Why I am not a Christian

Why I am not Christian is a collection of essays written by secular philosophers and academics. I am only writing on the most famous essay of the collection, a transcript of a lecture given by the famed Bertrand Russell at the National Secular Society. This lecture was a short rebuttal to every well known argument for God and some of the arguments for Christianity. His lecture has been renowned by many as a quick, concise deconstruction of religious thinking and apologism. That is too quick of a judgment.

His lecture first goes through the well known arguments for God, pretty much all of which can be seen in The Reason for God book I wrote a review on. Russell briefly runs through explaining each argument, and then points out a particular flaw in said argument that deconstructs the entire conclusion. He does not spend the time to give a full rebuttal and his alternative worldview to each argument, but it was not necessary to prove the theist apologist wrong. As I explains in my The Reason for God review, I do not find any of the mainstream arguments for God’s existence entirely convincing, but I also do not find any of the mainstream arguments against God’s existence convincing either. There are additional argument that we rarely hear about that keep me in theism, and I’ll one day explain them.

In short, his arguments against the theist appeals were quite convincing. His shockingly short rebuttals were satisfactory for the point he wanted to convey, although much more could have been discussed. For example, he dismisses the First Cause argument on the basis that the universe could have been the first cause without God and then proceeds to talk about other arguments. Brutally short and concise, Russell gets the point across without unnecessary commentary. He later starts talking about religious thinking and Jesus, and his views on both.

His dismissal of religious thinking as incompatible with science shows his ignorance of history and utter arrogance for an academic of his esteem. To claim a clash between faith and reason at the level in which Russell does is a moronic outcry secularists have tried for centuries in this plea for academic legitimacy that they once did not have. Now that they do, they insist that this legitimacy is only for them and delude their audiences with dogmatic bullcrap about how men of religion are less intelligent or not free thinking. Academic arrogance of this kind is usually only seen in extreme right wingers or children, but Russell proves to be an exception.

He then proceeds to dismiss Jesus as “the best and wisest of men.” Now most non-Christians will agree that Jesus was not “the best and wisest of men”, but Russell’s reasoning stems from academic dishonesty and hypocrisy. Many of the fellow secularists of his time relented that Jesus was the pinnacle of moral character in the history of man while not supernatural in any way. Russell first states that “historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all” as if he has never entered through a university door before. The existence of Jesus is not questioned by any legitimate historian of our time for a number of well documented reasons that I assume Russell rejects because he lacks the level of reason he so preciously propagates. Let me be clear: Jesus, beyond a doubt, existed during the Roman occupation of Palestine by all historical accounts.What he did and who he was is what is up for debate.

Russell continues his dismissal of Christ on the grounds that Christ believed in his imminent second coming. I won’t address whether or not Russell interpreted scripture right, but this has almost nothing to do with Christ’s moral character or wisdom for that matter. Russell throws another red herring in his dismissal of Christ in that Christ warned of a hellfire, something Russell doesn’t find moral. This kind of skewed logic isn’t even shown by extreme right wingers or children. I find murder of innocents wrong, and if my friend was going to be murdered I would certainly try to warn him. Likewise, Christ believed of a coming hell, and chose to warn his companions of its coming. Whether Christ was right or wrong is irrelevant, Russell seems to insist that it is immoral either way to warn someone of something you find immoral that may happen to them.

In conclusion, the secular philosopher and mathematician Bertrand Russell brilliantly shatters every mainstream argument for God’s existence in a few minutes of reading. His criticisms of Christianity, however, fall short and are academically dishonest and rationally inconsistent. I honestly advice that you only read the first part of Russell’s essay, and not waste your time with his criticisms of Jesus and Christianity. If you do choose to read the whole thing, you have been warned.

TO BE CONTINUED with a review on the essay Why Bertrand Russell was not a Christian by Rev. Ralph Allan Smith.

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43 thoughts on “Why I am not a Christian

  1. Pingback: Whispers of Satan

    • Not necessarily. Russell states that he believed Jesus didn’t exist, but he criticizes him anyway.

