h1

New Sins?

11 March, 2008

First, I am still sick.  Mind not working properly.  This will be short.  And no jokes (I promise).

The Catholic Church has decided that there are new sins (and some of the old ones need to be reiterated).  These new sins include genetic manipulation (does that include in utero treatment of genetic disease?) and adding to global warming (yet Catholics are STILL encouraged to marry and breed early and often).  They also pointed out that paedophilia is STILL a sin (though, apparently, not as big a sin as the press reporting it).

So here’s my question(s) (any Catholics or lapsed Catholics, please help me out here (though I live in a very Catholic area, there’s a lot I don’t understand (big surprise))):  If the Catholic Church is eternal (in its current form dating all the way back to the 1950s) and universal, how can there be new sins?  Since the Pope is in direct contact with God (and has been infallible since 1869), why does anthopogenic global warming come as a surprise? God is (supposedly) omniscient, so why wasn’t he telling the Pope a hundred years ago to reign in the carbon?  And how does the Church balance ‘Thou Shalt Not Emit Carbon’ with ”Thou Shalt Have Lots of Children’?  Does God not understand the link between increasing global population and global warming?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers (and when I am sick, I have fewer), but I think these are valid questions.

Advertisements

90 comments

  1. I m not sure what the answer to you questions are (other than that the Church is full of shit) but the Pope is decidedly not infallible every time he speaks. According to Catholic doctrine, he is only infallible when he speaks ex cathedra (which means “from the throne”). In other words, he is only infallible when he says he’s infallible. Historically, this has been done only once, maybe a few times (it’s disputed). I can’t remember the time, but I’m sure it was very important.

    It may have been when he called out for pizza, and declared that the perfect pizza had mushrooms and pepperoni on it, though I could be wrong on the toppings.


  2. SI: Thanks.

    Oh, and pizza? According to Italian law, only Pizza Margherita, topped with tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese, can legally be called a pizza in Italy. If he wants shrooms and roni’s it’s not actually a pizza.


  3. I don’t quite understand it, either, but I’ll try to sort it out with you. Catholics are taught that sin involves not only the action but the intent. If I view this “new sins” business through the prism of my Catholic upbringing, I would make the assumption that what is being called a “new sin” is not contributing to global warming as an action, but the willful disregard for others in doing so. In this case, the intent is the sin, not necessarily the action. Like George Carlin said, “You have to wanna.” Genetic manipulation is tossed in with the “sanctity of life,” so it’s not really new, just more clearly defined – even if it’s still extremely vague.

    Also, the Pope is only infallible when he says he is. I know that sounds stupid, but it’s what they believe. He has to declare a proclamation as infallible for it to actually be. I don’t know how I ever believed in any of this.

    Different outlets also have different takes on the whole thing, which is essentially a story about an interview and not an interview, itself. If anybody can find an origial (in English 🙂 ), I’d like to know where it is.


  4. These are valid questions, with no good answers. So my question is, why are you still looking for something in the Catholic Church and its Pope? Why not return to Jesus and the scriptures? Ditch Saint Bernard and pompous power-seekers. The very son of God is reaching out!


  5. Where’s his hand? Show it to me. How do you KNOW he’s there? Is that a good enough reason for anyone else to believe? Are you sure?

    Anyway, yes, I found this amusing as well and commented on it on my blog as well. Intent, huh? Well one thing is for sure, the most important thing to the catholic church is making more catholics, right? If so, would other sins be forgiven if the intent behind them was to create more catholics? For instance, maybe you pollute to hasten an end times environment which may bring more people to the church, or you genetically modify catholic women to be more fertile or you use drugs to become more fertile or to get an erection so that you can procreate or perhaps give someone drugs so that she’ll be willing to procreate with you?


  6. Pizza Margherita is good. Pizza with a Margarita (frozen) isn’t bad either.


  7. Pauljub: Welcome to my blog. To me, the absurdity crosses all religions, all creeds, all beliefs. The differences between the Catholic Church and the multitude of Protestant churches is minor compared to the differences of early Christianity. I am not looking for answers IN the Catholic Church, merely asking questions ABOUT the Catholic Church. As far as returning to Jesus and the scriptures, which scriptures? which version? which translation? and, within the scriptures themselves, which particular writing (since (if you actually read the thing) the scriptures are self-contradictory). And as far as the son of God reaching out? I see no evidence, anywhere, for the existence of god(s) (see my posts: Why I am an Atheist and Why I am an Atheist II (I don’t know how to put links inside my own comment, sorry, just look under New Posts, they are both there)), so how could the son (whose very existence is problematical and carries no evidence) of god be reaching out? I don’t deal well with imaginary hands.

    Pauljub: You had to see the title of my blog: (((Billy))) the Atheist. The title should have clued you in to what my response would be.


  8. I used to be catholic and I can’t answer all of the questions, nobody is supposed to be able to if you ask me that is part of the plan of keeping the flock confused.


  9. Billy,

    You wrote: “so how could the son (whose very existence is problematical and carries no evidence”

    Does this mean you don’t believe Jesus existed, or that the “son of God” thing is called into question?

    I need to go back and read your “Why” posts. Maybe you give an answer there.

    Keep question, man. You’ll never get an answer otherwise.

    Brian


  10. My family attempted to bring me up Catholic and it clearly did not take. I never at any point believed any of the nonsense they were feeding me and constantly asked for their evidence, which attracted the wrath of a nun or two during CCD. I fought tooth and nail before every class and explained how I did not want to go and did not buy into any of it, but I was forced to do so until I was 13 when I had finally worn my parents down. Finally, it became my choice whether or not to continue the process of becoming confirmed in the Catholic Church or even to be religious or not. Anyway, from my long experience, the Catholic concept of God is just as flawed as any other and inherently meaningless to try to figure out. I do find it interesting that new sins are being added in response to modernity, but none are being rethought and taken off the list in order to truly modernize the church (like homosexuality being a sin). Not a surprise, but not very impressive, either.


  11. tysdaddy: I question the actual existence of Jesus because of a couple of things: First, lack of independent evidence outside of the Bible (and even the Josephus account shows enough signs of later additions to put the whole thing into question); second, the similarity between the stories of Jesus’ life and other eastern Medditeranean cult figures of the tiem (Mithras), and the inconsistencies of the teachings and accounts of his life. I have no doubt that Israel, during the period 150BCE to 70CE, was filled to the gills with itinerant preachers, rabble rousers and social revolutionaries, many of whom were put to death.

    I do keep questioning. And the more questions I have about belief, religion, and god, the fewer answers satisfy critical thought and rationality.

    AC: I agree that concepts of god are flawed. I’m still going to keep looking for answers, mostly because I want to understand why people believe in inherently irrational things/beings/teachings. Just becasue it makes no sense doesn’t mean I can’t try to make sense out of it.


  12. I don’t consider myself an atheist exactly, so pardon me if I’m not very familiar with the atheists conceptions and discourse. I just have a question: If you guys say you do not beleive in God or the fact that he ever existed, why are you so obsessed with him? If God doesn’t exist, than you don’t have to worry about any new sins (or the old ones, or any sin at all). I don’t see your motives. just go on living your lives and letting others live.


  13. Allendale2: Welcome to my blog.

    Your last sentence explains why I am interested in the beliefs of theists: every major western religion of which I am aware purports to say that they, and only they, are the only true religion, and will attempt to enforce their view of morality, law, sin, who can marry, who can have civil rights, even who can be allowed to live. If the religious majority was not trying to force their version(s) of reality on the rest of us, I would not be real concerned with the ideas of theists. But when we have people forcing Biblical creationism into classrooms, I object. When someone’s access to medication or medical care is dependent upon the approval of zealots, I object. When the U.S. Congress perverts history and declares America a Christian nation, I object. When people are harrassed because of their beliefs (or lack thereof), I object. When valuable time in the public school (paid for by all, including atheists) is taken up with prayer, creationism, or proselytizing, I object. My motive for this blog (in addition to finding who I am) is to point out situations where irrational belief impacts the the political, economic, educational or scientific polity, I will raise my voice and both object and question.

