Book of Genesis.
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“I am”

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#1 Nov 30, 2011
....Wow... Just-... Wow...

I just finished Genesis, and... I honestly cannot believe what I just read is the beginning to a Holy book that approximately 2.1 Billion people worship. There are so many things wrong with it that I couldn't explain them if I had an entire year to do so. God doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason to most of his actions, he simply does what he wants. There are so many inconsistencies, holes, and faults that are never explained. And, the morals of this Book are so appalling that I had to stop reading and take a break before I could go on.

I know that I'm simply stating things that some of you already know, but I can't comprehend the intense disgust and hatred that this book brings me. How does this show the image of a loving and compassionate God that I grew up with? How can people state that this "God" is possibly a reasonable thing to worship?

“I am”

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#2 Nov 30, 2011
Is there anyone that could please explain to me what exactly I am reading? The Bible has nothing but the worst stories, the biggest plot holes, and such dark quotes and sayings like:

"Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."
(Exodus 10:1-2 NIV)

How does this connect to the loving and caring God that I always heard about growing up?

Since: Nov 11

Location hidden

#3 Nov 30, 2011
because you aren't supposed to read it on your own and discover the truth about it.

you're just supposed to carry it around like a shield and die for it on their say so

sorry, didn't you realize that?

“I am”

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#4 Nov 30, 2011
random ntrygg wrote:
because you aren't supposed to read it on your own and discover the truth about it.
you're just supposed to carry it around like a shield and die for it on their say so
sorry, didn't you realize that?
I guess not. I'm so glad that I am reading this thing. It's astounding how terrible and evil the "God" is in this book.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#6 Dec 1, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
.. to a Holy book that approximately 2.1 Billion people worship...
2.1B is a massively overstated IMO. Most of those are cultural christians who are secular but identify themselves with christianity for cultural reasons.

They view of the bible varies hugely. Some consider it the word of god, others inspired, others largely ignore it.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#7 Dec 1, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
.... How does this show the image of a loving and compassionate God that I grew up with? How can people state that this "God" is possibly a reasonable thing to worship?
To anyone without jesus glasses its obvious the god of the old testament is different to the god(s) of the new testament.

Why do they do it? Some I think are insane. Most just cherry pick what they believe.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#8 Dec 1, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
<quoted text>I guess not. I'm so glad that I am reading this thing. It's astounding how terrible and evil the "God" is in this book.
The evilness of the god of the old testament is a reflection of the primitive mindset of the authors. In the bronze age it was acceptable to stone ppl to death. It is the work of primtive men, not of any god. We live in a very different civilised world to desert nomads of the bronze age. Any rational person will see this is a collection of ancient myths, but fundies as we know are not rational people!

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#9 Dec 1, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
Is there anyone that could please explain to me what exactly I am reading? The Bible has nothing but the worst stories, the biggest plot holes, and such dark quotes and sayings like:
"Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."
(Exodus 10:1-2 NIV)
How does this connect to the loving and caring God that I always heard about growing up?
It doesn't-- bible-god is anything >>but<< loving.

It's why you'll often see me write that to be any sort of bible-follower?

You must be a hypocrite first.

And it's also why you'll often see non-theists (on topix at least) quip that the bible's god is basically a d2ck....

“The eye has it...”

Since: May 09

Russell's teapot

#10 Dec 1, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
....Wow... Just-... Wow...
I just finished Genesis, and... I honestly cannot believe what I just read is the beginning to a Holy book that approximately 2.1 Billion people worship. There are so many things wrong with it that I couldn't explain them if I had an entire year to do so. God doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason to most of his actions, he simply does what he wants. There are so many inconsistencies, holes, and faults that are never explained. And, the morals of this Book are so appalling that I had to stop reading and take a break before I could go on.
I know that I'm simply stating things that some of you already know, but I can't comprehend the intense disgust and hatred that this book brings me. How does this show the image of a loving and compassionate God that I grew up with? How can people state that this "God" is possibly a reasonable thing to worship?
It doesn't get any better. I suggest you do continue reading(at least as far as you can). Why?

