Yahweh is Evil - Human Sacrifice Edition

Introduction

Welcome atheists, infidels and believers to a very special holiday installment of Yahweh is Evil. With Easter just around the corner (or not if you are reading this at a later date) I figured we'd take a look at the God of the Bible's fascination with human sacrifice and his reliance on the ritual slaughter in the first place.

Most Christians are more than familiar with the Jesus story, as it is the very foundation of their religion, but few Christians know that Jesus was not the only instance of human sacrifice practiced in the Bible. In fact I'd wager that most believers think that Yahweh is against human sacrifices because of the strict rules about the Israelites slaughtering animals, not people, to atone for their sins in the Old Testament. In this hub I hope to discuss the truth about human sacrifice in the Bible and question, once again, how anyone can possibly defend such an evil and obviously fictitious deity in this day and age.

Jephthah's Sacrifice

Few Christians will have heard this story from the pages of the Bible but I assure you it's in there if you look. In the latter half of Judges eleventh chapter we are presented with a cautionary tale of sorts. A brave warrior named Jephthah is about to go off to war against the Ammonites who have been rude enough to demand back the land that the Israelites took on their way out of Egypt. After cutting their violent and bloody swath of conquest across that part of the world and displacing numerous civilizations the Israelites finally reached the “promised land” and people have been and still are trying to take that land back.

The Bible states that the Spirit of the Lord comes upon Jephthah and before departing for battle he vows to God that he will sacrifice whatever comes out of his house to greet him upon his return. The options for what this could be seem slim, perhaps a goat, a sheep, a house cat were more what he had in mind.

I should also point out the cruel reality of the Biblical God's decision for humans to honor him and atone for their misdeeds by senselessly murdering an animal and then sprinkling its blood and organs around in a ritualistic manner. So even if it was an animal coming out of his house to greet him that's still pretty screwed up and it makes no real sense for a God who can forge an entire vast Universe of galaxies and stars to require such a thing (sounds like some made up human bullshit to me).

I imagine that when most Christians think of Satanism, in its pure and non-ironic form of actually worshiping Satan, they imagine blood animal sacrifice and perhaps even human sacrifice. Ironically this is exactly the sort of bloodlust we see from the Biblical God which is, even in the New Testament were Satan is fully put in his place as God's main antagonist, never outdone by Satan.

So back to Jephthah. God, of course, grants him victory on the battlefield. He returns home and what is it that comes out of his door?

unlike Jephthah's daughter the witches, believers of other faiths and non-believers burned at the stake by Christians languished in agony for long periods of time
unlike Jephthah's daughter the witches, believers of other faiths and non-believers burned at the stake by Christians languished in agony for long periods of time

It's his only daughter. Rather than simply change his mind about the whole thing and rather than simply substitute an animal for his daughter and assume that God won't mind Jephthah goes through with the sacrifice. Did I mention that it's a burnt offering? If you read Leviticus it gives a pretty graphic depiction of how such burnt offerings were to be done for animals, starting with killing it, skinning the offering and then chopping it into pieces.

The most telling part of this story is that God never intervenes or says a word on the matter. The Bible never condemns the act in the slightest and even the daughter who is about to be sacrificed is accepting of her horrific fate asking only that she be allowed to “weep for her virginity” first.

The story concludes by saying that Jephthah did what he said he was going to do and that his daughter “never knew a man” which tells you about the value system of the Biblical authors. This poor girl had to be killed because her Father cared more about a promise he'd made to an invisible God than he did about her life and in the end they tell us the only thing they truly value about a woman, her sexual value. Despicable in the extreme.

Passages and stories like this demonstrate that the Bible is a collection of stories written by primitive and often foul-minded men. Any decent human being who believes it is the word of God and then reads the entire thing should come away with grave doubts that it is anything of the sort.


Jesus, Isaac and Sacrifice

Most Christians know only vaguely of why Jesus had to be slaughtered for their sins, whipped repeatedly and nailed to a piece of wood. Jesus is a vicarious savior, he is a scapegoat into which all of the sins of the world are poured in order to cleanse everyone. The very idea should be deplorable to any rightly moral person. The idea that rather than take any responsibility for your own misdeeds you can simply pass them on to an innocent man. This is especially disgusting when you consider that Christians are meant to LOVE Jesus.

It doesn't seem very loving, to me, to pile more sins on top of Jesus' already overwhelming burden. It seems to me that if Christians selflessly loved Jesus they would take responsibility for their own sins and resign themselves to Hell because it was the right thing to do.

When I was a believer I misunderstood what was meant when I was told of Jesus' sacrifice. I, and I assume many other, Christians believed that Jesus was giving something up, as in permanently relinquishing something of value in order to save everyone. In actuality when people talk about Jesus' sacrifice they aren't, or at least shouldn't be, talking about what Jesus gave up on the cross (which was nothing) but instead are saying that Jesus WAS A SACRIFICE. They mean the word sacrifice in the most primitive sense of the word: A superstitious, ritualistic and evil practice whereby an animal or person is killed in order to please, appease or apologize to invisible supernatural forces.

In the eyes of the Bible the only difference between offering a bull in sacrifice to Yahweh and offering one in sacrifice to Baal is that Yahweh is the god of the Hebrews and Baal is not and thus it would be wrong for a Hebrew to worship and sacrifice to Baal. Yahweh is a petty, small, tribal God that rose to stardom becoming the center of the world's first major monotheistic religion. Reading through the Bible eventually made me realize that the God I believed in, the one I felt I was in communication with when I prayed hard enough, wasn't the petty, wicked, small-minded and clearly human-invented God of the Bible.

We are talking about a God who told Abraham to take his son up a mountain and sacrifice him and intervened only in the last few moments. A God who, according to modern Christianity, could have simply peered into Abraham's heart to see if Abraham was willing. A God whose idea of giving up his only son involves that son rising miraculously from the grave and ascending into the clouds to be at his side in power and glory forever and ever.

The longer you read the Bible and study its God the more you have to wonder why Christians fear and hate Satan when the God of the Bible not only commits evil acts on a far more regular basis and on a far wider scale but the God of the Bible never seems to do anything truly good or selfless. Even in sacrificing Jesus there is nothing truly sacrificed and the plan backfires as Revelation reveals the majority of humanity as sinners destined for the Lake of Fire.

Devoted to the Lord?

In Leviticus chapter 27 rules are given regarding sacrifices of animals but curiously enough rules are also given for devotions of human beings. These things that are devoted are meant to be destroyed as evidenced by verses 28 and 29. The verse is quite specific that nothing devoted to God, be it man or beast, can be redeemed or sold in order to circumvent this sacrifice and verse 29 specifies that this sacrifice involves being put to DEATH.

Regardless of where you stand on the barbarism of animal sacrifices it is hard, if not impossible, to defend the practice of human sacrifice. But there is so much more standing in the way of Yahweh's redemption. Even those who are not devoted to him must be subservient to him, they live under strict laws, perform obscenely strict rituals and must dedicate much of their lives and their wealth to Yahweh in order to gain his favor.

This is superstition of the highest order and those seeking not only to redeem their evil God but to also pass Christianity off as different from other religions, as not based on superstition at all, must explain why their God acts like a tribal ancient Middle-Eastern storm god who demands animal sacrifices for abundant rain and threatens to let the enemies overtake his people if they get on his bad side.

Conclusion

Whatever feelings of warmth and comfort your beliefs give you, especially at Easter time and other Holidays, or during prayer. Whatever sense of community and togetherness it gives you and whatever false hope it may offer of life after death. Surely it is not worth it to believe something so patently false and to worship a God so unequivocally made up! Surely it does more harm than good!

Many Christians bemoan the existence of Pagan symbolism at Christmas and Easter, the bunny and egg both being strong symbols of fertility at the turning tide of Spring. And yet their own Bible's contain brutality and superstition that far outdoes whatever surviving rituals the Pagans and Neopagans of the world possess.

Christianity is a death cult revolving around the death of an innocent man who turned out to not be a man and thus, rising again in his still injured body, sacrificed nothing and gained an eternity of power of glory. Christians perform a ritual in which they purge their hearts of sin to commune with the savior by drinking his blood and eating his flesh. The God that each individual Christian has conjured in their mind may be kind and gentle, may be loving and merciful, but the Bible actually paints a different picture, of an evil, small, jealous, unjust and petty deity who demands fealty and love under penalty of eternal torment and who demands worship after having created a fucked up and broken world and refusing to fix it.

This Easter, while attending your Passion plays and plastic egg hunts, take the time to actually crack open your Bible, read it, and decide whether you really believe in the supernatural power of ritual human sacrifice.

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Comments 166 comments

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

"it makes no real sense for a God who can forge an entire vast Universe of galaxies and stars to require such a thing (as animal or human sacrifices)"

This should be so self-evident that anyone with a brain could figure it out.

Growing up with a Choctaw grandmother and half Choctaw mother, we always were amazed that Christians worshipped death so blatantly. That the very symbol of their religion was a man who was tortured and slain and hung up for all to see. Then to ritualistically eat his flesh and drink his blood was just something out of a horror movie to me.

To have to slay animals and burn them so that some sky-god could smell it is just ludicrous! And to apparently prefer that humans burn other humans for his pleasure is also horrific.

These things are nightmares to a child, and they should be nightmarish to adults too.

It's tough to live in ignorance as the people of the Bronze age lived. The muslims still prefer it!

But I will never understand it. And I cannot, will not worship this cruel, depraved psychopath that the religionists call the "creator" of our universe.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 20 months ago from Michigan, USA

You make an excellent point with the Jephthah story, Titen. Each and every time I've posed this to religious apologists -- without fail -- they try to place the blame on Jephthah, declaring that he was being reckless or prideful, desperately trying to avoid the uncomfortable fact that God still permitted the sacrifice to go forward (even though he had already intervened in Abraham's case).

It's another example of why I hate religious delusion so much -- that it takes otherwise moral and reasonable people, and makes them apologists for all sorts of hideous moral outrages. In essence, it makes them liars. Money has absolutely NOTHING on religion when it comes to the power to corrupt.

I'm also glad you made reference to the sacrifice of human slaves in Leviticus chapter 27. No doubt, apologists will appear and try to tell you that this is a "mistranslation" of the original language. Yet, even according to the Hebrew Interlinear Bible -- which offers word-for-word translations from the original language (either Hebrew or Aramaic) -- it reads "shall be put to death."

Well done!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

The weird thing about Jephthah is the inclusion of the phrase "the Spirit of the Lord came upon him" which reminds me very much of the hardening of Pharaoh's heart and suggests, if anything, that he was inspired by God to do what he was about to do.

The original languages often don't do believers any favors but as you say even the most decent believer will often perform all kinds of mental gymnastics to uphold the "Word of God". In some sense I sympathize with that attitude, as they think questioning will get them punished or seduced by the dark side so-to-speak but at some point the evidence has to overwhelm superstition.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"These things are nightmares to a child, and they should be nightmarish to adults too."

At some point they get embedded as a reality if you get them forced upon you enough and religion also gets embedded as part of your identity. It really is frightening how many aspects of human life religion takes advantage of and that is why it's still here and still holding us back.


Stargrrl 20 months ago

No! No! No! I prefer your earlier picture--with the viking helmet. Though I like the new one, too. I am reading this awesome book called "Extravagant Grace." I wasn't going to tell you this, but I really have hope that you can come back to God and be saved. God may save you against your will. I once thought you were past the point of no return with this atheist crap, but so far this book has helped me see that God has enormous grace. He will forgive you, it is not too late! He saved the guy who wrote the song, "Amazing Grace," and that guy was against God.

Anyway, regarding your new hub, and you're not quite getting it. In fact, I felt that you were just rehashing out old points you've already made in other hubs and comments. God chose to come down and be a human to live among us, and take the punishment for us. Jesus is risen! He conquered death. He is the key to eternal life.

I hate that guy on Youtube--the "Atheist who reads..." He's a jerk.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"God chose to come down and be a human to live among us, and take the punishment for us."

Which doesn't make any sense because God is the one who made up the punishment himself. God decided that the wage of "sin" is death and, if you believe in such things, eternal hell afterward. So the idea that God sent himself to suffer his own punishment is not just stupid it's also wrong, because Jesus was not tortured for an eternity in Hell and thus did not receive the full punishment God apparently thinks is just and right for ordinary human beings to receive.

Rather Jesus suffered for only a day and was dead only one full day (he died late Friday, was dead all day Saturday and was back to life early Sunday morning) before rising again and ascending to Heaven to reign at the right hand of the Father forevermore.

Not only do Jesus' actions not constitute a sacrifice but they also don't make any sense when, if he was God, he could just decide not to damn people to Hell. The reason it doesn't make sense is that the story is an invention of human beings and is not about actual events.

I really think that you missed the point, which is that human sacrifice is in the Bible and that no sane person in the 21st century should believe there is supernatural atonement in the senseless killing of a living being, be it animal or human being. It is immoral, makes no sense, and is superstitious to its core. Superstition is not a good thing Stargrrl.


Stargrrl 20 months ago

Thank you for responding, Titen. I will be back to rebuttal your arguments, and will continue to pray for your salvation. I say this seriously. God is working in you, believe it or not!