      But please don’t deny history and logic. Jesus, beyond a doubt, existed during the Roman occupation of Palestine by all historical accounts. This is an article written by Bart Ehrman, author of “Misquoting Jesus”. I wrote a book review on that. He is a New Testament historian that left Christianity after studying it’s history. But “whether we like it or not, Jesus certainly existed.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bart-d-ehrman/did-jesus-exist_b_1349544.html

      Lux

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      • What accounts? There are NONE.
        I know very well who Ehrman is and am well aware of his creds, thanks. Ehrman maybe an excellent scholar, but his POV offers NOTHING new on the subject of the historicity of Yeshua. Not a thing.
        The biblical character may have been based on a rabbi of some description, but to state that there is evidence is stretching it. However, if you have any evidence please present it.

        The floor is yours……

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        • Josephus? Tacitus? Jewish Talmud?
          Paul? The gospels? The Gnostic stuff?

          Ever heard of the criterion of embarrassment? The criterion of multiple attestation? coherence? rejection?

          This isn’t rocket science. Don’t deny history because you don’t like it. I don’t want to debate this. I don’t need to answer for the thousands of Early Christian historians around the world that almost unanimously agree that Jesus of Nazareth lived in first century Palestine. What he did and who he was is up for debate. Only.

          Lux

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          • Josephus (the TF) is a fake/Christian interpolation…and even if you side with those who believe there is a core to the TF that does not equate to the miracle performing god man of the NT. And there are many reasons why not.
            And you are intelligent enough to understand not to have to state the obvious reason.

            Tacitus was written when,Lux?
            When was his ‘annals’ discovered?
            How many copies are there?
            There is belief among many scholars that this passage is a fraud. It is at best hearsay, and there are grave doubts surrounding the spelling of Christus and Chrestus.
            Gibbon believes it is a Christian interpolation, and I would agree.
            ”Ever heard of the criterion of embarrassment? ”
            Yes, of course I have. What relevance is there in this case?
            Beside, what multiple attestations? There are none.

            ”This isn’t rocket science. Don’t deny history because you don’t like it. I don’t want to debate this. ”
            Well, you are merely being toady and accepting the party line. So far, your evidence is non-evidence.
            I suppose you will tell me that Moses was a real character next, right? And that the Exodus was also true and the invasion of Canaan.
            Maybe you don’t want to debate this because you don’t have enough info to back up your claim and maybe just maybe there is a grain of truth that it is just fallacy?
            I reiterate, based on the evidence (which is utter nonsense) there is no Jesus of Nazareth.
            However, there may well have been an eschatological Rabbi that the biblical character was based upon. But there was NO man god.

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            • ” I suppose you will tell me that Moses was a real character next, right? And that the Exodus was also true and the invasion of Canaan.”

              I’m not crazy. Historically speaking, who knows. Although it is interesting that Moses is an ancient Egyptian name, and that the more recent Israelites that wrote about him in the Bible knew that.

              I don’t know too much about the Jesus argument. But I do know that almost all scholars of the field think he existed. You wrote a pretty good post against his existence. Others have written books for it. Who knows. You have your opinion, I have mine. I don’t have the time to learn everything.

              By the way, I’ll respond to the link you sent me soon. I’m currently watching a lecture series from an Islamic historian on the historicity of Muhammad. I might read a book or two as well, if I can get around to it. Hopefully I’ll have something up soon. It may take a few weeks, maybe a few months. I hesitate writing about things I don’t know enough about.

              I appreciate your comments and stuff, we’re all in the pursuit of truth together. Don’t hesitate to ever say anything – I’m confident you don’t anyway 😛

              Lux

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  2. ” I suppose you will tell me that Moses was a real character next, right? And that the Exodus was also true and the invasion of Canaan.”

    I’m not crazy. Historically speaking, who knows. Although it is interesting that Moses is an ancient Egyptian name, and that the more recent Israelites that wrote about him in the Bible knew that.

