Just a Christian with some honest questions

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zfoor's picture
Just a Christian with some honest questions

Hey guys,

So, as the subject states, I am a Christian (Lutheran), and I've just been taking some time to test my beliefs and have been watching some videos. I came across this one:


I then left a comment on YouTube, but you know how long those can take to get a response, so I figured I'd just post my thoughts up on here to see what the other side thinks. Here was my response:

I wish I could question him personally on some of these points. I think at this point, I need more of a Christian vs. Atheism/Agnostic debate, as I am Christian, and because throwing the Bible and the Koran together as the same thing is not, for me at least, a starting point. So, I guess my first question would be how are the Koran and the Bible the same thing? 

Thanks for your answers :)

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mysticrose's picture
They are the same because

They are the same because they are considered as the holy book of their corresponding religion. They are not the same because the have different heroes.

zfoor's picture
I see. So what makes the

I see. So what makes the Bible false? Let's disregard other religious books momentarily, and then we can move into connection between religions.

CyberLN's picture
The christian bible is a

The christian bible is a pretty big book. To which part of it do you refer? Are you asking which of the conflicting stories in it is false? Or are you asking a broader question? Specificity please.

AH Tique's picture
The Holy Bible proves itself

The Holy Bible proves itself to be other than the word of a supreme being because it is fraught with flaws of fact, logic, and moral integrity. Let's begin here: A truly omnipotent, omniscient, eternal being would have no need to leave it to generations of mortal ministers to interpret the will and intent of such a being.

If we take the Christian proposition down to it's most fundamental tenet, it is God's intention to punish for eternity the souls of every mortal child whose parents raised them in the wrong religion.

This little book explains some of the many ways in which the Holy Bible belies it's own veracity:

liznees's picture
I need to ask you what is it

I need to ask you what is it that makes the Bible true? what does that mean to you.?

hermitdoc's picture
I really think a better

I really think a better question is what is it that leads you to believe the bible is true? Personally, I don't necessarily feel the bible is false however, I not been shown evidence to believe that it is true.

zfoor's picture


Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"I see. So what makes the

"I see. So what makes the Bible false?"

That is not the right question if you are objective about it.

The right question is; What makes it truth from other books like lord of the rings, etc...
Both books have dragons, and both books have suffering and the rest.
Why do you actually believe one and not the other?
Is it just because it was forced upon you when you were kid? or just because everybody else around you believes it?
Or because it is 2000 years older?
Or because Jesus seemed a nice guy?

Would you be a christian if you were born in India?
This question alone would let you know that all the reasons that you think Christianity is the truth fall apart.
Simply because your truth is not build on critical thinking which is universal but on faith/gullibility to whoever is/was in power in your area.

Although I can go on and prove to you that Christianity is a fraud but for now just think about what I said.

ChildofGod's picture
The try to prove that it is a

The try to prove that it is a fraud... And any Christian would know that if they were born in India and was a Christian and something bad happened to them, they know that they would go to Heaven either way because they chose God and choce to follow Him than to be forced to believe something they do not want to

Nordic Fox's picture
If they were born in India...

If they were born in India... They would likely be a Hindu or a Muslim.

There are about 2,000,000,000 reasons I say this.

zfoor's picture
I'll respond to Cyber first:

I'll respond to Cyber first:

I mean to say the entirety of the text. One issue I continuously run into when hearing out an atheist's viewpoint is their pointing to how the Bible says to sacrifice animals, how an all-powerful God would give us more insightful instructions, and the absurdity of all these laws in the Old Testament that are nowhere to be found today. This is frustrating to me, as the New Testament frees us from the Law of the Old through faith in Christ's sacrifice. Now, the aforementioned is more for clarity of my stance than part of my argument, though you may know that as I'm sure you're informed, but I want to make it clear. So, let's start with the story of creation in Genesis if you don't mind, right from the beginning.

