Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Many Contradictions in The Bible

Ah, The Bible ...

Here we have the foundational book of one of the top three religions in the world -- a compilation of sacred writings that purports to lead people to the correct choices, choices it asserts have eternal ramifications. However, considering it claims to have so much import, it seems all the more concerning that it can't even agree with itself, internally.

For being the word of God -- or the word inspired by God ... or words having anything to do with an omnipotent, omniscient being for that matter -- The Bible does a pretty piss-poor job avoiding blatant contradictions. These contradictions can be mundane, they can relate to major plot points, and they can even crop up among the guidelines for salvation itself -- the most important thing in a believer's life (and eternal afterlife, for that matter).

Frankly, if I were a Christian this would scare me shitless.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Was Jesus a Real Man?

Was Jesus a real man? And no, I don't mean did he eat meat, do one-handed push-ups, watch football, and drink beer. I mean did he even exist in the first place? Obviously any Christian you ask will say "Yes" (and rightly wonder why you'd even waste time asking them). However, what might surprise you is the huge percentage of non-Christians who believe he was a real man, as well.

If so many non-Christians (including atheists) believe in a historical Jesus, there has to be something to it, right? As it turns out, not really at all.


Hearsay and Bias

One of the basic logical elements of our legal system here in the U.S. is that hearsay is inadmissible as evidence. If a witness on the stand said, "My friend told me that this guy committed the murder," how far do you think that would get the prosecution's case? So, we obviously only should consider what's told to us by people who were actually there -- eyewitness accounts.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Do Paradoxes Disprove God?

It certainly isn’t hard to find a ton of God paradoxes out there, but do these paradoxes conclusively disprove the existence of God? Well, obviously Christians claim that no, they don’t -- and obviously I assert that they do.

The Christian Cop-Out

For Christians, it’s as simple as this: God is limitless and supernatural. There is no way for us to assess God based upon our logic, our physical senses, or our conception of reality. What seems to be a paradox to us is not in fact a paradox at all where God is concerned.

That is, of course, bullshit. It’s a cop-out. So you’re saying we can’t rule out God because understanding how or why God exists is beyond our capabilities? Then when we ask you how you know God exists, every example you give -- of course -- is based upon things that are within our capabilities to understand. So the same senses and mental powers you use to prove God you’re disallowing from disproving God.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm a Non-Stamp Collector

A few weeks back I found a treasure trove of videos by an atheist animator on YouTube. His screen name is NonStampCollector, which is a subtle jab at the weirdness of a term like atheist. The argument goes something like this: You don't label someone by hobbies they don't have -- like a non-stamp collector -- so why label someone by religions they don't have? So, I suppose I shouldn't call him an atheist.

I also use the term "animator" loosely, as his videos use stick figures, and they only move like one frame every few seconds. It's minimalism at its best, and the voice acting is actually pretty good for the most part. But easily the best thing about the videos is the way he expresses his points. He's funny, he's blunt, and he gives excellent examples of some of the absurdities of religion viewed from different but analogous perspectives.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

'But I Don't Take The Bible Literally ... '

The Bible seems like a logical starting point for any debate against the validity of Christianity. If you're a devout Christian, then this holy book that represents the basis of your religion should be defended as if your religion depended upon it (mostly because it does).

However, I've been running into a weird counter-argument more and more often lately. When I point out the absurdities, inconsistencies, logical errors, appalling acts, or childishness within The Bible as a means to argue against the Christian religion, it has become common for me to hear this comeback: "Well, I don't take The Bible literally. I mean, come on ... "

To which I reply, "Umm ...wha?"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Was the United States Founded as a Christian Nation?

Many people in the United States have the misconception that our country was founded as a Christian nation. Even the Nobel Prize-winning scholar Sarah Palin fell for it:

[Video only shows up only after the jump for some reason]



The assertion that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation is demonstrably very untrue -- in fact, the truth is actually much the opposite. The country was founded based on 1) Religious freedom of citizens regardless of what they believe and 2) Separation of religion and government.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Does Prayer Work? Then Why Won't God Heal Amputees?

One of the most eye-opening websites I've ever been to asks a simple question: Why won't God heal amputees? The site bills the query as "The most important question that we can ask about God." I think that claim is a bit hyperbolic. Nevertheless, the question -- which on its face seems silly -- is actually an incredibly succinct way to get people thinking critically about the claims of religion.

To understand why the question is important, you first need to know certain claims from The Bible:

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Was Jesus Perfect?

I saw an interesting bumper sticker today at the gym. It said, "You think you're perfect? Try walking on water." The implication, of course, is that no matter how perfect you are, you're not as perfect as the absolutely perfect Jesus Christ, so stay humble and try your damndest to model your life after our Lord and savior.

That got me thinking about how perfect Jesus was according to The Bible. If you ask Christians whether Jesus was perfect, the vast majority of them would agree that he was without hesitation -- but are they right? Unfortunately for the car's owner, the creator of the bumper sticker, and most Christians, the answer clearly is "No."

But hey, don't take my word for it. Take the holy, inspired word of God for it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Abridged, Reworded Story of Jesus

I have definitely tried very hard over the past few years to research religion and know what I was talking about before being able to call myself an atheist with a straight face. However, I would hope that, as an atheist, I don't know The Bible as well as some of you Christians out there, so I appreciate any corrections you guys can make.

Without further ado, here are things that never made sense to me about the story of Jesus Christ:

Why Are You Here?

Before anything else, I need to clear up a misconception about my blog's name, Atheist Apologist. Apologist doesn't mean someone who apologizes ... I'm not apologizing for anything. The definition of apologist is "one who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something." In theological debates, the defender of Christianity is often referred to as a Christian apologist. I've never heard of someone being called an atheist apologist, so I figured I'd start a trend. Plus, it's alliterative, so win/win!

Now, regarding the title of this first blog, no, I don't mean "Why are you here?" in the existential sense, although you can't be faulted for assuming that considering the nature of this blog. I'm asking why are you here at this blog? And why is this blog here? Why should you care about this blog if you're an atheist? Why should you read anything contained herein if you're a faithful Christian (or Muslim, or Hindu)?

Well, a good first step in any blog is to answer those kinds of questions. First off, I want to address religious readers (because I don't want to scare them off, as I'm hoping to prompt constructive debate in my comments section).

Atheist Apologist T-shirts from Zazzle.com