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.
You say that because you don't know the Bible very well. Some of the most informed atheists I have encountered online are history buffs. They don't believe the Bible is inspired, and like all histories they think it too has myth and legend and inaccuracies, but they wouldn't be foolish to discount it's incredible historical importance.
Due to archeological findings, and the discovery of so many more manuscripts, Newton would be even more enthusiastic.
Speaking of archaeological findings, David, you are aware, aren't you, that there is absolutely no archaeological evidence that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, or Moses ever existed. The cities the mythical Joshua "destroyed" were ruins long before the time that Joshua was alleged to have lived. Actually, David is the first biblical character for which there is actual, historical evidence - but he was not quite as great as his reputation, however, as evidence has been found that his fabulous kingdom consisted of a hamlet roughly three blocks square.
Add to that, the attested fact that the first five books of the Bible, ascribed to Moses, were actually written hundreds of years after he allegedly lived and not finally edited and combined into a single tome until 400 BCE, nearly a millennium after the time of Moses.
Of course, when, in the NT, Jeshua refers back to Moses and the Patriarchs, it's evident that he believed they existed as well, which discounts any possibility that he was in any way divine, or he would have avoided that subject. But then, the likelihood of his having any spark of divinity, or as having even even existed, for that matter, is slim to none, as all four of the "Gospels" that attest to his existence, were all written anonymously, not by anyone who could ever have been eyewitnesses to any of the events they depict.
But except for those few gaping holes, I see no reason why belief in the Bible shouldn't hold water --
You say that because you don't know the Bible very well.
You know nothing about Blaine, so where do you get off making statements like that? You know nothing about Zeus! There. So far, every argument you presented began with an insult to the other person's intelligence. You claim you want to have a meaningful debate, yet you resort to childish name calling, and petty insults, in a failed attempt to establish intellectual superiority, and to throw the opponent off balance. How very Christian of you.
They don't believe the Bible is inspired, and like all histories they think it too has myth and legend and inaccuracies, but they wouldn't be foolish to discount it's incredible historical importance.
Because the bible does have myths, legends and inaccuracies, just like every other ancient history; but unlike other ancient histories, the theists will claim that their myths and legends are real, and provide no evidence of backing it up.
I will claim that the story of the Odyssey is myth, even though it contains historical places, that are real. The bible on the other hand, while containing the same far fetched stories of monsters and wizards, I am to assume is real, because it has real, historical places?
Of course no one will discount it's historical importance! The theocratic monsters who used it to control the ancient world for 2000 years made sure of that. But you know who else had historical importance? Osama bin Laden. Should we hold his teaching in high regard too?
You are doing the same song and dance as every theist you seem to think is "wrong."
You quote your holy book, make claims not based in reality, and then when all that fails, you hurl random insults at anyone who happens to disagree.
You have avoided answering pretty much all the questions asked of you, yet demand us to answer your questions. That is not how a debate works, that is not how a discussion works, that is not how a conversation works.
We have had theists here who were willing to have a civilized discussion in the past. It is very rare, and as special as you think you are, sadly, you are not one of them. You fall right in line with the overzealous visitors we get, who come waving the olive branch, while hiding a dagger behind their back. It is clear from your previous posts that you are not here to discuss. You are here to proselytize, and stroke your own ego.
No, thank you.
"Some of the most informed atheists I have encountered online are history buffs. They don't believe the Bible is inspired, and like all histories they think it too has myth and legend and inaccuracies, but they wouldn't be foolish to discount it's incredible historical importance."
Atheist history buff here.
There's little in the bible which is supported by contemporary historians or archaeology. That's not to say that myths and fables don't often have a more worldly explanation, it's just that they are not taken literally.
Æsop's fables also impart important lessons on morality and history. Mostly better ones than the bible, yet he's not deified.
@Arcus - RE: "Atheist history buff here."
I have SO much info indicating that the majority of the Bible, historically speaking, is total fabrication, I would bore everyone to tears if I poured it all out here. Best to just offer Cab Calloway's advice from his song from "Porgy and Bess" --
"The things that you're li'ble
To read in the Bible,
They ain't necessarily so!"
Of course it's fabrication, much like Americans have fabricated a myth that their national ancestors were persecuted Christians arriving on the Mayflower at Plymoth Rock rock in search of religious freedom, when in fact they weren't particularly persecuted, arrived at Cape Cod, and wanted to convert the colonies to strict Calvinism.
their national ancestors were persecuted Christians arriving [,,,] at Cape Cod
The sweet irony is that Provincetown is now the gayest place on earth, only 400 years after the holier-than-thou Pilgrims came ashore in the west end.
My wife and I went there for vacation this summer, because Provincetown may also be the friendliest place on earth.
"Chances are, that if secular history or modern day scholars disagree with the Bible, the Bible will eventually prove the more accurate."
I must wipe the tears away from my eyes, David you bring such joy to my life, I must thank you, I'm having such a great time...and there's no cover at this comedy club.
"The Bible , according to Isaac Newton, who was an expert in ancient texts during his time, remarked on the historical superiority and reliability of the Bible."
Appeal to authority fallacy, he is not considered an expert on historiography. If the Bible (NT) contained any relevant historical facts, it would be expected that some of the contemporary historians, let's say Pliny, would make references to the same events.
They didn't. Because it's all bullshit.
Old Ike Newton was a life-long virgin and felt women were nasty. Not sure how much of a validation that is for his authenticity. Near the end of his life, he also dabbled in alchemy, yet another indication that although he may have been a whiz at physics, on other subjects, not so much.
An world leading expert in one field may not be quite as informed about/in other fields. See: Noam Chomsky.
I was of the impression that chemistry at the time was still in its infancy. The periodic table was still in the future.