Friday, August 29, 2014

Movie review: God's not dead

After Kevin Sorbo's recent rash of ugly and clueless remarks, and all I've been hearing about the upcoming Left Behind movie I felt it finally was time I took a look at God's Not Dead. I'll break it down below, but if the rating is all you want, the best way I can describe it is as a steaming pile... There was so much wrong in this propaganda film, it's not funny.

When you get down to it, this movie is no more than a way to promote terrible stereotypes and perpetrate the insane persecution complex that many Christians have developed.

God's Not Dead opens with Josh being warned about his philosophy class because of the crucifix he is wearing. So we start with the absurdity that being openly Christian is dangerous. Sorry, but in the USA that is the least dangerous religious view to hold. It is a far bigger danger to be openly atheist as recent studies have shown.

Dr. Radisson (the professor Josh was warned about) opens his class by telling the students to write 'God is dead' on a piece of paper. If they do so, he will allow them to skip the first three weeks of classes. No professor worth their salt would just skip material like that. Due to this, and other issues we will get into, I feel that anyone in the education community should feel insulted by Sorbo's portrayal of his character. Furthermore, this sounds absolutely nothing like the experiences had by any actual philosophy class experiences I could reference.

Then Josh is told that he will have to debate Radisson since he refused to write on the paper, and that if he fails to win will fail the class. This is again quite absurd. This is not how any class anywhere works! It is also odd that Josh is somehow the the only Christian in the class taking a stand. How is it that only 1.25% of this class is Christian in a country that is 78% Christian? This (and Sorbo's character) is but a playing up of the absurd myth that higher education is inherently atheistic and hostile to belief.

One constant theme in this film are the comically exaggerated stereotypes. Radisson is the picture of the angry atheist stereotype. I am an atheist and I don't walk around fuming all the time. I would have to say that I don't know a single atheist that is anything like Radisson. What more, Radisson is also irrational and immoral. His constant harassment makes him look like a total asshole. What the makers of this film failed to realize is that this is not at all representative of the vast majority of atheists, nor is it realistic or believable. Hell, as a supposed philosophy professor he doesn't even what the famous phrase 'God is dead' means! Nietzsche wasn't even talking about God's existence, when he said those well known words. You would think that a philosophy professor would, you know... know philosophy!

Another atheist in the movie doesn't believe in love and leaves his girlfriend when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. This is unrealistic as well. If my wife were diagnosed as such, I would stay beside her to the end. Then what about the stat that believers get divorced more often than atheists? If we are better at marriage, chances are we are better at relationships in general.

The movie also cranks off the 'Muslims are oppressive, abusive fanatics' stereotype as well as the 'overly strict unsympathetic Asian parent' stereotype. What we are left with are inaccurate caricatures for characters and one giant straw-man in Radisson.
We get it, he's supposed to represent the myth that atheists are
all angry assholes.

Josh somehow wins the worst debate in the history of the world (I'll come back to the debate later) when Radisson admits that he hates God because his mom died when he was young. This means a few things. For starters, the evil atheist Josh was doing battle with isn't even an atheist. It also promotes the false claims that atheists just hate God, and that people are only atheist because something terrible happened to them. Neither point is true of me, or any other atheist that I know.

In the end Radisson is hit by a car and lies dying. He then turns to God on what is effectively his deathbed to perpetuate the claim that 'there are no atheists in foxholes'... that our lack of belief is so weak that we will all just turn back to faith in the end or when things get rough.

But wait... How can they simultaneously claim that tough times will turn people from God, yet that a dire situation will turn anyone to faith. These are two wholly contradictory constructs. So Sorbo and company... which is it?

The credits also feature a list of courts cases that are supposed to back up this idea of Christian persecution that permeates from this movie. But they really don't. There was one case where a five year old who was picked up by the scruff of his neck for praying over his lunch and then yelled at by a teacher and the principle. But looking at the facts, he was actually ten and was simply given detention for fighting at lunch. That's quite a difference there! Another student was disrupting class with a homophobic rant. When the professor told him to stop he somehow tried to make the claim that his religious rights were being violated. Then there are the philosophy students who are supposed to write a paper making the case for God's existence. The students that get bad marks tend to instantly claim religious discrimination. There is another, and much more likely possibility however. And it is actually the answer the professor gives when asked. They got a poor grade because their argument was poor.

Now onto the the Josh vs Radisson debate...

•Josh says that atheists can't prove there is no God... Well no shit Sherlock! It is logically impossible to completely prove that anything doesn't exist. If I were to claim that there is a magic Swedish meatball that can tap-dance and sing the complete works of Frank Sinatra in perfect French, it is also impossible to prove for 100% certain that it doesn't exist. So if Josh claims that not being able to disprove God proves that he does exist, then my magic meatball does as well. This is a shifting of the burden of proof of course. It is up to the believer to prove that there is a God, and not the other way around.

•Josh claims that things can't pop into existence out of nothing. When it is pointed out that the same would apply to God, Josh simply states that God is exempt because he is eternal. This is no more than special pleading. You can't just say that something is exempt from a rule without first showing that is it in-fact exempt. If Josh just wants to claim God is eternal, anyone could just counter that the energy the universe in comprised of is eternal and we are right back to square one. He may like to point out that everyday objects don't just pop into existence, but that's not we're talking about here. The question is if matter/energy can simply pop into existence out of seemingly nothing. And through the study of quantum mechanics and vacuum fluctuations we have found that they actually can!

Congratulations, that's a terrible argument...
•Josh claims that Genesis got the creation of the universe right all along, while science got it wrong. Okay, science doesn't always get the right answer right away, but as the evidence builds we get better and better answers. That's why the Big Bang theory is still the best explanation of the origin of the universe. After years and years of study, all the evidence is in it's favor. Also, the Bible didn't get it right. It actually got it very wrong. One thing some believers like to do is take what science has discovered and shoehorn it into vague passages and claim "See, see! That's what it was talking about all along!" It's a rather dishonest enterprise really.

•Josh quotes Gavin Jenson (who he claims is a philosopher, scientist and mathematician) who says that Hawking's argument of a self explanatory universe is circular. The problem is that Jenson was not what Josh claims. Rather he was a BYU graduate who majored in graphic design. His work has not been published or peer reviewed. Josh also doesn't seem to realize that claiming that it is logically impossible for something to be self explanatory would also disprove his claim that the Christian God is.

