More issues about the Bible, God and a certain wager.
LeastOfBrethren; The Bible talks about God and gods but the Bible is very clear about distinction between the two. LORD GOD are very attentive to warn and even put to right path when His children, Israel, about gods of their neighboring country. He gave a very clear instruction not to worship other God because there is no God than Him. Yes, there are gods that mentioned in the Bible, those are the gods worshipped by their neighboring country and the reason why LORD God ordered His children to wipe them out.
John the Atheist: No one has the monopoly of claiming a “true” god. Every god is true base on what the adherents’ believe.
I think every god believer in this planet have the same impression. They all believe that the god that they worship is the true god while other deities are consider as false gods. Egocentrism appears to follow religion.
In Islam for example, the god ordered Muhammad to destroy the idols in Ka’aba. Even in ancient times, those who conquered other civilizations most likely try to erase the gods of the occupied territories to stress domination. Example, in Easter Island, a dominating culture tried to eradicate the worship of the “moia”. They even destroyed some of those impressive 4 feet megaliths. In ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh Akhenaton (died in 1358 BCE) established the worship of the Sun cult (Amon-Ra) and decreed all Egyptian gods banished but one Supreme Being—Aten, the god of the fully risen sun. Throughout all of Egypt, the images of all the gods desecrated or destroyed. In addition to denigrating the ancient gods of Egypt, Akhenaton moved his capital city to Tel el Amarna, thus denying the region of Thebes and Karnak their prestige as sacred ground.
Many gods are of the jealous type. I do not know about green-eyed gods…the creator of the universe being pisses-off when his lowly subjects worship other gods and flattery is use to appease Him. You call this a “god’? Jealousy is a very weak kind of emotion. Classical theism does reduce the greatness of a Supreme Being.
just like a father showing his power and strength to his children against his enemy. He showed how He gets angry, He doesn’t give a second thought of wiping them out when you are His enemy. Our LORD God has actually putting fear to His children towards Him because fear of God is the start of wisdom.
John the Atheist: Fear is the start of wisdom? I thought curiosity and skepticism is the start of wisdom. Anyway, speaking of fear I have read somewhere that…God is Love, real love is not fear..eh…strange isn’t it?
Speaking of fear, most despots have the same approach like your god when it comes to their subjects. One of the best examples I know was The Grand Moff Tarkin (played by Peter Cushing) in the movie Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. A soulless conference room deep inside the Death Star, high-ranking Imperial Officers were discussing about the benefit of the new battle station. According to The Grand Moff Tarkin, fear will keep the local systems in-line.
Tyrants have employed the use of fear to thwart public opinion. Maybe you had forgotten the Marcos regime. Feudal and warlords use it to prevent rebellion. So why do these LORDS use it? That’s not about love or wisdom…it is use to instill power and control. Christianity was founded from this fear…Look how the Church used this fear to plunder the lands of our ancestors. The same fear is use today to pillage wealth and resources from devotees. Shock and awe has nothing to do with wisdom. There is no truth in fear, only coercion. To utilize fear as basis of wisdom will only create a mind full of hate and intolerance. That is the reason why most wars are instigate with the belief in a vengeful, warlike god. Now base in your own description @ LeastOfBrethren , why would you like me to worship such a fiendish bully?
The anger of this god is really the greed of the Christian evangelists.
the story about LORD God is not a myth, the baal's and greek (romans, egyptians) mythology are the myths. everybody knows about what happened in egypt when our LORD God rescued His children. He send plagues to egypt which zues, jupiter, ra cannot do even a single one thats because it is a myth or came from man's imagination.
lets take for example zues. if zues is really existing, why his people or believers are gone now? do you know anyone who still worship zues or even can testify his presence? if he is existing, atleast he take care his people until now so that people like us now in modern times can hear his teachings like our LORD God does. from time of abraham until now, we can freely hear His teachings inspite of hardship gone thru the ages. thats why there is Christians, and Judaism. Muslims can also testify that there is God but that is deifferent story. were are those RA's people now? if he is really existing, why his teachings cannot be seen now? suppose RA is god, and we know God is powerfull. if you are powerfull, protecting your people against hardship thru the ages are an easy task for you. no matter what happened, your legacy and words will remain regardless of time. you cannot see any remnants of RA, jupiter, zues because they are just man's imagination and that is the perfect example of myth. but our LORD God is not a myth, i am here testifying that He is Almighty because He protect His people until His words reached to my time. imagine, those words were written thousand years ago?! thats amazing!
