The atheist response to the text of the Bible is based primarily upon the young earth creationist interpretation, which is flawed. If I put myself objectively in the position of the atheist attempting to debunk the Bible I would start with Genesis Chapter 1. The Chapter passed the inspection of this former atheist.

The Hebrew verb consists of two different states. The perfect state indicates an action which is complete, whereas the imperfect state indicates a continuous or incomplete action.

At Genesis 1:1 the word bara, translated as created, is in the perfect state, which means that at this point the creation of the heavens and the Earth were completed. Later, as in verse 16 the Hebrew word asah, translated as made, is used, which is in the imperfect state, indicating continuous action. The heavens and Earth were created in verse 1 and an indeterminate time later they were being prepared for habitation, much the same as a bed is manufactured (complete) and made (continuous) afterwards.

What this means is that the creation was complete even before the six "days" of creation even began, in fact, later verses in the chapter reveal it was more than likely a long time in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.

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Food for thought. Proof That God Exists

This is the "Divine Command Theory" (DCT) which states that our senses of right and wrong (and sometimes beauty and ugliness) MUST have come from God. It fails on two levels.

DCT is an 'argument from ignorance' fallacy. The theist tactic is (1) get you to acknowledge ignorance, and (2) pin God to that ignorance. It goes like this:

1. Crackpot: How did life arise on earth?
2. Me: That's one of the most difficult questions in science. It's never been fully explained.
3. Crackpot: (Triumphantly) See? God MUST have done it! It's the ONLY explanation! 

Note the theist can substitute almost any question in #1. Where did the universe come from? How does human consciousness work? Why are there "gaps" in the fossil record? How did my cousin survive terminal colon cancer? 

For the theist, actual ignorance works best. But willful ignorance will do. For instance, the theist may be genuinely unaware of the evidence for evolution. Or he may be fully aware, but denies and refuses to become informed by it.     

No matter the question, the answer in this situation is the same:

4. You: Why must it have a supernatural explanation? Why can't it have a natural explanation we don't understand yet?  (Before science discovers how it works, it's God. Once sciences discovers how it works, God vanishes. History has countless examples, including; earthquakes, disease, ocean tides, fire, lightning, fertility, and meteorites. Not once in millions of investigations has the supernatural ever been the explanation for ANYTHING.)

The ignorance used in the DCT: Human altruistic behavior has been explained. Humans who cooperate and help each other have a better chance of survival. Likewise, concepts of disgust and beauty are survival mechanisms: seek healthy things and friendly environments, and avoid unhealthy things and unfriendly environments. This is a result of evolution and selection pressure: a natural process, not a supernatural one. 

Evidence For God's Existence

This is another red herring. Details forthcoming...

To me, these efforts don't do much. I honestly don't think I think or ever thought of this subject like you do. Certainly not from a scientific standpoint.

It's never too late to start thinking, David.

"God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance, that gets smaller and smaller as time goes on."

-- Neil Degrasse Tyson --

Really? David? That's all you have?

That just sucked even the very little bit of fun we were having here out of it for me.

Wait, when the 'molesting children for fun question' came up, I did spit coffee out of mt nose, which was fun. However, cleaning up the mess was quite an involved task.

From your second link:

"Let me explain each of these. One year my wife and I drove from Los Angeles to Rhode Island. It took a long time. The country is pretty big. From this observation it makes sense to think that if there is some person or being who is responsible for making the physical universe, this being has a lot more power than we do."

WTF?!! Your Greg Ganssle, Ph-freakin'-D, appears to leap to tall conclusions in a single bound! When I think of the immense size of the Earth (as compared to my own), I envision all of those tiny specks of matter - dust, metal molecules, tiny rocks, swirling in orbit around the sun, all coalescing under the force of gravitational attraction over eons, to finally form the spheroid we live on, but from a single, cross-country trip, Ganssle (PhD!) instantly concluded, "Goddidit!" Now THERE's the scientific mind at work! I'd hang on his every word --

Also, he trots out the tired, old "First Cause" fallacy - one thing I noticed, he didn't allow for comments. What does that tell you?