• Josh then says that evolution doesn't account for the origin of life, and that Darwin said that nature doesn't work in large jumps, yet life appeared suddenly anyway. The complaint that evolution doesn't explain the origin of life is an absurd one. The origin of life isn't even a part of what evolution is about. Evolution is about the diversity of, and change within species. The origin of life is a question for abiogenesis, not evolution. Josh's complaint would be akin to complaining that they didn't get a pizza for lunch when they ordered a cheeseburger instead. It is also quite odd that he would say that life conflicts with evolution moving slowly when life has been evolving for about 3.6 billion years. Additionally, the universe is 13.8 billion years old. So life has been evolving for about 26% of the universe's existence. That is far from a sudden jump as Josh claims. Actually, these are the types of time periods evolution expects.

•Josh says that God allows evil to allow us to have free will. There are many problems here. If God is supposed to be all-love, then him allowing evil would be evil and unloving. Also, theists like to say that God has a plan for us all. If he has a plan for us and he is omniscient, then he makes that plan knowing exactly what every one of our choices will be. Hence there isn't really any free will, because your life has been pre-scripted. The claimed omnicience of God also throws a wrench into the whole claim that he is testing us as well. If he is all-knowing then there is no need to test us because he would already know what we would decide to do under every situation possible. This would additionally mean that he is needlessly allowing unnecessary evil that he could prevent, making him sadistic.

Except for when he is committing mass genocide,
punishing people for a problem he created,
killing people to win a bet, condoning slavery,
needlessly condemning people to endless torture,
the fact that he actually created evil... Do I need
to keep going?
•Josh claims that everything is permissible without God. He argues that there is no basis for moral standards without God. Again, there are many issues. First, Biblical morality isn't an objective morality as Josh claims. Remember, God says not to kill, but also Commands and commits genocide while calling it good. So what we are left with subjective morality. But this doesn't mean that anything goes. There are many paths to morality, including naturally. Moral standards we form ourselves can be wonderful and still restrict certain behaviors. We arrived at the standards we hold be agreeing on what helps and harms us, what is fair, etc. Some would claim that a weakness of subjective morality is that it can change, but this is actually a strength. We can edit it as needed and fix mistakes. We once thought slavery was okay, but later realized the mistake and fixed it.
Meanwhile a reliance on God's word as the static standard would mean that slavery would still be okay, rape victims would have to marry their rapist, disobedient children would be allowed to be stoned to death, etc would still be allowed as well. So there is no problem with morality either.

•Josh claims that science has proven God even though it hasn't.

•Finally Josh asks Radisson why he hates God. Radisson then replies that it's because God took his mom's life from him when he was so young. Josh then says that you can't hate what you don't believe in, which is true. But that doesn't explain how he supposedly wins the debate. The charge was to prove that God exists, and Josh didn't do anything of the sort. At best he established that Radisson actually does believe in God. But that kills the whole point of this movie being atheist vs Christian. Despite the myth they are playing off of that atheists are just angry with God, Radisson is not an atheist. The whole debate was actually angry Christian vs Christian.

Radisson is also a terrible terrible philosopher as well if he couldn't battle off Josh's arguments or see that last trap coming from a mile away. He also did a terrible job at the debate. I'm not an expert, but I could have easily destroyed Josh's arguments with my eyes closed.

So in conclusion, God's Not Dead was a terrible movie. It was amazingly inaccurate and dishonest. It is obvious that they did absolutely zero research into the subject matter and instead decided to create a propaganda piece. In fact, it was so out there and full of errors, I wager that a better title would have been Crazy and Biased Email Forwards From Your Uncle: the Movie.

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

College and Christians

Is a Christian making a mistake going to college? Surprisingly, someone actually asked that..
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’m headed for college shortly, and I can’t help but worry about the pressures I’ll face as a Christian. It’s a large state university, and from what my friends tell me it’s not a very easy place to be a Christian. Am I making a mistake going there? — P.T.
Sounds like PT's friends have fallen for the myth that colleges are evil atheist factories that actively work to strip people of their faith. While it is true that college graduates are statistically more likely to disbelieve than those that didn't go to college, that has more to do with the gaining of knowledge
than anything else. The more one knows, especially about the sciences, the more likely they are to find themselves to be a non-believer. That's not saying that colleges have an atheistic bias, just that the facts do. And if the facts are against you, you're going to have a bad time.
DEAR P.T.: No, you aren’t making a mistake, not if you’ve prayed about your decision and sensed God was leading you there. The Bible says, “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).
Seriously? That's it?  Talk about a worthless answer. If they ask god and their faith remains fine, Billy will claim that God led PT there. But if PT loses his faith, Billy will say that God didn't lead him there and it's all his fault. When you get to decide what happened after the fact, you always get to be 'right', but there's no way to confirm it. It's all just a fancy dance to deceive people into thinking you actually have some sort of insight.
After all, God doesn’t want us to be isolated from people who don’t believe the way we do, or even ignore him or hate him. If we did that, we’d never make any impact for Christ or win others to him. Remember Jesus’ words: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one” (John 17:15).

Read more here:

Read more here:
Jesus wants to protect us from the evil one? So he wants to protect us from God then? He did create evil after all (Isaiah 45:7), he killed far more than anyone else in the Bible (Satan only has about 10), and he's ultimately to blame for the totality of human suffering both in this life and the supposed next one.

Remember, he knowingly gave Adam and Eve a command he knew they couldn't even understand. He knew that leaving the tree there would lead to trouble but left it there anyway. Aside from creating evil, he created the Devil. He also created Hell. He could vanquish the Devil at any moment but simply doesn't for whatever reason. He curses every person in all history to Hell when he never had to. He creates an arbitrary way to escape Hell but leaves no evidence of it. He knows there is not enough evidence for most of the world and still does nothing. He could simply forgive without the need for blackmail, but instead just demands worship... Sorry, but God sounds pretty sick and evil. Plus he created every part of his system that is purposely designed to try and send everyone to torture just for being born unless the accept a barbaric human sacrifice as something good.
See yourself, therefore, as someone whom God is sending to your campus — not to be negative or obnoxious, but as a winsome and wise witness for Christ. The Bible calls us to be “blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine … like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16).
Just please don't claim oppression if you (wrongly) give a Christian theological answer on a science test and get it marked as incorrect. After all, it's not persecution if you answer that the Earth is 6,000 years old since it's just a very incorrect answer.
Make your commitment to live for Christ firm and unshakable, not just for college but for the rest of your life. Then ask God to lead you to a Christian organization on your campus where you’ll find fellowship and encouragement from other believers.
Yes, go to college and ignore anything that conflicts with your faith. Heaven forbid you go to college and actually learn something...