Just so you know. It'll help you answer those questions as to why you are atheist. As time goes by, you'll realize that the vast majority of Christian theists haven't read their own book.

As a matter of fact, I'd assert most of them are only familiar with the "feel good" verses.

They know very little of the bizarre, impossible, bigoted, misogynistic, cruel, vindictive, contradictory, or outright plagiarized verses, portions and books.

Another advantage of reading the entire tome is that when you do run into the occasional Christian theist who has read it, you can honestly ask "you read that, and you believe that is the perfect message of a perfect god...really?"

The responses you get will amaze you.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#11 Dec 1, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
....I know that I'm simply stating things that some of you already know, but I can't comprehend the intense disgust and hatred that this book brings me. How does this show the image of a loving and compassionate God that I grew up with? How can people state that this "God" is possibly a reasonable thing to worship?
The longer I am an atheist, the harder it is for me to believe that I was ever that gullible.

But for you, it's a new experience.

Most Christians are taught that doubt is a sin. When you couple that with the idea that their god can hear people's thoughts, you get the absurd idea that thinking itself is a sin. That's a mighty hard programming to break out of.

Please tell us why you chose to question your dogma. Any insights as to how to help others get "de-programmed".

I realize that most Christians were not argued into their beliefs with logic and reason, therefore rational discussion itself is usually not an effective tool. So, what is?

“I am”

Since: Jul 11

Location hidden

#12 Dec 1, 2011
Hedonist wrote:
<quoted text>
The longer I am an atheist, the harder it is for me to believe that I was ever that gullible.
But for you, it's a new experience.
Most Christians are taught that doubt is a sin. When you couple that with the idea that their god can hear people's thoughts, you get the absurd idea that thinking itself is a sin. That's a mighty hard programming to break out of.
Please tell us why you chose to question your dogma. Any insights as to how to help others get "de-programmed".
I realize that most Christians were not argued into their beliefs with logic and reason, therefore rational discussion itself is usually not an effective tool. So, what is?
Well, for a long time, I was actually trying to find religion. I had a lot of problems throughout grade school. I was bullied, belittled, and usually alone. I felt that religion would give me the comfort that I desired: That it would allow me at least the idea that Jesus was with me, even when I was by myself.
However, as I searched for religion, this usual question would come up "Why would God allow so many bad things to happen to me?" For the longest time, I simply assumed that I had done something to anger him, and that I was simply a bad person. I was also unable to feel the connection with Jesus that I had desired, but I usually assumed that it was (again) my fault.
I had never conceived the notion that God did not exist. My parents had always stated that He did, even though they didn't believe everything stated in the Bible.
That one question made me question faith. That one question was what always came into my head.

If you would believe it, at one point I tried to be Mormon. I started reading the Book of Mormon. Why did I do this? Because of the information. I figured that if I could grasp and accept more information, then I would be able to forget about my past... Forget about when Jesus wasn't with me... Forget my fears and darkness.

Now, though, the assumption that no such higher power exists makes me feel so alive. Since I stopped believing, I no longer assume I'm a horrible person! I no longer assume that any action I perform can be interpreted as evil or mean, and I can truly learn who I am, not who I want to be.

In my current perspective of God, the first true way to discovering that no God exists has to be an entirely personal revelation. While people can tell you everything about the Bible forwards and backwards, or someone can disprove it, inward doubt of such a God's existence is more powerful than any word.

Of course the second part of my de-programming has to be actually reading the Bible.

I must say that, as far as we can do for others, we need to (and forgive me if it's unorthodox or been done before) use the Bible to counter arguments by religious individuals. They usually expect a bunch of science and such, but literally quoting the Bible, showing what's wrong or vile in the Bible, and showing them how horrible the God is might help them to realize how little it meant to God to sacrifice Jesus, and how little each person means to him.

