15 July 2007

The God of the Old Testament (Richard Dawkins)

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dawkins RULES!!!!!!!!!!

Martin said...

He does have a lovely way with words.

dave said...

Dawkins is a psychopath! He is merely a man on a mission to disprove religion while he actually proves nothing. Anyone who puts their trust in a man like this is on the fast track to no where. Trust Jesus - He wont let you down!

Brent said...

Go get them, Richard!

Greg said...

Dave, I "trusted Jesus" for 30+ years..... He just doesn't stand by his promises. People in antiquity created God in order to make some sort of sense out of life's chaos. We now know that this chaos and randomness is simply the way life is. God or the gods are no longer players in reality. WAKE UP! Ask yourself if the Holy Spirit really aids you and helps you do things that are godly. If you are honest, you will realize that it is all in your head. No outside (or inside) force helps you get through life. It is merely your own delusional imagination telling you that God is there with you.

Greg (former Christian)

Jason said...

Former Christian Greg - I'm curious, what exactly did Jesus promise you that he didn't stand by?

Greg said...

Jason,

"Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'be taken up and thrown into the sea,' and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:22-24)

"For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20)

"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you." (John 15:7)

"Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven given good things to those who ask him." (Matthew 7:9-11)

Prayer flat out doesn't work.

It is actually not quite fair for me to claim that Jesus does not stand by his promises because most of the words attributed to him in the New Testament a product of the late 1st or early 2nd century Church - not Jesus.

Thus, my statement should probably go something like this: The Bible and its claims is not a product of divine inspiration.

It is not the Jesus' fault that his claims are contradictory and false - it is the fault of those who created Christianity out of false hope and of the early church fathers who used Christianity and the scriptures to gain power.

The ethics attributed to Jesus are praiseworthy. His philosophy on how to be human are great to live by. However, the belief systems of Christianity have caused sorrow, death, and hatred.

Yaakov said...

Y'all know how god used to kill people for picking up wood, pissing against walls, offering strange fire, dancing before golden figurines and spilling semen on the floor. I have blasphemed against him in every possible way for years and he hasn't killed me yet! What is he waiting for!? He used to be so effective in the past!!! Wait, my girlfriend Marianne died in a car accident, she was the most beautiful, nice, honest, loving, compassionate girl in the world, maybe her death was god's way to tell me to change my life, FORGIVE ME GOD FOR I'VE SINNETH boohoohoo!!! He killed my beautiful girlfriend instead of me just to save me!!! Praised be him!!!

Jason said...

I'm sorry your prayers weren't answered :) Perhaps it was a faith issue.

I've never understood the anti-Christian viewpoint that the belief systems of Christianity have caused death and hatred. This isn't a reflection on the validity and truth of the Bible, this is reflection of man's greed by tampering and perverting God's word to further their own personal and religious agendas. Confession, purgatory, limbo, the Pope, hell, etc. etc. These are the man-made beliefs that cause so much of the problems within and without Christianity, but these beliefs aren't found in Scripture.

Just some food for thought :)

tiny tim said...

You're an angry man, yaakov.

A disillusioned person blaspheming a god he doesn't believe in and yet still expecting divine retribution. Seems to be a common thread here.

Flumadiddle said...

Ah, Dave. Has Richard struck a nerve? I think perhaps the reason you have such disdain for him is because he speaks the truth. Stings a little doesn't it?

Greg said...

Jason said: Confession, purgatory, limbo, the Pope, hell, etc. etc. These are the man-made beliefs that cause so much of the problems within and without Christianity, but these beliefs aren't found in Scripture.

The Bible is man-made, you blind fool!

Sorry for such a mean statement but Christians need to open their minds and look at all this stuff they believe. It is based on wishful thinking and fantasy. There is no concrete reality in it at all.

I'm sick of the ubiquitous argument - "If God doesn't answer your prayers and bless your life - then it must be due to a lack of faith."

Nobody has ever provided concrete evidence that Christians are more "blessed" than anyone else. For example, a Christian prays for God to rid them of an addiction and they fair worse than the person who has enough common sense to check him/herself into an addiction program. The Christian can trust God; I'll trust reason.

Greg

Jason said...

I have no problem accepting Scripture as God's divine word. Personally, I see prophecy and archaelogy as being proof enough but you obviously don't and that's totally cool. I have my beliefs, you have yours. It's all good.

Just because you're sick of an argument doesn't automatically make it invalid :) From a Bible point of view, faith and prayer are inexorably linked. This is why you'll hear the same argument over and over again.

Anyhow, a Christian can't be expected to provide evidence they're any more blessed then the guy next door because for someone like you, nothing they could offer would be sufficient. I could say that I've had four near death experiences this year and was miraculously saved from all of them, you would counter with "how do you know it wasn't luck?". I could say that my business has inexplicably grown for five years in a row, you'd tell me I'm a good business man. I could say I was blessed with a beautiful baby boy, you would reply "so have a billion other people". I could say God blessed with me a safe trip to China, you would come back with "a safe trip isn't proof of God".

What you would consider luck or the law of averages, I would consider a blessing. There's nothing inherently wrong with either view. But just because you don't agree with my outlook doesn't mean I'm a "blind fool" any more then you're an "ignorant fool". :)

Pieter from the Netherlands said...

Unfortunatly, I've had a stroke at the age of only 19. Now I'm 25 years old, and although I've recoved a lot, I still have to use a wheelchair. It hurts so much to not be able to enjoy life at the same leveel as before.

The theodicies christians (and people of other religions) offer in order to reconcile the concept of suffering with the idea of a good God are SO incredibly dissatisfactionary it is rediculous. I personally ABSOLUTELY can't help feel I've been mistreated by God. Theodicies are just stupid theoretical nonsense.

(By the way, the God of the bible actually IS an evil, immoral bastard).

Anonymous said...

