In a world dominated by magical thinking, superstition and misinformation, give yourself the benefit of doubt. This is one skeptic's view of the Universe.
"Tell people there’s an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure."
“If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed”.
“Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep thoughts can be winnowed from deep nonsense.”
The person who is certain, and who claims divine warrant for his certainty, belongs now to the infancy of our species. It may be a long farewell, but it has begun and, like all farewells, should not be protracted.
It’s interesting that you ask that question. The truth is that there are that who feel that murder, rape and abuse are ok. They might not feel any remorse or regret for doing those things. But God is totally against those things, and reveals that in His Word. Regardless of our feelings about gossip, lust, envy, selfishness, and lying, it’s all wrong. There’s a moral standard outside of our feelings. Right and wrong aren’t up to us.
Reveals that in his word? I’ll simply reproduce a response to another idiot. This is the second time I’m doing this, which shows you that your idiocy is quite common.
Your pathetic war god commanded genocide, rape, and slavery; let’s see you dig your way out from under all of these verses!
Oh and no rape you say!? How did they enjoy the women as plunder? You think the women of their enemies consented?
Oh, let’s make them our wives; that makes it perfectly okay! Oh wait, that sounds familiar. If you’re raped, you gotta marry the assailant (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). Oh and if some foreign guy rapes you and you don’t scream for help, you’ll be put to death with him (Deuteronomy 23:24). And more rape! (Deuteronomy 21:10-14). Wait what!? Come into her and then she shall be your wife? Isn’t that fornication? Contradiction much! How about a prophecy involving rape (Zechariah 14:1-2)? How about sex slavery (Exodus 21:7-11)!?
Infanticide in plain black and white!
And how about more ugly!?
Now how you let a man sacrifice his own daughter to you!? ”Oh but remember that time he didn’t let Abraham sacrifice his son?” Your argument is invalid!
And let’s not bicker about translation. The ESV is regarded as one of, if not, the best translation. Your amateur textual criticism won’t save you here.
"Oh but that’s the Old Testament; oh but those are Levitical laws. Jesus replaced the Law." The point is not whether these laws are still valid! The point is why the heck were they ever valid!? The point is that on your view, they were valid. On your view, Yahweh actually commanded genocide; he promised it through prophecy and followed through! On your view, the conclusion is inescapable: it’s not that the Bible condones rape and genocide; it’s that your god commanded those things, promised them via prophecy, and carried out those promises. It’s okay to believe that a people like the Amalekites were evil. But unless you believe in that dubious notion of inherited sin, why murder the infants and children? And come on, you cannot expect people to believe that every single adult was evil. When was it ever okay to murder infants and children based on the crimes of their parents? It’s one thing for someone like Hitler to do these things; it’s entirely another for a god, who is supposedly love, to do these things. Also, since you obviously need reminding: Yahweh is Jesus’ father and Jesus is one with is father and thus, one with Yahweh. Your savior is explicitly connected to this celestial child murderer, gang rapist, and ethnic cleanser.
What was that about god being against those things? You must be reading a different book.
See original post here.
Sam Harris (via whats-out-there)
Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, p.160-161. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2014. Print. (via academicatheism)
The Hebrew Bible, or the Old Testament, is known to modern readers from the Masoretic text, a compilation of Hebrew texts assembled by Jewish scholars in the seventh to tenth centuries A.D. from older scrolls and codices. That text, and thus the Old Testament, contain two creation stories. It is not unusual for cultures to have multiple creation stories, and throughout this booklet the paraphrases have melded two or more variations of a culture’s creation story into one. However, because the two stories in the Old Testament are so different, the two stories are recounted separately here as “Yahweh” and then “The Elohim”.
Yahweh’s creation story is from Genesis 2:4 to 3:24 of the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament. Extensive analysis of its style and content have led scholars of the Bible to conclude that the story was written in about the Tenth Century B.C.. That was around the time of King Solomon’s reign and in a time when Israel was a powerful nation. In contrast, the story in Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 was written three or four centuries later and under very different circumstances.
The author of the story in Genesis 2:4 to 3:24 is known to scholars as “J”. That is because J referred to the creator as Yahweh ( or “YHVH” in ancient Hebrew, or “Jahweh” in the German native to many scholars of the Bible, or ultimately “Jehovah” in modern usage).
Some scholars have considered J the more primitive or rural of the two authors of the creation stories in Genesis. Others are more generous and characterize J as a poet rather than a priest. J was probably recording his or her people’s oral traditions in written form. Certainly J’s story is a more human story of temptation and punishment than the austere story written later by the author known as “P”, and J’s creator is more anthropomorphic.
In J’s story, the humans that are created have names. To English speakers, “Adam” and “Eve” are just names, but “Adam” meant “man” in ancient Hebrew and may also have been a play on “adamah”, the Hebrew word for “earth” or “clay”. “Eve” was the word for “life”.
The Elohim’s creation story, the second of our two Hebrew creation stories, is from Genesis 1:1 to 2:3. It thus appears first in the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Genesis, but it is actually the younger of the two stories presented there. A considerable body of scholarship over the last two or three centuries has concluded that this story was written in about the sixth century B.C.. That was after Israel was conquered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. and at a time when the Hebrews were faced with exile in Babylon.
The author of this later story is known to scholars as “P”, because he or she wrote from a much more “priestly” perspective than J, the author of the chronologically earlier story that appears in Genesis 2:4 to 3:24 (see “Yahweh”, above). P’s story is one of creation ex nihilo (from nothing), and the creation is a much more stately process than that in J’s story. Because of the timing of its writing and the grandeur of its language, P’s story has been interpreted by scholars “as an origin story created for the benefit of a lost nation in the need of encouragement and affirmation” (Leeming and Leeming 1994, p. 113). In fact, some scholars have suggested that P’s story was actually written in Babylon.
P used the name “Elohim” for the creator. “Elohim” (pronounced “e lo HEEM”) is actually a plural word perhaps best translated as “the powerful ones”. P also used plural phrasing in the Elohim’s creation of humankind “after our own likeness”. Scholars have suggested that the use of the plural “Elohim” rather than the singular “Eloha” may hearken back to polytheistic roots of Middle Eastern religions and was a way to emphasize the magnitude of the deity in question. P’s first people have no names at all, in keeping with the story’s focus on the grandeur of the creator rather than on the created.
Carrier, Richard. On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, p.10. Sheffield, England: Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd, 2014. Print. (via academicatheism)