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Vandeekree

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#314 - He does not give infinite punishment for crimes. If you loo…  [+] (9 new replies) 06/01/2016 on Well he does have a good point 0
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#366 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Love your enemies if you must, but don't go around loving mine. White supremacists, Feminazis, actual Nazis, ISIS - these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others. ISIS has repeatedly exclaimed their hatred of the West and how much they want to kill us all and the best way to prevent that from happening is to destroy them all, not invite them 'round for tea.

If love is compulsory then it's not genuine - I don't love the Dear Leader out of genuine affection, I love him because I'll be shot if I don't. By eliminating 'sin' or any sense of volition you eliminate any semblance of humanity. Call me crazy, but there's something awfully sinister about compulsory love.
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#383 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I find that to be a disturbing opinion. Do you not see that these are the people who are most in need of your love? You need to be friends with them and show them why what they are doing is wrong. Hateful words will not convince them. You must be gentle, show them you care about them, you are not their enemy, you are not against them. Only then will they listen to you and you can show them the danger of the path they are taking. I'm not saying it's not a risky thing to do but surely you would agree that risking your life to save another is morally right.

You would risk your life to safe an innocent from a burning building, but would you risk your life to save a white supremacist from becoming a murderer? To save a ISIS fighter from blowing himself up to kill others? If your real brother decided to become a murderer would you not try to talk sense into him. Would you not think he is sick and in need of help? Or would you simply label him an enemy and discard him?

And compulsory love is a bit more complicated than that. You see, it's not the love that is required by law, it's the belief. You have to accept that God as he says he is and once you do you will come to the logical conclusion that he loves you and that you should love him back. He has done so much for you. Giving you a world to explore and live in, giving you free will and a mind to understand it. He gives you this entire life to live however you want and only asks that you accept him and obey his moral rules. In return is reward. But if you disobey the rules and are bad you will be punished and then your existence will end completely.

Love him for his gifts and because he loves you. But know that he made this world with right and wrong in it, and if you do wrong, you will be punished for it. There's nothing fairer than that. You seem to really hate the idea of an authority over you telling you what to do. But this authority is perfectly fair and just and many people love him. What is it that makes you rebel against being punished and not want to thank him for your existence?
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#392 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
These people don't want to have a conversation, they outright kill anyone who dares to disagree. We've seen Europe try and embrace these people and it's backfiring horribly.
Enemies exist for a reason, and it's not to make friends with them.

If my brother slipped beyond all reason and tried to kill me, then I'd have to take him down before that happens. I hold all people accountable to the same standards.

Compulsory love is a sinister thing. You're not loving someone out of genuine affection, but either in hope of reward or fear of punishment (or both). What kind of idiot would be swindled by such a deal?

Thank him? Assuming he even exists, I still wouldn't worship him. If the bible is any indication of his character, he's a morally contemptible twat. I wouldn't go to heaven if I was invited. And if I do end up burning in hell as a result, I'll do it knowing I'm morally superior to him.
And so are you, I'd wager.

I'll get to your other responses later, gotta fly now.
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#394 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I think your misunderstanding comes from how you seem to think God is just a human. You act as though the rules a human must follow apply to him. He can kill who he likes when he likes, he gave that life in the first place. He can see all angles and gains nothing from trying to steal or covet. He only wants what is due him. That being thanks for basically everything. Does it seem unreasonable to you that if I saved your life that you should thank me? Now how much more would you owe a being that gave you that life in the first place?

I don't mean to be insulting, but you sound so very bitter and prideful. As though you can't stand to be told what to do or have a moral authority over you.

And, as I attempted to show, there is no compulsory love. You must believe in God and if you do that then you won't be able to help but love him just as you don't get into heaven by doing good deeds but if you believe you won't be able to help the urge to do what is right. He even gives you the ability to choose and decided if you want to love him or not. And if you reject him then he will make you no longer exist. I don't see how that's a bad thing seeing how atheists already accept that to begin with.

But I think if you studied the bible. I mean really studied it rather than just reading over it with an atheist bias. I think you would see that everything he did was fully justified.

I look forward to your messages. I've enjoyed our exchange so far greatly. Talk to you later.
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#421 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read the bible from cover-to-cover, it's part of why I'm an atheist now. I keep getting this response from Christians whenever I point out immoralities, contradictions or outright falsehoods in the bible; "You're not reading it correctly" or "You need to interpret it right". Why does the supposed perfect word of god require any amount of interpretation? Why can't the words be taken at face value? How can an all-powerful god fail at communication so badly? When the bible dictates that a rape victim must marry her rapist as it dies in Deuteronomy 22: 28-29, the same passage that commands you should stone a woman to death if it's found she's not a virgin on her wedding night it's not a metaphor, it's not a parable, it's a direct commandment from god. And no amount of verbal gymnastics can make it play in your favour without sounding like a completely immoral prick. inb4 it's "to protect the woman", which is absurd. If we did that in today's society there'd be an uproar.

You say I'm reading the bible with an atheist bias, well the same can be said with any religious text. I'm sure you'd be reading the Bhagavad Gita the same way I read the bible and see it as just a collection of stories - but ask a Hindu and they'll have wildly different opinions.
You read the bible with a Christian bias and so no matter what it says, you're already operating under the assumption that god exists and he's good. I won't deny there are some good things in the bible "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and suchlike and some interesting observations in Ecclesiastes, but these things aren't 'good' because they're in the bible or because god says so - they're good on their own merits and humans have come to these understandings without divine parentage.

How come god gets a free pass when it comes to morality? Because he made up the rules? If he suddenly dictated that it's okay - nay, encouraged - us to eat babies does that make it right? "Might makes right" is basically what it boils down to whenever I get into these conversations. If Satan triumphed over god in the bible (as he often does, it seems) then he'd be the moral agent. Whenever I point out the immoralities of god flooding the earth, the whole Garden of Eden business, Sodom & Gommorah, the tower of Babel, the entirety of Exodus, Leviticus & Deuteronomy, the Sacrifice, etc I always get snapped back with "Well, what would you know? You're just a human." A human with a moral intuition who can judge the actions of beings imaginary or no, divine or mortal, that's who. inb4"god's morality is written on the hearts of men", which is a total cop-out And if god is inherently unknowable, how did you come to the conclusion that he's moral? By what standards are you assessing his character as loving and good? His own? That's a bit biased, isn't it? Judging anyone by their own standards of course they would seem moral, but that's not how it works in the real world.
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#499 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's the point I'm trying to make. That it's not meant to be interpreted, it's meant to be understood as it truly is. You can make the bible say just about anything you want but you have to really make it. If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message. That's why I'm attempting to explain these verses. You read them and it seems obvious to me that you misunderstand them fundamentally. I'm not trying to put you down or say you're stupid, but what it seems to me is that you read these passages with such a heavy bias that you actually get an entirely different message than what is being said at face value.

And I agree with your assessment of Deuteronomy 22: 28-29. It's not a metaphor, but you still are misunderstanding. Making the rapist marry the girl he raped is punishment for him, not for her. In the tightly knit villages they lived in, if a woman was raped, no man would want her anymore. And so she is doomed to a life alone. And so the rapist, rather than being killed, is forced to care for her. He would be taken into the family and watched constantly by her family. You can imagine the kind of bias the family would have to believe her over him. If she said he was abusing her then the whole family would come down on him. As well as the death for lying about virginity. Marriage was a big deal in the theocracy that they lived in and to try and con and man into marriage when the woman wasn't a virgin could ruin his entire life. It was taken seriously. It was a harsher time I agree, but there's nothing immoral about it. When there's no way for a tribe to sustain a prison then the death penalty is the only option.

And I agree that doing things like this in modern society would cause an uproar. But that's the whole point. These laws aren't for modern times. They were for tribal times and modern times now has the law f love, brought by Jesus.

But yes, bias is hard to get rid of. I take great pains to ensure that I avoid bias when reading other texts I don't currently believe. I think it is required to do so realistically. You have to be of the mindset "If I find one flaw with my belief or one truth in this one then I must be prepared to drop what I believe and switch to the new truth I have learned." And that's why I feel confident in identifying your bias. It's because I have nothing to lose here. If you show me that Christianity is wrong then I will quickly convert to the new ideology. I only follow what is true and hold no love for Christianity itself as a faction.

And I would agree with you on your last paragraph if not for philosophy. You see, God must be God. That is to say that if he claims to be infinite he cannot lose or be beaten or have anything "bigger" then him. He is above time and moral laws. If something bigger were to be found or even imaged, that new thing would then become God and the old would be known as a false one all along.

Being above morality, God can make up morality. So yes, in a world where eating babies was right, it would be just fine. Of course that seems immoral to you and I, that's because we're not in that world nor can we comprehend it.

And no, you cannot judge God because your judgement is limited. You have limited perception and knowledge and thus make a poor judge. Only a being of complete knowledge of everything has any right to judge. So it's less that might makes right, it's that ability makes right. God can only do good because whatever he does is good. He himself is good. And you only judge someone by their own standards if they are equal. No child is right when they complain that parents get to do things they aren't allowed to. The parents are smarter and able to do those things safely. You have several flaws in your logic here that I think a study into philosophy would fix but I have limited space here. We can get into those arguments in detail if you want though.
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#504 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
That's exactly what I'm doing, I'm reading the bible as it's written and making inferences based on what's being said. I'm not going to take everything it says at face value though because eventually I have to lift my eyes from the pages and look at the world around me and compare the words to reality. When I look around and investigate further I can see that slavery is immoral, that the world is vastly older and more complicated than Genesis suggests, that such a hostile universe cannot be the product of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god especially seeing as a lowly creature like me can change but one aspect of it and already make it a better place - and I certainly don't claim to be omni-anything.

Making the rapist marry the daughter isn't a punishment for the rapist nor guaranteeing protection for the daughter, it's a barbaric practise from a society where a woman's worth was derived from her hymen. If a man defiled a woman then she'd be useless to the father because he could no longer offer her as a bride to anybody - it's a case of "You break it, you buy it". And hey - the rapist just got himself a smokin' hot wife for the lowly sum of 50 shekels! He doesn't have to live with the family, he doesn't have to treat her any better, he just fucks off with a new wife. If someone raped your daughter I don't know if you have children, but hypothetically speaking would you seriously want your daughter to marry that prick? No, you wouldn't want anything to do with him! I agree he should pay some sort of fine/jail time but you shouldn't force your daughter to spend any more time with that bastard.
It's a plainly immoral practice, and if god supposedly dictated this law to them why couldn't he go a step further and just tell them to stop treating their women as property or judge them by their personal virtues instead of the integrity of their hymen? Is that really so fucking difficult for a god to do? And how come we don't follow that law today? It's not because Jesus overturned anything he actually says that "not one jot or tiddle of the old law shall change" and besides, god's law is supposed to be eternal and unchanging. We don't follow these laws today because we've come to realise that these edicts are morally absurd and contribute to the overall detriment of society - and we didn't need divine permission to figure that out.

I thought I've demonstrated quite adequately thus far why Christianity is untrustworthy yet I keep getting a tapdance from you "If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message." as always seems to be the case. If you want me to prove that god doesn't exist well I'm afraid that's an unfalsifiable claim - I can't prove a god doesn't exist any more than I can prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, not the person denying it.
However, I can examine the arguments made for Christianity and do my best to verify their veracity - and I must say the list is rather extensive. The mental gymnastics required to believe in Christianity is some Olympic-level shit.

Again, might makes right. We don't have a perfect scope of morality as humans but we can infer things about it and make judgements based on how certain edicts affect society and ourselves. God's laws are not above scrutiny I'm afraid, no matter how many times you repeat yourself. And I don't care what William L. Craig says either, his 'Divine Command Theory' is a total cop-out.
And again, how did you come to the conclusion that god is good if you've no moral standards to make that judgement on? I've studies philosophy for 2 years in fact before I switched to a more useful degree and the morality debate goes nowhere when you bring god into the picture.
#373 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
"these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others"

Is that a direct Hitches quote?
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#375 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
No, he goes into greater depth in his rants on compulsory love. He focuses more on the destruction of Western values and civilisation rather than our lives, but the sentiment is the same: Fuck those guys.
#313 - Well I think that's kind of the point. It doesn't say what you…  [+] (29 new replies) 06/01/2016 on Well he does have a good point -1
#380 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
Slavery:
bullshit. Slavery was very common in Ancient world (Europe) and while different forms existed, slaves were subhuman scum, that could be spent easily. In USA blacks also mostly lived in good environment and were not actually tortured, save for some parts. In Ancient times slaves, epecially waqr slaves would be killed with no repricautions.

also holy shit - you write too long in a forum where people laugh about videogames and tits. A prime sign you religious freaks are completely fucking nuts.
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#389 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I'm sorry my post as too long for your tastes but I don't know how to get all my points across.

As for slavery, I think you will find slavery can vary widely in both definition and practice. For instance, there are groups who believe that simply working a job, such as at McDonalds, is a form of slavery. Some thing that being confined to a society and forced to follow laws and work for the greater good is slavery. But surely you wouldn't say the modern man is a slave. And so at what exact point would you say a man goes from free to being a slave? What is the criteria?
#434 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Just ignore him. Anyone who finds extensive, structured discourse as the product of madmen is not to be taken seriously.
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#359 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Biblical slavery wasn't some 'nicer' form of slavery, it explicitly tells the Israelites to enslave those they conquered (especially the virgin girls - three guesses why) and to buy their slaves from the heathens around them. It states in Exodus 21 that you can beat your slaves to the point of near-death as long as they don't die within a day or two as a result of the injuries and states that they are your "property" that you can trade and pass down to your descendants. The 'indentured servitude' only applies to enslaving your fellow Jew, whom you had to let go in the 7th year - however there's a loophole where you can give them a wife to have a family with, but they remain as your property. So once the 7 years are up, if the 'servant' wishes to remain with the family you've given him, you take him to the priests who pierce his ear which marks him as your property now that you can buy & sell just like any other slave.

Even if it was just a test of faith, the fact that Abraham was willing to kill Isaac simply because god told him so is absolutely monstrous. If I asked someone to kill their son as a devotional offering to me and they went "No way, that's fucking stupid" I'd congratulate them on having a sensible morality. But if they went "Sure, no problem" and then proceeded with the sacrifice, would it be moral of me to congratulate them on their faith? No! That shit's fucked yo - an omniscient and omnibenevolent god would have no need to ask such a stupid question. Also, when Jephthah promised to sacrifice the first living thing out of his house in exchange for victory in battle there wasn't a word of objection from god - even when that living thing turned out to be Jephthah's own daughter. Where was god's divine intervention then?

Jesus' "sacrifice" is another version of scapegoating, where the sins of the tribe were cast onto a goat and then it was driven out into the wilderness to die of starvation ('scapegoating' is now used to describe an action where someone tries to avoid punishment by pinning the blame on someone else). What sort of morality is that, which doesn't hold people responsible for their crimes? I think Hitchens states it best www.youtube.com/watch?v=By9JJSVzlTw . And what did god sacrifice, exactly? His son? Himself? I don't know how you view the Trinity, but let's assume god & Jesus are one and the same: God sacrificed himself, to himself, to create a loophole to a set of rules that he created. Does this seem utterly stupid to anyone else? Why does there have to be a sacrifice, why can't god just forgive everyone or change the rules? That's what an omnibenevolent being would do. And it wasn't much of a sacrifice anyway since all that really died was Jesus' body (what's a mortal shell to a god, eh?) and then rose from the dead 3 days later and became ruler of everything. That's not a fucking sacrifice - that actually sounds like a pretty good deal that even I would make.

Judging people for what they think is the definition of a totalitarian regime. It's especially sinister in the bible because such unforgivable thoughts include being intellectually honest with yourself and admitting you don't find any reason to believe a god exists. And it also includes humanity's most basic urges, urges that god supposedly created us to have innate in us. Lusting after a woman is not the same as raping her, coveting your neighbour's car is not the same as stealing it and in fact is what drives the economy. And relationships for that matter - do you really think two people would fall in love and get married if they didn't have lustful thoughts for one another? It's especially unfair seeing as we have no control over our thoughts - how are we expected to be held accountable for something we have no control over?
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#386 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
This message comes after the one just below. But I would also like to say that there is nothing wrong with being intellectually honest with yourself. But I think if you had really studied and searched, you would come to the only obvious answer.

If you have the time to branch off into that subject, I would be more than happy to show you reasons that it's logical and obvious to believe in God. I'll do my best to keep it to only apologetic and philosophical reasons and appeal to emotion as little as possible.

I've studied this quite a lot and am confident that I can show you facts and solid evidence as to why, if you truly follow the intellectual path, it can only lead you realize God is both necessary and real.
#528 - anon (06/14/2016) [-]
come to the religion board. we really need you
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#433 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
You must understand that I went into the bible as a believer and under the presumption that it was an ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom. When I got nowhere with the bible I started reading extra-textual sources and reading up on the history of the bible, how it was put together over the ages, the development of Christianity and its application to modern life. Ultimately all that searching lead me to becoming an atheist.

I've read all the apologetics and 'philosophical proofs' for god and they all ultimately fall flat. On the scientific front the claims for god's existence are either untestable, not evidently true or evidently not true.

I doubt there's anything new you can offer me, but you can try and I can tell you why you're wrong.
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#501 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's a good thing. I think that every Christian needs to drop their faith at one point. s you grow up you begin to realize that you only believed as you were taught without understanding why. So you cast away as you believed and begin to study for yourself.

But if you have truly looked into all the apologetic and philosophical arguments for God and still don't see why God cannot be doubted by an intellectual, only refused, then I am skeptical you have studied enough.

I have limited space here so I will do my best but I also recommend "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig. It is far more in depth and better researched and cited than what I can offer here. It's the best collection I have yet read of various reasons and proofs for God.

But the proofs I can offer are of two types. One is evidence based on the legitimacy of the bible, the other is philosophical evidence.

The biblical evidence has two main points. The first point is that the bible is flawless. This was the first one I really delved into and still my favorite. If you were to google you could find lots of proposed contradictions in the bible. One of the ones I most often encounter is the list on evilbible.com . Many of these lists are comprised of verses of the bible that are said to either contradict another verse, or simply make no sense in and of themselves. But I have been over these lists over and over again and none of them ever hold any water. They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context. They are sometimes even non-contradictions, meaning that they are called a contradiction without even fitting the definition of a contradictions and turn out to be just be an issue that the list maker takes with the bible which is hardly what's being presented. The last type I've found are simply mistranslations. This is a problem with the bible being translated to English and the message being changed to show something that isn't quite the actual message when compared to the original texts in Hebrew or Latin.

I have studied this extensively and have yet to encounter any contradiction that is legitimate. Of course I am still studying and am far from considering myself done, but so far, the bible remains perfect.

The second point for biblical proof is the miraculous of the bible in the form of prophesy. No other religious book has the number of prophesies nor do they contain prophesies that are so specific and precise. There are two times of prophesies in the bible. One type are the ones that are prophesied but can't be confirmed outside the bible. These are said to be going to happen and then are confirmed to have happened later in the bible, often starting in the old testament and becoming true in the new. These aren't very useful to a non-believer.

The second type is prophesies that were said to happen and then occurred and historical science can confirm them without the bible. These prophesies involve the predictions of Alexander the Great, the reformation of Israel as a nation, and many others of various impact on a non-believer. I encourage you to google about it and see for yourself.

As for philosophy, there is plenty of evidence there. From the necessity of God for there to be any absolute morality. To how if there is no God then human being are little more than deterministic driven robots who have no free will. Also that there must be a beginning to anything that exists within time and so some kind of creator must exist. As well as arguments for why there is something rather than nothing.

There is also more evidence in the practicality of how life without God is rather pointless but that's more emotionally based and aimed at convincing a person why it's most beneficial to believe but not really if he actually exists.

I encourage you to google and study all of these but if you'd like any of them more specifically explained by me let me know. Limited space here makes it hard to do them all.
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#507 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
Oh boy, this'll be fun.

If the bible is "flawless", then why is it so disputed? Why are there so many mistranslations and missing pieces? Why can nobody come to a clear consensus on what the texts mean, even among believers? These are glaring flaws that cannot be overlooked. And again you say "They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context." , how do you know you have the 'right' interpretation? If the book is as flawless as you claim, there wouldn't be any need for interpretation!

Not to mention the blatant scientific untruths proclaimed by the bible: it paints a worked far younger than what scientists have determined, the Genesis story is completely convoluted earth before the universe, light before stars, etc , it states that the earth is a flat disc supported on columns and covered by a crystal dome, it defines bats as birds, whales as fish, Jesus says that mustard seeds are the smallest of all seeds even though they're not, and the authors clearly had no idea about germs, pathogens or mental disorders, blaming diseases and epilepsy on demons and other things. And I'm not even mentioning all the talking animals, necromancy, magic, other gods & daemons, the Flood myth or any other supernatural occurence.
On the scientific front the bible falls flat on its face, and like yourself I can cite countless sources that pick apart the claims in the bible from a scientific point of view. AronRa, Thunderf00t and potholer54 have entire playlists dedicated to debunking Creationism and cite all their sources, you can also try talkorigins.org , Matt Dillahunty has repeatedly picked apart biblical inconsistencies and absurdities (he has his own channel on YT but his material is scattered all over the internet), just to name a few

From a historicity perspective, if you look into the history of the bible, how it was put together over the centuries and the origins of many of its myths (from Genesis to Jesus) you can clearly see it was a work of fiction from the start. Again I can cite a number of sources for you to investigate. You've probably heard of Bart Ehrman's lengthy scholarly investigation into the subject, AronRa gives plenty of lectures showing the origins of biblical myths, Matt Dillahunty also delves into the historicity of the bible, etc

The prophecies in the bible are either vague or referring to something else entirely. Just to start with a few:
- Jesus said that his second coming would happen within the lifetime of those he was speaking to, yet it didn't happen.
- The formation of Israel as a nation state gives no particular timeframe for it to happen in so it's another vague prophecy at best - I can prophecy that the USA will fall in the future and it inevitably will, but that doesn't prove my prophetic powers. And Israel is not a Jewish theocracy as the bible intended it to be.
- Daniel's vision gives no definite timeframe for Alexander's rise (if indeed that was who he was referring to) and it states in Daniel 8: 17 that his vision "refers to the time of the end". End of what? End of the world? We're still here, so that didn't come to pass. I did a quick Wiki search en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Historical_background looking for the historical manuscripts on which Daniel was based and found a few other prophecies that were inaccurate in the very same book. The rest of that article also shows how the book was put together over the ages, with additions by Greek scholars as well.
- Any prophecy made and passed within the bible can be discredited, as it's quite easy for later authors to just write in whatever they want. On that we agree.

