(3751) Matthew’s genealogy

For some reason, the author of the Gospel of Matthew thought it important to present a genealogy of Jesus that tied him back to the ancestral line of Abraham. In so doing, he made several blunders and failed to hide his agenda. In the end, the list of names has no remote connection to reality. The following was taken from:

What’s the Deal with Matthew’s Genealogy?

For most Christians who read the Bible casually or devotionally, Matthew’s genealogy — the very first chapter of the New Testament — is one of the dullest passages in all of Scripture. It was a tremendously important passage for the author and his audience, however; and for me, it is an incredibly fascinating window into the author’s methods and who he thought Jesus was. It also contains numerous puzzles — some more easily solved than others. What’s so interesting about this long list of begats? Read on and find out more than you probably ever wanted to know.

Matthew’s Gospel opens with a suggestive statement. In the Jerusalem Bible, it reads simply:

A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.

While this is an adequate translation, the Greek suggests something more:

Βίβλος γενέσεως Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ υἱοῦ Δαυὶδ υἱοῦ Ἀβραάμ.
A book of the generations of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.

This seems to be an allusion to the opening chapters of Genesis (according to the Greek Septuagint):

Gen 2:4: Αὕτη ἡ βίβλος γενέσεως οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς…
This is the book of the generations of heaven and earth…

Gen 5:1: Αὕτη ἡ βίβλος γενέσεως ἀνθρώπων…
This is the book of the generations of mankind…

Could it be that Matthew is introducing his work as a new Pentateuch? Some exegetes have observed that his Gospel seems to be arranged around five key sermons, creating a five-part work reminiscent of the Torah, which the author holds in high regard.

Then, after presenting a genealogy of Jesus, Matthew explains the strategy he has used to create his genealogy:

The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.

The history of the Israelites, then, spans six “weeks” of generations (a familiar idea to anyone who has read Daniel) to be followed by the Sabbath week — the messianic age inaugurated by Jesus.

That this should be understood symbolically is quite clear. It is not historically plausible for a time span of almost two millennia to consist of only 42 generations — actually 41, since Matthew’s third set of 14 only has 13 names. Theologians who, over the centuries, have treated this genealogy as a factual historical report and striven to account for the discrepancies with Luke’s genealogy have simply missed the forest for the trees. Determining who the real father of Joseph was (Matthew’s Jacob or Luke’s Heli) is the least of our problems if we try understanding it literally.

Making 41 generations cover 2000+ years only works if you accept the fantasy that people used to live for hundreds of years in biblical times. Even if you assume a 30-year separation of generations, which is a big stretch because we know that the average lifespan during those times was not much more than that (and that genealogies track the first born male child which usually would occur in the age bracket of 15-20), this would imply about 70 generations at least. This and other reasons merit a complete dismissal of this deceptive attempt to tie Jesus to Jewish patriarchy.

(3752) Christianity’s escape hatches

Christianity has become so malleable that trying to pin it down is like wrestling with a greased pig. It does not establish itself in any particular way, but rather tries to appeal to everyone in whatever way best suits their needs and desires. In the following it is revealed how a scripture previously seen as being literal is now just a metaphor:


…and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

-Jesus in Matthew 19:12

In 1985, a 35 year-old Australian virgin spent his free time in study of the Bible. Ashamed of masturbating, he slit open his scrotum, removed his own testicles, and flushed them down the toilet.

Christians and non-believers alike may dismiss this as a mental health issue rather than a religious one, though this is what the Bible verse he used as motivation suggests as a reasonable alternative to lust. The following verse does not explain that this is wildly unhealthy behavior. It simply moves on to the next subject.

What healthy explanation is there for mentioning self-castration for the Kingdom of Heaven without immediately following it with a rebuke of this behavior and a divine mandate to seek the care of a mental health professional?

The truth is, distinguishing between going by the book and exhibiting mental illness can be difficult when that book is the Bible.

When I wrote the title to this article I had the original Nintendo in mind. Anyone born in the 1980’s will remember madly pressing the reset button on their game and pulling the cartridge out to blow on it when it did not work.

This is decidedly Christian in nature.

There are the common escape hatches for verses like these. Perhaps the most popular is to decide that a verse that was understood as literal for 18 centuries is now only metaphorical. The switch can go the other way as well.

When this fails to make a passage acceptable in a new age or culture, there are always the seemingly endless ways to kindly interpret what is read.

The Second Reformation Christian has abandoned the chore of making verses fit the modern world entirely by having their faith untethered to the Bible in any meaningful way. They accept the bits they like and discard the rest, or they buy a version of the English Bible that agrees with them. Mostly, they believe that God’s voice is spoken neither through the Catholic’s pope nor the Protestant’s Bible, but through each individual’s emotions, which that individual then translates as they see fit.

Christianity is made to fit every Christian. There are tens of thousands of Christian denominations, depending where you want to draw the lines between them. There are scores of different versions of the Bible in English. More than this, you will find variations of important beliefs not only within a single denomination, but within a single church building on a Sunday morning, or Saturday if they hold the seventh day as the Sabbath.

You can choose your Bible, choose your denomination, and then create your own variation of Christianity within your church — all while believing some unbroken line of belief exists between you and Paul, who authored more of the New Testament than Jesus.

This plasticity is in the DNA of Christianity. It is the reason the Catholic Church was born as bishops believed some orthodoxy must be created to control the wildfire of personal interpretation. While they mostly kept the lid on the jar for a dozen centuries, the faith’s true nature exploded out of that jar in the Reformation.

Christianity thrives because it can become whatever the believer wants it to be. A lifetime of research could not produce an exhaustive list of all of the variations and resets throughout Christian history — both the large and historical along with the individual’s.

If it was a true religion, Christianity would stand as an impregnable truth, a rock rather than shifting sand. Christianity is too nebulous to represent the ultimate reality of the universe.

(3753) Atheists use higher order brain circuits

A recent scientific study revealed that people who don’t believe in religion have brains that use higher-order cortical brain areas than do believers. This seems to suggest the religious belief is somewhat outside of personal control. The following was taken from:


Atheism and agnosticism are becoming increasingly popular as church attendance declines.

    • A recent study investigated whether not believing in a God is due to the activation of distinct higher-order brain networks.
    • Non-believers are more likely to process sensory information in a more deliberate manner that involves higher cortical areas.
    • Religious believers are more likely to interpret information in an emotional or intuitive manner, involving more ancient brain areas.

Church attendance has sharply declined and the number of people who express interest in religion is decreasing. Why are atheism and agnosticism becoming increasingly popular? Is the human brain evolving away from religiosity?

Possibly, but it is impossible to ignore the fact that religious beliefs have been a durable feature of the world’s cultures. Anthropologists estimate that at least 18,000 different gods, goddesses, and various animals or objects have been worshipped by humans since our species first appeared. Evolution has clearly selected for a brain that has the ability to accept a logically absurd world of supernatural causes and beings. Spirituality must have once offered something tangible that enhanced survival. Something has clearly changed in the past few decades that underlies the increase in religious non-believers.

A recent study investigated which resting-state brain circuits are utilized by religious non-believers, as compared to religious believers. Previous studies have demonstrated that a resting state analysis is objective, stable, and capable of revealing individual differences in how the brain functions. Essentially, the analysis provides a kind of “neural fingerprint” of which brain regions are involved in the processing of emotions, memories, and thoughts.

The believers (n=43) self-identified as Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu. The non-believers (n=26) self-identified as atheist or agnostic. The believers and non-believers did not significantly differ with regard to gender (only slightly more were female), standard markers of intelligence, social status, a predisposition towards anxiousness, or emotional instability.

Not believing in a God is due to the activation of distinct higher-order brain networks. The results demonstrated that religious believers are more likely to use more intuitive and heuristic reasoning and that religious non-believers are more likely to use more deliberative and analytic reasoning. For example, non-believers are more likely to process sensory information, such as something they see, in a more deliberative manner that involves higher cortical areas, called top-down processing, involved in reasoning. In contrast, religious believers are more likely to interpret visual information in a more emotional or intuitive manner, called bottom-up processing, that involves more ancient brain systems.

Religious believers share this bottom-up processing bias with people who believe in the supernatural or paranormal activity, such as telekinesis or clairvoyance.

The authors noted that although the neural traits they identified are considered highly stable, it is possible to convert a believer into a non-believer, or vice versa, via the use of neurofeedback, meditation, and repeated training.

The relatively recent increase in the number of religious non-believers may also be due to the brain’s response to dramatic shifts in our culture as well as scientific explanations for natural phenomena that once depended on the intervention of mythical beings.

Anything that separates believers from non-believers that is beyond their conscious control tends to make the Christian judgment scheme invalid and unfair. If people with certain brain circuitry that causes them to evaluate religious claims in a more objective manner are sent to hell, then it must be acknowledged that they are essentially predestined to that fate…which is clearly not reasonable.

(3754) The dog abuse analogy

Christians by the billions worship a god who they believe will send many people to hell to be punished for eternity. This is heavily implied in their scriptures. They understand that many of these people who will be sent to hell are otherwise good people who simply never got to the point where they believed that Jesus is the son of God, who redeemed believers of their sin.

Now, take these same Christians and suppose they hear that their neighbor across the street takes his dog into his basement and tortures it for his amusement. They would be outraged and call the police. They would consider their neighbor to be an evil person.

But, in essence, God is infinitely worse than the neighbor. Their hypocrisy in worshiping God while hating the neighbor is mind-blowing.

(3755) One hundred questions

Sometimes, the best way to show a fallacy is to compile questions that are directed at the believers of that fallacy. That is what is presented below- a hundred questions that theists should be able to, but cannot, answer about their god. The following was taken from:


Questioning the ideas of God is a useful way to make people curious about the inconsistencies in religions. So, I have created these 100 above-board questions about God from the theological, philosophical, ethical, natural, scriptural, and evolutionary standpoint. While it is very much obvious that no god will descend to the earth to answer all these questions, since there is no such thing as god, and no religious person will be able to provide any precise and unequivocal answer to these questions, I still am addressing these questions so that atheists and freethinkers can use these in a debate or conversation with the theists. So, I think that bookmarking this article could come in handy in the future.

The Questions:

