Anti-religion funny comics and demotivational posters

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Arguments, Bible Related, Conspiracy Theories, History Related, Logic Related
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So someone posted some anti-religion pictures on FB, mostly anti-Christian comics, that I can’t help but provide some feedback on, after all, it’s important in any case to hear both sides of the story. Any logical person should do so before drawing conclusions. But most of all I feel personally pressed to address these images because I once believed in everything they attest to. But my opinions changed when I myself began to explore both sides of the story.

This is a common misconception that Christian missionaries just pass out bibles to poverty stricken people. This is hardly the case! Missionaries worldwide provide food, build homes, provide medical aid, job training, children education, and dig fresh water wells in addition to passing out Bibles. Christianity is the leading primary force behind feeding the poverty stricken all over the world. I volunteer with an organization called CHF (Children’s Hunger Fund) which alone provided $43.7 million dollars worth of food to poverty stricken people worldwide and domestically just last year (2010). Not to mention $24.6 million in medical aid. And this is just one of hundreds of Christian non-profit outreach organizations around the world. As of 2005, there were 4.19 million Christian Missionaries in predominantly Christian countries and 1.31 million missionaries in non-Christian countries. This is only taking into consideration full-time missionaries, not the millions of part-time missionaries.

Another factor to consider is the longevity of Christian Missionary Aid. Take the disaster in Haiti a few years ago. Whereas most secular organizations immediately responded to the disaster, did great work and saved many lives, the majority have packed up and left. Christian missions on the other hand were in Haiti long before the disaster, provided massive aid during the recovery, and still remain in Haiti and will remain for years to come.

You also can’t deny the immense dedication of missionary workers to the cause, often risking their lives to provide aid. A year or two ago a team of Christian doctors on a missionary journey through Afghanistan to provide medical aid to isolated villages were executed by a local militia. They were aware of the risks and dangers but proceeded anyways, because the danger factor was preventing any other forms of aid from reaching the villages.

Christianity also brings something else to the mix that secular aid organizations cannot; hope. You can feed a person, give them a home, but nothing is as powerful as instilling hope in a hopeless person. Matthew Parris, an atheist and a retired member of Parliament wrote the following about Christian aid in Africa; “Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.” To read Parris’ article in full, please visit: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article5400568.ece

The message in this picture is obvious. All these men are respectable and intelligent and contributed much to mankind. So if they’re all atheist, then clearly atheism is for smart and respectable people. The problem is that whomever created this picture clearly doesn’t know the definition of atheism, or just flat out doesn’t know their history.

Take for example, Abraham Lincoln, WHO WAS NOT AN ATHEIST. He was more or less private about his faith. He came from a religious family and attended church from time to time with his own family, but not frequently. Yet historians agree he knew the Bible extremely well and used Biblical principals in his speeches often. His famous Emancipation Proclamation was actually inspired by the book of Exodus in the Bible. At one time, he was actually confronted about his faith in which he replied, “That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular.” It may be a stretch to label him as a Christian  but to call label him an atheist would be fallacious.

Benjamin Franklin- Wasn’t an atheist, nor a Christian. He was a deist, believing in God, but not in the Bible. During America’s rebellion against England, Franklin coined the term, “Rebelling tyrants is obedience to God.”

Albert Einstein- Also not an atheist, but certainly not a Christian either. Einstein was a Deist that did not believe in a personal God. You can look up all kinds of quotes from Einstein talking about a Creator God.

Charles Darwin- Though originally a Christian, Darwin did become an Atheist (or at least highly skeptical) after the death of his daughter. But, I should use this opportunity to point out Darwin’s education. After all, most people think he was a highly trained scientist. You may be surprised to find out Darwin had no formal training as a scientist outside a of a few classes taken in college. In fact, his only formal training was in Christian ministry. Which is  ironic…

Thomas Jefferson- Not an atheist, but not a Christian either. He was a deist like Franklin.

Again, this picture seems to make it sound like atheism is for smart people. Well Christianity is for intellectuals as well: Galileo, Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Francis Bacon, Ben Carson, etc. just to name a few intellectuals whose discoveries changed mankind, yet were “Bible Thumpers.”

This picture is ultimately a strawman argument. Yes, many Christians do use this circular reasoning to justify their faith. But to claim this is all there is to Christianity is fallacious. I trust in the Bible’s authority based on its historical accuracy proven by archaeology and other extra-biblical sources , it’s incredible preservation, full-filled prophecy, uniformity despite the long periods of time separating the books and various authors, etc. Earning my trust, I affirm that it is the Word of God.

However, many people are quick to point out circular reasoning with Christians and ignore their own circular reasoning. For example, nothing in the Bible ever happened because the Bible isn’t true and the Bible isn’t true because nothing written in it ever happened. Many people to try to point out circular reasoning in Christians when they themselves are likewise just as guilty.

Lastly, circular arguments are not all logical fallacies. A circular argument is only a fallacy when it is arbitrary. Some circular arguments are not in this case. For example: Without the laws of logic we could not make an argument. We can make an argument. Therefore there must be laws of logic. This argument is circular, but non-fallacious. There is no other way to prove the laws of logic exist without presupposing them to exist in the first place. Same goes for mathematics. You cannot prove mathematics without assuming mathematics first. In any case, the picture above does little to undermine Christianity when there are so many highly rational arguments for it to rest on.

The message here is pretty obvious, Creationism is for the uneducated imbecile. This is of course neglecting the many well educated scientists that adhere to creationism. Furthermore, don’t be mistaken into thinking that the only evidence for Creationism is just “because the Bible says so.” Many of the evidences used for evolution can likewise be applied to creation theory. Though for someone who takes the Bible as the inherit word of God, “because the Bible says so”  is a great conclusion. But I can’t expect someone who does not believe in the word of God to take the Bible as evidence. With that, there are many examples of the earth being young; Helium in the Earth’s atmosphere,  Faint Sun Paradox, depleting magnetic field of Earth, the increasing orbit of the moon, accelerated nuclear decay problem, etc. As far as evidence showing that the earth is millions of years old, the mainstay is radiometric dating, which is prone contamination, inconclusive results and inaccurate results that are always been revised. Ultimately, the Bible does not give an exact date of earth’s creation and radiometric dating is a very broad series of dates. One says the earth is thousands of years old, the other millions to billions. Either way, no exact date is known, and no one should be arrogant enough to claim they do. All one can do is side with the worldview that earth is billions of years old, or the worldview that it is thousands of years old.

The inconsistencies with this statement show that the author has a very shallow understanding of Christian doctrine. First, God did not create man and women with sin, God’s original creation was “good” (Genesis 1:26-31). Man and woman however had freewill, and in their freewill they both chose to disobey God and therefore “sin” (Genesis 3). Eve also did not necessarily eat an apple, she just ate a “fruit” (Genesis 3:6). The Bible does not declare what kind of fruit was eaten. Only in traditions centuries later was an apple popularized as the fruit. Furthermore, Jesus’ sacrifice was not for the sin “I [God] originally condemned you too,” since as just stated, the sin was the result of man’s freewill. The author goes on to say that there is no evidence of this… despite there being 4 eye-witness narratives (one of which being a collaboration of multiple eyewitnesses [Luke]), corresponding historical references from Roman historians, corresponding documentation from the Talmud (anti-Christian), not to mention the dozens of historical locations and figures mentioned in these narratives that have all been confirmed by archaeology. As far as historical evidence from the 1st century goes, it doesn’t get any better than that!

In addition, the “tales” aren’t conflicting when one studies them objectively and without bias. What are usually misconceived as contradictions are usually variances that would naturally be found in testimony from different sources, which are in fact not found in conflict when thoroughly examined. Also, being written down decades after the events described was extremely common practice in ancient times. Only in more modern times are historical events recorded instantly. And calling the authors “uneducated desert people” shows again a lack of knowledge on the subject considering Luke was a physician and Matthew a tax collector. However, to compare people in the ancient world to people of today which have limitless amount of data at easy access is an unfair assessment to label them as “uneducated.” 50 years from now, people will look back at you and consider you an ignorant and uneducated person because you currently don’t know what they will know in the future… yet you think you are smart.

Then to go on and say that Christianity bears an incredibly similar resemblance to other religions, shows yet again, very little knowledge of not only Christianity, but the other religions it is unfairly accused of ripping off. Unfortunately, without a specific claim made though I cannot address this topic in more detail. In addition, God’s punishment for those who do not believe in him cannot be found contradictory to His love because God is all Just. He cannot be unjust. And because he cannot be unjust, He will always judge fairly. Love defined is not a blind love that allows all deeds to go unpunished. And considering His sacrafice for us to be reconciled to Him, we can clearly see His love!

To address the last line of this comic, which alludes to God’s knowledge of the future preventing our freewill, I have this to say: The argument is that if God knows everything you’re going to do before you do it, then you never had a choice in the matter. For example if God knows you’re going to pick plastic bags at the market instead of paper bags, then you were never going to choose paper, and therefore never had a choice. The counter-argument is that God is omniscient not humans. If humans were capable of knowing their future decisions, then yes, we would not have a choice in the matter. But since we do not know our future we do have a choice, God just knows in advance the choice we are going to make. We as humans have the free will to make any decision, and God knows the results of those decisions. God’s omniscience does not influence our decisions and therefore does not corrupt our freewill.

This is a very common misconception, and it is flat out incorrect. Sure, there are a handful of Christians out there that do believe the earth is flat, but the vast majority has, for thousands of years, not believed in a flat earth. This misconception stems from three verses that are widely misunderstood in the Bible.

Daniel 4:11 is often taken out of context to prove the earth is flat because a tree is referenced as being so large all the world could see it. And how could that be possible unless the entire earth was flat, right?  In context, one would understand that Daniel 4 is the retelling of a dream King Nebuchadnezzar had (Daniel 4:5). A dream in which symbol was used to represent what would later on happen to Nebuchadnezzar. It would be inappropriate to conclude that the symbolic dream of a Babylonian king is proof that the Bible teaches that the earth is flat. A second verse used by skeptics is Matthew 4:8 in which Satan takes Jesus onto a high mountain to see all the Kingdoms of the World. How would it be possible to see all the Kingdoms of the world from a mountain unless the earth was flat? At this point though, we need to again take the verses in context. Satan appears to Jesus and instantly takes him to a high mountain top. Clearly this is a supernatural event! One must consider that this is also the third temptation of Satan to Jesus. The first takes place in the desert, the second on top of the temple, the third on top of the highest mountain. Clearly the anty is being upped as Satan is trying harder each and every time to tempt Jesus with power. Besides, even 1st century people were aware that even from a high mountain top you could not see the entire range of the earth (even if you thought it was flat). Lastly, some skeptics claim that Revelation 7:1 indicates the earth is flat. However, “four corners” of the world was used by ancient cultures for centuries to indicate the four directions of north, south, east and west. No where in the Bible is it written that the earth is flat.