<cont>
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#508 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
<cont>

Philosophically, there's still nothing to suggest that there must be a first cause or anything to identify this cause as 'god', and the mental gymnastics to make for such an allowance are absurd:

- If something exists, it must have had a beginning.
- The universe exists, therefore it must have had a beginning.
- Therefore, we call this first cause 'god'- NO NO NO! You can't jump from "There had to be a first cause" to "Therefore, god". How do you reach that conclusion? Alternatively:
- Therefore if god exists, then he must have had a beginning. But that can't be true, because supposedly god is eternal, right? If he had a beginning, then what was before god? If god is eternal, why can't we just assume that the universe is eternal and bin the god hypothesis? Physicists have worked out a more complicated cosmological model which is too convoluted to describe here, but in a nutshell: Time and space are connected, and as the Expanding Universe theory suggests, waaaaaaay back in the past all time & space was concentrated into a singular, infinitesimal point. Asking "what was before the Big Bang?" is like asking "what's south of the South Pole?" We don't know what the answer is (if there even is one) but there's nothing to suggest it must be a 'god'.

Philosophy relies entirely on logic (unless you're William Lane Craig) but that can only get you so far when dealing with reality where evidence matters more than what one can fathom on their own. There are many things we've learned about the universe that defy our common sense the earth is round, time & space are connected, air resistance vs. gravity, even the most solid objects are made up mostly of empty space, the speed of light, etc and the only ideas that hold any credibility are the ones that can be demonstrated. Philosophy has had a good run, but when it comes to debating topics that cannot be objectively verified then it ceases to hold any value. The requirement of a god for there to be absolute morality (if there even is such a thing) is not verifiable, the existence of an omnicient god already makes us automatons with no free will, simply because something has a 'beginning' doesn't mean it has a 'creator' and the universe bears no marks of such design (despite what Creationists try and claim), and as for "why is there something rather than nothing?" the answer is "I don't know" not "god did it". And according to Lawrence Krauss the universe is made up mostly of nothing anyway - we're more insignificant than we realise!

As for the "life is pointless without god" debate I'm not even gonna bother as any argument made in favour of one god can be applied to any other god, or anything else for that matter. I will however say that having an all-supervising deity cheapens our existence and makes life far less valuable. Personally, I found the universe to be a far more interesting, make a lot more sense and learned to appreciate a great many more things once I abandoned the notion of god.

If you want we can tackle these issues one at a time just so we have more words to spare.
Also, when typing up longer replies like this, I encourage you to 'save' your work periodically by copying all you've written so far Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C just in case you close a tab, window or close the message box accidentally. Saves having to type it out all over again.
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#436 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
*why I think you're wrong
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#382 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
And that doesn't sound nicer to you? That "slaves" were treated like human being, given the ability to get out of slavery if they established themselves, most often willingly entered slavery to avoid poverty, and had rules protecting them from being punished too harshly? It was a more brutal time for sure, but these rules were incredibly lenient and caring for the slave compared to just about any other form of slavery. It was basically just a form of workers. Though back then societies were smaller and more tightly knit. So naturally it was a more intimate relationship with a worker rather than the unionized modern take. And you're still looking at the rules about punishing slaves wrong. It's not giving permission to beat a slave to near death, that was common practice anyway if they messed up bad enough. What it's doing is warning the owner that if they punish a slave then they better be careful to keep it reasonable, because if the slave dies from the injury then it's a full murder. And yes, the slave's work contract can be bought or sold, but that's the price you pay for being a captured soldier or selling yourself into slavery. It was hardly immoral for the time and very necessary to protect the slave workers. I know slavery is a buzz word in modern times but you have to study the era. Notice that when the era changed and society could handle people without need for death penalties and beatings the law also changed.

And of course if you said it it would be bad for them to kill in your name. But what about if God says it? He gave that life, he has every right to decide when and how it ends. He wanted to show how much Abraham trusted him. That even if he said to do something Abraham didn't understand at the time, he would simply because he trusted God. And of course God didn't need to ask to figure anything out. It is for Abraham and the reader's sake that he did it. To teach a lesson. Similarly, the story of Jephthah was to show that the man was foolish to make such a deal with God. And that he should not have tried to barter with God, especially without knowing what he offered. It was not the evil or shortcoming of God, it was the man's actions that caused the human sacrifice, something that the old testament directly speaks against.

And why is a scapegoat needed? It's because all people sin. You will never meat a person who hasn't sinned. And that's why no one is worthy of reward. Because, despite the laws given for us to follow, no one can do it. Of course God knows this. He wants us to choose to be perfect and yet all people fail at it. So he gives us another chance. And while Jesus's sacrifice was mostly symbolic, he did suffer greatly. And that's the point. He was pure, he did nothing wrong and didn't deserve to be punished in any way. But he was. And because he gave up his life(the biggest gift God gives to a human) we now have a chance to get rewarded. All we have to do is ask. So yes, God sacrificed watching someone he loved suffer and Jesus suffered very literally. And so yes, people are held responsible for their crimes. They get punished by both worldly authorities and after death. But any amount of sin can be forgiven. It's not that they can sin and then get away with it. They have to really regret it, truly be sorry. God prefers reform to the death penalty.

And yes, God is the king in this world. He has given you literally everything you own, including your body and mind. But you fundamentally misunderstand why thinking can be a sin. Not all thoughts are sins. You can want a car LIKE your neighbors, you just can't want his car because that's thoughts of stealing and that's as bad as doing it. And before marriage you can look at all the ladies you want, it's not till you are married that looking at one lustfully because cheating on your wife. It's never rape, I don't know where you got that from. And I do agree that greed drives the economy well, but I hardly think consumerism and greed are a good things.
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#428 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Nicer? It says you can beat your slaves to within an inch of their lives. As long as they don't die as a result of those injuries you can thrash them as much as you want. Treating people as property, to be bartered and sold without their consent and passed down to your descendants is NOT a 'nicer' form of servitude. You want to protect the slaves? How about saying "don't beat your slaves at all", how's that for nicer? Better yet, how about "don't treat other people as property and enslave them without their consent". Is it really so difficult for an all-loving god to ask this much of people? If he can say do not murder one another and then contradictory order the Israelites to slaughter anyone who stood in their way as they journeyed through the desert then surely he can tell them to not enslave each other.

Again with the "god giveth, god taketh away". Does a mother or father have a right to kill their child? "Well son, if you don't do your chores I'm gonna kill you. I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it!" We're not Sims.
As for Abraham & Isaac, that's still a fucked up story. God did it to "prove Abraham's faith"? Prove it to who? Who's god trying to impress by ordering such a barbaric act? And Abraham is a fool for going along with it without question. If he had any sense he'd have said "Look, Yaweh, you're cool and all but I kinda love my son. Why do you need me to kill him? That's kinda fucked, yo."
And again, god had no objection with Jephthah killing his daughter. Wouldn't a moral god say something like "Woah there, Jep! I appreciate the offer and all but there's no need to go that far. I know I did the same with Abraham but it was just a prank, bro!"

That's even more fucked up! God has the option to simply forgive everyone without the need for a sacrifice, yet he decided to take the barbaric route with another human sacrifice. For a god who is supposedly against human sacrifice, he seems to condone a lot of it. We'll deal with the concept of sin another time, but if someone came to my door and told me I had a MASSIVE debt to pay or else I'd be tortured horribly, and they said they squared the debt by torturing & killing their own son instead, you really expect me to thank that person? Heck no! I'd call the police and have them locked in an asylum - that shit's fucked! I'd be more impressed if god just up and forgave everyone, but instead I'm appalled at his behaviour in the bible.
Like I said, if he did exist I ain't worshipping him.

He's given me everything? Well that's a debate for another time but I'll play along for now. Christians always say this in regards to the positive things your life, your house, your mind, your family, etc but fail to acknowledge that god also gave you all the negative things too. Should one be thankful to god for giving them a predisposition for colon cancer? Or being born without functioning limbs? Or living in area prone to natural disasters that he's ultimately in control of? For every pro, there are five cons to rack up on god's tally.
Again on thought crime; people are free to think what they want without reprimand. Someone can hate me all they want - heck, they can even say it to my face - but that is nowhere near as bad as actually assaulting me. God's standards are not moral or remotely sane.
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#500 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
Yes, it does say that. And it says to be careful because if you do so, you might hang for it. It's not easy for a desert sheep herder to beat another man and know where to stop without killing him. And few would anyway. What good is a worker who can't walk? If you can't kill him then you have to feed and care for him till he's well again. This is all costly. And of course it is immoral to your modern senses, but this was the way of things back then and it was very necessary. There were no unions, no government that could monitor and protect. It was a tribal like society where everyone knew one another and there were two types of people. Those who had enough wealth to be independent and those who starved to death or worked for food.

But what form of punishment would you recommend? If a person has slave workers and one refuses to work then what? Ask him politely? Send him away until he returns begging for food or decides to try and steal from you? There had to be a way for order to be kept. And so the employers had authority over the workers and the ability to punish them. The only punishment back then was corporal. These were not educated and civil people we are dealing with. They were all primitive and had to work hard just to live. You don't seem to see the delicate strings of politeness and how people are trained form birth to be civil that hold modern society together. These were not present back then.

And no, a mother and father do not have the right to kill a child because they didn't give it life. They created it sure, but they did not create it's very being and design it, nor do they do anything with it after death. Killing is not bad for God. He doesn't use it to discard, in fact it's the opposite. Once dead, the person comes right to him.

And God was showing you and I of the strength of Abraham's faith. And he was testing if Abraham loved his son more than he loved God. God should come first, he is the highest and the giver of life. Only second should come love and obedience to a child or spouse. Because if God says for you to kill or abandon your loved one, then he clearly has a good reason for doing so because he can see everything and his motives are always good. And look what happened when Abraham trusted God. Nothing bad, in fact good things.

And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God. Why do you think nothing bad should happen when someone disrespects God?

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. Surely you aren't actually trying to assert that point?

And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice and only allowed it to happen once when a man foolishly promised it. So there are no examples of him condoning it to be found.

And again, you are comparing God to a human in your "debt" example. I think you really need to spend some time reading about what God is, what it means that he is all powerful and all knowing, and then see if that helps you understand why acting as though he is just a powerful human is illogical.

And I didn't mean to leave out the negative things he gave. Because he certainly did. But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong.

So yes, one should be thankful that one was given a life. Is it not a life that is as good as someone else's? Probably. In fact it guaranteed is unless you are that one person with the best life on Earth. How could we help each other if no one suffered? How could we tell something was positive if there was no negative? I think if you researched it enough, you would realize that there can be no free will without that dichotomy or good and bad things happening to a person.

Your last point, again, makes the mistake of thinking of God as a simple human. It changes when you add that he can see into the mind and judge perfectly fairly.
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#505 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
It just says you shouldn't beat them to death; if you put out an eye or break their legs it's still perfectly valid. I must say you're going to an awful lot of effort trying to justify beating slaves - and they were indeed slaves, not workers. A worker gets paid and so of course they'll work of their own volition, there's no need for 'corporal encouragement'. A slave is, as you might have guessed, enslaved. If a worker refuses to work or tries to escape from their job then they just don't get paid, their loss. If a slave tried the same they'd get the shit beat out of them and probably suffer other punishments (imprisonment, denial of sustenance, etc). Again, is it really so difficult for god to say "Don't own one another as property"? Corporal punishment is an effective way to keep slaves in check, but the whole idea of slavery is immoral to begin with and I'm wondering why a supposedly "moral" deity would sanction it.

The concept of an afterlife doesn't really crop up until the New Testament, but assuming heaven & hell were real places even in the Old, where do you think all the people who died in the Flood ended up? All the Egyptians who died of the plagues? All the people the Israelites slaughtered as they rampaged across the desert? Killing isn't an inconvenience for god, but it's a downright death sentence in every sense of the word for everyone else. They don't fall back into god's bosom when they die, they just get obliterated - denied the right to live on the whims of a careless, petty deity. If god did indeed give us life that doesn't make it precious, it downright cheapens it if he can just throw us about willy-nilly.

Again, I fail to see anything admirable about the story of Abraham. If anything it just demonstrates the danger of fervent faith and what it could possibly lead to. If someone is willing to kill their own child because someone told them to - god or no - then that's not a person to be trusted with anything important.

"And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God." Oh, so it was a punishment for Jephthah? What about his daughter?! Doesn't she have a say in this? Do you think she wanted to die? Did anybody ask for her take on this? Again, this is an impossible story to justify on moral terms.

"And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice...there are no examples of him condoning it to be found. " Genesis 22: 2, Exodus 13: 11-16, Numbers 31: 37-41, Leviticus 27: 28-29, 1 Kings 13: 1-2, 2 Kings 23: 20, Ezekiel 20: 25-26, and let's not forget the Ultimate human sacrifice. All in addition to Jehpthah's daughter.

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. I can forgive someone without them having to ask for it, although it'd be nice if they did but it's not a requirement. If someone accidentally transgresses against me and they have no knowledge of it then I don't have to demand they ask for forgiveness before I give it to them.
I fail to see why you think I need/deserve god's forgiveness - as a mere mortal, there is nothing I can do that could possibly inconvenience him. There are certainly sins I can commit against my fellow man, but asking god to forgive me on their behalf is just dodging responsibility. I'm accountable to those I mistreat, not your invisible sky-daddy.

Aren't we all made in god's image? How come this suddenly doesn't apply when we turn our eyes towards god? I've every right to compare him to humans seeing as he exhibits countless human traits; he's vengeful, indecisive, capricious, egotistic, illogical, contradictory, wrathful, jealous, has a short temper, reproduces... hardly what I'd call .divine'.
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#506 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
"But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong. "

YES! Yes it is! If I'm born blind then I'm objectively worse off. If I'm born with the mind of a violent sociopath then I'm probably going to act in an unsavoury msnner. If I'm born in a part of the world where Christianity is unheard of and I never end up believing in god then I'm going to hell according to your theology. These are not circumstances I can change; these are conditions specifically set up by god and out of my control and I'd be objectively worse off for it. How can you even say this is 'good'?
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#360 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
<cont>

Imaginary crimes include witchcraft (magic isn't real, get over it), having queer sexual preferences (seriously, the fuck's up with that?) and working on the Sabbath (which I fail to see how it harms ANYBODY, let alone a god).

Respect should not be automatic, it has to be earned. One shouldn't honour or swear fealty to abusive parents - we have child protection service to combat that problem.

The "choice" is akin to a mafia boss saying "You'd better be makin' payments or some trouble's gonna happen." If I refuse to pay him then am I choosing to have my legs broken by his cronies?
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#318 - iamkagji (06/01/2016) [-]
No, the jews forced slaves to work to death in mines and fields. Servants and slaves were two different things
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#321 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Where are you getting that? I mean I don't doubt it happened some. Most societies have those who go against what their laws say. But that's the point of the law, to protect the workers.

But no, servants and slaves were the same thing in ancient Jewish society. For instance, a person in debt could sell himself into slavery to pay back the debt and avoid punishment. A father could sell his daughter into service to a well of man so she could be integrated into the new family and readied for eventual marriage to the man. And prisoners of war could be forced into slavery instead of simply killed. But even then they were subject to the rules put in place, the couldn't be beaten to death or punished over harshly and slaves must be released r given the option to leave on certain holidays. Slaves, even foreign slaves or captives of war, were considered to be members of the household. And though they were contractually owned by the owner, they were allowed to acquire and own land and holdings of their own, including slaves under them. And killing a slave held the same punishment as though the person had killed any other non-slave. They were people in every sense.
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#314 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]

He does not give infinite punishment for crimes. If you look in the bible you can clearly see where (in Revelations 20:14) that hell and those within will be destroyed in the end times. So no, hell and the suffering there in will not be eternal. Those who die without accepting God will then die again in the second death where they will be destroyed completely. They will not suffer eternally.

I struggle to see your problem with loving your enemies. All people deserve love and surely you can see that all bitterness and hate come from shallow places. Places like fear, greed, and jealousy. And it is because of this that your enemies need love the most. It's fine to love your parents, friends, and siblings, but imagine how good it would be to patch up relations with someone who you consider to be your enemy. As Abraham Lincoln once said “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

And I don't see why love being compulsory is bad thing. Is it not the root of all the world's problems? Could war not be abolished if everyone were to treat all others like family? Would disease and famine stand any chance if everyone worked to cure the disease of their brother's a sisters and gave up what they had till everyone could eat three meals a day? You say love being enforced by law is a bad thing but I'd say it's more akin to sin being outlawed. No one should hurt one another and yet we do because we are tempted into it. But if that temptation were removed. If no one could profit by stealing or hurting someone else thanks to a punishment attached to that action, is that bad? Should everyone be free to hurt as much as they please with no consequence for it?
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#366 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Love your enemies if you must, but don't go around loving mine. White supremacists, Feminazis, actual Nazis, ISIS - these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others. ISIS has repeatedly exclaimed their hatred of the West and how much they want to kill us all and the best way to prevent that from happening is to destroy them all, not invite them 'round for tea.

If love is compulsory then it's not genuine - I don't love the Dear Leader out of genuine affection, I love him because I'll be shot if I don't. By eliminating 'sin' or any sense of volition you eliminate any semblance of humanity. Call me crazy, but there's something awfully sinister about compulsory love.
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#383 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I find that to be a disturbing opinion. Do you not see that these are the people who are most in need of your love? You need to be friends with them and show them why what they are doing is wrong. Hateful words will not convince them. You must be gentle, show them you care about them, you are not their enemy, you are not against them. Only then will they listen to you and you can show them the danger of the path they are taking. I'm not saying it's not a risky thing to do but surely you would agree that risking your life to save another is morally right.

You would risk your life to safe an innocent from a burning building, but would you risk your life to save a white supremacist from becoming a murderer? To save a ISIS fighter from blowing himself up to kill others? If your real brother decided to become a murderer would you not try to talk sense into him. Would you not think he is sick and in need of help? Or would you simply label him an enemy and discard him?

And compulsory love is a bit more complicated than that. You see, it's not the love that is required by law, it's the belief. You have to accept that God as he says he is and once you do you will come to the logical conclusion that he loves you and that you should love him back. He has done so much for you. Giving you a world to explore and live in, giving you free will and a mind to understand it. He gives you this entire life to live however you want and only asks that you accept him and obey his moral rules. In return is reward. But if you disobey the rules and are bad you will be punished and then your existence will end completely.

Love him for his gifts and because he loves you. But know that he made this world with right and wrong in it, and if you do wrong, you will be punished for it. There's nothing fairer than that. You seem to really hate the idea of an authority over you telling you what to do. But this authority is perfectly fair and just and many people love him. What is it that makes you rebel against being punished and not want to thank him for your existence?
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#392 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
These people don't want to have a conversation, they outright kill anyone who dares to disagree. We've seen Europe try and embrace these people and it's backfiring horribly.
Enemies exist for a reason, and it's not to make friends with them.

If my brother slipped beyond all reason and tried to kill me, then I'd have to take him down before that happens. I hold all people accountable to the same standards.

Compulsory love is a sinister thing. You're not loving someone out of genuine affection, but either in hope of reward or fear of punishment (or both). What kind of idiot would be swindled by such a deal?

Thank him? Assuming he even exists, I still wouldn't worship him. If the bible is any indication of his character, he's a morally contemptible twat. I wouldn't go to heaven if I was invited. And if I do end up burning in hell as a result, I'll do it knowing I'm morally superior to him.
And so are you, I'd wager.

I'll get to your other responses later, gotta fly now.
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#394 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I think your misunderstanding comes from how you seem to think God is just a human. You act as though the rules a human must follow apply to him. He can kill who he likes when he likes, he gave that life in the first place. He can see all angles and gains nothing from trying to steal or covet. He only wants what is due him. That being thanks for basically everything. Does it seem unreasonable to you that if I saved your life that you should thank me? Now how much more would you owe a being that gave you that life in the first place?

I don't mean to be insulting, but you sound so very bitter and prideful. As though you can't stand to be told what to do or have a moral authority over you.

And, as I attempted to show, there is no compulsory love. You must believe in God and if you do that then you won't be able to help but love him just as you don't get into heaven by doing good deeds but if you believe you won't be able to help the urge to do what is right. He even gives you the ability to choose and decided if you want to love him or not. And if you reject him then he will make you no longer exist. I don't see how that's a bad thing seeing how atheists already accept that to begin with.

But I think if you studied the bible. I mean really studied it rather than just reading over it with an atheist bias. I think you would see that everything he did was fully justified.

I look forward to your messages. I've enjoyed our exchange so far greatly. Talk to you later.
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#421 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read the bible from cover-to-cover, it's part of why I'm an atheist now. I keep getting this response from Christians whenever I point out immoralities, contradictions or outright falsehoods in the bible; "You're not reading it correctly" or "You need to interpret it right". Why does the supposed perfect word of god require any amount of interpretation? Why can't the words be taken at face value? How can an all-powerful god fail at communication so badly? When the bible dictates that a rape victim must marry her rapist as it dies in Deuteronomy 22: 28-29, the same passage that commands you should stone a woman to death if it's found she's not a virgin on her wedding night it's not a metaphor, it's not a parable, it's a direct commandment from god. And no amount of verbal gymnastics can make it play in your favour without sounding like a completely immoral prick. inb4 it's "to protect the woman", which is absurd. If we did that in today's society there'd be an uproar.

You say I'm reading the bible with an atheist bias, well the same can be said with any religious text. I'm sure you'd be reading the Bhagavad Gita the same way I read the bible and see it as just a collection of stories - but ask a Hindu and they'll have wildly different opinions.
You read the bible with a Christian bias and so no matter what it says, you're already operating under the assumption that god exists and he's good. I won't deny there are some good things in the bible "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and suchlike and some interesting observations in Ecclesiastes, but these things aren't 'good' because they're in the bible or because god says so - they're good on their own merits and humans have come to these understandings without divine parentage.

How come god gets a free pass when it comes to morality? Because he made up the rules? If he suddenly dictated that it's okay - nay, encouraged - us to eat babies does that make it right? "Might makes right" is basically what it boils down to whenever I get into these conversations. If Satan triumphed over god in the bible (as he often does, it seems) then he'd be the moral agent. Whenever I point out the immoralities of god flooding the earth, the whole Garden of Eden business, Sodom & Gommorah, the tower of Babel, the entirety of Exodus, Leviticus & Deuteronomy, the Sacrifice, etc I always get snapped back with "Well, what would you know? You're just a human." A human with a moral intuition who can judge the actions of beings imaginary or no, divine or mortal, that's who. inb4"god's morality is written on the hearts of men", which is a total cop-out And if god is inherently unknowable, how did you come to the conclusion that he's moral? By what standards are you assessing his character as loving and good? His own? That's a bit biased, isn't it? Judging anyone by their own standards of course they would seem moral, but that's not how it works in the real world.
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#499 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's the point I'm trying to make. That it's not meant to be interpreted, it's meant to be understood as it truly is. You can make the bible say just about anything you want but you have to really make it. If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message. That's why I'm attempting to explain these verses. You read them and it seems obvious to me that you misunderstand them fundamentally. I'm not trying to put you down or say you're stupid, but what it seems to me is that you read these passages with such a heavy bias that you actually get an entirely different message than what is being said at face value.

