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Atheist Community of Austin
Reasonable Faith

I have sent the following question to William Lane Craig's website twice now and still without any response. The question is this, if there is a supernatural entity, i.e. a god, then is It made of supernatural stuff? If so, where did this "stuff" come from? This should be taken seriously by any one debating theists, that is the problem of supernature and the inability of theists to demonstrate it while dismissing naturalism.

I have an answer for you, God is a supernatural, immaterial, personal being. You can actually know this if you were to study the bible. Any other questions?

I have ne, how comes you are so sure about that? Because you read some old book? Awesome.

I am sure of it because the Bible is true that is why. How do you know that its not true, because some angry atheist told you so?

I read better collections of fairy tales and didn't believe them either, I have more reasons to believe in Aladdin and his Genie and 1001 nights, than in Jesus and the Bible. Actually believing in Odysseus is more plausible than believing in Jesus since the fairy tales about Jesus were written based on Homers work, but i don't think you would believe me if i explained that so i won't bother.. but in case you do, look for the series of Truthsurge on youtube called "escavating the empty tomb".

Question for you Jay, when you use the word "plausible," in reference to finding Homer's tale more believable than the God's inerrant and inspired Word (the Bible) what FORM of evidence do you use to determine that the Bible is not true?

It was actually a joke, i would never believe the Odyssey to be true history, however, i find the original story more plausible than the disfigured version in the Bible with Jesus as the Hypermoral Superhero (along with the parts showing the opposite, like cursing a fig tree for moronic reasons, killing thousands of pigs, attacking people because they didn't kill their children as a defense mechanism when they criticized him for not washing his hands, etc). When it comes to other parts of the Bible, i use science to disprove claims about the flat earth, the moon radiating light, the firm heavens supported by pillars, melting snails, rabbits as ruminants, PI being 3, "Sun standing still" where the earth would have had to do so... and so many more things.

Then i use logic and common sense and actual history to analyse the numerous contradictions clearly showing that you can't believe the whole thing no matter how much you would like to. Just take a look at this link, http://www.tinyurl.com/contradictingbible , and this one (add a dot before COM, i had to change some links otherwise the post is detected as spam) tinyurl com/contradictinggospel , or this one about the morbid concept of the 10 commandments which seem to be the only part that many christians accept from the old testament (evilbible com/ten_commandments.htm) , although the bible clearly says that the old testament is very well still valid, (in the bible) Jesus himself says that he didn't come to abolish the old laws but to fulfill them and that every single letter of the scriptures is very well valid and not to be ignored (and interpreted) along with the law contradictions of course, (tinyurl com/donotignoreOT) , and so on.. just a part of those things should be enough, but there is much more than what i put there... if you really open your eyes and look, you could see that Jesus, if he ever existed, was a liar and a false prophet and that the end times should have happened already around 2000 years ago.. that he made false promises and such things.. there is so much about the book which clearly shows that it is of no divine origin and far from being in accordance with reality. On the other side we have NOTHING proving the claims to be true.. and as i said in the other thread, the burden of proof is NOT on the ones who don't believe it, although we have a LOT speaking for our case, while you have nothing but a bunch of logical fallacies and brain washing.

In short, for people who try their best to stick to reality and follow the evidence, it is simply too absurd to believe. The bible is a "fairy tale collection gone terribly wrong". Now the question is, what form of evidence do you use to justify your own belief? Is there anything factual and demonstrable about it?

Jay a couple of questions for you:

1) Where in the Bible do you find explicit evidence of the scriptures supporting a "flat earth" like you said?

2) Where do you find in the Bible explicit evidence of the scriptures making a literal proposition that the heavens are supported by "pillars?"

I would like the name of the book in the bible and chapter and verse please.

You said you, "use logic and common sense.." to show that "...you cant believe the whole thing (Bible) no matter how much you would like to."

Well, Jay I use logic and common sense pretty well, I would like to think, given that I study and write on specific topics on the nature of the laws of logic and logical starting points.

Jay, my question to you is, given that you do not believe in God for some "lack of evidence" (which is an entirely false statement to begin with) Where does LOGIC come from? Does logic exist outside of the human brain? Jay, do you believe that all that exist is matter? Meaning everything that exist in the universe is material in nature?