As for Mr. Leone:

These are interesting points, but first, I must say being objective is entirely impossible. Also, I will not deny my location of birth and environment growing up being a result of my faith as it is today in any way. However, being born in India or into a non-Christian family does not make Christianity false. Likewise, you have to remember here that we are not talking about innocent people in India, or wherever; all people, myself included, are sinful and deserve damnation according to the text. I'm not sure what you mean by "2,000 years older," but I assume you mean "Do you believe in it because it existed for an extensive amount of time, and for a large period of that time, claimed to be truth by a sizable amount of the population?" If that is the question, I would say yes, of course, but that is not what my belief is built on as much as it is a branch from the tree. As for Jesus being a nice guy, no, that is not a contributor. There are lots of "nice guys." Lastly, we cannot know who is gullible until we know the answer to our origins, can we? My understanding of truth is very much built on critical thinking, as critical thinking does not always give you a right or wrong answer, but I digress. In truth, I probably think about this more than anything else--the meaning of life and is my understanding of it correct--I've tried to prove it wrong myself, trust me. But I can't answer where our morals come from, why I (and every other person) is practically born wanting to know if there is a God and where we come from, our sense of guilt and our conscience, how mere chance created us, and how nothing became something.

I really appreciate and respect your answers, guys. Keep commenting please. I like learning.

CyberLN's picture
So, genesis, are you a

So, genesis, are you a literalist? Do you think the earth was created in six days as we know them? By a gawd? Where is the original manuscript? Which version of the copies? Until I know your stance on what these stories are, it's difficult, at best, to respond. Do you think they are stories from which to learn, or completely factual?

AH Tique's picture
Nowhere in the Bible does God

Nowhere in the Bible does God say that New Testament law supplants Mosaic law, even though God purportedly sent Jesus to be a scapegoat to pay God's arbitrary blood ransom for man's sins.

In fact, according to scripture, Jesus said "not one jot, not one iota" of Mosaic law should be changed, and exhorted his followers to continue to bring sacrifices to the altar. Jesus believed in demonic possession and represented that human illness is a consequence of God's punishment. Do you believe in those things?

zfoor's picture
Jeff, I forgot to respond to

Jeff, I forgot to respond to the Lord of the Rings comment: Because we know for a fact J.R.R. Tolkien wrote it, although it is interesting you chose that series, as he was Catholic and it does have Christian references within it.

Clockwork's picture
Actually, zfoor, your own

Actually, zfoor, your own holy book does not say Old Testament laws no longer apply. Check Matthew 5:17. Also, if OT laws did not apply, why do Christians still insist on the Ten Commandments? If in fact OT laws no longer applied, then Christians are not bound by them, as they appear in Exodus and Deuteronomy. So it's either OT laws apply, or you'll have to drop the entire Old Testament.

Again, as Mr Leone said, it's not the question of what makes the Bible false, but it's a question of why one holy book is definitely the true one, yet others are not. I can't speak for him, but I think his point was that often religion is based on culture and tradition. For me, I was born into an Irish- and French-Catholic household so of course I was going to get a Catholic upbringing. The people in India who are Hindus would say about Christianity what many Christians would say about Hinduism: You only believe because that's what you were taught, but it's obviously not real.

I don't know if everyone is "practically born wanting to know if there is a God" as you said. After all, there are many who have never even heard about the Abrahamic god at all. Many are raised believing in avatars and incarnations of another. Some (as my Azerbaijani friend) weren't even raised with a religion at all. And I think a sense of guilt is born from religions telling you that some sort of natural urge or instinct is hated by a deity.

I've said many times (not here, but to people I know) that morals are very subjective. Most Christians don't blink when eating pork or a cheeseburger, yet my Jewish friend won't touch either. My Muslim friend can't eat from a steak I cut if I used that same blade to cut a pork chop. My Buddhist friend won't kill a fly (literally), but I've never thought twice about smacking one with a swatter. Basic morals, such as murder or rape or theft, are also shown in other primates, so the argument that some morals are instinctual can be made.

