. For instance, he left out both genealogies. And in other stories, where the details couldn’t be reconciled, he just chose one version over another.”

    And that still leaves my question unanswered.. WHY didn’t they accept Tatian’s “corrections”? It’s because they knew they weren’t truly contradictions and they trusted God. And it shows how carefully His word was preserved based on that trust.

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  35. kathy,

    this isnt exactly right,

    “You are attempting to conflate literal disorder with disagreement over meanings / context.”

    it’s not disagreements over meanings and context, it’s a disagreement among passages. Examples like the matthew and luke’s genealogies have been given.

    Both state it’s jesus line through joseph and they are quite different. That’s confusing and it’s not in order, as in it’s in disorder.

    Sure, I’ve seen excuses like nate mentioned, but they’re all conjecture;. all guesses by people who want the two to be right and cohesive, even though they are not – what contradiction or discrepancy couldnt be “answered” in such a way?

    you’re line of argumentation makes it look like you’re taking things out of context and that you have yet to master objectivity – you can always do better.

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  36. “My point is that you have NO evidence to prove it’s false.” – kathy

    …except that they each say something different…. they each give a different list of Joseph’s ancestors… they cant both be correct.

    the attempts to explain this obvious issue away is the thing without evidence.

    the only concrete evidence there is shows that it’s false… that’s the entire reason people try to think up “fixes” to get around the problem. If there was no issue, no one would have invent and guess at “possible” ways this discrepancy and contradiction is anything but.

    does this make sense to you?

    Like

  37. “This just isn’t true Nate. There are some seeming conflicts that I’ve noticed all along. The varied details of the core of Christianity – the resurrection.. are hard to not notice. And that you’re trying to claim the men who dedicated their lives to God and His word didn’t notice these while they were putting together the Bible just isn’t reasonable.” – kathy

    so you’ve noticed conflicts, it’s most reasonable to you that all these conflicts you’ve seen at a glance and then the others you’ve seen in deeper study, etc is that a perfect author would in fact compose a work that has conflicts?

    our understandings of the term “reasonable” must be different.

    but I still dont think you’re quite understanding how the bible was assembled. it was a group of people. and there had been many books and letters in circulation, with some areas and congregations holding to some while others held to others. This counsel was to create uniformity among christians so that they could maintain unity. they voted on the books – at this counsel they didnt revise and edit, so much as they pick and chose what books were valid and which were not. They didnt have google to research anything, but their own knowledge of each text. a text didnt get enough votes, it was tossed, while the ones that did get enough votes were canonized.

    it is indeed reasonable to see how a group of people could compile a group of works that arent completely harmonious.

    You likely despise the obama administration and I would guess have at least nodded when many of their opponents have criticized him of shredding the constitution. but how is that reasonable when there are so any checks and balances and when there are so many who want the government and country to run smoothly?

    it’s becuase they’re people and they are not perfect and because each of those people have to work with other people, with differing ideas, to get things done.

    it makes sense… that is, if one were being objective.

    Like

  38. Kathy,

    you said,

    ” It’s because they knew they weren’t truly contradictions and they trusted God. And it shows how carefully His word was preserved based on that trust.”

    how is it god that you could trust in when the bible is a compilation of claims made by men? dont you really have to trust in those men first, before you in trust in the god they claim to speak for?

    Like

  39. Kathy, you said: “Just like when you add the word ‘all’ to the Tyre prophecy. It’s not there” – is the word, “part”? If I said, “I have a cake” – would you more likely assume that I had a whole cake, or just part of a cake?

    If you can’t trust Him on these minor details, how can you trust Him to take away your sins?” – I can’t even trust him to EXIST!

    Like

  40. It’s because they knew they weren’t truly contradictions and they trusted God. And it shows how carefully His word was preserved based on that trust.

    No, it shows how carefully His word was preserved based on their fear.

    Clearly, you have once again shown your complete ignorance of how the Buybull came to be. A full 65% of the entire Gospel of pseudo-Luke, written by an anonymous author near the end of the first century, was taken directly from the gospel of pseudo-Mark. By the time pseudo-Luke wrote, the Romans had already put down the Jewish revolt and totally destroyed the second temple – no more sacrifices, no more goodies for the priests to take home to the wife and kiddies – they were knee deep in priests at the unemployment line.

    Some, including Paul, and whoever pseudo-Luke may have been, could see the tide was turning, so Paul invented the character of Stephen, for the express purpose of pointing the finger of blame at his fellow Jews for the death of Yeshua, and absolving the Romans of their part, thus demonstrating that he knew exactly whose ass to kiss. So Stephen rails against the members of the Sanhedrin, basically calling them “Christ-killers,” and they take him out and stone him to death. BUT how can this be? History relates, and it’s backed up by the Jesus story – that the occupying Romans had taken away from the Jewish Sanhedrin the power to execute, which is why Yeshua was shuttled back and forth between Caiaphas and Pilot, in an effort to get Pilot to order his death. So how is it that the same Sanhedrin felt they had the power to stone Stephen to death? Simple – they wouldn’t have – the death of Stephen was a pure fabrication on the part of Paul, to turn Christianity from the disbelieving Jews, still waiting on their messiah, to the gullible Gentiles, who had no such millennia-old traditions to cling to.

    The REAL Luke was only a minor player in the entire scenario – in fact, he’s only mentioned a total of three times in the entire Buybull:

    “Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas, greet you.” – Colossians 4:14.

    “Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:11.

    “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow labourers. ” – Philemon 23-24.

    That’s it!

    A full 95% of the Gospel of pseudo-Matthew was copied from pseudo-Mark, in many cases, word for word. But just in case pseudo-Mark wasn’t sufficiently convincing, pseudo-Matthew decided, in many instances, to take what pseudo-Mark said and double down. Let’s see what pseudo-Matthew did with his copied works of pseudo-Mark:

    Mark 5:1-3 – Yeshua meets a homeless man, living in a tomb, who has a demon in him.
    Matthew 8:28 -Yeshua meets two homeless men, living in a tombs, who have demons in them.

    Mark 10:46-47 – Coming out of Jericho, Yeshua meets a blind man, heals him.
    Matthew 20:29-31 – Coming out of Jericho, Yeshua meets two blind men, heals them.

    Mark 8:22-26 – coming to Bethsaida, Yeshua meets a blind man, heals him, tells him to tell no one.
    Matthew 9:27-30 – coming to Bethsaida, Yeshua meets two blind men, heals them, tells them to tell no one.

    Unlike pseudo-Luke, who is toadying to the Romans and Greeks, Matthew too, is on a mission, a conflicting one – he wants to convince the Jews that their long-awaited Messiah has arrived, which is why, in HIS version of the crucifiction, he drags out a severe earthquake, the rising of many zombie corpses that go off to Jerusalem, guards on the tomb (an idea copied from Joshua), and a snowy white angel sitting on a tombstone.

    No one knows who these guys were, Kathy – all we really know – based on the times in which they wrote, nearly a full 50 years after the alleged crucifiction – is that they didn’t actually witness the events they wrote about, they just phoned it in. If you read such stuff in a comic book, it would make sense that it was just written for entertainment, that no one was expected to believe it, yet here you are, swallowing it hook, line and sinker – what does that say about you?

    Like

  41. William,

    “the only concrete evidence there is shows that it’s false… that’s the entire reason people try to think up “fixes” to get around the problem. If there was no issue, no one would have invent and guess at “possible” ways this discrepancy and contradiction is anything but.

    does this make sense to you?”

    Does it make sense to you that this “conflict” would have been left in the Bible?

    They are not contradictions.. and both can be correct.

    Like

  42. cont..

    “so you’ve noticed conflicts, it’s most reasonable to you that all these conflicts you’ve seen at a glance and then the others you’ve seen in deeper study, etc is that a perfect author would in fact compose a work that has conflicts?”

    You missed the adjective “seeming” conflicts. If there are reasonable explanations, then they aren’t actually conflicts.

    Like

  43. Arch,

    “Kathy, you said: “Just like when you add the word ‘all’ to the Tyre prophecy. It’s not there” – is the word, “part”? If I said, “I have a cake” – would you more likely assume that I had a whole cake, or just part of a cake?”

    There was no adjective with the word Tyre.. like “all”. Your cake example does have an adjective.. “a”.. that implies the entire cake.

    ““It’s because they knew they weren’t truly contradictions and they trusted God. And it shows how carefully His word was preserved based on that trust.”

    No, it shows how carefully His word was preserved based on their fear.”

    But they didn’t “fear” discarding entire “gospels” from being included in the Bible. Sorry Arch, that argument doesn’t work.

    Like

  44. “Does it make sense to you that this “conflict” would have been left in the Bible?” – kathy

    why do you ask this? have you never seen conflicts in books before? are you suggesting that conflcts in books cannot exist?

    “They are not contradictions.. and both can be correct.” – kathy

    except the genealogies are contractions and both cannot be correct. not a one of them says anything about adoptive parents or anything, but one says joseph’s father and grandfathers were one particular set while the other says that joseph’s father and grandfather were of another particular set… this isnt possible, hence the efforts to make up scenarios that the bible doesn’t say.

    what is a contradcition on your mind and could you give an example?

    Like

  45. “You missed the adjective “seeming” conflicts. If there are reasonable explanations, then they aren’t actually conflicts.” – kathy

    I didnt miss it, i just didnt think it was necessary. If something “seemed” one way to you, they you’d be expected to think that thing “was” the way it seemed…. but this is another tangent.

    that’s not how things work. If the “reasonable explanations” are sheer guesses, which is what we have regarding the biblical issues we’re discussing, then that doesnt “resolve” anything absolutely, at best all you could say is that maybe they’re not contradictions because maybe these explanations someone just made up could be right, despite the source appearing to be in conflict.

    the term for that is “wishful thinking.”

    let’s play to illustrate the point. You provide a contradiction and i will try to provide a “reasonable explanation” to show how any contradiction can answered as easily as you’re suggesting the bible’s problems can be.

    Like

  46. “There was no adjective with the word Tyre.. like “all”. Your cake example does have an adjective.. “a”.. that implies the entire cake.” – kathy

    bill was killed.

    what does that mean? would you assume that his leg was amputated and the flesh of that leg died, or would you assume that all of bill died?

    cities are like people in this way. If someone says that a city was attacked, then any part of it could be attacked and that statement would be true. But destroyed? destroy is like kill, in that it doesn’t work when the name of the proper noun is said to have been either destroyed or killed – it necessarily implies the whole.

    NYC was attacked on 9/11, but NYC was not destroyed even if some of its building were. Tyre was not destroyed (and certainly not forever) even if much if the city was attacked – yet ezekiel said it would be destroyed forever, never rebuilt and never found.

    it wasn’t destroyed.

    It was rebuilt.

    and it’s very easy to find, especially for all those people who live, work and visit there.

    the empty field on tyre’s mainland never was the footprint of the entire city as you’ve tried to claim in the past. At the time of the “prophecy” the island was always part of tyre and always the fortress part holding their biggest and oldest temple, which is why Alexander the Great wanted to go there.

    Like

  47. “But they didn’t “fear” discarding entire “gospels” from being included in the Bible. Sorry Arch, that argument doesn’t work.” – kathy

    kathy, you’re creating this fantasy land of made up physical laws no one can break. People dont always make sense.

    But if you undertsand people, it makes sense how these were preserved and unedited by them, while others were discarded.

    these people read about the apostles casting lots, and levite jews pulling random rocks out of their pockets to get decisions from heaven, and they decided to vote on the books, much like they vote of the pope and the apostles voted on matthias.

    it makes sense that some books made the vote while others didnt. they assumed, much like you do, that the books that were voted in were from god – so they didnt want to alter those books.

    what “doesnt work” about that?

    Like

  48. Say you’re at a party and you ask for cake. The host says “we ate the cake.” Do you assume there’s still cake left? He didn’t say “all”

    Let’s say you have a friend who passes away. After his death, someone shows up claiming to be a long lost relative, and they want a substantial share of his estate. You already know the following:

    Your friend’s name is Fred, his father was Bill, his father was Bob, and his father was Harry.

    The person making a claim on the estate gives two “proofs” of their relationship:

    The first document says that they are the son of Tom, Fred’s brother. Their father was William, his father was Robert, his father was Toby, and his father was Harry.

    The second document says that they are the son of Jimmy, Fred’s brother. Their father was Reginald, his father was Ivan, his father was Timothy, and his father was Sebastian.

    Do you give the person the inheritance?

    Like

  49. well, nate, I’m glad you asked.

    since god is all-powerful, there is nothing that is impossible for him. If nothing is impossible, then anything is possible, and therefore “reasonable.”

    so when there’s a problem withing the framework of any religion, all the believers of said religion have to do it create any imaginary solution so find a fix. Since all things are possible for an all-powerful being, there is nothing off the table. Nothing is absurd for a being that is not limited by anything.

    dont think superman is real? well, if you assume superman isnt real then things like flying, super human strength and seeing through walls may sound impossible, but if you assume superman is real, then they suddenly become real and credible options. it’s the same with god.

    If we believe the men who claimed that they spoke for god, then that god would be limitless in power and could do anything, to include creating contradictions that are simultaneously not contradictions.

    sound crazy to you? that’s because you dont have faith.

    Like

  50. let’s play to illustrate the point. You provide a contradiction and i will try to provide a “reasonable explanation” to show how any contradiction can answered as easily as you’re suggesting the bible’s problems can be.

    Apologists are great at this game William. Here is one of my favorites:

    Has anyone ever seen God?
    John 1:18 “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.”
    1 Tim. 6:15-16 “He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen.”

    Compare these to:
    Exodus 24:9-11 “Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, and they ate and drank.”
    The answer? God the Father is God and he is the one that cannot be seen, so whenever Yahweh appeared to people in the OT it was actually Jesus God (God the Son) who is also God. Simple right?

    Like

  51. yeah, it boggles my mind. I just really wonder what a contradiction is in their minds?