I could say that I've had four near death experiences this year and was miraculously saved from all of them, you would counter with "how do you know it wasn't luck?

I could say that I come from planet Vegeta and can fly and when I'm very pissed off my hair goes spiky and turns yellow, and be replied with a "What drugs are you on?"

Show me a well documented case of an amputee who spontaneously regrew a limb without medical treatment or without treatment of any kind (like mating with a starfish or with an axolotl)

Mat 13:11
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

We brutes were not given the gift of understanding all things Christian.

Mat 13:13
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

He should try having his second coming at the Super Bowl halftime show.

Heck, even one of Jesus disciples doubted Jesus was alive until he saw him.

John 20:29
29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed

Appearing out of the blue and letting people stick their fingers in his wounds would be easy for a miracle worker.

John 20:29
...blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.

Rephrasing the previous sentence: Blessed are the gullible, for they shall be deceived.

Isn't it funny how people from different religions, sects and denominations claim to be recipient of miracles and blessings? Looks like Jehovah is a true ecumenist, I can almost imagine Jehovah playing poker with fellow deities Shiva, Odin, Gaia, Jove, Ahura Mazda, Marduk, Baal, Satan? I'd like to see the Pope meet with his Church of Satan colleague.

Jason said...

Pieter, first of all, we're very sorry to hear about your stroke.

Secondly, I have to ask how much time and energy you gave God before your stroke?

Jason said...

I’m not sure what your point is about limb regeneration.

About being brutish, you would rather not give up the “spirit of the world” in exchange for the “spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). It’s an ignorant refusal to change a state of mind. You don’t try, God won’t try. You don’t give, God won’t give. See how the relationship works…?

And I totally agree with your gullible/deceived comment. This was the warning time and again to 1st century believers being led astray by false religions. Today it’s in the shape of Catholicism, Mormonism, etc. But that obviously doesn’t concern you. It’s a Christian vs. Christian thing. ☺

Anonymous said...

Spontaneous limb regeneration would be tangible proof for the existence of miracles.

I was a devout Christian for 13 years, so don't preach me about giving up the spirit of the world and bulls...

Matt. 5
17Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

It looks like Christians are gonna be the called least in the "kingdom of heaven"

You need to stop believing a heresy of a heresy and convert to Judaism, be circumcised (ouch!), keep Sabbath, eat kosher, celebrate Sukkot, etc.

Jason said...

You’re kidding, right…? Limb regeneration is tangible proof of miracles… No limb regeneration, no miracles!! SO THERE!!! lol Do you have a job? A car? A family? A house? Food on your table? Why are these not miracles in and of themselves?

I’m not preaching any more then anyone else is here. I’m simply explaining and refuting your point about “brutes” not understanding all things Christian.

Matthew 5 - And your point is…? (by the way, could you perhaps include the whole verse next time you quote from the Bible? “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”)

A heresy of a heresy…is that a good thing? Two negatives equal a positive…? You, a former Christian, should know more then anyone else that the old law was done away with. Jesus “fulfilled” the old law (Mat 5:17) and then it was done away with once this was completed (:18). This is why no one in the NT ever offered sacrifices as a means to have their sins forgiven. This is why circumcision wasn’t mandatory, etc. etc. In all seriousness, are you trying to be difficult or did you really not pick up on this during your 13 years of devout Christian living?

Keith said...

"You, a former Christian, should know more then anyone else that the old law was done away with"
This God guy really has it tough, doesn't he? He claims omniscience, but then fouls up all the time. His most recent announcement: he was wrong and now has revoked what only seemed good on paper. This guy has really got to start thinking things through.

beepbeepitsme said...

I like the cut of his jib. ;)

Brian de Ford said...

Some people say that atheists, who do not believe in the big spy in the sky, therefore act immorally, despite Christians being proportionately higher in the prison population than the general population.

Some people say that morality comes from God and that without God it is impossible to act morally because one cannot know what morality is. So let me tell you the story for religious instruction, a parable if you will, about The Moral Atheist.

One day an atheist record producer was visited by bodyguards of a famous, powerful rapper. The rapper was famous not so much for the quality of his music but for having an arsenal of weapons that put his fellow rappers to shame (those that he didn't kill in wanton acts of violence). The bodyguards were, like their boss, well-heeled (but not so well-heeled as their boss for they left their howitzers behind) carrying Uzis illegally converted to full automatic fire and many spare clips of ammunition.

The bodyguards explained that their boss had decided the other rappers were destroying the good name of rap music and that his only course of action was to slaughter them and their record producers. Of the entire industry, only this one rapper and the record producer whose home they were in would be spared.

But at that point all the other record producers showed up, somehow having learned that the bodyguards were visiting. The other record producers kicked up a fearful racket begging to be allowed to speak to the bodyguards. There was so much banging on doors and shouting that the record producer, the Moral Atheist of our tale, couldn't hear what the bodyguards were saying.

So this Moral Atheist went to the door and shouted through the letterbox "I have two virgin daughters. Take them and have a gangbang with them. Brutally and repeatedly rape and sodomize them. Just leave me and my guests in peace and you can do whatever you want to my virgin daughters."

The other record producers, having no morals, took the daughters and did as they were bade. The record producer, the Moral Atheist, completed his deal with the rapper's bodyguards. Days later the rapper and his bodyguards massacred all the other rappers and record producers, sparing just the Moral Atheist, his wife, and his two daughters (somewhat the worse for wear but still alive).

I think that nobody can dispute that the record producer, though an atheist, exhibited the highest moral behaviour. An exemplar to us all.

Oh damn. I've just realized I got the story wrong. It wasn't an atheist at all. The story doesn't prove atheists are really moral because it all happened (with a few minor details changed) to Lot in the old testament. When two angels came down to warn him of the impending destruction of Soddom and Gomorrah, the Sodomites demanded to see his visitors and he got rid of them by offering his two virgin daughters for a gangbang.

