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10 Reasons For Apostasy on Christmas: Inspired by Sam's book
Posted: 25 December 2006 05:29 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Having finished Sam Harris’ The End of Faith, I have moved on to his second work, Letter to a Christian Nation. The book only is about 100 pages, so I am already about halfway through. Although he, once again, sinks deep into the morality morass, he nevertheless presents a tremendously strong argument for apostasy from the Christian mythology. So, it seemed to me that Christmas Day [a holiday with pagan roots just as significant as its biblical ones] would be the ideal occasion to present 10 reasons to leave the Christian faith. This list is inspired by Mr. Harris’ book, and items on the list often will be direct quotes from Harris. After my brief rundown, I will share five choice Bible passages, which should make apostasy a bit easier. Enjoy.


1. Christianity, in all denominations from sea to shining sea, is illogical, irrational, unreasonable and, most importantly, unscientific. From virgin birth to talking non-human animals, and from corpse resurrection to immaterial souls, this particular brand of mythology is unscientific to its core. Various absurdities, found in both the Old and New Testaments, simply cannot be reconciled with scientific reality.

2. The Bible, in the not-too-distant past, has reasonably been interpreted to permit—or even condone—“witch” burnings, slavery, torture, female subservience and all manner of detestable horror. True, some passages in the Good Book speak about love, charity, forgiveness and brotherhood. But, other passages—equally numerous—prescribe stoning people to death for fictitious offenses.

3. The Bible’s dating of the earth’s age—that it was created in 4004 BC—is ludicrously incorrect. As Harris observes, “This is, incidentally, about a thousand years after the Sumerians invented glue.” A 6000-year-old earth is so absurdly in conflict with the evidence as to make the proposition completely laughable and unworthy of serious attention.

4. Atheism is the only consistent position with respect to religion. Christians, for example, are atheistic with respect to every religion except Christianity. How oddly inconsistent. Muslims, too, reject every world religion save for Islam, which has a monopoly on absolute Truth. How is it reasonable to reject, quite literally, thousands of religions, yet cling to the absolute authority of one?

5. Historic “heroes” of Christianity are worthy neither of respect nor reverence. Harris writes, “It was even possible for the most venerated patriarchs of the Church, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, to conclude that heretics should be tortured (Augustine) or killed outright (Aquinas). Martin Luther and John Calvin advocated the wholesale murder of heretics, apostates, Jews and witches.” Here we return, once again, to severe punishments prescribed for fictitious offenses.

6. Yahweh is woefully unworthy of worship. As portrayed in the Old Testament, he is the very embodiment of human frailty: vicious, vengeful, jealous, egotistical, insecure and, most frighteningly, endlessly murderous. Yahweh also seems to have difficulty separating the important from the trivial, as evidenced in the Ten Commandments. Harris writes, “And what are we to make of the fact that, in bringing his treatise to a close, the creator of our universe could think of no human concerns more pressing and durable than the coveting of servants and livestock?” Indeed, why do cursing and working on Sunday make the list, anyway?

7. No God, whether the Christian conception or not, should be worshipped given the results with which we live. If Yahweh is real, then cancer, small pox, HIV, malaria and polio all are the products of his cloud-enshrouded laboratory. “Acts of God” such as Hurricane Katrina and the devastating tsunami of a few years ago are exactly that—the life-extinguishing playthings of the Creator. Then there is starvation, homelessness, birth defects, genetic disease….

8. Piety can result in mass death. Harris writes, “Christian missionaries have been known to preach the sinfulness of condom use in villages where no other information about condoms is available. This kind of piety is genocidal.” He continues, in a note, “If you can believe it, the Vatican is currently opposed to condom use even to prevent the spread of HIV from one married partner to another.” Truly sickening, folks.

9. Virulent Christian anti-Semitism helped create the environment in which the Holocaust took place. Harris writes, “…the anti-Semitism that built the Nazi death camps was a direct inheritance from medieval Christianity. For centuries, Christian Europeans had viewed the Jews as the worst species of heretics and attributed every societal ill to their continued presence among the faithful. While the hatred of Jews in Germany expressed itself in a predominantly secular way, its roots were religious, and the explicitly religious demonization of the Jews of Europe continued throughout the period. The Vatican itself perpetuated the blood libel in its newspapers as late as 1914. And both Catholic and Protestant churches have a shameful record of complicity with the Nazi genocide.”