    Nine out of ten to the Catholic Church for coming out against anthropomorphic global warming. Minus several hundred for continuing to object to birth control and family planning. Religious irrationalism impacting the polity. It is my right to object.


  14. A lot of Catholics (esp young ones) do not like Pope Benedict. Luckily, he’s suppossed to be a transition Pope anyway (one that will die soon and lead the Church into another era). In the next 20 or so years, I think the Church will go through somewhat of a reformation.

    That said, I (who am not Catholic, but who spent 12 years in Catholic schooling) see the new sins thing as less about the actual terminology of “sin” and more about calling attention to problems within society today.

    The sin label, though it may be taken vary seriously by older Catholics and the Pope himself, for many people it is less of an issue of “I’m going to hell if I pollute” and more of an issue of “the religion I believe in is pointing out issues that destroy the creation of the God I have faith in…maybe I should look at my actions.”


  15. I agree that Catholicism has big flaws. The fallibility of humanity is a weakness which can not be overlooked when searching for authenticity. However I completely disagree that the scriptures are self-contradictory as alluded to in a previous comment. The scriptures have more historic authenticity than people give it credit for. The original Septuagint can be compared if anyone so chooses to do so and scholars have done so. Anyone being unbiased and completely honest with him/herself must take it seriously as a historical work. Coupled with the fact that ~95% of the scriptures can be rewritten using nothing but quotes in writings from the early church fathers, it makes for a strong case. Obviously the onus is as usual on each of us to consider the evidence. God’s not about to grab each one of us by the neck and make us believe in Him – that would make salvation forced and render love meaningless. Peace!


  16. As someone who has been brought up in a very catholic way I sometimes struggle to understand it too. I guess it comes down to interpreting the bible. Like for instance some random story about a farmer who spread his seeds onto his neighbours plot of land and then died. This story is taken to mean that he was sleeping with the neighbours wife and voila adultery is bad. I suppose they found the new sins in the bible somewhere, but now that I’m out of the catholic education system and don’t have to read the scriptures weekly I honestly wouldn’t have a clue how.

    I suppose we’re just trying to be contemporary.

    I somehow don’t think its going to work well.


  17. It is not that hard, when you think about it.

    These are not new sins. These are old sins but because of the modern era, have to be defined as being covered under the old commandments.

    Reproduction has nothing to do with it. You are not comparing the news with the correct commandments.

    Genetic manipulation and doing things to pollute the environment affect human health and can cause death. Cloning may destroy a human embryo, defined by god as human, even though many do not agree with him. Polluting the environment can harm someone’s health, cause disease, and cause them to die. Affecting the ozone layer, bringing in harmful rays which could cause cancer, etc, could cause death also.

    Man was originally told to take dominion over the earth and take care of it. So therefore, this is not a new commandment, and any actions to harm the earth is disobeying God.

    What you are seeing is a clarification of old commandments in light of modern times.

    marianne
    http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/


  18. Marianne,

    You said,

    You also said,

    How does one not affect the other? Do you not think more babies leads to more adults which leads to more cars on the roads and more resources depleted? We are breeding ourselves to death. It’s a chain reaction. Fucking leads to babies which leads to adults which leads to more depleted resources and more pollution.


  19. Ok I’m not sure why the comment above ommited all of my block quotes. WordPress hates me today. The above should read:

    You Said:
    “Polluting the environment can harm someone’s health, cause disease, and cause them to die. Affecting the ozone layer, bringing in harmful rays which could cause cancer, etc, could cause death also.”

    You also said:

    “Reproduction has nothing to do with it.”

    Then followed by

    How does one not affect the other? Do you not think more babies leads to more adults which leads to more cars on the roads and more resources depleted? We are breeding ourselves to death. It’s a chain reaction. Fucking leads to babies which leads to adults which leads to more depleted resources and more pollution.


  20. Does this mean you don’t believe Jesus existed, or that the “son of God” thing is called into question?

    Is there anything from the time of this Jesus outside of the bible that corroborates his existence?

    If you guys say you do not beleive in God or the fact that he ever existed, why are you so obsessed with him?

    I’d rather not be, but christians in the US have forced us to by using their book and beliefs to justify denying people equal rights, to deny women full sovereignty over their bodies, to take government money in violation of the Constitution, to force all Americans to acknowledge and accept belief in multiple facets of our lives from pledging Allegiance to handling money, and it’s the motivation behind actions that are damaging to people such as trying to get creationism taught in schools and teaching kids abstinence instead of proper sex education and the latter now extends to Africa, ensuring that even more people will likely contract and further spread AIDS. So if this book and this belief is going to be held over America as justification for all this shit then yes, I’m going to be obsessed with it because as a lover of both America and humanity, I find it a serious threat to both.

    God’s not about to grab each one of us by the neck and make us believe in Him – that would make salvation forced and render love meaningless.

    Yet that’s allegedly what he did with Saul of Tarsus. Why him and not billions of others throughout history? Why did he only seem to do this back when there was no way of verifying anyone’s claim that he did? And when he did, did love become meaningless to those people? Are you saying that love was meaningless to the authors of the bible?

    The scriptures have more historic authenticity than people give it credit for.

    The author of Matthew doesn’t even get the geography right, and the gospels do contradict one another. Perhaps YOU should try a “completely honest” reading.

    Marianne: Would genetic manipulation be wrong if it removed say MS from a baby or fetus or if it made an infertile woman fertile? How do you deal with the fact that the catholic church itself is guilty of at least 3 of their newly defined sins?


  21. Honestly Catholicism’s issues are largely human in origin and not biblical. Using legalistic human constraints on sin is absolutely wrong. It is all a question of authority, is it not? If there are legitimate reasons to believe that God has spoken to the world (and there definitely are), we have a responsibility to try to see what He has said. The scriptures should not be bound by human interpretation necessarily. They should be read and understood in context and also as a cohesive whole with regard to the time frames, cultures, etc. Only then can a story about some farmer in the middle of nowhere make any sense at all and be relevant in the modern age.


  22. If there are legitimate reasons to believe that God has spoken to the world (and there definitely are)…

    What are they?


  23. artblue – you’re way out of your league. Just walk away. Trust me.


  24. Baptizedbyice: Welcome to my blog. If the Catholic Church is trying to point out possible detrimental effects of our current economic and social norm with regards to pollution and AGW, that’s fine. Again, kudos to the Church. But to suddenly ‘discover’ that dirtying your nest is a sin strikes me (as an outsider) as an attempt to use guilt and threat of punishment to change behaviour, rather than trying to effect change in a positive way.

    Artblue: Welcome to my blog. PhillyChief already said it better than I could (well, maybe I could have done it as well, but that would be repetitive (PhillyChief: I spent some of the day at work thinking about my response to this comment and ya beat me to it)).

    Becky: Welcome to my blog. I do appreciate that the Catholic Church is trying to deal with modernity in a different way than most of the Protestant churches. Maybe it will work, but until they deal effectively with overpopulation as an environmental problem, they’re just putting frosting on a dog turd. I do think your right that it will turn out bad. If you tell people that impacting the environment in a negative way is a sin, and then tell them to have more babies . . .

    Marianne: Welcome to my blog. Take a look at the title up at the top of the page. I am an atheist. I see no natural phenomena which cannot be explained through natural processes, therefore, I do not think that god(s) exists. Making an argument by stating that ‘god says it’ is, to me, just the same as someone saying that I should vote for McCain because the purple unicorn said so. Not gonna work. Try making the same argument without recourse to god. It may make more sense. Maybe.

    All: I never know what will generate the comments. I’ve written what I thought were cogent, thought-provoking posts which have engendered just a few comments. Then I do a throw-away because I am sick, and, well, damn!


  25. Billy

    yes I saw you were an atheist. I was just explaining the logic behind the catholic church thinking. There was no suggestion that you convert.

    marianne


  26. Marianne: That’s cool.


  27. Billy – firstly I must give you kudos for the blog. With a few minor exceptions, this blog/comments constitute a very civil discussion.

