It’s Monday! It’s Monday!
Time once again for Monday School; your weekly helping of “The Rational Corrective To All That Nonsense You Learned Yesterday!”
Today I’ve decided to go back to the basics. This is an older (much older lesson) with a few comments from yours truly tossed in for good measure. So here we go with today’s lesson: Is The Bible A Worthy Means For A Real God?
I happen to live in Canada, right next to our evangelical neighbours. Many Americans (and quite a few Canadians too) seem to overwhelmingly believe that the bible is a means to God. They believe without question and willing chose to convey His most important laws throughout their lives as set requirements for getting into an alleged paradise called heaven in the afterlife.
I am one of many around the world who finds this malarkey extremely difficult to believe.
So with that in mind, please consider the following concerning the bible:
1) The Telephone Game:
I remember playing the telephone game when I was in grade three. We’d have thirty people form a big circle and then we would whisper something from one person to the other until it got back to the first person. You only got to whisper it once and if the person didn’t hear it correctly, they had to take what they thought they heard and pass it one, whether it was correct or not. By the time our whisper made the full trip around our circle, the message was completely lost and is no where near what we started with.
Take that game, multiply the amount of people playing it by a few million and have it last over the course of ten centuries and that is the problem we have concerning religion prior to the invention of the printing press. The Bible is one of the most imperfect and confusing collection of words I’ve ever encountered and that’s because prior to it’s first printing, it was passed orally from generation to generation which made it one big worldwide game of telephone.
If the bible was really passed down from an almighty being and then orally from person to person, generation to generation, can you imagine how messed up the message got from way back then to today? You also have to consider that people will change it based on personal preference to now change things they liked back in the day, like slavery or other atrocities that were approved by the bible and still are today.
People claim that god is all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good. Don’t you think such a being would have waited until the invention of the printing press before tossing down his almighty word? I don’t know about you, but silly games such as this are not what I would consider actions made by an all-knowing, all-powerful being, hence why many of us find them very difficult to follow.
2) The Unnecessary Added Complications Of Working Through Intermediaries.
Why would a perfect, all-powerful God “inspire” imperfect people to write the Bible rather than write it Himself? That just seems redundant if you ask me. If this is truly the word of the almighty creator, why would he delegate the work to people who are imperfect and possibly corrupted?
Why would He compound all the problems inherent in sending any message through writing by adding the additional and unnecessary steps of having people pass it down orally for years and years, then write it down, then copy these writings, then try to assemble these writings correctly, then translate these writings, then distribute these writings, then have an endless succession of flawed ministers have to endlessly explain them?
All of this logically points to the fraud that is organized religion, created by man to tame the masses during what was turbulent times.
3) The Terrible Flaws Of The Work Itself:
The Bible consists of well over 1000 pages of small print. Phrases are repeated again and again, rather pointlessly. You’d think an all-knowing God would point out to the prophet that ‘hey, we’ve already covered that part, move on.’
But that doesn’t happen as the same stories are told again and again, often with contradictions between them. You don’t have to go any further than the first few pages of Genesis (which gives two separate accounts of creation) to find your first contradiction and it doesn’t stop there as the same book gives four varying accounts of Jesus’ life. No strict chronology here is even respected here, something you’d think wouldn’t be a problem for an all-knowing being if He was truly overseeing it’s creation.
At times, no order at all seems to be detectable. In short, it’s a confused mess which could benefit from a good editor. Believers allege that the words written came straight from God, but you’d think He/She/It/Them would bother to make corrections or at least get someone to proof it before releasing it to the masses, right? That doesn’t happen, and as a result there are innumerable footnotes, an elaborate index, and a simple synopsis which further lead to more confusion. Many mere mortals who have put forth their life philosophies and those have done far better than the writers of the Bible with respect to clarity, brevity, consistency, and logic. How is it that the alleged God Almighty managed to inspire such poor writing?
It seems that either:
A) the Bible isn’t the work of God
B) God is flawed
C) God is purposely being deceptive and malicious.
Which do you think it is? Not exactly a good set of choices if you ask me.