So again, it's not a question of why Christianity and the Bible aren't valid. It's why any religion is valid, and why is one religion valid and all others are not? Many theists feel that we atheists are somehow against _their_ religion. For instance, you see it as we don't believe in Christianity and God. Not true; we don't believe in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Wicca, Asatru, Jainism, Baha'i...

zfoor's picture


1. I am not a literalist by definition. For example, I believe much of the book of Revelation is metaphorical.
2. I'm not sure if the text means six 24-hour days or days in the eyes of God, Who states He does not work solely through the time of man (physical world).
3. Parts are located throughout various locations around the world at the moment for exhibition purposes, but a majority is owned by the government of Israel.
4. Dead Sea Scrolls, first pertaining to Genesis: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hebrew_Bible_manuscripts#Masorah_ma...

AH Tique's picture
There's no question about

There's no question about what a day is in Genesis. "And the evening and the morning were the first day." ~ Genesis 1:5

And if such a basic concept as the definition of "day" were not clearly understandable to common people of the era, then such a "scripture" could hardly be considered the handiwork of a supreme being.

Kataclismic's picture
That's actually a fascinating

That's actually a fascinating theory, to suggest that the sun, the only thing that shows our speed of rotation and therefore the light (and time) of day, would be somehow different to a god. Because what, he has his own sun that doesn't apply at all to ours? Just shows you're literally making s**t up for your own comfort now.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
hmm, k it seems that you are

hmm, k it seems that you are indeed looking for the truth.
K let me give you some of my time so you know something about Christianity.

"I must say being objective is entirely impossible."
why not? explain? can't you look at the bible and treat it as if you never heard of the book before and read it afresh?
Forget what you have learned and you would be objective. Trust me once you start reading it you won't recognize it.
In genesis god invents shadows and light before he makes the sun.
If i didn't point it out, you would not even realize it because when a christian reads the bible just does not read it objectively.
Now do you think that without the sun, there could be light?

"However, being born in India or into a non-Christian family does not make Christianity false."
I did not say it was false, I said that it will make you realize that your religion is as equally valid as the others.
So you cannot call the other religions false or incorrect anymore.

"all people, myself included, are sinful and deserve damnation according to the text."
Don't you think that a benevolent god would not create you sick and demand you to be well?
This idea that god needs to test you does not fit well with the idea that god knows everything, since then he would not need to test you at all, he would already know the result.

"Lastly, we cannot know who is gullible until we know the answer to our origins"
what? how do the 2 even relate.
We know that the gullible is the guy who does not use well his critical thinking.
The guy who does not question but obeys and believes.
Maybe you are not gullible, I did not say you were.

You don't need to know your origins to be able to think critically. That is a fact.

"But I can't answer where our morals come from"
They come from an understanding of reality and not from an assertion of authority.
Our morals grow with time and knowledge, that is why in the past slavery was ok and now is not ok. Christianity supported slavery since at the time it was a moral thing to have. So Christianity was built on the current morals and did not give moral teachings at all.

"born wanting to know if there is a God and where we come from"
yea we are born hungry for knowledge, that is true.
But god does not answer those questions, science is the only path to discover those answers with time.

"our sense of guilt and our conscience"
Yea those were there much before Christianity or religion itself. it is good to question and learn.
But it is bad to attribute to god things that we don't know or understand yet.

"how mere chance created us"
we don't know if we were created by chance or not, whoever says that is assuming a lot of things.
We still don't know the answer for that and it is OK to say that we don't know.
Saying god did it really answers nothing since we don't know which god or what god is.

"and how nothing became something."
Science has discovered that "nothing"(empty space) is not "nothing". It is in fact full of energy.
yes the big bang hypothesis is wrong or incorrect, there might have been multiple big-bangs before it or next to it.
There is evidence to suggest that the universe is much older then the age of the big bang.

