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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Does Genesis give a good explanation of how the universe was created?

Genesis does not conform with what we know about how the universe came about. 


1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

No, in the beginning there was a singularity that contained all the energy of the universe. The earth was not formed for billions of years after the Big Bang

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Much happened before the earth came together. And there cannot be water without a place to contain the water. If the earth had no form, there was no water.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Early stars were among the first objects, but stars did not come together all at once or on a single day.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

This is nonsensical. A stars light is constant. The only way to say that darkness is divided from light is to be on a part of a planet where you can't see the light. And earth had not been formed yet.

5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

People name things, not imaginary deities.

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

Earth had still not been formed. But yes, we know from plate tectonics that land masses were formed. Which did not happen in one day.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

There is not and was a water canopy over the earth. Gravity would not allow waters to hang over the earth.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Ok, where is this heaven that was created with firmament? We have been above the earth and there is no heaven created of a firmament there.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
Water was not on the early earth, it came later from asteroids crashing to the earth.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

Sigh, people name things.

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

Plant life on the planet started in the ocean. It did not move to the ground for millions of years.

12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Even after plants came to the ground, fruits were still along way off.

13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

We know astrology has no basis in reality. The planets do not provide signs.

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Our sun gives us light, starlight would not allow us to grow plants.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. The sun came before the earth, not afterwards. The moon was not formed at the same time as the sun. And it owuld be impossible for plants to have been formed before the sun. They need the sun for photosynthesis and without the sun, the earth would be  frozen. 

19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

Life occurred in the ocean before on the land. And birds were not among the early life forms on earth.

21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Fowls were just mentioned in the last verse. Did your god forget and create them twice?

22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

We know from genetics that mankind did not come from two original people. We also know that man evolved from more primitive primates (no, not monkeys)

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God has a form? 

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

There are many plants that are poisonous to humans.

30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

It is absurd to say that Genesis is a close account of how the universe or our planet was formed.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Should the Pledge have been changed?

When the Pledge of Allegiance was created it did not contain the words, under God". Therefore, the entirety  of the Pledge was altered  when the words were added. The Pledge was written in 1892. It was not until 1954 that the additional words were added. For 62 years, the Pledge allowed Americans of ALL beliefs to proudly make a statement of allegiance to this great country. The Pledge without those two words, was sufficient to get us through WW I & II and the Great Depression. 

However, now, the original and completely satisfactory Pledge has been altered and made a point of controversy. If it had never been changed, then ALL Americans could still proudly make a statement of allegiance to the USA without compromising who they are and what they believe. 

I am sure Christians feel the Pledge was enhanced with these words, but many disagree. Given that was never necessary to change this Pledge, it is unfortunate that one group in America has hijacked the Pledge that was meant for all citizens.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Does the Hebrew word Chuwg mean a flat circle like a coin or a sphere?

The Hebrew word Chug (חוג) means a flat-circle like a coin. The Hebrew word for a sphere like a ball is Dur (דור). He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball (Dur) into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house. (Isaiah 22:18) While the Hebrew language lacked a specific term for sphere, we can tell from the way the word is used in other verses, that it is referring to a flat circle. Dur is not exclusively a word for sphere, but it is much closer to describing the earth than a circle is. Is. 29:3 And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. Obviously the soldier would not camp around a sphere but encircle the city. The root of chûgh (or chug) is mentioned six times in the bible, and it is quite evident from its usage, in context, that it refers to a specific geometrical shape; "A circle as drawn with a compass" or "encompassed". In Job 26:10 and Prov. 8:27, chûgh is used with choq, intending "to inscribe a circle." This nominal infinitive form also appears in Job 22:14, when signifying "the circle of the heavens"In Isa. 40:22, where it denotes "the circle of the earth".43:12 uses chûgh as description of the rainbow.In Isa. 44:13, chûgh appears as mechûghah, which simply means "a compass," in other words the geometrical instrument which you use to can draw circles on a paper. In contemporary Hebrew cosmology the common belief was that the earth was formed as a plano-concave plate with slightly raised edges covered by high mountains, where the heavens were attached to the earth. In the second part of the above mentioned verse by Isaiah this becomes quite obvious when god stretched out the heavens over the earth like a canopy - which completely lose all meaning and become utterly absurd if you try to apply the text to an image of a spherical earth. However, it fits perfectly with a flat earth model. Moreover, Job 28:24, Job 37:3, Job 38:13, Jeremiah 16:19 and Daniel 4:11 all claim that the earth has ends (or edges depending on what version you read) But regardless of translation, a sphere has neither edges, nor ends. But a two-dimensional flat form does. In Job 11:9 you can read: "Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea" which also become quite incomprehensible if you try to apply the verse to a spherical conception of the world, but again corresponds completely with the idea of a flat earth . Finally, in Job 38:44 it says: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?" If the author would have had a spherical shape in mind, the last question in Job should have read "Who stretched a measuring line around it?"  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why Jesus could not be used as a sacrifice.