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jesus is the answer

We've all heard a believer declare it, and have also seen it written on bumper stickers... 'Jesus is the answer'. But I must ask. What was the question?

Some questions wouldn't make sense to have Jesus as the answer. What is the square root of 25? What is your favorite color? How many Ford Mustangs where built in 1965? So, we'll stick to only 'who' questions.

Who killed Kennedy? Jesus. So much for thou shalt not kill.

Who framed Rodger Rabbit? Jesus.  Bearing false witness too I see.

Who let the dogs out? Jesus. Come on man, that's just rude and irresponsible.

Who won the 1993 academy award for best actor? Jesus... I didn't even know he could act (he sure looks a lot like Al Pacino).

Who led the Nazi party during WWII? Jesus again?

Who likes dressing in drag while watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show more than anyone else? Jesus.

Who was voted most likely to succeed from barren desert high school? Jesus! (Mary was so proud)

Jesus framed Rodger Rabbit!
Who was voted least most likely to succeed from barren desert high school? Jesus. (Mary was so embarrassed)

Who did Link defeat to free the kingdom of Hyrule from the grip of evil darkness? Jesus.

Who is the true prophet of Islam? Jesus.

Yes, I know this is all a bit silly. But so is the blanket statement that 'Jesus is the answer'.

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ice bucket murder

The hate group with a friendly name is back with a ridiculous statement. According to the American Family Association, the ALS ice bucket challenge videos we've all been seeing actually promote murder. Yeah... You can't make up this level of crazy.

So you must be asking how videos of people dumping buckets of ice water over their head could possibly be a promotion for murder, and the murder of babies no less. Their problem lies with the use of stem cell research to try and find a cure. The twisted logic being used by the AFA is that the ice bucket challenge is causing people to donate and promote the ALS association. They are in turn using those donations to help fund research for a cure. One of those fields of research is stem cell research. And therein lies their problem. They think that stem cell research equals murder.

They ignore the fact that stem cells are by far one of the most exciting  and promising fields in medical research. They have returned sight to the blind. They helped cure one patients leukemia, they've been used to grow replacement organs. In short, they've been used to save and change lives. Yet to the AFA this is somehow a horrible field of study.

This is because they get hung up on the use of embryonic stem cells. They believe in the strange belief that an embryo is already a full human and that harvesting it for stem cells is murder. Almost every single opponent of stem cell research I've ever met turns out to be oblivious to the fact that embryonic stem cells are not the only kinds of stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells are the easiest stem cells to harvest, but they aren't the only kind. Stem cells can also come from adults. The leukemia patient that I mentioned received his stem cells from the bone marrow of the donor. It is more difficult, but adult cells have been coxed into becoming stem cells in the lab.

Stem cells can also come from the umbilical cord blood. New parents can now decide to donate their umbilical blood to stem cell research. There are also women that would like to donate their unused eggs to this potentially life-saving research. If they are finished having kids and those eggs will just end up being flushed down the toilet each month, how is that a problem for even the most rabid pro-lifer? An egg can be literally flushed down the drain, or it could be fertilized in a lab and be harvested for stem cells in 4-5 days time.

This illustrates the problem with the AFA's argument even if you were to grant their absurd notion that stem cell research ends a life. Almost all embryonic stem cells used in research come from eggs from in vitro fertilization centers. When IVF is done a collection of the mother's eggs are mixed with sperm and allowed to fertilize. After 4-5 days the eggs are now a collection of about 100 cells that is smaller that the dot on this 'i'. Some of these are implanted in the mother, and the rest are stored in a freezer. After the IVF results in birth, and the family has decided that they are finished having kids, there is a choice to make. Their choices may be as follows:

•Keep paying for them to remain frozen indefinitely
•Allow them to be defrosted/destroyed
•Donate them for adoption
•Donate them for research

Here we have two options where they will go to waste, one that is rarely used, and one that could potentially save who knows how many lives. Even if one where to donate they to other infertile families there would still be a massive surplus that will be going to waste if stem cell research is opposed. I feel that the choice to donate to research should be clear!

But any way you slice it, the AFA's argument fails. Stem cell research does not promote murder. These cells come from tiny 4-5 day old collections of cells that are almost always destined to become medical waste, umbilical cord blood, or for adult sources. None of them kill a child. But the AFA will continue the promotion of their out there views. I can only hope the their defiance and criticism of the incredibly viral ALS ice bucket challenge will only serve to expose them for the vile group they really are.

-Brain Hulk

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Monday, August 25, 2014

God and family

A reader asks Billy Graham about family problems... How big of a mess can Billy make of his answer this time?
Dear Dr. Graham: Someone in our family is always having a crisis, and all of their problems end up in my lap. I get so tired trying to dealing with them. They mostly ignore my advice anyway. Sometimes I just wish I could leave. Why is our family so messed up? Mrs. McL.
I'm not going to pretend to know the details of exactly what kind of drama McL is dealing will, so there's little point giving advice. But I can say that simply giving up is very rarely the answer.
Dear Mrs. McL.: I've never seen a family that didn't have problems, and I doubt if I ever will. Since Cain killed his brother, Abel, families have been beset with conflicts and problems (Genesis 4:1-16). 
Starting with an unsubstantiated claim I see...
However, that's no excuse for being unconcerned about our families. God gave them to us, and it isn't his will for them to be constantly in turmoil.
Actually, I'm pretty sure I have my family through genetic lineage, and that I found my wife through us meeting online. But sure, claim that God is the one to do it and conveniently not show any evidence to back that up...

And how is it his will that families not be in turmoil when Jesus is said to have said this...
If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters--yes, even their own life--such a person cannot be my disciple.
-Luke 14:26
 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law--a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.
-Matthew 10:34-26
How does anything about those two passages from the supposedly perfect Jesus sound like God doesn't want any turmoil within families? It actually sounds like he's commanding it!
I know your family's problems have become a huge burden for you, but how much worse would they be if they didn't have you? Even if they don't always heed your advice, you may be helping them in ways you'll never realize. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
If the peacemakers are blessed, does that mean that Jesus is cursed for ordering the purposeful creation of family discord? Obviously helping out is a great thing to do, but try to be consistent Billy!
The most important thing you can do is urge each family member who comes to you to turn to Christ and give their lives to him. They need Christ's forgiveness and his help to live as they should and make wise decisions about the future. If you've never given your own life to Christ, open your heart and life to him today.
What if religion is part of the problem? What if they are already Christians (very likely)? Suddenly this advice becomes even more worthless than it was from the beginning. One of these days it would be nice to see Billy actually try instead of giving his default answer to everything of 'turn to God'...

