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Atheist Community of Austin
Some thoughts about why the christian god contradicts itself.

Hey there. I am a fellow (strong) atheist from germany (so please don't mind my not too perfect english) and I stumbled across the atheist experience on youtube. I find your show highly entertaining and in many respects, well, strange. By strange I am referring to those religous zealots who call in insulting you or stating all kind of stupid, ignorant arguments against atheism or in favor of god. This really doesn't exist over here. Religion is no more a really big subject in germany (despite the fact that the current pope is german) and I feel that my country is slowly fading towards becoming completely atheist. You still find many people that will readily claim to be christian, but the truth is, they neither go to church nor spend a single thought about their supposed believe in their everyday life. Strange movements such as chreationism and this hillariously stupid ID movements do not exist. So I find it highly interesting to jump into the subject of US-American christianity and fundamentalism since alot of it feels quite weird to me. So that was just a quick introduction to myself.

Now to the real subject of this thread: I've been out yesterday with some friends and took a cab home early in the morning. To be honest, I've been pretty wasted. The cab driver started a discussion about religion (I better not tell you how we got to the subject.) and he, like many theists, claimed that God is just what makes sense to him (I didn't have the time to explain why exactly I do not think that he makes sense at all in detail). When I came home, I thought about that and came to one conclusion: No, the god of christianity contradicts himself.

And here is why: Christians believe that their god is all-mighty, all-knowing and all-good (are these the proper terms?). And that really can't be true.

All-mighty is easily proven wrong. With the old argument that an all-mighty god could not possibly create a rock the can't lift up.

His all-knowingsness can also be easily proven as bogus. Many (fundamental) christians tend to point out, that god "gifted" us with free will. How can that be? If he knows everything that has been, that is and that will be, that means that our lives are predetermined. So for us to have free will (and not the false feeling of it), he cannot be all-knowing - or we are not free at all.

The all-good idea is a little tougher. If we accept that he is all-mighty how can he be all-good? Because well, there is a lot of suffering in the world and he as a supposedly all-good being obviously doesn't do a damn thing about it. If we say that he is all-knowing, it is pretty much the same, because as an all-knowing entity, he obviously set up the world in a way that it would turn out as it is now. Last, if we accept neither him to be all-mighty, nor all-knowing, then he may be all-good. But that really has no practical value, because he apparently is not able to help us. From that point of view, worshipping an entity that did nothing but create the universe seems absurd.

So these are (some) of my arguments against (in this case specifically the christian) god. I'd like to get some input on it. Am I right? Did I miss something?

Why argue endlessly about the attributes of a god for which there is no proof of its existence?

To say the bible is the "truth" is absurd; the bible came from ancient myths. Biblical scholars know this is a certainty. Christianity is a Greek-Pagan religion that has nothing to do with Judaism. Christianity was an effort to exalt one religion over all other religions, and attract the masses, first with universal appeal and later through military force.

The origin of Judaism: One Ugaritic text testifies that among the inhabitants of Ugarit, Yahweh was viewed as another son of El ( sm . bny . yw . ilt ) "The name of the Son of God, Yahweh." All religion is nothing more than the rehashing of ancient superstitions.

The Dead Sea Scrolls reveal that the ideas that were attributed to Jesus, and that he taught, had been part of the Essene tradition for 200 years before Jesus could have been living. Jews today do ritual immersions in water (John the Baptist was a Jew also), and believed in the Final Redemption when the Messiah comes, with the revival of the dead. If Jesus was an Essene he was not the originator of many things that have been attributed to that figure. The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the practices that people regard as Christian innovations are not, for example the Lord's Prayer and the Lord's Supper, because they can be traced to the Qumrans. They go back at least one century before the birth of Christ. This sect was not xian they were Jewish.

Fifty years after Jesus allege crucifixion by the Romans; Paul of Tarsus grafted on Pagan Mithraic ideas and began the Christianity we know today. It is so radically different from the only religion that the alleged figure Jesus could have "started" since he would have been a Jew.

Much later in history the Emperor Constantine shaped the bible around AD 325. The violent and powerful forces, which only wanted to gain territory and wealth, committed genocide and cultural eradication in their mission. Few ancient religious writings have survived their assaults. In many cases every trace of the society's religious writings, practices, and even buildings were destroyed. The purpose of these crusades was to replace their religion with the conqueror's religion, because their religious customs were labeled as heresies.

