I’ve gotten entangled in a discussion in the comments on another thread. It has drifted far off-topic, so I’m giving it its own thread.
Well, to honestly think about it, If I was given legaly tested, historicaly alive today witnessed the American revolution, so how do you know it happened?accurate, evidence, and if thousands of eyewitnesses attested to it, and if I had experienced it myself, I would be a fool not to believe in the reality of it.
Okay, fair enough. But as discussed above, Greenleaf was assuming his conclusion, and seemed to think that nth-hand hearsay constituted acceptable witness testimony.
As for historical accuracy, while no doubt there are many real place names and historical figures and events (or some distorted version thereof), there are equally many events recounted there that never happened. Herod’s slaughter of the children of Bethlehem, for instance, the worldwide flood, the sun and moon standing still for Joshua, and the Hebrews’ enslavement in Egypt.
Thirdly, why do you say there were thousands of eyewitnesses to the events of the Bible? Because the Bible says so? That’s circular reasoning.
Personal experience is probably most convincing, but only to you. Do you have any evidence that whatever happened to you wasn’t just in your head? If you met someone who claimed to have met Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, and that they regaled him with stories of life at Hogwarts, would you believe him, even if he seemed sincere?
You know, come to think of it, the bible had something to say about you. Yes, it was written specifically for you! it says, “the fool hath said in his heart, there is no God…”
First threats, now insults? Remember, “whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. 5:22).
I respectfully ask you to take a look at nature around you and describe to me how all of the universe could have just “happened”. If you can accurately explain this one fact to me, I will be satisfied.
And if I can’t? What then?
Let’s cut to the chase: I don’t know how life started, or how the universe started. No one does. But if you take a question like “how did X occur?” and answer, “I don’t know, so God must’ve done it”, you’re not explaining anything; you’re just giving your ignorance a name.
And if (or when, hopefully) scientists figure out the answers to these questions, then what will you do? Find another gap in our knowledge to squeeze your god into? A few centuries ago, you might’ve asked how it is that the planets move in their courses, or why lightning strikes, or where comets come from, or how an acorn can grow into an oak. You don’t ask these questions today because we have perfectly good naturalistic explanations. What will you do in twenty or thirty or fifty years, when many of the current gaps in our understanding have been plugged? Ask why, if there’s no god, gravitational mass is the same as inertial mass? Sorry, but god of the gaps is a losing strategy.
Maybe right now you have snowed yourself into believing that you enjoy atheism
Please stop telling me what I believe or how I feel. You don’t know, and you’re just being condescending.
but remember the words of karl marx, “How purposeless and empty life is, but how desired!”
Argumentum ad hominem. You’re saying, in effect, “Karl Marx said this, and Marx was a Bad Person, therefore he’s wrong in what he said.”
I would ask you to step back for a moment and show me one contradiction or atrocity in the bible.
Where to begin? I’ve always liked the multiple deaths of Judas: Matt. 27:5 (hanging) vs. falling down and bursting (Acts 1:18). The genealogies of Jesus in Matthew and Luke are different (and have significantly different numbers of generations). And, of course, there’s Dan Barker’s Leave No Stone Unturned: An Easter Challenge for Christians, which simply asks for a consistent account of the events of the resurrection that includes all of the details in the Bible. There are many others.
Yes, I’ve seen attempts at reconciling these contradictions, but they generally involve pretzel logic, very careful parsing, and/or adding things to the text that just aren’t there (“If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book”, Rev. 22:18).
As for atrocities, how about when Lot offers to let the mob rape his daughters (Gen. 19:8)? In 2 Kings 19:35, an angel kills 145000 people. In Judges 11, Jephthah sacrifices his daughter (and Yahweh accepts the sacrifice). And let’s not forget the time when God himself is said to have committed the single worst act of mass murder in history, killing everyone on earth (Gen. 7:21-23). Before you object that that’s the Old Testament, remember that the New Testament introduced the idea of Hell and of infinite punishment for finite crimes, which is monstrous.
I have studied evolution from the perspective of the oppostion
As far as I can tell, your studies have been limited to young-earth creationists like Kent Hovind and Answers in Genesis. In the spirit of “know your enemy”, it would be a good idea to find out what the proponents of evolution have to say. The Berkeley site I mentioned earlier is a good introduction aimed at the lay reader.
Take, for instance, this exerpt from “the lie”
It looks as if that paragraph comes from The Lie: Evolution by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis. In the future, could you please cite sources? I don’t mind looking stuff up, but can you please not make it harder than it needs to be?
[From AiG:] It is an easy task to understand that no scientist was present over the suggested millions of years to witness the supposed evolutionary progression of life form the simple to the complex.
[snip more in the same vein]
This is just the “Were you there?” argument, and it doesn’t hold water. Do you deny that the Tunguska event happened because no one was around to see it? Pluto is said by astronomers to orbit the sun every 248 years. Do you deny this because it was only discovered about 70 years ago, so no one has ever seen it complete a revolution?
Scientists learn about the past by trying to come up with an explanation for something, asking what we should see if the explanation is correct, and what we should see if it isn’t, and then checking to see which way things are. If you’ve ever seen a cop show where a detective says something like “The murderer must’ve returned to the quarry to bury the murder weapon. Let’s go look for footprints!”, it’s the same principle.
Well, first, you don’t believe in God, so I don’t know how you think Jesus is God, but anyway, they are both members of the trinity.
Right. As I understand it, the idea is that God sacrificed his only son Jesus so that all humans everywhere could be forgiven their sins and be spared from having to go to Hell.
But according to the doctrine of the Trinity, God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are three aspects of the same person. So the story of the crucifixion is that God (temporarily) sacrificed himself to himself in order to create a loophole by which he could get around his own rule and avoid sending people to the place of punishment that he created (or subcontracted).
This makes no sense. If he wants to forgive people, why not just forgive them? If this requires changing the rules, why not just change the rules? He’s done it before: it used to be against divine law to work on Saturday, eat pork, or wear gold jewelry, but now it’s okay. So why the contortions?