-Brain Hulk

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Friday, August 22, 2014

10 atheist argument fails?

A fellow called Eric Hyde wrote a blog that claims to run down ten atheist arguments that fail. But do they really?
I first cut my teeth in theology many years ago. Since those days I have not heard anything new from atheists.
Interesting... I've not heard anything new or original from theists for years.

1. There is no evidence for God’s existence.
There are a couple of problems with this line. Starting with the idea of ‘evidence,’ what exactly does one mean by evidence?
I would say evidence of the empirical sort. Evidence that can be independently tested and verified. Evidence that can be equally observed, tested and verified by anyone. To date, there has not been any such evidence for God. No fail here.
Nearly everything the Christian lays eyes on is evidence of God’s existence because he sees the ‘handiwork’ of God all around him in creation.
Except that this isn't evidence. This at best begs the question of if these things were in fact 'creations' at all. They may think they had to be created, but nothing in that is evidence. It's no more than an opinion.
If one desires God to appear in the flesh, well…  He already did.
Unsubstantiated claim...
The second part of the line is equally short-sighted. What does one mean by ‘existence’? If one means, ‘that which has come into existence,’ then surely God does not exist because God never came into existence. He always was; He is eternal.
Well, you still have to prove that he is eternal, but that's not what is meant by 'existence'. What we mean is simply existing... Being real. I don't think that's so hard to understand.

2. If God created the universe, who created God?
This is one of the more peculiar arguments I’ve ever come across. Those who use this charge as some sort of intellectual checkmate have simply failed to grasp what Christians understand as ‘eternal.’

What's so peculiar about it? Perhaps Eric has forgotten when this argument is used. Often a theist will say that nothing comes from nothing. That everything has to be created or caused by something else. It is at this time that we say, "What about God?" This is simply a response to show their claim doesn't follow even their own belief. Of course the theist may say that everything but God needs to have a cause and that he is actually eternal, but this is no more than special pleading. We realize that a Christian will likely claim that God is eternal, but that is but another unsubstantiated claim. Until you can actually prove that God is existent and eternal, I have no reason to believe that he is.

 3. God is not all-powerful if there is something He cannot do. God cannot lie, therefore God is not all-powerful.

Why would an atheist claim that God can't lie, when he does just that in the Bible?
For the Christian it simply means that all power and authority are God’s. 
Eric claims that atheists are the ones playing word games, but it seems he's playing games as well. When I was a Christian, we were taught that God is literally  all-powerful. That there is absolutely nothing that he can't do. That's where the boulder conundrum comes in. If God is all-powerful then he should be able to create a boulder heavy enough that he can't lift it. But if he can't lift it, he's not all-powerful.

This literal statement of God being infinitely powerful is the same I've seen wielded by the vast majority of Christians I've ever known. The minority backpedal slightly and say that God is
as powerful as logically possible. But even that doesn't tell us very much. The fact remains that Eric has missed the point again that this is but a tool to show that true omnipotence is impossible and if fact, self refuting.

4. Believing in God is the same as believing in the Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
What I love about this well-worn atheist ‘argument’ is that it actually serves to demonstrate how vastly different a belief in God is to these myths and imaginations. 
Come again? Eric goes on to say that believers in God have religious text, martyrs, etc... While believers in the Tooth Fairy and Santa don't. Sigh... Missing the point again. The only point being made when this statement is made is that these are all belief without evidence. In that regard, all four are very much the same.

5. Christianity arose from an ancient and ignorant people who didn’t have science.
Indeed, those ancient, ignorant people who believed in the virgin birth of Christ must have believed it because they did not possess the knowledge of how babies were born. Goodness. The virgin birth of Christ was profound and of paramount concern to the ancients precisely because they understood that conception was impossible without intercourse. Ancient man considered the virgin birth miraculous, i.e., impossible without divine action (and at the time most people scorned the idea), and the same could be said with every miraculous story in Scripture.
Oh dear me... The virgin birth is a horrible example. It would be idiotic to claim that they believed in the virgin birth  because they didn't understand conception. If that was the case, they wouldn't bat an eye at the birth of Jesus. The more important point to remember is that there is no evidence that there was a virgin birth to begin with.

The topic of earlier people not having the science we do now is not necessarily used to attack the creation of Christianity, but some of the myths within. Those people didn't know about evolution, so they assumed that a deity created everything as it is. The didn't know about the actual composition, size and location of stars. So the Bible gets all of that very wrong. They didn't understand why some animal had stripes, so they created a fanciful story to explain it. The same is true of many things. They thought that God created the rainbow as an actual thing and made a story about it. They were of course ignorant of the true nature of rainbows.

The point being made is not the foundation of Christianity, but that there are many stories in the Bible that made sense to people at that time, but due to our ever growing scientific knowledge, we now know that those stories were not correct. Five down, five non-fails.

6. Christian’s only believe in Christianity because they were born in a Christian culture. If they’d been born in India they would have been Hindu instead.
This argument is appealing because it pretends to wholly dismiss people’s reasoning capabilities based on their environmental influences in childhood. The idea is that people in general are so intellectually near-sighted that they can’t see past their own upbringing, which, it would follow, would be an equally condemning commentary on atheism (if one was consistent with the charge), but the idea is fairly easy to counter.
Oh is it now? The simple fact is that if you are born and raised in a country where one religion is dominant among all others, you are more likely to become a believer in that religion. If you are born in India, and the Hindu beliefs are the ones you are immersed in, you are more likely to hold them as true over another belief. Sure, there are exceptions, but that's simply how the cookie crumbles. 

Then consider religious families. It's no mistake that most Catholic parents end up with Catholic kids, and that most Muslim parents end up with Muslim kids. The truth is that most of the time, parents indoctrinate their children from an early age. Convince them while they're young, and you'll have a better chance of holding on to them in adulthood.

Of course there are exceptions, I am one. I grew up a Christian. I believed. But my parents didn't force it down my throat, and I finally began to see things more clearly. And I disagree that this is all just as true of atheists. I, and most atheists I've heard speak of this, have said that if I had kids I would not raise them to be an atheist. I would raise them religion neutral. I would tell them what I believe and why. What my wife believes. What their friends believe. I'd tell them as many sides of the story as I can. Then I would trust them with all that knowledge when they are old enough, and let them decide for themselves what makes sense.