  1. If there is a God, why is there no compelling evidence for his existence?
  2. Who is the creator of God?
  3. How did God use to exist without space and time or before the Big Bang event?
  4. How did God become full of magic and strength and supremacy without any complex phase of evolution of his own?
  5. What is the gender of God?
  6. If God has gender, what gave him gender?
  7. If God has no gender, what rendered him genderless?
  8. If God has no gender, why do his followers address him as a male?
  9. Why is God constantly testing humans if he knows everything already?
  10. How do incidents go out of God’s control if he is omnipotent and well aware of everything that has happened and will happen?
  11. Why are there so many flaws in God’s creation if he is omnipotent?
  12. How can God take 6 days to create the whole universe while he is omnipotent?
  13. Why does God feel so insecure over what puny humans do if he is omnipotent?
  14. Why does God become angry and jealous if he is only good?
  15. If God is everywhere, why cannot his presence be measured?
  16. How can God be everywhere if he is on the throne in the seventh heaven or at somewhere in the heavens?
  17. How can God know who is where and doing what if he is not everywhere?
  18. Does God stare at the people when they have sex if he is always watching?
  19. How will God exist forever if everything has an end?
  20. If God has no image, how are we supposed to imagine him?
  21. How can God be shapeless and in the same time sit on a throne or give reward with his own hands?
  22. If God is everywhere or on a throne in heaven, why do we have to worship a black box or a cross?
  23. Why are most of the God’s followers with low IQ level?
  24. Why does God want to kill the people who question him while he can question everything?
  25. Why does God have the similar characteristics like that of a tyrant?
  26. Why do we find, on regular basis, the less necessity of the God-of-the-gaps arguments and more and more necessity of the god-less theories to explain nature?
  27. If evolution theory is wrong, then why did God put the vestiges of evolution in human body and DNA?
  28. Why did God put a great many dinosaurs on the planet and yet did not mention them in any of the scriptures?
  29. Why, in the scriptures, was God obsessed with only the sun and the moon while he created billions and billions of other stars and satellites?
  30. Why does God only bother about humans in the earth while there are billions and billions of other planets which might be teeming with lives and other issues?
  31. If we are in a test of God and the earth is a test-place, then why is the test-place so disgusting and dangerous, e.g. – it is full of diseases, famine, disasters, wild animals, and germs?
  32. Why do we have to survive through killing animals if God loves animals?
  33. How will God punish the other animals who commit crimes like murder, rape, theft etc.?
  34. Why did God create animals like pig, dog etc. if he hates them?
  35. Why did humans use to act like other animals before civilization if there is a God?
  36. Why did God start the human race out of incest and then make incest illegal?
  37. What will happen to the native Indians who never heard of the “loving” God?
  38. If the native Indians will go to heaven because they did not hear about God, then will not they just be given a pass without any test on the planet?
  39. Why did God create millions of species who are extinct today in the first place if he wanted to make them extinct?
  40. If evolution theory is wrong, then why has God kept so much evidence for that theory?
  41. Why do God’s scriptures have serious scientific and logical fallacies?
  42. Why do God’s scriptures need human explanation while he said that the scriptures are precise and easily understandable?
  43. Why did none of the God’s scriptures clearly say that the earth moves around the sun when it tried to explain the basic astronomy in detail?
  44. Why does God, in the scriptures, sound like nothing but a self-centered narcissist?
  45. Why did God keep his message written on the papers some of which are lost or eaten by goats while he could easily send the messages in a PDF format through a pen drive?
  46. If everything in the universe must need a prime mover and God is a part of the universe, then what does move him?
  47. If God created everything, why do we see virtual particles popping in and out without any creator?
  48. If everything needs a reason to exist, what is God’s reason to exist?
  49. If that some people talk to God is an evidence of his existence, then is some schizophrenic person talks to his pet dragon an evidence that the pet dragon exists?
  50. If we need God to be good, whom does God need to be good?
  51. Why do almost all of the scientists doubt the existence of God if science proves the existence of God?
  52. If good cannot exist without bad, then how can God be only good?
  53. Why does God intervene in the daily affairs of humans if he has given them the free will to test them?
  54. Why did God forbid Adam to eat the Apple while he had already known that Adam would have eaten?
  55. Why didn’t God stop the serpent or devil instead of forbidding Adam to eat the Fruit of Knowledge?
  56. Will humans be able to live in the heaven peacefully forever with God, or something will become messy again like the Adam and Eve and serpent story?
  57. Why did God need a rib to create Eve?
  58. Didn’t God know that the creation of Adam would make a lot and lot of people to suffer?
  59. If God tests humans by giving them free will, why doesn’t he do the same with the angels?
  60. Why did God choose particular people as his chosen people and did not test them?
  61. Why did not God make me his chosen one?
  62. Why will God’s chosen people be rewarded because only he chose them and not because they earned the position?
  63. Why does not prayer to God work at all?
  64. Why do the people of the 21st century lead a much more healthy and happy life than people before the 21st century if God cares for all the humans of all the ages?
  65. Why does God give some people more time than the others in his test, for example- someone dies at the age of 30 and another one dies at the age of 90?
  66. Why is God jealous and angry over the other “gods” if they do not exist?
  67. Why does God test humans by afflicting them through diseases and disasters while this is already a test of whether we praise him or Satan even though he is not visible?
  68. How does God blame humans for their actions while he predestined everything for them?
  69. How would God respond to the fact that many people commit crime because of their psychological and environmental predispositions and not according to their own will?
  70. Why does the first person in the planet have to wait for millions of years and the last person have to wait for only a few minutes for the judgment day of God?
  71. How are humans filled with flaws if they are the best creatures of God?
  72. If Satan is bad and God is his creator, doesn’t it make him a bad creator or the creator of evil?
  73. Why did not God destroy Satan and save humans from committing sin?
  74. What is the fault of humans if they always commit evil things because Satan magically makes them to do so?
  75. If God is good and Satan is bad, then why do people kill in the name of God but not in the name of Satan?
  76. What if God is actually Satan in disguise?
  77. What does God do when children die of starvation?
  78. How can God watch a person gets raped or murdered and not do anything?
  79. Why does God call humans his slave and make slavery sounds natural?
  80. Why did God think slavery is permissible?
  81. Why were humans able to abolish slavery while God could not?
  82. Why does God love revenge and hatred more than mercy and love?
  83. Why does God think that destroying an entire nation is a solution while he could just stop humans from committing any sort of wrongdoing in the first place?
  84. How did God feel like when he destroyed every single life on the earth by drowning?
  85. Why will God burn humans forever while he could burn them finitely?
  86. If humans think torturing others is bad no matter what, how does God, being an omniscient and benevolent, think it is right?
  87. Why does God take human life by killing them horribly? For example- through crushing under a vehicle?
  88. How will God be burning trillions of humans in hell forever?
  89. How can a pedophilic, sexist, and perverted warmonger be God’s most favorite person and friend?
  90. How can a loving God create humans as a fuel of hellfire?
  91. Why did God make humans fallible even though he knew that their fallibility would lead them astray?
  92. Why do animals suffer in the nature if suffering is only to test humans’ faith in God?
  93. Why do most of the people of God lead an unhappy and unhealthy life?
  94. Why does God not talk to women?
  95. Why does God not make women as his chosen one?
  96. Why did God make women the victim of men’s lust?
  97. Why do women have to endure unbearable pain while giving birth when God could just make the process of giving birth painless?
  98. How can a “loving” God lead humans astray or blind them by sealing their mind?
  99. Why did God promise to destroy the planet but did not promise to save the planet?

The big one: We are on this planet for at least 200,000 years and we are suffering and suffering only with a little bit of momentary happiness. Why does not the dear God just say — “that’s it! There are now trillions of people who would live in my hell according to my rules. I have had enough of it. I will not let any of my other creatures to get inside of the hell or to suffer. I will reveal myself and destroy Satan for good to save my loving creatures from sufferings and doubts”?

So the final question should be what exactly can you tell me about your god that is indisputable and agreed to by all Christian denominations? This would be a very short list. Yahweh is a nebulous, amorphous, shapeless, indistinct, and obscure figment of peoples’ imagination. He does not warrant a place within the conversation of real things.

(3756) Yahweh is incapable of simple forgiveness

One of the heights of human behavior is the ability to forgive someone who has caused an offense. Generally, when someone tells you that they forgive you, it is done in a way that does not involve any reciprocity of pain, suffering, or loss. It is simple forgiveness, that is all.

Yahweh does not use the same method of forgiveness, at least not in the final sense. Either he will punish you directly in hell or vicariously through the torture and death he had orchestrated for his son, which you have accepted as being an effective substitute for your just punishment.

What this means is that regular humans, for the most part, have evolved a forgiveness model that is superior to Yahweh’s- a way to forgive a transgressor without causing any additional pain or suffering. Yahweh’s character is similar to the way people reacted two thousand years ago, but not like they normally do today.

(3757) Yahweh and Jesus are deceitful

The characters of Yahweh and Jesus, as they are portrayed in the Bible, are both deceitful and unreliable. A careful study of scripture should make Christians nervous about what these beings are really up to, and, if alert to this situation, they should be uncertain of their own salvation status. The following was taken from:


An entity who is deceitful is an entity who, through various ways, not necessarily including lying, deceives people, by which is meant makes people believe one thing to be true when another thing is true.

An entity who is unreliable is an entity who, through various actions and inactions, reveals theirself to be less than 100% trustworthy. Such untrustworthiness, which may arise through ignorance and other failings rather than through malice, includes untrustworthiness about factual situations, a general inconstancy, and tardiness in promised actions.

People, in general, do not trust claims made entities who are deceitful and unreliable, unless the people are very naive or have ways to corroborate such claims.

I begin my argument proper by acknowledging that the Christians’ scriptures assert that YHWH cannot lie (Titus 1:2). However, these same scriptures portray YHWH as deceiving people (1 Kings 22:23, 2 Chronicles 18:22, Jeremiah 4:10, Jeremiah 20:7, Ezekiel 14:9, 2 Thessalonians 2:11). Because these scriptures also claim that YHWH is unchanging (James 1:17), it follows that a YHWH who was once deceitful (1 Kings 22:23, 2 Chronicles 18:22, Jeremiah 4:10, Jeremiah 20:7, Ezekiel 14:9) and in future will be deceitful (2 Thessalonians 2:11) is still deceitful.

Jesus, also, as presented within the Christians’ scriptures, deceives people – albeit not through lying. Rather, he deceives people by speaking publicly only in parables so that he can conceal from people how to be saved – because he wants them to be damned! (GMark 4:10-12; cf., GMark 1:15, GMark 16:16, GJohn 15:6 in order to learn about the consequences of not accepting Jesus’s message – which in turn requires understanding his message). The Christians’ scriptures also assert that Jesus was and is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8), meaning that because Jesus was deceitful, he is and will be deceitful.

Because both YHWH and Jesus are portrayed within the Christians’ scriptures as deceitful, it follows that what they wrote cannot be trusted by the non-naive unless we have corroboration.

The Christians’ scriptures also portray YHWH as unreliable, in that YHWH is portrayed as sometimes saying that he never changes his mind (Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Psalm 110:4, Ezekiel 24:14), at other times as saying that he changes his mind (Genesis 6:6, Exodus 32:11-14, Judges 2:18, 1 Samuel 15:11, 35, 2 Samuel 24:1-16, 1 Chronicles 21:1-15, Isaiah 38:1-5, Jonah 3:3-10, Amos 7:1-3, Amos 7:4-6, Jeremiah 15:6) and providing instructions about how people can get him to change his mind (Jeremiah 18:8, Jeremiah 26:3, Jeremiah 26:13, Jeremiah 26:19, Jeremiah 42:10). As another example of YHWH’s unreliability, YHWH promised to destroy all Canaanites so that the Israelites could settle the land (Deuteronomy 7:1, Deuteronomy 7:23-24, Deuteronomy 31:3, Joshua 1:3-5, Joshua 3:10, Joshua 17:18, Joshua 21:43-45) – but he did not do so (Judges 1:19, Judges 3:1-5). Because these scriptures also claim that YHWH is unchanging (James 1:17), it follows that a YHWH who once was once unreliable remains unreliable.

Jesus, also, as presented within the Christians’ scriptures, is also unreliable. He gives false claims about the smallest seed in the world (GMatthew 13:31-32, GMark 4:31), incorrectly claims that the Kingdom of God will arise before some of the people listening to him preach have died (GLuke 9:22-27, GMatthew 16:27-28, GMark 9:1), and admits that he does not know everything about YHWH’s plans (GMatthew 24:36). This last admission is especially undermining to Jesus’s reliability because it leaves open the possibility that Jesus is similar to a lying spirit sent by YHWH (cf., 1 Kings 22:23, 2 Chronicles 18:22) – sent forth into the world in order to deceive people. The Christians’ scriptures also assert that Jesus was and is unchanging (Hebrews 13:8), meaning that because Jesus was unreliable, he is and will be unreliable.

Because both YHWH and Jesus are portrayed within the Christians’ scriptures as unreliable, it follows that what they wrote cannot be trusted by the non-naive unless we have corroboration.

There can be no assurance that even if Yahweh and Jesus are real gods that the entire salvation scheme isn’t just a façade that they concocted to make people behave in a better manner. Once deceit is detected, all possibilities exist.

(3758) Jews not recognizing trinity disproves Christianity

Given the Christian dogma that the trinity is fundamental to their faith, it is damning that the Jews were oblivious to this fact for centuries of following Yahweh as their god. This is a critical fault line in the Christian faith, that rests in a dependent manner on the foundation of Judaism.


Christians today look at the Biblical first century Jews as wrongdoers for not accepting Jesus as god. But if you place yourself in the shoes of the Jews, there is no reason to believe God had a son.

1) God in the Tanakh does not claim to have a son. If you were a Jew who believed in the scripture 100% why would you take the statement of a man claiming to be god when Numbers 23:19 states “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent”.

2) Some Christians say that the scripture before didn’t confirm or deny that God had a son but it gave ambiguous hints so it was on the Jews to accept them. In my opinion that shows the unfairness of the God of the New Testament. Imagine for a second that a woman comes down in the 21st century and claims to be God’s daughter, brings a scripture and claims she is the 4th person of the trinity. Christians today would not accept this person. Why? Because the Bible never made any reference to God having a daughter or there being a 4th person or God. Some of this Goddess’ new followers might even find fallacious ways to prove God’s daughter is in the original Bible that confirms with their new scripture. I see what Christians do with the Old Testament as no different.

3) Christians would have to answer why no Jewish scholars in history, prior to Jesus, ever came to the conclusion of a trinity belief. You can’t claim that God gave hints for the Jews to recognize his son for when he arrives, while there being no proof within the Jewish tradition of anyone coming to the same conclusion. If there are clues meant to be found, surely at least the knowledgeable would have found it.

4) Finally some Christian say it wasn’t for the Jews before to believe in a trinity. Then you are claiming God changed the creedal belief from group to group. This isn’t something trivial like doing away with the Sabbath, but this is telling one group that God is a certain way and another group a completely different version. According to that logic Moses and his followers never truly knew God and they were worshiping only the father and not God in his whole essence. Also just as I stated before with the goddess example, If Moses never knew God was 3 persons like the Christians believe, then who’s to say there isn’t 4,5 or 6 persons of God and we only today received knowledge of the 3 in the trinity? Of my knowledge, the New Testament never listed or gave a number of persons so there is nothing stopping you from believing there are other persons of God that haven’t been revealed yet.

Christians claim that Jesus existed along with his father from the beginning, as implied in John Chapter 1. If this is true, then incredible deception was practiced by Yahweh to keep this essential truth from his Jewish followers.

(3759) The omnipotence paradox

Christianity presents their god, Yahweh, as being omnipotent. But arguments can be made that it doesn’t matter whether Yahweh is omnipotent or not- either way Christianity does not work.

If Yahweh is omnipotent, then he knows beforehand whether you will be saved or damned to hell. Since he possesses this knowledge, it implies that you have no free will to navigate to your own destiny. It means that you are born either on the highway to hell or the stairway to heaven,. You have no choice, and Yahweh can be credibly accused of making people for the sole purpose of inflicting eternal torture.

But if Yahweh is not omnipotent, then he cannot know your inner thoughts, and without this knowledge, how can he fairly judge you for heaven or hell? Does he rely on an angel or other agency to probe your brain to determine at the moment of your death whether you REALLY believe in Jesus? Without Yahweh’s omnipotence it is difficult to see how he can see and measure your inner thoughts and beliefs.

So, in summary, if you ask a Christian whether their god is omnipotent or not, whatever answer they give can be used to refute their faith.