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 20 months ago from New Mexico

Stargrrl,

Can you prove that God is doing anything? Can you prove God exists? Can you prove that Jesus is the son of God or God himself? Can you prove that Jesus even existed? Why not any other religions God? The Hindu religion is the oldest living religion on Earth, why not their Gods? Can you prove that the Bible is not 100% fictional (even though it is based on real places and maybe even people, so are most fictions with the exception of science fiction and fantasy)?


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 20 months ago from Michigan, USA

Stargrrl, I'm going to be absolutely blunt here, because you've offered a perfect opportunity here to break through all the religious nonsense and reach your sense of reason and rationality.

Jesus made it absolutely and unequivocally clear in Matthew that blasphemy against God is the only "sin" that CANNOT ever be forgiven. Titen has blasphemed against God NUMEROUS times -- as have I. Thus, according to God himself, neither of us can be forgiven. Ever:

Matthew 12: "...Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men....whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come..."

You know this is true, according to the Bible -- the supposed word of God (and if you didn't before, you do now). Knowing this, if you continue to insist that you can pray for Titen's "salvation," understand that you are either lying to us or to yourself.

You must either come to terms with the notion that, according to your own religious belief, someone you know (at least via the internet) is inescapably doomed to Hell for all eternity. Or you must accept the fact that he ISN'T. And if he isn't, then your belief is in error.

There are no other options...


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I would like to add to your point Paladin that not only have I repeatedly blasphemed God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, etc but that if said deity or deities (since there are three of them after all) did exist I wouldn't WANT to go to Heaven. Heaven sounds like an infinity of bowing and boredom where the only emotion you are allowed to feel is joy and happiness. There is no struggle, no growth, and no sorrow in Heaven and there is no escape from it once you get there, FOREVER.

If such a place did exist I would not want to go there. Even as a Christian, though I tried to force myself to, I never liked the idea of Heaven, it frightened me, the concept of joy without escape stretching on for trillions and trillions and trillions of years only to stretch on for an eternity more is maddening lunacy.

Luckily though the most people seem to do is pray for my "salvation" and as that is the case I am likely to remain an atheist for the rest of my life.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 20 months ago

And here i would of thought fasting for a week or giving money would have been a saner option than slaughtering the first thing that came out of my house, directly after slaughtering people on a battlefield.

I would imagine his daughter usually came out to greet him after a battle, so basically he knew that and signed her death warrant anyway.

Makes total sense for a religion of peace...for sure.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I'm not sure what the intent of the story was, perhaps a cautionary tale not to make careless oaths to God. Whatever the original purpose of the story is stands as one of the most barbaric and heartless acts carried out in the name of God in the entire Bible. The excuse I always hear about it from apologists is that Jephthah never sacrificed his daughter but rather she went into some sort of religious organization for Hebrew women that was celibate (hence her weeping for her virginity) but of course the scriptures say nothing of the sort.


Stargrrl 20 months ago

I think it might show Jephthah's devotion to God, the fact that he would give up his only daughter. It also may show faithfulness, since God honored his first request to win the battle, and J had to honor his part of the deal.

Sacrificing was God's way of teaching men and women about their sin. They were meant to see the blood from that animal, so they could recognize blood on their hands. The lesson was that sin kills. God probably didn't stop J from sacrificing his daughter for that reason. He wanted the man to live with the pain of missing her, I suppose. The OT prepares one for the NT. Sacrificing is not necessary anymore because Jesus was sacrificed--God sacrificed His on son. I know you think the death of Christ is pointless, but imagine a judge whose son broke a law and had to pay a huge fine, and he couldn't pay it because he didn't have the money. The judge sentences the man to pay anyway, but then pays it himself. The point is that man is unable to save himself from sinning, so God did it for him. There is no way we can enter heaven...God made the provision for us. True, Jesus is no longer suffering, and in heaven with God, but he experienced death and even went to hell for a bit. Hell is supposedly worse than anything you can imagine.

Another thing about sacrifice is that it's pointless because everything belongs to God anyway, dead or alive...but again, He wants us to learn something. Often in the OT God will allow suffering so that one can see how wretched they are indeed. In the OT, God shows little grace, in order to prepare men for the multitude of grace given in the NT.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 20 months ago

So...on top of purposely sending jesus to be tortured to death on earth, god also sends him to hell for some reason.

Assuming "for a bit" is the three days he was dead, jesus went through unimaginable suffering after being tortured to death which in itself is already unimaginable. Mind you, this is all orchestrated by the loving god to somehow save humanity from "sin" that he created to begin with.

Apologetics sure are interesting at times.


Stargrrl 20 months ago

Link, the wages of sin is death. God cannot abide sin. I don't know that He actually created it--I think Satan did, when he turned evil. God CANNOT sin. God is loving, but He is just. People WILL pay for their sins one way or another, unless they accept Jesus as their savior. I advise you to stay away from hubs and forums like these, as they can be detrimental to your soul. I consider myself strong enough in my faith to be able to withstand lies, but you, I am not so sure. Titen said earlier that he was beyond redemption, and if he believes that, so be it. However, you are a question mark. I believe there is some hope for you, for you are a gray area. I really advise you to seek out youth groups in your area, and talk to people your age who have accepted Christ. Link, there's a lot of garbage here on the internet, and while I value Titen as a very talented and skillful writer and debater, who I like having discussions with, I find it sad that he is hoping to turn others away from the Lord. Sorry I went off on a tangent here, and IN NO WAY is this to offend you. If you are offended, you have not really understood what I am trying to say. I say these things out of love, but perhaps you are not ready to hear it yet.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"since God honored his first request to win the battle, and J had to honor his part of the deal."

That appears to be the point of the story, at least in part. However a good God, a just God, wouldn't be interested in the slaughter of an animal or a human being. Ritualistic killing is a superstitious and grotesque practice.

"Sacrificing is not necessary anymore because Jesus was sacrificed--God sacrificed His on son."

That doesn't make it better. God still ultimately made the decision that the Israelites should take animals and senselessly slaughter them, remove the head and sprinkle blood around an altar. These animals were not used to sustain the people, they were not eaten, they were killed and thus suffered needlessly. God deciding to upgrade to a human sacrifice actually makes it MORE morally reprehensible.

"The point is that man is unable to save himself from sinning, so God did it for him."

No just or fair judge would accept such a thing, especially when it is the judge that SET THE FINE to begin with. Let's take your courtroom analogy all the way. God is judge, jury and executioner and has decided that the slightest infraction, be it lying, stealing, practicing another religion or simply never accepting Christ, is deserving of an eternal fine that NO human being could EVER pay. It's akin to giving someone the death penalty for an unpaid parking ticket. At first he demands the person slaughter an animal, then he volunteers his own son to be killed so that the fine can be "paid". But what is the price of being saved from the stupid and disproportionate punishment God has made up? You must swear loyalty and obedience to your new slave master. No thanks.

"Hell is supposedly worse than anything you can imagine."

Heaven still sounds worse. Ask yourself why a loving God would ever cast a human being into a place that is WORSE than that being CAN IMAGINE. It's so obvious that it's made up human BS.

" God cannot abide sin."

Then he is not all powerful. End of story.

"I think Satan did, when he turned evil."

In order for Satan to be capable of evil he would have to be created with that capability. In other words it would be a design flaw and thus God's fault.

"People WILL pay for their sins one way or another, unless they accept Jesus as their savior"

Shouldn't you want to pay for your sins? Isn't that part of taking responsibility for the consequences of your actions? Seems to me the polite thing for Christians to do is lighten Jesus' load, not keep piling the sins on.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 20 months ago

Your advice is duly noted star. I do hope you realize the massive amount of denominations there are for your religion, so to tell me to go talk to any specific one pretty much means saying all the others arent correct.

That aside, your blatant disregard for any other religion does nothing to make me think your advice is worth considering.


Disappearinghead profile image

Disappearinghead 20 months ago from Wales, UK

I think the whole notion of sacrifice is evidence of a manmade religion. The religious leaders want people to stay in line, that is, not sin against the accepted cultural norms of behaviour. So by instigating animal sacrifice, the act of sinning results in penalty that costs the sinner something of value and so is supposed to act as a deterrent from further sin. It's not that much different to the fines our legal system impose when we fail to submit a tax return, cause criminal damage, or go over the speed limit.

Why demand an animal? It's ready currency and in the absence of a minted currency, it's more likely the peasant folk will have a spare sheep rather than some bronze coins. Also the priesthood not actually working for a living, need the sacrificed animals to feed themselves. The whole system gets dressed up with religious practices to give it some legitimacy and mysticism.

As for Isaac, the explanation I was given is that by the terms of the Abrahamic covenant if he was prepared to sacrifice his son for God, then God by that covenant would be bound to sacrifice his son. Incidentally the mountain is apparently the same hill on which Jesus was crucified.

As for Jephthah, I guess he was rash, caught up with his own self importance, and after making his vow, sacrificing his daughter was preferable to losing face to the community. No doubt the religious leaders couldn't tell him his vow could be cancelled as that would set a precedence when others wanted to back out of giving over a goat. I guess a load of superstition would be mixed in here such that if the next battle went badly after reneging on his vow, the local community would have declared this as divine collective punishment and sent a lynch mob around to string up his daughter and the whole family.


Stargrrl 20 months ago

Link - you can be denominational, like I am. Why don't you read the New Testament? If you go to the bookstore, you can find a translation that suits you and there are tons of guidebooks and commentaries. The Message translation is pretty blunt, you may want to start with that.

Titen - Heaven will NOT be boring. We will be perfect, and we have the whole universe to explore. Perhaps we could leave Earth and travel around? Also, there are a multitude of people with whom we could talk, who lived before us, and we can learn more about the past. I believe the dinosaurs will be there. Of we will have free will, but the devil will be gone, so there will be no sinning. I believe that we will find a plethora of things to do, and most importantly, we will exist outside of time, so it won't get boring, there won't be any years. God will give us stuff to do that we like. And anyway, I'd much rather be bored than on fire for eternity. Being burned is the worst kind of pain, and having a perfect body that is never consumed, I can't imagine anything more terrible than God pulling away from me. Without God, there can be NOTHING good. What you're used to now is living in this world, and it may be the closest you ever get to heaven. Imagine everything good taken away...good feelings, love, and most important, hope. Once in hell, you will never be saved. You will be isolated, and on fire. Aren't you the least bit scared of that?


Stargrrl 20 months ago

Titen - quick question. I know you've spoken in tongues before. To what do you attribute that nowadays, since you don't believe in the Holy Spirit?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"It's ready currency and in the absence of a minted currency, it's more likely the peasant folk will have a spare sheep rather than some bronze coins"

Wealth was very much determined by how many heads of livestock you had so this makes sense.

"Incidentally the mountain is apparently the same hill on which Jesus was crucified."

Whether this is done intentionally by the authors or is a later interpretation by Christians I'm not sure. Similar to Satan supposedly being the serpent in the Garden of Eden it isn't until a later book of the Bible suggests such a thing that the belief becomes widespread.

"the local community would have declared this as divine collective punishment and sent a lynch mob around to string up his daughter and the whole family."

The Biblical rules are so strict it seems like anything could get you killed, from wearing the wrong types of fabric, getting the wrong haircut to simply deciding that Yahweh wasn't the god for you. The fact that people can't see these barbaric rules as evidence that it's a manmade religion is a frightening reality but even the fundamentalists seem to cherry pick while claiming to want to obey the whole Bible.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

There are many things it could be. Mental illness does run in my family, so it might be I am slightly bipolar or on the low end of an autism spectrum, although I have never been diagnosed as such. Such a thing may make one more susceptible to the mental states associated with Glossolalia. Keep in mind that the phenomenon of speaking in "tongues" is not limited to Christianity.

Mainly I would attribute it to the trance-like state that religious ceremonies, particularly those involving music, are designed to create as well as the peer pressure I felt from those around me who told me to seek the gift of tongues Keep in mind Stargrrl that I went to a Pentecostal church where speaking in tongues was common for others around me. My father also spoke in tongues almost more so than he spoke normally. He had been diagnosed schizophrenic and was on anti-psychotics.

When Austinstar said that there might be a mental illness component or a genetic component to superstition she wasn't off base, it is likely that certain types of mental illness exacerbate superstitious and supernatural thinking. Although I personally believe the propensity towards such religious experiences is almost universal in human beings there are almost assuredly those among us who are more susceptible.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 20 months ago from New Mexico

When someone is speaking in tongues they are not speaking a language, it is complete and total gibberish. Anyone can do it.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 20 months ago from Michigan, USA

Just to interject with a salient point, I'd like to point out that ArtBlack is absolutely correct. People who supposedly "speak in tongues" are, indeed speaking gibberish.

Contrary to what they and others believe, speakers "in tongues" who babble incoherently are NOT fulfilling the prophecy regarding those who are "filled" with the "holy spirit." According to Acts 2, when such people begin to "speak with other tongues," everyone hears HIS OWN LANGUAGE, NOT gibberish! -- Which means we should all be hearing English!

"...And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?"

Those who utter the gibberish are simply faking it -- either with the conscious intent to deceive others, or in the mistaken and deluded belief that they're under the influence of God.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

One of the big revealing moments of my beginning disbelief in religion was witnessing a Pentecostal friend who "spoke in tongues". Yep, it was gibberish. And thank you, Paladin for pointing out that we should have heard English coming from this person.

The sect that sealed the deal for my atheism was Jehovah's Witnesses, although the Baptists are almost as goofy as they are.