There are several verses that indicate that God is against child sacrifice. God expressly forbids it:
  • Deuteronomy 12:31: You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
  • Deuteronomy 18:9-12: When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire...Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you.
and its practice is described as evil:
  • 2 Kings 16:3: He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel and even sacrificed his son in the fire, following the detestable ways of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites.
  • Psalm 106:38: They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.
  • Jeremiah 19:4-5: For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned sacrifices in it to gods that neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal - something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind.
The OT doesn't prescribe or require human sacrifice. All the rules concerning what sorts of offerings were acceptable for various purposes mention only animals, birds, and grain - humans are never mentioned as an option. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Real Martyrs

 


1546 Etienne Dolet, French printer and bookseller and passionate advocate of learning, was imprisoned several times for his outspoken criticisms of the Church.
Dolet was condemned for atheism and burnt at Lyons, along with his books, leaving his family destitute.




1553 Michael Servetus, the Spanish physician who discovered pulmonary blood circulation (an advance upon Galen) fled the Inquisition and thought himself safe among Protestants.
Big mistake.
John Calvin, the puritanical "Protestant Pope" of Geneva proved his Christian credentials by having Servetus burnt at the stake for heresy. Servetus had criticized the Trinity and infant baptism.





"The Dutch Radicals did not forget to question, when questioning had gone out of fashion for the rest of theology."
– Albert Schweitzer, Geschichte der paulinischen Forschung, 108.







1589 Francis Kett, a tutor at Bene't (Corpus Christi), Cambridge, expressed doubts that JC may not have been the great moralist Christians believed.
For his audacity the professor was burnt to ashes.
 




1600 Giordano Bruno, Italian philosopher who taught in Paris and Wittenberg, paid the ultimate price for thinking for himself.
After languishing for 7 years in a dungeon of the Inquisition, where he was subjected to repeated torture, he was condemned and burned at the stake.
Bruno had had the audacity to suggest that space was boundless and that the sun and its planets were not unique.




1619 Lucilio Vanini (aka 'Giulio Cesare' - 'Julius Caesar').
Philosopher, teacher and freethinker, in 1616 the ex-Carmelite monk Vanini imprudently published his thoughts in “De admirandis naturae reginae deaeque mortalium arcanis” (“of the marvelous secrets of the queen and goddess of the mortal ones, nature."
His ideas included the possibility of human evolution from apes and the denial of an immortal soul.
Vanini rejected Christianity as a fiction invented by priests and argued for natural explanations for miracles. As a result he had to flee from place to place to avoid Catholic persecution.
But he was taken at Toulouse, condemned, his tongue cut out, strangled and burnt.





Thomas Paine (1737-1809) – revolutionary champion of liberty.
"I detest the Bible as I detest everything that is cruel."







Bruno Bauer (1809-1882) – the original iconoclast.

 





Kersey Graves (1813-1883) – Quaker who saw through the Jesus fraud.





Arthur Drews (1865-1935) – one of the great German pioneers in the denial of the historical existence of Jesus.
"The 'historical' Jesus is not earlier but later than Paul; and as such he has always existed merely as an idea, as a pious fiction in the minds of members of the community."
– Drews, The Religious Problem of the Present.







