Class Warfare Blog

October 17, 2018

Holy Shit (Bull Variety)

Filed under: Morality,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:37 am
Tags: , , , , ,

On my Quora feed the following paid advert was posted:

Where did the four gospels in the Bible come from?
The Church of Jesus Christ
Promoted
“As Jesus taught, His disciples wrote what He said. Order a free Bible to learn what He taught.”

And here I thought that lying was a deadly sin.

It is a scholarly conclusion that we do not know who wrote the gospels that were included in the Bible. None of the earliest manuscripts we have of those works has an author listed. All seem to have had multiple authors. Most of the gospels seem to have been written at a point in time that all or most of the disciples claimed to have followed Jesus would have died.

I wonder if Donald Trump got his ability to string lies one after the next from his religious training?

September 26, 2017

Lying for Jesus, Part … Oh, For Pity’s Sake

I was wondering the other day how it is that the human population of the Earth could have reached its current level, ca. 7,600,000,000, from just the six survivors of the Bible’s Great Flood. Unsurprisingly, it was oh, so easy to find apologetic rationales of how that could have happened. By using quite reasonable numbers for estimates any number of sources can tell you that this is no problemo, bebé! But reasonable sounding numbers, picked out of a hat, aren’t necessarily accurate numbers.

So, I looked up a number of scientific population estimates for the population of the world in 2348 BCE, the presumed date of the Great Flood. The average estimate was 66,3001,302. This was based upon four careful calculations with the most liberal estimate being 90,205,000 and the most conservative being 21,512,000, with two others in between those extremes. These varied a great deal due to the unknowns involved. So, if one estimates global population by back tracking from historical records one ends up with about 60,000,000 people … not 6.

The title of this post includes the word lying, partly because there is a book using that phrase, but this is, at a bare minimum, a case of willful delusion. When I research a topic, if the numbers don’t support my premise, I generally shrug and move on. Sometimes I am motivated to dig deeper, but if I come up empty, I keep my mouth shut. This is not the case for Christian apologists. Often, if the numbers don’t add up, they look for numbers that do, and if those numbers sound reasonable, they use them to “make their point,” their real point being the presumption that the Bible is right, everybody else is wrong.

This pattern, well established for centuries now, is focused upon reinforcing the belief of the gullible, not on convincing unbelievers. And, it is manipulative, dishonest, and unbecoming of someone who promotes him- or herself as being morally superior. So, why do they do it?

My best guess is this is an intensely human activity. We all, from time to time, have the attitude of “What do those experts know? They are just a bunch of nerds.” or the equivalent. We disparage the messenger because we do not like the message. In politics, calling a politician a liar because we do not like what they say is acceptable, because all politicians are liars (it is part of the official job description: “Must be able to lie convincingly”). We just do not know whether they are liar on this particular point. But to claim that scientists who have studied a topic extensively are mistaken, because you have a back-of-an-envelope calculation that says so is violently hubristic.

We atheists are called militant because we dare to speak directly to theistic perfidy. It is time we refer to all apologists as “militant apologists” as they are conducting a campaign in which anything you do to “the enemy” is okay by their supporters. (This is war!).

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