In fact, Job 26:10 and Isaiah 40:21-22 indicates that the earth is “circular.” Which also coincides with the “corners” being North, South, East and West and not corners on a flat surface as a circular disc would not have corners. It should also be noted that the word “circle” used in these OT verses comes from the Hebrew word “chuwg” which also means sphere or round.

The Greeks originally discovered the roundness of the Earth. Ancient civilizations were very knowledgeable of the earth being round considering the amount of attention they spent on observing the stars and other celestial objects in the night sky. Christian theologians by the numbers also proclaimed their belief in a round earth. In fact, only two Christian writers from the past have ever been recorded for promoting a flat earth, one a heretic from the 4th century named Lactantius and an Egyptian monk from the 6th century named Cosmas. So two… from the entire history of ancient Christian literature…

There are many claims that Christians prosecuted and condemned those who thought the earth was round, but there is no historical evidence of this what so ever. Contrary to popular belief that the Church condemned Christopher Columbus from traveling West because they though he’d fall of the face of the planet, in reality the Church was well aware of the Earth being round. They condemed Columbus because they believed the earth was too large for Columbus to circumnavigate cheaply. In otherwords, it was too expensive! The error the Church made was not the earth being flat, but instead thinking the ocean was too large.

In fact, no one has ever accused Christianity of being believers in a flat earth until the 19th and 20th centuries, when supporters of Darwinian Evolution were looking to discredit Christians challenging the theory. To do this they refer to Cosmas and Lactantius (ignoring the hundreds of other Christian authors distinctly not flat-earthers) and the three verses mentioned earlier, which only work when taken out of context. Clearly the Bible does not teach of a flat earth.

Notice how the author presents false alternatives, pitting science against the authors of the Bible in an effort to proclaim that the two are at odds with one another. The author assumes that you can only have one of the other; science or scripture. The author uses the word “primitive” as well to suggest the authors of scripture are ignorant. But the most ironic part is the assumption that all the animals from Noah’s Ark were within walking distance from Noah, which any numb-skull knows is impossible right? The problem is that the author does not know the Biblical Framework of the flood and Noah’s Ark. If they did, they’d know that creationists believe that prior to the flood all the continents were fused together in one giant landmass known as Pangea by modern scientists, which is of course well supported and established by modern geological synthesis and plat tectonics. The Bible suggests this as well in Genesis 1:9 in which during the creation God declared that the waters be gathered into one place, or one ocean.

Furthermore, assuming many animals were very far from Noah, they had many years to reach him, and as we know from observing animals today they are capable of great migrations that can cover hundreds and thousands of miles. None of which can be disputed by modern science, and therefore it would be incorrect to pit “the works of science” against “primitives” in regards to the animals traveling to Noah’s Ark, when the two are not in contradiction. Regardless, we can’t ignore the supernatural element of the flood and the Ark. If the entire event could be explained by natural causes and possibilities it wouldn’t be a supernatural display of God’s power would it?

Here we see a classic example of common belief among individuals towards the scientific community. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me that scientists strive for truth and have no predetermined beliefs, it is only what is provable that they believe in ect ect. Here is a new flash for everyone: … EVERYONE has presuppositions and predetermined beliefs, even scientists. EVERYONE is guilty of what this comic declares that science is innocent of; letting presuppositions determined conclusion.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s here from anti-creationists…

‘Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic’

-Dr Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University:

“Philosophically, the notion of a being of the present order of Nature is repugnant… I should like to find a genuine loophole. We must give evolution time to get started.”

-Sir Arthur Eddington, Cosmologist
“It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

-Professor Richard Lewontin, geneticist.

“…evolution itself is accepted by zoologists, not because it has been observed to occur or can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is incredible.”

-D.M.S. Watson, Professor and Chairman of Evolution, University of London

“At this point, it is necessary to reveal a little inside information about how scientists work, something the textbooks don’t usually tell you. The fact is that scientists are not really as objective and dispassionate in their work as they would like you to think. Most scientists first get their ideas about how the world works not through rigorously logical processes but through hunches and wild guesses. As individuals they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is. Motivated by faith in his own ideas and a desire for acceptance by his peers, a scientist will labor for years knowing in his heart that his theory is correct but devising experiment after experiment whose results he hopes will support his position.”

-Boyce Rensberger, Scientific Author and Writer

“Science … is not so much concerned with truth as it is with consensus. What counts as “truth”? is what scientists can agree to count as truth at any particular moment in time … [Scientists] are not really receptive or not really open-minded to any sorts of criticisms or any sorts of claims that actually are attacking some of the established parts of the research (traditional) paradigm — in this case neo-Darwinism — so it is very difficult for people who are pushing claims that contradict the paradigm to get a hearing. They’ll find it difficult to [get] research grants; they’ll find it hard to get their research published; they’ll, in fact, find it very hard.”
-Professor Evelleen Richards, Science Historian

As you can clearly see, evolutionists (or scientists as this comic portrays them) are guilty of doing the very the same thing this comic mocks Christians of doing: Already having a conclusion and fitting the evidence to match the conclusion. This is referred to as having a presupposition. And to accuse someone else of doing it but not yourself is hypocrisy.

The message of this image is clear: How could there be a loving God with so much hate, pain and suffering in the world? There is so much to write about this subject, yet for sake of space I’ll recommend you to sources that have already addressed this: http://www.gotquestions.org/is-God-cruel.html, http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-suffering.html, http://www.bookemon.com/read-book/51472/page-1284106, or http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/why-does-creation-include-suffering

The message in this picture is evident as well: Christians tend to ignore or not bring any attention to the mean God of the OT. Honestly, I can see the reasoning behind the person who created it: The Old Testament speaks of a God OK with killing, while the New Testament speaks of peace and kindness, even to our enemies. What a contradiction! But this contradiction is only warranted when the verses are taken OUT of context, with the verses isolated. This is an issue I seem to come across consistently with people who discredit the bible based on reading a few verses and not reading the entire book. If they took the time to read it all, with un-bias, they might be surprised.

One of the first topics people bring up to show how evil and brutal God is in the Bible is the Flood. Genesis records a global flood that killed all of the human population. How could a loving God kill so many people? Well the Bible says God is all knowing, Job 12:13, pure Justice, Psalm 9:16/Psalm 11:7 and is the only thing truly good, Mark 10:18. So God is all knowing, who’s decisions are good and just. In Genesis we read that prior to the flood everyone in the world was evil, Genesis 6:5-13. God found Noah and his family in favor and thus gave him instruction to build the Ark prior to the flood. 2 Peter 2:5 states that Noah warned people of the impending flood as well. This is a common theme we find in the Bible prior to massive judgment from God. There’s always a chance provided for those committing evil to stop and turn from their ways. So we see that an all knowing God deemed all the world evil except Noah and his family, subsequently people where warned of the impending flood but chose to ignore the warnings, and the only people who remained righteous were spared. That sounds just to me.

Then there is Sodom and Gomorrah found in Genesis 18:20-33. Cities that were found to be full of evil people to the point where Abraham asks God if He would spare the cities if 10 righteous people were found in the cities? God said in that case that He would spare the cities. Well, all-knowing, good and just God destroyed both cities so we can conclude that there were not 10 righteous people there. But God did send two angels to retrieve Lot and his family from the impending destruction, which only numbered six. Here we see God providing a means of escape and salvation for particular family members in the city, because he promised Abraham he would.

Then there are the 10 plagues of Egypt. In which the Pharaoh is asked multiple times to let the Israelites leave. Every time the Pharaoh refused, God released a plague on the Egyptians. The Pharaoh didn’t agree to release the Israelites until the final plague of Egypt, which was the death of all firstborns written of in Exodus 11. Here we have another example of God giving evil people (in this case Pharaoh and the rest of Egypt that was keeping the Israelites in punishing slavery) multiple opportunities to avoid harm done onto them.

God even punished His own Israelite people when they didn’t listen to His commands. The prophets warned the Israelites numerous times to turn from their ways and begin to follow God’s Laws again. But they refused, multiple times. And multiple times God punished them, allowing other countries to invade and conquer His own people. This is a great testimony to how just God is, that he would even bring harm onto His own people when they commit to evil.

Isn’t interesting that people will call someone evil if they’ve been wronged against, and demand justice. Yet will question God for destroying evil populations of people even though they were warned prior to (in some cases multiple times) and the righteous were spared from harm. That sounds like a Just God to me.

Now that God has been addressed, what about people killing in the name of God? Is it Ok to kill? Well, Exodus 20:13 states not to commit murder. But just a few chapters later in Exodus 22:2 we’re told it is OK to kill a thief? What? I’m confused. And instead of just writing this off as a contradiction thus proving the Bible is a ridiculous book written by dumb people in the past… let’s stop try to understand what is really being written here.

First, let’s distinguish between killing and murder. Murder is an unlawful taking of life. Killing may be either a lawful or unlawful taking of life. Killing is not a simple black and white case of either right and wrong, there are qualification outlined in the OT. For example, killing another person in an act of self-defense Exodus 22:2 was considered acceptable, just as it is today. That was considered a capital offense. Mosaic Law made certain crimes a capital offense, the punishment of which was death, thereby making the death an execution not murder.

When Joshua was ordered to conquer the land in Canaan in Deuteronomy 20:16-17, he was ordered to kill everyone. Skeptics will often make the logical fallacy of begging the question, by stating that the people that inhabited the land were innocent. But from reading Leviticus 18 we learn that the people inhabiting the land were not innocent, but instead committed to bestiality, pedophilia, murder and child sacrifice among other evils. Again, we see that God deemed all of them as evil. In these situations were Joshua killed these people, he was commanded by God as an instrument of God’s justice.

