Author Topic: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)  (Read 6198 times)

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Offline Bobboau

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
God did not allow Job to be tormented simply to win a bet. It was to prove a very, very important point: That a human being, at least one of us, could continue to stay loyal to God, no matter what happened to him.
 
Job didn't stay faithful because he knew he'd get a fat reward in the end, he didn't do it because it'd be an insult to Satan, and he didn't do it because he was too blind to realize what was happening. He knew that God was not the one causing the bad things that were happening, so he stayed loyal, proving that a sinful, imperfect human could do what the first perfect man could not.

honestly this sounds like evidence in favor of my point
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Offline Herra Tohtori

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
I think we've had a few discussions before on the topic of Book of Job, but sure, I'll bite.

God did not allow Job to be tormented simply to win a bet. It was to prove a very, very important point: That a human being, at least one of us, could continue to stay loyal to God, no matter what happened to him.

Isn't that exactly the definition of a bet?


Quote
Job didn't stay faithful because he knew he'd get a fat reward in the end, he didn't do it because it'd be an insult to Satan, and he didn't do it because he was too blind to realize what was happening.

And also probably because the social structure around him made it fairly impossible to denounce God. He probably would have been stoned to death as an apostate if he voiced any concerns about the situation actually


Quote
He knew that God was not the one causing the bad things that were happening, so he stayed loyal, proving that a sinful, imperfect human could do what the first perfect man could not.


But of course God was the one causing the bad things that were happening. There is a direct causal relation between God's actions and what happened to Job.

Furthermore there's the question of where did Satan come from, so it all boils down to God anyway. He's a colossal dick no matter how you look at it.



By the way, there's also the fact that what Job was thinking during this whole storyline is largely irrelevant when you look at all the rest of stuff that's happening. Job is merely one person in the story - but since it was very much a Man's World that the story originated in, of course he's the only relevant character. Job's children died, his wife abandoned him. He would have had bonds with these people, if he was a normal person. Most of the people in his service died as well, and that just because of being associated to Job - they would have had their own families that would have suffered from their loss, not to mention that all these people who died surely did not want to die to settle a dispute they never even knew of.

Job's wife is perhaps the most human character in the whole story, one whom I feel great sympathy for. She also lost her children. Both her and Job had to deal with that loss. It is a loss that cannot be recovered. We can get used to loss, and learn to cope with it, and even form new relationships, but there is no way a "new family" would be a 1:1 replacement of the original. In fact, Job goes through a pretty severe form of depression due to his loss and suffering and wishes he had never been born.

But even in his depression, his indoctrination to God holds fast, and while he's spouting nonsense with his friends, his wife takes a hike - a wise move, I should say, all things considered.

In the final confrontation between God and Job, God basically just says "I AM THE GREETIST" in a very verbose way, outlining that he knows things that Job doesn't, and can do things that Job can't. And Job realizes that this being has no understanding of human suffering, and decides there's nothing to be gained by pushing the issue and doesn't contradict God any further because he's afraid (and for a good reason) that God might get angry at him and, behaving like any grown-up obviously should, remove the annoyance. It's a thoroughly unsatisfying resolution, and Job's reaction is similar to someone trying to talk to an armed stranger who's behaving vaguely threatening and unhinged, pointing a gun at you and asking if you'd want to further question him...


The book never mentions what happens to Job's wife, but it's implied that in the end, she's also replaced and Job has new children and property - more than before. But the dead people remain dead...


Anyone who has ever lost a family member would probably understand perfectly well why Job was "rendered speechless" at the end of the story.



But I don't think Job's story is the moral bottom of the Bible. There are a lot more offensive things there, like the parts about repeated genocides, slavery, and all the offenses listed as punishable by death. And we haven't even touched upon the immoral (and contradictory) teachings of Jesus yet! New Testament is not in any way better source of morality than the Old Testament (in fact with its Salvation doctrine it is worse, for reasons I already outlined in my previous post).

All in all, I wouldn't say majority of Christians are good people because of Christianity.

Majority of Christians are good people despite Christianity. Just like majority of muslims are good people despite Islam, by the way, this applies to pretty much all ideologies and religions.

There are thankfully very few people who take all the instructions of the Bible literally. Most Christians have a better source for their morality and they actually use it to judge which parts of the Bible are worth following. The annoying part is when they still claim their morality to come from the Bible, when it obviously doesn't...
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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
But anyway, if you really want to argue the issue, go refute HT's points as they are much less vulnerable to this sort of argument. You can reply to my points but quite frankly I'd rather see you answer HT's.

I did want to address his concerns, but there was a lot there and I just realized that that post would take a long time to write. I'll see if I can't handle a few things now. Brace yourselves for a wall of text.

1. God was directly responsible for Job's suffering.
 No. He simply allowed it to happen in order to prove an important point. Look at it this way: A terrorist blows up 20 people. Whose fault is it, the terrorist's or the government's that refused to negotiate with terrorists?

2. What was so important about that point he was trying to prove? What is with God and allowing his faithful followers to suffer horribly and/or die because of their loyalty?
 This is the big question. It comes down to whether humanity needs God or not. I'll explain:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth. (Hitchhikers Guide joke goes here) He made angels, who were perfect, and two humans, who were perfect. They were perfect in the sense that their bodies and minds were without flaw: While they all had free will, they had complete control over their thoughts and impulses.

One of the perfect angels would become known as Satan. He was not content to allow God to be the god of everything; Satan wanted humans to worship him instead, and the first step in that was to turn them against God. He deceived Eve, who fell for it since she'd never seen deception before. Adam was not deceived, he consciously made a decision to disobey God's command to eat from that tree. The consequences of that choice were the removal of his perfect condition, and that of all humans who would be born from him. This introduced sin and imperfection into humanity.
Why didn't God just eliminate them and start over then and there? For one, it'd be like a kid flipping the game board when his opponent makes a move he doesn't like. For another thing, the issue that Satan raised needed to be addressed: "Do humans need God, or will we be fine by ourselves?"

God never wanted people to suffer. If Adam had stayed loyal, the Earth would still be filled with perfect people who could live in peace and safety. This is still the ultimate goal. But for now, instead, God allows humanity to try to make their own way in order to prove to Satan, the other angels, and humanity as a whole, what the correct course is.

People who remain loyal to God and serve him the way that he intends are rewarded now by inner peace, and attempt to make and keep peace with all those around them, and will be rewarded in the future for their loyalty. Those who oppose God and live their lives contrary to the way he instructs are not directly punished. But that thinking is what led to the world being in its current state where we have fear, violence, war, greed and selfishness, and suffering.

3. What's up with Jesus getting tortured and murdered?
 Jesus, the Son of God, was born as a perfect human. He had three reasons to be here: The first was to prove that a perfect human could endure everything that could be thrown at him and stay loyal until death. The second was that a perfect, loyal, human life was needed to balance the perfect, disloyal human life of Adam; this was the only thing that could satisfy God's sense of justice. The third was to tell us how the salvation of the human race would happen, and how we could be imperfect but still acceptable to God.

4. What's about Hell? I thought you said that God didn't want people to suffer?
 He doesn't. Hell, as popularly thought of as a place of eternal torment, is not a real thing in the Bible. When a person dies, the place he goes that is usually translated as "hell" is simply "the grave" or the condition of being dead. Ecclesiastes 9:5 says that the dead are conscious of nothing at all. Besides, a place where people are tortured for eternity for the sins of a few years is incompatible with a loving God. And yes, I do believe that he is loving, because despite all the pain in the world, I know why it is and that it won't last forever.


OK. I know that didn't address everything here, but hopefully it'll be a start. Let me know if anybody'd like something specific.

 

Offline Bobboau

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
No. He simply allowed it to happen in order to prove an important point. Look at it this way: A terrorist blows up 20 people. Whose fault is it, the terrorist's or the government's that refused to negotiate with terrorists?

God points Job out to Satan, Satan says he only loves you because you blessed him, and God tells Satan to go do his worst to Job and see what happens. how is that not god basically ordering a hit on Job('s wealth, family and health)?

If the government told the terrorists they could blow them up and not face any consequences, when the terrorists had previously no apparent specific interest in doing so, then the answer to your hypothetical is 'the government'.
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DEUTERONOMY 22:11
Thou shalt not wear a garment of diverse sorts, [as] of woollen and linen together

  

Offline Luis Dias

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Re: Devastating Arguments Against Christianity (Courtesy of the Internet)
That seems fine and dandy except that its filled with heretical notions. You'd be burned at the stake for proclaiming these just a few centuries ago.

More to the point, and this is one of the biggest problems with religion, is this constant feeling of having to disprove or challenge millions of different "interpretations" of every single religion, every single opinionated human being with their own version of metaphysical truth, seemingly knowing objectively the mind of God, what he wants, what really happened, how to correctly interpret the bible or the koran or whatever. And they are all knowing this, but saying different things altogether.

The mere proclamation that "hell does not exist" not only contradicts with some excerpts of the bible itself, it conflicts with Catholicism and the majority of Protestantism theology. Hell is preached and its existence defended by the majority of apologists. You disagree, fine, I'm 100% ok with this, but have in mind this particular problem: you have as much authority in this issue as those who disagree with you. In my opinion, a zero authority (who has seen what goes on after one dies at all?). Now to your points...


1. Allowing is not wholly different than being responsible. If you see a baby walking in a road, see a vehicle running against him and you know you can save him but don't, you "allowed" it, but you were also responsible for his death. Perhaps you could get away with it legally, but morally everyone would condemn you. Job goes through so much suffering in that particular story that it's impossible it was just "bad luck" going berserk.

And I also disagree with your interpretation in a key aspect of the story. The three theologian friends who gather around him trying to explain all of his "curse" as being part of God's plan or his fault or whatever, they were all shown to be false by both Job and God who dismisses them absolutely. They were wrong, and thus you are also wrong in painting Job's curse as anything meaningful, let alone an "experiment" to prove that men could remain loyal despite it all. The point of God's rant at the end is precisely to state how miniscule our brains are and how we just are unable to comprehend God's actions and so we shouldn't even try. In this sense, why are you doing exactly so? You are repeating Job's friends mistakes.

To talk about experiments within the prospect of a perfect being who can see the future is also tantalizingly contradictory. Experiments only make sense in a contingent and imperfect, unknown, not-omniscient worldview. If God is omniscient, he should not need this. But I can dismiss this as a kind of an imperfection that comes from the projection of godly problems into human language... although I'm not entirely certain the story can survive such translation.

2. The whole genesis story is filled with problems that you are not solving here. While you paint a story about everything being perfect and that the problem is Adam's free will freely choosing to eat an apple against God's wishes, we should not forget that this reasoning is the same reasoning that many apologists give to justify all the suffering in the world. Children are born with Cancer. Why? Because Adam ate an apple. You see the problem here, the obscenity of it? While it looks good on paper alone, when you confront it with the actual suffering of every day life it becomes abhorrent.

The idea that we should all suffer because our great great great great great great grandfather made one wrong choice against God paints the latter as eggregiously malevolent. And let's not forget the primary source of evil here: the tree of knowledge. If one wants any source for why religion can be such a pain in the ass towards inquiry, skepticism, truth seeking and science overall, well look no further than Genesis.

Nevermind that this God really stressed out of his whole humanity creation, thought it a really bad idea and at one moment decided that the only cure was to kill everyone in the planet except for a single family. Probably Adam's fault too. Damn apple.

3. The idea then develops to the Atonement. God made himself a human so that he could suffer with us. I'm fine with that part, seems rather compassionate and interested. What better way to show your respect and understanding for a suffering species than turning yourself into one for a full lifetime? He even becomes an atheist at the very end of his journey. All great stuff. But if you look at the greater picture what do you see? I see a God who, to save humanity from itself (again) arranged a better way other than drowning them altogether: let's make a human sacrifice out of myself! Such civilized manners. This will please Me, as all the goats before have had, but better because I'm the one being offered to myself. So there he goes cross in his shoulder, carrying all the "sins of the world". He dies and ressurects. And without this, we wouldn't know good from evil. And if we do not accept this story as anything really mildly sane, we are again thrown into the lake of fire (to be either exterminated or just suffer endlessly, depending on how generous the apologist feels like).


4. The dead are ressurected and then judged. Hell happens afterwards. You should know this.