The Pentcostals are quite a bunch though. Almost to a man, everyone of them tried to hit on me as a 13 year old girl. The women constantly encouraged me to dress plainly, no makeup, 3/4 sleeves, long dresses (god forbid wearing pants or shorts) and no smiling. I think I wasn't supposed to talk to guys at all really.

The whole concept of heaven was pretty scary too, as you say, Titen!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

You're right Paladin, speaking in tongues is supposed to operate more like the Universal Translator in Star Trek not come out as gibberish. Brain scans agree that rather than being associated with the language center of the brain the practice is akin to other trance-like mental states.

http://www.dana.org/News/Speaking_in_Tongues__Glos...


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 20 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

My understanding is, the reason people spoke in tongues in the Second Chapter of Acts is because people from various countries were there, and the disciples were faced with the daunting task of preaching in a variety of languages they couldn't speak. The Holy Spirit acted as a Star Wars type decoder; the disciples spoke in their language, and everyone heard it in their own language. So no one really "spoke in tongues".

Nowadays, this is not necessary, so people fake by speaking in gibberish.


Buildreps profile image

Buildreps 20 months ago from Europe

The demiurge Yhwh created according to mumbling prophets Earth and Heaven. This cannot be equaled to creating a whole infinite Universe.

It is beyond question that Yhwh is a pitiful god, who was cast out of heaven by his bigger more talented brothers. It's pitiful that people are programmed to believe this is the highest entity in the Universe, while he is in fact the embodiment of the devil.

You even don't have to read one sentence in the bible to understand this. It is pathetic there are even people who read the whole bible from A to Z. Reading the bible is destructive for the ratio and the brain cells.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 20 months ago from New Mexico

Yeah, Buildreps, reading is for dummies.

Of course it also helps you to figure out that the people who wrote the Bible didn't read the Bible either and were to stupid to realize that if you read the entire Bible and really compared it to the reality of the world, whether at the time or even more now, that the Bible would disprove the validity of the Christian God. At least that is how it worked for me.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 20 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

If someone sits down to read the Christian bible and isn't offended by what it says, then they are unable to comprehend the written word at all.

The books of the bible are a literary disaster. The stories within are, for the most part, abhorrent and false. Even as a novel, this compilation makes no sense whatsoever. The topics jump from genocide to some ideas about what to eat or drink, to slavery, to marriage, to sex, to bodily humiliation, to the psalms.

Who compiled the books and thought they knew what they were doing? Who translated the various languages and thought all this nonsense was linked together? Who decide that these bits of papyrus and pulp paper were actually written by god?

I think whoever it is that said that reading the bible created atheists was correct. Anyone with half a brain could figure out just from reading the bible that it is mostly nonsense, legends, stories, and some weird twisted view on how the world was meant to be.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 20 months ago from New Mexico

"If you really wanna get rich you have to start your own religion" L. Ron Hubbard


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Religion really is a good way to maintain wealth and influence. Just look at the opulence of the Vatican. The Catholic Church has managed to get away with horrible atrocities both ancient and modern all because it hides behind the irreproachable guise of religion. If something is seen as sacred, if it is taboo to attack it, than those within it can commit any number of horrible deeds without true consequences.

The fact that the Vatican has not been raided and investigated by law enforcement, or overrun by angry citizens with pitchforks, is due to this. They pretend they have some sacred truths and divine authority and get away with mass child molestation and people still talk about the praise the Pope not as the leader of a criminal organization, which the Catholic Church most assuredly is, but as God's representative on Earth.

And then people wonder why atheists are so vocal.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 20 months ago

Loved it. Thanks :)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 20 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks Jenny, glad the hub could be of some help.


JennyDelToro profile image

JennyDelToro 20 months ago

It didn't help me, it just entertained me. I'm an atheist, my journey's already been done. I do appreciate vocal atheists a lot though, the world needs more of us.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

Except that neither Isaac nor Jephtah's daughter were literally offered up to Jehovah as burnt offerings. Isaac lived a long life as did Jephtah's daughter. Try again.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

The mental gymnastics you have to perform are quite amusing.

Jepthah's daughter was offered up and there is nothing in the scripture to suggest otherwise.

As for Isaac the mere act of asking Abraham to offer him is a heinously evil and pointless act. I say pointless because if God was testing Abraham God already knows the contents of Abraham's mind, so there is no need for the test. And I say evil because anyone who would ask someone to murder their own child as a test of loyalty and trust is a monster.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

i. "Jepthah's daughter was offered up and there is nothing in the scripture to suggest otherwise."

"At the end of two months, she returned to her father, after which he carried out the vow he had made regarding her. She never had relations with a man. And it became a custom in Israel: From year to year, the young women of Israel would go to give commendation to the daughter of Jeph′thah the Gil′e·ad·ite four days in the year." -Judges 11:39,40

So how is it that these young women visited with Jehphtah's daughter four times each year if she, according to you, was dead?

ii. " the mere act of asking Abraham to offer him is a heinously evil [] act."

Prove it.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

He already gave you proof, you just refuse to listen - "God already knows the contents of Abraham's mind, so there is no need for the test. And I say evil because anyone who would ask someone to murder their own child as a test of loyalty and trust is a monster."


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Prove it."

No offense Joe, but stop it. You're making yourself look nuts. If you can't understand why asking someone to ritually sacrifice their child on an altar is wrong that is you're problem. I'm sorry that you believe this shit, I honestly am, because it makes decent men and women defend monstrous acts and absurdities.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

"God already knows the contents of Abraham's mind."

Prove it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

You're dodging. Prove your claim. Prove that "the mere act of asking Abraham to offer him is a heinously evil [] act."


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Here's the short version. The general definition I'm using for evil is - any act that causes psychological or physical harm to the well being of a living thing and that also has little or no benefit.

Killing a child = evil because it harms a child of its life and robs parents of their child. Has no benefit, has only negatives.

Asking someone to kill a child = Yahweh's act here is evil for numerous reasons. First and foremost because of psychological harm to Abraham and Isaac, making Abraham believe that he is about to use the son that God had promised him and that he will have to do the killing himself. Secondly because the act he is asking Abraham to commit is itself evil (see above)

Ritual sacrifice = evil superstitious horseshit that has no benefit and harms an animal.

And the last reason, of course, is that an omniscient God already knows whether Abraham is loyal or not, meaning the test has absolutely no benefit or purpose (within modern conceptions of God, the ancient Hebrews likely didn't believe he was omniscient).

All harm and no benefit.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

i. "Killing a child = evil because it harms a child of its life and robs parents of their child.

Fascinating. As an aside, does this mean you're against abortion?

ii. "because of psychological harm to Abraham and Isaac"

Prove your claim. Prove that both Abraham and Isaac suffered psychological harm as a result of Jehovah's request.

iii. "an omniscient God already knows whether Abraham is loyal or not"

Prove your claim. Prove that God already knew whether or not Abraham would be loyal.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Prove your claim. Prove that both Abraham and Isaac suffered psychological harm as a result of Jehovah's request."

I really don't have to, because anyone in that situation would undergo psychological trauma. Of course Abraham likely never existed, oh I guess I have to prove that too, or not because I really don't care about proving every last point I make to you only to have you try to claim that slavery isn't evil or claim that genocide is okay when those people are bad people or whatever other nonsense.

"Fascinating. As an aside, does this mean you're against abortion?"

Abortion is a very tough subject. On the one hand I do not believe the government should be able to force a woman to carry a pregnancy to term. On the other hand I do think that abortion is an unfortunate side-affect of humanity's immaturity when it comes to responsible reproduction. I would also argue that it is far better to end a pregnancy early than birth an unwanted child or a child that the Mother/parents cannot afford or care for. I am in favor of abortion until the human species can get our heads out of our asses and be responsible, part of that is better sex education and universal access to safe birth control.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

i. "I really don't have to"

Actually you really need to. See, Abraham was a very old man and Isaac was an adult. This means that the only way Abraham could have complied with Jehovah's request was with Isaac's cooperation. So you see, both Abraham and Isaac were willing participants in God's test; either one of them could have resisted. So explain to me how it is they willingly went along with God's test if they were experiencing psychological trauma?

ii. "I am in favor of abortion"

Congratulations, you've just annihilated your own definition of evil. How is it you don't know what evil actually is yet you'd dare accuse anyone of being evil?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Jepthah's daughter was offered up and there is nothing in the scripture to suggest otherwise."

"At the end of two months, she returned to her father, after which he carried out the vow he had made regarding her. She never had relations with a man. And it became a custom in Israel: From year to year, the young women of Israel would go to give commendation to the daughter of Jeph′thah the Gil′e·ad·ite four days in the year." -Judges 11:39,40

So how is it that these young women visited with Jehphtah's daughter four times each year if she, according to you, was dead?


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Joseph, from what I read of the verse, Abraham never told Issac anything about the sacrifice before tying him up and was ready to kill him...so how was Issac willing?

And if Noah could build an ark pretty much by himself as a 500 year old...being an old man doesn't really mean much.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Congratulations, you've just annihilated your own definition of evil."

Did I? I don't recall saying that I believe abortion is good and I don't recall calling it evil. In fact I recall saying that I wish we didn't need abortion at all and were responsible with our reproduction. What I did say is that I am in favor of abortion. The evil of the government stepping in and forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term far outweighs the harm of aborting an unborn fetus. The evil of bringing an unwanted child into the world being either raised by parents that can't afford them and don't want them or being raised by the state, far outweighs ending a life before it begins.

Morality is quite nuanced, has many gray areas and sometimes involves choosing the lesser of two evils.

" So explain to me how it is they willingly went along with God's test if they were experiencing psychological trauma?"

You've heard of Stockholm syndrome yes? And no doubt are familiar with voluntary human sacrifices that took place in South America in ancient times. This is why the definition of what is good and evil involves measures of well being, not subjective measures of pleasure and pain.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

See, this is why, and with all due respect and kindness, I don't buy it when an Atheist claims he's actually read the Bible from cover to cover and/or fully understands it.

Genesis 22:9 informs us that Abraham bound Isaac's hands and feet and then helped him up onto the altar. Given these circumstances it's obvious that Abraham had to have explained to his son what was going to happen and why. Isaac's compliance, therefore, was a tremendous act of faith in Jehovah God.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I'm not sure which translation you're quoting there. The phrase to give a commendation to does not exist in the actual Hebrew nor does it occur in any translation I know of.

Translations read it as to lament his daughter

to commemorate his daughter.

The story also specifies that Jephthah did as he had vowed, which would be offering his daughter as a burnt sacrifice. There simply is no scriptural basis for what you are talking about.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

It's funny that you are implying he's willing based on nothing at all and accusing atheists of not reading the Bible. For one thing nowhere in the story does it say he was willing. Second of all we could IMPLY anything, we could IMPLY that Abraham, who was apparently willing to kill his child as a ritual sacrifice, knocked him over the head with a rock and dragged him to the site.

Or perhaps he did what Lot's daughters did in that wonderful family friendly story and just got Isaac drunk.

It's not really fair to just make stuff up and pretend its "obvious".

And of course whether he was willing or not does not make God's request any less abhorrent.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 19 months ago from Michigan, USA

From the Hebrew Interlinear Bible -- a direct translation from the Leningrad Codex (the oldest surviving complete biblical manuscript):

(emphasis mine)

"...And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, WHO DID WITH HER [ACCORDING] TO HIS VOW which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, [That] the daughters of Israel went yearly to LAMENT the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year..."

Jephthah's original vow?

"...Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a BURNT OFFERING..."

There's no mention of the daughters of Israel "visiting" Jephthah's daughter, and a very specific mention of her being sacrificed as a burnt offering, according to Jephthah's original vow.

Nothing could be clearer. Nice try, though.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

i. "Did I?"

Absolutely! You claimed that evil was, "any act that causes psychological or physical harm to the well being of a living thing and that also has little or no benefit."

Given your very own definition please explain how the murder of an in-utero human being does not cause him/her physical harm. Or, to put it another way, how does this child benefit from its murder?

ii. "Morality is quite nuanced, has many gray areas and sometimes involves choosing the lesser of two evils."

Which is why we need to abide by divine moral values and duties. Why reinvent the wheel?

iii. "You've heard of Stockholm syndrome yes?"

How does it apply to what occurred with Abraham and Isaac? Who was holding them captive against their will?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"There simply is no scriptural basis for what you are talking about."

Sure there is. See Judges 11:39, 40 and then explain how is it that these young women visited with Jehphtah's daughter four times a year if she, according to you, was dead?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"It's funny that you are implying he's willing based on nothing at all"

You're grasping at straws. Again, Isaac was an adult. The fact that the context doesn't tell us that he was drugged, knocked-out or subdued any other way makes clear that Isaac was a willing participant. Remember, it was just him and his elderly father. If Isaac refused to go along the context would have made that very clear and the account would have recounted something else entirely.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"Why reinvent the wheel?"

Human beings have been reinventing the wheel for thousands of years and by that I both literally mean that human beings have been making better and better wheels and that, in keeping with your metaphor, human beings have been getting better morally as well. We've done away with slavery, we've had a civil rights movement, we're in the midst of a gay rights movement. And who are the ones kicking and screaming to hold us back from moral progress? The people still clinging to the busted ass ancient worthless wheel that is Biblical morality.

