There are certain questions that no biblical literalist can answer honestly. This isn't to say that they can't answer these questions at all, but only that any answer they give is either an evasion of actually answering the question, or the answer is absolutely fallacious. So here are ten questions that no biblical literalist can answer honestly. There are many other questions like this that will trip up any biblical literalist, but these are some of my favorites.
1. Can you make a moral judgment against rape or slavery using only scripture?
The position of biblical literalism can really make justifying your position on issues like rape and slavery very difficult. Most every Christian I know, whether a progressive or fundamentalist and literalist, will tell you that rape and slavery are unethical and morally wrong. The progressive Christian who has embraced a secular worldview has that secular and logical worldview to fall back on to justify their moral judgment. The literalist, however, does not have this luxury.
So when the literalist is taken to task on this and asked to justify his moral judgment based on a strictly biblical worldview, they run into a problem. The problem they run into is that there is absolutely zero scripture that says these acts are acts of moral turpitude. They can search the bible till their fingers fly off, and not once will find a single scripture that says rape and slavery are morally wrong.
Not even one.
The bible does address these issues, however the issues are addressed as property issues.
For the part of rape, there is a guideline for what to do if someone rapes your virgin daughter. This issue is addressed from the perspective that one's daughter is one's property and that the act of rape diminishes the value of that property. Apparently, to make amends for the damage of that man's property, the rapist is to marry the girl whom he attacked and violated and give her dad some money. Nowhere in this scripture is there any mention that the act of rape itself is a morally reprehensible act.
Now, maybe you're thinking that this only addresses what to do if your daughter gets raped, but what if your son gets raped? Well, oddly enough, the punishment for a man raping another man's son would be death. The odd thing about this however, is not that the punishment is more severe for a man who rapes a boy than one who rapes a girl, but rather why it is more severe. You see a man who rapes a boy would be committing a homosexual act, and homosexual acts actually are labeled as an act of moral turpitude. So the man would not be put to death for the act of rape, but rather for engaging in a homosexual act. Furthermore, this applied to all homosexual acts and not just a homosexual rape incident.
As for the issue of slavery, there's actually a good bit of scripture on the subject. Yet none of that scripture addresses this as a moral issue. Instead, the scriptures offer a framework for how to be a good and obedient slave, and how a slave owner should treat their slaves at least as well as they treat the rest of their property. Once again however, we see that nowhere in the scriptures does it actually say that slavery is morally reprehensible.
This question is actually one of my favorites because it addresses a very serious flaw on the literalist’s part in an argument that has been raging for years. For quite some time Christians of all stripes, but especially the literalist crowd, have argued that atheists and secularists lack an objective basis for moral judgment. And also that, secular ethics are just something stolen from the Christian worldview. Yet, with this one question and the implications of its honest answer, their argument is shown to be entirely without merit. In fact, I argue that secular ethics, rooted in a logical evaluation of moral issues, is the only objective basis for moral judgment, and that it is far superior to a literal biblical worldview.
My secular ethical position and worldview says implicitly that rape and slavery are morally reprehensible and unethical acts. Furthermore, my worldview can back up that assertion from a strictly objective logical stance. And most importantly, any Christian who wishes to justify a moral judgment against these acts, must actually acquiesce to a secular ethical reasoning to do so. Any literalist who makes a moral judgment against these things has no biblical justification for that judgment and so they too are employing secular ethics which makes them a hypocrite.
2. Would you sacrifice your child if god asked you to?
Most of us have heard this question. If you're an atheist who enjoys debate and engaging theists in rational discourse, you've likely asked this question. The most common answer given by any theist at all is that their god wouldn't ever ask them to do that. They will tell you that their god is a kind and loving god who wouldn't ask someone to murder their own child as a sacrifice. And to that I must say, "Then you don't believe in the god of the bible".
This question was posed to evangelical fundamentalist minister and liar for Jesus, Ray Comfort, on his Facebook page once, and his response was one of the first honest ones I've ever seen. Granted, he had to be backed into a corner to give that honest answer. After trying to deflect and dodge the question, Comfort finally broke and lashed out saying that yes, he would indeed murder his children if god asked him to.
He'd like you to believe that this is a testament to his unwavering faith, however I'm somewhat certain that it is actually just a sign of how deeply rooted his insanity truly is.