    I cannot think of any contradiction that cant be explained away in such a way.

    Like

  52. The real issue is that they’ve completely lost sight of “burden of proof.”

    It doesn’t matter if you can come up with a thousand possible explanations for why Jesus is given two different genealogies. None of those explanations is given within the Bible, so there’s no need to believe it.

    The height of irony with that specific issue is that both Matthew and Luke were obviously giving a genealogy for evidence! But since they inadvertently wrote two different ones, and those accounts were later combined into one book, they completely fail the authors’ purposes. It would have been better if they hadn’t been included at all. Now, instead of lending support to their stories, they create confusion at best, and make the accounts suspect at worst.

    Like

  53. agreed. and if any possible way a contradiction can be rectified should be accepted, then any possible refutation of the bible should just be accepted as well. I mean, if it’s possible, why not accept it?

    it’s a stupid argument.

    the very reason people try to invent solutions is because there’s an obvious error.

    Like

  54. Nate,

    “Say you’re at a party and you ask for cake. The host says “we ate the cake.” Do you assume there’s still cake left? He didn’t say “all”…”

    Again, “the” establishes the entirety of the cake. What word in the Tyre prophecy establishes “all” of Tyre?

    And you never addressed these questions in regards to the “contradictions” in Jesus’ genealogy..

    “What “evidence” do you require here? ..WHY do you require evidence here?? Why can’t you just accept that any of those could be the correct explanation and move on? There’s no real reason to not do so except that you don’t WANT to. My point is that you have NO evidence to prove it’s false. ”

    You: “The real issue is that they’ve completely lost sight of “burden of proof.”

    It doesn’t matter if you can come up with a thousand possible explanations for why Jesus is given two different genealogies. None of those explanations is given within the Bible, so there’s no need to believe it.”

    You’ve completely lost sight of your place Nate.. God doesn’t “owe” you ANY proof. The burden is certainly NOT on Him. He will pay no consequences if you choose to reject the proof He HAS given you.. that which HE decides to give, not you. You repeatedly, in every situation, set the standards that need to be met before you will believe. You try to claim that the standards are in scripture, but as I’ve shown, they are not.. not according to the actual scripture.

    There IS a need to believe it if you want to save your soul. As I’ve pointed out, there is NO proof that the “conflicting” genealogies are false.. and there ARE explanations to allow you to move on and keep your faith. But you’ve chosen not to do that.. your choice, using your free will.. that is NOT backed up by any proof.. it’s only backed up by YOUR requirements of proof before you will accept God.

    “The height of irony with that specific issue is that both Matthew and Luke were obviously giving a genealogy for evidence! But since they inadvertently wrote two different ones, and those accounts were later combined into one book, they completely fail the authors’ purposes. It would have been better if they hadn’t been included at all. Now, instead of lending support to their stories, they create confusion at best, and make the accounts suspect at worst.

    Yet again, you prove MY point.. that you still haven’t adequately addressed.. this “proof” (which is correct, it is given as evidence/ proof) has been overlooked, according to you.. by people who’ve dedicated their lives to God and His word.. yet somehow they’ve overlooked this “contradictory” proof.

    “It would have been better if they hadn’t been included at all. ”

    But it WAS included. And it wasn’t because it was “missed”. The problem is that you aren’t discerning the entire bulk of evidence well enough. That it’s included IS the compelling evidence of it’s truth.. if it hadn’t been included, the claim could have been made that it was to “edit” God’s word. The “purpose” of the authors was to be as truthful as possible. The more information that is included, the more likely that it is based on truth. We all know that when lying, say as little as possible.. the authors of the Bible knew that then too. God knows that. But people without honest objectivity don’t seem to know this.

    These “contradictions” serve an important purpose.. as I’ve pointed out several times now. But for some reason you all can’t seem to grasp this.

    As with the Tyre prophecy.. 99% of the prophecy was amazingly fulfilled. But instead of giving that the weight it deserves, you instead give all the weight to the 1%. Same with the genealogy.. most of it is amazingly the same.. you can’t claim “copying” because then there wouldn’t be the “contradiction”.. but instead of weighing the evidence fairly, you give all the weight to the one small exception. This reveals your bias.. your lack of objectivity.

    Like

  55. William,

    “NYC was attacked on 9/11, but NYC was not destroyed even if some of its building were. Tyre was not destroyed (and certainly not forever) even if much if the city was attacked – yet ezekiel said it would be destroyed forever, never rebuilt and never found.”

    Old Tyre was destroyed, never to be rebuilt and in the sea.. just as the prophecy said.

    Like

  56. Kathy, when I wrote:

    I have mad respect for your vigour. Why do you believe?

    I wasn’t taking a jab at you or making light of you. I think my question was a bit blunt though, sorry if it came off that way.

    Asking why someone believes is a pretty broad question, and your conversations here have probably answered this.

    And by “vigour” I meant that I respect that you stand up for your convictions in believing in Jesus.

    Personally, one reason I’m open to God is because I still feel in my heart that we are created with direction. And I do find it strange that humanity are the only animals that have exponentially built, designed and organised, as if we were made in the image of someone else,

    No other animal seems to congregate and ask these questions, let alone on a online forum.

    Like

  57. “You’ve completely lost sight of your place Nate.. God doesn’t “owe” you ANY proof.” – kathy

    how do you know the authors of the bible were telling the truth when they claimed to speak for god?

    that’s the question after you boil it all down, kathy.

    god may not owe anyone proof, but mere men who claim that they speak for god, do owe proof to back up their grand claims. dont you owe it to god to rightly divide the words of truth, to try the spirits in order to determine if they really are from god? why do you prefer to just accept these words of men?

    I answered your questions that you gave to nate, which could be one reason he didnt bother repeating them. address them if you will, but dont act as if your questions went unanswered.

    Like

  58. “Old Tyre was destroyed, never to be rebuilt and in the sea.. just as the prophecy said.” – kathy

    that’s incorrect and I cannot tell if you’re lying or just mistaken.

    the prophecy said tyre, not “old tyre.”

    at the time of ezekiel’s prophecy, the city was island with mainland suburbs. http://www.ancient.eu/Tyre/

    The island was never completely destroyed, hence tyre was never completely destroyed. Neither the island nor the mainland were permanently destroyed as the prophecy said, but both were rebuilt and both exist today.

    even the causway that alexander built to sack teh island is now built up and populated. this prophecy fails in so many ways it is insane that you continue to declair otherwise.

    and even in you refforts you’re forced to pretend that ezekiel meant “old tyre” (a greek name, not the original name), when he simply said tyre – which at that time was both island and mainland.

    Like

  59. “As with the Tyre prophecy.. 99% of the prophecy was amazingly fulfilled.” – kathy

    also false

    why dont you break it down for everyone, verse by verse, fulfillment by fulfillment, and failure by failure. 99% is just bogus.

    but even if it were 99%, you’re saying that your god is so powerful that he’s almost perfect. he’s almost perfectly dependable… just not quite 100%.

    you’re god is nearly an awesome god. dont question him, that may make the authors who told everyone about him think that you may not trust them.

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  60. you make zero sense in your defense of the differing genealogies.

    if it’s so clear, which one of the extra-biblical explanations is the right one and how can you be sure?

    Like

  61. No other animal seems to congregate and ask these questions, let alone on a online forum.” – True, we’re the most technologically-advanced ape on the planet, I suppose that’s something – I hardly see a god in that though.

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  62. and again, the evidence for the two genealogies being contradictions is actually very good, since the main evidence to support this is that they are different and each paint conflicting pictures of joseph and jesus’ linage.

    now, all the different ways people have tried to reconcile the two are baseless and are pure conjecture. could they be true? I guess, but you know what is undeniably true? the bible, as it reads for itself, has two opposing genealogies.

    not only do you hope that the the men who wrote the bible and claimed that they speak for god are right, you also hope that the other guys, who dont claim to speak for god, are right about they contrived “fix” to this problem.

    all that faith, and it’s really only in man.

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  63. I am not certain that there is no creator, but I am certain the god of the bible is man made.

    But if there is a creator, why must it be just one, and why must it/they be perfect or eternal? And if eternal does exist, why could matter fill that ticket as good as anything else? Why couldn’t our creators be more advanced versions of us?

    there are so many possibilities that range beyond our imaginations that it seems unlikely that this question will ever be answered with uncertainty as long as the creator(s) stay hidden and silent. If they rely on men to speak for them, then is it any wonder that the many people only see talking men and not the hidden creators?

    if we could harness our brain powers that we use to wonder about gods and turn that into finding cures for cancer and so on, think of how much better things could be…

    Like

  64. Kathy, if you honestly want to talk about Tyre, you can start here:
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/an-examination-of-ezekiels-prophecy-of-tyre-part-1/

    I did 6 posts about it recently, and they go into quite a lot of detail. Feel free to comment on any of those.

    And if you want to talk in detail about any of the other contradictions, etc, then I direct you again to my About page which has links to all the posts I’ve written on those subjects. Or you can refer to my earlier comment where I linked to some of them. But until you decide to actually engage with the details of these issues, you’re really just wasting time.

    Like

  65. Nate, why are you trying to redirect me? I’m here and willing to engage, with details. Why can’t you address my points? This is game playing. It doesn’t matter where we debate the points, the points themselves matter. Sometimes it’s good for a “fresh” start.. I was over there on those posts, and nothing was accomplished (apparently).

    And I gave you direct questions here that aren’t answered in those hundreds of other pages/ comments.. but you claiming that they were gets you off the hook.. keeps me busy for a while at least.

    Sorry Nate, but you failed to answer my question about the “contradictions” being left in the Bible. Your answer was not reasonable and you know it. And this is why you are trying to redirect me.

    And you failed to address my point about your insistence that the 1% being “wrong” (in your opinion) is enough to discard the 99% that is more than compelling.. that beats the odds.
    Instead you try to redirect me away from the crowd so to speak. Liberals/ atheists/ the liberal minded constantly use these tactics. This is the dishonesty that I keep going on about. Because it KEEPS GOING ON.

    “What “evidence” do you require here? ..WHY do you require evidence here?? Why can’t you just accept that any of those could be the correct explanation and move on? There’s no real reason to not do so except that you don’t WANT to. My point is that you have NO evidence to prove it’s false. ”

    You: “The real issue is that they’ve completely lost sight of “burden of proof.”

    It doesn’t matter if you can come up with a thousand possible explanations for why Jesus is given two different genealogies. None of those explanations is given within the Bible, so there’s no need to believe it.”

    You’ve completely lost sight of your place Nate.. God doesn’t “owe” you ANY proof. The burden is certainly NOT on Him. He will pay no consequences if you choose to reject the proof He HAS given you.. that which HE decides to give, not you. You repeatedly, in every situation, set the standards that need to be met before you will believe. You try to claim that the standards are in scripture, but as I’ve shown, they are not.. not according to the actual scripture. ”

    Why don’t you want to answer these questions/ points Nate?

    They allude to your level of objectivity. Did you ever answer my question about whether you
    believe honest objectivity is important? Probably not.

    We do NOT have empirical proof one way or the other on the issue of God’s existence. So, you have to know/ understand how important OBJECTIVITY is. Yet, every time I want to address your objectivity with questions, you want to run away. This is yet MORE proof of your lack of honest objectivity. “Finding Truth.. wherever it may lead”… this is the title of your blog Nate.. and it’s a big giant claim of “OBJECTIVITY” by you. But when I challenge you on this, you don’t want to take the challenge even though it’s the supposed platform of your blog.

    ““Say you’re at a party and you ask for cake. The host says “we ate the cake.” Do you assume there’s still cake left? He didn’t say “all”…”

    Again, “the” establishes the entirety of the cake. What word in the Tyre prophecy establishes “all” of Tyre?”

    See, you engage here about Tyre but when I present a question/ counter point that you can’t answer you THEN try to redirect me/ employ “rules”.. anything to avoid answering the actual points. Again, this is NOT objectivity.. or honesty.. it’s deception.

    Like

  66. Not trying to redirect you as an effort to avoid anything Kathy, it’s just that all those arguments are already laid out in detail in those posts.

    But fine, if you want to discuss it here, I guess we can try.

    Sorry Nate, but you failed to answer my question about the “contradictions” being left in the Bible. Your answer was not reasonable and you know it. And this is why you are trying to redirect me.

    There are lots of reasons why those passages were left in there. First of all, the problem with your argument is that you’re saying the problems are so obvious, they wouldn’t have been left in. Since they were left in, they must not be problems, since they’re such obvious problems. That’s a little nonsensical. Nevertheless, others have made similar arguments before, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some of those who were selecting the canon thought along the same lines, which would explain why they weren’t jettisoned.

    As William has said, the different books were voted on. Many of these books had been in circulation for quite some time too, so they were already thought to be divine by a number of men on the council. And the main criteria for selection was in how the books presented Christ and the gospel — not on whether or not all the details were in agreement.

    Ultimately, I don’t know all the reasons why these specific books were selected, but I don’t really need to. All I need to determine for myself is whether or not they’re believable, and I don’t think they are. Furthermore, your argument for accepting them is simply that they were the ones selected. You don’t appear to be using any kind of criteria in determining how genuine they are — you’ve already accepted them, regardless.

    And you failed to address my point about your insistence that the 1% being “wrong” (in your opinion) is enough to discard the 99% that is more than compelling.. that beats the odds.

    If you want to talk about the prophecy of Tyre, you need to go to the posts I wrote on it recently. It’s too detailed a topic to get into here. And if you would read them, you’d see that your “99% vs 1%” claim is utterly ridiculous and not based in any way on fact.

    “What “evidence” do you require here? ..WHY do you require evidence here?? Why can’t you just accept that any of those could be the correct explanation and move on? There’s no real reason to not do so except that you don’t WANT to. My point is that you have NO evidence to prove it’s false. ”

    Maybe you live this way, Kathy, but I don’t. I don’t believe in bigfoot just because someone says he’s real. I don’t believe in alien abduction just because some people claim it’s true. I don’t believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories just because someone says I should. Ultimately, for any claim, especially an unlikely one, evidence is required.