"Given your very own definition please explain how the murder of an in-utero human being does not cause him/her physical harm. Or, to put it another way, how does this child benefit from its murder?"

First of all it's not murder, murder is when you intentionally kill another person with malice, a fetus is not legally a person, its not even biologically a person and there is typically no malice involved.. How does the fetus benefit? I already explained the benefits of legal abortion.

1) Stops the government from forcing women into carrying pregnancies to term.

2) Stops an unwanted child to have to live a life being cared for either by inadequate parents who don't have the money, love, or mental capacity to care for them. In other words a fetus cannot suffer any great loss, but a ten year old child bouncing between foster homes and/or struggling in poverty can.

3) Stops the world from being overpopulated by unwanted children.

"How does it apply to what occurred with Abraham and Isaac? Who was holding them captive against their will?"

I imagine it applies to all the sycophants who worship Yahweh.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 19 months ago from back in the lab again Author

It does not say they visit her.

Anywhere.

Try again.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Except I've never claimed to have read the bible cover to cover Joseph, which is exactly why I rarely bother with the verses themselves, rather than the logic people try to push forward using those verses.

Logic like yours for example. So because Issac trusted his father completely without a doubt, like a child should a parent, and didnt run screaming the moment he bound him, it must automatically mean he complied to being sacrificed completely out of the blue? Sounds like a bit of a jump...

Also whatever translation this site uses that I am staring at right now doesn't have the word "helped" rather than "laid" onto the altar. With the way you interpreted it with the word "helped", I could assume that he knocked Issac unconscious, or that he blindfolded him and told him not to question him. But if I were to do that, you would say I am reading too much into it or taking it out of context or something...

Apparently Im a seer now that the comments have updated.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

i. "We've done away with slavery, we've had a civil rights movement, we're in the midst of a gay rights movement."

And lining up behind the gay rights movement is the pedophile rights movement.

ii. "a fetus is not legally a person"

Does that mean it's not a human being?

iii. "Stops the world from being overpopulated by unwanted children."

Which naturally justifies their genocide .... I get it ...

iv. Who was holding Abraham and Isaac captive against their will?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"So because Issac trusted his father completely without a doubt, like a child should a parent, and didn't run screaming the moment he bound him, it must automatically mean he complied to being sacrificed completely out of the blue?"

See, this is where it helps to actually read the account for yourself. You could very easily answer your own questions and doubts. In this case, Isaac was an adult, not a little child. More importantly, Isaac, like his father Abraham, worshiped Jehovah God. This necessarily means that he knew Jehovah God to be the Creator of all reality and the Giver of Life. That's why he went along willingly with his God's request; he knew that, if needed, he could resurrect him and return him to his parents.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

I knew I should have specified that when I said child I meant in the "hes their offspring" context...silly me.

Okay Joseph. Lets assume Issac did in fact know everything about gods request and that his own father was going to kill him and he agreed to it. Lets also assume that he did in fact know he could be resurrected after all was said and done.

So...what the hell was the point in doing any of it? Honestly I don't even see why Issac was tied up to begin with if he was all for getting burned alive. There is literally nothing to be gained from this aside from the fact that god randomly asked a guy to off his son...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"Stops the world from being overpopulated by unwanted children."

Ooooohhhh the irony. You condemn God for executing evil children but then defend the genocide of children at the hands of their narcissistic mothers ...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"So what was the point in doing any of it?"

Great question! I was waiting for someone to raise it :D

The test served two important purposes. First, both Abraham and Isaac demonstrated just how much they trusted their Creator but, secondly and more importantly, it served as a prophetic drama of what Jehovah God himself would have to do.

You see, in order to vindicate his sovereignty and save mankind from the inevitable effects of sin he sent his son, Christ Jesus, and allowed him to sacrifice his very life. To learn why and how Christ's sacrifice can benefit all of us I kindly invite you to take few moments to perlustrate the following: http://bit.ly/HrSSYq


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

For your first point, this would be the part where I say that god should have already known beyond a shadow of a doubt that Abraham and Issac would do what he asked, but you would probably tell me like you did Austin to prove how he could do something as simple as read minds or see into the future.

Which by asking you imply that its something beyond god's reach to do, which would also imply that god is not all powerful/knowing and dismantle any and all arguments you have been making to justify him letting bad shit happen in the world for reasons unknown, since the alternative would be he can't control that at all.

As for the second point...basically Abraham and Issac were a practice run? I really don't know how to respond to that without word salading all over the place.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"which would also imply that god is not all powerful/knowing"

I don't see how this negates his limitless power. Please clarify.

As far as not being all-knowing, God selectively restrains his ability to foreknow everything in order for us to enjoy Free Will. Think about it, if he chose to know everything his sentient creations were going to do before they did it, how could we be free?


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Is there a verse somewhere that even loosely tells you god actively restrains his all knowing abilities? I really don't know, but if there isn't then that has to be the biggest stretch I have seen to date, and that's surprising because I thought reading someone's comment that said god doesn't know what a womans orgasm feels like unless he incarnates himself as a woman was as far things could go.

Seeing into the future and reading minds would be a by-product of his limitless power, but since you grouped it into his all knowing abilities and that he restrains himself...my brain farted. Like I really cannot even continue on that train of thought anymore due to how ridiculous of an excuse that sounded to me.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Deuteronomy 21:18

18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them

Deuteronomy 21:21

And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

So which is better, to abort your children or stone them when they are old enough to be rebellious?

And as you know all teenagers go through a rebellious stage.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

An objective reading of this passage reveals that the penalty prescribed is for a 'glutton and a drunkard'. As such, it is intellectually dishonest to conclude that this passage refers to young children.

Furthermore, this penalty would have to be the result of a trial brought before “the older men of his city”. The execution of any individual accused of any crime without a trial would be murder - also punishable by death.

To overlook these facts in your facetious attempt to morally indict God is not only noetical deceit, it's an obscene perversion of the truth.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

"Is there a verse somewhere that even loosely tells you god actively restrains his all knowing abilities?"

At Deuteronomy 8:2, for example, Moses explains to the Israelites that Jehovah God had 'put them to the test so as to know what was in their heart.' (Cf. Deu 13:3; Ex 16:4) This necessarily means that the tests served to provide Jehovah with information he otherwise could not obtain which naturally leads one to the conclusion that he actively restrains his ability to know everything we're going to do before we do it. (Cf. Gen 22:12)


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Of course...obviously.

So there is no verse that directly says he restrains himself, and it is as big of a stretch that I thought it was.

Sigh...


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Joseph - If God came to you today and told you to kill your only son, would you do it? If he told your wife (if you have one) to have an abortion, would you allow it? Would you sacrifice yourself is he told you to?


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

"If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son"...."And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones"

How am I miss reading this because if I go line by line they have NOT changed the subject of the stoning to just drunkards and gluttons, and how is that any better???? It's in no way intellectually dishonest because that is what it says, it doesn't deviate from disobedient sons to drunkards, it is saying that everything in between, stoned! We don't stone people who are disobedient or drunks or gluttons, because it's wrong, yet that is what your Bible prescribes so that doesn't deviate from my point in making the statement whether or not it refers to just the drunkards and gluttons or the disobedience.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

You don't answer any of my questions to you so why should I answer yours?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Joseph, I have answered your questions until I am blue in the face. You never even answer your own questions, much less ours.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art

"We don't stone people who are disobedient or drunks or gluttons, because it's wrong."

Prove it.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Austin

About five days ago you made an outrageous claim here: http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Atheism-an...

When I asked you to prove it you refused. Or am I misunderstanding and you simply can't prove it?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 19 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

JOP - I will no longer respond to you or any of your rants.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Beating a dead horse and all...

Joseph, why was Issac tied up if he was all for it? Im hoping at the very least that if you provide a random explanation for that, it wont be completely outrageous.

And if you just ignore it...well I can't say I'll complain. Still in shock and all that jazz from earlier.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 19 months ago from New Mexico

Joseph, what barbaric land are you from?!?!

Prove that it's wrong? How could it be right? You are one sick person, seek professional mental HELP.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Art, Austin

Argumentum ad hominem. Try again.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

For the same reason a surgical patient is put under before they're operated on.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

That...makes absolutely no sense Joseph. On so many levels.

A patient is put under to minimize pain and relax the muscles in the operated areas to avoid accidental damage.

How does tying a guy up do any of that if hes about to get stabbed, die, and then have his body burned, especially if he is all for it?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

A patient is also put under to avoid any involuntary reflexes from being cut with a scalpel. The same applies to Isaac.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Thats what I meant by relax the muscles to avoid accidental damage Joseph.

And there is a very clear difference from opening up a specific part of the body to operate on...to stabbing a guy to death.

You're not even trying to make sense anymore are you Joseph...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

Say what you mean and mean what you say. I'm not a mind reader ...


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

"relax the muscles in the operated areas to avoid accidental damage."

"A patient is also put under to avoid any involuntary reflexes from being cut with a scalpel"

Involuntary reflexes can't happen, or at least have a significantly less chance of happening, if the muscles are relaxed. If a muscle/organ were to be cut due to an involuntary reflex, that would be counted as accidental damage would it not? The muscle wont react randomly if its been sedated...

There was nothing obscure about my initial comment about it Joseph. So, would you care to explain why Issac was bound if he was all for it?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

Asked and answered. Next question :)


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Mmm, I guess I didn't actually specify the answer had to make logical sense.

You got me Joseph.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

In what ways is the explanation I provided illogical?


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

You mean aside from the fact that it doesn't even match time periods?

- Killing someone in a sacrifice is a far cry from a surgical operation, since the latter is actually meant to save/improve a life. They don't even warrant a comparison.

- Not sure how sedating someone to avoid a mistake during an operation is somehow the same as tying someone up with rope that you are about to kill.

- There is no reason for a willing participant in their upcoming death to be tied up. They arent going to cause any mistakes to be made if they are all for it.

We went over this Joseph, and you didn't bother to elaborate on any of it and skipped out.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"There is no reason for a willing participant in their upcoming death to be tied up."

Opening up his carotid artery, for instance, would be much swifter and painless if he wasn't thrashing about involuntarily. Any simpler and I'm gonna have to break out the crayons :)


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

...which anyone can do in the blink of an eye if they are even remotely skilled with a knife.

For some sadistic reason you are assuming Abraham would have taken his sweet time in slitting his son's throat rather than doing it as quickly as possible.

Any more crazy than that and we might have to book you a padded room...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

I've made no such assumption. Try again.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Gladly.

"Opening up his carotid artery, for instance, would be much swifter and painless if he wasn't thrashing about involuntarily".

Why would Issac be thrashing about involuntarily if he was completely willing?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

For the same reason people flinch when poked with a needle.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

So rather than doing it quick and clean, meaning there wouldn't be any time to react involuntarily and screw it up, Abraham is now poking his willing son in the neck with a knife after tying him up for absolutely no reason.

Makes perfect sense. Ya got me Joseph.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

@Link

"So rather than doing it quick and clean"

Actually nobody knows how he would have done it since Jehovah God stopped him from actually going through with it, remember?


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

Of course of course, backtrack to the introduction of the hypothetical to avoid answering anything...

Okey doke Joseph. We have absolutely no idea how Abraham would have done it. No point in assuming that as a father, he wouldn't want to cause prolonged suffering for his son and would choose to do it has quickly and efficiently as possible, voiding the need to tie him up and destroying your assertion that Issac was completely willing, which ultimately would have shown your earlier defense that everyone was willing and in turn was not a randomly evil act committed by god, to be wrong.

No point in assuming any of that. Ya got me Joseph, Totally got me. Im gonna go play with my crayons and not share any of them.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

"which ultimately would have shown your earlier defense that everyone was willing"

I can't make heads or tails of this. Please elaborate.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 19 months ago

My crayons D:

Scroll up and find your own crayons Joseph, mine are limited edition. No touchy.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 19 months ago

You can't make sense of it either? Well that's just great ...


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 18 months ago from The English Midlands

Quote: 'The God that each individual Christian has conjured in their mind may be kind and gentle, may be loving and merciful, but the Bible actually paints a different picture ...'.

Exactly. I really don't think that most Christians can possibly read their Bibles because they seem to ignore this.

Fair enough, if they believe in, and love and worship, a caring loving father God, then I can understand that. What I fail to understand is why they go on loving and praising him even after they become fully aware of the horrors of the Bible.

Killing people seems to have been the order of the day. Is humanity not quite what was expected? Drown them all. Have you been unfaithful? Let's kill your baby. Is your son cheeky? Stone him to death? Might your daughter not be a virgin? Stone her to death. Is there debate over land you settled upon? Kill the enemy - right down to the tiniest newborn baby. And the commandment says thou shalt not murder. How hypocritical.


Luke 11 months ago

You are taking these verses out of context

Jephthah did not sacrifice his daughter, she would have been brought in to the temple service and died a virgin, ending his family line

Abraham did not sacrifice his son, that was a test of faith that happened once and he succeeded, GOD later offered a ram to be sacrificed

You want to hate Christians and Christ, blaspheming GOD? Pick a time and webpage and we can argue this


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

At no point in the story does it mention his daughter being taken to the temple to live out the rest of her life. You can read the entire story, there is no hidden context where his daughter survives. The addition of this narrative of permanent virginity you are falsely making to the text is an apologetic invention of Christian and Jewish scholars attested to only as far back as the 12th century AD.

