(3301) God passes on an easy proof

If we are to believe Christianity, God inspired the authors of the Bible, so any of his advanced knowledge of the world could have been supplied and documented in the Bible. This would have provided a measure of proof that a divine being was involved in the development of the Bible. But if Christianity is true, then God passed on this opportunity and it is difficult to explain why. The following was taken from:


Why didn’t any of the “divine texts” unambiguously prove itself by revealing things that could not have been known at the time they were written?

Shouldn’t an all-knowing god who seeks our belief, our faith or our following understand how easily they could’ve blown our dark-aged minds by unambiguously and undeniably reveal facts we would only later learn? There is a whole host of things that could have been revealed, yet, somehow, clearly were not.

Even something as simple as explaining that the earth is a sphere. Or that we orbit the sun. Or that gravity holds that orbit in place. Or that there are multiple solar systems.

Or quite literally 90% of the most basic scientific facts we learn early in elementary school.

Why aren’t any of these things distinctly laid out clear as day in ways that would leave absolutely NO doubt? It would have been SOOOOO ridiculously easy to do.

So the fact that not one exists in any of these books should be all the proof any sensible person would need to debunk the notion that they were divinely inspired at ALL.

No mention of DNA, radiowaves, black holes, quantum physics.. hell, not even of a CELL. I could go on for an hour about everything they COULD include but do not.

Please don’t waste your time quoting the many ambiguous passages that one could interpret as maybe communicating such notions. There is not ONE piece of advanced knowledge revealed in any of them which is free of doubt. Heck, this is WHY there IS doubt!

How would a REAL god not know that is all he/she/it would have to do?

Suppose we came upon a primitive civilization on another planet and, before we left to return to earth, we left them with some writings in their crude language. Would it be more likely that we would inform them of the many scientific facts that they were ignorant of, such as the danger of germs, or would we simply write things that they already knew, or erroneously thought they knew. If you are an intelligent person, you would choose the former option. Yahweh chose the latter.

(3302) Best arguments against Abrahamic religions

The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) have enjoyed immunity from scrutiny for many centuries, but in modern times, there has been considerable pushback, primarily because of accelerated scriptural scholarship and the continued realization that prayers are ineffective and miracles are not occurring. The following sums up some of the best arguments why these religions do not reflect the core of our reality:


So I am going to limit the scope of my argument from all theistic religions solely to Abrahamic religions simply because I am most familiar with them, but I do believe my arguments could relatively easily be attributed more widely. Essentially, the core of my assertation is that the only reason religion exists is due to the stories being passed on orally along with literally no evidence – something most people would quickly reject outside of their religion. Seemingly, god has not interacted directly with humans since biblical times (unless you include people who claim to hear god speak to them or alleged miracles, such as “unexplainable” medical anomalies, but certainly nothing equivalent to walking on water, turning water into wine, room temperature burning bushes, cities of people turned to salt inexplicably and suddenly, etc.).

I hope we can all agree the tens of thousands of women tortured and burned at the stake in Europe were not truly witches, but for many generations, people carried on this horrible tradition and justified it with Christianity. Nazis murdered millions of members of the Jewish faith, and that was certainly not the first time Jews were targeted in horrific acts. Similarly today, there are Muslim extremists who have killed themselves along with sometimes hundreds (and in some cases, such as the September 11th attack, thousands) of other people of varying faiths in the name of their god. With all of these and many other examples in mind, no god has ever intercepted in any manner. There is no doubt that the majority of modern Christians interpret the bible differently than Christians had one-thousand years ago, but neither then nor now has their god made a point to explain what they (or he/she, whatever you prefer) meant when they wrote the bible (either through prophets, or directly, as some people I have discussed this with propose). Finally, no Abrahamic religion had reached the Americas until immigrants from the East brought them; I personally cannot think of a good reason a god would feel it is critical to spread their word only to a very small group, surely aware it would take hundreds of years to reach the rest of the world.

Right now, if I were to make virtually any claim, especially of something unfathomable, such as an entire city of children that lived in homes that didn’t have lambs blood on the front doors abruptly died overnight, or a group of pious immigrants walked through a massive body of water that temporarily separated to allow their passing, most people would expect some level of evidence. At the very least, mot people would expect the likely large groups of people involved to back up such a claim… but unfortunately for us, all of the most impactful acts of god occurred before people could take pictures, videos, record audio, or retain any level of substantial evidence for prolonged periods of time.

If this god were to exist, they seem to have very little concern for humans actually following their word. If they did, they would have certainly done one of the following:

  • Spread the teachings of the bible worldwide from the start, to assure there are no excuses to disobeying (at least for the generations alive at the time)
  • Clarified, either to modern humans or humans from a few thousand years ago, whether or not the bible is to be taken literally or figuratively (e.g. some stories / claims are simply parables, not to be taken overly seriously). If the former, way too many people live their lives riddled with sin (gluttony, divorce, sex before marriage, pride, greed – just a few very common examples that came to mind) yet these people sincerely believe they are worshipping their god as intended, which the bible suggests god would not tolerate; if the latter, people have been killing in the name of god over nothing for thousands of years now for no reason
  • Provided some recordable or indisputable evidence of their existence in a fashion that can not be easily disputed; anyone can write a book, but what about a unique element or artifact that even science could not explain. An omniscient and omnipresent god would certainly have the power to provide prophets with tapes, discs, or some other tool that future (now modern) humans could use to affirm existence
  • Made at least one prediction / explanation that held scrutiny. Heaven was once considered to simply be in the skies, but we’ve traveled far beyond that and found no such place (yet the tower of Babel was such a threat of reaching heaven that the members had forced upon them new languages and homes); the Earth was considered the center of the solar system (or the universe; people obviously had a limited understanding of what was beyond the skies in the past), the disproving of which led to many executions but is now accepted by the Vatican; evolution is still heavily debated today, but the mere domestication of plants and the breeding of animals has proven how dramatically life can change over many generations (that is evolution in action)

All that being said, why would you believe in it? If you stopped believing in it tomorrow, other than perhaps family or peers perhaps reacting poorly, your life wouldn’t change. As far as the bible is concerned, you are probably sinning like crazy anyways, so why not just live the life you want, and let others live their lives the way they want, without any regard to purported “sins”? The two possible outcomes, I would think, would either be: god finally returns to re-share their word since the religion(s) died or is/are dying which would likely lead to a dramatic religious boom, a good thing for religion OR religion fades away and the idea of believing in a god (at least an Abrahamic god, in this argument) becomes a distant memory and is treated the same way we treat mythologies today.

It is near certain that if you could assemble 100 people who had never been exposed to any religion and had theist defenders and atheists present their cases for and against the Abrahamic faiths, that at least 99 of them would conclude that that theist argument was too weak to be seriously considered. So the only way these religions can persist is through childhood indoctrination.

(3303) Failed theodicities

Theodicy is a branch of philosophy dealing with the issue of evil in light of the existence of God. The following lists the three most common angles of rationalization used by apologists. All of them are dubious and fail to be convincing to nonbelievers.


Theodicy: explanation for why a deity, typically an omni deity, allows evil when it has the ability to prevent evil from occurring and is considered a purely good entity that would always do what is the most good.

1. Free will

This argument claims that evil is allowed because free will is so valuable that it is worth it to allow evil.

Note that this does not have to apply to a deity. Free will is just flat out a good thing for everyone. So, surely this theodicy works well for regular people too, right?

Imagine I see someone raping someone. Imagine I am quite strong and could easily overpower and restrain the rapist. Imagine if instead, I watch the rape occur while the victim pleads with me to help them.

Have I done a good thing by respecting the free will of the rapist? According to theists who use this theodicy, yes. That’s exactly what god does in this situation, and god is good, so therefore I must be good too for doing this.

This is obviously not something most people would agree with, including theists who use this theodicy. It’s why we have laws and law enforcement to begin with. Our societies are built around the concept that free will must be restricted and held back in certain contexts because to do so is good and to not do so is bad. A theist fully committed to this theodicy would have to argue that a utopia society is one with no laws and no law enforcement, where everyone is always allowed to act freely and their free will is never restricted. Otherwise, this theodicy wouldn’t defend god’s actions or inactions.

2. Evil must exist to allow for the existence of greater goods

This argument claims that evil must be allowed exist and/or occur because without it, certain greater goods could not exist.

If this is the case, then again, people should not try to stop evil. Stopping anything evil from occurring is harmful because it prevents greater goods. Plus, if god doesn’t stop it, who are we to do something that god won’t? And yet, most people, including theists, think we should work against evil.

3. God knows more than us and so it can be assumed there are good reasons for allowing evil

This argument claims that if we can assume that god knows more than us, we can assume that god knows there is a good reason to allow evil even if we don’t know the reason.
This should mean that when we see others doing evil, we can assume they know something we don’t and that there is a good reason for them doing it. We should at least stop, consider, and debate this possibility that they have a good reason.

And yet, we don’t do this. When we are unsure, we tend to value and prefer assuming that there is not a good reason. If we do not automatically assume other people have good reasons, and in fact if we usually do not even consider this for many evils like rape, then why do we give god a pass?

The only reasonable approach for theists to the question of theodicity is to admit that God is not omnipotent. And this points to a mistake made by the faith- there really was no need to make God all powerful. A limited god could retain the property of being omni-benevolent by allowing the idea that some elements of evil exist outside of his control.

(3304) Lazarus plot hole

Writing fiction does not give the author free reign to write whatever comes to mind. It has to make sense. And what the author of John wrote in Chapter 12 of his gospel does not make sense. It follows Chapter 11 where Jesus raises Lazarus four days after he had died.

John 12:9-11

Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews learned that Jesus was there. And they came not only because of Him, but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were deserting them and believing in Jesus.

We are expected to believe that the chief priests, after confirming that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead, decided to kill Lazarus to cover up the evidence because they didn’t want Jesus to gain more followers. So either raising people from the dead was a common thing back then or else the chief priests were plotting against a confirmed unique miracle worker who, if they decided to follow him (as would be expected after seeing solid evidence of his supernatural powers), might potentially raise them after they died or else raise one of their deceased loved ones- not to mention perhaps perform other types of miracles that might enhance their lives and the lives of the entire province.

The author of John was so focused on building the case against Jesus (the tree) that he lost sight of the implausibility of circumventing human nature (the forest).

(3305) Revelatory versus zealot Jesus

There is an emerging debate about whether Jesus was a real person, perhaps a zealot who came afoul of the Roman authorities, or if he was originally conceived as a heavenly figure who was later historicized in the gospels. The following is a summary of Richard Carrier’s book Jesus from Outer Space:


In Jesus from Outer Space, I outline the essential reasons for that doubt, including how it aligns with the timeline of evidence and better explains various oddities and deficiencies in that evidence while requiring fewer ad hoc assumptions than any theory of historicity actually does. I then compare the revelatory-Jesus theory with the “zealot” hypothesis that Jesus not only existed but was also a violent revolutionary, later whitewashed as a pacifist in gospel fiction. [10] If that strange theory earns respectability and consideration as a plausible, academically-reasoned-even-if-false position—and indeed it has—then the revelatory-Jesus theory should even more so since it outperforms the zealot hypothesis on every relevant measure. That the Gospels are simply historical-seeming mythologies of Jesus is already widely agreed upon. [11] Attempts to “extract” historical truths hidden within those myths suffer from catastrophic flaws admitted by every dedicated peer-reviewed study of the methodology employed. [12] I also survey how the extra-biblical evidence for Jesus simply goes back to the Gospels and thus cannot corroborate them, while nothing peculiarly historicizing in the Gospels is corroborated in the Epistles.

 I also devote an entire chapter in JFOS to what I call the “Argument from Spartacus,” which manifests as an insistence that “we have as much or more evidence for Jesus as we have for [ … ],” where at [ … ] we find somewhere inserted not only Spartacus, but Tiberius, Alexander the Great, Socrates, Pontius Pilate, Herod Agrippa, Hannibal, Caligula, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and even Julius Caesar. I show none of these claims are true. It is perplexing that scholars making such claims don’t know this—and evidently didn’t even think to check. To remedy that, I show why we are so certain of the existence of such historical persons as these and why we have nowhere near the same kind, quantity, or quality of evidence for Jesus. I also explain why we shouldn’t be treating Jesus—a worshiped, preexistent savior deity who launched his religion through mystic revelations and whose earliest historical accounts are elaborately mythical—as if he were like any mundane political or military leader about whom none of those things are the case.

Yet those things happen to be the very ones that warrant doubting the historicity of personages more similar to Jesus, so I devote another chapter to illustrating that in JFOS as well: Osiris, Aesop, Romulus, Hercules, Dionysus, Adonis, Baal, Inanna, Zalmoxis, even Moses and the Patriarchs. I show how the Gospels established Jesus with more tropes (pagan and Jewish) peculiar to mythical people than any other attested person from antiquity. We cannot dismiss that observation as irrelevant. We need some exceptional evidence to conclude Jesus is the exception to all these other equally mythologized figures—just as we would need to be assured of the historicity of any of them. And yet for Jesus, we just don’t have any evidence near that secure—whereas for all the figures inserted into any Argument from Spartacus, we do. And yet, they don’t share markers of being mythical comparable in scale or scope to what we have for Jesus. This would warrant suspicion for any other person—and would for Jesus, too, if he weren’t the object of a major, powerful, socially influential religion today. Doubting his existence comes at a social and professional cost that cannot be claimed for Homer or even Confucius. Admitting this is the first step to overcoming it.

 I also devote a chapter in JFOS to outlining how Christianity could have evolved from a revelatory religion to a historicizing one and how the timeline of evidence supports that very transition. In the process, I demonstrate that there is no pertinent difference between accepting this happened for Jesus altogether and accepting it happened for his post-mortem imaginary counterpart, “the risen Jesus,” who began solely in isolated, private dreams or visions (1 Corinthians 15; Galatians 1). However, by the end of the first century, the only version of the risen Jesus promoted or even mentioned is a physically reanimated corpse who hung out with the Apostles for weeks at dinner parties (John 20-21; Acts 1). If a historical, post-mortem Jesus could be invented and eclipse the original in so short a time so could a historical pre-mortem Jesus. The process would be the same.

 I then close with entire chapters on why Paul’s references to “Brothers of the Lord” are too vague to establish the historicity of Jesus and why Paul’s references to Jesus’ incarnation are even more so. The only Brothers of the Lord Paul clearly describes in his letters are baptized Christians—cultic, not biological brothers. I show in JFOS how every typical pushback against this realization fails on facts or logic—mere rationalizations for denying the obvious, not sound reasons to maintain Paul “must” have meant Jesus’ actual kin (a concept found nowhere in the letters of Paul). Likewise, in his actual Greek, Paul does not clearly say Jesus was descended from David in any terrestrial sense or that he had a biological mother. Again, to aver these things requires ignoring the actual language and context of the pertinent verses and replacing straightforward evidence with a whole slate of ad hoc presumptions entirely recruited from the very Christian faith tradition that tried to erase these facts to begin with. And if you don’t believe me, you really need to read these chapters before you can claim to be so sure. I suspect you won’t have heard many of the facts in them. They change everything.

