The Skeptic's Annotated Bible
Post #83 [The Great Yam]:] Jul 16 2008, 10:25 am
I'm just wondering, which religions and which atheist people are you referring to? Because the majority of people of my faith have much higher standards than most, and the majority of atheist people I know are quite immoral, at least compared to my religious friends, even those not of my faith. Once again, you are generalizing.
Post #85 Zombiechao Jul 16 2008, 4:40 pm
Wrong. Religious freedom is the right to believe in things and act on those beliefs even without proof as opposed to reasonably expecting or logicly proving and acting on those beliefs. This is having a different opinion but not proving your opinion and acting on that unproven belief. Therefore even denying people the right to believe is giving equal treatment to the religous and atheists. However such a thing while certainly fair isn't benificial to the general well being of society. I disagree. What you percieve is extremely provable.
This is a non sequitor.
Edit: Fixed my tags. I'm sorry, so far I haven't thought up a logical and convincing reason why religion is benificial to the general well being of society. About the quote above I called a non sequitor, why do you believe god is and is of everything, and makes up everything and envelops the everything that we cannot see and that which we cannot see and that which we can never see.
This post was edited 2 times, last edit by Zombiechao: Jul 16 2008, 4:59 pm.
Care to explain why you feel that was directed at me? I don't feel anything he said applied to me, but if you think otherwise please elaborate.
Can you verify that atheism is their belief, or are you assuming based on their words? Calling red states 'Jesusland' does not clarify their beliefs.
Atheists are merely individuals. There is no organization, no hierarchy, "members" belong to. Their words are theirs alone. Unless you are referring to the members of this forum, speaking out with anecdotal evidence about atheists you've met in the past is unnecessary. Apply yourself to the arguments at hand, otherwise you're just preaching to the choir. (No pun intended.)
Now, atheists actually do have something to be pissed off about when it comes to these religions. While atheists are independent individuals, if you're a Christian you ascribe to the Bible, if you're a Mormon you believe in the words of the Book of Mormon, and if you're Muslim you follow the Koran. In all these books, there's something that deals with unbelievers and atheists. For the most part, it isn't good.
The Bible, for instance, says we atheists should be shunned and killed:
How should nonbelievers be treated?
What about non-Christians?
Is it OK to marry (or stay married to) unbelievers? Is it OK to touch them or be friends with them?
The Book of Mormon has that delightful tale of Korihor, a so-called "Anti-Christ." He makes plenty of valid arguments against religion, and is subsequently arrested. Nevermind that preceding passages had just mentioned everyone was free to believe or disbelieve. The high priest Alma asks why Korihor won’t believe, so Korihor asks for just one sign to convince him. Keep in mind this story supposedly takes place in Biblical times around the same point as the Old Testament, which is chalk full of God proving himself to others when asked or challenged (Job notwithstanding). By Joseph Smith's time, however, it was plain that such stories only created discrepancies as to why God no longer smites people on a whim, or wrestles people for kicks. So surprise surprise when the priest refuses to give a sign, and instead says: "Thou hast had signs enough." To quote SAB: "Alma refuses, saying that Korihor has signs enough. Others believe in God, so he should too. There is the bible, and the earth and its motions, and the planets. (Of course none of this is evidence for the existence of a God.)"
A class in creative writing will teach you that to make a persuasive argument, you have to address your opposition's best arguments. That is precisely what the story of Korihor represents. So what happens in the end? What is Joseph Smith's great rebuttal to all the age-old arguments against religion? Nothing. Instead, Korihor is cursed by the priest and struck dumb (if they were willing to do that, why not just give a less prickish sign and be done with it?). Then Korihor conveniently confesses that the devil, disguised as an angel, told him to say all the things he did. Of course! Them "rational" arguments are the work of the Devil! Makes sense, right? Any way, Korihor then pleads that he believes and ask that the curse be lifted. The priest basically says "screw you, no forgiveness here because you'll probably still continue blaspheming God", and Korihor is forced to beg in the streets for food. Then he is trampled until he dies. The priest warns that anyone who listens to Korihor's words will meet the same fate. Well, isn't that just chummy? The old ways really knew how to settle debates, didn't they?
