Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Religion
 Taking apart the Bible, with scholarship
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  03:41:47  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Link

Everyone who watches the Discovery and History channels knows this guy.
CNN -- Just so you know, Bart Ehrman says he's not the anti-Christ.


Bart Ehrman says most of the New Testament is a forgery but it's still an important body of work.

He says he's not trying to destroy your faith. He's not trying to bash the Bible. And, though his mother no longer talks to him about religion, Ehrman says some of his best friends are Christian.

Ehrman, a best-selling author and a professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a biblical sleuth whose investigations make some people very angry. Like the fictional Robert Langdon character played by actor Tom Hanks in the movie "Angels & Demons," he delves into the past to challenge some of Christianity's central claims.

In Ehrman's latest book, "Jesus, Interrupted," he concludes:

Doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus and heaven and hell are not based on anything Jesus or his earlier followers said.

At least 19 of the 27 books in the New Testament are forgeries.

Believing the Bible is infallible is not a condition for being a Christian.
The usual suspects are going to be demanding his immediate execution, if they aren't already.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!


Edited by - filthy on 05/16/2009 04:03:08

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  08:27:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just so you know, we linked to Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them) as recommended reading in our skeptic summary for the week of 4/04/09.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  09:12:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I find it interesting all the ways a person may come to freethinking. Bart Ehrman moved all the way from being a evangelical Christian to becoming an agnostic primarily because of things he learned through his Biblical scholarship.

Other paths come to mind. I can think of three off hand, though I'm sure there are many others:

1. Never was religious. The person never was brainwashed or inculcated with theism in the first place.

2. Abused by one's church. This person may become a philosophical atheist or agnostic, but began his/her journey away from faith as a rebellion against an actively abusive religion. In some cases, this persona may still believe in the reality of a god, but simply hate the deity. (Some of the rare real Satanists out there may believe in, but despise, the official deity.)

3. The path of Darwin. Rationality and study of the world shows the incompatibility between religious claims and reality, until the point comes that faith is impossible.

I wonder if anyone here could contribute some other paths to freethinking.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Go to Top of Page

marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 05/16/2009 :  09:43:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mooner wrote:
(Some of the rare real Satanists out there may believe in, but despise, the official deity.)


In the wikipedia article on "Satanism" they mention people like this:
One group that falls under the definition of Theistic Satanism are Reverse Christians; this is sometimes used as a disparaging term by other Theistic Satanists and is embraced to a lesser or greater extent by the groups given this label. Groups called Reverse Christians are said to practice what Christians claim Satanists do, such as performing black masses.


But honestly, I've met quite a few self-declared "Satanists" in my day, and all of them are atheistic Satanists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanism#Atheistic_Satanism

I wonder if the theistic ones have any sort of formal organization at all. I've heard that the Church of Satan regularly has people who are theistic Satanists contact them and want to join, and they turn them away with a laugh.

From an interview with Church of Satan High Priest Peter Gilmore: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Satanism:_An_interview_with_Church_of_Satan_High_Priest_Peter_Gilmore
David Shankbone: What is your relationship to Theistic Satanists?

Peter H. Gilmore: We don't think they are Satanists. They are devil worshipers, as far as I'm concerned.

DS: There is one in New York who does a lot of websites.

PG: Diane Vera? She's a kook.

DS: She's also an editor on Wikipedia. I contacted her, but I never received a response.

PG: My real feeling is that anybody who believes in supernatural entities on some level is insane. Whether they believe in The Devil or God, they are abdicating reason. If they really believe they are in communication with some sort of interventionist deity…you know, somebody can be a deist and think that maybe there was some sort of force that launched everything and now has nothing to do with it. That's not anything you can prove. It's also not a matter of faith. It's a matter of making a choice between whether there was something or there wasn't. I think maybe that is the most rational decision. I think science makes it look otherwise, but I don't think somebody like that is mad. But anybody who believes in some kind of existence in deity or spirits or anything that intervenes in their life is not somebody I hold in any kind of esteem.

DS: Have you had much interaction with the theistic Satanists?