To add, I think that ethos and pathos are huge in religion. Religion usually appeals to one's emotions rather than one's sense of logic. It might appeal to one because they feel alone without God, or that they shape their lives around the morals of Jesus Christ. To combat emotion is difficult, and I wish I knew exactly how to do it. But, if one is able to look further into logic, then emotions can fade away very quickly

Let me know if there's something I left out, or if I am misinterpreting religion.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#13 Dec 1, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, for a long time, I was actually trying to find religion. I had a lot of problems throughout grade school. I was bullied, belittled, and usually alone. I felt that religion would give me the comfort that I desired: That it would allow me at least the idea that Jesus was with me, even when I was by myself.
However, as I searched for religion, this usual question would come up "Why would God allow so many bad things to happen to me?" For the longest time, I simply assumed that I had done something to anger him, and that I was simply a bad person. I was also unable to feel the connection with Jesus that I had desired, but I usually assumed that it was (again) my fault.
I had never conceived the notion that God did not exist. My parents had always stated that He did, even though they didn't believe everything stated in the Bible.
That one question made me question faith. That one question was what always came into my head.
If you would believe it, at one point I tried to be Mormon. I started reading the Book of Mormon. Why did I do this? Because of the information. I figured that if I could grasp and accept more information, then I would be able to forget about my past... Forget about when Jesus wasn't with me... Forget my fears and darkness.
Now, though, the assumption that no such higher power exists makes me feel so alive. Since I stopped believing, I no longer assume I'm a horrible person! I no longer assume that any action I perform can be interpreted as evil or mean, and I can truly learn who I am, not who I want to be.
In my current perspective of God, the first true way to discovering that no God exists has to be an entirely personal revelation. While people can tell you everything about the Bible forwards and backwards, or someone can disprove it, inward doubt of such a God's existence is more powerful than any word.
Of course the second part of my de-programming has to be actually reading the Bible.
I must say that, as far as we can do for others, we need to (and forgive me if it's unorthodox or been done before) use the Bible to counter arguments by religious individuals. They usually expect a bunch of science and such, but literally quoting the Bible, showing what's wrong or vile in the Bible, and showing them how horrible the God is might help them to realize how little it meant to God to sacrifice Jesus, and how little each person means to him.
To add, I think that ethos and pathos are huge in religion. Religion usually appeals to one's emotions rather than one's sense of logic. It might appeal to one because they feel alone without God, or that they shape their lives around the morals of Jesus Christ. To combat emotion is difficult, and I wish I knew exactly how to do it. But, if one is able to look further into logic, then emotions can fade away very quickly
Let me know if there's something I left out, or if I am misinterpreting religion.
Nope. Sounds like you've pretty much got your head on straight.

Using the wholly babble (aka, buybull, aka bile-bull, aka bible) doesn't usually work too well. Either they resort to apologetic excuses or fall into cognitive dissonance and simply can't get themselves to understand the question.

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#14 Dec 1, 2011
You'll find a lot of us were very religious at one time or another.

For myself, my mom was Church of God and dad was Southern Baptist. VBS every summer and I could name all the books of the OT & NT by the time I was 8. Studied theology in college and planned on being a minister. HOWEVER, after dissecting Pascal, Aquinas, Augustine, et.al., it became very clear that religion was nothing more than big business.

Anybody who has actually studied theology knows this, but their livelihood depends on the ruse. It attracted some for the money, others for the control over people.

Personally, I found it all to abhorrent.

“Cave ab homine unius libri”

Since: Feb 07

Cape Town

#15 Dec 2, 2011
Right at the end of my time as a Christian I tried to physically force myself into belief. I bought 3 bibles. One in my Native language, one bible which had a page of text interpretation next to the actual bible text - and because I loved Shakespeare and the Kings English, I bought a King James Bible (which I still contend has some very beautifully written segments.)