As an atheist I couldn't even begin to conceive of offering my two virgin daughters (if I had any) for a gangbang to protect two guests who had the power to zap any number of hostiles using their magic powers. Even if my guests had no magic powers but were still very important, I could not morally justify trading two other humans for their protection. Which means that us atheists just aren't as moral as Lot.

Jason said...

lol! "Old" doesn't mean "wrong". "old" means "old" as in "back then". :)

Jason said...

Has it ever been said that everyone in the Bible is perfect? No, because the people mentioned in the Bible weren't. Lot was just another guy who had flaws, like you and me.

Anonymous said...

Jason:

For the most part, the practice of sacrifice stopped in the year 70 C.E., when the Roman army destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, the place where sacrifices were offered. The practice was briefly resumed during the Jewish War of 132-135 C.E., but was ended permanently after that war was lost. There were also a few communities that continued sacrifices for a while after that time.

We stopped offering sacrifices because we do not have a proper place to offer them. The Torah specifically commands us not to offer sacrifices wherever we feel like it; we are only permitted to offer sacrifices in the place that G-d has chosen for that purpose. Deut. 12:13-14. It would be a sin to offer sacrifices in any other place, akin to stealing candles and wine to observe Shabbat.

http://www.jewfaq.org/qorbanot.htm

Brent said...

Anon,

What does this have to do with the current discussion and why did you direct it at Jason? Besides, sacrifices existed long before the people of Israel implemented them and continued on in places well after 70 BCE.

Brent

Anonymous said...

Brent, because Jason wrote this:

the old law was done away with. Jesus “fulfilled” the old law (Mat 5:17) and then it was done away with once this was completed (:18). This is why no one in the NT ever offered sacrifices as a means to have their sins forgiven. This is why circumcision wasn’t mandatory, etc. etc.

tiny tim said...

Anon,

What exactly are you arguing...? The validity of the New Testament? As a Jew, you obviously don't adhere the teachings of the NT so...the conversation is kind of moot. :)

Duke Nukem said...

I spent 24yrs as a highly committed born-again Christian. The Bible itself deconverted me. Christians do not "think" they "rationalize"...They rationalize away all the errors, Biblegods failure to obey/keep his own word, historical inaccuracies, contradictions, scientific fallacies, failed prophecies, and their innumerable sins and failures to obey Biblegods teachings. Biblegod is incapable of doing anything good or bad, and negligent parent that he is, he has been unable to stop me from deconverting his "blood-bought" children and restoring them back to reality.

jason said...

What Christian denomination dd you belong to?

Anonymous said...

The interesting thing about the cruelty in the old testament is not that it didn't happen, its that God worked through many of the figures inspite of their sin and the sinfulness of the era.

Old testament figures being imperfect is nothing new. Moses killed a man, David sent a soldier to his death so he could bonk his wife, Moses used a miracle wrongly and was barred from the Holy Land, Jonah was clearly angry at God on being used to convert a city.


God worked with imperfect men because they are all that is with Jesus as the exception. Original sin remember.

The lesson is that regardless of your sins, whether or not your beat them all instantly, salvation is an option becuase of his forgiveness.

Brent said...

There is no extrabiblical evidence that Moses, David, Jonah, Abraham, and especially Adam ever existed. They were more than likely human constructs written into the history of the Jewish people in the 6th to 8th centuries B.C.E.

Original sin? The myth of Adam is told in an attempt to explain the way the world works. Genesis 1-6 is a collection of metaphors, not documented history. We can learn about ourselves from the metaphor of "the fall." However, to take this literally is a mistake.

The belief in a future salvation is in the mind. Life after death goes back past the 3rd century B.C.E. The Jews did not invent it. Real salvation happens in this life, not the next.

Brent

tiny tim said...

The lack of evidence isn't proof these men didn't exist. Considering they lived more then 4000 years ago, what kind of evidence would would you expect to still be around?

Why is taking Genesis 1-6 literally a "mistake" and why can't it explain the way mankind works?

An atheist's opinion on salvation doesn't mean too much, as I'm sure you can appreciate :) A Christian can just as easily claim salvation is in the next life as you can claim it's in this life. It's just a difference of opinion.

Brent said...

Why isn't there evidence that a man named Moses led over one million people from Egypt to Canaan? We have archaeological evidence of other societies. We have names of leaders, the artwork of the people, etc. But you are right in pointing out that a lack of evidence isn't proof.

What is amazing is that Jews and Christians take writings from the 6th to 8th century BCE as a documentation of history from the preceeding 2,000+ years. Have you seen the geneaologies in Genesis? How can those be taken as true records?

Genesis 1-6 DOES explain the way mankind is. It is a metaphor told in the form of stories. It does not give us true historical information. The mistake is to take it as such.

Brent

tiny tim said...

Consider the environment the Israelites were in during their time between Egypt and the Promised Land. How much evidence do you think would have survived 4000 years after the fact?

Jews and Christians believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. We operate under this pretext. Atheists operate under the complete opposite. So it shouldn't be difficult to see how things like the geneologies in Genesis can be taken as true records. We take it as truth because there's nothing to suggest it's wrong. A 21st century viewpoint can't sway the balance of belief far enough in either direction to make this a valid point of debate.

Ah, sorry, I misunderstood the point about explaining mankind. Duly corrected. :) However, it's only an opinion that Genesis isn't historical. I would counter by saying it is historical and that's really as far as the argument can go (it's kind of like an argument about salvation between an athiest and a Christian) :)

Brent said...

Tiny Tim,

You're probably not aware that I was a Christian for 20+ years. I am aware of most, if not all, of the arguments in this discussion. I have read more Bible and books about the Christian faith than most Christians. The irony is that the Bible is what convinced me that God was created by man rather than vice versa.