(3760) Christianity is irrational

Taking a sarcastic look at the tenets of Christianity, the essay below elegantly undresses Christianity to show that it is remarkably irrational. It takes only a few minutes of clear thinking (something Christians hardly ever do with regard to their faith) to realize this fact. The following was taken from:


“God” sacrificed himself to himself to save us from himself and create a loophole for his own rules, no better way could be thought of, because an uncomprehending rib woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat fruit and pursue knowledge (putting these things in place and knowing what would happen), then cursing all innocent descendants for it? Very rational. A human or blood sacrifice that wasn’t really a sacrifice somehow “saves” mankind, and most are still going to hell anyway? Magnificently rational. Sickness is caused by demons requiring exorcism, you don’t need to wash your hand before eating, mud and spit cure blindness, faith makes you immune to poison? Quite rational. Having your story be so similar to dozens of gods and myths that came before you? So rational. Salvation depends on belief, which is involuntary (something a god would know) on bad, vague, contradicting, or no evidence? Quite logical. Having your book be filled with barbarism and contradictions? Necessarily logical. Allowing endless religions and sects? Ingenious. Allowing your religion to have a comically horrific history, spread by bloodshed, force, and accident, in which no one can still agree on much of anything? Wise. A man-god predicts his own return within the lives of his listeners, 2,000 years ago now? Sensibly compelling. Three is one and one is three? Deeply comprehensible.

An infinitely loving god allows and causes random atrocity and calamity, regardless of the victims’ beliefs or virtue, the scale and depths of which would make most human beings’ stomachs turn? Intellectually unassailable. A being is omni-everything that created all in perfect knowledge and power yet makes mistakes, has regrets, and blames things on everyone else? Mentally immaculate. Believing still that the ultimate answers MUST be magical and supernatural despite this NEVER being the answer up until now? Brilliant. Eschewing all the evidence of bottom-up evolution and obstinately demanding complexity requires a designer who would be infinitely more complex? Supremely reasonable. Holding or commanding faith (as if this is a reliable path to truth) above reason, revelation above investigation-exactly the opposite of the means by which all our progress has been made? Irreproachably sagacious.


The Bible, the world, the way things happen, the followers of the faith, and the timing of events would all be different if Christianity was true. As such, its unreality screams loudly to anyone willing to look at it with unfiltered vision. Christianity is irrational, a man-made myth through and through.

(3761) Prayer worsens heart patient outcomes

Many studies have concluded that prayers are ineffective, delivering no statistically significant help. The study described below goes beyond that finding to show that heart patients fared worse when they were told that prayers were being said for them.


The biggest study into the relationship between prayer and healing found that, on the whole, prayers offered by strangers had no effect on patients’ recovery.

But heart surgery patients who knew people were praying for them ended up with a higher rate of post-operative complications, such as abnormal heart rhythms. Researchers suggested this was perhaps due to the anxiety of knowing others were praying for their recovery.

In the past decade, scientists have carried out at least ten studies into the effects of prayer, and some have shown that “intercessory prayer” – prayer by strangers – can accelerate healing in patients.

The new study, involving more than 1,800 patients over ten years and costing about 1.5 million, was intended to overcome flaws in the earlier investigations and end years of speculation in both the medical and religious communities.

In the study, three Christian groups prayed for patients, starting the night before surgery and continuing for two weeks. Volunteers prayed for “a successful surgery with a quick, healthy recovery and no complications” for specific patients – they were given only the first name and first initial of the surname.

The patients were broken into three groups. Two were prayed for; the third was not. Half the patients who received the prayers were told they were being prayed for; half were told that they might or might not receive prayers. The results showed prayer had no effect on complication-free recovery. But 59 per cent of the patients who knew they were being prayed for developed a complication, compared with 52 per cent of those who were told it was only a possibility.

Researchers found the most common complication among those patients was atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can be affected by anxiety. They speculated that knowing about the prayers made many patients nervous. “It may have made them uncertain, wondering, am I so sick they had to call in their prayer team?” Dr Charles Bethea, a cardiologist and the study’s co-author, said.

Religious leaders said the results, published in the American Heart Journal were unlikely to discourage the devout. More than a quarter of British people say they pray regularly, and about a third of churches and other places of worship offer prayer-healing sessions for their congregations.

The Rev Malcolm White, a prominent faith healer from the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster, London, said 15 years of offering prayers for the sick had convinced him of the power of prayer.

He said: “I don’t know exactly how it works, but I know it brings a change in attitude and health. I do feel that faith makes someone open to the possibility of a higher power helping them and that can bring peace of mind, which we know enhances the immune system. I have no doubt that what we do helps.”

The Rev Dean Marek, a hospital chaplain and one of the study’s investigators, said the research should not be taken as an indictment of a belief in a supernatural power, nor should it rule out the possibility that offering support to the sick does not help them heal. “Our study was never intended to address the existence of God or the presence or absence of [God] in the universe,” he said.

Hospitals were filled with “thousands of people” trying to help patients get better. “That’s intercessory prayer,” he said.

If God is real, and is omnipotent, and therefore knew that this study was being conducted, then nevertheless he was happy to let the heart patients who were being prayed for not only not get better but actually fare worse than the others, experiencing an anti-placebo effect. God had no desire to make this study show the effectiveness of prayers. Or, perhaps, he’s not really there.

(3762) Four examples of Paul’s bad theology

The most famous Christian and the only verified author of the New Testament, Paul of Tarsus, was a different kind of Christian from those of today. His theology by today’s standards is outdated and unusable, or, in other words, ‘bad.’ The following was taken from:


One theological certainty that impacted Paul’s thinking—as a devout Jew—was the expectation that God would send a messiah to rescue Israel from its enemies. From his visions he was convinced that Jesus had been assigned this role—and that it would happen soon. Moreover, belief in Jesus was the key to escaping the sin that dwelt within—and even death. Thus a torrent of bad theology flowed from Paul’s visions, as is clear from his letters. If many Christians today took the time to read these letters carefully, they would have to confess, “No, this is not the Christianity that I practice.” But it’s right there in the New Testament. Some might even agree that he was nuts.

Bad Theology, Example One

The earliest Christian document we have—as many scholars believe—is Paul’s Letter to the Thessalonians (commonly called First Thessalonians, but the second one is thought to be a forgery). He addressed one of their worries: some of their friends and relatives who had accepted Christ had already died. So would they be out of luck when Jesus arrives? We wonder how Paul came up with the answer he gave them: he promised them that the dead will rise first to meet Jesus in the air—and that he himself will be joining this party in the sky (verse 4:17). Would Christians still be waiting for Jesus to arrive 2,000 years later? Not a chance. Throughout his letters, Paul cautions his readers to be ready; it would happen soon.

Bad Theology, Example Two

It just won’t do to claim, “Well, Paul just had the timing wrong.” His theology itself was wrong. He expected his new converts to reorder the priorities of their lives. Modern Christians know that they don’t live as Paul urged. This text in I Corinthians 7:29-31 should help talk church-goers out of Christianity; they have no way to identify with this advice:

“…the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.”

“…the appointed time has grown short… the present form of this world is passing away.” Hence this was Paul’s truth:

·      husbands should act as if they don’t have wives

·      don’t give in to mourning

·      forget about being happy

·      ignore your possessions

·      stop dealing with the world

The first bullet is also reflected in Galatians 5:24, “And those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Come on, all ye faithful followers of Jesus, you’re no longer interested in sex? Is this the Christianity you signed up for? If you say Yes, but you’re not in a monastery or convent, I don’t believe you. At some point, someone has talked you out of Paul’s understanding of Jesus. The theologian who came up with this Jesus-script in Matthew 5:28 was just as afraid of sexuality: “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

Bad Theology, Example Three

My guess is that not too many Christian pastors who offer pre-marital counseling will suggest that couples turn to I Corinthians 7 for guidance. I quoted vv. 29-31 above, but the chapter gets off to a bad start.

“It is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife what is due her and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”   (vv. 2-5)

And then: “To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain unmarried as I am. But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.”  (vv.8-9)

So, a man shouldn’t touch a woman, but if that can’t be helped, go ahead and get married. Go ahead and have sex—because of your lack of self-control. Paul sets the best example that he wishes people would follow, i.e., by not being married. He was clueless: don’t most folks look forward to getting married because, among other things, they want to be aflame with passion? The verses reflect Paul’s distress that sin dwelt within him; he was alarmed about his own sexuality. As A. N. Wilson suggested, he projected the warfare within his own breast onto the cosmos itself. He certainly projected it onto marriage. Today we would refer him to therapy.

Bad Theology, Example Four

One of the finest bits of theology in the New Testament is the Jesus-script we find in Matthew 18:21-22:

“Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if my brother or sister sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.’”

We know that god himself, as described in both the Old and New Testaments, doesn’t meet this standard (see especially Dan Barker, God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction, and Steven Wells, Drunk with Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible.) And the apostle Paul fell far short of it himself. He seems to have relished the idea that god was going to get even. He was sure that wrath was god’s primary method of dealing with humans. Here he sounds very much like a crank preacher:

Romans 1:18: …the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those who by their injustice suppress the truth.

Romans 2:5: But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Romans 5:8: …while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but injustice, there will be wrath and fury.

Even Paul’s god himself played a role in engineering sin:

“God gave them over to an unfit mind and to do things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of injustice, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die, yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.”  Romans 1:28-32

Notice in this list of those who deserve to die: people who are full of envy, gossips, those who are haughty, and are rebellious toward parents. There is precious little forgiveness here, or willingness to reach out to people to help them improve. There is actually so much injustice and malice on this list—so doesn’t Paul himself, according to his own decree, deserve to die? Protestant theologian C. H. Dodd (1884-1973) once called The Book of Romans “the first great work of Christian theology.” But I suspect that if many Christians today studied Romans carefully, they’d decide to walk away from Paul’s brand of faith.

Please notice that these four elements of Bad Theology are firmly anchored in the New Testament. On his better days—maybe Paul was on his meds—he wrote things that preachers gladly read from the pulpit, e.g., “love is patient and kind.” Also, his magic spell for salvation, Romans 10:9, is forever popular: “…if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Presto, voilà, you’re in. How easy is that! Hence his hero status remains intact. However, he wrote so much that is mediocre, shallow, and horrible: such embarrassments in the New Testament. Why don’t Christians say enough is enough?

Pastors and priests must do their best to filter what their congregants know of what Paul wrote. Encouraging them to read the letters on their own is not good strategy. Otherwise, they will realize that Paul was a misguided zealot and hardly an example of how Christians are expected to behave today. Paul’s relevance has evaporated.

(3763) Claiming witnesses versus eyewitness testimony

Christians often blur the lines between a claim of eyewitnesses and true eyewitness testimonies. The New Testament has lots of the former, but none of the latter. The following was taken from:


The reason why Christians believe the bible is 100% true is because there are a number of passages that mention large crowds of witnesses to certain events. For example, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is 100% true and fully supported by evidence because some first century nobody claims 500 people saw the resurrected Jesus (1 Cor. 15:3–8). The miracle of the five loaves and two fish at Matthew 14:13-21 must be 100% true and fully supported by evidence because the anonymous author who wrote it claims 5000 people witnessed it. The miracle of the 7 loaves and few small fishes at Matthew 15:29-39 must be 100% true and fully supported by evidence because the anonymous author who wrote it claims 4000 people witnessed it. Bonus points for mentioning the Sea of Galilee, a real geographical location.

The above is what Christians mean when they say there are thousands of people who have witnessed the life, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Therefore Christianity = real. This is Christian logic at its finest. Many, if not most Christians are unable to distinguish between claiming to have eyewitness testimony and actual eyewitness testimony. This may be due to willful dogmatic blindness, genuine stupidity, mental impairment or perhaps all three.

The lack of any verifiable eyewitness testimony is a problem for Christianity. The claims of such are a poor substitute for what should have been a given- if Christianity is true, then God would have made sure that proper credentialing of Jesus would have been provided in the Bible- this would have included well-preserved accounts by reliable eyewitnesses.

(3764) Refuting the need for a creator

Christians often argue that everything that exists requires a creator, while disingenuously dismissing that requirement for their god. But the assumption of a god-creator adds unnecessary complexity to this question. The following was taken from:


Doesn’t it make more sense that a universe came first, not a mind, not some super person? In what space does god exist then, and has he just been there, alone and bored forever or does he have company? If complex things need a creator, who or what created god? If god needs no creator and always existed (put aside that this is unsupported special pleading), why can’t the universe be the thing that’s always existed? It’s much simpler than a god and we know it does exist. Doesn’t science show, anyway, that things are evolutionary and bottom up? Wouldn’t something as complex as a god need to have evolved (if you’re not going to again employ special pleading)?

Isn’t god just magically poofing things into existence, or himself poofing into existence, just as magical as virtual particles poofing into existence? Except, we know virtual particles exist and do this because we detect them (and wasn’t our visible universe once at this quantum size of scale?). And again they’re simpler than a god. God is used to explain complexity but does it really, doesn’t it just add more complexity and explain nothing, or at least sets the need for an explanation back a step? And what is “God”? It looks to me like an anthropomorphic projection born of cosmically microscopic human fear and ignorance but isn’t it possible there are things one could call “god” that aren’t conscious minds, or that are but are just advanced life?

Don’t physicists say the universe, at its most fundamental level, is just quantum fields with no trace of purpose or goals? How purposeful or blissful is it to shun the only world we know we have for one of many unsupported hypothetical ones where you spend eternity on bended knee, endlessly praising a master who also is responsible for the endless torture of billions of good people and loved ones?

The idea of an omnipotent god suddenly poofing into existence or having always existed is well more complicated than saying the same about the universe. We know that it took time for the universe to attain its current state, about 13.8 billion years, and that for several hundred million years there was no place to stand, breathe air, or to sustain life. The universe evolved and is still evolving. The god hypothesis is the opposite- God just came to be, no evolution, no effort, just there he is. The simpler explanation is usually the correct one- the universe, not god, was not created.