7. The gospel doesn’t make sense: God was mad at mankind because of sin so he decided to torture and kill his own Son so that he could appease his own pathological anger. God is the weirdo, not me.
This is actually a really good argument against certain Protestant sects (I’ve used it myself on numerous occasions), but it has no traction with the Orthodox Christian faith. The Orthodox have no concept of a God who needed appeasement in order to love His creation. The Father sacrificed His own Son in order to destroy death with His life; not to assuage His wrath, but to heal; not to protect mankind from His fury, but to unite mankind to His love.
I'm actually beginning to think that  missing the point is Eric's hobby... While it is true that the gospel doesn't make much logical (or any other kind of) sense, the meat of that argument if the ridiculousness of the whole 'Jesus had to sacrificed to allow God to forgive sin' thing.

Christians will often say that God want's to forgive us, and has done everything in his power to forgive us. If this is the case, there is no need for Jesus. If God want's to forgive, then he could just forgive. The death of Jesus isn't needed. If I can just forgive someone, surely an all-powerful deity should be able to do so as well. 

Then there is the forced acceptance of a barbaric (and unnecessary) human sacrifice. Add to that, that God was willing to kill innocent people to win a bet, forces rape victims to marry their rapist, punished people for committing a crime that they were unable to even know they were committing (and God was aware of this), committing needless genocide, and punishing people who aren't even yet born and God looks like quite a psycho.

So this one is also not a fail and rightly points out that the sacrifice of Jesus was pointless, and that God (in the Bible) has an unsettling blood-lust.

8. History is full of mother-child messiah cults, trinity god heads, and the like. Thus the Christian story is a myth like the rest.
There is no arguing the fact that history is full of similar stories found in the Bible, and I won’t take the time to recount them here. But this fact should not be surprising in the least, indeed if history had no similar stories it would be reason for concern. Anything beautiful always has replicas. A counterfeit coin does not prove the non-existence of the authentic coin, it proves the exact opposite.
But what about the fact that much of the Jesus story is plagiarized from earlier stories?
Ah, but that doesn’t address the fact that some of these stories were told before the Biblical accounts. True. But imagine if the only story of a messianic virgin birth, death, and resurrection were contained in the New Testament. That, to me, would be odd. It would be odd because if all people everywhere had God as their Creator, yet the central event of human history—the game changing event of all the ages—the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ had never occurred to them, in at least some hazy form, they would have been completely cut off from the prime mysteries of human existence. It seems only natural that if the advent of Christ was real it would permeate through the consciousness of mankind on some level regardless of their place in history. One should expect to find mankind replicating these stories, found in their own visions and dreams, again and again throughout history. And indeed, that is what we find.
What an odd, drawn out way to say absolutely nothing...  In short, it seems that Eric is saying that 'Yeah, these stories were around before but this one... This time it actually happened!' Just another claim, but no substance. The point this argument is making is that despite what many Christians claim, the story of Jesus isn't actually very original. I've debated Christians that claim that the Jesus story is absolutely 100% unlike any other deity story ever told. So pointing out that this is false is very valid. It also goes on to show that these other religions that are now considered myths made the same claims as Christianity. So are they really any different. Neither has evidence, both make the same or similar claims, so maybe Christianity is also a myth as well.

9. The God of the Bible is evil. A God who allows so much suffering and death can be nothing but evil.
This criticism is voice in many different ways. For me, this is one of the most legitimate arguments against the existence of a good God. The fact that there is suffering and death is the strongest argument against the belief in an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God. If suffering and death exist it seems to suggest one of two things: (1) either God is love, but He is not all-powerful and cannot stop suffering and death, or (2) God is all-powerful, but He does not care for us.
That sounds about right. But I'm confused... I thought Eric was trying to say why this argument didn't work. Did I miss something?
The argument takes as its presupposition that good and evil are real; that there is an ultimate standard of good and evil that supersedes mere fanciful ‘ideas’ about what is good and evil at a given time in our ethical evolution, as it were. If there is not a real existence—an ontological reality—of good and evil, then the charge that God is evil because of this or that is really to say nothing more than, “I personally don’t like what I see in the world and therefore a good God cannot exist.”
Oh for crying out loud... 'Good' and 'evil' need not be objective standards. 'Good' and 'bad' are comparative terms. This argument works just as well under that basis of good and bad, as it does for an 'objective' one. No matter which way you slice it, allowing the innocent to suffer and die when you could do something about it with absolutely no effort counts as evil. At the very least it shows that God can't 'be love' and is at the very best, completely indifferent. I fail to see the fail here...
If one is going to accept good and evil as realities, he is not in a position to fully reject God. Instead, he is more in a position to wrestle with the idea that God is good.
Which is why this argument is almost always used to counter the claimed nature of God, rather than his actual existence.

10. Evolution has answered the question of where we came from. There is no need for ignorant ancient myths anymore.
I’ll only comment on the underlining idea that science has put Christianity out of the answer business. Science is fantastic if you want to know what gauge wire is compatible with a 20 amp electric charge, how agriculture works, what causes disease and how to cure it, and a million other things. But where the physical sciences are completely lacking is in those issues most important to human beings—the truly existential issues: what does it mean to be human, why are we here, what is valuable, what does it mean to love, to hate, what am I to do with guilt, grief, sorrow, what does it mean to succeed, is there any meaning and what does ‘meaning’ mean, and, of course, is there a God? etc, ad infinitum.
Oh, I think I see the problem... When most people bring up science it is because there are things were thought we knew (sometimes religious beliefs or stories) that we have since found we were wrong about. Despite this, there are those that refuse to let go of the religious stories and claim that the evidenced science is the one that is wrong. 

Eric says that science can't answer a good few things there. On some I quite disagree, In fact, I think that science has answered some of the ones he mentioned. But some are more philosophical questions. And even those don't require religion to answer. I could personally give my answers to them all, but his religion will have different answers. I would say that I feel my answers make more sense that the religious versions I've heard. And at least I base my opinions on these matters on more than an old and very flawed book.
As far as where we come from, evolution has barely scratched the purely scientific surface of the matter. Even if the whole project of evolution as an account of our history was without serious objection, it would still not answer the problem of the origin of life
Probably because that's an entirely different field of study called abiogenesis...
The ‘Big Bang’ is not an answer to origins but rather a description of the event by which everything came into being; i.e., it’s the description of a smoking gun, not the shooter.
Correct. The Big Bang is still supported by overwhelming evidence though. And remember, science has ideas about what came before the Big Bang (if that statement even makes any sense). But the lack of a total explanation does not mean one can simply insert 'God did it!'.
That’s it… my top 10 list. Thanks for reading. Cheers.
Here's my question... In a blog called "Top 10 Most Common Atheist Arguments, and Why They Fail", why are there actually zero atheist arguments that fail? Actually, the blog read more like someone who didn't actually quite grasp what was actually being argued...