You can choose to believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Many people believe that. I am fine with that as long as a person is willing to discuss "why" without playing some sort of trump card like "you can't prove that my belief is wrong."

If you believe that the Bible is inerrant, literal and totally authoritative, you need to be prepared to seriously look at all of its claims. You must look seriously at the problematic passages and the contradictions that are found throughout the pages of scripture. Of course, most Christians choose to "explain away" the problems of scripture because they start with a non-negotiable presumption that assumes "there must be some logical reason for such 'apparent' contradictions."

Look forward to hear more from you.

Brent

Anonymous said...

This I found by surfing the intertubes http://www.strangescience.net/evolution.htm

People took a long time to figure out that evolution happened, and before that, Western civilization relied largely on the Bible to understand how we got here. Starting in the Renaissance, however, some of society's keenest thinkers began to puzzle over just how the Bible could be literally true. Early on, the story that caused the most trouble was Noah's Flood.

One man who managed to stir some doubt was Niels Stensen (or Nicolaus Steno). A religious man, Steno wasn't out to disprove the Bible; he used it as the basis for his work in piecing together old landscapes. He figured out that rocks are deposited in layers with older rocks at the bottom, and in the landscape of Tuscany, he thought he saw the events described in Genesis. In the century following his death, however, people who searched rock layers for remains of earth's earliest inhabitants found some thing odd. According to Genesis, God made Adam, Eve, and all the animals first. Then Adam and Eve started a family and left plenty of descendents. Only later came Noah's Flood, which was held responsible for depositing all those weird remains, like shells, in rocks on top of mountains. If that actually happened, human remains should have appeared in the oldest rocks at the bottom of the heap, but they didn't. Human remains showed up only in the newest layers. The oldest layers of rocks held different creatures, and the further down in the heap one looked, the weirder the creatures got.

Steno wasn't alone in inadvertently causing Noah trouble. All the naturalists who traveled to the New World to draw, collect, measure and catalog what lived there threatened to sink Noah's Ark with too many passengers. After all, fitting two of everything living in Europe was enough of a challenge. Squeezing in all these newly discovered creatures from America looked impossible. Biblical scholars went back to calculating the length of a cubit.

Not everyone who accepted an ancient earth necessarily accepted biological evolution. By the early 19th century, the professional scientists and leisurely gentlemen who dabbled in geology or comparative anatomy entertained a variety of explanations for humanity's predecessors. Evolution was one explanation, but many savants believed a series of catastrophes had been followed by fresh creations.

Artificial selection shows the power of an outside selective force acting on a species, but that's not the only evidence for evolution. Other factors point to common origin for life forms. Bats, dolphins and people are all mammals, but bats fly, dolphins swim, and humans type, dine and doodle. If each species were carefully designed from scratch, there wouldn't be much need for overlap in skeletal structure. Yet all three types of animals share the same general limb design. Humans, dolphins and bats all have upper arm bones, lower arm bones, wrists, hand bones, and fingers. In dolphins, these bones are shortened to make a stiff flipper. Bats, meanwhile, spread their wings out over their finger bones.

Why would evolution do this? Because it works with whatever it's got handy (pardon the pun). Evolution can't see the future and it can't change the past. It can only cope with the present.


Da Vinci
http://www.strangescience.net/davinci.htm

He felt that the similar appearance of branching bood vessels, branching stems, and mingling tributaries weren't just coincidence; the actually were fundamentally the same. In that same spirit of unified microcosm/macrocosm, he investigated geology.

Da Vinci refuted the prevailing beliefs about marine fossils. Refusing to believe that the fossils were simply carried to their present destinations by the biblical deluge, he suspected a much older earth than what the Bible described.

Da Vinci rejected the notion that fossils were just "sports of nature," understanding instead that they belonged to once-living organisms. He noted that fossil shells appeared in several different horizons in the mountains, meaning they could not have all been deposited in a single deluge, nor could slow-moving mollusks reach the mountains in the biblical flood's short duration. He devoted years to studying the behavior of water and identified the sedimentary rocks that water deposits. He even anticipated the 20th-century theory of plate tectonics by considering the possibility of uplift in mountain building.

Perhaps most interesting of all, da Vinci may have formulated a vague notion of evolution:

"Nature, being inconstant and taking pleasure in creating and continually producing new forms, because she knows that her terrestrial materials are thereby augmented, is more ready and more swift in her creating than is time in his destruction."

tiny tim said...

Brent,

I’m always up to discussing “why” ☺ However, let’s be fair here: Christians assume there are logical explanations to Bible “contradictions” because of their fundamental belief that God is perfect. Atheists and Bible critics, on the other hand, look for contradictions often where none exists and then blame the Christian for not keeping an open mind ☺ Oftentimes, it’s a lose-lose situation for the Christian.

As for “explaining away” these so-called “problems”, it would appear that any explanation a Christian offers for a problematic verse is going to be automatically met with skepticism (the discussion revolving around Satan and God on this site is a prime example). You seem to be starting from a non-negotiable presumption as well.

But we can see where this takes us. Your blog or mine? ☺

Brent said...

I'd rather discuss on your blog. Mine is down right now. Click on my name above to see my profile and email me the location of your blog.

I DO believe that there are explanations that are easier to accept (as an atheist) than the "God said it - end of story" type of response to the problematic passages. I am willing to share those during the conversation.

Brent

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, Jesus does not keep his promises - because his dead

Eg JOHN 6:39 where none who believe in jesus will be torn away from him. Hmmmm! Go on, lie and say that I never truly believed or wanted to keep my faith.

Billy Sands (another ex christian that Jesus ignored)

Anonymous said...