Now about Christianity:
Did you know that the popularity of Christianity comes from 1 main factor?
'1500 years of constant killing and burning entire towns with innocent kids'
The roman empire:
-The Flavians(3 roman emperors) had family members which were the first saints and have churches in Rome dedicated to them.
A Flavian was the very first historical Pope.( a lot of pagan messianic jews were killed here, Jews constituted 15% of the empire)
-Then we have Flavius Constantine(an other flavian) which reinforced Christianity by force and shaped much of it as we know it today.
(more killing here especially with regards to pagans/gnostics and opposing Christians with different theologies)
-Then we have Charlemagne(a barbarian roman emperor) which again reinstated Christianity as the main religion and savagely killed anybody who objected.(a lot of pagans and Christians alike were killed here)
-Then you have the Military Church which the pope has as title Ponitix Maximus, the same title of the chief pagan priest of the roman empire. Here a lot of Christians killing Christians starts continues with the crusades. Christians vs Muslims.
Not counting the persecution on the Jews. that was standard though, even by the second world war Christians haven't stopped killing those.

The main factor is '1500 years of constant killing and burning entire towns with innocent kids' just to make sure that Christianity is the main religion.
So as you can see, being called a christian brings with it some shame.
The cardinals of today are still benefiting from the spoils of victory in their own country.(the Vatican)

Now about the book:
It is the most unreliable and contradictory book ever existed.

Watch this to understand how unreliable it is: (1 hr 35 min)

watch this for only some contradictions(there are much more) shown in a quick funny way: (9 minutes)

There logical contradiction in the theology too but think on what I said for now.

Lmale's picture
Well said on fire as usual

Well said on fire as usual

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
thanks Lmale

thanks Lmale

CyberLN's picture
Well, if your book is

Well, if your book is metaphorical, then how is it any different than what Aesop had to say? How do you know which story is metaphor and which is specifically true? How do you know that your gawd stories are not just stories to explain what was then the unknown?

zfoor's picture


Thank you for the answer.

I must correct you, as you stated I claimed the Old Testament no longer applies, but this is false and simply not what I said. I said we are free from it--the Law--through the sacrifice of Jesus. If you do not accept the sacrifice, you are still very much held accountable to the Old Testament's Law. As for insisting on the Ten Commandments, we do good works out of love for the sacrifice of Christ, not for our salvation. By it "obviously not being real" you must mean to say it is very much likely not real. The meaning of and for life is not obvious by any means. You quoted me on the desire to know God (god, creator, not Abrahamic, etc.), but you did not keep the end of the phrase for some reason, which was "and where we come from." Essentially, these are tied together--Where did we come from? Who made this? Why? Even out of Christian context, god is at the heart of it. Again, what you were raised with doesn't make it true or false. As for monkeys, some not only kill each other, but also eat one another. Morals are very much instinctual. That is truth, but it is not my argument. God placing them as natural instincts within us is. For the record, I don't think you're out to get Christians; you simply made a conclusion based on your own thoughts and experiences, which I respect. Lastly, to ask why any religion is valid is to state that they're all the same. For example, would you disagree with me if I said the other planets aren't planets because Pluto isn't one? Yes, this is obviously result of science, but we need physical examples to make the abstract more clear. I'm not implying anything against you. I'm sure you followed along just fine, but you get the point.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"Lastly, to ask why any

"Lastly, to ask why any religion is valid is to state that they're all the same. "
Not exactly, it is a claim by a theist to say that his religion is the valid one.
They are all the same with regards to the truth since none of them has more validity(evidence, facts) then the others.

"For example, would you disagree with me if I said the other planets aren't planets because Pluto isn't one? "
apart that this comparison depends on our interpretation of what constitutes a planet so it is a bad example, it still is not the same comparison.
No one is claiming that the other religions are false because Christianity Is true here.
We are saying that you cannot claim that Christianity is true and dismiss the others as false because they have equal amount of evidence/facts for their validity.

Although I would add to that, that Christianity is proven to be a fraud by pure logic alone.

zfoor's picture
Guys, I have some homework to

Guys, I have some homework to get to for tonight, but I'd really like to continue our conversation. I will get back on tomorrow and answer the posts I have not thus far. Thanks for all your responses!

Clockwork's picture
I'm not sure I follow the

I'm not sure I follow the part about the Old Testament . You're free from it, but it doesn't apply? But again, how is that Matthew 5 says Jesus in fact did not free anyone from the Law? Again, doing good works doesn't exempt anyone from the Decalogue. The "obviously not real" was the opinion that many theists have against other religions, not any opinions of mine. (I don't think any of them are based on fact.) What I was saying is Christians will say Hinduism isn't real, and Hindus will say Christianity is not real. I don't think you're saying both are real. I apologize for assuming your opinion, but it was a fair guess.