To answer your question, the evidence that I use to justify my belief in God has 3 parts to it in nature, yet all work distinctively together in harmony. I will try to avoid too many philosophical and theological technical terms (where I adequately can) in order that you might better understand my position. Although, an in depth explanation of the justification of knowledge is a pretty abstract subject, I do feel you can grasp the subject given that you do not have any professional training in philosophy or theology. Give it time though, these concepts are abstract in nature so you will have to really think hard about the propositions given. First, you might want to consider seriously what the nature of what "knowledge" really is? Is knowledge even possible? Can a person really know "truth?" What is "truth?" These are unproven assumptions that you will have to fall on IN FAITH given that they are abstract in nature and that you cannot prove them through empirical observations (test tubes in a lab). To give you a short answer, the evidence I utilize in justifying my belief is Divine inspiration given by God through the instrument of the divinely inspired scriptures, second I use human reason and logic, and the third is experiential or "existential." They could be classified as "normative" (meaning that my beliefs are in accordance with the objective truth of God's existence, God is the standard of truth, therefore my beliefs are justified to the extent that they are in accordance with truth as He reveals it, either inductively or deductively. This you could say is an ethical justification) they are "situational" (meaning that my knowledge of God is justified in how much it is in accordance with the reality that God has created) third, they are "existential" (meaning that the beliefs that I hold are justified in a personal sense, as I experience them living in accordance with God's "norms" in the reality that He has created, a situational reality.) So the beliefs that I hold are justified in a normative sense, situational sense, and existential sense. All three are needed to make up "justified true belief."

Wow that was one of the biggest piles of nonsense i had to fight my way through in the last few months.. so basically you have exactly nothing to back up your belief, that was all i needed to know, thanks.

About the flat Earth and the Pillars,wow you really didn't read your bible thoroughly.. or you read too much between the lines so the truth couldn't jump into your face. well then, Psalm 75:3, Job 26:11, Job 9:6 (and probably a few more) talk about pillars. Joshua 10:12-13 "Sun stands still" makes ABSOLUTELY no sense, if anything the Earth would stand still and not the Sun. Clearly talking about a flat Earth in a geocentric Universe. Matthew 4:8 "Again the devil took him (Jesus) to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor." This is ONLY possible on a flat Earth. Revelation 7:1, 20:8 for instance Talk about the 4 corners of the Earth... And so on and so on.. i am sure other people here can bring some more examples. Most people back then thought that the earth was a flat disk, sometimes circular in shape (because of the circular view of the horizon) and that it is the center of the universe with the heavens being some firm roof with water on it and stars being small lamps or whatever and the moon and the sun moving above the Earth and such things.. they would reject actual knowledge for millennia and silence (often by murder) people because what they say would disprove their moronic teachings. And you would do good if you would check few of the links i gave you.. unless you don't care about other people's opinions and don't intend to give your "holy" book some detailed analysis.

Oh and don't give me that "no knowledge is possible" crap.. i don't buy pseudo philosophy. Also i am not a "fundamental materialist" but i do believe that all we do and all we know and all we feel and all we think is a result of matter and energy in our bodies. When you die it's all gone and no imaginary friend can change that.

From: David Paul Quiroz I am sure of it because the Bible is true that is why. How do you know that its not true, because some angry atheist told you so?

True, in what sense? True as in somebody wrote the books and somebody later collated it and declared it THE Bible? True as in everything in it actually happened? True as in it is the inspired word of God written down by men?

As to the first, yeah, somebody wrote these books--many of the books have unknown authorship--and much, much later the early Roman Catholic Church got together and decided which books were to be included in the official canon. A lot of books were left out and all those books by Paul were included--you'd think he was a Roman citizen or something...oh wait, he was. And you can go and read about the creation of the Bible and how they voted on the contents and why they voted accordingly. So, yeah, I believe that the Bible exists.

Now about the second, everything actually happened? Adam and Eve, the talking snake, talking donkey, Tower of Babel, the Flood, god wrestling and losing, god making a bet with Satan about Job, god not being able to defeat an army equipped with iron chariots, etc., etc. And what about the fact there's nothing in the Bible that the people at the time of the writing didn't know or believe to be true? The Tower of Babel is an example as the people believed that they could actually get to Heaven--and God apparently believed it too cause he confounded their language so they couldn't try that shit again. And the NT, Jesus believed exactly what the people believed and had no knowledge of anything not known at the time. Of course if you want to say that the whole thing was allegorical or metaphorical or some other not-meant-to-be-taken-lterally belief. But it ain't true by any stretch of the imagination.

And as to the last, that it was the inspired word of God written down by men, how inept a way for an all-powerful being to get your message out to have men write it down? Why not just write it down yourself? Write it on some titanium tablets in all the languages then, and now. Or "hardwire" your message into our DNA. Or just give everyone the message individually say at the age of consent or 18 or some such time. And if you had to have men write it down, why didn't you make sure that it was copied perfectly each time?

So which one is it? Remember the Bible isn't a book of absolutes--God had no problem with slavery and random death to innocents. And the Bible doesn't provide any evidence of its veracity. Why believe it over other religious texts that have just as much claim to truth? Logic tells you that a book by unknown authors that has bad science, bad moral positions, and a God that is as anthropomorphic as any Greek or Roman god just ain't reliable.

It was written by men and collated by men and believed by men but that doesn't make it a book full of truth.