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

How do we know (if) the Bible can be trusted?

Can it be be proven that the Bible is God's word? That's what one reader asks Billy Graham...
Q: I know you believe the Bible is God's word, but can you prove it? I haven't read the Bible much, but all it talks about are things that happened thousands of years ago, and that doesn't seem very important to me. -LSC
No, he can't... At least no Cristian has ever been able too. But I have to correct LSC. The Bible doesn't just talk about things that happened thousands of years ago. It also talks about a ton of things that never happened!
A: If the Bible were just like any other book of ancient history, then you'd be right. It wouldn't hold much importance for us today. But it's not just like any other book. Instead, the Bible tells us about God: who he is, what he has done for us, and most of all, how we can come to know him personally.
I hear a lot of claims but no proof. If Billy wants to impress anyone what he's going to need is some actual proof.
Can you imagine anything more important?
Easily!  How about a book that makes the claims Billy does and actually proves it? A book that tells us the secret to easily and safely create wormholes for interstellar space travel. A book that tells us how to achieve light speed travel. A book that tells us how to make solar panels so efficient we can stop using fossil fuels completely. Maybe an easy and immediate solution to climate change...
From the first verse of Genesis to the last verse in Revelation, the central theme of the Bible is God. He made this world — and someday, the Bible says, he will do away with all the evil that spoils it and bring about a perfect world of peace and justice.
And the proof is...? There are other holy books about other gods. How is this one any different?
As the Bible promises, "In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells" (2 Peter 3:13).
And the Tipitaka promises Nirvana. What is the proof that the Bible's claims are true?
Why do I believe the Bible is God's word? One reason is that's what Jesus believed about it. Repeatedly he quoted from the Old Testament and said it was God's word. And the New Testament is likewise God's word, because it points us to the one who was the living word of God — Jesus Christ.
These guys believe and their religion centers around the Buddha.
So their religion and holy book are true too, right?
Really? That's all he has? So what if Jesus believed it? (If he even ever existed) Joseph Smith's followers believed him about Mormonism. Buddhists believe Buddhism. Hindus believe Hinduism. And so what if it points to Jesus? The Qur'an points to Mohammad. So far Billy has offered no proof.
But I also believe the Bible is God's word because its message has changed my life, and it can change yours as well. Begin reading one of the Gospels — I often suggest John — asking God to speak to you through its pages. I believe he will, and your life will never be the same.
Sigh... And other religions have changed other people's lives. It seems that Billy, like every other Christian who has ever lived, can not offer a single shred of evidence that the Bible actually is what it claims it is. Over two-thousand years and counting...

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pick, choose, ignore...

One thing that every non-believer will notice is that believers sure seem to love picking out parts of their religion to follow, and simply ignore others. While one bunch simply pretends that the bad parts of the Bible simply don't exist, another group will opine that yeah, there are parts they don't like, but that the good parts outweigh them.  But does that really make sense?

Suppose you are looking for a TV for your young daughter's room. You find an amazingly perfect TV that seems too good to be true, and at an amazing price. This TV wirelessly downloads every cartoon that a child could want to watch on it's massive hard-drive for free. It has an ultra sensitive solar panel on it and super long life battery, so it never even needs to be plugged in. It sounds amazingly perfect, and is even priced cheaper than your everyday average TV. It seems like a no-brainer, right?

Most would look at all these positive points, but there is a catch. While the TV does all those things wonderfully, it also has a mind of it's own. At some random point every single day, the TV will turn its self on, turn the volume all the way up and play hard-core porn for a full hour. It will also refuse to turn off until that hour has been exhausted. Now would you give that TV to your daughter?

Right now, anyone with any sense is saying "Of course not!" Yet, in a way, that's exactly what many believers do. They hand their young son or daughter a holy book and tell them this is the best story ever told. Sure, they may find enjoyment in parts, and may even find passages to be uplifting or inspiring. But at any moment they could flip to a page condoning slavery, marginalize rape, describing genitalia and ejaculation, or depictions of gruesome and barbaric acts of murder.

The threat is even there in a children's Bible. The majority of the disturbing stories are left out. Yet
they will always include thinly veiled stories of mass genocide and ritual human sacrifice.

So I ask, if a parent would decline giving a child that young the porno TV, why force the Bible of a child too young to really understand it? Why not let them grow up to an age where they can make sense of what they are reading, and be better able to handle the ugly parts within? Just as pornography is something more appropriate and understandable to an older demographic, should we not treat the introduction to religion in a similar manner?

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ten Commandments... not religious?

Tim Guffey (R) is an Alabama county commissioner, and he recently made a very strange statement. He is proposing a 'historical documents monument' at a Scottsboro courthouse. That doesn't sound like a big deal until he shares his plans...
How can these NOT be religious when the first four are
about God and honoring him?
What I’m trying to do is erect a monument of historical documents. It’s the Constitution, the Ten Commandments and the Declaration of Independence. I feel like that’s what this country was founded on. These documents helped America become the greatest country in history.
Huh? How can the Ten Commandments even be considered a historical document? There is no proof that they ever existed as an actual document. They only come to us as a religious story. It's inclusion would quite simply be a violation of the Constitution. Also, what about other historical Documents? The Bill of Rights, Gettysburg Address,  Emancipation Proclamation, the Magna Carta, etc...
The Ten Commandments is a historical document (in this context) and it has nothing to do with religion.
There is no evidence they existed as claims. Religion is the only context in which they exist!
It shows that these founders had great beliefs in God and the Ten Commandments and His Word and it helped them get to the point where they were. And I feel like taking that document out, if that document wasn’t there to guide them, then our Constitution wouldn’t be what it is today…But I don’t see how I could do the other two and not do that one and be truthful about it.
What!? Many of the founders were deists, not Christians. Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence was often critical of Christianity. He even wrote his own version of the Bible where he removed all the magic and miracles. All that remained were the teachings of Jesus as no more as a mortal man. Also, if the Ten Commandments guided and inspired the founders, they had a funny way of showing it. The Ten Commandments state that you must not have any other gods. Yet the founders gave the people of the United States the freedom of religion. This is actually a direct contradiction. To say that a 'document' that says that you may only have one particular religion inspired another one that grants the freedom to hold any or no religion is quite laughable if you ask me!

