Why debate the bible?!

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Burn Your Bible's picture
JOC you act as if the regular

JOC you act as if the regular people kept this bible going... it was the rich churches that translated, reproduced, and decided what books makes it in the bible. Remember there were multiple different versions of the Bible before the heads of the church decided the final version. Most people were uneducated and illiterate, they only knew what the Bible said because of sermons.

If you want this to be a book with historical info then it should be held in the same category as ancient fables. You should not base your world view on this, the church should not get any special treatment when it comes to financial benefits, no laws should be made based on this book... would you agree that this book has not only been passed off as fact but as gods word.


Why not debate the Bible? I understand that it is irrelevant because there is no god, but in America this belief still drives laws and money towards the church. As we debate the Bible younger theists that have doubt can look at these threads and see how inadequately theists actually defend their holy book. I would love to have a 50/50 split of theists and atheists on this site in order to have more debates. Also most theists can't even get what atheist means let alone what a theory of science is. If we don't have a strong voice the noise of theists will rise. I understand that people in great numbers are rejecting theistic views but still we are the minority! I believe that it wouldn't take much for the churches to take over if we lose our voice.

jonthecatholic's picture
You see the irony of what you

You see the irony of what you’ve been saying. First you say rich churches kept the bible going then you go on and say that most people who heard them were illiterate. It was these illiterate people who kept the books of Bible alive (as it were). There were scriptures before Christianity came to be.

You may not realize this, Burn, but in this thread, I’m actually not asserting that the books of the Bible are inspired word of God. To an atheist, I can see how silly that would sound. Which is why I’m stressing out the other part of the Bible which people forget... that it is a collection of historical documents.

Burn Your Bible's picture
It was the rich churches not

It was the rich churches not the poor people! What makes you think that it was the people and not the church leaders?
I will use America as an example...
Do you think that the people write bonuses for the government or does the government write it for themselves?
Do you think the average person knows or can demand to know where their tax dollar goes?

jonthecatholic's picture
Were the OT books in

Were the OT books in existence in 100BC? Which rich churches, existing at that time, are you talking about that kept reproducing those?

Burn Your Bible's picture
You don't need a lot of

You don't need a lot of copies when your average person cannot read!!!

And also some historians believe they had the original version of the Old Testaments... I will give you a hint (Jewish)

jonthecatholic's picture
I think I've mentioned this

I think I've mentioned this before. Your average person need not know how to read to know what's in the Bible... so long as they can use their ears.

mykcob4's picture
If I were to write a novel, a

If I were to write a novel, a story, I would include certain things that I know to be true and factual, but that would not in any way make my book "historical" in any way.
'Harry Potter' in the UK, but that is about as factual as it gets.
The bible does make references to some geographical places some fiction some real, but in no way should we take it seriously as a work of historical fact.
Now if we look at it anthropologically we can draw reference to what was known at the time, the customs and common practices, but we would also just be able to see the superstitions more than anything else.
My point in this thread is to dismiss the relevance of the bible as a guide of any kind. It isn't a guide for the law or social practice. It should be regarded as a book of ancient stories. Beyond that it's worthless.
Take slavery for example. There are many debates about slavery concerning the bible. Whether slavery was accepted and "authorized" by the bible. In fact, the bible contradicts itself in this regard. If we were to take the bible literally (we should never do so), slavery is an accepted practice, as are prejudice, racism, sexism, homophobia, incest, murder, genocide, rape, theft, exploitation, infanticide, and other deplorable acts. So the bible fails as a moral compass in the same way that 'The Catcher in the Rye' fails. But the bible fails in many other literary ways as well. There isn't a consistent story either. The characters are not fully developed and actually, there is a contradiction in there actions and behavior between the books. When writing even fantasy, there needs to be a believable element. The writer has to create plausible ideas before embarking on fantastic elements. For example, a writer creates a way a flying saucer can hoover. He'll introduce an "antigravity engine" to explain how the saucer can hoover. The bible just says things without any plausible explanations. In this way among others, the bible really isn't a very good read. Also, the grammar of the bible is horrid. It isn't poetic. It lacks timber, rhythm, and structure. It doesn't even compare to Taoist parables.
If I had a library I would classify the bible as a bad fiction book by unknown untalented authors. I would consider it historical or relevant to even the people of the time. Think about it. If you could choose a book from Plato or the bible and you are a serious reader, which would you choose? As far as anonymous authors works, 'Beowulf' is far more interesting and better constructed than the bible.
A note about 'Beowulf'. It is a book by an unknown author that is a loose collection of local folklore and ancient myths collected and compiled into one novel, but NOBODY takes it as fact or historical.
Believers might say that "but jesus was real". Well, Hercules was a real person but the stories about him are exaggeration and or myths. No one takes the feats of Hercules as historic or literal.
So the bible is irrelevant to everything. It's just a book. A poorly written book, with incongruent stories, poorly developed characters, and no consistent plot. So there should be any debate about it, it shouldn't be used as a valid reference....it's just a bad book.

