BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.

"DIFFICILE EST SATURAM NON SCRIBERE"

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jesus Is Imaginary





*~*
TRANSCRIPT:
You can prove to yourself that jesus is completely imaginary in less than five minutes. Planet earth. Home to billions of people. More than two billion of earth's inhabitants believe in jesus christ. They believe that jesus was sent by god to give them eternal life. They believe that jesus died but was then resurrected and now sits in heaven looking down and judging us. Yet jesus christ is completely imaginary and we can prove it in three simple steps.
*~*
Step 1 : ~ Open your bible and read 1 Cor 15: 3-8.
*~*
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."
*~*
We learn three important facts from this passage.
  • Jesus proved his resurrection by appearing to people.
  • It is OK to appear to people.
  • Appearing to people does not take away free will or harm faith.
*~*
Step 2: ~ Read Matthew 18: 19-20
*~*
"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."
*~*
Here we learn two important facts.
  • Jesus is already here amongst us.
  • God will do anything we ask.
*~*
So, Step 3 is simple. We ask jesus to appear. Grab a friend and try this prayer.
Dear jesus, we know that you are in our midst already. We ask you to physically appear, so that we may know that you are resurrected. We have faith that you will answer our prayer as you promise in the bible. In your name we pray. Amen.
*~*
Now, what do you suppose is going to happen? If you are a normal, intelligent adult, then you know what will happen. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
*~*
Here's what we know: ~
  • Jesus is already here.
  • It would be trivial for him to appear.
  • It is ok for him to appear.
  • He has promised that he will appear to your prayer.
*~*
Yet, strangely, jesus ignores your prayer. How do we explain what we see here? If you are a normal, intelligent person the explanation is simple. Jesus is imaginary. People who believe in jesus can make hundreds of excuses to try and explain what we see here, but they are all just that - excuses. Jesus is imaginary.
*~*
If jesus were real he would appear to each of us. He would show us that he is the resurrected son of god just like he supposedly showed the people in the bible. Instead, your prayer is ignored. The fact that your prayer is ignored shows us exactly how imaginary jesus is. It is time for us to state the truth.
*~*
The people on earth who worship jesus are worshipping a being who is no more real than the Great Pumpkin. It is time for normal, intelligent people to acknowledge this simple fact. And begin dismantling the last great superstition of the modern era. Would you like to learn more? If you would like to explain the excuses that people use to explain jesus's absence, please visit God Is Imaginary .
*~*
JESUS IS IMAGINARY.
*~*
Comments are welcomed.



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52 Comments:

Blogger Daniel said...

Probably a man called Jesus did exist (as did Mohammed and Buddha, etc.).

It's just that his message contained some half-truths, some theological embellishments, some wild excesses of imagination and wishful thinking, and perhaps a large pinch of megalomania all of which has been further exaggerated and exploited by various members of 'The Church' who were quick to recognise the power and wealth which could surround continuing such deception.

The rest is history as they say. And I agree: it's time it was changed to better reflect reality!

27/9/06 7:50 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE daniel:
There may or may not have been an actual person called jesus. To me, this part is actually quite superfluous. The part I find difficult to believe are the claims of supernatural powers. But this is the part that I find difficult to believe in ANY of the god claims.

27/9/06 8:56 pm  
Blogger CyberKitten said...

I'm not totally convinced that Jesus actually existed. However I agree that its not really that important an issue.

27/9/06 9:53 pm  
Blogger Andrew Green said...

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'"

Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Matthew 4: 5-7

I know that anything I say in defense of faith will be rationalized down and dismissed, but I would like to submit a few words. At the risk of sounding like a Fundamentalist (a big no-no these days), I would like to comment that Jesus was talking to his believers at the time he spoke these words. If you are cynically praying to Jesus to make a point, are you really talking to him at all? I believe that it takes faith.

I would also like to point out the differences in translations of this passage:

"I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them."

This is the New Living Translation. Notice that it says “because they are mine”.

“When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I'll be there. “

This is the Message translation (the Message is a paraphrase, and some people think that it loses its divinity because of this fact, but I think it’s an interesting look at another person’s translation).

C.S. Lewis comments that Jesus is not a tame lion. I believe this is true.

Here’s another way of looking at it: you have to find Jesus before you can see Jesus.

And for Daniel and Kitten, we sure do put a lot of emphasis on Jesus if he didn’t exist. I mean, we number our years after his birth! And the church that was created in his name seems a touch to large to be an invention of 12 dirty, uneducated peasants.

28/9/06 12:13 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE andrew:

Excuse #3 - Thou shalt not test the lord

This is a really common one: "It says right in the Bible that thou shalt not test the Lord. In step 3, your prayer tests him, so of course he doesn't appear."

Here's the most interesting thing about this rationalization. We are supposed to ignore all of verses in step 1 because "you can't take the Bible literally."

But then we are supposed to take the verse that says, "Thou shalt not test the Lord" literally.

This disconnection shows how strong the delusion of Christianity can be.

28/9/06 9:57 am  
Blogger Dikkii said...

Beep wrote:

"But then we are supposed to take the verse that says, "Thou shalt not test the Lord" literally.

This disconnection shows how strong the delusion of Christianity can be."


Ramen to that.

Evidence: Didn't Elijah test God on numerous occasions? And didn't God respond favourably? The same God that Jesus asked not to test?

28/9/06 1:50 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE dikki: Good point :) I will add it to the list.

28/9/06 6:08 pm  
Blogger Andrew Green said...

Ah, the main point of that verse in my head was not the "thou shalt not" part. It was to show how Jesus deals with all the fun ways scripture can be twisted (example: trying to make scripture discredit itself).

In the Old Testament, many of the Jewish prophets wrestle with the Lord, testing him and challenging him in many ways. I mean, Israel was supposed to have wrestled with him all night long! And didn't Abraham bargain with the Lord until he sent angels to spare Lot and his family from death?

All of these were through faith, not through cynicism.

I'm really interested to hear what you had to say about the rest of my comment, but it’s curiously excluded from your reply. Is it that you just read the first part and discredited me off hand before you had the chance to read the rest?

28/9/06 11:45 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: "All of these were through faith, not through cynicism."

It would be useless for me to take the test if it requires faith. It is, afterall, a test for those of faith. Not non-believers like myself. So get a couple of "true believers" together, pray with faith, and let me know what happens.

By the way, I don't rationalise the absurdities in the bible. I leave that up to believers. My approach is to not believe the absurdities.

29/9/06 1:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 1 John 5:14 in says that if we ask anything accourding to His will, he hears us.
God did not say that he would cater to our every demand. If our request was asked within His will, He would grant it.

In answer to your 'facts'.
1 Jesus proved his resurection by appearing to people. True. I believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God and everything in it is 100% true.

2 It is OK to appear to people. False. The Bible says that Jesus will not return to earth until he comes back to rule and reign on earth.