I read them every night and every morning...... ironically this exercise along with research on the internet regarding religions and their history and reading a book on philosophy (Bertrand Russell) was finally the death blow....

Do I miss it? Not really. Occasionally I miss the illusion of certainty and protection it gave me, but then they never really existed in the first place.... it's like missing Santa. And the greater freedom of thought and action (without guilt) more than makes up for it.

Since: Aug 11

Mason, OH

#16 Dec 2, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
Is there anyone that could please explain to me what exactly I am reading? The Bible has nothing but the worst stories, the biggest plot holes, and such dark quotes and sayings like:

"Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these signs of mine among them 2 that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD."
(Exodus 10:1-2 NIV)

How does this connect to the loving and caring God that I always heard about growing up?
Question: "Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?"

Answer: Exodus 7:3-4 says,“But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my people the Israelites.” It seems unjust for God to harden Pharaoh’s heart and then to punish Pharaoh and Egypt for what Pharaoh decided when his heart was hardened. Why would God harden Pharaoh’s heart just so He could judge Egypt more severely with additional plagues?

First, Pharaoh was not an innocent or godly man. He was a brutal dictator overseeing the terrible abuse and oppression of the Israelites, who likely numbered over 1.5 million people at that time. The Egyptian pharaohs had enslaved the Israelites for 400 years. A previous pharaoh—possibly even the pharaoh in question—ordered that male Israelite babies be killed at birth (Exodus 1:16). The pharaoh God hardened was an evil man, and the nation he ruled agreed with, or at least did not oppose, his evil actions.

Second, before the first few plagues, Pharaoh hardened his own heart against letting the Israelites go.“Pharaoh's heart became hard”(Exodus 7:13, 22; 8:19).“But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart”(Exodus 8:15).“But this time also Pharaoh hardened his heart”(Exodus 8:32). Pharaoh could have spared Egypt of all the plagues if he had not hardened his own heart. God was giving Pharaoh increasingly severe warnings of the judgment that was to come. Pharaoh chose to bring judgment on himself and on his nation by hardening his own heart against God’s commands.

As a result of Pharaoh’s hard-heartedness, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart even further, allowing for the last few plagues (Exodus 9:12; 10:20, 27). Pharaoh and Egypt had brought these judgments on themselves with 400 years of slavery and mass murder. Since the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), and Pharaoh and Egypt had horribly sinned against God, it would have been just if God had completely annihilated Egypt. Therefore, God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart was not unjust, and His bringing additional plagues against Egypt was not unjust. The plagues, as terrible as they were, actually demonstrate God’s mercy in not completely destroying Egypt, which would have been a perfectly just penalty.

Romans 9:17-18 declares,“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh:‘I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.’ Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden.” From a human perspective, it seems wrong for God to harden a person and then punish the person He has hardened. Biblically speaking, however, we have all sinned against God (Romans 3:23), and the just penalty for that sin is death (Romans 6:23). Therefore, God’s hardening and punishing a person is not unjust; it is actually merciful in comparison to what the person deserves.

Since: Aug 11

Mason, OH

#17 Dec 2, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
<quoted text>Well, for a long time, I was actually trying to find religion. I had a lot of problems throughout grade school. I was bullied, belittled, and usually alone. I felt that religion would give me the comfort that I desired: That it would allow me at least the idea that Jesus was with me, even when I was by myself.
However, as I searched for religion, this usual question would come up "Why would God allow so many bad things to happen to me?" For the longest time, I simply assumed that I had done something to anger him, and that I was simply a bad person. I was also unable to feel the connection with Jesus that I had desired, but I usually assumed that it was (again) my fault.
I had never conceived the notion that God did not exist. My parents had always stated that He did, even though they didn't believe everything stated in the Bible.
That one question made me question faith. That one question was what always came into my head.

If you would believe it, at one point I tried to be Mormon. I started reading the Book of Mormon. Why did I do this? Because of the information. I figured that if I could grasp and accept more information, then I would be able to forget about my past... Forget about when Jesus wasn't with me... Forget my fears and darkness.