So we see that God acts justly against evil; Isaiah 13:11, 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10 and Proverbs 11:21. But also offers mercy to those that turn from their evil ways, Exodus 20:6, Deuteronomy 7:9, Ephesians 2:4. This is mostly seen by God sending of Jesus to earth to better demonstrate and communicate His mercy and salvation, John 3:16. We should also consider the fact that God is responsible for all life. So if God, is all-knowing, good, just, and gives us life. How can we argue why and when he takes that life? If God exists, you can’t argue His motives. If God doesn’t exist than why would you argue his character? Arguing his character as portrayed in the Bible does not make God any more or less real. You can choose to disagree with God’s motives and turn from Him, but that in no way makes God any more or less real. If you believe he doesn’t exist, than what is the point of arguing His character?

I also feel compelled to question how certain atheists or agnostics could label God to be bad, evil or wrong. Without a God, how do we know what is good? What makes it “good” to be “good?” How can we determine what is bad. If it is an individual’s opinion, we can simply reject it. If it is public opinion, then it is only as good as the public agreement can make it. To truly know if something is good or not, we’d need an outside source from which to derive this goodness. A source that is universal and abstract: God. Without God, then who is to really say you’re being good? Remember, the Nazi’s thought what they were doing to the Jews was OK. But yet we can all agree it wasn’t, right? Well if good and bad is not absolute, but instead a matter of convention, than how can we say the Nazi’s were wrong for doing what they did. How can we punish them for doing something they thought was OK? Yet, we do and did. Because good and bad is an absolute abstract non-material concept. Without the outside source of an all good and all just God who is to say what is really good or bad, right or wrong? Food for thought next time you may be thinking God is being a little too harsh…

In regards to the slavery, I’ve posted about this subject before which can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=151171118266578

And in regards to bears killing children… that comes from 2 Kings 2:23-25. You better believe I’d know this one considering my affinity for bears! The verses read as follows: “He (Elisha) went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, “Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!” 24 When he turned around and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.” Wow, that sounds kinda gnarly! But you can’t formulate an opinion on a bible verse without knowing the context or the characters involved. So let’s break down these verses.

First, Elisha was traveling to Bethel after leaving Jericho where Elisha had just performed a mercy-miracle, thus demonstrating God’s mercy. Second, the populations between Bethel and Jericho (a 10-mile distance) were notorious for containing idol worshippers and cult followers. These “boys” weren’t just playfully mocking him for having a baldhead. Elisha was well known and well respected as a prophet of God. The jeers were certainly attacks at Elisha’s belief and role as a prophet for the God of Israel. Third, the term “boy” should be better understood. During this time, a male from twelve to thirty was referred to as neurim qetannim, which is translated to boys or young men. Isaac was referred to as a boy in Genesis 22:12, when he was in his early twenties. Kings 20:14-15 refers to their Army men in similar fashion. So these “boys” are more adequately young men between the age of 12 and 30. Fourth, pointing out someone’s baldhead in the past was a pretty disrespectful. Lepers were forced to shave their heads to distinguish them as outcasts in these times. Baldness was deemed a curse. Fifth, this wasn’t just an innocent jeering. The last verse says the bears mauled forty-two of the young men, alluding to the fact there were more than that in total. Sounds like a mob or mass demonstration. So in summary, a prophet of God who just conducted a mercy miracle is confronted by a mob of young men that are challenging God and more than likely jeopardizing Elisha’s safety. In knowing this we can see that God sending two bears to protect Elisha and harm the cult following idol worshippers shouldn’t be considered evil by God.

So these are all my retorts and rebuttals. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when it appears that opinion has been made without consultation of the opposing viewpoint, I feel compelled to respectfully provide a counter-argument. Thank you.

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Comments
  1. matthew2262 says:

    Presupposition of evolution:

    Dr Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University:

    ‘Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic’

    Todd, S.C., correspondence to Nature 401(6752):423, 30 Sept. 1999.

  2. matt parker says:

    Noteworthy scientists that believed in Creationism:

    Galileo Galilei
    Johann Kepler
    Blaise Pascal
    Robert Boyle
    Isaac Newton
    John Dalton
    William Rhind
    Louis Pasteur
    Lord Kelvin William Thompson
    William Ramsay

    For more go to: http://creation.com/scientists-of-the-past-who-believed-in-a-creator

  3. matthew2262 says:

    At this point, it is necessary to reveal a little inside information about how scientists work, something the textbooks don’t usually tell you. The fact is that scientists are not really as objective and dispassionate in their work as they would like you to think. Most scientists first get their ideas about how the world works not through rigorously logical processes but through hunches and wild guesses. As individuals they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is. Motivated by faith in his own ideas and a desire for acceptance by his peers, a scientist will labor for years knowing in his heart that his theory is correct but devising experiment after experiment whose results he hopes will support his position.

    Boyce Rensberger, How the World Works, William Morrow, NY, 1986, pp. 17–18. Rensberger is an ardently anti-creationist science writer. See refutation of his Washington Post article attacking creation.

  4. matthew2262 says:

    ‘I had motive for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.’

    Huxley, A., Ends and Means, 1937, pp. 270 ff.

  5. rational responder says:

    You really avoided answering a lot of the major points.
    And I would like to hear of how you decided that all of the earlier myths that resemble the christian religion are false, yet they all suddenly happened, exactly as written before. AND THAT TIME IT WAS DEFINITELY TRUE.

    Over looking the far fetched religion itself, which only evidence is a bunch of books written by man, hundreds of year after the existence of the man it preaches. I look to the god it speaks of, a jealous, evil, mass murdering, hate filled god. If I was to throw intelligence aside for a second and believe in a god, why would I put my belief in someone fitting the description above. I’d believe in a nice, understanding god.

    And as for the followers of God. Why would I wish to join a fan club, who preaches hate for his fellow man, who kills, wages war, and destroys over an opinion. Everything christians do in the name of god, really does go against the apparent teachings of Jesus. I didn’t realize he wanted you to condemn others because they aren’t like you…now that isn’t very christian of you.

    I’d rather be atheist, happy and love human kind, then theist, bound down by preachers, hating who they told me to hate.

    Remove religion from the world, and you remove a majority percentage of hate and war.
    Religion is an abomination.

    • matthew2262 says:

      Well hello and thank you for your comment. Forgive me if I failed to answer a lot of the major points. It was an awful lot to cover and surely I missed a few. Perhaps you could let me know which points I missed and I could discuss them with you. For now, I’ll just discuss the ones you mentioned here:

      Regarding the earlier myths that resemble the Christian religion, I will be posting on this soon enough, but until I do, please visit the following website for clarification on this; http://realityofjesus.webs.com/conspiracytheories.htm
      For the record, the earlier myths hardly resemble anything Christian-like when you research them yourself.

      You say the books written about Jesus were written hundreds of years after the existence of Jesus. But you must not have researched the manuscripts of the New Testament because they’re all written LESS than 100 years after the lifetime of Christ. See my other blog posts: http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/is-the-story-of-jesus-a-legend/
      Or http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/how-can-we-know-who-really-wrote-the-gospels/

      You say you’d believe in a nice understanding God. Well in that case you’ll be happy to hear that God is just that:

      John 3:16 (NIV); For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
      Psalm 103:11 (NIV); For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
      so great is his love for those who fear him;
      Romans 5:8 (NLT): But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

      You say Christians preach hate? I apologize if the Christians in your life have preached hate. I assure you the Bible is AGAINST hate and any Christians you have encountered who hate others aren’t Christians at all, though they may claim to be. Regardless, the way self-proclaimed Christians act do not render the Bible false if they contradict the Bible’s teachings. In other words, if a police officer treats me unfairly and abuses his power it does not mean that law enforcement as a whole is false and should be done away with.

      1 Peter 1:22 (NIV); Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
      1 Peter 4:8 (NIV); Above all, love each other deeply.
      2 Timothy 2:25 (NIV); Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,
      Matthew22:37-39 (NIV); “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
      I also recommend reading the short chapter on Love in 1 Corinthians (Chapter 13).

      You also make some accusations about me on no grounds other than speculation. You know nothing about me. You also say that religion is the majority percentage of hate and war in the world… yet statistics show that religion has only been responsible for 7% of all the wars in human history per the Encyclopedia of Wars written by Charles Phillips and Alan Axelrod. The majority of wars are actually the result of politics, greed, land disputes, ect.

      It sounds like you’ve had a very negative experience with Christians in your life, and I want to apologize on behalf of Christ for how you’ve been treated. I promise you not all Christians are like that. I am not like that. Please don’t harden your heart to Christ. Keep you heart mind and soul open and keep searching for Him and He will reveal Himself to you. Matthew 7:7-8 says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

      Take care, and please keep in touch. I’d like to continue this conversation if you so wish to continue.

  6. Vincent says:

    So… Let me get this straight, you believe in a talking snake? I’m always astounded by religious people trying to engage critically in debate with scientists whilst they don’t feel the need to explain the fact that they believe in talking snakes, magical trees, people living in a fish etc.

    If you religious people want to debate with scientist, you should at least have the same level of understanding of biology, physics, history, chemistry etc. depending on the topic you’d like to discuss. You must understand that scientist have studied and done research for years and years before they stumbled upon a new discovery which accidentally contradicts the bible. Before the discovery or theory is accepted as ‘real’ it is tested thoroughly (!) by other scientist. Science is not one big happy family where everyone agrees immediately. They try to shatter each others theories with new/other evidence or with pure logic. When the discovery/theory holds, meaning the scientific community can’t ‘break’ it, we accept it for reality until proven otherwise (new evidence). That is a good thing, it means progress: old theories are improved or new ones are developed to better understand the universe. Religion doesn’t improve epistemological. it just sticks to a book which was actually put together under several councils during the period of the roman empire for the sake of stability. It’s not scientific in any way. There is a gap of more than millennium between the two. It’s a bit silly to use the bible instead of science for epistemological ideas.

    For instance: you can’t prove with deductive or inductive arguments that a snake is capable of speaking. There is no way. Of course the religious reply is: God did that with his godly powers or something like that. You are asking us to believe in magic, you must understand: that is quite a demand… A demand which is being sufficed by almost only non-scientific people. It’s just not the way it goes in science. You think you have some good arguments but they all end up being based on FAITH which is not a constituent of scientific methodology.