(3765) Jesus was a piece of shit

Most Christians extol Jesus as the perfect example of how humans should behave, a sinless, caring, gentle, compassionate man. It is apparent that these people have never read their bibles. The following was taken from:


The Jesus of the bible was a real piece of shit. Maybe that’s why most of his followers are also real pieces of shit themselves.

Jesus referred to a Samaritan woman as a dog for being of the wrong ethnicity, which makes him a RACIST. He resorted to armed violence against temple merchants trying to make a living, which makes him a CLASSIST. He cursed a fig tree for not bearing fruit when he wanted it, which makes him a complete PSYCHOPATH. And he drowned a herd of pigs to heal a possessed man, which makes him a SADIST.

Jesus commanded his followers to abandon their families, sell everything they have and follow him. The highlight of his career was when he falsely prophesied his second coming during the lifetime of his followers, making him an even bigger piece of shit then he already was. Think of all the lives wasted over the past 2000 years waiting for this sad sack of shit to return on “clouds of glory.”

Assuming everything the gospels say about him is true (which is highly doubtful given their status as works of mythology), Jesus was just a 1st century version of cult leader Charlie Manson, a charlatan cult leader figure himself at best.

The gospels are unreliable in describing Jesus’ personality, given the gap of time before they were written and the blatant contradictions. They don’t even establish a good confidence in his very existence. But if we take these accounts at face value, we can conclude that Jesus was not a good person, not deserving of respect much less worship.

(3766) The Farewell Discourse

It is difficult to conceive how the theology behind the verse John 14:6 is not reflected in any of the synoptic gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke):

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Beyond this conflict, a whole series of discourses is exclusive to John and raises questions about how this (evidently core) theology is missing from the synoptics. The following was taken from:


Why some material has been ‘left out’ of the Synoptics is a complicated matter that has to do with questions about the dating of the composition (or final redaction) of the gospels, as well as the hypothesis that there existed a distinct (and somewhat isolated) Johannine “community.”

In short – John is thought by many scholars to have been written later than the Syoptics, and that therefore some of his material was not available to the Synoptics.

Some scholars have theorized that the material unique to John arose out of the particular aesthetic of a Johannine community, proposing that the material was prompted by some of the issues and questions which arose in the unique context of that community.

And it isn’t only John 14 .6 that does not feature in the Synoptics.

Scholars isolate a large section of John (4 entire chapters) which they refer to as “the Farewell Discourse.” The Discourse comprises the entirety of John 14–17.

The Discourse is exclusive to John – its content is not featured in the Synoptics.

Aland’s Synopsis of the Four Gospels divides the Discourse into the following sections:

    • 14.1–14 “Let Not Your Hearts be Troubled”
    • 14.15–26 The Promise of the Paraclete
    • 14.27–31 The Gift of Peace
    • 15.1–8 Jesus the True Vine
    • 15.9–17 “Abide in My Love”
    • 15.18–25 The World’s Hatred
    • 15.26–27 The Witness of the Paraclete
    • 16.1–4 On Persecutions
    • 16.5–15 The Work of the Paraclete
    • 16.16–22 Sorrow Turned to Joy
    • 16.23–28 Prayer in the Name of Jesus
    • 16.29–33 Prediction of the Disciples’ Flight
    • 17.1–26 The Intercessory Prayer

Christianity would be on firmer ground if it contained just 3 gospels (Mark, Matthew, and Luke) of just one gospel (John). For the gist of John 14:6 (above) to be left out in the other gospels in not explainable, not to mention all of the theology contained in the Farewell Discourse.

(3767) Christianity is a dehumanizing scheme

Christianity evolved to become a tool for exercising control over peoples’ lives, emotions, finances, time, and fears. It bears little resemblance to what would be expected of a system of belief designed by a benign supernatural authority. The following was taken from:


Christianity is an authoritarian mind control system used by the unscrupulous to terrorize and manipulate its gullible and naïve victims into abject total submission. Being a Christian is ultimately a dehumanizing experience.

Christianity is:

1) Irrational, because it treats faith as a supreme virtue. If believers are to accept the numerous logical absurdities of the Christian religion as revealed truth, they must have faith. For the Christian master manipulator, faith is the most important tool he has at his disposal if he wants to maintain absolute control over his flock of sheep, and;

2) Destructive, because the believer’s capacity for critical thinking and personal autonomy is completely destroyed. In the hands of an experienced Christian master manipulator, the Christian is slowly ground down, becoming a mindless zombie programmed to slavishly follow orders.

To keep the slaves in line, Christianity terrorizes them with threats of eternal punishment. Every waking moment is spent by Christians worrying about whether they’ll go to heaven or hell. The Christian then becomes the epitome of human selfishness, only doing enough to receive his “eternal heavenly reward.”

In the end, Christianity doesn’t produce decent human beings; it dehumanizes its victims, producing either skilled master manipulators and power-hungry wolves or more commonly, deluded cowards driven by fear and terror.

It should be easy to understand that any deity who desires to be worshiped (a very unlikely scenario, but just thinking hypothetically) would not wish for this measure of devotion to be offered in the face of fear of the alternative. On the other hand, a religion created by humans who are bent on exercising control over others would likely invent such a fiendish system.

(3768) Flip side of the ad populum argument

Christian apologists often cite the longstanding popularity of Christianity as evidence for its truth. But the problem with this argument is that it can be used against you as well. The decline of Christianity among the highly educated and increasingly technological western democracies is evidence against Christianity, that is, according to the same rules. The following was taken from:


The fact Christianity is rapidly dying out in North America and Western Europe has been known by analysts for quite some time. There are a plethora of articles on the subject, such as this one and this.

Every hypothesis subsequently confirmed as true in Western societies, such as heliocentrism, oxygen, evolution, Mendelian genetics, germ theory etc. experienced rapid growth in numbers of supporters until they achieved universal acceptance among the most scientifically and liberally educated people in the region with the most scientifically and liberally educated populations, which would in this case be the modern Western world. This process of universal acceptance among the most educated was facilitated by modern telecommunications, which has allowed these new discoveries to reach more educated people than ever before.

In the case of Christianity, you do not see rapid growth among the most educated people of the West, but rapid decline and, in some areas, the extinction of the religion itself. This is not what you would expect if Christianity were true; it is what you’d expect if Christianity were obviously false.

I consider this the argument against Christianity based on rapidly declining numbers of Christian believers among the most educated Western citizens in an age of mass communication (when you would expect to see the opposite, assuming Christianity is true).

The premise is that truth will generally be more accurately revealed when a population acquires more education and when information becomes more readily available. This situation exists in many countries of the world, especially in the United States and Western Europe. The decline of Christianity in these countries, coinciding with the growth of the internet and increasing scientific knowledge weights against the veracity of Christianity.

(3769) God’s plan is flawed

Christians often refer to ‘God’s plan’ which is a not so subtle claim that God orchestrates outcomes of human activity to achieve an overall ‘best case scenario,’ even though some of these situations might seem to be unfavorable to us humans. However, when it comes to childhood disabilities, this meme starts to lose credibility.


Our next-door neighbor has twins – a boy and a girl. During birth, the girl suffered some brain damage due to a lack of oxygen and is physically handicapped. Her brother is healthy. The twins celebrated their 5th birthday last week.

They invited their friends over for a big party this weekend. There were 3 kids in wheelchairs, and others who have a variety of birth defects.

When someone comes around at says it’s all part of “god’s plan”, they can just go fuck themselves.

Yes, all the kids had a great time at the party, but it was also sad to see the handicapped kids watching the healthy kids running and jumping around while they were sitting in their wheelchairs or crawling around on the ground.

There was one little girl who is suffering from a degenerative disease – she is smart, and very much aware of her surroundings, but her body is failing. If that’s part of god’s plan, then god needs a new plan ASAP.

Events appear to occur without the benefit of planning by an intelligent overseer. If that is correct, then either there is no god, or a heartless god, or a god who observes but doesn’t intervene, or a god who is limited in scope and who is oblivious to events on Earth. The former makes the most sense, and the other three options militate against conventional Christianity as well.

(3770) God delivers death with his message

It has long been considered a quandary that if God loved everyone in the world, then why did he deliver his message of salvation so hesitantly and inefficiently? When one considers the native inhabitants of North and South America, that message arrived 1500 years later, and the people who brought it also brought diseases that decimated the population. What kind of a divine plan is that? The following was taken from:


If god loves everyone equally, if god is the god of all mankind, and if God had a plan for mankind since the beginning then why…..

….instead of appearing to all men around the world, he decided to appear only to a selected few in the middle east, knowing full well that the only way for people like native Americans or Australians to know about him was through foreign men that would bring with them all sort of unknown diseases that would kill 90% of the local population?

Imagine you order pizza and the delivery guy kills all your family but you, would you leave a five star review ?

Frankly that looks like the mindset of a psychopath.

A real god would have been aware of the people living in the Americas and would have known that they were vulnerable to Eastern diseases, and therefore would have ensured (1) that they received knowledge of the gift of salvation commensurate with Jesus’ time on earth, and (2) girded their immune systems to avoid pandemic misery and death. The story of Christianity spreading belatedly to the Americas and killing off most of the population hardly seems like a plan orchestrated by a benevolent, omnipotent deity. Yahweh does not exist.

(3771) Paul created perfect climate for sexual abuse

The main author of the New Testament, Paul, unwittingly promoted rules that would later lead to a scourge of sexual abuse by clergy and others. Although the theology was idealistic, it was pragmatically a disaster, resulting in trail of tears, scars, and death for millions of victims. The following was taken from:


I’ve been reading some of the reports from the massive Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which interviewed thousands of survivors plus representatives from dozens of institutions. Different churches had different governance structures, but they had the same Bible, and I noticed that a specific set of Biblical principles which enabled abuse and coverup, mostly from the Pauline epistles, were used by every church:

– Obey authority. Women obey men; children obey adults; slaves obey masters, church members obey church elders. (Romans 13:1-5, Colossians 3:18-22, Ephesians 5:22-24, Ephesians 6:1-5, Hebrews 13:17, Proverbs 13:24.) When a revered man of God tells you to do something, you do it. When he explains why it’s your fault, you accept it. If you tell your parents, they give you a Biblical beating for telling lies about a revered man of God.

– Don’t go to court; resolve your disputes inside the church so that unbelievers won’t see you fighting. (1 Corinthians 6:1-11) Based on this scripture, churches create internal investigation mechanisms which are almost always more concerned with protecting the reputation of the church and its leaders than with justice for past victims or prevention of future victimization. Victims are told that if they go to the press or to court, they’ll be harming the mission of the church and thereby dooming innocent people to hell who would’ve otherwise been saved. This is a heavy burden for many victims who are believers, and is effective in keeping them silent and allowing abuse to continue.

– Forgive others; focus on your sins, not theirs, for we are all equally wretched before God. (Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount comes into play here: Matthew 5:21-30, Matthew 6:12-15, Matthew 7:1-5, plus: John 8:7, Romans 3:9-23.) This is virtually always part of the script that abusive leaders and their supporters use to downplay the harm done to victims and to allow abusive leaders to remain in their positions. Victims are put under tremendous pressure to forgive and stay silent. If some rumor does make its way to the congregation, abusive leaders can get standing ovations from their congregations for tearfully confessing to vaguely-described sins and asking for forgiveness. Instead of focusing on the harm to victims, abusive leaders quickly pivot their congregations to the Biblical idea that we are all equal sinners in front of God. You should be thinking about the time you got mad and yelled at someone in traffic, since that’s your sin. You should not be thinking about whatever it is that your leader is describing so vaguely, since that’s his sin. Don’t cast the first stone, fellow sinner. And don’t ask too many questions.

– Sexual “impurity” is the main problem. (Romans 1:24-27, 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, 1 Corinthians 7:2, 1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1 Timothy 1:10, Hebrews 13:4, Ephesians 5:3, Galatians 5:16-19.) Another common tactic of church abusers is to use scripture to convince their victims that they are both – victim and abuser – tied up in the impurity of what happened. Many abusers will take it further and tell the victim that they are totally at fault, even if they are a child, since they are the source of temptation. Congregations accept this logic shockingly often, shunning victims as mentally ill, unstable, seductive, demonic forces who led their wonderful man of God astray. Victims are shunned and rejected by church members, while abusive leaders go through “restorative” processes.

Now… I’m sure Paul would be horrified by these uses of the scriptures he wrote. Nonetheless, the principles that he laid down of obedience to authority, internal dispute resolution, forgiveness of other church members, and a focus on sexual impurity came together to produce the perfect institutional framework for abuse and coverup.

Paul introduced all of the ingredients needed to create a pandemic of sexual abuse, that left in its wake a tsunami of human misery. If he had emphasized cognizant respect over strict obedience, open-ended conflict resolution, reparations over plain forgiveness, gender equality, and a more subtle and nuanced approach to sexual matters, the world would have been a safer place for women and children to live.

(3772) Nicene Creed reveals it’s all about hero worship

Although Christianity touts itself as being the epitomized perfection of human morality and the best guide for how to live one’s life for the benefit of all, its core beliefs as encapsulated in the Nicene Creed shows that its real emphasis is on the supernatural exploits of Jesus and past and future miraculous events. The delicacies of love, compassion, acceptance, and forgiveness are sorely lacking in this creed that many Christians (usually mindlessly) recite every Sunday. The following was taken from:


This was one thing that made me question Christianity early on, when I was still living with my family and required to go to church.