10. Turning, just for a moment, to David Mills’ Atheist Universe: “The Church angrily denounced the introduction of medicines, antibiotics, anesthesia, surgery, blood transfusions, birth control, transplants, in vitro fertilization and most forms of pain killers. Supposedly, these scientific tools interfered with nature and were therefore against God’s will.” The Church’s modern-day anti-science positions, obviously, should be no shock. Human suffering never has been a high-level concern.

Five Classic Bible Passages – a special bonus:


So Moses said, "This is what the LORD says: 'About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl, who is at her hand mill, and all the firstborn of the cattle as well. There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt—worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.
Exodus 11:4-6


" 'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
Leviticus 25:44-45


Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.
Ephesians 6:5


If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Then all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again.
Deuteronomy 13:6-11


And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
Mark 7:9-10


Season's greetings.

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Posted: 07 January 2007 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Wonderful post, man.

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Posted: 12 January 2007 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.
Ephesians 6:5

This completely negates everything you say here.  We are called to respect our earthly masters in the Christian faith.  ...Paul, a bondservant of Christ…
You see you have to understand what that is before you make an argument against it.  A bondservant in the New and Old Testament refers to an individual who has given his entire life to his master.  A typical servant would serve for 7 years under his master, and then make the decision to move on with his life or become a bondservant.  If in fact, he is so dedicated to his master, that he would become a bondservant, they would conduct a ceremony in which the servants ear would be nailed to his masters house, showing his life-long dedication to his master.  This servant would then be slaved to his master for life.  And that is what Paul was dedicated to, as well as all Christians.  We are bondservants of Christ.  We are dedicated to Him and He is our Master for our entire lives.  It is the model of the slave to master that we have to follow in our Christian walks, not some misguided metaphor in which you think of here.  “Slaves” is nothing more than lifelong dedicattion in this instance.  Please, do your homework and your reading before you make misguided generalizations about something you know nothing about.

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Posted: 12 January 2007 09:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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You see, the atheistic view that so festers itself in todays society is redundantly uninspired, and brings nothing new to the table but pestilent outspoken ignorance.  And the intellectual ascent that you speak so highly of is so transparent, that even a child can agree with the simpletons like me. 

Whats more powerful than God, more evil than the devil, the rich want it, the poor have it, and if you eat it, you die? 

Why do 80% of all children get the answer to this question right, and only 1 out of 10 Ivy League Scholars answer correctly?

That is because the answer is “nothing.”  Now how would you say that the children get this right, and the intellectuals don’t? 

Because the mind of a child is simple, and the inherent, indibutable truth in this matter surfaces after the very first part of the question.  “Whats more powerful than God?” 

Nothing. 

Intellectual arrogance has no argument against the simple mind of a child.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.
Ephesians 6:5

This completely negates everything you say here.  We are called to respect our earthly masters in the Christian faith.  ...Paul, a bondservant of Christ…
You see you have to understand what that is before you make an argument against it.  A bondservant in the New and Old Testament refers to an individual who has given his entire life to his master.  A typical servant would serve for 7 years under his master, and then make the decision to move on with his life or become a bondservant.  If in fact, he is so dedicated to his master, that he would become a bondservant, they would conduct a ceremony in which the servants ear would be nailed to his masters house, showing his life-long dedication to his master.  This servant would then be slaved to his master for life.  And that is what Paul was dedicated to, as well as all Christians.  We are bondservants of Christ.  We are dedicated to Him and He is our Master for our entire lives.  It is the model of the slave to master that we have to follow in our Christian walks, not some misguided metaphor in which you think of here.  “Slaves” is nothing more than lifelong dedicattion in this instance.  Please, do your homework and your reading before you make misguided generalizations about something you know nothing about.

Then why doesn’t Ephesians 6:5 say “Bondservant, obey your earthly masters…”? Slave had the same meaning in 1965 that it does today. If that is not what they meant, then they shouldn’t have used it.