    I’m curious, what is your academic background? Reading the following: “In the little free time I have I enjoy reading and studying biblical scripture, apologetics, history, and science. I consider myself an amatuer apologist.” Of course I have nothing against you reading this in your free time, in fact I encourage it. But if that is all you do, you miss most important thing you need to be a sort of academic: methodology. I presume you are just a scissors-paste person (not to offend though, sorry). Read the following to understand:

    “Collingwood denounces historians who employ the method of inductive generalisations as writing pseudo-histories. The pseudo history that Collingwood has in mind is of the kind one finds in Hume’s account of miracles. According to Hume, a historian who comes across statements which are, in the eyes of the historians, false, should simply discard them. Historians who come across statements asserting the occurrence of miracles should ask themselves whether an inductive generalisation based on their own experience of reality would provide probabilistic evidence for the occurrence of miraculous events. If the experience of the historian fails to provide such probabilistic support, then the historian is justified in deeming the statement false and cutting it from the available evidence. Collingwood calls this kind of history scissors-and-paste history and condemns it as a pseudo history. Genuine history seeks to recover the meaning behind the statements, not whether they are true or false. To recover such meanings historians must try, as far as possible, to bear in mind the epistemic and motivational premises of agents, even when they regard them as false. Thus an historian who comes across a statement claiming that certain agents changed their itinerary in order to avoid crossing mountains inhabited by devils, should not discard the statement as false but rather understand the decision making process in the light of the agent’s beliefs, even if these are not shared by the historian. In investigating the actions of historical agents, Collingwood reminds us, historians cannot presuppose that the agents whose actions they are trying to interpret share the same background epistemic premises. Whilst the uniformity of nature is an absolute presupposition of natural science (the assumption that nature is uniform is necessary in order to carry out the inductive generalisations that enable us to predict and control the natural environment), historians cannot presuppose that the agents whose thoughts they are trying to recover share their same background beliefs. The presumption of rationality is a presupposition of historical enquiry; but historians must presuppose that agents are rational not in the substantive sense that they hold true beliefs, but in the more minimal sense that they can infer validly from premises to conclusions and act on the practical syllogism.”

    source: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/collingwood/

    If you really want to make sense, study history. You would probably put all your arguments in different perspectives. If you do study history… Well I’m sorry, then you are not doing a great job.

    I do study history and I can tell you this: there is no proof of an excisting God in historical sources. Sure, if you are religious you can base a conclusion on historical ‘evidence’ or testimonies to back up your faith, but they in no way (!) uphold historical methodology/rules/criteria. Every good historian has to follow certain rules or else we could make up our own history. Your citation: “I trust in the Bible’s authority based on its historical accuracy proven by archaeology and other extra-biblical sources , it’s incredible preservation, full-filled prophecy, uniformity despite the long periods of time separating the books and various authors, etc.” Please show me the evidence, I haven’t found any in your link or any ever in my life (Please don’t site the bible).

    About the link to the following website: http://realityofjesus.webs.com/references.htm which you sited to explain resembles with other Gods/prophets is a really unscientific and almost childish website using sources like answeringgenesis? godlandscience? The Da Vinci Code? (It’s a novel written by a nonhistorian who just wanted to make a good story. Though he did a course arthistory, but that is quite different). If you would use these sources as a historian, trying to publish an article, you would the laughing stock of the entire historical community.

    Oh and Charles Darwin religious? In the beginning he was but during his youth he was always in doubt. During his journey around the world he came to the conclusion that he didn’t believe in a god anymore.

    On Albert Einstein:

    “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” (Albert Einstein, 1954).
    Albert Einstein, The Human Side, ed. Helen Dukas and Banesh. Hoffman, Princeton University Press

    and

    “A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”
    Albert Einstein, Religion and Science, New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

    and

    “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbour such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”
    Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955

    You want me to go on? Although its not really relevant for evidence for an (not)excisting god, Einstein does have a point here… :)

    One last thing, about Christian Missionary Aid: yes you are right ;) although you must admit: from the highest command (not meaning god) its not charity. They just want to expand their religion. But that’s okay I suppose.

    Cheers

    • matthew2262 says:

      Thank you for your comment Vincent! Though you seem to suggest that religion and science are always separate, negating the fact that there are a number of prominent scientists that are religious themselves. So I wouldn’t necessarily say that the issue is simply religious people vs. scientists. Religious scientists engage in debate with secular scientists very frequently. Likewise, many poorly educated religious people engage in debates with poorly educated secular people as well. The examples you provide; talking snake, magical tree and living in a fish are of course all supernatural events. So if you are asking whether I believe that supernatural events can occur my answer is yes. If there is a supernatural God, then of course these events are possible. If on the other hand you do not believe in the supernatural, then of course such things seem childish.

      You say: “If you religious people want to debate with scientist, you should at least have the same level of understanding of biology, physics, history, chemistry etc. depending on the topic you’d like to discuss.” I agree. And as I said before, religious scientists debate secular scientists frequently. I myself have not directly debated any scientists (that I’m aware of) so I don’t believe I can be accused of such. Besides, in many of my articles I reference the scientists from which I gather my information from.

      You say that there are many scientific discoveries that contradict the Bible. Please feel free to enlighten me as to which discoveries contradict the Bible. You say, “Before the discovery or theory is accepted as ‘real’ it is tested thoroughly (!) by other scientist.” True, but not all can be tested empirically or with observation, much is the case with scientific theories on origins.

      Yes religion in general may not improve epistemology, but Christianity I believe is the basis for modern science. Just look at European History. China, Persia, Greece and Rome all put emphasis on scholarship and knowledge, but only in Christian Europe starting in the 13th and 14th century do we see a dramatic increase in scientific understanding and the development of science in general. Rodney Stark of Washington University claims that this because the Christian God was rational, responsive, dependable and omnipotent. Christian Europeans believed, “Thou has ordered all things in measure, number and weight.” That there are truths and they can be observed and known. We cannot overlook the work of incredibly “religious” Christian men like Pascal, Galilei, Kepler, Newton, Boyle, Steno, Lord Kelvin, Ramsay etc. to see that Christianity does not prohibit science. “…it just sticks to a book which was actually put together under several councils during the period of the roman empire for the sake of stability.” Please clarify on your stance here. I am not seeing why the council behind how the Bible was established in any way discredits the Bible’s authenticity. “It’s not scientific in any way.” I agree, it’s not supposed to be a scientific textbook. After all, those textbooks are constantly changing and being rewritten. The Bible is a book written for the reconciliation of man with God. And when it comes to observational science, the Bible is not found in contradiction.

      You are assuming that I ignore science and am therefore “silly,” when in fact I take faith in observational science and understand it to be in harmony with the Bible. I also recognize that not everything can be answered and explained by science. Science does not have a monopoly on knowledge. It is irrational to believe that the issue is as black and white as Bible or Science, one or the other. They can and do co-exist in harmony.

      Yes, past supernatural events do require faith, as they cannot be proven via natural or empirical methods the majority of the time. I of course understand that people without this “faith” in the supernatural will of course reject such past events and I don’t hold that against them. However, not everything recorded in the Bible requires FAITH to be understood as true.

      No I’m not a scientist. I ask if you are? And if you are, great. You are more knowledgeable of whichever scientific discipline you are educated in. Though I’ve taken a multitude of scientific courses in college I am not a scientist which is why I reference the work of other scientists (both secular and non-secular) in my articles. You assume incorrectly that I am a scissors-paste person. Regarding your quote from Collingwood, I ask in what ways I have been found guilty of the methodology he describes? I agree with Collingwood in this case. Please feel free to tell me which historical areas I am not doing a great job in.
      My dilemma here is that you seem to have made a hasty generalization about me based on reading one of my articles. You have made a generalization that because I believe in the Bible that I use the very same logic and rationality that you’ve encountered or read of other Christians. I could of course accuse you of Collingwood’s remarks of Hume’s method using your own presuppositions to determine whether or not the historic testimony from the disciples of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels are correct, or any part of the Bible for that matter.

      As far as the evidence that I believe is testimony to the authenticity of the Bible:
      Through Archeology we have unearthed hundreds of cities and artifacts that support the fact that the locations, people, and often events written in the Bible have occurred. I listed a number of places in an older post I wrote: matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/archaeology-and-the-bible/. You could also visit http://www.biblearchaeology.org . Dr. Clifford Wilson, Dr. Bryant C. Wood, Dr. Nelson Gleck, Dr. William F. Albright, Sir William Ramsay, Sir Frederic Kenyon and Yale University’s Dr. Millar Burrows are just a few of the many archaeologists that testify to the Bible’s accuracy in regards to what has been found through archaeology.

      As far as full-filled prophecy, many of the OT prophecies described historical events such as the destruction of Tyre or Alexander the Great’s conquests years before those events actually occurred. There are many prophecies written in scripture that have come to pass. Let me know if you’d like more information on that.
      And it is worth noting the uniformity of the books within the Bible despite the hundreds of years separating many of the books and their authors. When you look at other religions or even something like medicine historically, hundreds of years brings with it many different beliefs that contradict each other in one region or another. Yet the Bible’s books are all in sync with each other despite the authors removed from each other and from very different backgrounds.

      As far as the links I provided, you seem to be suggesting that I am a real scientist or historian presenting this blog to a scientific peer review. Now if that were the case I would be using better sources of course. This article was a quick response to someone that posted these anti-religion comics on Facebook. Since they were of course comics and humor related (based on a very shallow understanding of science and history) I did not bother in getting too particular, I merely wanted to bring forth an opposing view to these comics. If you look at some of my other postings in this blog you’ll see that I put more detail and research into other subjects. With that said, answersingenesis.org and creation.com are websites that contain articles written by actual scientists, and gotquestions.org is written by theologians. So it is not like all the articles I provides links for were written by just anyone.

      You also seem to put words in my mouth, like Charles Darwin being religious. I said Charles Darwin’s only formal education was in theology, to demonstrate of course that he had no formal training as a scientist. And then you posted a variety of quotes from Albert Einstein in some attempt I assume to prove me wrong in that Einstein was a God believing Christian, when the only thing I wrote about Einstein was that he was “not an atheist, but certainly not a Christian either.” Einstein didn’t believe in the Christian God or a personal God, but he believed in there being a God, to which there are multitude of quotes from him supporting. So please, if you wish, go on and provide more quotes from Einstein because none of them contradict what I said about Einstein.