I’ve included the Nicene Creed below so we all have a reference, though I’m sure I’m not the only one here who was forced to memorize it and will never forget it.

Obviously, the Bible has serious flaws and so did Jesus. But there are also some positive parts of the Old and New Testaments. I used to focus on the good stuff – the spiritual side of it, the philosophical side of it, the part about how to be a good person and how to deal with life’s challenges. I found that helpful.

But if that’s what the religion is actually about, why are the main statements of belief (Nicene and Apostles Creeds) just summaries of the silly supernatural stuff like the virgin birth? Why don’t the creeds say, “We believe you should love your neighbor as yourself,” which is supposed to be the core belief in Christianity?

For me, the obvious answer was that it’s a religion of hero worship – worship of a celebrity who was mythologized after his death.

Can I say for sure that he was not the messiah? No. And I can’t say for sure that he existed either. Anything is possible.
But it’s a really idolatrous religion, which conflicts with one of its core beliefs, which is that we should not practice idolatry.
The supernatural life story of Jesus is really consistent with the way celebrities are mythologized by their followers, especially those who seek to profit in some way. To me, this is obviously what it is – a sales pitch.

They make you memorize and recite a sales pitch for a dead celebrity every Sunday.

And what’s wrong with celebrity worship? It elevates that person’s characteristics over others, often reinforcing social inequalities. Christianity is a great example of this. It’s no coincidence that it breeds sexism, racism, and many other -isms.

I figured that out during my teen years and it hit me hard emotionally. Church felt really messed up. And it still does. I can’t believe how many people believe this . . .

Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

A better creed would include statements like:

We believe that all people are created equal.

We believe that all people should be free and have freedom of conscience.

We acknowledge that everyone should be treated with kindness and in a manner that they would wish.

We strive to help those in need.

We work diligently to protect children and to enrich their lives.

But instead, it’s all about the flashy ‘miracles’ and the ‘next’ life. Hero worship. A poor creed for a religion that has an horrendous track record involving the health and happiness of humanity.

(3773) Tracking Satan’s attributes

Probably one of the best ways to see that Christianity is a myth is to see how the Bible describes an obviously fictional character (Satan) with such seriousness. The following tables lists his many attributes:

See the source image

If you are a sensible, sane person, thinking objectively, and carefully observing how life and the world works, how events unfold, and witnessing cause and effect, you will know with supreme confidence that Satan is not an element of reality. He is a mythical figure created to scare and control people.  Because the Bible repetitively refers to him as being real, crediting him with many powers, and has him working against a supposedly omnipotent god who for some inexplicable reason allows him do his dirty work, this should be seen as a blaring signal that Christianity is a myth.

(3774) Dunbar’s Number

There is a theory that religion became a necessity once human societies reached a size beyond which it was possible for all members of that society to have knowledge and trust of all of the people present. Small tribes worked well but once they grew large, beyond about 150 (Dunbar’s Number), a strategy was needed to make everything work. Religion was the perfect recipe. Religion allowed for larger populations to co-exist within the framework of a shared belief that had consequences for bad behavior. This allowed people in large cities to live cohesively, trust strangers, and do business confidently. The following was taken from:


Evidence of religious traditions has been found since the very beginning of Homo Sapiens emergence on the scene. If it existed at the beginning and has continued to exist for hundreds of thousands of years, it must serve a function for the continuance of the species, just as certain biological traits continue to be selected for a species through natural selection.

So what benefit does religion provide for the continuance of the species thus far?

It’s the original networking solution. Religion is a technology.

Like all social animals, there is a limit to the number of people one person can interact with and remember on an ongoing basis. For humans that is Dunbar’s number: 150.


Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships—relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.[1][2] This number was first proposed in the 1990s by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who found a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size.[3] By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships.[4] There is some evidence that brain structure predicts the number of friends one has, though causality remains to be seen.[5] Dunbar explained it informally as “the number of people you would not feel embarrassed about joining uninvited for a drink if you happened to bump into them in a bar.”[6] Dunbar theorised that “this limit is a direct function of relative neocortex size, and that this, in turn, limits group size […] the limit imposed by neocortical processing capacity is simply on the number of individuals with whom a stable inter-personal relationship can be maintained”. On the periphery, the number also includes past colleagues, such as high school friends, with whom a person would want to reacquaint themselves if they met again.[7] Proponents assert that numbers larger than this generally require more restrictive rules, laws, and enforced norms to maintain a stable, cohesive group. It has been proposed to lie between 100 and 250, with a commonly used value of 150.[8][9]

There is also the issue of in-group favoritism to overcome.


In-group favoritism, sometimes known as in-group–out-group biasin-group biasintergroup bias, or in-group preference, is a pattern of favoring members of one’s in-group over out-group members. This can be expressed in evaluation of others, in allocation of resources, and in many other ways.

It is easier to maintain social cohesion within smaller groups, and in-group favoritism helps these groups survive harsh environments and be on the alert for marauding outsiders who may come through and take their resources, their children, etc.

But what if you want to live in groups larger than 150? Larger than 1,500. Larger than 1,500,000? It isn’t possible without a common story to connect us that overcomes this inate in-group favoritism and small social circle preference.

That’s where religion comes in. Religion provides the protocols that enable human societies to form into communities larger than Dunbar’s number, and even into vastly large full-scale civilizations by providing two crucial elements to maintain social cohesion and mass collaboration:

Trust and Fear.


With a common religion, two people who have never met before and live hundreds of miles away from each other can trust that the other isn’t out to get them. This overcomes the limitations of Dunbar’s number and maintains in-group favoritism to make far-reaching communities possible.


By placing authority in an unseen guiding force(s), and a set of guidelines attributed to those divine entities, individual behavior is controlled to not come at odds with the needs of the society at large. Community leaders also claim power and authority from the unseen force and can draw upon that power to maintain their own authority and control populations through fear when necessary.

No form of government would have been possible without these stories and myths, until recently.

Community leaders since the dawn of man – shamans, chieftans, monarchs, presidents – all claimed authority through a divine force.

Even in modern times, founders of new forms of government have chosen to “back up” the authority of their ruling documents by some “divine authority”.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Currency, which is also a fiction – a story we invent to place value on pieces of metal and paper – was until recently backed up by gold. The economy had the Gold Standard. Governments had the God Standard.

Religion was needed in the past when the local population exceeded Dunbar’s Number, but this is no longer true. Our current massive information infrastructure has replaced the function of religion when it comes to enabling the interpersonal transactions needed for societal fluidity. We can ‘know’ people over social networks, news reports, police reports, etc. Large societies no longer need religion to operate smoothly. With its efficacy curtailed and its foundation crumbling, we will soon be living in a post-religion world.

(3775) Eyewitness problems

Christians like to believe that the gospel authors interviewed people who had directly witnessed the events that were documented. This runs into trouble in certain circumstances. The following was taken from:


John 18 depicts a conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate that takes place in private. Who would you count as the eyewitness to this event, for your purposes?

    • If it’s Jesus, you run into difficulty for how he was able to transmit the information to his disciples afterward.
    • If it’s Pilate (the only other person mentioned as present), you’re defining your category of “eyewitnesses” to include observers that would have no reason to cooperate with the early Christian evangelists.
    • If it’s someone else who isn’t mentioned (such as an employee of Pilate), you’re adding someone to your list who isn’t even part of the narrative.

(Similar problems happen when Jesus is praying alone, or when he’s with the devil in the wilderness.)

This is where Christian apologists us PFM and pull out their go-to card- ‘the Holy Spirit spoke to the authors and told them exactly what was said by Jesus.’ Once this tactic enters the game, it is essentially over. “God arranged everything to be exactly as it is and although we might not understand how it was done, we will will know when we get to heaven.’ Thus, the Christian mind circles the wagons and repels all contradictory evidence.

(3776) Christianity undercuts its own foundation

Christianity sells the idea that all people are sinful and have devious intentions. Yet it depends on the trustworthiness of the people who wrote the Bible to be the true and factual message from God. This is a problem. The following was taken from:


To Christians: The reliability of the gospels is called into question by the Christian idea that all humans are inherently sinful

I’ll try and keep this relatively short and simple for the most part.

The Bible and Christianity essentially spells out a view of humans as inherently sinful. This means we should expect humans to be untrustworthy. There are many verses which imply this I would say but, for example, we can take Jeremiah 17:9 which says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”.

The Bible, however much God-inspired it is or is not, was at the very least written down and recorded by humans. I hope I don’t get too much push-back on at least that. With this in mind, in order to trust the Bible, we have to of course trust those sinful creatures with deceitful and sick hearts known as humans to have written down everything recorded within the Bible perfectly accurately and in perfectly good faith in order to trust the Bible. We have to trust, on the risk of our eternal souls’ fate, that the aforementioned nefarious individuals with wicked hearts didn’t do anything untrustworthy in order to dishonestly spin the message how they wanted it according to their preferences.

There’s another layer to all of this, however. The thing about the gospel message, and many would say actually the most important part of all, is that the guilty need not ultimately suffer punishment for their wrong doings. Yes, in the story of Christianity, the obviously guilty and those who deserve punishment need not suffer for their sins. So, within this narrative of the Christians, at the very least one of the main points is that those who do evil deeds can ultimately get off the hook for those same deeds.

Isn’t that just what you would expect if evil, sinful people were making this stuff up wholesale? That is that the guilty can ultimately and eternally get away with their evil deeds and suffer no punishment for them? I mean, I wouldn’t expect the righteous to say anything about this. Oh wait… within Christianity the view is commonly that none are in fact righteous anyway. But trust us, they will say, these specific individuals were telling it to you completely straight.

I’ll try and illustrate this further with a hypothetical situation. Let’s say members of an alien species from across galaxies come to visit Earth. They tell you that their species is notorious around the universe for being shiesty and dishonest. The members then proceed to tell you that they have the exclusive way to salvation and a pleasant afterlife and that all evil-doers do not need to suffer but can get off completely scot free. Do you think you’d be inclined to believe them after they just told you that their kind was known for being shady, evil, vile, etc.? I would think not.

The Bible essentially says that humans are inherently all kinds of nefarious, evil-doing, shady, etc. and then asks us to trust a handful of those same humans with the fate of our eternal souls. That’s not a good look or situation to be in but that’s what you have to accept in order to be a Christian.

Essentially, Christianity threw out a boomerang that flew out and come back to undercut its very foundation- the Bible. The veracity of the Bible is dependent on its authors being honest and not advancing any personal agenda. Absent that, the last ditch effort is to say their hands were guided by the Holy Spirit. When everything collapses, the appeal to magic is all you have left.

(3777) Aliens comment on what they observe

If an alien species arrived on earth, they would obviously be highly evolved in their technology and understanding of the universe. They might be fascinated by the various buildings they see that humans have built, especially the churches. The following hypothetical statement from an alien was taken from:


“The humans have schools for learning, hospitals for when they get sick, grocery stores for their consumables, furniture stores for decorating their homes, hardware stores for maintaining their homes, and a whole range of other places and buildings they go to for recreational activities, but I can’t work out what the buildings with the spires, steeples and stained glass windows are for.”

“Ah yes, we had the same issue last time we visited. We think it might be because humans occasionally die in tragic circumstances and this causes the living humans to have irrational thoughts and anxiety about their own mortality. So they appear to have made up highly complex fantasies about an invisible being they call “God” who controls the universe. These fantasies help to alleviate some of the anxiety that comes from knowing they will die one day. The humans who have learned all about these fantasies work in the buildings. You can tell who they are because they wear funny hats and robes and they charge fees to other humans who visit the buildings once a week and believe the fantasies are true.”

If humans ever become voyagers of the galaxy, maybe in a million years, by that time they will have discarded all of the fantasy beliefs of religion, and they might descend on a planet with recently evolved intelligence and see similar buildings dedicated to a belief in supernatural beings- that is, the drama will have gone full circle.

(3778) Slavery in the churches

Christians have attempted to distance themselves from the rather embarrassing FACT that their Bible endorses the institution of slavery, sometimes claiming without evidence that the ‘slaves’ were actually indentured servants working voluntarily for wages. But the capstone to this argument is that slavery was practiced within Christian churches for over a millennia after the time of Jesus. The following was taken from:


The Catholic Orthodox Church, itself a major slaveholder was not opposed to the institution of slavery and in the 12th Century thousands of Gypsy families were donated as gifts by the noblemen to the many Catholic monasteries in Serbia, or auctioned at slave auction blocks. The Church of England was also greatly implicated in slavery with slaves being owned by the Anglican Church’s Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts to work their sugar plantations in the West Indies.

At the beginning of the 16th century, monasteries were opening in European cities, the monks bringing with them their Roma slaves. The Romanian Orthodox monasteries were opposed to any order to abolish slavery by Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor on June 19th 1783 in Czernowitz. The boyars pleaded their case to the Bukovina and Galicia authorities, claiming that the banning of slavery was a transgression against the autonomy and traditions of the province and bondage was the appropriate state for the Roma and was for their own good. In Romania by 1839 there were up to a quarter of a million Tzigani Gypsy slaves.

This is not a track record worthy of a religion started by an omnipotent god who would have known that the practice of slavery would not stand the test of time. Rather, it points decisively to a faith created by humans burdened by the repressive morals and ethics of their time.

