Hey Guys,

So I'm just looking to brush up on my knowledge regarding Christian beliefs so that I'm better prepared to explain my position of disbelief when the discussion arises (it has been a much more common topic around the house than I'd like, especially being the sole atheist of the family). I have some general questions mainly concerning timelines, tailored beliefs and context of things relating to the Bible. Any insight or helpful links would be greatly appreciated. Alright, so here's what I'd like more info on:

1) Does the Bible condone slavery? Every Christian that's confronted with this seems to flat out deny that it does, stating that those "slaves" were people who volunteered themselves to serve.

2) Over what period of time was the Bible written?

3) What's the story of Abraham killing his son?

4) Who are Cain and Abel?

5) What misogynist things does the Bible say about women?

6) Why don't Christians like to follow the Old Testament?

7) What has the Bible "predicted"?

8) Does the Bible have any racist implications?

9) Who was Mary Magdalene and what was so special about her?

10) What other religions does the Bible "borrow" from?

Thanks in advance! <3

Tags: abraham, atheism, bible, context, debate, god, jesus, misogyny, questions, racism, More…women

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Many of us here, Greg, possibly yourself as well, are professional people, some with laurels they could certainly flaunt, but instead, they choose an anonymous name and let what they have to say rest on its own merit.

If, for example, Neil Degrasse Tyson, an admitted atheist, were to come on the board, I might expect him to use a name like, "Starman," or likely something even more imaginative, but I would not expect him to be so immodest as to call himself, "Astrophysicist Neil," which just screams, "I am an authority, you should consider that when I speak!"

@Dinoman;

I feel no angst when a person uses a title they have earned (my own daughter has a PhD), I'm sure there are Professors that visit this site, I'm sure as well that there are many people named Robert (it is after all a common name) that visit here too.

So I have no problem with people displaying their titles and given names, I do have a problem with sanctimonious, self-righteous, condescending attitudes however (excluding my own, a genetic malady I'm sure :D).

I disregarded the Bible as evidence of the claim that God exists

Good for you.  So do I.  That is not the purpose of the Bible.

The challenge that you face is that you are arguing from a position of ignorance about religion, just like your ignorance here about the purpose of the Bible.   It's hard to take that seriously, let alone be "humble." Especially when we add in the somewhat pathetic bullying nonsense about camp songs and people being on medications that @archy just posted. :-(

To create a lame analogy, an equivalent in the scientific realm would be to say "I reject the claim that quarks exist because I don't believe in invisible strange things or in charms".  Well, I'm glad you don't believe in magical charms or invisible strange things.  Neither do I.   That just has nothing to do with particle theory, other than being whimsically poetic names for two particles.  It's hard to competently refute particle theory if you are completely ignorant of it.

Now it is true that when confronted with that sort of ignorance the scientific community did roll its eyes and change the names of the t and b quarks.  Actually, we reflected and found them too whimsical and a bit out of character.  So you can consider my change of appellation in the same light.  Or, alternately, you can attempt to find deep meaning and significance in a trivial thing if you like, or even suggest I went off my medications.  I don't mind, it only speaks to how willing you are to create mythologies to support your own views.

Oh really?! Out of the blue, with no provocation, I was given the bizarre instruction to change my name to "squashed hedgehog," and it's the medication reference you cite? What does that say about you and your priorities?

Here is my message --

"He went from 'Professor Robert' to 'Dr. Bob' because some thought the original title to be a bit pretentious, neglecting to realize that pretentious is, as pretentious does."

Please show me where I called you pretentious.

"It says that one of my priorities is that I detest bullies." - are you saying you would define a bully as someone who defends oneself? It would appear so, rather than one who attacks another without personal provocation.

Everyone: please don't miss this, just because it's buried in rhetoric:

"Actually, we reflected and found them too whimsical"

Don't you think that a truly humble man might, just for the sake of humility, have said, "they" --? Talk about sending subtle messages!

Or, alternately, you can attempt to find deep meaning and significance in a trivial thing if you like, or even suggest I went off my medications.  I don't mind...

And then again, I could care if you mind, but I don't.

Asidius: Bob is good practice for a debate with a theist. Let's take a look at what these "debates" generally consist of.

The challenge that you face is that you are arguing from a position of ignorance about religion, just like your ignorance here about the purpose of the Bible.  

Asidius: Notice what Bob just did here: an attempt (the second in this thread) to shift the burden of proof and argument back to me. You'll run into this and lots of other kooky stuff a lot. Note that atheism is not an argument, it's simple disbelief: the result of the theist's failure to make his case.

Crackpot: God exists!  <---The epic claim.
Me: Evidence, please.  <----The simple request to support the claim scientifically.
Crackpot: There is none. <---The epic failure to do so.
Me: I don't believe you. <----The simple result of the crackpot's epic failure.

That's all it is. The rest is just the crackpot employing outrage and intellectual dishonesty to obfuscate or deny it. Presented in order of popularity:

1. He'll shift the burden of evidence onto you. ("Prove God doesn't exist!").
2. He'll ignore the request for evidence and won't respond at all. (This is very popular.)
3. He'll claim to have evidence when he does not, or that the evidence is beyond your comprehension and not his. ("Lookee here! Purely abstract mathematics! A pretty sunset! That's evidence!").
4. He'll say he doesn't need evidence. ("God is too big for evidence!")
5. He'll restate the request for evidence as an accusation, insult, or persecution. ("You hate God!" "How dare you question my faith!")
6. He'll create a diversion irrelevant to the point. ("It's rational to reject an entire work because we want every line of every poem that we read to be realistic?")

There are others, but these are the most common. Also look for combinations, such as: "[A]dd in the somewhat pathetic bullying nonsense about camp songs and people being on medications that @archy just posted." This combines #5 and #6.

In the end, it always comes down to the same amazingly stubborn thing. The theist has no case for the existence of God. There is nothing to debate, nothing to consider: no evidence, no data, not a shred of the scientific whatsoever. The rest is just the outraged caterwauling of the crackpot, desperately insisting that any such "debate" over God exists at all. On this point (my disbelief = your lack of evidence) most theists are utterly impervious to reason and will persist in the denial and obfuscation until you are utterly frustrated or thoroughly entertained. (I highly recommend you see it as a form of tragic comedy. It's much healthier.)

It's hard to take that seriously, let alone be "humble." Especially when we add in the somewhat pathetic bullying nonsense about camp songs and people being on medications that @archy just posted. :-(

Asidius: Bob is an actual theist, so we can see these things in his posts. So in this post, Bob opened by shifting the burden of proof back to me, then tossed in a diversion about some things that somebody else said (rather than address substantially what I said).

To create a lame analogy, an equivalent in the scientific realm would be to say "I reject the claim that quarks exist because I don't believe in invisible strange things or in charms".  Well, I'm glad you don't believe in magical charms or invisible strange things.  Neither do I.   That just has nothing to do with particle theory, other than being whimsically poetic names for two particles.  It's hard to competently refute particle theory if you are completely ignorant of it.

Asidius: This is a combination of #2 and #6: Ignoring the request for evidence paired with obfuscation. Note that Bob acknowledges the Bible is not evidence and still has provided none. Cornered, he makes a false analogy that his failure to provide evidence equates to my being ignorant of it. How does one refute evidence when the claimant provides none?

Now it is true that when confronted with that sort of ignorance the scientific community did roll its eyes and change the names of the t and b quarks.  Actually, we reflected and found them too whimsical and a bit out of character.  So you can consider my change of appellation in the same light.  Or, alternately, you can attempt to find deep meaning and significance in a trivial thing if you like, or even suggest I went off my medications.  I don't mind, it only speaks to how willing you are to create mythologies to support your own views.

Asidius: This is #3. I might have added this as its own number. I call it the Napoleon walk. The theist confers upon himself a higher status and struts about, implying he possesses knowledge you do not and suggesting he is superior and you are inferior. In the example above, Professor Doctor Robert Bob does this by calling me ignorant (despite my numerous eager requests to see this evidence for God which he says I'm ignoring) and shining his silver "we in the scientific community" badge to remind me that I'm supposed to be impressed.

Notice how none of it changes a thing: Where's the evidence for God?

Crackpot: God exists!
Me: Evidence, please.
Crackpot: There is none.
Me: I don't believe you.

Asidius: In conclusion, that's the only kind of "debate" you need to prepare yourself for. Don't bother with the Bible unless you're genuinely interested in reading it. Go right to the source: the theist's claim that God exists. Demand evidence. You won't get it. Then it's just a matter of recognizing the various types of dishonesty and smokescreens you'll run into and calling them out.

An excellent analysis of Professor Robert/Dr. Bob, with an emphasis on, "2. He'll ignore the request for evidence and won't respond at all. (This is very popular.)" - his favorite.

"Cornered, he makes a false analogy that his failure to provide evidence equates to my being ignorant of it."

The implication here, is that the evidence is there, but it's so far above your comprehension level, you will never be able to see or understand it.

The implication here, is that the evidence is there, but it's so far above your comprehension level, you will never be able to see or understand it.

Naturally. I myself invented a cold fusion machine that cures cancer and clones mastodons that pee gasoline. But I'm never showing it to anyone. It'll just blow your miserable little minds.

Your mastodon probably shouldn't do that near an open flame - just sayin' --

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