The birth date of Jesus was agreed on by the Bishops who attended the Nicean Conference in 332 A.D. because it commemorated the birth of the Sun God (the original Deity, Amun-Ra), thousands of years before Jesus figure of the bible. Constantine decreed Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire in 333 A.D. This started the systematic purge of any and all competing religious systems. As such, the original Trinity of Ausar, Aset and Heru (renamed Osiris, Isis and Horus by the Greeks) which existed before circa 4,100 years, and was replaced with a Christian religious Trinity consisting of The Father, Son And Holy Ghost. Emperor Constantine's legacy is that under his imperial religious supremacy, Rome functioned as the most potent outpost of religious tyranny; he decreed Christianity as the supreme religion. Christianity is and always has been a political instrument. All Christianity was ever about (from the beginning with the Romans) was a way to acquire political power and control over the people. It has always been a political tool to for global expansion, imperialism, and enslavement. The Dead Sea Scrolls, leather parchment and metal scrolls written in Hebrew which have been unearthed in the hundreds, often complete and in excellent condition. The Dead Sea Scrolls are important commentaries and chronicles by a sect of Essene scribes and scholars writing in Judea for a hundred years up to 70 A.D. And nowhere is mention made of a new religion, a Messiah, a worker of miracles, a preaching to multitudes, a trial and crucifixion, nothing.

No one knows who actually wrote the 66 books that were eventually canonized to make the bible. The names associated with the books in the bible mythologies are not the individuals who wrote them. Much of the bible is anonymous or forgeries. Libraries that have been discovered as part of archaeological exploration make it possible for us to study ancient cultures. These ancient scrolls/ manuscripts are what actually make up the Bible. The Bible is made up of picked and chosen works from many different sources. However, some books mentioned in the bible are not in the bible. It is helpful to interpret the actions of those who decided what we needed to know.

Philo (a historian) lived during the time of Jesus in Jerusalem, from 20 BCE to 50 CE. never once mentioned Jesus. Josephus (a historian) was also a native of Judea and was born in 37 AD. Josephus lived in Cana, which is the very city in which Christ is said to have performed his renowned miracle. Josephus never once mentions Jesus. Justin Martyr not only never quotes or mentions any of the four Gospels; he never even mentions the writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. The name "Jesus Christ" was not formally adopted until after the first Council of Nicaea. Furthermore, there is no cross in early Christian art before the middle of the 5th century. (John 8:3-11) Jesus was stoned to death and then hung on a tree. The crucifixion was added in the year 367. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree." (Acts 5.30.)" If Jesus was hung on a tree, then why say in Mark 8.34 "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." Jesus was allegedly saying this long before he was crucified. There isn't a single word contained in the Sermon on the Mount that isn't contained in what is called the Sacred Book of the Jews, long before Jesus lived.

Julius Caesar deified by the Roman Senate 27 BCE -14 CE Reign of Emperor Augustus. Augustus was the first Roman ruler to be worshiped as a son of a god (divi filius), and the day of his birth was considered the beginning of his glad tidings or "gospel" for the world.

Lao-Tse, a contemporary of Confucius in China, founded Taoism. Among his best known sayings are to "love thy neighbor" and "turn the other cheek." Sound familiar? The scriptures have similar themes and copied sayings.

Paul of Tarsus Hellenized the story of Jesus, removed its Jewishness, grafted on Pagan Greek ideas, and opened the gates to hordes of converts. The multitude of Christian cults canonized their literature, and added it onto the Torah, calling the combined material the "Old" and "New" Testaments. Christianity is not "next stage" of Judaism. It is a religion with no true connection to Judaism. The things in Christianity that sound Jewish are Jewish. Christianity is founded upon Jesus the concept, and the resulting mythology that was invented to support it.

"Judeo-Christian" is an inapplicable label, Christians and Jews have both said so. Judaism is not related Christianity or any religion that claims to be the only true religion and the only way to heaven, and that if you don't join up you're going to hell.

Jesus could not have started a Christian religion; it could only have been started long after the Jesus lived.

