Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Questions And Comments From An atheist

Reynold said, "Define "holy" please."

Sure. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary says the following about the word "holy":
1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
2: divine--for the Lord our God is holy--Pslams 99:9

The bible says:

Reynold said, "Never mind the many scientific mistakes in the bible...for example the mustard seed is said to be the "least" of all seeds, and the don't grow into "trees" as the bible says."

Let me quote the verse for us, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field; 32 and this is smaller than all other seeds; but when it is full grown, it is larger than the garden plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches,” (
Matt. 13:31; see also Mark 4:30; Luke 13:19).

No. The mustard seed is not the smallest of all seeds. But we have to look at the way in which Jesus was speaking here. He was speaking proverbially. He wasn't making a statement of absolute fact but using a proverbial style of communication.

Matt Slick from Carm.org sheds light on this apparent contradiction, "There are different kinds of mustard trees in Israel and the mustard seed was the smallest of all the seeds known there and used by those in Israel. Also, notice that Jesus says that when it is full grown it is larger than the garden plants and becomes a tree so that the birds nest in it. There were many gardens in Israel with many types of plants, many of which were larger than the mustard plant. The olive tree for example, can grow to 20 feet or more. The mustard tree known as Salvadora persica has extremely small seeds and grows into a small bush. Brassica nigra is a mustard plant that grows to about 8 to 10 feet when mature and is probably the one Jesus was using for his illustration. Jesus would have known that it wasn't the largest of garden plants because of the prevalence of larger plants. Therefore, he was not making a botanical statement of fact. Instead, he was drawing attention to the comparison of the "smallest" to the "largest" and using it to illustrate how the Kingdom of heaven will expand in the world from a very small beginning to a huge presence."

Also, don't forget that Jesus used the mustard seed elsewhere in the same proverbial sense.

Jesus said, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you," (
Matt. 17:20; see also Luke 17:5).

Here we can see that Jesus used the mustard seed as an illustration to make a point. He was not speaking in a scientifically accurate sense.

Reynold said, "Humanity has been around far longer than the bible claims, and in order for that to have happened, we'd have had to develop various moral codes to help us get along back then. We developed our moral code from many places; the Sumerians for one, Greeks, etc."

How do you know that humanity "has been around far longer than the bible claims"? The burden of proof is on you to back up this huge claim. Do you have the genealogies to the very first man on the planet? Answer: No. But the bible does. The Genesis account tells us how life began. And in the process of developing "moral codes" where did they get their moral codes from? How did they know what was moral and what wasn't moral? The bible has the answer for this question as well. And the infinite reference point for my worldview, is God and His Word. Your infinite reference point, is man.

Reynold said, "How does one account for what is and is not just? Empathy, consequences, and whatever rules helps the people in society get along while treating each other fairly. As circumstances change, the rules and ethics change, but at least secularists don't rely on
some book that proscribes child murder by some god as "just"."

Was it okay then for Hitler to kill millions of Jews? He was certainly okay with it. So does that make it just? How are you able to even make a statement that "child murder" is wrong? If in ten years society comes to an understanding that it's okay, than according to your logic...it would be okay.

Again, there is plenty of evidence to back the truth of God's existence. Your fighting against the creator of the universe and He will win. Look around, Reynold, the creation clearly reveals that there is a Creator. But you have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:21-22) and according to the bible, your heart has been darkened. You love your sin. If you have looked upon a woman to lust after her you have already committed adultery with her in your heart. (
Matthew 5:28) You have violated the first commandment and have made a god in your own image to suite yourself. Your heart could stop tonight. And you'd have to face a holy God. It's appointed once for man to die and then the judgment (Heb 9:27). You would stand guilty before a holy God. Please repent and turn from your darkened thinking today and Christ will translate you from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light (1 Peter 2:9).