    You’ve completely lost sight of your place Nate.. God doesn’t “owe” you ANY proof. The burden is certainly NOT on Him. He will pay no consequences if you choose to reject the proof He HAS given you.. that which HE decides to give, not you. You repeatedly, in every situation, set the standards that need to be met before you will believe. You try to claim that the standards are in scripture, but as I’ve shown, they are not.. not according to the actual scripture. ”

    You’re right, Kathy. And as soon as God says something to me, I’ll believe him. The thing you continually fail to grasp is that GOD IS NOT SPEAKING TO ANY OF US! The Bible is not simply God’s word — it’s a collection of writings from many different people, most of whom were anonymous. Why should anyone accept their claims with no evidence?

    We do NOT have empirical proof one way or the other on the issue of God’s existence.

    YES!!! That’s why evidence is so important!

    ““Say you’re at a party and you ask for cake. The host says “we ate the cake.” Do you assume there’s still cake left? He didn’t say “all”…”

    Again, “the” establishes the entirety of the cake. What word in the Tyre prophecy establishes “all” of Tyre?”

    Again, see my posts on Tyre.

    And since you're demanding answers to your questions, let me demand an answer to one of mine. Here it is again:

    Let’s say you have a friend who passes away. After his death, someone shows up claiming to be a long lost relative, and they want a substantial share of his estate. You already know the following:

    Your friend’s name is Fred, his father was Bill, his father was Bob, and his father was Harry.

    The person making a claim on the estate gives two “proofs” of their relationship:

    The first document says that they are the son of Tom, Fred’s brother. Their father was William, his father was Robert, his father was Toby, and his father was Harry.

    The second document says that they are the son of Jimmy, Fred’s brother. Their father was Reginald, his father was Ivan, his father was Timothy, and his father was Sebastian.

    Do you give the person the inheritance?

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  67. You really are pure, unadulterated, bat-shit crazy, aren’t you Kathy? No wonder you get banned left and right.

    Like

  68. “You’ve completely lost sight of your place Nate.. God doesn’t “owe” you ANY proof. The burden is certainly NOT on Him.”” — Kathy

    Kathy, it’s apparent from everything you’ve written on Nate’s blog that you choose to believe this one thing (as do nearly all Christians): whatever one reads in the bible is true. It came from “God” and thus there should be no argument. Period. The end.

    Other people have chosen not to be so gullible, which is why they continue to address issues that simply don’t make sense to the human mind. This may seem at odds with your philosophy, but it your “God” did create us, why did he/she/it give us our ability to reason, to question, to think? It would have been just as easy for this “super being” to create a species that simply lived our their lives on this planet without ever questioning their existence..

    And don’t give me that “free will” blather. That’s just used by Christians to excuse/overlook the things in the bible that don’t make sense (even to them).

    Like

  69. kathy makes a real habit of skipping over points and then harping on others when they dont answer her questions (that have usually been answered). seems like there’s a word for that…

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  70. nate, stop trying to cloud the issue and confuse kathy by supplying more details and to links to even more details in subject specific threads!

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  71. NOT “well said” Nan.. it was incredibly incorrect. It shows how truly closed minded
    you and Nate are to other views.

    “..that you choose to believe this one thing (as do nearly all Christians): whatever one reads in the bible is true. It came from “God” and thus there should be no argument. Period. The end.”

    I’ve NEVER said or implied that there should be no argument. I’ve been practically begging for actual debates over the points (instead of personal attacks).. and that can’t happen unless you “argue”. I challenge you to prove me wrong using my own words.. which I know this challenge will be ignored like all the rest.

    If you were right, then what have I been typing all this time?? You should have no problem finding words that back up this claim. But all you WILL find are my REASONED arguments for why I believe God exists and the Bible is His word. You’ll find NOTHING that says anything close to “there should be no argument, period, the end”.

    “This may seem at odds with your philosophy, but it your “God” did create us, why did he/she/it give us our ability to reason, to question, to think? It would have been just as easy for this “super being” to create a species that simply lived our their lives on this planet without ever questioning their existence.. ”

    My question to you would be where does your mind go when reading my comments?? Where did it go while reading these comments? (No reason to believe things have changed.)
    It’s truly astounding. All I’ve been doing here, when not defending myself from personal attacks, is put forth my reasoning which again, includes nothing about “you should believe because it’s God’s word”… I’ve NEVER stated that, never implied or insinuated that.. ever. I FULLY understand that the debate is if it is God’s word or not. Why I’m even having to explain this is mind boggling.

    Again, Nan, please state my “philosophy”.. using MY own words.. not your distorted belief about what I think.

    Like

  72. Nate,

    “There are lots of reasons why those passages were left in there. First of all, the problem with your argument is that you’re saying the problems are so obvious, they wouldn’t have been left in. Since they were left in, they must not be problems, since they’re such obvious problems. That’s a little nonsensical. Nevertheless, others have made similar arguments before, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some of those who were selecting the canon thought along the same lines, which would explain why they weren’t jettisoned.”

    Nice try but it’s not “nonsensical” at all.. it’s a very valid point. Now you’ve come up with another argument, so you realize yourself that your first argument was a fail. At least you admitted it.. oh wait, no you didn’t.

    “As William has said, the different books were voted on. Many of these books had been in circulation for quite some time too, so they were already thought to be divine by a number of men on the council. And the main criteria for selection was in how the books presented Christ and the gospel — not on whether or not all the details were in agreement.”

    How do you know that the main criteria for selection was how the books presented Christ and the Gospel?? What do you base this claim on?

    The objective was to determine which books were divinely inspired and which weren’t. Your assumption or your wording just further shows your bias.

    The Gospels that were chosen obviously met all the criteria that showed them to be inspired.. so they included them DESPITE the seeming contradictions.

    “Ultimately, I don’t know all the reasons why these specific books were selected, but I don’t really need to. All I need to determine for myself is whether or not they’re believable, and I don’t think they are. Furthermore, your argument for accepting them is simply that they were the ones selected. You don’t appear to be using any kind of criteria in determining how genuine they are — you’ve already accepted them, regardless.”

    You now say there were “lots’ of reasons” for why those contradictions were left in but you only gave one, and then you contradicted it.. you’re claiming that they believed the books with the contradictions were divine so they included them but then you say they selected the books based on how they represented Jesus and the Gospel.

    And again, my argument for accepting the Gospel accounts is that there isn’t anything in them to cause me to believe they are false. I’ve never stated or implied it was because they were the ones selected. Those few “contradictions” that you hold so tightly to aren’t enough to discount all the other things that line up and especially the witnesses and martyrs and other compelling evidence. And when you see that there are possible, reasonable explanations for those seeming contradictions there really is no reasonable argument left … just a desire.

    It’s about weighing the evidence with honest objectivity. And that’s based on actual math.. weighing.. which evidence (and reasoning) weighs more.

    And as for Tyre, you tried to discount a lot of it.. but again, the overwhelming majority of it
    is not in dispute by everyone except you. And again, like the genealogy.. 99% of it lines up, but you choose to focus on the 1% that doesn’t. You’re like the defense attorney getting the murderer off on a technicality. It doesn’t change the truth one bit.

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  73. “Maybe you live this way, Kathy, but I don’t. I don’t believe in bigfoot just because someone says he’s real. I don’t believe in alien abduction just because some people claim it’s true. I don’t believe in 9/11 conspiracy theories just because someone says I should. Ultimately, for any claim, especially an unlikely one, evidence is required.”

    Lots and lots of evidence Nate.. and that’s what I’ve been arguing on your blog all this time.. I give you the same challenge I gave Nan.. post my words that support your assertion up above.. that I’ve been telling you all this time that you “should” believe because the Bible or Christians or whomever says so. It’s an absurd assertion and I have no idea where you get it from other than your own mind.. (and Nan’s).

    “You’re right, Kathy. And as soon as God says something to me, I’ll believe him. The thing you continually fail to grasp is that GOD IS NOT SPEAKING TO ANY OF US! The Bible is not simply God’s word — it’s a collection of writings from many different people, most of whom were anonymous. Why should anyone accept their claims with no evidence?”

    1) The Bible gives plenty of evidence.. prophecies, witnesses and martyrs, along with archeological and other evidence.

    2) Why can’t God speak to us THROUGH the authors?
    You continue to fail to grasp that a Creator might have REASONS for not speaking to us
    directly. Again, you are “demanding” a certain kind of proof.. EMPIRICAL proof. And that’s your prerogative. But what you really need to understand or at least honestly consider.. is that God ALSO has HIS prerogative that He is entitled to. You should try to consider that you COULD be a created being and that your Creator has chosen not to give you empirical proof of His existence.

    If God gave you empirical proof of His existence, you, all of us, would obey Him out of pure fear. He might as well have created us without free will. Or.. He could create us with free will and given us the opportunity to SEEK Him and GENUINELY love Him. If you were in His place, what would you do? What value is there in people worshipping you out of fear, not love? This makes me think of when the leader of N. Korea died and the people were pretending to cry and mourn because they were terrified they’d be jailed or worse if they didn’t. Would you want those kinds of followers or would you want to have people truly love you?

    We do NOT have empirical proof one way or the other on the issue of God’s existence.

    YES!!! That’s why evidence is so important!

    And I agree!

    ““Say you’re at a party and you ask for cake. The host says “we ate the cake.” Do you assume there’s still cake left? He didn’t say “all”…”

    Again, “the” establishes the entirety of the cake. What word in the Tyre prophecy establishes “all” of Tyre?”

    Again, see my posts on Tyre.

    Why do I have to go to your post for this answer? Just post the part of the prophecy that claims all of Tyre.

    Like

  74. The formation of the canon was nebulous, and it lasted over centuries. If you want to know more about it, you can start with links like these:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_Christian_biblical_canon

    You talk about evidence, but you’re only considering the evidence from one side of the ledger. No one denies that the Bible contains some reliable information. The real issue comes when trying to decide what to do about the wrong information it contains. You think that since it got some things right, we can just give it the benefit of the doubt in places where it got it wrong. And that’s fine if you want to look at it that way, but it’s not going to resonate with people like me.

    If God gave you empirical proof of His existence, you, all of us, would obey Him out of pure fear. He might as well have created us without free will. Or.. He could create us with free will and given us the opportunity to SEEK Him and GENUINELY love Him.

    Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t support your claim here. Pharaoh had no doubt about who God was by the end, but that didn’t make him obey. Moses absolutely knew who God was and what he wanted, but he still disobeyed God when bringing the water from the rock. Solomon knew who God was but fell away. Saul did the same thing.

    Furthermore, Hebrews refers to the heroes of the OT as people of faith — but according to you, they couldn’t have had faith, since they had actual knowledge of God.

    Kathy, what’s your goal here? We’re never going to agree with one another, because we simply look at this too differently. There’s no common ground for us to even begin a discussion, much less come to a conclusion about anything. I don’t get satisfaction from endless wrangling — if a discussion isn’t going to go anywhere, I’d prefer not to have it. This is why I don’t track you down on Twitter. Why do you continue to hang around here?

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  75. I’ve been practically begging for actual debates” – But you don’t know HOW to debate, Kathy, we established that MONTHS ago —

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  76. Kathy, I had responses written to everything else you type as well, but desided to discard them for a couple of reasons. One), we’ve been through each of the before and if you ignored them then, I’m sure you’ll do it now, and two) I didn’t want to detract from the below.

    You said,

    “It’s about weighing the evidence with honest objectivity. And that’s based on actual math.. weighing.. which evidence (and reasoning) weighs more.
    And as for Tyre, you tried to discount a lot of it.. but again, the overwhelming majority of it
    is not in dispute by everyone except you. And again, like the genealogy.. 99% of it lines up, but you choose to focus on the 1% that doesn’t. You’re like the defense attorney getting the murderer off on a technicality. It doesn’t change the truth one bit.” – Kathy

    LOL… you actually said those two things together. Have you ever laid the genealogies side by side? How can they be 99% in alignment? And if you think the tyre prophecy is 99% fulfilled, you’re afflicted by a mental disorder or you simply haven’t really and objectively looked at the prophecy and history.

    Interestingly, both of these issues have been covered in detail in posts nate has made. If you’re unwilling to address them in detail, then why even pretend to discuss them?

    We all grew up in religious families and we were all active members of our congregations and churches as adults, and now our study and devotion has led us from the bible. Our sincerity does not mean that we’re right, but it does show that we’ve considered both sides in detail and to for you, a person who obviously hasn’t studied as much, to suggest that we’re close minded is just absurd and shows your lack of open mindedness and overall objectivity.

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  77. “Why do I have to go to your post for this answer? Just post the part of the prophecy that claims all of Tyre.” – Kathy

    Why are you against going to a spot devoted to talking about tyre of you really want to discuss tyre?

    But okay, when Ezekiel said that tyre would be destroyed and never rebuilt – that means the whole. How could that mean part? Again, was NYC destroyed on 9/11 or was NYC attacked 9/11? You cant destroy something if there are parts not destroyed, just like you wouldn’t say that Ted was killed if his hand was cut off and he didn’t die.

    Tyre wasn’t completely destroyed and tyre was rebuilt it can be found and it is inhabited today – all contrary to what Ezekiel predicted. Ezekiel gave no date. And if you’re trying to say that Ezekiel was right and literal when he said “scraped like a bare rock,” then that would be mistaken as there is zero evidence that Alexander too all existing building materials, as there only just enough to make his causeway, and then took all topsoil down to bare rock and cast it all into the sea – that didn’t happen.

    But even if you suggest that part of the prophecy was just right, that’s about all you have. Read the prophecy. Read your history and stop making these ridiculous assertions when you clearly don’t know much about either.

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  78. Why don’t you want to answer these questions/ points Nate?

