Sketches on Atheism

Theists, help me… I want to be a better atheist

godTheists (particularly those of the off-coloured fundamentalist variety) have a rather large, somewhat embarrassing problem… and I want a piece of it. It has nothing (as some might suspect) to do with defending the patent lunacy of scripture, their inability to meet the Burden of Proof, or even the awkward fact that their gods’ last great semi-natural reservation, the quantum vacuum, is no longer available for games of ethereal hide and seek. It’s a problem far more sinister than that, and for very good reason they’re loath to admit it. Theists are atheists, but not just any garden variety, soft-boiled, run of the mill atheist. They are full-blown, rabid, frothing-at-the-mouth, biting-at-the-bit, dyed-in-the-wool militant anti-theist atheists… and I want to learn how they do it!

Every day fundamentalists fearlessly deny the existence of tens of thousands of gods (330 million if we add the Vedic Ishvaras) including my all-time favourite deity, the mischievous Veles: the Slavic god of musicians, wealth and trickery. Atheists typically perform this god-jettisoning trick just once in their life then move on with a renewed skip in their step. Not theists. They do it every single day, and they do it with style and a confidence that, quite frankly, I’m envious of. You see, to be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely certain Veles doesn’t exist. I have a fair idea he doesn’t but I can’t be 100% cocksure in my claim. Absolutes aren’t rational. I am, as such, 99% certain this skylarking rascal never hid a single set of my car keys, but I’ll happily (perhaps logically) leave that 1% chance floating out there to entertain my naturally superstitious leanings. Theists aren’t so shy. They are 110% convinced Veles doesn’t exist. They know this because they’re 110% certain their particular god is real, and their magical sky being can’t exist with Veles also out there defying nature by hiding my car keys… which he seems to do with alarming regularity. So, considering theists can’t meet the Burden of Proof demands for their own god they MUST surely be in possession of a kickass method of instead disproving all the 330+ million other gods or else they couldn’t possibly (logically) be so certain in their position.

So it’s clear, I’m no expert in disproving the gods. My 1% wiggle room for uncertainty is proof enough of that. The truly professional atheists are the theists, and the Masters in their ranks are the volcano fundamentalists who promise Hellfire to us noticeably less-skilled heathens. So please, theists, I beg of you: show me this fool proof method you use to dash the Slavic god of musicians, wealth and trickery to the obscurity of human invention and I’ll promise to replicate it and then use that EXACT SAME METHOD to dash your particular god, and do so this time with 110% certainty.

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172 thoughts on “Theists, help me… I want to be a better atheist

  1. great post, I’m still laughing. In answer to your question – it’s very simple. Just remind yourself of why gods became so popular. Religion always has and always will serve two purposes. To control populations, and to explain the unknown. With that in mind calling bullshit is easy. 🙂

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  2. Having followed your tete a tete with that Catholic bloke on abortion I see how this post was inspired.
    See.. you are being cyber stalked..I even remember wot u rote.
    Nah.. coincidence…Honest!

    Yeah,good post and spot on, John. Trouble is most of them are so thick they react to the assertion they are atheists, and militant ones at that, with a blank, incredulous look.
    “How can I be an atheist,’ they wonder. ”I believe in God.” the rejoinder, ”Which one?” doesn’t even register.

    Until recently, all the other gods never entered the picture, did they? It was merely His Nibbs, and this is why they got away with this BS.

    Mind you, some of them are catching on to this truism and are marshaling their arguments accordingly.
    Granted, it still involves the Theological Two-Step, but these William Lane Craig groupies need to be cut short and not be allowed to wriggle out of this corner. No Sir!

    As gods are your thing, you might like to start your Terry Pratchett quest with the book, Hogfather. All the gods you could possibly want are between the covers of this wonderful book.

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  3. “games of ethereal hide and seek” — I declare this the wittiest phrase of the month! I’m tipping the proverbial hat.

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  4. God deniers … right here in River City! Strike up the band! Lordy, lordy. Exhausting work that. So many gods, so little time. Maybe we could get that new Pope fella to help. Just sayin’.