And Reynold (Get Educated too), if you would like to receive a copy of
The Atheist Bible I will ship you a copy free of charge, if you agree to read it. Oh and by the way, Dan Barker emailed the ministry today and said that he was tempted to read Ray's new book. Dan's words, "in the interest of fairness and openness". So what about you two? Are you open minded enough to read his book. Perhaps you want to add your names to the drawing and maybe you'll win a copy.

16 comments:

Reynold said...

1: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness
It's over right there. Read the OT. "Perfect in goodness and righteousness" when one is killing babies and pregnant women?

Would anyone doing such a thing for any reason be considered "good" today?

Of course not. As I've said before, morals and ethics change over time.

No problem except you people claim that your god is both perfectly moral and unchanging.


As for the mustard seed:
No. The mustard seed is not the smallest of all seeds. But we have to look at the way in which Jesus was speaking here. He was speaking proverbially. He wasn't making a statement of absolute fact but using a proverbial style of communication.
So he was speaking "proverbially", so what? He could have still said that it is "one of the smallest" seeds and still gotten the point across, and it'd be evidence that he knew more about nature then the local people did.

Matt Slick "explanation" doesn't help. I've read this excuse before.

So when he said that the mustard seed is "smaller than all other seeds" we're NOT to take him at his word then? What about any of his other statements? How can you then tell which statement of Jesus' is true, and which isn't?

A mistake is a mistake. I'm amazed at the dodging apologists do when confronted with mistakes in the bible, or Koran, etc.

By the way, the mustard seed also doesn't become a "tree" either.


As for the "Atheist's Bible", I think I've already read most of what's in it, courtesy of Ray Comfort.

There is nothing new in it. (link is also from Comfort's site)

Reynold said...

How do you know that humanity "has been around far longer than the bible claims"? The burden of proof is on you to back up this huge claim. Do you have the genealogies to the very first man on the planet? Answer: No. But the bible does.
Unproven assumption on your part. You want evidence that humanity has been around longer than the bible says? Go to the Talk Origins Archive, go to their Fossil Hominids The Evidence for Human Evolution section and do some reading there.

Even cave paintings have been dated far older than the bible allows.

Besides that, there is still the fact that the Greeks and other peoples have come up with moral codes without influence from your religion.

One would think that the fact that different cultures' different morals and rules of conduct would be evidence that there is no over-riding rules "written on our hearts"...

Reynold said...

You remember your friend, Ray Comfort, the guy whose "Atheist Bible" you offered to me to read?

He just got caught lying again by his posters.

Why is it that? Every time one of you idiots gets caught lying specifically to spread the "Truth" it completely refutes any notion of your serving some "god" out there who values truth.

I'm so bloody sick of this. Find some other sucker to brainwash.

get_education said...

Hi Trish,

Thanks for the offer, but I know Ray's arguments quite well. he misrepresents all that he dislikes. Or maybe he dislikes it because he does not understand it, and thus misrepresents it. Anyway, no snake oil for me. But truly thanks. I know you mean well.

How do you know that humanity "has been around far longer than the bible claims"? The burden of proof is on you to back up this huge claim.

Not really a burden of proof. It is you who should have proof that all the archeological evidence is wrong. Just open a book on archaeology and you will see. Not a huge claim at all. Simple basic science.

Do you have the genealogies to the very first man on the planet? Answer: No. But the bible does.

Do you mean that some story written by bronze age nomads has more weight than all the science in the world? Do you mean that a book with no pointing to any evidence has more weight than all the experimental work performed by loads of archaeologists? That is a huge claim right there. We do not need invented genealogies, we need evidence. There is plenty of evidence. All you need to do is stop ignoring it.

The Genesis account tells us how life began.

Just like Kipling's "Just So Stories," which are nice exercises of imagination, but nothing close to the truth.

And in the process of developing "moral codes" where did they get their moral codes from? How did they know what was moral and what wasn't moral? The bible has the answer for this question as well.

Another story.

And the infinite reference point for my worldview, is God and His Word. Your infinite reference point, is man.