3 Appearing to people does not take away free will or harm faith. False. The Bible clearly teaches the doctrine of predestination (see Romans 8 and Ephesians 1)so I would say that there is no such thing as 'free will'.

4 Jesus is already here amongst us. True God is omnipresent, he is everywhere at once.

5 God will do anything we ask. False. Go back and read 1 John 5:14 again. Our requests have to be within God's will.

6 It would be trivial for him to appear. True. God is both omnipresent and omniscient (all powerful).

7 It is OK for Him to appear. I'm not sure if it is OK or not but He will not (see #2).

8 He has promised that He will appear to your prayer. False. Where do you get that? I don't see it anywhere in the Bible.

In conclusion, is God ignoring your prayer or is he telling you no? Each and every one of you will see Jesus Christ face to face, and you will bow your knee and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God. (Philippians 2:9-11) So 'intelligent people' would get down on their knees and ask Jesus to forgive them of their sins and ask Him to become Lord of their life.

Daniel

Go to Kingdomadvancing.blogspot.com, he is better at this kind of stuff than I am. Andrew Green, keep up the good work.

29/9/06 4:42 am  
Blogger Daniel said...

"It does not profit any man or woman to argue with a believer for their minds are locked and bolted."

Anonymous.

29/9/06 7:44 am  
Blogger Kingdom Advancer said...

Those who say that Jesus might never have existed probably also say that George Washington might never have existed. Those who say these things are the same ones who are ABSOLUTELY sure there are NO ABSOLUTES. In case you didn't know, Jesus' existence can be verified by more than the Bible.

The Bible says that it is impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6) Why exactly would he appear to a bunch of agnostics who spend all their time trying to disprove His existence? Besides, God doesn't need to make any special appearances (Romans 1:20)to prove His existence. And also, Jesus pointed out that, if you need such a blatant sign, you still wouldn't believe if you got it. (Luke 16:31) Jesus was always skeptical of those who followed Him just because of His signs. (John 2:24-25) He rebuked Thomas for doubting: "Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed." (John 20:29)

The Bible also says that when you pray, you must pray without doubt, for those who have doubt are worthless. (James 1:6) If Christians have "the faith of a mustard seed,"(Matthew 17:20) and do not doubt, they can move mountains. I'd like to see someone move a heavy feather with such cynical prayers.

It also says to "delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4) If you delighted yourself in the Lord, you'd see all of Jesus that you needed to. Christians are also to pray in imitation of Jesus, praying for the "will of God." (Luke 22:42)

The reason Jesus appeared immediately after His resurrection, is because He was establishing His resurrection with over 500 eye-witnesses!!! This would prove almost any case in court. If He had resurrected and disappeared without so much as a goodbye, you'd all be saying, "There were no eye-witnesses."

Also, Jesus must have resurrected, because of the sacrificial spirit that was adopted by so many of His followers. There was nothing to gain by promoting a scam, except: beheadings; crucifixions; being thrown into boiling wax; getting beaten with cats of nine-tails; imprisoned; mocked; stoned; burned; dis-owned; exiled; and persecuted in every way imaginable. There was nothing to selfishly gain. If it was a lie, it couldn't have been a "crutch," as some agnostics like to say. It would have offered no peace. In fact, it offered no chance for pride or self-exaltation. "I am crucified with Christ, and yet I live. Yet it is not I who live, but Christ who lives within me." (Galatians 2:20) Christians are to consider themselves "dead to sin." (Romans 6:11) Christians are under temptation to sin, (1 Corinthians 10:13) and certainly Christians realize that there are "pleasures of sin for a season." (Hebrews 11:25) Those are given up by the true Christian. And you think it's for an imaginary entity?

To say that Jesus never lived is ignorant and arrogantly defiant; to say that He wasn't resurrected is outlandish (perhaps you should read the "Case for Christ" or the "Case for the Resurrection"); and to say that this test proves your case is extremely overly-optimistic.

None of this is hateful. I want you to see the light, to no longer be "hearers but not doers." (James 1) The unsaved are blinded, but God can open their/your eyes. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

I realize this blog has comment moderation, so I understand that if you don't want to accept or retort to this comment, then only you--the blog owner--will get to read this. It's still worth it to me, nonetheless, to defend my Lord and to be a witness for Him,(1 Peter 3:15) that "some"--hopefully you--"might be saved." (1 Corinthians 9:22)

29/9/06 7:55 am  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

Considering that there have been found 634 copies of Homer's the Iliad (time gap 400 yrs from original), 7 copies of Plato's Dialogues(time gap 1300 yrs from original), and 5664 copies of the new testement (time gap 225 yrs from original) I think we can safely say that Jesus did, in fact, exist.

29/9/06 8:20 am  
Anonymous ted said...

I have to agree with Andrew. You can't "gather together in his name" unless you believe in him. This means that you must be "born again" as it were, "confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord" before he will do anything for you. So this test can't work for atheists and is easily shot down in that regard, more's the pity...:(

That said however, when I was a "born again" (many years ago), we prayed and prayed for "stuff". We did it in large fellowship groups (hundreds, not just 2 or 3) to ask for the "second coming", "give us a sign", "heal the cancer", "give him a job", that sort of thing, but he never did. Just imagine...:(

It's a good test though and we can still use it, abeit not directly. Having been there, I know that many people pray together for "things" (health, jobs, material goods even) on a daily basis but receive nothing. Of course, your Pastor will tell you it's because you've been blessed in other ways (whatever that means. It's just a good unquantifiable answer). For anyone who hasn't been there, will happily tell you that they pray for the second coming in large groups every day. If the scriptures are true in this regard, I have no doubt he would have been back years ago...

29/9/06 9:56 am  
Blogger Patrick Dunnevant said...

Well, isn't this a barrel of laughs?

I don't really see what the point of posting a link to one of Marshall Brain's videos on a blog that's dedicated to the refutation of Marshall Brain...Was that supposed to convert me or something?

Unfortunately for you, it was also the worst video out of all of them. You probably aren't aware of this, but myself and James Patrick Holding, one of the most prominent internet apologists, are collaborating on a parody video of some of these concepts to be placed on YouTube as well. I won't bother with a direct refutation of this right now, but here's a good place to start:

www.tektoonics.com/parody/gawd.html

29/9/06 11:20 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE anonymous:

"God did not say that he would cater to our every demand. If our request was asked within His will, He would grant it."

Where does the bible say that "the request has to be within his will?"

I Don't remember that part.

But here are some parts which state that if you ask, it will be given.

Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:

"Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!"

And ~

In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:

"For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."

If nothing is impossible for you, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

And ~ The message is reiterated Mark 11:24:

"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

If whatever you ask for in prayer will be yours, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear? Right?

And ~ In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it."