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  5. …I’ll happily (perhaps logically) leave that 1% chance floating out there to entertain my naturally superstitious leanings. Love it! It is this 1% that allows us to suspend disbelief just a little to create illusion. By the way, I didn’t know his name, but Veles has been quite busy hiding my stuff for years! Now that I know, I can build an altar and he will stop torturing me. 🙂

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  6. John you sure have a way with words.
    This is hilarious and to matters numbers, I allow myself some little room for not knowing and where you get these gods only gods know 😀

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    • Lost cause for them, maybe… but that doesn’t mean I can’t have some fun with it!

      Love your devilish mind, too, Shrinks! Those poems are making my brain do little summersaults every time 🙂

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  7. John, sorry, I don’t think I can help you…;-)
    However, I am not so sure that they are so sure. I am sure all of them have doubts. Their problem (or their solution, which way ever you want it) is that they are scared! They are afraid they will go to hell if they do not believe and as a result, they suppress their doubts in any way they can. It is simple stinking, smelly, sweaty, cold fear that makes them think their holy scriptures are reliable sources of information. It is totally irrational to believe in a loving god who allows people to be tortured indefinitely because they did not believe in it, but religions with this kind of belief will stabilize themselves through fear and spread, so the predominant religions are of this type. It is a type of meme that is self replicating and self stabilizing. I prefer to live without the fear and have a 1 % doubt 🙂

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  8. Love it – especially the way you mock with percentages! The fundamentalists might be scared (Nannus) but they surely are scary whichever their god.
    All the best and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! 🙂

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  9. What knots my knickers is when people try rationalising this schizo like paranoia, whatever the form it’s taken. If you wanna say something crazy, that you specifically know is crazy, and then try to justify it with “logic,” I’m gonna get scared; cause you’re not willing to reflect on the crazy staring back at you, and this… well, it makes me nervous. Just admit, “yeah, I know this belief sounds strange, and weird, and paranoid, but I can’t help but believe it,” and leave it. Don’t bother finding rational fuel for an irrational car. Tis how the paranoia proliferates.

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  10. John, I submit that the Judeo-Christian God himself isn’t entirely sure he exists. Look at the 10 Commandments: the first three are dedicated to stroking his ego — or reassuring him that he exists:
    1. I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    2. You shall not make for yourself any graven images and bow down to or serve them.
    3. You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.
    4. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath.

    So that list is saying:
    1. I’m your God.
    2. That guy is not your God, because I am!
    3. Don’t toss around my name like it’s nothing special, because it is!
    4. I have a special day that is for me me me me me me me me!!!!

    Somebody needs a hug — or more worshippers!

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  11. Congratulations on getting freshly pressed! I didn’t think WordPress freshly presses atheists, and yet we both are freshly pressed on consecutive days. I can only take it as yet another piece of evidence that there is no God. 🙂

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  12. This post gave me the idea of taking religions and start pitting them against each other. Oh wait, already been done. It’s called the Crusades. And the Inquisition. And the Jihad. Of course! Maybe the trick to be 110% convinced of something is to kill all the people who tell you you’re wrong…

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      • I don’t get why people make suggestions like this. Atheism isn’t a religion which drives people’s decisions. You might as well replace “atheists” with “vegetarians” in this sentence if you are suggesting that atheism had anything to do with their evil doings.

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      • I have the impression some atheists are religious about their stance. For example, http://www.atheists.org and of course the usual Hitchens and Dawkins, among others, who confront, debate, organize, commune, and so on with religious fervor. These are the same things believers in God do, so the actions are what feel like religion to others. “Iglesia” the word for “church” refers to gathering and some atheists do that. I think it’s a good thing.

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      • In that case being gay is a religion, cross-fit is a religion … Religious fervor is not religion. You might say you think its a good thing, but usually when atheism is called a religion that’s not the intention — and I question yours as a few lines up you had to point out that Stalin was an atheist as if his atheism had anything to with anything.

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      • Anything can be a religion, or not. If it quacks like a duck…As for Stalin I can’t recall if he murdered because he was an atheist, my point was that Christians (and Buddhists for that matter) aren’t the only ones to have committed genocide. That argument is used to put Christians down and make them wrong, and it doesn’t hold water. Some people like to murder and mass murder regardless, and get others to join them.

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      • I don’t mean this to be insulting but “if it quacks like a duck” is one of the most ignorant and misleading idioms. An idiom is not a valid excuse to generalize.
        I understand what you’re intention is, but no murdering has ever been done IN THE NAME OF atheism. Atheism does not, has not and could not justify anything … It couldn’t justify a behavior any more than a skin color.