And I agree with your assessment of Deuteronomy 22: 28-29. It's not a metaphor, but you still are misunderstanding. Making the rapist marry the girl he raped is punishment for him, not for her. In the tightly knit villages they lived in, if a woman was raped, no man would want her anymore. And so she is doomed to a life alone. And so the rapist, rather than being killed, is forced to care for her. He would be taken into the family and watched constantly by her family. You can imagine the kind of bias the family would have to believe her over him. If she said he was abusing her then the whole family would come down on him. As well as the death for lying about virginity. Marriage was a big deal in the theocracy that they lived in and to try and con and man into marriage when the woman wasn't a virgin could ruin his entire life. It was taken seriously. It was a harsher time I agree, but there's nothing immoral about it. When there's no way for a tribe to sustain a prison then the death penalty is the only option.

And I agree that doing things like this in modern society would cause an uproar. But that's the whole point. These laws aren't for modern times. They were for tribal times and modern times now has the law f love, brought by Jesus.

But yes, bias is hard to get rid of. I take great pains to ensure that I avoid bias when reading other texts I don't currently believe. I think it is required to do so realistically. You have to be of the mindset "If I find one flaw with my belief or one truth in this one then I must be prepared to drop what I believe and switch to the new truth I have learned." And that's why I feel confident in identifying your bias. It's because I have nothing to lose here. If you show me that Christianity is wrong then I will quickly convert to the new ideology. I only follow what is true and hold no love for Christianity itself as a faction.

And I would agree with you on your last paragraph if not for philosophy. You see, God must be God. That is to say that if he claims to be infinite he cannot lose or be beaten or have anything "bigger" then him. He is above time and moral laws. If something bigger were to be found or even imaged, that new thing would then become God and the old would be known as a false one all along.

Being above morality, God can make up morality. So yes, in a world where eating babies was right, it would be just fine. Of course that seems immoral to you and I, that's because we're not in that world nor can we comprehend it.

And no, you cannot judge God because your judgement is limited. You have limited perception and knowledge and thus make a poor judge. Only a being of complete knowledge of everything has any right to judge. So it's less that might makes right, it's that ability makes right. God can only do good because whatever he does is good. He himself is good. And you only judge someone by their own standards if they are equal. No child is right when they complain that parents get to do things they aren't allowed to. The parents are smarter and able to do those things safely. You have several flaws in your logic here that I think a study into philosophy would fix but I have limited space here. We can get into those arguments in detail if you want though.
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#504 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
That's exactly what I'm doing, I'm reading the bible as it's written and making inferences based on what's being said. I'm not going to take everything it says at face value though because eventually I have to lift my eyes from the pages and look at the world around me and compare the words to reality. When I look around and investigate further I can see that slavery is immoral, that the world is vastly older and more complicated than Genesis suggests, that such a hostile universe cannot be the product of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god especially seeing as a lowly creature like me can change but one aspect of it and already make it a better place - and I certainly don't claim to be omni-anything.

Making the rapist marry the daughter isn't a punishment for the rapist nor guaranteeing protection for the daughter, it's a barbaric practise from a society where a woman's worth was derived from her hymen. If a man defiled a woman then she'd be useless to the father because he could no longer offer her as a bride to anybody - it's a case of "You break it, you buy it". And hey - the rapist just got himself a smokin' hot wife for the lowly sum of 50 shekels! He doesn't have to live with the family, he doesn't have to treat her any better, he just fucks off with a new wife. If someone raped your daughter I don't know if you have children, but hypothetically speaking would you seriously want your daughter to marry that prick? No, you wouldn't want anything to do with him! I agree he should pay some sort of fine/jail time but you shouldn't force your daughter to spend any more time with that bastard.
It's a plainly immoral practice, and if god supposedly dictated this law to them why couldn't he go a step further and just tell them to stop treating their women as property or judge them by their personal virtues instead of the integrity of their hymen? Is that really so fucking difficult for a god to do? And how come we don't follow that law today? It's not because Jesus overturned anything he actually says that "not one jot or tiddle of the old law shall change" and besides, god's law is supposed to be eternal and unchanging. We don't follow these laws today because we've come to realise that these edicts are morally absurd and contribute to the overall detriment of society - and we didn't need divine permission to figure that out.

I thought I've demonstrated quite adequately thus far why Christianity is untrustworthy yet I keep getting a tapdance from you "If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message." as always seems to be the case. If you want me to prove that god doesn't exist well I'm afraid that's an unfalsifiable claim - I can't prove a god doesn't exist any more than I can prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, not the person denying it.
However, I can examine the arguments made for Christianity and do my best to verify their veracity - and I must say the list is rather extensive. The mental gymnastics required to believe in Christianity is some Olympic-level shit.

Again, might makes right. We don't have a perfect scope of morality as humans but we can infer things about it and make judgements based on how certain edicts affect society and ourselves. God's laws are not above scrutiny I'm afraid, no matter how many times you repeat yourself. And I don't care what William L. Craig says either, his 'Divine Command Theory' is a total cop-out.
And again, how did you come to the conclusion that god is good if you've no moral standards to make that judgement on? I've studies philosophy for 2 years in fact before I switched to a more useful degree and the morality debate goes nowhere when you bring god into the picture.
#373 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
"these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others"

Is that a direct Hitches quote?
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#375 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
No, he goes into greater depth in his rants on compulsory love. He focuses more on the destruction of Western values and civilisation rather than our lives, but the sentiment is the same: Fuck those guys.
#300 - That's an interesting list and if you've got the time or desir…  [+] (31 new replies) 06/01/2016 on Well he does have a good point +2
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#301 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read all the apologetics and they seem to rely on trying to make the bible say anything other than what it actually says.
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#313 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Well I think that's kind of the point. It doesn't say what you're asserting here at all.

Just going down the list:
In the bible, slavery isn't what we think of as modern day slavery. As an American(or at least an English speaker) you likely imagine slavery to be akin to what black people experienced in early America. Forced into working, fed but not allowed to leave. But biblical slavery, which is exclusively old testament and thus meant for before Jesus's time, was what we would call "indentured servitude." This is basically a job contract where someone, often poor, would agree to work for someone wealthy in exchange for food, shelter, and to escape trying to survive on their own.

And while the bible does deal with this type of worker/employer relationship, it is always talking about how to treat the servant. How far punishments can go before the employer is punished for over punishing the worker. The rules dealing with "slavery" are all to protect the "slave" and ensure that they are always treated as human and not like property.

As for human sacrifice, I can only assume you are talking about God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. But surely the point of this verse s obvious. At no point is Abraham intended to actually kill his son. It is a test of faith and a lesson for both Abraham and those who read about it. It's meant to show that not only should a person's faith be so strong that there is nothing they wouldn't do, but also to show that God is merciful and caring and wouldn't ever ask someone to do more than they could handle.

I also struggle to see vicarious redemption as a bad thing. Now I agree it would be bad if it were human to human. As in one person trying to live punishment for someone else's crimes. But in this case, it's God, an all seeing, all knowing, and infallibly fair judge who allowing this little loop hole in the system he created for creatures he created. The only arguments I've ever seen for this always have the undertone of "If there was no God, this would be immoral." and I totally agree. Without a God then it would be very wrong, but that's the point. With a God it makes perfect sense and is wholly just.

An again for thought crime. A person could never convict another person for thought crime. And no where in the bible does it say we should try. But God knows your mind completely and thus can judge based on thought alone. How is that wrong? Surely you can see that to think something is always the first step in doing it. They go hand in hand and that verse simply shows that even if you don't do something bad, it's still wrong. It doesn't become wrong not to steal just because a cop is watching you right now. If you would steal without that cop being there and want to do it then it's just as bad.

You'll have to explain the "Sentences people to death for imaginary crimes" one to me as I don't immediately see what this refers to. Which crimes are imaginary and why?

The fealty seems common sense to me. You submit to your mother despite how she can be wrathful when you do bad things she tells you not to, she can be seemingly inconsistent to a child as sometimes she get angry and other times acts loving but always does so because she feels it is best for you, and the contemptible is just part of free will. You can hate what you want, you can love what you choose, this free will was given to you by God. He allows you to hate him if you wish. But he is "the king" and so, like it or not, as the highest authority, you should bow to him. But notice that he doesn't even make you do that. He gives you the choice if you think you should and tells you long before hand that you can gain reward by doing as he says or punishment for disobeying. That seems nothing but fair.
#380 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
Slavery:
bullshit. Slavery was very common in Ancient world (Europe) and while different forms existed, slaves were subhuman scum, that could be spent easily. In USA blacks also mostly lived in good environment and were not actually tortured, save for some parts. In Ancient times slaves, epecially waqr slaves would be killed with no repricautions.

also holy shit - you write too long in a forum where people laugh about videogames and tits. A prime sign you religious freaks are completely fucking nuts.
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#389 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I'm sorry my post as too long for your tastes but I don't know how to get all my points across.

As for slavery, I think you will find slavery can vary widely in both definition and practice. For instance, there are groups who believe that simply working a job, such as at McDonalds, is a form of slavery. Some thing that being confined to a society and forced to follow laws and work for the greater good is slavery. But surely you wouldn't say the modern man is a slave. And so at what exact point would you say a man goes from free to being a slave? What is the criteria?
#434 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Just ignore him. Anyone who finds extensive, structured discourse as the product of madmen is not to be taken seriously.
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#359 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Biblical slavery wasn't some 'nicer' form of slavery, it explicitly tells the Israelites to enslave those they conquered (especially the virgin girls - three guesses why) and to buy their slaves from the heathens around them. It states in Exodus 21 that you can beat your slaves to the point of near-death as long as they don't die within a day or two as a result of the injuries and states that they are your "property" that you can trade and pass down to your descendants. The 'indentured servitude' only applies to enslaving your fellow Jew, whom you had to let go in the 7th year - however there's a loophole where you can give them a wife to have a family with, but they remain as your property. So once the 7 years are up, if the 'servant' wishes to remain with the family you've given him, you take him to the priests who pierce his ear which marks him as your property now that you can buy & sell just like any other slave.

Even if it was just a test of faith, the fact that Abraham was willing to kill Isaac simply because god told him so is absolutely monstrous. If I asked someone to kill their son as a devotional offering to me and they went "No way, that's fucking stupid" I'd congratulate them on having a sensible morality. But if they went "Sure, no problem" and then proceeded with the sacrifice, would it be moral of me to congratulate them on their faith? No! That shit's fucked yo - an omniscient and omnibenevolent god would have no need to ask such a stupid question. Also, when Jephthah promised to sacrifice the first living thing out of his house in exchange for victory in battle there wasn't a word of objection from god - even when that living thing turned out to be Jephthah's own daughter. Where was god's divine intervention then?

Jesus' "sacrifice" is another version of scapegoating, where the sins of the tribe were cast onto a goat and then it was driven out into the wilderness to die of starvation ('scapegoating' is now used to describe an action where someone tries to avoid punishment by pinning the blame on someone else). What sort of morality is that, which doesn't hold people responsible for their crimes? I think Hitchens states it best www.youtube.com/watch?v=By9JJSVzlTw . And what did god sacrifice, exactly? His son? Himself? I don't know how you view the Trinity, but let's assume god & Jesus are one and the same: God sacrificed himself, to himself, to create a loophole to a set of rules that he created. Does this seem utterly stupid to anyone else? Why does there have to be a sacrifice, why can't god just forgive everyone or change the rules? That's what an omnibenevolent being would do. And it wasn't much of a sacrifice anyway since all that really died was Jesus' body (what's a mortal shell to a god, eh?) and then rose from the dead 3 days later and became ruler of everything. That's not a fucking sacrifice - that actually sounds like a pretty good deal that even I would make.

Judging people for what they think is the definition of a totalitarian regime. It's especially sinister in the bible because such unforgivable thoughts include being intellectually honest with yourself and admitting you don't find any reason to believe a god exists. And it also includes humanity's most basic urges, urges that god supposedly created us to have innate in us. Lusting after a woman is not the same as raping her, coveting your neighbour's car is not the same as stealing it and in fact is what drives the economy. And relationships for that matter - do you really think two people would fall in love and get married if they didn't have lustful thoughts for one another? It's especially unfair seeing as we have no control over our thoughts - how are we expected to be held accountable for something we have no control over?
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#386 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
This message comes after the one just below. But I would also like to say that there is nothing wrong with being intellectually honest with yourself. But I think if you had really studied and searched, you would come to the only obvious answer.

If you have the time to branch off into that subject, I would be more than happy to show you reasons that it's logical and obvious to believe in God. I'll do my best to keep it to only apologetic and philosophical reasons and appeal to emotion as little as possible.

I've studied this quite a lot and am confident that I can show you facts and solid evidence as to why, if you truly follow the intellectual path, it can only lead you realize God is both necessary and real.
#528 - anon (06/14/2016) [-]
come to the religion board. we really need you
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#433 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
You must understand that I went into the bible as a believer and under the presumption that it was an ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom. When I got nowhere with the bible I started reading extra-textual sources and reading up on the history of the bible, how it was put together over the ages, the development of Christianity and its application to modern life. Ultimately all that searching lead me to becoming an atheist.

I've read all the apologetics and 'philosophical proofs' for god and they all ultimately fall flat. On the scientific front the claims for god's existence are either untestable, not evidently true or evidently not true.

I doubt there's anything new you can offer me, but you can try and I can tell you why you're wrong.
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#501 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's a good thing. I think that every Christian needs to drop their faith at one point. s you grow up you begin to realize that you only believed as you were taught without understanding why. So you cast away as you believed and begin to study for yourself.

But if you have truly looked into all the apologetic and philosophical arguments for God and still don't see why God cannot be doubted by an intellectual, only refused, then I am skeptical you have studied enough.

I have limited space here so I will do my best but I also recommend "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig. It is far more in depth and better researched and cited than what I can offer here. It's the best collection I have yet read of various reasons and proofs for God.

But the proofs I can offer are of two types. One is evidence based on the legitimacy of the bible, the other is philosophical evidence.

The biblical evidence has two main points. The first point is that the bible is flawless. This was the first one I really delved into and still my favorite. If you were to google you could find lots of proposed contradictions in the bible. One of the ones I most often encounter is the list on evilbible.com . Many of these lists are comprised of verses of the bible that are said to either contradict another verse, or simply make no sense in and of themselves. But I have been over these lists over and over again and none of them ever hold any water. They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context. They are sometimes even non-contradictions, meaning that they are called a contradiction without even fitting the definition of a contradictions and turn out to be just be an issue that the list maker takes with the bible which is hardly what's being presented. The last type I've found are simply mistranslations. This is a problem with the bible being translated to English and the message being changed to show something that isn't quite the actual message when compared to the original texts in Hebrew or Latin.

I have studied this extensively and have yet to encounter any contradiction that is legitimate. Of course I am still studying and am far from considering myself done, but so far, the bible remains perfect.

The second point for biblical proof is the miraculous of the bible in the form of prophesy. No other religious book has the number of prophesies nor do they contain prophesies that are so specific and precise. There are two times of prophesies in the bible. One type are the ones that are prophesied but can't be confirmed outside the bible. These are said to be going to happen and then are confirmed to have happened later in the bible, often starting in the old testament and becoming true in the new. These aren't very useful to a non-believer.

The second type is prophesies that were said to happen and then occurred and historical science can confirm them without the bible. These prophesies involve the predictions of Alexander the Great, the reformation of Israel as a nation, and many others of various impact on a non-believer. I encourage you to google about it and see for yourself.

As for philosophy, there is plenty of evidence there. From the necessity of God for there to be any absolute morality. To how if there is no God then human being are little more than deterministic driven robots who have no free will. Also that there must be a beginning to anything that exists within time and so some kind of creator must exist. As well as arguments for why there is something rather than nothing.

There is also more evidence in the practicality of how life without God is rather pointless but that's more emotionally based and aimed at convincing a person why it's most beneficial to believe but not really if he actually exists.

I encourage you to google and study all of these but if you'd like any of them more specifically explained by me let me know. Limited space here makes it hard to do them all.
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#507 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
Oh boy, this'll be fun.

If the bible is "flawless", then why is it so disputed? Why are there so many mistranslations and missing pieces? Why can nobody come to a clear consensus on what the texts mean, even among believers? These are glaring flaws that cannot be overlooked. And again you say "They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context." , how do you know you have the 'right' interpretation? If the book is as flawless as you claim, there wouldn't be any need for interpretation!

Not to mention the blatant scientific untruths proclaimed by the bible: it paints a worked far younger than what scientists have determined, the Genesis story is completely convoluted earth before the universe, light before stars, etc , it states that the earth is a flat disc supported on columns and covered by a crystal dome, it defines bats as birds, whales as fish, Jesus says that mustard seeds are the smallest of all seeds even though they're not, and the authors clearly had no idea about germs, pathogens or mental disorders, blaming diseases and epilepsy on demons and other things. And I'm not even mentioning all the talking animals, necromancy, magic, other gods & daemons, the Flood myth or any other supernatural occurence.
On the scientific front the bible falls flat on its face, and like yourself I can cite countless sources that pick apart the claims in the bible from a scientific point of view. AronRa, Thunderf00t and potholer54 have entire playlists dedicated to debunking Creationism and cite all their sources, you can also try talkorigins.org , Matt Dillahunty has repeatedly picked apart biblical inconsistencies and absurdities (he has his own channel on YT but his material is scattered all over the internet), just to name a few

From a historicity perspective, if you look into the history of the bible, how it was put together over the centuries and the origins of many of its myths (from Genesis to Jesus) you can clearly see it was a work of fiction from the start. Again I can cite a number of sources for you to investigate. You've probably heard of Bart Ehrman's lengthy scholarly investigation into the subject, AronRa gives plenty of lectures showing the origins of biblical myths, Matt Dillahunty also delves into the historicity of the bible, etc

The prophecies in the bible are either vague or referring to something else entirely. Just to start with a few:
- Jesus said that his second coming would happen within the lifetime of those he was speaking to, yet it didn't happen.
- The formation of Israel as a nation state gives no particular timeframe for it to happen in so it's another vague prophecy at best - I can prophecy that the USA will fall in the future and it inevitably will, but that doesn't prove my prophetic powers. And Israel is not a Jewish theocracy as the bible intended it to be.
- Daniel's vision gives no definite timeframe for Alexander's rise (if indeed that was who he was referring to) and it states in Daniel 8: 17 that his vision "refers to the time of the end". End of what? End of the world? We're still here, so that didn't come to pass. I did a quick Wiki search en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Historical_background looking for the historical manuscripts on which Daniel was based and found a few other prophecies that were inaccurate in the very same book. The rest of that article also shows how the book was put together over the ages, with additions by Greek scholars as well.
- Any prophecy made and passed within the bible can be discredited, as it's quite easy for later authors to just write in whatever they want. On that we agree.

<cont>
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#508 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
<cont>

Philosophically, there's still nothing to suggest that there must be a first cause or anything to identify this cause as 'god', and the mental gymnastics to make for such an allowance are absurd:

- If something exists, it must have had a beginning.
- The universe exists, therefore it must have had a beginning.
- Therefore, we call this first cause 'god'- NO NO NO! You can't jump from "There had to be a first cause" to "Therefore, god". How do you reach that conclusion? Alternatively:
- Therefore if god exists, then he must have had a beginning. But that can't be true, because supposedly god is eternal, right? If he had a beginning, then what was before god? If god is eternal, why can't we just assume that the universe is eternal and bin the god hypothesis? Physicists have worked out a more complicated cosmological model which is too convoluted to describe here, but in a nutshell: Time and space are connected, and as the Expanding Universe theory suggests, waaaaaaay back in the past all time & space was concentrated into a singular, infinitesimal point. Asking "what was before the Big Bang?" is like asking "what's south of the South Pole?" We don't know what the answer is (if there even is one) but there's nothing to suggest it must be a 'god'.

Philosophy relies entirely on logic (unless you're William Lane Craig) but that can only get you so far when dealing with reality where evidence matters more than what one can fathom on their own. There are many things we've learned about the universe that defy our common sense the earth is round, time & space are connected, air resistance vs. gravity, even the most solid objects are made up mostly of empty space, the speed of light, etc and the only ideas that hold any credibility are the ones that can be demonstrated. Philosophy has had a good run, but when it comes to debating topics that cannot be objectively verified then it ceases to hold any value. The requirement of a god for there to be absolute morality (if there even is such a thing) is not verifiable, the existence of an omnicient god already makes us automatons with no free will, simply because something has a 'beginning' doesn't mean it has a 'creator' and the universe bears no marks of such design (despite what Creationists try and claim), and as for "why is there something rather than nothing?" the answer is "I don't know" not "god did it". And according to Lawrence Krauss the universe is made up mostly of nothing anyway - we're more insignificant than we realise!

As for the "life is pointless without god" debate I'm not even gonna bother as any argument made in favour of one god can be applied to any other god, or anything else for that matter. I will however say that having an all-supervising deity cheapens our existence and makes life far less valuable. Personally, I found the universe to be a far more interesting, make a lot more sense and learned to appreciate a great many more things once I abandoned the notion of god.

If you want we can tackle these issues one at a time just so we have more words to spare.
Also, when typing up longer replies like this, I encourage you to 'save' your work periodically by copying all you've written so far Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C just in case you close a tab, window or close the message box accidentally. Saves having to type it out all over again.
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#436 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
*why I think you're wrong
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#382 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
And that doesn't sound nicer to you? That "slaves" were treated like human being, given the ability to get out of slavery if they established themselves, most often willingly entered slavery to avoid poverty, and had rules protecting them from being punished too harshly? It was a more brutal time for sure, but these rules were incredibly lenient and caring for the slave compared to just about any other form of slavery. It was basically just a form of workers. Though back then societies were smaller and more tightly knit. So naturally it was a more intimate relationship with a worker rather than the unionized modern take. And you're still looking at the rules about punishing slaves wrong. It's not giving permission to beat a slave to near death, that was common practice anyway if they messed up bad enough. What it's doing is warning the owner that if they punish a slave then they better be careful to keep it reasonable, because if the slave dies from the injury then it's a full murder. And yes, the slave's work contract can be bought or sold, but that's the price you pay for being a captured soldier or selling yourself into slavery. It was hardly immoral for the time and very necessary to protect the slave workers. I know slavery is a buzz word in modern times but you have to study the era. Notice that when the era changed and society could handle people without need for death penalties and beatings the law also changed.

And of course if you said it it would be bad for them to kill in your name. But what about if God says it? He gave that life, he has every right to decide when and how it ends. He wanted to show how much Abraham trusted him. That even if he said to do something Abraham didn't understand at the time, he would simply because he trusted God. And of course God didn't need to ask to figure anything out. It is for Abraham and the reader's sake that he did it. To teach a lesson. Similarly, the story of Jephthah was to show that the man was foolish to make such a deal with God. And that he should not have tried to barter with God, especially without knowing what he offered. It was not the evil or shortcoming of God, it was the man's actions that caused the human sacrifice, something that the old testament directly speaks against.

And why is a scapegoat needed? It's because all people sin. You will never meat a person who hasn't sinned. And that's why no one is worthy of reward. Because, despite the laws given for us to follow, no one can do it. Of course God knows this. He wants us to choose to be perfect and yet all people fail at it. So he gives us another chance. And while Jesus's sacrifice was mostly symbolic, he did suffer greatly. And that's the point. He was pure, he did nothing wrong and didn't deserve to be punished in any way. But he was. And because he gave up his life(the biggest gift God gives to a human) we now have a chance to get rewarded. All we have to do is ask. So yes, God sacrificed watching someone he loved suffer and Jesus suffered very literally. And so yes, people are held responsible for their crimes. They get punished by both worldly authorities and after death. But any amount of sin can be forgiven. It's not that they can sin and then get away with it. They have to really regret it, truly be sorry. God prefers reform to the death penalty.

