Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Review of the Holy Bible

This review is from: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (with Cross-References) (Kindle Edition)
I would like to be charitable and generous in my evaluation---even Christian, if you know what I mean---but I can't give this book anything more than ONE STAR because there are just too many unanswered questions in it. As examples:

1. Leviticus 25.44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided that they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21.7. In this bad economy, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. The Bible teaches that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her menstrual period, but how can I tell? Whenever I ask women I meet if they are menstruating, they take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor to the Lord [Lev. 1.9]. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35.2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination [Lev. 11.10], it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. Are there different degrees of abomination?

7. Leviticus 21.20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Leviticus 19.27. How should they die?

9. I know from Leviticus 11.6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes people unclean. Does this mean that Tim Tebow must stop throwing footballs, or that football should be abolished?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Leviticus 19.19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread [cotton and polyester blend]. He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary to get the whole community together to stone them [Lev. 24.10-16]? Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family ceremony, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws [Lev. 20.14]?

If the author of this book can clear up these issues, I'll consider buying the next edition.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What Atheist Blog About

A comment from Rick:
Atheists write Blogs and argue that the Bible is Cruel and Unfair, Yet These same atheists never blog about things people do now a days that are cruel and unfair, only things in the Bible that took place 1000's of years ago.
Atheist do say that the bible is cruel and unfair, that the god of the bible is a mean, egotistical, misogynistic tyrant. You say that atheist don't blog about the terrible stuff that goes on today and speak only of things that happened thousands of years ago. That may or may not be the case, since I don't read all the atheist blogs. However, I must address this statement of yours because you have failed to recognize the topics we are talking about. Most of my topics have to do with the implausibility of a belief in god. Although I do think that looking at crimes and cruelty of today is very much an argument AGAINST any god, that has not been my primary focus.

When an argument is presented against the god of the bible you and others, come back with quotes from the bible as "evidence" for your belief. That is the reason I speak about the bible and not about current events. It is amazing to me that so many believers have not really read the bible; they know a few verses that agree with what they believe but fail to mention the horrible stuff that is written there.

I remember a conversation in which you defended the flood story. If I remember correctly, you stated that god warned the people and that they did not believe him so he was justified in wiping out the population. Not that I believe this story, but even if it were absolutely true, it still makes your god cruel and tyrannical.

Suppose I told my neighbor that I was planning to build a pool in my back yard and that if he did not believe me and help to complete it, in 20 years I was going to burn down his house. Suppose I reminded him every day and that he saw my children and siblings working on the pool, getting it ready for the great summer. And suppose further that I prayed that god would help my neighbor to see his error. But in all the warning and all my attempts to convince my neighbor, he still refuses. I burn his house down. Am I not cruel? 

Whether or not god warns people of what he will do if they do not comply with his wishes, the acts are still cruel.  A warning does not nullify the cruelty.

So now, when an atheist addresses the cruelty of the biblical past it is only relevant as to the claim that god is a good and loving god.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Argument from Ignorance

I have heard this term quite often lately and I thought I understood it but decided to do a little research just to solidify in my own mind that I am correct. Although it may sound like an insult, saying that something is an argument from ignorance it is not calling someone ignorant. It is saying that because you cannot prove something (you are ignorant of the facts) that the claim is being argued out of ignorance, not being able to prove it.


Arguments of this form assume that since something has not been proven false, it is therefore true. Conversely, such an argument may assume that since something has not been proven true, it is therefore false. (This is a special case of a false dilemma[i], since it assumes that all propositions must either be known to be true or known to be false.) "Lack of proof is not proof."

For example, since you cannot prove that ghosts do not exist, they must exist. We can substitute almost anything for ghosts and have the same effect. Or another example, since scientist cannot prove that global warming is happening, it probably isn’t. Since I cannot prove that gods do not exist, they must exist.  I hear that one a lot.

This is what happens so often in debates and discussions about the existence of God. The person arguing that god does exist will attempt to shift the burden of proof to the non believer. I cannot prove that god does NOT exist so therefore he must exist.
In a court of law this kind of assertion would be laughable.  Circumstantial evidence is well known in the courtroom as being very weak evidence, if evidence at all. Yet in daily life it is used with impunity. Scientists largely assume something does not exist until it is proven to exist, which is the base position in any premise. i.e. innocent until proven guilty. So, where the burden of proof lie? In a court of law it is with the prosecutor.  

Therefore, until a believer can provide proof of the existence of god I will remain an atheist. I have no burden of proof and one cannot prove  that something does NOT exist.

For the top ten arguments for the existence of god see http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Top_ten_arguments_for_the_existence_of_God


[i] A limited number of options (usually two) is given, while in reality there are more options. A false dilemma is an illegitimate use of the "or" operator.
Putting issues or opinions into "black or white" terms is a common instance of this fallacy. i.e. You are either for me or against me.