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      • Hey it’s just my opinion and I meant well. Calling me stupid at my age while I’m in university is taken as a compliment ; )

        I don’t agree that murder hasn’t been done in the name of atheism, but maybe that’s because I’ve tried to help murderers. People have all kinds of reasons and excuses for what they do.

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      • No on is stupider than me, but your attributing any murder to atheism is an illogical leap. Any murderer who claims atheism as an impetus has randomly selected his/her motivation.

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  13. re the 10 Commandments “I am your God” I’m with those who say we all define/imagine God, not-God, goddesses in our own image. Look in the mirror if you want to see God or not-go, or look in another creature’s eyes. Yeah, I believe in God, God just “is.”

    There were myriad ancient cultural reasons why Jewish laws were needed, some don’t make sense to Westerners today and as we know are wildly misconstrued. I.E. adapted to personal use and misuse. Many of the “I am your God” laws helped people not burn their children or throw virgins into holes or abuse the poor.

    It’s just nuts to take a law written 5000 years ago before Israel even existed in in the bronze age or earlier and say it applies to me here in America. (though some of the laws, like bury your poop, are good advice to follow.)

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      • I do whenever I can. Those who spread hate often hate themselves, and hate begets hate. Nasty foul coloured stuff indeed. Hate comes from fear, insecurity, ignorance. Oh yes I’m all for eradicating those.As scripture says, “do not be overcome with evil [hate] but overcome evil with good.” Seems good logic.

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      • “Batshit crazy”? Oh, really?

        I’d put on a show like that for their money if I could stop myself from laughing long enough …

        My favourite used to be ol’ Earnest Angelly (hope I got it right). He was a true showman, I hope he’s still around and hasn’t answered the Great Question yet. I don’t do accents very well but bear with me, this is verbatim over decades:

        “So I ASKED the Lord for PROtection, and He surrounded this AREEnar with SIX thousand AYN-jells … etc etc”

        (Memory fails, it might have been ten thousand of the little buggers; but you get the gist. Pure music, that guy …)

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  14. Why not just be a better human being who happens to be an atheist? Yeah I know, we need labels so people know where we’re coming from. Fine.

    re “off-coloured.” What color do you mean, exactly? Non-white or non-black or non mixed? Or do you mean off coloured jokes?

    Actually I like your title and opening and couldn’t help but read even though I believe in God. So label me a theist if need be, who even uses off colored words in prayer.

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    • Off-coloured as in foul smelling.

      Why not just be a better human being who happens to be an atheist?… Oh, i am already that. This blog is just to push back against crazy fundamentalists. Ordinary lay (non evangelical) theists don’t bother me. i simply feel sympathy for them. If believing privately in a god helps you, then its no business of mine. It’s the rabid, meddling, clinically insane fundamentalists who get my hairs up.

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      • me too but I need more body to my hair ; )

        In pursuing a divinity degree I knew it was worth every penny when I read this: “Hell is empty.” Scripture supports this, and more venerable theologians than I agree…I’ll leave it at that. I’m always cheered to see the idea of a mean killer hateful god discussed in friendly means. Well done and thanks.

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  15. re “Everyday fundamentalists fearlessly deny the existence of tens of thousands of gods.”

    As mentioned elsewhere in your blog, the Torah/Old Testament/Ten Commandments says, “Thou shalt have no gods before me” which implies there are other gods, and, to wax theological, even God Himself seems to be saying so in that scripture.

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    • That’s a very good point… except i don’t believe in any gods. Not many Christians know it but the monotheistic YHWH was for quite some time (about 900 years) a Polytheistic collection of plagiarized gods. Elohim, El, Shaddai, Elyon, Adonai, and Tseboath were all names used instead of or in conjunction with the tetragrammaton YHWH (Yahweh) throughout the five books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). El, for instance, was the head of the Canaanite pantheon, Tseboath the Canaanite god of armies, and Shaddai (the Destroyer) originates from the Sumerian pantheon.

      Go figure! 🙂

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      • Awesome knowledge of holy writ and ancient history. No ashterah and consort for you then? ha ha. I agree many Christians and Jews for that matter, don’t know their ancient history, however I feel that sometimes less is more. Not that faith should be willfully ignorant. I’m one of those cliches whose academic study of it theology and phil of religion desperately complicated things, in the same way taking piano lessons ruined my ability to play by ear.