    I don’t know too much about the Jesus argument. But I do know that almost all scholars of the field think he existed. You wrote a pretty good post against his existence. Others have written books for it. Who knows. You have your opinion, I have mine. I don’t have the time to learn everything.

    By the way, I’ll respond to the link you sent me soon. I’m currently watching a lecture series from an Islamic historian on the historicity of Muhammad. I might read a book or two as well, if I can get around to it. Hopefully I’ll have something up soon. It may take a few weeks, maybe a few months. I hesitate writing about things I don’t know enough about.

    I appreciate your comments and stuff, we’re all in the pursuit of truth together. Don’t hesitate to ever say anything – I’m confident you don’t anyway 😛

    Lux

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  3. ”I don’t have the time to learn everything.”
    Most religious people learn very little. Learning is detrimental to faith and ultimately leads AWAY from religion.
    If you always side with consensus merely because it is consensus then maybe you should stand in a field occasionally and bleat. And remember , consensus does not mean it is necessarily true.
    The consensus among Muslims is that Mohammed went to heaven on a winged horse, and what sort of ding bat believes that? Well…millions of them , apparently. Go figure?
    Dig up Professor Richard Carrier and find out what he thinks on the matter. If you search his blog you will also come up with a very different perspective on Josephus and the TF written by an equally eminent scholar with impeccable credentials.

    ”Historically speaking, who knows. ”

    Archaeologically speaking it is known. Finkelstein and Heerzog.etc
    The Israeli government commissioned Finkelstein and others to go out into the Sinai and basically find the ”Title Deeds to our promised land.”
    There was a lot at stake as you can understand so try to imagine what it took for these people, Jews, to come back after YEARS and announce to the government. “Sorry…nothing!”
    Now, this bad enough if one is a Jew and Israeli, But think of what it means in the long run for Arab/Israeli relations?
    No Moses, no Exodus, No Invasion. All they can hope to say is. ”Sorry, guys, but the British stuck us here…go talk to them.”
    Now consider….
    Islam is built back to front on the foundation of Christianity and Judaism.
    Islam contains similar stories and many of the same characters .
    So, as Moses was a fictional character and all the rest is just a story to help retain some sort of cultural identity then what does it say about Christianity?
    How many times does Yeshua mention Moses and the prophets from the OT?
    Oops…
    And THEN we get to Islam and Mohammed and the Qur’an. The Qur’an. The revealed, LITERAL word of Allah.
    Oh, es aich one T, now we’re in the dwang.

    Tell me, if you were an Arab and a Muslim would you be making that much noise about the politics of Israel when maybe Islam was on the line?
    Would you risk having the Israelis OFFICIALLY announce they have enough evidence to categorically state that Judaism is based on fiction?
    Maybe Christianity could ride the storm, maybe? But it’s credibility would be seriously dented and they would have to do a massive PR job on Jesus.

    But Islam? Not a chance in Hades. It would be held up for the bogus nonsense it is and Mohammed the fraud he most certainly was.

    Archaeology has a nasty habit of exposing all the lies and the liars….eventually.
    The truth will get you in the end. Believe it.

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    • ” Most religious people learn very little. Learning is detrimental to faith and ultimately leads AWAY from religion.”

      Actually, I would argue that there are knowledgeable people that know about their religion. Believe it or not.

      “If you always side with consensus merely because it is consensus then maybe you should stand in a field occasionally and bleat. And remember , consensus does not mean it is necessarily true.”

      I chose the consensus of thousands of learned scholars over a smart blogger I met on the internet.

      The Exodus nor Moses was proven wrong. The Biblical dates were proven wrong. The ultra-specific Biblical narrative was proven wrong.What actually happened day to day for the millenniums the Israeli saga went through isn’t known. Surprising, isn’t it?

      “Tell me, if you were an Arab and a Muslim would you be making that much noise about the politics of Israel when maybe Islam was on the line?”

      Are you serious? The entire Palestinian-Israeli conflict is about archeological records that don’t prove anything wrong? The current Israeli government is the most conservative in history…this is the one that will officially declare Judaism false? Do you hear yourself?The conflict started before Finkelstein was even alive.