Alembé's picture
I agree with you on this one,

I agree with you on this one, Mykcob. Garbage in, garbage out. I have better things to do with my time.

Pitar's picture
The first post says it all.

The first post says it all. The absolute insanity of creating a god in a person's head, then writing it down and calling it a bible, and then believing it to be fact is what we have in the whole of the christian faith. If there was ever a grander joke man has pulled on himself I can't think of one. But, every minute some joker references the bible as a truth to qualify his perspective on his faith and his god. This is what I think the expression "A sucker is born every minute." truly refers to. The con game is afoot and the sad part is man conned himself. Wouldn't it be a trip to view all the lesser animals on Earth as previously intellectual species who ultimately fell victim to their own absurdities? It consumed them all and reduced them to mindlessly foraging for their survival.

Sky Pilot's picture
It seems that everyone is

It seems that everyone is ignoring the purpose of the biblical stories. One you realize what the purpose of the stories are and what effects they have had upon civilization for thousands of years you will see how effective they have been in shaping our thoughts and actions.

So what is the purpose of the biblical stories?

The purpose is to brainwash people into believing that the Jews are "God's" chosen people and that everyone should cater to them or risk "God's" wrath and get thrown into hell or the lake of fire for eternity. The stories have been outrageously effective in brainwashing billions of people around the world for centuries that that is absolutely true. And the amazing thing is that just about everyone has been influenced by that belief regardless of their own political or religious beliefs.

Mohammed, Martin Luther, and Hitler may have hated the Jews but they believed the Jewish religious fairy tale. It affects our domestic and foreign policies and our personal beliefs and relationships. It's completely invasive. It has more effect on our thinking than anything else. Can you cite any issue where it doesn't affect your thinking?

Sheldon's picture
Sapporo "The best way to

Sapporo "The best way to tackle erroneous beliefs is to address the reasons why people hold them. If a person did not adopt a belief by assessing evidence, it is difficult to make them reconsider through evidence. If a property of a god is said to be objective morality, pointing out acts in scripture that most people would consider blatantly immoral should be a good way of disproving such a god."

I agree and as far as claims for exclusive access to objective morals go, it's worth asking them how they assess the claims if humans aren't capable of moral objectivity. Either we can assess moral claims objectively without a deity, or we cannot. If we can't as they claim, then divine diktat might be horrendously evil for all we know, and we'd have no way of assessing the claims objectively. People who obeyed them would be little more than automatons, and of course we have some good examples of how people behave when they blindly follow such religious text.

Does any think Fred Phelps and the Westborough Baptist church are shining example of moral objectivity? If not then perhaps they can point out why without using their own reason to deny biblical texts?

Similarly Muslims who claim Mohammed is a perfect example of morality can explain, without using their subjective reason to deny the Koran, why they think a 40 year old man should not be allowed to marry and have sex with a 9 year old child?

These grandiose claims of objective morality are absurd of course.

Sheldon's picture


"since the 1970s most archaeologists, such as prominent Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen,[3][original research?] have begun instead to interpret the evidence only in the light of other archaeology, treating the Bible as an artifact to be examined, rather than as an unquestioned truth.[4] This approach has led to results both in favor and against the historicity of the old Testament."

"The Bible Unearthed begins by considering what it terms the 'preamble' of the Bible—the Book of Genesis—and its relationship to archaeological evidence for the context in which its narratives are set. Archaeological discoveries about society and culture in the ancient Near East lead the authors to point out a number of anachronisms, suggestive that the narratives were actually set down in the 9th–7th centuries:"


chorlton's picture


aren't you ever so lucky the Spanish beat your ancestors into accepting the 1 true religion & its version of the bible & not the nasty british with theirs ?

remind me how much you believe you were told as a baby?
remind me how much you love your god that you obey it?
remind me how those beliefs, your obedience & prayers worked out for you?

no beliefs, faith or prayers from me & im 100% hiv free
something must be faulty your end fella
but carry on trying to teach
youre THE perfect example

freeatlast's picture
Although I read threads about

Although I read threads about the relevance of the babble with interest I hardly ever respond. However, this thread made for interesting reading. My view of the babble is fairly extreme but then, everyone is entitled to an opinion. Basically I think the babble is an extremely poorly written book, filled to the brim with absolute rubbish. The fact that there are, in this day and age where basically everyone has access to the Internet, surely knows how to use Google and in the face of an obscene amount of information based on science (yes, I'm a huge fan of science) people that can still find anything to take seriously in that disaster of a book just baffles my brain. And to find something in there they believe in so strongly that they arrange their whole lives around it is too much for my bird brain to understand. And the way they ignore the bad bits, of course. And that is before we even start talking about the damage religion has done over thousands of years and the very active roll the church played in so many incredible atrocities over so many years. I don't believe in miracles but the fact that most of us survived religion and the church and lived to tell the tale on this incredible forum might change my mind. In my opinion, and no one has to agree with me, they are being intellectually lazy. Not a very good way to use the so-called intelligence us humans ended up with after hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. In fact, I think humans are some of the least intelligent creatures on the planet. But again, that is my opinion, don't take any notice if you don't agree.

I firmly believe most of us will live to see the day religion is classified as the psychological disorder it is. The disorder will have a fancy name and there will be very effective drugs to help people deal with their delusion.

jonthecatholic's picture
Would you agree that the

Would you agree that the Bible is collection of ancient texts? Do people waste their intelligence by studying ancient texts? Of course not. While I will agree that there exists an irresponsible way to read the Bible. There are responsible ways to do so.

You also mention the number of atrocities that certain religions have committed. While some of those may be true, some of those are also exaggerated versions of the truth, and some even are flat out lies. I can say the same about any major power today. The US, UK, Japan, Germany. Actually, as long as your country exists today, it's people/government have most likely done atrocious things in the past. Should we also throw away governments and institutions?

Burn Your Bible's picture
So Jon under your logic

So Jon under your logic because government has done bad things we should follow a church that does bad things?? Hmmm seems like flawed logic.

See here is the difference between god and government, we are constantly trying to evolve the government( which is run by a majority of christians) we elect new officials, we impeach, we change laws, we protest, we fight for civil rights, etc... all this is done in order to improve! Now your god is unchanging he is the same yesterday today and tomorrow, his ideas are immoral, he is immoral, and as I have said before if he were here today we would throw his ass in jail and more than likely sentence him to death! Your worldview cannot evolve while still keeping in line with your god! If you interpret verses differently then he meant them oops looks like you have to burn in hell! Now let's take a look at the Catholic Church (can they evolve?) ummm nope they can change policies but then they are contradicting past leaders(as you have said in the past the Catholic Church can trace themselves back to peter... or some shit like that) the Catholic Church is an unnecessary evil and deserves to be destroyed! The government is a necessary evil and needs to be constantly tamed! I agree that every major institution has done horrid things, but you know what we try to hold them accountable, we revolt, we fight back... now what is the point of the Catholic Church? A lot of people have said how bad they are but I want to hear why you think it's good? What does the church do for society that a secular organization doesn't?

jonthecatholic's picture
Lol. You kinda missed my

Lol. You kinda missed my point. All I'm saying is that you can't use the argument that the Church has committed atrocities therefore I shouldn't follow them. As our government laws will still need to be followed even when the lawmakers themselves don't.