        As you know, some say YHWH felt in competition with the other gods, hence, “no gods before me” “no rocks, shrines altars” it was quite specific.

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      • Love your blog Miss Keene, especially the post, “Sixty is the new 20”.

        1. There’s plenty new under the sun.
        2. People surprise me.
        3. The “road not taken” is the new normal.
        4. God is not a religion.
        5. Buddha died of pork.
        6. There is no box so stop thinking outside it.
        7. Sixty is the new 20.
        8. People want to help.
        9. People are judging machines.
        10. I’ve given too much to people wealthier than me.
        11. Live vertically, not horizontally.
        12. Get a more comfortable chair.

        And your post /2013/03/19/the-prayer-of-great-price/, very moving. Thank you,

        and indeed!, as you pointed out, “Thou shalt have no gods before me” implies there are no other gods, which seems to render Johns post as being a stretch from what is a twisted untruth to what is a revealed truth.

        I’ll be a follower…

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      • “Thou shalt have no gods before me” implies there are no other gods…

        Wow, talk about selective perception. If there were no “other” gods why would this sentence even be necessary?

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    • Oh, you have to have a few favourites! Since people have gone to all this bother to created these fantastic things they’re well worth our admiration. Alice is better, but the gods are brilliant creations… especially the mischievous ones 🙂

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      • Damn. I have it on very good authority that it wasn’t Beezelbu— Belzeebl— ol’ Beeb who buried dem dry bones—a charismatic Christian friend of mine told me that Big G created all the fossils in situ along with the planet. So there.

        (Charismatic: defined by my friend as “speaks to God directly, in His own language” — just so’s we know.)

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      • The G and D must have been in cahoots, then… Mormons reckon it was the devil who did the burying, but god sounds more likely to be the foreman for the job.

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  16. Thanks Nate! Wonderful gravatar. Actually I meant to say that “…no other gods before me” to some minds indicates the existence of other gods, and YHWH, the God of Israel was saying, “There ARE other gods, but you must worship only ME.” The idea is he wouldn’t mention other gods if there weren’t any to begin with. As you probably know this idea can be quite upsetting to some folks ; )

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    • I am trying to understand all this Miss Keene. So you think “Thou shalt have no gods before me” means there are others?

      But I always thought just the opposite. I thought the Egyptians, in ancient times, had dozens of gods and all the other uninformed and superstitious peoples back then also had their own gods to help them cope and explain what they did not know.

      So, the real god comes to set the record straight, chooses a people to reveal it and then lays down the rules. I think the key to “no other gods” is found in the second command and gods explanation about it.

      Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6 (Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

      Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am your God. Leviticus 26:1

      I am : that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8

      Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that I spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which thy God hath forbidden thee.

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      • Nate, your Christian god was a polytheistic miss-match of gods before slowly being rolled into one, Yahweh. It was a collection of gods from the Canaanite and Sumerian pantheons. The Torah (Old Testament) is actually the story of SIX distinct gods. Perhaps you Christians should learn some history before blindly believing the things told to you.

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      • Nate, I’m saying that *some people* interpret “thou shalt have no other gods before me” implies there were other gods; I didn’t mean to indicate I interpret it that way.

        Further, “I am your God,” does not, according to some, mean I am the ONLY God, and in fact furthers the idea there is more than one God. That god is explaining, “There are other gods, but I’m the one for you. Stay away from the others.” That’s why the Jewish scripture/OT says so much against building idols, shrines, and images.

        Until I studied theology in seminary and had to read endless exegesis on these matters, I hadn’t heard or thought of those verses that way. For me there is only one God above all gods, however, there are other entities, spirits, soul imaginings, idols of heart and mind. I have no doubt that both ancient and modern peoples interact with “gods” and I’ve seen the shrines and sites of some.

        You know, Jews think Christians are idolators in light of the images verses you quoted above, for Christian churches have shrines, graven images, altars, and so on in their buildings. They have a point–the Vatican is a major shrine with thousands of images as listed in the verses you quoted above.

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      • I kind of understand what you are saying Miss Keene but in searching out this whole “gods” thing I found a site that was talking about this and they used Isaiah 43, “There is only one God. “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me”

        The site also spoke of gods to be more than just made up beings like;

        The god of Religiosity.
        – Going to church for the sake of going to church.
        – Trusting in your denomination rather than Christ.
        – Trusting in doctrine instead of Christ.
        The god of cars, money, job security, self, etc.
        The god of Pride — to exalt yourself.
        The god of Stubbornness — to keep yourself right.
        The god of Harboring resentment — to justify yourself.