The reason that this was the only honest answer that Comfort could give is because anything else would negate his claim to biblical literalism and inerrancy. You see, despite what many Christians want to believe, the bible makes it very clear that god has, and therefore could again, ask for someone to murder their own child as a sacrifice. Christians will point to the scripture of Abraham's near murder and sacrifice of Isaac and say, "See. God stayed his hand, which shows that god would never ask me to do that". Of course, they overlook the other bits of scripture where god actually did allow a child sacrifice. They also conveniently overlook the fact that god supposedly sacrificed his own son to himself on humanity's behalf.
So if we simply look at the scripture, we can see by god's supposed past track record that this is something he has done before, and so it isn't outside the realm of possibility. Now, as a biblical literalist and minister, Ray Comfort understood this logic, and gave the biblically justifiable answer. The real problem is that Ray sees nothing at all wrong with this. He is fully committed to a path of pure insanity and is happily walking along like it's a Sunday stroll through a beautiful meadow. And to show just how insane old Ray is, I'd like to point out that Ray has on more than one occasion condemned the acts of people who say they were spoken to by god or angels or demons. He has embraced the notion that those people are insane, and yet still holds to the idea that if he thought god was talking to him that wouldn't be insane.
Of course god would talk to Ray Comfort! But Jesus telling a woman to murder and eat her own baby... Why that's just insane.
3. Is it acceptable to cherry pick the bible and only follow the parts you agree with?
Okay, this is actually a trick question. The reality is that nearly everyone, from every denomination of Christianity, cherry picks the bible. Literalists like Comfort and Ham will tell you that homosexuality is a morally reprehensible act and an abomination unto the lord, and will point to the bible as justification for their own bigotry. Of course, when you point out that it also says to stone your unruly child to death and not to eat bacon wrapped shrimp, suddenly those parts don't apply to them.
The reason this is a trick question is because biblical literalists almost always say that cherry picking is a big no-no. So this question brings to light their absolute hypocrisy. They say all sorts of things, and yet when it's all said and done, they don't actually live up to most of what they claim to believe.
Of course, if you live in any civilized society, you actually can't follow the bible literally. Let me rephrase that. You can follow the bible literally, but you'll end up dead or in prison. In civilized societies the notion of murdering your child for disobedience seems barbaric. Of course, barbaric is a nice way to put it because in all actuality that idea is just flat out insane. And it doesn't really matter why someone does it either. Whether you think god talks to you or you think god talked to someone else in the past and so you follow the book written by a third party that tells their story, it's all really equally insane.
4. How did animal X get from point Y to point Z after the great flood?
This may seem like a weird question, but it just takes some understanding of the variables at play here.
You see, animal X can be any number of animals, from kangaroos and Tasmanian devils, to any number of other regionally specific animal, such as my favorite, the penguin.
Point Y is actually not a variable, but is actually a set location. That location being ancient Mesopotamia.
And finally, point Z is any variable geographic location.
So, this question could be worded like this:
"How did penguins get from ancient Mesopotamia to Antarctica?"
"How did kangaroos get from ancient Mesopotamia to Australia?"
Now, I'll go ahead and spoil the fun here, and tell you that there is not one single word in the bible about how this happened. The bible claims that two of every animal, a male and female, got onto the boat. We assume they got off the boat at the same spot the boat landed, where Noah and his family got off. That would be a mountain in the Arab region of the world. So how did penguins get from there to Antarctica? And how did kangaroos get to Australia?
The bible has nothing to say on the matter. But science, on the other hand, has a lot to say about it.
First off, science tells us that it is nearly a physical impossibility for one male and one female to preserve a species. Especially a species that often only produces one or two offspring in a lifetime. If infant mortality doesn't wipe them out, genetic disorders due to inbreeding almost certainly would.
But let's assume that they live and mate and repopulate. They certainly can't do this in a state of persistent migration. So it seems that there would need to be at least some period of repopulation before migration. If that's the case, there should be evidence of this. But I can promise you that no one is ever going to dig up penguin or kangaroo remains in Baghdad. The reason no one will ever dig up remains of those animals in the Arab region is because those animals have never lived in that region of this planet. In fact, penguins have never existed anywhere above the equator other than the Galapagos islands.
Penguins and kangaroos and a whole laundry list of other regionally specific species, did not migrate from a mountain in the ancient Arabian region to their current location. Even if the bible said they did, which it doesn't, it still would be an utterly insane proposition to put forward.
5. How did carnivorous dinosaurs supposedly eat plants before the biblical fall of man, when their teeth and digestive systems were not equipped to process a vegetarian diet?