Gustaaf Adolf van den Bergh van Eysinga (1874-1957) – Dutch theologian and New Testament professor who refuted the existence of Jesus.
 
 
 
 
 

The End is Nigh

"Not only has the divinity of Christ been given up, but his existence as a man is being more and more seriously questioned.
Some of the ablest scholars of the world deny that he ever lived at all.
A commanding literature dealing with the inquiry, intense in its seriousness and profound and thorough in its research, is growing up in all countries, and spreading the conviction that Christ is a myth.
Jesus ... will have to take his place with the host of other demigods whose fancied lives and deeds make up the mythology of the world."
– Marshall J. Gauvin (Did Jesus Christ Really Live? 1922)





Philosopher

"Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about him."
- The philosopher Bertrand Russell, "Why I Am Not a Christian". (1927 lecture).



Dead Sea Scroll Scholar

In 1970 biblical scholar and Dead Sea Scroll expert John Allegro argued for the non-existence of Jesus Christ.
Allegro's thesis associated notions of the godman with narcotic-induced visions.
The hallucinatory plant in question was Amanita Muscaria (Fly-Agaric), the phallic mushroom, arguably used by early Christians and interpreted as a virgin (i.e. seedless) birth and "God come in the flesh."
Allegro was subjected to acrimonious fury and ostracised. He died in 1988.


High on Jesus?







Born Again Atheist

Evangelist who "threw out the bath water and discovered there was no baby there."

“There is not a single contemporary historical mention of Jesus, not by Romans or by Jews, not by believers or by unbelievers, during his entire lifetime.
This does not disprove his existence, but it certainly casts great doubt on the historicity of a man who was supposedly widely known to have made a great impact on the world. Someone should have noticed.”
Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (1992, p. 360).





Historian comes off the fence
"I have come to realize that mythicism is significantly more probably true than historicity. This I consider as radical a departure from my previous agnosticism as my agnosticism was from my previous historicism."
– Richard Carrier, Editor-in-Chief, Internet Infidels, July 18, 2005
 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How would stars fall to earth?

“Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.“ (Matthew 24: 25-34)"

So, I was reading this verse and this line jumped out at me, "--and the stars will fall from the sky--". 

Now a star is actually a sun and many suns are even bigger than ours. But if a star started to fall, where would it go? Unless it fell to earth, we would not really see anything unless we were tracking it with a telescope. But as a light in the sky, if a star moved somewhere else, we would not really see anything other than the same light in the sky. And what does it mean that a star is falling? There is no up or down in space.

The only way we would be aware of a star falling is if it fell to earth. And if a star fell to earth, our planet would be completely destroyed. Given that the verse says that stars, plural, will fall, then the earth would be inundated by numerous, much larger bodies. One star would destroy us if it hit the earth, and if many stars all fell to earth, the result would just be overkill.

When a Christian says they believe that everything in the bible is completely accurate, ask them how the earth would survive being destroyed by much larger suns hitting us.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Being self-righteous

Self-righteous Christians Defined: Is This the Norm?
by Rich Deem

Introduction

Christians seem to like to tell other people how to behave and act as if they never do anything wrong. They also tend to focus only upon a few moral issues - namely abortion and gay marriage - seemingly to the exclusion of more important issues, such as justice and care for the poor. Is this the kind of behavior the Bible commends or are these people acting against what biblical Christianity actually stands for?

What is being self-righteous?

To begin the discussion, it would be good to know what the words "self-righteous" really mean. Here is the definition from the The American Heritage Dictionary1:
self-right·eous (sělf'rī'chəs)
adjective
  1. Piously sure of one's own righteousness; moralistic.
  2. Exhibiting pious self-assurance: self-righteous remarks.
So, a self-righteous person is one who acts as if he is morally superior to everyone else.

Righteousness and the Christian

If there is anything that is antithetical to Christianity, it is a person who thinks that they can be righteous by their own good works. The Bible says that all people are sinners and that none can meet God's standard for righteousness.2
 
 
Yet, wait a minute. God allowed Noah to survive because he was a righteous man.

This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. 10

How could Noah be righteous, if no one can achieve gods idea of perfection?