PG: No, I just have complete contempt for them and have no contact with them at all. If anybody does contact me and say they are a theistic Satanist we tell them to take a hike. [Laughs].

DS: Do you know what they think of you?

PG: I have no idea and I could not care. I consider it lunatic and it's Christian. If you want to believe in an existing devil then you probably believe in an existing God and you're really just a Christian heretic, you're not a Satanist.

DS: What do you think is their motivation to worship a Christian Satan?

PG: I really wouldn't know, I'd have to talk to them, but my supposition would be that they want to feel they are naughty on some level. If they really believe in these existing deities, then they have to decide what the values of them are. The Gnostics used to think that Jehovah was bad; the demiurge, and that the real God was something more in touch with what they thought humanity should be like. So, maybe these people think that Jehovah is evil and Satan is good. I just think it's equally silly whether you believe in an Easter Bunny or Zeus…it's just…irrational.



"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Go to Top of Page

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9672 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  11:28:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner
I wonder if anyone here could contribute some other paths to freethinking.

I would consider myself a synthesis of #2 and #3.
I was always into science and technology, but got hooked on religion.
Sort of abusive church caused a separation of me from other members long enough to start questioning and critical thinking. Discontent with alternative churches (they were practically all the same), the road back to skepticism was easy to follow.



Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Go to Top of Page

dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  12:06:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner
I wonder if anyone here could contribute some other paths to freethinking.


BTW: I am writing this to try not to think about the trial of the 11 year old girl who died of diabetic ketoacidosis, which has me pretty agitated right now.

I am an example of #1 (with #3 following later).

But more than even those,
Intellectually and emotionally honest inquiry. I never got in the habit of making excuses for the excesses. This stuff was advertised to guide people to moral behaviour - it clearly does not do so. There must be a reason.

The metaphysics is utter anti-human, indefensible, alien and strange, shit. There's just no polite way to say it. Once I saw that a mere philosophy was being elevated from tool to truth, such that justifications for (mass) murder were seriously considered as being, not just permitted, but morally obligatory...

I gave up on truth, meaning, religious morality and other pivotal religious concepts early on. Without them, the grand illusion just falls apart at the seams - well, more like explosively decompresses.

I actually spent 3 years in university deliberately avoiding using normative language. Interesting experiment that, thinking in conditionals rather than normative decrees. Clarified much for me and I now recognize normative language even when it is covert. This recognition is antithetical to religious belief.

I used to try on philosophies for size, toying with them and then discarding them, adopting them, but always from a distance. Then one day it became clear to me that the healthy disrespect I had for individual philosophical stances was my philosophical stance. Critical inquiry is antithetical to religious belief.

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
Go to Top of Page

dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  12:16:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Originally posted by HalfMooner
I wonder if anyone here could contribute some other paths to freethinking.

I would consider myself a synthesis of #2 and #3.
I was always into science and technology, but got hooked on religion.
Sort of abusive church caused a separation of me from other members long enough to start questioning and critical thinking. Discontent with alternative churches (they were practically all the same), the road back to skepticism was easy to follow.


Are you saying you were a skeptic, then became religious and then became a skeptic again? If so, I find that pretty funky.

Or did you start as a science fan without the skepticism?

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
Go to Top of Page

Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9672 Posts

Posted - 05/17/2009 :  12:36:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Science fan without the skepticism, I suppose.
I just read about sciency stuff that I wanted to know.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 05/17/2009 12:36:42
Go to Top of Page

Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2009 :  07:40:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknox

Mooner wrote:
(Some of the rare real Satanists out there may believe in, but despise, the official deity.)


In the wikipedia article on "Satanism" they mention people like this:
One group that falls under the definition of Theistic Satanism are Reverse Christians; this is sometimes used as a disparaging term by other Theistic Satanists and is embraced to a lesser or greater extent by the groups given this label. Groups called Reverse Christians are said to practice what Christians claim Satanists do, such as performing black masses.


But honestly, I've met quite a few self-declared "Satanists" in my day, and all of them are atheistic Satanists: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanism#Atheistic_Satanism

I wonder if the theistic ones have any sort of formal organization at all. I've heard that the Church of Satan regularly has people who are theistic Satanists contact them and want to join, and they turn them away with a laugh.

From an interview with Church of Satan High Priest Peter Gilmore: http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Satanism:_An_interview_with_Church_of_Satan_High_Priest_Peter_Gilmore
David Shankbone: What is your relationship to Theistic Satanists?

Peter H. Gilmore: We don't think they are Satanists. They are devil worshipers, as far as I'm concerned.

DS: There is one in New York who does a lot of websites.

PG: Diane Vera? She's a kook.

DS: She's also an editor on Wikipedia. I contacted her, but I never received a response.

PG: My real feeling is that anybody who believes in supernatural entities on some level is insane. Whether they believe in The Devil or God, they are abdicating reason. If they really believe they are in communication with some sort of interventionist deity…you know, somebody can be a deist and think that maybe there was some sort of force that launched everything and now has nothing to do with it. That's not anything you can prove. It's also not a matter of faith. It's a matter of making a choice between whether there was something or there wasn't. I think maybe that is the most rational decision. I think science makes it look otherwise, but I don't think somebody like that is mad. But anybody who believes in some kind of existence in deity or spirits or anything that intervenes in their life is not somebody I hold in any kind of esteem.

DS: Have you had much interaction with the theistic Satanists?

PG: No, I just have complete contempt for them and have no contact with them at all. If anybody does contact me and say they are a theistic Satanist we tell them to take a hike. [Laughs].

DS: Do you know what they think of you?

PG: I have no idea and I could not care. I consider it lunatic and it's Christian. If you want to believe in an existing devil then you probably believe in an existing God and you're really just a Christian heretic, you're not a Satanist.

DS: What do you think is their motivation to worship a Christian Satan?

PG: I really wouldn't know, I'd have to talk to them, but my supposition would be that they want to feel they are naughty on some level. If they really believe in these existing deities, then they have to decide what the values of them are. The Gnostics used to think that Jehovah was bad; the demiurge, and that the real God was something more in touch with what they thought humanity should be like. So, maybe these people think that Jehovah is evil and Satan is good. I just think it's equally silly whether you believe in an Easter Bunny or Zeus…it's just…irrational.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
Go to Top of Page

Machi4velli
SFN Regular

USA
854 Posts

Posted - 05/22/2009 :  23:41:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Machi4velli a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dglasIntellectually and emotionally honest inquiry. I never got in the habit of making excuses for the excesses. This stuff was advertised to guide people to moral behaviour - it clearly does not do so. There must be a reason.

It strikes me as so inherently dishonest to believe. Many almost take pride in not questioning their beliefs outside the context of the Bible, with faith as a major virtue.

I used to try on philosophies for size, toying with them and then discarding them, adopting them, but always from a distance. Then one day it became clear to me that the healthy disrespect I had for individual philosophical stances was my philosophical stance. Critical inquiry is antithetical to religious belief.

Is your conclusion that metaphysics is nonsense in general? Or only that religious belief is ruled out by critical inquiry? I am seemingly at a similar stage of toying with various philosophies (struggling through Kant after dissatisfaction with empiricists), generally respecting some aspect of them only to find irreconcilable issues that would seem to strike down much of what I originally respected.

"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
-Giordano Bruno

"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge."
-Stephen Hawking

"Seeking what is true is not seeking what is desirable"
-Albert Camus
Go to Top of Page

Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2009 :  23:31:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Simon

I really can't understand theistic Satanists.
If you really believe in God and Satan as described by the Bible, why would you ever consider putting yourself into Satan's camp?
Sure, God is a paranoid bully, but at least, by sticking with him, you have a chance to win at the end.

No matter how well you serve him, Satan going to go out of his way to screw you over at the end. Plus, you know he is going to be on the loser's side.

I suspect that theistic Satanists just have a deep mental problem...
I agree, I don't know why someone who believed the standard christian fable would want to believe in Satan.

But from a skeptics' point of view, assuming for the moment that there might be any truth to the story, consider these observations:

Satan isn't described well, or consistently, in the bible. He certainly doesn't get equal time to rebut the claims made against him. He may, in fact, be getting your basic "bad rap" ("bad rep"?).

Furthermore, as comedian Jim Jeffries points out, if you sin during life, you're Satan's kind of dude - once you're in hell, why would he want to torture you? It'd be time to party!

Finally, the claim is made that "at least, by sticking with [god], you have a chance to win at the end." But this claim is made (purportedly) by god, without us having access to any evidence to confirm or refute this claim (including, for example, access to hearing what Satan might have to say about the matter).

Many people seem to have swallowed wholesale the biblical claims that god cannot lie (Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18) - but obviously this is circular reasoning at its worst, and on a more prosaic note it should remind believers of all those logic word puzzles about liars and truth-tellers and whether/how you can tell the difference.
Go to Top of Page

Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2009 :  23:47:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Forgot, 2 more thoughts:

1) I had the amusing occasion of being listed with last name "Satan" for a trip in the Soviet Union in the 1980's. My last name is "Sutton", pronounced "Suh-tuhn", but American surnames are/were mostly unfamiliar to Russian ears; our handler did the best he could. The Cyrillic transliteration he wrote down for my last name, blissfully unaware of the devilish meaning, was:

"CATAH" (in Cyrillic alphabet), which is
"SATAN" (in Latin alphabet)

Ah, what a wonderfully sweet memory that is! (But, good thing I wasn't traveling with a church group - they might have left me there. Unless they were Satanists, of course.)

2) In HalfMooner's schema above, I'm a #1 type, with some #0 (the Ehrman approach) folded in.

Was raised without religion; at age 8 or 9 I tried two things at the same time: reading the bible (starting at page 1), and started going to Sunday school (of my own volition; parents simply dropped me off at the church I picked out). I couldn't help but notice a huge disconnect between the vicious stories I was reading in Genesis (the flood & the destruction of Sodom) and the sweet pictures of Gentle Jesus With The Children and Lambs which we colored in during Sunday school. I returned quickly to a religion-free childhood, & have lived happily ever after, so far.

I'm sorry for those who have suffered at the hands of churches, or churchgoers. I feel lucky to have missed all of that.


[Edited to correct the Cyrillic. It's been a long time since I've had an occasion to use it.]
Edited by - Zebra on 05/30/2009 00:04:18
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2009 :  00:07:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I forgot to mention my own background. More or less paths 2 and three. Never badly abused by a church, but got disgusted with the hypocrisy, the fear-mongering, and God's genocidal megalomania. Scientific thinking (not particularly evolution, though that was a part) finally drove the stake through God's black heart for me. Like most former theists, there's an element of resentment in me that the never-theists are lucky not to share.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Go to Top of Page

Zebra
Skeptic Friend

USA
354 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2009 :  09:29:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Zebra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

I forgot to mention my own background. More or less paths 2 and three. Never badly abused by a church, but got disgusted with the hypocrisy, the fear-mongering, and God's genocidal megalomania. Scientific thinking (not particularly evolution, though that was a part) finally drove the stake through God's black heart for me. Like most former theists, there's an element of resentment in me that the never-theists are lucky not to share.


The resentment is there, but different & probably less intense than for those who were abused or feel misled.

I felt I had to stay closeted for the better part of 4 decades, and I resent that - resent having to hide who I really am, what I really think; having to smile & allow to ride the assumption that I'm christian, because I learned early that the alternative was to be mistrusted & reviled.

I really resent that we nontheists live in a country established by this Constitution which grandly and eloquently protects our rights, too, yet most people in this country haven't seemed to "get" that. Oh, and we have to put up with indignities like references to "god" everywhere, including in the pledge and on our money and in prayers at the start of government events (often).

I'm still silent (closeted) at work, but what a relief to have an online community, and now also a local community facilitated by developments like meetup.com and the books of the 4 horsemen.
Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.83 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000