A warning to the sarcastically impaired… this post is meant in jest, but it raises a valid point that bears addressing by atheists of OUR time. Before it’s even a question from speed readers or skimmers, I am not de-converting.It has been horrid living under the Christian oppression for my entire life. I was only a Christian because my family raised me so, and only remained so because it was easy in a primarily Christian society.
But I have, at last, thrown off the shackles of Christian oppression and joined the Brights of society, in knowing the truth that there is no God.
I now post my anti-testimony so that others may find the strength to resist the mindvirus of Christianity. But let me start with a little history…
Christians in 4500 point to two incontrovertible “miracles” proving the existence of their god. The first is the so-called Resurrection, when their zombie lord allegedly rose from the dead.
The second allegedly happened five days after an anonymous writer of what they used to call a “blog” wrote this:
If one evening, every star in the sky began to move in unison, and converge to form an illuminated three dimensional Latin Cross that filled the entire void, leaving the rest of the sky utterly black, devoid of any stars or planets; with Jesus’ face superimposed upon it, speaking in all languages at once its expectations of us, and for good measure it simultaneously rained human blood across the planet; and this all lasted for 24 hrs so that every person on Earth could view the event for themselves … I’d buy it. I’d become the worlds greatest Christian. Or if it were equally strong evidence of some other god being, I’d be first in line to at least apologize to it for my denial and happily sacrifice to it, grovel at its hooves, or otherwise demonstrate my reverence.. (source)
Five days after that, it happened. Millions of eyewitnesses saw it, and thousands posted accounts online and newspapers carried stories and the media frenzy was born.
And so was Christian oppression. Because who could argue with an actual appearance of God?
But I echo the arguments of many critics of this so-called “event” of mid-2012. I now do not believe it happened. The facile replies of the Christian so-called apologists lack so much luster as to be incredible. Even fanciful.
So, here are my questions. . .
First, Why did God wait so long? Allegedly, your “savior” rose from the dead in the year 33. Yet, this fictitious event didn’t occur until 2012 — almost 2000 years later. It seems to me that if God truly cared about humanity, he would never let questions about his existence happen, since you go to hell if you don’t believe in him.
So he wouldn’t have waited. He would have made the first great miracle, the Resurrection, more obvious. The Resurrection, in fact, is all he should have needed to prove that Jesus was who he said he was. People would believe then.
The fact that your god needed a second miracle proves he is inept and not worthy of worship.
Second, Where’s the video of this event? Christian apologists claim that as a supernatural event, this couldn’t have been put on video. Therefore, all of the video from the time that shows a typical, non-rearranged night sky is what we’d expect to see.
Well, it seems to me that if God expected this miracle to convince everyone of his existence, that he’d leave more than just a few eyewitnesses. I know that it is claimed the “entire planet” saw this, but that isn’t good enough. The Resurrection was supposedly seen by over 500 people who were still alive at the time of writing, but I can’t question them now, either. Therefore, both miracles suffer from lack of adequate attestation. Which leads us to …
Why do you expect me to take this on eyewitness testimony alone? Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable. I can’t question any of these people today, and supposedly there’s no actual video of this event. The hundreds of blog posts that still exist are no proof, since the Church could have put those together and claimed they were authentic.
I bet they even destroyed the counter-testimony, the people of the era who said this event never happened. There was bound to be lots of those, as I understand atheist activism was popular on the Internet of 2012. Where are all of the atheists who would have decried this obvious Christian propaganda?
Destroyed by the Church, that’s where.
So that’s my case. That is why I now stand with the atheists. Go ahead, theists. Prove me wrong.
In other words, given the space of time, people will find old ways to disbelieve new miracles. All of these arguments are repackaged versions of anti-Resurrection arguments. Nice try, Atheist Camel. Believe because of the Resurrection, or move along. It is the only sign you’re getting.
Yesterday, I presented a theoretical post. I said that the Euthyphro dilemma could be solved, as William Lane Craig observes, by the ontology of God. God is the ultimate source of good, and therefore the dilemma creates a false dichotomy. God neither commands something because it’s good, nor is it good because he commands it. God is good, and therefore his commands are good since they flow from his nature.
However, I observed, this wouldn’t satisfy most skeptics because they don’t think a syllable of the Bible is either true or reliable. Most believe that the Bible has been completely disproved by every discipline of science:
- Paleontologists and geologists have shown that the earth is older than the Bible declares (my buddy Mike disagrees, as does this website)
- Archeologists have shown that most of the sites mentioned in the Bible don’t exist (check out some discoveries that attest to the veracity of the Bible)
- Historians have demonstrated serious contradictions between what the Bible claims and what is reported in other historical documents (begs the question; why couldn’t the Bible be right and the other documents wrong?)
- Biology shows us that the Bible reports nonsense about animals; hares don’t chew cud, bats aren’t birds, humans aren’t fundamentally different and therefore not special creations of any god (the last has to do with the rejection of the soul, so I won’t give a specific defense)
And on the list goes.
Now, all of those have logical answers. I’ve linked to what others have said (I haven’t actually addressed any of those claims in depth) if you, the skeptic, would actually care to read them.
But let’s get to a practical application of yesterday: the Resurrection. This is the central tenet of Christianity, but if the skeptic believes that the Bible is as riddled with error as many believe (above), then how are they ever going to swallow something as improbable and unbelievable as the Resurrection?
And make no mistake: It is both unbelievable and improbable! Read the rest of this entry
I’ve been engaging a Twitter “twit” who goes by @biblealsosays. In one of our conversations, he insisted that he knew the Bible better than any Christian, especially me.
After reading a recent tweet from him, I respond (with all due respect to Brian Van Hoose): “You are wrong, now let me tell you why!”