The actual text says he did to her as he had vowed - burnt offering.

"Abraham did not sacrifice his son"

Pretty sure I acknowledged that. He would have though, he had every intention of going through with it. At the very least that's attempted murder and some pretty sick ritualistic shit. It's also ordered directly by God. And why? As a test of faith? That's one of the most messed up tests of faith I can possibly imagine, but then we should expect such things from the same God that told him to cut off part of his penis. At any rate isn't God ALL KNOWING, seems to me he wouldn't need to test anyone's faith, since he can see into their minds and souls with ease.

"You want to hate Christians"

At what point did I say I hate Christians? At what point did I say I hate Christ? As for blaspheming God, I don't think the Christian God actually exists. This God is just as fictional as Zeus or Odin and I don't fear any retribution from them or any manmade deities.

"Pick a time and webpage and we can argue this"

Right here right now in a steel cage bitch! That's a joke by the way.

Feel free to comment here if you want.

Or you can always email me medacakathareal@aol.com


Luke 11 months ago

GOD's ways are not our ways

One way seems right to a man, but the path leads to destruction as King Solomon said

Circumsicion has medicinal benefits, I would say that GOD helped us out there

Also, GOD greatly blessed Abraham afterwards, and he promised that a great nation would come from Isaac, so Abraham just had to teust that He knew what He was doing

Sorry about the whole hating Christians part, I guess I just got mad there

You want to argue that the idea of an all powerful sky man crazy? The idea of something coming from nothing defies scientific law! Really, if you want to put it like that, at least we creationists can come up with a valid reason with why things are there

But that is for another day, if you want to argue if GOD exists or not

But if not, I won't either, because arguing my side would apparently be shoving my ideology down peoples throats for some


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"One way seems right to a man, but the path leads to destruction"

How do you know that King Solomon ever said that?

"GOD's ways are not out ways"

God's ways often bear a striking resemblance to our ways in the Bible, specifically where he uses warfare to accomplish genocidal goals such as wiping out the Amalekites. Using war to perpetrate a genocide is a common human tactic. Of course at other times you're right, God uses ways that human beings can't, such as using a plague that causes people's faces to rot off where they stand (that's in Zechariah) using an angel of death to murder children in the 10th plague of the Exodus, and uses an eternal Lake of Fire to torment sinners, Satan and Satan's angels. Those are certainly cruel and evil things that human beings are incapable of doing (although it is human beings that wrote those stories and came up with those ideas).

"Circumsicion has medicinal benefits, I would say that GOD helped us out there"

Actually circumcision's medical benefits are negligible at best and can be summed up as "makes it easier to clean your penis" in the meantime it greatly reduces the amount of pleasure-receiving nerve endings on the end of your penis having a similar but not quite as devastating effect to female circumcision (which pierces the clitoris). Female circumcision, of course, is recognized in every Western country as a barbaric practice that should be illegal. Also, the Bible never says anything about medical benefits, rather circumcision is a ritual meant to show a pact between the Hebrews/Jews and God, that fact cannot be erased by post hoc BS about so-called "medical benefits".

Also, saying that "God was doing us a favor" with circumcision is stupid on at least two counts. First it implies that God's original natural design of the male genitals had a flaw that he was helping us by correcting. Secondly the main point which establishes circumcision as wrong is that it violates the bodily autonomy of a child in such a way that it stunts their sexual pleasure later in life. That is to say that when Abraham did it he was an adult, he had a choice, but when done to a child they have no choice.

"Sorry about the whole hating Christians part, I guess I just got mad there"

That's perfectly alright and I understand that. It's very easy to see me attacking beliefs and assume I am attacking the people who hold those beliefs.

"The idea of something coming from nothing defies scientific law!"

This is an interesting topic. This depends very much on what we mean by the word NOTHING. Now I assume you're talking about the absolute idea, the abstract concept of nothing as an "absence of anything/everything, literally absolute nothingness". If that is the case I would posit that such a state, a state of nothing, is impossible, meaning there never was NOTHING and there has always been something. I assume that you, as a Christian, hold that God has always existed, so in your worldview there never was actually absolute nothing. I would agree that there has always been SOMETHING, that a state of NOTHINGNESS is impossible and incoherent.

Nothing, in that sense, is similar to perfection, an abstract human concept that doesn't match anything in reality. When we use the word perfect, we don't really mean absolutely perfect, we mean that something is close to the ideal of perfection. Similarly when we say nothing in normal conversation we usually mean almost nothing, close to nothing.

Nothing in theoretical Physics, as used by people like Lawrence Krauss, is a different sort of Nothing. I have a whole hub on the subject called Atheism and Nothing.

"But if not, I won't either, because arguing my side would apparently be shoving my ideology down peoples throats for some"

You arguing for your position is not shoving it down anyone's throat, especially in this context where you are responding to what I've said here in my hub. I've made claims here in my hub and you are merely responding. An example of shoving it down people's throat would be like what people who oppose gay marriage sometimes did by trying to legislate their religious beliefs into law, they were quite literally trying to force gay folks to live by their religious principals.

"But that is for another day, if you want to argue if GOD exists or not"

Would you prefer to do it here in the comments or find a more appropriate or formal online forum? I don't mind either way.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 11 months ago from Michigan, USA

At the risk of hijacking the current discussion, I think it's important to add one very relevant point to the matter of the universe "coming from nothing." Those who subscribe to this notion -- however you may define "nothing" -- do so because they believe it's the best available scientific explanation. I think it's safe to say that most would change their mind if a BETTER scientific explanation came along.

On the other hand, those who believe that a deity 'poofed' everything into existence tend to accept it as definitive truth, and are generally NOT inclined to change their minds about it. That's a HUGE difference!

I now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion... :-)


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

A good point Paladin, and I'd add to that that many Christian apologists, such as William Lane Craig, do subscribe to the idea that God created ex nihilo or out of nothing. It seems to me that if someone does believe the Universe emerged from nothing adding a God to that nothing only adds more unanswerable questions and violates occam's razor.

How convenient is it that there would, in this state of absolute nothing, happen to be something... and not just any something, but a timeless, spaceless, immaterial LIVING BEING that just happened to be capable of using a verbal command to cause a Universe of time space and matter to simply appear out of that nothing. It seems to me that the characteristics of this God are one of the give-aways that it is entirely fictional, because each of its characteristics are just what a Universe might need a being to be capable of and each characteristic makes no sense at all when you remove time, space and the Universe from the picture.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Titen, I very seriously enjoy your writing. When I 1st read this, I had no time to comment. Being back here, I nearly hesitated to comment simply because I'm quite reluctant to visit any thread where JOP has reared his fucked up head. Very toxic as well as psychotic, I will not subject myself to him. When I retired from the mental health industry (behavioral diagnostics) several years ago, I vowed to myself I would not intentionally expose myself to the intellectual strain and emotional drain of pathological individuals if there is any way to avoid them. (Please understand, 30 years will do that to those of us from this field)

I have to tell you though that I am impressed with your tolerance and ability to remain civil and steadfast in your message. I would have loved to work side by side with you.

Suffice it to say that I keep a quick finger on own delete button. He's not the Lone Ranger as you may or may not know. There are several. When first beginning to encounter them, I just wanted to know who had left the door to the flight deck open.

Your hub, BTW is superb......stunning to be precise. I love learning what others have to say (when it is presented so perfectly) I am a dedicated fan to prolific writers.

Understand pls, I won't subject myself to badgering by a psycho and this is what it amounts to, quite frankly. I'll check out some of your other works. You deserve Kudos for more than one reason! Peace, Paula


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks Paula,

Joe got himself banned from my hubs several months ago when he decided to claim that all gays were more likely to be child molesters and other hateful nonsense. I considered that to be the straw that broke the camels back. I can only blame him to a certain extent, as he is brainwashed into a cult.


Luke 11 months ago

First off, modern day Christians lied about hell, it doesn't exist. Satan and his demons are going to be sent to a bottomless pit. In the Bible, the original Greek word for hell is Hades, which is the grave, where all the dead go. All humans die and on the last day, GOD will raise all of them, even you. Only those that were willingly baptozed and then rejected his sacrifice will not be in his kingdom, and they will be dead forever, not burning in hellfire

Also circumsicion is a covenant, it is just a sign of faith, in fact, people still argue whether circumsicion is still law

On King Solomon, Proverbs 14:12

Thank you for not going with the whole "you are a mind-raping zealot" approach, you actually seem very intelligent, even if we may not agree on anything

Now to the real reasom I came back, I have a question for you

Can you make me believe GOD does not exist? I will let you use any information you want, but I won't use the Bible for evidence

Do we have a deal? I'll find out if you reply

First thing wr can look to see that GOD exists is genetics, It's a 3 billion word code written with four bases, we all learned this in high school and which I believe someone of your intellect knows much about.

Wherendid DNA come from? It is not chaotic, it is an orderly code where it is read by RNA with rarely any unfixed mistakes. Also, ine strand can hold the information of encyclopedia britannica many times over. DNA is also something that separates creatures. A deer is about the same size as a human, but it is different by far. You could say ecolution, but what about missing links? It would be dismissable if only a few were missing, but what about entire chains. Say Lucy, but Lucy has been proven to be fake, and even if it was real, that is only one. Apes are not even 98% human, it is 98% of 2%.

So how is life formed at random?

If you bring up a monkey typing a Shakesparean sonnet (forgive me if I misspelled that), a test was done and a monkey was put into a room with a computer for 8 hours and didn't even type one word, not even an a with two spaces.

So how is life formed?


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Well Titen.....Yes he is brainwashed & surely we're speaking of a cult~~an extremely dangerous cult. BUT~~ I'll just ask you a simple question, using your own statement.....Would you agree he succeeded in (allowing himself to be ) brainwashed into a cult? No need to reply.

I trust you know what I'm alluding to. We ARE our brain. It requires a pathological "flaw" to relinquish our brain (ourselves) to others OUTSIDE ourselves.

I know it won't shock you to learn that 90% of "brainwashed" (during adulthood) initially SANE individuals~ were in complete awareness they were sacrificing their minds.....(mental suicide).

Oh it's complex. VERY complex. AND DON'T ASK ME TO "PROVE IT!" LOL

But ole Joe is classic. Text book classic. Merry Christmas.


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 11 months ago from Michigan, USA

Paula, there is another hubber who frequently haunts the "Atheism and Agnosticism" category who is even more toxic than JOP. He'll make disparaging comments about atheists and/or atheism, then, when you return the favor and make similar comments about him (including even the mildest of criticisms), he'll threaten to "report" you to the HubPages moderators. He's the worst sort of troll, and I personally suspect he's underage (as no adult could be that immature).

Of course, one can't mention his name here (though I'd wager Titen knows of whom I speak), as he'll immediately report the comment to Hubpages as "abuse." Then Titen would be forced to modify his hub -- and I wouldn't want Titen to suffer any inconvenience because of an ignorant, obnoxious and immature child. Needless to say, he's been banned from a number of authors' hubs.

You'll definitely need your "delete" button when this pathological troll shows up on one of your hubs. Good luck!


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"In the Bible, the original Greek word for hell is Hades, which is the grave, where all the dead go"

Revelations uses Hades. When Jesus speaks of hell he uses the example of Gehenna, basically a trash heap that was always burning outside of Jerusalem. Another interesting thing about death in the Bible, the book of Ecclesiastes suggests that there is no afterlife whereas in other places the Hebrew word Sheol is used as a general place where all the dead, not just the sinners, go.

"and they will be dead forever, not burning in hellfire"

The problem is that the Bible is not clear about this. Revelations, for example, talks about those who receive the mark of the beast being tormented for all eternity. It says the "smoke from their torment ascends up forever". Jesus also speaks of everlasting fire and Revelation 21:8 suggests a list of sinners who will go into the pit, including magicians, the sexually immoral, liars, unbelievers, and cowards. So it seems at the very least that some humans (those who receive the mark of the beast) and Satan and his angels will be tortured eternally. This simply cannot be a moral or good thing.

"Also circumsicion is a covenant, it is just a sign of faith, in fact, people still argue whether circumsicion is still law"

I agree, circumcision, as laid out in the Bible, is meant as a pact between God and his chosen people. This is what makes it baffling to me why even non-Christians and non-Jews want to do it to their children. Any medical benefits it provides are minuscule and can be equally achieved by simply cleaning oneself more thoroughly rather than surgically altering ones penis in such a way.

"Can you make me believe GOD does not exist?"

Probably not although this depends greatly on how strong your faith is and how open-minded you are about actually looking critically at what you believe. At the very least though I'd hope that I could open up avenues of thought you may not have considered or at least give you a better understanding of a perspective you didn't know all that much about.

"I will let you use any information you want, but I won't use the Bible for evidence"

I take it you'd prefer to argue for the general idea of a God rather than for the specific Biblical God? I'm fine with either.

"Wherendid DNA come from?"

DNA is a self-replicating molecule, it comes from chemical reactions that occur in nature and I suspect that it's origin is in simpler chemical interactions that came before it, all the way back to the very first amino acids that ever achieved a self-replicating chain.

"It is not chaotic"

And this is the point at which I have to explain that NATURE, as a whole, is not chaotic. In a sense chaos and order are somewhat misleading terms because on the one hand an asteroid hitting the Earth would create chaos BUT such an event is perfectly within the purview of the natural ORDER. Nature is orderly, not random.