 I propose that any Jesus scholar pose a serious question to himself: are you going to maintain your assumptions without ever examining the facts that challenge them, or are you going to actually confront and consider those facts before deciding what to conclude? You should not allow institutional inertia, academic pride, social pressure, or Christian faith to motivate your avoiding the actual evidence and arguments presented for this theory. Instead of reacting as other critics have done and producing rebuttals that don’t even represent the actual evidence and arguments made and thus never respond to them, it is high time scholars did their jobs—take the evidence and arguments seriously and actually respond to them, rather than avoid or misrepresent them. I hope that Jesus from Outer Space will help motivate more scholars to do that.

The possibility that Jesus was a legendary figure who later was incarnated as a fictional earth-bound man can no longer be summarily dismissed. The lack of contemporary accounts of his existence combined with other examples of historicized legendary figures gives weight to this theory.

(3206) Gospel authorship problem

At the very least, the primary source of information describing the life and ministry of Jesus should come from writings by persons who are definitively identified- their names, their positions, their associations, their location, their histories, and most importantly their ties to Jesus and source of information about him. This is true for none of the gospels and this fact should be a death knell for Christianity. The following summaries of current speculation of gospel authorship is taken from the Oxford Annotated Bible:


Mark was written anonymously. The designation “according to Mark” was added in the second century CE, as Gospels began to circulate beyond the audiences for whom they were written. One early second-century source claims that “Mark” was the apostle Peter’s “interpreter” at the end of Peter’s life, but no other evidence confirms that connection. Others have identified Mark as the “John Mark” who traveled with the apostle Paul (see Acts 12.12,25; 15.37–39; Col 4.10; 2 Tim 4.11; Philem 24), but none of these passages link John Mark with a written Gospel.

Though the author’s identity is unknown, scholars find clues about its author in the Gospel itself. For example, its awkward style suggests that Greek was not the author’s first language. Other details, such as the imprecise citation of Jewish scripture (1.2), the over-generalized portrait of Jewish practice (7.3–4), and problematic geographical details (5.1,13) suggest that the evangelist was a Hellenized Jew who lived outside of Palestine.


From the early second century the Gospel’s author was identified as Matthew, one of the twelve disciples. This attribution to Matthew appears to be signaled by 9.9, where Mark’s reference to Levi, the tax collector (Mk 2.13–17), is changed to Matthew, the tax collector. This change could be a subtle allusion to the Gospel’s author, and for centuries it was regarded as such. If, however, the Evangelist’s main sources were the Gospel of Mark and Q, it is difficult to explain why one of the twelve disciples should be so heavily reliant on a Gospel that was thought to have been written by someone who was not one of Jesus’s disciples. Wouldn’t Matthew have had a rich store of experiences to draw upon? It is, of course, possible that some of the Gospel’s unique materials (M) do originate with Matthew, the disciple, but most scholars hold that the author/editor is someone other than the disciple Matthew.


By the late second century, the author of the Gospel and its sequel, the Acts of the Apostles, was identified as Luke, a physician who was a traveling companion and co-worker with Paul (Philem 1.24; Col 4.14). At times Luke is further described as a Syrian from Antioch, but practically nothing else is remembered of the writer of the Third Gospel. Scholarly analysis of the Gospel and Acts raises questions about the attribution of these writings to the Luke who was Paul’s associate. The strongest argument for identifying Luke the physician as the author of the Gospel and Acts is the obscurity of this figure in the New Testament. Yet, even defenders of the traditional identification recognize difficulties with that connection. Though Luke’s familiarity with Judaism is extensive, he seems to have more book-knowledge than practical experience of its particular rituals and beliefs. Similarly, when Luke provides details about Palestinian locations and practices, they exhibit a tendency toward setting the story in an urban environment rather than the predominantly nonurban village culture that Jesus would have known. Above all, Luke never mentions in Acts that Paul wrote letters and only seldom does he use theological themes from the letters of the apostle.


Since at least the late second century CE, tradition has attributed the authorship of the Gospel to Jesus’s disciple, John the son of Zebedee, who purportedly wrote the Gospel in Ephesus. Doubts about the accuracy of this tradition have existed since antiquity. Eusebius mentions a different figure, John “the Elder,” living in Ephesus (Hist. eccl. 3.39.3). The conclusion to the Gospel (21.24) points to the memories of the “disciple whom Jesus loved” as a source of its traditions. But the narrative never identifies this figure, although if the “other disciple” in 18.16 is a reference to this same disciple, it may suggest that he is from Jerusalem rather than Galilee. Today most scholars think that Johannine traditions stem from an unidentified follower of Jesus, not one of the twelve disciples. This anonymous disciple developed a group of followers, a “Johannine school,” who were responsible for writing down his witness. This figure was idealized in the community, as the model believer who is called the “beloved disciple” in the Gospel narrative (19.25–27).

The fact that we don’t know who wrote the gospels and that these persons appeared to plagiarize each other should be a basis for concluding that that the information provided by these writings is of dubious authenticity. If the gospel authors were positively identified, Christianity would be on much firmer ground. It is almost impossible that an omnipotent god would subject us to such uncertainty.

(3307) Patriarchal nullification

Again showing the Bible to be a product of its time, in the Book of Numbers, it is revealed that a husband has legal rights that overshadow the wife, giving him the power to nullify any statement of obligation that she might have made:

Numbers 30: 10-12

If a woman in her husband’s house has made a vow or put herself under an obligation with an oath, and her husband hears of it but says nothing to her and does not prohibit her, then all the vows or pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her husband nullifies them on the day he hears of them, then nothing that came from her lips, whether her vows or pledges, shall stand. Her husband has nullified them, and the LORD will absolve her.

A Christian apologist might rationalize this issue by saying that this type of rule was necessary at the time, though in modern society it doesn’t continue to apply. The concept of gender equality was foreign to the people of biblical times. But this raises the problem of who decides what Bible strictures still apply today or else are superseded by modern ethics. It seems likely that a real god would have reformed the situation at the time and set women on a path of equality rather than simply endorsing the mores that were currently in existence.

(3308) Hell is unnecessary

If we assume that God has the intent to either reward or punish all humans after they have died in accord with the way that they lived their life, then it can be argued  that the creation of hell was superfluous. This is because missing out on an eternal reward is equivalent to an eternal punishment.

Here is a quasi analogy. A boss tells his employees that if they meet a certain metric, they will receive a thousand dollar bonus. Is it necessary for the boss also to say that those who don’t meet the metric will be docked one thousand dollars in order to motivate them to achieve the goal? No, it is not.

The simple fact of not receiving the bonus is a sufficient punishment for a failed performance. Requiring the losers to pay a thousand dollars out of their own pocket is just piling on and it is completely unnecessary. Likewise, depriving under-performing humans of an eternal life is still a spectacularly harsh punishment. Hell is not needed and only serves to paints god as a hideous monster.

(3309) Quest for original Christianity

There are many Christian groups who claim to have replicated the religious beliefs and practices of the first Christians, those who lived in the First Century. There is plenty of uncertainty regarding this effort, but it is certain that most of these sects come nowhere close to achieving that goal. The following was taken from:


Christians probably didn’t even exist until the first Christian writings appeared. These writings were not done by Judeans for Judeans, and they were certainly not first created and circulated during Jesus’ supposed lifetime (0-ish to 33-ish CE). I mean, it’s even possible that Antioch (in modern-day Syria), not Jerusalem, is the true birthplace of Christianity — since people spoke Greek there for the longest time, and the earliest Christian writings are in Greek, not Aramaic.

Whenever those first Christians materialized, we know little about what they really believed and did. But we do know a few things:

  • They were terrible hypocrites (source, esp. p. 79 regarding early Christians’ frequent divorces), requiring constant chiding (source) for their refusal to follow their own rules (source).
  • Their heroes and recruiters tended to be absolute hucksters preying upon rubes’ gullibility and eagerness for miracles. (Source)
  • They fought among themselves constantly about doctrines and practices (source), and were unable to find consensus about anything at all. (Source)
  • They had trouble finding recruits — and even more trouble with retention (source). So recruiters focused on the ignorant, gullible, poor, and lowly, who proved way more vulnerable to their claims. (Source)
  • Many of them were simply fanatics with little care for actually living as Christians. (Source)

Despite these remarkable similarities, however, the earliest Christians weren’t at all like today’s politically-maddened, power-grabby fundagelicals. It’s beyond irresponsible and dishonest to plaster modern understanding over the truth about ancient people, but I expect nothing less from Tim Keller.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the first Christians and fundagelicals today might be where they stand on the trajectory of power.

The earliest Christians lacked temporal power. They yearned for it, ached for it, but they were very far from achieving it. By contrast, today’s fundagelicals feel enraged at how it’s been snatched away from them.

As for the rest, ironically enough, that entire five-point list above fits them pretty well, just as it’s always fit Christians. So there is that.

Perhaps most devastating to Christians’ claims about Original Christianity is this:

If it was so important to Jesus that his followers believe and act in some particular way, it’s really weird that Christianity looks like the below cartoon’s diagram, though that first horizontal line should be dozens of lines winnowing to a few, then exploding outward again:

our denomination set things aright

Worse, Christianity has no hope whatsoever of scaling back on the still-proliferating quirky li’l takes on the religion. Every single one of the lines in that diagram represents a bunch of Christians convinced that their own particular quirky li’l take on Christianity is just like that line on the left. And every one of ’em has Bible  verses galore to support their opinion, and every one of ’em thinks all the other groups are Jesus-ing all wrong.

For some reason, Jesus doesn’t seem to care much about his believers splitting into more and more and more groups all devoted to their own particular quirky li’l takes on his religion.

Nor does he care if a leader from one of those groups uses false beliefs about his earliest followers’ cultural beliefs as ammunition in Christians’ cynically-engineered, increasingly-hostile moral panics and culture wars.

If Christianity was the creation and major project of an omnipotent deity, we would expect early Christianity to match contemporary Christianity- that is, it would have started and been maintained in its pristine condition, rather than having evolved into a multitude of poor and contradictory copies of itself.

(3310) Yahweh is the cruelest of the gods

Christians can brag about one thing- the god that they worship is the most cruel god ever conceived by humans. The evidence is written all over their scriptures. The following was taken from:


Yahweh is easily one of the most cruel and unforgiving gods known to mankind. There are many verses that outright have him killing people or demanding that people be killed. Some of these punishments don’t even fit the crime in most cases. According to the Bible he wiped humanity with a flood simply because he wasn’t pleased with what HE created.

Let me give you biblical examples of Yahweh commanding the murder of people in the Bible. Before I cite the verses keep this in mind one of Yahweh’s commandments is “thou shall not kill”

Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests

Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death.  Such evil must be purged from Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Kill Homosexuals

“If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives.” (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

Death for Striking Your Parents

Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death. (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

Death for Adultery

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

Kill Nonbelievers

They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman. (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

Kill the Entire Town if One Person Worships Another God

Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods.  In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully.  If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.  Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it.  Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God.  That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt.  Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction.  Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you.  He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors.  “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

I gave biblical examples of Yahweh instructing his followers to murder people. I will now provide biblical evidence proving that god also gives his followers instructions to KILL CHILDREN.

Kill Men, Women, and Children

“Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, “Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked.  Show no mercy; have no pity!  Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children.  But do not touch anyone with the mark.  Begin your task right here at the Temple.”  So they began by killing the seventy leaders.  “Defile the Temple!” the LORD commanded.  “Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill!  Go!”  So they went throughout the city and did as they were told.” (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

Still not convinced? Here is evidence of god directly using his divine power to kill humans that cannot defend themselves.

God Kills all the First Born of Egypt

And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed.  Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died. (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

The Angel of Death

That night the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty five thousand men in the Assyrian camp.  Early the next morning, there they were, all the corpuses of the dead. (2 Kings 19:35 NAB)

Yahweh slaughters 500,000 of his own believers

“There fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men,” (2 Chronicles 13:17)

If you assert that god is an all loving god & not a murderer you would have to refute the verses that I just provided. I stated the verses as written in the Bible, so I am not taking these verses out of context. I also want to preface The New Testament does not exonerate or dismiss the acts committed by Yahweh in the Bible.

There are no gods ever invented more cruel than Yahweh. Some Christians will semi-divorce themselves from the Old Testament, as they cringe in the face of the atrocities dominating the front half of their bibles, but they are forgetting one important fact- although Yahweh was a rampaging mass murderer, their ‘gentle’ Jesus went one step further. Yahweh killed people and let them remain dead; Jesus promised to bring dead people back to life and subject them to pain, suffering, whaling, and crying for all of eternity. Who is actually the cruelest?

(3311) Limits of eyewitness testimony

Many unscrupulous Christian apologists claim that the gospels are eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ ministry. This has been thoroughly debunked by modern scholarship. But even if we were to concede that point, and further concede that these eyewitnesses accurately remembered what they saw for several decades before the gospels were written, there is good reason to conclude that what they thought they saw is not what happened. The following discusses the limitations humans encounter when witnessing events.


The first step toward correctly identifying something you’ve seen before is seeing it accurately to begin with. Research over the past few decades has revealed much about how vision works. Visual sensation is the initial process of detecting light and extracting basic image features. Sensations themselves are evanescent; only a small fraction of what is sensed is actually perceived. Attention is the filtering process by which information sensed by the visual system is selected for further processing. Perception is the process by which attended visual information is integrated, linked to environmental cause, made coherent, and categorized through the assignment of meaning, utility, value, and emotional valence. It is the things perceived that populate visual experience and memory.

The fidelity and significance of reported visual experience is necessarily limited by three related factors: uncertainty, bias, and confidence. (This is not unique to vision. These factors influence reports of any sensory experience.) Uncertainty here refers to the probabilistic nature of sensory signal detection in the presence of noise. Vision is plagued by noise from many natural sources, some associated with the structure of the visual environment (e.g., occluding surfaces, glare, shadows), some inherent to the optical and neuronal processes involved (e.g., refractive error or scattering of light in the eye), some reflecting sensory content not relevant to the observer’s goals (e.g., a distracting sign or a loud sound). The presence of such noise leads to uncertainty about what we’re actually looking at, such that any decision we might make or information that we store in memory has a significant likelihood of being wrong.

If uncertainty can be likened to a breakdown of accurate sensory communication, bias is the patch. Bias fills in the blanks when visual information is uncertain, fills them in with what we believe is likely to be out there based on prior experience. Formally, this characterizes vision as a problem of statistical inference, in which the observer infers properties of the world from data in the form of retinal images. Bias refers here to prior probabilities (“priors”)—knowledge or dispositions derived from experience—that enable the observer to make context-dependent inferences about the environmental cause of visual stimulation. For example, prior knowledge that bank robbers carry guns enhances the probability that the bank robber will be perceived with gun in hand, even when the sensory evidence is equivocal. Because these biases are rooted in statistical regularities of our sensory world, they are commonly on target and grant us the perceptual certainty needed for survival in a noisy visual environment.