(3779) Two thousand kids abused by God’s representatives

This is what happened only in France. We are asked to believe that God sees all, and has powers over all, and he watched as children were being sexually abused by his earthly representatives. This god is pathetically impotent. The following was taken from:


Members of the Catholic clergy in France sexually abused an estimated 216,000 minors over the past seven decades, according to a damning report published Tuesday that said the Church had prioritized the protection of the institution over victims who were urged to stay silent.

The number of abused minors rises to an estimated 330,000 when including victims of people who were not clergy but had other links to the Church, such as Catholic schools and youth programs. Between 2,900 and 3,200 abusers were estimated to have worked in the French Catholic Church between 1950 and 2020, out of a total of 115,000 priests and other clerics, the report found.

“The Catholic Church is the place where the prevalence of sexual violence is at its highest, other than in family and friend circles,” said the report, which found that children were also more likely to abused within Church settings than in state-run schools or summer camps.

“Faced with this scourge, for a very long time the Catholic Church’s immediate reaction was to protect itself as an institution and it has shown complete, even cruel, indifference to those having suffered abuse.”

Tuesday’s report, the most complete account of sexual abuse in the French Catholic Church to date, was compiled by an independent commission at the request of Church officials. It follows similar reports from other countries that have dealt a blow to the reputation of the Church in recent years.

Jean-Marc Sauvé, the president of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (CIASE) which authored the report, said the abuse was systemic and not limited to “a few black sheep that strayed from the flock.”

Christian apologists will once again use their desperate defense of ‘free will’ for the perpetrator but not for the victims. It is despicable. They should admit that there is a problem with their theology- either God is uncaring, or he is not omnipotent- they need to decide between these two options, and it will not be fun experience for them.

(3780) Respect for authority

There is a (obviously fictional) story in 2 King, Chapter 2, where Elisha is being mocked by 42 boys, who are subsequently mauled to death by two she-bears. This story was likely created by a person who had a grievance about not receiving the respect he felt he deserved from his subordinates. The following was taken from:


You know that story where insults are repaid with mass murder? I just figured out what the lesson is and why that story exists.

In authoritarian groups, the lower your status, the more rules you have to follow and more shit you have to put up with. Having higher status means you can break more rules and shit on more people. God, being the highest status, doesn’t have to follow any rules and can shit on anyone he wants, and they have to take it (this is also the moral of the story of Job, btw).
Naturally, you can’t criticize anyone of higher status than yourself.

Anyway. Ancient Hebrew society was HIGHLY authoritarian with a rigid social structure. But people being people – they aren’t always gonna follow the rules. And also since people are just people no matter their social status – some people just aren’t going to deserve the respect their status demands they get. And they might be insecure about that.

Thus: this story! A man of high status is being mocked for his insecurity (a balding head) and DIVINE INTERVENTION!: god summons a couple bears to kill the disrespectful little shits.
This story is a wish-fulfillment power fantasy written by a high status author in an attempt to extort respect from lower status associates who could see through his BS. And it’s literally a couple lines; it could have been inserted anywhere or at any time. I’m betting it started out as a margin note by a scribe who wasn’t getting the respect he thought he deserved from a student of his.

I bet he had a comb-over too.

This story is an example of Bible fiction invented to satisfy an agenda- to keep people in their place and to respect authority. It in no way describes an actual event.

(3781) God fell down on the job

If the assumption is made that God intended for the New Testament to qualify as persuasive existence for the deeds and words of Jesus, such as to provide sufficient evidence for future people to have confidence that this actually happened as documented, then he failed miserably. There is far too much confusion, contradiction, source ambiguity, and blatantly-fanciful magical elements for it to be trusted as anything resembling true history. If this is the way God designed it, then he will responsible for sending people to hell who are simply employing conventional methods of logical thinking. The following was taken from:


Godfrey also notes the problems of verifying any ancient histories, e.g., those of Rome. He quotes Moses I. Finley:

“Where did the [ancient historians] find their information? No matter how many older statements we can either document or posit—irrespective of possible reliability—we eventually reach a void. But ancient writers, like historians ever since, could not tolerate a void, and they filled it in one way or another, ultimately by pure invention. The ability of the ancients to invent and their capacity to believe are persistently underestimated.”  (Kindle, p. 370)

…ultimately by pure invention…” Which is what so much in the gospels looks like. “With Jesus,” Godfrey says, “there are no sources independent of Christianity itself.” Which is a gentler way of saying: no sources independent of the propaganda pieces written to promote the early Jesus cult.
Doesn’t this add to the incoherence of Christian theology? There is so little in the New Testament that we can trust—the gospels are bad enough, leaving aside the egregiously bad theology of the apostle Paul. If the Christian god wanted a story of Jesus that would stand the test of time, couldn’t he have foreseen the time—since he’s all-knowing—when serious historians would come along and be justifiably suspicious that the Jesus stories look far too much like fairy tales?

Why couldn’t god have assured that there would be a substantial paper trail, i.e., really thorough documentation by which to verify the words and deeds of Jesus? What we have looks far too sloppy! No wonder there is growing suspicion that there might not have been a real Jesus underneath the gospel presentation of events. If these texts were divinely inspired, it looks like god fell down on the job.

The only plausible explanation for the Bible’s lack of historical merit is to postulate that God values faith much more than evidence-based belief, such that he deliberately muddied the water. But any god who would engage in that degree of deception and value faith over logic is not worth worshiping.

(3782) Christians losing the big picture

Logic and a sense of proportion can be sidestepped when your faith is localized to your immediate surroundings. This is a daily occurrence for many Christians who, for example, pray for the proverbial good parking space while mayhem rages on throughout the world. The following is a good example of how this misinterpretation of the big picture leads to utter nonsense:


At work outside my office two coworkers discussed how beautiful the wedding was for one coworker’s son the week before. She commented that there were rain showers all around but lots of prayers went up to keep the skies clear for their outdoor event. The next day an evil man gunned down children and teachers in Uwalde.

So let me get this straight. Your Christian god lets bombs fall on senior citizens in Ukraine, allows a global pandemic to kill millions across the globe, lets black babies starve in Africa and allows brown children in Texas to be mowed down BUT keeps a few raindrops from falling on the coiffed heads of some over-privileged white southern Baptists just because you ask him nice? Do they even hear themselves?

Many Christians credit these trivial ‘answered prayers’ as evidence for their god even though their occurrence is random and fully within statistical norms, while at the same time failing to question why prayers for much more substantial problems go unanswered. They are tacitly admitting that their god is either weak, uncaring, or both.

(3783) Genesis too vague to be about the Big Bang

Some scientifically-literate Christians have suggested that the creation story in Genesis can be seen as a metaphor for the Big Bang theory. However, its lack of specificity weighs against that claim. The following was taken from:


Lots of theists point to Genesis 1 as somehow preempting and predicting the Big Bang. Other than Genesis 1 not being compatible with modern science even a little (trees did not exist before the sun), there is another problem with that idea. The Bible should’ve just said “the universe began 13,700,000,000 years ago.” Just be correct in the specific details instead of in vague metaphor. It would have been the an amazing indication that the Bible was indeed the word of God if it described in detail the Big Bang, abiogenesis, the evolution of life, etc. I recognize the target audience for Genesis was people born 3000 years ago, but still, is “life evolved and changed over time for 3 billionish years and that’s how all species came about” such a difficult concept to understand that even God almighty could not have explained it to his audience?

The point is, if Genesis 1 was really supposed to describe the Big Bang theory, then it wouldn’t have been so vague about it.

This is a continued theme about the Bible- in so many ways it missed an opportunity to show that it was fashioned by an intelligence that transcended the human knowledge of its time. If it was indeed inspired by a supernatural source, then that source played it very much close to the vest- not wanting to give any clues of its role as a writer.’

(3784) Failure if even one soul enters hell

The architecture of Christianity runs into a non sequitur when it postulates an omnipotent god who knows each person intricately, knows what they would need to believe, wants everyone to be saved, and yet this person or any person enters hell. This can only be classified as a failure. The following was taken from:


Jesus/god are failures if even one soul enters hell. Lets look at some definitions:

1) Salvation is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation

2) Savior – a person who saves someone or something from danger or difficulty.

The common creed of Christians is the acceptance of Jesús as their lord and savior. In the belief of the religion the danger/harm/ire situation is damnation/hell/separation from god. Now the issue with this creed and these definitions is that it places the saving SOLELY on jesus/god. So lets draw an analogy:

A person is drowning.
A person is damning their souls/sinning.

The person cries out for a life guard.
The person cries out/prays for god/Jesús to save them.

AT THIS POINT the person has ZERO control of the outcome, they are in a dire situation of which they themselves cannot get out of on their own so its now up to the competency and ability of their savior, failure to save even one person means that they are a failure, not a complete failure but still they failed at their job of saving. So if even one soul ends up in hell that means that god/Jesús are failures as they failed to save that person.

No blame can be put on the victim, if you deem yourself a savior and an omnipotent one, you should be able to save anyone and everyone without any conditions as being saved requires no conditions other than the savior being competent enough to save.

Apologists have to go through some mental gymnastics to navigate around this point. They will usually say that God allows a person who doesn’t want to be saved to go to hell, even though that person doesn’t have enough evidence to realize that he has made that dire choice. In the end, it doesn’t work.

(3785) Doubting Galatians evidence for Jesus

Many Christian apologists point to a portion of the Book of Galatians as being evidence for the existence of a real Jesus as well as his brother. But there are issues with this assertion that raise doubt. The following was taken from:


McGrath hopes to find an ally in Paul, i.e., the famous text in Galatians 1:18-19, in which he writes, “Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days, but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother.” Doesn’t that settle it? If Paul met Jesus’ brother, then clearly Jesus really did exist. There has been substantial scholarly discussion of this text, for several reasons. Cephas here means Peter, and it has been so tempting to think of the Peter as described in the gospels—but the stories of that Peter hadn’t been invented yet. If Paul had spent fifteen days with that Peter, why don’t we find many references to the gospel stories in Paul’s letters? How come Paul never mentions the Empty Tomb on Easter morning—wouldn’t Peter have been eager to share that story? Something is seriously off here.

There has been much discussion as well of the meaning of “the Lord’s brother.” Is this a reference to a biological brother, or does this mean a brother in the inner circle of the early followers of Jesus? Godfrey quotes scholar R. Joseph Hoffmann who is not a mythicist, but is not much swayed by this text as evidence for Jesus: “In the light of Paul’s complete disregard of the ‘historical’ Jesus, moreover, it is unimaginable that he would assert a biological relationship between James and ‘the Lord.’”  (Kindle, p. 361)

It’s probably not smart to rely heavily on Galatians 1:19 as evidence for a real Jesus, because it’s hard to establish that this verse was actually what Paul wrote. That is, there could very well have been tampering with the text by copyists. Godfrey quotes A.D. Howell Smith (from his 1942 book, Jesus Not a Myth): “There is a critical case of some slight cogency against the authenticity of Galatians 1:18-19, which was absent from Marcion’s Apostolicon…” (Kindle, p. 363) For an another in-depth discussion of this text, by the way, see Chapter 9 of Richard Carrier’s Jesus from Outer Space: What the Earliest Christians Really Believed about Christ.

The evidence for a flesh and blood Jesus is so scant that it becomes necessary to mine even the most trivial references. In this case, the mention of Jesus’ brother is circumspect and does little damage to theories that Jesus was a mythical figure invented by Paul.

(3786) Jesus did not believe in evolution

If Christians are correct that Jesus is the Son of God, then for sure he knew about the evolution of life on our planet. This becomes a problem when it is realized that based on scripture and the zeitgeist of the time, it is virtually certain that Jesus was a creationist. The following was taken from:


The question addressed herein is whether Jesus himself knew about evolution, or whether he believed as most Jews did during that period that the Genesis account was an accurate report of how the Earth, cosmos and life came to be.

This isn’t just trivia, it explains why evolution was so coldly received by Christians (And Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.), as well as why the Scopes Trial was such big news when it occurred. Modern US Christians who rarely touch their Bibles except to read verses at random for comfort likely don’t see what the big deal is. If all you know about Christianity is the sanitized Cliff’s Notes version, it may be unclear why evolution is so staunchly opposed, and what problems it could possibly pose for Biblical credibility.

One such problem is that Luke’s genealogy of Jesus traces through King David back to Adam, and says that Adam is the son of God (Luke 3:38), making Adam the first human. The genealogy is unbroken, there isn’t any point at which Luke divides the begats into “real people” and “metaphorical people”.

This genealogy also includes Noah, who in Matthew 24:38–39 Jesus appears to affirm as a literal historical figure along with his ark: “For as they were in those days before the flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they took no note until the flood came and swept them all away.”

Anyway if one considers Adam metaphorical, never having existed as a real human, what is the basis for belief that Jesus is a descendant of King David, one of the qualifying criteria to be the messiah predicted by the Torah?

This is hardly the biggest problem created by a metaphorical Adam, however. If Adam and Eve did not exist, nor the Garden of Eden, whence came original sin? Jesus died in atonement for the sin all living humans inherit from Adam, as affirmed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:18:

“Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone.”

Paul also said “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam — that is, Christ — is a life-giving Spirit” in 1 Corinthians 15:45, and “From one man [God] created all the nations” in Acts 17:26. Whether these are compelling verses will depend on how authoritative and reliable a source you consider Paul to be.

As for Jesus, in Mark 10:6 he said “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’” This would seem to affirm both creation and a literal Adam and Eve. Concerning the events recounted in the Old Testament, in John‬ ‭5:46–47 Jesus is recorded as saying “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

There is enough here already to put the lie to the moderate Christian conceit that the Bible and science are in harmony, or that the authors of scripture were metaphorically communicating the modern scientific understanding of origins. But besides the scriptural affirmations of a literal Adam/Eve and Garden of Eden, if humans evolved, that would mean there were thousands/millions of ancestors prior to Adam that were never offered a chance of salvation (including Adam and Eve’s parents).

r/exchristian - What if …?

