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5 Comments

  1. 1

    John Ryan Taylor

    Calling this book inerrant explicitly condones the hateful language contained therein. As the article demonstrates; the simple act of me pointing this out makes me a very bad person. I have a problem with this. How do we ever see eye to eye on any subject if you believe my words are somehow of the devil and designed to harm you or deceive you? Telling you your idea lacks merit is nowhere near threat of death that is attached to disbelieving this religion. Sometimes I feel ashamed to be human. We have so much potential but we squander it with bitter feuds over unknowable ideas: read untestable. I personally will just keep dreaming of a world where provable ideas naturally win out over tired hateful dogma especially the sort that have zero provable basis or are outright bigoted. Open your mind, be useful have original thoughts. These are the the things you will wish you had done as your life winds down and you still haven’t heard the voice of your God talking you though you plead to hear it. Owning up to a bad idea is half the battle.

    Reply
    1. 1.1

      Aaron

      Agreed, it essentially shuts down all possible debate and inquiry from the start. Humanity would have advanced much further by now if our cultures had not been so heavily entrenched in Theism (specifically Abrahamic Theism).

      The unfortunate bit of course is that superstition and emotional dogma will probably always be a central problem that humans gravitate towards. But we can work towards fixing this problem to a great degree by helping advocate for reason and pointing out these flaws in religious thinking.

  2. 2

    John E Crider

    “The Bible doesn’t inspire hate! You’re just citing the OLD Testament!”

    We’ve heard that a thousand times (as though the God of the Old Testament is a different guy, right?).

    Yes, he is a different guy! The god of the Old Testament is the god of Judaism, and his name is “Yahweh”. He is strictly monotheistic. The god of the New Testament is the god of Christianity, and his name is “Jehovah”. (Yes, I know that is a derivative of “Yahweh”.) He is right on the edge of being polytheistic (or maybe he fell over). Remember that these are characters of literary fiction so I can say what I want about them.

    Reply
  3. 3

    Robert Schley

    While I understand the point that you are trying to make (defined negativity in the new testament), I see how you are on the outside looking in. Being a buddhist christian (best description I can come up with), I have to say that you are a little mistaken in your take.
    While there is a “hard” line in the new testament on what is right and wrong, there is very little, if any, hate preached in the new testament. While you have correctly cited verses that define what is considered evil/sin, there is no call to arms to hate. Rather there is usually a call to still love the “sinner”. You can take what you want from the bible and cherry pick it but there is a valid message in there as well.

    and in response to Aaron, I honestly think that the driving belief in religions (whether misguided or not) is actually an overall benefit in the long run. It inspires people to be more than they are (future looking) and allows rules to be set up that produce thriving societies. Of course, it’s not alone. Any system of society could be considered the same thing. Unless you can honestly give a logical argument for why it is illegal to murder someone but it is okay to kill in self defense (or even if you believe it is not), then you have your judgements based on some belief system. Whether that belief system is religion or not is a personal choice.

    The golden rule, unless I’m mistaken, comes from the new testament (sorta). Can you argue with that rule?

    Reply
    1. 3.1

      Aaron

      The hate preached in the New Testament is clear and plain. It is what is being said in plain terms. If that sort of speech were said in any non-religious context, people would view it as horrible. But it is excused because of the bias for religion in our society which uses a double standard.

      You acknowledge that I have cited verses which define evil/sin, and that is very much a large part of my point: what the Bible considers evil/sin.

      I explained quite clearly in the article why it is hateful and dangerous and I have no idea at this moment how you can claim that those verses are not inciting hatred. You said that you understand the point I was making, but I’m not sure you do, because I think I quite clearly explained why these verses are a problem. Again, were that sort of speech in any non-religious context it would be seen very differently regardless of what other nice messages are saturated throughout the text.

      And you mentioned a call to “love the sinner”. But the effect of hateful speech isn’t just overturned like that — the messages carry their own weight and meaning. Saying love the sinner doesn’t change the fact that non-believers are demonized and *labeled* sinners. If the Bible did not contain messages like the ones I’ve quoted here, and instead contained only messages along the lines of love thy neighbor, we would not see fundamentalist Christians behaving the way they do in either politics or personal relationships regarding their behavior towards nonbelievers.

      You also implied that I was cherry picking. What I did does not constitute cherry picking. Christians claim there is no hate in the New Testament and I showed otherwise. My claim was not that there are “no good messages” in the New Testament, to which I then cited these as evidence — *that* would be cherry picking.