      As far as the charity of Christians I think it is important to understand that we spread our faith simultaneously with charity because to us that is a form of spiritual charity. Just as water and food satisfy thirst or hunger, we believe that faith in Christ satisfies a spiritual hunger. Our discipleship is not to “expand our religion,” but to save souls. We honestly believe we are helping these people eternally. It seems to be one of those damned if you do damned if you don’t situations. If we didn’t preach the gospel, we’d be labeled as hypocrites for not caring enough about others to save them from the hell we believe in. If we do preach the gospel were accused of just trying to spread our religion. I can only speak for myself of course, but we preach the Gospel to others because we genuinely care about others. Just as I genuinely care for you, and I pray that one day you’ll share in my beliefs Vincent.

      With that said, I appreciate your comment and thank you for keeping your opinions respectful.
      Thank you

  7. vincent says:

    I think debating about this can be fun, but I don’t think we will be able to persuade each other. The biggest issue here is that you believe in miracles and I don’t. But still…

    I’m not a scientist, I study history to become a historian (there is some debate if you can call a historian a scientist (humanistic science vs natural science), but of course we claim we do. What I meant is a lot of religious people try to discount scientific theories like evolution. They question hard work on basis of faith. I just think that is not justified. The ‘scientific’ religious people who try to combine religion and science with for example intelligent design are called pseudo-scientists. They do not follow scientific methodology. I know there are good scientists who are religious, they don’t mix it up.

    Your Rodney Stark uses creationism and the bible as one of his epistemological sources, I believe. I haven’t read his books so I can’t be sure. But if he does, well… Of course Christianity had a huge influence on the course of history. Your example of the renaissance is a result of the crusades which where initiated by the Popes: lost knowlegde (pre-dark age) was reclaimed by Europe. Treasures, inventions, philosophies where brought back. Despite the wars, trade was established between Middle-East and Europe. These are the main causes of renaissance and the expansion of knowledge (which the church didn’t really encourage). You can say: that was God his plan. Well I just don’t believe that.

    About prophecies: I don’t believe in prophecies. I believe in chance :) (believe? Chance is just a statistical reality).

    On the bible archeology: no time to read that now (I’m in exams now) but it sounds interesting. I also mean for example the great flood (long time ago I have seen something on National Geographic about people trying to find the ark but they where dismissed), genesis, people living inside a fish (a simple experiment could prove it wrong or right. Though I don’t think there will be volunteers haha).

    I don’t think religion and science can be one… Please watch the following: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ReV0nCuObcs I know it is Bill Maher and that he is not really objective, but he interviews the former director of the Vatican observatory. It’s not evidence of course. Just an opinion.

    About: “The Bible is a book written for the reconciliation of man with God. And when it comes to observational science, the Bible is not found in contradiction.” Well I seriously doubt that, but I need to look in to that. If you are right than any religion is just as credible as yours. I could even say that I believe the Harry Potter novels are based on true events because observational science can’t contradict it… Or that pink unicorns exist etc.

    The sites answeringgenesis etc are not objective.

    ” My dilemma here is that you seem to have made a hasty generalization about me based on reading one of my articles. You have made a generalization that because I believe in the Bible that I use the very same logic and rationality that you’ve encountered or read of other Christians.”

    Well I’m sorry I generalized. You”re right! I’m still learning as a student. But I also don’t have the time to read all your articles and sources (I would if you where my study subject haha).

    ” I could of course accuse you of Collingwood’s remarks of Hume’s method using your own presuppositions to determine whether or not the historic testimony from the disciples of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels are correct, or any part of the Bible for that matter.”

    No you can’t. It is about understanding why people wrote the bible and try to understand why they did that. I can understand, I just don’t believe it because it has no empirical basis.

    On Einstein: I don’t think it will help to quote more. You just need to read the following quote again: “It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” (Albert Einstein, 1954).” Which means: I don’t believe in any form of religion, he believes in ‘science’ -> if something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it”

    Charity: Well yes I understand you really try to save people. But power and influence are more important for some (and I mean for only the ones who are in charge, they have something to lose). That is what I believe :) and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do that by the way. I think its great as long as their own cultural habits and believe systems are respected, meaning still providing help even if the ‘poor soul’ won’t come around or else it would just be a bribe.

    Thank you for your care. Really. But I’m afraid I’m not going to turn around, so this poor soul will probably burn in hell. Or we both will because we don’t believe in Allah, it could be a possibility you know. That would be a shame! Well at least I will have someone to talk about interesting stuff. But lets just hope there is a good place where everyone is welcome, where nobody is judged on basis of faith! Or lets hope there is nothing, I think living for the rest of eternity will eventually get boring, I think I’d go crazy after ten billion years.

    I appreciate your answers and respect as well. That’s how the world should be :) no need to crash planes into buildings or organize crusades (yes I blow this a bit out of perspective, I know most ‘religious wars’ are just politics… But still, religion is used in a wrong way to persuade people doing really really stupid things).

    Well I’m off to study again :) Good luck with your life and your website

    PS: You probably noticed: English is not my main language

    • matthew2262 says:

      Hello again Vincent! Thank you for writing back and not just posting and running like some people tend to do. I agree, debating these things in a polite and respectful realm is fun, even if we cannot persuade one another, you can often learn from hearing the viewpoints of others that believe differently than you.

      I agree that creationists maintain an element of faith, which cannot be doubted. But we must acknowledge that there is an element of faith required to lean towards accepting evolution theory as truth among scientists as well. After all, direct observable evidence that cannot be disputed for macroevolution has yet to be presented. Only microevolution can be directly observed, and anything beyond that is speculation. This acknowledgment isn’t just held by creationists but by prominent non-creationists as well.

      For example:

      “Evolution is unproved and unprovable [sic]. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.”
      -Sir Arthur Keith, Anthropologist

      “The belief that life on earth arose spontaneously from non-living matter, is simply a matter of faith in strict reductionism and is based entirely on ideology.”
      Hubert P. Yockey, physicist and information theorist.

      “Science proceeds through open-mindedness and the falsification of null hypotheses, not through the rhetorical pronouncement of dogmas. Popper and many since have exposed the problems associated with trying to prove any positive hypothesis. Neither induction nor deduction is foolproof. Theses that cannot be proven ought not to be proclaimed as positive statements of fact. While proof may be evasive, science has an obligation to be honest about what the entire body of evidence clearly suggests. We cannot just keep endlessly labeling abundant evidence of formal prescription in nature “apparent”. The fact of purposeful programming at multiple layers gets more “apparent” with each new issue of virtually every molecular biology journal.”
      -David Abel, Biologist

      “…evolution itself is accepted by zoologists, not because it has been observed to occur or can be proven by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative, special creation, is incredible.”
      -D.M.S. Watson, Professor and Chairman of Evolution, University of London

      In addition, Intelligent Design theorists follow the scientific method as is outlined and required by their establishment. They are often falsely labeled as pseudo-scientists simply because of the conclusions they reach, not because of their methodology. I recommend visiting: http://www.intelligentdesign.org/whatisid.php which briefly describes in their own words their methodology.

      In regards to the expanse of knowledge during the renaissance, sure, one could argue the cause of the renaissance, but that doesn’t explain why Europe would surpass the rest of the world if they were merely copying existing technologies or inventions they came across during the Crusades. But that is neither here nor there. My objective in bringing up the renaissance is to point out that Christianity does not hinder scientific progress. And by Christianity, I am not referencing religious authority (like the Pope or Vatican), but Christianity as outlined per the Bible and as believed by the scientists themselves that fueled this movement. Many of the very fathers of modern science as well as many prominent scientists still today are Bible-believing Christians, yet we can’t discount their work and contributions to science. Therefore, I think Christianity does not hinder epistemology.

      I can understand why someone would initially not believe in prophecy. But to say “chance” is a statistical reality… I might have to disagree there, of course in certain contexts I would agree. So it depends on the context in which you’re referring to chance as a statistical reality.

      As far as the flood, the geological evidence is the same as the evidence uniformitarian geologists use. In other words, the evidence is the same (stratification, mineral deposits, plate tectonics, fossil beds, etc.) the difference is in the presuppositions of those examining the evidence. Uniformitarians don’t think a global flood could have ever occurred, creationists do, so the evidence is viewed and fitted differently into corresponding presuppositions. Outside of the geological evidence, the only other form of evidence that comes to mind is the astounding number of civilizations that have legends of a global flood destroying all living creatures. Now as far as finding an ark, I personally don’t think one will ever be found. Let’s say hypothetically there was a massive wooden ark on a mountain top from 3,000 or 4,000 years ago; I think it is safe to say that wood would have either rotted away or was used by locals for building material, fire wood, ect. Not to mention, many mountains in the Arat are still actively volcanic… one lava flow would take out the arc pretty quickly if it were on such a mountain. So I personally think it’s long gone, but if it really was found, super. As far as people living in a fish, whales are most certainly large enough, I heard 30 people could stand on the tongue of a blue whale. But of course, that whole situation with Jonah would require supernatural intervention to occur, so I’m not sure an experiment would really reveal too much.

      I watched the youtube video, and the argument he is making is that there is no science in scripture because modern science was developed after the Bible was written. Absolutely correct, like I’ve said, the Bible is not a science text book and is not to be taken as a source of science. The reason people fight to make this distinction, is because the Bible makes claims that do not coincide with historical origins science. For example God creating all living things in the matter of a week does not coincide with a spontaneous natural origin of life followed by millions of years of evolution. The issue I have is that historical origins science can’t follow the very scientific method you yourself mentioned earlier because the scientific method requires repeatable experimentation in controlled environments, which can’t be done for origins. To this day no lab has ever observed life arise from non-life for example. On the other hand, the natural claims in the Bible are not found in contradiction with observational sciences which do strictly adhere to the scientific method. Of course this excludes miracles and supernatural events which cannot of course be observed via science or else they wouldn’t be miracles. I’m referring to natural references in the Bible like the earth being round, expansion of the universe, the stars being uncountable, etc. The problem is that many people lump observational science and historical origins science as simply “modern science” and therefore claim the Bible is in contradiction. I also found it funny that the priest mentioned Newton as one of the modern scientists, when Newton was a fervent believer in the Bible.