But there is a catch: This same system that grants certainty of perceptual experience in the face of noise is also capable of filling in the blanks with the wrong information. In other words, misinformed biases cause us to perceive or make decisions about things that don’t exist. The coat rack may be experienced as an intruder in the hall, the shrubbery is mistaken for a police car, or the woman at the rendezvous point is wrongly identified as a friend. Similarly, uncertainty and bias can yield a situation in which information sensed by an eyewitness is of poor quality but the witness nonetheless perceives what he or she expects to see.

To make matters worse, the perceptual naiveté born from uncertainty and bias is often associated with misplaced confidence, which is arguably the most pernicious feature of eyewitness reports. An eyewitness may be wrong for the reasons described above, but a witness who testifies in court with confidence is generally very compelling to triers of fact (26). Contrary to common intuition, however, courtroom statements of confidence are very poor predictors of accuracy (2629). The cause of this confidence–accuracy disparity is well captured by Daniel Kahneman’s cognitive “illusion of validity” (30):

Subjective confidence in a judgment is not a reasoned evaluation of the probability that this judgment is correct. Confidence is a feeling, which reflects the coherence of the information and the cognitive ease of processing it. … Declarations of high confidence mainly tell you that an individual has constructed a coherent story in his mind, not necessarily that the story is true.

Coherence is the key here; observers become confident when multiple pieces of sensory evidence point to the same conclusion, even when the individual pieces are themselves sparse and unreliable. This is, of course, exactly what magicians aim for; they create conditions of uncertainty and introduce bias. In doing so, magicians leave the audience with a coherent but largely unsubstantiated body of evidence (the hat was normal and empty at the outset, there were no rabbits nearby)—and a strong sense of confidence—about something that didn’t actually happen. (Reasoned evaluation of a magic trick will, of course, lead instead to the conclusion that the sensory evidence was unreliable and the observer has been “tricked,” mainly because that is a known characteristic of the genre. But in the real world, similarly unreliable evidence is rarely questioned if it forms part of a coherent picture. This is true of eyewitness reports and it is a pervasive feature in many domains of human decision making, such as criminal investigation, medical diagnosis, strategic warfare, selecting a restaurant, or shopping for a new automobile.) But if the goal is to provide information sufficient for accurate visual identification or resolution of a dispute about things that actually happened, uncertainty, bias, and overconfidence create conditions prone to failure.

Eyewitness testimony is so unreliable that even given the small probability that the gospels were written by people who watched the ‘miracles’ of Jesus, the chance that what they thought they saw was accurate and that they carried those memories un-distorted for decades before they wrote about them is practically zero.

(3312) Afterlife is a weak selling point

Most Christians think of heaven as more or less a continuation of their earthly life, but all it takes is a little bit of critical thinking to realize that this is a poor estimate of what it would actually be like. The following is taken from:


A big selling points of many religions is the Afterlife – an eternal life after death. But why is that something anyone would strife for? What will we be doing in the afterlife?

For example, I have several hobbies, like climbing mountains or playing video games. Will I be able to do this in the afterlife? If yes, will there be a new video game to play or new mountains to climb periodically (because playing the same games or climbing the same mountain again and again will get boring). Will there be an infinite row of games and mountains coming out? Will they repeat periodically after some time?

Or, will I not longer want to play games or climb mountains? Will my hobbies, wants and personality change? In Matthew 22:30, Jesus explain that people will not longer want to marry. Do they not feel love anymore? If that is the case, will I be still the same person as I’m today? What if my personality changes in heaven entirely. In that case, is it still me in the heaven or is that only a changed copy of my personality (a clone) and the true myself died and went into oblivion? Christianity teaches that each person is a sinner. Can I still sin in the heaven? If not, is that a robot version of me out there?

So, afterlife. I wake up, it is a new day here, in the eternal life. What do I do now? What is my daily program?

I think these are all very important questions, religions must answer before they can try to sell us their version of heaven. Otherwise, why should we even care?

Without the afterlife, Christianity would have little to offer, other than taking 10 percent of your money, and wasting many precious weekend hours sitting in a church. After all, it doesn’t seem to do much in this life, as prayers are statistically ineffective. But even the afterlife is an oversold product that, in the infinitesimal chance that it really exists, would not be the paradisaical setting it’s made out to be.

(3313) Bible’s role for women

The role that the Bible laid out for women shows that it is a product of its time, and not the inspired work of a universal deity. The following was taken from:


An unmarried woman was regarded as the property of her father or of a brother. A father could, at his option, give her away or, indeed, sell her to a prospective husband. He could also sell her as a slave and she had no say in the transaction. A prospective groom paid what was called a “bride price,” in part because the bride had some value around the house and in the bedroom and because if she bore him children they would be the property of the husband. If a man seduced a virgin he was required to pay her father a bride price and do so even if the father refused to give her to the seducer in marriage.

Married, the woman remained a chattel. If her husband died before she bore him a son she was not permitted to marry anyone outside the family. Her husband’s brother was required to take her as his wife and the first-born son of that marriage bore the name of the dead husband.

A man could offer his daughter as a prize. King Saul offered his eldest daughter to the man who would bring down Goliath, and his youngest daughter to the man who would bring him the foreskins of one hundred Philistines.

The usual defense used by Christian apologists is that God could work only within the constraints of the people with whom he was interacting. Therefore, he had to construct rules that these people would more or less be comfortable with. Well, OK, but doesn’t that mean that the Bible is not a timeless document? And doesn’t it mean that it is no longer a relevant guide for modern life? They can’t have it both ways. But a holy book that mirrors the rules and ethics of its time of creation is a powerful clue that it was constructed solely by human effort.

(3214) Bayes’ Rule

Using a theorem of logic we can show that the fact that religious texts generated at various locations across the globe show no inherent consistency is evidence against the existence of a global deity- the type of god that Christians worship. The following was taken from:


Imagine we are comparing two propositions, X and Y, and we observe an outcome that has a 90 percent chance of happening under X and a 99 percent chance of happening under Y. According to Bayes’s Theorem, after collecting that information, the credence we assign to X will go down.

That can seem counterintuitive. After all, if X were true, we would have a 90 percent chance of obtaining that outcome – how can observing it count as evidence against this theory? The answer is just that it’s even more likely under the other theory. The shift in credences might not be large, but it will always be there. As a result, the fact that you can come up with an explanation for some event within some theory doesn’t mean that event doesn’t lower the credence you have for the theory. The converse is also true: if some observation would have favored one theory, but we obtained the opposite of that observation, that result necessarily decreases our credence for the theory.

Consider two theories: theism (God exists) and atheism (God doesn’t exist). And imagine we lived in a world where the religious texts from different societies across the globe and throughout history were all perfectly compatible with one another – they all told essentially the same stories and promulgated consistent doctrine, even though there was no way for the authors of those texts to have ever communicated.

Everyone would, sensibly, count that as evidence in favor of theism. You could cook up some convoluted explanation for the widespread consistency even under atheism: maybe there is a universal drive toward telling certain kinds of stories, implanted in us by our evolutionary history. But we can’t deny that theism provides a more straightforward explanation: God spread his word to many different sets of people.

If that’s true, it follows as a matter of inescapable logic that the absence of consistency across sacred texts counts as evidence against theism. If data D would increase our credence in theory X, then not-D necessarily decreases it. It might not be hard to explain such inconsistency, even if theism is true: maybe God plays favorites, or not everyone was listening very carefully. That is part of estimating our likelihoods, but it doesn’t change the qualitative result. In an honest accounting, the credence we assign to a theory should go down every time we make observations that are more probable in competing theories. The shift might be small, but it is there.

If you imagine yourself to be god, and have perfect knowledge of all human beings in real time, and that you have the ability to inspire the writings of these beings, that it is likely that you would ensure that there was a consistency of what they wrote about spiritual concepts. You would want to prevent inaccurate doctrines from being promulgated so that all people would have access to the truth. Well, it is evident that this did not happen on our planet. This is counter-evidence for the existence of a unique, omnipotent deity.

(3315) Select your universe

Let’s say that you have just been created and educated in a preparatory institute. The end point of this process is for you to select what universe you would like to born into. There are two choices:

 Universe 1 has no god. It is strictly a naturalistic place. You will be born there and will live a life, die, and completely cease to exist. After arrival, you will not remember making this selection, so you might still end up believing that there is a god.

Universe 2 has a god. In this case, your existence will not cease after your physical death. You will be sent either to a wonderful world where you will live out a happy time for eternity, or a place of unending horrendous pain where you will be tortured forever. The choices you make during this life will determine your ultimate destiny. It is dependent on whether you find the right god among many that will be believed to exist. However, your memory of making this choice will be erased so will not know whether there is a god or not and this god will not make itself known in any objective sense. And there will be many false gods that are worshiped by other people. You will never be completely sure if you have discovered the real one and even if you are lucky enough to find it, you cannot be sure that you have met its criteria for being sent to the good place.

You may or may not be born into a family that believes in the correct god. If not, you will need to navigate your beliefs against your family tradition to find and worship the right one. If you fail to do this you will be sent to the place of torture.

So, which choice do you make? Unless you are a high-rolling riverboat gambler, you will probably select Universe 1. The small chance of winning a beautiful afterlife is completely overshadowed by the chance, no matter how big or small, of receiving the worst fate imaginable- eternal pain and suffering.

So, anyway (spoiler alert), we are lucky that all of us living here did pick Universe 1. So whether we believe in any gods or not really doesn’t matter in the long run. We made the right choice to enter this universe- and earned the guaranteed right to peacefully cease to exist after we die.

(3316) Expunging God’s name

Cleaning the scriptures to make them more digestible for modern readers has been a perenial mission for Bible translators. The following is a good example how the original names for God were hidden behind a generic placeholder:


You should be aware that almost all English translations have some intentional mistranslations. e.g. “the Lord” instead of “YHWH”, “the Lord God” instead of “the god YHWH” (Yahweh Elohim) and “God Almighty” instead of “El-Shaddai”.

This translation from the Names of God Bible is accurate.

Genesis 2:1-6

Heaven and earth and everything in them were finished. By the seventh day Elohim had finished the work he had been doing. On the seventh day he stopped the work he had been doing. Then Elohim blessed the seventh day and set it apart as holy, because on that day he stopped all his work of creation.

This is the account of heaven and earth when they were created, at the time when Yahweh Elohim made earth and heaven.

Wild bushes and plants were not on the earth yet because Yahweh Elohim hadn’t sent rain on the earth. Also, there was no one to farm the land. Instead, underground water would come up from the earth and water the entire surface of the ground.

This translation from the NRSV bible contains the mistranslations.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground.

It is obvious that biblical translators don’t like the idea of God having a name, probably because it puts him in the same category of the pagan gods. So whitewashing it throughout the Bible was the way they ‘solved’ this problem.

(3317) Paul’s rules on marriage

Marriage is considered to be sacrosanct by most Christians but what Paul wrote to the Corinthians seems to indicate that marriage is simply a last-ditch cure for fornication, and that it should be avoided if possible. How this became part of the Bible is bewildering. The following was taken from:


The teachings of Christianity towards marriage furnishes a well known example of a reactionary philosophy of morals. The views of St. Paul on marriage are set forth in I Corinthians 7:1-9:

1. Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

3. Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence; and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

4. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband; and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

5. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

6. But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.

7. For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

8. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them to abide even as I.

9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

These precepts furnish an example of the harm that can be done when man follows the absurd and unsocial decrees of an ascetic individual written in a barbaric age and maintained as law in a more advanced period. The enlightened physician holds that it is not good for a man not to touch a woman; and one wonders what would have become of our race if all women had carried St. Paul’s teaching, “It is good for them if they abide even as I,” into practice.

Bertrand Russell, in his “Marriage and Morals,” has gone to the root of the matter when he states, “He does not suggest for a moment that there may be any positive good in marriage, or that affection between husband and wife may be a beautiful and desirable thing, nor does he take the slightest interest in the family; fornication holds the center of the stage in his thoughts, and the whole of his sexual ethics is arranged with reference to it. It is just as if one were to maintain that the sole reason for baking bread is to prevent people from stealing cake.” But then it is too much to expect of a man living nearly two thousand years ago to have known the psychology of the emotions, but we do know the great harm that his ascetic principles have done.

St. Paul took the standpoint that sexual intercourse, even in marriage, is regrettable. This view is utterly contrary to biological facts, and has caused in its adherents a great deal of mental disorder. St. Paul’s views were emphasized and exaggerated by the early Church and celibacy was considered holy. Men retired into the desert to wrestle with Satan, and when their abnormal manner of living fired their imagination with erotic visions, mutilated their bodies to cleanse their souls. “There is no place in the moral history of mankind of a deeper or more painful interest than this ascetic epidemic. A hideous, sordid, and emaciated maniac, without knowledge, without patriotism, without natural affections, passing his life in a long routine of useless and atrocious self-torture, and quailing before the ghastly phantoms of his delirious brain, had become the ideal of the nations which had known the writings of Plato and Cicero, and the lives of Socrates and Cato.” (Lecky: “History of European Morals.”)

Since we are led to believe that everything that Paul wrote was directly inspired by God, and therefore qualifies as holy scripture, it is left to bewilderment how such archaic and backward instructions could be included therein. It is almost as if an eccentric and ascetic man was dribbling words out of his own head.

(3318) Retarding scientific medicine

A book by Howard W. Haggard captured how Christianity retarded medical progress and led to the unnecessary deaths of millions of people who were instead cared for by the use of impotent prayers:


Dr. Haggard in his book, “Devils, Drugs, and Doctors,” declares, “The early and Medieval Christians accepted the doctrine of the power of demons in the lives of men; they saw this power particularly in the demoniac production of diseases. They believed in miracles and especially in the miraculous healing of diseases. The demonological belief of the Christians was inherited from the doctrine of the Jews, who were believers in demons and the ‘possession by the devil.’

Jesus himself cured by casting out of devils. Following his example, Christians everywhere became exorcists. Jewish demonology was continued among Christian converts, and the belief in supernatural interpositions in human affairs was widely accepted. Nothing has retarded the growth of scientific medicine during the past 2000 years so much as the iron grip of theology in maintaining practices based on belief in this supernatural origin of disease.” The fabled curing of disease by casting out devils, and the New Testament recordings of Jesus’s conviction that disease was caused by evil spirits, have had an inestimable detrimental result on the development of medical science.

The fact that Jesus believed in the demoniacal production of diseases and cured them by exorcism was deemed so important by the author of the Gospel according to Mark that he has actually recorded the Aramaic words Jesus was reported to have used in addressing his patients. In Mark 5:41, Jesus is reported to have given the command “Talitha cumi” to a little Jewish girl whom her parents believed dead. In Mark 7:34, Jesus is reported as uttering the magical word “Ephphatha,” as he “put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue” in behalf of “one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech.”

This is enough it its own right to conclude that Christianity is false. There is no way that a god would inspire people to believe in demons to the detriment of their health.

(3319) Asa mistakenly consults physicians

One of the ‘pearls’ of the Bible insinuates that the use of physicians is insufficient to resolve a health issue.