    Why don’t you want to answer these questions/points Kathy?

    1a – where were the angels encountered at jesus tomb (please provide scripture)?
    1b – where did Mary, Joseph and Jesus go after leaving Bethlehem (please provide scripture)?
    1c – what day was jesus crucified on, passover or the day before (please provide scripture)?
    1d – during the triumphal entry, how many donkeys did jesus have with him (please provide scripture)
    1e – how many people are in the linage of joseph and jesus (please provide scripture)?

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  79. @BAT-SHIT CRAZY KATHY:
    “I give you the same challenge I gave Nan.. post my words that support your assertion up above.. that I’ve been telling you all this time that you “should” believe because the Bible or Christians or whomever says so. It’s an absurd assertion and I have no idea where you get it from other than your own mind.. (and Nan’s).”

    well, here you go you goddamn stupid bitch, your own goddamn words:

    “God doesn’t “owe” you ANY proof. The burden is certainly NOT on Him. He will pay no consequences if you choose to reject the proof He HAS given you.. that which HE decides to give, not you.”

    well, that was easy enough,
    it always is easy proving you to be a stupid fucking liar using your own goddamn words,
    I’ve been doing it for years,
    that’s why you are too much of a coward to even try to confront me.
    I screw you every time , bitch. right up your fat greasy ass.

    (again, these are the words god put in my mouth to say, so this absolves me from all blame, says so in the buybull.)

    Like

  80. Kathy,

    1. The Bible gives plenty of evidence.. prophecies, witnesses and martyrs, along with archeological and other evidence.

    Nate is asking for evidence of divine inspiration (is the Bible God’s word?). Are you saying there are witnesses that watched the process of someone being divinely inspired to write something? Are you saying that there are martyrs who died over the issue of divine inspiration? Is there a prophecy that supports the claim of divine inspiration? Is there archaeological evidence that supports divine inspiration?

    Are you aware of how the New Testament was put together? In case you don’t read Nate’s links I will give you some highlights:

    The first person we know of to put together a list of books was Marcion around 144 AD. He rejected the old testament, listed 10 epistles and 1 gospel. He had a stripped down version of what we now call Luke, but referred to it as “the Gospel”.

    It wasn’t until around 180 AD that the next person, Iraneus, created a list of books and included 4 gospels. The reason he gave for selecting four gospels was that “there are four winds” i.e. North, South, East and West. His list included the The Shepherd of Hermas and did not include Philemon, II Peter, II & III John, Hebrews and Jude.

    It is worth noting that other gospels were in circulation at this time including the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel to the Hebrews, Gospel of the Nazarenes, Gospel of the Ebionites, Gospel of the Twelve among quite a few others including gnostic gospels and gospels that were referenced but did not survive.

    The next list comes from around 200 AD from the Muratorian Fragment and does not have The Shepherd of Hermas, I & II Peter, Hebrews, James and III John but does include The Apocalypse of Peter.

    The next list is from Origen around 230 AD who listed all of the books that were under dispute at that time: Hebrews, II Peter, II & III John, James, Jude, the Epistle of Barnabas, The Shepherd of Hermas, The Didache and the Gospel According to the Hebrews.

    The first list that actually matches what most Christians use today was written in 367 AD in a letter from Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria to the Egyptian churches.

    To this day there are some sects of Christianity that use a different NT canon. The East-Syrian Nestorian Church has a canon with only 22 books and the Ethiopian Church has 38 books in their NT.

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  81. SaintPaulieGirrrl,

    Kathy frustrates me, too. But I need to ask you to leave off the name-calling. A little while before you started commenting here, there was another guy who was pretty obtuse. He seemed more interested in starting arguments with people and making personal assertions about them than in actually having a real discussion. I eventually had to implement a “Comment Policy” and ban him because he wouldn’t tone it down.

    So while I appreciate your sense of humor, and I especially dig your taste in video games 🙂 , I have to ask you to drop the insults. I know you have a long history with Kathy, and I admire your ability to hang in there with her, but I just want to be mindful of the overall tone of my blog. Does that make sense?

    Thanks 🙂

    Like

  82. I’ve added another question at the end fro kathy:

    1a – where were the angels encountered at jesus tomb (please provide scripture)?
    1b – where did Mary, Joseph and Jesus go after leaving Bethlehem (please provide scripture)?
    1c – what day was jesus crucified on, passover or the day before (please provide scripture)?
    1d – during the triumphal entry, how many donkeys did jesus have with him (please provide scripture)
    1e – how many people are in the linage of joseph and jesus (please provide scripture)?
    1f – what is a list of all the things that the NT says that save (please provide scripture)?

    An exhaustive list will require an assortment of books and letters, which could be problematic as that would mean that the people who these books and letters were written to didnt have a complete plan on salvation.

    It will also show how certain works “save.”

    Like

  83. So, Cathy, I am having a ‘crisis of faith’: I believed the Bible was God’s word from my youth, I’ve read it through only 7 times so far, but I have studied the history, the ‘provenance’, the prophecies and so forth and am having grave doubts about the legitimacy of the New Testament and seeing some problems with the Old.

    So, please, give me some encouragement and show me a way out this dilemma with validated history (established with two are three legitimate non tautological witnesses) and scientific proofs. I believe in God and am not an atheist, deist or agnostic, but the Bible is giving me a great deal of discomfort.

    Please help.

    Like

  84. Good effort, Dave, and great research, but you don’t have the experience with Kathy that we’ve had over the past four months – she’ll ignore everything you’ve said (or minimize it), because there’s nothing about it in the only book she ever reads.

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  85. exactly right, Dave, that was very informative, but by golly if Arch isn’t right again (as always).

    Kathy, won’t acknowledge any of it, as we have all learned, Kathy can be a real, uh, well……..

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  86. Kathy, I’m sorry that you feel you are being personally attacked. But when you repeat yourself again and again and again with the same blither-blather, many of us get frustrated. Moreover, what do you call it when you continue to tell Nate’s blog participants that they are close minded, lacking objectivity, and unable to see your points because of their liberal thinking? Do you not see this is also a personal attack on their character?

    We (William, in particular) have posted certain questions time and again and yet you still refuse to answer them.

    Instead you jump on certain posts and/or phrases and demonstrate your indignity that we can’t see beyond the nose on our faces. (Before you react, these are not your exact words but the intimation is certainly there.

    Re: a couple of recent comments by you … and I quote …

    1) “The Gospels that were chosen obviously met all the criteria that showed them to be inspired.. so they included them DESPITE the seeming contradictions.”

    Who is the “they” that included them, Kathy? And what were their qualifications to make this decision?

    2) “The Bible gives plenty of evidence.. prophecies, witnesses and martyrs, along with archeological [sic] and other evidence.”

    You’ve repeated this time and again — and time and again individuals have challenged your statement. Yet you refuse to counter their challenges except with a comment similar to this (your words): “And again, my argument for accepting the Gospel accounts is that there isn’t anything in them to cause me to believe they are false.” In other words, God said it, I believe it. Again, perhaps not your exact words, but the suggestion is certainly there.

    If you would only demonstrate some sort of reasoning beyond general statements like this: “God doesn’t “owe” you ANY proof. The burden is certainly NOT on Him. He will pay no consequences if you choose to reject the proof He HAS given you.. that which HE decides to give, not you.”, I think the comments you consider “personal attacks” would greatly diminish.

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  87. kathy,

    since your faith in the bible is rooted and prefaced by faith in the claims of the men who wrote it, what about the bible is more convincing to you of divine origin than all the other religions in the world?

    How many of them have you really studied?

    and if you studied any, when studying them, did you really try to learn from them as you do the bible, or were you looking for errors in them since they’re not the bible?

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  88. Nate,

    “The formation of the canon was nebulous, and it lasted over centuries. If you want to know more about it, you can start with links like these:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Development_of_the_Christian_biblical_canon

    Again, you are avoiding my point. Either you believe the books were chosen based on divinity or they were chose to make Jesus “look good”. You tried to have it both ways. The whole reason I asked why the “contradictions” would be left in is because of your insinuation, insinuations by all atheists, all the tiome, that the Bible is a deliberate lie. Of course, when it’s convenient, when pressed with challenges to that claim, you THEN claim they weren’t lying.. only misinformed or “duped” by previous liars. Typical games and dishonesty.

    “You talk about evidence, but you’re only considering the evidence from one side of the ledger. No one denies that the Bible contains some reliable information. The real issue comes when trying to decide what to do about the wrong information it contains. You think that since it got some things right, we can just give it the benefit of the doubt in places where it got it wrong. And that’s fine if you want to look at it that way, but it’s not going to resonate with people like me.”

    Wow.. I’ve written over and over the idea of WEIGHING the evidence. What you just wrote shows you don’t grasp any points that challenge your beliefs.. you somehow manage to block it all out.

    “If God gave you empirical proof of His existence, you, all of us, would obey Him out of pure fear. He might as well have created us without free will. Or.. He could create us with free will and given us the opportunity to SEEK Him and GENUINELY love Him. -me

    Unfortunately, the Bible doesn’t support your claim here. Pharaoh had no doubt about who God was by the end, but that didn’t make him obey. Moses absolutely knew who God was and what he wanted, but he still disobeyed God when bringing the water from the rock. Solomon knew who God was but fell away. Saul did the same thing.”

    Pharoah? as in king? Of course there are going to be exceptions.. highly narcissistic and arrogant human beings. And the others most definitely did fear God and obey Him. Again, you are bringing up exceptions. Use the scale analogy.. exceptions weigh LESS. Exceptions are NOT valid arguments Nate. Why do I have to keep explaining this basic concept?

    “Furthermore, Hebrews refers to the heroes of the OT as people of faith — but according to you, they couldn’t have had faith, since they had actual knowledge of God.”

    They had faith that God was Good. Abraham had faith that God wouldn’t allow his son to die. There are different kinds of faith. Again, Nate, you make assumptions.. you don’t try to find reasonable explanations.

    “Kathy, what’s your goal here? We’re never going to agree with one another, because we simply look at this too differently. There’s no common ground for us to even begin a discussion, much less come to a conclusion about anything. I don’t get satisfaction from endless wrangling — if a discussion isn’t going to go anywhere, I’d prefer not to have it. This is why I don’t track you down on Twitter. Why do you continue to hang around here?”

    I told you what my goal was. I’m trying to help you and others here see that you lack honest objectivity. I’m trying to help you and others here understand how important honesty and objectivity is in regards to this subject.

    We don’t agree because you aren’t applying objectivity. I’ve spent nearly 100% of my time here trying to show you this.. and by contrast you haven’t tried to show me my lack of objectivity at all. That should tell you something right there.

    Honesty and objectivity is the foundation of debate.. just as your title implies. It’s the NECESSARY component to TRULY “Finding Truth”.

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  89. Mikey.. I hope this will help.. I don’t know of anything that disproves the NT. I only know about the historical and archaeological evidence and the witnesses/ martyrs that corroborate the claims. There’s nothing that disproves this evidence.

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  90. This is what it sounds like when world’s collide 🙂

    Kathy

    I respect that you share your convictions and beliefs, even if we may have different understandings of the world liberal 🙂

    Nate

    As you know, I think your a top bloke

    Here are some thoughts I have,

    Nate has been open enough to provide a space on his blog for people to share what they believe is important.

    I think that’s pretty decent of him.

    You both are taking the time to answer questions, and you both are taking the time to answer based on what you feel and think, even if you stand on different conclusions.

    Although what you are both discussing are completely different world views, founded on very different beginning premises…

    And even if those answers are not what you both necessarily all agree on

    You are still both taking the time treat each other decently.

    I’d say for what its worth, that’s considerate of you both.

    especially considering your both doing this, despite how differently you both might feel about certain things.

    None of us are completely objective.

    we’re all just beginning from different points and drawing from different experiences.

    Somehow we all have crossed paths online.

    Even if neither of you think that the other is not considering things as they should in order to be honest…

    I hope you all have a great night 🙂

    Like

  91. Meant to write:

    You are still both taking the time *to* treat each other decently.

    I’d say for what its worth, that’s considerate of you both.

    Like

  92. If God gave you empirical proof of His existence, you, all of us, would obey Him out of pure fear. He might as well have created us without free will. Or.. He could create us with free will and given us the opportunity to SEEK Him and GENUINELY love Him.

    How much free will is involved with saying, “Believe in me or I will send you to hell!”?

    Pharaoh had no doubt about who God was by the end, but that didn’t make him obey.

    Because the anonymous authors of the book of Exodus wrote that your god “hardened his heart” – is that free will?

    Abraham had faith that God wouldn’t allow his son to die.” – Abe was completely and totally ready to kill his son to save his own 112-year old ass!

    by contrast you haven’t tried to show me my lack of objectivity at all” – Every comment you make is LOADED with your lack of objectivity – this comment included! Look how you’ve taken your god’s threat to burn us for eternity, and tried to make it look like your invisible sky-spirit doesn’t use coercion to demand obedience! Look how you blame Pharaoh for disobedience when it was your god who “hardened his heart”! Look how you maintain that Abe KNEW his boogyman wouldn’t let him kill his son, when the alleged angel itself said, “Now I know you love god.” – why would he say that if he wasn’t positive that Abe would go through with it?

    Just a few examples of your total lack of objectivity – in your own words, all in a single comment – no one has to comb through your old comments to find them, they’re in every comment you make.

    And you still haven’t answered these question, Kathy:

    1a – where were the angels encountered at Jesus tomb (please provide scripture)?
    1b – where did Mary, Joseph and Jesus go after leaving Bethlehem (please provide scripture)?
    1c – what day was Jesus crucified on, passover or the day before (please provide scripture)?
    1d – during the triumphal entry, how many donkeys did Jesus have with him (please provide scripture)
    1e – how many people are in the linage of Joseph and Jesus (please provide scripture)?

    I told you what my goal was. I’m trying to help you and others here see that you lack honest objectivity. I’m trying to help you and others here understand how important honesty and objectivity is in regards to this subject.

