I have just recently stepped into full blown atheism and am so happy to be finally on this side of the fence. I sent an email to my parents, who are die-hard christians (who just so happen to be split up) and let them know I was an atheist (I grew up in church until age 17 and was FORCED to go/believe/enjoy).
I need your help though. I have a lot of points I want to make during the debate and have actually had a few dialogs with my father via email and would like to get some scriptures/quotes/notes from the community here to help back up my points.
* one point he made was that "god" was only evil in the old testament and that he sent "jesus" to the world to be the calm, peaceful one. I know this is false and have a couple scriptures but would like some more notes/scriptures if you have any, just to further back up my facts
I also have the 101 contradictions in the bible document I received from a member here on the site that I am going to print out and discuss with them.
I just figured that some of you would have some good arguments that I could borrow for this sunday :) And on a sidenote, I'm trying to get my flip video into a place I can video tape the discussion. If I do, I'll definitely post it.
Ah...in that case, a debate is in order. Maybe you can talk a bit of sense into them and they'll tone it down a few notches.
My idea of debating the Bible is to just point out that the Bible is just one big contradiction. After all, it's God setting us up for failure from the start (how can those who don't know evil sin in the first place? It would be like getting mad at a baby for touching the knife you sat right in front of it.) Then later God sacrificing himself to himself to save us all from impossible standards he came up with in the first place. And through all of this God claims to love everyone yet has no issue with sending those who even break one little rule while believing the wrong thing to hell (whatever you want to think that really is) forever. We were 'created' as logical beings yet asked to use illogical thought (faith) to figure out what of the many religions is correct. No reason to have to pick apart the Bible piece by piece when the general idea is that crazy (imho).
Whitney, while I appreciate the general sentiment, I don't think you can presume to know if his family is truly "important" to his life. I know this is probably true for most families - FSM knows I am trying to make it true for my kids - but I know my in my own life my father was a right bastard - he was a drug addict, a drug dealer, was physically and mentally abusive, and basically was a waste of human flesh. My family "relationship" with him was shit; I say "was" because he died of a brain aneurysm from arterial wall thinning from cocaine abuse - and he died on Father's Day at 47. I have yet to shed a tear, and actually have felt relief all these years because I know he won't have a chance to be in my childrens' lives.
Oh, and he dislocated my jaw when I told him I was an atheist at 16. Some "Christian".
Incidentally, my mom divorced him when I was 6, and she is awesome both as a mom and as a grandma to my kids. So not all is lost, huh?
So, while I doubt Rev's family dynamic is that (pardon the expression, but it is appropriate) fucked up, it may be pretty damning to him as well.
Finally, I definitely understand your sentiment, but not all relationships are "important".
Ok Robert first of all i would reccomend evilbible.com get a bible handy and go into that sight and have a highlighter pen ready and go into the bible and highlight all the evil verses of rape, murder, slavery, genocide that was ordered by god.
Also it says in the bible that something cannot be created from nothing, so if that is the case then if god is real then who created god?
Also say to your parents....do you think god is love? and when they say yes which they will do, then say well why did god order the killing of all the first born babies of egypt in Exodus if he is love, that is also going against the commandment of thou shalt not kill.
p.s just make sure you highlight a lot of nasty killing and rape in the bible and bookmark it so you can open it up in front of him so he cannot deny it to your face for it is clearly written in the bible.
Robert - sorry to be so late to the conversation. Perhaps the Christian approach is a good way to go, debating the Bible and so on, but my personal fave is to simply say that I no longer use faith or belief as measures of the world. They are useless. A good example is the black men in Africa who believe, just as much as Christians believe in heaven, that the best way to get rid of AIDS is to sleep with as many women as possible. Belief is simply jumping over the need for facts - a leap of faith - while knowledge is solid.
Religion is myth-making, whether it's Christianity or Islam or Judaism. Even the best non-Orthodox Jewish biblical scholars know that there is no reliable history in the Bible whatsoever. And the same is true of most religious texts. They weren't written by historians, they were written by mythmakers.
hi friend. im sure many people already are giving aid to your problem. i have been fighting the same battle for years and have alot of info that could help. if u want. email me firstname.lastname@example.org id be glad to help. good luck.
"* one point he made was that "god" was only evil in the old testament and that he sent "jesus" to the world to be the calm, peaceful one. I know this is false and have a couple scriptures but would like some more notes/scriptures if you have any, just to further back up my facts"
What a load of crap. So Yahweh, who was evil, made the universe and us in his evil image and likeness and imposed a bunch of evil, irrational laws on us and punished us because he made us that way. Then, he sent his son, who was also himself to Earth so we could murder him--except he wasn't really dead since we woke up again--so that he would be impressed by what he did and therefore forgive the noncrimes that he made us commit in the first place.
So in what sense is Yahweh "god" if he can be that flaky? And how does torturing an innocent man to death make us less guilty and the world a better place? Seems to me that makes it worse, not better. As far as a calm, peaceful world goes, where is it?? Since the 1st century, the violence in the world has been getting worse and worse. And JC himself "said" he was coming with a sword to divide families against each other. Besides, under the Old Testament all the divine abuse is confined to the living. In the NT, the new idea of eternal punishment is introduced. There is nothing peaceful about his message. It is an us against them perspective. The bottom line is that there is no factual basis for that assertion.
Besides, if there is no god, there is no son of god and no word of god either, so these theological debates are pretty pointless anyway.