Is brent suggesting that if the fall is not historical, then evolution is true? Surely the nature of evolution means that we will be selfish (sinners) Therefore, his god loaded things against us from the start. Not very nice.
If the fall is taken as fact, then Adam and Eve did not know that to disobey god was wrong. They oly knew that after eating the forbiden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of GOOD and EVIL - Nasty god! Because of this, even as a metaphor for moral teaching, it is still a pretty retarded one. Extrabiblical sources like Confucious are much better moral teachers :"force not on others that which you would not choose for yourself" written 500 years before jesus was born.

PS Go Richard!

Anonymous said...

PS last comment was me

Billy Sands

Anonymous said...

Jesus is dead...? Well that's a new one.

Jason said...

Billy, your misunderstanding of the fall has obviously made you a bit jaded. Adam & Eve knew it was wrong to disobey God in exactly the same way a child knows it's wrong to disobey their parents. A child doesn't know anything about sin but a child knows the difference between right & wrong. The "knowledge of good and evil" however was an awareness of their sinful human nature in contrast to God's will.

Lev 19:18 "Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself:" Written 1500 years before Confucious.

roopster said...

I agree that the Old Testament portrays God as all of these things. I'm chronicling that in my blog Daily Bible Readings - 2007

However, my opinion is that this is not an accurate representation of God but simply an ancient culture's view of him.

Joel said...

roopster said:
"However, my opinion is that this is not an accurate representation of God but simply an ancient culture's view of him."

And that is the problem. Can you truly justify all of the bullshit that happened because that's the culture's view of God?

There is no such thing as an accurate representation of something that is a delusion. If it is all based on our time's view of him, then my view of him is that he is a human construct.

Roopster said...

Joel,

There are no justifications.

BTW, for those of you who want this in written form here it is:

"The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasantcharacter in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust,unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser;a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal,filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciouslymalevolent bully."-- Professor Richard Dawkins

- Roopster

CrownRightsPatriot said...

The God of the Old Testament:
-- Jealous? Amen. His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14)
-- Proud? Nothing to my knowledge indicates pride.
-- Unjust? False. Prove he's unjust.
-- Petty? (i.e. Insignificant?) Where'd he get this from?
-- Unforgiving? False. He's longsuffering (Exodus 34:6).
-- Control-freak? Amen (Romans 11:36).
-- Vindictive? (i.e. vengeful) Amen.
-- "bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser"? No proof.
-- Misogynistic? False. Exodus 21:12
-- Homophobic? Not literally afraid of homosexuals; however, God hates sodomites (Leviticus 18:22).
-- Racist? False, prove it.
-- Infanticidal? Amen (Hosea 13:16).
-- Genocidal? Amen (Isaiah 45:7).
-- Filicidal? Amen (Leviticus 20:9).
-- Pestilential? Amen (I Samuel 2:6).
-- Megalomaniacal? No, God is quite certain He is Supreme. It's no delusion.
-- Sadomasochistic? False. See Jeremiah 8:18-9:3; Micah 1:8; Ezekiel 18:23, 33:11). However, He does mock at the destruction of the wicked (Deuteronomy 28:63).
-- Capriciously malevolent? (i.e. unpredictably hateful) False. Prove it.
-- Bully? Well, He is God after all, which means He exercises absolute control over His entire creation. So I guess you could say He's a bully for all the mean things He does to you; but at the same time, He's often giving you a blessing in disguise (e.g. when you learn a moral lesson after having suffered a great loss).

CrownRightsPatriot said...

After reading some early comments, I noticed one guy who said that Jesus never answered his prayers.

If you were in rebellion against God, your prayers were an abomination to Him (Proverbs 15:8-9). For example, if you asked Jesus in prayer for a large sum of money, and Jesus didn't give it you, it's not because Jesus doesn't exist; it's because you never had faith in the first place, and God hated you for deceiving yourself as such.

CrownRightsPatriot said...

Brent wrote, "Why isn't there evidence that a man named Moses led over one million people from Egypt to Canaan? We have archaeological evidence of other societies. We have names of leaders, the artwork of the people, etc."

If the Bible is truly the inspired Word of God, then I should expect that He makes absolutely sure that little to no evidence of His works are preserved. He hides Himself so as to demand faith.

If He had preserved all the evidence, then salvation could be achieved by looking at archaeological evidence. What kind of salvation is that? No, to enact His will, He destroyed most of the evidence, so that He could consign all to disobedience, so that He could have mercy on all (Romans 11:32), especially on those who, despite the total lack of evidence and logical reasons to the contrary, believed anyway.

Anonymous said...

Jason, dont talk rubbish! they did not know what was right or wrong before they sinned. Also, how could they judge for themselves who was right? god or the serpent?
BTW do you actually believe all that crap? What about disease etc that existed before the appearence of humans? Or are fossils the work of the devil - ha ha!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and the leviticus verse was probably actually written about 800-500 BC, and plentuy of older babylonian moral teachings exist. Morality is actually innate.
The bible is a disgusting moral guide, where rapists are punished by being forced to marry their victims, and offers wonderfull advice on relationships like kill your family if they worship other (false) gods
Billy

Anonymous said...

Crownrights patriot read yor bible properly, and not just the bits you like.