      I agree the New Testament has good messages (almost entirely confined to the Sermon on the Mount in my opinion) but this could be said of anything with horrible messages. Th good messages contained in it do not mean it has no hatred or that it is consistent in preaching love — and that is the issue in question here. It clearly preaches some dangerous hateful messages that are fundamental to the very concept of Christianity and accepting Biblical doctrine.

      You said “I honestly think that the driving belief in religions (whether misguided or not) is actually an overall benefit in the long run.”

      I absolutely agree that’s what religious people *believe*, but my view is that religion consists of a great deal of delusion that has no self correcting mechanisms and so religion’s misconceptions of reality cause people to invent beliefs and methods for achieving benefit to humanity in misguided and counter-productive ways, like crushing disbelief in society, etc.

      Then you said “It inspires people to be more than they are (future looking) and allows rules to be set up that produce thriving societies.”

      I completely disagree with that. Both Jewish and Christian doctrine revolves around the concept of humanity being slaves to a tyrant god and that our primary purpose in life is to be blind and devoted to this idea like North Korean peasants fearing their dictator. It has decided *what* it thinks people should do and be, and it wants obedience to the doctrine. Christianity is the very model of cult control.

      Also the religion depicts humans as unknowing, unworthy, immoral, and unable to trust our reasoned judgments or ability to learn. It crushes the idea of being better. It demands adherence to the doctrine and submission to the tyrant who “knows better” (yet oddly who doesn’t ever reveal himself in any way that people can objectively follow, so we’re supposed to rely on subjective “revelations” and religious mania or priests etc).

      And the notion that it produces better societies is one I cannot swallow. It’s a control structure. The culture of the ancient Israelites was obscene and fanatical. It would have been a nightmare, hell on earth. And Jesus was preaching a doomsday cult with no vision for future society. A thriving society wasn’t even his intention. H thought the world was going to end and be remade as the perfect kingdom of God within a few years. His entire gospel was about preparation for the coming of God’s kingdom which was coming very, very soon, so people were told to give up their material lives and societies and live according to a doctrine, which sounds wonderful (give up possessions, don’t strike anyone back, let everyone borrow from you, leave your homes, families, etc) but is completely impractical and unrelated to a thriving society. He said to give no thought for the morrow — because he didn’t care about society. It was a doomsday cult. This is part of what I mean by the good intentions of religion falling victim to the delusion that is inherent in supernatural belief.

      This comment of yours was truly baffling to me:

      “Unless you can honestly give a logical argument for why it is illegal to murder someone but it is okay to kill in self defense (or even if you believe it is not), then you have your judgements based on some belief system.”

      You honestly do not know of a logical argument against murder? That statement implies that you do not think there is anything objectively wrong with murder and the only reason you refrain from it is out of arbitrary belief in a book. That is highly disturbing.

      You describe yourself as a “buddhist christian” so I am shocked that you would say something so in line with fundamentalist Christian evangelism and strangely ignoring the Buddhist aspect.

      Buddhists oppose murder for the same reason I oppose murder and for the same reason arbitrary belief is not necessary: because murder causes suffering, as well as disorder in our communities (which is also suffering, but for everyone). That is what morality is about — alleviating suffering. The experience of suffering is universal so reasons to alleviate it does not depend on an arbitrary belief system — in fact, beliefs opposing murder arise as a result of this aversion to suffering . Belief systems only come into play regarding *how* to alleviate it (and as I have said, religion can be counter-produce in many ways due to the hard line delusions it causes).

      Your final comment about the golden rule is a red herring. My argument from the start is only that there is hatred in the New Testament, which there is. I don’t argue with the golden rule at all — it’s great on its own (and if it is not contradicted by other messages in the text) — but it is irrelevant to the claim of this article. Mat 7:12 doesn’t excuse or erase the hate and dangerous messages elsewhere in the New Testament.

      And regarding that issue, if the Bible itself does not follow the golden rule (by demonizing nonbelievers and teaching to not associate with them etc), then what sort of message is it sending? It conveys that the “good parts” like the golden rule are primarily meant for believers — members of the “in group” — not outsiders, and that is exactly the trend we see in cultures dominated by strong Christian religiosity through history and even today.

      Furthermore, as a side note, only the phrasing of the golden rule is drawn form the New Testament. Human communities have been operating under that general concept for ages, and even other animals exhibit a surprising degree of behavior in accordance with such a concept. It comes down to the objective reality that we learn and develop moral beliefs out of the very nature of our experience without any arbitrary blind beliefs necessary.

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