Ken Ham and Ray Comfort, as well as many other biblical literalists, have made the claim before that dinosaurs used to all be herbivores. Furthermore, they'd have us believe that men and dinosaurs lived side by side. Apparently the velociraptor was really a fun loving dude who's just misunderstood.
The most insane part of this proposition is actually not the assertion itself, but that it's actually more sane than the assertions of other literalists in the past. There once was a time when many biblical literalists claimed that dinosaur fossils were put on earth by Satan in order to trick men into not believing in god. I think we would all agree that the vegetarian Flintstones idea is a slight improvement over the conspiracy theory involving a cosmic demon lord. Not a huge improvement mind you, but an improvement nonetheless.
Of course, this herbivore dinosaur idea is still a rather insane idea and the bible doesn't say anything at all about it either. In fact, the bible doesn't say anything at all about dinosaurs. It mentions a unicorn, a talking snake, a talking donkey, a talking bush that was eternally engulfed in flames, and a dragon, but not one mention of dinosaurs. Even if it did, it still wouldn't explain how animals with carnivorous teeth and digestive systems could subsist on plant matter.
6. Can god tell a lie?
This is a variation of the old “can god make a rock so heavy that he can’t lift” question. The major difference here is that I address the issue from a strictly philosophical standpoint without invoking the science of physics. I find this to be a more appealing route, because religion is all about philosophy. So my tact has always been to fight bad philosophy with good philosophical arguments.
So what we have with this question is a classic paradox situation. If god is omnipotent then god can do anything including lying. However, the bible says that god is the epitome of goodness and that lying is an act of moral turpitude. So no being which is wholly good could possibly also be a liar, and yet any being which cannot lie cannot also be omnipotent, because being incapable of lying would be a limitation that no omnipotent being should be beholden too.
Another very good variation of this question is to pose the paradox of omniscience versus free will. In that form, the question becomes whether or not man can have free will while god simultaneously has omniscience. The paradox there lies in the idea that if god is omniscient and can honestly know exactly what will happen in the future, then mankind can't have free will. And if mankind has true free will, then god can't be omniscient.
The reason for this paradox is very simple. You see, if you have true free will, then god can't know for sure what you will do until you choose to do it. And if god is omniscient, then he knows every choice you're going to make even before you make it and there can be no choice to stray from that path. So we see that the two ideas, just like god being benevolent and omnipotent, are mutually exclusive to one another.
These sorts of philosophical paradoxes are the bane of most literalists who debate these issues. The biggest reason why they can't address them honestly is that they don't really understand the terminology and ideas at play. Many of them conflate omniscience with prescience. Prescience being the ability to know all possible future outcomes but not determinately, and omniscience being the ability to know the distinct and exact future with absolute determination.
From a biblical perspective, god is said to be omniscient and know the exact future with absolute certainty. We are told more than once that all things go according to god's will and that nothing can negate this. We're told that every plant and animal on earth bends to the will of god. This means that there are no accidents and there are no choices, but that everything is already predetermined and there can be no veering off the path.
If we look back at the original question and whether or not god can be truly benevolent and omnipotent and still tell a lie, we see once again two mutually exclusive ideas that negate one another. If you admit that god can lie, then you are saying he truly is omnipotent, but you negate any chance of god being strictly benevolent, because if god can lie, there is no guarantee that he hasn't lied before, which would negate benevolence.
These sorts of paradoxes are some of the biggest contributors to people abandoning religion. When confronted with such ideas, many believers come to an understanding that we in this day and age understand these philosophical issues much better than those who wrote these doctrines. When we put that understanding to use, we see glaringly obvious flaws in the doctrine at a philosophical level. And if the doctrine is flawed at a philosophical level, we must question all the rest of it, and every philosophical idea within it.
7. Is observable physical evidence more important and valid than what the bible claims to be true?
Ken Ham and his Answers in Genesis foundation, have made the bold claim that the bible is the factual truth and that any scientific fact that disagrees with the bible is false, no matter how much evidence there is to support science over biblical literalism. Their general stance is telling people to start by believing the bible and then to look at science, and everything which seems to agree with the bible within a scientific framework is right, and that anything which disagrees with the bible is just wrong no matter what.
The reason this question is important is because it highlights the fact that these people can't be reasoned with or persuaded. It shows an innate bias with the believer that makes it impossible to have any meaningful dialogue with them. It also points out the fact, that while many believers, even literalists, will tell you they're open minded, the truth is that they aren't open at all to any idea which doesn't fit with their preconceived notions and personal bias. Ken Ham himself likes to chant the mantra of "were you there" in order to try and prop up his bias as a superior position. He claims that god was there and that god gave us the bible to tell us what happened.