If Jesus will do whatever you ask for in prayer, then you should be able to ask for Jesus to appear in the flesh, and he should appear.

And ~ In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says it again:

"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

In other words, despite what Christians say to try to rationalize their unanswered prayers, Jesus does promise in the Bible, in many different places, that he will answer our prayers. There is no way to misinterpret what Jesus says. Jesus clearly promises to answer prayers.

29/9/06 11:31 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Oooops. Stuffed up that link good and proper eh? It should read:

For anyone who hasn't been there, will happily tell you that they pray for the second coming in large groups every day. If the scriptures are true in this regard, I have no doubt he would have been back years ago...

There, that looks better....

29/9/06 12:04 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE kingdom advancer:

"Those who say that Jesus might never have existed probably also say that George Washington might never have existed."

Certainly I question not only the historicity of jesus, but also the "god claims" made about jesus.

But I will deal only with the historicity argument at this moment.

So let's begin. The analogy you use is a poor one. Let me explain why.

Firstly, I don't need to prove the historicity of Washington in order to prove the existence or non-existence of jesus.

They are independent claims and are not dependent upon each other for the veracity of either one.

That is : ~ If I disprove the existence of Washington, I do not disprove the existence of jesus and if I prove the existence of jesus, I do not prove the existence of Washington.

What is relevant to the topic is that the test for the historicity of Washington can be used as a template to test for the existence of other supposedly historical figures.

1. There are many independent contemporary sources which corroborate the literal existence of Washington.

Contemporary : "existing, occurring, or living at the same time; belonging to the same time"


2.In other words, no one is being asked to take on faith that Washington existed. His comtempories, that is, people who lived at the same time, reference him often.

3.There are hundreds of documents contemporary to Washington's life which are personally signed by Washington in the historical record.

4.There are no claims that Washington is a god, so the test for literal existence doesn't require the same degree of rigorousness.

5. Everything we could say we know about Washington is not traced back to, or derived from one primary source.

Let's compare this with jesus.

1. Where are the independent sources which corroborate the literal existence of jesus?

a. The bible isn't an independent source, it is the primary source. Where are the extrabiblical comtemporary references?

b. The only two sources that are consistently cited are Josephus, a Pharisee, and Tacitus, a pagan. Since Josephus was born in the year 37 CE, and Tacitus was born in 55, neither could have been an eye-witness of Jesus, who supposedly was crucified in 30 CE. That is, they are not contemporaries of jesus, they did not write about him during his life.

c.The passages in Jospehus are considered to be pious fraud. The first person to make mention of the forged interpolation into the text of Josephus' history was the church father Eusebius, in 324 CE. It is quite likely that Eusebius himself did some of the forging.

b. Next, in the supposed evidence of Tacitus, we find that this Roman historian is alleged in 120 CE to have written a passage in his Annals (Bk 15, Ch 44, containing the tale of Nero's persecution of Christians.

There are three reasons for holding that Tacitus is here simply repeating what Christians had told him.

First, he is not a contemporay of jesus. The title he gives Pilate, procurator, was current only from the second half of the first century. So he is using a title which wasn't in use at the time of his writings. During the supposed time of jesus's life, the correct title for Pilate is prefect.

Secondly, Tacitus does not name the executed man Jesus, but uses the title Christ (Messiah) as if it were a proper name. But he could hardly have found in archives a statement such as "the Messiah was executed this morning," because there was no archival records stating this.

Thirdly, hostile to Christianity as Tacitus was, he was glad to accept from Christians their own view that Christianity was of recent origin, since the Roman authorities were prepared to tolerate only ancient cults.

Another compelling argument against the writings of Tacitus is that the passage mentioned by him was not known before the 15th C, when Tacitus was first published at Venice by Johannes de Spire.

It is considered that de Spire himself may have also committed an act of pious fraud. Which also explains the misuse of the word, "procurator", instead of the older one, "prefect."

Definition of pious fraud: ~ A pious fraud is someone whose fraud is motivated by misguided religious zeal.

Here is a list of writers who existed around the century of jesus's death.

Josephus
Philo-Judæus
Seneca
Pliny Elder
Arrian
Petronius
Dion Pruseus
Paterculus
Suetonius
Juvenal
Martial
Persius
Plutarch
Pliny Younger
Tacitus
Justus of Tiberius
Apollonius
Quintilian
Lucanus
Epictetus
Hermogones Silius Italicus
Statius
Ptolemy
Appian
Phlegon
Phædrus
Valerius Maximus
Lucian
Pausanias
Florus Lucius
Quintius Curtius
Aulus Gellius
Dio Chrysostom
Columella
Valerius Flaccus
Damis
Favorinus
Lysias
Pomponius Mela
Appion of Alexandria
Theon of Smyrna

Enough of the writings of the authors named in the above list remains to form a library.

Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.

Nor do any of these authors make note of the Disciples or Apostles, which would also appear to be a glaring ommission.

29/9/06 1:16 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE kingdom advancer:

I realize this blog has comment moderation, so I understand that if you don't want to accept or retort to this comment, then only you--the blog owner--will get to read this. It's still worth it to me, nonetheless, to defend my Lord and to be a witness for Him,(1 Peter 3:15) that "some"--hopefully you--"might be saved." (1 Corinthians 9:22)

I always post replies to my blog EXCEPT if someone posts a reply which contains either threats to someone's life, or if the post contains a large amount of abusive language.

I must say that it is so much easier to post to my blog, than it is for me to post to christian blogs. It seems that one has to be part of an exclusive sect in order to be able to post to them. Or is it because they are afraid of dissenting voices?

Nevertheless, I am not keen on joining any sect or cult just so I can post an opinion.

It does appear though, that many limit the contributions to fellow believers. Shame really, I am sure they would be interested in my postings :)

29/9/06 1:25 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE under the mercy:

"Considering that there have been found 634 copies of Homer's the Iliad (time gap 400 yrs from original), 7 copies of Plato's Dialogues(time gap 1300 yrs from original), and 5664 copies of the new testement (time gap 225 yrs from original) I think we can safely say that Jesus did, in fact, exist."

What a strange comment.

Does Homer mention jesus too? If so, please post the relevant passage.

Likewise, does Plato mention jesus and if so please post the relevant passage.

The so called 5664 copies of the new testement, derive from the primary source, the bible.

They are as you said, copies, they are just a continuation of the same story. They are not independent contemporary sources, but the repetition of the same source.

It is like me making 5664 photocopies of "Aesop's Fables" and then claiming that the fox in the story must exists because I have all these copies with the word "fox" on it.

29/9/06 1:35 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE patrick:

RE: "I don't really see what the point of posting a link to one of Marshall Brain's videos on a blog that's dedicated to the refutation of Marshall Brain...Was that supposed to convert me or something?"