-Brain Hulk

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Monday, August 18, 2014

What's the (biggest) problem?

One of Billy Graham's readers asks Billy what the greatest problem facing the nation is. Try not to be surprised, but he hasn't a clue...
Q: What would you say is the biggest problem our nation needs to solve today? I think it's drugs (especially now that pot is being legalized in so many places), but my husband thinks it's the economy. What would you say?
There is conflict in the world, wars, unrest and health emergencies... yet they think drugs are the  biggest problem? So what if pot has been legalized in some places? I've never used it, nor have I interest to. But I don't see it being a problem. Pot is no more dangerous than tobacco, and is actually safer than alcohol. So I don't see marijuana as a problem. Harder drugs? Yes, they are things to be worried about. But certainly not the worlds biggest problem. 

I would say that the economy is certainly much more of an issue for worry than drugs are. While the economy has been improving, there is still a long way to go. In smaller towns and cities, jobs can still be difficult to obtain. I've been trying to upgrade my current job for over two years now with no success. Drugs have never been an issue in my life, so I would say that at the very least, the economy is a much bigger problem than drugs.
A: One of the things I've learned over the years is that we're never free of problems, no matter how hard we try. Some are more serious than others, and some may be solved eventually (at least temporarily), but even then, new ones keep cropping up. The Bible says, "Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7).
Don't misunderstand me, however. Both problems you mention are serious, and we ought to do everything we can to overcome them. Problems like this not only hurt society but can destroy individuals - and that's why they aren't just social or political problems, but moral and spiritual ones as well. That's one reason why the Bible tells us to pray for our leaders, including those who make our laws and those who enforce them. We also should seek ways to help hurting people in our local communities (often through our churches). The Bible says, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people" (Galatians 6:10).
Pray for our leaders? A few months ago, Billy said that praying for leaders or peace doesn't bring peace because the Devil stops it and will continue to do so until Jesus returns. So his answer now is to tell people do do exactly what he's told them in the past, wouldn't work?

Also, how about instead of just praying for these things, people actually act to fight these problems instead of just trying to wish them away?
But why do we have so many problems - not just as a nation, but as individuals? On the surface every problem has its own cause - but on a deeper level, the real problem is within our own hearts and minds. Think how much better the world would be if everyone was content and at peace in their hearts!
This is why we need Christ. Only He can calm the restlessness in our hearts, and only He can take away our selfishness and replace it with His love and compassion. Has this happened to you?
So the biggest problem in this world is that people don't have enough Jesus? If that is the case, why is it that Vatican City actually has the highest crime rate in the world? Also, what about when we look at Japan? This is a country where about 1%  of the population are Christian, compared to the 78% that are Christian in the USA. The USA actually experiences four times as much crime as Japan. The USA sees 137 times more drug use than Japan. The USA experiences five times more murders, and 199 times more of those are shooting deaths than Japan sees. Rape? The USA has 27 times more.

Obviously there are going to be other factors to consider, but considering these facts, and that the majority of inmates are Christians in the USA as well, and it should be obvious that more Jesus is not the answer to the nation's or world's problems.

-Brain Hulk

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Care about prayer

I came across this image on a blog (actually it was the blog, if that still counts as a blog) that made me stop and think, "Talk about clueless"...

Here's the thing... We don't care if you pray to your God. Sure, we may think it to be a futile endeavor. We may feel that it causes people to ignore the real problem and not take action. We may even prefer that instead of praying others receive help, that you actually get up and actually help them yourself. But if you want to pray, knock yourself out!

Prayer becomes more of an issue for me when a family decides to simply pray for a sick child and it dies due to not receiving the proper medical care that it needed. I feel that these parents should be charged with neglect, manslaughter or even murder, depending on if they realized how serious the sickness was and if medical professionals had warned them of the severity and consequences. This isn't an attack on prayer. They can still pray for all I care, I just don't want kids to die because some think that prayer is proper medical care.

I care about prayer when children is schools are forced or required to pray. This brand of coerced prayer is illegal and should be banished from our institutions of learning. That's not to say that prayer shall be evicted all together though. If a kid wants to pray before a test, they can. If a teacher wants to pray in the staff lounge before the school day, that's fine too.

Lastly, prayer is a problem when governments in the USA try to favor one type of prayer, or allow only one type. If a city council wants to have prayers before meetings, they have two choices. They can either not pray, or they can rotate the 'prayer' between Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, atheists, etc. What they can't do, without violating the establishment clause, is allow exclusively Christian prayers.

So to the creator of the above image and those that think like them... Why is the truth of the matter so hard for you to understand?

-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

To marry, or not to marry

Ever wonder if it's okay to remarry? Do you actually care what Billy Graham would suggest for some odd reason? KC does.
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My husband and I were in our teens when we got married, and it lasted less than a year. Now several years have gone by and we’re seeing each other again. Would it be wrong for us to remarry? Does the Bible say this is wrong? — K.C.
I suppose it would be fine, but I'd be careful. I would suggest that KC remember why they got divorced in the first place. Is that old truth still present? Have one or both of them changed/grown in some way that will make the marriage more likely to work this time around? This is a question where one has much to consider. But what an old book that is quite often wrong has to say about the matter really shouldn't be one of them.
DEAR K.C.: I find nothing in the Bible that would prevent you from remarrying under these circumstances, if you truly are committed to each other and are willing to overcome whatever problems you had before. The Bible says, “Marriage should be honored by all” (Hebrews 13:4).
Really Billy? Nothing... nothing at all? What about Deuteronomy 24:1-4
If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the LORD. Do not bring sin upon the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.
So if KC got married and divorced after divorcing her teenage love, the Bible actually says that they can't get married. But lets look at it closer... This passage isn't just talking about the marriage/divorce being the problem. It gives the reason that she can't remarry him as 'she has been defiled'. So it is assuming that marriage = sex, and that no marriage = no sex. So this verse actually holds the potential to say that if KC had sex with anyone else after she got divorced, that the Bible would forbid them being married again even if they have changed and are now perfect for each other.