"Say Lucy, but Lucy has been proven to be fake, and even if it was real, that is only one. Apes are not even 98% human, it is 98% of 2%."

I think you need citations for both claims as they are both scientific claims. I would like to see the peer reviewed scientific journals which admit that Lucy is not a legitimate hominid specimen and also the studies which discount the genetic similarities human beings have with apes.

"but it is different by far"

Well yes and no. I mean yeah a deer probably can't design a rocket that flies to the moon, but it's a tetrapod, a vertebrate, a mammal, it gives birth to live young, it is a sexually dimorphic animal much the same as we are.

"So how is life formed at random?"

This is something I hear a lot from Creationists but the thing is, nature isn't random. Nature behaves in certain ways and we observe the way nature works and describe the way nature works as theories and laws of nature. Evolution isn't random. For example let's say you have a population of birds living in the woods and the climate changes and it becomes colder. Birds born with a slightly thicker coat of feathers that help them stay a bit warmer than others of their species will have a higher chance of surviving, the birds born with thinner feathers might not reach breeding age and thus won't pass on their thin feathers to the next generation. Eventually down the line you get birds with much thicker feathers because they have now adapted to the climate. This is called natural selection and selection pressure. It isn't as if these birds would randomly evolve two heads or an extra wing or something stupid, no, naturally those born with a trait that helps increase their chance of breeding will be able to pass on those traits while those born with detrimental traits/mutations will likely die out.

Natural selection and evolution aren't random.

"So how is life formed?"

Well what is life made of Luke? It's made of chemicals, it's mostly made of the same sort of chemicals we find right here on Earth. Life is formed through chemical reactions that started a long long time ago and we are the continuations of those interactions.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Luke, why don't you sign up for hub pages, and write some hubs proving to us that god exists? You can do whole hubs on circumcison alone. You can even be god like and create whole paragraphs from nothing.

HP certainly needs another believer to convince us that your god is real. We never get tired of discussing heaven and hell. And morals, and evolution, and quarks, and the big bang theory, and DNA, and why Jesus died to save us from his father, and any end times scenario, and the list just goes on and on.

HP will even pay you to argue with us atheists!

And we are not sick of trying to explain the wonders of the universe over and over to those that think "god did it".

So join up and let us know who you are!


Luke 11 months ago

Thanks for the offer Austinstar, but I do many other things to help profess my faith to the world, plus I prefer to stay anonomoud (even though you can track my IP)

First Mr. Sxull (may I address you as so), you should check out these websites for my citations

http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0714_Lucy_fa...

https://answersingenesis.org/genetics/dna-similari...

Also, I believe there should be a limit to post arguments for your sake, you don't want to argue DNA forever, do you?

A deer is differenr from a human, it has a hide covering itself, antlers (if male), four legs, a split hoof, chews it's cud, is an herbavore, and haa eyes on the side of it's head

But back to genes, yes evolution happens, but within it's iwn specelies, some moths can become other moths, but but it is always a moth, never a butterfly or bird

You mwntioned how nature has order, this is true, but it's laws and how specific it is just further proves my point, you can say a star is there because a little parricle exploded because it's just a ball of plasma, but earth is exaxtly where it needs to be at the exact right axis and turn rate, and the air we breathe is just the right mixture

Although wind and wave can carve shapes, we know that Mount Rushmore was carved by man, because the faces of four presidents are too specific

Can you build a house by dropping all the parts? That's insane! And the universe is far more complex

A side question, why did you leave the church? I think you said that you were Pentecostal

I don't think the Pentecostals kbow what speaking in tounges means, in the Bible, it said that everyone who heard them understood them in their own language, and


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

You do know that Answers in Genesis is a religious propaganda and apologetics site right? That's not a scientific citation. If we are going to discuss science you should get your science from actual scientists.

"A deer is differenr from a human"

Yes but also very similar in a lot of ways.

"but but it is always a moth, never a butterfly or bird"

Micro and macro evolution are different only based on the timescale at which we examine evolution. Over short timescales we see smaller changes, what you call changes within a species (technically speaking evolution occurs within populations not individuals). But those changes compound and add up over generations and generations, leading to speciation (when one species diverges into a new one). If you want you can go on google scholar and look up tons and tons of ACTUAL scientific research papers about speciation, it's been directly observed numerous times both in laboratory conditions and in the wild.

"but earth is exaxtly where it needs to be at the exact right axis and turn rate, and the air we breathe is just the right mixture"

Earth is exactly where it needs to be for the life that evolved to live on Earth to survive on Earth. Weird right? Except that's exactly what we'd expect to see if life evolved naturally. Life here on Earth is adapted to life on Earth, the moment we try to leave we need space suits and all kinds of technology just to keep the hostility of space at bay. But despite the fact that we've adapted fairly well the vast majority of the Earth is still hostile to life, most of Earth is underwater, the vast majority of its insides are deadly compressed gases, molten metal and radioactive elements. At high altitudes we can't get the oxygen we need. Even on the parts of Earth we tend to live on their are hurricanes, earthquakes, diseases and viruses, the threat of life-ending gamma bursts from nearby stars and asteroids.

Earth's history is no stranger to mass extinction events, mass climate alterations, etc. This is, again, exactly the sort of thing we'd expect to see if nature was just doing what it does without any intervention.

"because the faces of four presidents are too specific"

You're right, we can recognize the difference between design and something man-made, we can do this effectively by investigation, observation and scientific inquiry. Life has been studied scientifically, the more we learn the less of a gap there is in which to stick the supernatural.

"Can you build a house by dropping all the parts? That's insane! And the universe is far more complex"

This is a stupid and tired analogy, similar to the tornado in the junkyard (one of my next hubs was coincidentally going to be about just such arguments). As I already explained, evolution is not random. I even gave you a very simple example of how natural selection can build a better adapted organism from the bottom up instead of the top down.

I would recommend that before you continue in this discussion you gain at least a middle school level understanding of evolution instead of trotting out tired BS you read on Answers in Genesis. I don't say that to be condescending, I used to be an Old Earth creationist when I was a teenager. It helps to gain an understanding of evolution if you want to actually make sense. I recommend the youtube videos of a channel called Stated Clearly, they have several good videos on evolution and they aren't condescending or anti-religious about it.

"I don't think the Pentecostals kbow what speaking in tounges means"

Neither do I, but like all sects of Christianity Pentecostals think they've got Christianity right. Interestingly Glossolalia, the actual phenomenon of "speaking in tongues" exists in other religions besides Christianity.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

I envy all of you for your abilities to debate such deep, complex subject matter. I'm aware this requires years of study, analysis and knowledge of authentic sources/proof to assist with confirmation. While I do not qualify to participate, I am always excited to be in the classroom.

*** to you, Paladin~~ Oh trust me, I know precisely who you refer to. He and & I have gone head to head a time or 2.....to my ultimate dismay, since he "reported" me, using the personal attack reason. Truth be told, his attacks were brutal, disgusting & unforgivable and directed at nearly every individual participating on the thread. However, as Trials are conducted in Iran, HP has not time nor interest to investigate evidence or facts which give a truthful version. HP merely reacts to the first person who sends up a flag. The others, whether innocent or guilty only of self-defense....well, they/WE are banned. No apologies, no explanations, no justice whatsoever. DRAT! BTW...he's a grown ADULT...not a kid. Immaturity is part of the role.

The creature you speak of is actually #2 on the HP insiders list of most annoying, disliked, disrespected and mentally disturbed, currently active on HP. (which at last count numbered 15) LOL

#1 is surprisingly a woman. I've no doubt you've had the pleasure at least once. She flits from one hub, forum, question to the other, all throughout our community. Her MAIN intention/goal is to make her presence known, boldly & clearly. She interjects onto each and every comment of any & every person who comments.

The aggravation of it is that 1.) She is brash, rude and obtrusive 2.) her responses are NEVER of an individual thought, idea nor opinion but 3.) verbatim Scripture/King James. 4.) She repeats over & over, scripture after scripture. 5.) She REFUSES to stop, even when asked. ....You cannot miss her. I'm sure you've passed her somewhere. Oh paladin, they're everywhere. We must learn to ignore or rise above I guess. True confessions, I do have vivid dreams of my hands wrapped tightly around throats.....:) Paula


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 11 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Paula - I can't answer for JOP , but havng been in a cult myself, I feel safe in stating that no one who joins is aware of what they're getting into. Cults are masterful in disguising themselves. They present themselvs as the ideal religion - the One True Church - and make members feel priviledged to belong. They say the whole world is going to hell, and only their select group will be saved. People who question them will go to hell, too.

This whole description fits Christianity. That is why it has more cults than any other religion, including Islam.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Yoleen, Yes, I'm aware that a great number of people get sucked into groups, cults & other organizations that pretend to have a benevolent agenda. This has existed since the beginning of time and people have been falling for them just as long. It is my firm opinion that each and every "organized religion" is a CULT. They scream of "cult" by their very nature. One leader/Head, sheep to follow and obey, strict rules and severe punishments, mantras, their own books & teachings, separation from the rest of the world.

ALL, most ugly and destructive.

As for JOP....you'll have to trust me and my expertise on this. That pathetic man is mentally unstable and would be regardless of what group he chose to adhere himself to.....no matter what he read or learned or chose to preach. In short Yoleen, he's cuckoo, as are the rest of his clones here on HP. They're a very sad lot.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 11 months ago

Since I am getting notifications from this hub again, I flitted by my earlier to and from with JOP...my head hurt all over again.

I do find it oddly funny that at the drop of a hat I know all the names of the people referenced. A few others come to mind, at least 3, but they have since then been banned from this site.

There is a 4th person to add to the list though, he commented on my third hub forever and a day ago to assert a bunch of BS. Honestly surprised he still has an account here with all the quite literal hellfire condemning he has done/still does to people in the Q&A, somewhat recently to.

I do enjoy Titen's forward way of calling bullshit without sounding like a sarcastic a-hole. Sarcasm is too fun, and a much tamer alternative, for me.


Luke 11 months ago

Fine then, I have a question before wr continue on evolution. Why are my prayers answered? At times, my prayers are instantly answered, and with miraculous results, I had a cousin who stopped breathing and heart failed, and when nothing was given to him, he started breathing after prayer

Things like this happen to me on a regular basis, and too often to be coincidence

Also, I should have asked this a long time ago, in what basis can you call GOD, or anything, evil?

I am sorry I don't know that much about evolution, I went to a school that did not teach it

Also, you never answered my question, why did you leave the church?

Before I counter again, I would like your answers on these


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"and when nothing was given to him, he started breathing after prayer"

His heart failed, he stopped breathing, and rather than give him CPR he was prayed for? No one bothered to attempt trying to physically save this person's life?

Questionable ethics aside I would say we would need some pretty steep evidence to start shouting miracle. We would need to rule out any and all natural explanations, including ones currently unknown to natural science, that could have caused his heart to start beating (and thus an involuntary action like breathing to start up again. Medicine is a science and science works by accurately observing and recording phenomena and then investigating them and looking for a cause or mechanism.

"Things like this happen to me on a regular basis, and too often to be coincidence"

How often would you say your prayers are answered in a way that is genuinely IMPOSSIBLE, not merely unlikely? For example, have you ever prayed for a blind friend who then could see perfectly well or prayed for an amputee whose limb regrew? If you feel you have tapped into some miraculous power you could turn the medical and scientific world on it's head. You should be talking to the James Randi foundation, not me, because they will pay you a million dollar prize if you can prove supernatural forces exist in a scientific experiment.

"Also, I should have asked this a long time ago, in what basis can you call GOD, or anything, evil?"

Good and evil as I see them are labels that human beings attach to things and behaviors which they find abhorrent in some way. Evil, to me, would be any action that causes harm to a living thing's well-being while having only minor benefit or not benefit at all. While good is an action that has benefits with little or no drawbacks. Now these are very general definitions but they are a good starting point to how I might judge the God that the authors of the Bible have written about.

"I am sorry I don't know that much about evolution, I went to a school that did not teach it"

This is an experience I can relate to. I went to a public school where the subject was barely touched on. I was raised to discount evolution by my parents and I can recall when we did do a section about Evolution in biology class I raised my hand like a good little creationist and asked the teacher about the law of Bio-Genesis and why creation wasn't taught in schools. I parroted talking points without ever truly understanding what I was being taught. All the info in that section of the book was in one ear and out the other thanks to my indoctrination. It wasn't until years later, when I'd already left Christianity behind, that I decided to give evolution a fair shake and actually learn about it.

"Also, you never answered my question, why did you leave the church?"

Sorry, I missed that one. I'll explain both why I stopped going to Church and why I stopped being a Christian.

I left CHURCH because I was a seventeen year old kid and couldn't be bothered to get up on Sundays. Instead of going to Church on Sundays I would have brief period of Bible study by myself which usually consisted of opening to a random passage and praying that God revealed some truth from that randomly selected passage or story. Eventually I began learning more about the Bible, thanks to the internet, such as the fact that certain books of the Bible are Apocrypha, they are kept out. In particular I became interested in the Book of Enoch and it's story of giants called Nephilim, this fit right in with my Old Earth creationism.