Firstly, how do you ascertain my intent? Mind reading? I post links to many blogs, and inevitably what happens to a large extent is that people visit my blog. So, I consider that to be a successful posting on my part.

Secondly, I have nothing to convert you to. I am merely a potentially dissenting voice in the wilderness.

Though I admit the only "conversion", ( which wouldn't be a religious one, but a figurative one), could be a conversion to the preference of reason, rather than the preference of faith. Though this is not literally a conversion and certainly not one in the religious sense.

RE: "Unfortunately for you, it was also the worst video out of all of them."

So, in your subjective opinion, it was the worst one. Who cares? I don't.

RE: "You probably aren't aware of this, but myself and James Patrick Holding, one of the most prominent internet apologists, are collaborating on a parody video of some of these concepts to be placed on YouTube as well. "

Is this supposed to be some kind of misguided appeal to your authority on the subject?

Fortunately, I don't care if you consider yourself and Patrick Holding to be the most prominent internet apologists. In the same way that I don't care if you considered yourself and Patrick Holding to be the most prominent internet transexuals.

RE: The parody on Youtube. Fantastic. I appreciate all kinds of mumbo jumbo excuses for jesus, so please let me know when it is finished. :)

29/9/06 1:57 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Beep, can you see what I'm doing wrong with my links? I'm sure I terminated it and it all looked good in the preview window...:(

29/9/06 2:54 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE ted:
Yup, the links are working here mate.

29/9/06 3:07 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Oh... It's just that I'm seeing the whole sentence as a link but I'm sure I only linked 2 words ("these guys"). Oh well, they work, that's the main thing.

Liked your little discourse about Tacitus BTW. Very nice...:-)

I see you listed Pliny the Younger. The letter he wrote about some pesky Christians to Trajan was in 112ad, I believe and is also sometimes cited as "proof" that Jesus existed. Once again however, Jesus is NOT mentioned by name.

29/9/06 4:39 pm  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

I am afraid my point was totally missed. The point is that we dont doubt Homer's Iliad or Plato's Dialogues as being accurate though there is much less proof of them and a greater time span between when the original was written and when copies were found.

Also, There was no "Bible" then so you cannot say that all of what the bible says counts as 1 source. There were a bunch of letters an MS's by different people that were eventually pieced together. At this time there were, in fact, at least 9 different sources, or authors presenting Jesus as real in the new testament alone.

29/9/06 11:19 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE : under the mercy:
"I am afraid my point was totally missed."

Don't be afraid, I don't bite. You may not have expressed your point very well.

RE: "The point is that we dont doubt Homer's Iliad or Plato's Dialogues as being accurate though there is much less proof of them and a greater time span between when the original was written and when copies were found."

Ahhh, but we don't accept the god claims in them, do we. And there are many of them. The Iliad is not meant to be considered historically accurate, it is an epic poem.

I don't debate the existence of the Iliad or the Odyssey. An epic is a long poem which tells a story involving gods, heroes and heroic exploits. The events narrated in epic are drawn from legend.

In the poems the gods are very much concerned with human affairs. One reason for this interest by the gods is the fact that many gods and goddesses who have mated with mortals have human children or human favorites participating in the war.

When we read the poems, do we believe that the gods mated with humans?

Do we see the poem as evidence that the greek gods are real?

Or do we consider them to be evidence of belief in greek gods?

Do we use the gods and goddesses appearances, actions and influences in the poems as reasons to worship them?

Homer speaks of many of the Greek gods in the poems. He speaks of at least these : ~ Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Hades, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Iris, Athena, Poseidon, Thetis, Xanthus and Zeus.

Because these gods are mentioned, are they evidence of myth or evidence of their literal existence? I would suggest that the only difference is one of BELIEF.

Those who believe they are evidence of literal existence should feel compelled to worship these ancient greek gods.

Those who believe they are evidence of myth might worship some other god.

Those who consider them myth, might consider the gods of the bible myth for the same reason they consider the gods of any ancient writing to be myth.

When you understand why you do not worship the ancient greek gods in the Iliad, you will understand why I don't worship the god of the bible.

Afterall, one man's Iliad is another man's bible and one man's bible is another man's Iliad.

30/9/06 1:20 am  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

I was not claiming that Jesus was God (though I do believe so), just simply saying that Jesus did exist as a man.

Also, the Iliad was meant to be considered historical fact (it made ceaser a decendant of the gods, and a god himself thus promoting his worship and security)

One other thing is that I do believe that "gods" (fallen angels) mated with humans. (Gen. 6, Num. 13) resulting in "the sons of Anak".

30/9/06 3:46 am  
Blogger Mike Pitzler said...

Top of the Morning, Ozzies, from the land of rain and apples and the Boeing 747. (Thanks for posting on my blog, beepbeep.) I didn't read all of the posts above, and pardon me if I'm stepping on someone else's comment, but this is our predicament:

Romans 1:18-20 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 19 because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse

I would encourage everyone to sit in a quiet corner and read through Paul's letter to the Romans if you would care to know the essential teaching of the Bible. Setting up strawmen and knocking them down will accomplish nothing.

Sorry to be so abrupt, but nothing is gained in a debate if you falsely represent the other's position. (It applies to me, too.)

30/9/06 5:37 am  
Blogger Nate said...

Interesting. I am either assuming that every time a person you like or an author you like says or does something absurd, then you must write them off completely and utterly deny their value to yur life.

After all, if a source of meaning even utters one thing we cannot understand or that sounds absurd, then they are not reliable anymore. Right?

THAT is absurd. You do not live that way. If you did, you would not be able to take anyone or anything seriously, including yourself.

On what epistemological basis do you allow for practically every other source of knowledge you listen to to have some degree of error and absurdity, yet you will not allow the Bible the same?

Interesting. Self-cotradictory, but interesting.

Let me propose a different path to knowledge than insisting on absolute certainty before you believe them.

How about "faith seeking understanding", and relying on probability and cumulative case arguments (cf. the work of philosopher Richard Swinburne)?

For instance:

Creed. From the Latin word "Credo", meaning "I believe", "I have faith", and "I trust". To believe is to trust in something, or rely on someone, which is beyond our immediate experience and total certainty. Some may think that faith is old fashioned or closed minded, but it is only by faith that we are able to live life in the "real world". Since we cannot fully know anyone or anything beyond a shadow of a doubt, we all need faith to live life, to love others, and even to do science. We have to have faith that the world is safe enough to live in, in order to make it worth our while to leave the house and go to school or work or the coffee shop. We have to have faith in those we love, even when we cannot see them, in order to share relationships with them. We even have to have faith that we can understand the natural world, that her physical laws are stable, and that our instruments are reliable, in order to do scientific research.