Yet Billy claims that there is absolutely nothing in the Bible that prevent KC from remarrying her old love. How sad is it that an atheist has to point this out, while a supposedly expert minister is presumably oblivious?
God gave marriage to us, and he’ll give you wisdom and patience for the years ahead.
How did he do that when marriage has been around long before his supposed religion?
Above all, discover what true love is by learning about Christ’s self-giving love for us.
Is Billy actually suggesting that non-Christians are incapable of true love? If Christians are the only ones who know true love, why is it that Christians have a slightly higher likelihood of getting divorced than atheists do? What about my wife and I? Billy's words leave me insulted. We have known each other for over seven years now. This winter, we will celebrate five years of marriage. People are sometimes surprised to hear we continue to display mannerisms that some reserve exclusively for newlyweds. We've been through highs and lows. Happiness, sadness, fears and doubts. Taking it all in, I regret none of it. I love her and will continue doing so as long as I live. If that's not true love, I don't know what is.

-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Yet more 'Christian love'...

Another recent story highlighted that all Christians aren't as all-loving as some may try to pretend. You may remember a blog where I talked about the Awkward Moments Children's Bible. Since it's release, the author has received plenty of threats and criticism from Christians online. But the threats got a bit more serious when a believer somehow found out the author's actual name and address (the book was written under the pen name of Horus Gilgamesh), and mailed a physical letter to him.

And it wasn't just a complaint, but a letter featuring a Bible verse advocating the killing of those that don't believe, as well as the direct statement "I'll see you up in Seattle next week. You wont [sic] see me". It was signed "God's Little Helper".

Horus was due to appear at an event in Seattle, and after receiving this letter was trying to decide what to do. The event offered security, and the police couldn't do anything since there was no return
address on the letter.

Since that first letter, Horus has received another. After this, the Seattle appearance was called off.  The police have it and it's contents are unknown. I just hope that there is something in it that will lead to God's Little Helper's arrest.

But I must stop and wonder why GLH feels so angry toward Horus that they would send out a death threat... All Horus' book does is illustrate stories that are in the Bible. Just like your average children's Bible. The only difference is that it illustrates stories that most Christens either aren't aware are in the Bible or simply try to ignore their inclusion. GLH is angry with the book and feels it is an attack on Christianity. This tells me that they need to step back and lean a bit more about their own religion. If any Christian has a problem with Horus' book they have a surprise coming their way, because that means they also have a problem with the Bible. Now that is awkward...

-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Praying for self

Is praying for yourself okay? Even if it's for personal gain? Lets see what Billy Graham thinks...
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Our family has some very serious financial needs, but I grew up thinking we aren’t supposed to pray about problems like this because they’re selfish, and God doesn’t answer self-centered prayers. Am I wrong? — S.M.
Technically, SM isn't wrong. There doesn't seem to be a god that answers self centered prayers. But then again, there's no data that a deity answers any kind of prayers, much less exist. So take from that what you will...
DEAR S.M.: Yes, you are wrong. Because God loves us, he is concerned about everything that concerns us. If you grew up going to church, perhaps you said the Lord’s Prayer every week, and in it Jesus told us to pray for the things we need: “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, KJV).

Think of it this way: I see from your letter that you have two children. If one of them came to you with a scraped knee, would you refuse to wash and bandage it? If they were hungry and wanted something to eat, would you tell them you couldn’t be bothered because they were just being selfish? Of course not. You love your children and would do everything you could to meet their legitimate needs.
True, a good parent will help their children when they are in need. But what does this have to do with the question at hand?
The same is true with God. God loves us so much that he was willing to come down from heaven in the person of his son, Jesus Christ, and give his life for our salvation.

If God loves you that much, don’t you think you can bring your needs to him in prayer? Jesus said, “If you … know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).
Wait... Is Billy so unaware that he doesn't realize that this actually goes against his 'good parent' analogy? Every day there are Christians that pray for relief from pain only to find no relief. Children praying for food who later starve to death. This does not sound to me like a good parent who will do whatever they can to care for their children.

Maybe Billy will counter that they go to a better place, since they were 'saved'. Making Hell the ultimate thing to be avoided. The problem is that this doesn't help his case either. I, like many atheists, was once a believer. There was a time near the end of my belief that I prayed for God to show me a sign he was real. I wanted to receive a sign, I really did. But no sign came. Over time my belief completely fell away. As a non-believer, I am now apparently destined for Hell (from the
Christian perspective). But if God was the caring father that will do whatever he can for us (as Billy claims), he would have given me the sign I wanted/needed. He would know that not receiving a sign would eventually lead me to non-belief. So that leaves us with two possibilities. Either there is no God, or he simply doesn't care.

So go ahead and pray for your personal needs. Just remember that there is either no one on the other said of you mental outreach, or they simply don't give a toss.

-Brain Hulk

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Monday, August 11, 2014

You call that Christian love?

For all you hear about Christian love, there were two quotes I just saw recently that that where quite frankly, sickening.

First up, we have Southern Baptist pastor Rick Scarborough. This is what he had to say...

You are the watchmen, I am the watchmen. We may not be able to save America.
Every day I’m amazed that we live another day that God gives us grace. This thing could all come crashing down, either economically, or with a series of dirty bombs going off in our major cities, or one major nuclear bomb that would destroy half the country and contaminate the rest.
And if that happens God is perfectly just and vindicated because we have squandered our grace in this country.
Rick is seriously overestimating the power of a single nuclear bomb. Is it devastating? Yes. USA ending? No. The strongest nuclear bomb to date did create a 35 km / 22 mile radius of total destruction. That's a long way off of destroying half of the USA and contaminating the rest. But what could be so bad that he thinks the deaths of so many would be justified?

• US embassies flying the rainbow pride flag during LGBTI pride month.
• America having five openly gay ambassadors and a sixth on the way.

Seriously? This guy actually thinks that Americans deserve to die just because we aren't a nation of homophobes? Scarborough is one sick sick man!

Next up is Christian radio host Rick Wiles. On his show Wednesday, he said this...
Now this Ebola epidemic could become a global pandemic and that’s another name for plague. It may be the great attitude adjustment that I believe is coming. Ebola could solve America’s problems with atheism, homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, pornography, and abortion.

If Ebola becomes a global plague, you better make sure the blood of Jesus is upon you. You better make sure you been marked by the angels so that you are protected by God. If not, you may be a candidate to meet the Grim Reaper.
Seriously? This man actually thinks that if this Ebola outbreak became a global outbreak that this would actually be a good thing? How fundamentally sick! How can anyone consider the suffering and death of innocent people to be a good thing?

Also, how is being 'one with Jesus' supposed to help you any? Ebola is indiscriminate. It doesn't care what you believe in. And if Jesus is supposed to be protecting his flock, he's doing a pretty poor job since some of the areas where the outbreak is occurring are predominantly Christian.

So tell me... What is remotely loving or caring about either of those statements?

-Brain Hulk

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