But truly existing humans (not just man, there is plenty of Women doing great scientific work). Your reference point is far from infinite. What is so good about it if it is indemonstrable? I can also make up nice stories about huge supernatural beings giving me all "the answers" (consisting in just "the supernatural being did it", which might be satisfactory to you, but not to me). Does that mean that my imaginary being truly explains anything? Well, exactly the same when you say god Did It (TM).

-----
For the other paragraph you wrote:

Was it okay then for Hitler to kill millions of Jews? He was certainly okay with it. So does that make it just?

Nope, it wasn't okay. Do you notice that you are ignoring Reynold's point? He started by saying that the God you talk about is not unchanging, nor a good example of morality, and he finishes by saying:

Empathy, consequences, and whatever rules helps the people in society get along while treating each other fairly.

So, do you see the point now? Empathy, consequences, and whatever rules helps people in society get along. How would killing Jews help people get along while treating each other fairly?

How are you able to even make a statement that "child murder" is wrong?

Again, empathy, consequences ...

If in ten years society comes to an understanding that it's okay, than according to your logic...it would be okay.

How could society come to such a conclusion? What part of empathy, consequences, and et cetera you want to have further explained?

However, many things you might find wrong will be considered fine some years from now, such as homosexual marriage. Of course, after some years with this, most Christians will claim that they were for homosexual rights all along. Just wait and see. You are so young that you are mostly sure to witness this change.

G.E.

Fish with Trish said...

Reynold, I'm sad to see that you have stupped so low to use that sort of language.

Get Educated said, Thanks for the offer, but I know Ray's arguments quite well. he misrepresents all that he dislikes. Or maybe he dislikes it because he does not understand it, and thus misrepresents it. Anyway, no snake oil for me. But truly thanks. I know you mean well."

I really do mean well. Are you familiar with the bible? Have you read it? Even though I know you understand Ray's arguements with that aside, would you allow me to send you a copy of The Atheist Bible"?

Get Educated said, "Not really a burden of proof. It is you who should have proof that all the archeological evidence is wrong."

Do you mind defining what you mean by "all the archeological evidence is wrong."? This is a huge claim.

Get Educated said, "Do you mean that a book with no pointing to any evidence has more weight than all the experimental work performed by loads of archaeologists?"

Wow. This is another huge claim. "Any evdence"...

Listen to just a few scientific facts in the bible:

1. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of invisible atoms. Here, Scripture tells us that the "things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."

2. Medical science has only recently discovered that blood-clotting in a newborn reaches its peak on the eighth day, then drops. The Bible consistently says that a baby must be circumcised on the eighth day.

3. At a time when it was believed that the earth sat on a large animal or a giant (1500 B.C.), the Bible spoke of the earth’s free float in space: "He...hangs the earth upon nothing" (Job 26:7).

4. The prophet Isaiah also tells us that the earth is round: "It is he that sits upon the circle of the earth" (Isaiah 40:22). This is not a reference to a flat disk, as some skeptic maintain, but to a sphere. Secular man discovered this 2,400 years later. At a time when science believed that the earth was flat, is was the Scriptures that inspired Christopher Columbus to sail around the world (see Proverbs 3:6 footnote).

5. God told Job in 1500 B.C.: "Can you send lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, Here we are?" (Job 38:35). The Bible here is making what appears to be a scientifically ludicrous statement—that light can be sent, and then manifest itself in speech. But did you know that radio waves travel at the speed of light? This is why you can have instantaneous wireless communication with someone on the other side of the earth. Science didn’t discover this until 1864 when "British scientist James Clerk Maxwell suggested that electricity and light waves were two forms of the same thing" (Modern Century Illustrated Encyclopedia).

6. Job 38:19 asks, "Where is the way where light dwells?" Modern man has only recently discovered that light (electromagnetic radiation) has a "way," traveling at 186,000 miles per second.