John the Atheist: Are you suggesting that the Hindu gods are real because until now there are still at least 900 million people who still worship the Brahman or even can testify his presence, even after all those years (7000 years.- Wow! That is older than the Judeo-Christian creation story!) Better watch your arguments @ LeastOfBrethren, an atheist retort may sometimes be very fiddly.
Gods are recyclable @ LeastOfBrethren. Don’t you know that you may still be worshipping the same god that the Egyptians worshipped every time you worship Jesus. Remember, both Horus and Jesus is The Way, The Truth and the Life – only Horus came a bit 3,000 years earlier than Jesus.
About the 10 plagues…hmmmm…well only the Hebrews believe this had happened. However, according to the Egyptians, it is a bad case of urban legend. Therefore, I guess, Horus still guards his turf against Christian fakers.
Seriously, you cannot see any of these so-called “events” in the walls of Karnak. Oh sure, you might say that the Egyptians delete all these accounts from their history. Well, that is your burden of proof. As long as you cannot show me any historical evidence that the Exodus happened, I will not accept any rhetoric explanations.
Historically speaking, you may have some problems regarding the Exodus. First, it will be quite difficult for you to prove to me that Moses (the hero of the story) is an existing fellow. Second, archeological evidences suggest that the story of the Exodus all the way to the Book of Joshua never even happened. It is quite doubtful that 2 million refugees escape Egyptian slavery without some sort of mention in the Egyptian records. Gosh! Egyptians are meticulous record-keepers.
Second, can you explain to me how two million people wandered in the desert for 40 years did not even leave a single archeological souvenir?
There is even this debate about the Red Sea and Sea of Reeds.
Therefore, the Exodus story is definitely a myth.
Now @ LeastOfBrethren, you say that your god is better than Zeus huh? Yet you still utter Zeus every time you say “Diyos” (The Pilipino word for god). The word “diyos” came from the Spanish word “deos”, which etymologically came from the word “Zeus” – that “theo” for you @ LeastOfBrethren.
Now for the bad news @ LeastOfBrethren, Christianity is long dead. What we have here are syndication re-runs. Just like other ancient gods, the Judeo-Christian tribal god was already buried. What we have are just spin-offs. Christianity…just like other religions has assimilated into popular culture. That is why we have “Born-Again Christians” today.
Nietzsche (1844-1900) was right when he said ‘God is dead.” as John Shelby Spong explained - According to his friend, the ex-Anglican priest Michael Donald Goulder, that the God of the past “no longer had any real work to do.” The task assigned to this God by traditional wisdom, he suggested, have been slowly but surely stripped from the divine side. This God no longer fights wars and defeats enemies. This God no longer chooses a special people and works through them. This God no longer sends storms, heals the sick, spare the dying, or even judge the sinners. This God no longer rewards goodness and punished evil. (Why Christianity Must Change or Die p.44)
The God of our traditional past, who was the source of our values, the definer of our sense of right or wrong, was simply no more (Why Christianity Must Change or Die p.40)
I don’t think Bishop Spong is talking about Zeus or Ra.
The Bible is not a historical book but for believers like me, we believed that Bible is history book written in advance consisting of parables to explain what will happen in the future, it is written in parables and other ways so that non believers cannot see nor understand what is written in advance no matter how they tried to understand it until they confess in their mouth our Lord God is Almighty.