      Stop the dogmatic crap. Actually think for yourself instead of spewing out what the latest Hitchens book tells you. Don’t be as close minded and narrow as many (maybe most) religious people are. Actually think. It’s not illegal yet. Your blog has been removed from the side. I’ll replace the link with an atheist that is worth intellectual discussion.

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      • Lux, if I may jump in here, your knowledge of current archaeology is lacking. Even Jewish rabbis now openly admit the Pentateuch is nothing by a self-serving myth; a geopolitical work of fiction commissioned to justify a northern land grab after the fall of Mamlekhet Yisra’el (Kingdom of Israel) in 722 BCE.

        The findings have been so resounding that even Christianity Today’s Kevin D. Miller conceded: “The fact is that not one shred of direct archaeological evidence has been found for Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob or the 400-plus years the children of Israel sojourned in Egypt. The same is true for their miraculous exodus from slavery.”

        That’s pretty telling, don’t you think? That’s a Christian apologist admitting it.

        Now, without going into the vast library of archeological evidence (or total lack thereof), it’s been known for well over 30 years that the patriarchs (Abraham, Jacob, Isaac) and Moses never existed, the Exodus never happened, there was no conquest of the Land of Israel, and there was never a 10th Century United Kingdom.

        • “There is no archaeological evidence for any of it. This is something unexampled in history. They [Judah] wanted to seize control of the territories of the kingdom of Israel and annex them, because, they said, `These territories are actually ours and if you have a minute, we´ll tell you how that´s so.’” (Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology, Tel Aviv University)

        Those are the facts, they’ve been in the public domain for over thirty years, but as Prof. Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University observed: “we are witnessing a fascinating phenomenon in that all this is simply ignored by the public.”

        • “The Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Most of those who are engaged in scientific work in the interlocking spheres of the Bible, archaeology and the history of the Jewish people and who once went into the field looking for proof to corroborate the Bible story now agree that the historic events relating to the stages of the Jewish people’s emergence are radically different from what that story tells.” (Prof. Ze’ev Herzog)

        • “I think there is no serious scholar in Israel or in the world who does not accept this position. Herzog represents a large group of Israeli scholars, and he stands squarely within the consensus. Twenty years ago even I wrote of the same matters and I was not an innovator. Archaeologists simply do not take the trouble of bringing their discoveries to public attention.” (Professor Magen Broshi, Head of Archaeology at the Israel Museum)

        • “It’s been decades since we’ve known… what’s the hold up?” Israel Finkelstein, chairman of the Archaeology Department at Tel Aviv University.

        • “The period of the patriarchs, exodus, conquest, or judges as devised by the writers of Scriptures never existed,” asserted Robert Coote, Senior Research Professor of Hebrew Exegesis at San Francisco’s Theological Seminary.

        • “The Genesis and Exodus accounts are a fiction,” noted the biblical scholar Niels Peter Lemche of the University of Copenhagen.

        • “The actual evidence concerning the Exodus resembles the evidence for the unicorn,” concluded Baruch Halpern, Professor of Jewish Studies of Pennsylvania State University.

        • “The patriarchs’ acts are legendary stories, we did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, we did not conquer the land. Those who take an interest have known these facts for years,” declared famed Israeli archeologist, Ze’ev Herzog of Tel Aviv University.

        • “Scholars have known these things for a long time, but we’ve broken the news very gently,” explained one of America’s preeminent archaeologists, Professor William Dever of the University of Arizona.

        If you doubt the world’s archeological experts and heads of Israeli University departments, then I’d urge you to look at the Jewish rabbis who now openly admit to these facts. Specifically, read the Etz Hayim: Torah and Commentary; the first authorised commentary on the Torah since 1936. Published in 2001 by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (in collaboration with the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Publication Society) the 1,559 page long Etz Hayim concludes with 41 essays written by prominent rabbis and scholars who admit the Pentateuch is little more than a self-serving myth rife with anachronisms and un-ignorable archaeological inconsistencies, and rather than triumphant conquest, Israel instead emerged slowly and relatively peacefully out of the general Canaanite population with monotheism only appearing in the post-Exilic period, 5th Century BCE.