        Also searching the Internet for why there are some many gods, past and present, I ran across You Tube videos about ancient aliens and the theory a lot of gods may be just visitors and the ancient peoples reaction to coping with this. After all, we all know the false superstitious beliefs the ancients had, imagine what they would conclude if they saw a flying craft in the sky.

        I looked up the definition of god at merriam-webster.com and by definition I think there can only be one, unless there is one supreme and others less, but then the Christians Bible is wrong if this is true, according to Isaiah 43.

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      • Bingo! And the light turns on! Well done, Nate… yes, the bible is bunk. And no, there are no gods… never was and never will be. They’re all just the product of the human mind looking to spruce up terrestrial life with some supernatural bullshit.

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      • What light? I never said the bible was bunk or used profanity. Please do not presume to understand what I believe, I don’t even know yet. I found your site by using search terms like, “why are there so many different gods”.

        If what you say is true, then why did every ancient civilization believe in god(s)? Political power and control over peoples perhaps?

        And if it is bunk why do so many still believe today. In the USA they had the separation of Church and State written in their Constitution to prevent such power and control yet I’m pretty sure about 90% of Americans believe in god. It’s a puzzle to me if belief in god is so irrational because USA is a super power. if they can progress so far as to put men on the moon and rovers on Mars why continue to believe in an invisible and irrational god?

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      • That’s OK John, don’t sweat to it. I read but I don’t know all. I read about the peace the Christians have. I read about their faith and what that faith does for them. I see the great USA and the help the Christians there do for us and others and read the stories of freedom they have and I long for that. I want peace and freedom and faith and I wonder if their god is my answer.

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      • I don’t understand John, what You had me hook line and sinker mean.

        I had to look up bastard at merriam-webster.com I thought perhaps it might be compliment but I don’t think so now. What is magnificent bastard mean?

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  17. Once again this reminds me of the Psalm 82, where the god of the ancient Hebrews addresses the other gods in a convention of gods. A clear, obvious and undeniable evidence, that the Abrahamic god has evolved from polytheistic religion to a monotheistic one. Divinely inspiring reading. Such evolution does not speak for divinely inspired authors, but mere men writing down their superstitious fantasies based on their personal cultural heritage. Just like with any other gods and religions.

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    • I was curious about this Psalm 82 so I read it. It is true the first sentence has reference to “gods” but the next sentences make it clear who this references. The word “gods” refers to magistrates, judges, and other people who hold positions of authority and rule. Calling a human magistrate a “god” indicates three things: 1) he has authority over other human beings, 2) the power he wields as a civil authority is to be feared, and 3) he derives his power and authority from the god himself, who is pictured as judging the whole earth in the eighth sentence. I think those who hold power over others are warned in psalms 82.

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      • No, it does not mean magistrates and judges. It would not make any sense, that a god uses the word god about humans. Does it? That is just sorry apologetics. It refers to a convention of gods and is derived from an era, that the word “god” had a completely different connontation to it, than the monotheistic believer would think it has. It speaks of judges, because that was the role of the gods in those days. Read the Bible. It is full of references to different gods. And to the inabilities of the Abrahamic god.

        The theists are allways demanding that the Bible should be understood in the correct cultural context. Well, this is it. It is a story of a nomadic nation, that only had the invisible sky god, like nomads so often have. Same applies to the Mongols, the Arabs and so many Indian Nations. Because, when you are hauling tents and moving about, it is a pain in a but to move any divine images. But before this particular divinity evolved to be the single only god of this tribe, it was surrounded by pluralistic religions. And it accumulated from them a lot of stuff.

        In modern science of religion studies, there is pretty good idea of how religions are born and how and why they evolve. Abrahamic religions fit that model quite well.

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      • You are very smart about bible things. I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out so take my advice since I’m not using it. I look at the psalm 82 and it says “God renders judgment among the “gods”, The “gods” know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness, I said, ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’ But you will die like mere mortals; you will fall like every other ruler.”

        Sure sounds like their god is talking about humans as “gods”.

        Excuse my simpleness, I was born at a very early age. I read bible the Exodus 7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet.