2 Chronicles 16:12-13

In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa became diseased in his feet, and his malady became increasingly severe. Yet even in his illness he did not seek the LORD, but only the physicians.

So in the forty-first year of his reign, Asa died and rested with his fathers.

These verses have been used by faith healers and devout Christians who withhold medical care for themselves or their loved ones. The outcome is the opposite of Asa- the reliance on the Lord results in death whereas the physicians could have saved them.

These Bible verses promote death and have no business being in a book allegedly ‘authored’ by a god.

(3320) Christian origins

A careful study of the religious environment around the time of the birth of Christianity indicates that it resulted from a conflation of influences that permeated within the cultural milieu of its time. It lacks any measure of uniqueness that might suggest it is something beyond a human origin. The following was taken from:


Christian origins. Exactly how did the Christian faith arise? The laity willingly accept “the greatest story ever told”: Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament, was born according to plan, preached, healed, and performed sensational miracles. He “gave his life” as a ransom for many; after his resurrection he appeared to the apostle Paul, who spread the gospel that believing in the resurrected Christ was the key to eternal life. The church grew sensationally as its gospel was spread, and eventually became the dominant faith of the Western world. Lack of curiosity and skepticism have enabled this naïve concept of Christian origins to prevail.

But the reality is a nightmare for Christian propagandists, i.e., preachers and priests who don’t want their congregations looking “behind the curtain.” The ancient context in which Christianity arose was complex. There were so many currents of thought flowing from different directions—so many intellectual influences—hence it takes a lot of study to grasp what actually happened: how Christian theology emerged. It turns out that “the greatest story ever told” isn’t what it seems—in fact, falls far short of that claim.

A good place to start in trying to get a handle on what actually happened is Derreck Bennett’s essay in the new anthology edited by John W Loftus and Robert M. Price, Varieties of Jesus Mythicism: Did He Even Exist? Bennett’s essay is titled, “Dying and Rising Gods.” The plural is a clue that Christian theology is in trouble: the Jesus story seems to have taken on the superstitions of other ancient cults. Some years ago, on Easter morning, a devout friend posted on Facebook: “He is risen!” I resisted the temptation to ask who “He” was. She had no idea that other cults in the early Christian environment attached their hopes for eternal life to their own risen gods.

But just how many were there? That is, how common was the belief? Bennett opens his essay with a discussion of Sir James Frazer’s The Golden Bough, published in 1890:

“Frazer proposed that various deities from antiquity were modeled after the yearly cycle of vegetation, undergoing death and resurrection in a symbolic portrayal of seasonal death and rebirth. The implications for Christianity were clear, thus the topic has never been without controversy.” (p. 46)

Bennett describes the considerable pushback to The Golden Bough. Some scholars argued that the beliefs of others cults differed enough from the Christian story that Jesus was safe; apologists could take heart that their faith had not been sullied.

Other scholars weren’t so sure. Bennett notes that M. David Litwa (Iesus Deus: The Early Christian Depiction of Jesus as a Mediterranean God) concedes “that the corporeal immortalizations of, e.g., Asclepius, Heracles, and Romulus form the backdrop for understanding the earliest depictions of Christ’s resurrection and apotheosis. Litwa makes the case that, like Jesus, these figures were raised in a new and glorified body, by which they were deified and made immortal.” (p. 49) Bennett also includes a long quote from John Granger Cook’s Empty Tomb, Resurrection, Apotheosis, one sentence of which is especially helpful: “Just as the Greek of the LXX and NT has its place in the matrix of classical Greek, so the resurrection of Christ can be placed in the matrix of the bodily resurrections of cult figures from the Mediterranean world.” (p. 50 in Bennett’s essay, p. 143 in Cook)

One of the lessons I learned way back in Sunday School was that Israel committed great sin in worshipping the false god Baal. This was brought back to me by Bennett’s discussion of Baal:

“Steeped in the culture of their Canaanite ancestors, many Israelites continued to worship the major storm and fertility god, Baal. Despite the condemnation of such practices in 1 Kings 18 and Hosea 2, the Baal myth made its impression on scripture…the myth of Baal’s death at the hands of Mot, and subsequent restoration to life, was almost certainly known to the Israelites.” (p. 51)

So, the irony! The bad-guy god Baal helped fuel Christian theology much later:

“Resources and scholarship firmly establish that Baal was a dying and rising god, the risen son of El, who conquered death and reigned henceforth upon his heavenly throne. Given Jewish familiarity with the Baal myth—the long constancy of his worship in Israel and the indelible mark his story made up on the Scriptures —it should come as no surprise that Baal served as a prototype of Christ, the risen Son of God who vanquished death, was enthroned as Lord, and comes upon the clouds of heaven in power and glory.”  (p. 53)

Egyptian theology seems to have played a role as well. Bennett notes that “the impact of Egyptian religion had upon Judeo-Christianity is unmistakable. And Osiris’ place of prominence is the Egyptian pantheon seems to have captured the imaginations of many throughout the Mediterranean world, even up to the Greco-Roman period.” (pp.54-55) Bennett quotes several Pyramid Texts illustrating Osiris’ return to life:

“Osiris awakes, the languid god wakes up, the god stands up, the god has power in his body.”

“Raise yourself, O King; receive your head, collect your bones, gather your limbs together, throw off the earth from your flesh…Rise up, O King, for you have not died!”

“Raise yourself because of your strength, may you ascend to the sky…may you have power in your body.” (p. 55) And Bennett includes a quote from S.G. F. Brandon: “…neither Osiris nor Christ resume their earthly lives but pass on to another world, where they acquire a new status and office, which in each case is that of savior and judge of the dead.” (p. 56)

Bennett notes: “Ultimately, both [Christ] and Osiris venture to the world beyond, where they are nonetheless raised to new life. The comparison is especially profound when we consider the salvific significance attached to these divinities and their conquest of death. In each case, the resurrection of the godman serves as the hope and guarantee of resurrection to eternal life for their devotees.” (p. 57)

Egypt was only one influencer, however. The folks in the pews usually don’t grasp the significance of the New Testament being written in Greek—and that the gospel authors commonly used the Greek version of the Old Testament. Although the language of the peasantry from which Jesus supposedly came was Aramaic, the pitch of the early Jesus cult was to the Greek-speaking world. Dennis MacDonald has shown that the author of Mark’s gospel drew from the Homeric Epics in the structuring of his gospel (The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark). So it would have been extraordinary if New Testament theology had escaped the influence of Greek and Roman religious thought—including the belief in dying and rising gods.

Bennett devotes six pages of the essay to a discussion of this influence, noting that Alexander the Great “inaugurated what is known as the Hellenistic Age, a time of unprecedented sharing of ideas between formerly disparate cultures, resulting in rampant religious syncretism.” (p. 58) Bennett describes several heroic figures who died, yet lived again—such as Hercules, whose story is told

“…in the first century play, Hercules Oetaeus. There, he appears to his grieving mother Alcmene and implores her to refrain from mourning, that he has been ‘granted [his] place in heaven’ among the gods. Afterwards, he ascends to the realm above. One is instantly reminded of Jesus’ appearance to Mary Magdalene in the gospel of John, where he is in the process of ascending to the Father.”  (p. 62)

Of course, the stories of these various heroes differ in detail from the Jesus story—what else would we expect when human imaginations play such a big role? —but Bennett concludes: “Most illuminating are the vivid parallels to the darkness that befell Christ’s crucifixion, appearances to witnesses, declarations of divine sonship, and great commission before ascending on high.” (p. 64)

For those who escape the Sunday School frame of mind, it’s not hard to see that the gospels are saturated with miracle folklore, fantasy, and magical thinking. Hence it’s hardly a surprise that Christianity also applied the rising-dying god myth to its central figure. Jesus could be just as fictitious as any of the superheroes that human imaginations have come up with. The context in which Christianity arose doesn’t boost confidence that the Jesus presented in the gospels actually walked the earth. The total lack of any contemporaneous documentation for a Jesus of Nazareth makes us suspicious anyway. Bennett suggests correctly: “Christ as the dying and rising messiah…must be understood as a composite figure, the culmination of a long, winding, and rich tradition of religious ideas from around the Mediterranean world.” (p. 65)

It strikes me as especially unfortunate that some early Christian theologians took the dying-rising god motif to toxic levels. It’s almost as if they wanted to see how far they could go in fooling the devotees; the author of John’s gospel was especially guilty. He invented the Jesus script in John 6, in which the holy hero assures his followers that eating his flesh and drinking his blood are the magic potions for achieving eternal life. Drinking the blood of a god. This is blatant tomfoolery, and cult weirdness! Yet it became a ghoulish ceremony at the center of Christian worship. Today we have to ask, “What are people thinking?” It would be a good idea for Christians to step back from such practices, try to gain some perspective. They should follow Bennett’s lead in studying the origins of their faith, and try to resist the eternal life gimmick, which is hardly unique to Christianity. Of course, for the priests and preachers, the show must go on. But the folks in the pews should be heading for the exit.

People who ‘look behind the curtain’ usually leave Christianity or at least their faith is shaken. Fortunately for the church, most people don’t do this and just take what they are served as the gospel truth.

(3321) Church knowingly protected false reading

It was well known by the 2nd Century that a translation error in the Book of Isaiah interpreted the text to refer to a virgin (thought by Christians to refer to Mary, the mother of Jesus) whereas the correct reference was to a young woman. Even though the church realized this problem at that time, they resisted changing the interpretation because they wanted to protect the myth of the virginal birth. This deception continues in modern versions of the Bible. The following was taken from:


 In a few moments the myth of Christ begins to unfold itself before his eyes in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Apocalypse. He finds, “The so-called Messianic texts which are supposed to prefigure Jesus in the Old Testament have all been either misunderstood or deliberately misinterpreted. The most celebrated is that in Isaiah 7:14, which predicts that a virgin shall bear a son, Emmanuel, but the word, Al-mah, which the Septuagint rendered “virgin” means in Hebrew a young woman, and this passage merely deals with the approaching birth of a son to the king or the prophet himself. This error of the Septuagint is one of the sources of the legend relating to the virginal birth of Jesus. As early as the second century A.D. the Jews perceived it and pointed it out to the Greeks, but the Church knowingly persisted in the false reading, and for over fifteen centuries she has clung to her error.”

The use of deception, especially the kind of deception that has definitively been shown to be such, over many centuries and myriad translations, is not a good image for Christianity. If you are willing to lie about things that are easily shown to be lies, what to make of anything else you are asserting?

(3322) Clear passages on divorce and remarriage

The following essay documents the naked hypocrisy of Christians touting the inerrancy of the Bible while routinely not following the biblical rules for divorce and remarriage:


There are many passages in the New Testament which discuss divorce and remarriage and these fall into either one of two categories—Clear-cut, straight to the point passages and unclear, ambiguous passages. Strangely, when individuals are seeking to discover what the Bible teaches about remarriage after a divorce, the clear passages are usually ignored in favor of discussions upon the unclear passages in an attempt to see if they allow remarriage after divorce or not and if so under what conditions.

This heavy emphasis upon the unclear passages as opposed to the clear teachings of the New Testament should lead us to ask two fundamental questions—1.) What is the purpose of the clear passages? and 2.) Is it safe to base a moral decision upon an unclear passage when you have a clear passage which tells you the heart of God on a particular issue?

We will now look at the clear New Testament passages on divorce and remarriage.

In the Gospel of Mark we read that: And he said unto them, ‘Whoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, commits adultery against her.’ Mk 10:11 According to Jesus’ teaching in Mark, if a man divorces his wife and enters into a marriage with another woman he commits the sin of adultery against his first wife. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she commits adultery. Mk 10:12 He continues by indicating that if a woman divorces her husband and enters into a marriage with another man she also commits the sin of adultery against her first husband.

In the Gospel of Luke we read that: Whoever puts away his wife, and marries another, commits adultery… Lk 16:18a According to Jesus’ teachings in Luke if a man divorces his wife and marries another he commits the sin of adultery against his first wife. …and whoever marries her that is put away from her husband commits adultery. Lk 16:18b

Jesus continues his teaching upon divorce and remarriage by reminding his listeners that if a man decides to marry a woman who has been divorced by her husband then he commits the sin of adultery by doing so.

Reading these passages we are faced with an interesting question. Jesus says that in each of these instances if a person enters into one of the above unions that he or she “commits adultery”. The question is do they “commit” adultery once (at the time when they first enter into the new marriage) or do they “commit” adultery continuously so long as they are in the new marriage? Looking at the Greek in these passages gives us the answer to this question. In each of these passages the Greek verb for “commits adultery” is in the present tense. The present tense in Greek generally indicates that something happens continuously in an on-going manner. When a Greek verb is written in the present tense it implies that it has continued from the moment that it began up until the present and is still continuing. This understanding of how the Greek present tense normally operates is well attested to by Greek scholars:

“The present tense refers to what is usually described as continuous action, sometimes called linear or ongoing action. It is action that began at some point in the undefined past and has not ended. It is “present” in the sense that it continues into the present. The picture that the present tense provides is of something occurring now. It designates action that is right now continuing as it began.” (Joseph Webb, Robert Kysar, Greek For Preachers, Chalice Press: 2002, p.46)

The implication of Jesus’ words, as attested to by the above Greek scholars, is that if two individuals enter into a marriage as described above they continuously commit adultery every time that they have intercourse.

Looking at the Greek tense in another part of Luke’s passage above points out something else very interesting. When Luke wrote of the individual who “marries another” after putting away his first wife and of the man who “marries her” that has been put away he also uses the Greek verb for “to marry” in the present tense. In other words Luke is really saying that:

“Whoever puts away his wife, and enters into a continuous and ongoing state of marriage with another, commits adultery continuously: and whoever enters into a continuous and ongoing state of marriage with her that is put away from her husband commits adultery continuously.”

We note above that the action of committing adultery is directly linked to the action of continuing in the new married state. In other words, so long as one continues to be married to the new partner they continue to commit adultery in an ongoing and continuous manner.

There are those who have tried to maintain that the adultery is not continuous for those who enter into the above unions but the Greek will not allow this position. The plain and simple truth is that those who have entered into unscriptural remarriages that the Bible said was adulterous are in a state of continuous and perpetual adultery.

Jesus’ words above are not the only clear passages of the New Testament upon the issue of divorce and remarriage. The Apostle Paul also discusses this issue in his first letter to the Corinthians.