        • “Defending a rabbi in the 21st century for saying the Exodus story isn’t factual is like defending him for saying the Earth isn’t flat. It’s neither new nor shocking to most of us that the Earth is round or that the Torah isn’t a history book dictated to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.” Rabbi Steven Leder of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

        • “The rejection of the Bible as literally true is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis.” Rabbi David Wolpe

        I hope that helps.

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    • Do you want to step back from your anti-religious hostility for a second and ask why you are choosing to make people feel bad about themselves and how they have chosen to live their lives? Do you have any reason? Are these heated blog posts bettering your life or the good of humanity? I suggest that you read Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut if you haven’t already. Maybe then you’ll calm down and love a little.

      “Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

      Cum Caritate

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      • I am not quite sure if this comment is for moi…
        I shall respond nonetheless.
        While I perfectly understand your apparent ire and dismay from a neutral’s standpoint, or one that is more spiritual rather than outright religious, but it is not the moderate ordinary bums on pews folk that are an issue. Nor their quaint village village vicar or priest. Or even the average Curry Takeaway owning stereotypical Muslim bloke either.
        Sadly these are the Middle Class suburban veneer papering over the cracks where the real nutters dwell.
        The shirt-lifting Catholic fraternity, those befuddled protestants who wouldn’t know how to read Leviticus or Exodus if it was written in crayon and those young men in Gingham headdresses queuing up to obtain a firearms licence, or worse a license for a 747. Those chappies who, while the rest of us take lSaturday essons in Origami or Yoga are filling their weekend Free-Time learning about all the wonderful things one can do with C4. All the time quietly confident in the knowledge that strapping high explosives to a child and sending it off to blow itself to smithereens is EXACTLY what god wants.
        Is the picture a teensy weensy more clear now?
        Are you perhaps understanding why folk like me get a tad upset when I read how wonderful and life enhancing religion truly is?

        Super!
        Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

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        • Extremists do not represent the majority of religious people. Moreover, you are attacking religious moderates in your posts, not extremists. Perhaps you should move your operation to Kabul. Once more, I think that you should read Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle.

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          • I reserve my ‘attacks’ for religious people/religion, period.
            The foundation of religious belief of the various faiths is the same for the liberal as it is for the extremest.
            It is not my fault if the doctrine is not clear enough that its adherents interpret differently.
            Some believe prayer is adequate others consider blowing kids up the right thing to do.
            God has not yet voiced an opinion or interceded. Therefore I will judge religion equally. It is all false.
            If you wish to challenge this assertion with evidence please feel free. I welcome the dialogue.

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            • I don’t feel that what you engage in constitutes dialogue. You are not receptive to what I am saying. You have issued no response regarding the book that I recommended. You are so set in your ways that you have become as stubborn as the extremists that you so flippantly attack. No, don’t turn that criticism back on me. I HAVE been listening to what you have been saying. That respect, however, has not been mutual.This is another piece that I suggest that you read regarding dialogue: http://www.catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/dont-have-ping-pong-conversations
              Thanks.

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              • Okay,let’s work through this.
                Cat’s Cradle. I Have not read it, and although I Googled it I cannot see the relevance re: my position on religion.
                Maybe you could clarify?

                ”You are so set in your ways that you have become as stubborn as the extremists that you so flippantly attack.”
                If you wish to help me alter this position then maybe you could offer something?
                Up to date you haven’t actually made a point with regard this post or anything else you may object to, merely objecting to my style of delivery.
                I could care less about what you think in this regard.
                So, now’s your opportunity. Make a point regarding what I write, are able to offer a clear concise rebuttal then please do so.