The more our beliefs are conformed to Reality- the world as it really is- the better we live in this world. If we believe crossing the street without looking is dangerous, then our lives will "work" much better than if we do not. This is because reality is that streets are dangerous. We know that because previous experience gives us the overwhelming probability of such danger. We may not be able to be "certain" and prove that every street is dangerous, but it is an overwhelmingly reliable belief. If we choose to disregard this probability, it is only a matter of time before reality runs us over! So, our beliefs about reality may never be "certain" and "foolproof", but we can have reliable, probable beliefs.

Thus, we use faith to understand our world, because without faith in something beyond ourselves, we cannot understand anything in the world. I have to believe there is a world and other people outside of myself in order to know them. All our knowledge is faith seeking understanding. We do not have faith because we have "proven" something beyond a shadow of a doubt (if that is even possible). Rather, we have faith in order that we may understand and know what we have faith in. It is these beliefs that shape how we live and why, to make us functional and fulfilled, or dysfunctional and self-destructive. Scripture says "as a person thinks within themselves, so they are". What we believe, we become. Thus, we must strive to have accurate, probable beliefs about reality.

So, we put our faith in that Story which best explains all of the available data we know and have experienced. The first step is to really listen to the Story, and let it read us to interpret our lives. We cannot even begin to evaluate a Story until we truly know it and what it really has to say about our lives. And as this Story reads us, we can evaluate how probable it is that it is right. This takes a willingness to read your own story from the perspective of the Story that tries to explain it, as well as discernment to test the truth claims it is making.

We may test the Story by: (1) How clear is it? Does it play with words and try to confuse you, or say what it means? (2) How coherent is it? Does it contradict itself and say that the same things are both true and not true at the same time? (3) Does it correspond to the best data we have? Does it make sense of the best testimony and sources we have without distorting them? (4) Is it comprehensive? Does it make sense out of all the data we have from our experience, our environment, our minds, and our hearts? Finally (5) Is it constructive? Does it help create a worldview that makes sense out of reality, and actually "works" in the "real world"?

But, nothing like absolute certainty is ever achieved, only a greater or lesser probability. The explanation which is most probable we put our faith in. For instance, in science we test a hypothesis hundreds of times in order to establish the probability that it is right. In relationships, we look at someone's behavior over time to establish the probability that they are trustworthy. And in life, we base our attitudes on past experience to give us a probability that life will continue as it has before. Therefore, all life, love, and science are based on faith on the most probable explanations we have. But, what is the most "probable" Story to put our faith in?

30/9/06 6:19 am  
Blogger Austin said...

There is more historical evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ than of an other historical figure. There is more proof of Jesus' existence than of Aristotle's, Mohammed's, etc.

Also, on what you said to kingdom advancer about comments - I would just like to point out that it is completely unfair to state that Christians in general won't let non-Christians and Christians who believe differently than them post comments in their blogs. Most real Christians aren't like that at all. Anyway, you may comment on my blog anytime you like (no threats or abusive language either, of course).

You said, "Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.

Nor do any of these authors make note of the Disciples or Apostles, which would also appear to be a glaring ommission."

The Jews were a small, insignificant conquered people to the Romans. They didn't care about the apostles or Jesus. Besides, if any Roman even gave so much as a hint that they supported Christianity or Christians in any small way, they could be arrested, dipped in tar, stuck on poles, and set on fire to light the evening entertainment for the Romans. What was the evening entertainment? - other Christians being fed to lions. So you may rest assured that it is no surprise at all that Roman writings don't mention Jesus or his disciples, since they were part of an insignificant, conquered people and to mention them put you at risk of painful death.

keep searching for answers, and keep asking questions. Don't give up on Jesus.

30/9/06 8:12 am  
Blogger Austin said...

You asked someone for Scripture verses that say that whatever you ask of God must be in his will. Someone already gave you the name of one of the verses that says this, but you must not have looked it up. I don't know if you have a Bible, but if not you can use www.biblegateway.com in the future - use any translation you like; I typically use the NIV. Anyway, here's the verse:

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
-1 John 5:14 (NIV)

You quoted the verse where Jesus says that if you seek you find to explain that since you prayed that Jesus would appear before you, and he did not, he must not have been right when he said that if you seek you find. I would like to point out that you were not only seeking, but also expecting, to NOT find Jesus. When you asked him to appear before you, you were seeking for him not to appear, so you could disprove him. If you seek for him not to appear, then you will, of course, NOT find him appearing. Besides, he wasn't talking about prayer anyway - he was talking about seeking God's truth, which you would see if you read the verse in context.

You said to kingdom advancer, "I must say that it is so much easier to post to my blog, than it is for me to post to christian blogs. It seems that one has to be part of an exclusive sect in order to be able to post to them. Or is it because they are afraid of dissenting voices?"

Any Christian who has demonstrated an exclusive or judgmental attitude to you was not obeying Jesus, so judge Jesus based on the disciples who obey, not those who don't.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
-Jesus, Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)

Christians are not supposed to show favoritism.

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism."
-James 2:1 (NIV)

30/9/06 11:53 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE nate:

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism."
-James 2:1 (NIV)

Tell that to the 30,000 children who die of preventable diseases every day. There are approximately 10-million preventable child deaths per annum and more than 500,000 deaths of women during pregnancy and childbirth.

Also tell the 2 million who die from tuberculosis and aids, or the 1 million who die from malaria annually, that jesus doesn't play favourites.

30/9/06 7:20 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE austin:
"You asked someone for Scripture verses that say that whatever you ask of God must be in his will."

I already posted many of the verses which state this. And the test isn't for me, an unbeliever to do, it is for a believer, one who asks in faith. We have already established that.

So go right ahead, get a couple of mates, and pray sincerely for jesus to appear before you. This shouldn't be difficult for you as you and your friends have faith.

Then let me know the result.

30/9/06 7:23 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE austin:

For such a miraculous life, filled with miraculous deeds, supernatural deeds, extraordinary deeds, historical evidence of jesus and the disciples remains virtually silent except for the bible.

In reality, The deeds of jesus and his followers are conspicuous by their absence.

30/9/06 7:27 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE mike:

Paul's testimony can be ignored if what he tells us is true, namely, that he never met Jesus "in the flesh," but rather saw him only in a vision he had during what appears to have been an epileptic seizure.

And the Pauline letters are so completely silent concerning the events that were later recorded in the gospels as to suggest that these events were not known to Paul, who, should not have been ignorant of them if they had really occurred.

So what does this leave us with? A guy who never met jesus except whilst having a seizure and his writings to the romans which constitute little more than heresay.

30/9/06 7:41 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE under the mercy:

Neither of Homer's epic poems are supposed to completely literally true. If they were completely true historically, we would all be worshipping Zeus.

An epic is a poetic narrative which mayor may not draw on an historical event in order to tell a tale of heroism, gods, legend and myth.

As soon as a story has gods in it doing extraordinary things, most of us put that story into the myth category. Except of course, if it is a god/gods we believe in, then it all becomes "true".