If Jesus knew about evolution, then he decided to keep his knowledge a secret. But, being omniscient, he certainly would have realized the fact that knowledge of evolution would eventually become endemic in scientific circles, and it would seem, given this inevitability, that he would have made sure that the Bible would have been fashioned in a way to survive such a damaging attack on its credibility.

(3787) Angels appear when God recedes

The earliest traditions of the Jewish religion have God communicating directly with humans, but as time went on, God became more reclusive and he started to communicate more with intermediaries- angels for example. This ‘change’ is problematic for the underlying theology. The following was taken from:


In older sections of the Hebrew Bible, such as the Deuteronomistic History and the prophets, that portrayed God as communicating directly with prophets and priests, there was little need for intermediaries to convey God’s message. In later texts, however, God was more distant, and the role of the divine messenger — mal’ak in Hebrew — became important. When the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek, these beings were described using the term angelos (angel), which was already in use in Greek religion. For example, Hermes is described as the angel of the gods in The Odyssey (5.29), and numerous inscriptions in Asia Minor honour divine angels alongside gods such as Zeus. Such references to angels are often thought to represent Hermes or Hekate, who were both messenger deities (Arnold, pp. 70ff).

According to Philo, the angels of Jewish scripture were the same beings that other philosophers called demons (Somn. 1.41), and they were needed as intermediate beings because mankind could not endure direct contact with God (Somn. 1.142–143; see Feldmeier, p. 558). Philo himself did not mind calling angels daimones. He said the air reaching from earth to the moon was full of them, equal in number to the stars. They were the words (logoi) and ministers of God to humanity (Brenk, p. 2099). Philo’s writings represent a novel and influential attempt to interpret Jewish religion into a Middle Platonic cosmological framework.

Angels became instrumental both in conveying God’s messages and carrying out his will in late texts such as Daniel, 1 Enoch, Tobit, Jubilees, and 2 Maccabees (“Angel II”, DDD, p. 51). Belief in a Great Angel who could mediate on behalf of Israel and oppose the forces of evil also emerged during this period. The archangel Michael acts as the mediator and saviour of the Jews in Daniel; in 3 Baruch, he is the only angel who can directly approach God as the heavenly high priest; and in the War Scroll from Qumran, he is the Prince of Light who fights on behalf of God. Testament of Levi 5.5–6 and Testament of Dan 6.1–3 both speak of an angel who serves as the sole mediator between Israel and God, interceding on Israel’s behalf. In the Prayer of Joseph, an angel named Jacob is the firstborn of God’s creation who serves as a mediator of some kind (the full text is not extant). Philo called this angelic mediator the Logos, God’s Firstborn and the Son of God (Confusion of Tongues 146–7 and De Agricultura 51) who served as high priest in the cosmic temple. Several other examples could be given.

The evolution of God’s communication methods and the emergence of belief in angels and demons, neither of which can be demonstrated to actually exist, weighs heavily on the hisotoricity of Christianity. The track line of this theology seems to be more a product of human invention as generations turned over and over, modifying the narrative as it was deemed desirable.

(3788) Incarnation fallacy

Christians have struggled to maintain the concept that Jesus was both fully a man and fully a god in the face of common sense. But when this theology is placed under a microscope, it dissolves into the land of fantasy. The following was taken from:


Christians claim that one of their gods incarnated as a man and was “truly” or “completely” man while remaining “completely” god. Not a hybrid but another nonsensical term: a hypostatic union, Jesus is allegedly completely God and man. They simultaneously claim that God is perfect, infinite, immortal, omnipotent, and omniscient; while humans are sinful, finite, mortal, weak, and of limited knowledge. A being cannot be both infinite and finite, sinful and perfect, immortal and mortal, etc. at the same time. So, Christians will typically sacrifice the humanity of Jesus for his divinity, while still claiming that he was completely God and man. E.g. they claim he was sinless despite the doctrine of inherited original sin as an inherent element of human existence. However, they also deny certain godly powers to Jesus, such as omniscience (cf. Mark 13:32), but still claim he was 100% God.

So, they simultaneously claim that God and humanity have certain attributes inherent to their being; that Jesus was both completely God and man, but that certain attributes nonetheless don’t apply to him. And all this despite the fact that the Hebrew Bible, aka Old Testament, is explicit in stating that God is both solitary and not human (cf. Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 45:5).

Judeo-Christianity has the look of something that was built in stages, not from a singular design concept. Jesus himself would likely have been repulsed by the idea that a man could be a god at the same time. The theology of the incarnation is one that developed over time, a product of human imagination, and a tell-tale sign that none of this dogma has any connection to reality.

(3789) Jesus’ brother had a better claim to be the messiah

Christianity rests on the idea that Jesus was the messiah prophesized in Jewish scriptures. Those scriptures attest that the messiah must be a descendant of King David. But the claim that Jesus was conceived immaculately infers that Joseph, assumed to be properly positioned in the Davidic line, was not Jesus’ biological father.

This is a problem. There are scriptural references to Jesus’ siblings, implying that the next male child that Mary birthed (this time conceived through Joseph) had a better claim to messiahship than did Jesus. The following was taken from:


If Jesus did not have a human father, he cannot be the Messiah. The line of succession for the throne of Israel passed through the male line. Without a father, Jesus wouldn’t have a claim, and Jesus’ contradictory genealogies are traced through Joseph. The claim that Jesus was adopted by Joseph doesn’t resolve the issue because Jesus had siblings presumably not through Virgin births, so all of his brothers would have had stronger claims than him by that fact alone.

So the unwitting side effect of inventing the virgin birth story is that it gutted Christianity’s claim that Jesus was the promised messiah. In an effort to make Jesus god, they ignorantly raped him of his messiahship.

(3790) Jesus missed a lay-up

If Jesus was God, or a third of god, or whatever, then certainly he knew the ins and outs of physics and physical forces. He would have understood the way that light and sound travels. Because of this knowledge he could have said something that later would be quoted in the scriptures that would have been an amazing proof that he was more than a regular man limited by the knowledge of his time. He could have said something like this:

“And Jesus said, you see the cock in the distance open its mouth but you hear it only a moment later. Why is that? Why do you see the cock crow before you hear it crow? Truthfully, I tell you, the sight of the crow moves nearly nine hundred times a thousand times faster than the sound it makes. Similarly, when I return in the clouds above, you will see me before you can hear my voice.”

In normal situations, light travels at approximately 300,000 km/sec, whereas sound travels at about 343 meters/sec at the elevation of Jerusalem (it moves faster at lower elevations). This means that where Jesus would be standing, light travels at about 875,000 times faster than sound. These facts were not accurately known until about 200 years ago.

Now, what would have been the consequence of the hypothetical scripture above? Could secularists have figured out a way to explain it as simply a lucky guess by the gospel author, or would there be a compelling reason to concede that something miraculous was in play?

This is only one example of how a god might have had incentive to drop a clue in his holy book to give future generations a leg up in understanding that Jesus was truly more than just a regular human. It would have been a great opportunity- which was missed if we assume the truth of Christianity.

(3791) Counter to fine tuning argument

The fine tuning argument, that the universe appears to have been designed by an intelligent force to enable human habitation, has been advanced by Christians as evidence for a god, but a closer examination reveals this so-called evidence to be more damaging than helpful to their cause. The following was taken from:


Out of all the planets in our Galaxy only 300 million out of 100 billion are estimated to be habitable by humans. In space you pretty much instantly die from not having oxygen. Mars is also thought to once have had water on on it implying that life could have been on mars before. Even on earth humans easily die of heat stroke and get severe frostbite in some weather in the earth. 70 percent of our planet is water which we could not get across until we created advanced technology. 97 percent of that water is salt water which is undrinkable without advanced technology. Earth is estimated to support life for another 1.5 billion years. Earths orbit could decrease by 4.5 million miles or increase by 34 million miles and still be heritable for humans. So no strategic placement there. Not to mention the many natural disasters that plague the earth such as earthquakes,

Volcanoes hurricanes windstorms thunderstorms (etc) did our creator just place those there to kill us faster or something? Earth also has been hit by many solar flares in the past debunking the strategic placement from the sun argument. We also get hit by many space objects such as asteroids which imply we’re not exactly in their perfect place in the universe. Unless your going to go all conspiracy theorist and imply NASA is lying about these things then I don’t see how you could logically justify this argument.

Christians would further their cause if they cease to bring up this argument. In reality it works against their best interests, and it’s actually a good advertisement for atheism.

(3792) God permits child abuse in his name

The rampant child abuse in the Catholic Church, as well as other churches, represents a significant problem for Christian apologetics. If God is actually omnipotent as claimed, then he must be observing theses hideous sexual attacks on children, which are horrible anywhere they occur, but are even more inexcusable when performed by this god’s earthly representatives. The following explains why the church is uniquely structured to allow this abuse of children:


I think it is because of some features of the Church and religion:

  • It’s an authoritarian, patriarchal hierarchy.
  • The special role of the priest as a mediator and bridge between the parishioner and God.
  • Catholic attitudes toward sex and sexuality.
  • The high value the Church places on money and power.

1) The hierarchy. In Catholicism, as in all hierarchies, there is a strict system of command and obedience, in which each person is required to obey the person above them. These kind of systems are ripe for abuse, obviously. When the priest tells the child to come into this room and do this this and this, and not to tell anyone, they do it.

2) The role of the priest. “Through the Sacrament of Ordination priests receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit and are “signed with a special character and are conformed to Christ the Priest in such a way that they can act in the person of Christ the Head”. [Catholic Weekly] They literally act on behalf of God. When you combine this with an authoritarian hierarchy, it means that children and even parents obey the priest without question. This gives pedophile priests a perfect opportunity to exploit vulnerable children.

Furthermore, parents trust the priest, as a holy man, an emissary of God. They were often happy that the priest took an interest in their child and spent time with them, in hopes of improving their child’s spiritual life.

3) For Catholics, all sex outside of marriage is a mortal sin, whether between two adults who love one another and want to share physical love, or between an old man and a young boy. If a priest has any sex with anyone ever, including themselves, they have both broken their vows and committed a mortal sin. In for a penny, in for a pound. There is no importance placed on consent or autonomy. It’s all bad. (unless you’re married and trying to have children.)

4) The Church has demonstrated, and continues to show, what really matters to it: its own power and money. Time and time again church authorities covered up abuse, moved the perpetrator to a new parish, and did everything they could to prevent civil authorities from investigating and prosecuting the abuse. Even now they are fighting any enlargement of statutes of limitation on these crimes. They don’t want accountability, they don’t want justice–they want to protect their power and money.

A CEO would not accept his male employees to harass his female employees, and a god would not allow his clergy to rape little children. And the CEO is not omnipotent like this god supposedly is. How is it that the CEO outperforms a god? There is no defense for Christianity is this case- it is shown to be a failed hypothesis.

(3793) Christian brainwashing

One of the ways to conclude that Christianity is a human invention is to see its effect on people, how it degrades and humiliates its followers, convincing them that they are inherently worthless, and that their only hope is to follow the precepts of the religion.

One must ask the question: If a real god were to interact with an evolved intelligent species in one isolated corner of the universe, would it set up a system of theology that injures their self-esteem?

r/exchristian - Saw this floating around and fixed it up a bit (You too can heal from krisjan abuse)

Christians will complain that their religion empowers them, while at the same time worshiping a deity who expresses morality at a primitive and course level that would be seen today as reprehensible.

A true god who desired to make contact with humans would treat them much as humans do to other humans- with respect, uplifting complements, and seeing the best. Certainly not by saying ‘you are nothing without me.’

(3794) Christian atonement belies an omnipotent god

A god who needs blood to flow in order to forgive is not an omnipotent god, but rather a limited god that requires suffering and death of either a human or an animal before he can muster the necessary compassion to forgive. The story of Jesus’ ‘sacrifice’ lets us know that the creators of Christianity ruined their own narrative. The following was taken from:


Christians claim that God is omnipotent but that he can only forgive the sins of humanity through blood and sacrifice. Ignoring the fact that this isn’t even true in the Hebrew Bible (cf. Psalm 51 which states repentance and atonement only requires contrition, or Torah which makes provisions for grain offerings), it contradicts his supposed omnipotence. If God is omnipotent, he can forgive people without requiring a gruesome human sacrifice. If God can’t forgive without a human sacrifice, he’s not omnipotent. These doctrines are in contradiction to each other. Furthermore, the Hebrew Bible is pretty explicit in rejecting human sacrifice, which is another contradiction at the heart of Christianity that was never resolved.

Also, human sacrifice is not and never was an acceptable means of atonement in Judaism/Israelite religion (cf. The Torah which lists explicitly what animals and products may be offered as a sacrifice or offering in the Temple, none of which are human beings). The alleged “sacrifice” of Jesus on the cross also did not occur at the Temple by a priest, which would disqualify it as a sacrifice also. In other words, Jesus was executed as a criminal by Romans, not offered as a sacrifice by priests in the Temple. His death does not qualify in any way as a sacrifice under Jewish law.

It takes little thought to realize that the Christina model of forgiveness is fatally flawed. It is scripturally inconsistent and it doesn’t even provide a good example for humans- what parent would be considered good if they required their son to slash his leg and bleed to be forgiven for staying out too late on a date? Christianity is a barbaric solution to a prosaic problem.

