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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doGdamn I like that guy. :D

Ya think?!

I'm now a Tim Minchin fan!   Thanks Arch and Suzanne - bloody marvelous. And he's right about the papists and he's right about the pope,

Actually, Suzanne didn't suggest it, I just dedicated it to her because I know how strongly she feels about the subject.

Seriously, search YouTube.com for Tim Minchin, there's lots, LOTS more - and BTW, he always performs barefoot - what's not to love about that?!

Here's a video that some of you members of the Ray Comfort Fan Club may enjoy --

THREAD HIJACK ALERT!

Any TA members out there from Virginia? Get to work!

The Secular Coalition for America today released its 2013 Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate Scorecard for the upcoming special election -a guide for secular-minded Virginians on the candidates. The Republican candidate, Kenneth Cuccinelli received a failing grade of "F", while Democratic candidate Terry McAullife received an "A". The candidates were scored on their public answers to four topics relating to separation of church and state issues. To see the complete scorecard, click here.

Has any of you un-superstitious atheists realized that it's Friday the 13th?

The Texas Freedom Network requested records of the reviewers, and the agenda they are promoting is inexcusable.

“I understand the National Academy of Science's [sic] strong support of the theory of evolution,” one reviewer wrote. “At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel very firmly that ‘creation science’ based on Biblical principles should be incorporated into every Biology book that is up for adoption.”

Another wrote that, “While I understand the theory of evolution and its wide acceptance, there should be inclusion of the ‘creation model’ based on the Biblical view of history.”

Are we talking about biology or Bible study? Reviewers seem to have confused one for the other.

Dr. Raymond Bohlin, a reviewer affiliated with the creationist Discovery Institute, repeatedly plugged the Institute’s own work in his objections to the textbooks.

“There is no discussion of the origin of information-bearing molecules which is absolutely essential in any origin of life scenario. Meyer’s Signature in the Cell easily dismisses any RNA first scenario. The authors need to get caught up,” he wrote.

Bob: Do you feel that a one-dimensional extensible line exists as a material reality?   How about negative or imaginary numbers? Gallup: How about Huckleberry Finn and Frodo Baggins? Bob: Ah, @Gallup, I think this is where we disagree fundamentally.

Still cornered, Bob maintains the irrelevancy (#2) and throws down more obfuscation (#6).

I see mathematics as genuine knowledge. 

So do I. Likewise, Huck and Frodo are genuine knowledge.

Even though I have no evidence for numbers in the complex plane, I find the use of complex analysis to be useful in modeling a variety of interactions, like alternating current circuits and electromagnetic waves.

This means the abstract concept of numbers in the complex plane, which does not exist in empirical reality, are applied to alternating current circuits and electromagnetic waves, which do exist in empirical reality.

This is unlike the abstract concepts of Huck, Frodo, and God, which cannot be similarly applied because they have no counterparts in empirical reality. Unless of course there is empirical evidence that such counterparts do exist in empirical reality. And this brings us back to the point Bob that has been so desperately and entertainingly avoiding.

Or rather it doesn't. Not yet. Bob's Odyssey into the land of imaginary things continues (more of #2).

So even though the numbers are "imaginary", a thought construct based on still more fundamental (and equally abstract) principles of mathematics, I consider that to be genuine knowledge. 

Superman is genuine knowledge; a thought construct every bit as abstract and imaginary as mathematics, and he counts every bit as much as genuine knowledge.

It's "real".  I "believe" in it, in that I make use of those ideas and that language in my daily life, and apply that knowledge to real-world questions.

The writers and readers of Superman comic books make use of the "Superman" ideas and lexicon in their lives-- for creators this is daily-- and apply it to real-world questions in storytelling. Superman is widely considered to be a modern pop cultural equivalent of a mythological character: a Hercules, Beowulf, or Gilgamesh. The character is "real", but only so far as he exists in the imagination. That is to say, in the popular usage of the word, Superman is not real.

I suppose you can choose to consider mathematics a fiction like Frodo Baggins, because there's no "empirical proof" of the existence of complex mathematics.  I just don't think that sort of skepticism is very useful.

Bob does his Pinocchio routine: you consider mathematics a fiction! He's playing on words here, in essence continuing to claim on my behalf that I don't believe mathematics works and is useful.

Using Bob's standard of honesty in attributing qualities to another person: congratulations to Bob on setting a new world record, as documented here in the Guinness Book of World Records, for most consecutive days of anal sex with goats: 938! Bob broke his own previous record of 819 days. Bob's insatiable lust for farm animals is disgusting, but his extraordinary persistence is worth acknowledging.

Speaking for myself: mathematics are imaginary, can be applied to represent empirical reality, and can be useful, but they do not exist in empirical reality nevertheless. Where an abstract concept is claimed to "model" or otherwise effect empirical reality: let's see the evidence for the empirical aspect.

Tell me you're using abstract mathematics to count an empirical trail of rocks and I'll say show me the rocks. Likewise, tell me you're counting empirical Gods (or his empirical trail of universe, Messiahs, miracles, answered prayers, holy books, churches on earth, etc.) and I'll say show me the Gods.

My calling out Bob's failure to produce the empirical aspect of God that is lying at the source of this quite empirical trail is not my indictment of mathematics. No, it's just Bob's (now quite pathetic) failure to produce God, accompanied by one of the standard dance routines.

And that brings us full circle to the question Bob ignored (#2) in this response, just as he ignored it here, and here, and here, and here.

How does an imaginary God-- or if you like, an imaginary Superman, number, Huck Finn, or Frodo Baggins-- originate the universe, dictate the Bible to the prophets, answer prayers, father Jesus, bring Mary up to heaven, perform miracles, forgive sins, reign in heaven, or accomplish anything else that is non-imaginary? How did an imaginary God exist before a human mind existed to imagine him up?

From the top:

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

What has changed? Nothing. Bob is disowning line three by disowning the empirical aspects of God which are listed above-- not just on his own behalf, but on behalf of all the religions of the world-- and then (of course) turning a blind eye and a deaf ear the resulting chorus of pesky questions and merry laughter.

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