John the Atheist: It is not about what you want to believe @ LeastOfBrethren. The question is does your claim has any morsel of facts in it?
Facts are not use to make a clean breast about something @ LeastOfBrethren. Non-believers use it to see if a believer’s explanation is flawed. If you will try to excuse yourself on your claims by saying that “non believers cannot see nor understand what is written in advance no matter how they tried to understand…” , then there is really no good reason to tell us of this gimcrack you called “The Bible”.
Scrutiny is the best defense on predictive claims. If your aver regarding Biblical history as written in advance stands up @ LeastOfBrethren ,then we have no reason to doubt it. Regarding Biblical prophesies, most Christian apologists reason out that most “unfulfilled” prophesies in the Bible are just events that still have to happened in the far future (is this your same excuse @ LeastOfBrethren?), but when confronted with historical facts, there are some so called “prophesies” in the Bible that never really took place. Here are some examples:
• "And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever; there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it" (Jer. 49:33). People never stopped living in Hazor and continue to do so.
• According to Ezekiel, Tyre will fall to Nebuchadrezzar and be destroyed by him. He will plunder Tyre's riches. "For thus saith the Lord God; Behold I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings.... He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field:...and with his axes he shall break down thy towers...he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches...." (Ezek 26:7-12) and "All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more" (Ezek. 28:19). Yet, Nebuchadrezzar did not take Tyre or make a spoil of its riches. His 13 year siege failed. He took the outworks but the town was on an island and remained impregnable. "Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against it. Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchardrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry of its wealth and despoil it and plunder it; and it shall be the wages for his army. I have given him the land of Egypt as his recompense for which he labored...." (Ezek. 29:18-20 RSV). Tyre was not conquered by Nebuchadrezzar, so God gave him Egypt as compensation. No historian either Greek or Phoenician mentions Tyre being taken, plundered, and destroyed by Nebuchadrezzar. Alexander the Great actually conquered Egypt 240 years later.
• "And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down. Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people,...shall fall with them by the sword.... And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed.... Thus saith the Lord God; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar King of Babylon. He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, will be brought to destroy the land; and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. And I will make the rivers dry,...and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt....And I will set fire in Egypt" (Ezek. 30:4-16) and "thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against Pharoah king of Egypt, and will break his arms,.... And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. And I will stengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break the Pharoah's arms,.... I shall put by sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt" (Ezek. 30:22-26).
(a) The multitudes of Egypt have never been taken away or dispersed among other countries.
(b) Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydia never fell along with Egypt. They never fell to a common destroyer.
(c) A large conflagration never occurred in Egypt.
(d) Nebuchadrezzar never destroyed the land of Egypt.
(e) A prince continued to rule in Egypt long after Nebuchadrezzar.
(f) The rivers of Egypt were never made dry and
(g) None of the evils which Ezekiel said Nebuchadrezzar would bring upon Egypt ever occurred.
• "It (Egypt) shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations" (Ezek. 29:15). Yet, in the 1820's Egypt took over and ruled the Sudan.
• "So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt" (Isa. 20:4). When did Assyrians capture Egyptian and Ethiopian prisoners and lead them away with their buttocks uncovered?
• "Israel will no longer expect any help from Egypt. Whenever she thinks of asking for it, then she will remember her sin in seeking it before" (Ezek. 29:16 Living Bible). How is this to be reconciled with the recent Camp David agreement?
if you use your worldy wisdom and you think you are intelligent enough to know Him using your scientific thinking, im sorry to tell you that you are missing the point of knowing Him. because it is written in 1 Corinthian 1:19 I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate." (taken from Isaiah 29:14).
John the Atheist: *sigh* The worldly wisdom excuse again. *sigh*
I am really flummoxed with this worldly wisdom claptrap. Geez! Is there a “heavenly wisdom”? If there is, then what is it? The god concept was created in this “world”, isn’t it?
Anyway, I’m not really that interested with boring palavers.