Believe me, the Catholic Church is constantly being reformed from within. There are a lot of priests and ministers who don't like the current pope or the current bishop in their area. Do they leave? No. Do they voice out their opinion? Yes. The Church is changing with the times but the truths she protects does not change.

You said something which alarmed me...

"If you interpret verses differently then he meant them oops looks like you have to burn in hell!"

- You're taking out of context the idea of heresy. If you interpret the Bible incorrectly, that does not mean you'll go to hell. If you teach it, that does not mean you'll go to hell. BUT if the church tells you you're wrong and should change and you don't, then that would constitute a grave offense.

"What does the church do for society that a secular organization doesn't?"

- probably be the largest charitable institution in the world? maybe be the largest contributor to treatment of HIV/AIDS in the world?
Other minor ones is speak against abortion, divorce, the sanctity of marriage, etc.

Sky Pilot's picture
Jon the Catholic,

Jon the Catholic,

Can you name one couple in the Bible that had a good marriage where one of the people wasn't guilty of adultery?

algebe's picture


Brilliant question.
I can't think of a single one.

jonthecatholic's picture
Mary and Joseph.

Mary and Joseph.

Sky Pilot's picture
Jon the Catholic,

Jon the Catholic,

According to the rules in place at the time Mary committed adultery by getting knocked up by another entity when she was engaged to the dummy Joseph. She should have been stoned to death per the rules.

mykcob4's picture

I think that you are mixing up "history" with "archeology" or even "sociology". The bible isn't historic. It is an archeological relic. It is even a tool for sociological study, but it isn't even remotely historical.

jonthecatholic's picture
It is still a collection of

It is still a collection of historical documents. :)

chorlton's picture
old stuff

old stuff
true stuff

you have no idea who wrote what, edited what, collated what, changed what & don't care either so why even discuss it.

you only "debate" because you want to convince yourself its real & lack your own moral compass
frankly im glad you do because it tames you & keeps me safer
without out it youd be just another animal

mykcob4's picture

With all due respect, the bible is not historical.
Now here is where the facts differ from your opinion. Not trying to insult you but please understand. A historical document records history. An event that really happened. The bible doesn't record ANY factual events. Now you believe that the events depicted in the bible DID happen, but there is no proof that they ever did. Until it can be proven that events in the bible actually happened, the bible is not a historical document.

jonthecatholic's picture
I'd disagree with you there.

I'd disagree with you there. Though you did bring up a point when you mentioned archaeological. Can we agree it's archaeological? I would actually classify this as historical. While you wouldn't.

mykcob4's picture
Of course, some bibles are

Of course, some bibles are archeological. Not all.

chorlton's picture
why pamper to liars?

why pamper to liars?
why dance to their tune?
is this a puppet show im watching?

pussy footing around the bollocks in the bible is why its still the worlds largest disease
has the burden of proof shifted & I missed it

whats the point in talking to the mentally ill when they have made it clear they don't accept facts?

I think ive found some sort of atheist theist appreciation society here
where did everyone loose their backbone?

call it as you see it & speak your mind

CyberLN's picture
“I think ive found some sort

“I think ive found some sort of atheist theist appreciation society here where did everyone loose their backbone?”

You are more than welcome, then, to go somewhere you can find folks who are less skeletally challenged.

Chorlton2's picture
i am indeed

i am indeed

how shallow you are to ban someone then reply to trash talk them

enjoy the little caliphate of arse lickers you've groomed



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