    Now on to all the questions and comments from PhillyChief…

    Is there anything from the time of this Jesus outside of the bible that corroborates his existence?

    Why would you question the existence of Jesus? This is not even a matter of scholarly debate. Secular history easily corroborates the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. There are many more resources you can add to this list of references but a few would be Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Talmud and Tacitus.

    I’d rather not be, but christians in the US have forced us to by using their book and beliefs to justify denying people equal rights, to deny women full sovereignty over their bodies, to take government money in violation of the Constitution, to force all Americans to acknowledge and accept belief in multiple facets of our lives from pledging Allegiance to handling money, and it’s the motivation behind actions that are damaging to people such as trying to get creationism taught in schools and teaching kids abstinence instead of proper sex education and the latter now extends to Africa, ensuring that even more people will likely contract and further spread AIDS. So if this book and this belief is going to be held over America as justification for all this shit then yes, I’m going to be obsessed with it because as a lover of both America and humanity, I find it a serious threat to both.”

    You seem to be out of touch with modern society. If anything, what you’ve depicted in this statement is the complete opposite of modern trends. The United States is slowly but surely becoming a secular country. You claim to be victimized by Christianity? How absurd! Last I checked this was a free country with religious freedom written into its constitution. Isn’t that the freedom you enjoy as an atheist? No one is forcing you into their agenda. Do we not all have equal opportunities to vote for what we think is right and push for what we think will make a positive impact?

    If you are passionate about this topic for the reason that you wish to convert Christians to atheists, I can save you a lot of time and effort and tell you that you should just stop. It will not happen. Christianity has survived much worse.

    Yet that’s allegedly what he did with Saul of Tarsus. Why him and not billions of others throughout history? Why did he only seem to do this back when there was no way of verifying anyone’s claim that he did? And when he did, did love become meaningless to those people? Are you saying that love was meaningless to the authors of the bible?

    This is a classic case of a biased misreading of the Bible and plucking certain text out to ride your agenda. If you are going to make a statement like this, you need to educate yourself first. If you read The Book of Acts more carefully you will clearly see that Saul of Tarsus was persecuting and stoning Christian believers. God intervened and appeared to Saul. However at no point was Saul forced to follow God’s directive. He followed God’s directive with full volition because he had a compelling experience with God which transformed him.

    Do we not also today, all of us, have free will to choose whether we believe in God or not? If I am not mistaken you are exercising that right as we are discussing this.

    The author of Matthew doesn’t even get the geography right, and the gospels do contradict one another. Perhaps YOU should try a “completely honest” reading.

    What geography are you referring to? Can you please tell me the passage? How do the gospels contradict each other?


  28. Artblue: Secular historians (and there are few secular historians who study religious and Biblical history (it tends to be taught primarily in seminaries, and very few secular historians attend seminaries)) do have a great number of problems with the Bible as a history book. Two of the major problems with Biblical history (new or old testament) are:

    First, that the history was written by the winners, which, of course, means that they got to pick and choose what evedence made it into the commentaries of the second through fifth centuries. Even with this incredible advantage, the only contemporary writing (outside of the four gospels (which are a collection of different versions of the same oral histories written down annonymously in the late (repeat LATE) first century))) is Josephus, which has been (as I said above) so heavily altered by Christian apologists that it is extremely difficult to discern if there was anything there to begin with (it does not show up in all manuscripts).

    And, second, that, until very recently, the only hsitorians studying Biblical history were religious scholars. If an historian starts with the assumption that person X lived, the historian will ignore any contrary evidence, or lack of evidence, regarding that person. It has only been in the last hundred or so years that historians have turned a critical (meaning, look closely) eye to the Bible. What they have found, in terms of accuracy and complementary evidence, is not quite enough to source a History 101 paper. One of the best current historians studying Biblical history with said critical eye is a guy named Bart Ehrman. Look him up.

    As far as biased misreadings of the Bible, I don’t think any atheist can hold a candle to a true believer. When an atheist points to a passage, the response is, generally, ‘you are not reading it correctly.’ Or, if an atheist tries to read into a passage, then it becomes, ‘look at what the words say.’

    As far as the contradictions in the gospels, what were Jesus’ last words on the cross? (hint: take a look at the earliest extant versions of the gospels).


  29. sigh……Bart Ehrman…..sorry ….cannot stand him….

    he approaches everything as if it is not true, because he does not believe it, then he picks out what fits his thinking.


  30. he approaches everything as if it is not true, because he does not believe it, then he picks out what fits his thinking.

    LOL! I don’t agree with that assessment of Ehrman, but even if it were true, isn’t that a case of the pot calling the kettle black? I mean, christians approach everything as if it is true, because they believe it, then pick out what fits their thinking.


  31. Christians go by what is written in the Bible. If it it there, they should believe it. If it is not there, then they cannot say.

    I am not saying you have to believe what is in the Bible, but that this is what Christians follow.

    Just like if you want to know what others believe, read what Buddha wrote, or Confucius, or Marx, or what Mohammed wrote, or what anyone wrote etc.

    Bart Ehrman decided the gospel of Judas was genuine and acceptable even though it was written hundreds of years after Judas died. That is not being objective.

    Five samples from the 66-page manuscript date the material from A.D. 220 to 340, according to Jull, director of the National Science Foundation-Arizona AMS Laboratory, and Hodgins, assistant research scientist. The manuscript also was authenticated by other techniques, including ink analysis, its content, the language patterns and the handwriting style.

    Judas was not living in 220 AD, He died about 30 AD, so he obviously did not write the text. Judas committed suicide, according to the other apostles, so he was not alive to write anything. Another person, unknown to us, wrote it a few hundred years later.

    However, Ehrman accepts the contents as if written by Judas himself. It is obvious that someone else did. The Gospel of Judas maintains that Judas acted at Jesus’ request in delivering him to Roman authorities – a position that differs markedly from that of the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which charged that Judas had betrayed Jesus. However, Jesus called Judas equivalent to the devil.

    Ehrman lacks objectivity.


  32. Why would you question the existence of Jesus? This is not even a matter of scholarly debate. Secular history easily corroborates the existence of Jesus of Nazareth.

    Oh my, you have no idea do you? Alright well make yourself comfortable because this is going to take awhile.

    Josephus is really the best thing there is and that’s so mired on controversy that it’s tough to decide if any of either of those passages are legitimate.

    • The testimony didn’t suddenly appear until Eusebius, c. 316
    • Early church fathers prior to Eusebius who refer to Josephus make no mention of the testimony. We’re talking Origen, Justin, Theophilius, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Minucius Feliz, and Anatolius
    • Even later christian writers apparently worked from a copy of Josephus without the testimony such as Chrysostom, Methodius, and Photius in the 9th century
    • the inconceivability that a Jew would refer to him as messiah or in any way that he was divine
    • Origen clearly states Josephus did not believe there was a Jesus who was christ
    • That the extraordinary things claimed would be merely mentioned and not explored or written about in greater detail, especially since Josephus was a voluminous writer who wrote extensively about men of even minor importance.
    • The passage interrupts the narrative, like the way “under god” interrupts the original flow of the Pledge of Allegiance
    • The use of “tribe” didn’t start until Eusebius, who is looked at as the one who planted the testimony passage which would not be a surprise since the 4th century was a century that saw a lot of such literary forgery
    • His mention of about a dozen Jesuses casts doubt on who Ananus’ brother was, giving I guess 1 in 12 chance he was referring to the Jesus of christianity
    • Really curious why Josephus makes no mention on Jesus’ assault on the temple

    Tacitus

    IF the account was written by Tacitus, many believe the account was not from Roman archives but rather from christian sources because:
    1) He fails both to give Pilate a complete title (it would be customary to say what he was procurator of) and to give him the correct title of Prefect. The christian angle on this is that he purposely chose the lesser title because it’s more insulting that he be put to death by a lesser ranked man.
    2) Instead of saying Jesus he uses “Christus” (meaning messiah) as a proper name, and no way he would be listed as such in Roman archives
    3) Being no fan of christianity, he would have accepted their tale because it makes it of recent origin. This is significant because Rome only showed tolerance to ancient cults, which is part of why the christians made the OT part of the bible to give it ancient legs

    It’s not believed true because the passage was not known prior to the 15th century. Clement of Alexandria made a living off of collecting such passages and wrote nothing of it and Tertullian, who does quote extensively from Tacitus, never mentioned it.