The real problem with his fallacious argument is that even if we weren't there, we can still in fact, know what happened. To illustrate how that can be, I'll point you to forensic science. You see, forensics itself is the act of taking what evidence that exists and rebuilding what happened based on that evidence. The most practical example of this is forensics within law enforcement. A criminal forensic team does not need to have been at the crime scene in order to know what happened at that crime scene. They can take evidence such as blood splatter patterns, DNA evidence, and use the laws of physics to determine things, such as bullet trajectories or striking blow patterns, and they can piece together almost exactly what happened.
Within the scientific community, forensic anthropologists and geologists and biologists do the exact same thing. They take all the evidence we have and they rebuild the crime scene, so to speak, to tell us to the closest degree possible what exactly happened. And like all scientific disciplines, forensic science advances every day. The degree of accuracy with which we can make claims about past events grows each and every day along with our knowledge and understanding.
The real kicker here though, is the level of hypocrisy at play. You see, Ken would tell you that the bible is absolute truth and can provide all the answers you seek, and yet, if someone were to murder one of his family members he wouldn't just turn to the bible or to god, he would look to forensic science to give him an answer with real substance. If he were diagnosed with cancer, he mostly likely wouldn't just turn to the bible or to god in prayer. Instead, he would likely turn to medical science to help him survive. That same science he'd likely turn to is greatly based on an evolutionary perspective of biology, which is something he claims is absolute nonsense. This level of unacknowledged hypocrisy is one of the greatest reasons that I and many others take these people like Ham and Comfort to task on their nonsense and try to expose the highly fallacious nature of their claims, and the hypocrisy of their actions versus what they claim to believe.
8. Is there any amount of evidence that would change your views?
Literalists love to pose the notion that atheists are closed minded and that they themselves are actually very open-minded. Of course, like many of their other bizarre statements, the exact opposite is true. Many of them, Ken Ham and Ray Comfort included, have made it clear that there is no amount of evidence that could ever change their views. When asked what he'd do if it proven that god doesn't exist, Ray Comfort stated that he would pray to god for guidance. When asked what evidence would change his views on creationism, Ken Ham told Bill Nye that there wasn't any amount of evidence that would change his mind.
Of course, Nye didn't really have to ask this because it should be quite obvious. The reason I say this is that there is so much physical evidence that a literal biblical perspective of human origins is false, that said evidence basically constitutes the whole of scientific knowledge. The fact is, that in order to hold to a biblical perspective on human origins, one has to either ignore or manipulate every bit of scientific evidence in order to hold to that perspective. The thing we all have to remember however, is that for fundamentalists like Ham and Comfort, this perspective towards science is necessary to validate their religious beliefs. For them, the Christian perspective only works in a literalist context.
This is why:
If the biblical creation myth isn't true, then there is no original sin. Without original sin, there is no need for Jesus. So each piece is dependent on the last for validity, and if you destroy the foundation the whole structure falls.
The reality is, that theologically speaking, they're absolutely correct. Any belief outside of the literalist perspective is tantamount to belief in elves or unicorns. It is belief without any valid foundation... otherwise known as faith.
It's odd how a real understanding of these ideas can clear up some misperceptions.
Do you remember how I said that biblical literalists actually worship the bible rather than god? Well, that idea is what is at play here also. You see, it seems that by following the literalist perspective they are more theologically sound, however the progressive Christian actually meets the requirement of god to believe by faith rather than proof. The same paradox that arises here is the one which makes the no true Scotsman argument a fallacy. Theologically speaking, there's no true and valid way to say which position makes one a true Christian. So we must accept the notion that both are true Christians, and that the nature of Christian doctrine is such, that it allows for multiple interpretations and thus, for different schools of theological understanding. From that, we can gather that a claim of absolute truth by any Christian sect or denomination is fallacious and is based entirely on personal interpretation.
9. What physical proof is there that your particular god even exists?
With this one question I can destroy the notion of faith as it pertains to the biblical literalist.
You see, one cannot have both proof and faith. The two, as with many other ideas I've mentioned, are mutually exclusive. The reason for this is that faith is the belief in something which cannot be proven, so if you have proof you can't have faith because proof negates faith. No one needs faith to believe that which is proven to be true. The really tricky part about this however, is that the literalist tends to have a serious misunderstanding about what constitutes proof and what constitutes faith.