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“Rational arguments do not work on religious people, otherwise there would be no religious people.”—Dr. House

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Posted: 13 January 2007 02:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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A hearty welcome to the new fool of Christ to this forum! May your head be chopped off soon enough! smile

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Posted: 13 January 2007 03:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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[quote author=“arildno”]A hearty welcome to the new fool of Christ to this forum! May your head be chopped off soon enough! smile

I kindly appreciate the warm and fuzzy welcome.  I only wish that I might have 2 lives to give for my Creator.  If that means that my head must be separated from my body, then so be it.  But once again, while we disagree greatly, we are still humans.  And to wish that the head of another human be chopped off is certainly not what the atheistic community would tell you to say to a Christian, or any other human afterall.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 03:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]You see, the atheistic view that so festers itself in todays society is redundantly uninspired, and brings nothing new to the table but pestilent outspoken ignorance.

Festers, hmmm?  I think I like the word proliferate - it has a “flowering” feel to it, carries strength.  If you call scientists (a great deal of whom are atheist) uninspired, then geez, ok.  Or what about atheists like myself (a composer) or the marvelous Juilia Sweeney?  Creative inspired people (and attractive, too!)

[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]Whats more powerful than God, more evil than the devil, the rich want it, the poor have it, and if you eat it, you die? Why do 80% of all children get the answer to this question right, and only 1 out of 10 Ivy League Scholars answer correctly? That is because the answer is “nothing.”  Now how would you say that the children get this right, and the intellectuals don’t?

Children get this question “right” only if they’ve already been brainwashed by their parents, silly.  How would a child even have this concept without this?  They would not.  Children are indeed the best of us until religion gets ahold of them.

[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]Nothing.

It’s the question that’s “nothing”, not the answer. It doesn’t bear asking because god is “nothing.”

[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]Intellectual arrogance has no argument against the simple mind of a child.

raspberry

Funny how you bring children into the picture to defend yourself, but what you really mean is pious Christian children who’ve already been indoctrinated, parroting back what they’ve been taught.  I know several young atheist couples who are raising children without religion or god, and guess what?  Those children are some of the brightest and sweetest kids I know.  They are loving and warm and ask lots of good questions.  Would you call their intellect arrogant, Mr./Mrs. Jesusblood? 

Folks, I believe that “new atheists” are making a stronger impression than perhaps we’re aware.  Lots of media attention, no?  Even negative is good.  For folks like Jesusblood here, who are not used to having their religion questioned (and who, when presented with rationalism, have no rational reply by scripture quotes), I think this is troublesome. 

Keep up the good work everybody.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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A DIGITAL, virtual execution is all we’re after here. It’s very easy to do so with you Christians sticking your necks out, with no intellectual strength to withstand the chop.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“arildno”]A DIGITAL, virtual execution is all we’re after here. It’s very easy to do so with you Christians sticking your necks out, with no intellectual strength to withstand the chop.

And that is very true.  I don’t pretend to have any bit the intellctual mind, nor the creative wittiness of your virtual beheading.  We are compared to sheep in the Bible, and that would be by far the dumbest animal alive.  And so I stand in my stupidity before men, but I don’t stand before my creator, I fall on my face.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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Oh, but one more thing.  I have a biology degree with a minor in chemistry, and I am 1 year from completing my masters.  So, I am a student of science, which only “proliferates” to me that there is no other explanation than that we were fearfully and wonderfully made.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]Oh, but one more thing.  I have a biology degree with a minor in chemistry, and I am 1 year from completing my masters.  So, I am a student of science, which only “proliferates” to me that there is no other explanation than that we were fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderfully, ok.  Fearfully, no.  Painfully, yes ( a huge argument against intelligent design).

I imagine you’re studying at Liberty University.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“HappyHeathen”][quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]Oh, but one more thing.  I have a biology degree with a minor in chemistry, and I am 1 year from completing my masters.  So, I am a student of science, which only “proliferates” to me that there is no other explanation than that we were fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderfully, ok.  Fearfully, no.  Painfully, yes ( a huge argument against intelligent design).