In 1Corinthians we read that: And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, ‘Let not the wife depart from her husband (but if she does depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband)…’ 1Co 7:10-11a

Paul here instructs the Corinthian Christians that a wife is not to leave or divorce her husband but if this does happen then she is to either remain single for the rest of her life or be reconciled back to her husband. …and let not the husband put away his wife. 1Co 7:11b

Paul continues by instructing his male readers that they have been commanded by Jesus to not divorce their wives. Further on this chapter Paul instructs that: The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband is dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. 1Co 7:39

Paul concludes his instructions to the Corinthian Christians by telling them that a wife is “bound” to her first husband until he dies and that it is only after his death that a woman is free to get married for a second time. So, to sum up the clear New Testament teachings on divorce and remarriage we see that:

1.) Men are commanded not to divorce their wives (1Co 7:11b)

2.) Women are commanded not to divorce their husbands (1Co 7:10)

3.) A man who divorces his wife and marries another becomes an adulterer (Mk 10:11, Lk 16:18a)

4.) The man who marries a woman who has been divorced becomes an adulterer (Lk 16:18b)

5.) The woman who divorces her husband and marries another man becomes an adulterer (Mk 10:12)

6.) A woman who divorces her husband is commanded to either remain single for the rest of her life or be reconciled to her husband (1Co 7:10-11a)

7.) Only the death of the husband gives a woman the right to enter into a second marriage (1Co 7:39)

These are the clear teachings of the New Testament upon the issue of divorce and remarriage. They are very plain and extremely direct. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article there are a few other passages that are unclear yet receive the most attention and are oftentimes given the most priority by persons who are making a decision as to whether to remarry after experiencing a divorce. It was not the purpose of this paper to discuss the unclear passages it was merely to ask two fundamental questions:

1.) What is the purpose of the clear passages? In other words, were they put there for a reason? Does God expect us to ignore His clear teachings to us regarding divorce and remarriage in favor of unclear passages? Why did God put these passages here in such a clear-cut and direct way if He intended to reverse them in other passages?

2.) Is it safe to base a moral decision upon an unclear passage when you have a clear passage which tells you the heart of God on a particular issue? In other words, is it wise to make a decision that could determine where one will spend all of eternity based upon an unclear verse when one has a clear verse telling us how God wants us to behave in a particular situation?

This hypocrisy is especially flagrant when Christians use a few isolated verses condemning homosexuality while dismissing much more pertinent rules for divorce and remarriage. Either the Bible is the word of God or it is not. You cannot pick and choose what you want while ignoring what you find inconvenient.

(3323) God’s 400-year vacation

If we are to believe the biblical canon used by Protestant Christian denominations, then God was in the business of inspiring writers for about 1000 years, then took off the next 400 years, before sending Jesus to the Earth. Then he inspired some additional writers for about 100 more years before taking what is now about a 1900-year vacation. The mechanics of this sequence boggles the mind. The following was taken from:


Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. – Matthew 5:17 (NRSV 1991)

The Law and Prophets were written over thousand years from 1400 BCE to 400 BCE from the time of Moses giving the Torah till Malachi the last prophet. (NRSV 1991)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem at c.7 BCE and started his ministry at c. AD 30 (NRSV 1991). The time from 400 BCE to the birth of Jesus is called the intertestamental period. During this period there were no revelations from God and no Prophets, so the books written in this period are not considered inspired by God or the Word of God hence they are called Deuterocanonical or second Canon. These include Tobit, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach, Baruch 1 and 2 Maccabees, additions to Esther, additions to Daniel, 1 and 2 Esdras, 3 and 4 Maccabees, Prayer of Manasseh, and Psalm 151.

The Catholic Church still considers some intertestamental works to be canonical, pointing out the arbitrariness of this assignment. But what should bother Christians is the concept that God’s inspirational efforts seem to be like a water spout that is turned off and on, rather than a consistent drip that would seem more appropriate, especially considering the evolving needs and moral questions of a progressing civilization. But it also seems that a real god would do a better job of showing convincing evidence as to which books he has inspired, rather than leaving it to a controversial push and tug among bible scholars.

(3324) Nature suggests no omni god

The way that the natural environment is structured suggests that it was not designed by the type of all-powerful god envisioned by Christianity. There are many things that an omnibenevolent god would have designed differently. The following was taken from:


At the very minimum, an omni-god should prevent all natural disasters. If such a god exists the 2004 Indonesian tsunami that killed approximately a quarter million people should never have taken place. If god had prevented it with a miracle, by stopping the underwater earthquake before it happened, no one would have been the wiser, precisely because it didn’t happen. By doing so, god could have remained hidden, for some hidden reason. Then with a perpetual miracle he could keep it from happening in the future. Such a god could stop all naturally caused horrendous suffering in this manner, and none of us would be the wiser. We would just conclude this is how the natural world works, with much less suffering in it.

An omni-god should not have created predation in the animal world, either. The amount of animal suffering is atrocious, as creatures prey on one another to feed themselves. The extent of animal suffering cries out against the existence of a good god. This horrific suffering is perhaps the most difficult problem of all. To say these creatures do not feel pain is to reject the overwhelming evidence of evolution that proves we are all related as creatures. In lieu of this, an omni-god should have created all living things as vegans like herbivores such as rabbits, deer, sheep, cows, and Hippos. And in order to be sure there is enough vegetation for all of us, god could have reduced our mating cycles and/or made edible vegetation like apple trees, corn stalks, blueberry bushes, wheat, and tomato plants grow as plenteous as wild weeds do today.

 An all-powerful god didn’t even have to create us such that we needed to eat anything at all. Since theists believe their god can do miracles, he could sustain us all with miraculously created nutrients inside our biological systems throughout our lives, and we wouldn’t know anything different. Such a deity could simply do a perpetual miracle here as well. In fact, there is nothing prohibiting god from feeding us by the process of photosynthesis, just like plant life, thereby not requiring animals at all. Given that god didn’t do this, many animals are farmed for human consumption under horrible conditions in intensive factory farms, abused in experimental labs, or trapped in horrible ways without any condemnations of animal abuse in god’s so-called revelation in the Bible.

Nature is cruel and unforgiving, and this is what we would expect from the natural evolution of earth science and life. A world more finely tuned to avoid misery would be more suggestive of the creation of an all-powerful god.

(3325) Delaying baptism

For the first thousand years, Christians would routinely delay their baptism until right before they died because it was thought that baptism was the only way to have sins forgiven. It wasn’t until the sacrament of confession was invented, allowing for periodic sin remission, that baptism was routinely administered to children. The following was taken from:


In the first centuries CE, religious instruction was at first given after baptism. In later centuries, believers were given increasingly specific instructions before being baptized, especially in the face of heresies in the 4th century.

By the fourth and fifth centuries CE, baptism had become a several-week-long rite leading up to the actual baptismal washing on Easter. During this time, catechumens attended several meetings of intensive catechetical instruction, often by the bishop himself, and often accompanied by special prayers, exorcisms, and other rites. By then, postponement of baptism had become general, and a large proportion of believers were merely catechumens (Constantine was not baptized until he was dying); but as baptisms of the children of Christians, using an adaptation of the rite intended for adults, became more common than baptisms of adult converts, the number of catechumens decreased.

The motivation for postponing baptism was likely that baptism was believed to forgive sins, so the issue of sins committed after baptism arose (the general practice of confession was not established until the 11th century CE).

The way the sin economy of Christianity evolved over these centuries surely smacks of a human endeavor, not one that would be in accord with divine influence.

(3326) Usurping God’s plan

If Christianity is taken at face value, we must agree that God initially decided to be the god solely of the Jews, but then after about 1000 years changed his mind and decided to become the god of all humans. And apparently, he intended to implement this plan by sending a copy of himself (or his son) to earth to take on human form.

But if the intent of Jesus’ mission was to expand Yahweh’s grace to all peoples, then sending him to a remote Jewish-dominated area (Galilee) makes no sense. This becomes especially problematic when we see Jesus responding as follows:

Matthew 15:21-24

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came to Him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is miserably possessed by a demon.”

But Jesus did not answer a word. So His disciples came and urged Him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

It seems much more likely that a god intent on changing his entire business plan would send himself to a neutral location, such as Rome or Athens. If that had happened, there would have been no ambiguity that God was actually expanding his grace to include the ‘pagan’ world, that he was definitely planning to change and become the god of all human beings.

So if the god of the Jews, Yahweh, is the real and only god of the universe, it appears more likely that he never intended to become more than the god of the Jews, and that it was others (not his closest followers, including someone who never met Jesus ( Paul)) who usurped the intent of Yahweh to manufacture a new universal religion called Christianity. So, if we take it as a fact that Yahweh is the only god in the universe, the Jews have a defensible claim to still be God’s only ‘chosen’ people. After all, God never changes, right?

(3327) Angel Gabriel’s double standard

In Luke, Chapter 1, we see that the angel Gabriel makes announcements to two individuals- (1) telling Zechariah that his wife Elizabeth will bear a son (John the Baptist) and (2) telling Mary that she will bear a son (Jesus). Both of these persons show doubt- Zechariah because he and his wife are old, and Mary because she is a virgin. The angel punishes Zechariah (making him dumb) but does not punish Mary.

Luke 1:18-20

How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”

“I am Gabriel,” replied the angel. “I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day this comes to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”

Mary exhibits an analogous doubt when told she will bear Jesus:

Luke 1:34

“How can this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

But there is no punishment for her at all.

Although these stories are fictional, the author of Luke apparently failed to see the inconsistency in how the angel responded to the initial doubts of these two individuals. Adding to the problem is that it assumes that (1) angels exist, (2) that they can speak in the local language, and (3) that they have the power to cause a person to lose their voice. Not to mention the undue punishment meted out to a person exhibiting reasonable skepticism.

(3328) The story of Moses

Few Christians read the entirety of the story of Moses in the Bible, but this condensed version suffices to reveal beyond any reasonable doubt that it is legendary:


Our story begins around 1200 B.C. in Egypt, where the Hebrew people are slaves of the Egyptians. The Egyptian ruler, the Pharaoh, decided to exercise some population control and so decreed that all Hebrew newborn boys shall be thrown into the Nile River.

(The girls can live because nobody really cares about girls anyway, which is a recurrent Bible theme.)

Instead of throwing her baby boy in the river, one Jewish mother decides to hide her son in a basket down by the river bank. The Pharaoh’s daughter finds the baby, adopts him, and names him Moses. When Moses grows up, he kills an Egyptian who was beating up a Hebrew. Word gets around, and Moses flees Egypt and eventually marries into a good family with livestock.

One day, Moses is out tending his flock when God appears to him in the form of a burning bush. They chat a little and God suggests Moses lead the oppressed Hebrews out of Egypt and deliver them to a land flowing with milk and honey. Moses was a little skeptical.

He questioned, “In case anyone asks, who should I say sent me?” And God said, “Just call me ‘I am who am.’” This riddle did not make Moses feel any more confident.

So God gave him three miracle tricks to perform if needed, the most famous being turning a snake into a stick! This stick is the rod of God or walking staff that Moses is usually pictured holding in paintings.

Plagues of Egypt

Moses, along with his brother Aaron, goes back to Egypt and meets with the Pharaoh. They say, “Mr. Pharaoh, let my people go.”

And the Pharaoh responds, “Ahh, no.” Then he increases the workload and beatings of the Hebrews, just for asking. Moses reports back to God, “Excuse me, I am who am, that did not go well.” God says, “Go do the tricks I showed you earlier.”

So Moses and his brother Aaron go back to the Pharaoh and throw the stick down, and it turns into a snake! Ho-hum, the Egyptian magicians can do that too. Okay, Moses then turns the water of the Nile River into blood. Shazam! Still no movement from the Pharaoh, “Big deal, we can do that too.”

Moses tells the Pharaoh to think it over. Seven days later and still nothing. So God gets serious and has Moses unleash a series of plagues on Egypt. Frogs come up out of the river and into people’s beds. Swarms of gnats and flies infest everybody’s houses.

The Pharaoh is temporarily impressed. After each plague, he says, “Okay, you can lead your people away.” But when the plagues recede, he changes his mind and keeps the Hebrews enslaved.

So then come plagues of selective Egyptian livestock slaughter, hailstorms, locusts, and darkness. Every time the same response from the Pharaoh: “Okay, you win, make it stop.” Followed by, “No, the Hebrews really have to stay.”


God has one more plague up his sleeve. He tells Moses to instruct the Hebrews to get ready on the tenth day of a certain month because there’s going to be a massive beatdown of the Egyptians. God’s going to show up at midnight and kill every firstborn son and animal, including the Pharaoh’s!

To protect the Jewish firstborns, each family is told to slaughter an unblemished lamb and smear some of its blood above their doorway. Then cook and eat the lamb along with some unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Lots of specific instructions follow.

At the appointed hour, God shows up and smites every firstborn in Egypt, but he passes over the Hebrew houses that have the secret blood-smear sign over the doorways. This catastrophe works, the Pharaoh gives in, and Moses and Aaron successfully lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Modern-day Jews commemorate this ritual every year with the feast of Passover.

Parting the Red Sea

God helps lead the group along by a pillar of cloud during the day and the pillar of fire by night. He brought them over the scenic route to the Red Sea and had them camp there. God and Moses schemed together because God still had some wrong sauce to lay on the Pharaoh.

Before long, the Pharaoh and Egyptians started to miss having all those Hebrew slaves around. So they mobilized the army and 600 chariots to go reclaim their slaves.

The Hebrews saw them coming and were terrified. God put the pillar of cloud in the way to provide cover while Moses raised his rod, and God sent a strong wind to actually separate the waters of the Red Sea.

Moses led the Hebrews through the pathway created between the two halves of the sea, while God watched from the pillar of fire. When the Pharaoh and his army followed them, their chariot wheels got stuck in the mud and they were trapped.

Moses raised his rod again, and the two halves of the Red Sea slammed back together, drowning all the Egyptians and their horses. Splash!

Desert Happenings

Moses and Aaron continued to lead the Jews throughout the desert and wilderness, sojourning around for forty years. As you can imagine, there was a lot of grousing and moaning, “Are we there yet?” “I’m thirsty.” “There are no restaurants anywhere.”

People also started slacking off on the rules, like not resting on the Sabbath. Moses kept relaying these complaints to God saying, “Hey, the people are crabby; some of these complainers are going to stone me to death down here.”

God intervenes multiple times by sending quail birds over to be barbecued, raining down special bread, manna from heaven, just about daily, and the big crowd-pleaser: letting Moses get some street cred by striking a rock with his rod and water flowing out like a fire hydrant! This one went over well and restored calm to the masses.

The Sacred Covenant

God and Moses were now on a hot streak. So God commanded Moses to come up to the top of Mount Sinai to talk strategy. Moses went to the mountaintop and met with God, while the people of Israel waited below. Moses stayed up there forty days and forty nights.

All the people down below could see were clouds and flashes of lightning, interspersed with rolls of thunder and the occasional startling trumpet blast. Negotiations went well, and a deal was struck between God and Moses.

It was called the sacred covenant and sealed with blood. In the covenant, God again promised the Hebrews all the land from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness all the way to the Euphrates River.

God would occasionally send hornets to drive out the local tribes so the Hebrews could slowly take over all the land.

Ten Commandments

In return for this promised land, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which the people agree to live by, and also pages and pages of “ordinances” detailing lots and lots of rules.

The Ten Commandments are:

  1. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make a graven image or likeness of other gods. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not kill.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything of your neighbor’s.

The ordinances give common-sense rules for all kinds of things like: You shall not permit a sorceress to live. Whoever sacrifices to any god, save to the Lord only, shall be utterly destroyed. You shall not boil a kid (baby goat) in its mother’s milk.