Here are a few (I dont have time for them all)
Unjust - punishes all man kind for the sins of two, or the killing of babies in egypt (who had done no wrong EX.11, or how about punishing people for the sins of their forefathers (Is 14:21-22 or deut 5:9)
He punishes people for being born bastards (23:2) He excludes the deformed (Lev. 21:16-23) even although he makes them that way (Ps. 139:13-15)

Unforgiving. Women still have pain in child birth (gen 3:16) and lets not forget veryone in jericho that he destroyed, when he ordered no mercy to be shown

Mysogenistic - yes
God does not have a problem with kidnapping women, nor with making them gifts to be used as sex slaves (Jud. 21:11-14). In fact, the god of the bible doesn’t think too much of women at the best of times. These following attitudes make me sick! A rapist must marry his victim. . Eve also gets all the blame for the original sin (1Tim. 2:12-14), and women are the property of men and were created for men, because we are superior. They must be silent in church and never hold authority over men, or even teach a man (1Cor. 11:8-9, 14:34-35, Eph. 5:21, Col. 3:18, 1Tim.2:11-14). All however is not lost, as a woman can be saved through childbirth (1Tim. 2:15). The only problem is that God would rather men didn’t get married (1Cor. 7:8), and for those lucky enough to get a man, child birth will be incredibly painful (Gen.3:16). Yep, God hates women!
So, what does he like then? Well, slavery for one, as long as the slaves are not Israelite (Lev. 25:44-46). Furthermore, he doesn’t mind you beating them, as long as you don’t kill them (Ex. 21:22-24). God likes slavery so much; he even sets different laws for their welfare to those of their Israelite masters. If an owner knocks out a slaves eye, he must set the slave free (Ex. 21:26). If he did it to another Israelite, the law requires the loss of his eye too (Ex. 21:22-24). I like Gandhi’s observation (pardon the pun) that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. Should the master kill the slave, the punishment is not defined (Ex. 20:21) here, but If he kills an Israelite, he too must be killed (Ex. 21:12).

Having read your response and written this brief rebuttal, I can only conclude thast you are brain washed and deluded, and it worries me that you aprove of some of the above stuf by stating Amen - please seek therapy.

And Jason, in further rebuttal of your comment : gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: "
So God has a sinful nature if you are right ... Hmm, explains a lot

Billy

PS theists have nice lives, you seem a pretty deluded bunch and i can see sence will not work on you, and see you all in hell

Jason said...

Anon (whoever you are),

I might be talking rubbish but other then personal opinion, you're not offering anything to prove this is the case.

1. Adam & Eve understood God was supreme to the serpent. Remember, God gave them "dominion" over the animals (Gen. 1:26). There would have been no question who the authority was.

2. I'll repost this again. Adam & Eve knew it was wrong to disobey God in exactly the same way a child knows it's wrong to disobey their parents. A child doesn't know anything about sin but a child knows the difference between right & wrong. The "knowledge of good and evil" however was an awareness of their sinful human nature in contrast to God's will.

3. Yes, I believe this crap.

Jason said...

Billy,

Proof please that Leviticus was written between 800 - 500BC.

How many Christians today do you think base their moral conduct on the rules as stated in the Old Testament? None. It's the whole old law vs. new law thing. Yours is a weak attempt on the grounds of emotion to discount the Bible.

Anonymous said...

Billy, how does "knowing good and evil" imply God has a sinful nature?

"See you in hell...". A classic closing line from just another threatened atheist.

Anonymous said...

Threatened atheists, ha! dont make me laugh.
Lots of evidence as to when the pentateuch was written: read a book called the bible unearthed. for now, how about the fact that gerar was not a phillistine city in the time of Abraham (in fact, it did not exist until much later)
What is your proof that the bible is actually inspired by god and that had he wrote it, he is actually telling the truth? None other than because it says so I'll bet. The earth is not flat and is billions of years old, and death and disease most certainly predated man kind (look up fossil record). Mine is a rational position. You start from the assumption that god exists and that the bible must be inerrant.

Thankfully many (although not all by any means) Christians do ignore the crap laws, even though jesus said that the law will always stand (matt 5:18). The rational response is that this is a contradiction in the nature of God So much for following so called moral absolutes

"Do not return evil to your adversary;

Requite with kindness the one who does evil to you,

Maintain justice for your enemy,

Be friendly to your enemy."

So says a 3rd millennium BCE sumerian text, "Counsels of Wisdom,"
So much for the bible as the source of morality. Infact, cultures who have never heard of your god still make the same moral judgements as christians, muslims and atheists etc (unless their minds have been poisened by disgusting religious laws of course. Do you really think that the only reason you know that coveting is wrong is because the bible says so? (rom 7:7) If so, that really is sad.
Did god actually say dont listen to the serpent? Was eve not persuaded? (gen 3:6) How do you know they knew who the authority was? you have no evidence for this statement and it is just a pre assumption that god wrote the bible makes you say this. If this happened in another book, i bet you would not defend it. And how would realising that they were naked be a realisation of their sinful nature? god made them naked. Get real



Anonymous, I was refreeing to Jason's response and said that by his reasoning, god must have a sinful nature. Therefore, his arguement defeats itself.

Got better things do do with my time than argue with 6 day creationists and inerrantists.
What if you are wrong about Allah? (have you even seriously considered other religions? or are you just following the meme that you INHERITED (through family or cultural context). If so I will see you in hell, and i'll spend all eternity reminding you I was at least right about your god :-)

Oh and one final thing to make you think (I hope) Read the context of Is. 7:14 (the virgin birth) No way is it about jesus. It is about events happening around 730 BCE and was given to the king at that time as an assurance to him that Israel will not be invaded. Yet, Matthew twists this to pretend that it was foretold that jesus would be born to a virgin - presumably like contempory competing myths like hercules, dionysis, mithras etc.
Any attempts you make to claim it is about jesus will be a good laugh for rationalist, so feel free. The same is true of other messianic prophecies eg Micah 5:2 so it looked like the gospel writers lied about the life of jesus then

Billy

I wont reply again, but do give others a laugh

Anonymous said...

There's that "see you in hell" bit again... :)

jason said...

Sad to see you go, Billy.

If there's one thing I can leave you with, have a look at Matthew 5:17 and then read :18 again, specifically the part where it says, "...no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." Finish with a sprinkling of Hebrews 7:12 and you'll be good to go.

Anonymous said...

Jason Said ... "I've never understood the anti-Christian viewpoint that the belief systems of Christianity have caused death and hatred."

Have you never heard of the Spanish Inquisition? The Reformation? How Charlemagne successfully spread Christianity by conquering other peoples and giving them the option of either converting to Christianity or being killed?