    Then lead by example, Kathy – start by being honest and objective yourself, for a change.

    Like

  93. Mikey.. I hope this will help.. I don’t know of anything that disproves the NT.

    The reason she doesn’t, Mike, is that everytime someone tries to point out the many, MANY things that disprove much, if not most of the NT, she sticks her fingers in her ears and screams, “OBJECTIVITY!” over and over at the top of her lungs.

    Like

  94. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they generally get the crap knocked out of them from both sides —

    Like

  95. portal, can you read?

    if someone were to call you a liar every time they spoke to you,
    despite the fact that you were telling them the truth as you know it without any intent of deception,
    would you consider them treating you decently?

    in nearly every comment Kathy has made,
    she has referred to pretty much everyone here as dishonest,
    that means “liar”.
    it has the same meaning here in the states as it does in kangarooville.

    if you really believe that repeatedly calling someone a liar who is being honest with you is treating someone “decently”,
    then you truly are an expletive deleted.

    Like

  96. holy macaroni,
    as always, Kathy refuses to answer any questions,
    or to back up any of her claims with actual evidence.
    instead she engages in accusations of dishonesty and lack of objectivity.

    oh, H-E-double-hockey-sticks,
    we all know that Kathy is nothing more than a %$#@* bleeping, bleep.
    we’re just to decent to say such things in public,
    my goodness.

    Like

  97. Kathy,

    Perhaps to you nate and the rest of us look like we’re not being objective or honest, but to us, it’s you who seems to be lacking in these areas.

    let me also remind you that you routinely ignore questions and points presented to you.

    most recently you said this,

    “Again, you are avoiding my point. Either you believe the books were chosen based on divinity or they were chose to make Jesus “look good”. You tried to have it both ways. The whole reason I asked why the “contradictions” would be left in is because of your insinuation, insinuations by all atheists, all the tiome, that the Bible is a deliberate lie. Of course, when it’s convenient, when pressed with challenges to that claim, you THEN claim they weren’t lying.. only misinformed or “duped” by previous liars. Typical games and dishonesty.” – kathy

    I dont think your point is being avoided. Each of your points are being addressed. I dont think you can limit the options down to just “either… based on divinity, or chosen to make jesus look good.” You’re ignoring human nature and you’re ignoring the hundreds of years of history that took place before the “bible” was compiled and canonized.

    dave gave a lot of info regarding this, and you ignored it, just like paulie and arch said you would. none the less, the people who were voting on the books of the bible believed some to be inspired and others to be uninspired. Not all of the voters agreed all of the time. but by the time they voted, jesus had been dead for several hundred years.

    And people were troubled or at least confused by things like the conflicting genealogies during and before that time as there are writings where people were trying to make sense of them back then. the people who believed both books were inspired and who actually looked close enough to see the discrepancies, likely tossed it aside as something they just didnt understand; “it’s right, although I may not know how, i just know god is perfect and his word is right, and since this is his word, I know it’s right somehow.”

    this is a basic concept that you seem determined to pretend doesnt exist. you seem to rather prefer to think that people deciding if something is from god would perfectly know if it’s from god or not and people who try to edit books to create a seamless version would do so perfectly without error. people arent perfect, and that line of reasoning is very flawed.

    And any religion can be defended that way.

    Like

  98. Paul, you crack me up!

    BTW, Portal’s a good kid (25) but a little naive – he’ll grow out of that, once Life slaps him around a little.

    Like

  99. “Mikey.. I hope this will help.. I don’t know of anything that disproves the NT. I only know about the historical and archaeological evidence and the witnesses/ martyrs that corroborate the claims. There’s nothing that disproves this evidence.” – kathy

    kathy, there’s nothing that proves that evidence either.

    Now, there are some very strong evidences that the bible is not written by god, but written by men.

    1) the bible says it was written by men. The bible only claims that these men knew what god wanted them to say. faith in the god of the bible first requires faith in man.

    2) the NT isnt consistent in several places:
    a) OT prophecies. if you read the OT and then look where the NT says if fulfills the OT, it’s silly.
    b) where were the angels encountered at jesus tomb?
    c) what day was jesus crucified; passover or the day before?
    d) what is jesus linage through joseph and how many people are in it?
    e) was it sinful to eat meats offered to idols or not?
    f) justified by works or by faith?
    g) where did joseph, mary and jesus go after leaving bethlehem?
    h) were the disciples to wait in jerusalem or go to gallilee after jesus rose from the grave?

    3) the bible claims that certain events happened that would have been visisble in the entire world, yet no one else records them.
    a) the sun standing still for Joshua – no one else records that depsite there being several groups at that time that were astronomers.
    b) the sun moved backward for hezekiah – no one else records that depsite there being several groups at that time that were astronomers.
    c) dead people got up out of their graves and walked around when jesus died – no one records this, as if it was not noteworthy.
    d) Egyptian plagues – recorded no where. nor is there any evidence of the exodus or the 400 year slavery of the hebrews.

    4) the bible portrays god in human ways with human emotions, often wearing human clothes and with angels who play human instruments. The bible also has a loving and merciful and just god acting in ways that are in conflict with those traits (ie: genocide, baby killing, virgin steeling, killing children to punish the parents, etc, etc)

    5) history: the bible is just wrong in a few places. Daniel is one book: Darius the Mede didnt take babylon, but Cyrus the Persian King did. Jeremiah says that the medes will destroy babylon, but they didnt as the persians took it with little bloodshed or destruction. just two examples.

    6) archaeology: no evidence of the exodus or the wondering in the wilderness. Contrary evidence of the invasion on conquest of canaan an of the isaraelite kingdoms. Contrary evidence to the book of daniel, kings and chronicles, etc

    7) evdience for the NT? basically claims of the NT authors. naming real places and a few historical figures isnt miraculous and is done by many writers of fiction. Martyrs? Martyrs only serve as evidence of people who believed in something, not that something’s actual truthfulness. If believers counted as great evidence toward a religion, then all religions share that same evidence – thereby making it moot.

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  100. “Pharoah? as in king? Of course there are going to be exceptions.. highly narcissistic and arrogant human beings. And the others most definitely did fear God and obey Him. Again, you are bringing up exceptions. Use the scale analogy.. exceptions weigh LESS. Exceptions are NOT valid arguments Nate. Why do I have to keep explaining this basic concept?” – kathy

    except there’s more examples that pharaoh. except this exception shows that the bible shows that people can still refuse to obey god even if they had empirical proof that he were real.

    except that you were saying that god wouldnt give us empirical proof because we’d only obey him out of fear and god would rather have followers that followed him out of love.

    except that makes zero sense since god supposedly knows the hearts of man and would know why people followed him. and if he didnt want people to be compelled by fear, is that why he created hell and told everyone about it, is that why he had people killed horrible and painful ways – because he didnt want fear to be a motivator?

    come on kathy, you talk so much about objectivity, yet you avoid it every chance you get.

    Like

  101. RE, “the conflicting genealogies” – imagine, if you lived in those times, ran across two conflicting genealogies, and didn’t know which (if any) was the accurate one, which would you choose? Or would you include both, just to be on the safe side, and let it be somebody else’s problem, as it is now?

    And we can never forget – as Kathy seems not to have ever known – that the entire Bible, as you’ve often said, William, was written, not by a god, but by men claiming to speak for a god.

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  102. “They had faith that God was Good. Abraham had faith that God wouldn’t allow his son to die. There are different kinds of faith. Again, Nate, you make assumptions.. you don’t try to find reasonable explanations.” – kathy

    kathy, all your “reasonable explanations” are, are assumptions!

    you know, you label the rest of us as dishonest and un-objective and liberal, etc, etc, and you say it’s because of how we present ourselves. I’d disagree, but when it comes to the bible, you wont take it at what it says for itself, instead you’ll accept any imagines and made up story that could possibly (no matter how unlikely) fix the internal problems of the bible.

    you’re inconsistent and stubbornly biased.

    Like

  103. “We don’t agree because you aren’t applying objectivity. I’ve spent nearly 100% of my time here trying to show you this.. and by contrast you haven’t tried to show me my lack of objectivity at all. That should tell you something right there.” – kathy

    no, we disagree because we’re looking at what the bible says, and you’re looking at what the bible says and what other people have imagined or created to bridge over the problems of the bible.

    we disagree because you think the bible is god’s direct word to man, while recognize that it is a collection of books and letters that were written by men who said that god said or did…

    we disagree because because we think god would be perfect and realize that man is flawed, while you make excuses as to why your perfect god’s word has flaws while you also act as if men wouldnt make any mistakes when writing/editing the same book.

    we disagree because we want to educate ourselves and consult a multitude of sources while you refuse to educate yourself.

    those are some of the real reasons we disagree.

    Like

  104. oh, I know portal means well,
    i’m just pointing out the error of his ways.
    we can’t just spend your whole life skipping along the rainbow highways eating cotton candy,
    we’re not all faerie princesses,
    I know this for a fact.
    believe me, I’ve tried.

    “for pete’s sake”, anyone that thinks Kathy is being decent could certainly use that slap.

    although I would never condone violence, ever*.

    *(except in video games and chick fights)

    Like

  105. Kathy,

    you say that you want to debate and that you want to have an honest and objective exchange, but you do not act that way.

    If you truly want a productive discussion and an honest and objective exchange of ideas, you cannot keep skipping over points and ignoring questions.

    If you dont want to talk about the points, then how can you hope that anyone will believe that you want an actual debate?

    is it about winning to you, scoring points, or actually finding truth? I dont know that you’re doing well in any regard, but i’d still suggest actually searching for truth, where ever it leads, and that would entail not hiding from certain issues, points, resources and evidences.

    Like

  106. Hi all,

    I have three of my grandkids here today and needed a ‘blog break’ – decided to look through Nate’s latest. . oh, my! I am laughing loudly at the usual comedians. (of course the kids want to know about WHAT? – I can’t tell ’em as their parents don’t want them to repeat swear words just yet. . well, probably never.. . and then there’s their heathen Nannie). Nate, I’ve got to hand it to you, you attract the people with the best sense of humour!! 🙂

    Like

  107. Kathy,

    In the years preceding the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD the Jewish historian Josephus made the following claims: “A cow gave birth to a lamb inside the temple.”, “A star resembling a sword stood over the city of Jerusalem”, and “Chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds.” This is from History of the Wars 6.5.3.

    Do you think that Josephus was flat out lying or did these events actually take place?

    Hopefully you realize that there are more possibilities than just these two.

    Like

  108. William, while I (and I would imagine most others that contribute to Nate’s blog) agree with everything you’ve written, the odds that Kathy will take any of it to heart (IF she even reads it!) are zilch, zero, nada, zip.

    Everything you wrote has been stated in one form or another (most graphically by Paul) and still, she refuses to present valid arguments. Instead, she puts forth a bunch of blither-blather and ends her dissertations by branding everyone as … well, you know the names. I need not repeat them here.

    Some dislike Brandon’s POV, but at least he’s added to the discussion … which is more than can be said of Kathy. And I think Dave’s comment and questions have also stirred some discussion, as well as input from the many others who frequent this blog. (I would name them but don’t want to overlook anyone … you know who you are.)

    Finally, did anyone else notice how this particular posting started out on a very neutral note (an 8-year anniversary with a little reminiscing) and once again got hijacked by Kathy? *sigh*

    Like

  109. nan, of course you’re right, but honestly, kathy is very entertaining to me. I guess I like conflict and pain.

    and while she wont admit or realize any of it, other passerby’s will.

    Plus, I want kathy to know she’s lying when she says no one answers her, etc. She may try and act as if she doesnt realize that, but I am sure she does.

    Like

  110. I understand, william, and to a point, I agree. But after awhile, it just gets old because she continues to harp on the same things over and over again without ever truly addressing the questions that have been presented to her.

    Actually, I suppose she’s not doing anything different than most believers who respond to non-believers … they revert to the scriptures or the sovereignty of their god instead of offering valid points WHY they believe as they do.

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  111. yeah, it only makes me more certain, as it only makes it more apparent that they are grasping and frantically trying to have something to hold on to.

    One must suspend reason and logic in order to maintain the bible is from god, at least as I see it.

    is there a god? I dont know. But I do know the bible is just a shoddy literary work by man.

    Like

  112. Kathy, i was reading back though all of your comments saw among your first posts something about Jephthah and how one could see that he really didnt sacrifice his daughter if you studied deep enough.

    can you elaborate, please?

    as i read judges 11:30 – 39 seem to say that he did in fact sacrifice his daughter to the lord. Or are you saying that god never told him to sacrifice his daughter?

    Like

  113. Paul,

    I wasn’t trying to skip on rainbows, or fly on sheets of sunshine or whatever

    It was refreshing to see how neither Kathy or Nate resorted to calling each other crude names, that’s what I mean by decent.

    If I get “slapped” for sharing my thoughts then at least I’m glad it’s online 🙂

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&ei=j79vVOD7Aoi3mwWDp4CoAw&url=http://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DQjd8HobrTzA&ved=0CC0QtwIwBg&usg=AFQjCNECiOTz4LeFeXPjq602ECVf6918mw

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  114. Paul, it’s like so many things here — nothing is exactly as it seems. Did I actually make a mistake to use ‘Cathy’ or was there method to the madness.

    You should know that I’m smarter than the average bear.

    Hope you’ll stand back and watch the fun.

    And, oh, by the way, when the ship hits the sand, you have to cover your act or else you won’t be worth spit.

    Like

  115. OMG! Mikey, did you know the SHIP actually does hit the sand in the book by Hugh Howey? Appropriately enough, the title is “Sand.”

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  116. Hey Zoe! (waves to other heathen Nannie. . . ) You know, I think heathen Grandad would do just about anything to shock us – wasn’t there a shot of him parading around in his underwear somewhere on the blogosphere? (cackle, cackle!)