You see I totally agree with you on that the bible is fiction and on how christianity came into existence and I really appreciate and love to read your comments. My point is simply the following: When you get into such a discussion with someone who is a blind believer, it might be more handy to disprove their god (or attributes of their god) with reason, than to just point out scientific facts in the same manner as you do, since, I think you agree, this typ of people tends not to know them and easily discards things that are not in line with their beliefs. But I think, that trying to argue with reason might at least open their minds for the possibility that they might be wrong, that their god might not exist. They build up a lot of defenses against that after all (which are actually hard for me to crasp, since I never believed in any deity) and tend to ignore unfavorable facts.

I'd simply like some real input on my idea other than you just repeating the history of the bible over and over again (no offense, but I've seen similiar replies from you in different places and I just don't think that it actually belongs here).

Michael,

I'm sure that people who believe that DNA is sending an intelligent message in code, who interpret the bible literally and believe that the world began on "creation week" will really listen to scientific explanations. Silly me, I thought it might be much easier to point out the falsity of their religion and scriptures.

If you think telling people anything scientific, who apparently believe that Tyrannosaurus Rex frolicked alongside human beings only a few thousand years ago in the Garden of Eden, lots of luck to you. They funded a $27 million Creationist museum that has dinosaurs on Noah's Ark.

To apply reason and logic to explain the world rather than superstition is not something that xians or the establishment want to do. Neither is using coherent judgment instead of religious bigotry, or hysterical madness to solve anything.

They also believe that a literal biblical interpretation will keep kids out of all kinds of criminal behavior, and where education is concerned America has reached the bottom of the pit. We are essentially rolling out an assembly line of ignorant conforming clones and our culture, as a whole, will pay dearly very soon.

The xians are trained to use closed logic, no one can ever be right but believers, and no matter how much proof is presented that it is correct, it will be considered incorrect by the believer. It is a closed logic system that defines itself as always true and all differing views as always false.

Hm maybe we are just seeing things from different points of view - me from a german point, you from an US-American one. People over here are just not as fanatic about their religion and easier open to logic than in your country. We also don't have that literary bible interpretation thing at all (or well at least I never encountered anyone doing that, be it in real life or in the media), so maybe we both have a point. When thinking about it, I guess those religious zealots I see on TV and on youtube that are living in the US are a completely different type of people and it might just be hard to grasp for me.

There is a film "The Night of the Hunter" made in 1953 that is truly a masterpiece and the only film ever directed by the great actor Charles Laughton. I think it should be part of American history (the film is very exciting to watch) and is based on true events. This film has been remade many times under different titles (and the same title) but none of them come close to the original. Be sure to get the original and if you can't get the film get the novel with the same title. Many times remakes are done to diminish the original's message. Although, the original film was a masterpiece, I read that it was given very nasty critical reviews. I'm sure this was because of the fact that it depicts the danger of religious fanaticism that has been growing in America since the 30's. The film's main character is a self-appointed preacher with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his fingers. The film alludes to a relationship to the fanatic preacher and the biblical story of the "wolves in sheep's" clothing.

The 1953 film was based on the best-selling Depression-era novel of the same name "Night of the Hunter" by writer Davis Grubb. The location of his disquieting, complicated novel is in the town of Moundsville, West Virginia, and where the West Virginia Penitentiary (mentioned in the film) was located. Grubb lived in nearby Clarksburg as a young teenager.

Robert Mitchum's role was inspired by the real-life character of Harry Powers, known nationally as "the Bluebeard of Quiet Dell" (outside of Clarksburg) and West Virginia's most famous mass murderer, who was hanged on March 18, 1932, at the West Virginia Penitentiary. Powers was convicted of killing Asta B. Eicher, a widow, along with her three children, and another widow, Dorothy Lemke of Massachusetts in the early 1930s. He may also have killed a traveling salesman. Also, it just so happens that "The Bluebeard of Quiet Dell" was posing as a preacher.

This film is a critique of the death penalty (ahead of its time) very accurately depicts many injustices, as well as, fanaticism and mob mentality.

The most telling parts of the film is how the preacher brainwashes the people of this little town in his tent revivals. As well as, the widow he married is laying there about to be stabbed by the preacher and she is so delusional that she still believes whatever he is doing is for her on good. It is just such an accurate depiction of exactly what fanaticism does for any place and the people who live there.

God knows everything including the past, present and future.

Imagine the universe is a computer program written by our almighty God (The master programmer). Once written, debugged and compiled he can easily know the outcome.