Christianity only got to it's current place in the world after a long history of blood, violence and coercion. No matter what you think your religion stands for, or what it may have tried to stand for (even though the Old Testament does repeatedly advocate God-sanctioned slaughter of non-believing peoples) you simply can't ignore it's history.

space said...

Anon,

You obviously skipped the rest of Jason's comment: "...This isn't a reflection on the validity and truth of the Bible, this is reflection of man's greed by tampering and perverting God's word to further their own personal and religious agendas...These are the man-made beliefs that cause so much of the problems within and without Christianity, but these beliefs aren't found in Scripture."

Unfortunately, there's often a stark difference between Christianity and the Bible. The Spanish Inquisition is an example. These people weren't following the Bible, they were consumed with the desire of power. The history of Christianity is filled with people doing their own thing and deciding for the mases what is best. This isn't a Bible-based religion. This is man-based. Which again goes back to Jason's original point.

Metallimeister said...

Jesus sucks ass

jason said...

Yah, SO THERE!!! lol

jake3988 said...

Anonymous said...
Jason, dont talk rubbish!



Um. That'll never happen. Jason has never and probably will never make a coherent point nor make sense.

Just try to ignore him. His views are representative of his own delusional world which is even stranger and weirder than the delusional world most christians live in. But at least most christians are sensible and speak coherently when they debate. Jason does not.

jake3988 said...

Yeah. Ever heard of the Inquisiton? Northern Ireland? The crusades? The reformation? Khashmir? September 11th? Israel?

All these bloody monstrosities are all attributed to religion.

The Old Testament clearly show God leading genocides of about 40 different kings and being proud of it. David does it and commits wicked sins (Like blatant adultery and murder)... and becomes God's best buddy!!!


And really, if we are to follow EVERY guideline for being able to get into heaven: (Praying solely to God, not being homosexual, becoming like a little child, being baptized, being born again, not being rich, ETC ETC ETC)... almost no one qualifies.

It really shows what guy this 'God' is. He's not very nice.





Lastly. He's jealous and proud of it. He even uses those exact words numerous times. Not something to be proud of, there's a reason its a deadly sin. And yeah, Pride is too!

He really likes the smell of dead animal carcasses too. (Poor animals! No PETA member in their right mind would ever be a Christian or Jew.)


Figures that in The Case for Faith, which has to be the worst book ever written, one entire chapter is dedicated to 'debunking' the myth that the old testament is cruel and violent because supposedly God doesn't approve of it. In fact, he encourages nearly all of it. What he doesn't encourage... he leads himself. I got to that part, I laughed hysterically, closed the book, and didn't read another page.

I do not approve of a jealous, pride-filled, cruel, crazy, violent deity. I will not follow in his ways. I will never believe in any major religion.

Will I believe in a God? Maybe. Probably not. Certainly not an organized religion. The corruption that comes with it is enough within the church by itself to turn me away.

Jason said...

You have a wonderful way with words, Jake. Your rants are predictable and factless but hey, to each their own, right? :)

fletch said...

Plato, Anselm and Descartes argue that empiricist reasoning is not the best route to knowledge. Modern philosophers, too, such as H.P. Owen criticise the belief that we can know God through our senses: “Our direct knowledge of God takes the form of an intellectual intuition which is analogous to our intuition of other human persons in so far as, firstly it is mediated by signs, and secondly it terminates in a spiritual reality”. In essence, although we can count people, we do not know how to count God as one. Some religious philosophers, such as Brian Davies, have raised the question ‘If God is timeless and spaceless, how are we able to experience God?’ in an acute form: what is meant by ‘experience of God’? Where do we look? How would we recognize omniscience when we encounter it? It is also interesting to note, as Hume did, that different religions experience God in different ways: the Christian experiences of God and Christ are different from the Hindu experiences of Gods. This is seen as contradictory. Furthermore, how can varied experiences get us to the classical concept of God? Can varied experiences lead to one reality? Finally, if there is a common transcendental core to mystical and religious experiences, it will not have much to do with the claims of any one religion. This has given rise to the view that prior beliefs shape experiences (Stace).

Here are some ideas for you guys to throw around!

Ryan said...

For all you guys that have "experienced Christ", guess what? :)

That wasn't Jesus, it was my grandfather. He was actually the only prophet sent by god into this world to save our souls. He has long hair and flowing beard and he liked to wear robes. However, the Communists found out about him and tried to assassinated him by hammering a stake into his heart. Shortly thereafter he transformed into a bat and flew away.

Sounds silly doesn't it?
But like fletch said, how do you know it's not true? :)

If, when you die, you walk into a long, dark tunnel, and eventually see a light at one end, step out, and see someone with long hair, flowing beard, dressed in robes, how would you know if he's Jesus or the Devil? How would you know if he's not my grandfather? How would you know if he's not the Mexican immigrant who died in a car crash on Valley Boulevard? If I ever see someone appear to me after I die, the first thing I'm going to do is ask for an ID.

Reforming Baptist said...

Mr. Dawkins is a natural man who is angry with God whom he is at enmity with. God is gracious for not having already snuffed out his worthless life and sent him to hell for his blasphemy. The same goes for the author of this blog.

The fact that God has put up with the sespool of human filth for the thousands of years it has been in existance is the mercy and grace of God. The fact that He has made a way to redeem them through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ is amazing grace...not capricious malevolent bullying.

Gary DeVaney said...

From: "The God Murders"

God had said in Malachi 1:3 and Romans 9:13: I loved Jacob and I hated Esau.


Genesis 38:9-10 Onan, when he had sex with his brother’s widow, would waste his seed on the ground. What he did offended God. God murdered him.


Exodus 31:15 Anyone who dares work on the Sabbath day shall be murdered.


Leviticus 10:1-2 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu offered incense to God, by unauthorized fire. God murdered them both, by fire.