Whoever curses his father or his mother shall be put to death. Whoever lies with a beast shall be put to death. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh, he shall go free. If an ox gores a slave, the owner shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

When a man strikes a slave, male or female, with a rock and the slave dies, he shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be punished.

Okay, got that? It’s the word of the Lord. Then God gave Moses excruciatingly detailed instructions on how to build an ark (box) to keep a copy of the signed deal in.

The special box is called the Ark of the Covenant. Plus, specifications for a mobile tabernacle to keep the ark in, tent poles, veils, garments, jewels, gold and silver decorations, tables, altars, lamps and furnishings, curtains with loops and clasps, screens, pillars, turbans, girdles, priestly uniforms with insignia, robes, gold chains, caps, measurements, a bronze sink for washing, and directions for sacrifices.

Oh, and also take a census. And collect atonement money. “Whoa,” Moses said, “How am I going remember all that?” So God scrawled notes on some stone tablets using his own finger, the finger of God. Powerful. Okay, we’re all good here. Moses came down from the mountain.

The Golden Calf and Broken Tablets

Well, wouldn’t you know, Aaron and the people of Israel couldn’t even behave for forty days, even with those unpredictable trumpet blasts.

While Moses was gone, they melted down their gold jewelry, used their graving tools, and formed a golden calf to worship. Yes, a graven image!

Complete with sacrifices and dancing! When Moses saw this, he went ballistic. He threw the stone tablets down, breaking them into smithereens; called Aaron an unprintable name; ordered 3,000 men killed, ground up the calf, mixed it with water, and made all the idiots drink it.

Plus, the next day he had to tell God about it! God reacted in his usual way and sent a plague. Then he summoned Moses back up Mount Sinai.


For the next forty days and forty nights, they went over every stinking detail again. They rewrote the covenant and Ten Commandments on two more stone tablets and Moses came down again from the mountaintop.

This time, the people of Israel accepted the deal and started building the ark, tent, tabernacle, and all the uniforms and stuff, just how God wanted it, in excruciating detail. When everything was done, God enjoyed hanging out in the tabernacle.

He’d show his presence by covering the tabernacle with a cloud whenever he was in there during the day, and fire by night. Then he’d lift the cloud when it was time to move the chosen people onward again, toward the promised land.

And there you have it, the story of Moses, Passover, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments.

It’s mind-boggling to me that such a bloody and brutal book is still used, in the twenty-first century, to deny scientifically proven facts, condones discrimination, swears in our government leaders, and inform our policies.

But yet it is. My guess is that most people who rely on its teachings haven’t actually read the whole thing. And those who have, probably ignore vast sections and cherry-pick what they find useful.

And those who insist on its literal belief have serious flaws in their mental functioning and judgment. So, I hope you now have a perspective and background knowledge of what all the fuss is about!

A person who is thinking in a sound manner can recognize that the story of Moses is a legendary trope, replete with magic, fantasy, daring, and brutality. But most of all it reveals a concept of a heavenly god that is so out of step with modern values and ethics that any conscientious Christian should take their bibles and saw them in half.

(3329) Jesus impregnated his own mother

Conventional  Christian doctrine renders the birth of Jesus to be an absurdity. The problem develops because the three elements of God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) are assumed to be of one substance- this seems to indicate that what one does, all three do as well.  This means that Jesus impregnated his own mother The following was taken from:

The Bible is Wrong About Jesus’ Birth; i.e. Christmas

If Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are one than it must be true that Jesus (in the form of the Holy Spirit) had sex with his own mother to give birth to himself (in the form of Jesus); then he (Jesus) sacrificed himself to himself (god) to save us from himself (in the form of God). We think that is a very accurate rendition of the story of Jesus.

Or, as Kevinator (see comments below) so succinctly put it:

Mary was impregnated by her unborn son so he would be born in order to kill himself in order to save us from himself.

It is already difficult t to acknowledge that a god can become a human, but even harder to accept that a god had sex with his mother to produce his own birth. This is a form of re-engineered incest, an absurdity that can exist only in the realm of religion.

(3330) Moses breaks 6th Commandment

One of the Bible’s greatest heroes, Moses, is revered for all intents and purposes as a demi-god by Christians. He allegedly received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. It is interesting to note how he violated one of them… repeatedly, deliberately, and forcefully. The following was taken from:

The Contradictions in the Bible Prove It Is Wrong

Exodus 20:13  Thou Shalt Not Kill
the sixth commandment, presented to Moses by God for the Children of Israel.

Now having said that, here is Mose’s command to his officers who had spared the women and children of  the Midianites:

Numbers 31:17 -18

Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

Now how about that for a contradiction? The same guy who issues the sixth commandment, then issues the order to violate it.  KILL every male child, kill all the non virgin women, and rape all the virgin children.

The fact that the bearer of the Ten Commandments, the man who actually toted them down the mountain, can later overtly violate one of them, and still retain the grace of God, seems to indicate that God was not that serious about what he wrote on those stones.

(3331) Child sacrifice in ancient Israel

There is ample evidence that some early followers of Yahweh believed in and practiced child sacrifice as a way to appease and gain earthly favors. This abominable atrocity was eventually stopped in favor of sacrificing only animals. The following was taken from:


“For the Judahites have done evil in my sight”—an oracle of Yahweh—“they have set their abominations in the House over which my Name is invoked, defiling it. They build the shrines of the Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—which I did not command, nor did it arise in my mind.” (Jeremiah 7:30–31)

Among the many accusations that the prophets of the Hebrew Bible level at their contemporaries, child sacrifice certainly ranks among the most egregious. The idea that the Israelites would sacrifice their own children is so shocking that one may be tempted to dismiss the charge merely as hyperbolic. But the accusation is hardly limited to Jeremiah. For instance, among the first commands in Deuteronomy’s collection of laws is:

When Yahweh your god has cut off before you the peoples among whom you are about to enter to dispossess, and you have dispossessed them and lived in their land, be careful lest you are ensnared by them, after they have been destroyed before you—lest you inquire about their gods, saying, “How did these peoples serve their gods? I also will do likewise.” You must not do likewise for Yahweh your god, because every abomination to Yahweh that he hates they have done for their gods—for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods! (Deut 12:29–31)

This is a warning to the Israelites not to imitate the depraved Canaanites by sacrificing Israelite children to Yahweh in the same way that Canaanites sacrificed their sons and daughters to their gods. But why would such a command exist among the corpora of biblical laws unless some Israelites were at least tempted to sacrifice their children to Yahweh? Further, the fact that the oracle in Jeremiah accuses them of precisely that only strengthens the suspicion that the practice of child sacrifice was a very real, and apparently quite controversial, issue in ancient Israel.

These are far from the only references to child sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible. While the story of Abraham’s near sacrifice of Isaac (Gen 22) is probably the most famous example, there are also less well-known tales, such as Jephthah’s sacrifice of his daughter in fulfillment of a vow (Judg 11–12) and King Mesha of Moab’s sacrifice of his firstborn son during what appeared to be a hopeless siege (2 Kgs 3). Various biblical law codes demand that the firstborn of one’s cattle and flocks be handed over as a sacrifice to Yahweh, but some passages suggest that the requirement applied to firstborn children as well. In most cases, firstborn children are to be “redeemed” via the offering of a sheep (e.g., Exod 34:19–20) or a cash payment to the priests (e.g., Num 18:15–16). But in at least one case no form of redemption is mentioned (Exod 22:28–29), possibly indicating that firstborn children were sacrificed in some Yahwistic circles.

Scholars have long debated whether the Israelites could have ever actually sacrificed their children. If so, to which god (or gods) and how pervasive was the practice? There is a general consensus that child sacrifice did indeed take place in ancient Israel, although there is little agreement on the extent to which the practice occurred or on other specifics. Some argue that children were never offered to Yahweh, but only to foreign Canaanite gods like “Molek,” while others argue that child sacrifice was an ancient part of Yahwistic religion, which only fell out of favor after such rites were condemned as foreign syncretism by revisionist rhetoric, including that of the Hebrew Bible.

In my recent monograph, Child Sacrifice in Ancient Israel, I address these arguments and, like most scholars, argue that at least some Israelites did sacrifice their children, probably to Yahweh. My primary objective, however, is not merely to address the existence or non-existence of Israelite child sacrifice. Instead, I collect all of the different types of evidence—biblical, archaeological, and epigraphic—to attempt to untangle the various forms of child sacrifice. “Child sacrifice” was not a homogeneous phenomenon any more than “sheep sacrifice.”

In some cases, children are said to have been sacrificed “as a mōlek-offering.” These offerings have good parallels in the Punic colonies, where an identically named rite involving child sacrifice appears in conjunction with vows. In other cases, firstborn children are offered during times of distress, such as a famine or a siege. In yet others, firstborn children are offered as a matter of course in acknowledgment of Yahweh’s claim to the first portion of all produce. Children were sacrificed for a variety of purposes in a variety of circumstances, and it appears that different groups of Yahwists practiced different forms of child sacrifice, while some—like those most prominently represented in the Hebrew Bible—practiced none of them.

Turning to the rhetoric of the Hebrew Bible itself, it is interesting to note that, even among the groups that practiced no form of child sacrifice, there was a diversity of opinion on the topic. For instance, some biblical writers seem to assume that firstborn children were indeed owed to Yahweh, but that this obligation could be carried out via a substitute offering of some sort. Others, however, reject out of hand the idea that Yahweh’s claim to firstlings ever applied to children at all. Some texts, like the one from Deuteronomy quoted above, accuse reprobate Israelites of sacrificing their children to Yahweh as if he were one of the foreign gods of the Canaanites. Others, however, equate child sacrifice with the worship of Baal or idols and deny that Yahweh was ever linked with such offerings, even by “bad” Yahwists.

One striking example of such rhetorical disagreements among biblical authors opposing child sacrifice is the question of whether Yahweh ever commanded that children be sacrificed. In the Jeremiah passage quoted above, Yahweh flatly declares that child sacrifice is a thing that “I did not command, nor did it arise in my mind” (Jer 7:31). Ezekiel, on the other hand, suggests that Yahweh did command that children be sacrificed, but only as a punishment for the Israelites’ repeated faithlessness. There Yahweh declares that, because the Israelites did not follow Yahweh’s good laws by which they could live, “I gave them statutes that are not good and precepts by which they could not live. I defiled them by their gifts, in causing to pass over every firstborn, so that I might desolate them” (Ezek 20:25–26). In this case, there seems to be a disagreement about whether the version of the law of the firstborn that lacks any sort of redemption clause constitutes a legitimate Yahwistic law at all. Thus, examining the rhetoric surrounding child sacrifice reveals differences in opinion concerning which biblical law codes were authoritative, as well as how they ought to be interpreted.

Exploring the practice of child sacrifice provides a window into the diversity of Israelite Yahwism. There was diversity in practice among those Yahwists who sacrificed their children, but there were also a variety of rhetorical strategies employed by those who opposed such rites. While the Hebrew Bible today overwhelmingly condemns child sacrifice as abominable, this biblical consensus only emerged as the result of a struggle over the relationship of Yahweh worship to the sacrifice of children. While those who opposed all forms of child sacrifice obviously (and thankfully!) won the day, the fact that these debates are preserved at all indicates that at least some Israelites saw things differently.

The fact that child sacrifice was ever practiced by followers of Yahweh is evidence that Yahweh is not real, because if he was, he certainly would have prevented innocent children from being killed in his name. This is a point where an omniscient god surely would  have made a solid stand.

(3332) Everybody will be sent to hell

Some Christian denominations believe in the adage “once saved, always saved” though there exists some scriptures that seem to contradict that doctrine. One of the scriptures salient to this point is Hebrews 10:26-27:

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume all adversaries

The above is the New International Version (NIV), but the King James states this in slightly different terms:

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Most of the earlier translations use the word ‘willfully’ while most of the newer ones use ‘deliberately.’ There is a difference. ‘Deliberately’ implies that you make a conscious decision before the fact that you are going to commit a sin. ‘Willfully’ means that you find yourself in the process of sinning but lack the will power to stop it.

It appears that the NIV translators did not like the use of the word ‘willfully’ and wanted to use ‘deliberately’ instead to more forcefully ‘semi-protect’ the idea that once you are saved, you will remain saved…unless you make a deliberate choice to sin, not just that you happen to fall into sin because of a momentary weakness.

Needless to say, the mechanics of salvation remain very murky in the world of Christianity. But these verses in Hebrews should make it clear that no one is permanently saved until they die. At any time, they can lose their salvation by either willfully or deliberately sinning. Given human nature and lot of time, the case could be made that everybody will be sent to hell.

(3333) Information age acid test

We know that Christianity exhibited explosive growth starting in the 4th Century and continuing well into the 20th Century, but this impressive trend has begun to be reversed. And therein lies the problem. As society has progressed and information has become more readily available, it would seem that a true religion, if one were to exist, would benefit from the advent of the internet and the proliferation of cell phone cameras documenting events from all over the world. If Christianity was true, we should be seeing videos of miracles daily. Christianity should be taking over the world. Instead the data is going in the opposite direction, especially as measured in one the most Christian countries, the United States:

Self-identified Christians make up 63% of U.S. population in 2021, down from 75% a decade ago.

The secularizing shifts evident in American society so far in the 21st century show no signs of slowing. The latest Pew Research Center survey of the religious composition of the United States finds the religiously unaffiliated share of the public is 6 percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago.

This is the information age acid test. A false religion can flourish in the darkness, but will inevitably diminish in the spotlight. The spotlight is now shining on Christianity and it is withering, desperately trying to hold on to its followers. If Christianity was true, it would now be seeing growth more explosive than at any time in the past, gobbling up Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and others as the evidence of its truth dominates the internet and social media.

(3334) The child and oven analogy

The following  presents a domestic analogy to the Christian god who is often presented as a ‘loving father.’:


Let’s imagine I have a child. His name is Joe, he’s a toddler. You’ve seen toddlers before, right? Aren’t they adorable!? Precious little monsters who are about as obedient as naughty cats, amirite? But, like cats, no one can resist them.

So here I am with my sweet little toddler, and I go into the kitchen to clean the oven. I open the door, and Joe runs over to play with the door. Because toddler, I dunno why, stop asking weird questions. Toddlers will play with everything, even open oven doors.

Now, the oven door is cool to the touch. It wouldn’t be if I had turned it on, fair enough, but right at storytime, the door is cool. Nice, whew, no burned toddler hand. Toddlers when they burn themselves will scream. True fact.

Well, Joe reaches out and I see it and I reach down there and I slap the back of his hand, not hard, but enough to startle him and make him associate ‘ow’ with the oven door. “NO, HOT!”

But you know… Joe’s a toddler, not a moron. He can tell that door isn’t hot. In fact, he has zero reason whatsoever to believe that oven door ever gets hot. So he looks at me, and he slowly reaches his adorable, beautiful, chubby little hand towards that oven door…

Now, I’m a deeply loving mother, and what is a truly, genuinely loving parent to do??

I pick him up, stuff him in the oven, and turn it on “clean” with the door locked until he’s burnt to a crisp. Because what else would a LOVING PARENT do??