    Hope everyone’s Saturday is lovely! (since I’m up before the rest of ya! – well, except Zoe)

    Like

  117. This week, it’s my word – a couple of months ago, it was my hose – is that all you ladies ever think about? Oh, the shame of it all!

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  118. Oh, arch, don’t go gettin’ your hose in a twist! I can guarantee that his word is longer than my word. It wouldn’t take much, just a tiny one will do, since I have no words…

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  119. Speaking of anniversaries, today marks the 51st anniversary of John Kennedy’s assassination. I ask Christians to imagine that the very first account of that event had not been written until 40+ years afterward. Upon what would it be based? Today, we have the technology to Google those still alive, who witnessed that tragedy, and cell phones to call and interview them, but 2000 years ago, that technology didn’t exist.

    Where did the information come from, regarding the life and death of Yeshua? Was it fact-based, or a product of fertile imaginations, one copying another? And if fact-based, who provided the facts, and how were they obtained?

    Would some Christian please answer those questions?

    Like

  120. Arch, you obviously have no faith in Yeshua. Do you have faith in anything? Someone asked me that once, and I had to say that I didn’t have any. I know some Christians claim atheists have faith in science, but that’s just nonsensical. Science proves itself, therefore faith is not necessary. I don’t think my issue is with a god existing, as much as it is with faith itself.

    What about anybody else? Can you say you have faith in anything?

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  121. Do you have faith in anything?

    Yes – in the unconditional acceptance that a child gives to someone they love.

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  122. Gliese, the definition of faith is all over the map when it comes to believers, so I think it’s hard to have too much of a useful conversation about it. In some sense I think if you keep asking the question “why do I believe that” continually like children do, you come down to some basic beliefs that have no justification, unless you are cool with some sort of circularity which I think most people don’t like.

    In that way, maybe belief in those basic foundational beliefs is like faith. But for me it’s a little different because I think it’s possible to try and build a view from some very basic beliefs which practically all people share and which we all believe would make us go insane if we didn’t believe them. Also, I don’t see any need in saying “I know for sure by faith that the belief is true”. It’s more of a practical thing for me, and I admit I could even be wrong on some of those basic beliefs. But some theists describe their own faith that way too.

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  123. What I find amazing is that I almost actually had faith in God at one point. Out of desperation, I let myself believe what I knew wasn’t so. It was a powerful force for change in my life, too. Over time, since I didn’t feed it, it died. I can’t imagine ever going back.

    I know a guy who needs his faith in Jesus. Before becoming a stark-raving Christian, he was a bad, bad man. He hurt people, did drugs, sold drugs, and was generally an inconsiderate slut. (He would laugh and say, “Hell yeah, I was.” if I told him I said that about him. In fact, he’s said that about himself to me.) Now his felonies have been expunged, he’s married, and works as a physical therapy assistant. He is very active in his evangelical sect. I think his faith is good for him. He tells me he hopes I find Jesus. i tell him that I’m fine – he’s the one who needs Jesus.

    Like

  124. gliese2475
    November 22, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    […] I know a guy who needs his faith in Jesus. Before becoming a stark-raving Christian, he was a bad, bad man. He hurt people, did drugs, sold drugs, and was generally an inconsiderate slut. (He would laugh and say, “Hell yeah, I was.” […]

    I was this guy. Okay, not this guy but I was that human being who also needed my faith in Jesus. Or so it seems to me from my current vantage point. Broken, shattered foundation, scared to death of death, (short story). Though never a literal slut, as I went through the various developmental stages of my faith I learned very quickly that essentially I was a slut. My heart was deceitful, wicked, my ancestry was rife with sin and there was nothing I could do about it, damn Eve my ancestor, weak woman that she was. Eve failed me. Eve was a failure. It’s because of her I had birth pain, it’s because of her I was “less-than Adam” and could never be a preacher, no way . . . I was humanly weak, spiritually weak and certainly a temptress who not only was sinfully weak but could also spread it around to all the Adams within my reach.

    What I never knew until I knew (and of course that’s Satan’s fault and my fault because again I was spiritually weak, up to my pre-frontal cortex in my cesspool of pride, a liberal and a democrat with absolutely no objectivity afforded to me by my ancestors and their original sin,) that I could in fact stop being a bad, bad man, hurt people, do and sell drugs and be such a slut all without Jesus.

    Well that felt confessional and good.

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  125. I was humanly weak, spiritually weak and certainly a temptress who not only was sinfully weak but could also spread it around to all the Adams within my reach.

    Are you sure we’ve never met?

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  126. Adam? Is that you!

    I’m sure I must have used that name at ONE time or another, a least on a motel registration – I just hope it was as good for you as it surely must have been for me —

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  127. aahhh. .. the jackassery on here is refreshing!

    I don’t understand, it seems to follow me wherever I go –!

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  128. Wow… 8 years? That’s utterly impressive! I need to start reading this. I knew you blogged, but for some reason I thought you stopped when you chose to believe in things differently. Glad I stumbled upon it. Can’t wait to see you guys in a couple of days and seek the comfort and wisdom of your words and thoughts. Love you both.

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  129. faith? I think I have faith in my friends. Sometimes I may have faith in my car or that my house will hold up in a storm – things like that.

    I kind of agree with Howie though.

    If faith is belief that relies heavily on hope and intuition, then i think most people have that. But some hope and some beliefs are more rooted in reason and probability than others.

    Also, I dont think anyone will have eternal consequences if they dont share in my hope and beliefs, nor would I violently oppose them and neither would I feel as though i had to shun them in anyway.

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  130. @portal It was refreshing to see how neither Kathy or Nate resorted to calling each other crude names, that’s what I mean by decent.

    so what you are saying, it’s decent and refreshing to repeatedly call someone a liar, as long as you don’t use crude language.

    portal, that’s the most expletives deleted thing I’ve heard all day, and I just watched all 3 hours of “fox and friends”

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  131. Hey Susane! Looking forward to seeing you too! ❤

    And to everyone else, I'm catching up on comments, so I'll respond as soon as I can if I have anything worthwhile to add.

    Thanks!

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  132. Wisdom? Without honest objectivity, wisdom cannot exist and I’ve shown over and over here that honest objectivity is lacking in Nate’s thoughts/ comments. I’m not desiring to call anyone a liar, I’m just pointing out the truth.

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  133. Kathy, I’m afraid you have not shown, at all, much less over and over, that anyone here lacks honest objectivity except for maybe you.

    When points and questions get piled on to you where you cannot ignore any more, you remove yourself from this blog, presumably to let it blow over, and then you return, not address any of those points, but only say that so and so lacks honesty and objectivity.

    with all honestly, it’s impossible to have a productive conversation with someone who wont responds to or acknowledge the points/questions presented to them.

    yet, for some unknown and perhaps miraculous reason, I am still willing to engage you. i’d like for you to answer some of the above questions and maybe even address some of the points that you have ignored multiple times, as they keep getting placed before you, over and over.

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  134. Kathy,

    if you ever get serious about discussing the issues and actually looking at the points, you might consider looking here:

    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/tyre-by-the-numbers/

    for tyre by the numbers. You can either recant your claim of 99% fulfillment, or show where this count is off base.

    remeber, saying that someone is a liar, a liberal, un-objective is just making claims. backing up those claims with something substantial is always preferred.

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  135. William, you repeatedly bombard me with multiple, long comments, often asking the same questions that I’ve already answered several times. I’m glad others read your comments because I don’t get past the first line or two if I read them at all. You are playing games by making the very same accusations against me that I’ve made repeatedly against everyone here.. almost word for word. The difference is that my accusations are backed by the facts, yours are not.
    I’ll debate any points you want if you keep it short and to the point.. and I haven’t already addressed it.

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  136. I dont recall you addressing much at all, which is one of things I’ve mentioned several times, but no point going over that now, i guess.

    Do mind starting with these:

    1a – where were the angels encountered at Jesus tomb (please provide scripture)?
    1b – where did Mary, Joseph and Jesus go after leaving Bethlehem (please provide scripture)?
    1c – what day was Jesus crucified on, passover or the day before (please provide scripture)?
    1d – during the triumphal entry, how many donkeys did Jesus have with him (please provide scripture)
    1e – how many people are in the linage of Joseph and Jesus (please provide scripture)?

    if i remember correctly, these were first asked after you said there were no contradictions in the gospels.

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  137. You’ve repeatedly refused to answer these, Kathy – how honest and objective is that?

    1a – where were the angels encountered at jesus tomb (please provide scripture)?
    1b – where did Mary, Joseph and Jesus go after leaving Bethlehem (please provide scripture)?
    1c – what day was jesus crucified on, passover or the day before (please provide scripture)?
    1d – during the triumphal entry, how many donkeys did jesus have with him (please provide scripture)
    1e – how many people are in the linage of joseph and jesus (please provide scripture)?

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  138. see what a liar she is. she won’t answer the questions because she can’t.

    Kathy, where are your “facts” that William, or Nate are being dishonest?
    you have no “facts” to back up your accusations, because your accusations are false,
    i.e. you are the liar..

    answer the questions you lying coward.

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  139. she won’t answer, she never does, all she can accomplish is to sling a few insults and run and hide. how embarrassing for jeeeezzzzuuuuussssss to have died on the cross for a pathetic thing like that. I bet he regrets it now. I’m sure if he had it to do all over again he would tell his heavenly father gawd to go &%*$ himself.

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  140. @Kathy “I’ll debate any points you want if you keep it short and to the point.. and I haven’t already addressed it.” https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/8-year-anniversary/#comment-23214

    well, you haven’t debated or addressed these 5 points:

    1a – where were the angels encountered at Jesus tomb (please provide scripture)?
    1b – where did Mary, Joseph and Jesus go after leaving Bethlehem (please provide scripture)?
    1c – what day was Jesus crucified on, passover or the day before (please provide scripture)?
    1d – during the triumphal entry, how many donkeys did Jesus have with him (please provide scripture)
    1e – how many people are in the linage of Joseph and Jesus (please provide scripture)?

    and you never will because you area lying coward that refuses to admit that you’ve lost the debate.

    you should go back to school and get your GED. it’s pathetic for a woman of your age in the united states to have the education of an 8th grader.

    Like

  141. and kathy,

    maybe you’re looking into these issues and see the problems, but you still believe it’s all right somehow, but you cant explain how.

    Admitting that is better than pretending there is no issue. It’s okay if we must agree to disagree. It’s okay with me if you want to take it all on faith, while acknowledging that it at the very least can look problematic.

    But it’s something else to act as if these discrepancies aren’t there and to act as if it’s all so clear that the bible is perfect.

    and again, just because someone can imagine and concoct a “possible” (and I use that term loosely) resolution, doesn’t mean that that imagined resolution is correct or that it should be accepted by default. If that were true, everyone would default to a belief in everything.

    Like

  142. Hi Nate,

    Congrats on the anniversary!

    It is very interesting to read your second post because this is exactly how I used to think as an orthodox (fundamentalist) Christian less than a year ago:

    Non-believers are simply blinded by sin. They think that they know it all, but as the Bible says they are in utter darkness. They are spiritually dead and cannot understand the things of God by their own mental abilities, no matter how intelligent they may think they are. Only the power of God’s Word can break into that darkness and expose them to God’s truth. Once exposed to God’s Word, if they will repent (stop being stubborn) and “call on the name of the Lord”, God will gift them faith and they will the see the Truth and will believe…and they then will be filled with wonderful joy and peace!

    What nonsense.

    Now, as a non-believer, I run into this same mentality with conservative Christians all the time. Of course, these Christians won’t accept for a second that I was once one of them. I obviously didn’t do it right, I wasn’t really a Christian.

    It is really hard to break this “lock on Truth” that conservative Christians have been programmed to believe. I have come to the conclusion that trying to point out the discrepancies and scribe alterations in the Bible to conservative/orthodox Christians is a waste of time. No matter how glaring the discrepancy, they always have a comeback. (Their clergy and apologists have had 2,000 years to come up with one harmonization after another.) I also no longer bother arguing morality with them. To conservative Christians, their god IS morality. His actions cannot be questioned. So I leave out any discussion of morality, immorality, “good and “evil”.

    So this is what I now say to them: Your religion and your god condone Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide. I want nothing to do with any organization or entity that perpetrates, endorses, or justifies the wholesale slaughter of men, women, and children.

    Like

  143. Gary,

    That really is nonsense. I have had Christians tell me, no matter how much I gave Christianity a shot, that I didn’t do it enough because I’m not one yet. All I can do is shake my head.

    How did you ever get out of that way of thinking?

    Like

  144. I have come to the conclusion that trying to point out the discrepancies and scribe alterations in the Bible to conservative/orthodox Christians is a waste of time.

    Yeah, but it’s SO much fun!

    Like

  145. Thanks, Gary. And you’re right about how aggravating that mindset is. I’d like to echo Gliese’s question — how did you find your way out of it?

    Like

  146. How did I find my way out?

    Answer: One day in February of this year I was bored and decided to surf the internet for “ex-fundamentalist (Baptist) Christians”. I was myself a former fundamentalist Baptist and I wanted to share with these poor, misguided souls the Good News: the reason they left Christianity was not because Christianity was false but because they had been following the wrong VERSION of Christianity! The true version of Christianity was orthodox Lutheranism (the denomination to which I had converted just a few years earlier). If I could only share the true version of Christianity with these (poorly informed) ex-Christians they would come running back to Jesus with tears in their eyes and open arms!

    My “surfing for Fundies” that day took me to Bruce Gerencser’s blog. And it has been “downhill” ever since! 🙂

    Bruce immediately began taking a wrecking ball to my fragile world of Biblical Inerrancy. I fought him valiantly, secretly hoping to convert this former fundie pastor back to Jesus. But eventually, Bruce grew tired of debating my many, many, many baseless assumptions (the same assumptions that Nate and many of you face here with Kathy and other Christian fundamentalists). But instead of completely blowing me off, he told me to go read a couple of Bart Ehrman’s books.

