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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132535
Posted: 05 September 2023 at 2:58pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Spent a couple of hours of my retirement this morning cruising thru a few YouTube channels established to debunk the Bible.

Now, as most of you know by now I am an evangelical atheist. (Not only am I an atheist, I am obnoxious about it.) So for me, the concept of debunking the Bible is shooting fish in a barrel. Actually read the book, and see that the Bible is self-debunking. (It starts with two contradictory versions of the beginning of the Universe and pretty much cannonballs from there.)

However, most of these YouTube sites fall into the same trap: they use science to debunk the Bible. That’s like using today’s newspaper to prove the current issue of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN didn’t really happen.

You see, science is real, and bound by hard, uncompromising laws. The Bible is fiction—all of it—and bound by no rules at all.

Consider the story of Joshua commanding the Sun to “stand still” in the sky. Those guided by science will be quick to point out that it is not the Sun that moves (at least not in this context) so for it to appear to do so, the Earth would have to stop turning, sending most surface features tumbling over each other at about a thousand miles per hour.

But hold on! As noted, the Bible is fictional, and its lead character is the most powerful being in the Universe. In fact, he’s the one who created it all. He made the Laws, and a whim is all he needs to change them. (This is also the case if Bible is entirely true. The the best weapon believers have in their arsenal.)

So, please. Debunk the Bible as much as you like, but don’t use Science. God trumps (ahem) science. “Because I said so” is all he needs.

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Michael Penn
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
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Posted: 05 September 2023 at 5:42pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

> You see, science is real, and bound by hard, uncompromising laws. The Bible is fiction—all of it—and bound by no rules at all. <

So then, better to challenge the bible not as bad science but bad writing. Considering that the Author is God, after all...

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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132535
Posted: 05 September 2023 at 5:49pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

I question God’s business model. He wants to send the Most Important Message EVER, so he picks an out of the way corner of the world, and there sends a messenger to whom virtually no one will grant any credibility.

Mind you, this is a God who had already sent us an owner’s manual that contradicts all the evidence of our senses.

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Michael Penn
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Location: United States
Posts: 12496
Posted: 05 September 2023 at 5:55pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

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Conrad Teves
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 28 January 2014
Location: United States
Posts: 2192
Posted: 05 September 2023 at 6:17pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Always liked Ricky Gervais's point that if you destroyed every religious book and every science book and the information from both was lost, in a 1000 years the religion would stay lost and all the science would come back.
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132535
Posted: 05 September 2023 at 7:38pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Unfortunately, new religions would evolve in that thousand years. People are just not patient enough to wait for science to figure things out.
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Mitch Denoyer
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 21 September 2006
Posts: 135
Posted: 05 September 2023 at 11:50pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Would you call yourself a mythicist?
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 06 September 2023 at 12:05am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Myth maker.
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Michael Penn
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 12 April 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 12496
Posted: 06 September 2023 at 12:29am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

It's such a weird thing that happened to the bible, to have started as the (hi)story of one people, meant only for them, and then to have been twisted into the myth of all human beings, which -- if you don't except -- you're condemned to eternal suffering.
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ron bailey
Byrne Robotics Member


Joined: 16 October 2016
Location: United States
Posts: 954
Posted: 06 September 2023 at 1:33pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

... I am an evangelical atheist. ... the concept of debunking the Bible is shooting fish in a barrel. 

Since you've been one for so long, and your powers of argumentative discourse are so formidable, I am sure you have heard the following comment in the past: 
My issue with most atheists is that their argument for their (non)-beliefs always starts with low hanging fruit like the Bible and those with evangelical fervor for its literal interpretation. I get that in Western culture this is the most dominant influence on those with faith, but you would think those who espouse science, hard facts and that which can be proven would at most be agnostic, not avowed atheists. Until you can prove to me the existence or NON-existence of ANY kind of deity, I can only acknowledge the inconclusive evidence of either. 
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John Byrne

Grumpy Old Guy

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 132535
Posted: 06 September 2023 at 1:53pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Until you can prove to me the existence or NON-existence of ANY kind of deity, I can only acknowledge the inconclusive evidence of either.

•••

You demand proof, which denies faith.

I require no proof either way. Common sense is enough.

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Peter Martin
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Joined: 17 March 2008
Location: Canada
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Posted: 06 September 2023 at 2:33pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply


 QUOTE:
Until you can prove to me the existence or NON-existence of ANY kind of deity, I can only acknowledge the inconclusive evidence of either.

This brings to mind Carl Sagan's intangible, invisible, heatless dragon.

In summary, he said you might tell me you have an intangible, invisible dragon in your garage, that no test can detect. Unless there is a way to prove or disprove the dragon's existence, it's the same as not existing.

The only thing I might wonder is what convinced you to believe in the dragon when there is no way to detect it or prove it's there. The most likely explanation would be a hallucination or a powerful dream.

In Sagan's words, if I were being "scrupulously open-minded", I would "merely put it on hold". I would assume on present evidence that the dragon does not exist, but would be prepared to examine new data if it emerged.


Edited by Peter Martin on 06 September 2023 at 2:34pm
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