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                • Alright. Concise and clear. Here we go.
                  I have already addressed Cat’s Cradle in a previous post via this opening quotation: “Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy,” where foma are harmless untruths, in this case, of the religious variety. Essentially, religion is proclaimed as eminently practical even if its foundation is false: it makes people happy, like, dare I say, Santa Claus. So happiness is not contingent on veracity.
                  In regards to your delivery, thank you for granting me a foothold to say something that perhaps you will think over a bit. I expect that I will not be granted such a foothold for long.
                  My primary objection to your posts is precisely their delivery and, as a result, their intention. Delivery is indeed an important basis on which to judge an argument. If the theory of relativity were to have been presented with the composure of a toddler, I don’t think anyone would have agreed with it much. So, really, people should care about delivery.
                  In regards to what you write, I don’t necessarily care about how thoroughly researched it is or the cogency of its proof. If the intention is corrupt, then why take note?
                  Immanuel Kant was big on intention based ethics. If a little girl goes to her grandmother’s house just to get cookies, her actions aren’t nearly as moral as those of her sister who likewise visits her grandmother but for the joy of her company.
                  In my understanding of your intention, your fight against religion seems to be more or less a vanity project, a way to prove your superiority and stroke your ego. Why? Because you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time commenting on people’s blogs with a guise of anonymity when, if you really cared about combating the alleged evil of religion in the world, you’d be out sowing good, a little bit of MLK’s fighting hate with love.
                  Here comes the suggestion: as opposed to tearing down arguments on the Internet, go out and live your life. Do what you love. Be happy and promote the happiness of others. Recognize that religion is a medium which many use to achieve peace of mind and happiness, perhaps via Vonnegut’s foma. Pursue eudaimonia, Aristotle’s idea of human flourishing. I see little that is disagreeable about that suggestion.

                  Cum Caritate

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                  • I will not address your more directed words to Ark, but I simply must respond to two points you make and leave it at that.

                    1) Happiness is not contingent on veracity

                    I find this a positively ghastly sentence. You are advocating for a delusion, promoting a lie, and willfully neglecting reality. I’m sorry, but that makes you a fool and an enemy of our species.

                    2) “If the theory of relativity were to have been presented with the composure of a toddler, I don’t think anyone would have agreed with it much.”

                    I’m happy to say the truth is not affected (or effected) by emotion. It is merely the truth… something you seem unwilling to engage.

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                  • I do do what I love. Which includes writing.
                    You criticize me for taking a stand against something I believe is wrong from the roots to the tips in a forum that was previously closed to all.
                    Because people were previously forced to hols their tongue, for fear of having it removed were among reasons religion was able to rise to the position it has.
                    You claim my delivery style is solely to stoke my ego/a vanity project.. Interesting?
                    So because one is not out on the street waving a placard or chaining myself to a church door or addressing atheist conventions or even sending letters to the Pope and his ilk my writings, are therefore solely because of ego? No doubt eminent folk like Dawkins and Hitchens will be excused such a charge as they do address conventions and write books. Although I am unaware if Christopher Hitchens ever chained himself to a church door.
                    Though I do know he was hyper critical of the likes of Mother Theresa fr which he received some serious vitriol.

                    Maybe we ought to level the same charges against Archaeologists such as Israel Finkelstein and Zeev Herzog. Surely their discoveries and public statements about the fiction of Moses the Exodus and the conquest of Canaan are much more damning to your religion – Christianity?- than anything I could possibly write in a hundred years. Their work has already proved just how false what you believe in truly is.

                    While I have no underlying ambitions to bring religion down around its ears it is slightly amusing that I would elicit such a response from one such as you, or that my little ramblings are even noticed.
                    It

                    Anonymity? Well, you haven’t bothered extending your apparent intellect very far if you think I am anonymous, now have you?

                    ”Do what you love. Be happy and promote the happiness of others. Recognize that religion is a medium which many use to achieve peace of mind and happiness, ”

                    Obviously you have a closed mindset and seem only to focus on what I write concerning religion so naturally you would come to such an erroneous conclusion.
                    As I have oft remarked, if you feel that religion is primarily a source of good, then you are woefully ignorant of its history and also its function in modern society.
                    Your suggestion that for some it is a medium to achieve “peace of mind and happiness” suggests that it isn’t possible for these people to achieve peace etc without religion and shamefully ignores the hundreds of thousands who suffer because of it, and for that asinine and callous comment you deserve no respect whatsoever.