Option C is a possibility as its in fact baldly stated as one of God’s methods by the Bible itself (see Ezekiel 20:25, as well as Mark 4:11-12). Other passages assert that God creates evil as well as good (Isaiah 45:7; Amos 3:6).
Is belief in a God like that really better than atheism? How?
All you have to do is take a gander at the Book of Revelation and it’s indecipherable symbolism and gibberish to get the point I’m trying to make. No one seems to have ever been able to figure out what it is really saying much less the point God is trying to make.
Such mysticism and obscurantism seems premeditated to play upon the fears of people, not enlighten them. Coming in a book that allegedly was inspired by an all-good deity who has all the answers and our best interests at heart, it amounts to an insult to the reader’s intelligence.
4) The New Testament’s Failure To Convince The Authors Of The Old Testament:
If many American Christians claim that the bible is a clear and convincing document, then why are there radically different Jewish and Christian interpretations of what it all means? Why do the people who created the Old Testament and know it best reject the New Testament? Why do Jews vehemently reject the Christian interpretation of the Old Testiment?
“[I]n this author’s national sample, no Jews expressed belief in original sin or expected Jesus to return someday, and only 4 percent believed that the Devil actually exists.” Ronald L. Johnston, “Religion and Society in Interaction,” p. 258.
Such conflict between groups who believe in the same supreme being cannot be ignored. There are also many Americans who live by the new testament and ignore the old.
5) The Bible’s Many Different Interpretations:
If, in fact, the Bible is clear, complete, and perfect, why has it inspired well over 250 distinct religious groups in the U.S. alone? There are at least 3 major types of Judaism, 27 brands of Baptists, 21 brands of Methodists, 12 brands of Lutherans, 10 brands of Presbyterians, not to mention Catholics, Episcopalians, Mormons, Christian Science adherents, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh-Day Adventists, Amish, Mennonites, Pentecostals, Nazarenes, Quakers, Calvinists, Greek Orthodox practitioners, and countless sects, cults, and splinter groups – all of which call themselves Christians and many of which hold mutually exclusive beliefs?
It’s as if an allegedly “perfect” math book had inspired dozens of mutually exclusive systems of algebra – all of which claimed to be the one true way, all of which were untestable, and all of which demanded absolute “faith” from those who used them.
Does that sound like the word of a perfect being to you? Not really…
6) The Minority Status Of Christians And Jews:
If the Bible is so clear and convincing, why are well over 60% of the world’s people neither Christian nor Jewish?
This can be considered a strike against Christianity since a large portion of the population believe something else that has the same amount of evidence to back it’s claims: nothing. If this was the popularity contest everyone seems to act like it is, then Hindu would be the one true religion, as it’s the one that has the most followers around the world.
The fact is Christians are a minority when it comes to what religion is believed the most. How can they even have the arrogance to claim to be correct when a majority of the planet doesn’t?
It boggles the mind …
7) The Bible’s Highly Problematic Initial Release:
If God does exist and if He did decide He had a message He wanted people to get, why did He send that message only to a single, small, ancient tribe in a world teeming with better choices? The Chinese were far smarter and even reading and writing by this time, why not introduce the doctrine to them where it stood a greater chance of avoiding the pre-mentioned telephone game?
Why didn’t He simply broadcast that message into everybody’s head directly, the way TV news bulletins are broadcast to every TV? Wasn’t His message as important as our own news bulletins? Or have we somehow exceeded God’s power with our communications technology?
This would of course put the whole all-powerful claim into question. There are countless ways to deliver a message rather than using a way He did. It goes to an entry I posted years ago about God being the ‘absentee landlord’. Performing miracles, dropping by to chat and what not… but that was two thousand plus years ago. In the words of Janet Jackson; “What have you done for me lately?”
The answer is nothing, which would support the thought that none of these Gods exist and their tales of ‘miracles’ are man made fiction.
8) The Bible’s Late Release:
If God’s message was so important, why did He allow untold millions of people to live and die before He even attempted to send it? Such a terrible lack of timing on the part of an almighty being would suggest something imperfect about the perfect creator, right?
