Hello, everyone. I was an atheist until at the age of 27 I began to study the Bible in order to debunk it. I learned quickly that the Bible was grossly misrepresented by apostate Christendom's adoption of pagan teachings such as the immortal soul from Socrates, the trinity from Plato, the cross from Constantine, hell from Dante and Milton, Easter from Astarte, Christmas from the winter solstice celebrations, and most recently the Rapture from Darby.
Though I have never and will never be a part of organized religion, my beliefs are not entirely dissimilar to that of The Jehovah's Witnesses, due to the removal of the aforementioned pagan influence. I have studied briefly the history of the major world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Shintoism and Taoism and have published sacred and non-sacred texts from each of these online: The Dhammapada, Four Noble Truths, Paradise Lost, Divine Comedy, Analects Of Confucius, Bhagavad Gita, Qur'an, Pirqe Aboth, Nihongi, Kojiki, Tao Te Ching and Chuang Tzu.
Having been an atheist most of my life and given that nearly everyone I know is atheist, I think I understand and respect where most of you are coming from. I don't believe in "converting" anyone to anything, but I do think the atheist tends to be mislead when it comes to the Bible. Not that that matters much, except for that I do enjoy, given the opportunity, to correct them in thoughtful and polite discussion and debate.
I hope we can have some interesting conversations.
Hi David, be welcome!
Thanks for your thorough explanation of where you're coming from, I do hope that you can add to the discussion here on TA, a lot of the theists that drop by tend to run away quite quickly, often being involved in heated discussions for some (short period of) time.
I also hope that you can participate in interesting conversations and/or discussions.
Thanks for the welcome, Dr. Grixis. I only run away from a forum like this if I get bored. I've been debating with atheist online for nearly 20 years. Since 1995. I'm usually banned for some petty offense before I get bored, though it does seem a little slow here. Traffic in these sorts of forums is nothing what it used to be.
I've noticed a drop off here at TA. Wonder what contributed to that?
I suspect the holidays, Kairan - over the river and through the woods --?
Yeah. That's probably it.
Thanks for the welcome, Gallup's Mirror.
Which of the 900 English translations of the Bible did you study? Or did you learn Biblical Hebrew and Aramaic and study God's Word in the original language?
I started out with a comparison of the KJV and the NWT, with further research into the Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin. I now use as many translations as I can get my hands on.
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that atheists and agnostics tend to be the most knowledgeable about the Bible and Christianity. But setting that aside for now, based on your experiences what are the most common examples of misleading statements we atheists make about the Bible?
I'm not familiar with the Pew Forum on Religion etc. but as far as atheists and agnostics being more knowledgeable about the Bible than Christians that has been my experience as well. That's partly the reason I almost always prefer to have these sorts of discussions with them.
I noticed the Jehovah's Witnesses were not on that list, and they are, by far, in my opinion, more knowledgeable than any other group.
Here is an interesting example to start off with. The Bible declares that your wife must never grab an adversary of yours by the balls, lest you chop off her hand and show no mercy. That's one of my personal favorites. Would you say that's a misleading statement?
"If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity." - Deuteronomy 25:11-12.
Yes - I did an article to this in a response to the Skeptic's Annotated Bible and I think I submitted that one to Sam Harris' Reason (Scripture) Project before they realized that I had an opposing viewpoint and took away my ability to publish there. I'm in the process of putting all of those Pathway Machine articles back up online now.
The application of the law there was not merely to seize the genitals but to crush the scrotum. Procreation was very important to the ancient Hebrew culture and Mosaic Law, so the woman was actually getting off lightly. She could still function somewhat but the man couldn't produce a family inheritance.
I hope I didn't screw up the quote function, I've never worked any like these before.
Was there a pandemic scrotum-crushing problem in those days? It seems a bit churlish to address this and yet leave rape out there unaddressed...
Well, rape wasn't being addressed in that particular case though it was elsewhere. The scrotum crushing mentioned was regarding two men struggling and a wife of one of them interfering by attempting to crush the scrotum. This law follows the important law of brother in law marriage, stressing the importance of reproduction and inheritance. (Deuteronomy 25:5-10)
Notice that the normal like for like isn't used here. No eye for eye etc. The offending woman was allowed to keep her reproductive organs intact and instead lost her hand, a far less significant loss in that culture.
1. Where elsewhere was rape villified?
2. In that culture, a woman WAS a reproductive organ.
3. The hand amputation originated in a society where there was no toilet paper and it was customary to eat with the right hand and clean after defecation with the left. By cutting off a hand, the amputee was forced to eat with a 'dirty' hand, which was condemning them to a life of shame. They still have that law in Islam.
Strega: "1. Where elsewhere was rape villified?"
David: Deuteronomy 22:23-27 / Judges Chapters 19-20 / 2 Samuel 13:1-18 / Esther 7:1-10.
Strega: "2. In that culture, a woman WAS a reproductive organ."
Strega: "3. The hand amputation originated in a society where there was no toilet paper and it was customary to eat with the right hand and clean after defecation with the left. By cutting off a hand, the amputee was forced to eat with a 'dirty' hand, which was condemning them to a life of shame. They still have that law in Islam."
David: "Are you intending to establish a connection there? Again, evidence, and are you at all familiar with the sanitary laws of Moses?"
I'm not seeing it that way, David - of course I'm only using opinion, which I assume you are as well, but attempting to put myself in a Bronze-Age-Hebrew frame of mind, I would imagine there to be a much greater concern regarding a woman touching the genitals of a man not her husband, as there would be over an antagonist's ability to reproduce. The amputation assures the man that the hand of his wife, who touched another man, will never again touch him.
For the misogynistic Bronze Age Hebrew, who, like Lot, feels free to offer his daughters as party favors, that seems like a more logical reason, assuming one's logic is as warped as a Bronze Age Hebrew.
Why attempt to put yourself in a Bronze-age-Hebrew frame of mind when they wrote it down for you? I mean. For example, science tells us that the people in King David's time lived to be about 35 - 40 years, but he himself said 70 to 80. (Psalm 90:10) You "science" atheists crack me up. Some cave paintings kicks open your imagination like wildfire, but the blatantly obvious fucks you all up.