"We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." Richard Darwkins

30/9/06 7:57 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Tsk Tsk to me ~ too many typos "Dawkins". My apologies to Richard Dawkins. :)

30/9/06 7:59 pm  
Blogger Nate said...

You said "My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. (James 2:1 NIV)

Tell that to the 30,000 children who die of preventable diseases every day. There are approximately 10-million preventable child deaths per annum and more than 500,000 deaths of women during pregnancy and childbirth.

Also tell the 2 million who die from tuberculosis and aids, or the 1 million who die from malaria annually, that Jesus doesn't play favourites."

Ahhh... The "bad things happen therefore God cannot exist argument". Very nice. Pay attention to implicit premises in your argument, such as: "If God really existed, then there would be equal suffering for all people". And the contrary premise: "There is not equal suffering, therefore God does not exist."

First, could any ideology (even yours) stand up to such a fundamentalist, absolutist, closed-minded, "it-has-to-be-my-way-or-it-can't-be-at-all", test?

Second, if God did create such a bland world- where nothing ever went wrong and nothing was different at all between any person in any situation because to make them different might hurt someone- would anyone including yourself want to live in such a world?

Third, such an argument really deconstructs all human ideologies, your own included:

Since philosophy, science, and "freethought" has been around some 2,500 years trying to improve humankind's lot in life, only to have it get demonstrably worse. You pointed this out yourself above, and the 20th century was the bloodiest century on record, thanks in no small part to atheists like Stalin and Mao committing genocides that far outscaled even Hitler. Based on this shall we say that philosophy, science, and "freethought" are all mythical creations of flawed smelly bipeds as well? After all, they have had a long time to accomplish their noble aim of making life fair and healthy for all, only to create weapons of mass destruction instead.

I mean, if human misery is going to be the measuring stick by which we say that ideas are imaginary, then we must honestly consign EVERY idea of human thought to the dustbin of fantasy.

Do we really want to go there? I mean, shall we invent a quick and easy equation to judge the truth and falsity of human ideas on the basis of pain and pleasure. Perhaps such an equation would look like this:

(S x P) / T = SI

Where
S=average amount of suffering per capita directly attributed to ideology.
P=Total population on which the ideology has inflicted suffering.
T=Total number of adherents of said ideology.
SI=The "suffering index"

The higher the SI, the less true an ideology can be.

Based on such a calculation, I would hazard a guess that atheism would have a much greater SI than Christianity, due to the fact that although atheism has far less adherents historically, those few have produced some real horrible people with modern weapons (such as folks like Stalin, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, etc.).

And, if we constructed an alternate index of the amount of healing and wholeness produced by various ideologies (let's call that an "HI" for "health index"), you would find that ideologies like Christianity and Islam have been the cause of far more hospitals, schools, charitable organizations, universities, endowments, and social justice movements than any version of atheism.

So, if we are going to take an honest, objective, and dispassionate look at total suffering, and total healing, per capita, created from the belief or disbelief in a personal God, the God-folk have the unbelievers hands down.

And that is with all of the crusades, inquisitions, and witch trials included (too bad Christians didn't do those with the benefit of jet fighters or machine guns, or perhaps the SI and HI equations would turn out better for your ideology).

Now, the famous atheist objection rises in a high pitched whine "What about Hitler! Heeeeee was a Christian!"

Well, thanks for raising that. This brings up the question of actually determining what an adherent is to a certain ideology. Is an adherent one in name only, regardless of whether they live it out?

If so, then Hitler is properly a Christian, but also any dictator or mass murderer claiming to be an atheist is therefore properly an atheist. The knife cuts both ways, and it is intellectually dishonest to do otherwise.

But, if not, then we must look at what the actual claims are for various ideologies, and put this absurd crap argument to bed that tries to judge an ideology not by looking at its claims, but by looking at whether or not it has been misused to cause suffering. Because, you see, here is a more honest approach. Do you really think an "orthodox" version of atheistic humanism was at the root of Stalin starving to death and executing 30 million of his own people in the 1930's? No. Neither do I.

But neither do I think than an "orthodox" version of Christianity (or Islam for that matter) caused the suffering associated with them. In fact the "orthodox" version claims that our human suffering is the result of a cosmic crisis of freedom in which free moral agents, both of the physical and spiritual variety, have chosen to reject God's invitation to love and have chosen selfishness instead. This selfishness has inverted every good process in the world, and heaped upon ourselves a mountain of personal, social, and ecological misery. And God has entered into human suffering with us, and is even now at work healing human suffering from the inside out.

The beauty of God's Story is that he personally enters into it to save his children. As our Father, GOD SUFFERS FOR US, and is heartbroken about our sin and rejection of his love. And he does something about it, and sends his own Son and Spirit to help us out of the hole we have dug. In sending his own eternal Son, God the Father experiences what it means to loose the one closest to Himself. God lost His own Son for us!

As Jesus Christ, GOD SUFFERS WITH US, and bears all our pain and suffering in Himself. God did not stay up in heaven, being merely sympathetic to our pain. He became empathetic and carried our pain. God knows what it means to suffer injustice, betrayal, loneliness, humiliation, pain, and death, because he did it in Christ. God takes responsibility for what he has made and "owns it" for Himself by becoming fully human and experiencing it from inside out.

But not only does God endure it, he defeats it in his resurrection by the power of the Spirit. The death and resurrection of Christ is the ultimate paradigm for how God deals with evil: he subverts evil and uses it for good. He does "Judo" on evil and uses the worst defeat for the greatest victory. God works all things, even evil things, for the good of those who love him. He proves this by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Finally, as the Spirit, GOD SUFFERS IN US. The Spirit lives inside those who receive Christ's love, and gives them the power to endure and overcome evil as they have faith in Him. Since the Spirit is the power that filled Jesus to enable Him to do miracle and bring Him back from the dead, he can do miraculous things in us as well! We can endure and overcome sin and suffering because God's resurrection Spirit lives inside of us!

In this Age, we only see part of God's Victory over the crisis of sin. We see the Trinity suffering for us, with us, and in us. And while this is a great help, it is not the final solution to heal the entire Universe of sin. Believe it or not, God has something better in mind- better than even Christ's resurrection! What could be better, you ask. Only one thing:

Everyone will be raised to eternal life! The Bible tells us that "Since Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, he is the down-payment of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a human, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a human. Just as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive…

Each comes in his own turn: Christ is the down-payment, and when he comes back, [he will bring] those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power… The last enemy to be destroyed is death… So that God may be all in all!" (1Corinthians 15).

This is the Promise for us no matter what we are going through: God wins! God will save us all through the resurrection of Christ! God will work everything for good of those who Love Him! Every evil act, every sin, all suffering, and every death for His Good purposes! This is hard to believe, but we see the proof of it in Christ's resurrection and His Message carried by His Church. How will this happen?