I decided that it was for the best that I wasn't being spoon-fed my Christianity from the pulpit, instead I was now free to commune with God directly and cut out the middle man. This lead to the decision that caused me to leave Christianity behind. I decided, at about the age of 18, that I was going to read the entire Bible from cover to cover. It was this reading of the Bible that did the most damage to my Christian faith, because unlike the loving God I had always been taught to believe in the God of the Bible was nothing like that.

Every Christian knows the ten commandments but I sat there stunned as in the very next chapter, the same God that rescued the Hebrews from servitude and bondage, tells Moses that the Hebrews are allowed to own foreigners as their slaves, as their property, and beat their slaves when they don't comply. Out of the very mouth of the God I believed in, Exodus 21 says that Hebrews can sell their daughters as slaves and, unlike male Hebrews, their daughters don't go free after seven years.

I sat there flabbergasted as I came into the book of Deuteronomy and read about how entire towns were to be razed merely because the occupants didn't believe in Yahweh... Deuteronomy Chapter 22 in particular is so vile and so evil that if you erased it from the context of being in the Christian Bible and tried to tell me it was from a text used in a secret dark cult with a compound somewhere I wouldn't be surprised.

I did research as I went and found that even among early Christian sects not all agreed with including the Old Testament. The Gnostics believed that Christ was sent by a TRUE God, and that the God of the Old Testament was a false God called the Demi-Urge. So for a time I called myself a Christian, but identified as a Gnostic Christian. I could not reconcile the vile laws of the Old Testament or the often murderous and genocidal actions of that OT God. It didn't jive with any normal sense of human empathy or logically make sense for a loving God to engage in these sorts of behaviors.

When I finished reading the Bible I did research into how the Bible came together and eventually came to the decision that it was entirely the work of flawed human beings and it's God, if it existed, was the victim of a smear campaign where a group of evil humans had put their words and deeds onto God. I set it aside to search my heart and the Cosmos above for the TRUE GOD of the Universe, the one I felt I was in communication with when I prayed my hardest and felt enveloped in warmth. Surely, I thought, if the God I talked to had indeed been the God of the Bible than the pages of the Bible should have revealed him to me even more but instead I was left distinctly feeling that anyone could come up with a better God than that one, that that God was not the one I was looking for.

So I spent a few years after that as a wanderer trying to call out to any gods or goddesses that might be listening. For a while I was a pantheist who believed the whole of the Universe was god. For a time I was a Deist, like the Founding Fathers, believing in a God who put the Universe together but then just sat back and watched it spin rather than intervening. And for a while it was a day to day thing, sometimes if you would have asked me, "Do you believe in a God?" I would have said, "I think there has to be SOMETHING out there" or "I hope there is".

I even believed in reincarnation without any gods involved for a while, mostly because I was afraid to even admit that death might be the end.

Sometime in late 2009, while calling myself merely an Agnostic, I had a conversation with a friend where I had the definition of an Atheist cleared up. An atheist is someone who doesn't believe, even if they just lack belief but still hold out some possibility. So I realized I was an atheist and had been for several months. After that I researched even more, I wanted to know what answers the atheists had for the believer's arguments, I wanted to know if the believers had any knock-down arguments that I'd been missing as well.

I left religion because of the Bible. Because no human being has been able to provide any good evidence or good reason to believe that there is a god.


Luke 11 months ago

I have read the Bible from back to front too, and I still firmly believe GOD is good

All slaves were returned in the year of Jubilee, and GOD told them to wipe out the towns, not take slaves, they did this once and GOD punished them for it

The reason they were wiped out is because tjey were doing detestable acts such as sacrifice of infants, horrible methods of torture, andndestroying towns themselves

How is punishing faithlessness to a spouse, protecting women from rape, and making sure people treat others and the environment kindly, evil?

It also begs the question, why do you hate all religion? If we were all athiests, there would still be lots of war, greed, opression, and corruption

Also, think of all rhe good things Christian missonaries have done


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

"All slaves were returned in the year of Jubilee, and GOD told them to wipe out the towns, not take slaves, they did this once and GOD punished them for it"

This quite simply is not the case. Foreign slaves were slaves for life, only MALE HEBREW slaves could go free. Of course the fact that male Hebrew slaves could go free after seven years does not MAKE SLAVERY OKAY. Women could be taken as spoils of war and forced into marriage.

Listen to what you are saying and actually read the text of the Bible, you are sat at your computer (or phone or tablet) DEFENDING SLAVERY and GENOCIDE.

"The reason they were wiped out is because tjey were doing detestable acts such as sacrifice of infants, horrible methods of torture, andndestroying towns themselves"

And God's answer to this was to make sure that those infants were put to death by the Israelites instead of by their own parents? God's idea of redeeming these people from the horrors of a morally bankrupt civilization was to have a morally bankrupt civilization under his command come in and slaughter them? You think that this is a reasonable tactic for a good and loving all powerful God to cook up? Or does it sound like human decision making? Like human EXCUSE making after a grotesque atrocity...

What we are talking about is genocide, which is a very EVIL thing, in fact it's probably the single most evil thing human beings can do, other than perhaps mass rape AND genocide together (which in the Bible during battle if you find a woman you want to marry you can simply bring her back as a spoil of war and force her into marriage).

Now what is a great EXCUSE for genocide that human beings have used? They say that God has COMMANDED and CONDONED it. They say these other people are immoral, they're savages, they have false gods, they're not even HUMAN. These are grotesque tactics of HUMAN MANIPULATION to make EVIL DEEDS seem permissible and you've fallen for them hook line and sinker.

"It also begs the question, why do you hate all religion?"

I don't hate religion Luke. Stop telling me that I hate religion.

"If we were all athiests, there would still be lots of war, greed, opression, and corruption"

You just defended genocide and slavery as good things, at the very least that requires indoctrination into an ideology, it means you are conditioned to look at certain humans as if it is possible for them to be worthy of enslavement and genocide. The thing which makes it easiest to brainwash someone into believing these atrocities are okay are political ideologies and RELIGIONS.

Yes, if the world was full of atheists there would still political movements and ideologies and there would still be human nature which is highly flawed. I do not seek a world filled only with atheists, rather I'd like to see a world where people use empathy, skepticism, science, and reason to guide their beliefs and choices as much as possible. I simply believe that a word where people used empathy, skepticism, science and reason to guide their beliefs would necessarily be full of atheists and agnostics.

"Also, think of all rhe good things Christian missonaries have done"

For the last two centuries or so Christianity has attempted, poorly, to make up for centuries of atrocities. I suspect that in a hundred years or so Islam will be doing the same thing. Sadly though Catholicism still covers up decades of sexual abuse sweeping it under the rug as it has every other atrocity that could be laid at it's feet.

It is nice that so many religious people are tolerant good people with a sense of empathy who understand that things like slavery and genocide are wrong and that things like feeding the homeless or helping out in war torn countries is a good thing. Yes most religious people are ordinary good people, doesn't mean that the supernatural is real. Belief in the supernatural is not required to be a genuinely good person who helps others.

"How is punishing faithlessness to a spouse, protecting women from rape, and making sure people treat others and the environment kindly, evil?"

So you're in favor of the death penalty for adultery. Also women who have sex before marriage should be stoned to death. And that Fathers whose daughters have sex before they can be married off should be compensated money in exchange for their daughter being forced to marry the man they had sex with.

This is a righteous and just society yes? Nothing evil about gathering the townsfolk together to hurl stones at people until dead? Perfectly moral and reasonable to assume that a God, not a primitive ancient society that didn't know any better, came up with it?

You can take this as shaming you if you like but are you aware that you share a great deal of opinions in common with members of the Islamic State? Because they too cling to their ancient Holy Text full of wicked barbarism as if it's the best thing ever written and they too have no sense of empathy that would prevent them from genocide against any group they see as evil, as unbelievers or infidels.

Before I give up all hope for you let me ask you this:

Is it morally right that working on a Saturday (the Lord's Day) be punishable by death?

Because the Old Testament is quite clear that it should.

Now I'm not asking your if we should bring back the Old Testament laws but I am asking you if you support them in theory (as you seem to on every other occasion). Is it moral or immoral to stone to death people who does not keep the Sabbath holy?

Because the thing is once you start defending things like slavery and genocide you're on thin ice as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't get more OBVIOUSLY EVIL than those two things (especially where Biblical slavery and genocide often concern women and children being slaughtered/enslaved).


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Luke,

I applaud your effort, but sometimes people aren't going to change their minds no matter what. This is why I have given up 'preaching' to anyone and instead trying to lead by example. I also take solace that most people in this world are believers and less than 2% of humans are atheists, even though it seems they are everywhere.

Although Titen and I do not agree on much, I will concede that he is 1) a good writer and 2) An intelligent person, so if he has come to a conclusion, it was done with a certain amount of research. Therefore I am pretty sure there is nothing to offer for him to just take something on 'faith' alone. That much, I do know about him.

Good luck


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

Wild Bill, most people are believers in what? There are huge portions of the world that are not Christians, many Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, Muslims, etc, there are even new sorts of religions out there, some are off shoots of other religions, for example Mormonism and some are completely different, such as Scientologists. With Yoga becoming such a big thing here many people are becoming Hindu and I know many people who are pantheists and polytheists and other sorts of Pagan and new age.

In this nation alone there is a growing population of atheists. And like myself and Titan, were once Christian.

Why we are atheist varies but for the most part we are atheists because there is no evidence for the existence of a deity. The universe itself cannot be said to be evidence because it doesn't point to anything except existence. We can claim something must have an intelligent creator only because we don't understand how such order can come about "by itself" we anthropomorphize the universe to fit our idea of it. Many atheists, like myself, would rather know the actual cause than to speculate on a cause.... follow the clues where they lead, not where we hope they go.

After many years of research I became what is known as a positive atheist, meaning, not only do I not believe in a God but I don't believe a being such as a being who created everything is even possible or likely in any way. Saying there is goes back to speculation.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 11 months ago from The English Midlands

"The God that each individual Christian has conjured in their mind may be kind and gentle, may be loving and merciful, but the Bible actually paints a different picture, of an evil, small, jealous, unjust and petty deity who demands fealty and love under penalty of eternal torment ...."

Quite so, but how many realise it?


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Art

As I stated in my comment to Luke, I have no wish to preach, so why someone is or isn't a believer is none of my business.

As for believers in what, I think I made myself clear when I said less than 2% of people in the world are atheists. I assume the answer is obvious. Whether the number of atheists is growing or not is irrelevant because the number is still insignificant enough to make a real impact


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Not nearly enough realize it to threaten the stranglehold that Christianity has over billions of people. Such is the nature of superstition though, in many situations it is benign and helps comfort people with fantasies but when looking at the big picture it has a retarding effect on science, society and moral progress.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Wild Bill - You said, "Whether the number of atheists is growing or not is irrelevant because the number is still insignificant enough to make a real impact"

That's what they said about the LGBT movement too. And look what they accomplished!

Atheists are just now "coming out" There are tons of so-called believers that are secret atheists. I know this because I used to be one of them.

It is still a social stigma to be an "atheist or agnostic", but soon, we will have the strong voice of reason and logic on our side and religion will be seen for the superstitious nonsense that it is and always has been.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

The thing about that is the number is probably bigger than 2%. I mean, seriously, where did you get 2% from? I never took part in any survey that states my religious or nonreligious beliefs. There are whole nations that are almost totally atheist, like the Netherlands, many I have talked to say only the very old even hold any religious beliefs. So tell me, what is relevant? Is truth relevant or that the majority of people believe in some sort of supernatural phenomenon as being true despite the evidence to the contrary?


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

It's also important that we include all non-religious folks when we're talking about how much of the world is religious. The Nones, those who profess no religious belief, are growing in number faster than any religious group. So if you include all of the non-religious, and agnostics and atheists you get a number closer to 15 or 16%, that's about the same number as those who identify as Hindus.

As time goes on more and more of those who merely identify non-religious will have the bravery to come forward and admit that they are atheists or agnostics. Even more so we must remember that non-believers in theocratic countries like Saudi Arabia often cannot openly admit to being atheists.

PLUS we must also not forget the people who identify as a various faith because of cultural reasons but who don't really believe.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Oh lela....You just said something that reminds me: I went to a meeting for my 50th. HS reunion coming up summer 2016......I went to a private HS (Run by Catholic Diosese) There were 12 of us at the meeting. I was FLOORED when 7 of those 12 talked about coming out as Atheists finlly after long last because they had to wait until their parents died!....I was seriously shocked.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Paula you may have discovered a devastating truth. When people grow up, they really begin to see the illogical fallacies of religion.

Whether or not god actually exists, I can only hope that all of the religions of the world finally end the lies. The biggest lie of all? The one about God's so-called love.

If you love the world, and its children, you do not treat it as a battleground. A loving god would not have made such a violent mess of humankind.

A loving god would never commit genocide, allow children to starve to death, or pit us against each other.

The universe is, was, and always will be our home. We are made of and from the stars. Someday we may understand the cosmos, but in the meantime, we should live our lives and leave the planet a little better than we found it.

Evil is for the ignorant.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

I'm not sure why that one thing I said has caught on, but it is what it is.

In all surveys I have seen, atheists are 2%, which is pretty steady for the last 100 years. Add agnostics to that and the number goes up to 7%.

Tiren is right about the non-religious; that is the group on the rise. (Although they can still be counted as theists).