Arch beat me to it. And he's right.

it makes sense to think that if there is some person or being who is responsible for making the physical universe

"First Cause" makes no sense at all.

Crackpot: Nothing comes from nothing! The universe exists so it HAD to have a creator! 
Me: Then what created God? If God exists, according to you, he had to have a creator. Did God have a God have a God...? 
Crackpot: (Enraged) This shit is God! (Storms out.) 

The prospect of the earth sitting atop a stack of infinite turtles comes to mind, only now it's the universe sitting atop of stack of infinite gods.

The first cause conundrum has become a little beside the point in that few, if any, cosmologists are touting the idea that nothing preceded the beginning of the Big Bang, only that we can at best speculate about what that might be and concoct theories whose form of "proof" is that they have explanatory power if not evidence. Hence, multiverses, multiple dimensions, strings, and branes. 

David,

I don't think you understand, and considering your years as a supposed atheist, that arguing over the translated meaning of Hebrew/Aramaic scriptural text is a non-starter for me. I doubt the very existence of any supernatural beings so why would I want to discuss a text from one of thousands of religions? None of these ancient texts qualify as reputable verifiable evidence to the existence of invisible entities. If you cannot persuade me to get on board the "there is a god" train then why talk about a book that covers only one god in particular. 

You never responded to my previous question:

"If you consider the evolutionary origins of religious thought going back to animism and other primitive belief systems involving agents and the supernatural I don't understand the reluctance by many to necessarily lump all religious belief in the same basket. To me the fact that original belief systems are based on ignorance, misconceptions and misguided inferences invalidates any subsequent supernatural belief systems. If the original notions of supernatural agents is predicated on fallacy then all subsequent notions are equally false. How could one reach a point where they believe that at some specific point along the social/cultural development of religious thought that suddenly there is validity and truth to a specific belief system? It's nonsensical."

Ed,

I can understand your disinterest in the Hebrew / Aramaic text, so this discussion isn't for you. I understand that.

You doubt the supernatural, and I get that, as well. But the Bible actually mentions many gods, some were supernatural and some were not.

In response to your quote on religion, I'm sorry I couldn't get to it sooner, but that thread felt more and more like a crusade to me than a discussion.

Everything changes. Some for good and some for bad. I've studied briefly the history of the 8 major religions and the majority of their texts. Much of the debate dismissing the origins of religion as superstition and ignorance extremely subjective and conjectural; this in as much as I find religion in an organized sense, a loathsome transmogrification in progress. I wouldn't disagree that they can all be lumped into the same rubbish heap, but most of them have little if anything to do with the supernatural. To me the majority seem to be historical legend. On the other hand, from an historical perspective without the historical transmogrification inherent in history itself not being entirely dissimilar, as well as the blatantly obvious errors cause, for example, by the Egyptian historian Manetho alone, the seemingly more practical becomes even more absurd. Given a careful consideration of this and an accurate Biblical chronology compared  to secular historical accounts and the far more reliable astronomical charts it is a great deal more plausible to concede that those religious teachings came from the alluvial plains of Ur and Babylon. The tower of Babel. I have written quite a bit on this and will be putting those articles up on my website in the coming months.

How could one reach the point where it is believed that at some specific point along the social/cultural development of religious thought that suddenly there is validity and truth to a specific belief system? I suppose unless one was absorbed in some preconceived alternative quite possibly even more absurd it would obviously have to go one way or the other.

I would like to imagine that there are a great deal of discoveries that to us may seem nonsensical, but, like I said. It would seem more nonsensical to fashion them in advance to our own liking. That would retard the progress natural and only conclude with its obvious demise.

RE: "I have written quite a bit on this and will be putting those articles up on my website in the coming months." - FINALLY, a remedy for my insomnia!

You doubt the supernatural, and I get that, as well. But the Bible actually mentions many gods, some were supernatural and some were not.

I'm not familiar with the concept of a natural God. Name some names.

It's amazing to think that so much of the religious world's whole understanding of creation boils down to Hebrew semantics.

What a kick in the asah.

Huh. What a kick in the asah . . . that was amusing. Good one, Marc. 

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