We can think about it like a Needlepoint picture. Think about one of Grandma's needle-points. From underneath, the picture looks like a straggled mess of tangled thread, but from the top Grandma has skillfully knitted each thread into the correct place to make a very exact picture. Right now, on this side of eternity, all our choices look like the threads on the bottom. But from God's dimension He is providentially weaving a beautiful picture.

One day God will show us how all of the threads connect and form a glorious picture in Christ. But right now, we live in hope. And God promises us that "hope will never disappoint us". All of our hopes and dreams will find ultimate fulfillment in Christ when He comes back to "judge the living and the dead and His Kingdom will have no end".

You want an answer to the suffering caused by selfish, oppressive, evil misuses of ALL of our ideologies? It is found in Christ. By his death, resurrection, and second coming He will reconcile all of us to God's love, so that we can experience the glorious freedom, diversity, and health that God made us for. And, lest you accuse me of saying that this "good news" is only for the "insiders", while the "outsiders" are left to burn for eternity, I am NOT making that claim.

I think it is good news for everyone- every single person ever- you, me, and Stalin included. I do not believe that God will ever, ever, ever give up trying to bring us to realize how much He loves us and how much he has done to reconcile us to himself through Christ. Christ is the fulfillment of all that is good, true, and beautiful in any culture. The pagan myths of gods becoming men and rising from the dead are fulfilled in Christ. The crazy predictions of Hebrew prophets are fulfilled in Christ. The humanist dream of utopia on Earth will one day be fulfilled in Christ. The dreams of a million poets and a billion songs that sing of a love that will never die are fulfilled in Christ.

And I do not believe that God will ever give up reaching out to any of us until we realize this freely, and embrace his love wholly. And now may Christ's love embrace you wholly and make you whole.

1/10/06 1:21 am  
Blogger under_the_mercy said...

Just do some studing on it, Homer's storyies WERE meant to be TAKEN completely true. not that they were true, but were meant to be taken as so.

1/10/06 1:28 am  
Blogger Nate said...

I posted my last response on my group blog at:
Beep Beep! Why do we suffer?
(If you want to discuss)

Also, a short bibliography of ideas I presented is found here (if you are interested in reading):

Books by CS Lewis (English fiction writer, poet, and apologist):
+ The Great Divorce
+ The Last Battle (Book 7 of the Chronicles of Narina)
+ George MacDonald: 365 Readings

Books by Brian McLaren (American Evangelical / Emergent Church pastor)
+ The Story we find ourselves in
+ The Last Word and the Word after that

On the possibility of universal salvation in Christ:
+ The One Purpose of God. By Jan Bonda.
+ Universal Salvation? The Current Debate. Edited by Robin Parry & Christopher Partridge
+ The Inescapable Love of God. By Thomas Talbott.

1/10/06 1:45 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE nate:

"My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism."
-James 2:1 (NIV)

This was not posted aa an argument for the non-existence of god.

The argument was and is that if god exists, the evidence suggests that he, she, it shows favouritism.

If god is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent, then god knows about the millions of children who die each year from preventable diseases. He knows about the half a million women or so who die during childbirth. He knows about the millions who die from a lack of clean drinking water.

Not only does he know about them, he is all powerful and hence able to prevent it.

Not only does he know about them and is able to prevent them, he is an all loving god who, by this quaility, should find these occurrences intolerable and should feel compelled to prevent this suffering immediately.

So, what are we left with?
Either/or: ~
1. A god who doesn't know about this suffering.
2. A god who isn't powerful enough to stop this suffering.
3.A god who doesn't care enough to stop this suffering.
4.A god that doesn't exist.
5.Or, a god who PLAYS FAVOURITES.

1/10/06 3:16 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: nate

"Ahhh... The "bad things happen therefore God cannot exist argument". Very nice. Pay attention to implicit premises in your argument, such as: "If God really existed, then there would be equal suffering for all people". And the contrary premise: "There is not equal suffering, therefore God does not exist."

This is your strawman argument and I see you had fun with it.

1/10/06 3:18 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Re nate:

And just so you don't miss the point entirely again.

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?" - Epicurus

1/10/06 3:21 am  
Blogger Nate said...

So, you believe that God exists, and that God plays favorites?

I am sorry. I must have misread "atheist" in the heading of the blog. It must actually say "aatheist". You are then "not a non-theist". You must believe that God exists, but that God plays favorites.

Either that, or what you said is part of the sustained argument of your entire blog that God, in fact, does not exist.

Hence, implicit to your comments about evil and suffering IS an implied thesis that God cannot exist because of the differentials of human suffering.

And I will only accept the "straw man" label if you will tell me that you hold a position that is substantively (not merely semantically) different from what I see as your implied premises of:

(a) "If God really existed, then there would be equal suffering for all people".
(b) "There is not equal suffering, therefore God does not exist."

Unless of course you are one of those folk that do not actually believe that language can convey truth, and hence everything is a semantic game. If that is the case, then I will leave now because dialogue is useless.

And furthermore, the "theodicy" argument that God cannot exist because of suffering is flawed in many ways that are better dealt with by smarter people than I (CS Lewis, Plantenga, Peter Kreeft). And the question of God's favoritism was decisivly settled in Christ, who IS God's favorite, but who nevertheless was allowed to suffer even to death and descent into hell so that He could redeem all life through his resurrection to life.

So, yes. God does exist and play favorites. And He chose His favorite- His own Self, His own Son- to live and suffer and die as one of us, and then defeat death and suffering at the Resurrection. All who cling to this hope will be saved, healed, and resurrected. All of those innocent kids who die will be saved and healed. And, if you read the Bible (cf. Matthew 25:31-46 for instance) it seems like God has been trying to kick our lazy asses for the last 2000 years trying to get us to help others. Apparently, he has provided all of the resources we need to share His love (regardless of whether or not we know who he is- read that Matthew text again). It is just that we are so damned selfish we won't get off our lazy asses to do all that we can do to help others. This is a resounding condemnation of both Christian and Atheist alike (and everyone else!).

So, which provides the best basis for love and service to heal the world? A judgmental God who wants to send everyone to hell, but gives a free pass to heaven if we kiss His ass? A non-God, and the expectation that we live an absurd, meaningless life and then slip into non-existence at death? A Risen Savior who has taken all of our suffering into Himself, defeated death by resurrection, and who calls us into the fullness of hope and love?

I choose option number three. I don't have enough faith for the other two. I don't know about you.

1/10/06 4:59 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE under the mercy:

"Just do some studing on it, Homer's storyies WERE meant to be TAKEN completely true. not that they were true, but were meant to be taken as so."

Just like the bible.

1/10/06 11:07 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: Nate said...
"So, you believe that God exists, and that God plays favorites?"

My beliefs or lack of them were not part of the constructed argument. This was the argument.