The tweet in question:
How could Billy Graham possibly know that? Likely, Billy read this:
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Cor 15:35-49)
That’s pretty clear. And it’s in the Bible that @biblealsosays insists he knows better than Christians like Billy Graham! The Bible unequivocally states that, in the Resurrection, we will receive new bodies–bodies that aren’t corrupted by sin like the ones we wear now.
So, kids, our lesson today is as follows: “Please read carefully that which you wish to criticize. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking really stupid.” Class dismissed.
It’s Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The disciples had no idea what was coming. The first reports came in: they didn’t believe it. But then more reports. Soon, they saw for themselves.
The importance of Easter cannot be overstated. Paul said it like this:
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Cor 15:12-19, emphasis added)
Fortunately, that is not the case!
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “Godhas put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor 15:20-28)
Guest Post by Tom Scanlon
So we understand each other, atheism itself didn’t cost me my marriage. That would be ridiculous. But the methodology I used to embrace atheism did cost me my marriage!
As a Christian, I believed in the Resurrection. But I realized that the Resurrection left no evidence, except for numerous stories from eyewitnesses. We all know that eyewitness testimony is extremely unreliable. I can’t rely on eyewitness testimony, even the staggering number of people that claimed to see Jesus after his death (Paul said it was north of 500), because you just can’t rely on eyewitnesses! It’s too subjective.
Realizing the subjectivity of eyewitness accounts, and realizing that there was nothing I could forensically touch or taste that would lead me to the truth, I have to side with the fact that never have I seen a body three-days dead get up and walk. It should take more than inherently unreliable eyewitness testimony for anyone to believe that.
Eyewitness testimony is bad!
So, to be consistent, I started applying that to my everyday life. When Laura, my wife, told me that it was raining outside, unless she was drenched when she walked in the door, I’d go check for myself. She’s an eyewitness, after all. She could be biased towards rain that day since the weatherman had predicted it, and thus be mistaken. She could have just wanted it to rain and believed she saw rain. Or, she could be lying to me to further an unseen agenda.
Either way, the only way to ascertain the truth would be to see it with my own eyes. If Laura announced dinner was ready, I wouldn’t believe her until I smelled the food or saw it on the table. If she told me a story about her past, I would try to empirically verify it, either from her old yearbooks or by looking at her scrapbooks. Not her journals (that’s still eyewitness testimony); only pictures would do!
I started doing that at work, too. I never believed what I was told, only what I could see with my own eyes. There were lots of whispers, and no one wanted to work with me. But I continued to verify every story someone told me, regardless of how mundane. If I couldn’t forensically verify it, I didn’t believe it.
When Laura, or someone acting on her behalf, told me that she was staying late at work or visiting my in-laws, I never believed that outright. If Laura were having an affair, that is exactly the sort of thing they’d tell me to keep it a secret. So I always drove by her office or my in-laws on the way home to see if her car was there.
Laura started to get this crazy idea that I didn’t trust her. “Honey,” I’d reassure her, “it’s not you. I trust you. I just don’t trust any eyewitness testimony. Period. Unless I can get forensic evidence to back it up, then I just won’t accept it on someone’s word!”
I thought she’d understand, but she filed for divorce only six months after I started this. She also filed for an order of protection. Since I was constantly driving by her alleged whereabouts, she got this crazy idea that I was stalking her.
What ticked me off most is that she had no forensic evidence to back up her claim: no tire tracks, no paint chips from my car, nor any surveillance tapes showing my car checking up on her. Nothing like that. Just three eyewitnesses. The judge accepted the eyewitness testimony and granted the order! Can you believe that? How insulting. Not to mention a bit ironic.
How many of us have said, “I’ve been meaning to do [something], but [this] got in the way.” I’ve been guilty of that many times, especially around the house. I keep “meaning to,” but something else happens.
Wives are pretty forgiving here–or at least mine is. Provided that [this] is reasonable, and not, “I just had to beat my high score at Yahtzee, and after 10 hours of rolling those dice, I finally did it!”
Supervisors at work are much less forgiving, even if [this] is extremely reasonable. “I meant to get that paperwork faxed over, but four people called off for lunch rush and of the people that showed up, no one knew how to run the drive-thru register except for me!” Those who have worked in fast food know that what I just said is a very legitimate reason for missing office work, but they also know that no district manager would actually accept that excuse.
In the world of blogging, “I’ve been meaning to write a post on [something], but [this] got in the way” has far less severe consequences than it does in the corporate world. Usually, another blogger ends up writing the post, generally making the exact points that you would have raised. Then comes the inevitable internal groan, “Why didn’t I just write the post sooner?”
Today, as I read over the usual blogs, I discover that the post I’ve been meaning to write on the so-stupid-it-burns talking point that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” has already been written by Dr. Randal Rauser. Although I’ve disagreed with Dr. Rauser in the past, in this particular post he is 110% spot on. This paragraph sums up my own points to people about this claim:
The problem starts with this: who decides what is “extraordinary”? Without an absolute, objective standard this principle collapses into “Anything that appears really implausible to me requires extraordinary evidence” and that in turn collapses into “No evidence will be good enough to convince me of something I find really implausible”. In other words, this is a recipe for an irrational dismissal of any evidence counter to what one already accepts.
Literally, all the “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” talking point ever does is allow the atheist to dismiss with a simple hand wave anything that he doesn’t want to believe–the existence of God, the Resurrection, any miracle in the Bible, or whatever else they don’t want in their worldview. All they need to do is class whatever their opponent says as “extraordinary,” and whatever evidence or argument offered in support as “not extraordinary.” BAM! Case dismissed faster than a pothead’s lawsuit on Judge Judy.
All that is required to believe any claim, extraordinary or not, is sufficient evidence. Period.