                    Why not adopt some of the humility you appear to be recommending and go and visit any number of blogs hosted by deconvertees of varying former faiths and read their story?

                    One cannot kick against the pricks of conscience, did not someone you may be familiar with say ? And there are some pretty big pricks that stand in defense of religion.

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                    • I am sorry that you misinterpreted my comment, but then again, that is precisely what I expected you to do. In proof of your own vanity, you wrote an extensive criticism of my post, clearly more concerned with the veracity of my argument rather than my humility as a person. Do you have any other critiques of my person aside from calling me, by way of my response an “asinine and callous comment [for which] you deserve no respect whatsoever.”?
                      I have taken my own medicine. I searched atheism on WordPress and was led to this blog, where I tried to understand your rationale [granted, as a commenter], only to have unveiled to me that you have subscribed to unrestrained egotism.
                      Yes, there are pricks on both sides. I am well aware, and I try to avoid that path.
                      By anonymity I meant, more or less, that this is faceless, physically unexpressive interaction, or what have you. By “go out and live your life” I meant that you should emulate MLK and fight hatred with love.
                      As far as what makes you happy, killing children made John Wayne Gacy happy. So parameters are certainly needed. I do not, however, think that what YOU do lies outside of those parameters. Nonetheless, I do not think that it is preferable. Again, fight hate with love.

                      On the note of veracity, I thought I had made myself clear. I’ll just echo the words of writer Don Miller:

                      “My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I don’t really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who don’t believe in God and they can prove He doesn’t exist, and some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now it’s about who’s smarter and honesty I don’t care.”

                      Besides that, I have nothing left to say but this:

                      Cum Caritate (with love in Latin)

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                    • I did not misunderstand your comment at all, of that I can assure you.

                      You are a Christian. . And John Zande’s comment echoes my sentiments.
                      No doubt you will continue wallow in your sanctimonious bubble.

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                    • Look, Ark. I am not wallowing in anything. I am an extraordinarily happy person at the moment. Eudaimonia: it’s good stuff. This response column has become so thin it displays like five words across. If you want to talk further about any of this or anything, please Skype message, or Skype call me on my account: charlie.ducey1. I sincerely would like to HEAR what you have to say.

                      Cum Caritate

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  4. ”Actually, I would argue that there are knowledgeable people that know about their religion. Believe it or not.”

    Great….this is like saying there are a many intelligent people who know an awful lot about Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Does this make Discworld REAL! Honestly…..shakes head.

    ”I chose the consensus of thousands of learned scholars over a smart blogger I met on the internet.”

    Ouch!
    The consensus among Muslims is that Gabriel spoke to Mohammed and he flew to heaven on a winged horse. The consensus among Christians is that Jesus rose from the dead. So what? Neither case is true, but try telling that to these people.
    Of course , Hindus, who believes in quite a few odd things themselves, would laugh like a drain at both of the above suggestions.

    ”The Exodus nor Moses was proven wrong. The Biblical dates were proven wrong. The ultra-specific Biblical narrative was proven wrong.What actually happened day to day for the millenniums the Israeli saga went through isn’t known. Surprising, isn’t it?”

    Ah, now we reach the grasping at straws part. I wondered when it would rear its head.
    All of it has been proven wrong – your expert consensus says so.
    Did you actually read anything by Finkelstein or Herzog? Or any other archaeologist for that matter?
    Did you read what the leading Rabbis have said?
    There is no evidence in any historical record, or archaeological record.
    Every aspect of the Biblical narrative is fiction and a load of nonsense.
    The slavery, the freedom,the plagues, the flight from Egypt the pursuit or the parting of the Red Sea. (Reed Sea)
    It IS known.All one needs to do is completely ignore the Exodus crap and focus on Palestine and Egypt There is no evidence irrespective of which time period you wish to look at.
    There was no exodus, and Moses was a fictional character.
    What is it you are not understanding here?
    This has been known for decades.
    Or are you simply not willing to recognise that the Qur’an is as much balderdash as the Bible? That Mohammed was making it up as well?
    Don’t blame me if you adhere to a religion. Go and force those that brought you up on this drivel to explain.