    I was blown out of the water.

    I grew up a Baptist preacher’s kid. When the Sunday school teacher asked a question regarding the Bible, my hand was always the first up in the air. I was always on the Bible debate team that debated other Baptist youth groups. I then attended evangelical churches in my twenties, liberal churches in my thirties, and back to fundamentalism in my forties, settling on orthodox Lutheranism as the closest Church to the Church of the Apostles. However, during all this time, not ONE pastor in any of these denominations ever told me that my inerrant Bible was full of scribe additions and alterations, such as the Johannine Commae. I knew that the English translations of the Bible might contain some translation errors, but the idea that God had not preserved his Inerrant Word, every jot an tittle, in the existing Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts shook my conservative Christian belief system to the core. The more I looked at the evidence, or more accurately, the complete lack thereof, the more disturbed I became.

    Bruce or one of his readers then referred me to DagoodS’ deconversion story. I began debating, and losing debates, over several weeks with Dagood. These adversarial debates eventually turned into discussions, that eventually led, four months after stumbling onto Bruce’s blog, into my complete and total deconversion from the Christian religion.

    That’s my story.

    Like

  147. Wow, thanks for sharing Gary! Do you view all the movement you had among various denominations as a sign that you were always honestly searching for truth? Were there always things that just didn’t seem quite right to you?

    I ask, because I’ve often wondered about what makes some people see the problems while others are content to look right past them. As you said, it sometimes makes you wonder if it’s worth wasting time trying to show people the flaws in Christianity when they so often ignore or excuse them. Yet those same problems made a big difference to people like us. Is it because we were always searching anyway? That we were always open to the possibility that we were wrong? That little things kept nagging at us from time to time? Or is it something else?

    Like

  148. Hi Gary. 🙂

    I think it was *sgl* who pointed you to DagoodS blog. If not him maybe Ruth?

    I watched the whole thing go down (so-to-speak) (starting at Bruce’s blog).

    I’ve never met anyone who won a debate with DagoodS. :mrgreen:

    Like

  149. this is a fiction, but I’d like to recommend “This Perfect Day” by Ira Levin.

    I read it as I was coming out of religion, and if you read it with that in mind, you’ll be able to understand the recommendation.

    Gary and nate’s comments made me think of it.

    Like

  150. “I’ve never met anyone who won a debate with DagoodS.”

    The man does know how to turn a phrase. And look under every rock at every possible angle.

    Like

  151. Zoe wrote: . . . I was humanly weak, spiritually weak and certainly a temptress who not only was sinfully weak but could also spread it around to all the Adams within my reach.”

    I could relate to everything you wrote, Zoe. Adam Lee, a writer for Pathos and Big Think wrote:

    “It is tragic, but understandable, why so many men throughout history have supported these sexist and patriarchal belief systems. More incredible is how many women have willingly taken part in their own subjugation by joining and participating in religions that have done their utmost to deny them the full equality and equal rights which they deserve.

    The reality is that sincere religious beliefs and legitimate interpretations of scripture can, and very often do, cause immense evil and harm. And when a more enlightened future age arrives to tote up the harms done by religion, I am certain that the systematic oppression and denial of basic rights to one-half of the human race will rank near the top.”

    I’d say that it will not rank near the top, but at the top, primarily because it has generally been women who were the primary caregivers of children and that cruel guild placed upon women does have a direct effect on her offspring. Childbirth and motherhood was cursed by a so called loving god.

    There are scars. What Christianity did to my psyche as a woman was nothing short of psychological abuse. I put my full trust in the god of Christianity, and when I became devout, I did not realize, as I “grew” in the faith, that I’d be going from the frying pan into the fire. I’m so glad I’m free from that hell.

    ————-

    Gary wrote: “So this is what I now say to them: Your religion and your god condone Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide. I want nothing to do with any organization or entity that perpetrates, endorses, or justifies the wholesale slaughter of men, women, and children.”

    I can’t tell you how much joy I feel when I read your comments, Gary. This is exactly how I see it, and the main reason why I left Christianity. People can discuss scripture and whether prophesies came true or not, but the crux is that Yahweh, Jesus daddy, should be the last “person” anyone would want to give their loyalties and love to, considering.

    I remember not long ago when you started posting on Ruth’s blog and how full of fear you were at the time. In fact, your experience inspired me to write a post about fear, and in that post, I quoted what you wrote to me on both Ruth’s post and Ken’s (KC). I got a lot of email from people thanking me for posting the information on how to overcome fear using neuroscience techniques that the Navy has started using on their Seals recruits; so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for having the courage to share so personally and honestly about what you were experiencing at the time. So many of us could relate as we had similar experiences. 🙂

    To my American blogging buddies — Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful to be free from the grip of authoritarian religion. I am thankful to feel fully alive and comfortable in my own skin and mind — having cast aside the inhumane teachings of original sin and hell. (Go Nan)

    Like

  152. I was raised in a church that taught against original sin. They thought that all men eventually sinned, which is why the needed jesus, they thought that babies had no sin, and probably began accumulating sins in adolescence, but they never held firmly to an exact time when sin entered a person.

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  153. I was raised Catholic then after my husband died, I got involved in (proselytize to) evangelical Christianity. Every mainstream denomination I was involved in taught original sin, but some taught that children were not held accountable until a certain age.

    Augustine of Hippo believed that the serpent approached Eve because she was less rational and lacked self-control, while Adam’s choice to eat was viewed as an act of kindness so that Eve would not be left alone.

    What denomination were you involved in, William.

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  154. no, no, not them. this was more of an adjective than a name. This group is around the US and Canada, but they are small and use the bible as their creed, so it can be hard to nail them down on things.

    They used to say, “just because it says, ‘church of god’ on the building doesn’t mean they’re really a church of God.” then we’d all grin in righteously superior amusement, because we were THE right church, you know.

    of course, we all assumed other small churches that saw things like us, but that may use a differing adjective were also part of that ONE.

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  155. I know. of course i see it now and shake my head in wonder at how I could have ever bought into it. It is almost crazy. I would say that it is crazy, except that so many do it, and when i did it, I didnt feel crazy – just misled, under educated, under informed and gullible.

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  156. “Man is the religious animal. He is the only religious animal. He is the only animal that has the TRUE religion – several of them.”
    — Mark Twain —

    Liked by 1 person

  157. “I would say that it is crazy, except that so many do it, and when i did it, I didnt feel crazy – just misled, under educated, under informed and gullible.”

    Well put.

    …now and shake my head in wonder at how I could have ever bought into it.

    Same. For me, it was a slow thaw, but then there I gained an awareness that really was a wake-up call — it shook me to the core about how powerful indoctrination can be.

    Like

  158. I questioned my brand religion before I questioned the bible or god. Once I began to question the bible, I was surprised at how quickly it tumbled.

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  159. “I questioned my brand religion before I questioned the bible or god.”

    Same, here, William. In fact I questioned every denomination I was involved in during my pursuit for “truth”. But the last denomination I was the most active in really encouraged its followers to study the OT. The shock was enough to reactivate neural circuity associated with critical social assessment and judgement. Never saw it coming.

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  160. it was nice, and you know, despite the sarcasm and sacrilege, it’s good to remember to thank the the actual people whom you may think are just the unwitting pawns of the imaginary deity you thank in your prayers; they may actually benefit from such thanks.

    Like

  161. Gratitude is a powerful feeling to have. This is going to sound weird, but I am grateful for the ability to be grateful. I am also thankful for humility. I wonder, do Christians, and did any of you ex-Christians, think that atheists lack the capacity for gratitude, humility, selflessness, etc? I get so tired of Kathy’s “you people”. People who have come to know me first, and then found out I was an atheist, sometimes make comments like, “…but you’re so nice…”

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  162. Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

    Nate, I left the fundamentalist Baptists and evangelicals because I never had the same intense emotions (feeling Jesus) that they seemed to have. I thought that there must be something wrong with me or just that God didn’t want to “speak to me”, “move me”, or “lead me” like he did everyone else. It was emotionally devastating at the time, but it turns out that I wasn’t the one with the problem. I was the sane one! I was hearing nothing (normal) while they were hearing voices (not normal).

    After leaving evangelicalism I spent most of my later 20’s and most of my 30’s as unchurched but still a theist. I would occasionally attend a liberal Lutheran or Episcopalian church. I liked the “show” (liturgy) and the fact that I could have a relationship (off and on) with God with no threat of “hell fire and damnation”. It felt good when I was in the mood for it, like at Christmas.

    I married in my forties and with my first child the old fundamentalist fears of Hellfire and Damnation came back. It was one thing to send myself to Hell, but to send my beautiful kids to hell was unthinkable. Since I like liturgy, I chose High Church orthodox Lutheranism: If you are going to be a fundamentalist Christian, it’s the best option, in my opinion. You can dance, go to movies, drink a lot of good German beer at the church Oktoberfest, and as long as you are baptized, believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and don’t willfully live in ongoing sin (like having sex outside of traditional marriage), you get into heaven. No worrying about Purgatory or if you REALLY prayed the Sinner’s Prayer correctly. If you have been baptized and you aren’t committing ongoing sin, you have nothing to worry about. Just make sure you go to Church at least once a month and take the Holy Sacrament a couple times per year, at a minimum.

    I loved being orthodox Lutheran. It was great…until I found out the whole Christian religion is nothing but an ancient superstition, based on a lot of assumptions, second century hearsay, and ignorant superstition.

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  163. Hi “Neuron”:

    Could you post the link to the article you mentioned about me? I am MOSTLY over my fear of hell, so I would be curious to read your research article on fear.

    Thanks!

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  164. Hi Gary, as per your request

    http://victorianeuronotes.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/how-i-overcame-fear-using-mental-training-techniques/

    I can’t remember if I wrote this post before or after I learned about your deconversion. Just so there isn’t any confusion, there’s an image following your quote, then another quote from a research source. In other words it’s a followup to your quote.

    If you are uncomfortable with your quote being in my post, I understand, and will remove it at your request. 🙂

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  165. It’s always good to be thankful … no matter what day of the year.” – as long as we thank people, not deities.

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  166. People who have come to know me first, and then found out I was an atheist, sometimes make comments like, ‘…but you’re so nice…’

    I NEVER say that!

    I’m lying, you’re one of the nicest people I know, you spread kindness wherever you go.

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  167. I was the sane one! I was hearing nothing (normal) while they were hearing voices (not normal).” – Sort of like being the last living cell in a dead body — (to be read in a Boris Karloff voice!)

    Gary, you’ve found a home! I’ve been living here for a year now, and they’re not tired of me yet! (crickets?)

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  168. “I like to think that if I ever make it over there I’ll be able to track you and Ryan down.”

    Hi Nate, I missed this before because i was travelling. I am actually in your country right now, but not your state. I’m in Houston staying with family, which I think is quite a way from your neck of the woods.

    I’d love to meet you if you ever came to Australia. I live in Sydney and Ryan in Adelaide, so to see both of us you’d need an extra 2 hour internal flight or about 15 hours on the road.

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  169. Hi gliese,

    I recently had someone tell me that “you (I) pulled the rug right out from under them” referring to my change in beliefs commonly known as apostasy. She’s still struggling with understanding how that happens and with the “atheist” label. Sometimes I get grilled (not in an ugly way) as she tries to dig deeper. When I say I’m an agnostic atheist well she’s relieved. That agnostic label covers a multitude of sins. 😉

    Most Christians I’ve spoken with deflect anything I say because it doesn’t measure up to what they have known of me all these years. To them I’m still a Christian.

    The thing about the “you people” thing is this; even in Kathy’s world there is a group or several groups that would put Kathy in the “you people” category as well. In my experience the “us vs. them” issues was rampant within the context of Christianity itself. In their efforts to nail down any sort of unity they kill one another, both literally (heresy trials etc.) and figuratively (the walking wounded.) I tend to think that Christians throughout history and even in today’s modern world spend way too much time trying to save people that are already saved. 🙂

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  170. NeuroVictoria: […]”I’d say that it will not rank near the top, but at the top, primarily because it has generally been women who were the primary caregivers of children and that cruel guild placed upon women does have a direct effect on her offspring. Childbirth and motherhood was cursed by a so called loving god.

    There are scars. What Christianity did to my psyche as a woman was nothing short of psychological abuse. I put my full trust in the god of Christianity, and when I became devout, I did not realize, as I “grew” in the faith, that I’d be going from the frying pan into the fire. I’m so glad I’m free from that hell.[…]

    I agree fully.

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  171. Dear Neuronotes,

    I’m am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. And people think that Christians only believed in demons and goblins in the Middle Ages! Very, very sad.

    Thank you for sharing the “fear” information with me. I will study it this weekend. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Gary

    Like

  172. Matt and his lovely wife are still quite alive and well, Powell, he just hasn’t posted anything for a while.

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  173. Surprisingly, Paul, I’m thankful for Kathy – she’s a constant source of amusement! As are you, but without the ridiculous part.

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  174. From that post that powellpowers referenced over at Thoughts from a Sandwich:

    Christians typically* utilize the “any logical possibility” method when attempting to resolve a perceived conflict, whereas the skeptic utilizes “more likely than not” method when doing so. Therefore when a skeptic raises a conflict, it is a conflict under the “more likely than not” standard of proof. The Christian responds with “No—here is a logically possible way whereby there is no conflict,” thereby eliminating the conflict under the “any logical possibility” standard of proof. Each is frustrated with the other, as the skeptic cannot understand why the Christian does not consider it a conflict (because it is under the skeptic’s method.) The Christian cannot understand why the skeptic sees the contradiction (because it is not under the Christian’s method.)

    So round and round the conversation goes with never an end in sight. And there never will be.

    *I say “typically” but in actuality I have only encountered one (1) Christian EVER who used anything but “any logical possibility.” And even that fellow backed away, eventually succumbing back to “any logical possibility.” So really, the better word would be “exclusively” rather than “typically.” DagoodS

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  175. Paul, I have uttered those words…

    On a side note: I posted a comment elsewhere today that made 666 comments. It’s still sitting at that number. Does that make me the devil?