I have no idea whatsoever what you should do now, but I can honestly say that I think you might want to consider whether or not stuffing someone in the oven and burning them to death is “loving” or not. Can you love and worship the “loving father” who thinks touching the oven door is an eternal offense?

Can you love and worship a “loving father” who decided that since YOU had that one lustful thought that one time, a toddler named jesus had to be strung up and whipped and stabbed?

Of course you can’t keep believing this. It’s ludicrous and there’s NO PROOF that the “oven” is even hot (what proof do you have that hell even exists? what proof do you have that gay people are actually demons pretending to be people? what proof do you have that some chick ate some fruit 6k years ago and why are we ALL evil because of her?).

None of this makes ANY sense. It’s crazy. From the outside looking in, this religion is incredibly bizarre. God screwed up creation, had a tantrum, came to be his own son, had himself killed, to appease himself, because he screwed up creation… and he’s going to burn his creation for being imperfect… but NOT if they believe this weird, convoluted, messed up, irrational, literally unbelievable story…

It is obvious that most Christian minds have been groomed from early in their life to overlook the absurdities that pollute their dogma. The image of God placing anyone in the oven (hell) remains Christianity’s most damaging problem. It is no wonder that hell is getting a make-over in these modern times. The world is very different from what it was 2000 years ago when such macabre punishment was found to be appropriate.

(3335) Resurrection claim is woefully under-supported

Carl Sagan once noted that ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” This applies to any assertion involving a person dying and then returning to life because it has never been shown to occur, and it violates all of the scientific evidence we have on the matter. In the following, an analogy is presented comparing the gospel accounts to scientists relaying a story about a speedy pencil:


No. we are talking about a resurrection claim. That requires really, really, really good evidence. Not just “oh well they kinda sorta remember even though they disagree on the details and they didn’t write any of it down until decades later, and we don’t even know if these are eye witnesses telling us the story, they’re unnamed”.

Do you see the problem?

Imagine if scientists said “we did it! We have shown that a pencil can move faster than the speed of light. We did an experiment. I mean it was 20 years ago and we didn’t really write anything down until yesterday, but we still kinda remember it super well, but we don’t really agree on the details of the experiment or the results. I mean trust me, I copied a little from one of the other guys there”.

No one would accept this.

And the case is even worse for the gospels because in this made up case, at least we have the supposed “eye witnesses”. But even in this case, this is laughably bad.

The people who accept the gospel accounts of the resurrection would immediately not accept any other claim based on a similar quality of evidence. Brainwashing, inculcation, and mental conditioning all work together to keep the Easter fantasy alive and well.

(3336) Jesus is the villain in Revelation

Very few Christians are aware that the terrors prophecized in the Book of Revelation are at the direction of Jesus- it is his production. The following was taken from:


So, the “beast” seems pretty bad on the surface, but people really seem to forget that the entire book of Revelation is the plagues and calamities Jesus is perpetrating upon the world from the safety of “heaven”.

In the Revelation, first 7 seals (on a book) are broken. Then 7 trumpets sound. After that, 7 bowls are poured out upon the earth.

That, for the math challenged among us, is 21 calamities that Jesus causes through either breaking the seals or having his minions (angels) pour wrath upon the world.

Let’s tally up a few, just a handful (not in order, necessarily, and not a complete list):

  1. A one-world dictator who conquers with military force (sent by the 7-horned, 7-eyed “Lamb”, Jesus)
  2. A violent civil war (caused by the guy sent by Jesus)
  3. Severe worldwide famine–but only for poor people, jesus doesn’t want the rich people inconvenienced by this nonsense (another of Jesus’ minions doing his dirty work)
  4. Death through pestilence and wild animals. A majority of the world population decimated by jesus’ minion
  5. Severe world cataclysm so extreme it moves mountains and islands out of their places–ALL of them
  6. All of the stars falling upon the earth (although I mean–it would only take ONE. Jesus.)
  7. Hail and fire, burning up 1/3 of the Earth’s flora and fauna (for reference, that’s 8,214,252 square miles, and of course, billions upon billions of “fauna” [animals]). (For further reference, the largest recorded wildfire was approximately 57,812 square miles… so Jesus will cause 142x greater damage than the largest known wildfire to date. WTG Jesus)
  8. Locusts who only eat people will torment everyone who doesn’t worship jesus, for five months
  9. Jesus’ angels are unleashed (maybe the same 4 as before? Who knows!) and they kill off 1/3 of the remainder of humanity.

He’s a real treasure, that guy. By the way, what I don’t see people talk about is that jesus’ actions SUMMON THE BEAST and the Antichrist… so HE is responsible for the actions of the beast/ Antichrist. EVERYTHING that happens in Revelation is instigated by Jesus.

Adding the Book of Revelation to the Bible was a major mistake. It reflects poorly on Christianity, painting it as a macabre death cult. And it makes Jesus out to be first-class terrorist.

(3337) Pieces of silver anachronism

The author of the Gospel of Matthew used a ‘prophecy’ from the Book of Zechariah to try to connect it to his narrative of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. In doing so he created an anachronism, not realizing that practices in Zechariah’s time no longer applied to the time of Jesus.

Zechariah 11:12-13

Then I told them, “If it seems right to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” So they weighed out my wages, thirty pieces of silver.

And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—this magnificent price at which they valued me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

The following was taken from:

Paul Carlson Nt Contradictions

According to Matthew 26:15, the chief priests “weighed out thirty pieces of silver” to give to Judas. There are two things wrong with this:

a. There were no “pieces of silver” used as currency in Jesus’ time – they had gone out of circulation about 300 years before.

b. In Jesus’ time, minted coins were used – currency was not “weighed out.”

By using phrases that made sense in Zechariah’s time but not in Jesus’ time Matthew once again gives away the fact that he creates events in his gospel to match “prophecies” he finds in the Old Testament.

This is evidence sufficient to show that the author of Matthew was indiscriminately misusing Old Testament scripture in a failed attempt to ‘prove’ that Jesus was the long awaited Jewish messiah. He has been caught red handed in his deception.

(3338) Judaism spawns myriad faiths

The following image charts the evolution of religions that have roots in the Jewish faith:

File Attachment:

If Yahweh was the actual and sole god of the universe, this chart would look very different. In fact it was be a boring line right down the middle to the present day. Instead, the splintering of religions testifies to the human element and chaos that ensues when there is no ultimate supernatural power that is guiding human religious thought. This chart screams loudly that there is no god attached to any of these faiths.

(3339) Jesus’ post-resurrection speaking role

Probably very few Christians realize that the Bible has Jesus, after he had resurrected to heaven, standing next to and speaking directly to Paul (well after his alleged conversion experience), who was in a tough situation. This strains credulity to the breaking point. Jesus’ quote is in red letters:

Acts 23:9-13

A great clamor arose, and some scribes from the party of the Pharisees got up and contended sharply, “We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?” The dispute grew so violent that the commander was afraid they would tear Paul to pieces. He ordered the soldiers to go down and remove him by force and bring him into the barracks.

The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about Me in Jerusalem, so also you must testify in Rome.”

When daylight came, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty of them were involved in this plot.

The following was taken from:


Early in chapter 23, after Paul had provoked a heated argument between Pharisees and Sadducees, he was taken into protective custody—the Roman authorities were afraid Paul would be “torn to pieces.” And at this point the author’s agenda breaks into full view. In verse 11 we read: “That night the Lord stood near him and said, ‘Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.’” And Joseph Fitzmyer’s faith bias breaks into full view as well: “…the risen Christ appears to him to reassure him. Christ makes it clear that whatever happens is part of his heaven-guided role.” (p. 714) Fitzmyer’s commentary provides valuable analysis of the texts, but he is most concerned to fulfil his mission as a priest. His role was to examine every verse of Acts to make sure that every nuance of God’s word could be discovered, captured, and passed on to believers, and thus enhance adoration of this “word of God” in the Bible. Full stop: Giving a speaking role to a resurrected god fails as history. Accepting this at face value is a betrayal of careful, skeptical, critical analysis.

The Bible could be fashioned in a way that gives itself plausible authenticity, but when it veers into deep fantasy as it did here, it is not unreasonable to dismiss it as religious phantasmagoria.

(3340) Made in God’s image?

Christianity supposes the existence of an omnipotent god who resolves to make humans in his image. But considering the myriad types of abnormal births seems to refute this assertion. The following was taken from:


I was pondering the ‘Made in God’s image’ argument many creationists and believers espouse and I feel it is resoundingly defeated when one observes poor infants born with horrible birth defects, many of which are life threatening and require surgery to fix or are simply unfixable.

If God made us in his image, then are conjoined twins made in his image? What about poor infants born with two heads? Three arms? Extra fingers or toes? Tails? Cleft lips? Mermaid syndrome? Or what about helpless infants born with organs outside their bodies, are these babies made in God’s image?

We should all acknowledge the absurdity in the belief that we are all made in God’s image. God does not have two heads. God does not have ‘lobster’ feet. God does not have organs outside his body.

Or what about a less severe, but still lifelong condition known as dwarfism. Are dwarfs also made in God’s image?

Babies born with birth defects often suffer through a life that we cannot really fathom. The disabilities, burden, and degrading harassment they endure erode one’s self-esteem and require a truly loving parent or guardian to aid them in life. We should have empathy for children with the misfortune of being born with such defects. We should not believe in ridiculous axioms that fly in the face of common sense, reason, and logical thinking.

If every child was born with a healthy and normally structured body, this would constitute evidence for the existence of an omnipotent god who was engaged in the human reproductive process. It would be a legitimate apologetic defense (though not proof) of their belief in this god, and it would challenge skeptics to explain why reproductive errors were not happening. But the lack of this situation reverses the challenge- theists are on the defensive to explain why an omni-god who allegedly sees humans as being made in his image seems nevertheless to be letting so many babies to be born with deformities.

(3341) Alternate explanation for Satan’s rebellion

Although we are shoulder deep in religious fiction, it is still interesting to conjecture on the reason why Satan chose to rebel against God along with one third of the angel corps. The following provides a more plausible plot line than what has been taught to Christians:


Many Christians believe the rebellion of Satan happened before the world was ever created. If this is so why would Satan have rebelled? What was there to rebel against? What would have been his reason?

Of course we all know the reasons Christians are told. Satan was jealous, he wanted to be greater than god etc. He was proud. Lots of rather vague explanations that seem far too hollow to support the immense courage it takes to rise up against someone so much more powerful than yourself. To wage a war you know you’ll lose.

Could it be Satan opposed the creation of the world and the plans for it revealed to him by his creator? Perhaps he saw what looked to him like slavery and sadism, and then realized he and the angels too were slaves. Perhaps knowing god would destroy him Satan’s rebellion was more a matter of principle and less a realistic attempt to overthrow god. An act of defiance to death, a rejection of slavery and a statement of freedom, the only state of existence worth living in.

The Christian characterization of Satan has many flaws, beginning of course with the obvious fact that this creature is fictional. But also, Satan seems to be less cruel than God and more engaged in evidentiary thinking. There are many modern groups that consider Satan, as he is described in the Bible, to be a more admirable figure than God. So, with that in mind, the Christian explanation for Satan’s rebellion makes little sense.

(3342) Faith and prayer conflict

Christians typically hold two beliefs that are in conflict with each other.:

One, that God desires faith- such that he decides not to demonstrate his existence in any demonstrable way. This is, God desires that people believe in him in the absence of convincing evidence.

Two, that God answers prayers. But if that is true, then it would be very easy to design a scientific study that could quantify the effectiveness of Christian prayers and demonstrate that such an effect exists. And if it shows that prayers work, that would conflict with ‘One’ above, supplying solid evidence of God’s existence. (Spoiler alert- Those studies have been conducted and they showed that prayers do not make a measurable difference).

Given that One and Two above are in direct conflict, which one are Christians willing to give up?

Giving up One is a non-starter. That would mean that God is so impotent in that he cannot do things to convincingly reveal himself.

The only workable response for Christians is to accept the science and admit that God does not answer prayers. They don’t have to say that God is incapable of doing so (and therefore he can still be omnipotent)- just that faith Is very important to him and that he realizes that answering prayers would remove the need for faith.

This ‘solution,’ though, is a little messy. Here’s just one scripture that causes a problem:

Matthew 21:22

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

So, in the final analysis, there is something terribly wrong. The hiddenness of God combined with the ineffectiveness of prayer yields a simple conclusion- the conceptualization of God that most Christians hold is not accurate.

(3343) God’s life is hell

It has often been noted that the Christian concept of being in heaven would actually seem like hell given the lack of challenges that make this life meaningful. But this same line of thought can be extended to show that God’s life must be hellish as well. The following was taken from:


One day, a man wakes up on a couch in a field. The setting is new and strange, but he feels at peace. He has a vague memory of some sort of accident. Is this the afterlife?

A man with the formal demeanor of a butler comes over and asks if he’d like anything.

“Maybe some food?”

The butler indicates a table just behind the couch full of exotic snacks.

He asks for something to drink and gets all that he could want. He asks for other people and finds himself in a party.

Days pass—or so it seems, because there are no obvious indications of time, and sleep is no longer necessary—and the man finds every pleasure he could want. Food and drink, art and music, theater and sports, community and solitude. The mood is always upbeat and cheerful.

Finally, he realizes that his brain is idle and needs something to chew on, so asks his butler for a problem to solve. Just a little obstacle to make life interesting.

“I’m sorry,” the butler says, “but problems are the one thing from your old life that we don’t have here.”

“Oh, that’s fine,” the man says. “It was just a whim.”

Life rolls on as his moods demand, with formal dinners and casual picnics, sparkling literary conversation and bawdy drinking games. But the absence of problems wears on him. He asks repeatedly and is told, always politely, that problems don’t exist.

Finally, after what seems like years or even decades have passed, the man snaps. “I can’t take it anymore! Life is too easy here, and humans need problems! If I can’t have any here, I’ll go to the other place. Send me to hell!”

The butler, who had always shown an expressionless face, smiles slightly for the first time. “And just where do you think you are?”

That’s a taste of God’s life. We see problems as bad things because most of us have too many, but what if you have none? That’s the problem for the guy in the story and for God. God could never be perplexed by anything, and there’s nothing to exercise creativity on. There’s no pleasure in solving a problem, no thrill of an Aha! insight.

Not only does God have no problems, he doesn’t even have surprises. No matter what it is, he saw it coming. No matter what it is, the correct response is not only obvious but foreseen billions of years earlier. Not only can’t God wrestle with a problem, he can’t think a new thought or plan or regret or be surprised or get a joke or make a decision. Omniscience can be a bitch, and God’s ways are a heckuva lot more unlike our ways that you may have thought.

But God’s calendar is packed, right? He’s granting prayers, weighing the consequences of people’s actions, satisfy his agenda by performing undetectable miracles, tweaking evolution so it goes in the right direction, and so on. Think of Jim Carrey standing in for God in Bruce Almighty.