If you'll recall in question seven, I talk about how the literalist, such as Ham, makes the claim that the bible is absolute truth that trumps even scientific facts. That same claim is what is in play here, only in a slightly different way. You see, because of their claim that the bible is absolute truth, they in turn believe that the bible is absolute proof that their god exists. Because of this, the literalist has no faith in god, but rather believes he has proof that god exists. If they have proof of their god's existence, then there is no faith involved.
Now, one might argue that they have faith in the bible and that this allows them to still make a valid claim to faith. And that is when I will say that you're correct, but that this leads to a whole separate issue involving faith and idolatry.
Let me explain.
If a literalist wants to claim that they have faith, and that such faith is inherent in their stoic belief that the bible is the word of god, then I must point out that they are guilty of idolatry, for putting the bible before god. This takes a bit of explaining, but you'll see how it all works out. In order to get to that point, we have to understand a few theological ideas first though.
First, we must understand that god requires faith in him, not a book. When god supposedly tormented Job, there wasn't a book to confirm Job's faith. Job simply was expected to believe in god, and to simply accept that all things happen according to god's will. This is the faith that god supposedly expects of all mankind.
Secondly, we must understand that the bible makes it very clear that everything that mankind touches becomes corrupted and that all men are corruptible. Many supposedly righteous men have become corrupted and corrupted the things they touched, including ideas. This is all part of the concept of original sin.
Lastly, we must understand that the bible is a book written by men. And that the men who actually wrote these books are not the men whose stories these books tell. At best, the accounts in the bible are second or third hand word of mouth stories put to writing. At worst, some of these stories span back generations as oral traditions until finally being written down.
Now, if we put all that together, we get the following theological idea:
The bible says that mankind is corrupt and corruptible. The bible was written by men, and so the bible cannot be fully trusted because men corrupt the things they touch, including ideas. So one must have faith in god over even the word of the bible and accept that the bible could be wrong about things even while still maintaining a belief in god. If a man puts his faith in the bible, then he's actually putting his faith in men rather than god, and he makes the bible itself an idol which he worships rather than god.
Now, if this sounds like circular logic to you, that's because it is. Outside of a biblical theological framework, this makes no sense whatsoever. Yet, within a biblical theological framework, the idea is completely theologically sound. The reason for this is that the bible's claim to authority is based on wholly circular logic. The bible is true because it is the word of god, and we know the bible is the word of god because the bible says it's the word of god. It's a snake eating itself.
This is why the bible is wrought with philosophical paradoxes, because each idea in it is only supported by itself. This is also why these philosophical paradoxes can be used to make the bible prove itself invalid. Any idea that can't be supported by outside evidence and facts can ultimately be crushed under its own weight. This should make it obvious that the bible has no real philosophical merit. If we can use the bible to pose a philosophical argument that the bible isn't accurate, then what good is it?
10. Do you believe hell is a justifiable punishment for a simple lack of belief?
This one is also a bit of a trick question. The reason it's a trick question is because it asks them to address the question, not from a theological stance, but from one of personal ethical and moral understanding. In this question, I don't ask what the bible says about it, but rather how they themselves feel about it from a personal moral and ethical perspective. This question usually can't be answered honestly by the biblical literalist because they always want to refer back to what the bible says, rather than actually acknowledge their own personal feelings on the matter.
Many of the most hardcore literalists really do think this is a justified punishment, however many others still maintain a view of justice that tells them this is morally wrong and unethical. And yet, even those literalists who know by their own conscience that this is wrong, still fight tooth and nail not to actually address that issue. They can't possibly address the notion that their god could act unjustly. But we're talking about an omnipotent being, which means he should be able to lie and if he's able to lie then he's surely capable of injustice. Or maybe he is incapable of injustice and so he isn't omnipotent and not much of a god...
The reality is that almost all of us know through our own conscience that eternal damnation is not just. Even the Pope, leader of the largest denomination of Christianity on the planet, has said emphatically that this is not just. He's even offered theological discourse to try and justify the assertion that any good and decent person is deserving of heaven. Unfortunately for the literalist, this isn't a statement he can make.
I've begun to believe that heaven just wouldn't be as wonderful for the literalists if they can't also picture someone that couldn't get in suffering.
Now, I want the reader to understand something here. These questions are not aimed at being a guidebook for attacking the Christian religion. In fact, these few questions fall short of accomplishing that goal by a good margin. If your aim is to shake a Christian's faith, then you'll need far more than this. The reason that these questions will not shake a Christian’s faith is that, both literalists and progressive Christians can answer these questions. Many progressives can even answer them completely honestly, although you won’t get any honest answers on much of anything from a biblical literalist.