    Jewish Accounts

    By the time the Talmud was compiled around 200CE, it was centuries after Jesus’ alleged death and after the Jewish War which caused vast destruction in Jerusalem and scattered the Jewish people to the winds, third-century rabbis would have been in no position to be able to refute the very existence of Jesus (not to mention that they also lacked the exegetical techniques that would have allowed them to even suspect such a possibility). It would have been much easier to grant his existence and then slant the stories about him to favor their side of the argument rather than the Christians’. Furthermore, the Talmud is without value as a historical account because it dramatically contradicts the Christian version of events, and even contradicts itself in numerous places, when speaking about Jesus.

    The United States is slowly but surely becoming a secular country.

    No ma’am, the US was FOUNDED as a secular country and has been besieged by the religious ever since, with serious breaches occurring under Ike but Bush is trying his darndest to make his mark. Are you aware there are states where it’s still illegal to hold a government office (including as a notary) if you’re an atheist? Are you aware there’s not supposed to be a religious test for office yet time and time again during this election we hear candidates pandering to christians to show they’re christian enough? Do you not see threatening the educations of this Nation’s children a problem? Likewise, do you not see the spike in teen pregnancies and STDs as a result of abstinence programs a problem?

    If you are passionate about this topic for the reason that you wish to convert Christians to atheists, I can save you a lot of time and effort…

    I don’t want to deconvert you, but I will not allow you to make incorrect statements unchallenged, because such assertions are used to justify the kind of impositions upon others that I object to.

    God intervened and appeared to Saul.

    Yes I know, and that was my point which you ignored. Why did he get an appearance but not billions of others throughout history? Why should people who had no reason to believe go to hell whereas this Saul guy gets a quick peek-a-boo and thus believes and goes to heaven? That sounds grossly unfair to me, and if you’re going to say it served your god’s needs to say “hello” to him and not others, you can just stop right now because that’s ridiculous. It serves his needs to have billions who have no good reason to believe go to hell? Baloney. And spare me the free will crap, because what kind of sick joke is it to reward blind faith in something you have no good reason to believe in and condemn you for using the intellect that allegedly he gave us in the first place?! Besides, that so-called free will is the same kind of free will a battered wife has, in other words, you’re free to disobey your husband but if you do you get a knuckle sandwich. It’s free will by way of a threat.

    What geography are you referring to?

    I have to apologize for saying Matthew when I meant Mark. Whatever. Anyway, the famous “Healing the demon possessed man” story has Jesus crossing the sea of Galilee and encountering the guy soon as he gets out of the boat and when he drove Legion into the pigs, where’d the pigs go?
    “The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.”
    One problem – it says this was Gerasa. Gerasa is a good 60-70km from the sea. Oops!
    Mark 7:31 says Jesus went from Tyre through Sidon to the sea of Galilee, meaning Sidon is between Tyre and the sea. Actually, Tyre is between Sidon and the seas. I guess maybe he took the LONG way, huh? Oops!

    Bart Ehrman decided the gospel of Judas was genuine and acceptable even though it was written hundreds of years after Judas died.

    It’s not asserted to be the ORIGINAL, it’s a copy, like the earliest copies of the bible. By your logic, the gospels should be dismissed as well. Now who’s lacking objectivity? LOL! Also, please show me where Ehrman concludes this is actually an account written by Judas.

    Also, Ehrman didn’t start out trying to disprove anything. He began as an evangelical who, after 30 years of research, eventually rejected his earlier beliefs.


  33. No, Marisnne, what Erhman (and others) do is called scholarship. A scholar approaches all information with a jaundiced eye and attempts, if at all possible, to disprove any set of facts. A scholar must also deal with any and all contradictory information which is something that Ehrman does quite well.

    Keep in mind when talking about manuscript dates that ALL the gospels are known from manuscripts dating from the third and fourth centuries — no earlier. What we have are copies of copies of copies of copies. The important thing is to find the earliest extant copy in existence which presumeably has the fewest translation errors.

    Marianne, Ehrman is objective which means that he takes nothing on faith. His treatment of the possibly pseudonumous ‘gospel of Judas’ uses historical techniques which are accepted as valid in any realm of historical research EXCEPT the Bible. Your problem appears to be that he treats the Bible the same as any other set of manuscripts from the past: objectively.


  34. Ehrman is not objective, and he has no faith, except in his own ego. I am from UNC and he goes out of his way to only present what he wants, and ignores what others have to show is different from his thinking. His way of dealing with contradictory material is just to not believe it. Some of his students have complained to me how narrow minded he is, and how miserable he made any one who was a Christian. His objective is to invalidate Jesus Christ as Messiah, and destroy the faith itself. For the gospel of Judas to be true, Jesus would have to be a liar and deceiver, conspiring with Judas in secret, leaving the other apostles unaware. How cruel Jesus would be to allow the others to die to proclaim his gospel. His own death would also be for nothing, as a liar and a deceiver would not qualify to be a Messiah. So, if Jesus was a liar, why would Judas bother with him? 30 pieces of silver was lousy pay, and he committed suicide, and did not spend the money anyhow. So how does this exalt Judas to an honored position, conspiring with deceiver and liar?

    The other apostles were witnesses to who Jesus really was. They witnessed his resurrection, and died for their faith. Why are their witness testimonies rejected by a man (Ehrman) who claims to be objective?

    Ehrman cherry picks what he wants. He is a heretic. He obviously is bad at math if he thinks Judas was around 200 years after his own death to write something. Ehrman has no original documents of his own to prove what he thinks is true or not true. It is just his opinion. His viewpoints are twisted. I personally feel his life of never understanding what he was taught and feeling disappointed in god over questions he had no answer to, like why do people suffer, may be an explanation of his bias.

    “Scholarship” is just a cleaner word to describe someone with a PhD who is a heretic. He uses his PhD in an irresponsible way- to justify his own opinions.


  35. So your objection to the gospel of Judas is purely predicated on how it may invalidate your faith? What was that about needing to be objective?


  36. You did not read what I said. Obviously, if the gospel of Judas was written over 200 years after Judas died, how could Judas have written it, since he was dead at that time?


  37. Marianne: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written after those apostles died: circa 40 to 80 CE. They were also written by Greeks and based on an oral tradition. The oldest versions of the four canonical gospels date from around the same time or later as the ‘gospel of Judas.’ You are confusing the earliest existing document with the probable date of writing.


  38. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, not Greeks. The originals were in Hebrew which were later translated to Greek, because that was a common language for everyone. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were also still alive between 40 – 80 CE, so they did not need anyone else to do their writing for them. Since they were busy ministering, they wrote as they had the time. None of them ministered to Greeks, so the Greeks would not have known what was taught by them. John was the last to die, with the book of revelation being written about 94-96 CE , near the end of Emperor Domitian’s reign (81-96) Irenaeus confirmed this date in his writings.

    The gospels were also written in Jewish style, For example, no Greek would care, about or be able to remember, all the genealogy listed, as well as be able to quote old testament scripture to show fulfillment of prophesy – all just from oral tradition. The Greeks were not even converted until later, when Paul was first called to the gentiles. The Greeks were not well versed in Hebrew theology, culture, or history or special Jewish rites. If you see the letters of Paul, he did not give them the gospel accounts, so that they could not have “written them from oral tradition.” Paul was the Pharisee, and theologian of his time, being a student of Gamaliel. There is no proof that Greeks wrote anything. Just because something is written in a certain language does not mean only people from that culture could have written contents that was unfamiliar to their culture at the time. They had no background in Jewish scriptures, and were pagans before conversion.