For some older religions, creation myths don't always have the head god being the creator. For example, in the Orphic belief, most worshipped Zeus, but the first creator was Phanes. For many religions now, the creator is the origin. But keep in mind not all religions follow that.

"As for monkeys, some not only kill each other, but also eat one another."
So do some humans. :) For the record, we're not monkeys, we're apes.

For us atheists, religions are the same. You're basing your view on them not being the same because you feel your religion is the one true religion and that all others are not real. But again, why is Christianity the only real religion that can be true? I'm not trying to change your mind, of course, and I used to be the same way. I felt that the various denominations of which I was a part were the one true version.

Out of Christian context (or Jewish or Muslim), how can a god be at the heart of it? That's like saying I can take Brahma out of Hinduism, and still explain why Brahma is asleep and his avatars are coming back to run things.

The Pluto idea doesn't follow. That's a classification that some astronomers have, whether it's a planet, planetoid, big rock, etc. But if an astronomer tells me Pluto doesn't fit their definition of a planet, fine. But if a biologist tells me Pluto isn't a planet, I won't care. To me (and I'm guessing many atheists) religions all follow the same few patterns.

I know you won't answer quickly. I won't, either. :) But I look forward to continuing. Hope you do well with your studies.

David Gregory's picture
Jumping back to this "The

Jumping back to this "The sacrifice of Christ frees us" argument. That in particular is what dismays me about Christianity... You had the jealous, immoral, genocidal god of the OT, all a-smiting and hardening-of-hearts for the specific purpose of worsening a situation that he was controlling the outcome of, just so he could have his little Passover murderfest.

Then along comes Jesus with his domestic violence message: "hey, listen, I know I've been an asshole to you, but let's start again... I'll lay off the violence, so long as you accept that you're a worthless piece of dirt and tell me you love me. Do that and we'll be fine, honey... But if you don't... It's back to the old back of the hand, savvy? I'll throw you into a place of eternal torment, because it's all you deserve - and you know it, right?"

That's the entire subtext of Christianity, and that's the pernicious lie that you indoctrinate your innocent children into. It's truly awful and it's abusive, and my heart sinks whenever I think of it.

Lmale's picture
True and funny well done.

True and funny well done.

Lmale's picture
Many animals display

Many animals display homosexual behaviour so if god hated gays why make gay animals its not logical. Its more logical to realise the reason the bible hates gays is the writers hated gays.

Travis Paskiewicz's picture
Zfoor, i'll answer your

Zfoor, i'll answer your question from a personal perspective, as it's the only honest one I can offer. That being said, remember as you read this that atheism has kind of been reduced to a catch all term for people who don't believe in God. Or as in my case, people who find there's no evidence to support the acts depicted in any religion; and therefore we must assume that they are false.

However, anyone arriving at this conclusion has vastly personal experiences and reasoning to do so. So as for your question, why would anyone one lump the Bible and the Koran together?

Sam Harris obviously sees some similarities. But again it's personal experiences. In order to truly understand you need to consider reading both books for reference material, and see if you draw similarities, otherwise you're going to end up just accepting any one of the Atheists that grace this page, and pin thier personal reasoning on Sam Harris.

Anyway, to answer your question as I said I would, from my own experience. The bible and Koran I consider similar in several ways. First, they both are based off of Yehweh worship, that is to say the Hebrew diety of the old testament. Second, they both recognize miracles, or similar acts that defy what we would consider natural scientifically observed natural law, to be assumed true simply by heresay in the book. Both books use miracles to draw a correlation between the mortal protagonists and an immortal, highly powerful God. Both books claim to be written by godly instruction, with the idea that they are the final interactions from God to mankind. Both books contain a set of moral laws, often including unbelievers to adhere to them. Both books also recognize Jesus.

Anyway, I hope this tidbit of my own personal reasoning helps you to understand how an atheist could draw similarities.


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