Christianity is pretty consistent; 32% of the world versus 34% 100 years ago, so contrary to popular belief (or myth) we are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Jews are the ones leaving in droves and I don't know how that affects surveys because half of them claim to be agnostic, while also still follow Judaism.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Austinstar said: "That's what they said about the LGBT movement too. And look what they accomplished!"

That is like comparing apples to oranges because LGBT were being denied rights, atheists and agnostics are not.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

artblack01 said: "So tell me, what is relevant? Is truth relevant or that the majority of people believe in some sort of supernatural phenomenon as being true despite the evidence to the contrary?"

I see that I might need to put some end quotes for some people in here.

Artblack01, I never said the number of believers dictates whether something is true or not. What I meant was that the number of non-believers is too small to impact the life of a believer, so why bother explaining?

I


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Titen said: "So if you include all of the non-religious, and agnostics and atheists you get a number closer to 15 or 16%, that's about the same number as those who identify as Hindus."

Yes, the lines are blurred a bit because a person can be religious and be an atheist and a person can believe in God, yet not be religious. I would say for the sake of this discussion, since I referenced believers versus non-believers, we could lump agnostics in with atheists, which would bring the total worldwide at about 7%.

My point is that I don't bother preaching because the number of non-believers hasn't really affected my life. Rarely does someone come up to me with a name tag and introducing themselves as a non-believer. But the same also goes with Muslims, Jews, Baptists, Mormons, and any any other belief. The only time I get antagonized about beliefs or non-beliefs is on the internet. I am also a descent sized man, so I don't think anyone is going to come up and harass me about much of anything in person.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Personally I think most the non-religious category are atheists or agnostics even those of them who still hold some desire to believe there is a god. I also think there are a ton of nominal believers in the pews who don't really believe any of it.

Either way it's a positive sign that the non-religious are on the rise, whether they want to identify as atheists, agnostics or just non-religious.

I just hope that along with the decline of religion comes an increase in critical thinking and skepticism. People need to be able to look critically at any ideology, be it religious or political or anything other flavor.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Titen said: "Personally I think most the non-religious category are atheists or agnostics even those of them who still hold some desire to believe there is a god. I also think there are a ton of nominal believers in the pews who don't really believe any of it."

This is probably true, but the coin can have two sides. I read an essay by a scientist who spent his entire career claiming to be an atheist because of professional peer pressure. He also said that there were many others just like him. I know this number probably represents a small amount, but they do exist.

The only problem I have with guessing what people believe or don't believe is that others tend to project their own personal beliefs into this. For instance, there are many who say that Hitler was not really a Christian or that Trump really isn't a Republican or that Obama is really a Muslim. This can also seep into using beliefs as a measuring stick to see if a person should enter a country or not. In the end, we just have to take people at their word, so until people come out and say it, we have to consider the statistics just what they are.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

I agree completely Wild Bill and I understand why some don't feel comfortable wearing the label of atheist. Personally I don't think it's the label that's important so much as how critically one looks at their beliefs and what effects those beliefs have on their behavior. If someone is out there feeding and clothing the needy more power to them no matter what they identify as.

Generosity, kindness, empathy, skepticism, reason and science an all work hand in hand and they are all part of humanity, no supernatural baggage required!


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

Right on Titan, I am with you on that.

As far as my being an atheist goes, I have never discussed that with anyone unless they open up that discussion, I don't care what other people believe, that is their choice. If they bring it up I will tell them why I don't believe and on the internet, everything is a discussion so that is probably the only time it would be brought up.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Unfortunately, I am still experiencing hateful, rude comments about being an atheist. I can't count the number of times I have been told how "hateful" I am towards people for being an atheist. And for no other reason than that.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

Same here, the best we can do is lead by example and be as nice and as informative as possible.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Austin,

Yes, it is a shame that there are people like that in the world. I get atheists calling me insane because I believe in an invisible man. I don't know why people do that because the world would be much easier if people would accept that we are all different and just get along.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Btw: maybe we should all make a New Years resolution to never say a mean thing to anyone, even if someone says something mean to us.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Merry Christmas Wild Bill. Christmas is one of those traditions I refuse to let the Christians claim as if it belongs only to them. Federal Holidays belong to everyone and the hodgepodge of weird and disparate traditions, religious and otherwise, that go into Christmas, make it a unique and far from only a Christian holiday.

And to all my other hubpages followers, whatever you celebrate or if December 25th is just another day for you, make it a good one!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 11 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Thanks Titen....and the same to you! I do celebrate Christmas, but no more or less than I celebrate every precious day of my life. At this moment I'm spending time with son #3 (nice way to keep track of my kids, eh? just give 'em a NUMBER!) his lovely wife and incredible 8 yr. old daughter & 2 & a half year old TWIN BOYS. You know the comment, "Peace & Joy?"......yeah, well.....the "peace", not so much. Especially on Christmas morning! I'd say these kids are spoiled, but I'd be a hypocrite. Have Fun!!


Paladin_ profile image

Paladin_ 11 months ago from Michigan, USA

Indeed! Merry Christmas, or happy whatever holidays to everyone, whichever they choose to celebrate (or not)!


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Yes, Christmas has turned into a bit of a circus for many, but in my house we keep all of the Christian traditions alive. I think if you went into the house of many others, they might surprise you too. There are still some of us that don't give in to the secular aspect created by the marketing machine.

I hope everyone enjoys their day.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

Just another day for me, except nothing is open.... I get to be lazy for once and do jack shit all day.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 11 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Angry atheists - actually, you can celebrate Christmas to your heart's content. Jesus is not really the reason for the season. He was not born on December 25th. That date was set when the Roman Catholic church first became official. Many celebrations, especially the winter solstice, happened in the Roman Empire at that time, so they decided to include a Christian one as well.

It is unknown when Christ was born. Some say the fall, some say the spring. It is believed the Magi arrived around January 6th to present their gifts, but that did not necessarily happen soon after Christ's birth; it could have happened several months, or even a year, later.

Many of the traditions surrounding Christmas are from Germany. The Christmas Tree, Advent, caroling from door to door, and many of the songs are traditionally German. Even Santa Claus, who was originally Turkish, has been Germanized. Obviously, Christ was not born anywhere near Germany!

So there's no reason to rebel. Enjoy to your heart's content!

Hopefully, all of you had a great holiday! I did!


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

Actually, there is much evidence that Jesus didn't exist at all. The original reason for the season is that it falls ear the solstice and it is also known before Christmas to be the birth of Saturn, who ate his own son. There are many different cultures that celebrated this time of year for many other reasons and then there is the capitalist reason for Santa which is to sell more shit to people. As for angry, I'm not angry about anything except the state of mankind. Last year I walked home on Christmas day from my friends house and in the allies of the streets there were hundreds of homeless people crying... All of them were crying... Saddest thing I ever saw... Here in the united States. I see no reason to celebrate anything as long as anyone suffers. Be thankful you have a warm bed and food to eat. If you Worship Jesus then do what he supposedly did. Live humbly and help everyone in need, even if he is just made up.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

artblack 01 said: "Actually, there is much evidence that Jesus didn't exist at all."

Care to back that statement up? I didn't know one could provide evidence that something doesn't exist. I thought it was the other way around.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

Not to speak for Art but there is a decent case to be made for Mythicism. I wouldn't make it personally because Mythicism is something I am still quite skeptical of but there is a case to be made that Jesus never lived at all.

If you'd like a place to start research the claims of Dr. Richard Carrier and also the parallels the Gospels have to Homer and other myths that tend to fall into the Monomyth (Joseph Campbell). Like I said I don't think I'd argue their points, I don't think anyone can prove there wasn't someone named Jesus (or Yeshua) who was an apocalyptic Jewish prophet at that time and place but there's interesting thought provoking stuff out there.

Also, edit to add, happy New Year everyone!


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

The Jewish people for the most part keep good historical records, there are many mistranslations of the old testament, the Jews were never slaves to the Egyptians but consignment workers, the red Sea wasn't actually parted but a battle between Jewish warriors and Egyptians, and they have no record the Jesus was a relevant person at the time, there were several battles going on between two sects of Jews against the Romans at the time, neither of these Jewish rebel leaders had a name that even resembles Jesus, Yeshua, or any variation there of..... I will be posting a hub some time soon, still collecting info on it.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

Wild Bil - "Actually, there is much evidence that Jesus didn't exist at all." (from artblack)

grammatically speaking, this should say something to the effect that - there is no evidence of the birth of "Jesus", no death certificate, no contemporary literary mentions, save those written hundreds of years after his alleged "crucifixion", and no records of his daily life.

There is no verification of the existence of a man called Yeshua, or this particualar Jesus, this particular "messiah" (there were hundreds of "messiahs at the time), nor are there ANY writings that are auto biographical.

It's like this Jesus character is totally fictional.

So there is no way to prove that Jesus existed. Unless you consider the Christian collection of "bible" books. So, AGAIN, there is no independent verification of a Christian Jesus.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Yes, Austin. That was my point. He should have said "There is not much evidence in the existence of Jesus."

You are right; there is not much evidence. Only an entire religion and the written word in the Bible, but there is not much evidence that many other historical figures from 2000+ years ago existed, such as Plato.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

There is another way to say this, at least to Christians. You can believe that a god and Jesus exist, you can turn a blind eye to the actual history that is there for you to research on what actually happened in those times, its hard to do research but worth it if you want to know what is real and not folk legend or even propaganda, you can believe whatever you want. However, many of us, I don't believe God or Jesus existed, I have done enough research in my life to come to that conclusion, I used to be a Christian but having the desire to know what was real I decided to look. Personally I don't care if someone believes me or not, I am living my own life and as long as people don't interfere with that because of beliefs I am fine. Having been preached to by family and friends all my life I decided I wanted to know not just believe in something. Again, you don't have to believe I did the research, you can look for yourself, you don't have to believe me, you can find out on your own. You can believe what ever you want, I would rather believe what is true and real.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

An 'entire religion' is what most gods and supernatural beings are part of, not to mention so-called "Holy Texts".

I'm guessing most Christians wouldn't grant credence to the scriptures of the Hindu religion based solely on the fact that they serve as written word about those gods, beings, figures, places and supernatural ideas.

"but there is not much evidence that many other historical figures from 2000+ years ago existed, such as Plato"

Well quite frankly it does not matter whether or not Plato actually existed to write the works attributed to him, no one is going around telling people that they must turn and worship Plato or suffer an ill fate in the afterlife. There are not two billion Plato worshipers acting as if he is a deity.

This is why I personally do not have a problem saying that Jesus may have lived. Sure he may have, he may not have, no one knows... but once the supernatural claims about him start pouring in it becomes another matter entirely. Saying an apocalyptic Jewish prophet lived and died in the first century in that time, in that place, called Yeshua, is not an extraordinary claim. Claiming that, unlike every other prophet from antiquity we know about, this Jesus fellow really was divine and had spectacular supernatural powers and rose from the dead and that we must believe in him or else face dire consequences after death, is quite different indeed.

Let's imagine for a moment an archaeologist 10,000 years from now finds scant evidence about Elvis Presley. Of course it's 10,000 years and nothing our current civilization builds is built quite like the pyramids or ancient roman structures so barely anything remains to tell the man about Elvis. Now imagine among the various scraps of information he finds an animatronic dancing Elvis. He also finds stories, and reports of Elvis having survived death and still being alive.

Obviously this is not analogous to Christianity, my point is merely to draw the distinction between Elvis Presley, musician and entertainer existed and Elvis existed and was an immortal cyborg.


Wild Bill 11 months ago

Titen,

I think you missed my point. I never wanted to prove to any of you that Jesus was the savior. I was only pointing to a few facts to show that his existence as a man cannot be written off by those who do not believe in the Christian faith. This is why I referenced Plato; as a comparison to another historic person that any one person could say that they have no physical evidence to prove he existed. This is also why I referenced the religion of Christianity. Not because of hocus pocus, but because it is something somewhat tangible created due to this man.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 11 months ago from back in the lab again Author

The real question is whether there was a real man, or if, as Dr. Richard Carrier believes, Jesus was a spiritual figure that was only said to have live a flesh and blood life at a later date. Unfortunately there's currently no way to know for certain and may never be. But as you say there's no way to rule out that the Jesus story is based on a real guy.


artblack01 profile image

artblack01 11 months ago from New Mexico

Considering the events of the time, if Jesus were are real person, and even if he were to have lived the life as described in the Bible yet still not a being of great power who sacrificed himself... He would have been insignificant to the Romans and was not as much a trouble maker as the rest of his people who were actually waging war with the Romans at the time.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 11 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

The story of Jesus, whether real or not real, will never explain why a god would cause himself to be born of a "virgin", then have himself tortured to death, only to rise again having "sacrificed" nothing, only to leave absolutely ZERO evidence of himself as the creator of the universe. The whole premise makes absolutely no sense whatsoever toward proving that a god or gods exist. It's just a con artist's story to gain "followers" for a religion of war against some so-called enemies.

It has now morphed into "organized" religion which goes about trying to extract exorbitant tithes for luxury jets and mansions while pretending to sell you a place in a non-existent "heaven" that you can only enter into when you die! Oh, and by allowing you to join their "club".

What a crock.


Say Yes To Life profile image

Say Yes To Life 11 months ago from Big Island of Hawaii

Austinstar - OOOOOHHHHH! I hadn't thought of that!

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