        I look to the Internet to answer and find the Hebrew word Elohim is translated “judges” in Exodus 21:6 and 22:8, 9, and 28 and perhaps correct translation if the Psalms 82 should be “God renders judgment among the “judges”.

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  18. Rautakkyy, you have a point but my personal logic comes to a different conclusion. The way humans express themselves in art, industry, health, science, music, language, etc. etc. continues to evolve so naturally human expression of spiritual matters has evolved as well. Not very long ago people thought the world was flat and didn’t know blood carried disease; it just makes sense to me that humankind’s ability to perceive divine matters has grown along with everything else.

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      • Why not ask Rah? No really, I hadn’t considered that specifically. Yeah some things are made up about everything, others are redactions, others, revisionist history. Some things are true and/or contain truth, and that’s why even those who think they are rubbish can’t stop talking about them, imho 😉 I don’t belong to “the church” whatever you mean by that.

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      • My internal radar always starts ‘blipping’ when anyone says, In My Humble Opinion., because, 9 out of 10 it usually turns out that this is the exact opposite of how they truly view their opinion.
        That you don’t belong to a church mean diddly squat.
        You worship the man-god , Yashua of which virtually the only references are contained in the New Testament.
        Odd that you make a point of stating you have apparently eschewed all formal religion yet without the original Church how on earth would you have had any notion of Yashua in the first place?
        Who do you honestly believe was responsible for redacting and compiling and disseminating the bible? The bible that contains the Christological doctrine you follow?
        It certainly wasn’t Random House or Barnes & Noble, now was it?

        And it never once crossed you mind that the Yashua you follow, albeit sans religion/church, is in fact the centre piece of the christian religion – because THEY put him there and providing you acknowledge you are a Christian they are laughing all the way to the spiritual – and oft times literal bank?
        Shakes head…Christians are so smart they invariably end up fooling themselves.

        Go research Marcion.

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  19. I think it’s way beyond time when God should stop contemplating His Fluffy Navel and take a look at what’s happened to His Creation (dammit—do I have to use caps all time? Sod it—I’ll risk the divine wrath) in his absence.

    And reconsider whether it is truly ‘good’.

    Okay, I’ll accept the savagery that goes with all the big guys eating the littler guys in the food chains — but do some have to be needlessly unpleasant? No matter how the devout might make excuses on behalf of god (oops, that time it should be capped) God, no matter the semantics or twists of faith etc etc:

    omnipotence = omni-responsible

    with no ifs or buts. Especially when omniscience is involved … no?

    (Nothing new here, the argument has been going on for centuries … learned men locked in intellectual combat, may the biggest club win) (’twas ever thus.)

    I asked once “Where was God at Auschwitz?” and got some quite interesting replies.

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    • Hello,

      I’m new here, looking for the answer to #1 question is god real. I wonder about this same thing, why silence when we suffer so. I searched “Where was God at Auschwitz” and I found an answer.

      reference to jeffjacoby.com/246/the-silence-of-god
      “Where was God in those days?” asked the pope. How could a just and loving Creator have allowed trainload after trainload of human beings to be murdered at Auschwitz? But why ask such a question only in Auschwitz? Where, after all, was God in the Gulag? Where was God when the Khmer Rouge slaughtered 1.7 million Cambodians? Where was God during the Armenian holocaust? Where was God in Rwanda? Where is God in Darfur?

      For that matter, where is God when even one innocent victim is being murdered or raped or abused?

      The answer, though the pope didn’t say so clearly, is that a world in which God always intervened to prevent cruelty and violence would be a world without freedom — and life without freedom would be meaningless. God endows human beings with the power to choose between good and evil. Some choose to help their neighbor; others choose to hurt him. There were those in Nazi Europe who herded Jews into gas chambers. And there were those who risked their lives to hide Jews from the Gestapo.

      The God “who spoke on Sinai” was not addressing himself to angels or robots who could do no wrong even if they wanted to. He was speaking to real people with real choices to make, and real consequences that flow from those choices. Auschwitz wasn’t God’s fault. He didn’t build the place. And only by changing those who did build it from free moral agents into puppets could he have stopped them from committing their horrific crimes.

      It was not God who failed during the Holocaust or in the Gulag, or on 9/11, or in Bosnia. It is not God who fails when human beings do barbaric things to other human beings. Auschwitz is not what happens when the God who says “Thou shalt not murder” and “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” is silent. It is what happens when men and women refuse to listen.”