7. Science has discovered that stars emit radio waves, which are received on earth as a high pitch. God mentioned this in Job 38:7: "When the morning stars sang together..."

8. "Most cosmologists (scientists who study the structures and evolution of the universe) agree that the Genesis account of creation, in imagining an initial void, may be uncannily close to the truth" (Time, Dec. 1976).

9. Solomon described a "cycle" of air currents two thousand years before scientists "discovered" them. "The wind goes toward the south, and turns about unto the north; it whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to his circuits" (Ecclesiastes 1:6).

10. Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion. Genesis 1:1,2 revealed such truths to the Hebrews in 1450 B.C.: "In the beginning [time] God created [power] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter] . . . And the Spirit of God moved [motion] upon the face of the waters." The first thing God tells man is that He controls of all aspects of the universe.

11. The great biological truth concerning the importance of blood in our body’s mechanism has been fully comprehended only in recent years. Up until 120 years ago, sick people were "bled," and many died because of the practice. If you lose your blood, you lose your life. Yet Leviticus 17:11, written 3,000 years ago, declared that blood is the source of life: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood."

12. All things were made by Him (see John 1:3), including dinosaurs. Why then did the dinosaur disappear? The answer may be in Job 40:15–24. In this passage, God speaks about a great creature called "behemoth." Some commentators think this was a hippopotamus. However, the hippo’s tail isn’t like a large tree, but a small twig. Following are the characteristics of this huge animal: It was the largest of all the creatures God made; was plant-eating (herbivorous); had its strength in its hips and a tail like a large tree. It had very strong bones, lived among the trees, drank massive amounts of water, and was not disturbed by a raging river. He appears impervious to attack because his nose could pierce through snares, but Scripture says, "He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him." In other words, God caused this, the largest of all the creatures He had made, to become extinct.

13. Encyclopedia Britannica documents that in 1845, a young doctor in Vienna named Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was horrified at the terrible death rate of women who gave birth in hospitals. As many as 30 percent died after giving birth. Semmelweis noted that doctors would examine the bodies of patients who died, then, without washing their hands, go straight to the next ward and examine expectant mothers. This was their normal practice, because the presence of microscopic diseases was unknown. Semmelweis insisted that doctors wash their hands before examinations, and the death rate immediately dropped to 2 percent. Look at the specific instructions God gave His people for when they encounter disease: "And when he that has an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself even days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean" (Leviticus 15:13). Until recent years, doctors washed their hands in a bowl of water, leaving invisible germs on their hands. However, the Bible says specifically to wash hands under "running water."

14. Luke 17:34–36 says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur while some are asleep at night and others are working at daytime activities in the field. This is a clear indication of a revolving earth, with day and night at the same time.

15. "During the devastating Black Death of the fourteenth century, patients who were sick or dead were kept in the same rooms as the rest of the family. People often wondered why the disease was affecting so many people at one time. They attributed these epidemics to ‘bad air’ or ‘evil spirits.’ However, careful attention to the medical commands of God as revealed in Leviticus would have saved untold millions of lives. Arturo Castiglione wrote about the overwhelming importance of this biblical medical law: ‘The laws against leprosyin Leviticus 13 may be regarded as the first model of sanitary legislation’ (A History of Medicine)." Grant R. Jeffery, The Signature of God With all these truths revealed in Scripture,how could a thinking person deny that the Bible is supernatural in origin? There is no other book in any of the world’s religions (Vedas, Bhagavad-Gita, Koran, Book of Mormon, etc.) that contains scientific truth. In fact, they contain statements that are clearly unscientific. Hank Hanegraaff said, "Faith in Christ is not some blind leap into a dark chasm, but a faith based on established evidence."

Reynold said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
get_education said...

Trish,

Again, I truly and sincerely know that you mean well. I have read the Bible innumerable times. Not just for criticism. Once as a Christian, often searching for insightful thoughts, often to see the context of some Christian claim, often out of simple cultural curiosity.