The argument was and is that if god exists, the evidence suggests that he, she, it shows favouritism.
1. If god is omniscient and therefore knows about the suffering, why is nothing done to end this suffering?
2. If god is omnipotent and is capable of ending the suffering, why is nothing done to end this suffering?
3. If god is omnibenevolent or all loving, why is nothing done to end this suffering?
4. If god is omnipresent, able to be everywhere at once, why is nothing done to end this suffering?

Is god omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent but not omnibenevolent and this is why he doesn't end the suffering? And is the reason he doesn't end the suffering because he "plays favourites?"

RE: "I am sorry. I must have misread "atheist" in the heading of the blog. It must actually say "aatheist". You are then "not a non-theist". You must believe that God exists, but that God plays favorites."

As I said previously, let's try and stick to the argument. The argument has been restated for you in hope that you will be able to focus and not go off on a tangent.

RE: "And I will only accept the "straw man" label if you will tell me that you hold a position that is substantively (not merely semantically) different from what I see as your implied premises of:

(a) "If God really existed, then there would be equal suffering for all people".
(b) "There is not equal suffering, therefore God does not exist."

Firstly, the supposed implied premises ARE your strawman argument. I do not suggest that if god existed there would be equal suffering. And I did not imply that because there isn't equal suffering that therefore god doesn't exist.

What I did suggest in the original argument is that if god exists and he/she/it is omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and omnibenevolent, then how do you address the question of suffering? One way to address it is to suggest that if a being like this exists with those characteristics, that it chooses to play favourites.

But, I doubt in that case that the descriptor of omnibenevolent would fit under those circumstances.

RE: "And the question of God's favoritism was decisivly settled in Christ, who IS God's favorite, but who nevertheless was allowed to suffer even to death and descent into hell so that He could redeem all life through his resurrection to life."

Ok, so god plays favourites. That is the answer. Which makes me think that if god exists I might not want to be considered "a favourite."

So, this supposed god thinks it is ok to torture and kill the thing you love best, and, as long as you worship the dude who god killed off, that this will solve the sin and suffering problem.

And, let's not forget that we are talking about a supposed sin which god allowed to happen in the first place.

If he was omniscient he would have known that eve was going to eat of the apple in the first place. And an omnibenevolent god doesn't put a gun in the middle of the room, tells a child not to touch it, and then sits back to see what happens.

Unless, of course, he wanted to have an excuse a bit further down the line for torturing and killing someone on a cross for someone esle's actions. Hard to know with gods, they seem to be fickle characters.

Under these circumstances I wouldn't want to be a favourite. Nor would I consider the supposed god to be omniscient or omnibenevolent. I have never been fond of the "I love you so much that I have to kill you " argument. But it seems to have been quite a popular one for the ancient gods.

RE: " It is just that we are so damned selfish we won't get off our lazy asses to do all that we can do to help others."

Well, I manage to help other people without having a god belief.

RE: "So, which provides the best basis for love and service to heal the world?
1. A judgmental God who wants to send everyone to hell, but gives a free pass to heaven if we kiss His ass?
2. A non-God, and the expectation that we live an absurd, meaningless life and then slip into non-existence at death?
3. A Risen Savior who has taken all of our suffering into Himself, defeated death by resurrection, and who calls us into the fullness of hope and love?"

Well, I wouldn't choose curtain number 1.

Let me behind curtain 2.
Well, I don't claim to live in an absurd meaningless life. I just don't find my meaning for my life or purpose for my life through a belief in a god or gods.

Now what does curtain 3 have to offer?
Oh yeah. The bit where a supposed god killed off his own son for other people's supposed sins. Punishment by proxy. A blood sacrifice to appease the god/gods. Can anything be more pagan? More ancient? More steeped in superstition? Maybe not. The gods have a long history of offering favours through the shedding of blood. I think I will pass on curtain number3, thanks.

RE: "So, which provides the best basis for love and service to heal the world?"

None of them. I would suggest that the use of reason provides the best basis for understanding the world. Reason is no guarantee of love or healing, but then, neither is god belief.

1/10/06 1:42 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE nate:

"I posted my last response on my group blog at:
Beep Beep! Why do we suffer?
(If you want to discuss)"

Great idea, I hope you get lots of replies.

I will accept all forms of advertisement :)

1/10/06 1:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry that it has taken me so long to get back to you.
beepbeep,
Back to the topic of our prayers being in His will, Matthew 6:33 says, 'but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'
Austin already reiterated 1 John 5:14 for me so I have no need to go over that again.
The passage in John 14:12-14, I have heard those greater works referred to as the winning of souls, including gentiles, to Christ. In v13 it says ‘Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son,’ so I would say that another condition for answering prayer would be that it would have to glorify God.
You said, 'And the test isn't for me, an unbeliever to do, it is for a believer, one who asks in faith.’ We have already established that.'
As believers, we have no need to do that as we already believe in Christ and do not have to prove to ourselves that he does exist.
Also, even if someone came into this discussion and said that they carried out your formula and that Jesus DID in fact; appear to them, would you really believe them?

Daniel

4/10/06 11:53 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE daniel:

RE: "Back to the topic of our prayers being in His will, Matthew 6:33 says, 'but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.'

I don't believe in the existence of god or gods, so this claim that this passage is the word of god and therefore I should follow it, means nothing to me.

RE: "You said, 'And the test isn't for me, an unbeliever to do, it is for a believer, one who asks in faith.’ We have already established that.' As believers, we have no need to do that as we already believe in Christ and do not have to prove to ourselves that he does exist."

Well, I don't believe, so apparently the test wouldn't work for me because you need to be a believer for it to work. But I think you know that it wouldn't work for you either, you just don't want to admit it.

RE: "Also, even if someone came into this discussion and said that they carried out your formula and that Jesus DID in fact; appear to them, would you really believe them?"

Not if they came into this forum and said it worked, no. But if the test was carried out under the scrutiny of the "Randi Foundation" which tests peoples' claims for the supernatural.

Yes, I probably would. But you know as well as I do, that you are not prepared to take the test. And not because you don't NEED to, but because you have doubt that jesus wouldn't appear.

5/10/06 12:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction, I KNOW that he wouldn't appera for the reasons that I have already stated. Would such a prayer be within His will? No. So I would not ask such a thing because I already know what his answer would be.
Daniel

6/10/06 12:23 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A side note. I enjoy your site(well, mainly the debates after the articles). While I think that just about everything that you say is wrong, I appreciate your posting the comments even of people that don't agree with you.
Daniel

6/10/06 12:29 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Re daniel:

I do post all comments unless they use really crude language directed at someone, or if they threaten violence towards someone.

This is just a blog afterall. It is meant to be entertaining, not threatening.

And I don't have a problem in hearing another point of view either, even if I don't agree with it.

6/10/06 1:04 am  

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