And yes, God is the king in this world. He has given you literally everything you own, including your body and mind. But you fundamentally misunderstand why thinking can be a sin. Not all thoughts are sins. You can want a car LIKE your neighbors, you just can't want his car because that's thoughts of stealing and that's as bad as doing it. And before marriage you can look at all the ladies you want, it's not till you are married that looking at one lustfully because cheating on your wife. It's never rape, I don't know where you got that from. And I do agree that greed drives the economy well, but I hardly think consumerism and greed are a good things.
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#428 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Nicer? It says you can beat your slaves to within an inch of their lives. As long as they don't die as a result of those injuries you can thrash them as much as you want. Treating people as property, to be bartered and sold without their consent and passed down to your descendants is NOT a 'nicer' form of servitude. You want to protect the slaves? How about saying "don't beat your slaves at all", how's that for nicer? Better yet, how about "don't treat other people as property and enslave them without their consent". Is it really so difficult for an all-loving god to ask this much of people? If he can say do not murder one another and then contradictory order the Israelites to slaughter anyone who stood in their way as they journeyed through the desert then surely he can tell them to not enslave each other.

Again with the "god giveth, god taketh away". Does a mother or father have a right to kill their child? "Well son, if you don't do your chores I'm gonna kill you. I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it!" We're not Sims.
As for Abraham & Isaac, that's still a fucked up story. God did it to "prove Abraham's faith"? Prove it to who? Who's god trying to impress by ordering such a barbaric act? And Abraham is a fool for going along with it without question. If he had any sense he'd have said "Look, Yaweh, you're cool and all but I kinda love my son. Why do you need me to kill him? That's kinda fucked, yo."
And again, god had no objection with Jephthah killing his daughter. Wouldn't a moral god say something like "Woah there, Jep! I appreciate the offer and all but there's no need to go that far. I know I did the same with Abraham but it was just a prank, bro!"

That's even more fucked up! God has the option to simply forgive everyone without the need for a sacrifice, yet he decided to take the barbaric route with another human sacrifice. For a god who is supposedly against human sacrifice, he seems to condone a lot of it. We'll deal with the concept of sin another time, but if someone came to my door and told me I had a MASSIVE debt to pay or else I'd be tortured horribly, and they said they squared the debt by torturing & killing their own son instead, you really expect me to thank that person? Heck no! I'd call the police and have them locked in an asylum - that shit's fucked! I'd be more impressed if god just up and forgave everyone, but instead I'm appalled at his behaviour in the bible.
Like I said, if he did exist I ain't worshipping him.

He's given me everything? Well that's a debate for another time but I'll play along for now. Christians always say this in regards to the positive things your life, your house, your mind, your family, etc but fail to acknowledge that god also gave you all the negative things too. Should one be thankful to god for giving them a predisposition for colon cancer? Or being born without functioning limbs? Or living in area prone to natural disasters that he's ultimately in control of? For every pro, there are five cons to rack up on god's tally.
Again on thought crime; people are free to think what they want without reprimand. Someone can hate me all they want - heck, they can even say it to my face - but that is nowhere near as bad as actually assaulting me. God's standards are not moral or remotely sane.
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#500 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
Yes, it does say that. And it says to be careful because if you do so, you might hang for it. It's not easy for a desert sheep herder to beat another man and know where to stop without killing him. And few would anyway. What good is a worker who can't walk? If you can't kill him then you have to feed and care for him till he's well again. This is all costly. And of course it is immoral to your modern senses, but this was the way of things back then and it was very necessary. There were no unions, no government that could monitor and protect. It was a tribal like society where everyone knew one another and there were two types of people. Those who had enough wealth to be independent and those who starved to death or worked for food.

But what form of punishment would you recommend? If a person has slave workers and one refuses to work then what? Ask him politely? Send him away until he returns begging for food or decides to try and steal from you? There had to be a way for order to be kept. And so the employers had authority over the workers and the ability to punish them. The only punishment back then was corporal. These were not educated and civil people we are dealing with. They were all primitive and had to work hard just to live. You don't seem to see the delicate strings of politeness and how people are trained form birth to be civil that hold modern society together. These were not present back then.

And no, a mother and father do not have the right to kill a child because they didn't give it life. They created it sure, but they did not create it's very being and design it, nor do they do anything with it after death. Killing is not bad for God. He doesn't use it to discard, in fact it's the opposite. Once dead, the person comes right to him.

And God was showing you and I of the strength of Abraham's faith. And he was testing if Abraham loved his son more than he loved God. God should come first, he is the highest and the giver of life. Only second should come love and obedience to a child or spouse. Because if God says for you to kill or abandon your loved one, then he clearly has a good reason for doing so because he can see everything and his motives are always good. And look what happened when Abraham trusted God. Nothing bad, in fact good things.

And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God. Why do you think nothing bad should happen when someone disrespects God?

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. Surely you aren't actually trying to assert that point?

And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice and only allowed it to happen once when a man foolishly promised it. So there are no examples of him condoning it to be found.

And again, you are comparing God to a human in your "debt" example. I think you really need to spend some time reading about what God is, what it means that he is all powerful and all knowing, and then see if that helps you understand why acting as though he is just a powerful human is illogical.

And I didn't mean to leave out the negative things he gave. Because he certainly did. But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong.

So yes, one should be thankful that one was given a life. Is it not a life that is as good as someone else's? Probably. In fact it guaranteed is unless you are that one person with the best life on Earth. How could we help each other if no one suffered? How could we tell something was positive if there was no negative? I think if you researched it enough, you would realize that there can be no free will without that dichotomy or good and bad things happening to a person.

Your last point, again, makes the mistake of thinking of God as a simple human. It changes when you add that he can see into the mind and judge perfectly fairly.
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#505 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
It just says you shouldn't beat them to death; if you put out an eye or break their legs it's still perfectly valid. I must say you're going to an awful lot of effort trying to justify beating slaves - and they were indeed slaves, not workers. A worker gets paid and so of course they'll work of their own volition, there's no need for 'corporal encouragement'. A slave is, as you might have guessed, enslaved. If a worker refuses to work or tries to escape from their job then they just don't get paid, their loss. If a slave tried the same they'd get the shit beat out of them and probably suffer other punishments (imprisonment, denial of sustenance, etc). Again, is it really so difficult for god to say "Don't own one another as property"? Corporal punishment is an effective way to keep slaves in check, but the whole idea of slavery is immoral to begin with and I'm wondering why a supposedly "moral" deity would sanction it.

The concept of an afterlife doesn't really crop up until the New Testament, but assuming heaven & hell were real places even in the Old, where do you think all the people who died in the Flood ended up? All the Egyptians who died of the plagues? All the people the Israelites slaughtered as they rampaged across the desert? Killing isn't an inconvenience for god, but it's a downright death sentence in every sense of the word for everyone else. They don't fall back into god's bosom when they die, they just get obliterated - denied the right to live on the whims of a careless, petty deity. If god did indeed give us life that doesn't make it precious, it downright cheapens it if he can just throw us about willy-nilly.

Again, I fail to see anything admirable about the story of Abraham. If anything it just demonstrates the danger of fervent faith and what it could possibly lead to. If someone is willing to kill their own child because someone told them to - god or no - then that's not a person to be trusted with anything important.

"And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God." Oh, so it was a punishment for Jephthah? What about his daughter?! Doesn't she have a say in this? Do you think she wanted to die? Did anybody ask for her take on this? Again, this is an impossible story to justify on moral terms.

"And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice...there are no examples of him condoning it to be found. " Genesis 22: 2, Exodus 13: 11-16, Numbers 31: 37-41, Leviticus 27: 28-29, 1 Kings 13: 1-2, 2 Kings 23: 20, Ezekiel 20: 25-26, and let's not forget the Ultimate human sacrifice. All in addition to Jehpthah's daughter.

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. I can forgive someone without them having to ask for it, although it'd be nice if they did but it's not a requirement. If someone accidentally transgresses against me and they have no knowledge of it then I don't have to demand they ask for forgiveness before I give it to them.
I fail to see why you think I need/deserve god's forgiveness - as a mere mortal, there is nothing I can do that could possibly inconvenience him. There are certainly sins I can commit against my fellow man, but asking god to forgive me on their behalf is just dodging responsibility. I'm accountable to those I mistreat, not your invisible sky-daddy.

Aren't we all made in god's image? How come this suddenly doesn't apply when we turn our eyes towards god? I've every right to compare him to humans seeing as he exhibits countless human traits; he's vengeful, indecisive, capricious, egotistic, illogical, contradictory, wrathful, jealous, has a short temper, reproduces... hardly what I'd call .divine'.
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#506 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
"But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong. "

YES! Yes it is! If I'm born blind then I'm objectively worse off. If I'm born with the mind of a violent sociopath then I'm probably going to act in an unsavoury msnner. If I'm born in a part of the world where Christianity is unheard of and I never end up believing in god then I'm going to hell according to your theology. These are not circumstances I can change; these are conditions specifically set up by god and out of my control and I'd be objectively worse off for it. How can you even say this is 'good'?
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#360 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
<cont>

Imaginary crimes include witchcraft (magic isn't real, get over it), having queer sexual preferences (seriously, the fuck's up with that?) and working on the Sabbath (which I fail to see how it harms ANYBODY, let alone a god).

Respect should not be automatic, it has to be earned. One shouldn't honour or swear fealty to abusive parents - we have child protection service to combat that problem.

The "choice" is akin to a mafia boss saying "You'd better be makin' payments or some trouble's gonna happen." If I refuse to pay him then am I choosing to have my legs broken by his cronies?
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#318 - iamkagji (06/01/2016) [-]
No, the jews forced slaves to work to death in mines and fields. Servants and slaves were two different things
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#321 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Where are you getting that? I mean I don't doubt it happened some. Most societies have those who go against what their laws say. But that's the point of the law, to protect the workers.

But no, servants and slaves were the same thing in ancient Jewish society. For instance, a person in debt could sell himself into slavery to pay back the debt and avoid punishment. A father could sell his daughter into service to a well of man so she could be integrated into the new family and readied for eventual marriage to the man. And prisoners of war could be forced into slavery instead of simply killed. But even then they were subject to the rules put in place, the couldn't be beaten to death or punished over harshly and slaves must be released r given the option to leave on certain holidays. Slaves, even foreign slaves or captives of war, were considered to be members of the household. And though they were contractually owned by the owner, they were allowed to acquire and own land and holdings of their own, including slaves under them. And killing a slave held the same punishment as though the person had killed any other non-slave. They were people in every sense.
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#314 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]

He does not give infinite punishment for crimes. If you look in the bible you can clearly see where (in Revelations 20:14) that hell and those within will be destroyed in the end times. So no, hell and the suffering there in will not be eternal. Those who die without accepting God will then die again in the second death where they will be destroyed completely. They will not suffer eternally.

I struggle to see your problem with loving your enemies. All people deserve love and surely you can see that all bitterness and hate come from shallow places. Places like fear, greed, and jealousy. And it is because of this that your enemies need love the most. It's fine to love your parents, friends, and siblings, but imagine how good it would be to patch up relations with someone who you consider to be your enemy. As Abraham Lincoln once said “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

And I don't see why love being compulsory is bad thing. Is it not the root of all the world's problems? Could war not be abolished if everyone were to treat all others like family? Would disease and famine stand any chance if everyone worked to cure the disease of their brother's a sisters and gave up what they had till everyone could eat three meals a day? You say love being enforced by law is a bad thing but I'd say it's more akin to sin being outlawed. No one should hurt one another and yet we do because we are tempted into it. But if that temptation were removed. If no one could profit by stealing or hurting someone else thanks to a punishment attached to that action, is that bad? Should everyone be free to hurt as much as they please with no consequence for it?
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#366 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Love your enemies if you must, but don't go around loving mine. White supremacists, Feminazis, actual Nazis, ISIS - these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others. ISIS has repeatedly exclaimed their hatred of the West and how much they want to kill us all and the best way to prevent that from happening is to destroy them all, not invite them 'round for tea.

If love is compulsory then it's not genuine - I don't love the Dear Leader out of genuine affection, I love him because I'll be shot if I don't. By eliminating 'sin' or any sense of volition you eliminate any semblance of humanity. Call me crazy, but there's something awfully sinister about compulsory love.
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#383 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I find that to be a disturbing opinion. Do you not see that these are the people who are most in need of your love? You need to be friends with them and show them why what they are doing is wrong. Hateful words will not convince them. You must be gentle, show them you care about them, you are not their enemy, you are not against them. Only then will they listen to you and you can show them the danger of the path they are taking. I'm not saying it's not a risky thing to do but surely you would agree that risking your life to save another is morally right.

You would risk your life to safe an innocent from a burning building, but would you risk your life to save a white supremacist from becoming a murderer? To save a ISIS fighter from blowing himself up to kill others? If your real brother decided to become a murderer would you not try to talk sense into him. Would you not think he is sick and in need of help? Or would you simply label him an enemy and discard him?

And compulsory love is a bit more complicated than that. You see, it's not the love that is required by law, it's the belief. You have to accept that God as he says he is and once you do you will come to the logical conclusion that he loves you and that you should love him back. He has done so much for you. Giving you a world to explore and live in, giving you free will and a mind to understand it. He gives you this entire life to live however you want and only asks that you accept him and obey his moral rules. In return is reward. But if you disobey the rules and are bad you will be punished and then your existence will end completely.

Love him for his gifts and because he loves you. But know that he made this world with right and wrong in it, and if you do wrong, you will be punished for it. There's nothing fairer than that. You seem to really hate the idea of an authority over you telling you what to do. But this authority is perfectly fair and just and many people love him. What is it that makes you rebel against being punished and not want to thank him for your existence?
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#392 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
These people don't want to have a conversation, they outright kill anyone who dares to disagree. We've seen Europe try and embrace these people and it's backfiring horribly.
Enemies exist for a reason, and it's not to make friends with them.

If my brother slipped beyond all reason and tried to kill me, then I'd have to take him down before that happens. I hold all people accountable to the same standards.

Compulsory love is a sinister thing. You're not loving someone out of genuine affection, but either in hope of reward or fear of punishment (or both). What kind of idiot would be swindled by such a deal?

Thank him? Assuming he even exists, I still wouldn't worship him. If the bible is any indication of his character, he's a morally contemptible twat. I wouldn't go to heaven if I was invited. And if I do end up burning in hell as a result, I'll do it knowing I'm morally superior to him.
And so are you, I'd wager.

I'll get to your other responses later, gotta fly now.
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#394 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I think your misunderstanding comes from how you seem to think God is just a human. You act as though the rules a human must follow apply to him. He can kill who he likes when he likes, he gave that life in the first place. He can see all angles and gains nothing from trying to steal or covet. He only wants what is due him. That being thanks for basically everything. Does it seem unreasonable to you that if I saved your life that you should thank me? Now how much more would you owe a being that gave you that life in the first place?

I don't mean to be insulting, but you sound so very bitter and prideful. As though you can't stand to be told what to do or have a moral authority over you.

And, as I attempted to show, there is no compulsory love. You must believe in God and if you do that then you won't be able to help but love him just as you don't get into heaven by doing good deeds but if you believe you won't be able to help the urge to do what is right. He even gives you the ability to choose and decided if you want to love him or not. And if you reject him then he will make you no longer exist. I don't see how that's a bad thing seeing how atheists already accept that to begin with.

But I think if you studied the bible. I mean really studied it rather than just reading over it with an atheist bias. I think you would see that everything he did was fully justified.

I look forward to your messages. I've enjoyed our exchange so far greatly. Talk to you later.
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#421 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read the bible from cover-to-cover, it's part of why I'm an atheist now. I keep getting this response from Christians whenever I point out immoralities, contradictions or outright falsehoods in the bible; "You're not reading it correctly" or "You need to interpret it right". Why does the supposed perfect word of god require any amount of interpretation? Why can't the words be taken at face value? How can an all-powerful god fail at communication so badly? When the bible dictates that a rape victim must marry her rapist as it dies in Deuteronomy 22: 28-29, the same passage that commands you should stone a woman to death if it's found she's not a virgin on her wedding night it's not a metaphor, it's not a parable, it's a direct commandment from god. And no amount of verbal gymnastics can make it play in your favour without sounding like a completely immoral prick. inb4 it's "to protect the woman", which is absurd. If we did that in today's society there'd be an uproar.

You say I'm reading the bible with an atheist bias, well the same can be said with any religious text. I'm sure you'd be reading the Bhagavad Gita the same way I read the bible and see it as just a collection of stories - but ask a Hindu and they'll have wildly different opinions.
You read the bible with a Christian bias and so no matter what it says, you're already operating under the assumption that god exists and he's good. I won't deny there are some good things in the bible "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and suchlike and some interesting observations in Ecclesiastes, but these things aren't 'good' because they're in the bible or because god says so - they're good on their own merits and humans have come to these understandings without divine parentage.

How come god gets a free pass when it comes to morality? Because he made up the rules? If he suddenly dictated that it's okay - nay, encouraged - us to eat babies does that make it right? "Might makes right" is basically what it boils down to whenever I get into these conversations. If Satan triumphed over god in the bible (as he often does, it seems) then he'd be the moral agent. Whenever I point out the immoralities of god flooding the earth, the whole Garden of Eden business, Sodom & Gommorah, the tower of Babel, the entirety of Exodus, Leviticus & Deuteronomy, the Sacrifice, etc I always get snapped back with "Well, what would you know? You're just a human." A human with a moral intuition who can judge the actions of beings imaginary or no, divine or mortal, that's who. inb4"god's morality is written on the hearts of men", which is a total cop-out And if god is inherently unknowable, how did you come to the conclusion that he's moral? By what standards are you assessing his character as loving and good? His own? That's a bit biased, isn't it? Judging anyone by their own standards of course they would seem moral, but that's not how it works in the real world.
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#499 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's the point I'm trying to make. That it's not meant to be interpreted, it's meant to be understood as it truly is. You can make the bible say just about anything you want but you have to really make it. If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message. That's why I'm attempting to explain these verses. You read them and it seems obvious to me that you misunderstand them fundamentally. I'm not trying to put you down or say you're stupid, but what it seems to me is that you read these passages with such a heavy bias that you actually get an entirely different message than what is being said at face value.

And I agree with your assessment of Deuteronomy 22: 28-29. It's not a metaphor, but you still are misunderstanding. Making the rapist marry the girl he raped is punishment for him, not for her. In the tightly knit villages they lived in, if a woman was raped, no man would want her anymore. And so she is doomed to a life alone. And so the rapist, rather than being killed, is forced to care for her. He would be taken into the family and watched constantly by her family. You can imagine the kind of bias the family would have to believe her over him. If she said he was abusing her then the whole family would come down on him. As well as the death for lying about virginity. Marriage was a big deal in the theocracy that they lived in and to try and con and man into marriage when the woman wasn't a virgin could ruin his entire life. It was taken seriously. It was a harsher time I agree, but there's nothing immoral about it. When there's no way for a tribe to sustain a prison then the death penalty is the only option.

And I agree that doing things like this in modern society would cause an uproar. But that's the whole point. These laws aren't for modern times. They were for tribal times and modern times now has the law f love, brought by Jesus.

But yes, bias is hard to get rid of. I take great pains to ensure that I avoid bias when reading other texts I don't currently believe. I think it is required to do so realistically. You have to be of the mindset "If I find one flaw with my belief or one truth in this one then I must be prepared to drop what I believe and switch to the new truth I have learned." And that's why I feel confident in identifying your bias. It's because I have nothing to lose here. If you show me that Christianity is wrong then I will quickly convert to the new ideology. I only follow what is true and hold no love for Christianity itself as a faction.

And I would agree with you on your last paragraph if not for philosophy. You see, God must be God. That is to say that if he claims to be infinite he cannot lose or be beaten or have anything "bigger" then him. He is above time and moral laws. If something bigger were to be found or even imaged, that new thing would then become God and the old would be known as a false one all along.

Being above morality, God can make up morality. So yes, in a world where eating babies was right, it would be just fine. Of course that seems immoral to you and I, that's because we're not in that world nor can we comprehend it.

And no, you cannot judge God because your judgement is limited. You have limited perception and knowledge and thus make a poor judge. Only a being of complete knowledge of everything has any right to judge. So it's less that might makes right, it's that ability makes right. God can only do good because whatever he does is good. He himself is good. And you only judge someone by their own standards if they are equal. No child is right when they complain that parents get to do things they aren't allowed to. The parents are smarter and able to do those things safely. You have several flaws in your logic here that I think a study into philosophy would fix but I have limited space here. We can get into those arguments in detail if you want though.
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#504 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
That's exactly what I'm doing, I'm reading the bible as it's written and making inferences based on what's being said. I'm not going to take everything it says at face value though because eventually I have to lift my eyes from the pages and look at the world around me and compare the words to reality. When I look around and investigate further I can see that slavery is immoral, that the world is vastly older and more complicated than Genesis suggests, that such a hostile universe cannot be the product of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god especially seeing as a lowly creature like me can change but one aspect of it and already make it a better place - and I certainly don't claim to be omni-anything.

Making the rapist marry the daughter isn't a punishment for the rapist nor guaranteeing protection for the daughter, it's a barbaric practise from a society where a woman's worth was derived from her hymen. If a man defiled a woman then she'd be useless to the father because he could no longer offer her as a bride to anybody - it's a case of "You break it, you buy it". And hey - the rapist just got himself a smokin' hot wife for the lowly sum of 50 shekels! He doesn't have to live with the family, he doesn't have to treat her any better, he just fucks off with a new wife. If someone raped your daughter I don't know if you have children, but hypothetically speaking would you seriously want your daughter to marry that prick? No, you wouldn't want anything to do with him! I agree he should pay some sort of fine/jail time but you shouldn't force your daughter to spend any more time with that bastard.
It's a plainly immoral practice, and if god supposedly dictated this law to them why couldn't he go a step further and just tell them to stop treating their women as property or judge them by their personal virtues instead of the integrity of their hymen? Is that really so fucking difficult for a god to do? And how come we don't follow that law today? It's not because Jesus overturned anything he actually says that "not one jot or tiddle of the old law shall change" and besides, god's law is supposed to be eternal and unchanging. We don't follow these laws today because we've come to realise that these edicts are morally absurd and contribute to the overall detriment of society - and we didn't need divine permission to figure that out.

I thought I've demonstrated quite adequately thus far why Christianity is untrustworthy yet I keep getting a tapdance from you "If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message." as always seems to be the case. If you want me to prove that god doesn't exist well I'm afraid that's an unfalsifiable claim - I can't prove a god doesn't exist any more than I can prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, not the person denying it.
However, I can examine the arguments made for Christianity and do my best to verify their veracity - and I must say the list is rather extensive. The mental gymnastics required to believe in Christianity is some Olympic-level shit.