The purpose of these questions is actually just to illustrate a point, which is that you can’t actually reason with someone who has embraced insanity. The only way that you can ever hope to reach them is if you can first make them understand that they’ve embraced insanity and that these ideas are insane to begin with. The vast majority of progressive Christians have never even thought about just how insane these ideas are, and if they have addressed them at all it is usually by way of a minister or priest who has absolutely no interest in presenting them in an honest and unbiased way. I know people tend to think that their minister or priest is a trustworthy person, and in a general sense most of them truly are, but when it comes to theological issues they are completely biased on the matter and will almost surely never give any truly critical analysis of these ideas. Your pastor is not going to look at you and tell you that asking someone to murder their child is an absolutely insane and unethical thing for a supposedly benevolent being to do. For the most part they can’t even see it from an objective standpoint at all.
Both the progressive and literalist start from the same flawed position, which is to first believe that god exists and then to go on to justify any supposed action or idea presented as being done or commanded by that god as being completely justified simply because it is claimed that this is what god wants. No matter how vile or wretched or insane the action or idea, if that’s what god wants to do, or what god wants us to do, then somehow it becomes a totally moral and ethical thing in their minds. But when you bite the bullet and take the time to examine this from an objective standpoint, there simply is no way to say that a god who cannot even measure up to his own supposed standards can be called benevolent, nor is such a god worthy of any sort of reverence or worship if such a god were to exist at all.
You don’t get to run around like a psychopath, asking others to join in with your madness, and then simply say, “Hey man… It’s all good because I’m god.” It is the acquiescence to such a fallacious notion that allows despots to commit horrible atrocities the world over since the dawn of civilization. We simply sit back and accept the absolutely false notion that the man who is in charge is allowed to do whatever he wants simply because he is in charge. But as we clearly see if we take a look at our history, at the great list of despotic rulers from our past, we are almost all sickened and repulsed by their actions, and nearly all of us make the judgment that those actions were entirely unethical. We must be willing to do the same with these ideas of god presented by these doctrines. We must come to an understanding that no one, not even a god if one should exist, is above or outside of the notion of ethics or morality. No one gets a free pass, and everyone must be judged equally on the merits of their actions.
Now, luckily for us, this god of the bible is total fiction. Because were he not, our only options would be to worship madness or refuse and face eternal torture. As an atheist, I don’t worry in the least about that imaginary punishment, however even if I knew for an absolute fact that it was true I still would not bow down and worship that tyrant. I would not make myself an accomplice to madness simply in the hopes that such madness would not fall upon my own head. Not only would such an exercise be totally futile because such madness always turns on everything around it as well as itself, but to become an accomplice to that madness would eventually drive you mad as well. “If you dance with the devil, the devil don't change. The devil changes you.”
Of all the insanity in the bible, there is nothing and no one that even comes close to being as insane as this god itself. If you met this god on the street you’d turn and run the moment you saw the absolute madness in his eyes. This isn’t madness like that of Hitler or Stalin. It’s the sort of madness we see in the eyes of men like Charles Manson. It is a madness that lusts for blood and pain, and if no other idea within Christian dogma conveyed this, the concept of hell and eternal torture and torment most certainly does. Something that people simply don’t want to look at is the fact that if we go back to those Old Testament books and remember all those babies murdered in the flood or during the many Jewish conquests ordered by god, that god damned them to hell by allowing their deaths under the assumption that they would be just as displeasing to god as their parents were. You can be sure that if hell were to really exist, it would be full of babies and children being tortured for all eternity.
How can you possibly reason with someone who accepts the notion that god is allowed to do whatever he wants simply because he’s god, which leads to all these other absolutely horrible and insane ideas like eternal torture for children based solely on their heredity? I don’t honestly think you can reason with that at all, which is why this book is meant not for the fundamentalist and literalist who has descended so far down the rabbit hole of madness that they are simply lost, but for the progressive who may still possibly listen to a voice of reason. I’m asking you to turn away, not from the idea of god altogether, but from the madness which is religion and in this particular case Christianity. If you can just take an objective look at all this, I know that you can understand that you don’t need that label if it means accepting all this insanity.
This is a call to those who can still be reached, and those who would listen. Just let go of this nonsense and all the trappings that come with it. You don’t need it, and if you really think about it you probably don’t want it either.
If you'd like read the rest of the book this excerpt comes from, please check out Holy Sh!t - The Insanity of Blind Faith