(3795) The ill-defined god

Most theists have no idea how to define their god, or if they so attempt, the answers are all over the map. It seems that they are content to worship the term ‘god’ itself without worrying about what it is they are actually worshiping. They are praising a word, an idea, or figment of their imagination. The lack of definitions seems to not bother them, though, to a secular observer, this is a major problem. The following was taken from:


Noone knows what god is. And we cannot know what god is.
Theist believe in a god. However, they will all disagree on what god is. (“Man in the cloud”, “the cause of… (everything/the universe/morality/love)”, “energy”, “everything”, “the transcendental”, “the perfect entity”)

All these definitions have their own problems, besides that these are all man-made definitions.

“The cause of”- definition (the universe, morality, love etc.): this view on god is either circular or meaningless. First, god is defined as the cause, subsequently, the presence of the the thing that he is the cause of will be used to proof gods existence (Circular). Or god will be defined by whatever the cause is, however, this opens up the possibility that god is powerless (if god will be defined as by natural laws/phenomena, which are stable and cannot be changed) or god can be whatever, even if that is against the definition by all practical implications of god (Meaningless).

Similar problems can be brought up for other definitions. God = most perfect entity. Existing = more perfect than not existing. God must exist, since he is the most perfect being. Beside the point that the perfect entity does not have to exist. This argumentation is also circular/meaningless. You define a god, and the definition is in such a way that god must exist (same for “the cause” definition).

The definition will often change depending on the problems you will bring forward: God will be seen and talked about as if they hold a “man in the clouds” perspective, but the definition will be switched to an “energy that persist in everyone/everything” perspective, and vice versa depending of specific challenges. (Omnipotence paradoxes, the existence of evil, the existence of free will, etc.)

This lack of proper definition, makes any debate meaningless, since neither party knows what they are arguing about. Let alone that theist often don’t know what exactly they believe in. This will lead to “wishful thinking” arguments, where the existence of the term “god” is more important than what it actually entails (the I don’t care what god is, as long there is something that is defined as god).

Here are some questions that Christians will have a hard time answering or agreeing upon:

-Has God always existed or did he come into existence at a given time?

-Where is God located (a specific place, everywhere, in some other dimension?)

-Does God have a body, or a defined shape?

-Is God a male, with full male anatomy (penis included), or genderless?

-Which denomination of Christianity does God favor the most?

-Does God really hate gays or is that just bad scripture?

The concept of God is so murky that it seems like everybody has their own version of him (her, it), and many of these conflict in many ways. It seems likely that if this god was real, he would be defined to a much more precise extent. Such an ill-defined god looks more like an invention of the human imagination.

(3796) Incoherence in Acts 27

The (tall) tale of Paul’s shipwreck in Acts, Chapter 27 is a good example of the incoherence plaguing Christian theology. After assuring that God was looking after them, it is nevertheless conceded that they must ‘run aground’ anyway (God was not able to prevent the shipwreck?). This seems like a limited god. And there are other issues as well. The following was taken from:


The primary obsession of the author of Acts was to get readers to believe in the Jesus cult, and he advanced the idea that Paul was guided by, and on occasion, saved by angels: god was watching out for him. Thus in the midst of all the stress described in Chapter 27, we find these words, that Paul addressed to those on board the ship (vv. 22-26):

 “I urge you now to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship,  and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before the emperor, and, indeed, God has granted safety to all those who are sailing with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. But we will have to run aground on some island.”

 “…the God to whom I belong…” Here is the author’s technique for assuring his readers that this hero is possessed by divinity. He probably did believe that an angel stood by Paul; in other words, he was okay with Paul’s delusion—which is so clear from Paul’s own letters—that a god talked to him, either through angels or via the dead Jesus. This is cult talk, and reminds us of Galatians 5:24, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

We can be sure there are many Christians today who try to be faithful to God, do their best to follow him, and hope they are under his care, but are not so comfortable with the suggestion that they belong to God. Yes, there are devout folks who withdraw to monasteries and convents because they’re okay with this level of cult fanaticism that the writers of the New Testament commonly expected. But we can suspect that the rank-and-file folks in the pews do their best to get on with their lives—jobs, careers, families, vacations, hobbies—without identifying themselves as possessed by god.

 There is another theological conundrum here as well. Is Paul’s god just another local, routine deity who pays close attention to those who confess that they belong to it—and thus will protect them from the perils of shipwreck—or is this a universal omni-god who should be looking out for everyone, anywhere, anytime? If that is the case, why have so many humans perished at sea? What was this cosmic omni-god doing when the Titanic hit the ice-berg? There were three Catholic priests who went down with the ship, after helping women and children into lifeboats. They didn’t merit the same attention their deity gave to Paul? This is another example of the incoherence that plagues Christian theology.

Christianity would have been better off if the Book of Acts had been left out of the Bible. Not only is it filled with magical elements that clearly are not part and parcel of the real world, but it characterizes Paul in a manner that is inconsistent with what can be gathered from his authentic letters. The entire breadth of Acts is nothing more than fan fiction.

(3797) Problems with the Garden story

The Bible runs into trouble right off the bat in the first chapter of Genesis. The myth-making has God lying, Satan telling the truth, and the lesson that obedience to an uncountable authority figure is the prime directive. The following was taken from:


…what the faith considers Adam and Eve’s sin was disobedience, but the directive from god they disobeyed was a lie. In the biblical account, god lied to Adam and Eve, saying that if they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would die. Clearly, they did not die, their eyes were opened with knowledge, as the serpent correctly foretold. So the problem, the lesson, of the parable of the Garden is that disobedience with a lie told by an authoritarian overseer is a graver error than the lie itself. Authority and obedience above all.

Kinda puts this whole authoritarian Christian Nationalism in perspective, eh?

Command and control by an authority beyond accountability has been literally the Genesis all along.

This theme is carried throughout the Bible- that what is good is not intrinsic to a collective consensus, but rather what is good is what is commanded by God. Thus, the order for Abraham to murder his son, Isaac, was good because it was commanded by God. Many reprehensible crimes have been committed by over-zealous Christians who believed that God told them to do something. In their mind, this was no different than Abraham obeying God.

(3798) Ensoulment problems with twinning

Conservative anti-abortion Christians often insist that God provides a human soul at the moment of fertilization. But when the process of twinning is considered, this theology runs into trouble. The following was taken from:


Ensoulment is the proposed process of a soul becoming attached or associated with the physical matter of a human at some point in their development. For religious people, this is commonly understood to happen at conception when the sperm and egg combine.

We’ve already seen that IVF, with embryos being frozen by the million, can throw a spanner in the works for proponents of such ensoulment.

But it’s not just IVF that can cause problems. The development of certain twin embryos potentially also shows how the idea of a soul is broken.

Twins can develop in a number of ways. For example, fraternal (dizygotic) twins come from two separate eggs being fertilized and implanting. Identical (monozygotic) twins are formed when one already-fertilized egg splits in two.

Most identical twins come about when the fertilized egg splits at the two-cell stage. Mirror twins (one will be right-handed, the other left, and so on) are formed when the split happens around day 5 or so. If the split happens after day 10, conjoined twins will form. This can even happen at day 13 or 14.

I’m sure the eagle-eyed reader has predicted the issue for ensoulment proponents. If the soul is generated in some way at conception, then what happens to this soul when the “human” at this early developmental stage splits?

We have a number of cells to which a soul attaches or from which a soul emerges. The soul somehow has meaningful connection to or reflection of that physical matter. And yet, this matter splits in two to lead to two different individuals (even if they are conjoined, though there are interesting debates about what “individuality” means here). In the most extreme cases, there can be over 15 days of a soul existing with its early developmental human before the human splits.

But even after only one day, a split will generate the same problem.

What happens? Does the soul split in two? Does another soul just get added on by God as a band-aid afterthought? Does God predict this scenario and attach two souls to one individual and then allow one to jump onto one-half of the newly split cells?

Of course, the most obvious answer to this conundrum is to eliminate the problem: Souls do not exist. With naturalism, we do not need to explain what happens in this bizarre situation of ensoulment because ensoulment is not a thing. This is Ockham’s Razor: We prefer the simplest explanation with just as much explanatory power and scope that does not unnecessarily multiply explanatory entities.

By creating the notion of a soul (which, don’t forget, is enshrouded in terminal philosophical issues), the believer necessarily creates more problems, problems that are unsolvable—or certainly unevidenced. After all, how can you support a solution to a problem with evidence if the subject of the problem (the soul) lacks any evidence to support it?

It’s almost as if the idea of a soul was dreamt up before we understood how life and biology worked, with the theological idea being a square peg rammed into a round hole…

The soul just doesn’t work as a coherent idea.

Not only do we really not know what a soul is and what it does (that isn’t already explained by some other aspect of the human body and brain), but we don’t know how it works with being causally responsible for human behavior so it can reasonably transfer reward and punishment into the afterlife. And these further issues with IVF and egg splitting throw the whole idea into the realms of terminally problematic.

While you might soundly say that you have soul, based on my research, I can soundly say that you most certainly don’t.

This is a case where advances in biology has damaged a theology that originated before that knowledge was attained. This is not an outlying case. Almost every advancement of human knowledge has likewise undercut Christianity’s footing.

(3799) Parable of the Lost Sheep

One of the most famous parables in the gospels is that of the Lost Sheep, found in Matthew and Luke. It suggests that anyone lost in their walk with the Lord will be pursued by (the omnipotent) God to bring them back into the fold. However, this concept is in contradiction to what Jesus said to the Church in Laodicea. The relevant scriptures are below:

Matthew 18:12-14

If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices more over that one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Revelation 3:15-16

I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!

Jesus allegedly made both of these statements. Apparently the ‘lost sheep’ of Laodicea were not his concern. Additionally, it is certain, anecdotally, that most people who leave Christianity stay away for the remainder of their lives. If God was as portrayed in the parable, willing to go the extra mile to reign in even one lost soul, then we would expect to see lots of ex-Christians return to the faith. That this doesn’t happen suggests that if Jesus/God exists, they are not motivated by the Parable of the Lost Sheep.

(3800) Defending divine hiddenness

One of the most challenging problems for Christian apologists is to explain why the world doesn’t show more evidence for a god who is supposed to be focused on human life, forcefully intervenes where appropriate, answers prayers, and is himself omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent. How could such a being exist without it being obvious to everyone? The following was taken from:


For the purposes of this discussion, “Divine Hiddenness” only refers to Theistic claims about any deity which currently plays, or has ever played, an active role in this reality in which we now exist, however subtle that role may be.

If you wish to support a basic claim that “a God exists”, in any way, you are now confronted by the Problem of Divine Hiddenness. On what grounds is that Theistic claim really being made here? Speculation? Wishful thinking? You read it in a book? Your parents/teachers/leaders told you about it? What exactly?

In order for the claim that “something exists” to be credible, you must demonstrate that it interacts with reality in some way. What are those interactions?

To help ground this premise, let us consider the Electromagnetic Force. Of course, it existed before we discovered and quantified it. But the CLAIMS that it existed were still not CREDIBLE until those discoveries were made, and only to the degree that they have been quantified. Real, testable, falsifiable, experimental evidence which anyone out there can verify over and over again for themselves without fail.

On a practical level, any claims about Electromagnetism still need to be demonstrated in order to be credible. It “exists” through its interactions with reality, and credibility of claims made about the “existence” of Electromagnetism depend entirely on how well we can verify those interactions. (If you doubt the claim that “Electromagnetism exists”, go ahead and turn off the device you are interacting with to read these words right now.)

Now, back to Theism!

If your claim is that “a God exists”, then you must demonstrate how such a being interacts with reality. What is the mechanism of such interactions?

    • If your claim is that “a God divinely inspired written text”, then you must demonstrate how that is the only sound explanation for said text. What is the mechanism of “divine inspiration”? If it’s possible for a human to write your favorite “scriptures” without any divine inspiration, then you have a problem.
    • If your claim is that “a God works miracles”, then you must demonstrate how that is the only sound explanation for such an event. What is the mechanism of “working miracles”? If it’s possible for humans to simple misunderstand a natural phenomenon, or be fooled by a charlatan, or otherwise misinterpret a given event, then you have a problem.
    • If your claim is that “a God intelligently designed” life, humanity, consciousness, etc., then you must demonstrate how that is the only sound explanation for the existence of life, humanity, consciousness, etc. What are the mechanisms of “intelligent design”? If it’s possible for these “designs” to be unintelligent (such as, all the problems with human anatomy, reproduction, diseases, memory loss, decay, etc.), then you have a problem.
    • Even if your claim is only that “a God grants people a peaceful or elevated feeling sometimes”, then you must demonstrate how that is the only sound explanation for the existence of those feelings. What is the mechanism of those feelings? If it’s possible to experience said feelings without any divine intervention, then you have a problem.

Hopefully the pattern here is clear enough to apply to any other basic Theistic claims you may hold.

Again, this is about the credibility of these claims.

    • How are your Theistic claims testable?
    • How are your Theistic claims falsifiable?
    • How are your Theistic claims really the best explanation for what exists?
    • How exactly can any of the rest of us know the difference beyond mere philosophical speculation?

It is not a stretch to say that if the Christian god exists, then there could not be many, or any, people who would not detect his presence. This is not the aloof god of deism- this is an in-your-face mighty overlord who is bent on interacting physically with our existence, as documented countless times in the Bible. The fact that these interactions are at best subtle and at worst, simply non-existent, is a formidable challenge for apologists to navigate. The simpler solution is to say the this god is imaginary and that we inhabit a strictly natural world.

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