Leviticus 15:31 Anyone unclean defiling Gods dwelling, God will murder.

Leviticus 21:9 God commanded: A priest's daughter who fornicates - burn her to death.

Leviticus 21:17-21 God commanded: Any one with a handicap shall not profane God’s sanctuary.


Leviticus 22:9 God commands: Obey my rules or I will murder you.


Numbers 1:51 God commanded: Any "stranger" (KJV) "layman" (Catholic Version) who comes near God’s dwellings will be put to death. (Also found in Numbers 3:10.)


Numbers 4:17-20 claims whom God would murder if they look at the sacred objects.


Numbers 5:1-3 God moves all the sick, suffering people away from the camp, as God can't stand to dwell near them.


Numbers 11:1 The people complained, so God murdered many of them.


Numbers 11:18-20 God made them eat meat until it came out of their noses. (They died.)


Numbers 15:32-36 They found a man gathering sticks on The Sabbath Day. God commanded Moses to murder the man.


Numbers 18:7&22 God ordered: Any layman coming near the alter will deserve death / murder.


Numbers 22:33-35 God said: Had your ass not turned away, I would have murdered you; but I would have spared your ass.


Deuteronomy 4:25-26 God commanded: If you make a statue or image, making God angry, you will then be utterly destroyed.

Schlaht said...

personally, i think the people who lived thousands of years ago believed in deities because they had no way to explain certain natural phenomena.

Salem burned people that they thought were witches, because (not only unlawful accusations) but for things like making medicine.

if people don't understand something, they try to kill it. and having a man in the sky is the way we've gone for this problem for thousands of years.

imagine how far we would be in the future if the vatican never hindered scientific study.

Glade Ross said...

Are you serious?

Grown men discussing a primitive myth that involves a "talking snake" . . . and believing it describes a true event!

Please! Didn't you guys get past kindergarten in your mentalities?

Evidently not.

Let me tell you something. You do not deserve to participate in even the pretense of a rational discussion. For you, it's nothing but a charade, and you mock the very enterprise by abusing its stolid premises, giving lip service with one word, then defying with each string that follows.

A talking snake? Yes, you are disqualified.

A discussion between rational folk and you never (and can never) move in a forward direction because you are subject to no rational rules. You toy, only, with that instrument, and are not ruled by it. Unreason is your commander, guide and chief.

Turning now to you who are fellow rationalists, I salute your good will and intent. But I also suggest, as soon as your counterpart in a discussion reveals his utter unwillingness to be ruled by reason (and therefore his ultimate disdain for it), there is no basis for further discussion. With that as the foundation, continued discussion is bound to be an exercise in futility.

BTW, you should also reflect on what really should be considered the first moral rule. To me, it is that we should bind ourselves -- in all our thinking and beliefs -- to reason. It's an implicit moral rule in life because, when we don't so bind ourselves (when we indulge, in other words, in the "sin" of faith), we are at risk of doing things to others such as, well, flying airliners into buildings (as just one out of millions of potential examples).

Given this implicit moral rule, please reflect on the fact that rationalists are indeed the moral ones. The anti-rationalists -- while dressing themselves within their own pretense of moral superiority -- are in fact scathingly (and proudly) immoral.

When you think about it, it quickly becomes apparent this framework is a rather shocking one. Faith-mongerers have pulled-off a (may I say near "miraculous") legerdemain in marketing so gross an enterprise to the point of not mere public acceptance, but even widespread praise.

Sadly, our esteemed Enlightenment still has a very long way to go. Too many minds continue with premises and exercises that belong in the Dark Ages, and worse.

A-Away said...

Dear Richard,

You would make a fantastic St Paul - version II, after you have had your own personal encounter with Divine Grace on your own road to Damascus. We prayerfully look forward to that! :)

With love and warm regards,

Amalan

jb3860 said...

The god dawkins describes here is exactly what he he describes that god to be ...a FICTION. No nercessary connection to the real God that many people know personally.

Burnt Toast said...

Reforming Baptist, you may have forgotten that god created this sespool of human life. "snuffed out his worthless life" yea, that is a typical comment from a christian who doesn't view anyone other than christians as relevant in life. Kill the bastards, right? Who cares about those worthless piece of shit non-believers anyways, right? Maybe you need to go sit on the throne because apparently you know everything you worthless piece of shit. Yea, I'm going believe in jesus listening to a loving person like you. What an example you are. I got some good advice for you; SHUT UP. Yea, yea I'm going to hell, blah blah blah.. Spent 17 years as a christian troll and can only laugh at you, or feel sorry for you. I love how christianity brings out the best in people, I love it!

Mike said...

Wow if there is a God you Atheists have nothing to worry about because Reforming Baptist and the crew seem to know less about the Bible than they do. Christians, you are entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts!

Mike said...

Christians are entitles to their own opinions but they are not entitled to make up their own facts. They seem to be oblivious to the lie that is this!

Quentin Shock said...

I saw a bumper stocker that said "god is pro life" ...... tell that to the victims of the flood, tell that to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, tell that to the first born of egypt , the list can go on and on. Even if all that I just said didn't really happen name one thing that God did that was helpful, that can be proven, that had no help from man..... NOTHING. The fact that so many people are ignorant enough to thank god for every small thing is just beyond me. Yes thank god for the free food the nice man just gave you. It is apauling to me. People are entitled to their opinions but that doesn't mean you should say they should die. Because when they die and prove all Christians wrong then who will be the winner. The same can go for atheists who want Christians to just rot. Either way you look at it religion and belief in an all powerful entity is bull

And by the way to anyone who says we should not trust Mr Dawkins because he is a man and that we should trust Jesus , wasn't Jesus a man himself. Didn't he bleed when he was nailed to the cross? Sure he could do some unimaginable things , but so can any magician like Penn & Teller, David Blaine, or Chris Angel.