So, what's the moral of the Mormon's Korihor story? Well, for one it seems to cater only to believers. Korihor states that the messiah will never come. That's clever of Joseph Smith to work in, who is writing with the benefit of hindsight. A church member, who already believes in Christ, can now easily dismiss Korihor's arguments, because clearly the messiah did come, and once you're wrong about one thing people become resistant to any other arguments without regard to each one's individual validity. Korihor is branded as an "Anti-Christ", another reinforcement to perceive everything he says as false. And just in case it wasn’t totally obvious to the audience, Korihor, as a puppet for Joseph Smith, then confesses to the devil having told him exactly what to say. What better way to undermine logic and discredit dissenters than a fictional world where you have full autonomy? Finally, we have an appeal to force and fear. The message: Don't listen to nonbelievers! Don't think! Don't question! If you do, you'll be struck dumb, be forced to beg for your food, and finally will be trampled and killed.
Sorry Mormons, but that story alone proves to me that the Book of Mormon is nothing more than a thin veil of fiction created by a man of his time, not a divine manuscript. The story of Korihor is little more than a flimsy facade for libel against atheists.
Finally, we have the Koran. If any of the three books is more against unbelievers, it's the Koran. Paraphrased: "A fire has been prepared for the disbelievers, whose fuel is men and stones. - 2:24" or "Disbelief is the greatest evil. - 7:37" Plenty more of that can be found here. (Everything is hyperlinked, so nothing is out of context if you're capable of clicking your left mouse button.)
Then you have uplifting people like the Westboro Baptist Church. Speaking of them, this is rather interesting, especially the beginning about the mistranslations of Hebrew on homosexuality in the Bible.
So, in the end, we have the anecdotal evidence of MillenniumArmy against a few atheists he's known (if the Internet teaches us anything, it's that morons do in fact exist), versus the sacred texts of three religions sanctifying the very type of actions MillenniumArmy detests (mockery is a form of shunning, for instance). Is it any surprise, then, that some people have reacted negatively toward these religions when the very books themselves contain such venom?
For every foulmouthed "atheist" you've witnessed, I've seen the same behavior exhibited by persons of faith. We'll get nowhere with that. As I said before, unless you are addressing someone here in this debate who has committed what you claim, your position is only that of an unrelated rant. If you have a point, tie it in to what is relevant in this thread.
How so? C'mon, after that entire spiel, you end on that note without even bothering to back it up? You and Falkoner both keep making claims against the site without supporting evidence. Show me that your opinion is more than a dismissal of the uncomfortable, simply because the site doesn't praise the Bible, BOM, or Koran. Had you given the site a chance, you might have noticed the good stuff category.
"What the ____ says about..." is also very interesting.
- Book of Mormon
Not equal, huh? Yes, there are differences. Chromosome differences, hormone differences, and physical differences. So what? For the most part, there is little difference where it matters most -- between brains. Males have a larger brain, which was abused in the early 1900 to claim men were smarter than women. However, men and women have the same number of neurons. The male brain is bigger only because their body is bigger (to emphasize, the sperm whale has the largest and heaviest brain, 15lbs to our 3lbs). The female brain is simply more compact, with no discernable difference in intelligence.
In 1992 a report in Time magazine brought to attention that the corpus callosum is larger in female brains. The corpus callosum is what connects the two hemispheres of the brain. It was believed that the larger size allowed for greater cross-talk between the halves, allowing women to multitask far better than men, whereas men have a single-task orientation. Even these findings are still under debate in the scientific community.
Ultimately, studies are showing gender differences to be superficial. Women can do and achieve anything a man can, where it counts (science, mathematics, literature, business, economics, politics, leadership, athletics, sports, even today's button/trigger military). When a society allows, you will find a successful woman for every successful man.
Sexism derives stereotypes. When a society embraces sexism, it only serves to hinder potential. Gender differences are an interesting subject, but don't dare make hasty generalizations or assumptions. Traditions have an expiration date. Throw them out when they spoil, lest your home stink and blind you.
On another note, no reply to my post to you? I took the time to address every single one of your points to me.