Again, might makes right. We don't have a perfect scope of morality as humans but we can infer things about it and make judgements based on how certain edicts affect society and ourselves. God's laws are not above scrutiny I'm afraid, no matter how many times you repeat yourself. And I don't care what William L. Craig says either, his 'Divine Command Theory' is a total cop-out.
And again, how did you come to the conclusion that god is good if you've no moral standards to make that judgement on? I've studies philosophy for 2 years in fact before I switched to a more useful degree and the morality debate goes nowhere when you bring god into the picture.
#373 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
"these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others"

Is that a direct Hitches quote?
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#375 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
No, he goes into greater depth in his rants on compulsory love. He focuses more on the destruction of Western values and civilisation rather than our lives, but the sentiment is the same: Fuck those guys.
#291 - Yes. I've studied the bible extensively. Can I ask what made y…  [+] (33 new replies) 06/01/2016 on Well he does have a good point 0
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#296 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
- Bible justifies slavery
- Supports human sacrifice
- Vicarious redemption
- Convicts people of thought crime
- Sentences people to death for imaginary crimes
- Demands fealty to a wrathful, inconsistent, contemptible god
- Poses an infinite punishment for finite crimes
- Commands you to love your enemies
- Compulsory love
etc etc

You have to cherry-pick to find the good parts of the bible and those good parts (such as the golden rule) are intrinsic to all societies and aren't correct simply because the bible says so.
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#300 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
That's an interesting list and if you've got the time or desire I'd like to examine and elaborate on them for you. From what I'm seeing here, it seems to me that you don't fully understand the concepts if you think they are morally wrong. I don't mean that in any insulting way, I just think that I could convince you otherwise if you're willing to hear me out.
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#301 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read all the apologetics and they seem to rely on trying to make the bible say anything other than what it actually says.
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#313 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Well I think that's kind of the point. It doesn't say what you're asserting here at all.

Just going down the list:
In the bible, slavery isn't what we think of as modern day slavery. As an American(or at least an English speaker) you likely imagine slavery to be akin to what black people experienced in early America. Forced into working, fed but not allowed to leave. But biblical slavery, which is exclusively old testament and thus meant for before Jesus's time, was what we would call "indentured servitude." This is basically a job contract where someone, often poor, would agree to work for someone wealthy in exchange for food, shelter, and to escape trying to survive on their own.

And while the bible does deal with this type of worker/employer relationship, it is always talking about how to treat the servant. How far punishments can go before the employer is punished for over punishing the worker. The rules dealing with "slavery" are all to protect the "slave" and ensure that they are always treated as human and not like property.

As for human sacrifice, I can only assume you are talking about God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. But surely the point of this verse s obvious. At no point is Abraham intended to actually kill his son. It is a test of faith and a lesson for both Abraham and those who read about it. It's meant to show that not only should a person's faith be so strong that there is nothing they wouldn't do, but also to show that God is merciful and caring and wouldn't ever ask someone to do more than they could handle.

I also struggle to see vicarious redemption as a bad thing. Now I agree it would be bad if it were human to human. As in one person trying to live punishment for someone else's crimes. But in this case, it's God, an all seeing, all knowing, and infallibly fair judge who allowing this little loop hole in the system he created for creatures he created. The only arguments I've ever seen for this always have the undertone of "If there was no God, this would be immoral." and I totally agree. Without a God then it would be very wrong, but that's the point. With a God it makes perfect sense and is wholly just.

An again for thought crime. A person could never convict another person for thought crime. And no where in the bible does it say we should try. But God knows your mind completely and thus can judge based on thought alone. How is that wrong? Surely you can see that to think something is always the first step in doing it. They go hand in hand and that verse simply shows that even if you don't do something bad, it's still wrong. It doesn't become wrong not to steal just because a cop is watching you right now. If you would steal without that cop being there and want to do it then it's just as bad.

You'll have to explain the "Sentences people to death for imaginary crimes" one to me as I don't immediately see what this refers to. Which crimes are imaginary and why?

The fealty seems common sense to me. You submit to your mother despite how she can be wrathful when you do bad things she tells you not to, she can be seemingly inconsistent to a child as sometimes she get angry and other times acts loving but always does so because she feels it is best for you, and the contemptible is just part of free will. You can hate what you want, you can love what you choose, this free will was given to you by God. He allows you to hate him if you wish. But he is "the king" and so, like it or not, as the highest authority, you should bow to him. But notice that he doesn't even make you do that. He gives you the choice if you think you should and tells you long before hand that you can gain reward by doing as he says or punishment for disobeying. That seems nothing but fair.
#380 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
Slavery:
bullshit. Slavery was very common in Ancient world (Europe) and while different forms existed, slaves were subhuman scum, that could be spent easily. In USA blacks also mostly lived in good environment and were not actually tortured, save for some parts. In Ancient times slaves, epecially waqr slaves would be killed with no repricautions.

also holy shit - you write too long in a forum where people laugh about videogames and tits. A prime sign you religious freaks are completely fucking nuts.
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#389 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I'm sorry my post as too long for your tastes but I don't know how to get all my points across.

As for slavery, I think you will find slavery can vary widely in both definition and practice. For instance, there are groups who believe that simply working a job, such as at McDonalds, is a form of slavery. Some thing that being confined to a society and forced to follow laws and work for the greater good is slavery. But surely you wouldn't say the modern man is a slave. And so at what exact point would you say a man goes from free to being a slave? What is the criteria?
#434 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Just ignore him. Anyone who finds extensive, structured discourse as the product of madmen is not to be taken seriously.
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#359 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Biblical slavery wasn't some 'nicer' form of slavery, it explicitly tells the Israelites to enslave those they conquered (especially the virgin girls - three guesses why) and to buy their slaves from the heathens around them. It states in Exodus 21 that you can beat your slaves to the point of near-death as long as they don't die within a day or two as a result of the injuries and states that they are your "property" that you can trade and pass down to your descendants. The 'indentured servitude' only applies to enslaving your fellow Jew, whom you had to let go in the 7th year - however there's a loophole where you can give them a wife to have a family with, but they remain as your property. So once the 7 years are up, if the 'servant' wishes to remain with the family you've given him, you take him to the priests who pierce his ear which marks him as your property now that you can buy & sell just like any other slave.

Even if it was just a test of faith, the fact that Abraham was willing to kill Isaac simply because god told him so is absolutely monstrous. If I asked someone to kill their son as a devotional offering to me and they went "No way, that's fucking stupid" I'd congratulate them on having a sensible morality. But if they went "Sure, no problem" and then proceeded with the sacrifice, would it be moral of me to congratulate them on their faith? No! That shit's fucked yo - an omniscient and omnibenevolent god would have no need to ask such a stupid question. Also, when Jephthah promised to sacrifice the first living thing out of his house in exchange for victory in battle there wasn't a word of objection from god - even when that living thing turned out to be Jephthah's own daughter. Where was god's divine intervention then?

Jesus' "sacrifice" is another version of scapegoating, where the sins of the tribe were cast onto a goat and then it was driven out into the wilderness to die of starvation ('scapegoating' is now used to describe an action where someone tries to avoid punishment by pinning the blame on someone else). What sort of morality is that, which doesn't hold people responsible for their crimes? I think Hitchens states it best www.youtube.com/watch?v=By9JJSVzlTw . And what did god sacrifice, exactly? His son? Himself? I don't know how you view the Trinity, but let's assume god & Jesus are one and the same: God sacrificed himself, to himself, to create a loophole to a set of rules that he created. Does this seem utterly stupid to anyone else? Why does there have to be a sacrifice, why can't god just forgive everyone or change the rules? That's what an omnibenevolent being would do. And it wasn't much of a sacrifice anyway since all that really died was Jesus' body (what's a mortal shell to a god, eh?) and then rose from the dead 3 days later and became ruler of everything. That's not a fucking sacrifice - that actually sounds like a pretty good deal that even I would make.

Judging people for what they think is the definition of a totalitarian regime. It's especially sinister in the bible because such unforgivable thoughts include being intellectually honest with yourself and admitting you don't find any reason to believe a god exists. And it also includes humanity's most basic urges, urges that god supposedly created us to have innate in us. Lusting after a woman is not the same as raping her, coveting your neighbour's car is not the same as stealing it and in fact is what drives the economy. And relationships for that matter - do you really think two people would fall in love and get married if they didn't have lustful thoughts for one another? It's especially unfair seeing as we have no control over our thoughts - how are we expected to be held accountable for something we have no control over?
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#386 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
This message comes after the one just below. But I would also like to say that there is nothing wrong with being intellectually honest with yourself. But I think if you had really studied and searched, you would come to the only obvious answer.

If you have the time to branch off into that subject, I would be more than happy to show you reasons that it's logical and obvious to believe in God. I'll do my best to keep it to only apologetic and philosophical reasons and appeal to emotion as little as possible.

I've studied this quite a lot and am confident that I can show you facts and solid evidence as to why, if you truly follow the intellectual path, it can only lead you realize God is both necessary and real.
#528 - anon (06/14/2016) [-]
come to the religion board. we really need you
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#433 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
You must understand that I went into the bible as a believer and under the presumption that it was an ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom. When I got nowhere with the bible I started reading extra-textual sources and reading up on the history of the bible, how it was put together over the ages, the development of Christianity and its application to modern life. Ultimately all that searching lead me to becoming an atheist.

I've read all the apologetics and 'philosophical proofs' for god and they all ultimately fall flat. On the scientific front the claims for god's existence are either untestable, not evidently true or evidently not true.

I doubt there's anything new you can offer me, but you can try and I can tell you why you're wrong.
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#501 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's a good thing. I think that every Christian needs to drop their faith at one point. s you grow up you begin to realize that you only believed as you were taught without understanding why. So you cast away as you believed and begin to study for yourself.

But if you have truly looked into all the apologetic and philosophical arguments for God and still don't see why God cannot be doubted by an intellectual, only refused, then I am skeptical you have studied enough.

I have limited space here so I will do my best but I also recommend "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig. It is far more in depth and better researched and cited than what I can offer here. It's the best collection I have yet read of various reasons and proofs for God.

But the proofs I can offer are of two types. One is evidence based on the legitimacy of the bible, the other is philosophical evidence.

The biblical evidence has two main points. The first point is that the bible is flawless. This was the first one I really delved into and still my favorite. If you were to google you could find lots of proposed contradictions in the bible. One of the ones I most often encounter is the list on evilbible.com . Many of these lists are comprised of verses of the bible that are said to either contradict another verse, or simply make no sense in and of themselves. But I have been over these lists over and over again and none of them ever hold any water. They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context. They are sometimes even non-contradictions, meaning that they are called a contradiction without even fitting the definition of a contradictions and turn out to be just be an issue that the list maker takes with the bible which is hardly what's being presented. The last type I've found are simply mistranslations. This is a problem with the bible being translated to English and the message being changed to show something that isn't quite the actual message when compared to the original texts in Hebrew or Latin.

I have studied this extensively and have yet to encounter any contradiction that is legitimate. Of course I am still studying and am far from considering myself done, but so far, the bible remains perfect.

The second point for biblical proof is the miraculous of the bible in the form of prophesy. No other religious book has the number of prophesies nor do they contain prophesies that are so specific and precise. There are two times of prophesies in the bible. One type are the ones that are prophesied but can't be confirmed outside the bible. These are said to be going to happen and then are confirmed to have happened later in the bible, often starting in the old testament and becoming true in the new. These aren't very useful to a non-believer.

The second type is prophesies that were said to happen and then occurred and historical science can confirm them without the bible. These prophesies involve the predictions of Alexander the Great, the reformation of Israel as a nation, and many others of various impact on a non-believer. I encourage you to google about it and see for yourself.

As for philosophy, there is plenty of evidence there. From the necessity of God for there to be any absolute morality. To how if there is no God then human being are little more than deterministic driven robots who have no free will. Also that there must be a beginning to anything that exists within time and so some kind of creator must exist. As well as arguments for why there is something rather than nothing.

There is also more evidence in the practicality of how life without God is rather pointless but that's more emotionally based and aimed at convincing a person why it's most beneficial to believe but not really if he actually exists.

I encourage you to google and study all of these but if you'd like any of them more specifically explained by me let me know. Limited space here makes it hard to do them all.
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#507 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
Oh boy, this'll be fun.

If the bible is "flawless", then why is it so disputed? Why are there so many mistranslations and missing pieces? Why can nobody come to a clear consensus on what the texts mean, even among believers? These are glaring flaws that cannot be overlooked. And again you say "They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context." , how do you know you have the 'right' interpretation? If the book is as flawless as you claim, there wouldn't be any need for interpretation!

Not to mention the blatant scientific untruths proclaimed by the bible: it paints a worked far younger than what scientists have determined, the Genesis story is completely convoluted earth before the universe, light before stars, etc , it states that the earth is a flat disc supported on columns and covered by a crystal dome, it defines bats as birds, whales as fish, Jesus says that mustard seeds are the smallest of all seeds even though they're not, and the authors clearly had no idea about germs, pathogens or mental disorders, blaming diseases and epilepsy on demons and other things. And I'm not even mentioning all the talking animals, necromancy, magic, other gods & daemons, the Flood myth or any other supernatural occurence.
On the scientific front the bible falls flat on its face, and like yourself I can cite countless sources that pick apart the claims in the bible from a scientific point of view. AronRa, Thunderf00t and potholer54 have entire playlists dedicated to debunking Creationism and cite all their sources, you can also try talkorigins.org , Matt Dillahunty has repeatedly picked apart biblical inconsistencies and absurdities (he has his own channel on YT but his material is scattered all over the internet), just to name a few

From a historicity perspective, if you look into the history of the bible, how it was put together over the centuries and the origins of many of its myths (from Genesis to Jesus) you can clearly see it was a work of fiction from the start. Again I can cite a number of sources for you to investigate. You've probably heard of Bart Ehrman's lengthy scholarly investigation into the subject, AronRa gives plenty of lectures showing the origins of biblical myths, Matt Dillahunty also delves into the historicity of the bible, etc

The prophecies in the bible are either vague or referring to something else entirely. Just to start with a few:
- Jesus said that his second coming would happen within the lifetime of those he was speaking to, yet it didn't happen.
- The formation of Israel as a nation state gives no particular timeframe for it to happen in so it's another vague prophecy at best - I can prophecy that the USA will fall in the future and it inevitably will, but that doesn't prove my prophetic powers. And Israel is not a Jewish theocracy as the bible intended it to be.
- Daniel's vision gives no definite timeframe for Alexander's rise (if indeed that was who he was referring to) and it states in Daniel 8: 17 that his vision "refers to the time of the end". End of what? End of the world? We're still here, so that didn't come to pass. I did a quick Wiki search en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Historical_background looking for the historical manuscripts on which Daniel was based and found a few other prophecies that were inaccurate in the very same book. The rest of that article also shows how the book was put together over the ages, with additions by Greek scholars as well.
- Any prophecy made and passed within the bible can be discredited, as it's quite easy for later authors to just write in whatever they want. On that we agree.

<cont>
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#508 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
<cont>

Philosophically, there's still nothing to suggest that there must be a first cause or anything to identify this cause as 'god', and the mental gymnastics to make for such an allowance are absurd:

- If something exists, it must have had a beginning.
- The universe exists, therefore it must have had a beginning.
- Therefore, we call this first cause 'god'- NO NO NO! You can't jump from "There had to be a first cause" to "Therefore, god". How do you reach that conclusion? Alternatively:
- Therefore if god exists, then he must have had a beginning. But that can't be true, because supposedly god is eternal, right? If he had a beginning, then what was before god? If god is eternal, why can't we just assume that the universe is eternal and bin the god hypothesis? Physicists have worked out a more complicated cosmological model which is too convoluted to describe here, but in a nutshell: Time and space are connected, and as the Expanding Universe theory suggests, waaaaaaay back in the past all time & space was concentrated into a singular, infinitesimal point. Asking "what was before the Big Bang?" is like asking "what's south of the South Pole?" We don't know what the answer is (if there even is one) but there's nothing to suggest it must be a 'god'.

Philosophy relies entirely on logic (unless you're William Lane Craig) but that can only get you so far when dealing with reality where evidence matters more than what one can fathom on their own. There are many things we've learned about the universe that defy our common sense the earth is round, time & space are connected, air resistance vs. gravity, even the most solid objects are made up mostly of empty space, the speed of light, etc and the only ideas that hold any credibility are the ones that can be demonstrated. Philosophy has had a good run, but when it comes to debating topics that cannot be objectively verified then it ceases to hold any value. The requirement of a god for there to be absolute morality (if there even is such a thing) is not verifiable, the existence of an omnicient god already makes us automatons with no free will, simply because something has a 'beginning' doesn't mean it has a 'creator' and the universe bears no marks of such design (despite what Creationists try and claim), and as for "why is there something rather than nothing?" the answer is "I don't know" not "god did it". And according to Lawrence Krauss the universe is made up mostly of nothing anyway - we're more insignificant than we realise!

As for the "life is pointless without god" debate I'm not even gonna bother as any argument made in favour of one god can be applied to any other god, or anything else for that matter. I will however say that having an all-supervising deity cheapens our existence and makes life far less valuable. Personally, I found the universe to be a far more interesting, make a lot more sense and learned to appreciate a great many more things once I abandoned the notion of god.

If you want we can tackle these issues one at a time just so we have more words to spare.
Also, when typing up longer replies like this, I encourage you to 'save' your work periodically by copying all you've written so far Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C just in case you close a tab, window or close the message box accidentally. Saves having to type it out all over again.
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#436 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
*why I think you're wrong
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#382 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
And that doesn't sound nicer to you? That "slaves" were treated like human being, given the ability to get out of slavery if they established themselves, most often willingly entered slavery to avoid poverty, and had rules protecting them from being punished too harshly? It was a more brutal time for sure, but these rules were incredibly lenient and caring for the slave compared to just about any other form of slavery. It was basically just a form of workers. Though back then societies were smaller and more tightly knit. So naturally it was a more intimate relationship with a worker rather than the unionized modern take. And you're still looking at the rules about punishing slaves wrong. It's not giving permission to beat a slave to near death, that was common practice anyway if they messed up bad enough. What it's doing is warning the owner that if they punish a slave then they better be careful to keep it reasonable, because if the slave dies from the injury then it's a full murder. And yes, the slave's work contract can be bought or sold, but that's the price you pay for being a captured soldier or selling yourself into slavery. It was hardly immoral for the time and very necessary to protect the slave workers. I know slavery is a buzz word in modern times but you have to study the era. Notice that when the era changed and society could handle people without need for death penalties and beatings the law also changed.

And of course if you said it it would be bad for them to kill in your name. But what about if God says it? He gave that life, he has every right to decide when and how it ends. He wanted to show how much Abraham trusted him. That even if he said to do something Abraham didn't understand at the time, he would simply because he trusted God. And of course God didn't need to ask to figure anything out. It is for Abraham and the reader's sake that he did it. To teach a lesson. Similarly, the story of Jephthah was to show that the man was foolish to make such a deal with God. And that he should not have tried to barter with God, especially without knowing what he offered. It was not the evil or shortcoming of God, it was the man's actions that caused the human sacrifice, something that the old testament directly speaks against.

And why is a scapegoat needed? It's because all people sin. You will never meat a person who hasn't sinned. And that's why no one is worthy of reward. Because, despite the laws given for us to follow, no one can do it. Of course God knows this. He wants us to choose to be perfect and yet all people fail at it. So he gives us another chance. And while Jesus's sacrifice was mostly symbolic, he did suffer greatly. And that's the point. He was pure, he did nothing wrong and didn't deserve to be punished in any way. But he was. And because he gave up his life(the biggest gift God gives to a human) we now have a chance to get rewarded. All we have to do is ask. So yes, God sacrificed watching someone he loved suffer and Jesus suffered very literally. And so yes, people are held responsible for their crimes. They get punished by both worldly authorities and after death. But any amount of sin can be forgiven. It's not that they can sin and then get away with it. They have to really regret it, truly be sorry. God prefers reform to the death penalty.

And yes, God is the king in this world. He has given you literally everything you own, including your body and mind. But you fundamentally misunderstand why thinking can be a sin. Not all thoughts are sins. You can want a car LIKE your neighbors, you just can't want his car because that's thoughts of stealing and that's as bad as doing it. And before marriage you can look at all the ladies you want, it's not till you are married that looking at one lustfully because cheating on your wife. It's never rape, I don't know where you got that from. And I do agree that greed drives the economy well, but I hardly think consumerism and greed are a good things.
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#428 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Nicer? It says you can beat your slaves to within an inch of their lives. As long as they don't die as a result of those injuries you can thrash them as much as you want. Treating people as property, to be bartered and sold without their consent and passed down to your descendants is NOT a 'nicer' form of servitude. You want to protect the slaves? How about saying "don't beat your slaves at all", how's that for nicer? Better yet, how about "don't treat other people as property and enslave them without their consent". Is it really so difficult for an all-loving god to ask this much of people? If he can say do not murder one another and then contradictory order the Israelites to slaughter anyone who stood in their way as they journeyed through the desert then surely he can tell them to not enslave each other.

Again with the "god giveth, god taketh away". Does a mother or father have a right to kill their child? "Well son, if you don't do your chores I'm gonna kill you. I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it!" We're not Sims.
As for Abraham & Isaac, that's still a fucked up story. God did it to "prove Abraham's faith"? Prove it to who? Who's god trying to impress by ordering such a barbaric act? And Abraham is a fool for going along with it without question. If he had any sense he'd have said "Look, Yaweh, you're cool and all but I kinda love my son. Why do you need me to kill him? That's kinda fucked, yo."
And again, god had no objection with Jephthah killing his daughter. Wouldn't a moral god say something like "Woah there, Jep! I appreciate the offer and all but there's no need to go that far. I know I did the same with Abraham but it was just a prank, bro!"

That's even more fucked up! God has the option to simply forgive everyone without the need for a sacrifice, yet he decided to take the barbaric route with another human sacrifice. For a god who is supposedly against human sacrifice, he seems to condone a lot of it. We'll deal with the concept of sin another time, but if someone came to my door and told me I had a MASSIVE debt to pay or else I'd be tortured horribly, and they said they squared the debt by torturing & killing their own son instead, you really expect me to thank that person? Heck no! I'd call the police and have them locked in an asylum - that shit's fucked! I'd be more impressed if god just up and forgave everyone, but instead I'm appalled at his behaviour in the bible.
Like I said, if he did exist I ain't worshipping him.

He's given me everything? Well that's a debate for another time but I'll play along for now. Christians always say this in regards to the positive things your life, your house, your mind, your family, etc but fail to acknowledge that god also gave you all the negative things too. Should one be thankful to god for giving them a predisposition for colon cancer? Or being born without functioning limbs? Or living in area prone to natural disasters that he's ultimately in control of? For every pro, there are five cons to rack up on god's tally.
Again on thought crime; people are free to think what they want without reprimand. Someone can hate me all they want - heck, they can even say it to my face - but that is nowhere near as bad as actually assaulting me. God's standards are not moral or remotely sane.
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#500 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
Yes, it does say that. And it says to be careful because if you do so, you might hang for it. It's not easy for a desert sheep herder to beat another man and know where to stop without killing him. And few would anyway. What good is a worker who can't walk? If you can't kill him then you have to feed and care for him till he's well again. This is all costly. And of course it is immoral to your modern senses, but this was the way of things back then and it was very necessary. There were no unions, no government that could monitor and protect. It was a tribal like society where everyone knew one another and there were two types of people. Those who had enough wealth to be independent and those who starved to death or worked for food.