      So I think although creation is good and I want to live, perhaps the freedom we have to not do good brings about my pain.

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      • Oh, Nate, do tell us about the monkey which adorns your delightful gravatar. Is that pitiful, soulless creature an atheist? That poor boy. Tis making great breaking on my heart.

        Oh, sorry, my name is Chris. Named after our Lord Jesus Christ.

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      • I don’t know. I had given me a old monkey doll at the home when I was a child. I gave it to a younger boy when the big ones teased me but I still love toy monkey. The gravatar speaks of love and I find love is most important thing.

        I don’t understand how Chris is name after Jesus Christ. My name is Nathan Ezekiel, nice to meet you Chris.

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      • Ave… Sorry, my voice is hoarse. Ave mareeeeee-yeee-a. Do you like that song oh so much too? What do you think of my voice?

        Chris. Christopher. Christ-topher.

        Pleasantry to meet you, Nathan. I pronounce your name Nay-then. Alright if I spell it like that when addressing you, Nay-then?

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      • OK Chris-to-pher you joking man with big heart and even bigger name than mine.

        I look to the meaning of your name on Internet and find from the Greek ‘christos’ (the anointed one, Christ) and ‘phero’ (I carry). Christopher is the patron saint of travelers and, according to the legend, Christopher carried the young Jesus across a river.

        Christophoros meaning Bearer of Christ.

        I have not to know you Chris. Do you speak for or against your name sake?

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      • I don’t usually forsake my name sake, but I am feeling forlorn this eve of the 23rd and decide me to make a generous feces on it. Woe, yay, nay I don’t know if I can keep such a mediocre pest as Chris, Nay-then.

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      • oops e oops, Brenda girls name, sorry Chris. Perhaps Brandon. I look at your pic and see strength and conviction looking at me with the one eye and I think Brandon is a strong name.

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    • Argus, “omnipotence = omni-responsible” oh really? Not in my book, but that’s just me creating gods in my own image. Although, I’ll admit the faith part of me believes God is a good one and She does care enough to be omni-responsible.

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  20. Dear Nate, God is real. For proof, stare at yourself in the mirror and behold the wonder of it all.

    As for “where was God” I’m with those who say badness is part of the science of this world. Physical and moral evil evil comprise what is. Having endured and suffered some pretty hideous things myself, and helped others, I don’t say this lightly.

    I would at times prefer not to believe in God. I’m dealing with it.

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    • I have looked at myself, direct into my eyes looking for that thing the Christians have. They come and they seem fearless and i look into their eyes and see love looking back. I ask to myself why they are here and why do they care. Shall I pray tonight to know their god? Perhaps I need to in to order to find my answer.

      Thank you Miss Keene. I to prefer to not question the god of the Christians but their god seems to bring much power to them. Perhaps our suffering will be taken away by the Christian god. Or perhaps he will show us how to live through it.

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    • The Christian say amen after a prayer. I had to look to the internet to see what means amen. I find Amen is an exclamation expressing agreement with a statement. At the end of a prayer it expresses the genuineness or truth of the petition or praise. Amen means “truly”, or “fair dinkum”. One of God’s names is “The Amen, the Faithful and True Witness”

      Amen dear Miss Keene.

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      • But was “amen” derived originally from Amen-Ra, the pharaoh? He was the father of the pharaoh Ekhnaton, who founded the first known monotheistic state religion in Egypt long before the Hebrew even went on a genosidal killing spree in Palestine.

        Ark, could you shed a light on this?

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  21. Ah…thought I heard something. Bloody name droppers.
    Yes, that is where it derived.Another piece of plagiarism. Something else the school RE teachers and seminary lot conveniently omit from their lessons.

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    • I’m in seminary believe me linguistics are taught, as well as the origin of he “Hebrews” and if they existed at all, according to non-biblical sources, along with ancient maps memorization, anthropology and sociology of the levant, near East, Middle East, Egypt etc. archaeology. There are Christian scholars who doubt the whole Moses thing.

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  22. Oh, and Rautakyy, methinks you are being naughty…playing Devil’s avacado. Those fibbing Hebrews were never IN Egypt as we all know, right? Or should do by now. So let’s not wind up the Crispyuns any more than is necessary. 😉

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