This post was edited 2 times, last edit by Hercanic: Jul 16 2008, 8:40 pm.
Men and women have different attitudes on life, and no, women cannot do all things men can do, and visa versa, notice that almost any women who go into engineering drop out and end up going into other related fields, and yes, their brain is the same, but their view on life is much different, men are usually the driving force in most cases. I am not saying men are better than women, I am saying both have different roles and while either can attempt to do what the other is good at, they both tend to be better at certain aspects in life.
Also, in response to your other post, my church receives revelation from God through a living prophet, and while yes, the Bible was the definitive word of God, it is not perfect, one of the key doctrines of my faith is: "We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly, we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God." And I do not question these men because I am not only going on "blind faith", I have prayed myself and received personal revelation. So stop saying that it's "blind faith" because it sure as heck is not, I know it is true.
Maybe you're confusing genetic and societal differences with the whole gender question (as Hercanic pointed out).
My point with the draft and Quaker example was that "official" religions which are widely recognized get an unfair amount of respect in society. It doesn't seem right to me that Quakers would automatically get out of the draft while making your case on morality as a conscientious objector would be much more difficult.
Ah, I love this, so in the homosexuality topic it's fine to post that because of a slight brain difference, they are different, but here, there's no way that it could mean anything, what is that?
I would say that my religion gets a lot more disrespect than respect. Once again, generalizing
Post #91 MillenniumArmy Jul 16 2008, 10:53 pm
Ok fine I may be wrong about this.
I just simply responded to Saen's post. And my post does pertain to the topic, in the end it mentioned how the SAB pales in comparison with other atheist websites.
I hope this wasn't directed at me, as I've played no role in this particular discussion.
Like i said, it's fine to hold such reactions towards religion or the books themselves.
I'm sorry I failed to explain my thoughts about the SAB more thoroughly, so I will do it now.
It's not the quotations or passages in the Bible highlighted that I have a problem with, the problem is the manner in which they present them. The SAB takes only a handful of quotes, such as in the ones you have posted, and treat them to be as the ultimate message in the Bible or what the Bible is saying as a whole. That's like reading a 100 chapter book talking about how America is great, then pointing out only one chapter which happens to only be talking about how America is not great therefore stating that this whole books is about how America is not great. And yes, I did give the site a very good look. I would give my thoughts on many of the things quoted but the problem is that my time is precious; I can't afford to spend all that time writing.
Well, like I've said, there are better sites that this (which I'm sure someone like devilesk can provide with), I'd much rather read those than the SAB as their arguments and viewpoints are more thought provokotive, even Richard Dawkins has written better books than that. Pointing out minor inconsistencies, violence, or "lolness" in the Bible isn't thought provokotive. I will praise the amount of effort put into that site, although it uses a version of the Bible (forgot which one) which uses old english and makes things a little bit harder to understand. And as an ardent advocate of getting your information from various viewpoints, I suggest that if you truly want a different perspective over some annotation over much of the bible, including some stuff which the SAB fails to mention, then you can try some places like this: http://www.lifewaystores.com/lwstore/ . And also, this one I'm currently reading called "Don't Waste your Life" by John Piper is a very good book. And who can forget C.S. Lewis?
This post was edited 1 time, last edit by MillenniumArmy: Jul 16 2008, 11:30 pm.
Both are so slight they could easily be translation errors, not to mention, does it really matter? Show me an inconsistency that actually matters, like doctrine going two opposite directions.
Post #96 MillenniumArmy Jul 17 2008, 3:57 am
There has already been much controversy about the creation story told in Genesis. And IMO this is not major as I believe this to be a metaphor of just how we came to earth. Knowing exactly in full detail how you came to earth doesn't affect what kind of jew/christian/muslim you are. But anyways...
No, this doesn't mean God created the male and female simultaneously. The first account only simply describes that God did create Man and woman. This doesn't translate into God creating man and woman simultaneously. The second account goes into detail of the creation, thus this is where it describes woman being made out of a man's rib. These two different accounts describe the same thing, but with different viewpoints and writing styles as scholars have pointed out.