But what form of punishment would you recommend? If a person has slave workers and one refuses to work then what? Ask him politely? Send him away until he returns begging for food or decides to try and steal from you? There had to be a way for order to be kept. And so the employers had authority over the workers and the ability to punish them. The only punishment back then was corporal. These were not educated and civil people we are dealing with. They were all primitive and had to work hard just to live. You don't seem to see the delicate strings of politeness and how people are trained form birth to be civil that hold modern society together. These were not present back then.

And no, a mother and father do not have the right to kill a child because they didn't give it life. They created it sure, but they did not create it's very being and design it, nor do they do anything with it after death. Killing is not bad for God. He doesn't use it to discard, in fact it's the opposite. Once dead, the person comes right to him.

And God was showing you and I of the strength of Abraham's faith. And he was testing if Abraham loved his son more than he loved God. God should come first, he is the highest and the giver of life. Only second should come love and obedience to a child or spouse. Because if God says for you to kill or abandon your loved one, then he clearly has a good reason for doing so because he can see everything and his motives are always good. And look what happened when Abraham trusted God. Nothing bad, in fact good things.

And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God. Why do you think nothing bad should happen when someone disrespects God?

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. Surely you aren't actually trying to assert that point?

And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice and only allowed it to happen once when a man foolishly promised it. So there are no examples of him condoning it to be found.

And again, you are comparing God to a human in your "debt" example. I think you really need to spend some time reading about what God is, what it means that he is all powerful and all knowing, and then see if that helps you understand why acting as though he is just a powerful human is illogical.

And I didn't mean to leave out the negative things he gave. Because he certainly did. But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong.

So yes, one should be thankful that one was given a life. Is it not a life that is as good as someone else's? Probably. In fact it guaranteed is unless you are that one person with the best life on Earth. How could we help each other if no one suffered? How could we tell something was positive if there was no negative? I think if you researched it enough, you would realize that there can be no free will without that dichotomy or good and bad things happening to a person.

Your last point, again, makes the mistake of thinking of God as a simple human. It changes when you add that he can see into the mind and judge perfectly fairly.
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#505 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
It just says you shouldn't beat them to death; if you put out an eye or break their legs it's still perfectly valid. I must say you're going to an awful lot of effort trying to justify beating slaves - and they were indeed slaves, not workers. A worker gets paid and so of course they'll work of their own volition, there's no need for 'corporal encouragement'. A slave is, as you might have guessed, enslaved. If a worker refuses to work or tries to escape from their job then they just don't get paid, their loss. If a slave tried the same they'd get the shit beat out of them and probably suffer other punishments (imprisonment, denial of sustenance, etc). Again, is it really so difficult for god to say "Don't own one another as property"? Corporal punishment is an effective way to keep slaves in check, but the whole idea of slavery is immoral to begin with and I'm wondering why a supposedly "moral" deity would sanction it.

The concept of an afterlife doesn't really crop up until the New Testament, but assuming heaven & hell were real places even in the Old, where do you think all the people who died in the Flood ended up? All the Egyptians who died of the plagues? All the people the Israelites slaughtered as they rampaged across the desert? Killing isn't an inconvenience for god, but it's a downright death sentence in every sense of the word for everyone else. They don't fall back into god's bosom when they die, they just get obliterated - denied the right to live on the whims of a careless, petty deity. If god did indeed give us life that doesn't make it precious, it downright cheapens it if he can just throw us about willy-nilly.

Again, I fail to see anything admirable about the story of Abraham. If anything it just demonstrates the danger of fervent faith and what it could possibly lead to. If someone is willing to kill their own child because someone told them to - god or no - then that's not a person to be trusted with anything important.

"And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God." Oh, so it was a punishment for Jephthah? What about his daughter?! Doesn't she have a say in this? Do you think she wanted to die? Did anybody ask for her take on this? Again, this is an impossible story to justify on moral terms.

"And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice...there are no examples of him condoning it to be found. " Genesis 22: 2, Exodus 13: 11-16, Numbers 31: 37-41, Leviticus 27: 28-29, 1 Kings 13: 1-2, 2 Kings 23: 20, Ezekiel 20: 25-26, and let's not forget the Ultimate human sacrifice. All in addition to Jehpthah's daughter.

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. I can forgive someone without them having to ask for it, although it'd be nice if they did but it's not a requirement. If someone accidentally transgresses against me and they have no knowledge of it then I don't have to demand they ask for forgiveness before I give it to them.
I fail to see why you think I need/deserve god's forgiveness - as a mere mortal, there is nothing I can do that could possibly inconvenience him. There are certainly sins I can commit against my fellow man, but asking god to forgive me on their behalf is just dodging responsibility. I'm accountable to those I mistreat, not your invisible sky-daddy.

Aren't we all made in god's image? How come this suddenly doesn't apply when we turn our eyes towards god? I've every right to compare him to humans seeing as he exhibits countless human traits; he's vengeful, indecisive, capricious, egotistic, illogical, contradictory, wrathful, jealous, has a short temper, reproduces... hardly what I'd call .divine'.
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#506 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
"But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong. "

YES! Yes it is! If I'm born blind then I'm objectively worse off. If I'm born with the mind of a violent sociopath then I'm probably going to act in an unsavoury msnner. If I'm born in a part of the world where Christianity is unheard of and I never end up believing in god then I'm going to hell according to your theology. These are not circumstances I can change; these are conditions specifically set up by god and out of my control and I'd be objectively worse off for it. How can you even say this is 'good'?
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#360 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
<cont>

Imaginary crimes include witchcraft (magic isn't real, get over it), having queer sexual preferences (seriously, the fuck's up with that?) and working on the Sabbath (which I fail to see how it harms ANYBODY, let alone a god).

Respect should not be automatic, it has to be earned. One shouldn't honour or swear fealty to abusive parents - we have child protection service to combat that problem.

The "choice" is akin to a mafia boss saying "You'd better be makin' payments or some trouble's gonna happen." If I refuse to pay him then am I choosing to have my legs broken by his cronies?
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#318 - iamkagji (06/01/2016) [-]
No, the jews forced slaves to work to death in mines and fields. Servants and slaves were two different things
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#321 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Where are you getting that? I mean I don't doubt it happened some. Most societies have those who go against what their laws say. But that's the point of the law, to protect the workers.

But no, servants and slaves were the same thing in ancient Jewish society. For instance, a person in debt could sell himself into slavery to pay back the debt and avoid punishment. A father could sell his daughter into service to a well of man so she could be integrated into the new family and readied for eventual marriage to the man. And prisoners of war could be forced into slavery instead of simply killed. But even then they were subject to the rules put in place, the couldn't be beaten to death or punished over harshly and slaves must be released r given the option to leave on certain holidays. Slaves, even foreign slaves or captives of war, were considered to be members of the household. And though they were contractually owned by the owner, they were allowed to acquire and own land and holdings of their own, including slaves under them. And killing a slave held the same punishment as though the person had killed any other non-slave. They were people in every sense.
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#314 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]

He does not give infinite punishment for crimes. If you look in the bible you can clearly see where (in Revelations 20:14) that hell and those within will be destroyed in the end times. So no, hell and the suffering there in will not be eternal. Those who die without accepting God will then die again in the second death where they will be destroyed completely. They will not suffer eternally.

I struggle to see your problem with loving your enemies. All people deserve love and surely you can see that all bitterness and hate come from shallow places. Places like fear, greed, and jealousy. And it is because of this that your enemies need love the most. It's fine to love your parents, friends, and siblings, but imagine how good it would be to patch up relations with someone who you consider to be your enemy. As Abraham Lincoln once said “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

And I don't see why love being compulsory is bad thing. Is it not the root of all the world's problems? Could war not be abolished if everyone were to treat all others like family? Would disease and famine stand any chance if everyone worked to cure the disease of their brother's a sisters and gave up what they had till everyone could eat three meals a day? You say love being enforced by law is a bad thing but I'd say it's more akin to sin being outlawed. No one should hurt one another and yet we do because we are tempted into it. But if that temptation were removed. If no one could profit by stealing or hurting someone else thanks to a punishment attached to that action, is that bad? Should everyone be free to hurt as much as they please with no consequence for it?
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#366 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Love your enemies if you must, but don't go around loving mine. White supremacists, Feminazis, actual Nazis, ISIS - these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others. ISIS has repeatedly exclaimed their hatred of the West and how much they want to kill us all and the best way to prevent that from happening is to destroy them all, not invite them 'round for tea.

If love is compulsory then it's not genuine - I don't love the Dear Leader out of genuine affection, I love him because I'll be shot if I don't. By eliminating 'sin' or any sense of volition you eliminate any semblance of humanity. Call me crazy, but there's something awfully sinister about compulsory love.
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#383 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I find that to be a disturbing opinion. Do you not see that these are the people who are most in need of your love? You need to be friends with them and show them why what they are doing is wrong. Hateful words will not convince them. You must be gentle, show them you care about them, you are not their enemy, you are not against them. Only then will they listen to you and you can show them the danger of the path they are taking. I'm not saying it's not a risky thing to do but surely you would agree that risking your life to save another is morally right.

You would risk your life to safe an innocent from a burning building, but would you risk your life to save a white supremacist from becoming a murderer? To save a ISIS fighter from blowing himself up to kill others? If your real brother decided to become a murderer would you not try to talk sense into him. Would you not think he is sick and in need of help? Or would you simply label him an enemy and discard him?

And compulsory love is a bit more complicated than that. You see, it's not the love that is required by law, it's the belief. You have to accept that God as he says he is and once you do you will come to the logical conclusion that he loves you and that you should love him back. He has done so much for you. Giving you a world to explore and live in, giving you free will and a mind to understand it. He gives you this entire life to live however you want and only asks that you accept him and obey his moral rules. In return is reward. But if you disobey the rules and are bad you will be punished and then your existence will end completely.

Love him for his gifts and because he loves you. But know that he made this world with right and wrong in it, and if you do wrong, you will be punished for it. There's nothing fairer than that. You seem to really hate the idea of an authority over you telling you what to do. But this authority is perfectly fair and just and many people love him. What is it that makes you rebel against being punished and not want to thank him for your existence?
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#392 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
These people don't want to have a conversation, they outright kill anyone who dares to disagree. We've seen Europe try and embrace these people and it's backfiring horribly.
Enemies exist for a reason, and it's not to make friends with them.

If my brother slipped beyond all reason and tried to kill me, then I'd have to take him down before that happens. I hold all people accountable to the same standards.

Compulsory love is a sinister thing. You're not loving someone out of genuine affection, but either in hope of reward or fear of punishment (or both). What kind of idiot would be swindled by such a deal?

Thank him? Assuming he even exists, I still wouldn't worship him. If the bible is any indication of his character, he's a morally contemptible twat. I wouldn't go to heaven if I was invited. And if I do end up burning in hell as a result, I'll do it knowing I'm morally superior to him.
And so are you, I'd wager.

I'll get to your other responses later, gotta fly now.
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#394 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I think your misunderstanding comes from how you seem to think God is just a human. You act as though the rules a human must follow apply to him. He can kill who he likes when he likes, he gave that life in the first place. He can see all angles and gains nothing from trying to steal or covet. He only wants what is due him. That being thanks for basically everything. Does it seem unreasonable to you that if I saved your life that you should thank me? Now how much more would you owe a being that gave you that life in the first place?

I don't mean to be insulting, but you sound so very bitter and prideful. As though you can't stand to be told what to do or have a moral authority over you.

And, as I attempted to show, there is no compulsory love. You must believe in God and if you do that then you won't be able to help but love him just as you don't get into heaven by doing good deeds but if you believe you won't be able to help the urge to do what is right. He even gives you the ability to choose and decided if you want to love him or not. And if you reject him then he will make you no longer exist. I don't see how that's a bad thing seeing how atheists already accept that to begin with.

But I think if you studied the bible. I mean really studied it rather than just reading over it with an atheist bias. I think you would see that everything he did was fully justified.

I look forward to your messages. I've enjoyed our exchange so far greatly. Talk to you later.
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#421 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read the bible from cover-to-cover, it's part of why I'm an atheist now. I keep getting this response from Christians whenever I point out immoralities, contradictions or outright falsehoods in the bible; "You're not reading it correctly" or "You need to interpret it right". Why does the supposed perfect word of god require any amount of interpretation? Why can't the words be taken at face value? How can an all-powerful god fail at communication so badly? When the bible dictates that a rape victim must marry her rapist as it dies in Deuteronomy 22: 28-29, the same passage that commands you should stone a woman to death if it's found she's not a virgin on her wedding night it's not a metaphor, it's not a parable, it's a direct commandment from god. And no amount of verbal gymnastics can make it play in your favour without sounding like a completely immoral prick. inb4 it's "to protect the woman", which is absurd. If we did that in today's society there'd be an uproar.

You say I'm reading the bible with an atheist bias, well the same can be said with any religious text. I'm sure you'd be reading the Bhagavad Gita the same way I read the bible and see it as just a collection of stories - but ask a Hindu and they'll have wildly different opinions.
You read the bible with a Christian bias and so no matter what it says, you're already operating under the assumption that god exists and he's good. I won't deny there are some good things in the bible "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and suchlike and some interesting observations in Ecclesiastes, but these things aren't 'good' because they're in the bible or because god says so - they're good on their own merits and humans have come to these understandings without divine parentage.

How come god gets a free pass when it comes to morality? Because he made up the rules? If he suddenly dictated that it's okay - nay, encouraged - us to eat babies does that make it right? "Might makes right" is basically what it boils down to whenever I get into these conversations. If Satan triumphed over god in the bible (as he often does, it seems) then he'd be the moral agent. Whenever I point out the immoralities of god flooding the earth, the whole Garden of Eden business, Sodom & Gommorah, the tower of Babel, the entirety of Exodus, Leviticus & Deuteronomy, the Sacrifice, etc I always get snapped back with "Well, what would you know? You're just a human." A human with a moral intuition who can judge the actions of beings imaginary or no, divine or mortal, that's who. inb4"god's morality is written on the hearts of men", which is a total cop-out And if god is inherently unknowable, how did you come to the conclusion that he's moral? By what standards are you assessing his character as loving and good? His own? That's a bit biased, isn't it? Judging anyone by their own standards of course they would seem moral, but that's not how it works in the real world.
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#499 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's the point I'm trying to make. That it's not meant to be interpreted, it's meant to be understood as it truly is. You can make the bible say just about anything you want but you have to really make it. If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message. That's why I'm attempting to explain these verses. You read them and it seems obvious to me that you misunderstand them fundamentally. I'm not trying to put you down or say you're stupid, but what it seems to me is that you read these passages with such a heavy bias that you actually get an entirely different message than what is being said at face value.

And I agree with your assessment of Deuteronomy 22: 28-29. It's not a metaphor, but you still are misunderstanding. Making the rapist marry the girl he raped is punishment for him, not for her. In the tightly knit villages they lived in, if a woman was raped, no man would want her anymore. And so she is doomed to a life alone. And so the rapist, rather than being killed, is forced to care for her. He would be taken into the family and watched constantly by her family. You can imagine the kind of bias the family would have to believe her over him. If she said he was abusing her then the whole family would come down on him. As well as the death for lying about virginity. Marriage was a big deal in the theocracy that they lived in and to try and con and man into marriage when the woman wasn't a virgin could ruin his entire life. It was taken seriously. It was a harsher time I agree, but there's nothing immoral about it. When there's no way for a tribe to sustain a prison then the death penalty is the only option.

And I agree that doing things like this in modern society would cause an uproar. But that's the whole point. These laws aren't for modern times. They were for tribal times and modern times now has the law f love, brought by Jesus.

But yes, bias is hard to get rid of. I take great pains to ensure that I avoid bias when reading other texts I don't currently believe. I think it is required to do so realistically. You have to be of the mindset "If I find one flaw with my belief or one truth in this one then I must be prepared to drop what I believe and switch to the new truth I have learned." And that's why I feel confident in identifying your bias. It's because I have nothing to lose here. If you show me that Christianity is wrong then I will quickly convert to the new ideology. I only follow what is true and hold no love for Christianity itself as a faction.

And I would agree with you on your last paragraph if not for philosophy. You see, God must be God. That is to say that if he claims to be infinite he cannot lose or be beaten or have anything "bigger" then him. He is above time and moral laws. If something bigger were to be found or even imaged, that new thing would then become God and the old would be known as a false one all along.

Being above morality, God can make up morality. So yes, in a world where eating babies was right, it would be just fine. Of course that seems immoral to you and I, that's because we're not in that world nor can we comprehend it.

And no, you cannot judge God because your judgement is limited. You have limited perception and knowledge and thus make a poor judge. Only a being of complete knowledge of everything has any right to judge. So it's less that might makes right, it's that ability makes right. God can only do good because whatever he does is good. He himself is good. And you only judge someone by their own standards if they are equal. No child is right when they complain that parents get to do things they aren't allowed to. The parents are smarter and able to do those things safely. You have several flaws in your logic here that I think a study into philosophy would fix but I have limited space here. We can get into those arguments in detail if you want though.
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#504 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
That's exactly what I'm doing, I'm reading the bible as it's written and making inferences based on what's being said. I'm not going to take everything it says at face value though because eventually I have to lift my eyes from the pages and look at the world around me and compare the words to reality. When I look around and investigate further I can see that slavery is immoral, that the world is vastly older and more complicated than Genesis suggests, that such a hostile universe cannot be the product of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god especially seeing as a lowly creature like me can change but one aspect of it and already make it a better place - and I certainly don't claim to be omni-anything.

Making the rapist marry the daughter isn't a punishment for the rapist nor guaranteeing protection for the daughter, it's a barbaric practise from a society where a woman's worth was derived from her hymen. If a man defiled a woman then she'd be useless to the father because he could no longer offer her as a bride to anybody - it's a case of "You break it, you buy it". And hey - the rapist just got himself a smokin' hot wife for the lowly sum of 50 shekels! He doesn't have to live with the family, he doesn't have to treat her any better, he just fucks off with a new wife. If someone raped your daughter I don't know if you have children, but hypothetically speaking would you seriously want your daughter to marry that prick? No, you wouldn't want anything to do with him! I agree he should pay some sort of fine/jail time but you shouldn't force your daughter to spend any more time with that bastard.
It's a plainly immoral practice, and if god supposedly dictated this law to them why couldn't he go a step further and just tell them to stop treating their women as property or judge them by their personal virtues instead of the integrity of their hymen? Is that really so fucking difficult for a god to do? And how come we don't follow that law today? It's not because Jesus overturned anything he actually says that "not one jot or tiddle of the old law shall change" and besides, god's law is supposed to be eternal and unchanging. We don't follow these laws today because we've come to realise that these edicts are morally absurd and contribute to the overall detriment of society - and we didn't need divine permission to figure that out.

I thought I've demonstrated quite adequately thus far why Christianity is untrustworthy yet I keep getting a tapdance from you "If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message." as always seems to be the case. If you want me to prove that god doesn't exist well I'm afraid that's an unfalsifiable claim - I can't prove a god doesn't exist any more than I can prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, not the person denying it.
However, I can examine the arguments made for Christianity and do my best to verify their veracity - and I must say the list is rather extensive. The mental gymnastics required to believe in Christianity is some Olympic-level shit.

Again, might makes right. We don't have a perfect scope of morality as humans but we can infer things about it and make judgements based on how certain edicts affect society and ourselves. God's laws are not above scrutiny I'm afraid, no matter how many times you repeat yourself. And I don't care what William L. Craig says either, his 'Divine Command Theory' is a total cop-out.
And again, how did you come to the conclusion that god is good if you've no moral standards to make that judgement on? I've studies philosophy for 2 years in fact before I switched to a more useful degree and the morality debate goes nowhere when you bring god into the picture.
#373 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
"these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others"

Is that a direct Hitches quote?
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#375 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
No, he goes into greater depth in his rants on compulsory love. He focuses more on the destruction of Western values and civilisation rather than our lives, but the sentiment is the same: Fuck those guys.
#286 - I think that the child is more than fine not knowing the names…  [+] (37 new replies) 06/01/2016 on Well he does have a good point 0
#378 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
morality comes naturally through experience.

A child will not kill or steal out of blue, if such behavior is not normalised in his living habitat.
Religion is only good for very undeveloped societies, where unmoral decisions are the norm, while the elite understands, that with morals this underdeveloped mass would actually generate more good for themselves and tries to impose religion.
While in ancient times religion worked this way + was a good instrument to control the crowd
nowadays simple scientific education and sociology aids that and gives a much clearer picture of world for a kid
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#388 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
But without religion, then you are left with only relative morality. Relative morality is opinion based and comes from nothing more than how an individual feels at any given time. It can change over time and often rides the waves of one's emotion.

The only absolute morality must come from an all seeing being. And so you say it is only for underdeveloped societies but religion is from which all true morality comes. Without it, anything can be put into law and made right if those in power dictate it.

And "the crowd" needs to be controlled. Everyone needs to be controlled by morality. It is not weakness to submit to the fear of doing wrong. It is not bad to care about your fellow human. But to go by your own opinion on what is right and wrong is foolish as who is to say which person has the most correct idea about what is right? The only way to have true morality is by God.
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#290 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Have you ever read the bible? Anyone who claims to get their morality from the bible is either a liar or a moron.
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#291 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Yes. I've studied the bible extensively. Can I ask what made you think that?
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#296 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
- Bible justifies slavery
- Supports human sacrifice
- Vicarious redemption
- Convicts people of thought crime
- Sentences people to death for imaginary crimes
- Demands fealty to a wrathful, inconsistent, contemptible god
- Poses an infinite punishment for finite crimes
- Commands you to love your enemies
- Compulsory love
etc etc

You have to cherry-pick to find the good parts of the bible and those good parts (such as the golden rule) are intrinsic to all societies and aren't correct simply because the bible says so.
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#300 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
That's an interesting list and if you've got the time or desire I'd like to examine and elaborate on them for you. From what I'm seeing here, it seems to me that you don't fully understand the concepts if you think they are morally wrong. I don't mean that in any insulting way, I just think that I could convince you otherwise if you're willing to hear me out.
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#301 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read all the apologetics and they seem to rely on trying to make the bible say anything other than what it actually says.
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#313 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Well I think that's kind of the point. It doesn't say what you're asserting here at all.

Just going down the list:
In the bible, slavery isn't what we think of as modern day slavery. As an American(or at least an English speaker) you likely imagine slavery to be akin to what black people experienced in early America. Forced into working, fed but not allowed to leave. But biblical slavery, which is exclusively old testament and thus meant for before Jesus's time, was what we would call "indentured servitude." This is basically a job contract where someone, often poor, would agree to work for someone wealthy in exchange for food, shelter, and to escape trying to survive on their own.