    Jerome also asserts that Matthew wrote in the Hebrew language (Epist. 20.5), and he refers to a Hebrew Matthew and a Gospel of the Hebrews-unclear if they are the same. He also quotes from the Gospel used by the Nazoreans and the Ebionites, which he says he has recently translated from Hebrew to Greek (in Matth. 12.13).

    Papias (Eusebius, H.E. 3.39.16)
    “Matthew collected the oracles (ta logia) in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best he could.”

    Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 3.1.1
    “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews n their own dialect while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the church.”

    Origen (Eusebius, H.E. 6.25.4)
    “As having learnt by tradition concerning the four Gospels, which alone are unquestionable in the Church of God under heaven, that first was written according to Matthew, who was once a tax collector but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language.”


  39. Marianne: Using a source to prove the authenticity of the source is called a circular argument and is a logical fallacy. To say, “I know the Bible is the truth because the Bible says it is the truth” makes not sense.

    Goodbye. Feel free to continue commenting. I will not longer respond. Have fun.


  40. This is your site, so I grant you what is due. But there is no evidence that pagan Greeks wrote the gospels. Best wishes.

    marianne


  41. Oh I read what you wrote, Marianne. It would be great if you returned the favor because I nor anyone else should have to repeatedly point out that the gospel of Judas is a copy, just like all the other found gospels. Also, if your sole objection to the gospel of Judas isn’t that it undermines your current christian beliefs, then why did that fact dominate your last argument?

    The other apostles were witnesses to who Jesus really was. They witnessed his resurrection, and died for their faith.

    You take that on faith, and there’s no solid evidence for them actually being the authors of the gospels.
    Your citing of church fathers is not evidence.

    He is a heretic.

    He’s objective. If you feel that you need to believe in something before you can be objective about it, then I recommend you look up objective in the dictionary and get back to us.

    Good luck to you.


  42. I can’t resist. Marianne, the gospels were written by Greek Christians, not Greek Pagans. Please, read some history. Please.


  43. These are all false claims. The references I gave were extra-biblical. The true authors are matthew, mark, luke and john, not Greek people of any kind. They were still essentially pagans at the dates you gave. Paul had not taught them anything yet. And even as new converts, they were ignorant of the ministry of Jesus and the Hebrew scriptures. There is NO proof that Greeks were the original authors of the texts.

    repeating myself:
    You did not read what I said. Obviously, if the gospel of Judas was written over 200 years after Judas died, how could Judas have written it, since he was dead at that time?

    so the belief in the gospel of judas is totally unjustified by logic. yet people love to believe lies. This is common sense. So this has nothing to do with clinging to one’s faith. It is simple math.


  44. Marianne, there’s some confusion. He means they were written in Greek, not that they were Greeks. Here you go, this is from the International Bible Society which I guess you should trust since it seems the only opinions you find credible are those from believers.

    Have a nice day.


  45. Oh and for the last time, THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS, LIKE THE OTHER GOSPELS OF THE BIBLE FOUND, ARE FUCKING COPIES AND NOT THE ORIGINALS!

    Ignorance I can accept. Willful ignorance I can’t


  46. PhillyChief,
    Theists must be willfully ignorant. There is no other way to explain blind faith.

    🙂


  47. An overactive scrutiny of any topic is usually a barrier in evaluating the evidence fairly and without biases. You scrutinize something long enough and you can find holes in any argument. If the holes are small you can easily widen them by considering only one side of the argument. I’ve been discussing this topic with you for a few days I never got a hint that you even considered the other side. You’re not giving yourself a fair chance and with eternity in the balance of this crucial argument I think you need to be less critical and allow yourself a fair chance to find the real truth.

    I am aware that the US was founded as a secular country. Christianity provides a moral map and it is the atheism which allows for escape hatches for guidelines we don’t want to follow. I view the moral dilemma of the times to be the result of the movement away from God.

    Bart Ehrman is a careful scholar but his intent does seem to be to disprove the Bible as he overstates the idea that the variants in the New Testament manuscripts alter the theology of the New Testament. He takes a possibility, makes it a probability, turns it into a certainty and wants people to take him seriously. I can assure you that not many do. His qualms about the Bible have limited logical basis. His treatment of major theological changes in the text of the New Testament tends to fall under one of two criticisms: either his textual decisions are wrong or his interpretations are wrong. The areas where he does make good points about the feasibility of misinterpretation have very little bearing on how the particular passages would affect a believer’s belief. It may however infuse the conviction of an atheist or an agnostic.

    I would also like to point out that there are also many atheists who start out on a journey to prove Christianity wrong and end up becoming Christians themselves.

    I want to clarify something which seems to be overlooked here. Neither I, nor any other Christian alive today was born a Christian. You see, in your view Christianity is just another belief system that people find comfort in, but in actuality it is far greater than that. Christianity is not the following of traditions or going to church or doing research on biblical history. Christianity is a transformation and a relationship with the Almighty God of the universe. True Christians become Christians by an experience that transforms our lives and at that point God becomes as real as the air we breathe. It is the substance, not the shadow. This is why atheism can never provide anything to exceed that which we already have.

    Billy, scholarship does not entail approaching something in an attempt to disprove it. This is called a biased journey for self-validation. A true scholar looks at ALLLLLLL evidence and takes EVERYTHING into consideration and allows for the answers to lead him to wherever they may, even if those answers lead him to the most uncomfortable of places.

    PhillyChief, you are right that the gospels are copies but how would you define copies? These writings needed to be preserved and there obviously weren’t copy machines around back then. People needed to literally sit there and copy all this text down by hand as was the case with other written historical works. I am not sure what we prove or disprove by saying these were copies. They needed to be transferred, spread, etc.

    I’d like to pose a hypothetical, if I may: Let’s say every piece of evidence led you away from God and I mean everything. Let’s say there was absolutely no hint of anything to make you question your atheism. Now let’s say that one day in the middle of the night God appeared to you and spoke to you and made Himself known to you. Would you leave all your reason and logic behind and believe in Him then or would you hold on to your hypothetically reasonable and logical evidence and remain an atheist?


  48. artblue said: “I would also like to point out that there are also many atheists who start out on a journey to prove Christianity wrong and end up becoming Christians themselves.” (Emphases added).

    I am not being the least bit facetious with this request: please cite some of these people and provide the titles of their books, or links to their web sites, or any other information you can so that we can examine their stories firsthand? Please don’t mention Josh McDowell – all of the regular commenters here are familiar with his story, his writings, his speeches and debates, etc. And if any other people are reading this, I’ve already provided McDowell’s name for them. I’ll even provide them with the title of one of his most famous books: Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

    I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I’d honestly be interested in learning more about these atheist–>Christian conversions firsthand.


  49. Artblue: If you want people to analyse the Bible based upon faith, go for it. I will not argue. I do not agree, but go for it. However, if you (and others) insist that the Bible is a valid historical document, do not be offended if historians analyse the document the same way historians analyse other historical writings.

    Regarding your hypothetical (and it’s REAL original), I, like many human beings, constantly add new information to my internal computer. If new information causes me to question previously held conclusions and theories, then I will, of necessity, adjust my understanding to reflect the new evidence. To slavishly continue to believe something for which there is no evidence and/or no logical reason to believe it counts as one of many very good definitions of insanity.


  50. PhillyChief,
    your comments contradict Billys. You say the gospels were written in Greek, not written by Greeks. He says the Christian Greeks wrote the gospels. Neither of you have any clue what you are saying. The bible has been translated into many languages. And the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and not other people.

    so what good is some copy? how do you know it is not corrupt? maybe changes have been made. so what does that mean? I have a copy of todays’ newspaper. Does that belong in the bible too?

    So who cares about a document that could not have been written by the original Judas because he was already dead when it was written? Even stupid people know that Judas could have have lived to be 300 years old so he could be the author of some fake document.


  51. Marianne:
    Could you cite a source for your claim regarding the authorship of the four canonical gospels? Do you have a book title or an Internet link that I could look up?


  52. Marianne:
    I just went back and re-read the thread. You did cite the writings of some early church fathers. I apologize for my oversight. I’ll amend my question accordingly: can you cite any relatively recent scholars, say within the past 150 years, to support your claim?

    Thanks.


  53. I apologize if I was not clear. What I said (or at least what I meant to say) was that Greeks put to paper (wrote (as in writing)) the oral traditions handed down from the earliest Christians.


  54. chaplin

    Early writings would be more valid than later ones, since the early ones were close to the time of the gospels, and had more contact with original documents, as well as the authors.

    The extreme level of detail, knowledge of jewish customs and laws, genealogies, conversations and reactions to comments are all very Jewish in nature.

    Eusebius of Cesarea 265-339 AD quotes Origen 185-254 AD who affirmed that Matthew authored the gospel by his name.

    Papias bishop of Hieropolis wrtoe about 140 ad (exposition of the Oracles of the Lord): he wrote that Mark was the scribe of Peter, the apostle, and wrote what Peter told him. Justin Martyr, writing about 150 AD, referred to Mark as the memoirs of Peter. Iranaeus, writing about 185 called Mark the disciple of Peter. So technically, the gospel of Mark is the gospel of Peter, but it was written by Mark.

    Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp (70-160 AD) who was a disciple of the Apostle John, and he testified on Polycarp’s authority that John wrote the gospel.

    The reason we know the true authorship of the gospels is that the original disciples of the apostles preserved the documents given them. they were then handed down, from one generation to another. Faithful copies were also made in time, since the originals were worn, and copies could also be shared with other churches that were springing up. As you see with such things as the dead sea scrolls….Jewish people tend to preserve their holy documents.

    More modern studies – if genuine – will be based on the earlier documents. I guess you could check a library in a seminary to see what else has been written.

    The claim I make is the same one the original authors make. that the gospels are true.

    John MacArthur is a leading bible scholar. He has written many commentaries and studied the orignal documents. He puts out a series of studies that people can access. He also has a tv program, called Word Pictures, by Cross TV. This program has extremely detailed explanations of theology, backing up the theology with scripture. He is also associated with the well known Moody Institute

    http://www.gty.org/
    http://www.crosstv.com/

    They also have contact information that you can access, if you wish. They can direct you to the books and studies you need.


  55. there was also some questions about atheists who converted to Christianity.

    before conversion, people are not really anything. they are just unbelievers. labels are irrelevant.

    what they experience, learn, or read that changes them is unique to each person.


  56. God bless you guys. I am going to bed now.


  57. Artblue: The point of mentioning copies was Marianne’s confusion and had you read all the comments you’d know that. Marianne objects to the gospel of Judas being “real” because it’s dated in the 2nd century AD. Well so are the other gospels. Why? Because all anyone’s ever found were copies, not originals. Got it?

    Btw, would you care to elaborate on where Ehrman’s “textual decisions are wrong or his interpretations are wrong”? And what exactly is the point of mentioning that some atheists have become christians? Should we compare notes one how many people started out thinking one way and then went another? Would it prove anything for the person with the bigger list?

    A true scholar looks at ALLLLLLL evidence and takes EVERYTHING into consideration and allows for the answers to lead him to wherever they may, even if those answers lead him to the most uncomfortable of places.

    Great advice. It’s a shame you don’t actually abide by it though.

    Marianne: Had you bothered to read the link I provided you, maybe you wouldn’t be so confused.
    Btw, I especially LOVE this:

    so what good is some copy? how do you know it is not corrupt? maybe changes have been made. so what does that mean?

    You realize you’ve just provided one of the major arguments that discredit your bible, right? The earliest writings of the books of the new testament are copies from earlier sources, so following your logic…

    Amazing how objective you can be when you’re looking for ways to discredit what you don’t like. Now if only you could apply that to EVERYTHING. Gosh, if only someone had given some advice about that already.

    I’m starting to think this must be a gag, right? No one is REALLY this obtuse.


  58. philly

    I am not confused.

    you have complaints about the arguments of others, but you have no evidence yourself.

    the original documents are in the Vatican library.
    this is not recommending the catholic church, but if you want to argue further, go there first, and examine what is there, then come back when you actually have evidence to support yourself.


  59. What I have complaints about is you not bothering to read anything offered that is the least bit contradictory to what you take on faith, that you criticize things for not blindly going along with what you believe on faith and that you find the only way you can “objectively” study something is to believe it’s true first.

    I am both heartened and amused that you do have some intelligence and reasoning ability by your attempt to discredit the gospel of Judas by pointing out the obvious problems in trusting a copied text. Perhaps one day you’ll manage to practice true objectivity and apply that mind of yours to all the gospels and follow the advice artblue gave.


  60. philly

    how do you know the “copy” has any resemblance to the original unless you have the original to view?

    maybe there is no original


  61. Marianne:
    Your contention that the original gospels are in the Vatican library and your suggestion that one only needs to go there to examine them are stunning. Biblical scholars throughout the ages wish that were true. Do you not think that Ehrman and all the other textual critics would have examined the originals if they could have? Do you not realize how many questions would have been settled centuries ago if the originals were available?

    Biblical scholars uniformly agree, regardless of their theological proclivities, that the original gospels either a) have not been recovered yet, or b) were destroyed.


  62. Wow, this is a pretty hot topic. As much as I love this debate I’m going to have to stop. I’m spending too much time on the net to begin with. This will probably be my final comment.

    Philly, I usually follow what I preach and I have done so in this case as well.

    The only reason why I mentioned that there are atheists that become Christians is because of Ehrman’s supposed Christian beliefs and how he saw the real truth after careful study and began to refute the Bible. I guess it was not relevant – no big deal.

    Here’s a tiny example of how Ehrman tries to chip away at the theology of the Bible. Now, before I give you the example let’s consider one thing here. Since he is a carefully detailed scholar one must really start to question his motives when he gets such easy things wrong and remember he’s supposed to have decades of experience.

    He disputes that “nor the Son” in Matthew 24:36 was not in the original manuscript and that since it was not in the original manuscript and added later it is not authentic. What he’s trying to do here is question the authenticity of the Bible and question whether Jesus was really the Son of the Holly Trinity. Now, that particular passage is in debate, whether or no it was in the original manuscript but the wording in the parallel passage on the Olivet Discourse in Mark 13:32, which also includes “nor the Son” is not in debate and Ehrman fails to mention it or conveniently stays away from it. You can easily see that his scrutiny does not put Biblical theology to question whatsoever. This is just one tiny example and there are others but I just don’t have time to cite more for you. The bottom line is that he is either getting this wrong by accident or he’s doing it willfully. I tend to think it’s the latter but in either case, it blows large holes in his credibility.

    Thank you for your response to the hypothetical. It was interesting to see the response. Let me amend it a bit and you don’t have to respond to it online but just think about it. What if God’s revelation was not so physical but an experience nevertheless which drastically altered your perception of this world and beliefs and changed your life like you would have never imagined. Would you take it into careful consideration then? I only bring it up because true Christian believers usually have this experience. The experience is genuine, giving them new evidence as you alluded to to base their beliefs on but to someone else without that experience I can see how all this would sound to be on the crazy side. So at that point how would you personally justify your beliefs to people?

    These experiences are so genuine and compelling that they usually pull people from whatever depth of pain they are in and literally change lives. Without going into the painful details I myself became a Christian in the torment of something which had a hold of me and which I could not explain. I can honestly say that I would probably not be alive today if not for the experience I had. Now I know, that to non-believers this all sounds cheesy and quite unbelievable but it was genuine and it did save and change my life.

    In the end, let us all make absolutely sure we take everything into consideration because, at stake is an eternity. Let us not push for one side to win over the other. It is not about winning – it is about getting it right and quite honestly Christians have a lot less to lose. If there is no God, we spend our lives consumed with something that does not exist. On the other hand, if there is a God, atheists will… Well I think you all know what happens then. As for me; I live peacefully confident in my conviction of my Christian beliefs. I urge you all to do the careful unbiased research yourselves. Thank you all for the civil discussion. Take care.


  63. how do you know the “copy” has any resemblance to the original unless you have the original to view?

    How indeed. LOL

    artblue: Ehrman was questioning the authenticity of the phrase in Matthew. Your overzealous desire to defend your belief against attack has made you think he’s attacking the “authenticity of the Bible and question whether Jesus was really the Son of the Holly Trinity”. He’s not. He’s merely questioning the authenticity of that phrase in Matthew. Do you understand now?

    What if God’s revelation was not so physical but an experience nevertheless which drastically altered your perception of this world and beliefs and changed your life like you would have never imagined. Would you take it into careful consideration then?

    Absolutely not. That’s both irrelevant and ridiculous to even suggest. Essentially you’re arguing with this and all that followed in your last comment that if you happen to believe something to be true, you should continue to believe it’s true no matter what since you like the way it being true makes you feel. I now see this wish fulfillment is what you call taking “everything into consideration” so in your twisted view you are following your own advice. That’s sad.

    And for all, I leave you with this:
    “When a man finds a conclusion agreeable, he accepts it without argument. When he finds it disagreeable, he will bring against it all the forces of logic and reason.” – Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, 411 BC


  64. Ehrman has no proof….just his egotistical opinion.

    Philly has no proof either, just a lot of hot air. That is why he tries to discredit what the Christians have.

    Philly is just negative and jealous because he has never experienced God’s revelation. It is like God is not interested in him because he is so negative.


  65. Saul was pretty negative, yet he allegedly got a peek-a-boo from god, so being negative is no deterrent to knowing god apparently.

    However, being blinded by faith is apparently a deterrent to being able to know real things. 😉


  66. Paul was actually seeking to please god when he was apprehended and stopped by Jesus in a vision.

    Having NO faith keeps you from recognizing real things when they are right in front of you. 🙂


  67. Like that I could make millions of dollars from a deposed Nigerian prince once I send him a few thousand dollars first? Yeah, faith has a great track record. I’ll stick with evidence and experience.

    Btw, your god is welcome to come give me a peek-a-boo anytime. I’ll even put the kettle on and make him some nice tea. Is that positive enough, or should I have pastries on hand as well?


  68. No faith……no peek -a- boo visit

    You are too rebellious.

    So what is the REAL reason you are so bitter?


  69. hi maranine,

    you say things much better than i do so i cant say what you said better. but in case you didnt know, most of the poeple here are ATHIESTS!!!!!!! theres no pinot in wining about Jesus Christ who is the one true savor who came to Earth with powers and abilties far biyond those of mortel men and was born of Mary a virgo and crossfied for us all to take are sins away from us and then He rose after the 3ird day and joined His Father God in Heave becuase they WONT BELEIVE YOU!!!!! beleive me i told them hun dreds of times and they dont.

    i dont under stand all most every thing about this conservation, but who is bart earthman? is he one of those new athiests who beleive in SATIN???? if he is dont pay any attention to him. Satin is not a good person to beleive in. God is a good person to beleive in and so is Jesus Christ. but SATIN is no better to beleive in THAN THE 3 STOGGES!!!! worse because SATIN will poke you in the eye ALL THE TIME!! AND hes not funny (hes like SHEMP, also NOT FUNNY) !!!!!

    your right that philychef is bitter about God and he is jellos (phily not God) becuase he has never experinced Gods revulsion. also chaplin and {{{Billy] and all most every body else hear oxcept YOU!!!!! and now ME! and we dont need any paremphasis do we??

    i think the origial goopsels were wrote by Mathew Mark Luke and John the Baptist just like every body else beleives. and they were not wrote in ANY LANGUAGE LIKE GREEK that nobody under stands. they were wrote in PLANE ENGLISH just like the rest of the Bibble! check out the king jane’s vergin and youl see what i mean.

    i hope you dont mind but i clinked on your blog. its really pretty. but you sound a little bit like a worryword to me. I dont think Jesus wants poeple to be SCARRED OUT OF THERE MIND!!!!!! mabye only athiests and muslins and jews and hindues and buttists and sinusologists and morons like mutt romny. but regular Christian poeple are suppose to love Him. not becuase there scarred but becuase He is SO LOVABLE!!!!! (and hansom!!!!) Some times i wish He was my boy fiend. isnt that wired????

    i think more poeple should say thankyou Jesus becuase He sticks up us all the time. so thank you Jesus and please dont get mad at me or maranine for writeing at this athiest blog becuase we love You very much and want to spread for You.


  70. Thank you trinity. I am here for a reason, I guess. But when time is up, I will do other things. Jesus is love, so we do not need to be scared of anything, if we belong to Him. God bless you.


  71. I’m not bitter, but I find the delight you take in being blind and ignorant appalling. Perhaps that’s what you’re reading as bitterness?

    I may not have experienced god’s revulsion Trinity, but if he exists he no doubt has experienced my revulsion. 😉


  72. why would you consider God an object of revulsion?


  73. I was trying to stay out of this argument, I’ve had it too many times. Like Billy, I also hold a degree in history, so I’ll chime in from that perspective. History is taken as “fact” (don’t think that fact doesn’t mean that things can’t change as new evidence comes in) when there are differing lines of evidence to support it. The NT is unverified anywhere outside of the bible, and even the so-called evidence in the bible contradicts each other. Matthew and Luke copied Mark (there are passages that are almost identical), but even those three books contain differences. The story of the adulterous woman that Jesus refuses to stone is not found in the original copies of the gospels.
    Plus, the NT is supposed to be a continuation of the OT, a book that has all but been debunked by arcaheology. It stands that if one part of the bible is completely false, both would be as well. But my main comment is for Marianne, even though you addressed Philly I would like to answer it.

    For anyone to say that the Christian God is not repulsive is to deny any sort of morality. To worship such a sick, twisted, and cruel deity is frightening to me. This is the god that celebrates the death of infants, because they are of a people that don’t worship him. This is the god that told his people to kill every living thing, to rip the babies from the bellies of pregnant women. This is the god that condoned slavery and even sent up the price for slaves. This is the god who said it was okay to sell your daughter as a sex slave. This is the god who rewarded Lot for offering to send his daughters out to get gang raped. This is the god who thought it okay for one of his followers to send his concubine out to be gang raped and beaten so terribly she died at her masters feet. This master then proceeded to chop her up into pieces. This is the god who would cheerfully send people to burn for eternity, for not believing in him, while happily rewarding mass murderers who kill in his name. Imagine that Ghandi might spend eternity being tortured, a man who protested for freedom while advocating non violence and love. Now, imagine, that General Pinochet, who was responsible for thousands of deaths, is in heaven, because he was a Christian who accepted Jesus Christ. I can’t imagine anyone not being repulsed by such a blood thirsty deity, it makes the gods of the Incas look like
    Mr. Rogers.
    I respect your right to find comfort in your religion, but don’t close your eyes to the repulsive vitriol in your bible.


  74. Well ma’am, I tremble at the thought of following such a response, one that outshines any of my own in both passion and eloquence, but as the question was addressed to me I have a duty to answer. I consider myself an antitheist and as an explanation of that position for an earlier question I wrote this, which I admit borrows shamelessly from Christopher Hitchens. I trust such an explanation will serves as well for this new question as it did for the older one for which it was written.

    Sabrina, if you do not have a blog of your own, you should. If you ever feel the desire to test the waters, you have an open invitation to write something that I’d host on my blog. Billy dabbled like this on a few people’s blogs and now look at him. 😉


  75. Why thank you PhillyChief. I actually started a blog, several months ago at http://www.boadiceasrevolt.com but I got really lazy about it. I think my last entry was sometime around January, but, perusing the internet does get the writer’s blood boiling. I have enjoyed reading both yours and Billy’s blogs, as well as your spirited exchanges here with Marianne.
    Also, Marianne, please don’t take any of this personally. If everyone in your religion was more like you, I think there would be less hostility on the internet. Its just us atheists get heated after being in like the hundredth argument like this one, with people who refuse to look at evidence. I respect that you are intelligently debating us, as opposed to wishing us to hell:)


  76. It is obvious that neither of you have have ever read, with comprehension, any of the material you profane criticize. You pass on things you have heard.

    You have no evidence for what you say.


  77. Had you ever bothered to read your bible Marianne you’d find everything that Sabrina wrote. There’s no further evidence needed, nor any special comprehension required.

    I disagree with you Sabrina in that I don’t wish everyone in Marianne’s religion were more like her. I could never wish for people to be willfully ignorant and blindly dismissive of things that contradict what she wants to believe. I’d gladly trade that attitude for some “go to hell”s. I can take abuse, but her willful ignorance I find is far more dangerous and not just to herself. Encouraging that in others is the root of many problems this nation and the world faces.


  78. I read the Bible for an hour every day. I have a lot better grasp of its contents that you do.

    So I am not willfully ignorant. That is a false accusation. What you mean is I do not agree with your vain comments.


  79. Judges 19:24
    Hosea 13:16
    Psalm 137:9
    Leviticus 25:44
    Exodus 21:7

    Inconsistencies in the NT:
    1. According to Matthew, Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the Great. Luke says Jesus was born during the first census in Israel, about ten years after Herod’s death

    2. Matthew said that Herod killed all male babies under two. Josephus, who wrote extensively on the crimes of Herod, never mentions this. He mentions everything else, but not this?

    3. Matthew has Jesus and family fleeing to Egypt, Luke simply has them wait forty days and then go to the temple. So in forty days, the Maji visit Herod, slaughter of the innocent, fleeing to Egypt, sojourn in Egypt and then return from Egypt. Wow, thats quite a month, especially for a woman who just gave birth.

    4.Paul says that Jesus was born of the seed of David, born of a woman. Matthew and Luke tell of the miraculous virgin birth. Which is it? Why wouldn’t Paul mention the virgin birth, wouldn’t it have made his case stronger?

    And for archaeology debunking the OT, I am not relaying that. The onus is on you to prove that any of that stuff happened without using the bible. Prove that the Egyptians had thousands of Hebrew slaves, prove that they wandered the desert for forty years. Biblical archaeologists, men who searched for years to prove the bible true, couldn’t find evidence.

    And maybe I haven’t read “with comprehension” the bible. Maybe its because I’m disgusted with the despicable and callous way God seems to treat women,while fawning all over men. I can’t comprehend selling your daughter to be a sex slave, I can’t comprehend letting your virgin daughters be gang raped, I can’t comprehend killing infants and pregnant women. Its frightening to me that you can.

    People can ignore or rationalize evil, but I can’t. Maybe I see things differently since I wasn’t raised Christian. My parents took me to church/sunday school once when I was nine. I laughed so hard, and told my parents no one could believe these fairy tales. Who could believe theres a big man watching and judging everything you do, who could believe a flood that killed everything except what was on a boat, who could believe in a guy getting swallowed by a whale? I told my parents, and after a little bit of arguing, I never had to go back. So I knew nothing of your Christian religion. It was only when I started reading on world religions that I realized how blood thirsty the Abrahamic religions were. I’m not an angry atheist, who was force fed this stuff, I was a rational scholar who did research, looking at all religions in the same light. The same way I studied Norse and Greek mythology. No religion on earth has ever been so blood thirsty as yours. I know its hard to be objective with something you care about (you know, how everyone thinks they have the cutest kid), but don’t dismiss us, admit to the flaws in your religion. Others have but they still believe, they’re just realistic.

    Sorry for the long post everyone. But I wanted to address all points:)


  80. Like I said….you do not understand what you are reading….I have never seen such a confused interpretation.

    Go take a bible course somewhere in a christian seminary…you are too confused to take up all the time it would take to untwist all the twisted misinterpretations you just gave……


  81. Philly, you are right, willful ignorance is the worst. I assume that once I take this Christian seminary course that gang rape, slavery and infanticide will be a-okay. I have read Christan apologetics, Marianne, I think it should be an Olympic sport, personally. The mental back flips involved are more intricate that those of an actual gymnist. I don’t care about what people deserved what, what god was trying to prove, who god was trying to save, how god was trying to show his love, or what the scriptures were actually implying. Half the bible is symbolic, half the bible is metaphorical, half the bible is literal, half the bible is poetical, half the bible is just background on another culture, I’ve heard it all. Obviously there must be many ways to interperet the bible, since theres like 6000 sects of Christianity. Did you know that Jainism is one of the oldest religions in the world, centuries older than even Judaism, but theres only two differing sects? Kind of makes you wonder which one is the truth, the one that has sustained intact for centuries, or the one that reinvents itself every few years.
    As for me, I’ll take humanity, non violence, empathy, love, science and reason.


  82. You don’t have to agree, but you never bother to read let alone consider anything contrary. That’s the very definition of willful ignorance. As far as vanity, not accepting the possibility that you might be wrong is the epitome of vanity.


  83. hi maranine,

    dont pay any attension to the athiests becuase it doesnt matter if you are wilefully ingorant. Jesus doesnt want you to be smart he wants you to beleive in him OR ELSE!!!!!!!!! if your too smart you will read all the time and learn stuff and then what??????? you will have ate of the tree of knowlidge and then you will BE DAMMED for knowing things God doesnt want you to know like ALL MOST EVERYTHING!!!!!! God gave us a brain so we dont have to learn all kinds of stuped things only the Bible becuase its THE BEST. i am smarter in the Bible than any of these DUM ATHIESTS becuase i read it an hour EVERY WEEK!!!!!!! so mabye they will call me wilefully ingorant too BUT IM NOT!!!!!!! i know the Bible and i know about checking poeple out at my grossery line and i know alot about the 3 stogges EVEN SHEMP!!!! did you know they were JEWISH????? just like Jesus before He became a Christian.

    so why else do i need to know any thing?????? do i look DUM enouhg to want to learn things i dont need to know? and i bet youre not DUM ENOUHG TO WANT TO KNOW ANY THING ALSO!!!!!!!!

    keep up the good work and LOVE IN CHRIST to you and yours if you have any. and whatever you do DONT EVER LEARN ANY THING!!!!!!!!!!


  84. Trinity

    It is ok ….When they falsely accuse of me willful ignorance, they are really describing themselves.

    they are hopelessly stupid. No further need to try to help them.


  85. Trinity,

    come visit me at

    http://heavenawaits.wordpress.com/

    God bless everyone, even if they don’t agree.


  86. May reason find you, no matter where and how you hide. 😉


  87. I am not hiding. 🙂

    Feel free to visit me anytime.


  88. wow..theres the Christian response I was waiting for. Once you confront them with too much evidence, too many contradictions, the insurmountable evidence that their beliefs are irrational, illogical and ridiculous, they say you don’t understand and you’re stupid. Well, Marianne, you obviously don’t understand Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, or Islam, so you’re hopelessly stupid. Yep, because you won’t listen to (to borrow from PZ Myers) the ridiculous Courtier’s Reply offered to buffer the truth of any myth, you’re stupid. So go read your book of infant deaths, virgin rapes, and imaginary God men and be smart. I’ll keep studying science, get my graduate degree, and maybe I’ll help on a research project that will one day save your life, but I’m stupid. Logic, reason, and science stupid; irrational belief in bronze age mythology, dismissing of evidence, and excusing atrocities- smart. Wow, Christians are dumber that I thought.


  89. Well it was christians who burned the library of Alexandria, wasn’t it?


  90. “God bless everyone, even if they don’t agree.”

    Tell that to the 12th century citizens of Carcasone. Or the 11th century citizens of Jersusalem. Or the Citizens of Magdeburg in 1632. Or the Jews of Spain in the 16th century. And I’m not even going to go into the Old Testament. Is being put do death one of god’s ‘blessings’ upon those who disagree? I have followed this conversation, debate, argument closely, and I think that throw-away line is possibly the most offensive thing written in these comments. Marianne, although you refuse to consider critical historical analyses as a valid part of Biblical history, whether you accept it or not, the above mentioned massacres really happened, and they really were done in the name of your sadistic, misanthropic, and mysoginistic ‘god.’



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: