Manly Yahweh is not the Philosopher's God

Here I have assimilated two posts into one, looking at the idea that Yahweh, and the claims made about him, do not make a lot of sense with regard to the philosopher's god which developed over the next several thousand years.

Many people believe ridiculous things. Most of the time, we eventually shuffle off such beliefs. But some remain. In the case of Christianity, this is the belief in Yahweh. I don't mean to be overly rhetorical, but the belief in Yahweh is patently ridiculous, much more so than the belief in God.

Jeff Lowder: "Two Thumbs Way Up" for My Book WIBA

I give this book two thumbs way up. In addition to courageously sharing his personal story, Loftus applies his considerable training and expertise into developing a cumulative case against Christianity and for atheism. I cannot think of another book like it on the market. Loftus is clearly familiar with the work of evangelical apologists like Copan, Craig, Geisler, and Moreland, as his book is filled with references to their work and objections to their arguments. In fact, his book might best be described as a “counter-apologetics” textbook. Anyone who reads this blog (The Secular Outpost) but has not yet read Why I Became an Atheist should do so. LINK.

James East Responds to John Dickson's "Top 10 Tips For Atheists"

Dr. John Dickson is co-director of the Centre for Public Christianity. He has a PhD in ancient history and is a Senior Research Fellow with the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University, where he teaches in the MA in Early Christian and Jewish Studies program. Recently he offered his top 10 list of tips for atheists. In it he tells us what he thinks atheists are doing wrong in debates with Christians. Dr. James East of Skeptic Ink Network responded excellently to each of his tips.

Here's one example. Dickson's first tip is for atheists to deal with the Christian "sophisticated literary trail of reasons for the Faith." East responded in part by saying something I've wondered about as well:
I think Dickson and many other “public Christians” are guilty of exactly the same thing. They speak out against the Dawkinses and Krausses of the world, rather than tackling leading atheist philosophers such as Graham Oppy, Theodore Drange and Quentin Smith, to name just a few. Christians devote entire websites to attacking The God Delusion, yet seem to completely ignore books like Why I Became an Atheist,in which John Loftus absolutely does engage with Plantinga, Craig and company, very successfully I think. And then there are classics such as Oppy’s Arguing About Gods, Sobel’s Logic and Theism, and so many more. LINK.

Image of Jesus Found on Dog's Butt! Praise Him!


Is God's Power Diminishing Into Insignificance?


Questions From a Newly Deconverted Person

I'm new to agnosticism. And I'm positive of my outlook. However, the emotional aspects of my former Christian faith are still present, i.e. the guilt and the shame. What's the best way to get beyond this. I can see the positivity in a life without religious barriers. I'm just struggling to get there.
My reply:

Realize no one is to blame for your religious indoctrination. Turn the negative into positive action. Use what you've learned and make it your goal to help others out of it.
Thank you so much! I've been depressed for the last two weeks.
My reply:

I know the feeling. In time it will pass. Realize not many people have been freed to live the happy life free of brainwashing like you have.

The Case Against the Resurrection


The Jewish Pagan Matrix for Jesus as The Christ


Christian apologists strongly deny Greco-Roman pagan religious influence on the Jewish development of Jesus Christ, so any Christian apologist should have no trouble explaining the following paragraph from The Cambridge History of Judaism: Volume 3 The Early Roman Period

What’s So Good About “Good Friday”?


It has been a few years, since I left Christianity, so when I look at it now, I can see it more through the eyes of an outsider, rather than through the god-glasses given to me through childhood indoctrination.  One thing about human nature is that we can be in situations in which things which are quite strange can appear normal, simply because they are part of our everyday experience, and because we are surrounded by people who treat these things as normal.   Such was the case with the core beliefs of Christianity.  Now, when I think about the Christian teachings about and commemoration of the death of Jesus, I can’t believe that I didn’t see how weird it all was at the time.

Since today is Good Friday, and churches everywhere are gearing up for their Easter celebrations this weekend, I thought I’d take a look at some of the things which are strange and don’t add up, with this particular set of beliefs.

A Postscript on My Post about Evidence for Dinosaurs and Jesus

What scholars like Bart Ehrman don’t tell you (likely because they don’t fully comprehend it themselves) is that the Jewish-Christian world was totally awash with forged stories of divine divine men of miracles.  Ancient Biblical figures from Israel’s mythic past had either written new books about themselves or were written about by unnamed Jewish authorities who were in the know.  Although I did my under graduate work in Bible and graduate work in Christianity while having been an active Church member most of my life, I had never realized, nor was I told, that there were more than 295 divine histories and sacred texts about miracle workers sent from God. (I discussed these HERE )

Leave No Stone Unturned - An Easter Challenge For Christians (from Dan Barker)

"I HAVE AN EASTER challenge for Christians. My challenge is simply this: tell me what happened on Easter. I am not asking for proof. My straightforward request is merely that Christians tell me exactly what happened on the day that their most important doctrine was born.."

 If you know any believer up to the challenge, send them the link:

An Easter Challenge for Christians

We Know From Hard Evidence Dinosaurs Existed 66 Million Years Ago Yet We Have No Objective Evidence Jesus Existed Just 2 Thousands Years Ago

A. We have no firsthand testimony from anyone who knew Jesus or wrote anything about him during his life time. (All the Gospels are late and anonymous). No person living in Roman Palestine neither saw, knew of, nor heard of either Jesus or his followers.

Coming Tonight on DC: 16 Simple Reasons Why the Gospel Jesus Never Existed

According to Tim O’Neill :

“The arguments of the Jesus Mythicists, on the other hand, require contortions and suppositions that simply do not stand up to Occam's Razor and continually rest on positions that are not accepted by the majority of even non-Christian and Jewish scholars. The proponents of the Jesus Myth hypothesis are almost exclusively amateurs with an ideological axe to grind and their position is and will almost certainly remain on the outer fringe of theories about the origins of Christianity.”

Tonight I’ll list theses and let you decide who has really upheld Occam Razor followed by a response to O’Neill.

God: JUST create heaven, for crying out loud

Hello good DC people, it's been a long time... OK, so I posted this originally elsewhere (on SIN). But this is such an important and simple argument that it needs to get bandied about more. The nonsense that is heaven, given from the Christian point of view that it exists, has many ramifications. This is one particular argument which I think has a lot of force in dismantling the logical coherence of Christianity and its entailed beliefs.

Kerry Shirts, A Former Mormon Apologist, Reviews Several Atheist Books

Earlier I posted a review by Kerry Shirts of my book The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True.I was told he was a former Mormon apologist and maker of Mormon apologist videos. So I clicked on his name and found he has reviewed several atheist books in the last two weeks. Check them all out.

Are Books Themselves a Thing of the Past?

I know hard copies of books are on their way out. I also know that percentage-wise not that many people are reading books. With almost anything you want to know can be found online, will even ebooks be on their way out? Will we soon turn into an online society of people who simply read Facebook, blogs and online sites for our information? I fear this might be happening gradually. And with the public not reading books that much to begin with, it seems less of them will be doing so in the future. I wonder what this will do for authors and publishers? It'll be interesting. Publishers exist to make money. With fewer readers there will be fewer books published. There are good things about this since anyone can participate. But how do we know what information to trust without the editors who were known as the gatekeepers in the past. Thoughts?

Two More Reviews of My Book, The Outsider Test for Faith

This one was published in The Skeptic, Winter 2013, pp. 35–36. Here's another one below. Do you get the impression that this guy is really excited about it? ;-)

Answering Believers: "If I believe in God why does that bother you?"

On my personal Facebook page, I tend to do my direct critiquing of religion mainly through what I call my “Freethinker Friday post”.  The rest of the week, I post funny stuff, health tips, and inspiring and insightful quotes.  For some of my Christian friends however, even once a week is way too often for me to be challenging their beliefs.  On April 4th, I did a post called “A Twisted ‘Love.’ In which I talked about how the Christian god’s brand of love is actually coercion because it is accompanied by the threat of violence for those who don’t ‘choose to accept' it.  An acquaintance from high school, which I never even interact with on Facebook seemed to take my post a bit personally.

Here is the response I posted for her, and others who might share her annoyance with questioning of religion:

If Jesus Never Called Himself God, How Did He Become One? Bart Ehrman Discusses his New Book

“When Bart Ehrman was a young Evangelical Christian, he wanted to know how God became a man, but now, as an agnostic and historian of early Christianity, he wants to know how a man became God.

When and why did Jesus' followers start saying "Jesus as God" and what did they mean by that? His new book is called How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. "In this book I actually do not take a stand on either the question of whether Jesus was God, or whether he was actually raised from the dead," Ehrman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I leave open both questions because those are theological questions based on religious beliefs and I'm writing the book as a historian.’” (From NPR's Fresh Air)

You can either listen to or read the entire interview HERE

God Fearing, Christ Honoring, Bible Believing Christianity is the Best Truth for Atheism

Faith is a side show of Christianity; it’s a cheap no cost entry level into a religion that promises miracles for true believers, but only if they are totally obedient to true doctrine founded on the absolute truth from the Word of God.

DC Ranked 61st in a List of the Top 300 Christian Blogs!

It's confusing to me how these blogs were ranked but some traffic is coming our way because of it. Woooo Hoooo! I'll take all the hits I can get! LINK. I'm happy to beat out "Apologetics 315" (#63) James McGrath (#85) Ben Worthington (#95) Michael Patton (#96) Jim West (#116) Think Christian (#124) The Biologos Forum (#132) Frank Schaeffer (#193) Joel Watts (#230) Matthew Flannagan (#234) and Marcus Borg (#246).

The Power of A Serendipity

Serendipity is a word for a "fortuitous happening" or a "pleasant unexpected surprise." A couple of days ago I was asked which Rock bands I liked when I was a teenager. I mentioned a few albums and a few of my favorite songs. One of them was Aerosmith's song, "Dream On." I have it on a CD and thought about playing it afterward but didn't do so. Then out of the blue I heard it on the radio from the very beginning of the song. It caused even me to wonder whether there was some sort of supernatural force out there. Since I knew the odds, I rejected such a notion, but not before feeling the power of a serendipity. If I was a believer it would be very hard to overcome this feeling by thinking rationally about it. No wonder so many people believe. They do not think scientifically or exclusively based on the probabilities. Hint: I had mentioned several albums and top chart songs. I listen to an oldies radio station quite a lot. Bingo! Here is a live version of that song:

Ever Hear of Solomon Northup and His Book, "12 Years a Slave"?

I just now got around to watching this very powerful movie. It is a "must see" one if you can handle the horrors of slavery and the emotions of sadness and anger. I wrote a very hard-hitting chapter on slavery for my anthology Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails.After watching this movie I'm glad I did. [Below is a re-dated post from October 23rd].

Northup's story has been made into a wonderful movie you should watch. From Wikipedia:
Solomon Northup (July 1808 – after 1857) was a free-born African American from Saratoga Springs, New York. He is noted for having been kidnapped in 1841 when enticed with a job offer. When he accompanied his supposed employers to Washington, DC, they drugged him and sold him into slavery. From Washington, DC, he was transported to New Orleans where he was sold to a plantation owner from Rapides Parish, Louisiana. After 12 years in bondage, he regained his freedom in January 1853; he was one of very few to do so in such cases. Held in the Red River region of Louisiana by several different owners, he got news to his family, who contacted friends and enlisted the Governor of New York in his cause. New York state had passed a law in 1840 to recover African-American residents who had been kidnapped and sold into slavery...Returning to his family in New York, Northup became active in abolitionism. He published an account of his experiences in 12 Years a Slave (1853) in his first year of freedom. LINK

WIBA: A Unique One-Of-A-Kind Book

I was re-reading my book, Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity, yesterday.As I was doing so I was very impressed with it. I know this sounds egotistical but that's exactly what I thought. Maybe I shouldn't say what I think, right? If you're considering whether to get and read it, let me tell a few things to help you decide. I'll tell you about its strengths and weaknesses. Ready. Set. Go.

Kris Komarnitsky's Excellent Book is Available for Free On Saturday!

You should get the Kindle version of his book on April 5th! I don't know what time zone this applies to, so check back if at first you don't succeed. Follow this link: Doubting Jesus' Resurrection: What Happened in the Black Box?

DC Ranked 5th Place For the First Quarter Among SBL's Biblioblogs

Looks like Peter Kirby is reporting the rankings now. The Biblioblogger list is associated with the prestigious Society of Biblical Literature. There are atheists, liberals, moderates and conservatives on it. For the first quarter of 2014 DC was ranked 5th among the top 50 Bibliobloggers. They have gone back to using Alexa to rank our sites. When we were required to place a badge on our blogs to get true results DC blew them all away. I guess they weren't too happy about it, although they also had some technical problems with doing so. Go there and check out the other sites. Initially a few of them didn't want me on the list so Hector Avalos defended my right to be on it. Skip Jim West's site though, the guy in first place. To see why, read Hector Avalos's smack down of him.

Using the Internet Can Destroy Your Faith!

Who says our efforts are useless?
Using the Internet can destroy your faith. That’s the conclusion of a study showing that the dramatic drop in religious affiliation in the U.S. since 1990 is closely mirrored by the increase in Internet use. LINK.

Soooo, Tell Us Once Again Why Yours is the One True Faith?

...and tell us once again why you believe what you do if it isn't because of the accidents of birth? Please face the demographics head on. Don't skirt them. No more excuses. Tell us you would still believe what you do if you were born elsewhere. Tell us you would not be condemned to hell by the god you now believe in if you were born elsewhere. Tell us once again why your religion does not need to pass The Outsider Test for Faith?Wouldn't you want it to if you were born somewhere else, especially if hell was at stake if you didn't believe? Wouldn't you? Yes or no? LINK.

Map Shows The Dominant Religious Group In Every US County

I found this in my Facebook news feed:


My Facebook News Feed, Plus The Weirdest Story I've Probably Ever Seen!

Okay, I'm approaching 3000 Facebook friends. I'm don't think I can have more than 5000. One of the pleasures of having so many friends is the news feed. I scroll down through it from time to time. I see personal stories (some from real friends) along with breaking news stories, and everything else people post, including some amazing pictures of the world. What I like are the atheist posters with sayings. Some of them are really good, others not so good. Then today I saw something weird that never would have occurred to me. Here are a few of them below. First let me wet your appetite:

Does Methodological Naturalism Presuppose Its Own Conclusion?

Methodological naturalism (MN) is a method whereby all scientific endeavors—-all hypotheses and events—-are to be explained and tested by reference to natural causes alone. Believers criticize the use of MN when it comes to the science of origins and their faith as a whole. The charge is that MN in science logically requires the a priori adoption of a naturalistic metaphysics. I've been struggling with how to answer this objection. Here is my latest attempt.

The Top Ten Worst Atheist Books

Okay, I've been prompted to write this post due to Jeff Lowder's lists of the worst atheist debaters and worst atheist debate performances. Up until this time I have never written such a post. See what you think:

Quote of the Day, By Dr. James D. Strauss

I had previously written a tribute to Doc Strauss, my mentor and friend, who passed away recently. So I was listening to a few of his lectures and found a really interesting quote I never heard him acknowledge until now.
The chart I gave you didn't show how many times the church has taken a stand against the scientific enterprise. Up to the 18th-19th century the church has historically taken a stand against every development in the sciences.
You can hear him say it starting about 1:55 in this recording of one of his class lectures: