Sunday, 8 March 2009

24% of people lie about reading the bible.

Apantly 24% of people have pretended to read the bible when they havent in order to impress people. I think its fair to say that an atheist would never think reading the bible was something to be proud of and so clearly the 24% of people are xians. I thought xians werent meant to lie.

Next, 6% of people lie about reading the selfish gene by richard dawkins. Again, these are almost certianly xians trying to look more open minded than they actual are. Why cant xians just admit that they are xians because they are ignorant and cant be bothered to read?

23 comments:

johnny said...

Again Mike, your conclusion does not follow from your premise.

An atheist could, quite possibly, lie when discussing the Bible in order to try to establish credibility.

Next...

You say, "I thought xians werent meant to lie"

True, lying is always wrong. And it is a Christian tenent, that we are not supposed to lie. It is also a Christian tenent that we are guilty of doing immoral things and are in need of someone to pay our penalty.

You seem to be saying that you agree that lying is wrong.
Have you ever lied?

As far as The Selfish Gene goes.. if you've read it, then you should be able to judge if someone else's claim to have read it, is true or false.
Nick (Tweb's own ApologiaNick)claimed to have read it. He is a Christian. If you have read it, quiz him and see if he's telling you the truth.

Mike, have you read the whole Bible? You imply that you have when you claim, "and happen to know more about th bible than your average xian".

johnny

FiFi said...

Johnny, I fail to see how claiming to have read the Bible would establish any kind of credibility.

I read a lot of it when I was a Christian so know a fair bit of it. However, that's not the point at all.

The point is its a corned-beef-hash of ideas written by men, mostly with the same aim, but any kind of research into the validity of the Bible as a sacred text reveals its entirely politically motivated, and that Christianity is little more than a control mechanism for the masses. Although I know we've been here before Johnny and you didn't really believe me then.

I suggest you do your own research into how and when the Bible, particularly the New Testament, was compiled. It may just open your eyes. I hope so for your sake.

johnny said...

FiFi,

you said, "Johnny, I fail to see how claiming to have read the Bible would establish any kind of credibility."

Mike has made the claim that he knows more about the Bible than the average Christian. He is, in effect, trying to establish credibility by saying he knows things about it.

You also, are making a similar claim, but you 'up the ante' a bit, by saying, "its a corned-beef-hash of ideas written by men, mostly with the same aim, but any kind of research into the validity of the Bible as a sacred text reveals its entirely politically motivated", which is implying that you've done more research and better research than i have done, or any Christian has done.


You said, "I suggest you do your own research into how and when the Bible, particularly the New Testament, was compiled. It may just open your eyes. I hope so for your sake."

Please define "do your own research", since i belief that i have researched it on my own... but on reflection, i'm really only reading books written by other human beings. I haven't had the privilege of looking at the manuscripts myself. And i've only had a few brief encounters with (english translations of copies) of early church father's writings.
Even studying the Bible i rely on both translations and english/hebrew - english/greek dictionaries and a whole slew of commentaries.
I'm vaguely familiar with the political motivation and jostling of the early Christian church and some of the doctrines (one i found interesting is the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit-- but despite the politics involved, i see that Doctrine as Biblical).

Now, granted, (from a human standpoint) all of my learning on the subject has been because of other people's work and the only first hand claim that i can make, is my thoughts on the subjects that i've studied. However, i am quite capable of reading something and judging whether it fits (i.e. my previous mention of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit).


So, i ask again, what do you mean by, "do your own research"?

johnny


ps for about two years or so, i've been trying to teach myself biblical hebrew-- not going well. I'm getting to the point of taking a class on the subject... but again, this would not be my own research since i was (ineptly) relying on a book, and would be relying on a teacher.

I'm wondering how many students of, say, brain surgery, got to discover things from their own research, and did not rely one little bit on the learning of others before them.

I think you are holding me to a higher standard than should be required.
And i think it's quite possible that you have allowed anti-Christian / anti-God resources to little scrutiny... but that's just my opinion.

johnny said...

oops... instead of "to little scrutiny", let's try "TOO little.."

johnny

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

The point is its a corned-beef-hash of ideas written by men, mostly with the same aim, but any kind of research into the validity of the Bible as a sacred text reveals its entirely politically motivated, and that Christianity is little more than a control mechanism for the masses. Although I know we've been here before Johnny and you didn't really believe me then.

I suggest you do your own research into how and when the Bible, particularly the New Testament, was compiled. It may just open your eyes. I hope so for your sake.


I assume you can substantiate these claims. Becuase I'v done my own readings of historians(and before you say it not just Christian historians) and I'm convinced that this is all a bunch of crap.

FiFi said...

So guys, honestly and truly, do you believe that god wrote the bible through the hands and minds of men? Is there any way to prove that that is not only likely, but even possible?

Also, if god was around so much in biblical times turning people into pillars of salt and visiting people in their homes, why has he gone so quiet these last 2,000 or so years?

I must say though, you're all taking this from one extreme to another. I'm not saying that something written by men is nonsense or incredible. How could I possible say that and still claim to be science-minded? After all, haven't men been the ones throughout the ages to have discovered the laws of science? Aren't men the ones who wrote the books that have taught me all the wondrous things of the world?

Books written by men are really the only kind of books (of course!) but you must always ask yourself who the person writing is and what is their agenda. Every author will have an agenda of some kind - some with honourable intentions, some not so much.

But as I trust that scientists have at least worked hard to accumulate their knowledge from reality, I admit that most of what I say here is learned from men such as Richard Dawkins and his colleagues, who I trust, having read his works and compared that to what I know of science already through a basic education, to be presenting honest knowledge. Some of his stuff is opinion and I do find his style somewhat dictatorial and patronising at times, but that doesn't take away from the truth of what he says.

Now the bible was written so long ago it would be difficult to prove truth in any of its contents. However, consider this. There are no gospels included in the bible that were written by people who were alive when Jesus was. However, that's not to say that no such gospels existed. There are (I've seen documentaries which included images of the remnants of the original documents) gospels written by Mary Magdalen and Thomas, both followers of Jesus, so you'd think they would have really important input into his story.

However, they were rejected as they didn't support the message the early church was trying to convey.

That's what I'm talking about when I say 'politically motivated'.

Please, just look into what I've said and honestly, for your own sake, be straight with yourselves on this. I know its hard to leave the Christian community, cos I've done it myself. But life is so much better when you live in the real world.

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

So guys, honestly and truly, do you believe that god wrote the bible through the hands and minds of men? Is there any way to prove that that is not only likely, but even possible?

No actually I think God inspired men to write the Bible. Which isnt quite the same thing.

Also, if god was around so much in biblical times turning people into pillars of salt and visiting people in their homes, why has he gone so quiet these last 2,000 or so years?

Well really even according the Biblical account he only 'showed up' once every few centuries.

Also I believe the miracles are primarly God's way of verify the status of a prophet, and he hasnt sent any in recent years.

Books written by men are really the only kind of books (of course!) but you must always ask yourself who the person writing is and what is their agenda. Every author will have an agenda of some kind - some with honourable intentions, some not so much.



But as I trust that scientists have at least worked hard to accumulate their knowledge from reality, I admit that most of what I say here is learned from men such as Richard Dawkins and his colleagues, who I trust, having read his works and compared that to what I know of science already through a basic education, to be presenting honest knowledge.

Heres the thing though: Just because somebody is a good scientist, does NOT make them qualified to discuss history, theology or philosophy(at least not on a level beyond any other lay person). Dawkin IS, without question, one of the better evolutionary biologists alive today, But he is extremely ignorant on history theology and philosophy and it shows.

Now the bible was written so long ago it would be difficult to prove truth in any of its contents. However, consider this. There are no gospels included in the bible that were written by people who were alive when Jesus was.

Except for Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

However, that's not to say that no such gospels existed. There are (I've seen documentaries which included images of the remnants of the original documents) gospels written by Mary Magdalen and Thomas, both followers of Jesus, so you'd think they would have really important input into his story.

Unless, of couse they wernt written by Mary Magadline and Thomas.

However, they were rejected as they didn't support the message the early church was trying to convey.

No they were rejected because they were falsely attributed to followers of Jesus, The early church recognized that they had no genuine early witness to draw from.

Please, just look into what I've said and honestly, for your own sake, be straight with yourselves on this.

I have already thats why I'v determined that you are wrong.

johnny said...

FiFi said,
So guys, honestly and truly, do you believe that god wrote the bible through the hands and minds of men?

Well, as STAL has pointed out, there is a difference. So on that level, i would agree with STAL. However, i don't think that you meant it as specific as you've stated, so, on that level, i would say, "close enough for now".

Is there any way to prove that that is not only likely, but even possible?

I'm not sure.
It would most certainly depend on your definition of 'prove/proof'.
It also would depend on our (yours and mine) position regarding epistimology (the theory of knowledge).
Also, considering our divide on the Doctrine of Revelation (i.e. that you think it's non-sense and i believe it's true), i think we might be better avoiding this tangent for now.

If you disagree, then you lead, i'll follow.

Also, if god was around so much in biblical times turning people into pillars of salt and visiting people in their homes, why has he gone so quiet these last 2,000 or so years?

Yeah, what STAL said.

I must say though, you're all taking this from one extreme to another.

In what way?

After all, haven't men been the ones throughout the ages to have discovered the laws of science?

And these laws came about how?
(i know, i know... they just are ;) they look like they were designed but that's only 'cuz they exist the way they do... it's faulty logic, but Dawkins and Gould said it, so it must be true)


Aren't men the ones who wrote the books that have taught me all the wondrous things of the world?

ahh, on one hand y'all say, "think for yourselves" but then you turn around and say, "listen to them".

but you must always ask yourself who the person writing is and what is their agenda.

And your agenda is??

But as I trust that scientists have at least worked hard to accumulate their knowledge from reality,

Why does a universe of random, chance occurances need to be ordered? (i know i worded that poorly... it was intentional)

Why the confidence in order from disorder?

I admit that most of what I say here is learned from men such as Richard Dawkins and his colleagues, who I trust, having read his works and compared that to what I know of science already through a basic education, to be presenting honest knowledge.

You've read Dawkins and it fits with your experience, therefore, when he gives opinions about origins/metaphysics, you are more likely to give him a listen... especially when his opinions fit with your worldview.

I quote the Bible to you, and since you've already discarded God from your worldview, you don't even give it a thought (i know, i'm taking liberties here-- i think i'm basically right, but i'm sure i've exagerated) and reduce it to Grimms without reading, in context to the discussion at hand.


Whether you believe me or not, i do weigh just about everything i read-- to my knowledge of reality; to my worldview; to other claims.
About the only exception is when i am reading and thinking of something else, but then i go back and re-read.

Some of his stuff is opinion and I do find his style somewhat dictatorial and patronising at times, but that doesn't take away from the truth of what he says.

His opinion doesn't take away from the truth of what he says???

Now the bible was written so long ago it would be difficult to prove truth in any of its contents.

This is false. Think about it... if it is truth, how do we recognise truth?

I know what you are actually saying, but the point needed to be made anyway (about truth, that is).

The point you are trying to make, is that there are things in the past that we can't judge directly... because the evidence has long been past away. This is the difference between the science of how a car or computer works vs. historical science (which is the same reason that my faith in the science of cars is not hampered by my lack of faith in a natural origins presupposition (agenda?).


However, consider this. There are no gospels included in the bible that were written by people who were alive when Jesus was.

This is amazing... right after you said that the Bible is too old to determine truth of it's claims.

I think what you might be trying to say is that we have no autographs... that is, original documents. What we have (to my knowledge) are manuscript copies. (but don't make the mistake of thinking that it's like playing 'telephone' or 'chinese whispers')


However, that's not to say that no such gospels existed. There are (I've seen documentaries which included images of the remnants of the original documents) gospels written by Mary Magdalen and Thomas, both followers of Jesus, so you'd think they would have really important input into his story.

As far as i know, those frags are 3rd and 5th century manuscripts.
But this is not a topic i've done much study on. I'm interested in it but i just havent taken much time to explore it.
From the little i've read,though, these two "gospels" were rejected for more than just politics.

Please, just look into what I've said and honestly, for your own sake, be straight with yourselves on this. I know its hard to leave the Christian community, cos I've done it myself. But life is so much better when you live in the real world.

I do honestly look at things outside my worldview.
I do honestly look at things in my worldview as well.

I think it would be next to impossible to be "doing" apologetics without examining one's own views and the opposing views.


Can you say that you still examine your own views and the oppositions as honestly as you implore us to?


johnny

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

As far as i know, those frags are 3rd and 5th century manuscripts.
But this is not a topic i've done much study on. I'm interested in it but i just havent taken much time to explore it.
From the little i've read,though, these two "gospels" were rejected for more than just politics.


Well the Gospel of Mary is definetly from the 3rd or 4th century. Even athiestic historians reject it as being way too late to be at all relevent to the histoical Jesus.