And while the bible does deal with this type of worker/employer relationship, it is always talking about how to treat the servant. How far punishments can go before the employer is punished for over punishing the worker. The rules dealing with "slavery" are all to protect the "slave" and ensure that they are always treated as human and not like property.

As for human sacrifice, I can only assume you are talking about God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. But surely the point of this verse s obvious. At no point is Abraham intended to actually kill his son. It is a test of faith and a lesson for both Abraham and those who read about it. It's meant to show that not only should a person's faith be so strong that there is nothing they wouldn't do, but also to show that God is merciful and caring and wouldn't ever ask someone to do more than they could handle.

I also struggle to see vicarious redemption as a bad thing. Now I agree it would be bad if it were human to human. As in one person trying to live punishment for someone else's crimes. But in this case, it's God, an all seeing, all knowing, and infallibly fair judge who allowing this little loop hole in the system he created for creatures he created. The only arguments I've ever seen for this always have the undertone of "If there was no God, this would be immoral." and I totally agree. Without a God then it would be very wrong, but that's the point. With a God it makes perfect sense and is wholly just.

An again for thought crime. A person could never convict another person for thought crime. And no where in the bible does it say we should try. But God knows your mind completely and thus can judge based on thought alone. How is that wrong? Surely you can see that to think something is always the first step in doing it. They go hand in hand and that verse simply shows that even if you don't do something bad, it's still wrong. It doesn't become wrong not to steal just because a cop is watching you right now. If you would steal without that cop being there and want to do it then it's just as bad.

You'll have to explain the "Sentences people to death for imaginary crimes" one to me as I don't immediately see what this refers to. Which crimes are imaginary and why?

The fealty seems common sense to me. You submit to your mother despite how she can be wrathful when you do bad things she tells you not to, she can be seemingly inconsistent to a child as sometimes she get angry and other times acts loving but always does so because she feels it is best for you, and the contemptible is just part of free will. You can hate what you want, you can love what you choose, this free will was given to you by God. He allows you to hate him if you wish. But he is "the king" and so, like it or not, as the highest authority, you should bow to him. But notice that he doesn't even make you do that. He gives you the choice if you think you should and tells you long before hand that you can gain reward by doing as he says or punishment for disobeying. That seems nothing but fair.
#380 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
Slavery:
bullshit. Slavery was very common in Ancient world (Europe) and while different forms existed, slaves were subhuman scum, that could be spent easily. In USA blacks also mostly lived in good environment and were not actually tortured, save for some parts. In Ancient times slaves, epecially waqr slaves would be killed with no repricautions.

also holy shit - you write too long in a forum where people laugh about videogames and tits. A prime sign you religious freaks are completely fucking nuts.
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#389 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I'm sorry my post as too long for your tastes but I don't know how to get all my points across.

As for slavery, I think you will find slavery can vary widely in both definition and practice. For instance, there are groups who believe that simply working a job, such as at McDonalds, is a form of slavery. Some thing that being confined to a society and forced to follow laws and work for the greater good is slavery. But surely you wouldn't say the modern man is a slave. And so at what exact point would you say a man goes from free to being a slave? What is the criteria?
#434 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Just ignore him. Anyone who finds extensive, structured discourse as the product of madmen is not to be taken seriously.
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#359 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Biblical slavery wasn't some 'nicer' form of slavery, it explicitly tells the Israelites to enslave those they conquered (especially the virgin girls - three guesses why) and to buy their slaves from the heathens around them. It states in Exodus 21 that you can beat your slaves to the point of near-death as long as they don't die within a day or two as a result of the injuries and states that they are your "property" that you can trade and pass down to your descendants. The 'indentured servitude' only applies to enslaving your fellow Jew, whom you had to let go in the 7th year - however there's a loophole where you can give them a wife to have a family with, but they remain as your property. So once the 7 years are up, if the 'servant' wishes to remain with the family you've given him, you take him to the priests who pierce his ear which marks him as your property now that you can buy & sell just like any other slave.

Even if it was just a test of faith, the fact that Abraham was willing to kill Isaac simply because god told him so is absolutely monstrous. If I asked someone to kill their son as a devotional offering to me and they went "No way, that's fucking stupid" I'd congratulate them on having a sensible morality. But if they went "Sure, no problem" and then proceeded with the sacrifice, would it be moral of me to congratulate them on their faith? No! That shit's fucked yo - an omniscient and omnibenevolent god would have no need to ask such a stupid question. Also, when Jephthah promised to sacrifice the first living thing out of his house in exchange for victory in battle there wasn't a word of objection from god - even when that living thing turned out to be Jephthah's own daughter. Where was god's divine intervention then?

Jesus' "sacrifice" is another version of scapegoating, where the sins of the tribe were cast onto a goat and then it was driven out into the wilderness to die of starvation ('scapegoating' is now used to describe an action where someone tries to avoid punishment by pinning the blame on someone else). What sort of morality is that, which doesn't hold people responsible for their crimes? I think Hitchens states it best www.youtube.com/watch?v=By9JJSVzlTw . And what did god sacrifice, exactly? His son? Himself? I don't know how you view the Trinity, but let's assume god & Jesus are one and the same: God sacrificed himself, to himself, to create a loophole to a set of rules that he created. Does this seem utterly stupid to anyone else? Why does there have to be a sacrifice, why can't god just forgive everyone or change the rules? That's what an omnibenevolent being would do. And it wasn't much of a sacrifice anyway since all that really died was Jesus' body (what's a mortal shell to a god, eh?) and then rose from the dead 3 days later and became ruler of everything. That's not a fucking sacrifice - that actually sounds like a pretty good deal that even I would make.

Judging people for what they think is the definition of a totalitarian regime. It's especially sinister in the bible because such unforgivable thoughts include being intellectually honest with yourself and admitting you don't find any reason to believe a god exists. And it also includes humanity's most basic urges, urges that god supposedly created us to have innate in us. Lusting after a woman is not the same as raping her, coveting your neighbour's car is not the same as stealing it and in fact is what drives the economy. And relationships for that matter - do you really think two people would fall in love and get married if they didn't have lustful thoughts for one another? It's especially unfair seeing as we have no control over our thoughts - how are we expected to be held accountable for something we have no control over?
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#386 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
This message comes after the one just below. But I would also like to say that there is nothing wrong with being intellectually honest with yourself. But I think if you had really studied and searched, you would come to the only obvious answer.

If you have the time to branch off into that subject, I would be more than happy to show you reasons that it's logical and obvious to believe in God. I'll do my best to keep it to only apologetic and philosophical reasons and appeal to emotion as little as possible.

I've studied this quite a lot and am confident that I can show you facts and solid evidence as to why, if you truly follow the intellectual path, it can only lead you realize God is both necessary and real.
#528 - anon (06/14/2016) [-]
come to the religion board. we really need you
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#433 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
You must understand that I went into the bible as a believer and under the presumption that it was an ultimate source of knowledge and wisdom. When I got nowhere with the bible I started reading extra-textual sources and reading up on the history of the bible, how it was put together over the ages, the development of Christianity and its application to modern life. Ultimately all that searching lead me to becoming an atheist.

I've read all the apologetics and 'philosophical proofs' for god and they all ultimately fall flat. On the scientific front the claims for god's existence are either untestable, not evidently true or evidently not true.

I doubt there's anything new you can offer me, but you can try and I can tell you why you're wrong.
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#501 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's a good thing. I think that every Christian needs to drop their faith at one point. s you grow up you begin to realize that you only believed as you were taught without understanding why. So you cast away as you believed and begin to study for yourself.

But if you have truly looked into all the apologetic and philosophical arguments for God and still don't see why God cannot be doubted by an intellectual, only refused, then I am skeptical you have studied enough.

I have limited space here so I will do my best but I also recommend "Reasonable Faith" by William Lane Craig. It is far more in depth and better researched and cited than what I can offer here. It's the best collection I have yet read of various reasons and proofs for God.

But the proofs I can offer are of two types. One is evidence based on the legitimacy of the bible, the other is philosophical evidence.

The biblical evidence has two main points. The first point is that the bible is flawless. This was the first one I really delved into and still my favorite. If you were to google you could find lots of proposed contradictions in the bible. One of the ones I most often encounter is the list on evilbible.com . Many of these lists are comprised of verses of the bible that are said to either contradict another verse, or simply make no sense in and of themselves. But I have been over these lists over and over again and none of them ever hold any water. They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context. They are sometimes even non-contradictions, meaning that they are called a contradiction without even fitting the definition of a contradictions and turn out to be just be an issue that the list maker takes with the bible which is hardly what's being presented. The last type I've found are simply mistranslations. This is a problem with the bible being translated to English and the message being changed to show something that isn't quite the actual message when compared to the original texts in Hebrew or Latin.

I have studied this extensively and have yet to encounter any contradiction that is legitimate. Of course I am still studying and am far from considering myself done, but so far, the bible remains perfect.

The second point for biblical proof is the miraculous of the bible in the form of prophesy. No other religious book has the number of prophesies nor do they contain prophesies that are so specific and precise. There are two times of prophesies in the bible. One type are the ones that are prophesied but can't be confirmed outside the bible. These are said to be going to happen and then are confirmed to have happened later in the bible, often starting in the old testament and becoming true in the new. These aren't very useful to a non-believer.

The second type is prophesies that were said to happen and then occurred and historical science can confirm them without the bible. These prophesies involve the predictions of Alexander the Great, the reformation of Israel as a nation, and many others of various impact on a non-believer. I encourage you to google about it and see for yourself.

As for philosophy, there is plenty of evidence there. From the necessity of God for there to be any absolute morality. To how if there is no God then human being are little more than deterministic driven robots who have no free will. Also that there must be a beginning to anything that exists within time and so some kind of creator must exist. As well as arguments for why there is something rather than nothing.

There is also more evidence in the practicality of how life without God is rather pointless but that's more emotionally based and aimed at convincing a person why it's most beneficial to believe but not really if he actually exists.

I encourage you to google and study all of these but if you'd like any of them more specifically explained by me let me know. Limited space here makes it hard to do them all.
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#507 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
Oh boy, this'll be fun.

If the bible is "flawless", then why is it so disputed? Why are there so many mistranslations and missing pieces? Why can nobody come to a clear consensus on what the texts mean, even among believers? These are glaring flaws that cannot be overlooked. And again you say "They are always either misinterpretations of the verse, often when the verses are taken out of context." , how do you know you have the 'right' interpretation? If the book is as flawless as you claim, there wouldn't be any need for interpretation!

Not to mention the blatant scientific untruths proclaimed by the bible: it paints a worked far younger than what scientists have determined, the Genesis story is completely convoluted earth before the universe, light before stars, etc , it states that the earth is a flat disc supported on columns and covered by a crystal dome, it defines bats as birds, whales as fish, Jesus says that mustard seeds are the smallest of all seeds even though they're not, and the authors clearly had no idea about germs, pathogens or mental disorders, blaming diseases and epilepsy on demons and other things. And I'm not even mentioning all the talking animals, necromancy, magic, other gods & daemons, the Flood myth or any other supernatural occurence.
On the scientific front the bible falls flat on its face, and like yourself I can cite countless sources that pick apart the claims in the bible from a scientific point of view. AronRa, Thunderf00t and potholer54 have entire playlists dedicated to debunking Creationism and cite all their sources, you can also try talkorigins.org , Matt Dillahunty has repeatedly picked apart biblical inconsistencies and absurdities (he has his own channel on YT but his material is scattered all over the internet), just to name a few

From a historicity perspective, if you look into the history of the bible, how it was put together over the centuries and the origins of many of its myths (from Genesis to Jesus) you can clearly see it was a work of fiction from the start. Again I can cite a number of sources for you to investigate. You've probably heard of Bart Ehrman's lengthy scholarly investigation into the subject, AronRa gives plenty of lectures showing the origins of biblical myths, Matt Dillahunty also delves into the historicity of the bible, etc

The prophecies in the bible are either vague or referring to something else entirely. Just to start with a few:
- Jesus said that his second coming would happen within the lifetime of those he was speaking to, yet it didn't happen.
- The formation of Israel as a nation state gives no particular timeframe for it to happen in so it's another vague prophecy at best - I can prophecy that the USA will fall in the future and it inevitably will, but that doesn't prove my prophetic powers. And Israel is not a Jewish theocracy as the bible intended it to be.
- Daniel's vision gives no definite timeframe for Alexander's rise (if indeed that was who he was referring to) and it states in Daniel 8: 17 that his vision "refers to the time of the end". End of what? End of the world? We're still here, so that didn't come to pass. I did a quick Wiki search en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Historical_background looking for the historical manuscripts on which Daniel was based and found a few other prophecies that were inaccurate in the very same book. The rest of that article also shows how the book was put together over the ages, with additions by Greek scholars as well.
- Any prophecy made and passed within the bible can be discredited, as it's quite easy for later authors to just write in whatever they want. On that we agree.

<cont>
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#508 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
<cont>

Philosophically, there's still nothing to suggest that there must be a first cause or anything to identify this cause as 'god', and the mental gymnastics to make for such an allowance are absurd:

- If something exists, it must have had a beginning.
- The universe exists, therefore it must have had a beginning.
- Therefore, we call this first cause 'god'- NO NO NO! You can't jump from "There had to be a first cause" to "Therefore, god". How do you reach that conclusion? Alternatively:
- Therefore if god exists, then he must have had a beginning. But that can't be true, because supposedly god is eternal, right? If he had a beginning, then what was before god? If god is eternal, why can't we just assume that the universe is eternal and bin the god hypothesis? Physicists have worked out a more complicated cosmological model which is too convoluted to describe here, but in a nutshell: Time and space are connected, and as the Expanding Universe theory suggests, waaaaaaay back in the past all time & space was concentrated into a singular, infinitesimal point. Asking "what was before the Big Bang?" is like asking "what's south of the South Pole?" We don't know what the answer is (if there even is one) but there's nothing to suggest it must be a 'god'.

Philosophy relies entirely on logic (unless you're William Lane Craig) but that can only get you so far when dealing with reality where evidence matters more than what one can fathom on their own. There are many things we've learned about the universe that defy our common sense the earth is round, time & space are connected, air resistance vs. gravity, even the most solid objects are made up mostly of empty space, the speed of light, etc and the only ideas that hold any credibility are the ones that can be demonstrated. Philosophy has had a good run, but when it comes to debating topics that cannot be objectively verified then it ceases to hold any value. The requirement of a god for there to be absolute morality (if there even is such a thing) is not verifiable, the existence of an omnicient god already makes us automatons with no free will, simply because something has a 'beginning' doesn't mean it has a 'creator' and the universe bears no marks of such design (despite what Creationists try and claim), and as for "why is there something rather than nothing?" the answer is "I don't know" not "god did it". And according to Lawrence Krauss the universe is made up mostly of nothing anyway - we're more insignificant than we realise!

As for the "life is pointless without god" debate I'm not even gonna bother as any argument made in favour of one god can be applied to any other god, or anything else for that matter. I will however say that having an all-supervising deity cheapens our existence and makes life far less valuable. Personally, I found the universe to be a far more interesting, make a lot more sense and learned to appreciate a great many more things once I abandoned the notion of god.

If you want we can tackle these issues one at a time just so we have more words to spare.
Also, when typing up longer replies like this, I encourage you to 'save' your work periodically by copying all you've written so far Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C just in case you close a tab, window or close the message box accidentally. Saves having to type it out all over again.
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#436 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
*why I think you're wrong
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#382 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
And that doesn't sound nicer to you? That "slaves" were treated like human being, given the ability to get out of slavery if they established themselves, most often willingly entered slavery to avoid poverty, and had rules protecting them from being punished too harshly? It was a more brutal time for sure, but these rules were incredibly lenient and caring for the slave compared to just about any other form of slavery. It was basically just a form of workers. Though back then societies were smaller and more tightly knit. So naturally it was a more intimate relationship with a worker rather than the unionized modern take. And you're still looking at the rules about punishing slaves wrong. It's not giving permission to beat a slave to near death, that was common practice anyway if they messed up bad enough. What it's doing is warning the owner that if they punish a slave then they better be careful to keep it reasonable, because if the slave dies from the injury then it's a full murder. And yes, the slave's work contract can be bought or sold, but that's the price you pay for being a captured soldier or selling yourself into slavery. It was hardly immoral for the time and very necessary to protect the slave workers. I know slavery is a buzz word in modern times but you have to study the era. Notice that when the era changed and society could handle people without need for death penalties and beatings the law also changed.

And of course if you said it it would be bad for them to kill in your name. But what about if God says it? He gave that life, he has every right to decide when and how it ends. He wanted to show how much Abraham trusted him. That even if he said to do something Abraham didn't understand at the time, he would simply because he trusted God. And of course God didn't need to ask to figure anything out. It is for Abraham and the reader's sake that he did it. To teach a lesson. Similarly, the story of Jephthah was to show that the man was foolish to make such a deal with God. And that he should not have tried to barter with God, especially without knowing what he offered. It was not the evil or shortcoming of God, it was the man's actions that caused the human sacrifice, something that the old testament directly speaks against.

And why is a scapegoat needed? It's because all people sin. You will never meat a person who hasn't sinned. And that's why no one is worthy of reward. Because, despite the laws given for us to follow, no one can do it. Of course God knows this. He wants us to choose to be perfect and yet all people fail at it. So he gives us another chance. And while Jesus's sacrifice was mostly symbolic, he did suffer greatly. And that's the point. He was pure, he did nothing wrong and didn't deserve to be punished in any way. But he was. And because he gave up his life(the biggest gift God gives to a human) we now have a chance to get rewarded. All we have to do is ask. So yes, God sacrificed watching someone he loved suffer and Jesus suffered very literally. And so yes, people are held responsible for their crimes. They get punished by both worldly authorities and after death. But any amount of sin can be forgiven. It's not that they can sin and then get away with it. They have to really regret it, truly be sorry. God prefers reform to the death penalty.

And yes, God is the king in this world. He has given you literally everything you own, including your body and mind. But you fundamentally misunderstand why thinking can be a sin. Not all thoughts are sins. You can want a car LIKE your neighbors, you just can't want his car because that's thoughts of stealing and that's as bad as doing it. And before marriage you can look at all the ladies you want, it's not till you are married that looking at one lustfully because cheating on your wife. It's never rape, I don't know where you got that from. And I do agree that greed drives the economy well, but I hardly think consumerism and greed are a good things.
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#428 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Nicer? It says you can beat your slaves to within an inch of their lives. As long as they don't die as a result of those injuries you can thrash them as much as you want. Treating people as property, to be bartered and sold without their consent and passed down to your descendants is NOT a 'nicer' form of servitude. You want to protect the slaves? How about saying "don't beat your slaves at all", how's that for nicer? Better yet, how about "don't treat other people as property and enslave them without their consent". Is it really so difficult for an all-loving god to ask this much of people? If he can say do not murder one another and then contradictory order the Israelites to slaughter anyone who stood in their way as they journeyed through the desert then surely he can tell them to not enslave each other.

Again with the "god giveth, god taketh away". Does a mother or father have a right to kill their child? "Well son, if you don't do your chores I'm gonna kill you. I brought you into this world, I can take you out of it!" We're not Sims.
As for Abraham & Isaac, that's still a fucked up story. God did it to "prove Abraham's faith"? Prove it to who? Who's god trying to impress by ordering such a barbaric act? And Abraham is a fool for going along with it without question. If he had any sense he'd have said "Look, Yaweh, you're cool and all but I kinda love my son. Why do you need me to kill him? That's kinda fucked, yo."
And again, god had no objection with Jephthah killing his daughter. Wouldn't a moral god say something like "Woah there, Jep! I appreciate the offer and all but there's no need to go that far. I know I did the same with Abraham but it was just a prank, bro!"

That's even more fucked up! God has the option to simply forgive everyone without the need for a sacrifice, yet he decided to take the barbaric route with another human sacrifice. For a god who is supposedly against human sacrifice, he seems to condone a lot of it. We'll deal with the concept of sin another time, but if someone came to my door and told me I had a MASSIVE debt to pay or else I'd be tortured horribly, and they said they squared the debt by torturing & killing their own son instead, you really expect me to thank that person? Heck no! I'd call the police and have them locked in an asylum - that shit's fucked! I'd be more impressed if god just up and forgave everyone, but instead I'm appalled at his behaviour in the bible.
Like I said, if he did exist I ain't worshipping him.

He's given me everything? Well that's a debate for another time but I'll play along for now. Christians always say this in regards to the positive things your life, your house, your mind, your family, etc but fail to acknowledge that god also gave you all the negative things too. Should one be thankful to god for giving them a predisposition for colon cancer? Or being born without functioning limbs? Or living in area prone to natural disasters that he's ultimately in control of? For every pro, there are five cons to rack up on god's tally.
Again on thought crime; people are free to think what they want without reprimand. Someone can hate me all they want - heck, they can even say it to my face - but that is nowhere near as bad as actually assaulting me. God's standards are not moral or remotely sane.
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#500 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
Yes, it does say that. And it says to be careful because if you do so, you might hang for it. It's not easy for a desert sheep herder to beat another man and know where to stop without killing him. And few would anyway. What good is a worker who can't walk? If you can't kill him then you have to feed and care for him till he's well again. This is all costly. And of course it is immoral to your modern senses, but this was the way of things back then and it was very necessary. There were no unions, no government that could monitor and protect. It was a tribal like society where everyone knew one another and there were two types of people. Those who had enough wealth to be independent and those who starved to death or worked for food.

But what form of punishment would you recommend? If a person has slave workers and one refuses to work then what? Ask him politely? Send him away until he returns begging for food or decides to try and steal from you? There had to be a way for order to be kept. And so the employers had authority over the workers and the ability to punish them. The only punishment back then was corporal. These were not educated and civil people we are dealing with. They were all primitive and had to work hard just to live. You don't seem to see the delicate strings of politeness and how people are trained form birth to be civil that hold modern society together. These were not present back then.

And no, a mother and father do not have the right to kill a child because they didn't give it life. They created it sure, but they did not create it's very being and design it, nor do they do anything with it after death. Killing is not bad for God. He doesn't use it to discard, in fact it's the opposite. Once dead, the person comes right to him.

And God was showing you and I of the strength of Abraham's faith. And he was testing if Abraham loved his son more than he loved God. God should come first, he is the highest and the giver of life. Only second should come love and obedience to a child or spouse. Because if God says for you to kill or abandon your loved one, then he clearly has a good reason for doing so because he can see everything and his motives are always good. And look what happened when Abraham trusted God. Nothing bad, in fact good things.

And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God. Why do you think nothing bad should happen when someone disrespects God?

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. Surely you aren't actually trying to assert that point?

And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice and only allowed it to happen once when a man foolishly promised it. So there are no examples of him condoning it to be found.

And again, you are comparing God to a human in your "debt" example. I think you really need to spend some time reading about what God is, what it means that he is all powerful and all knowing, and then see if that helps you understand why acting as though he is just a powerful human is illogical.

And I didn't mean to leave out the negative things he gave. Because he certainly did. But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong.