      Yes, the scientists from Answers in Genesis are not objective. But it would be naïve to think that secular scientists are objective as well. Take into consideration the quotes I noted above which are far from objective. But here are a few more:

      “At this point, it is necessary to reveal a little inside information about how scientists work, something the textbooks don’t usually tell you. The fact is that scientists are not really as objective and dispassionate in their work as they would like you to think. Most scientists first get their ideas about how the world works not through rigorously logical processes but through hunches and wild guesses. As individuals they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is. Motivated by faith in his own ideas and a desire for acceptance by his peers, a scientist will labor for years knowing in his heart that his theory is correct but devising experiment after experiment whose results he hopes will support his position.”
      -Boyce Rensberger

      “Science … is not so much concerned with truth as it is with consensus. What counts as “truth”? is what scientists can agree to count as truth at any particular moment in time … [Scientists] are not really receptive or not really open-minded to any sorts of criticisms or any sorts of claims that actually are attacking some of the established parts of the research (traditional) paradigm — in this case neo-Darwinism — so it is very difficult for people who are pushing claims that contradict the paradigm to get a hearing. They’ll find it difficult to [get] research grants; they’ll find it hard to get their research published; they’ll, in fact, find it very hard.”
      -Professor Evelleen Richards

      My apologies for the misunderstanding on the Collingwood quote, I misinterpreted how you were using it for your argument. But at that I do have a question for you being a historian yourself. Do you believe other accounts from ancient history that have no empirical evidence are accurate accounts? Because if empirical evidence is the only method by which you would believe a historical narrative from an ancient culture was true, you’d have to throw out a lot of history, no? But even that is still no reason to take the story of the gospel as accurate. I take the story as accurate because of many reasons; namely the extra-biblical anti-Christian sources (Greek Historians and the Talmud) which confirm many facets of the gospel narrative; as well as the fact those who wrote the gospel accounts who claimed to have witnessed the life of Jesus were willing to be brutally tortured and killed… yet never recanted. Which is hard to do if you know you’re making it up.

      In regards to Einstein, I still think we’re not on the same page. I know Einstein was not religious, I never said he was. I’m saying Einstein believed in a supernatural creator. He was a deist. Deists are not religious by default and do not believe in a personal God. Many historical figures including Jefferson and Franklin were non-religious deists. Hence, I stick to my original statement, that Einstein was neither an atheist nor a Christian… because he was a deist. Both my quotes and your quote support this.

      And yes, we still provide help to needy people who don’t “come around.” For example, I was serving food at a community center Friday night in which a woman made some incredibly rude remarks to us as she came back for seconds… despite us giving here free food she would have never have had otherwise. But that didn’t stop us from kindly serving her, because service is meant to serve, not for our gain. Some churches may not help those who don’t convert, but none I’ve heard of. It would also contradict what’s taught in the Bible. Lastly, it doesn’t seem logical to only help those that convert, because they’d convert for the wrong reasons and defeat the whole point. And if a church were hypothetically to do this they would in fact be hurting themselves because the more they convert to Christianity the more it would strain finances to continue to help them. Which is why churches in the US have to send so much money overseas to missions because the people there more often than not cannot tithe to support the church because they have nothing to tithe. The missions, if anything, are a drain on finances. Which in itself is testimony as to why we spread our faith, when one considers how much time, energy and money we pour into it, with the only return being a salvaged soul.

      With that, thank you again for your polite and respectful comments. You’re absolutely right when you say that this is how the world should be! Good luck with your studies. And no, I actually did not notice any problems with your English ☺ It is better than most people I know, ha ha… it may even be better than mine!

      Take care Vincent.

  8. vincent says:

    Ow two more things I forgot:

    “I also recognize that not everything can be answered and explained by science. Science does not have a monopoly on knowledge. It is irrational to believe that the issue is as black and white as Bible or Science, one or the other.”

    Well I’m sorry but in my view science does indeed have the monopoly on knowledge. Knowledge (I’m talking about facts/theories etc) is created/tested with great care in science which is translated to the public. Although science does have that monopoly, it doesn’t know everything. If everything was already discovered there would be no need of science anymore. As I said:

    “Before the discovery or theory is accepted as ‘real’ it is tested thoroughly (!) by other scientist. Science is not one big happy family where everyone agrees immediately. They try to shatter each others theories with new/other evidence or with pure logic. When the discovery/theory holds, meaning the scientific community can’t ‘break’ it, we accept it for reality until proven otherwise (new evidence). That is a good thing, it means progress: old theories are improved or new ones are developed to better understand the universe.””

    Here is my point: if you want to debate or contribute to knowledge (again in the sense of facts and theories, not talking about philosophical topics) you have to participate in the scientific world and try to (im)prove (new) theories by the rules of the methodology. Inside the scientific community, no theory has the monopoly of the truth: we accept them as truths until proven otherwise. For example: we hold the theory of relativity from Einstein as a truth. But If you could find hard compelling evidence (according to the rules) that the theory is partially/entirely false (which would be a revolution), the theory will be adapted or discarded. This is in contrary with religion. You have the same story for over hundreds of years. Any contradicting evidence is just discarded. The bible doesn’t adept.

    If we wouldn’t follow the rules, everyone can make everything seem true. The ‘rules’ aren’t there for nothing, it would be a chaos without it and than we hardly could call is science. Everyone could than be a scientist which would be a very sad thing.

    You know the dutch and german words for science? They are called wetenschap and Wissenschaft which literally means: ‘knowledgecraft’. The dutch word religious is ‘geloven’ which means: believing, not knowing…

    In my opinion, when i talk to most ‘gelovigen’ THEY imply to have the monopoly of the truth: they just say: It’s just the way it is and your contradicting arguments are just false because it contradicts the bible and the bible says is true because the bible says everything in the bible is true. Quite annoying. With you, of course, its different, so I respect that.

    Ow yes the editing of bible for the sake of the roman empire. I give you one council as an example: council of nicaea. Look it up. It’s not that they created the Christian doctrine there, they ‘edited’ it a bit. Constantine the Great convened it which resulted in politically influencing the Bible (yes he was religious, but we can’t overlook the fact that he was at the head of an empire which was in peril and needed stability).

    Cheers!

    • matthew2262 says:

      “Knowledge (I’m talking about facts/theories etc) is created/tested with great care in science which is translated to the public. Although science does have that monopoly, it doesn’t know everything. If everything was already discovered there would be no need of science anymore.” Well put, I agree.

      I see the problem you have with the Bible in that it doesn’t change and adapt. But let’s say hypothetically the Bible is true and accurate. Then by that means it wouldn’t change because if it did, well, it wouldn’t be true. If the Bible were in fact revelation from God it cannot change and would stand as truth. And since the Bible is not a book of science but instead a book of reconciliation with God this should not be a problem, where as with science static permanence is a problem. I think the distinction we need to make is determining when the paths of religion and science cross, and when they are uniquely separate.

      Your skepticism of taking the Bible as an accurate piece of literature I do not frown upon, because I shared that same skepticism my entire life, up until about 6 years ago… but even then it was very slow. I had way too many questions and doubts and it took about 2-3 years for me to fully be convinced of it being true. But even with that, there is still that element of faith required, since after all neither I, nor anyone else is omniscience and any one of us could easily be wrong. I try not to assert that someone is flat out wrong unless they are misquoting or misrepresenting what the Bible says or history related to the Bible. But I definitely know how annoying it is when someone tells you the Bible is true because the Bible says so ☺

      Yes true, the Council of Nicea was one of the councils that determined which books would be incorporated into the Bible, I am aware of it. But the books they selected were already well accepted in the Christian population. I wrote a post about this in the past you can read here from my research. http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-corrupt-early-curch/
      As I said before, I’ve had my own doubts in the past, and that was at one time one of them.

      Take care Vincent.

  9. Shermaine says:

    Atheists are every bit as stubborn as what they percieve Christians to be.
    Both sides should just listen to what each other have to say, and accept peoples’ views as their respective beliefs. Neither side proves themselves any more by bashing each other and arguing. Grow up, people.

  10. matthew2262 says:

    “There is a theory which states that many living animals can be observed over the course of time to undergo changes so that new species are formed. This can be called the ‘Special Theory of Evolution’ and can be demonstrated in certain cases by experiments. On the other hand there is the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form. This theory can be called the ‘General Theory of Evolution’ and the evidence that supports it is not sufficiently strong to allow us to consider it as anything more than a working hypothesis. It is not clear whether the changes that bring about speciation are of the same nature as those that brought about the development of new phyla. The answer will be found in future experimental work and not by the dogmatic assertions that the General Theory of Evolution must be correct because there is nothing else that will satisfactorily take its place.”

    —Kerkut, G.A., Implications of Evolution, Pergamon, Oxford, UK, p. 157, 1960.

  11. matthew2262 says:

    “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” (emphasis original)
    —Richard Lewontin, Billions and billions of demons, The New York Review, 9 January 1997, p. 31.

  12. matthew2262 says:

    “In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to ‘bend’ their observations to fit with it.” British physicist H. S. Lipson; Lipson, H. S., A Physicist Looks at Evolution, Physics Bulletin, p. 138, May 1980.

  13. Truly inspired says:

    I love your site!!!! I am very spiritual but NOT RELIGIOUS. I get really frustrated at ridiculous religious CRAP. Love your comics!!!

    • matthew2262 says:

      Truly Inspired, did you actually read my article or did you just look at the pictures? If you read my article you will notice I am criticizing the comics.

  14. matthew2262 says:

    “The general public needs to hear what passionate scientists really think of these IDiots. The best way to do that is to fight fire with fire. The idea is to plant in the public’s mind the notion that these creationists are crazies and kooks, not respectable scientists with a different, but scientifically valid, opinion. We tried treating them politely for several decades and what did it get us? It got us leaders and politicians in many countries who think it’s perfectly respectable to believe that evolution is false.”

    Professor Larry Moran, Biochemist, University of Toronto
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/07/you_go_larry_mo_1062701.html

  15. Rygarr88 says:

    To long didn’t read. Thx for the pictures though now I can make fun of this fantasy religion some more.

    • matthew2262 says:

      Well Rygarr88, that doesn’t reflect too well of your character. I hope one day you will open up to hearing alternative viewpoints before drawing conclusions about something.

  16. Mattyman says:

    I must say that it is a welcome change to run into a Christian who backs up his beliefs with historical facts and scientific evidence rather than the stereotypical “you can’t prove that God doesn’t exist” approach. I applaud you for that. However, I still find it hard to believe in any religion, based on the opinion that almost all religions have the same central belief: faith in something that cannot be proven, yet cannot be disproven. I know that the Big Bang cannot be proven, and that any other world origins theory cannot be proven as there is no way to test this, but to me, it is easier to believe that a cosmic egg exploded and created all the matter in the universe than to believe that a divine being decided to create everything on a whim.