    “Tell me, if you were an Arab and a Muslim would you be making that much noise about the politics of Israel when maybe Islam was on the line?”

    I think you are beginning to get a little overwrought and missing the salient point.
    If Old Testament claims about a Promised are unsubstantiated (which they ARE) then Israel have no divine right to the territory, now do they?

    However, if Israel’s claims are erroneous, based on the complete hogwash of the Old Testament then any Muslim claims are equally as fallacious.
    Simply: Islam is a lie and Mohammed was a liar. Both true,of curse, but are the Arab nations in particular, willing to put their religion on the line above politics?
    If the Jewish history is based on fiction, so is the Muslims.
    And that has got to hurt…

    So,, you are Muslim, you tell me? Are you willing to give it all up just yet?

    I have never read any Hitchens. ( I have watched a few videos) But I know a fair amount of this particular story.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion….not their own facts.

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  5. Heya Ark 🙂

    These arguments are kind of humourous and irrelevant, knowing there’s actual scientific proof that we survive death and continue right on living.

    Check out The Campaign for Philosophical Freedom site. It kind of blew my ugg boots off – in a oood way 🙂

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  6. @cducey2013
    Lol…You have nothing to share except maybe for a little contrition for your religion.
    That might be a good place to start, what do you say?
    Your faith and religion is of no benefit to anyone and all your posturing is merely making me smile.
    You are a silly person.

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  7. Pingback: What’s up with “A Reason for God”? | Whispers of Satan

  8. Am late to the party as it is, but I will say a few things.
    The existence of Jesus is not proved. It is a matter of contention in two ways; first as to the parentage- whether Panthera or a god but definitely not Joseph.
    Rusell is within his rights after saying that the fellow didn’t exist to go ahead and criticise what we have been told were the words of this fellow. I don’t think his morality was sound.
    You may find this an interesting read on Jesus story.

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    • My my, I look back at this and notice a wealth of embarrassing grammar mistakes! Ark brought to my attention the contentions of Jesus’s existence. Granted, I myself have never focused time on the issue, besides a chapter or two from one of Bart Ehrman’s books. I merely chose to admit my ignorance and resort to mainstream academia. For Jesus’s biblical morality, I am not surprised you think that, and I am sure there are reasonable reasons to think that. If you read Russell’s lecture, however, you will find his specific moral contentions dubious at best.

      Hope that clarifies

      Lux

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      • I didn’t pay much attention to the grammar, if there were mistakes, maybe in my comments :-P, since I do make many of them whenever I write anywhere! My bad!

        It didn’t appear to me that you conceded your ignorance but I will not press it farther, we can ignore it.

        I have read Russell’s lecture but that was a while back, I may need to refresh my memory to see your contentions.

        Oh yes, I have written about the morality of Jesus and you can find it on my blog.

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  9. I promised to refresh my memory of the speech by Russell and I will go to the portion you find contentious.
    I believe you mean the part that begins with the Defects in Christ’s teaching? He starts off

    , I come to certain points in which I do not believe that one can grant either the superlative wisdom or the superlative goodness of Christ as depicted in the Gospels; and here I may say that one is not concerned with the historical question

    and continues to say

    and there one does find some things that do not seem to be very wise

    and lists a few of these. I don’t know see the problem here. The lecture is why he is not a Christian. I don’t think he meant it as anything more than that and he lists why he has problems with the teaching of Jesus, which any rational person would accept.
    In short, I find no dishonesty on his part and find your criticism harsh but unfounded. I say this also because in the same lecture he mentions a few things he finds as noble in the supposed teachings of Jesus.

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  10. Pingback: Bertrand Russell on Christ’s Wisdom and Moral Teachings | Whispers of Satan

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