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  176. Does that make me the devil?” – I’ll bet if we asked your husband, he’s say you’ve got a lot if it in you –! 😉

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  177. “Dear Neuronotes,

    I’m am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. And people think that Christians only believed in demons and goblins in the Middle Ages! Very, very sad.

    Thank you for sharing the “fear” information with me. I will study it this weekend. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Gary”

    Thank you Gary — and you are right, very, very sad. People may ask “What’s the Harm?”

    368,379 people killed, 306,096 injured and over $2,815,931,000 in economic damages

    I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. 🙂

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  178. I do wish that lying coward Kathy, duck billed platypus that she is,
    would return and answer the questions.
    She never does, though.
    She always runs when she realizes she has been defeated,
    and I’ve watched her run away one hundred times.
    for her, it’s just on to the next person to accuse of being a liar,
    then run away without any evidence to back up any of her claims.

    cheese and crackers, Christ and cranberries!

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  179. SPG — not only a liar, but a LIBERAL! 😉

    I know William enjoys their little “discussions,” but personally, I think it’s rather nice to be free (at least for awhile) of the constant bombardment of “Kathy Facts.”

    Like

  180. Nan, what is so hilarious about that tweet, the report she is referring to,(the liberal lies), is a republican report.

    well, all of you guys, I had to endure a lot of Christian relatives over the holidays,
    (praise science for Xanax),
    and you guys were on my mind.
    I have a hard time wrapping my head around the “struggle” (I’m not sure if that is the right word to use), you have had deconverting.

    I never for a second believed, so I really can’t relate. I would imagine it would be like you all really understanding what it is like to be gay. you really can’t fully understand unless you are.

    anyway, I listened to a lot of Christian nonsense, just smiled and kept my lips zipped to be polite and not cause drama, but it really is getting to the point where I’m just going to start screaming at the top of my lungs, “BULLSHIT”.

    I’m honestly sick of these people thinking they are truly better than everyone else,
    that they alone possess “the truth”.
    And that “America is a Christian nation” crap has really got to go.

    oh well, I’m glad you guys came to your senses. let’s hope more people do.

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  181. …just smiled and kept my lips zipped to be polite and not cause drama

    That REALLY doesn’t sound like you! Bet you have scars on your tongue!

    “that ‘America is a Christian nation’ crap has really got to go.”

    “The United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion.”
    — John Adams —
    From the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797
    (founding Father and second President of the United States)

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  182. it really is getting to the point where I’m just going to start screaming at the top of my lungs, “BULLSHIT”.

    It might be a good idea to address it before you boil over. That’s liable to put people more on the defensive, and make them less likely to hear and consider your arguments.

    Or so they say.

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  183. Some guy said to me the other day, “They’ve taken the Christ out of Christmas, huh?” I said, “I don’t know about that, but I’ve got tropical fish in my car. I’ve been driving around with them for two days now.” *

    * I was one of about 200,000 customers who lost power for days here in New Hampshire. I really was driving around with tropical fish in my car. I had to keep them warm – I even took them to work with me. It serves the guy right. He’s probably still wondering what that has to do with Christ or Christmas.

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  184. Well, they’ve certainly taken the “Hallowed” out of “Hallowed Evening,” aka, Halloween – what’s next?

    Like

  185. Next they’ll be taking the Fool out of “April Fool” – speaking of which, where IS Kathy –?
    (BAD Arch! Bad, bad, bad!)

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  186. arch, I’ve quoted ““The United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion.”
    — John Adams —From the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797” to many christians arguing that our country is founded on biblical principles.
    every one of them dismissed it using this argument by the great a’hole, david barton.
    http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=125

    or as Kathy would put it, ,”you are taking it out of context. stupid liberal”

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  187. oh, and to answer your question “where’s Kathy”,
    she is off somewhere defending the cop that shot and murdered michael brown, the
    unarmed black teenager, because she’s a racist.

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  188. every one of them dismissed it using this argument by the great a’hole, david barton.

    http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=125

    I read the article. Many of his points were painfully clearly disingenuous, not the least of which is the complete lack of definition of whatever being a “Christian nation” would mean, anyway. To me, as a weak/non student of history, some of his points could stand to be addressed, though.

    I think I read “Original Intent” in high school. 😦

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  189. The article to which you provided a link makes it clear that the term, “Christian nation,” is open to interpretation, and admits that the Founders intended that there not be an actual, Christian creed behind the laws operating this country, i.e., a theocracy.

    As for Adam’s personal beliefs, I can only infer from what he had to say:

    “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”
    — John Adams —
    (founding Father and second President of the United States)

    “In the formation of the American government,…it will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of heaven.”
    — John Adams —
    (second President of the United States)

    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?”
    John Adams – letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816.

    You can see in this statement – “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation.” – a likely belief in a supreme being, AS HE UNDERSTANDS IT, but no specific beliefs that I can see. But he IS making it clear that whatever the reality may be, the government should stay out of it entirely.

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  190. oh, I agree, had the founding fathers wanted this to be a Christian nation, jeeezzzuuuussss would appear in the constitution, instead of a grilled cheese sandwich.

    the “Christian nation” lie is very popular in the area where I reside.
    in the letters to the editor of the local newspaper, not a week goes by without two or three letters that address the Christian nation issue, claiming that America needs to return to it’s Christian roots as our founding fathers intended.

    it’s ridiculous,
    gawd are they stupid.

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  191. I went over there and left a tweet for P&T – she seems like a cool chick, and while I’m very much into politics, I have too much on my plate right now to invest still more time following her account.

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  192. St Pauli Girl, as you have pointed out yourself, it doesn’t matter whether or not she returns – she will answer the questions, if she even bothers, to her satisfaction only. Kathy may have the luxury of time in which to troll around the internet, but I have decided my time and energy is too precious to even try to communicate sensibly with her. It is difficult because it seems that voices like hers do need to be countered. Truly though, I do not know to whom she makes sense, except other people who already think like she does.

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  193. lol, thanks arch I could kiss you

    and gliese, you’re a star!!!!
    ” It is difficult because it seems that voices like hers do need to be countered.”

    yes, indeed they do, that’s why I have been following her troll career for so many years,
    she embodies all that is wrong with the hateful Christian.
    they’re not all like that, but too many are, and I’m gonna set them bitches straight.

    Kathy promotes bigotry against gays, blacks, muslims, liberals, well, pretty much anyone that doesn’t have her same hateful mindset. and I’m calling her out on it, even if I have to spend the rest of my life doing it.
    let her suffer, she’ll never get rid of me. and she doesn’t live that far from me, one day I’m going to meet her and spit right in her face, with my AIDS spit.

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  194. lol, thanks arch I could kiss you” – appreciate the offer Pablo, but I’m really not the demonstrative type – now if gliese had said that, I might have to rethink my position —

    Like

  195. arch, lol, what’s the problem, is it the AIDS lips?,
    (just kidding).

    anyway, it’s “the war on Christmas”, the most wonderful time of the year.
    maybe everyone here can share their most memorable, cherished “war on Christmas” moments

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  196. I don’t particularly have a “War on Christmas” story, but I usually share this each year about this time, and if we’re going to get al Christmasy, I may as well start here —

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  197. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/12/04/the-florida-capitols-holiday-display-will-include-a-festive-message-from-the-satanic-temple/

    looks like florida is leading the way in the war on xmas.
    I love this type of thing because it enrages the xtians. fox and friends did an entire segment on it this morning, “xtianity under fire”. they are so offended, yet the buybull tells them not to be.

    immediately after, they did a segment where hillary Clinton said we should try to have some understanding for our enemies, fox and friends say, “no way”, but didn’t jeeezzzuuuussss actually tell them to “love your enemies”?

    so, who really is attacking xtianity, the Satanists, or the xtians themselves?

    lmao.

    I’m going today to see the Picasso exhibit at the Salvador dali museum. yea!!!!

    Like

  198. Cool! My son and I went to see a Monet exhibit some years ago. Monet did not paint for the near-sighted.

    Nate – the comment frequency is dropping off, you need to invite another idiot over for us to play with.

    Like

  199. it was great, I’ve been to the dali museum at least 6 times, but I had never seen a Picasso in real life. it moved me. he was a sloppy painter, it was so cool. I know, never enough idiots.

    Like

  200. Are you feeling lonelier than the last living cell in a dead body? I think the thread is dead, Fred – it’s in a better place —

    Like

  201. well, i miss kathy.

    One may think that she left for good because she realized that she had been painted into a corner and decided to bale, so that she could reevaluate the course of her life.

    But I think that she left, telling herself, that she had better things to do than to cast her pearls before swine.

    oh kathy, is it hard for thee to kick against the pricks?

    Like

  202. Ruth, LOL, raptured?
    I think I missed it , too,
    along with everyone else.

    yes, the thread is dead, Fred.
    so tragic,
    so young,
    only 8yrs old.
    let’s all hope for a “resurrection”.

    I had a xtian tell me he was more of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth christians than a turn the other cheek Christian.

    why I didn’t pluck out his eye and his tooth, i’ll never know.
    i’ m going to chalk it up to laziness,
    it certainly wasn’t lack of desire.

    Like

  203. William, if they put all of us in a police line up,
    including Kathy,
    only one swine could be identified as the “perp”

    and I’m being as honest and objective as the laws of physics will allow.

    Like

  204. Another one laughing like a hyena. . .. 🙂

    Nate – how is it that you got all the comedians??? Or is that ‘Canadians’?

    Like

  205. the rapture,
    sooo anticlimactic.

    Hey, you do rapture your way, I’ll do it mine. Oh, I forgot – you already do —
    Anyway, there’s nothing anticlimatic about mine, maybe you’re not doing it right.

    Like

  206. In relation to the original topic of this thread, I am mortified by something I wrote in 1996. I wrote a huge paper on how I had developed religious faith. At the time, I had actually come to believe that there was a God, and I was frightened into accepting Jesus as that God. I was by no means evangelical about it, but I can’t even believe I got that far into it. Some seriously weird things happened, for which I still do not have an explanation. Luckily, my sister said, “Stop hanging out with those people (the particular group of born-again Christians I was associating with). They’re scary!” She was right, and I did stop associating with them. The faith that I had developed faded away when it wasn’t fed.

    I have become aware that being an atheist, and not being sorry for it, is something about which I am passionate. I have spent a lot of time associating with other atheists, writing about it, learning about Christian apologetics and the counter-responses, etc. I wish this was not so. I wish I didn’t care. I apparently feel the need to not be fooled again. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.

    Talk about objectivity! My sister was the one with the objectivity back then. She saw what was going on – I was vulnerable, and ripe for the harvesting. No wonder I am so passionate about atheism. I am so grateful to be able to say things like this somewhere, to be validated. Thanks!

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  207. Hey Nate, I think I have a decent image of you in my minds eye, composed of the blogs comments you’ve made over time, and can’t help but wonder, almost as how I wonder what “Hell On Wheels” is going to end its season finale. I wonder where “Nate” is going to take us in the next season premiere of his life.

    Further I am curious about other life concepts and ideas your mind has to offer, besides religion. As hard as it is for all conversations not to eventually lead to the ultimate question, it would be thrilling I think, to discuss other tangents with you, and am curious if you could make a topic for general discussion, maybe science discussions or just a have a convo about how now that we don’t believe in “God”, or “Dog” or as The Wisp calls it, the god God. What do we think reality is? That can go in many directions I think. Good tangents.

    Any how, thanks for the years of this blog, it’s helped my journey many times. Keeps me from self guilting. Keeps me thinking theres is maybe importance on bettering myself for something more awesome my mind can perceive. In many ways I think the irony of this blog is that in finding atheism, Im finding more God.

    Maybe they coexist together in perfect disharmony and balance.

    Life is cool.

    What the fuck is it?

    Like

  208. what the fuck is it? lol.
    oh Mark, ,you are cute, cute, cute!

    @gliese <em"I wish I didn’t care."

    I wish I didn’t, either. buuuuutttt, I can’t seem to help myself,
    I watch way too many christian themed t.v programs.
    and fox and friends,
    why? I dunno.

    I think I need to keep up with what the enemy is up to.
    I think most of them are just crazy and/or misguided,
    but there are a lot that are just downright evil people using the name of jeezzzuuuuussss for personal gain.

    and not a week goes by that I’m not threatened with bodily harm by a xtain just because they don’t like they way I spell “jeeezzzuuuusssss”

    i wish i didn’t have to care, but it’s a matter of survival.

    i think i was awfully lucky and a bit smart to have never fallen for it in the first place, even though they tried enhanced interrogation tactics to beat it in to me.

    thanks for the compliments

    Like

  209. I bet them there “Godly men” in Promise Keepers would love that “dickoration”.

    “We are called to worship God as phallic kinds of guys, not as some sort of androgynous, neutered nonmales, or the feminized males so popular in many feminist-enlightened churches” (p. 51).

    “To be male is to be a phallic kind of guy, and as men we should never apologize for it, or allow it to be denigrated by women (or crass men either)” (p. 24).”

    ~Robert Hicks — The Masculine Journey

    50,000 copies of the book were given to all the attendees (men) at the 1993 Promise Keepers Rally.

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  210. Sound like something that’s right up your alley.” – Did you by any chance Nan, MEAN that as a double entendre?

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  211. I’ve been away for a few days, so sorry for the late response — that was hilarious, Nan!

    Mark — thanks for the comment! I appreciate the kind words, and I really like your idea for a blog post. I have one more in the works that I want to post first, but then I’ll take your advice. Thanks!

    Btw, I’m a fan of “Hell on Wheels” too, though I think I liked the first 3 seasons the best.

    Like

  212. King James Bible,
    Matthew 5:44
    “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – jeeezzzuuussss!!!

    Like

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