So yes, one should be thankful that one was given a life. Is it not a life that is as good as someone else's? Probably. In fact it guaranteed is unless you are that one person with the best life on Earth. How could we help each other if no one suffered? How could we tell something was positive if there was no negative? I think if you researched it enough, you would realize that there can be no free will without that dichotomy or good and bad things happening to a person.

Your last point, again, makes the mistake of thinking of God as a simple human. It changes when you add that he can see into the mind and judge perfectly fairly.
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#505 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
It just says you shouldn't beat them to death; if you put out an eye or break their legs it's still perfectly valid. I must say you're going to an awful lot of effort trying to justify beating slaves - and they were indeed slaves, not workers. A worker gets paid and so of course they'll work of their own volition, there's no need for 'corporal encouragement'. A slave is, as you might have guessed, enslaved. If a worker refuses to work or tries to escape from their job then they just don't get paid, their loss. If a slave tried the same they'd get the shit beat out of them and probably suffer other punishments (imprisonment, denial of sustenance, etc). Again, is it really so difficult for god to say "Don't own one another as property"? Corporal punishment is an effective way to keep slaves in check, but the whole idea of slavery is immoral to begin with and I'm wondering why a supposedly "moral" deity would sanction it.

The concept of an afterlife doesn't really crop up until the New Testament, but assuming heaven & hell were real places even in the Old, where do you think all the people who died in the Flood ended up? All the Egyptians who died of the plagues? All the people the Israelites slaughtered as they rampaged across the desert? Killing isn't an inconvenience for god, but it's a downright death sentence in every sense of the word for everyone else. They don't fall back into god's bosom when they die, they just get obliterated - denied the right to live on the whims of a careless, petty deity. If god did indeed give us life that doesn't make it precious, it downright cheapens it if he can just throw us about willy-nilly.

Again, I fail to see anything admirable about the story of Abraham. If anything it just demonstrates the danger of fervent faith and what it could possibly lead to. If someone is willing to kill their own child because someone told them to - god or no - then that's not a person to be trusted with anything important.

"And God taught Jephthah not to make vain and haphazard promises to God." Oh, so it was a punishment for Jephthah? What about his daughter?! Doesn't she have a say in this? Do you think she wanted to die? Did anybody ask for her take on this? Again, this is an impossible story to justify on moral terms.

"And no, he clearly doesn't like human sacrifice...there are no examples of him condoning it to be found. " Genesis 22: 2, Exodus 13: 11-16, Numbers 31: 37-41, Leviticus 27: 28-29, 1 Kings 13: 1-2, 2 Kings 23: 20, Ezekiel 20: 25-26, and let's not forget the Ultimate human sacrifice. All in addition to Jehpthah's daughter.

And God won't forgive everyone without them asking and deserving it. If he did then there would be no consequence or reason not to just do all the bad things you want because you are forgiven either way. I can forgive someone without them having to ask for it, although it'd be nice if they did but it's not a requirement. If someone accidentally transgresses against me and they have no knowledge of it then I don't have to demand they ask for forgiveness before I give it to them.
I fail to see why you think I need/deserve god's forgiveness - as a mere mortal, there is nothing I can do that could possibly inconvenience him. There are certainly sins I can commit against my fellow man, but asking god to forgive me on their behalf is just dodging responsibility. I'm accountable to those I mistreat, not your invisible sky-daddy.

Aren't we all made in god's image? How come this suddenly doesn't apply when we turn our eyes towards god? I've every right to compare him to humans seeing as he exhibits countless human traits; he's vengeful, indecisive, capricious, egotistic, illogical, contradictory, wrathful, jealous, has a short temper, reproduces... hardly what I'd call .divine'.
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#506 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
"But just because you don't like something or it is negative, doesn't mean that it's wrong. "

YES! Yes it is! If I'm born blind then I'm objectively worse off. If I'm born with the mind of a violent sociopath then I'm probably going to act in an unsavoury msnner. If I'm born in a part of the world where Christianity is unheard of and I never end up believing in god then I'm going to hell according to your theology. These are not circumstances I can change; these are conditions specifically set up by god and out of my control and I'd be objectively worse off for it. How can you even say this is 'good'?
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#360 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
<cont>

Imaginary crimes include witchcraft (magic isn't real, get over it), having queer sexual preferences (seriously, the fuck's up with that?) and working on the Sabbath (which I fail to see how it harms ANYBODY, let alone a god).

Respect should not be automatic, it has to be earned. One shouldn't honour or swear fealty to abusive parents - we have child protection service to combat that problem.

The "choice" is akin to a mafia boss saying "You'd better be makin' payments or some trouble's gonna happen." If I refuse to pay him then am I choosing to have my legs broken by his cronies?
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#318 - iamkagji (06/01/2016) [-]
No, the jews forced slaves to work to death in mines and fields. Servants and slaves were two different things
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#321 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
Where are you getting that? I mean I don't doubt it happened some. Most societies have those who go against what their laws say. But that's the point of the law, to protect the workers.

But no, servants and slaves were the same thing in ancient Jewish society. For instance, a person in debt could sell himself into slavery to pay back the debt and avoid punishment. A father could sell his daughter into service to a well of man so she could be integrated into the new family and readied for eventual marriage to the man. And prisoners of war could be forced into slavery instead of simply killed. But even then they were subject to the rules put in place, the couldn't be beaten to death or punished over harshly and slaves must be released r given the option to leave on certain holidays. Slaves, even foreign slaves or captives of war, were considered to be members of the household. And though they were contractually owned by the owner, they were allowed to acquire and own land and holdings of their own, including slaves under them. And killing a slave held the same punishment as though the person had killed any other non-slave. They were people in every sense.
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#314 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]

He does not give infinite punishment for crimes. If you look in the bible you can clearly see where (in Revelations 20:14) that hell and those within will be destroyed in the end times. So no, hell and the suffering there in will not be eternal. Those who die without accepting God will then die again in the second death where they will be destroyed completely. They will not suffer eternally.

I struggle to see your problem with loving your enemies. All people deserve love and surely you can see that all bitterness and hate come from shallow places. Places like fear, greed, and jealousy. And it is because of this that your enemies need love the most. It's fine to love your parents, friends, and siblings, but imagine how good it would be to patch up relations with someone who you consider to be your enemy. As Abraham Lincoln once said “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

And I don't see why love being compulsory is bad thing. Is it not the root of all the world's problems? Could war not be abolished if everyone were to treat all others like family? Would disease and famine stand any chance if everyone worked to cure the disease of their brother's a sisters and gave up what they had till everyone could eat three meals a day? You say love being enforced by law is a bad thing but I'd say it's more akin to sin being outlawed. No one should hurt one another and yet we do because we are tempted into it. But if that temptation were removed. If no one could profit by stealing or hurting someone else thanks to a punishment attached to that action, is that bad? Should everyone be free to hurt as much as they please with no consequence for it?
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#366 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
Love your enemies if you must, but don't go around loving mine. White supremacists, Feminazis, actual Nazis, ISIS - these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others. ISIS has repeatedly exclaimed their hatred of the West and how much they want to kill us all and the best way to prevent that from happening is to destroy them all, not invite them 'round for tea.

If love is compulsory then it's not genuine - I don't love the Dear Leader out of genuine affection, I love him because I'll be shot if I don't. By eliminating 'sin' or any sense of volition you eliminate any semblance of humanity. Call me crazy, but there's something awfully sinister about compulsory love.
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#383 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I find that to be a disturbing opinion. Do you not see that these are the people who are most in need of your love? You need to be friends with them and show them why what they are doing is wrong. Hateful words will not convince them. You must be gentle, show them you care about them, you are not their enemy, you are not against them. Only then will they listen to you and you can show them the danger of the path they are taking. I'm not saying it's not a risky thing to do but surely you would agree that risking your life to save another is morally right.

You would risk your life to safe an innocent from a burning building, but would you risk your life to save a white supremacist from becoming a murderer? To save a ISIS fighter from blowing himself up to kill others? If your real brother decided to become a murderer would you not try to talk sense into him. Would you not think he is sick and in need of help? Or would you simply label him an enemy and discard him?

And compulsory love is a bit more complicated than that. You see, it's not the love that is required by law, it's the belief. You have to accept that God as he says he is and once you do you will come to the logical conclusion that he loves you and that you should love him back. He has done so much for you. Giving you a world to explore and live in, giving you free will and a mind to understand it. He gives you this entire life to live however you want and only asks that you accept him and obey his moral rules. In return is reward. But if you disobey the rules and are bad you will be punished and then your existence will end completely.

Love him for his gifts and because he loves you. But know that he made this world with right and wrong in it, and if you do wrong, you will be punished for it. There's nothing fairer than that. You seem to really hate the idea of an authority over you telling you what to do. But this authority is perfectly fair and just and many people love him. What is it that makes you rebel against being punished and not want to thank him for your existence?
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#392 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
These people don't want to have a conversation, they outright kill anyone who dares to disagree. We've seen Europe try and embrace these people and it's backfiring horribly.
Enemies exist for a reason, and it's not to make friends with them.

If my brother slipped beyond all reason and tried to kill me, then I'd have to take him down before that happens. I hold all people accountable to the same standards.

Compulsory love is a sinister thing. You're not loving someone out of genuine affection, but either in hope of reward or fear of punishment (or both). What kind of idiot would be swindled by such a deal?

Thank him? Assuming he even exists, I still wouldn't worship him. If the bible is any indication of his character, he's a morally contemptible twat. I wouldn't go to heaven if I was invited. And if I do end up burning in hell as a result, I'll do it knowing I'm morally superior to him.
And so are you, I'd wager.

I'll get to your other responses later, gotta fly now.
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#394 - Vandeekree (06/01/2016) [-]
I think your misunderstanding comes from how you seem to think God is just a human. You act as though the rules a human must follow apply to him. He can kill who he likes when he likes, he gave that life in the first place. He can see all angles and gains nothing from trying to steal or covet. He only wants what is due him. That being thanks for basically everything. Does it seem unreasonable to you that if I saved your life that you should thank me? Now how much more would you owe a being that gave you that life in the first place?

I don't mean to be insulting, but you sound so very bitter and prideful. As though you can't stand to be told what to do or have a moral authority over you.

And, as I attempted to show, there is no compulsory love. You must believe in God and if you do that then you won't be able to help but love him just as you don't get into heaven by doing good deeds but if you believe you won't be able to help the urge to do what is right. He even gives you the ability to choose and decided if you want to love him or not. And if you reject him then he will make you no longer exist. I don't see how that's a bad thing seeing how atheists already accept that to begin with.

But I think if you studied the bible. I mean really studied it rather than just reading over it with an atheist bias. I think you would see that everything he did was fully justified.

I look forward to your messages. I've enjoyed our exchange so far greatly. Talk to you later.
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#421 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
I've read the bible from cover-to-cover, it's part of why I'm an atheist now. I keep getting this response from Christians whenever I point out immoralities, contradictions or outright falsehoods in the bible; "You're not reading it correctly" or "You need to interpret it right". Why does the supposed perfect word of god require any amount of interpretation? Why can't the words be taken at face value? How can an all-powerful god fail at communication so badly? When the bible dictates that a rape victim must marry her rapist as it dies in Deuteronomy 22: 28-29, the same passage that commands you should stone a woman to death if it's found she's not a virgin on her wedding night it's not a metaphor, it's not a parable, it's a direct commandment from god. And no amount of verbal gymnastics can make it play in your favour without sounding like a completely immoral prick. inb4 it's "to protect the woman", which is absurd. If we did that in today's society there'd be an uproar.

You say I'm reading the bible with an atheist bias, well the same can be said with any religious text. I'm sure you'd be reading the Bhagavad Gita the same way I read the bible and see it as just a collection of stories - but ask a Hindu and they'll have wildly different opinions.
You read the bible with a Christian bias and so no matter what it says, you're already operating under the assumption that god exists and he's good. I won't deny there are some good things in the bible "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" and suchlike and some interesting observations in Ecclesiastes, but these things aren't 'good' because they're in the bible or because god says so - they're good on their own merits and humans have come to these understandings without divine parentage.

How come god gets a free pass when it comes to morality? Because he made up the rules? If he suddenly dictated that it's okay - nay, encouraged - us to eat babies does that make it right? "Might makes right" is basically what it boils down to whenever I get into these conversations. If Satan triumphed over god in the bible (as he often does, it seems) then he'd be the moral agent. Whenever I point out the immoralities of god flooding the earth, the whole Garden of Eden business, Sodom & Gommorah, the tower of Babel, the entirety of Exodus, Leviticus & Deuteronomy, the Sacrifice, etc I always get snapped back with "Well, what would you know? You're just a human." A human with a moral intuition who can judge the actions of beings imaginary or no, divine or mortal, that's who. inb4"god's morality is written on the hearts of men", which is a total cop-out And if god is inherently unknowable, how did you come to the conclusion that he's moral? By what standards are you assessing his character as loving and good? His own? That's a bit biased, isn't it? Judging anyone by their own standards of course they would seem moral, but that's not how it works in the real world.
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#499 - Vandeekree (06/02/2016) [-]
And that's the point I'm trying to make. That it's not meant to be interpreted, it's meant to be understood as it truly is. You can make the bible say just about anything you want but you have to really make it. If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message. That's why I'm attempting to explain these verses. You read them and it seems obvious to me that you misunderstand them fundamentally. I'm not trying to put you down or say you're stupid, but what it seems to me is that you read these passages with such a heavy bias that you actually get an entirely different message than what is being said at face value.

And I agree with your assessment of Deuteronomy 22: 28-29. It's not a metaphor, but you still are misunderstanding. Making the rapist marry the girl he raped is punishment for him, not for her. In the tightly knit villages they lived in, if a woman was raped, no man would want her anymore. And so she is doomed to a life alone. And so the rapist, rather than being killed, is forced to care for her. He would be taken into the family and watched constantly by her family. You can imagine the kind of bias the family would have to believe her over him. If she said he was abusing her then the whole family would come down on him. As well as the death for lying about virginity. Marriage was a big deal in the theocracy that they lived in and to try and con and man into marriage when the woman wasn't a virgin could ruin his entire life. It was taken seriously. It was a harsher time I agree, but there's nothing immoral about it. When there's no way for a tribe to sustain a prison then the death penalty is the only option.

And I agree that doing things like this in modern society would cause an uproar. But that's the whole point. These laws aren't for modern times. They were for tribal times and modern times now has the law f love, brought by Jesus.

But yes, bias is hard to get rid of. I take great pains to ensure that I avoid bias when reading other texts I don't currently believe. I think it is required to do so realistically. You have to be of the mindset "If I find one flaw with my belief or one truth in this one then I must be prepared to drop what I believe and switch to the new truth I have learned." And that's why I feel confident in identifying your bias. It's because I have nothing to lose here. If you show me that Christianity is wrong then I will quickly convert to the new ideology. I only follow what is true and hold no love for Christianity itself as a faction.

And I would agree with you on your last paragraph if not for philosophy. You see, God must be God. That is to say that if he claims to be infinite he cannot lose or be beaten or have anything "bigger" then him. He is above time and moral laws. If something bigger were to be found or even imaged, that new thing would then become God and the old would be known as a false one all along.

Being above morality, God can make up morality. So yes, in a world where eating babies was right, it would be just fine. Of course that seems immoral to you and I, that's because we're not in that world nor can we comprehend it.

And no, you cannot judge God because your judgement is limited. You have limited perception and knowledge and thus make a poor judge. Only a being of complete knowledge of everything has any right to judge. So it's less that might makes right, it's that ability makes right. God can only do good because whatever he does is good. He himself is good. And you only judge someone by their own standards if they are equal. No child is right when they complain that parents get to do things they aren't allowed to. The parents are smarter and able to do those things safely. You have several flaws in your logic here that I think a study into philosophy would fix but I have limited space here. We can get into those arguments in detail if you want though.
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#504 - vladhellsing (06/02/2016) [-]
That's exactly what I'm doing, I'm reading the bible as it's written and making inferences based on what's being said. I'm not going to take everything it says at face value though because eventually I have to lift my eyes from the pages and look at the world around me and compare the words to reality. When I look around and investigate further I can see that slavery is immoral, that the world is vastly older and more complicated than Genesis suggests, that such a hostile universe cannot be the product of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god especially seeing as a lowly creature like me can change but one aspect of it and already make it a better place - and I certainly don't claim to be omni-anything.

Making the rapist marry the daughter isn't a punishment for the rapist nor guaranteeing protection for the daughter, it's a barbaric practise from a society where a woman's worth was derived from her hymen. If a man defiled a woman then she'd be useless to the father because he could no longer offer her as a bride to anybody - it's a case of "You break it, you buy it". And hey - the rapist just got himself a smokin' hot wife for the lowly sum of 50 shekels! He doesn't have to live with the family, he doesn't have to treat her any better, he just fucks off with a new wife. If someone raped your daughter I don't know if you have children, but hypothetically speaking would you seriously want your daughter to marry that prick? No, you wouldn't want anything to do with him! I agree he should pay some sort of fine/jail time but you shouldn't force your daughter to spend any more time with that bastard.
It's a plainly immoral practice, and if god supposedly dictated this law to them why couldn't he go a step further and just tell them to stop treating their women as property or judge them by their personal virtues instead of the integrity of their hymen? Is that really so fucking difficult for a god to do? And how come we don't follow that law today? It's not because Jesus overturned anything he actually says that "not one jot or tiddle of the old law shall change" and besides, god's law is supposed to be eternal and unchanging. We don't follow these laws today because we've come to realise that these edicts are morally absurd and contribute to the overall detriment of society - and we didn't need divine permission to figure that out.

I thought I've demonstrated quite adequately thus far why Christianity is untrustworthy yet I keep getting a tapdance from you "If you read it correctly and try to understand the message without bias then you get the actual message." as always seems to be the case. If you want me to prove that god doesn't exist well I'm afraid that's an unfalsifiable claim - I can't prove a god doesn't exist any more than I can prove that Bigfoot doesn't exist. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, not the person denying it.
However, I can examine the arguments made for Christianity and do my best to verify their veracity - and I must say the list is rather extensive. The mental gymnastics required to believe in Christianity is some Olympic-level shit.

Again, might makes right. We don't have a perfect scope of morality as humans but we can infer things about it and make judgements based on how certain edicts affect society and ourselves. God's laws are not above scrutiny I'm afraid, no matter how many times you repeat yourself. And I don't care what William L. Craig says either, his 'Divine Command Theory' is a total cop-out.
And again, how did you come to the conclusion that god is good if you've no moral standards to make that judgement on? I've studies philosophy for 2 years in fact before I switched to a more useful degree and the morality debate goes nowhere when you bring god into the picture.
#373 - anon (06/01/2016) [-]
"these are not people I want to make friends with because all they seek is my destruction and the destruction of others"

Is that a direct Hitches quote?
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#375 - vladhellsing (06/01/2016) [-]
No, he goes into greater depth in his rants on compulsory love. He focuses more on the destruction of Western values and civilisation rather than our lives, but the sentiment is the same: Fuck those guys.
#13 - By my beard, looks like we've got a Grobi lover 'er. 05/28/2016 on Making Flamboyance Great Again 0
#53 - But why mention something that goes without saying? Is there a… 05/11/2016 on Ghey 0
#51 - And so if everything is autistic...nothing is.  [+] (2 new replies) 05/11/2016 on Ghey 0
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#52 - esioh (05/11/2016) [-]
nah nah nah nah nah, we were getting somewhere mate and then you had to ruin it. You cant always think abot things in a relative sense. If everything is autistic, everything is STLL autistic. You see what I'm saying? Like sure relatively speaking everything becomes not autistic, but its not always about relativity is it
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#53 - Vandeekree (05/11/2016) [-]
But why mention something that goes without saying? Is there a need to hand someone and apple and say "Here is not a dog, not a car, not a rock, not a star, not a..." on and on until you have said everything that thing is not? Of course not. By telling what that thing is, you are telling what it is not as well. And vice versa. And so why would you point out that everything in the universe is, by your surmising, autistic?

So if being autistic is neither good nor bad and everything is autistic already. Then stating it is autistic has no purpose, it's the same as saying nothing at all. So why even say it?

But I'm glad you've come full circle to see my original point about morality. That being that relativism has no foothold without something objective to stand on.
#49 - But if there is no right and wrong, then all actions are valid…  [+] (4 new replies) 05/11/2016 on Ghey 0
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#50 - esioh (05/11/2016) [-]
yes
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#51 - Vandeekree (05/11/2016) [-]
And so if everything is autistic...nothing is.
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#52 - esioh (05/11/2016) [-]
nah nah nah nah nah, we were getting somewhere mate and then you had to ruin it. You cant always think abot things in a relative sense. If everything is autistic, everything is STLL autistic. You see what I'm saying? Like sure relatively speaking everything becomes not autistic, but its not always about relativity is it
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#53 - Vandeekree (05/11/2016) [-]
But why mention something that goes without saying? Is there a need to hand someone and apple and say "Here is not a dog, not a car, not a rock, not a star, not a..." on and on until you have said everything that thing is not? Of course not. By telling what that thing is, you are telling what it is not as well. And vice versa. And so why would you point out that everything in the universe is, by your surmising, autistic?

So if being autistic is neither good nor bad and everything is autistic already. Then stating it is autistic has no purpose, it's the same as saying nothing at all. So why even say it?

But I'm glad you've come full circle to see my original point about morality. That being that relativism has no foothold without something objective to stand on.
#47 - And what do you base that on? Some objective morality yourself…  [+] (6 new replies) 05/11/2016 on Ghey 0
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#48 - esioh (05/11/2016) [-]
except the point is not self defeating. Consider the following. Any point anyone makes about right and wrong is automatically null and void. Then to simply make an argument for something to be right or wrong in the first place IS to be autistic. Therefore my argumet still holds.
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#49 - Vandeekree (05/11/2016) [-]
But if there is no right and wrong, then all actions are valid. And if all actions are valid, then there is no move you can make that is better or worse. Perhaps you die and turn to dust, perhaps you become ruler of all you survey. Neither is good or bad or matters. And so to act in a way you would call autistic, such as arguing, is just as autistic as any other move. Arguing is equally autistic as calling someone who argues autistic.
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#50 - esioh (05/11/2016) [-]
yes
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#51 - Vandeekree (05/11/2016) [-]
And so if everything is autistic...nothing is.
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#52 - esioh (05/11/2016) [-]
nah nah nah nah nah, we were getting somewhere mate and then you had to ruin it. You cant always think abot things in a relative sense. If everything is autistic, everything is STLL autistic. You see what I'm saying? Like sure relatively speaking everything becomes not autistic, but its not always about relativity is it
User avatar
#53 - Vandeekree (05/11/2016) [-]
But why mention something that goes without saying? Is there a need to hand someone and apple and say "Here is not a dog, not a car, not a rock, not a star, not a..." on and on until you have said everything that thing is not? Of course not. By telling what that thing is, you are telling what it is not as well. And vice versa. And so why would you point out that everything in the universe is, by your surmising, autistic?

So if being autistic is neither good nor bad and everything is autistic already. Then stating it is autistic has no purpose, it's the same as saying nothing at all. So why even say it?

But I'm glad you've come full circle to see my original point about morality. That being that relativism has no foothold without something objective to stand on.