The Atheist Bible" is another of Ray's ... books. I know his claims, and I know how many times I have tried to clear things up for him to understand. I emphasize that his way too many mistakes do not mean there is no God. Yet, I do not want to re-read his line of dishonest rhetoric. I could believe him to be sincere in his intentions, and in his purpose. Yet, after so many times correcting him on what he thinks about atheists and what atheists really think, I cannot but conclude that, regardless of his intentions, he is dishonest. It gives me a headache to witness a supposed Christian misrepresenting something he does not understand with an authoritative style. Such things are devised to please the believer who will not see the dishonesty. Do not waste that money in me.

While I can answer all of your scientific claims from the Bible (I have done so before), most of which are equivalents to reading a horoscope (reading there what you want it to mean, rather than what it was meant to mean), I have no patience now. Note though that I said "most", some things are true, but not remarkable, since nomads could have come to those conclusions with no help from any Gods. Just one little thing:

None of them is evidence that humans have been around for fewer years than the archaeological evidence tells. You were supposed to show me this evidence for those years, not those "scientific facts from the Bible."

The evidence I am asking you to prove wrong, is the archaeological evidence that shows that humans have been around much longer than you would account using the Bible and the inconsistent "genealogies."

G.E.

PS: My apologies that the word "God" was not uppercased in one instance in my previous post. It was unintentional. Thanks for understanding my lack of intent to offend.

get_education said...

Trish,

Faith in Christ is not some blind leap into a dark chasm, but a faith based on established evidence

You do know that the old Testament is shared among all the Abraham religions such as Judaism and Islam, right? because those passages you recite come from that part of the Bible.

(Setting aside the many unscientific claims in the Bible, and what I told you before, that most of your claims are horoscope readings, and those that are not horoscope readings are not that surprising.)

G.E.

get_education said...

Trish,

Just to be clear. I do know you mean well when you offer those books by Ray. I am not being sarcastic.

Am I curious? Nope. If I truly wanted to get into understanding Christianity and perhaps changing my views about the existence of any God, Ray would be among the last authors I would go and read. Ray demonstrates that you can make a living out of lying about the perceived enemies of Christianity. Other than that, nothing of value.

G.E.

Fish with Trish said...

G.E. just to clarify, I'm not asking you to read Ray's writings. I'm asking if you would be open to reading the bible. If so, I'll send you one.

Fish with Trish said...

Reynold, sorry I deleted your comment to the link.

3. Any comments that include website links will not be published. (Since we are unable to fully explore every web site, the inclusion of a url may mean we choose not to publish your otherwise wonderful comment. If your web site is important to you, we suggest you include it in your personal profile).

get_education said...

Hi Trish,

Gracias, I do have one. I have read it.

G.E.

get_education said...

And this is what you wrote (probably an unconscious typo, and you meant the Bible, emphasis mine):

I really do mean well. Are you familiar with the bible? Have you read it? Even though I know you understand Ray's arguements with that aside, would you allow me to send you a copy of The Atheist Bible"?

G.E.

Fish with Trish said...

G.E, No typo here. There actually is a bible that just came out. It's called "The Atheist Bible". Did you hear about it yet??

Reynold said...

It wasn't a working link...clicking on it would have done nothing. One would have had to alter it in order to make it work.

Fine, let me describe the site to you then. It has the refutations to the claim of yours about the bible being scientfically prescient.

Institute for Biblical and Scientific Studies, go to their The Bible and Science:
Do the Bible and Science Agree?
section.

Hopefully you'll allow that.

get_education said...

Feliz Domingo Trish,

Ray wrote a book called "The Atheist Bible" too then.

In any event, I never heard of a Bible edited for atheists, there is an annotated Bible which I have seen.

Yet, thanks anyway. No more Bibles necessary. There are also a good sort of them at "the Bible Gateway" online. I have compared several version whenever I do not find something, or even some in a different language if I suspect a mistranslation.

Best,

G.E.