I don't know which version of the bible this site uses, but if you look at the NIV:
The animals were already created. The passage is just recapping that the Lord has created these animals.
Post #97 [The Great Yam]:] Jul 17 2008, 4:02 am
Uh, how is giving some the right not to believe and denying people the right to believe "fair"?
If someone doesn't want to believe, that's fine, but if they do it's rejected? That equals fair how?
You know what? This topic is so ragged and worn out it's not even worth talking about. You can feel free to dig your holes, I've wasted enough of my time on this dumb shit.
You can not win a truly religious person over to the side of Atheism and you cannot win a truly Atheistic person over to the side of religion.
I want to make one last statement: You know why the Bible is inconsistent? I bet not. It was written by hundreds of people over a period of over a thousand years! Wow! Even books like Genesis and Exodus are composite works, which was a VERY common practice in the Ancient Near East, particularly since there was truly no such thing as the modern "book" until the Middle Ages. In fact, considering it's lineage, area, scope, and history, the Bible is an amazingly coherent work of history-myths, that not only often resembles what we assume a book is today, but has deeply influenced the foundations of modern literature.
What gets me is how you can feel so justified pointing out little holes in a book that you:
A. Don't believe in
B. Do not understand the historical or cultural setting of
C. Do not truly know it outside of readings selected to be attacked on websites that do nothing but affirm your beliefs.
For you to attack a 2000 and more year old book written by many people over a long period because it was:
"Unethical" according to your modern moral compass
Is childish and displays, at best, a grade-school understanding of the great work of the Tanakh and the New Testament (finely written, but not well enough to sway me).
I am tired of these religion versus atheism threads. I don't have a problem with your beliefs, why do you need to bitch about mine?
This post was edited 2 times, last edit by The Great Yam: Jul 17 2008, 4:12 am.
So MA, how do you choose between metaphor and literal fact?
Where do you draw the line? George Bush didn't consider witchcraft to be a religion (he was unhappy that the military considers it so). Who chooses what goes and what doesn't? Is our government sovereign or not? Besides, you mistook my intent. I merely meant that anything that can be done for religious reasons ought to be legal for non-religious reasons.
Post #99 MillenniumArmy Jul 17 2008, 5:32 am
I try not to think of it that way. We try to figure out what the purpose of the passage is, and that's what we have weekly bible studies for. Group discussions amongst other peers are the best ways in interpreting what the underlying messages are. I think there's a difference between Straight out determining whether we should take something literally or not and critically analyzing something like you would in any reading/writing/literature class. Like, how do we think God wants us to act for <whatever> or what do we think paul is trying to say in this verse. In the Bible, there are two types of books. One, which has a greater emphasis on morals and teachings from Jesus or one of the other Bible characters like Moses, david, Paul, ec. The other type has a greater emphasis on the history, the events happening in the book where it just documents the lives of many important figures in the Bible. When it comes to the latter, you could say that there isn't really much to discuss about as they're just simply documentations of historical events. The former, where it consists of teachings, morals, and lessons is where we have extensive studying done. I think there are two books which are exceptions to this: Genesis (at least the first few chapters) and Revelations.
This post was edited 2 times, last edit by MillenniumArmy: Jul 17 2008, 5:40 am.
Post #100 Zombiechao Jul 17 2008, 5:43 pm
It is fair because it is equal to everybody but I didn't say it was a good thing. How is this topic shit? HOW?HOW? I wanted to say that my self. Thank you for pointing that out. Are you psychic because I feel exactly justified in attacking the bible. I am so amazed that you can read my mind. Unless you can't. You probably just assumed I was feeling justified in trying to attack the bible and assumed that I was attacking the bible at all. Lets get this straight, only physical objects can be attacked or damage. Everything else can't and doesn't need to be defended. The actual book is pointless and of no value compared to how it helps mankind. Any help it does to mankind can be attacked though. I don't attack the bible I ask questions so I can reach a better understanding of it and I certainly don't attack anything that helps mankind such as charities, art etc that it prompted people to make. It isn't religion versus atheism. This is "I don't understand the contradiction, what really happened? Atheism isn't a belief. It is the reasonable expectation that because god hasn't been proven to exist that god isn't there.
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