Brethren, think of this. suppose there is no God and suppose one day we theist eventually discover that there is no God and everything is just an imagination. what do you think you can get from that? you atheist are rejoicing that finally you are justified that there is no God and you must be proud, walking head upright just like a king walking in the middle of his people. we thist will very shock for days, months or years and after years of living we are all dead and our life will ends from that. - you get nothing but a temporary happiness.
Lets turn the table, suppose there is God. and suppose one unexpected day, The Son of Man came from the sky thru the clouds on His feet. everybody is crying because they are not prepared and your one of them. that day and time, you and the rest of non-believers will run and hide under the stone and mountains (as what was written in the book of revelation) so that the wrath of God will not struck you. no matter what kind of hidding you will do, you will be send in front of great white throne to be judge. and after that judgement, you will be punish for not listening to what believers has said over and over again and not reading and believing the Bible. while you are being send to your eternal punishment, you will see the great happiness of believers while they are sending to their final destination, in heaven where everything is perfect.
while you are being tormented painfully in your final destination eternally, you will see the great new city that God has prepared to his people along with the 12 tribes of Israel, being happy for their perfect life.
now do you think it is worth your soul and spirit to bet in this gumble? you are actually investing your soul and spirit in the future by putting your beliefs to one of two opposite sides and in this case you put your faith in non-believers side. do you think it is wise to bet your soul in non-believers side after those consequences i shown to you?
John the Atheist: You assume too much @ LeastOfBrethren. When a believer is being pinned-down, he releases his so-called powerful arsenal (as dictated by the Holy Spirit). Ladies and gentlemen…Pascal’s Wager (applause! applause!)
So let see, what do an atheist get when god does not exist? Nothing really…for us life goes on. However, one thing is quite certain, if we sacrifice this one life in doormat subservience to a nonexistent god, then we have lost everything! Just imagine all the wasted productive time and resources…all those money that were use to built hospitals and schools instead of churches. All those papers, trees that were cut just to print those silly Bibles! Man! I’m not talking about temporary happiness here but about all those wasted resources that my children and my children’s children should have used. Not to mention all those wars, all those senseless violence and murders done in the name of a non-existing entity.
Now let us go to your second scenario. Suppose there is a god…Hmmmmm unlike your derange fantasy @ LeastOfBrethren, I (as an atheist) will not hide my ass from this freak you call god.
Bertrand Russell was asked what he would say if he died and found himself confronted by God, demanding to know why Russell had not believed in him. 'Not enough evidence,
God, not enough evidence,' was Russell's reply. Unlike Russell, I will just ask Him, “Where the hell have you been all this years you ugly son of a bitch! Natutulog ka lang ba sa pansitan?” (Are you just sleeping in a Chinese noodle shop?)
(Note: When we talk about the Christian god…I sometimes can’t help my anti-theism showing. Excuse my language. Sometimes there is a little bit of a Christopher Hitchens in every Filipino atheist/anti-theist. Maybe we can talk about anti-theism some other time.)
Now let us make the wager more interesting @ LeastOfBrethren.
Suppose there is God and her real name was Brenda and she came down from the sky thru the clouds on Her feet. Everybody is crying because they are not prepared and you’re one of them. From that day, you and the rest of the Christians will run and hide under the stone and mountains because Brenda was so pissed-off with Christians for worshipping a male god. Now the wrath of Brenda will struck you, no matter what kind of hiding you will do. You will be sending in front of a great white love seat near a Jacuzzi to be judge and after that judgement, you will be punish for not listening with women right groups warning and because you believe the Bible (Brenda doesn’t like its sexist stories!). While you are being sent to your eternal punishment, you will see the great happiness of non-believers while they are sending to their final destination, in Brenda’s penthouse where everything is perfect.
While you are being tormented painfully in your final destination eternally, you will see the great new Metropolis that Brenda has prepared to her people along with the 12 jazz groups in Manhattan, being happy for their perfect life.
So how about that @ LeastOfBrethren?