But for us who are within the confines of the program we simply do not know the future even though we have free will (function). We can try to write our own sub-routines within this program to help with prediction but ultimately the program is too complex for us.

Imagine time is a function within the limits of the program (universe) that WE must adhere to but not the programmer.

Also note the "laws" of the universe. These to me are functions/methods written by God. These laws maintain a considerable measure of consistency that defy chaos.

Remember God already knows but we don't.

Let's all get on our knees now and submit to our Lord. Let him see we have no pride and no ego. Let him see us as open minded optimists (believers) instead of doubtful pessimists (atheists). Let him see we know the difference between the negative actions of man and Gods good will for us. Let him see that we acknowledge we are sinners and only through His will can we be with Him in heaven. Let him also see that no matter how good we think we are, we fall short before his glory. If you can bring yourself to do this, then you have overcome pride and ego and are now following your true alpha master.

So, do you call this screwball invisible computer programmer that designed everything theory "big daddy"? What questions does that "theory" answer? What problems does it solve? And what predictions does it make? How will scientists use this theory? What is the proof of a "big daddy" computer programmer creating everything?

Three excellent reasons exist for believing in the big-bang theory. First, and most obvious, the universe is expanding. Second, the theory predicts that 25 percent of the total mass of the universe should be the helium that formed during the first few minutes, an amount that agrees with observations. Finally, and most convincing, is the presence of the cosmic background radiation. The big-bang theory predicted this remnant radiation, which now glows at a temperature just 3 degrees above absolute zero, well before radio astronomers chanced upon it.

Intelligent Design or creation "theory" is an affirmation of design and is theological - not scientific.

However, there is also the hokey simulation argument, based on science fiction with no testable theory. The "theory" is based on the "big daddy" computer programmer making the universe and us from a computer simulation of a person and we are inside the Matrix. We were made from a series of one's and zero's and are all artificial persons living in a Matrix. We live in a computer program intelligently designed by some "big daddy" programmer and the "big daddy" designer guides evolution. They say that this is just computer science not theology, but it does seem very similar to an Intelligent Designer theory. And these "theories" require more leaps of faith, along with, scientific speculation than the theories of "real" scientists with testable and useable theories.

These theological kinds of theories are not entitled to scientific theory status because they do not provide knowledge. It is science that discovered not only evolution but also everything else that is known about the universe and how human beings came into existence. All that the Christian philosopher can do is to put a theistic spin on the information that has been provided by scientific discovery and research.

The fanatics will probably keep gushing over anything that has the word "design" in it, and avoiding the really substantive discoveries that have destroyed their position. The discovery of the chemical basis of DNA mutations the mechanism of Darwinism has securely founded the theory of evolution as a fact and a theory.

Genetic algorithms, which operate as mutate-and-select processes, and produce results which flat disprove the ID dogma that order cannot arise from disorder. It can, and it has, over and over again.

To anyone who is reading this, let me tell you something that you already know. The only objective of people like this is to get you on your knees and keep you there permanently.

**** To anyone who is reading this, let me tell you something that you already know. The only objective of people like this is to get you on your knees and keep you there permanently. ****

On your knees for the Lord, and face to face when dealing with man.

I was going to argue your other points but then I just realized we'd be going in circles. This is a classic case of watchmaker vs abiogenesis and evolution

Like I said, put what other people said in quotes and their name before it. You really didn't answer it anyway.

Mr T. Said, "Imagine the universe is a computer program written by our almighty God (The master programmer). Once written, debugged and compiled he can easily know the outcome."

My Answer: A "theory" based on the "the master programmer" making the universe and us from a computer simulation and we are inside a Matrix. That's not an original idea there are movies and books with the same line of thinking. We were made from a series of one's and zeros and are all artificial persons living in a Matrix. We live in a computer program intelligently designed by some "master programmer" and the designer guides evolution. This is supposed to be just computer science not theology, but it does seem very similar to an Intelligent Designer theory. And these "theories" require more leaps of faith, along with, scientific speculation than the theories of "real" scientists with testable and useable theories.

To say nothing of the fact that you presented absolutely no proof of that statement, but you're calling god a computer programmer (the master programmer). And these are the questions you didn't answer. What questions does that "theory" answer? What problems does it solve? And what predictions does it make? How will scientists use this theory? What is the proof of a "master programmer" creating everything?