The Gospel of Thomas is a slightly different matter. It was probably written sometime in the mid-late second century(later than even the most liberal dating for the Biblical Gospels) and almost certainly NOT by Thomas. Historians are split over how much(if any) of the GoT contains historical sayings of Jesus. Very VERY few will argue for the entirity of the GoT being historical, rather the claim is that some isolated sayings are genuine and the rest were either made up for falsely attributed to Jesus by the author of the GoT in order to support his agenda.

johnny said...

Thanks STAL. Do you have a descent linky or two that discusses mss?

johnny

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

christian think tank has an excellent article on the Gospel of Thomas here:

http://www.christian-thinktank.com/gthomas.html

On the Gospel of Mary Magadline I dont have any good links off hand. Although I would recommend Ben Witherington's book THe Gospel Code. Although it was written in response to the DaVenci Code it deals with all sorts of idea surrounding the 'Gnostic Gospels' including the Gospel of Mary Magdaline.

FiFi said...

"Although I would recommend Ben Witherington's book THe Gospel Code. Although it was written in response to the DaVenci Code it deals with all sorts of idea surrounding the 'Gnostic Gospels' including the Gospel of Mary Magdaline."

Could somebody please tell me why Christians are so bothered about the Da Vinci Code? You realise its a work of fiction, don't you??

And I notice your link to info on the Gospel of Thomas is a Christian website. Of course, what would the point be of an atheist writing about something he doesn't believe in?

From what I've found on the web though, and from the documentary I saw on the Dead Sea Scrolls (British documentaries are very good and have to be factually accurate or if it is an opinion piece then it is declared so), the Gospel of Thomas didn't fit in with the popular Christian view at the time the bible was being compiled. It didn't fit in with their agenda.

I don't think you are bad people at all, misguided maybe, but then I'm sure you'd say the same about me :-)

As a world force, any religion is dangerous though. Whilst you guys may have all good intentions and be good people, religion does breed intolerance and extremism.

Just look at Northern Ireland. Even despite the peace process, there have been killings this last weekend, showing that people still are bothered by the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant. Either that or they just like a fight too much.

Personally, I hate fighting, and its nothing to do with a fear of god!

Anonymous said...

From what I've found on the web though, and from the documentary I saw on the Dead Sea Scrolls (British documentaries are very good and have to be factually accurate or if it is an opinion piece then it is declared so), the Gospel of Thomas didn't fit in with the popular Christian view at the time the bible was being compiled.
You realise that the dead sea scrolls date to before Jesus was alive and dont include the gospel of thomas. If British documentaries are so good then when the last time that you saw a documentary on early church history written and presented by an actual historian?

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

Could somebody please tell me why Christians are so bothered about the Da Vinci Code?

Who said we're bothered by it? What bothers me is that a piece of crappy pulp fiction can be a top best seller.

You realise its a work of fiction, don't you??

One that claims to be based off of facts. Although Mr. Brown may have said that to stir up controversy(and sales) the fact is that many people believe Dan Brown.

And I notice your link to info on the Gospel of Thomas is a Christian website.

And your point is? The fact that it comes from a Christian site doesnt effect the factual content of the article, any more than the fact that Dawkins is an athiest affects the factual contenet of his work.

From what I've found on the web though, and from the documentary I saw on the Dead Sea Scrolls (British documentaries are very good and have to be factually accurate or if it is an opinion piece then it is declared so), the Gospel of Thomas didn't fit in with the popular Christian view at the time the bible was being compiled. It didn't fit in with their agenda.

Of course it didnt fit with Christian beliefs. IT was never a Christian document, but a Gnostic document.

But really content had less to do with its exclusion from the Bible as the fact that it was falsely attributed to a diciple of Jesus.

Just look at Northern Ireland. Even despite the peace process, there have been killings this last weekend, showing that people still are bothered by the difference between a Catholic and a Protestant. Either that or they just like a fight too much.

The fighting in Northern Ireland has more to do with national identity and percieved injustice than religion.

johnny said...

As a world force, any religion is dangerous though. Whilst you guys may have all good intentions and be good people, religion does breed intolerance and extremism.

Intolerance and extremism is also a factor of truth.

Intolerance and extremism is also a factor of opinion.

Humans tend to be intolerant and are often extreme.

johnny

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

I just thought of something else fifi:

Do you believe the Biblical Gospels were authored by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?

If yes, then what did you mean by "There are no gospels included in the bible that were written by people who were alive when Jesus was"?