From: Mark Loy From: David Paul Quiroz I am sure of it because the Bible is true that is why. How do you know that its not true, because some angry atheist told you so?

True, in what sense? True as in somebody wrote the books and somebody later collated it and declared it THE Bible? True as in everything in it actually happened? True as in it is the inspired word of God written down by men?

<!snip where I address the Bible's "truth">

David, you never addressed any of what I said. And of course, I don't blame you. It is extremely easy to simply declare that something is truth but painstakingly difficult to defend that position with evidence. I could, for example, quite easily declare that The Lord of the Rings was truth but I'd have a devil of a time procuring even a random Hobbit let alone Bilbo. And Gandalf, forget about it.

I've read the Bible. I strongly recommend everyone read it. Penn--of Penn and Teller fame--said that reading the Bible is what made him an atheist. I couldn't agree more. The Bible was the first impetus I had toward my eventual atheistic world view. Think about it for just a second; do you really want it to be the truth? The truth that your god condones slavery, genocide, and human sacrifice? That your god can't simply forgive imperfect human beings their transgressions but instead demands that blood be shed, pain be suffered, someone pay as a condition of that forgiveness? That your god, perfect, benevolent and all-powerful, could create imperfection, evilness, and vast painful acts of cruelty all in the name of love?

Why would you ever want these books to be true?

And really most "modern" Christians pick and choose which parts are true. Slavery position, nope. Killing people for disobeying God's commands, not so much. Jesus's clear instruction for attaining heaven, not really---better to go with Paul's ideas. Clear instructions about pagan holidays and practices, no, again as that would interfere with celebrating Christmas and Easter. False prophets? Well, yes, except when the false prophet is Jesus--then you got to apologize the Hell out of him. The fact that the God of Jesus is the God of Mohammed, hey! That's heresyish!!

And, of course, this is an atheist forum and if you spout "truth" you're gonna have your ass handed to you. But that just prompts the question--you knew what kind of forum it was, why say that when you knew you were going to be called on it without having a defense ready? Or are you simply a Christian troll with little or no actual intellectual integrity to speak of?

<!shrug>

Whatever.

Mark, what do you mean "if you spout truth, you'll get your ass handed to you". Are an epistemological relativist? If so, by what standard or method to you have to judge whether what you are saying is true or false? With that said, how do you know if the Bible is false? I have read assertions like yours that Christians have no integrity, so what is your excuse? Oh, by the way I am an atheist, so don't get it twisted.

From: Daniel Mark, what do you mean "if you spout truth, you'll get your ass handed to you".

I firmly believe that any statement can be considered an argument. if you post to a forum that prides itself on logic, reason, and discriminating thinking then an argument concerning the truth of a religious text will be met with exceptionally rational and consistent counterarguments that you must be prepared for before making your initial statements. That is why I asked him in what way he was arguing for the truth of the bible.

Daniel wrote: "Are an epistemological relativist? If so, by what standard or method to you have to judge whether what you are saying is true or false?"

I do not believe that truth is relative, at all. Any truth must have logical, scientific support and evidence and without it is simply opinion. Of course a person can hold an opinion that is in fact true--in this specific case the argument that the bible is truth is actually an opinion that could, in principle at least, convince people that it is a true statement. It would have been a daunting task to do so--in my knowledge no one has ever successfully done so--but this gentleman didn't even try. Again, just spouting an argument without supporting it won't suffice.

Daniel said:

"With that said, how do you know if the Bible is false?"

The same way we, as rational human beings, decide any statement/argument is false--by examining the evidence. And as it has been said many times, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Talking animals and trees that provide instant knowledge are pretty extraordinary. Of course that's why I asked him in what way he thought the bible was true. If he simply meant that the bible exists then I'd have to agree that he's right. But if he meant the bible contains truth, in its entirety, then he's got some 'splainin' to do.

Daniel said:

"I have read assertions like yours that Christians have no integrity, so what is your excuse? Oh, by the way I am an atheist, so don't get it twisted."

The thing is there is no one Christianity and thus no one type of Christian. Some Christians have absolutely no integrity regarding their religion whatsoever--and I'm prepared to argue this. These people will state argument without support, lie for their beliefs, and denounce all other beliefs as abhorrent as if they are the only arbiter of truth. Some understand the problems with their religion and don't try to hide them or apologize for them but instead state that regardless they still are a Christian. I find that refreshing and quite full of religious integrity and don't have any beef with them at all. I might find them deluded or naive or hypocritical but their integrity is intact.

So, Daniel, your post has the tone of someone rather upset at me--what would you want me to do with someone spouting truth without support? Are you saying that since I am requiring everyone to support their arguments with rational, scientific evidence that I have no integrity?

If you didn't use these tools to determine your position on God/gods how, exactly, did you become an atheist?

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