Mr. T. Said, "I was going to argue your other points but then I just realized we'd be going in circles. This is a classic case of watchmaker vs abiogenesis and evolution"

My answer: You didn't dispute anything with that nonsensical remark since you are the one presenting a "master programmer" theory without any proof or facts to back it up. I gave plenty of evidence for the big-bang theory. First, and most obvious, the universe is expanding. Second, the theory predicts that 25 percent of the total mass of the universe should be the helium that formed during the first few minutes, an amount that agrees with observations. Finally, and most convincing, is the presence of the cosmic background radiation. The big-bang theory predicted this remnant radiation, which now glows at a temperature just 3 degrees above absolute zero, well before radio astronomers chanced upon it.

Intelligent Design or creation "theory" is an affirmation of design and is theological - not scientific - and there is absolutely no proof to support it.

Mr. T. said, "On your knees for the Lord, and face to face when dealing with man."

Why should we worship ignorance? Why should we kneel to your delusions? Why should anyone demand our praise to a god that they can't prove exist? Superstition is why men have been on their knees before swine. What we need to do is just drop the religious ignorance and accepted science in its totality.

Linda let's cut to the chase.

a) I have no objective evidence for the proof of God and I never will. b) You have no objective evidence for Abiogenesis and you never will.

(Now the following we don't have to agree on)

ME: I'm open minded, embrace possibility, have no ego, no pride. When a human dies I believe his information, experiences are too valuable to just be lost to the dirt. We're more than dirt.

YOU: Close minded, doubt will rule your life to the grave. You believe when humans die they go nowhere. They are no different from the dirt, dust rock, etc. Because of a few deviant so called Christians you toss out Christianity all together.

....

I embrace every theory and observation atheists make but eventually they are all full of doubts and they STILL do not explain where we came from.

Our weak, limited and fragile bodies are so disproportionate compared to the capacity of our imagination and our free will. Stop and think about this one PLEASE. Doesn't it make you wonder?

Hopefully before you go into lawyer mode you'll stop to try and understand my point of view. This isn't speech and debate you won't win anything here lol.

If anything you might lose your pride and ego and then you'll have a clear path to God! Trust your feeling and your logic. Not just your logic.

Mr. T.,

If that's what you call cutting to the chase I would hate to see what you call beating around the bush. I don't have to prove anything about someone's fantasy because it would serve no purpose. All you have is presupposition that there is a god that created everything, but it has no legitimacy whatsoever unless it is grounded in reasoning and confirmatory evidence. All you are doing is stating unfounded reasons for what you already believe. You are ignoring the lack of evidence or anything that disputes the existence of a creator or the duplicity of your assertions as facts. It is simply dogma. That is why religions and other forms of belief systems need to detach their victims from reality. It also doesn't hurt to drop them on their heads a few times. Your castigation about ego and pride are very revealing since that's a big part of attempting to control someone by tearing them down or denigrating them. That's why your "good book" has far more degrading dialogue about humanity than anything any atheist has ever written does. They don't need to use dishonest and disgusting tactics because you don't need to brainwash the masses to present them with the "truth."

The universe is self-sufficient and self-explanatory and does not require an intelligent cause. No intelligent person would use some invisible thing for, which there is no explanation or theory, to prove or explain anything. From the beginning of the universe to life in that universe the bible is of no use what so ever.

You are promoting belief in something without a shred of proof that it exists because you need to get other people to become a party to your deception. That is how all religion has always operated and continues to grow. That's why it's so shocking when you find people presenting you with the unvarnished ugly facts about religion.

People have spread superstition for thousands of years even though there was no benefit in doing that; they just didn't know how to explain anything. Only when man decided to find the real answers to questions that religion could never answer did man start to come up out of the dirt. What you are spreading is exactly the same thing that it has always been and no one has to take it for granted that what is being spread is the truth. Something that is deceptive, violent and filled with error is not beneficial to man. Religious indoctrination does not cause any country to be more moral and that has been proven with facts. America is one of the most religious democracies on earth and is the most violent democracy on earth, and that's a fact.

I don't believe that anyone can separate certain things from the dogma and violence of religion and call them advantageous elements. Spreading religious dogma and superstition has nothing to do with ethics and is actually a deplorable commentary on the human condition that does not have to be and should not be respected.

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