If not then why do you(aparently) accept that the Gospels of Mary and Thomas were written by them, when the chances of them writing the Gospels attributed them is far LESS likely(consider that Mary Magadline would have 200-300 years old when her Gospel was written)?

FiFi said...

STAL, the traditional gospels were written around 400 years after Jesus died. I have seen evidence for that, not just believed the word of somebody with a hidden agenda. Carbon dating confirms the age of the dead sea scrolls found, and the gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalen have been confirmed as genuine.

The church will tell you the lies that you've obviously believed, but then they're used to that kind of thing.

Sorry, I've nothing against you guys personally. I'm sure that if we talked about things not related to religion, you'd probably find we have more in common than you'd think. But I just can't buy the myth that there's a god and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and all the reasons why that is deemed as a necessary thing to do. Its just all such hypocritical nonsense. I used to believe it, I found evidence to change my mind. I don't do that lightly and I never have.

Clearly, if you think that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John knew Jesus personally, you've been told a pack of lies.

Sorry about that.

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

STAL, the traditional gospels were written around 400 years after Jesus died. I have seen evidence for that, not just believed the word of somebody with a hidden agenda. Carbon dating confirms the age of the dead sea scrolls found, and the gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalen have been confirmed as genuine.

I'd LOVE to see you try and substantiate all this crap. Especially in light of the fact that we have remants of the Biblical Gospels from as early as 125 A.D.

Also what do the Dead Sea Scrolls have to do with anything? They have nothing whatsoever to do with Jesus or Christianity, but are Jewish documents from around the time Jesus was born(or maybe a little before).

Anonymous said...

. I have seen evidence for that, not just believed the word of somebody with a hidden agenda. Carbon dating confirms the age of the dead sea scrolls found, and the gospels of Thomas and Mary Magdalen have been confirmed as genuine.
Is this a competition to see if it is possible to be more ignorant and stupid than Mike Wright?

I have been to the British Library and seen New Testament fragments pre-dating 400AD with my own eyes. As STAL has said, give us some evidence for this (even a weblink to Wikipedia will do as your claim is so wrong!)

Which of the deadsea scrolls contained the Gospel of Thomas? As you seem so up to date on this you presumably are aware of the system scholars use to reference a particular 'scroll'. Or are you getting confused between the dead sea scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Library? Don't worry, Dan Brown made the same mistake.

Finally, try researching the p52 fragment.

p.s. even sceptics such as Bart Ehrman date the gospel of Thomas to the 2nd century and the canonical gospels to the first century. Presumably Bart Ehrman, despite spending his career attacking Christianity, is part of this big lie too.

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

You know I think she's not only confused the Dead Sea Scrolls with the Nag Hamani Library, but she's also confused when the Gospels were written with when the Cannon was offically declared.

FiFi said...

Just for the record, Johnny, at least you put fairly well thought-out reasons behind your arguments. But Sir-Think-Not-A-Lot, and the cowards who hide behind an anonymous tag, you're just rude ignorant little twats. I don't talk crap - I leave that to you lot.

You do know, don't you, that any Tom Dick or Harry can go in and amend Wikipedia on a whim. So how do we know that some self-serving religious nut hasn't gone in and changed the entry - and you've gone and believed them?!

Remember what I said before - question your source and evaluate their motivations.

My only motivation is truth and the progress of the human race.

Doesn't mean, by the way, that I want to cover the world with sky-scrapers. Quite the opposite. I'm quite a campaigner for ecology and saving the planet. But I'm no yoghurt-knitter. There are more practical ways to get the message across. But that's another story.

Anonymous said...

I haven't simply referenced my facts to Wikipedia, I have so far referenced the British Library and Bart Ehrman (who is a skeptical scholar that would be delighted if there was a case to date the canonical gospels to 400 years after Jesus.) In return you've referenced a tv documentary which you haven't named, nor told us who did the research for it.

Sir-Think-A-Lot said...

But Sir-Think-Not-A-Lot, and the cowards who hide behind an anonymous tag, you're just rude ignorant little twats. I don't talk crap - I leave that to you lot.

Hang on a second my irony meater just exploded.

btw how is asking you to substaniate claims that NO historian(of any religious persuasion) with even the tiniest ammount of credibility would support 'talking crap?'

Remember what I said before - question your source and evaluate their motivations.

I do, thats why I dont look to biologiests for questions of history or theology.