Comment by Gallup's Mirror on June 15, 2014 at 12:34am

The latest science on the subject, through argon radiometric dating and geological evidence, puts the oldest known fossils of anatomically modern humans at 196,000 years old. Hitchens was being generous. He might have said, "In order to be a Christian, you have to believe that for 194,000 years... heaven watches this with complete indifference."

Comment by Dr. Bob on June 16, 2014 at 9:40am

It's cute, but no Christian believes that God was absent before the coming of Jesus.  Nor do we believe that God was absent before Moses and the foundations of Judaism.  In fact, the lessons of the Bible suggest that God was present and active throughout all that prehistory, from the first humans.

So this, from a thinking person's perspective, is just a silly straw man. 

The question about why God comes to the poor in the desert rather than the wealthy and civilized in the primary culture of the day is a more interesting one.   Perhaps He's present equally to both, but the wealthy and self-satisfied are not listening?

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on June 16, 2014 at 12:58pm

It's cute, but no Christian believes that God was absent before the coming of Jesus.  Nor do we believe that God was absent before Moses and the foundations of Judaism. 

That's a strawman fallacy. Hitchens didn't say God was "absent". He said heaven was indifferent to human suffering and misery until God intervened using a human sacrifice in the less literate parts of the Middle East.

Dismissed.

In fact, the lessons of the Bible suggest that God was present and active throughout all that prehistory, from the first humans.

In fact, that's another one of Bob's unsupported proclamations.

If you don't support the point you haven't made one.

Dismissed.

So this, from a thinking person's perspective, is just a silly straw man. 

Agreed. Bob not only misrepresented Hitchens using a silly strawman fallacy, his subsequent "rebuttal" consists of content-free gainsaying.

Dismissed.

The question about why God comes to the poor in the desert rather than the wealthy and civilized in the primary culture of the day is a more interesting one. Perhaps He's present equally to both, but the wealthy and self-satisfied are not listening?

That's a distraction fallacy. If you respond to an argument by not addressing the points of the argument, you haven't responded.

Dismissed.

Thanks for the laugh, Bob.

Comment by Emperor Milos on June 16, 2014 at 1:02pm

In fact, that's another one of Bob's unsupported proclamations.

If you don't support the point you haven't made one.

I must agree with the Professor here, GM. According to the bible, god was present and active throughout prehistory, from the first human. Shame that the first bible humans never actually existed, and if by "present and active" you are talking about all the drowning, smiting and murdering he did in the OT, he sure as shit was active.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on June 16, 2014 at 4:45pm

What?? God was present for the whole 4400 years of human prehistory?

This is one of my favorite Hitchens clips that the above quote is from. I use it so often that I have it almost verbatim at this stage. It is what you MUST believe if you are a Christian.

 

 

Comment by Gallup's Mirror on June 16, 2014 at 5:46pm

I must agree with the Professor here, GM. According to the bible, god was present and active throughout prehistory, from the first human.

Hitch didn't say God did not exist until Jesus. As I've already pointed out, that is Bob's strawman.

Hitch said that salvation through morality did not exist until the human sacrifice of Jesus, which came after some 98,000 (or 194,000) years of misery and death for the human race.

Note that everyone who lived before Jesus went to hell and had to be rescued. This is literally the belief of the largest Christian church in the world, Roman Catholicism:

"Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live." Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage." Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys of Death and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth."

Comment by _Robert_ on June 16, 2014 at 7:03pm

Perhaps when the Jewish god supposedly revealed himself; if he would have revealed that the earth revolves around the sun, or that humans were created by evolution, or e=mc2, or that microbes cause disease, we would not be needing thinkatheist.com today. But no, a god so magnificent as to put this universe in motion uses a burning bush, a virgin Mary, and a human scapegoat that really proved to be no sacrifice at all. It stinks of religions that predate it, and no... it can't be believed by a thinking person.

Comment by Joshua D. on June 17, 2014 at 11:55am
Hitch said that salvation through morality did not exist until the human sacrifice of Jesus, which came after some 98,000 (or 194,000) years of misery and death for the human race.

I don't really see it as salvation through morality but rather faith in the promise. Hebrews 11 I think tells us that Abraham was saved in the same way we are and that the crucifixion and ressurection was for all time. God seems to be pretty specific about who he saves though as shown in Romans 9.

You can say He is a tyrant but His response to the questioning of His plans are seen in passages like Job 38. I believe as Christians we are bond servants to Christ because He is Lord, the "owner of the cattle on a thousand hills", and should be in willful submission to Him.

It's supposed to seem opposite to our senses. Which I know is crazy. Never said I wasn't but what He says is there is a way that seems right to man that leads to death and other things like the wisdom of man being the foolishness of God.

I'm not saying that you should believe any of this just trying to give my perspective.
Comment by Joshua D. on June 17, 2014 at 11:59am
Bond servant is a nice translation. A more clear understanding would be slaves from the original language. Kinda like freedom in slavery though. Yea. I think it's Tim Keller that makes a similar argument.

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