    Also, your point that God did not create original sin, I believe, (this is only my personal opinion) is incorrect. Yes, the Christian God gave us free will, and yes, according to the bible we did use that free will to eat from the tree of knowledge, but God then punished us for that by giving us original sin. If God had not wanted us to eat from The Tree Of Knowledge, why give man free will to make the decision for himself and then punish us for using the free will he gave us? Also, for that matter, why would God not want us to eat from the tree of knowledge? Is knowledge such a bad thing that our divine creator would want us to live ignorantly? (Again, only my opinion, I do not mean to cause any offence whatsoever, and if I do, I apologize). And if this divine being did not want us to eat from The Tree Of Knowledge, why create it? I understand that it would be to test us and our faith in him, but why not just let us live happily without ever having the option of making a mistake that could cause God to punish all of humanity for using a gift that he gave us?

    I look forward to reading your response, as I’m sure it will be respectful and concise, but also bring to light some aspects I may not be considering.

    Cheers.

    • matthew2262 says:

      Well Mattyman, I found your comment to be equally refreshing. Thank you for sharing your opinions in a respectful and polite manner. After reading it, here are my thoughts: I agree that all religions have a common ground in faith in something that cannot be proven. But the inability to prove God is only an empirical or materialistic problem, as it is possible to rationally prove God. The inability to prove God empirically is expected on the rational notion that IF there is a God He must exist as an eternal being that lies beyond time and beyond the limiting dimensions we exist in. Therefore it is naturally impossible to empirically test or prove the existence of something that falls beyond our observational range. With that said, I believe there is a rational ability to prove the existence of God. For example, the anthropic principal or fine tuning of the universe could rationally be determined as the result of a universe designed for life. The statistical improbability of non-living chemicals arranging themselves by accident into self-replicating living organisms, and additionally its failure to be observed (Law of Biogenesis), could also be rationally deduced as evidence for God. Naturally I could go on, but the point is that there are other logical ways to prove the existence of something that is empirically improvable.

      Regarding the Big Bang, as I understand, there are more issues than just not being able to prove it: The Event Horizon problem , the anti-matter problem, flat expansion problem, and so on and so forth. I recommend visiting the following site: http://www.cosmologystatement.org/. So for me, it is harder to believe in a cosmic explosion creating complex order from inconceivable disorder, especially when the hypothesized explosion in question has holes in it.

      Regarding your thoughts on freewill and sin, the way I understand it philosophically is that free will is necessary for us as God’s creation to truly love and honor God. Without freewill our blind obedience to God has no value since we have no choice in the matter. Just as having a loving wife incapable of not loving you would have be of little emotional value. This is how I rationalize God giving us free will. The ensuing punishment in the garden of eden is not for the exercise of our free will, since Adam and Eve could have just as likely refused to eat from the tree in their freewill. Instead, the punishment follows the disobedience in not adhering to God’s command to not eat from the tree. So the punishment is not for using freewill, the punishment is for using the freewill to disobey God, our sovereign Creator.

      So why put the tree there in the first place? Again, without the capability of choice and freewill how could obedience to God have any value what so ever? Freewill is the catalyst to choose, but without options to choose from there is no real choice, even with freewill. Thus, the tree is placed in the garden merely as that option. The option to freely choose to not obey God. It is also important to acknowledge that the tree was not a tree of just knowledge in general. But instead “knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:16-17). So I don’t believe it would be fair to say God wanted us to live ignorantly, because the tree did not represent all encompassing knowledge, but merely knowledge of good and evil, which some consider to be acknowledgment of loss of innocence. So in eating from the tree and therefore disobeying God (who is the ultimate good), Adam and Eve were exposed to evil and therefore had a knowledge of evil they did not know of previously. And thus, from that point forward, had knowledge of what was good and what was evil.

      I hope that clarifies some of these issues for you. Thank you again for your comment.

  17. Mattyman says:

    Thanks for the respectful response Matthew2262.

    That did bring to light quite a few aspects I had not taken into consideration. I must confess it’s been a while since I’ve read anything from the bible so my citations may be rusty haha.

    Now, you say that “I believe there is a rational ability to prove the existence of God. For example, the anthropic principal or fine tuning of the universe could rationally be determined as the result of a universe designed for life. The statistical improbability of non-living chemicals arranging themselves by accident into self-replicating living organisms, and additionally its failure to be observed (Law of Biogenesis), could also be rationally deduced as evidence for God.” However, my question to you is this: Isn’t it just as improbable for a divine being who exists outside of our knowledge of time and space to have created everything than for everything to have just suddenly exploded into existence?

    I know that the Big Bang Theory has many holes in it, but at the same time, so does every other creation theory. The holes I see with the Creationist theory is the fact that it relies on the existence of a divine being who randomly decided to create life (this is a generalized statement, I know there is more to it than that, but for the sake of debating I’ve shortened it haha). The holes that are found with the Big Bang have been studied, however, and there have been several theories to suggest resolutions to these issues. Here are the examples I know of for some of the holes you had pointed out:
    1) The Event Horizon Problem:
    Heisenburg’s Uncertainty Principle
    Inflationary theory
    2) The Flatness Problem:
    Inflationary theory

    Those are just two examples I know of off the top of my head, I haven’t had too much time to do any real research about it, but at the end of the day, all of this boils down to faith. Proving either side of the debate is utterly impossibleat this point in time, but its still fun to have an intelligent debate based on our faiths and beliefs.

    Again, I look forward to hearing your reply.

    Have a great day!

    • matthew2262 says:

      Hi mattyman. I see your point that a divine explanation that is unobservable seems no better than the notion of everything exploding into existence. The reason I lean towards a divine origin for the universe stems from two lines of thought: The first I briefly touched on before, that an accidental explosion is a random process. Yet the universe and the laws of physics are precisely orderly in nature. Therefore, to me it is more likely that the universe has a design to it. This relates to the teleological argument that anything with a design has a designer, and the universe appears designed, so subsequently it has a designer. In other words, order came from order. Postulating that a random accidental explosion brought forth order from insurmountable disorder is, for me, harder to defend.

      My second thought on this issue is related to the concept of nothingness and first cause. Prior to the big bang there was essentially “nothing.” If there was something prior to the big bang than we need to explain the origins of that something separate of the big bang. Since the big bang is supposed to be the origin of all matter and time how do we pinpoint the cause behind it? Every natural cause leads back to an origins dilemma. This is where the Cosmological or First Cause argument comes into play. Where did that something come from? At any point we have to go back to a state of nothingness. This is where I lean towards divinity for a first cause since a supernatural and eternal entity like God fits the bill. Since He is eternal and timeless He can create all natural existence without the need for cause Himself, since He is eternal. To me the only other natural explanation would be suggesting that there has always been something natural in existence which caused the big bang, but considering the law of increasing entropy, such a natural entity could not be eternal. And if not eternal, we circle back to the question, where did it come from?

      As far as why God would create, since creation seems random, I merely consider the alternative. The alternative is an existence that is meaningless and random. We only exist because the extremely unlikely occurred. Again, the fact that improbable order came about to allow for life, to me, dismisses any notion that all that exists is merely accident. That is like a slot machine with a trillion possible combinations, and on the first and only time this slot machine is played you get one trillion lemons in a row. Is it possible? Yes. But its probability of happening is incredibly unlikely that it leads me to conclude that we are not here by accident. So why would God create us? The problem with this question is that we have to theorize the motives of an omniscient God. Regardless, there are theories abound as to why He created us. But who is to say which are right, wrong, ect.

      Now about the inflationary theory, this is a great example of a theory to fix a theory. Which is exactly the problem outlined by astronomers and cosmologists in that link I referenced in my other comment. The inflation theory itself is only a mathematical theory with no experimental science to back it up. It hypothesizes what is possible. But just because something is possible doesn’t mean it happened. Just as you said, it all boils down to faith. The difference is, faith in God is something in which I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Putting my faith in nature I have nothing to gain, but everything to lose.

      This is a great discussion Mattyman. Thank you for your comment. Take care.

  18. matthew2262 says:

    ‘We have no acceptable theory of evolution at the present time. There is none; and I cannot accept the theory that I teach to my students each year. Let me explain. I teach the synthetic theory known as the neo-Darwinian one, for one reason only; not because it’s good, we know it is bad, but because there isn’t any other. Whilst waiting to find something better you are taught something which is known to be inexact, which is a first approximation…’

    From a French recording of internationally recognised geneticist, Professor Jerome Lejeune, at a lecture given in Paris on March 17, 1985. Translated by Peter Wilders of Monaco.

  19. matthew2262 says:

    ‘I have faith and belief myself. I believe that the universe is comprehensible within the bounds of natural law and that the human brain can discover those natural laws and comprehend the universe. I believe that nothing beyond those natural laws is needed.’

    ‘I have no evidence for this. It is simply what I have faith in and what I believe.’

    Isaac Asimov, Counting the Eons, Grafton Books (Collins), London, p.10.

  20. Paul says:

    What UTTER TRIPE! lol, Just change ‘God/Jesus’ for ‘Apollo/Thor/Shiva/Eshu/ or LEMMINKAINEN! etc etc then debate ‘respectfully’ No? Why? Oh, ofcourse, because that would sound just as silly, purile and tedious and silly!

    • matthew2262 says:

      Hi Paul. I agree, it would be silly. It would be silly because God/Jesus is not interchangeable with Apollo/Thor/Shiva/Eshu/ or Lemminkainen. They’re different in character and scriptural source. The only thing you could argue they have in common is that these figures are all supernatural in nature. From that one can “respectfully” argue for the rational existence of the supernatural in general, but not for these figures individually. The fact that there are a great deal of widely respected and highly educated philosophers and scientists that maintain the authenticity of Christianity asserts that it cannot be so easily dismissed as just tripe, tedious, silly, and what I am assuming you meant as puerile, not purile. And if one does wish to argue such, they would need to go to further lengths than just making a series of poor comparisons.

      Thank you for your comment Paul.

  21. zigmund arthur says:

    Thanks for the great atheist cartoons. I’m going to use them without your pathetic rationalizations.

  22. Bridgette says:

    I appreciate the information in this post. It’s good, well-written and simple to comprehend.
    You’ve gotten my attention on this topic. I’ll be back for even more
    insightful articles or blog posts.