Now, though, the assumption that no such higher power exists makes me feel so alive. Since I stopped believing, I no longer assume I'm a horrible person! I no longer assume that any action I perform can be interpreted as evil or mean, and I can truly learn who I am, not who I want to be.

In my current perspective of God, the first true way to discovering that no God exists has to be an entirely personal revelation. While people can tell you everything about the Bible forwards and backwards, or someone can disprove it, inward doubt of such a God's existence is more powerful than any word.

Of course the second part of my de-programming has to be actually reading the Bible.

I must say that, as far as we can do for others, we need to (and forgive me if it's unorthodox or been done before) use the Bible to counter arguments by religious individuals. They usually expect a bunch of science and such, but literally quoting the Bible, showing what's wrong or vile in the Bible, and showing them how horrible the God is might help them to realize how little it meant to God to sacrifice Jesus, and how little each person means to him.

To add, I think that ethos and pathos are huge in religion. Religion usually appeals to one's emotions rather than one's sense of logic. It might appeal to one because they feel alone without God, or that they shape their lives around the morals of Jesus Christ. To combat emotion is difficult, and I wish I knew exactly how to do it. But, if one is able to look further into logic, then emotions can fade away very quickly

Let me know if there's something I left out, or if I am misinterpreting religion.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5 NIV)

He's always there, hold out your hand, open the door, and he will surely come in!

Since: Aug 11

Mason, OH

#18 Dec 2, 2011
Being Alive wrote:
....Wow... Just-... Wow...

I just finished Genesis, and... I honestly cannot believe what I just read is the beginning to a Holy book that approximately 2.1 Billion people worship. There are so many things wrong with it that I couldn't explain them if I had an entire year to do so. God doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason to most of his actions, he simply does what he wants. There are so many inconsistencies, holes, and faults that are never explained. And, the morals of this Book are so appalling that I had to stop reading and take a break before I could go on.

I know that I'm simply stating things that some of you already know, but I can't comprehend the intense disgust and hatred that this book brings me. How does this show the image of a loving and compassionate God that I grew up with? How can people state that this "God" is possibly a reasonable thing to worship?
God is love, he is compassionate, but he is also just as well. For the wages of sin is death but God himself came and died on the cross for us, for us! He didn't have to, but he did! He took the punishment we deserve. Wouldn't you say that's love? I would. I'm not very good at explaining things but we have all sinned against God and we should be thankful, so thankful to God for his mercy and grace that we are not dead.

Have you ever prayed to God to help you understand his word?

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#19 Dec 2, 2011
NRISCH90 wrote:
<quoted text>
Question: "Why did God harden Pharaoh’s heart?"
....
There is no record of any long term enslavement of the Hebrew people in Egypt, except in your mythology.

You entire apologetic is just a sad case of making stuff up.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#20 Dec 2, 2011
NRISCH90 wrote:
<quoted text> He took the punishment we deserve. Wouldn't you say that's love?
No I would say thats stupid. Having an innocent person killed to pay for the sins of others is a horrendous idea, not the work of some god

“ecrasez l'infame”

Since: May 08

Atlanta, Georgia

#21 Dec 2, 2011
NRISCH90 wrote:
<quoted text>
God is love, he is compassionate, but he is also just as well. For the wages of sin is death but God himself came and died on the cross for us, for us! He didn't have to, but he did! He took the punishment we deserve. Wouldn't you say that's love? I would. I'm not very good at explaining things but we have all sinned against God and we should be thankful, so thankful to God for his mercy and grace that we are not dead.
Have you ever prayed to God to help you understand his word?
So you believe that this "supreme being" turn himself human just to sacrifice himself to himself to save his own creations from the wrath of himself.

Religion allows perfectly sane people to believe, en masse, things that only lunatics believe in isolation. We don't respect stupidity. We systematically respect religious stupidity.

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