Pascal’s wager is really a gamble. In a more staid tone, even believers will not have a good deal with the risk …There are many wrong turns. Suppose the Roman Catholic are right, that outside her church, there is no salvation, then what happened to evangelical Christians like you @ LeastOfBrethren. Remember, Blaise Pascal was a Roman Catholic. So what happened if Islam is the true religion and Allah is the real god, what happened to Christians? Pascal’s wager is not an effective way to convince a non-believer @ LeastOfBrethren. It is not worth the bet.
yes, there are myths and mythologies and it is clearly stated in The Bible. the myths are the beliefs of ancient people about gods like baal's. but our LORD God has given a very clear examples of those myths that are totally man's imagination against our LORD God who created heaven and earth. our creator is not a man's imagination, were are still on the stage of deciphering and studying His glory from His creation. our universe is one of many examples of His creation and until now we are on the stage of studying it. there is no being that can create something from nothing, do you agree with that?
lets not look further, lets say our heart. what do you think heart made of that it is continuously pumping your blood to your body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for your entire life? you cannot find a mechanical parts there nor a dynamo that powers your heart. when you slice it into small pieces, you will see nothing, it is just a soft part of it. yet it pumps for your entire life, non-stop until your last breath.
John the Atheist: Are we studying god? Hmmmm can we place it in a laboratory? Anyway, I really can’t find the connection between myths, your Lord and creation stories. First of all, all creation stories are called myths and every gods in this planet has a creation story to tell. For your information, a myth is a traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people.
Let see…according to your god myth, He created the universe in 6 days…But there are better creation myths than that @ LeastOfBrethren. For example, the Chinese creation story is nearer to the Big Bang than the Genesis account. If you will ask me, I think the myth of Panku is more scientifically symbolic than Genesis 1:1.
So again, may I ask why you assume that there is something from nothing? There is a possibility that something have always been a default beginning, is it?
Does the heart have any dynamo or mechanical parts to keep it going 24/7? Fortunately, there is. @ LeastOfBrethren. The heart muscle keeps beating because of your material brain. There are two types of nervous systems: The Somatic Nervous System and Autonomic Nervous System. The autonomic nervous system is a part of the nervous system of vertebrates that controls involuntary actions of the smooth muscles and heart and glands. That is why our heart is continuously pumping your blood to your body 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for your entire life.
do you have particular books that you want to recommend or your always reading to support your 180 degree turn? we Christians have Bible to base our knowledge, natural phenomenon that most of them cannot successfully explained by science and blessings that keep coming to my (our) life.
John the Atheist: Atheism is not about reading a particular book (something like what Christians do). We base our knowledge from different disciplines. Some atheists are more scientific, while others are more philosophical. I think a little of both is the best. However, this may be a bit of a surprise; some atheist became atheists by reading and understanding the Bible. Well…they become atheistic in regards of the Judeo-Christian god after reading and understanding the whole book.
you know, this will sound funny to you (because your non believer) but everytime i look at the clear sky and realized that i have a very good life knowing that most people nowadays are struggling to have foods to their tables, my happiness are overwhealming, that alone testifies that His existence really undeniable.
John the Atheist: Every time I look at the clear sky, I always wonder if PAGASA (Philippine weather bureau) is right with their prediction…seriously, it seems you are too self-centered with your assessment @ LeastOfBrethren. Doesn’t it ever occur to you that while you’re looking at the clear sky, savoring your junk food…as your spittle drips in every munch…thinking of how your good life was given by your god, somewhere in this world a child is dying from hunger…that alone testify that your god doesn’t exist.
why not try, even just for once in your life as an atheist to pray for anything you need and want? for example, a good job (when you pray tell Him the specific detail you want like good salary, easy job, etc then remember that and wait) then observe if it will come true but do not forget to wait because the things you want might come not in your time but in His time. i am speaking for my experience eh. just a suggestion.
John the Atheist: Why not pray for world peace for a change @ LeastOfBrethren.