The late Christopher Hutchins had something interesting to say about God’s late entry into the game… stating that if the species were at least 100,000 years old (which is short compared to claims proven by other scientists) those who believe in God then think that He/She/It/Them idly stood by while atrocities and fear and confusion ran rapid for the first 97 or 98 thousand years. Only in the last three thousand years of rape, slavery, genocide and what not does the all-knowing, all-powerful beings make themselves known only to the most uneducated and superstitious group of people on the planet. It’s completely ridiculous and it’s one reason why atheists dismiss it as easily as Christians dismiss the other religions…
If this was the true word of God, then why (as Hitchens so eloquently pointed out) did this allegedly ‘all-good’ being allow humanity to run themselves into the ground for the first ninety-percent of our existence? For amusement like a sick reality TV show? I’m curious to see how believers would respond to that cause based on the evidence of how long we’ve really been on this planet, God is very, very late getting into this game.
9) The Bible’s Imperfect Distribution:
If God’s message is so important to both human morality and the eternal disposition of our souls, why does He permit so many people (from those who die in infancy to those who live a lifetime in illiteracy or in faraway lands) to miss out on all contact with the Bible through no fault of their own?
Delivering the message to only one tribe in the Middle East instead of to the whole world in general again challenges the theory of an all-powerful being. Only giving the word to one group caused division, which in turn led to more wars, more genocide and atrocities… all things an all-good God would want to avoid.
This ‘imperfect’ distribution is not something one would expect from a being that claims to be perfect. Quite the contrary, which suggests the legitimacy of the bible is not based in fact and likely never was.
10) The Bible’s Imperfect Response to Contradictory Evidence:
Despite evidence to the contrary, the world is not flat but the bible still says that it is. The bible also says the sun orbits the Earth, which has also been proven to be complete bullshit. Despite the fact that these incorrect theories of how the world works came from an ‘all-knowing’ being, the church’s refusal to even change the word to adapt to the truth as we know it is the kind of ignorance that has led to centuries of Christian atrocities. Nurses who only tried to help people survive hard pre-med times were burned at the stake as ‘witches’ only because men in the church feared their power and influence. These are not the actions of people following an all-good, all-knowing God.
We have evidence that proves an asteroid wiped out dinosaurs over a hundreds of millions of years ago… but there is no evidence of a flood that apparently wiped out all of mankind during the time of Noah and the Ark. There is evidence of the evolution of our species but not a shred of evidence that we are products of Adam & Eve and their incestuous children.
Despite all these contradictions and the evidence that questions if not proves what they say is false, people still cling to their bibles in ignorance, refusing to hear reason and the suggestion that what they were programmed to believe is not true. Most Americans (and Canadians) who follow the Bible only do so because they were systematically brainwashed as a young child to do so. They are not the enemy but in fact the victims of a con that was to this point been very successful in getting the masses to follow a false and unproven God.
I’ve said this many times and I won’t hesitate to state it again: there is no evidence… zero, ziltch, nadda, none that backs up anything that comes from the bible. None what so ever.
The reason why I know this to be true is because if any such evidence truly did exist, churches would not hesitate to bring it forth and use it to back up their claims. If a single church had such evidence, people wouldn’t be asked to have faith… but they are. Faith by definition is belief in something despite the absence of evidence, which is why Atheists like myself refuse to follow it.
Christianity, Islam, Buddism, Hundism, Judiasm and every other religion on the planet requires you to have faith. The reason is because there is no evidence. None what so ever.
Gravity doesn’t need people to have faith because we know it’s true based on the evidence.
Evolution doesn’t require faith because there is evidence to prove it.
Think about that for a while, let it sink in.
Once again, the Bible makes far more sense as the imperfect work of an imperfect little group of people. It simply does not make sense as the work of an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good God.
Believe it or not, the bible is allowed to be taught in American schools, but only if it’s presented as literature. In other words, it’s okay as long as the bible is presented as fiction, which in the absence of any actual evidence is the correct label.