I imagine you’re studying at Liberty University.

A typical stereotype, but I attended a secular college, Texas Tech University.  And that is actually the home of Professor Michael Dini, an extremely well respected evolutionary biologist, and one of the smartest men I have ever known.  I believe him to be misled, but there is absolutely no arguing he genius.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 04:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]I attended a secular college, Texas Tech University.  And that is actually the home of Professor Michael Dini, an extremely well respected evolutionary biologist, and one of the smartest men I have ever known.  I believe him to be misled, but there is absolutely no arguing he genius.

I’m not familiar with him.  Why do you think he’s a genius and why do you think he’s misled?

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Posted: 13 January 2007 04:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“HappyHeathen”][quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]I attended a secular college, Texas Tech University.  And that is actually the home of Professor Michael Dini, an extremely well respected evolutionary biologist, and one of the smartest men I have ever known.  I believe him to be misled, but there is absolutely no arguing he genius.

I’m not familiar with him.  Why do you think he’s a genius and why do you think he’s misled?

I can certainly look at things with an open mind, and although firmly rooted in my Christian belief, try to view things from the side of non-believers as well.  Of course as a Christian I think he is misled by his belief in the “non-random survival of randomly varying codes” to quote Dawkins.  However, he is a brilliant biologist, and perennially is included in the writing of questions for the MCAT.  I have much admiration for him and his mind, and I really think that you would agree that he has one of the most difficult courses to pass in the country if you were to take it.  And its freshman level biology for crying out loud.  I haven’t seen him in 7 years, but I can still hear his voice and his brilliance while he talks about the Central Dogma and how structure relates to function.  He did bring some Bible verses in to lecture one day, talking about the age of the earth.  He put them up on the overhead, read them, and then spit on the ground in disgust of how stupid they sounded to him.  That is a bold thing to do in the Bible belt, but I thought you would find it intriguing.

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Posted: 13 January 2007 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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[quote author=“nothingbutthebloodofjesus”]
He did bring some Bible verses in to lecture one day, talking about the age of the earth.  He put them up on the overhead, read them, and then spit on the ground in disgust of how stupid they sounded to him.  That is a bold thing to do in the Bible belt, but I thought you would find it intriguing.

Let’s take this item, then.  I assume you’d disagree on the age of the earth, since the Bible says it’s only 6,000 years old.  Am I correct?

There is no rational scientific argument for the Earth being 6,000 years old.  There are mountains of scientific evidence to suggest the Earth is billions of years old.  If I stand by the evidence (and so many different types of evidence corroborate, too!), rather than the Bible, am I an arrogant intellectual?  No doubt the Bible is interesting to study as a cultural and historical commentary on a very specific era of humankind.  The problem is that the process of biblification in effect replaces one’s capacity to reason with a closed system of thought - that of the Bible.  And so of course you’d disagree with your professor on anything that contradicts the Bible - the “word of god.”  Those things that make sense you can can keep.

Sam Harris says the term “atheism” should not even be used, because it’s like having a word for someone who doesn’t believe in astroglogy, or in Zeus or Athena or any other mythical deity.  He’s right that it indeed shouldn’t have to be a word, but I see it as necessary for the purpose of visibility right now.  Just like “gay pride” and “black is beautiful” were necessary (and still are in many places) to even the playing field in those areas. 

Rationalism, which does not include (for me) belief in a god, is an open system, unlike the blind faith of religion, where one simply must believe without question.  I say: I’m waiting for proof - show me your god and I’ll believe.  Give me evidence.  And you reply by either quoting scripture or with some vague statement of wonder: Just look around you!  And I say again, prove to me that god exists.  And you say:  God is beyond proof.  He does not need to prove himself.  And Dawkins says: Well, isn’t that just too easy? And then you fall flat on your face in front of your mythical god.

Progress is hindered by your type of thinking.  Nobody would believe their eyes when the evidence contradicts scripture.  And I, for one, and sick and tired of it.  To beat a dead horse, condoms save lives.  Christian missionaries in AIDS-ravaged Africa preach that condom use is a sin.  And people die.  The Christians live in a world that they imagine rather than the real world, and people die.

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