Nope. God’s omniscience has consequences, and the God Christians have invented is as personable as a machine. He knows every request and every human problem, now and in the future. Knowing the future, God could list his every action like this: “At time T1, do action A1; at T2, do A2,” and so on. God is nothing more than that. Not only could he mindlessly carry out these actions, but God could be replaced by a universal wish-granting machine. He’s an automaton.

We can imagine a conversation with God, but he couldn’t see it like we do. A conversation for him would be like stating lines in a play, all of which he’s memorized.

It’s true that God in the Old Testament has original conversations, gets surprised (example: he regretted making humanity before the flood), gets angry (such as his response to the golden calf), and so on, all of which makes sense only if he’s not omniscient. But how is this possible? God would’ve seen it all coming for 13.7 billion years. God’s properties in the Bible are contradictory.

Christians have changed the properties of their unchanging God.

What did God do all day before he created the universe? If he created the universe, that admits that things weren’t perfect beforehand—if they were, changing things would make them less perfect. And if things were perfect after creating the universe, why wait so long for creating it? (And who would say that this mess of a world is perfect?)

Fourth-century church father Augustine told of someone who was asked what God was doing before he created the universe. The answer: “He was preparing hell for those prying into such deep subjects.”

But pry we must. A popular Christian answer is to say that the Big Bang theory has a beginning for the universe (more precisely, this theory says that there’s a point in time before which science can’t take us yet). Therefore, God lived timelessly before he created the universe.

No, a timelessness God doesn’t solve anything. How could God create the universe if he’s outside time? How could anyone create anything if you’re outside of time?! Creation is a process that can only operate within time. That’s also true for the decision to create. A timeless god is a frozen, unchanging, and inert god. He makes no decisions, sees nothing, decides nothing, initiates nothing, and loves nothing. Once frozen in time, he doesn’t have time by which to take the action to unfreeze himself.

Christians have created a God who’s inert (when outside of time) and a soul-less robot whose hands are tied by his own omniscience (when time is proceeding). Christians should rethink the properties they invent for God.

This is another example of how Christianity made a mistake by making their god all-seeing and all-powerful. It leads to many logical as well as practical dead ends. Of course, solving the problem by making God limited introduces other problems. Thus, any way God is fashioned makes no sense in light of Christian doctrine. The only god that might work is one that is both limited and has no intent to interfere with our planet and who has no plan to reanimate dead people or other animals for any purpose.

(3344) Babies in the chute

The absurdity of Christianity is illuminated by the following analogy showing that a hideous man-made device does a better job than God’s ultimate plan for humanity:


Say we take all the babies that are born into a families of a certain religion, like Christianity, and throw them all down a chute that has two randomized pathways. One leads to a soft pillow landing and nothing happens to them. They go back to wherever they were to go to. The other chute leads to a guillotine that kills the baby instantly with no pain and they go directly to heaven. The parents are happy knowing that their baby goes to heaven. The other group is the one that actually must survive in a world of sin for the slightest chance to get to heaven.

In this scenario, no one is technically killing anyone because the outcome is randomized so it is not a sin. It is a better system than God’s because if you are going to create a heaven or hell scenario, at least with this, there is significantly less suffering, but you still allow people the free will of accepting Jesus or not.

In a religion that states that the vast majority will go to hell rather than heaven, wouldn’t this option be a better solution because it would at least guarantee a 50% success rate. What I want to point out with this scenario is that God’s choice to create in the first place knowing the amount of pain there would be in the world is no better, if not worse, than humans putting in place this device to reduce pain and get more people into heaven.

There can be little argument that if Christianity is true in all respects (at least to its conventional doctrines) then the use of this device would be advantageous, and result in less suffering and more people going to heaven and fewer to hell. But it is absurd, and this is how we also know that Christianity is absurd.

(3345) Appeal to magic

No one feels justified or empowered to explain anything by saying it was magic that did it, unless they are talking about their religious beliefs. Then the ‘magic card’ is routinely played, but this is no more valid that using magic to explain anything else. The following was taken from:


Hypothesis: Just like saying “god did it”, inserting magic as an explanation for anything goes nowhere. At the heart of almost every religion is an appeal to magic. Even within the most sophisticated of religions, eventually magic is used as an answer to explain what we see around us. The problem is that introducing magic tells us nothing and it’s not an answer.

Answers are comprised of who, what, when and why. If you leave this vital step out, your explanation is below a guess. I couldn’t even call it a hunch. I can only give magic the status of being called a placeholder until more is learned.

It’s possible that many theists don’t realize that introducing god as a cause for anything is an appeal to magic. If you’ve been raised to believe that god jumps in and steadies the waters, or answers your prayers, these are both appeals to magic. Many theists that I’ve spoken to don’t see the connection between god poofing the universe into existence, or poofing animals to life is magic. However, if you’ve been told this from the day you could talk, it doesn’t seem like it’s an appeal to magic.

Consider the fact that you can’t apply magic as an answer in real life and get away with it. Coroners can’t list a cause of death as some kind of magic. Banks can’t use magic as an explanation for $1,500 missing from your checking account. You might argue that my examples are worldly and that god doesn’t apply to our tiny worldly stuff. However, theists (and religions) place god as a force in our tiny worldly issues through prayer and divine intervention. So, if you drag god into our natural world, you don’t get to kick him out when it’s inconvenient.

Magic could exist. God could exist. Heaven could exist. However, until you can answer who, what, when and why, you’ve got no argument until you can explain the magic used to get there.

Living life under acceptable evidentiary rules prohibits people from explaining that something happened because of magic. There is always a requirement to go beyond a simple appeal to magic (or ignorance) to find the true cause. But when it comes to religion, the rules flip to the other side, and appealing to magic is seen as a final and sufficient explanation. This is called special pleading and it is a major violation of logic and reasoning.

(3346) Church versus education

The following chart shows a statistically significant correlation between regular church attendance and the number of years of schooling:

In countries where people attend school longer, they go to church less often

This correlation indicates that more education leads to less church attendance. If there really was a supernatural component to our existence, such that at least one religion was more or less true, and that others at least got it right that there is a celestial authority overseeing human activity, then it would be more likely that more education would lead to more belief in the supernatural, and therefore more church attendance. The interrelationship shown above begs against that situation.

(3347) Influence of Adonis

Christianity was influenced by the prevailing worship of Adonis, mostly centered in the area of Antioch. This effect can be seen in some scriptural dogmas and also in some extra-biblical traditions. The following was taken from:


Another popular religion which influenced the thought of early Christians was the worship of Adonis. As is commonly known Antioch was one of the earliest seats of Christianity. It was in this city that there was celebrated each year the death and resurrection of the god Adonis. This faith had always exerted its influence on Jewish thought, so much so that the prophet Ezekiel\[Footnote:] Ezekiel 8:14.\ found it necessary to scold the women of Jerusalem for weeping for the dead Tammuz (Adonis) at the very gate of the temple. When we come to Christian thought the influence seems even greater, for even the place at Bethlehem selected by the early Christians as the scene of the birth of Jesus was none other than an early shrine of this pagan god—a fact that led many to confuse Adonis with Jesus Christ.\[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., p. 110\

It was believed that this god suffered a cruel death, after which he descended into hell, rose again, and then ascended into Heaven. Each following {year} there was a great festival in commemoration of his resurrection, and the very words, “The Lord is risen,” were probable used. The festival ended with the celebration of his ascension in the sight of his worshipers. Needless to say that this story of the death and resurrection of Adonis is quite similar to the Christian story of the death and resurrection of Christ. This coincidence had led many critics to suppose that the story of the burial and resurrection of Jesus is simply a myth borrowed from this pagan religion. Whether these critics are right in their interpretation or not still remains a moot question.

However when we come to the idea of Jesus’ decent into hell it seems that we have a direct borrow from the Adonis religion, and in fact from other religions also. Both the Apostles Creed and the Athanasian {Creed} say that between the Friday night and Sunday morning Jesus was in Hades. Now this idea has no scriptural foundation except in those difficult passages in the First Epistle of Peter\[Footnote:] I Peter 3:19–4:6.\ which many scholars have designated as the most ambiguous passages of the New Testament. In fact the idea did not appear in the church as a tenet of Christianity until late in the Fourth Century.\[Footnote:] Weigall, op. cit., p. 113.\ Such facts led almost inevitably to the view that this idea had a pagan origin, since it appears not only in the legend of Adonis, but also in those of Herakles, Dionyses, Orpheus, Osiris, Hermes, Balder, and other deities.

It would be expected that a true religion developing in an area brimming with many false religions would be resistant against being influenced by them. This is not the situation with Christianity. It bears too many articles of mimicry to think that it was the expression of a unique god.

(3348) Satan and a third of the angels

It has become standard Christian theology that Satan was an angel in heaven who rebelled against God along with one third of the entire angel corps, those becoming the demons who continue to plague people with illnesses and psychological problems. The following explains why this this doctrine is not scripturally sound:


Satan rebelled before the creation of humankind and took a third of the angels with him.

This is an excellent example of how a Christian tradition can become doctrine. There isn’t a single verse in the entirety of Scripture that tells us (a) the original rebel sinned before the episode of Genesis 3, or (b) a third of the angels also fell either before humanity’s fall or at the time of that fall. There is only one passage that mentions a “third” of the angels (presumably) and Satan/the serpent in tandem: Revelation 12:1–9..

I say that this passage is “presumably” about one-third of God’s heavenly host being fallen because it is not clear that the “third of the stars” (Rev 12:4) swept down by the dragon (serpent/Satan) refers to the angels who already are assisting the devil. It could well be that the one-third are good angels who have been defeated by the dragon. There are good reasons to take that position—namely, that Revelation 12:4 appears to be the fulfillment of Daniel 8:10. For the purposes of this discussion, though, we will presume that this “third of the stars” refers to evil supernatural agents in league with Satan.

The passage is clear that the timing of this conflict involving a third of the angels occurred in conjunction with the first coming of the Messiah

And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne. (Rev 12:4–5)

The birth of the Messiah is clearly in view, as Revelation 12:5 points readers to the messianic theme of Psalm 2:8–9:

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

The reference to the child born to rule the nations as being “caught up to God and to his throne” (Rev 12:5) is an explicit reference to Jesus’ resurrection and ascension—the key events that result in the defeat of Satan and the inauguration of the kingdom of God on earth. Scores of scholars recognize this point.. . .

The first advent context continues into Revelation 12:13–17. The wording of verse 17 is a clear association of the vision with the first coming of Jesus: “Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (Rev 12:17).

This simply cannot be construed as describing a primeval rebellion prior to the creation of humanity in Eden. Since there is no other passage in the Bible that uses the “third” language in conjunction with a satanic conflict, the idea that Satan and one-third of the angels rebelled at that time is a traditional myth.

It is obvious that scripture itself is contaminated with uninspired human thoughts, but when doctrine takes off outside of scripture is where Christianity really goes off the rails. In our modern society it carries the burden of defending a non-scriptural assertion about rebelling angels while at the same time having to retreat around the idea of demons causing contemporary illnesses. This is a difficult time for Christianity.

(3349) The window-man analogy

So, you are living in a nice house with a comfortable existence, when along comes a man who breaks your window. He leaves a card with his number so you can call him to have the window fixed. Your security camera has captured this crime, so you report it to police, but they say they cannot do anything because the window-man has bought the protection rights to your house.

You are incensed, and determine not to call the window-man who broke your window, so you call other window repair services. However, each one tells you that they cannot fix your window because the window man has a contractual agreement with them to be the only window repair service for your house.

Meanwhile, it is cold outside and the air is coming in. So you can either call the window-man or do a make-shift repair using cardboard or whatever to stop the infiltration of cold air.

This is analogous to what Jesus has done to all of us (assuming the truth of Christianity). Humans have been on the planet for about 150,000 years, and until 2000 years ago, they could live their lives and die in peace, and simply cease to exist and suffer no more.

But then, along comes the window-man (Jesus) who breaks your window (creates hell) and then configures everything to make sure that only he can fix your window (keep you out of hell).

So you have only two choices- call the window-man (submit to Jesus) or else burn, suffer, cry, endure, hurt, languish, scream, and grieve for 1,000,000,000,000,000 years and so on forever.

Jesus is a terrorist running a protection racket. It is time to call out this piece of fiction as being unacceptable for modern times. It is time to dispose of the window-man.

(3350) God’s revelatory scorecard

There exists a logical contradiction concerning the mechanics of God making his existence known to humans. In the following it is shown that at least one assumption that most Christians make must be false:


Consider the following worldview:

  • God exists
  • God wants me to know he exists
  • God knows I don’t know he exists
  • God is capable of proving his existence to me
  • God has not unequivocally proven his existence to me

These points are contradictory, one of the above points must be false.

I’m going to address common counterarguments to this argument and why they fail.

1. “This would violate free will.”

In the Bible God demonstrates his existence to millions of people throughout thousands of years. He reveals his existence to the 2,000,000+ nation of Israel dozens of times in Exodus. In the New Testament he reveals his existence in public through grand miracles, culminating in a literal resurrection witnessed by 500 people. These instances of revelation prove that free will would not be violated if he revealed his existence today. A perfect and unchanging God does not change what he considers to be free will.

2. “You wouldn’t follow God even if you knew he existed.”

This counter-argument is usually substantiated through instances of disobedience by characters in the Bible who were aware of God’s existence: Satan, Adam and Eve, Cain, David and Solomon, the Exodus-era Israelites, Judas, etc.

What this counter-argument fails to do is realize the difference between disobedience and disbelief. All of the above characters believed in God’s existence, even when they disobeyed him. Christians often bring up this passage from the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man (Luke 16:19-31), when the Rich Man is cast into Hell:

“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

“‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

There are many problems with this passage but all we’re interested in is that it’s not about belief vs disbelief, this is about obedience vs disobedience. The Rich Man, like all Jews in his day, was a theistic Jew. Jesus’s parable informs us that his crime was not disbelief, it was living selfishly in luxury as Lazarus starved outside his gates. If this was about disbelief in God, Jesus would have said so while telling the story.

3. “God still reveals his existence through the Bible and world he created.”

If God is omniscient he knows exactly how much of what type of evidence it takes to convince each person. He has also already delivered that quantity and quality of evidence to some people. This is why I said in my title, unequivocally proving his existence. The evidence God delivers to characters in the Bible is unequivocal, never does a Bible character not believe in the existence of God after a divine encounter. The cosmological argument or Jesus appearing on a piece of toast are NOT comparable, it’s intellectually dishonest to pretend like any puny “miracles” going on today are remotely comparable to even 1/10th of the openly magical shit God did in the Bible.

4. “God works in mysterious ways.”

This is a non-argument and it’s sad that people still say it. It’s turning your brain off when encountering a contradiction. I’ll interpret this or any longer fancier version of it to be a concession of God’s logical impossibility.

This remains an Achilles heal for Christianity- it exacts a terrible penalty for failing to believe in God’s existence while failing to provide sufficient evidence for this belief. It would be like a father telling his son to retrieve a hammer from the backyard while not telling him where to look for it, and threatening to spank him if he fails to do it.

Follow this link to #3351