  23. Maybe I’m reading everything the wrong way, but I think you’re missing the point of those that are denying the existence of God. We don’t care if a person named Jesus who had followers actually lived at some point in our history. Cool, great story, great morals and ethics except for the Old Testament. (granted a lot of Christians don’t follow their own teachings but, meh, happens to everyone). Yes, some dude named Jesus who preached good will and love towards all man, probably existed at some point. We are actually arguing that it cannot be proven that GOD exists. What is so hard to understand about this? I’d also like to point out that putting this much faith into something written by such a despicable species as mankind (would you believe your neighbor if he handed you a printed book that said he was God?) is actually kind of frightening. I’ve read the bible, cover to cover, both Old and New testament. I will admit, it’s a great read and has a lot of valid points, but, it’s still just a book.

    • matthew2262 says:

      Hello Cemetery Sins, thank you for your comment.

      I don’t believe I’m missing the point in my rebuttal of the comics, as the intent of the comics was to misrepresent Christianity with mocking in an effort to devalue its claims. My efforts were to expose the fallacy of the arguments used and then properly represent the claims Christianity makes.

      I agree with your claim that it cannot be proven God exists. If God exists as described in the Bible, He exists outside of time and outside of the spatial dimensions we exist in so of course there wouldn’t be empirical evidence of Him. This is precisely why it cannot be proven that God doesn’t exist as well. However, what can be argued, is that the existence of God is a rational belief to maintain that can be inferred from observational evidence. For example, fine-tuning of the universe, law of bio-genesis, etc. can lead one to rationally maintain there is a God.

      I find it interesting when you said, “…putting this much faith into something written by such a despicable species as mankind (would you believe your neighbor if he handed you a printed book that said he was God?) is actually kind of frightening.” Does this mean you don’t believe anything you read? After all, everything you read was written by a member of our despicable species. I would find it frightening if you didn’t believe anything ever written. But surely you do believe, as we all do, in many texts composed by other humans. The difference is that you, just as I do, require some form of authority or confirmation of accuracy before you would ever place trust in what another human has written. Just as I would never believe my neighbor to be God without proper proofs. Now these proofs can come in many forms, some more authoritative than others. In my research of scripture I have found the Bible to have many facets that warrant it a reliable source of information: Archaeological accuracy, http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/archaeology-and-the-bible/; confirmation from extra-biblical sources, http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/proof-outside-the-bible/; the accuracy of its production over centuries of time, http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/the-mis-copy-conspiracy-part1/; the context of its authors, http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/how-can-we-know-who-really-wrote-the-gospels/; its production, http://matthew2262.wordpress.com/2011/06/13/the-corrupt-early-curch/; among other lines of evidence; fulfilled prophecy, sacrificial willingness of Jesus’ followers, etc.

      With that, I hope my comment has properly addressed your concerns and clarified my position. Thank you for you comment. Take care.

  24. matthew2262 says:

    “Faith has often led to cruel violence and intolerant persecution…this is not because they are religious, but because Man is not great” Peter Hitchens, “The Rage Against God,” pp. 153

  25. shaun Davis says:

    As a born again Christian I find these cartoons funny. …lol BUT ignorant.

    Authors of the bible thought the earth was flat??? No evidence to prove that. To the contrary, the bible states that the Earth is a circle. A circle is a sphere.

    The bible states that the face of the deep is frozen Within RECENT years scientists found out that the ocean floor is frozen methane.

    When Atheists were trying to heal people of sickness and disease by BLOOD LETTING because they believed the sickness was in the blood…. God’s word said. ..”the life is in the blood”. I’m other words you can’t be healed ny getting rid of it. Except of course ny the blood of the lamb of God whos blood cleanses us from sin. and “by his stripes we are healed”.

    God describes ocean currents in His word. ..”paths in the sea”.

    and on and on and on….SCIENCE has always proven God’s word to be true and histirical. On the other hand…the Bible has proven the fanciful myth of evolution to be a joke alonv with many other snake oil remedies for mans troubles.
    God is alive and well! You will be judged….repent of your sins and ask Jesus to come into your life. Hr will!

  26. Me_of_little faith says:

    I was curious how you justify mentioning Pangea and Noah in almost the same breath. Pangea formed about 300 million years ago and began to break apart about 100 million years after that. No scientist would teach the existence of homo sapiens at that time. However, I have no doubt you’ll invoke the supreme power of the All-Father, Odin, or whatever name you call your imaginary friend to explain your point of view.

    The philosopher and student of theology Jim Jeffries said that Noah was a wise man cut from the same cloth as Archimedes and Newton. He constructed a tiny boat of gopher wood and installed refrigeration systems to keep the polar bears cold and ventilation to keep the lions warm. He also was able to synthesize dietary substitutes for the pandas and koalas, since they are such picky eaters. His crowning achievement was to make the door on the ark just small enough to keep the dinosaurs out, because he was a thinker.

    Unfortunately, most Christians & Muslims have vested their own egos in the veracity of their holy books. They are like children who cover their ears and shout because they do not want to hear that which they find unpleasant. If you doubt this, just look at the above website. The author is so threatened by any opposing view that he must respond to them all, so he can have the last word. There is a word for that in internet jargon, it is called trolling. Jesus said that his disciples were not to take the Bible literally in Matthew 13. “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.”

    • matthew2262 says:

      Hi there! Thank you for your comment. After reading it, here are my thoughts. I see what your discrepancy is with the dating of Pangea and homo sapiens, and there is no need to invoke Odin or the All –Father (never heard of that one before). The meme is attacking the story of Noah’s Ark from within the context of the story. As in, if the story were true, then how did all the animals reach Noah if they were separated by oceans? So if we’re starting within the hypothetical framework that the story is true, then you’re working on the Biblical timeline which dates the flood to thousands of years ago, not millions. In other words, we’re arguing from two different places. The meme is attacking the story from within its own framework: that it is self-contradicting. My argument being that if we’re within the framework then Pangea is a possible explanation for animal travel. Bringing up the assumed date of Pangea’s split millions of years ago is irrelevant from this perspective, in the context of what the meme was criticizing. Granted, if you believe in the speculated dates of pangea’s split then there will always be a rejection of the genesis account of the flood, but that is a separate issue of geologic dating to which there are varying viewpoints to consider, like Old Earth Creationsim (OEC) and Young Earth Creationism (YEC). I would encourage you to look into both to understand their viewpoints on that subject.

      As far as the animals brought on board the ark, you’re viewing it from a perspective of animals currently alive today that are broadly diverse and specified. The current creationist viewpoint is that animal specification took place after the animals were released from the ark. Take the bears for example; it is not that both panda and polar bears where brought on board, but that a male and female bear pair where brought on board from which all varieties of bear would descend from after the flood as they multiplied. Over time they would adapt to the different environments they lived within becoming specified. The bears that went up to the artic becoming specified into polar bears and the bears that made it to Asia becoming specified into Panda bears. With no wide variety of animal specification for those on the ark there would be no need for varying degrees of climate control. As far as dinosaurs, you’re overlooking two important facts: 1) Not all dinosaurs were massive. Sure, in textbooks, movies and documentaries the massive dinosaurs are always in the spotlight for obvious reasons, but the average dinosaur size is that of any given livestock you’d find on a farm today, like a cow or sheep. 2) Some animals, especially large or dangerous ones, were probably brought on at a younger infantile age and therefore, smaller size. So it is very possible dinosaurs were brought on as well.

      I am however, a little disappointed that you think I’m responding to everyone’s comments because I am threatened by any opposing view. That is simply as far from the truth as possible. I respond to everyone’s post out of courtesy and respect to let them know that I am listening to their opinions, which can be different and unpleasant. If you read all my responses you will see that I am very polite and respectful at all times, careful to make sure I’m understanding the commenter’s perspective. I will often close encouraging the commenter to respond back, and sometimes they do. Why would I ask commenters to respond if I wanted the last word? In some cases commenters have challenged me and helped me change my views, which you will see if you read some of my other articles. That, my friend, is not trolling. In all fairness, if I was truly threatened by what people write to me, then I would simply delete their comments. But I don’t. Even the most challenging ones remain approved and on display because I welcome all viewpoints and encourage open dialogue on these topics.

      Lastly, lets us talk about your quotation of Matthew 13 (Matthew 13:13 to be precise). First, I’ll analyze what you said, that Jesus told the disciples not to take the Bible literally based off Him saying that He was going to speak in parables. This might make the disciples not take what Jesus Himself said seriously, but the Old Testament was written hundreds of years prior to the time of Jesus, so why would the disciples not take the Genesis account seriously? Jesus didn’t write Genesis, nor does it contain any of His sayings. So, that in itself is not a good excuses to dismiss the Genesis account as a parable. In addition, you’re taking Matthew 13:13 entirely out of context. I highly encourage you to actually read all of Matthew 13, which, if you don’t have a Bible, then you can access it here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13&version=NIV

      If you actually read all of Matthew 13 you will see that Jesus is quoting Old Testament scripture (Isaiah 6:9,10) at verse 13. The disciples asked why Jesus always spoke in parables and He told them He did because so that they better understand the secrets of Kingdom, NOT because He wanted them to not take the Bible literally. In addition, Jesus quoted and used the Old Testament in literal context many times to support His ministry and defend the principals he preached. For example, Jesus said in Mark 10:6-9, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.’ Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’” (NIV). Why would Jesus say that if the Bible is not to be taken literally?

      Please feel free to write back with your thoughts, I’d be more than pleased to discuss this further with you. Take care.

      -Matt

  27. Chas says:

    each time i used to read smaller content which as well clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading here.

  28. ivs says:

    @ Mat, hi..do u believe that a billion people in india are going to hell because they dont believe in jesus! Or do i have a alternate version of the 10 cmndmnts?

    • matthew2262 says:

      Hello and thank you for your comment. It doesn’t necessarily follow that because someone doesn’t believe in Jesus they’re going to hell. After all, many people in both past and present have never heard of Jesus. This would include Biblical characters who lived prior to Jesus as well. To send people to hell who have never been exposed to Jesus wouldn’t be fair, and God is all just and fair (Psalm 33:5). However, God has revealed himself to all people, in both nature (Romans 1:20) and in the hearts of all of us (Ecclesiastes 3:11). If you choose to reject God however, you are subject to God’s justice for sin. Ultimately, God decides and it would be foolish for anyone other than God to say with any certainty who will be going to hell.

      As far as your last question about the ten commandments, I’m not sure as to what you’re asking. Can you please clarify?

      Thank you,

      Matt

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